Tania Zaetta made her name overseeing crazy, incredible challenges on TV as the host of Who Dares Wins.
But nothing prepared her for the shock discovery she had left it too late to have a baby naturally, when she and partner Chris Rogers decided to take the first step towards parenthood three years ago.
“I drove home in tears to Chris and he was just so beautiful and supportive,” remembers Tania, 48, who wanted to tell her inspirational story in Woman’s Day to debunk “fertility myths” she feels cost some women their chance of motherhood.
The only option
“It’s very confronting when you hear the number and quality of your eggs is quite low at 45. But there were so many woman claiming miracle babies at 45, I just thought it would happen quite easily.”
“But for lots of women it doesn’t. To be able to have an egg donor baby, that’s the miracle to me.”
Tania says she always knew she wanted to have children, but was also determined to wait to have babies when the time was right.
“I was always going to be a mum, but I was single for a long time, and I wanted to wait for the right man – and Chris was the right man,” she says.
And it really was a case of love at first sight for Tania when she spotted Chris, who is 13 years her junior, during a girls pampering weekend at the famous Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula almost seven years ago.”
“This gorgeous man walked by and we locked eyes and that was it,” she smiles, explaining that it was only a matter of three dates before she decided to move from the Gold Coast to the Mornington Peninsula to be with Chris.
“I came for a visit and never left!”
With “beautiful old soul” Chris happy to support any choice she made after Tania came to terms with her fertility heartache, the TV star spent the next two years considering her choices and researching options – in secret.
“I’m a very private person, so I just sat back and listened to everyone’s stories, and I had a lot of friends doing IVF, but not necessarily successfully,” she explains, adding that she eventually decided an egg donor was the only option.
Tania says she made the decision after reading about comedian Mary Coustas and TV star Sonia Kruger’s fertility challenges and their joy after giving birth to their daughters, at 49, with the help of donor eggs.
“That was a game changer for me and it helped with my decision,” says the star, who also made it big in Bollywood.
“I really resonated with Sonia’s story because, like me, she is very fit and healthy, yet she was very open with her story and in reminding women you’re only born with a certain amount of eggs – and they expire.”
Tania reserves her highest praise for leading fertility expert Dr Nick Lolatgis, who helped Mary Coustas conceive in 2014 with a donor egg.
“I call him the baby maker,” says Tania.
He told her from the outset very few women over 45 fall pregnant without a donor egg.
With his support, Tania and Chris went to Greece five months ago after deciding she wanted an anonymous donor rather than a friend or relative.
There they were matched with a donor who resembled Tania.
“We didn’t tell anyone except my mum Heather because I didn’t want that extra pressure,” she says, adding she had two donor eggs implanted, hoping one may result in their longed-for baby.
“I was exceptionally lucky because it worked the first time with IVF.”
Tania supported her medical miracle with Chinese herbs, acupuncture and organic food, but also “willed this to happen with positive thinking”.
When she found she was pregnant two weeks after the procedure, she was blown away.
“I had tears of joy rolling down my face, and when the 12-week scan showed a second heartbeat, it was absolutely incredible. We haven’t found out the sex of the two babies yet or decided on names. We just call them Lefty and Righty!”