Former Big Brother star Bree Amer-Wilkes has revealed she suffered a stillbirth just days before she was due to give birth to her first child.
Recounting the tragic story to Daily Mail Australia, the 35-year-old said she was repeatedly turned away by her obstetrician after noticing that her bump hadn’t grown since the 30-week mark.
But it wasn’t until much later, on the morning of her baby shower, that the midwife found her unborn son Archie’s heart had stopped beating.
“Your world just crumbles,” she told the publication. “It’s your worst nightmare. All your hopes and dreams you had for this little person just comes crashing down.”
The media personality had developed blot clots in her placenta, which prevented the foetus from getting the necessary nutrients needed to keep developing.
“The realisation was I had to give birth to this baby naturally – it was another wave of horror,” she said.
“When Archie was born, he was silent, he didn’t cry. And then you can hear the healthy babies around you crying, it’s just tragic. He was just perfect. And you look at him like any new parent looks at their child and you’re proud of him. He was this perfect little bundle.”
She continued: “The hardest part to deal with was knowing Archie’s death was completely preventable - I had all the warning signs but they were all ignored.”
Looking back, Bree recalled how excited she and Evan were at the prospect of becoming parents.
“We were over the moon, everything happened relatively easy for us, we got pregnant quickly,” she said.
“I remember literally eyeing off every baby shop, we decorated his nursery room. Archie was going to be the first grandchild in my family.”
Still mourning their loss two years later, on the anniversary of Archie’s stillbirth, Bree took to Instagram to share her unwavering grief.
“Our heart and our world is forever broken in 2,” she captioned a photo of his tiny hand. “Your Mum & Dad wanted nothing more in life than to meet and love you.”
“The light in our lives is, and always will be that little bit darker without you in it. If love could have saved you, you would be here with us celebrating your little life today.”
In February, Bree and Evan welcomed their second baby boy Hunter to the world.
“Pregnancy will never be the same for me, unfortunately,” Bree said, adding she was “filled with terror.”
“I was anxious for nine months of my life. You’re worried constantly at the back of your head. I definitely didn’t breathe until Hunter came out and cried –it was the best sound ever.”
Now one of the ambassadors for the Stillbirth Foundation, Bree hopes that by sharing her story she can raise much-needed awareness for the cause.
“If we can stop this from happening to one other family, I know I’ve done something with my life,” she said.
“This is something that affects not just parents, but grandparents, siblings, friends and families – it has a real snowball effect – it’s not just a small grip in your life.”
“The sad part is six babies die every day in Australia. This can happen to anyone.”