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Amanda Holden fought back tears as she told how she was terrified of holding her stillborn baby.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge and her husband Chris Hughes lost their son Theo in 2011. Holden was seven months into the pregnancy when Theo died in the womb and the star had to deliver him by C-section.
Opening up about the traumatic experience on the BBC's Dear NHS Superstars programme, Holden told how she heard a “guttural” scream – and only later realised that it was her making the sound – when an obstetrician failed to find a heartbeat.
She opted to have a caesarean because she felt she could not go through a natural labour.
However, Holden, 49, said the C-section was “beyond horrific because you know that at the end a fully formed little baby with absolutely nothing wrong with him, apart from being asleep, is going to come out.
"And all the way through it I said, ‘No, I can’t hold him, I can’t hold a dead baby' is what I kept saying. I was absolutely terrified,” she said.
“Just as baby was going to come out my husband Chris had to leave the room, he couldn't bear it.”
When Theo was born, Holden’s midwife and close friend urged her to hold him.
She said: “And that’s when I held him in my arms for the first time and realised I was still a mummy, even though he was fast asleep.”
After losing her son, Holden set up a fund called Theo’s Hope.
The fund aims to help provide bereavement counsellors in maternity units in the UK.
The TV star and her husband are also parents to daughters Alexa, 14, and Hollie, eight.