Mothers know all too well how quickly time flies when it comes to raising children – not least TV and radio presenter Amanda Keller.
The Living Room host underwent IVF to have both her now-teenage sons, and admits her memories of that struggle are just as raw today as they were when she welcomed her firstborn 17 years ago.
"I'm still close enough to the person who went through IVF back then to be amazed at how far we've come," Amanda tells Woman's Day.
"I saw their first moments as embryos. Now Liam is a prop in rugby, he's shaving and looks about 30 years old! And Jack is almost as tall as him."
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While Amanda was once reluctant to speak about her fertility struggles, these days the TV WEEK Gold Logie nominee is open to sharing more about her ordeal.
In a recent interview with Chezzi Denyer on her podcast Mum Stories, Amanda says she was plagued by fear in the early stages of her first pregnancy at age 39, at one point thinking she'd lost Liam.
"I started to bleed and thought... I'd been so close. Please, please, please, I kept praying. But that bleeding was the other embryos coming away. And Liam stuck."
"I could feel the whiff of change, and after I saw the heartbeat following a trip to the doctor, I stopped the car and just cried."
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Then, when her boys were born and the work of parenting began, Amanda, now 56, says she had to learn she's not necessarily the mother she pictured herself to be."I thought I would love reading stories at night-time and pushing children on swings – I am not good at that stuff. I think I'm a good mother, but I'm not mumsy in that way. I didn't feel maternal."
"When you're told you can't fall pregnant it becomes something quite different. I'd been set a task – three years of IVF – and I kept failing. I became more desperate the longer it went on."
Being child-free in her late 30s in the public eye brought its own struggle.
"I didn't tell anyone I was doing IVF apart from close friends, so it was hard putting up with people's perception of why I didn't have children," recalls Amanda, who says her fertility journey is still very much part of her identity.
"I'm not far from those days where I thought it would never happen. That is still a big part of me. It's still raw in there somewhere."
When Liam and Jack were old enough, Amanda told them how they were conceived.
"They didn't give a rat's arse," she laughs.
These days, Amanda has a different battle to contend with – trying her best not to show them up on radio!
"They probably find me embarrassing, especially when I make some millennial joke.
"I used to talk about them on the radio a lot more when they were less aware, but now I have to be a lot more careful!"
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