Rebecca Adlington has said she’s “truly heartbroken” as the British swimmer announced she had a miscarriage at 20 weeks pregnant.
Adlington, 34, said she went for her 20-week scan earlier this week and was informed her baby had no heartbeat, adding she and husband Andy Parsons, 31, “will forever love and remember” their daughter.
She wrote on Instagram: “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 [sic].”
Adlington added that she gave birth to the baby – who the couple named Harper – on Friday (20 October) and “we held her, and had time with her”.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist thanked the staff at the Wythenshaw hospital in Manchester for their “incredible” kindness and care, and Parsons for his “selfless support, love, and help”.
“I don’t have the strength or words right now and don’t feel ready to share this news,” Adlington continued. “However, I can’t pretend to be okay 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.”
The former I’m a Celebrity contestant announced she was pregnant on 1 October, sharing a photograph of her family taken at Disneyland Paris.
Former track athletes Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford, ex-hockey player Sam Quek, former swim champion Adam Peaty, and presenters Angellica Bell and Helen Skelton shared messages of support in the comments section of Adlington’s Instagram post.
Ennis-Hill wrote: “Oh Becky I’m sending you and your family so much love. I’m so sorry xxxx.”
Rutherford said: “Sending love to you. So sorry to read this Becky xx.”
Quek also wrote: “Becky, I know no words will ease the pain… my entire heart is with you all.”
Peaty’s message read: “I’m so sorry to hear this, my prayers are with you all” alongside a heart and praying hand emoji.
Adlington previously revealed she had a miscarriage 12 weeks into her pregnancy last August, sharing the news on Instagram at the time.
The mother-of-two wrote: “It’s such a devastating time but important in times like these we remember we aren’t alone and have so much support.
“Long way to go but I’m in the right place,” she added. “Once I’m able to leave hospital I’m extremely grateful I get to go home and give my 2 little ones the best hugs!”
Adlington, who has also appeared on Celebrity MasterChef, shares one son, Albie, two, with Parsons. She also has an eight-year-old daughter, Summer, from her first marriage to swimmer and personal trainer Harry Needs.
You can contact the Miscarriage Association helpline on 01924 200799 or email the charity at email@example.com. The helpline is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
For more information, help and support regarding pregnancy loss, you can contact Tommy’s on 0800 0147 800.
To contact Petals to enquire about the charity’s counselling services, you can call 0300 688 0068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.