WOMEN have been sharing their heart-breaking stories of stillbirth after Hollyoaks star Kirsty-Leigh Porter revealed she had lost her baby girl.
The actress, who plays Leela Lomax in the Channel 4 soap, made the announcement on Instagram that her daughter Penny-Leigh Barber had been “born sleeping” – and her fans began to share their own devastating experiences in the comments section of her post.
But yesterday she wrote: “Our beautiful baby girl, Penny-Leigh Barber was born sleeping on the 21st of December 2018 at 6.49am, 29 weeks & 3 days young.
“My heart has never felt pain like it. Sleep sweetly our angel. We will always love you. Love your Mummy & Daddy. My Everything.”
The message accompanied a picture of her daughter’s hand and footprints, as well as other details of her birth from the hospital.
The former Coronation Street and Emmerdale star’s fans shared their support – and the announcement soon garnered over 60k ‘likes’.
However, others chose to bravely reveal their own experiences of stillbirth too.
One woman wrote:”Sending my love to you and your family. My mum has had two sleeping angels so I know just how devastating it would be for ALL of your family. Much love @kirststarburst xxx”
Another commented: “My thoughts are with you I know how I feeling I just recently lost my baby girl at 22 weeks she was born sleeping and I wonder what she would of been like with her older brother.
“It’s hard but stay strong my thoughts are with you.”
A third shared: “What a lovely thing to say my son and my daughter were both born sleeping and thinking about it nobody congratulated me to it was just sorry about your loss but it would of meant a lot more if they had of congratulated me because at the end of the day they were still born they were just to precious to stay on earth with us XxxX”
Meanwhile, one revealed: “Sorry for the loss of your beautiful little girl. I know how u feel. My little boy passed away shortly after birth on 11.11.18 at nearly 23 weeks.no one should have to say goodbye to there baby. Take care of ur self xx”
Another added: “My baby boy was born sleeping at 20wks in 2014 and I still think about him daily. Oct is pregnancy & infant loss month, ik still a long time away but look up the wave of light, its something wonderful I do to honor him each year. Be gentle on yourself mama & take all the time you need to heal.”
In the UK, an estimated one in 225 pregnancies ends in stillbirth, according to charity Tommy’s.
It is formally defined as when a baby dies in the womb after 24 weeks, and a failure of the placenta – the organ responsible for nourishing and protecting a foetus during pregnancy – is often the most common reason.
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We recently told you how a woman had her wedding ring made from her stillborn baby’s ashes.
Months before that, a dad revealed the heartbreak of losing his first son during childbirth.