Nothing could prepare Lisa Wilkinson for the moment she was told her unborn baby was dead.
The journalist and Today Show presenter has opened up about her three miscarriages, and described it is the ‘great secret that so many women carry’.
Wilkinson told Show and Tell it was not until she spoke about it with her girlfriends that she realised she was not alone, and many of her friends had gone through miscarriages in silence.
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Heartbreak: Lisa Wilkinson has spoken frankly about the three miscarriages she suffered while trying for a fourth child, in a new interview with website Show and Tell
Happy family: Lisa Wilkinson and her husband Peter FitzSimons have three children, sons Jake and Louis and a daughter, Billi
‘There is really nothing that prepares you for that moment when they do a scan and they say “the baby’s dead”. Just nothing prepares you for that,’ she told Show and Tell.
‘I started to have conversations with girlfriends, and I suddenly discover girlfriends who had miscarried as well and hadn’t talked about it.
‘It seems to be the great secret that so many women carry.’
Wilkinson is married to journalist and former radio presenter and rugby union star Peter FitzSimons. During the interview, she revealed that the couple were able to conceive straight away, and on their first wedding anniversary had their six-day-old son, Jake.
Devastating: ‘There is really nothing that prepares you for that moment when they do a scan and they say “the baby’s dead”,’ she said
Two years later, on their third wedding anniversary they had their second child, six-day-old Louis who was born on the same day as his brother two years later.
The couple had a third child, a daughter named Billi, who was due the same day as her siblings but arrived four days early.
The couple experienced their first miscarriage after Wilkinson fell pregnant with their fourth child.
About 11 weeks in to the pregnancy Wilkinson recalled how she woke up to find something was wrong.
A scan revealed her unborn baby had died, and she said she could not help but think of her other children who had their whole lives ahead of them.
Wedded bliss: The couple fell pregnant easily and had their first child, Jake, by their first wedding anniversary
Save the date: Louis was born on the same day as his brother Jake two years later and Billi (pictured left) was also due the same day but arrived four days early
To her the scan symbolised ‘lost opportunity’ and ‘missed potential’.
Wilkinson has previously spoken of the fateful appointment in an interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly. ‘‘I’ll never forget, the radiographer was quiet for the longest time before asking me how many weeks I thought I was.’ she told the magazine.
‘The look on her face said it all and that was when I knew. She couldn’t find a heartbeat and the baby had died at eight weeks. It was like a body blow.
‘When it happened a third time I was inconsolable. [But] denying the grief or acting like these babies never were is the worst thing I could have done.’
Media star: Today the 56-year-old co hosts Channel Nine’s The Today Show with Karl Stefanovic (left) and is editor-at-large of The Huffington Post
Finding balance: Wilkinson said women who juggle work and children need to accept it is fine to be ‘half okay at things’
Knowing that miscarriages happened in one in four pregnancies she tried again, only to suffer another heartbreak.
In trying for her fourth baby, Wilkinson had three miscarriages. ‘Obviously my eggs were done,’ she said. ‘If you’re lucky enough to have one healthy child you’ve won the lottery.’
The 56-year-old co hosts Channel Nine’s The Today Show with Karl Stefanovic and is editor-at-large of The Huffington Post.
She said juggling a career and motherhood means women need to allow themselves to be ‘half okay at things’.
On Tuesday, Wilkinson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the print and broadcast media and a range of youth and women’s health groups.
Watch the full interview at Show and Tell.