Imagine your arm breaking three times before a doctor attempts to look into the reasons why. It sounds astonishing, but this is what women who miscarry have to face. 'Women have to have three miscarriages before it’s even looked at. It’s not logged onto your medical records either, so you have to keep re-living it every time you talk to a health professional,' says Myleene Klass, 43, who stars in an incredibly raw documentary, Myleene: Miscarriage and Me, which airs tonight.
For Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs between 9th and 15th of October, Myleene bravely speaks out about her own miscarriages and encourages others to have open and honest conversations about them. ‘I don't think people understand the intricacies of what a miscarriage entails. It’s a subject that's not taken very seriously because as women, we just get on with it, because what other choice do we have?'
In the documentary, we see Klass relieving her experience through her diary, leaning on other women, and striving to create change. ‘I wanted to look at the impact it has on women. It turns out what happens to a woman and everyone around her is everlasting. It's huge, and I wanted to give it the gravitas of attention it deserves.’
At one point in the documentary, Myleene tearfully reads her diary. 'Today I lost my baby,' said one heartbreaking entry.
Together with her fashion PR fiancé Simon Motson, they discuss how the miscarriages effected their relationship. She details how her third miscarriage happened while she was presenting her live radio show. 'I went home to Sim, and I said, "I’ve failed you again’. It is a poignant moment that highlights the collective grief her family experienced.
We see her meet up with a self-help group of women who share their experiences. 'Everyone had a story. There was one whose mother and father in-law were coming to the house to strip the wallpaper in the nursery because she said, “I’ve been pregnant that many times, it’s not going to happen, so that wallpaper needs to come down".' To those who minimise the severity of miscarriage Klass says, 'Those people who dismiss it as “at least you can still get pregnant” - there’s a grandmother that never was a grandmother, who’s stripping that wallpaper, because her daughter-in-law can’t bear to do it. Her hopes and dreams are literally being pulled down and turned into an office.'
Myleene first spoke out about her miscarriages in 2020 on Instagram writing, 'I am a mama to seven babies, Ava, Hero, Apollo my rainbow baby and four little stars in the sky.' Ava and Hero are her 13 and 10-year-old daughters with ex-husband Graham Quinn. Apollo is her 2-year-old son with Motson.
According to baby loss charity Tommy's, miscarriage is the most common kind of pregnancy loss, affecting an estimated 1 in 4 pregnancies. The risk of miscarriage for black women is 43% higher than for white women. Women who suffered miscarriage, from all ethnic backgrounds, are more vulnerable to long-term health problems, such as blood clots, heart disease and depression. So with such disturbing statistics, why is treatment still so low on the priority list?
The documentary calls for more to be done to support those who have experienced miscarriage. To support this, Klass meets with MP Olivia Blake, who herself has suffered miscarriage. Together they champion the campaign created by Tommy’s, which calls on the government to make changes to the way women's health is prioritised.
'The change I'd like to see being made is already being made: the fact that we are having these conversations,' says Myleene. 'I couldn't even say the word “miscarriage” before. [Yet now] I’ve got my partner talking to his mates around the table about this. I’ve had friends’ husbands messaging me [after their wife's miscarriage] saying, “I was so broken”. Documentaries are being made and people are talking.' When asked what she would like people to take away from her own she says, 'I’d like them to educate themselves about what can happen. I’d like to give them a little bit of a warning. It’s about having these conversations and recognising that there are little angel babies up there. We’ve seen them and they exist.'
Myleene: Miscarriage & Me airs on Thursday 14 October at 9pm on W