Nova radio host Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald and his wife Belinda open up about the loss of their first child, baby girl Kaylee-Jay, in an emotional new interview.
Nova radio host Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald and his wife Belinda Irons (BJ) have recounted the heartbreaking experience of losing their first daughter at 15 weeks pregnant.
Back in 2008, Fitzy and BJ experienced a devastating loss when a routine scan during their first pregnancy revealed that their daughter Kaylee-Jay had a severe case of spina bifida.
Conversation with Cameron and Ali Daddo on their podcast Private bathroomsthe couple explained that they were told the baby would not live very long after birth, so they had to make an agonizing decision.
“It was a tough case, so it wouldn’t have lasted too long, so we had to make a decision,” Fitzi recalls.
“It was also very hard. And what I do remember is that I was like, ‘Oh, this might break us, how full it is.'”
He kept recalling the doctor’s advice on what to do next.
“The doctor said, ‘My advice is that you’re having a baby and I think you should have a baby and spend some time with the baby,’ and I immediately said, ‘No, not at all. I won’t let BJ let this really affect her. I won’t let you do this.”
But the couple eventually survived the birth, and despite Fitzy’s fears that it would “haunt” them forever, he said they “became a lot closer.”
“You know what it really was, it was a moment to just say thank you. We spent some time with her … And said goodbye. And it was really emotional. And you know what Allison really is, it brought us so close together. Yes, it was an amazing day.”
Recalling that day, BJ said the tiny girl was so small she “fitted in my arm.”
“I remember when she came out she was like a little doll, like she had fingernails and little lips.
“I remember just touching her small lips. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, there’s a little tongue in there too.”
She went on to say that when she saw signs of underdevelopment of the spinal cord in the child, it became clear that the decision was the right one.
“(Kaley-Jay) had this new really big gash on her back. And I remember that for myself I thought that this was a sign that we did the right thing. This was hard”.
After a grueling day, the couple said they discussed how they would explain Fitzi’s absence from the air, revealing that they originally planned to say it was a miscarriage.
“I remember we were sitting at home that night and thinking: can we just say that we had a miscarriage? And we thought, yes, and the next day I woke up and thought I couldn’t. I don’t want to sit here today and talk about a miscarriage when she was here for a reason. And it happens. It happens. One of three women you know, and that’s okay. It was our decision. It wasn’t yours. It wasn’t my mother. And we did it together.”
The following year, BJ became pregnant again and had two sons: Houston, 12, and Lennox, 9.
Fitzy and BJ have been married for 14 years. They first met in Adelaide in what Fitzi called love at first sight and then married in 2008 at the Adelaide Oval.
You can listen to the full two part episode of “Shared Bathrooms” with Fitzy and BJ. here.