Fifi Box has opened up in a candid chat about her journey to motherhood, saying it was ‘like a low blow in the gut’ when doctors told her she might not be able to conceive her second child.
The now 46-year-old star, who welcomed 10-year-old Trixie with her ex, Grant Kenny, spoke with the Something To Talk About podcast about the difficulties she faced before her three-year-old daughter Daisy came into the world.
“When Trixie was two, and I was 38, 39, I did suddenly go, ‘Hang on a second, I want more children. I’d love that,” she said.
“I now realise that women don’t have the luxury of ‘the right time’ – because the first appointment I had with my IVF doctor, I was thinking, I’ve seen Hollywood actresses have babies (in their) mid-40s, I’ve got years up my sleeve.
“He showed me the graph and said, ‘You’ve got basically a seven to nine per cent chance of conceiving’. It was like a low blow in my gut. ‘Oh, this might not happen. I might not have another child’.”
She said she didn’t want to have a child with someone “just to have a man there” and because she was “financially in a position to do it on her own” she “got her skates on and decided to go down the path of egg retrieval very quickly.”
The TV and radio personality said she did two rounds of IVF, one when she was 39 and one when she was 40.
Out of 30 eggs, Fifi got two embryos because of the “quality” of her eggs due to her age. Fifi says she wishes she’d known as a younger woman “more about her body”.
“I started to think gosh did I miss too many classes of biology?" she said.
While Fifi did fall pregnant, she said she was conscious that so many women who go through the same process don’t have the same outcome.
“Even the fact that it was a seven per cent chance of success and I got my baby, my angel,” she said.
“My heart broke. Because going in and out of the clinic, I’d see women in tears. I was often in a room, they had counselling rooms, and a nurse would come in, get the box of tissues and take them to the next room. It can be a really sad experience.
“I had a little guilt that I’d had such a successful experience when I knew so many other women were suffering. It’s a tough journey.”
While Fifi said finding a man could wait, motherhood was more important to her.
"Motherhood is everything. It's the only thing I really care about," she said. "It was an epiphany. I thought, I've got the rest of my life to fall in love but I don't have the rest of my life to have this baby."
A difficult pregnancy
Fifi’s second pregnancy brought with it a horrifying case of hyperemesis gravidarum - the severe pregnancy condition Kate Middleton also had, that leaves women debilitated and bedridden by nausea.
Speaking about her experience, Fifi said, “Hyperemesis gravidarum is a terribly isolating journey of chronic nausea with no relief.
“I have felt poisoned every second of this pregnancy, it’s like having gastro every minute, every hour of every day for nine months.
“It is possibly the greatest mental and physical challenge of my life.”
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