Campaigner and television presenter Katie Piper has spoken about her joyful first pregnancy in an exclusive interview with HELLO! magazine - and reveals she is expecting a baby girl.
The 30-year-old, who sustained terrible burns to her face and body when she was attacked in the street by an accomplice of a violent former boyfriend, who threw acid over her, says that expecting a baby with her partner James marks a new beginning.
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"This is the start of a whole new life," she tells the magazine. "The other night I was at a charity ball and everyone I met wanted to talk to me about the baby, not about my burns and recovery. I thought, 'Hallelujah'. This baby doesn't know it, but she is changing my life in so many ways and it's wonderful."
But Katie admits she was shocked to find out she was expecting a girl and initially fearful about the kind of world she would be raising her daughter in. "I was so sure she was a boy so there was surprise, but also I felt quite frightened," she says.
"Of course your main concern is that your baby is forming healthily and everything is progressing as it should. But because of everything that has happened to me, I had this slight feeling of panic, thinking 'Oh gosh but it's such a dangerous world for a woman.'"
And she speaks touchingly about how her boyfriend supports her when she feels low - and his reaction when he learned of her history.
"After a couple of months of being with him, I made him read my autobiography,” Katie explains. “I said I would rather he read it than me have to tell him everything. Then if he had any questions he could ask me.
“He was angry and upset [after he read it]. By then we had fallen in love. James and I are similar in that we're very involved with our families. He makes me feel so loved and when I get insecure he'll tell me that, to him, I'm not burnt, I'm all these other lovely things which he'll remind me of.
"That's the great thing about having a child together – I feel like I have a new start and I can leave the past behind."
To read more of the interview with Katie, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! magazine.