MIRACLE BUB: Mackay's Trudy Matsen with two and a half year old daughter Ebony-rose Matsen, who she used a donor sperm to conceive.
MIRACLE BUB: Mackay's Trudy Matsen with two and a half year old daughter Ebony-rose Matsen, who she used a donor sperm to conceive. Rebecca Major

Meet the toddler with 15 siblings around the world

WHEN little Ebony-rose turns 18, she could potentially go couch surfing right across the world staying with her 15 brothers and sisters.

Her journey into the world was an unusual one. Her mum is 43-year-old Mackay woman Trudy Matsen and her dad is a man named Charles who has fathered more than a dozen children thanks to IVF.

She has a picture of her biological dad - a 31-year-old blue-eyed, blonde-haired American who works in the film industry - on the wall of her Mackay home; and now her mum desperately wants to give the toddler a sibling.

Trudy's IVF journey began at age 35 when she found herself single and longing for a child. She spent three years trying to find the 'right one' before pursuing the idea of a sperm donor and IVF at 38.

"When I was younger I was just busy doing my thing. Kids don't ask to be brought into the world, you have to make sure you look after them when they are here and that was what was drummed into me," Trudy said.

"I had been pregnant when I was 26 and I lost my little boy at about 17 weeks. Around age 30 I thought about having kids and said 'no, I'm not ready yet'.

"About 35 I really wanted to have kids but I had no partner. I tried to find someone but I just couldn't find the right fit for me."

At age 40, Trudy took the plunge and selected a sperm donor in a light haired, blue eyed, 6 ft tall American named Charles and started the IVF process through Queensland Fertility Group and Dr Lance Herron.

In her first IVF cycle, Trudy said only one viable egg was retrieved.

"They only got two eggs out of my cycle; one wasn't good enough to be fertilised and one was fertilised. I was told it wasn't a great embryo. I was only given a 10% chance of having my daughter but I had one chance and it happened," she said.

"When my doctor called me to tell me I was pregnant, I didn't believe them. I had a lot of scares along the way. At 8 weeks I went in for an ultrasound to see if it was a false pregnancy or if there was a heartbeat. I looked at the screen and couldn't see anything, but then my Dr said 'there's a heartbeat there'."

Just before Trudy's 41st Birthday, Ebony-rose decided to come into the world six weeks early but it didn't take long for the longing feeling to return.

"When I gave birth I thought 'I'm never doing this again' but about 6 months after I gave birth I was in at Queensland Fertility Group asking when I could have another one," Trudy said.

"My next IVF got me one egg, it did fertilise but it didn't take, my next IVF got one egg and it didn't fertilise, and my next IVF got me no eggs."

Having been told she doesn't have any fertility left, Trudy's best shot at giving Ebony-rose a biological sibling is through egg donation -- but she's yet to find a suitable donor.

Trudy has even managed to obtain the last remaining sperm stores of Ebony-rose's dad, who has since stopped donating after fathering at least 16 children across the world.

"Ebony-rose has a few donor siblings out there. There are another 15 kids around the world that I know of," she said.

"She has a sister in Montreal, brothers in Canada and a couple of siblings in Australia.

"I am in contact with the other mums that have his children and I talk to them because it's really important that I know because I want her to know.

"I hope one day they'll be able to meet. Wouldn't it be amazing if when she turns 18 she can go couch surfing around the world with all of her brothers and sisters.

"When she is 13 she can reach out to them and when she is 18 she can make contact with her dad if she wants to. She knows who her dad is, we have a picture of him on the wall. He was in medicine but is now in the film industry. I am really grateful for what he has done."

If you can help Trudy, or any other woman in her situation, with an egg donation contact melanie. plane@capnews.com.au or Queensland Fertility Group.


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