AN MP moved her colleague to tears as she described how she came to terms with losing her baby when she was just a teenager herself, The Sun reports. Vicky Foxcroft revealed the heart-breaking story of how her five-day-old daughter died during the first debate in the House of Commons on stillbirth, miscarriage and other forms of baby loss.
The Parliamentary event, held during Baby Loss Awareness Week, saw a number of MPs talk about their own stories of loss. Ms Foxcroft, the Labour member for Lewisham and Deptford, said she struggled to write her speech and was worried about sharing her own experience.
But in talking about her ordeal, which even her friends and family members were unaware of, she said “important issues [need to be] raised and addressed”. She said: “This is probably the hardest speech I have ever had to write and deliver. “This week has been a tough week as I had never heard of baby loss awareness week but it has been all around me.
“I have struggled debating with myself as to whether or not I should contribute in here, it’s such a personal issue … the absolute truth is I struggle to talk to my family and my very close friends about it. Apologising to her friends watching on in the public gallery, she added: “It’s not because I don’t want you to know, or I’m embarrassed – it’s just that I find it so very hard to do so”.
The MP explained how after becoming pregnant unexpectedly at 16, she decided to keep the baby. Her daughter was born 10 days overdue, but a delay in operating resulted in the child’s umbilical cord being “wrapped around her throat” for 20 minutes.
Little baby Veronica was starved of oxygen and placed on a life support machine, and Ms Foxcroft movingly described how she then passed away five days alter. She said: “I got to hold her then for the first time until her heartbeat eventually stopped.
“She stayed alive for hours. I never wanted to let her go.” “I don’t have children now because I’ve lived with the fear of the same thing happening and I just couldn’t do it twice.” The MP told her colleagues that following the tragedy organisations designed to help grieving mothers treated her like a child, and made her feel like she should be “grateful”.
But she concluded with a message for other mothers who have been through similar experiences, telling them: “You’re not alone.” Wiping tears from his eyes Sir Nicholas Soames MP stood to speak, telling the House: “I hope that the whole House will read the honourable lady’s speech and will feel that she has done something incredibly brave today and courageous.
“And to my honourable friends who have proposed this debate, nothing but the greatest respect is due.” Another MP who lost her baby broke down in tears as she urged ministers to improve care for pregnant and expectant mothers “so they won’t have to suffer” as she did.
Victoria Prentis lost her son soon after birth and nearly died after she was struck down by pre-eclampsia and the life-threatening pregnancy complications known as HELLP syndrome. Her condition was so bad that her father, Lord Boswell – who at the time was a Conservative MP, was excused from Parliament to be at her bedside.
She said care and help for bereaved families must be improved, adding: “Everyone in the House today is clearly committed to reducing baby loss and I’ve never heard such emotion in a debate. “We have evidence-based research to show us how, in part, to do that.”
She went on: “Yes better bereavement care is important, and sadly some babies, such as mine, will always die. But let’s really make a commitment now to reducing miscarriages and deaths from prematurity.” And, breaking down in tears, she added: “I need to be able to tell my constituents that they won’t have to suffer as I did.”
The debate was brought by Conservative MPs Antoinette Sandbach and Will Quince, who have both lost children themselves.