Amēaleigh | Unicorn baby photo shoot

“I was born with a syndrome called MRKH! In short when I was 17 I found out I was born with no uterus. As you can imagine finding out at a young age I will never be able to have children was heartbreaking!! I went through years of living in silent pain and pretending that this did not exist! I, like many other women only dreamt of having a baby one day, but I knew this would be something I would never experience, being pregnant with my own child.

Fast forward to 2013, I fell in love with a man I only dreamed would be my baby daddy! I was upfront and honest with him since day one about my infertility struggle but at the beginning this was something that we never really thought about. I always kept my struggle to myself, only my family knew. Then few years down the track we started to talk about us having a baby together. Knowing this was not going to be an easy journey, many would have ran at the thought of what we would have to go through just to make a wee family. But not my Terry, he gave me the strength, courage, love and support to open up to the world about my infertility struggle and what a massive weight off my shoulders that was!! I finally felt free after all these years of hiding who I was!!


Then the doors opened right up! Help, support, love, advice, it was amazing!! We then went to the fertility clinic here in Hamilton and that day was the best day ever!! We qualified for 2 free rounds of IVF treatment with the help of a surrogate mum to carry our baby. That was the hardest part. How could we ever ask another women to carry our baby?? So we began a Facebook page “couple seeking surrogate mum” and blow me away the amount of women who offered was astounding! After 2 years of searching for a surrogate, a very good friend of mind offered and we were overjoyed! But. Sadly because of health risks to her from previous pregnancies, she was denied. It broke our hearts, we were back at square one again.

Fertility associates then agreed to let us do a round of IVF as due to my condition my body started to go into early menopause, I was 33 at this stage. So the injections started.

During my treatment our fertility dr called us into the clinic and said that my egg count was so low, that he advised us that we were only 1% chance of getting any eggs from me!

This was another blow to us and he recommended that we stopped treatment and get an egg donor! But. Thank you to my Terry, he was adamant to carry on!

“1% is better than no percent”

were his exact words, so carry on we did! Every day every night we called upon our ancestors our tupuna our loved ones who had passed to help us, guide us through our journey. We prayed, we cried, we laughed and we cried so more.

Then came our egg collection day! The most scariest day ever!! Put under the gas and away they went!


I remember them waking me up and I was all drowsy and all I remember was terry saying “they got 2 eggs my love, they got 2 eggs!”

I cried and cried and cried!! 2 eggs!!!!!

The next 5 days were hard. We had to wait to hear from the embryologist to see if my eggs had fertilised with his sperm and were freezable. The best news came on Mother’s Day 2016, both of our eggs fertilised, we have 2 beautiful healthy embryos healthy to freeze!!! To many they are just embryos but to us we had 2 babies!!!

Happiest day ever!!

Then came the search for a surrogate again, the hardest part I feel in our journey. Another friend of mine who lives in Christchurch had offered, but as we lived in Hamilton I wasn’t sure we could use a surrogate who was so far away. Lucky I reached out and asked for help on our infertility support group page as yes this is something we could do!! What?! Yaayy!!

Months of counseling, trips to Christchurch and the wait of approval from the ethics committee. March 2018 we got the yes!! Green light to go!! Woohooo!!


We flew our surrogate up, our transfer day was April 2018, what a beautiful day that was. Seeing our little embie (baby) being put into another women’s body for it to hopefully stick, hold on, make a home of the next 9 months. We wait 10 whole long days. 10 days felt like forever!! On the 10th day May the 8th we done a home pregnancy test.........

it was positive!!!!!!

Our surrogate went to fertility associates for the official test. Officially pregnant!!! Can you believe it, we are pregnant!!

Our/her journey has been amazing!! We fly to Christchurch on the 31st of December to wait on the arrival of our princess, yes she’s a girl. Her due date is 4th February 2019 but who knows when she will make her grand entrance.

We have documented our whole journey, the highs the lows the ups and the downs but having professional photos of our baby our precious wee toanga to hang on our wall to remind us of our struggle of our joy of our wee baby girl would be so incredibly amazing. I want to be able to treasure her being a baby forever and what better way than having her photos all over the wall. We have already a family photo with us and our fur babies, we would love to add our special addition to our family.

We will forever be great full for our surrogate, it takes an amazing women to offer to do this for us. I hope we get that chance to share our joy. Thank you for reading our journey.”


Nikki’s words say more about how special this photo shoot was than I ever could myself! This was Nikki’s winning entry to the New Year Newborn competition that won her a $1,000 voucher for their family’s newborn baby photography.

If you’ve ever struggled with infertility, I hope you find this story encouraging and inspiring!

Baby Amēaleigh’s nursery has a unicorn theme, to celebrate how special and miraculous she is, so we had to incorporate a little touch of that in her photo shoot too. It was also amazing being able to capture all the little personal touches with her gorgeous handwoven wahakura and her pounamu.

Make sure you scroll right to the end to see the REAL story behind some of those beautiful naked baby family photos!! ;-)


Vintage pink doily rug - Flovelies
Unicorn snuggly - Jellycat
Headband - Adris Little Cuties
Wahakura (woven basket) - River Ridge Birth Centre and Hapū Wānanga
Pounamu (greenstone) - gifted to the family from Hapū Wānanga

Do you have a special theme you’d like to incorporate into your photo shoot? What personal touches would you include?

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