Extra special Valentine's Day for new parents of premature IVF baby

Knox Kurth came into the world at 1420 grams – two months premature.

It was a long journey for Invermay couple Ben Kurth and Jessie Mansfield before they could finally welcome him into the world.

After spending his first five weeks in the Launceston General Hospital, Knox is settling into his new home, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

“You don’t realise how small and precious they are until you go through something like that, and then you see all the other couples with little prem babies come in as well and they’re all the same - fragile little things,” Mr Kurth said.

“He stopped breathing once when I was holding him. He went grey and his lips blue – that was pretty scary. I gently shook him and he snapped out of it.”

It was a stressful few years for the couple. After a year of trying naturally, they went to TasIVF for help.

“I didn’t have many eggs, and because of that, every time we’d get one fertilise out of the three that they picked up, and so each time we did a cycle, we had to start again from scratch, so not being able to just go back in with another embryo from the freezer,” Ms Mansfield said.

“It wasn’t until the third cycle that we got that. So those first two, three cycles that we had to literally go back to the beginning with the injections was pretty testing.”

Born on December 14, Knox’s due date was just last week – February 7, and he now weighs 2660 grams.

“It was just awesome to take him home,” Ms Mansfield said. “We’re working it all out as we’re going along.

“We can’t wait to find out what his interests are and things like that. It’s exciting.”

Knox was the first baby born for TasIVF fertility specialist Dr Ben Dhanaraj.

“I see firsthand the impact that infertility can have on relationships and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the reminder of love and intimacy can be very difficult for couples undergoing treatment.”

Ms Mansfield said Dr Dhanaraj was “supportive through everything”.

“We felt very safe in his hands and are very grateful to have had him look after us and help create our darling Knox.”