'The embryo that took': Emma Barnett reveals joy at daughter's birth

‘The embryo that took’: BBC Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett, 37, reveals her joy at welcoming a daughter following six rounds of IVF and a miscarriage

  • The Woman’s Hour presenter,  37, revealed she gave birth to a daughter last week – after undergoing multiple IVF rounds and experiencing a miscarriage last year
  • Broadcaster announced to fans on Instagram she had ‘welcomed a daughter to the world’ with her husband, after previously giving birth to a son in 2018  
  • Read more: Kate Ferdinand displays her baby bump as star admits she was ‘nervous’ about revealing her pregnancy after recent miscarriage

Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett has shared her joy at welcoming a daughter, after enduring six rounds of IVF, calling her newborn ‘the embryo that took’. 

The broadcaster, 37, who gave birth to her first child, a son, in 2018, has written previously about her struggles to conceive, and her fears that this pregnancy wouldn’t go full term. 

In an emotional post on Sunday, she told her 61,900 followers on Instagram: ‘She’s here. Last week we welcomed a daughter to the world. The embryo that took. The one that stayed. The shell that finally opened.’

Alongside the announcement, Barnett, who has previously opened up about having endometriosis and how it affects her fertility, posted a photo of her bump painted by pregnancy artist Emma Allen.  

The artwork painted directly onto her pregnant belly showed an underwater scene featuring an oyster shell opened to reveal a pearl inside.

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Woman’s Hour presenter Emma Barnett, 37, revealed yesterday that she gave birth to a daughter last week – after undergoing IVF treatment and experiencing a miscarriage last year – breaking the news with a photo of her bump painted with an pearl in an oyster shell. She told her followers that her newborn daughter was the ‘shell that finally opened’

The Radio 4 host, who also presents ‘Emma Barnett Meets’ for Bloomberg, revealed she was expecting a baby via the i newspaper in September, after suffering a miscarriage at the beginning of 2022. 

A host of celebrities congratulated the journalist on the birth, including Woman’s Hour co-host Anita Rani, Cressida Bonas and MP Stella Creasy. 

The presenter, who also fronts ‘Emma Barnett Meets’ for Bloomberg, revealed via the i newspaper that she was expecting a baby back in September, after suffering a miscarriage at the beginning of 2022. 

The journalist said in the article that she and her husband had decided their sixth attempt would be their last – describing it as ‘eerily ironic’ that it had then been successful.

The broadcaster has been candid about how it took six rounds of IVF and a miscarriage before her new daughter was born

BBC presenter Emma Barnett (pictured with her son as a baby) said her new daughter, born last week, was the ’embryo that took’

She also said that, following the end of covid restrictions, her husband was allowed in the room with her when the embryos had been inserted, following several lone trips to the fertility clinic during the pandemic.

Writing on her substack blog, Barnett argued women are ‘shamed’ into silence about infertility issues, adding she found herself ‘pretending this was a normal way to live’ as she continued to have IVF. 

However, after suffering the miscarriage at the beginning 2022, she said the loss was ‘a slap in the face I couldn’t ignore’, which influenced her decision to write about her experience.  

Describing the process of IVF, Emma said it was ‘isolating’, even though she had a supportive partner to rely on.

The journalist said last year that she struggled with how to share happy news with friends who were struggling to conceive 

‘It is only the woman who can take the pills, receive the injections, insert the pessaries, give the blood, eggs and then receive the embryo. And then have the baby removed if the process works, and then doesn’t,’ she said.

The broadcaster added she tried to keep ‘IVF-me in a box’, but added that version of herself ‘spread’ as her friends and loved ones managed to have more children, while she and her husband were struggling to conceive.

She also addressed the difficult balance women have to strike when sharing happy news with their friends – many of whom may be struggling to conceive.

She advised people not to ‘spring pregnancy news on those people in person’ as this could bring up upsetting feelings and memories for them. Instead, she suggested sending a text, which gives that person time to process how they feel before sending their congratulations.

At a wedding last summer, where people could see she was pregnant and offered their good wishes, the broadcaster revealed she was muted in her reply and said things like: ‘Hopefully it will happen’. 

She added her Jewish background exacerbated this attitude, as typically in the Jewish culture events are not celebrated until they actually happen.

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