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13 most difficult celebrity births: stars who have spoken candidly about labour-induced trauma

The stars have opened up about their birth stories

difficult celeb births
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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As any mum will know, giving birth isn't exactly a walk in the park. Whether it's delivering earlier than the due date or needing to be induced, there are many complications that can arise when welcoming your baby into the world.

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There have also been some interesting celebrity birth stories as those in the public eye have started to open up more about their unconventional labours. From mad dashes to the hospital in record-breaking time, to roping in the fire brigade to help and struggling with post-natal mental health, these celebrity births have been far from breezy. Although their arrivals weren't exactly simple for these mums, we're sure that the little ones were all worth it.

Myleene Klass

myleene klass baby reveal

Myleene Klass welcomed baby son Apollo on August 1st 2019. Apollo is her first with partner Simon Motson, who has a son and a daughter from a previous marriage. Myleene also has children from previous relationship: daughters Ava and Hero.

In an exclusive interview for HELLO! shortly after Apollo's birth, Myleene detailed her son's dramatic entrance into the world. "My waters broke and I was in the birthing pool, we had a really easy first three hours, to the point that I thought we would all be home by 7pm. But I don’t remember what happened next. I lost five hours of my life and it was a pretty complicated birth in the end. Then suddenly Apollo was here and you forget everything. My body felt pretty invincible."

Alex Jones

alex jones© Photo: Instagram

The One Show's Alex Jones had quite a scare with the birth of her first child, Teddy, back in January 2017. While the actual birth went to plan, poor Alex was not at all well afterwards, resulting in her being rushed into emergency surgery. The TV star previously spoke to Christine Lampard on Lorraine about the ordeal, which also affected her husband Charlie.

She said: "I think people really forget how traumatic it can be for dads. Charlie was an immense birthing partner. Of course, when you go into it, you don't know what to expect and he came through it more than I can tell you. Somehow he became this sort of hypnobirthing expert and we just got through it together.

"Of course, as soon as Teddy was in my arms and my maternal instinct came in, that's all that worried me. He was out in the world safe, as far as I was concerned the job was done.

"Charlie, from his perspective, could see what was happening and I lost a lot of blood. We were in the birth centre and everything was nice and quiet and, suddenly, we were up in the emergency room and there was a team of doctors and he was left holding this new little baby thinking: 'Oh my goodness is she going to make it? Am I going to be a single dad?'"

Fortunately, all was well with mum and baby, but what a scary start for them all.

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Serena Williams

serena williams and baby olympia© Photo: Instagram

Tennis champion Serena Williams welcomed her first child, Olympia, with her husband, Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, in September 2017. But it was in an open letter to CNN five months later, that the athlete revealed insight into the dramatic birth of her first child.

The letter opened: "I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia. Yet I consider myself fortunate." The sports star, who was runner-up at this summer's Wimbledon Championships, went on to describe how her pregnancy had been smooth-sailing, but the birth was less so. Olympia was born by emergency C-section after her heart-rate had "dropped dramatically" during contractions, but, luckily, the surgery went smoothly and soon the tennis star was holding her newborn.

However, trouble then occurred just 24 hours after she gave birth. Serena stated: "It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot." Then, the new mum then suffered complications as a result, including re-opening the C-section wound that required surgery, during which doctors found a swelling of clotted blood in her abdomen. Serena then had more surgery before finally being allowed to return home, but spent the next six weeks in bed.

Although Serena experienced a traumatic and frightening birth, her optimism and determined nature saw her through, stating: "I am so grateful I had access to such an incredible medical team of doctors and nurses at a hospital with state-of-the-art equipment."

Gemma Atkinson

gemma atkinson baby mia© Photo: Instagram

Gemma Atkinson and her Strictly Come Dancing pro-dancer boyfriend, Gorka Marquez, welcomed their first child, baby Mia, on 4 July this year. A couple of weeks after giving birth, Gemma shared a picture of her posing with her newborn just 30 hours after she arrived.

The birth wasn't all smooth sailing, however, the actress and radio host said on her Instagram: "Mia was a tiny baby, 4lb 10 … With every contraction her heart rate dropped. On the 3rd one midwife Katie who was taking care of me at the time pressed the panic alarm & within 15 mins I was rushed out, prepped & delivered Mia via an emergency Caesarean section…" Although Gemma said the delivery didn't go as planned, she was adamant that thanks to her hypnobirthing breathing techniques she was able to stay calm throughout.

After enjoying some alone time as a three, however, Gemma then began feeling unwell and was haemorrhaging. She continued in the post: "I don’t remember much other than having around 9 doctors in the room." Even after enduring such a traumatic labour, Gemma was quick to praise and thank the NHS and the "incredible hospital staff" that aided Mia's entry into the world. She may not have had the easiest labour, but Gemma is definitely a trooper.

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Kristina Rihanoff

kristina and ben cohen

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff gave birth to baby daughter Milena, (Mila for short), in June 2016. Although her daughter, who she shares with partner Ben Cohen, is now a happy three year old, her birth was not straightforward. "Every time Kristina pushed, the cord was pulling the baby back," said Ben to HELLO! in an exclusive interview. "There comes a point when it is not happening and you do worry."

