CELEB PAR­ENT

The Queen ac­tress Lu­nathi Mam­pofu (31) on us­ing in vitro fer­til­i­sa­tion (IVF) af­ter a health com­pli­ca­tion that might have left her un­able to bear chil­dren. By Kwanele Mathe­bula

Bona - - Contents -

Ac­tress Lu­nathi Mam­pofu on con­ceiv­ing through IVF

I had a child ear­lier

than planned. In 2013, I went to see a gy­nae­col­o­gist fol­low­ing ab­dom­i­nal pains. I was di­ag­nosed with fi­broids, and ad­vised to con­sider hav­ing a child soon.

This was be­cause the fi­broids could pos­si­bly pre­vent me from hav­ing one in the fu­ture. I was sin­gle at the time, and so de­cided to go for IVF.

In 2014, I started IVF

treat­ment while liv­ing

in the US. Be­fore start­ing the process, I went for coun­selling and med­i­cal check-ups to make sure that I was healthy. I chose an anony­mous sperm donor, and then went through five rounds of in­sem­i­na­tion un­til I got preg­nant. For­tu­nately, my preg­nancy had no com­pli­ca­tions. Be­ing a first-time

mom was dif­fi­cult. I gave birth to my daugh­ter, Skye (3), in Novem­ber 2015. The first week was easy, but things quickly changed. I be­came over­whelmed with rais­ing her alone as I wasn’t used to not sleep­ing at night; ev­ery­thing was new. I called my par­ents in Cape Town, and told them that I wanted to come back home. I re­turned six weeks af­ter giv­ing birth. It was a re­lief to be back home and have the sup­port of my fam­ily. They helped me with Skye for a year be­fore I moved to Jo­han­nes­burg for work. Be­ing away from her was tough be­cause I was used to hav­ing her with me all the time. I vis­ited her ev­ery sec­ond week­end, and leav­ing was al­ways hard.

Mother­hood has

taught me a lot. Ear­lier this year, I de­cided to move my daugh­ter to Jo­han­nes­burg so that we could live to­gether. Hav­ing her with me is great. How­ever, I have to work of­ten and some­times feel that I am not giv­ing her enough. At times, I think had I planned bet­ter be­fore hav­ing her, I would be able to pro­vide for her the way that she needs. But, ev­ery time I look at her and she smiles, it all feels worth it. When I come home from work, she gives me a hug and kiss. This re­minds me that I am good enough, and watch­ing her grow into a bright and beau­ti­ful girl is amaz­ing.

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