Womb with a view: Big Miracles is back to make us laugh, cry and cheer

One in six Australians currently experience fertility issues.

One in six Australians currently experience fertility issues. Photo: Getty

After the first series of Nine reality television series Big Miracles wrapped last year, everyone was keen to know what happened to the eight couples who shared their private journeys towards parenthood.

Thanks to the willingness of these everyday Australians – plus unprecedented access to the science inside IVF clinics around the country – we saw the emotional rollercoaster of negative pregnancies, the heartbreak of a miscarriage, cancer survivors, complications of pregnancy and the joy of giving birth.

With a second series set to premiere on February 5, we get to see the return of two determined couples who are continuing their challenging path to parenthood, plus women with endometriosis and men with low sperm counts.

There’s also a reunion with some of the new parents and their babies from last season, and new couples, same-sex couples and singles to meet this season.

Surrounded by close family and friends, they all have a very different story to tell … told with humour, through tears and often absolute sheer joy at the “miracle” baby they’ve just made.

Narrated by Gold Logie winning TV and theatre actress Lisa McCune (Blue Heelers, The Garden Hustle), she brings a gentle, almost soothing voice to what she describes as “remarkable documentary-making”.

“This show is really hopeful,” the Melbourne-based mother-of-three told The New Daily.

“It’s such a human desire, and when these people are in the throes of being unable to conceive, and trying to sort it out, there is so much wrapped up in it – and every couple is so different.

McCune says she likes the narrator role “because you’re invested in the pictures, the story of the people”.

“You become the voice when it needs to be guided in some way. Along with the music, you help create a sense of drama and emotion,” she adds.

“I had days in the [voice-over] booth where I was in tears over it, but yet, all these people hold out hope and the doctors are extraordinary in the way they are so wonderful, the way the nurses deliver the news, every moment is cared for.

“I just think it’s so lovely for people [watching] at home to be able to see themselves reflected in other peoples’ personal journeys.”

In series 1 of Big Miracles we met Western Sydney couple Samantha and Jason as they attempted to extend their family. Falling pregnant was difficult for Sam due to severe endometriosis.

Theirs was a rollercoaster journey – after two failed rounds, Sam fell pregnant on her last remaining embryo.

Tragically, she found out in the dating scan that she had miscarried. It was a heartbreaking scene filled with disbelief.

After finding the strength to try again Sam and Jason went through one more round of IVF which gave them their miracle pregnancy.

The last time we saw Sam and Jason was at their seven-week scan, when they heard their baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

In series 2, the show follows their journey as they prepare for the birth of their baby, completing their family unit and giving their daughter, Georgia, the sibling they have longed for.

‘We’re going to fall pregnant’

We also see Sydney corporate high flyer and author Sheila, 45, and her personal trainer husband, Tyson, 47, persevere with IVF after a gruelling battle with falling pregnant.

Appearing in the teaser trailer for season two, the optimistic couple look excited.

“We’re going to fall pregnant,” she says. “It’s going to happen”.

Sheila had 11 eggs frozen when she was 38, but none resulted in a pregnancy so they tried another five rounds of IVF treatment with her 45-year-old eggs, but were still unsuccessful.

With their options running out, doctors recommended using donor eggs.

Sheila struggled with the idea of her child not sharing her genes however she was so determined to become a mother, she put all her fears aside.

Despite an incredibly tough 18 months of IVF, Sheila and Tyson are still as determined and hopeful as ever.

They’re also, perhaps surprisingly, still madly in love.

We follow Sheila and Tyson as they begin their search for an egg donor.

They will do whatever it takes to get their fairy-tale ending.


‘I don’t feel like I fit’

The sentiments echoed by one of the participants in this season of Big Miracles.

The show “presents different families … it might not be the storybook family that we grew up with with mum, dad … it might be two men, two women, single mum, a donor egg – we do deal with that in the second series,” says McCune.

But every year the statistics are startling, with one in six Australians grappling with infertility, and this season highlights infertility in men as well as women.

Cutting-edge science and technology using state-of-the-art IVF procedures and clinics help to defy the odds of falling pregnant. But the margins are still pretty slim.

Among the new couples are Emily, who has a low ovarian reserve
(egg count), and John has low sperm count and motility. Their challenges mean they only have a three per cent chance of getting pregnant naturally.

IVF takes this up to just a 20 per cent chance.

Professor David Gardner, from Melbourne IVF, says about 30 to 40 per cent of infertility is attributed to men.

“Over the last 50 years, sperm count has dropped over 50 per cent worldwide, and it’s not just the counts, it’s the health of the sperm that is falling … diet, drinking, smoking, the environment, lifestyle can have a profound effect, as well as age on sperm health.

“Now is the decade of sperm … we really need to focus on men’s health,” he says.

IVF Australia, which opened their Virtus Health fertility clinics for both series, reminds viewers that “if you’re currently struggling to conceive or have been through fertility treatment in the past, we understand that this series might be emotionally triggering”.

  • If you’re a current or past patient of IVFAustralia, counselling services are available. Call 1800 941 095 to learn more.

View additional resources below:

Big Miracles returns on February 5 at 9pm on Channel 9 and 9Now

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.