pregnancy

EXCLUSIVE: Zoe from Married at First Sight opens up about her miscarriage and selling the house.

Zoe Hendrix, 25, and her partner Alex Garner, 29, are the only couple to remain intact following their “marriage” on Married at First Sight.

They also happen to be incredibly likeable and relateable and they’ve been refreshingly honest about their relationship both on-screen and since the show ended.

Once the cameras stopped rolling the Melbourne couple, who have now been together for a year, got on with the business of being together.

Zoe has been speaking up about miscarriage since the finale of Married at First Sight.

And back in the real world, real things happen.

To the couple's delight, Zoe fell pregnant, but she suffered a miscarriage during the first trimester.

They were both devastated and struggled to cope with the loss. Now, Zoe wants the subject of miscarriage to be something that's spoken about openly, and not a taboo subject for couples to endure alone.

She chatted to Mamamia about her pregnancy and miscarriage, why she's speaking up about it, and what life's like after marrying a stranger on a reality show.

Zoe and Alex on their wedding day.

Zoe and Alex told the whole country about Zoe's miscarriage on A Current Affair on her and Alex's first wedding anniversary.

"That really was a big moment for us to get that news out there," she says. Alex picked her up from the train station and they spent their anniversary watching the show, eating takeaway and going through photos of their year together.

She wanted to share her experience with miscarriage with other women who have been through the same thing.

"I've had an overwhelming response from women and saying, 'This happened to me.' And they tell me their story. And I think in a lot of those cases, they haven't shared that with anyone. Not their friends or family, because they've never felt that anyone wants to hear it," she says.

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"It can be uncomfortable, so people then think, 'I don't want to make you uncomfortable even though I need help.' So I feel really honoured because I struggled, I really did. I was in a horrible place."

After the miscarriage, she had to deal with a tabloid article speculating that she'd had a baby.

"I unfortunately was also dealing with the fact that New Idea had that story out [about a photo of Zoe and Alex holding a baby that that the magazine alleged was theirs] and people were congratulating me on the street. That was a couple of days after we found out the bad news and it was a bit bizarre."

She thought the miscarriage was her fault. 

"I went through initially a lot of guilt. I was thinking, 'What have I done?' There's a lot of expectations of us women to eat this, don't eat that, you know? When you're pregnant, everyone tells you what you should be doing. So I thought, 'Did I not eat enough of this? Did I not take those vitamins? Did I do heavy lifting? Did I accidentally eat some feta?!'

There are definite things you should and shouldn't say to a woman who has miscarried.

"Because people don't know what to say, they'd say to me, 'Don't worry, you're young.' Or 'It wasn't meant to be.' And I can see what they mean but it's not helpful. So I feel there's an opportunity for people to be told what to say because it is hard," she says.

"But there's a right thing to say, which is: 'I'm really sorry for your loss, and I'm here for you if you need me.' And that's enough."

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Speaking about her miscarriage has been a cathartic experience for Zoe.

"It's OK to feel devastated. It's all part of acknowledging that this is our loss. There was a heartbeat, it was a person, we were looking at names and everything.

"I think we don't talk about it is because pregnancy is a good thing. When someone says pregnancy you think of joy and laughter and love and family. And if you put pregnancy with miscarriage, they think sadness and emptiness. We want to almost pretend that pregnancy is all lovely pink and blue and it's not. It also can be scary," she says.

She believes every pregnancy is a miracle - even the ones that don't come to term.

"Some women when they've had a miscarriage and go on to have another pregnancy, they were petrified right up until the birth because you just never know. It's the unknown, the unexplainable. It can happen for no reason," she says.

"Pregnancy is beautiful but it can still be beautiful even if it doesn't work. It's still a miracle. There's such a high chance of it not happening at all. And I don't want to scare people but I think we need to acknowledge both sides of it - then we can enjoy it even more, and say, 'How amazing.'"

She's a longtime Mamamia reader because she loves to share.

"I try to look at something and then think: is there someone else out there who is feeling like this? I think that's why I read Mamamia, because I think there's stuff on there about lots of different things, whether it's about mental health or career or relationships," she says.

