Giovanna Fletcher Giovanna Fletcher

Getting ready to host the Tommy’s Awards

I’ve recently opened up about having a miscarriage back in 2012. It was difficult to go through as I felt my body had let me down. I felt like such a failure in my first brush with motherhood. I decided not to talk about it publicly at the time as it was something I needed to process on my own.

In the last year I’ve seen more people online sharing their stories. They’ve helped me come to terms with the grief I felt – because although I went on to welcome my two boys, my first experience heavily dictated how I felt in their pregnancies and, for a long time, about my body. It wasn’t something I’ve ever forgotten. That first positive test will always hold a place in my heart. Writing all my thoughts and feelings down in the book has also been like therapy – that’s the beauty of sharing something so personal. I’ve found that there are so many people out there going through the same lonely grief, and that there are fascinating people trying their best to help.

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At the end of this week I’m hosting the Tommy’s awards. These awards celebrate the strength, courage and support given by family members, friends and health professionals as well as acknowledging those who have triumphed against adversity. I know it’s going to be an emotional afternoon, but I had an urge to get involved. Partly because of what I’ve been through personally, but also because I was fully aware of the awards last year and was blown away by some of the stories. Plus, I’m a big supporter of Tommy’s and what they strive to achieve.

And who wouldn’t be. According to the Tommy’s website: ‘Tommy’s exists to save babies’ lives. We fund research into the causes and prevention of pregnancy complications that lead to miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. We also provide pregnancy health information for parents-to-be.” I also found the following statistics on their page, “1 in 4 women lose a baby during pregnancy or birth. Each day, 2,127 babies are born, 10 babies are stillborn, 684 babies are miscarried and 152 babies are born preterm.” They’re pretty shocking numbers and I’m honoured to be standing alongside people working to change that.

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Last week I went to the Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital and met the team there. We were lucky enough to have Dr Maya Al-Memar showing us around. She spoke with such passion, compassion, love, pride and joy as she talked about why the research started, their findings, their hopes and dreams. If all doctors and carers manage to have just a fraction of the goodness she has, we’re all in safe hands.

When her Professor, Prof Tom Bourne joined us, I was surprised to hear him talk so emotively about the work. Call me silly, but I assumed health professionals were so used to delivering bad news or being struck with the unfairness of life that they were no longer affected by it. I was wrong. Majorly wrong. When I spoke about my observation of them being emotionally invested Prof turned to me and said “Of course. How can you not be?” Exactly. How can you not be? How can anyone hear of infertility, miscarriage and stilbirth and not be moved, whether you’ve experienced it personally or not it creates a churning in your gut.

When Tommy’s asked if I’d host their awards I jumped at the task. I’ve spent the last week looking at videos of the admirable winners and fully understand how important Tommy’s has been in their lives. We need to get talking and sharing. That way, when people are faced with devastating news, they won’t feel so alone. The heartache will still be there – that we can’t help with – but we can give comfort during the darkest days and beyond.

Also this week…

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… I met some brilliant people at the Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success awards. Tom and I were invited along to talk to two of the finalists before the event kicked off. It was great hearing Faye and Alec share their stories. Both have overcome times of hardship and are now in happier places thanks to The Prince’s Trust. Faye has even managed to set up her own gift box business called BearHugs. Check them out, because they’re great! It was also nice to dress up for the awards – I fell in love with my floral dress from Hobbs, my L.K. Bennett clutch and my pink suede shoes from Dune. It was a dream outfit and nice to dolled up too.

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… I took my sister Giorgina and niece Summer Rae to Jo Malone for a pampering hand and arm massage before heading over to the Hemsley Hemsley Café in Selfridges. It was brilliant spending time together and it was our first girlie trip with Summer Rae. It was made incredibly special by the team at Jo Malone (I got myself some Myrah and Tonka, FYI), and the food at H+H finished it off nicely! If you go – try the salmon burger! Delicious.

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… I went on a hen do! Yes, my lovely friend Charlie is getting married next month and so we traipsed around London in Disney attire (that was the theme), had a bottomless brunch where I never managed to have an empty glass of prosecco, before heading off to a cocktail making class. It was so funny and nice to be out with old friends.

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Now, I can’t read the script for Friday without choking up, so I’m off to find a good waterproof mascara.

Big love,
Gi. Xx

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