Newborn of Central Otago Couple Dies after Long IVF Journey


Jenay Berg and Aaron Hilton, a couple from Central Otago, are in a state of deep despair and confusion after their newborn child, a result of a grueling five-year in vitro fertilization (IVF) journey, tragically passed away merely hours after birth. Against all odds, their pregnancy had been entirely normal, and the labour, albeit strenuous, was devoid of any complications.

The couple had invested five exhaustive years to conceive, and their joy knew no bounds when they discovered they were expecting on Christmas Day.

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Their son Kyson, eagerly awaited by the couple, made his grand entrance into the world on his due date, September 6 at 2.06am. Jenay’s seemingly complication-free pregnancy and monitored labour had given them hope. Yet, when Kyson was transferred onto his mother’s chest, he didn’t elicit any response or cry. The medical team sprang into action, attempting to stimulate Kyson’s responses, but to no discernible avail.

While recalling the course of events, Hull stated, “He gave me a sense of hope when I saw him twitch his eyes and mouth. However, the immediate cutting of the umbilical cord and transferring him to the table had me on edge.” The couple watched in dread as a team of specialists occupied the room and began working on their son.

Berg, who was undergoing a post-natal procedure at the same time, called the 45 minutes they waited for any news on their son’s condition the ‘longest 45 minutes of their lives.’

All hope was shattered when they received the tragic news that their son didn’t make it.

The tragedy of Kyson’s death becomes more harrowing as the couple is still left without answers. They patiently await reports from the Coroner and the outcome of the post-mortem examination, hoping to understand what went so abysmally wrong given the fact Kyson’s health exhibited no issues during the pregnancy or birth.

The couple’s fertility journey encompassed a whirlwind of hormone treatments, medical procedures, and anticipation as they were referred to Fertility Associates five years ago. Their labor of love finally proved fruitful when Berg underwent successful egg retrieval, resulting in two viable embryos. The couple felt extremely fortunate when the first embryo transferred resulted in Kyson’s pregnancy.

Berg recollected the ecstatic moment when a pregnancy test turned positive on Christmas Day. She shared the news immediately with their families, making the day exceptionally memorable.

Gestational complications including morning sickness, a low-lying placenta, and Group B Strep (an infection that can be passed on to babies during labour and delivery) did not deter Beig’s journey. However, an early diagnosis of Group B Strep allowed the medical team to intervene timely with antibiotics, ensuring that everything was in place for Kyson’s birth.

Berg’s labour, initiated on September 5, seemingly went smoothly, with monitors pointing towards the baby’s healthy condition throughout the day. However, Kyson’s birth needed to be guided with a forceps delivery and after several hours of contractions and pushing, the little one graced the world.

The doting parents along with their family members managed to spend some hours with Kyson, despite the harsh reality of his loss bearing down upon them. Heart-rending procedures like taking Kyson’s hand and footprints, clicking photos, and arranging for his post-mortem examination interspersed this period.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable grief of their loss, Berg and Hilton were able to gather strength and gratitude from the impressive testament of love and support from their friends, family, and wider community. Accessing their memories of Kyson during his short time, the couple found solace by releasing message-laden balloons into the skies and holding a small ceremony to commemorate his life.

Their tale of love and loss stands as a testament to their enduring strength, and their hope to find answers for Kyson’s inexplicable death remains alive. Compelled by their personal journey, they wish that sharing Kyson’s story might lend comfort to other families undergoing a similar loss. Bridging the gap between sorrow and survival, Berg reminded others experiencing shared grief to stay united, allowing each individual to cope in their individual ways.

The couple has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and donations through the Givealittle page set up by a friend. Expressing their gratitude, they thanked everyone who contributed, stating that they’ve felt an astoundingly magnified sense of love and solidarity. In navigating their grief together, the couple is truly manifesting the essence of resilience and unity.