“I hope my story comforts others”
Magdalena Roze invites Stellar into her home with partner Darren Robertson to share the joy of her new pregnancy – and talk for the first time about a painful loss
TV personality and meteorologist Magdalena Roze welcomes Stellar into her home with partner Darren Robertson to share the news of her pregnancy – and talk for the first time about a painful loss in her past.
Magdalena Roze will never forget the day. It was the start of 2015 and she was three months pregnant. Roze should have been basking in the glow of impending motherhood. Instead she was doubled over in pain on the bathroom floor, bleeding and terrified. “It was 45 minutes to the hospital; I was crying and in the foetal position,” Roze tells Stellar. “So much pain – the worst period pain, times a hundred. And by the time we got there it was over. The obstetrician looked at us with so much sadness and said, ‘You’ve lost your baby.’ It was the most depressing thing we’ve ever experienced. I remember thinking, ‘Yesterday I had a baby, and today I have nothing.’ I felt empty.”
The pain of that day stays with Roze and her long-term partner, celebrity chef Darren Robertson. But just two months after she miscarried, the pair received a balm in the form of good news: another baby was on the way. Son Archie, now two, is all blond curls, cherubic face and blue eyes – the spitting image of both parents. He is also, Roze says, her soulmate.
So when she became pregnant again last year, Archie was the first person she told. “I remember walking around the house, still holding the test,” says Roze, now 23 weeks along. “I saw I was pregnant, and said, ‘Mummy’s going to have a baby!’ He just put his head against my belly and we hugged in silence. It was surreal – such a special moment.”
For now, she is enjoying a breezy pregnancy – no morning sickness, although she admits there is some exhaustion that comes from growing a child while wrangling a toddler and working from home in the Byron Bay hinterland. “I’m feeling great – actually, I often forget I’m pregnant until I go to pick Archie up,” she says with a laugh.
Archie’s birth was not an easy one. The TV personality and meteorologist endured a 24-hour labour, before he was delivered via C-section in the early hours of a hot December day. “I had a very challenging birth and first few weeks with an unsettled Archie. I feel more positive this time though – because after what I’ve been through I can go through anything.
“We were completely overwhelmed with love. You can’t believe it – one minute you’re you, then suddenly you’re an instant family,” says Roze, who turns 36 this week. “It’s such a special time but [it] feels like a blur – there is so much going on. And you can’t stop looking at this incredible baby you created.”
A whole foods diet and a lactation expert helped guide Roze along to breastfeed her son after a tricky start. “I’m so glad I managed to eventually establish my milk supply, but the noise of that breast-pumping machine in the middle of the night will scar me for life!
“It helps having a bit of a clue for this baby,” she adds, citing the universal struggle any parent with a car will look back upon with a mix of amusement and horror. “I’ll never forget Daz and I trying to get Archie in the baby seat for the first time. We must have spent half an hour in the hospital car park, panicked, in the blazing heat trying to figure out how to work the clips and get him in.”
Archie, who is drawn to the ocean, is at that stage where his command of the English language is starting to take off. And if he has not quite fallen prey to the terrible twos, he is still finding ways to frustrate his mother. “He is always testing me,” she admits. “He is still learning to share so you end up in wars over a truck. I can say ‘please don’t shake the plant’ – so of course he will go and shake the plant. Some days you go ‘I can’t take anymore! I need five minutes to myself.’ Then they turn around and say something cute and it makes everything better.”
“No matter how busy you think you are, kids put everything into perspective,” Robertson tells Stellar. “Mags inspires me to lift my game; I’m loving parenthood, though you never really feel like you’re totally in control.”
Roze gave birth to a baby of a different kind last year when she released her first cookbook, Happy & Whole. She has also launched The Pass, a food-focused podcast she hosts and co-produces. (Its second season is due out on Tuesday.) “It’s a bit of a dream job,” she says. “Especially for a pregnant person who loves to eat.”
There was one thing on Roze’s to-do list last year that didn’t get ticked off – and it was a big one. She and Robertson were supposed to get married, but they ended up using the money they had set aside to open a new restaurant at Bondi Beach. (Robertson already co-owns the popular Three Blue Ducks eateries in Sydney, and is head chef of an outpost at The Farm Byron Bay, a favourite of locals Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky.) “And then I fell pregnant, so… who knows. If there isn’t another restaurant or baby, then maybe the wedding will be next year.”
Robertson also seems to be at peace with the uncertainty; he’s just excited for their family to grow. “I’m as ready as you can be. Now the gang becomes four, there is not going to be any sleep for a while.” In response, Roze cracks, “He’s so excited sometimes I think he’s got absolutely no idea what’s about to hit him.”
And as Roze once again navigates life as a pregnant woman, it is her close-knit group of friends who are providing advice and a bit of an escape. “It just takes the load off and when you think about it, it’s how it should be,” she says. “We’re not supposed to do this by ourselves.
“I also feel like back when we lived in ‘tribes’ we would have observed many miscarriages, pregnancies, labours and breastfeeding, which would have not only normalised some of the more taboo or difficult things, but armed us with wisdom and support when our turn came.
“A lot of this is lost in modern societies. Prior to my own experience I knew nothing about miscarriage and I was surprised to learn how common it is. [Up to] one in three women – that’s a lot of people suffering in silence. So I hope stories like mine can give someone comfort that they’re not alone.”
“I hope my story can give someone comfort; they are not alone”
THREE’S (clockwise Media personality COMPANY from top) Magdalena her partner and Roze, celebrity chef Darren Robertson, and son Archie will become a “gang of four” with a new baby on the way; Roze was a weather presenter on Network Ten; Robertson as a judge on My Kitchen Rules; (opposite) the family at home in the Byron Bay hinterland.