Her hands shook, and her voice wavered.
But Vicky Foxcroft was determined.
“This is probably the hardest speech I have ever had to write and deliver,” the British MP began, before taking a deep, shaky breath and embarking upon a heartbreaking story that she had kept secret from even her closest family and friends.
At the age of 16, Ms Foxcroft revealed, she fell unexpectedly pregnant. “At first I was terrified,” she said. “And I even debated having her adopted. But during my pregnancy something changed. I became very attached. I was excited. I was going to be the best mum ever.”
The MP explained that she was induced when she was 10 days overdue, but after hours of labour, her baby, Veronica, was born with the umbilical cord around her neck. She lived for five days before the life support machine was turned off.
Ms Foxcroft, who shared her story to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week, told the House of Commons that: “I got to hold her then for the first time, until her heartbeat eventually stopped. I never wanted to let her go. she was never able to cry, to smile, but I desperately loved her.
“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.
“I don’t not talk about her because I’m embarrassed. I’m not. It’s because it hurts so much to do so.“
Ms Foxcroft revealed that she was so terrified of experiencing another loss that she never had children.
Her story brought many in the House of Commons to tears. The discussion was brought by fellow MPs Antoinette Sandwich and Will Quince, who have also both lost children, to raise awareness about pregnancy loss and boost support services for parents who have lost children.
If you would like to speak to someone about pregnancy loss, please content http://www.sands.org.au or 1800 072 637.