Richard Madeley has opened up about his wife Judy Finnigan’s heartbreaking stillbirth with their first child.
The couple – who married in 1986 – decided to share their story as part of a Channel 4 documentary, Child of Mine, which coincides with Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Richard revealed that Judy, 70, had gone for a 16-week scan with no prior “cause for concern”, when they were told their baby had a “non-existent heartbeat”.
Richard is quoted by The Times saying: “I’ll never forget the nurse hurrying towards me, an agonised expression on her face, ‘Mr Madeley, you need to come this way.'”
Richard said as he entered the examination room, “tears were streaming” down his wife’s face as she told him: “It’s died, Richard. It’s died.”
The presenter explained that the scan had “revealed a perfect foetus with a non-existent heartbeat”.
Richard said they were told their baby would have been a boy in a post-mortem, but were not told what had led to his stillbirth.
He added: “It was utterly devastating: no warning; no earlier, gentle, indication of the possibility of catastrophe. Our baby had just died. And he was still in Judy’s womb.”
Richard said Judy was then put into an induced labour.
He added: “My heart broke for her as I waited outside the delivery room. What a dreadful experience, to go through the motions of childbirth, knowing what the grim outcome would be.
“A day or so later, Judy was discharged and we went home, baby-less. It was horrible, empty, cold, defeated and drear.”
Following their heartbreak, Richard booked a trip to the South of France for them to “find some kind of solace”.
After three months, Judy discovered she was pregnant again and gave birth to son Jack, now 32, on April 19, 1986.
The couple went on to have daughter Chloe, 31, the following year.
Child of Mine airs on Channel 4 on October 18 at 10 pm.