Heartache drives search for sur­ro­gate

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - NICHOLAS MCBRIDE

Af­ter the heartache of los­ing their first child at just 20 months, a Hawkes Bay cou­ple have put out a na­tion­wide call to find a sur­ro­gate for their next.

Sharon and Chris Owen had their ‘‘mir­a­cle child’’ snatched away from them af­ter 10 years of try­ing to get preg­nant.

‘‘Los­ing a child is some­thing you never get over but you learn to cope,’’ Sharon Owen said.

The cou­ple strug­gled to get preg­nant, bat­tling the stress of mis­car­riages and IVF treat­ment.

‘‘I did some­times get preg­nant but had trou­ble hold­ing the preg­nancy.’’

Af­ter 10 years or try­ing the cou­ple had a daugh­ter.

‘‘She was a mir­a­cle baby.’’

The Owens say, their daugh­ter Iola had a dif­fi­cult start to life and died sud­denly.

‘‘She stopped breath­ing one night in her sleep.’’

Iola was taken to Star­ship hospi­tal and put on life sup­port, but did not sur­vive. Sharon said they had been through a lot of pain and heartache.

‘‘But it has made us stronger.’’ The cou­ple had a sec­ond child to a sur­ro­gate, Ianto, who is now two.

‘‘He brings so much joy into our lives, he is so full of fun.

‘‘He is amaz­ing and we feel we owe it to him to do ev­ery­thing in our power to give him a sib­ling.

‘‘Now we are look­ing at 15 years of try­ing to have chil­dren it is quite hard to imag­ine our lives with­out be­ing on this jour­ney.’’

Owen set up a Face­book page seek­ing a sur­ro­gate.

‘‘We just need to reach out to as many peo­ple as we can.’’

The sur­ro­gate would prefer­ably be some­one liv­ing any­where in New Zealand, happy to use her own eggs, and aged un­der 37.

The Owens stip­u­lated they wanted a woman who is in a re­la­tion­ship, that has al­ready had her own chil­dren and who sup­ported the sur­ro­gacy ap­proach.

Sharon ac­knowl­edged that they were ask­ing a lot, so put up the Face­book page to try find peo­ple.

She had a sib­ling her­self, while her hus­band has three siblings.

‘‘Be­fore we knew of our in­fer­til­ity trou­bles we al­ways wanted many chil­dren.’’

The cou­ple had looked into adop­tion but there were lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties.

‘‘There are just so few ba­bies in New Zealand.’’

Those in­ter­ested in be­ing a sur­ro­gate can con­tact the Owens through the Face­book page.

Sharon and Chris Owen with their sec­ond child, their son Ianto. The cou­ple’s first child died at just 20 months.

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