Beloved Australian actress and comedian Mary Coustas is at last the mother of a healthy baby girl. “We’re so very happy to announce the arrival of our much anticipated baby girl Jamie Betsis,” she and husband George Betsis posted on Facebook. “Baby & Mother are in exceptional health, father still doing cartwheels.”
The delightful news comes after unthinkable heartache for the couple – during a 10-year fertility struggle with IVF and miscarriage, Coustas fell pregnant using donor eggs, she revealed in her book All I Know: a Memoir of Love, Loss and Life.
Their joy was tempered by the news that she was carrying triplets. They were forced to make the devastating decision to selectively terminate two of the babies to give the surviving one the best chance.
Cruelly, the procedure didn’t completely work and she had to undergo the process a second time. As she wrote, “Your soul is lacerated by that level of torment and you become incapacitated by the relentless grief.”
Her pregnancy progressed until week 21, when her waters broke and she gave birth, far too early, to a baby daughter, “tiny and perfect and so incredibly pretty.” Little Stevie “was placed on my chest and I know I could not have loved her more than I did in that moment. It was the crush of a lifetime.”
The process had taken them, she said, from having “none, to two, to three, to one, to none.”
While this was going on they were locked in a dreadful custody battle over Betsis’s older son Tom, who had gone to Los Angeles with his mother shortly after a 2008 court decision. Mary writes in her book that she has not seen him since.
But when she appeared on 60 Minutes in August, Coustas ended her tear-jerking story with a joyful – but cautious – footnote that she was again pregnant, at the age of 49.
And now, a decade after beginning her journey, Coustas is at last a mother.
“More details to follow in the upcoming weeks,” they posted. “Thank you for all your messages of support & love throughout this journey. Mary & George xxx”