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Tearful Jayne Torvill reveals her struggle to start a family in revealing interview

08 MARCH 2013

Struggling to hold back the tears, Jayne Torvill publicly revealed her IVF ordeal for the first time this week. The ice-skating queen broke down as she spoke about the difficulties she faced in starting a family as she appeared on Piers Morgan's Life Stories with Christopher Dean.

Jayne has been happily married to American sound engineer Phil Christensen for 23 years, and the couple are proud parents to their adopted children, Kieran, 10, and Jessica, six.

But she revealed that on her journey to motherhood, she first suffered an ectopic pregnancy before enduring 12 months of IVF treatment.

"As a couple skating together, it's easy for the guy to go off and start a family because it wouldn't affect his skating," she said. "Whereas for me, it would have stopped what we were doing, so I left it quite late and I was into my forties by then.

 



"…I got pregnant quite quickly and I thought, 'Oh this is fine'. And when I went to have a scan they said I had an ectopic pregnancy, and I didn't know what that meant. They said, 'The embryo's growing in one of the tubes'. And I said, 'Oh, ok, so how do you get it out then?'. And they said, 'We don't. We can't'. That's when it hit me.

"So I went through the surgery and then it was obvious it was going to be more difficult. So we tried IVF for about a year. That, as a lot of women know, is traumatic in itself."

As Jayne fought back the tears, her proud skating partner Christopher said, "She's never talked about it in public before."

The brave Olympian, 55, was also open about her decision to adopt, revealing it was a friend who convinced her to take that path to parenthood.

 



"A friend of mine had adopted a little boy. She said, 'Come and see him.' At that point I wasn't ready to look into adoption, I was still thinking it was going to happen. And you've got to be ready for it, if you want to adopt.

"I said to my husband, 'I don't know if I can do this'. And I went to see this little boy, and I wanted to bring him home."

Christopher, Jayne's skating partner of 38 years, meanwhile, spoke candidly about his failed marriages and the painful moment his mother walked out of the family home for good when he was just six.

The interview did include lighthearted moments, particularly when Piers quizzed the duo on the nature of their relationship. Following decades of speculation, the legendary skating pair admitted that for a short time their partnership was not entirely platonic.

"When I first saw Chris, I fell in love with him," Jayne began by saying. "But then we started skating together and that was it, it was done." But when Piers piled on the pressure, Christopher did admit they had shared one kiss on a coach trip to a skating event.

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