Politicians showed a softer side in the House of Commons yesterday when MP Vicky Foxcroft opened up about losing a baby when she was a teenager.
This week (9 to 15 October) is Baby Loss Awareness Week, and Vicky took the opportunity to speak openly – and very movingly – about how she gave birth to a little girl, Veronica, who was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her throat.
Veronica was overdue by 10 days and Vicky was induced. While they checked her heartbeat regularly and it was fine, at one point it stopped. Vicky was rushed into the emergency room where her baby, daughter, Veronica, was delivered with forceps.
Veronica was put on a life support machine – which Vicky agreed to turn off after 5 days.
“I still love her. She is always in my thoughts, all these years afterwards, even if I don’t talk about her all the time,” Vicky told fellow MPs.
“I don’t not talk about her because I’m embarrassed. I’m not. It’s because it hurts so much to do so.
“I don’t have children now because I live through the fear of the same thing happening and I just couldn’t do it twice.
“I was her mum. I also hoped one day I would be her best friend. If she was alive today she would be 23 years old.”
Her words prompted other MPs in the House to speak of losses. SNP Patricia Gibson said she was “haunted” by the loss of her baby, who died when her liver ruptured on the day she was due to give birth.
And Will Quince spoke of watching his wife Elinor give birth to a sleeping baby. He said:
“There is nothing, there is no experience in my view worse, than seeing your wife give birth to a lifeless baby.
“It is something that never leaves you. And every single day I think about my son. I think about what he would have been like yesterday on his second birthday.”
“I imagine a small boy running round our house causing havoc, winding up his sisters. It wasn’t to be but every single day you live with that grief.”
The debate had been called by Tory MP Antoine Sandbach, who had previously spoken in Parliament about losing her baby at 5 days old. She commented:
“Parliament is helping to break the silence around the death of a child – which is the most devastating loss that can happen to any parent.”
Certainly one of the most emotional days we’ve ever seen in politics – thank you for sharing your stories ? ?