Marina Fogle has written a poignant and deeply personal article about the stillbirth she suffered with her third child, published in The Times.
Stillbirth is something that no parent can ever prepare for. It rips through families at a time when they should be at their happiest. And as Marina Fogle writes, it’s something that most mothers never imagine will happen to them, until it was ‘forced upon me in a way I had never expected,’ she writes.
‘Rather than brush the terrible events of August under
the carpet, or pretend they hadn’t happened, I had to be
Marina, who’s mum to Ludo and Iona, four and five, lost her third child in August 2015, when she was 32 weeks pregnant.
Ben and Marina lost their third child – a son they later named Willem – in August 2014 after Marina suffered an acute placental abruption which starved their baby of oxygen.
Writing in the wake of Baby Loss Awareness Week one year on, she relives the tragic event, and talks candidly about how she coped, how she is still coping, and how she finds the strength to talk about it.
She says, ‘I realised that, rather than brush the terrible events of August under the carpet, or stoically pretend they hadn’t happened, I had to be honest with all those important to me.
‘As soon as I mention “stillbirth”, my usually calm and confident voice trembles, my palms sweat and my hands shake – just for that moment – and then, as soon as I’m onto the next thing, I’m fine again.
[Twitter]https://twitter.com/FogleMarina/status/656377021472317440?lang=en-gb[/Twitter]Releasing the feature to her Twitter fans, Marina writes, ‘I didn’t write this piece for it to be hidden behind a paywall. So here it is…’
‘Apparently it’s classic grief, but it never fails to astonish me that the simple recollection of a trauma can have such a profound physical effect on me.
‘As soon as I mention “stillbirth”, my voice trembles, my palms sweat and my hands shake’
‘When grief hits you out of the blue, crashing over you like a tidal wave, you learn a lot very quickly. And I think one of the most important things I learnt is not to be afraid of the truth, however sensitive your audience.
‘If [my son’s] death can give me a voice to talk about something they’re afraid of, his death seems a little less pointless, and that makes my pain a little easier to bear.’
Ben and Marina are parents to Iona, four, and Ludo, five.
Marina, who runs an antenatal class promoting positive pregnancy experiences, explained that before the loss of her son, stillbirth was not something she thought should be discussed with pregnant women, who are already ‘hormonally wretched’ for fear of not wanting to ‘scare the living daylights out of them.’
Since however, she says she has received nothing but ‘compassion, empathy and trust’ from groups of expectant mothers when she has spoken openly with them about ‘the S-word’.
She also goes on to discuss how she explained the death of their baby brother to her children, and how she hopes that speaking openly about the traumatic event in her life will inspire others to ‘break the extraordinary taboo.’