Radio couple Jay-Jay Feeney and Dom Harvey have jumped through many hoops to have a baby. In her new book Misconception: A True Story of Life, Love and Infertility, Jay-Jay outlines their roller-coaster journey.
Here’s a sneaky peek into the pages of this entertaining story:
JAY-JAY—WHY DO WE WANT CHILDREN?
Finding out we needed medical help to have a child made us really question why we wanted kids. For me it was about the stage of life I had reached. You’re born, you go to school, you’re a teenager, you become an adult, you find love, you marry, you have children, you retire, you die. But I have never been an overly clucky person.
When I was a little girl, I refused to play with dolls and would much rather read a book instead. I decided early on I didn’t want children because of all the drama Mum had with her kids and I didn’t want that for myself. Meeting and marrying Dom had changed the way I felt about all that. I wanted to have his children. I wanted to be able to share the greatest gift with him, to have a wee person that we had created together. I had reached the ‘you have children’ part of my life.
When we found out we couldn’t have kids as easily as we’d thought we could, we both felt desperate. We began to panic, fearing we may not be able to have children at all.
We’d love a baby from scratch—one born of my egg and his sperm, that I breastfeed and we nurture together and teach about life, who would grow up and become an awesome person who makes a difference to this world. And we were about to embark on IVF to make it possible. I was excited and optimistic, but also nervous and apprehensive. It’s a wild ride.
DOM —WHY DO WE WANT CHILDREN?
The stock-standard answer I usually give is something very vague like, ‘Dunno really. I just do.’ The truth is, I don’t know all the reasons. I think a lot of it just comes down to a natural yearning, a paternal instinct at a certain age.
But there are the selfish reasons, like this niggling fear I have of being old and outliving all my mates and having nobody in my life who cares if I live or die—not that kids are a guarantee you will have visitors at the nursing home!
And then there are the unselfish reasons, such as just wanting to experience that unconditional love that is bigger than anything else.
If we can’t have our own children, it’s going to feel like my life is incomplete. For the rest of my life it’s going to feel as if there is a big part missing and that’s a big thing to deal with. Although I’ve always wanted to be a father, now that it may not be possible I realise just how much it means to me.
Extracted from Misconception: A true story of life, love and infertility by Jay-Jay Feeney. RRP$35, published by Allen & Unwin.
Main picture image by Damian Alexander.