30 Jul 2020

E4: Frida

From The Unthinkable, 7:00 am on 30 July 2020

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Photo: Supplied

After losing their first child, Wren, just six days after she was born, Kate and Sam are now pregnant again.

The new baby is due nearly a year to the day of Wren's birth and death.

"We've watched Frida grow from a microscopic heartbeat," said Sam.

"We've done everything we can possibly do and talked over every possible scenario," he said, "It's hard because our frame of reference is not good to begin with."

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Debbie Watkin, who went on to have two children after losing her first daughter, Terrill talks about intergenerational trauma.

She says her son, Walter (left) and second daughter Rhiannon carry the scars of her firstborn.

"The children I went on to raise are sadly products of me as a grieving mother."

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Photo: RNZ/Samuel Rillstone

Kate and Sam have found losing their baby Wren a very isolating experience. 

"It's really lonely, even with the most understanding friends and family," said Kate.

Sam echoes this: "People are lovely. You can see the grief in your friends and family for about two weeks and then it sort of disappears out of people's lives, but it doesn't disappear out of our life."

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Vicki Culling, who's daughter Aster was stillborn, believes the death of a baby is one of our last taboos. 

She said thirty years ago cancer was the C-Word, but now we can say its name. She wants the same for the death of a baby, but things we're probably 5 or ten years away from that.

"It's about letting people know that babies die. It does shake the foundations of your life. It makes you a different person. It's fine to love that baby in absence."

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Kate says she doesn't have the joyfulness in her second pregnancy, but she loves feeling Frida kick.

Sam and Kate can't bring themselves to prepare for the new baby's arrival. They know they have everything, because it was ready to go the first time around. But they don't want to go through the pain of packing everything away again, like last time - when they didn't get to bring their baby home.


The Unthinkable is a five-part podcast series made and hosted by Susie Ferguson, which opens the door on the topic of losing a baby - an issue that affects hundreds of families every year.

In episode five - the final episode, a twist! Frida is actually Ralph. Kate and Sam are having a boy.


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Wheturangitia - https://wheturangitia.services.govt.nz/

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