Gemma Collins has opened up about her miscarriage at four months pregnant in an episode of The Gemma Collins Podcast.
The reality television star shared the traumatic moment that her four-month-old baby “died in front of her” after she suffered a miscarriage in 2012.
The 39-year-old, who didn’t know she was pregnant at the time, had a miscarriage on her landing floor.
Collins’s experience of miscarriage was particularly difficult as the baby was fully formed when she miscarried.
She said: “I’ve had some shocking things happen to me, I’m not sure I’ve spoken about this before.
“But I actually gave birth to a child, sadly, and basically the child was four months old, basically I had a miscarriage but obviously the baby was formed and it died in front of me.”
Speaking about her experience, Collins’ continued: “I had to go to the hospital and my mum was there. I can remember my mum being really upset, I was in shock, I was upset.
“That was really a shocking moment for me. But this is what I’m saying, I can talk about it now. Things sometimes are not meant to be.
“I’ll never forget it. It was a very traumatising experience because I didn’t know I was pregnant and literally I remember waking up with severe pains.”
According to the NHS, women can have a miscarriage up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which it’s considered a stillbirth.
Women are most at risk of miscarrying in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but there is still a risk that it can happen after that, as in Collins’ case.
The The Only Way Is Essex star’s experience is described by pregnancy support charity, Tommy’s, as a “late miscarriage” meaning it happened after 12 weeks.
Late miscarriages are not very common, happening in only 1-2% of pregnancies. There are several factors that can increase the risk, including age, genetic factors and infection.
Collins didn’t realise she was pregnant because she has polycystic ovaries, which she talked about in her 2013 autobiography Basically.
She continued on the podcast: “My mum said to me, ‘Gemma you need to go to the toilet,’ and I was like, 'Honey, this is not…' I mean obviously I couldn’t describe.
“Look, I try and find the bit of entertainment in this bad situation because I think that’s probably a coping mechanism of mine, I try to laugh or see a brighter side in things even though it was really traumatic.
“But I can remember just being in utter shock. I’ve been through a lot so I feel in life, nothing shocks me.
“So anything you could tell me now wouldn’t shock me because I’ve been through a lot and dealt with a lot but I’m grateful for those experiences because I can sit here today and relay them to other people.”
In her book, she admitted she worried her miscarriage was “God’s way” of punishing her for a previous abortion.
Collins isn’t the only celebrity to open up about miscarriage, which currently affects 1 in 8 pregnancies in the UK.
Recently, TV presenter Anita Rami discussed how miscarriages are a “taboo” subject even though they impact so many women.
Rami revealed she had suffered a miscarriage in a bid to open up the conversation and stop women from feeling that they have to “suffer in silence”.
“So many women go through it and yet, it’s just such a secret that we all sort of suffer in silence,” she said.
Singer Halsey has also shared her experience, admitting that her miscarriage made her feel “the most inadequate I’ve ever felt”.
For more information or support about miscarriage or stillbirth, you can talk to a midwife for free through Tommy’s, the pregnancy charity.