Home And Away star Emily Symons once said she’d “given up hope” of having children following years of unsuccessful IVF attempts.
But in 2015, the then 46-year-ambition old’s of becoming a mother was realized when she and her then-partner, Paul Jackson, welcomed their son Henry Richard Francis Jackson.
Emily told New Idea, “I believed it couldn’t happen because I was too old.”
“I thought it was impossible, but it isn’t,” says the author. I’d given up, truly, because I thought I’d exhausted all of our options.
“If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole procedure, don’t give up.”
She went on to say that she had spent her 30s “anguished” about her inability to have a child.
“On the other hand, IVF has the potential to take over your life,” she cautioned.
“You come to a point where you’re so desperate to have a baby that everything else fades away.”
Emily, who has portrayed Marilyn on the serial on and off since 1989, was concerned that Henry would be born prematurely due to a placental and blood pressure problem.
Henry was delivered by caesarean at 38 weeks after being put on virtual bed rest for the last few weeks of her pregnancy.
“I knew when I first visited the obstetrician that I would have a caesarean because of my age,” Emily told Mother & Baby in 2017.
“I didn’t mind because it took me all these years to have a baby, and I didn’t care how he turned out as long as he was healthy.”
Emily credits Henry with assisting her in the grief process when she lost her own mother several years before.
“Watching Henry enjoy little things like going to the supermarket in the car has made me realise that it’s these things that matter,” she says.
“I lost my mother in 2010 and I forgot how to be a happy person.
“Henry has bought so much joy with him and he’s really taught me how to enjoy my life again.”
Henry’s sixth birthday was celebrated in lockdown earlier this week, and his delighted mother shared a lovely tribute on Instagram.
Emily opened the caption of the post with, “Happy 6th birthday, my lovely boy.”
“His school teachers, tiny friends, Mums sending films, FaceTime chats with cousins and gorgeous family, and even a happy birthday sung to him from the front lawn made his lockdown birthday so wonderful!”
Emily claimed she “sobbed like a baby” at the drop-off gates when Henry started preschool in 2019.
“He just went off and yelled, ‘Bye, Mummy, stop taking photos of me,'” she recalled.
“And he walked away, not looking back.” He adores it.”
Henry has also paid visits to his mother on the set of Home and Away on occasion, and has been photographed with Ray Meagher, who has portrayed Alf since the late 1980s.
“He thinks it’s normal that there’s a picture of Mummy in the magazine,” she said at the time.
“He’s too young to watch Home and Away.
“I tell him that I work in television, but I don’t think he really understands what that means.
“He’s only four.”