‘Baby loss causes a sadness that never goes away’

TV star and influencer Georgia Kousoulou on the devastating loss of her pregnancy

by grazia |
Published on

Trigger warning: this article discusses personal experiences of baby loss that some may find distressing

In February 2023, I found out I was pregnant when I was Spain. Tommy [Mallet, Georgia’s husband] and I went for the first scan at around six weeks for reassurance and they said everything was fine. They did say the baby was a bit small, but that there was a heartbeat, so I wasn’t worried. I went back a couple of weeks later for another scan because I’d started bleeding. They said the baby was absolutely fine, so I left really happy, but with a feeling that something wasn’t right.

I had a gut feeling. I said to Tommy that I needed to have another scan, and he reassured me that they had said everything’s fine. I was still bleeding, and it was fresh blood so I called my NHS doctor for a phone consultation as I couldn’t wait for an appointment but, in hindsight, hearing the blunt news over the phone that my baby wouldn’t survive was hard-hitting. I wanted to seek out a second opinion.

At the hospital appointment, the doctor said, ‘I’m going to prepare you now not to see a heartbeat when we do the scan.’ I lay on the bed and suddenly we saw a heartbeat. She was shocked, and so was I. But she said she was concerned about the sac around the baby; that it looked a bit small and that could be why I was bleeding. She said either I was deficient in something or that there was a chromosome problem.

Hoping it was the first option, she gave me folic acid, a strong dose of vitamin D, aspirin and a pessary that I had to do twice a day, which was not nice at all.

‘Go home, do all of this for a week and come back to me.’ I went out and burst into tears. That week, I was full of dread. I went to church, I prayed, and I blessed myself with holy water.

A week later they told me: ‘It’s grown a bit.’

The week after that: ‘Carry on taking everything and come back in two weeks.’

I went back. The doctor said, ‘The baby has still got a heartbeat, but I think there’s a chromosome issue.’

We went to get a third opinion. We found one of the UK’s top specialists, who we were so fortunate to be able to afford. I was around ten weeks pregnant by now and he said, ‘From what I can see, the sac is looking small but the baby has got a heartbeat, so I’m not concerned at this stage. I’m not going to tell you there’s something wrong with this baby until you’re twelve weeks, which is when we’ll know whether the sac is too small.’

I went back at just over twelve weeks and lay on the bed. I had somebody doing an internal scan and another doctor in the room. When he did the scan he went completely silent – a deafening silence. I just knew that something wasn’t right.

I got dressed behind a little curtain. The room was silent and the doctor said, ‘I’m really sorry but this baby has got a chromosome problem. We think the baby has sixty-nine chromosomes, twenty-three more than what you should have.’ It was an incredibly rare condition called triploidy, and it means two sperm might have hit the same egg.

‘What does this mean?’ I asked. ‘There’s no survival rate,’ they replied. ‘But the baby’s moving, it’s got a heartbeat,’ I said. But they explained I could have a stillborn, or the baby would survive a few hours. ‘For your own mental health, we need to get this baby out of you now,’ they said.

I was hysterical, screaming and I kept asking if they were sure, but the doctor held my hand and said, ‘I’d never suggest terminating this pregnancy if there was a chance of it surviving. I know how much you want this baby.’ I just sobbed. I had watched it grow, week by week.

After the procedure to end the pregnancy, I was exhausted mentally and physically. I just wanted to go to sleep and not talk to anyone. A week later I started filming my show again. We told everyone what had happened.

The film crew had been with me the whole time, documenting it. They were at the scans. They filmed me telling my parents. They were filming every moment. Tommy and I had always said we’d film the good and the bad, so we decided to go ahead. It was so raw, but in the end it felt like therapy.

I don’t think the sadness will ever go, but people say you just learn to live with it. There's still a part of me that hasn’t come back, and I’m not 100 per cent myself.

Grief is hard. The problem with baby loss is there are triggers everywhere. I can’t get away from it. Instagram is full of babies. Loads of my friends are pregnant; my sister-in-law is pregnant. People constantly ask if I’m going to have another baby. They say: Oh, Georgia’s pregnant – because I haven’t lost the weight.

In the future, I think I’d like to partner with a baby loss charity to talk about our experience and help me process my experience and keep my baby’s memory alive.

I Wish I Knew by Georgia Kousoulou out 29th Feb RRP £18.99 (Seven Dials)

For information on baby loss click here or if you need support and advice about your pregnancy, contact the team at midwife@tommys.org

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