Amy Christophers has candidly opened up on feeling heartbreak and shame after making the difficult decision to end her pregnancy.
The Married At First Sight star, 35, was faced with the incredibly difficult decision to end her pregnancy before her time on the Channel 4 show.
But, she was applauded for opening up about the tragic ordeal as she appeared on the show last year.
And now, in an incredibly brave, open and honest account to support the first ever TFMR Awareness Day, Amy has opened up about the loss of her twins in utero.
TFMR Awareness Day, which stands for Termination for Medical/Maternal Health reasons, was created by the TMFR Support Association to raise awareness and help create a network of organisations, charities and support networks to help those who have experienced TMFR.
Here, Amy opens up on her ordeal and how she hopes to use her experience to raise awareness…
Get exclusive celebrity stories and fabulous photoshoots straight to your inbox with OK!’s daily newsletter.
I never dreamed that I would have to choose to end my pregnancy of twins.
After being told that one of them had died in utero and, as a result, my life and the surviving twins’ life was at risk, I was devastated.
Having to make a choice when, really, you have no choice at all is one of the most horrific scenarios you can ever find yourself in and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
It’s so hard to explain what you’ve been through to people who haven’t experienced it and, even when others have been through TFMR baby loss, every TFMR situation is different. Before my experience, I had no idea what TFMR even was.
In my case I experienced a miscarriage and a termination in one pregnancy, yet it was neither of those.
One of my twins died, but I didn’t miscarry. In the sense of a miscarriage, I know I had no control over losing my first twin and then I really felt left with no choice for my other, yet I was still having to ‘choose’ to end my second twin’s life.
I have since learned that what I experienced was a missed miscarriage of my first twin and a termination for medical reasons for my second twin (termination for the health/life of baby or birthing person).
I was offered someone to talk to, but at the time I thought, what is there to talk about?
I felt shame, guilt and most of all I felt like I had failed. I just wanted to try and get on with my life and I didn’t want anyone to know what had happened, yet at the same time I wanted to shout about how much I was hurting from the roof tops. I had all these feelings inside of me and I didn’t know how to let them out.
Everywhere I looked all I could see were pregnancy announcements and the arrivals of newborns. Of course, I was happy for them, but I was absolutely devastated for myself and my loss.
One minute I was making a board on Pinterest and planning my football related pregnancy announcement and the next I was no longer pregnant.
I threw myself into work, that’s how I cope with things. But nothing could stop the void inside of me.
As a way of coping, I started my search for a baby dog to give all of this love to. I’d always wanted a sausage dog and soon found my puppy Didier, who incidentally was born on 4 May – the same day TFMR Awareness Day falls on. I find a lot of meaning in that fact and it has been a huge part of my coping and comfort process.
He was also ready to collect around what would have been my due date. The universe works in mysterious ways.
Someone once said: “Pets help to comfort us – grief can leave us feeling empty and lost, and pets provide a sense of relief and comfort to ease us through that void. More specifically, dogs are known to be extremely intuitive and are able to sense when their owners are feeling down”. And I couldn’t agree more.
During the process of navigating my own loss, my best friend was pregnant and carrying a little girl who would go on to become my goddaughter. It felt very emotionally conflicting and brought up a whole range of emotions.
I was worried how I would feel when she gave birth a few months before I was due. However when she arrived I felt an immediate bond with her. She was my little angel who came along to fix the broken pieces of my heart.
She will never know how much I needed that and how much she is loved. She’s my little bestie forever!
Healing is a strange old thing, and not something you’re ever like, “Oh, ok, now I’m fixed”, it’s an on-going project.
The lead up to my due date was particularly hard. I think at times, I was just tormenting myself – still checking the weekly pregnancy app to see what stage my baby/babies would’ve been at and the changes to my body.
I finally deleted it, but it took a lot for me to do that. I always ask myself why did I torture myself like that? Did I enjoy the feeling? Or did I think I needed to punish myself?
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though, I also had some really joyful moments where I would be thinking of them and then out of nowhere two feathers would fall out of the sky.
This happened to me A LOT, especially in the lead up to my due date. I saved every feather and put them in a jar and have now added some fairy lights to it.
When my due date arrived, it was a bittersweet. I had built it up in my head and been focused on that one day since I found out I was pregnant and then it was almost like an anti-climax. How I felt changed, as whatever happened I wouldn’t have been pregnant any longer (or much longer) after that date anyway. It was a relief but, then, also a sadness that I needed to release.
Sharing my story on MAFS I had no idea how much it would impact many others who had been through something similar, many who also hadn’t spoken to anyone about their loss properly.
What I noticed was that we all felt like we were the only ones who were going through something like this. I have since been overwhelmed with the number of messages and love received from others going through this type of baby loss.
I know that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, we all get through this in a way that works for us.
For a long time, I held all of mine in, I felt heavy with shame, but I know now that our grief is valid, and we need to talk about how we feel, and we deserve support.
What’s important for you to know is I am no way trained to deal with this and offer you support directly, I am not sure how to even deal with it myself, so we are all learning together, I guess.
I feel a responsibility after sharing my story to help others going through this and to sign post them to safe spaces where they can be open and honest and share their own experience – and that is why I am supporting the first ever TFMR awareness day.
Emma Belle, who lost her daughter, Willow, through TFMR due to an in utero diagnosis of Edwards syndrome is the founder of the not for profit, TFMR Mamas.
She says: “TFMR baby loss can be a particularly isolating and misunderstood type of baby loss that often leaves parents feeling like they don’t deserve to grieve or receive support, this could not be further from the truth.
“This type of baby loss adds another complex layer to the grieving process that often gets in the way of allowing the grieving process to begin and can become a barrier to seeking the support we deserve after losing our babies.
“TFMR Mamas facilitates support groups and offers various support resources for parents that are picking up the pieces of their lives after this heartbreaking type of baby loss.
“Nobody knows what they would actually do unless they themselves were to find themselves in an appointment with a medical professional being faced with choices, they never dreamed they would ever have to choose from. Everyone’s individual situation is unique and cannot be compared to another.
“This is a ‘decision’; made with the most love and the biggest heartbreak and honestly a position no parent ever dreams they will find themselves in. We hope by launching the first ever TFMR Awareness Day (https://www.tfmrawarenessday. com/) we will raise awareness and signpost families to the many support options that are out there to help them through this.”
Become an OK! VIP and you will unlock access to all of our big exclusives…
Be the first to meet the latest showbiz babies, see the most sought after wedding pictures of the year, or take a guided tour around your favorite star’s lavish multi-million pound home – all for free!
Sign up here
Resources for any parent that finds themselves in this heartbreaking position:
ARC – Antenatal results and Choices – is the only national charity helping parents and healthcare professionals through antenatal screening and its consequences with dedicated national helpline number +442077137486
TFMR Mamas – offering support groups and resources for parents that have lost their babies to TFMR Baby loss
Time to Talk TFMR – The TFMR dedicated podcast, supporting TFMR Parents with shared stories and experiences through their platform.
Twins Trust – Supporting families through multiple pregnancies and providing support for any loss within a multiple pregnancy including TFMR baby loss.
For all the latest TV and Showbiz news, sign up to our daily newsletter here.