"And I'd rather be an example than be a perfect being. I want people to know I'm imperfect. And I think Alex and I from day one on the show were imperfect. From my crazy hair to my lack of cooking skills, I want to be honest because I value that in other women."

Zoe and Alex (who even have tattoos dedicated to one another) decided to stay together on the Married at First Sight finale - and they're still together one year later.

She and Alex sold his Ferntree Gully home following the miscarriage.

"We both were so excited. We actually had put a lot of baby stuff in his man-cave and we had this beautiful dream of the man-cave becoming a nursery which is what we were starting to do with it. He was very into it. It hit him hard and I think like most men he held it in and put me first," she says.

"We just want to move forward. So we want to build a whole new house and have all new memories in it. I'm not very keen on that room now [the man-cave/nursery] and to be honest, even when I think of December 18, which was the due date, I'm a bit worried about what I'll do on that date. I'll never forget that date."

They've got another property in Ferntree Gully that they're intending to renovate, meaning the city girl plans to remain a "Ferngullan".

She wants to trek Machu Picchu, he wants to go to South Africa, "so we're back to that big C word [compromise, you guys. Jeez]. We want to create some memories and then we'll come back and we're going to start renovating and building."

Alex and Zoe outside Alex's Ferntree Gully house, which they've sold. Image via Instagram.

She and Alex discussed the BIG ISSUES up front.

"We can be a bit messy, we can be out there. We're just your average couple, I think. And we communicate really well with each other. We're really honest about what we want and we asked each other the big questions very early.

"We actually had the conversation: 'How many kids do you want?' We got down to the details of, 'Would you want me to work after I have a kid?', 'Would you want your kids to go to private or public?' We got really down to it!

And they're not afraid to disagree.

"I went to private school, Alex went to public. We disagreed on lots of things based on our own experiences. We then would get to a point when we'd see why the other felt the way they did and if one was really strong about something, we'd say, 'OK well that matters more to you than me, so you can have that one.'"

She's scared off a lot of first dates.

"I've always been like that. I know I'm not, like, 40 or something, but on the first date I'm like, 'What do you want?'

"I don't want to waste time. I know what I want. It's OK to know what you want and put it out there and not just hope that he'll magically want the same thing.

"It can scare some men off though, because if you say it too early, they're like, 'Oh wow, calm down.'"

The show was really real.

"It wasn't that polished look where everyone's in soft focus like The Bachelor. We weren't covered in glitter. It was raw. How many waking-up shots did they do - I was like, 'Another shot of me yawning, really?'

"We would forget that the camera crews were there. We look back at stuff and we forgot that it even happened, like the time Alex gave me a Coles bag to use as a shower cap."

They woke up like this: Alex and Zoe in one of those early morning shots.

She doesn't feel like she and Alex won Married at First Sight (even though they totally did).

"I guess if it was The Amazing Race, we would've won, but it's not. It definitely wasn't the Hunger Games, as we had a little kid about," she says.

"It feels good. I mean, it would have been awesome if everyone worked out. We could've started a little marriage club and discussed our experts and all that. I'm just happy for us."

On Lachlan's new love-adventure on Farmer Wants a Wife.

"He's like the bachelor of Channel Nine! I think it's awesome. Everyone on the show put themselves out there, and they all deserve a happy ending."

That princess wedding dress was not her idea. 

"We'll definitely have a wedding, an actual legal wedding. We want to celebrate it. We weren't allowed to have many people in the tiny little chapel, so this time we'll have heaps of people there," she says.

"I don't want the princess thing again! I can pick my own dress this time. I was like, 'This is not me!'"

The bride is planning a garden wedding, with a long, floaty dress.

More on your Married at First Sight favourites?

Which Married at First Sight groom is set to appear on another reality dating show?

Remarried? New house? Plastic surgery? What the hell have the Married at First Sight couples been up to since filming ended?

The real reason Lachlan went on Married at First Sight, and where you've seen him before.

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