Amanda Holden emotionally discusses her son's stillbirth
‘I had no control over myself’: Amanda Holden emotionally discusses her son’s stillbirth and recalls the moment she was told there was no heartbeat
- If you have been affected by this story, support and advice can be found at Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) Helpline: 0808 164 3332
Amanda Holden has recalled the devastating moment she was told there was no heartbeat when she was pregnant with her son Theo.
The TV presenter, 49, had a stillbirth in 2011 and discussed the outstanding care she was given by medical staff in the BBC’s Dear NHS Superstars special.
Speaking on a video link, Amanda said: ‘I remember waking up and thinking I hadn’t felt my baby kick for most of the night which was unusual because he was so active. I tried all the things they tell you to do, but he wasn’t moving. But I didn’t panic.’
Emotional: Amanda Holden, 49, has recalled the devastating moment she was told there was no heartbeat when she was pregnant with her son Theo
Amanda drove to Middlesex Hospital in London where she was seen by her close friend Jackie, who is a midwife.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge recalled how Jackie could not hear the baby’s heartbeat so stepped outside the room.
She said: ‘Luckily for us, an obstetrician was coming past and Jackie said to the obstetrician, “please can you go in, I can’t hear the patient’s baby’s heartbeat,” and then I heard this guttural screaming.
‘It was the most bizarre thing that’s ever happened to me because it was me. I didn’t know I was doing it. I had no control over myself, I thought it was another person making the noise.
Giving thanks: The TV presenter had a stillbirth in 2011 and discussed the outstanding care she was given by medical staff in the BBC’s Dear NHS Superstars special
‘All these women were holding me, calming me down. forgot entirely that I’d have to get the baby out and I’d have to give birth for our son.’
Amanda explained that she chose to have a C-section and initially thought she would not be able to hold her baby after he was born.
She said: ‘I opted to go for a C-section because I just did not think I could go through a natural labour. The C-section was beyond horrific because at the end a little baby who has nothing wrong with him apart from being asleep is going to come out.
‘I kept saying, “I can’t hold a dead baby.” I was absolutely terrified. Just as baby was going to come out my husband Chris had to leave the room, he couldn’t bear it.
Amanda said: ‘All these women were holding me calming me down, and I forgot entirely that I’d have to get the baby out and I’d have to give birth for our son’
‘Jackie wrapped him up and I said, “Jackie, I can’t do it, I can’t hold him.” Jackie said, “he’s absolutely gorgeous, you need to see him.”
‘That’s when I held him even though he was fast asleep. The one thing I remember is his perfectly formed eyebrows, which all my children have.’
Amanda became emotional as she remembered the moment and said she and Chris were given ‘keepsakes’ of Theo to take home with them.
She said: ‘Theo was put into a little room so his body could be preserved and we could go and see him as much or as little as we wanted.
Family: Amanda and her husband Chris Hughes are also parents to daughters Lexi, 14, and Hollie, eight
‘Jackie talked to me about the keepsakes we could have, to remind ourselves of Theo forever. We got his footprints and a little bit of his hair and the blanket he was born in.
‘I’ll do anything for that hospital because that’s where my son was born and that’s where we were treated like family members, that’s the best way to describe it.’
Amanda and her husband Chris Hughes are also parents to daughters Lexi, 14, and Hollie, eight.
A year after Theo’s birth, Amanda would end up in a coma as she gave birth to her her younger daughter Hollie.
Memories: Amanda said she and Chris were given ‘keepsakes’ of Theo to take home with them
Speaking on Giovanna Fletcher’s podcast Happy Mum Happy Baby, she recalled: ‘[Just after Holly was born] the doctor came over very calmly and said, “We are going to have to put you under, Amanda,” because Chris said he was suddenly ankle deep in blood…
‘What they hadn’t detected was that my placenta was attached to my main artery behind my bladder and I basically haemorrhaged and no amount of blood that I had on standby was going to do it.
‘I was even on the recycling thing where you can recycle your own blood… Well, it was all over the floor and yes and then what followed after that was horrendous for Chris. I knew nothing about it, I was out cold for four days.
‘Chris was told he might have to prepare Lexi for mummy not coming home so Chris has been through hell and back.’
Amanda said: ‘I’ll do anything for that hospital because that’s where my son was born and that’s where we were treated like family members, that’s the best way to describe it’
However, despite her horrific experience in the delivery room, Amanda was back at work on Britain’s Got Talent just two weeks after giving birth to Hollie.
The blonde beauty revealed: ‘I got out [of hospital] in a week and ten days after that I went back to Britain’s Got Talent.’
During a previous interview on This Morning, Amanda told how welcoming the arrival of Hollie helped her ‘continue to live’ following Theo’s stillbirth.
She said: ‘There was no reason for Theo’s stillbirth and so I was partly relieved, because I thought, “Good, we can have another baby.”
‘Part of me was like, “Oh god, what have I done? Is it something I have done? Was it because I ate those McDonald’s fries the day before?”‘
‘It’s the only way you get better — having a baby again, having your arms full. I know that having a baby helped me to continue to live.’
If you have been affected by this story, support and advice can be found at Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) Helpline: 0808 164 3332
Struggles: One of the hardest parts for Amanda, she said, was the thought of going home and telling her daughter Alexa, affectionately known as Lexi, that they had lost Theo
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