'We're breaking the taboo' - Inspirational mum shares heartbreak after losing three babies

(Left to right) Bryony Seabrook, of Sprowston, with son Jenson, husband Ben, and family dog Barney, at son Dylan's headstone

(Left to right) Bryony Seabrook with son Jenson, husband Ben, and family dog Barney, sitting at their son Dylan's headstone - Credit: SEABROOK FAMILY

Nine years ago, Bryony Seabrook and her husband Ben endured one of the most difficult tragedies any expecting parent could face.

In 2012, the Norwich couple, of Heron Close, Sprowston, was preparing to welcome their first child – a son named Dylan.

They married in September the year before, after meeting on a flight to Australia in September 2006. But on May 10, at just 27 weeks pregnant, they faced the unthinkable and their much-loved baby arrived stillborn.

Just seven months later they were dealt further heartbreak on Christmas Eve when they suffered a missed miscarriage at 11 weeks, which is when a baby dies in the womb but the mother has no symptoms.

What happened next was months of grieving as the couple came to terms with what had happened.

Fast forward to mid-2013, and as well as welcoming an excitable Labradoodle called Barney into her life, the 35-year-old started channelling her anger and grief into running.

Now she is getting ready to take on the challenge of a lifetime by donning a huge rainbow costume while running a half marathon – all to raise funds for baby loss research charity, Tommy’s. 

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She said: “After a high risk and complicated pregnancy before, then a missed miscarriage, I discovered running helped with my mental health and my acute and overwhelming grief.

“The London Landmarks half marathon takes place on August 1, and to raise vital funds for Tommy’s I will be running while wearing this huge and heavy outfit.

Bryony Seabrook is taking part in the London Landmarks half marathon on August 1 for Tommy's

Bryony Seabrook is taking part in the London Landmarks half marathon on August 1 to raise funds for baby loss research charity, Tommy’s - Credit: SEABROOK FAMILY

“We came across the charity after Dylan’s death and learned about the resources it provides, the support it funds, and the endless research projects it runs. It is saving babies' lives, reducing the numbers, and helping more families bring home their babies.”

Since taking up running, Mrs Seabrook has gone on to inspire hundreds of others to run, including her husband, sister, and mother.

Not only that, but the couple have hosted their own challenge, Run Your Own Marathon, in memory of Dylan, raising almost £35,000 for Tommy’s since starting it.

In 2015, more positive news followed when in October they welcomed a 'rainbow baby', Jenson, now aged five, into the world. A rainbow baby is an affectionate term for a baby born after loss.

Bryony Seabrook is raising awareness of baby loss

Bryony Seabrook is raising awareness of baby loss - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Unfortunately, this was not the end of their story and last October they had to make an unimaginably difficult decision to have a termination for medical reasons (TFMR) at 13 weeks pregnant.

“An abnormality was discovered and a couple of days later were told the baby not only had exomphalos - a type of abdominal wall defect - and the bowel was growing outside the body but also that the baby had major heart defects," she said.

“The baby would have no quality of life.

“We had to say goodbye just over a week later on October 28. Not only did we have to make this horrendous decision but we also had to decide the best way for this to happen - there is no best way.

“We will continue to try and break the taboo of talking about baby loss and to raise awareness of all forms of it.”

A personal assistant at Aviva, Mrs Seabrook will run 13.1 miles through central London alongside 14,500 other participants.

She added: “‘I run to help my grief, I run to raise much-needed funds to help research. If my talking about our experiences helps just one other family navigating those dark early days after their baby has died, then it is all worth it.

“If I could give one piece of advice to someone helping another going through baby loss, then that is to talk. You don’t need to feel embarrassed or hide away. For most of us, we want to talk about our children whether they are still here with us or not.”

Bryony Seabrook is raising awareness of baby loss

Bryony Seabrook is raising awareness of baby loss - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

  • To donate visit the Just Giving page.
  • A charity ball to mark Dylan’s 10th birthday takes place on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at The Stables, Royal Norwich. The event will celebrate the achievements made in his memory. For tickets or to find out more visit the website
  • For more information about Tommy’s visit the website.