Health

Gary Barlow opens up about stillbirth experience

Gary BarlowImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Barlow said “it is something I don’t think we’ll ever recover from”

Gary Barlow says he wrote about the death of his daughter to help others going through a similar experience.

The Take That singer and his wife Dawn lost Poppy when she was delivered stillborn in 2012.

Barlow wrote about the pain of losing his daughter in his autobiography, A Better Me.

The singer said he was initially unsure about whether to include the chapter and had to get his wife to help him write it accurately.

Barlow said he had to re-write it three times.

“The first time was very inaccurate in the way I remembered it, so I sat and wrote the last version with Dawn,” he told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

The former X Factor judge added that what made him include such a painful experience was “how it will actually help other people”.

“There is one thing about this, it’s that it’s not really been talked about much.

“People say things like, ‘You’ve got three other kids’ and people don’t really understand your pain, it makes it more painful.

“For us it was the chance to help all the other people who are not understood either. It just felt like the right thing to do and the right thing to be in this book,” he explained.

“All the comments I have ever had, everyone has been unbelievably supportive and I really thank everybody for that.”

Barlow recounted the moment he was told Poppy had died, calling it “one of those unbelievably strange days”.

“Dawn had not been feeling well, she had shot off back to London and we were two days off the due date,” he said.

“I got a phone call and Dawn said, ‘I can’t think of any other way of saying this but the baby has died’.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gary Barlow’s autobiography was published last week

He described to the audience the “strange day” when he held his daughter and got to have a few moments with her.

“I was just dreading this thing happening and when she did give birth, it was amazing. We had the most incredible hour with our daughter.

“It was like a light coming into the room. It was gorgeous, both holding her, taking photographs and footprints, it was the most gorgeous hour.

“We had our moment and we were kind of happy with it and then we went home to a very empty house. Then we started organising the funeral because these things need organising.”

Barlow married Dawn in 2000 and the couple have three other children; Daniel, Emily and Daisy.

He said that he doesn’t think there will ever come a time when he is over the feeling of losing a child.

“At that point I wasn’t even starting to grieve, really, because I wanted to take care of her (Dawn) because we had three other kids,” Barlow said.

“We all just looked after Dawn. We tried to be there for her. It is something I don’t think we will ever recover from, especially her.”

The Tommy’s charity says 1 in every 225 births ends in a stillbirth in the UK.

It says the UK was ranked 24th out of 49 high income countries in 2016 for stillbirth rates, with Croatia, Poland and the Czech Republic among the countries that have better records.

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-45784302

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