This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in the United States, and it is in the UK as well. As a matter of fact, it’s “Baby Remembrance Week” in Great Britain, and members of parliament called a special hearing in the governing body’s chambers to mark it. Several members of parliament (or “MP’s” as they are called in the UK) spoke about losing children, but no one’s speech was more heart-rending than Labour Party MP VIcky Foxcroft’s.
Apologizing in advance to close friends who were hearing her story for the first time, Foxcroft launched into the story of the short life of a baby she had when she was just 16 years old, a girl she named Veronica. Foxcroft, now 39, explained that there were very few people in her life who knew about Veronica because she found it so painful to talk about her little girl lost.
Foxcroft explained that Veronica’s umbilical cord became wrapped around her neck during delivery, and that she had to be placed on life support immediately after birth. She describes the heart-wrenching experience of finally getting to hold her 5-day-old baby for the first time, ONLY after life support was turned off. She held her until her heartbeat slowly stopped.
After Veronica’s death, Foxcroft says further pain was caused by the way she was treated: at only 16, she says, she was treated like a kid, not a grieving mom. She inferred that some people even seemed to think she was “lucky” with the way things worked out — now she wouldn’t have to be a teen single mom with a young child.
Foxcroft makes it clear that she wanted her daughter to live, and wanted to raise her.
“I was her mum. I also hoped one day that I would be her best friend,” she said.
Veronica’s death was so devastating to Foxcroft that she says it’s the reason why she has no children today: the pain she experienced at losing her daughter made her too scared to try again.
I was personally VERY moved by Foxcroft’s speech—you can tell as you watch it how very difficult it was for her to share. Her remembrance of Veronica was empowering to others who have suffered loss. I am so glad I know about this precious baby girl, and I hope that you’ll give her a few minutes of your time and remember her today as well.