New mum actress Dawn Steele introduces her baby daughter Coco in an exclusive feature in this week’s issue of HELLO! magazine, and reveals the drama behind her birth.
Dawn had to cut short filming the current series of Wild At Heart in the African wilderness, and fly back to London on the advice of doctors in South Africa.
"The plan had been that my character would have her baby in the series but it was not to be," says the Scottish star who gave birth to her first child, Coco Christie Mary, by Caesarian section, two weeks prematurely on November 9.
As she reveals to HELLO! the pregnancy wasn't short on drama and she had a blood transfusion after losing two and a half litres of blood following the birth.
"I was in South Africa filming when I had my first bleed at 28 weeks. I went to hospital, and I was put on bed rest for a few days," says Dawn who had planned to fly home at 32 weeks after filming several episodes of the new series.
"At the end of the last series I had a fake bump but this time it's my real bump in episode one...it is Coco!" says the 36-year-old.
The actress also talks for the first time about how she was diagnosed with placenta previa – a condition in which the placenta grows over the opening of the cervix making a natural birth difficult and causing bleeding during pregnancy.
Dawn – who stars as vet Alice Trevanion in the popular ITV1 series, and is also well known for her role as Lexie in Monarch of the Glen – and Coco’s father, 42-year-old actor Paul Blair, are overjoyed by her safe arrival.
And the new mum now admits flying home was the right decision.
"It turned out it was for the best as I did have another three bleeds back here before Coco was born so I have been in and out hospital. I had wanted to have a natural birth and it took me a while to get my head around that I was going to have a C-section," says Dawn.
"I know I didn’t have a natural childbirth which I am sure is massive but having the Caesarian was pretty amazing."
The couple hopes to take Coco on location to the African wilderness one day. "The way I left was quite rushed, and I’d hate to think that was the end for me after four series of Wild at Heart.
"I’d love Coco to see it all. If Coco is anything like me she will always want more adventure."
Full the full interview pick up HELLO! Magazine, issue 1208, on sale now.