Fri, Dec 30, 2022 6:00 AM

Then there were four


Tessa Jaine

For Dan Roos and Annah Sophia, baby Bastian is a sight to behold, the happy ending to their three and a half-year IVF journey. Alongside older son Luca, the family of four is counting their blessings.

Words: Paula Hulburt | Photos: Sarah Brown

Tiny eyelashes flutter as Bastian Col Danie Roos begins to wake. Little fingers stretch, starfish like, as the two-week-old stirs, his adoring parents gaze on proudly.

The centre of attention is incredibly cute, unaware of what his parents went through to have him. For mum Annah, Bastian, named after the boy in her favourite movie Never Ending Story, is truly a dream come true. “He’s worth the wait,” she smiles, as she recounts how she first went into labour on Halloween, two days after her due date. “I started getting niggles, some crampy aches and back pain.”

Around sixteen hours later, the newest addition to the family, born via caesarean section at Wairau Hospital, was safely swaddled, a hand-knitted blue hat on his head.


After 14 hours of labour, taking relief from just a few whiffs of gas, Annah made it through to the point of pushing, then medical intervention was called for, resulting in Annah requiring a c-section. “I was relieved to hear it, there was only so much Annah could do and she needed help,” says Dan, who is quick to praise the staff both in surgery and on the maternity ward for their care and professionalism.

“I was glad I got to experience going into labour naturally like this, regardless of doing all that hard work and still having to have surgery in the end, it was a healing journey for me,” Annah adds. “I was induced two weeks early with Luca, his labour was traumatic, and I don’t remember much. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive team than Mum and Dan. There was so much love in that room.”

Bastian, whose middle name is an amalgamation of Annah’s dad’s name (Colin) and Dan’s father (Danie) has fitted right in, Dan says. “It’s like he’s been with us forever,” he smiles.

Weighing 4.25kg, Bastian was born on November 1 and his family can’t believe how lucky they are.

In her twenties, doctors had told Annah she wouldn’t be able to conceive children after a medical condition ruptured and caused scar tissue in her fallopian tubes, blocking them. “Luca was my miracle baby and Bastian is my science baby,” she explains.

After trying for two years to conceive naturally, Dan and Annah turned to the team at Fertility Associates at St George’s Hospital in Christchurch. They are full of praise for the staff there, their professionalism, care and ongoing support has been faultless and memorable.

When the pair’s first IVF cycle failed, Annah says she had resigned herself to a longer wait to make their dream come true.

“I’d made peace with myself that it wasn’t going to happen straightaway. It was very difficult when we found out it [the first cycle] hadn’t worked so I talked myself down, I didn’t expect the second cycle to work.”

Following the second embryo transfer in January, Dan and Annah faced an anxious ten day wait to be officially told they were expecting.

Annah laughs as she recalls the pair hovering over a home pregnancy test, trying to muster the courage to look at it for the result. “You can test at home after approximately six days to see a fairly reliable result, and we did a test but couldn’t bring ourselves to look at it, so threw it away and decided to wait for the blood test results instead.”

Four days later the call they had longed for came from the clinic who called with Annah’s blood test results and confirmation of her pregnancy.

“They called to say ‘congratulations’,” Annah smiles, her gaze moving to the framed note with a positive pregnancy test attached she presented Dan with later that day. “I rushed and made it for him right before he got home only 20 minutes later.”

Dan says discovering they were pregnant was one of the best days of his life. “It all felt a bit unreal at first,” he says. As Dan talks, he gently rocks Bastian in his arms; fatherhood clearly agrees with him. “He’s already watched his first rugby game, in a Springboks onesie,” he smiles. South African born, Dan will ensure Bastian learns to speak Afrikaans too.

“I’ll have to learn it too,” Annah laughs, “or I’ll be left behind.”

In his nursery, Bastian’s name is spelt out in large, gold letters above his white cot, waiting for the day he is big enough for his own bed. Framed prints of baby animals adorn the walls, and a wealth of storybooks sit waiting for bedtimes to come.

And when it comes to love, Bastian has it all, including an adoring big brother in Luca. “Since he was four-years-old Luca has asked for a sibling for every birthday and every Christmas. When he saw Bastian for the first time, he just melted,” Annah says.

“This is a dream come true. He is such a doting big brother. He helps at home so much, looking after me, looking after Bastian. We are so very proud of him. We feel pretty complete, we were just waiting for the final puzzle piece to slot in and now he’s here.”

The puzzle piece in question opens his blue eyes and stares at his mum, who smiles in clear delight and stands up. “It must be time for a feed,” she tells her son, as Dan stands too, unwilling to even miss even a minute with his youngest son.

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