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All Black Luke Romano and wife Hannah break silence about losing little boy Felix

All Black lock Luke Romano and his wife Hannah have opened up about their son Felix for the first time after losing him in a stillbirth in 2016.

The pair have decided to share their story to break the silence around the issue.

"I was 37 weeks pregnant," Hannah said.

"It was just a regular appointment with the obstetrician and there was no heartbeat."

Luke was in Chicago with the All Blacks preparing to play Ireland and immediately departed for New Zealand when he found out – team management only saying at the time it was a family bereavement.

But even though he'd left the squad, that didn’t mean they weren't there to support them – captain Kieran Read called Luke to ask if they could wear black armbands that weekend.

The team wore them in the game but no one outside the squad knew the reason for them until now.

The couple were also supported by All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka.

"A lot of the stuff that he had to help me and Hannah was stuff that we did on the rugby field as well."

Luke found support from his Crusaders teammates as well.

"All I could do was be there," former All Black Wyatt Crockett said.

"You are better off to just say something and let them know you are thinking about them than saying nothing."

In New Zealand, one out of 10 Kiwi women will experience a miscarriage in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy while after 21 weeks, one in every 200 pregnancies ends in stillbirth.

Luke said it’s time those numbers were heard.

"You realise how often it does happen but it never gets talked about.

"Sometimes all the grieving party wants to do is talk about it but [people] are too scared to approach it."

The couple have since welcomed their second son Cooper into the world and while stillbirth can be a difficult subject, Hannah believes silence isn’t the answer.

"Some friends didn’t say a word.

"Because a child is unborn and you didn’t know them it's harder to say, 'I'm sorry', but for us saying nothing is the worst."

The couple hope that sharing their story helps others realise things can go back to the way they were.

"The more you talk about it, the easier it is for us to heal as well.

"It's ok to talk about Cooper and about Felix. We have two sons.

"He is our son, he's just not here."

https://www.geezgo.com/sps/32356

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