Heartache of losing first child drives search for a surrogate
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 I understood the concept of numbers, I always said I was going to have 100 children.
"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.