Kristina added: "I can still remember the doctor saying, 'We'll try this and if it doesn't work we will have a Caesarean, I was like, 'No way,' because I'd been struggling for so long. I had contractions every five minutes for hours. I was screaming. The next day my whole body was aching so much." Mila was eventually delivered with the help of forceps, and the family of three look happier than ever.

Vogue Williams

vogue and spencer williams baby theo© Photo: Instagram

Model and TV personality, Vogue Williams, married Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews in June 2018, during a romantic and intimate wedding in Scotland. And just three months later, the newlyweds welcomed their first child, baby son Theodore, to the world. "We are bursting with love," new mum Vogue revealed to HELLO! in September 2018, shortly after the birth. Proud dad Spencer added, "Every day has new meaning now. Now that Theodore is here, it has exceeded all expectation of what I thought it would feel like to be a dad."

But during the birth there were a few issues that had to be overcome. Two days before Theodore was born, Vogue was admitted to hospital after noticing the baby's movements were slowing. "I was induced at 6am, then Doctor Vasso broke my waters at 12 and the contractions started," Vogue revealed. "They went on until 5pm, when I had an epidural, which was a lifesaver." But it wasn't all clear, Theodore's heartbeat began fluctuating and the decision was then to have an emergency Caesarean.

But luckily, as time went on, it was clear Theodore was on his way and his hate heart rate had gone down, meaning Vogue could go through with a natural birth after all. Spencer added, "I have nothing but love and respect for how Vogue dealt with it all." He added, "The love I have for Vogue kind of doubled because you immediately have that for your son as well. I've never felt love like it other than for Vogue. Just when you think there is no more love in you, along comes Theodore." How sweet!

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Chloe Gill

jb gill baby

JLS singer Jonathan 'JB' Gill and his wife Chloe welcomed their second child, Chiara Sapphire Gill, in July 2018, almost four years after welcoming their son Ace. The couple, who married in 2014, live a quiet life on a family farm in Kent, and revealed exclusive insight into life as new parents to HELLO!, shortly after Chiara was born.

Telling the magazine about the birth, mum-of-two Chloe said that although Chiara's delivery was smooth, she was apprehensive of giving birth again after Ace's dramatic birth in 2014. Chloe endured a 40-hour labour before Ace was subsequently delivered by emergency Caesarean as the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.

After he was born, Chloe then developed a serious infection and an adverse reaction to antibiotics. Speaking on the second birth, Chloe stated: "I very much wanted to give birth naturally, but after what happened last time we decided to leave it as late as I could before making any firm decisions." Chiara was then born by a planned Caesarean, which Chloe described as "absolutely the right decision." No doubt the proud parents were glad that everything went a bit smoother second time around!

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Kara Tointon

kara tointon and baby frey

Actress Kara Tointon gave birth to her first child, son Frey, on 22 November 2018. A few weeks after the birth, in an exclusive HELLO! interview alongside her partner Marius Jensen, the Mr Selfridge actress and former Strictly champion introduced her new son. Speaking on the moment they welcomed their first child into the world, Marius said: "We will never forget that, it was very special," with Kara adding: "You also see your partner in a new light … When you think you can’t get any closer, you’re introduced to an even deeper love."

But the birth wasn't all smooth sailing, as Kara was rushed for an emergency Caesarean as Frey's heart beat dropped. The couple also revealed that it was long and tiring ordeal, after taking three trips to the hospital, only to be sent home. On the change in plan, Kara stated: "It did become quite dramatic and a bit frightening … But we got wheeled through to meet this empowered group in theatre, all young women, and they were fantastic." 58 hours later, baby Frey was born into the world. And he couldn't be any cuter!

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Leah and Max Whitlock

max introduces willow

Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock and his wife Leah (also a trained gymnast), welcomed their daughter Willow on 23 February 2019. In an exclusive interview for HELLO! shortly after the birth, the five-time Olympic medallist stated that the birth of his daughter was his greatest ever achievement. The proud dad and business owner said: "Willow is definitely my proudest achievement. She's so happy and already smiling – it's definitely not just wind! – and she's such a chilled baby. We're very lucky." Max's wife Leah, who runs his business from home, said she was very "Zen" during the pregnancy, and says this may have contributed to the baby's calm demeanour.

Leah used gas and air during labour until she was 9cm dilated, but things then got complicated. Baby's heartrate started to drop and meant Leah had to be rushed to theatre, during which Willow was then delivered by forceps. Despite the tricky situation, Leah was determined to stay calm and power through. On the delivery, she said: "Within ten minutes of having an epidural there was no pain any more, and everyone was so relaxed in there that I wasn't worried at all." What a hero!

