In a personal essay written for Glamour, Annika Noelle shares the secret tragedies that followed her first Daytime Emmy nominated performance.
When The Bold and the Beautiful (B&B) tabled a storyline about a baby-swap, the popular actress didn’t have any real-life experience to draw from. However, by the time the story wrapped up, Noelle says she was left with “a psychological mark that was difficult to recover from.”
“I was grateful for the artistic challenge and threw myself into the story with everything I had,” Noelle wrote in her essay, “Losing a Child in the Limelight”. “It had to be honest. It had to be real. But what it entailed was months and months of grief on camera that slowly started to seep into my life off camera.”
The Baby Beth storyline, as it’s now remembered, involved Noelle’s character, Hope Logan, being told that her daughter had died during childbirth, when she had actually been stolen. Soon after the eight-month story concluded, Noelle’s experience with childbearing went from exhaustive research to personal nightmare.
“As a woman, I never imagined having a child to be a difficult feat. From a young age we are told how easy it is,” Noelle wrote. “I took the responsibility of it seriously and had been so careful for so many years of my life. I never thought that when I actually wanted it to happen, it wouldn’t.”
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Alas, Noelle and her fiancé lost their first baby at ten weeks. They were told that the odds of losing a second child in the same way were slim to none. Yet as Noelle shared, “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. I came up with excuses for why I couldn’t wear white pants or felt nauseous on set,” Noelle continued. “Fans and news articles speculated whether I was pregnant or just gained weight during quarantine. And once again the storyline called for ceaseless tears when I felt like I had no more to give.”
Noelle didn’t tell anyone at B&B what she was going through, out of fear that she would jinx her chances of having a child. It’s a choice she now regrets.
“I would have given anything to have the understanding and support of the cast and crew,” she reflected. “I felt so alone.”
“The secret was isolating, yet the shame was debilitating. I felt like I had failed at something that should be easy,” she wrote. “But as time marched on, I was surprised by a new feeling bubbling underneath the sorrow: an ancestral rage toward the burden of womanhood.”
As Noelle shines a light on an all-too-common tragedy that many couples choose to remain silent about, the discourse around losing a child will continue to grow more nuanced, inclusive and therapeutic.
“If there is one thing I’ve gained from my loss, it is a voice I’m no longer afraid to use.”
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