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10 August 2021, 13:11
Jools Oliver has opened up about suffering five miscarriages in a bid to help people talk more honestly and openly about the tragedy which affects 1 in 4 pregnancies.
Jools Oliver, 46, has opened up about the reality of suffering five miscarriages, including one which almost claimed her life and left her with PTSD.
The model, author and designer is married to Jamie Oliver, also 46-years-old, and together they are the proud parents of five children – Poppy, 18, Daisy, 17, Petal, 11, Buddy, 10 and River Rocket, four.
While the couple have a happy family life, they have had to endure immense loss over the years in the form of five miscarriages.
Jools is now working with charity Saying Goodbye to help open up the conversation around losing a baby and improve the support that is offered to parents following the tragic experience.
Saying Goodbye is a charity that provides comprehensive information, advice and support to anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby, at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.
Jools sat down with CEO Zoe Clark-Coates to record an episode of the podcast Life and Soul, where she reflected on her journey through the multiple losses, and the details of her second miscarriage which almost took her life.
Speaking of that time, Jools told Zoe: "It was a miscarriage, a bit of bleeding, I thought it would just be like number one. I went to the doctor, they said the horrific thing is there is no heartbeat.
"I took the pill they give you to help bring on the contractions, all weekend nothing happened, I went on long walks, I went to my daughter's concert, nothing."
Jools' doctor then booked her in for a procedure, however, she explains that she "stupidly left it too late".
She explains: "I went to get my breast checked... as I was getting my boobs checked I just felt a gush. It kept coming, and coming, and the doctor said 'are you ok, you've gone very white', and I said 'I'm having a miscarriage actually.'
"I went to the loo, it was all coming out. Normally I know what to do, but I didn't know what to do. I stuffed nappies, anything – I must have had three nappies, a loo roll and I thought 'it's going to stop'."
Jools told Zoe how she then got in the car to drive to the hospital while bleeding heavily, but ended up calling for an ambulance as she knew her life was at risk.
When Jamie arrived at the hospital, she says it looked like a "murder scene" as she continued to ask the staff if she was going to die.
"I don't remember the rest", she continued: "I must have almost passed out, and the Doctor said 'look, we're just going to do the operation'."
Looking back, Jools said she doesn't think she would have survived had she not got to the hospital.
She added that she has since suffered from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and will often have flashbacks from the day of the second miscarriage.
"These are flashbacks I will have to deal with for the rest of my life", she told Zoe.
On the podcast, Jools revealed that she has always wanted to be a mother, but was hit with an unexpected situation when she was a teenager and told she had polycystic ovaries.
When she met Jamie and they started talking about wanting children, the couple went to the doctors where they underwent fertility tests.
Jools was then prescribed medication to help her ovulate, which is when she fell pregnant with their first child, Poppy.
She explained that her pregnancy with Poppy – now 18-years-old – was so smooth that she couldn't imagine it being any other way.
The couple then went on to welcome Daisy, Petal and Buddy.
Jools' suffered her first miscarriage when she was 41-years-old, before falling pregnant with River Rocket.
Thinking back to the emotional time in her life, she explained to Zoe: "You do think if I hold my tummy and stroke it, it's going to be fine, I'm going to bring that heartbeat back, but it didn't."
In a bid to change the conversation about losing a baby, Jools admitted she felt guilt amid her multiple miscarriages, something many other women feel.
“I felt guilty as I had four children and thought I can’t tell people about my miscarriages", she said: "I stopped telling my friends, I didn’t even tell my mum as I was sure she was thinking ‘you’re 40 something, you’ve got a wonderful family, you’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted, why are you pushing it?'"
She continued: “I thought I was putting people through hell for my own selfish gain, and that’s terrible.”
Offering advice to any women going through a similar loss, Jools said: “You must continue talking, to your husband, to anyone who will listen, to anyone who is there for you. And tell your story as it’s your baby, it’s all your dreams.”
Listen to the entire podcast episode here: Life and Soul Podcast with Jools Oliver.
For more information about Saying Goodbye, visit their website here. You can also call them on 0845 293 8027 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org for more support, including counselling, therapy, social media support or to be linked up with a 'befriender' to help you through your loss.