Melissa's 3 year saga to be a mum

By Christine McKay


When you're single in Dannevirke and in your 30s and want to have a baby - what do you do?

For Dannevirke's Melissa Martin, 35, the option wasn't a one-night-stand or picking up a guy in the pub. Instead Miss Martin decided on a sperm donor. But with fertility issues, it was a long three-and-a-half year journey, which cost her $50,000. "I'm not ashamed by what I've done and yes, having my miracle baby Imogene has come at an emotional and financial cost, but I wouldn't change anything."

Miss Martin's journey to motherhood features on 20/20 on TV2 tonight and having television cameras follow her every move for two days was a surreal experience. "It was a pretty intense time. How do you act natural with a camera in your face?" she said.

The producers of 20/20 approached Fertility Associates with their story idea and clinic staff contacted Miss Martin, to see if she was willing to take part in the programme.

"It was a random phone call, out of the blue," the Dannevirke dance teacher said. "I'm no different to anyone else - I'm just a mum.

But before I made my decision on whether or not to go ahead, I spoke to my Mum and Dad. The main reason I went ahead was because I know there are a lot of women in my situation, not aware of the options available to them. I also thought the programme would highlight the importance of sperm donors and perhaps make some guys realise there is a shortage of donors. My parents were with me all the way, saying if the programme helped someone else, then that was great."

Wanting a baby and not prepared to take risks, Miss Martin said it was just a flippant comment made to her five years ago, which had her investigate her options. "I didn't know the fertility clinic and sperm donor option was available to a single woman," she said.

And Miss Martin said she's aware her anonymous sperm donor could learn her name and where she lives after tonight's television programme.

"If it wasn't for that very special guy, I wouldn't have my beautiful daughter," she said. "When Imogene was 9 days old I sent him a letter and photos and more photos when she was 4 months old.

"And the only reservation I have is that he'll have information about me if he sees the programme, but if that's the worst thing that can happen, it's nothing to worry about."

The 20/20 crew focused on Miss Martin's family and the important part they play in helping to raise Imogene.

"Melissa is a single parent, not a solo mum," her mother Glenda Kernaghan told the Dannevirke News.

The 20/20 programme screens tonight on TV2 at 9.30pm.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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