Looking back, Candice Warner felt the Australian cricket tour to South Africa was cursed to begin with. "That attack during the first test in Durban when Quinton [de Kock] called me [terrible, shameful] names – I should've known it wasn't going to end well."
But what came next, no one saw coming. "I was feeling so happy that day," Candice recalls. "I hoped the terrible stuff was behind us. We love Cape Town and it's where Dave proposed to me in 2014. I was beginning to feel that first stage of being pregnant – the subtle changes to my body were kicking in. We were overwhelmed, knowing another little Warner was on the way."
"I don't think either of us realised how much we longed for this baby. We had been trying since last July and I did a test when we first got to Cape Town," she says.
"I was watching the cricket on the TV and the girls were waking up from their nap. Out of the corner of my eye on the screen I could see something going on. That was the first I knew of the ball tampering. I sat slumped on the bed and wondered if I could take any more."
When they were told they were being sent home, "David insisted on returning on the same flight as his two teammates, to stand united," Candice tells The Weekly. "Instead, they sent each player home separately. We got the longest and tough route. No one knew I was pregnant and Dave did everything to get me home safely, fearing any more strain could affect our unborn child."
Candice was in "a bad state". The Warners were criticised for taking their girls through the media scrum at the airport but, says Candice, "we'd been assured it was a private exit and we'd managed to leave quietly from Johannesburg. I was completely gutted when I saw the media – especially after 23 hours flying, knowing the world had no idea I was carrying our third child."
A week after the press conference, she remembers waking up feeling unwell. "I called Dave to the bathroom and told him I was bleeding. We knew I was miscarrying. We held one another and cried."
"The miscarriage was a heartbreaking end to a horror tour. The ordeal from the public humiliations to the ball tapering had taken its toll and, from that moment, we decided nothing will impact our lives like that again."
"I was raised like Dave, to cop it on the chin," she says, "but I'd have to be bullet-proof for the taunting not to have affected me. It rocked my very foundation and I paid the ultimate price, losing our baby. I wonder how all those who came after me feel now?"
"I felt like I had let us down – that my body had let us down – but I've come a long way since then. I'm a spiritual person and I truly believe it wasn't their time to be with us. Despite our loss, I do know without any doubt that my calling in life is to be a mum."
Candice Warner's full story is in the June issue of The Australian Women's Weekly on sale now.