“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

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy WADE ED­WARDS In­ter­view LISA MAYOH

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.

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