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Celebrity News

Joe Cotton: "I'm desperate to be a mum"

Joe has turned to fertility treatment to realise her dream of becoming a mum.

By Linda Shackelford
Joe Cotton has always been positive and full of energy, but when she discovered she might have to turn to fertility treatment after years of trying to conceive, the bubbly radio star’s world was turned upside down.
Since she married longtime love Daniel Shields (37) five years ago, Joe (35) had been hoping to welcome a little bundle of joy into their family. “When we got married, people asked when we were going to have kids. They assumed I wasn’t interested in having a baby because I’m career-focused, but that’s the biggest misperception of my character,” she reveals.
“Some people think, ‘That Joe – she’s a bit wild’, but actually it’s not that at all.”
Upbeat Joe yearns for the day she can call herself a mum.
Speaking out for the first time about the couple’s infertility problems, Joe says she’s undergone medical tests that have not thrown up any obvious issues. And Daniel’s recent fertility test results show the cause of the problem doesn’t lie with him either. “At this stage, we both appear to be completely healthy adults who, in theory, should be able to procreate,” says Joe with a smile.
“It’s a relief that I’m in the clear, but it prompts even more questions. We are certainly giving it a good try but now we have to bring in the professionals. We have tried to DIY this project but it turns out we need help!”
Joe, who co-hosts the Driving You Home weekday show with Dean Young on More FM, says she’s more than ready for babies, so hopes for clarity soon.
Joe says she’d make a good mum “because I’m still super- young at heart”.
“I’ve settled down a lot since getting married, and Dan too. But just because we don’t have kids, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want the chaos that ensues from having a family,” she says candidly. “It’s funny – you spend the first part of your life hoping pregnancy won’t happen and as you grow older, you wonder, ‘Why is it so hard to get pregnant?’”
And she is becoming used to questions from others about why they don’t have a family.
“You can’t say, ‘I think I’m barren!’” she laughs. “It takes the conversation from easy to really awkward – fast!”
Joe says questions about her pregnancy plans have escalated in the past few years. “Suddenly it seems to be everyone’s business. Your womb becomes the talk of the town when you are married – people feel completely at ease asking you about it. I’m not offended by it at all, though. I think it’s incredibly sweet and it’s adorable that people care.”
But seeing most of her close friends, including former TrueBliss members, become parents has affected her more than she thought. “I’m feeling like I’m running out of time. All the TrueBliss girls – Megan Cassie (now Alatini), Keri Harper, Erika Takacs and Carly Binding – have children. I compare myself to those girls a bit, as they were such a large part
of my life. We’re all around the same age, and we reached milestones together.
“When we were younger, we all felt like we were in the same team, but eventually I started to feel like I was being left behind. Keri became pregnant just before my wedding. But it really dawned on me that I wanted to be a mum when I went to a surprise party for some friends.
Joe and Daniel married five years ago and are ready for the next stage in their lives – the pitter-patter of tiny feet.
“I thought they were going to announce they were getting married, but instead they announced they were having a baby. I was so happy for them but burst into tears and I couldn’t stop crying!”
As Joe wipes more tears away, she gives a loving look at her “fur babies”, Chihuahua cross dogs Benny and Jinx, who bound excitedly around her Auckland home.
“I don’t know what I would be like if I didn’t have them. I can be completely maternal with my dogs – they’ve been part of our family for six years.”
After five years of trying, she and Dan – who already has an 18-year-old daughter, Bree, from a previous relationship – decided it was time to try to sort out the problem.
“I’d talked to my doctor lots, but I’d put off the testing,” she confides. “It’s a bit like wanting to lose weight but being terrified of trying in case you fail.”
After five years of trying, Joe and Dan decided it was time to try to sort out their fertility problem.
Now, facing appointments with fertility specialists with Dan, Joe is optimistic she will become a mother through in-vitro fertilisation, but she will also consider adoption.
“I’m at the point where I’m like, ‘Listen, I’ll take any advice – shall we do it upside down?’” she laughs.
“I think IVF would be the first step, although we are trying not to think too far ahead and still hoping that somehow, miraculously, I get pregnant.
“We are just two regular human beings that should be able to have children but cannot. I guarantee there are a lot of couples out there with the same problem,” she says.
“I think I’d be a good mum because I’m still super-young at heart!” she concludes. “I know how much I love my animals and if I have a baby, I will love him or her even more!”

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