When Woman’s Day last spoke to Zac Franich and Erin Simpson just over a year ago, the newlyweds were excited about starting a family, talking about how there’ll be “lots of little Erins and Zacs running around” in the not-too-distant future.
They already had names planned out, although the former children’s TV presenter joked, “We’ll have to wait and see whatever these geriatric ovaries can pump out!”
However, 12 months on from their lavish wedding at Auckland Museum, gags about fertility aren’t quite so funny for the couple, who have had some scary setbacks on their road to procreation. “In an ideal world, we’d be pregnant and nesting right now,” the Bachelor NZ star says sombrely. “That was the plan, but it’s not the way it’s gone.”
After their big day, Erin went to have her Merina birth control device taken out, but the specialists couldn’t find it, meaning she had to have a full-body MRI scan to locate the IUD. The good news was that they found it… but they also discovered some suspicious growths on Erin’s ovaries.
“We had to get a bunch of scans and tests, but for a while there, we were told they were leaning towards it being cancerous,” recalls Erin, 38. “It took five days to get the results back. We tried not to worry, but I was scared because cancer is rife through my family.”
“We were really shaken up,” admits Zac, 31. “There were tears and we started to think of all those what-ifs. We’ve been so lucky so far and this isn’t a movie – there’s no guaranteed happy ending.”
Fortunately, the tests showed the growths were relatively common, non-cancerous cysts, which the “hugely relieved” couple have been told shouldn’t affect their fertility. But after all the medical drama and those five terrifying days, Erin has struggled with the idea of going back to the clinic to have her IUD removed.
“I just need a break from all the doctors!” she explains, adding that she’s “crapping herself” about how painful the procedure could be. “It’s hard because when you’re a married woman, everyone keeps asking when you’re going to make a baby. I know Zac would be an amazing father – and I’ll be the fun mum!”
“There will be two fun parents,” her husband insists, laughing. “Practice makes perfect, but yeah, we’re both pretty clucky right now.”
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