By CHRISSY ILEY
Proud parents: Despite problems conceiving and during the pregnancy which could have even led to death, Il Divo singer Sebsastien Izambard and his wife Renne now have three 'amazing' children
The day before I meet Sébastien Izambard, I watch him sing with the rest of Il Divo to a packed London Coliseum.
The three other members of the opera group, who have sold more than 26 million albums worldwide, joke and flirt and have underwear thrown at them by an audience of near-hysterical women.
Sébastien, 38, devotes a song to his wife Renee and gives thanks for becoming a father. There is a hush on stage as he says how much it means to him because he ‘almost lost all of them’.
Cute: Twins Luca and Rose weighed just 3lbs each at birth, which took place just 24 weeks into the pregnancy after Renee was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia
Indeed, Renee suffered not just one but two difficult pregnancies, battling a host of health problems. The first culminated in their elder children, twins Luca and Rose, now four, being born three months prematurely by emergency caesarean. For weeks it was not known whether the tiny babies would survive. And during her second labour, with their son Jude, now two, Renee came close to death herself.
When we meet in a London restaurant near their home, Sébastien rarely lets go of his wife’s hand. Renee, a vibrant 33-year-old Australian, worked as a publicist for Il Divo’s record company (the band was created by Simon Cowell, and they are signed to his label Syco) when they met seven years ago.
Worldwide appeal: Sébastien, second right, with his Il Divo bandmates
Both wanted to start a family as soon as possible – but soon found there were obstacles. ‘I have polycystic ovary syndrome, where fluid-filled cysts develop in the ovaries meaning you don’t produce a lot of eggs,’ says Renee. ‘And Seb . . .’
‘And I have slow-swimming sperm,’ he says with unabashed honesty.
Renee continues: ‘So I had fertility treatment for six months, taking daily tablets and having injections of hormone-stimulating drugs.’
In 2005, Renee discovered she was pregnant. ‘We were so excited,’ she says. ‘Then, two days before Il Divo were set to perform at Wembley Arena, I lost the baby. It was devastating.’
At Renee’s insistence, Sébastien went on stage as planned. ‘I wanted to cry the whole show. It was difficult to put on a bright face in front of the crowd. I wanted to go and hide myself but I was so exposed,’ he says.
So when Renee became pregnant again with twins four years ago, the couple were ecstatic. But she soon realised, once again, that something was terribly wrong. ‘It started with awful headaches and I was diagnosed with a condition called pre-eclampsia, which is basically dangerously high blood pressure,’ she says.
Home » Health » We risked death to become parents: Il Divo singer Sébastien Izambard and his wife Renee tell of the traumatic births of their children
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