When Annika Noelle earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for her work on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL when Hope was told she’d lost her baby, she had no idea that one day she would experience this heartbreaking loss in reality. The normally very private actress opened up about her two miscarriages in an essay she penned for Glamour.com.
“At the time, I had never experienced a pregnancy before,” Noelle said of the B&B storyline. “I was grateful for the artistic challenge and threw myself into the story with everything I had, researching placental abruption, stillbirth, and pregnancy loss. I knew people in my own life who had gone through the trauma of losing a child and I wanted to do them justice. If only I knew what cruel irony lay ahead.”
Recalling how girls are told at a young age how easy it can be to accidentally become pregnant, Noelle admitted that she never assumed that when she actually wanted to have a child, it would be difficult. “When my fiancé and I found out I was pregnant, we were simultaneously overjoyed and terrified,” she admitted. “These would be our first steps together on the journey of parenthood. The following weeks became a flurry of doctor appointments, blood work, and ultrasounds, all squeezed around my busy filming schedule. It was only until the progesterone results came in that everything began to unravel.
“I had lost her at 10 weeks,” Noelle revealed. “My dream of welcoming our baby into the world was slowly becoming more of a lucid nightmare.” After a difficult and painful procedure, she took the time to heal emotionally and physically and decided to try again. “I was told the chances of us experiencing another pregnancy loss were slim to none, but sadly, our second attempt unraveled into sorrow and heartache as well. We lost him at eight weeks. And all the while, I was filming.
“Nobody knew,” Noelle confided. “I came up with excuses for why I couldn’t wear white pants or felt nauseous on set. Fans and news articles speculated whether I was pregnant or just gained weight during quarantine. I guess looking back at it now, I was scared to jinx anything. I didn’t want people to know and have things not work out. And yet I wish I had because I would have given anything to have the understanding and support of the cast and crew. I felt so alone.”
At first silenced by the shame, Noelle eventually began to open up to a few people about her experiences and found that she was not alone. “Suddenly my shame was replaced with power,” she declared. “To go through what I went through and still show up on set, to get through the day and not crumble, is a feat. I never want to hear anyone question a woman’s strength ever again.
“Anyone who follows me on social media can tell you I’m a deeply private person,” Noelle continued. “But if there is one thing I’ve gained from my loss, it is a voice I’m no longer afraid to use. Especially at a time when women can be criminally charged for pregnancy loss, are losing autonomy over their own body, and the United States ranks last overall among industrialized countries in maternal mortality, our voices need to be heard. I hope we can continue to give ourselves permission to share these experiences so that, one by one, our voices can grow from a murmur into a resounding chorus. In doing so, we can feel a little less alone and a whole lot more brave. Because we need each other. And I got your back.”