Georgia Jones

danny jones and georgia introduce cooper

McFly and McBusted band member Danny Jones and his wife Georgia welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Cooper Alf Jones in January 2018. The happy couple, who married in 2014, spoke exclusively to HELLO! shortly after the birth, during which the singer and The Voice Kids host revealed he sings his songs to settle baby Cooper to sleep. Former Miss England Georgia said on her husband's music talent: "I hope he [Cooper] loves music like his daddy and that he can enjoy it with him but I pray to God he has got Danny's singing voice and not mine."

Also in the interview, the proud parents opened up about Cooper's dramatic birth. After Georgia's waters broke the day before she was due to be induced, the couple frantically headed to the birthing suite at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, but were then sent home and told to return when contractions were further advanced. Danny then immediately stepped into dad-mode and began timing, and ran the then mum-to-be a bath.

Georgia then stated how she went an "overwhelming urge to push" and began panicking that she would end up giving birth in the bath or in the car. The couple then rushed back to hospital and arrived in "record time." Just 36 minutes after arriving back at the hospital, baby Cooper arrived. "It was too late for anything other than gas and air, I'd done most of it at home on two paracetamols!" Go, Georgia!

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Helen Skelton

helen skelton and kids© Photo: Instagram

TV presenter and actress, Helen Skelton, welcomed her second baby with rugby star Richie Myler in April 2017, almost two years after the birth of their first son, Ernie. Proving an unconventional scenario, Helen welcomed her second child, baby Louis, accompanied by a host of friends, three firefighters and a fire engine.

Helen told HELLO! at the time: "It was all a bit frantic. We are just so relieved he is safely here … I'm still not really sure why the fire brigade arrived, but it seems they were the closest emergency service at the time." As Richie was playing away games every other weekend in England at the time (the couple then lived in France), there was always a risk that he might miss the birth.

Helen started feeling pain and found herself not able to move a week-and-a-half before Louis' due date. She then frantically rang husband Richie telling him to make a dash to the airport. Richie then made a call to nearby friend to head over to Helen, calling emergency help on the way. Helen told HELLO! that the ordeal became almost comical, as the fire brigade then arrived shortly after the friends. The mum-of-two stated: "My French is conversational so I'm not so good when it comes to talking about contractions. I was like, 'I need you to stop talking – the baby is coming now!'"

Quickly after, their friend Jill helped deliver baby Louis at their home. "It all happened so fast. I was still on my hands and knees – no one was in a position to move me – so Jill delivered him. She was unbelievable, and the fire brigade officers were also on their knees, ready in case they needed to catch him." Although dad Richie missed the birth, he arrived soon after, no doubt feeling relieved everything turned out okay.

Zoe Hardman

zoe hardman

Actress and TV presenter Zoe Hardman and her retired rugby player husband, Paul Doran Jones, welcomed their second child, baby Kit in April 2018. After welcoming their daughter Luna in 2016, the pair were ecstatic to learn they were having a second child, particularly as mum Zoe was told she would need IVF to conceive due to a low egg count.

When pregnant with her first born, Luna, Zoe sailed through her pregnancy. Speaking to HELLO! in May 2018, she said: "The first time around, I was a smug pregnant lady saying 'this is easy', until the birth." But unfortunately for Zoe, Luna's birth was not quite as straightforward as the previous nine months had been. Zoe ended up needing forceps to deliver her daughter, after a gruelling and prolonged labour without effective pain relief.

While pregnant with Kit, however, the nine months weren't quite as easy for the then mum-to-be as her previous pregnancy. Zoe stated: "My immunity was low so I kept getting colds and mouth ulcers. He was breech until 34 weeks – I had pains in my ribs and back, numbness in my hands. I was desperate to give birth and have done with it." Fortunately, Kit's birth was much more straight-forward than the pregnancy. She said: "It was a much better experience this time … I had an epidural at 8pm and by five past midnight, Kit was born."

Louise Thompson

louise thompson leo hunter© Photo: Instagram

Last December, Made In Chelsea star Louise Thomspon welcomed her firstborn, Leo-Hunter with partner Ryan Libbey. The star revealed that her traumatic birth was life-threatening on social media, and has been very open about her intense struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with her followers online.

Louise, 32, shared the news via Instagram, alongside the heartfelt caption: "5 weeks ago I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy Leo-Hunter Libbey weighing in at 7lbs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the easiest start for either of us. One ended up in NICU and the other ended up in ICU.Whilst Leo made a fairly quick recovery. I have been recovering in hospital for a month with various serious complications. In all honesty I never imagined that so many bad things could happen to me, but to dance with death twice brings a whole new view of the world - a stark reminder of how short and sacred life really is."

Her followers rushed to the comments section to share their love and support. Jess Wright was among the first to comment: "Congratulations Louise & sending so much love & strength to you right now. Leo looks amazing."

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Ferne McCann added: "Sending so much love and strength my darling. Praying by for you. Congratulations on Leo. He looks so perfect," and Lisa Snowdon remarked: "Oh gosh darling. How incredibly scary. Sending you love and strength to continue on your healing path…. A huge but gentle cuddle and a warm welcome to the world baby Leo.

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