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In her new book Grow: Motherhood, Mental Health & Me, Frankie Bridge has spoken with raw honesty about the horror she experienced when she became convinced that she her killed her baby son, Parker.
Recalling the incident, Loose Women panelist and former The Saturdays singer Frankie, 32, explains how she had taken Parker, now seven, to get his chickenpox vaccine before his first birthday.
She had been advised to do so by a medical professional. but afterwards was told by her paediatrician she should have waited until he turned 12 months. Frankie — also mum to Carter, six — writes:
“The guilt and fear I had felt throughout the day spiralled. And it resulted in a complete meltdown.
Frankie Bridge's son rushed to hospital as he began gasping for air in croup attack
“My paranoia kicked into overdrive too and I became convinced I had killed my child, before he’d even really got the chance to live.”
In reality, although having the vaccine before Parker was a year old was not advised, it simply meant it would not work, rather than causing actual harm.
But the incident left a distressed Frankie feeling she was a “failure” of a mother who was “a waste of space, bound to let my kids down”.
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Frankie's new book, which has just been published, is her second after the success of her first book Open: Why Asking For Help Can Save Your Life. The aim is to help readers who have been through similar experiences.
Frankie, who has been married to footballer Wayne Bridge since 2014, also candidly discusses the emotions she experienced during pregnancy.
She writes: “On one hand I felt immense pride in the fact that my body was growing another human.
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“On the other hand I also carried the immense weight of underlying shame. I was so ashamed and if I’m honest, shocked that I wasn’t a gorgeous, glowing, neat and tidy pregnant woman.
“My bum was bigger than my bump most of the time.”
Comments from well meaning strangers didn’t help, and Frankie adds: “People often thought I was carrying twins.”
The result of her battle with her looks led to Frankie believing she had “failed at pregnancy” and even before she had given birth she said she was terrified she “wasn’t the right kind of mother”.
Grow: Motherhood, Mental Health & Me, by Frankie Bridge (Brazen, £18.99), is out now and available to buy in all good bookshops and online.
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- Loose Women
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