Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including baby loss.
Former Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington has shared the devastating news that she has lost her baby daughter, 20 weeks into her pregnancy.
The athlete, who also competed in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! and served as a TV sports pundit, announced in September that she was expecting a baby with her husband Andy Parsons.
In an Instagram post yesterday (October 22), the sporting legend announced news of her loss, explaining that while she didn't yet feel ready to make a public statement she felt she had to, in order to spare the pain of having to tell people individually over and over again.
"I don't really have the words right now but unfortunately we went for our 20 week scan this week and they discovered no heart beat," Rebecca wrote.
"I gave birth to our angel, Harper, on Friday at 7pm. We held her, and had time with her. We will forever love and remember her always.
"We can't thank the staff at Wythenshawe enough. Olivia, Rachel, Emma and Keeley, your kindness and care throughout was simply incredible. And Andy, your selfless support, love and help is truly amazing. I couldn't [have] survived without you.
"I don't have the strength or words right now and don't feel ready to share this news. However, I can't pretend to be ok or fake a smile.
"I can't have people ask me how pregnancy is or when I am due as I still look pregnant. I don't have the strength to tell this news individually. We are so truly heartbroken. Our beautiful girl. Rest in peace."
Adlington has a daughter named Summer from her previous marriage to Harry Needs, a fellow swimmer, and a son named Albie with Parsons.
In August 2022, Adlington disclosed that she had experienced a miscarriage, learning of this after attending hospital for a 12-week scan.
"I can't thank the hospitals and the staff enough, been so supportive," Adlington wrote at that time, also thanking Parsons for being her "rock".
"It's such a devastating time but important in times like these we remember we aren't alone and have so much support."
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