After years of fruitless IVF attempts, Emily Symons of Home And Away confessed she’d “given up hope” of having children.
But in 2015, the then 46-year-ambition old’s of becoming a mother was realised when she and her then-partner, Paul Jackson, welcomed their son Henry Richard Francis Jackson.
Emily told New Idea, “I believed it couldn’t happen because I was too old.”
“I thought it was impossible, but it isn’t,” says the author. I’d given up, truly, because I thought I’d exhausted all of our options.
“If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole procedure, don’t give up.”
She went on to say that she had spent her 30s “anguished” about her inability to have a child.
“On the other hand, IVF has the potential to take over your life,” she cautioned.
“You come to a point where you’re so desperate to have a baby that everything else fades away.”
Emily, who has played Marilyn on the soap on and off since 1989, was concerned that Henry would be born prematurely due to a placental and blood pressure problem.
Henry was delivered by caesarean at 38 weeks after being put on virtual bed rest for the last few weeks of her pregnancy.
In 2017, Emily told Mother & Baby, “I knew when I initially met the obstetrician that I would have a caesarean because of my age.”
“I didn’t mind because it took me all these years to have a baby, and I didn’t care how he turned out as long as he was healthy.”
Emily credits Henry with assisting her in the grief process when she lost her own mother several years before.
“Watching Henry enjoy simple pleasures like driving to the grocery has taught me that it’s the little things that count,” she says.
“In 2010, I lost my mother, and I forgot how to be happy.”
“Henry has brought me so much joy, and he’s taught me how to appreciate my life once more.”
Henry’s sixth birthday was celebrated in lockdown earlier this week, and his proud mother shared a sweet tribute on Instagram.
Emily began the caption of the post with, “Happy 6th birthday, my beautiful boy.”
“His school teachers, little friends, Mums sending videos, FaceTime chats with cousins and beautiful family, and even a happy birthday sung to him from the front garden made his lockdown birthday so special!”
Emily admitted she “sobbed like a baby” at the drop-off gates when Henry started preschool in 2019.
“He just went off and said, ‘Bye, Mummy, stop taking photos of me,'” she recalled.
“And he walked away, not looking back.” He adores it.”
Henry has also paid visits to his mother on the set of Home and Away on occasion, and has been photographed with Ray Meagher, who has portrayed Alf since the late 1980s.
In 2019, Emily said, “He’s really interested in microphones and headphones, and he loved all the technical side of it.”
“He thought it was so much fun, leaping around in his Spider-Man outfit.”
Despite the fact that Henry has visited the set and enjoys reading magazine articles about his mother, Emily believes he has a misunderstanding of her role.
She said at the time, “He thinks it’s normal that there’s a picture of Mummy in the magazine.”
“He’s too young to watch Home and Away,” says the mother.
“I tell him I work in television, but I’m not sure he fully comprehends what it entails.”
“He’s only four years old.”