AMANDA Holden fought back tears as she bravely opened up about “screaming” during her son’s tragic stillbirth while admitting she didn’t want to “hold a dead baby”.
The 49-year-old star was left devastated in 2011 when her little boy Theo died in the womb, and she recalled the heartbreaking moment she was told there was no heartbeat in the BBC’s Dear NHS Superstars special.
Speaking via video link, the Britain’s Got Talent judge said that she “didn’t panic” when she initially realised that she’d not felt her baby kick for a while.
Amanda went to Middlesex hospital where she was seen by midwife and close friend Jackie who couldn’t find Theo’s heartbeat.
The star continued: “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.
“All these women were holding me, calming me down. I 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 opted to have a C-section because she “didn’t think she could go through” labour.
She emotionally recalled: “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.
“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 and Chris were given “keepsakes” of Theo to take home, with the beauty praising the NHS as she recalled: “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.
“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 Chris are also mum and dad to 14-year-old Lexi and eight-year-old Hollie, with Amanda going into a four-day coma when she gave birth to her youngest a year after Theo’s stillbirth.
Speaking on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, Amanda previously shared: “[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.”
Despite the ordeal, the star returned to work on Britain’s Got Talent just two weeks later.