Chrissy Teigen WAS right to share pics of pregnancy loss – photos of our tragic babies are our most precious possession

HOLDING her tiny baby to her chest, Starr Richards spends a final few treasured moments with her daughter before saying goodbye.

It's a heartbreaking memory she'll never forget and one she bravely chose to have photographed – before sharing the picture on social media to help other mums experiencing devastating baby loss.

And she's not alone, as Essex mum Leanne Beazeley also made the brave decision to share photos of her own final moments with her son William, who was stillborn at 42 weeks.

They are now opening up about their experiences after Chrissy Teigen revealed that she and husband John Legend tragically lost their baby son Jack.

The model, 34, shared a stream of heart-rending photos of their final moments as they grieved together on Instagram, and many of her followers praised her for being so open.

However, she also sadly fell victim to cruel comments from some vile trolls who criticised her decision to share the personal photos – claiming the moment should have remained private.

Just last week, one sick troll tweeted Chrissy, saying: "So glad you've stopped using your terrible miscarriage as a means to keep promoting yourself."

While some claimed the pictures made them feel "uncomfortable", streams of people have applauded the couple's decision, saying it's opened up a vital conversation on baby loss.

Both Starr and Leanne sadly understand the couple's pain more than anyone. Here they reveal how sharing their own intimate photos helped them…

'I didn’t want to let her go'

Newport carer Starr Richards, 28, lost her baby girl Emily on November 20, 2016, at around 24 weeks.

Emily had Triploidy, a chromosomal disorder where babies have an added set of chromosomes. She wouldn’t have survived past birth.

Starr says: "My partner at the time and I had been trying for a while when I found out I was pregnant with Emily.

Instantly all my future plans popped into my head, what I was going to decorate the nursery with, everything.

The pregnancy was very smooth and everything was great up until 20 weeks.

I had felt like my bump was too small, but other than that everything was fine.

We initially saw the baby moving and kicking in the scan at the Royal Gwent Hospital, then they told us it was a girl… I was over the moon, I’d always wanted a little princess.

But after that they said, ‘there are some issues’. They didn’t know what it was at the time, they just saw there were some measurement issues.

We had to wait two weeks for tests, then it was another two weeks for the results. The whole time I think I was blocking it out, I could still feel her wiggling the whole time.

They eventually told us that she had Triploidy. I’d actually Googled it the night before, so I knew immediately it was bad.

We were told it was a fatal diagnosis and that if we carried on with the pregnancy, it would put my life at risk, and the baby wouldn’t survive the birth either way.

I didn’t want to have a medical termination at first. I think I still had hope, I wanted to give her a chance. But the nurses explained I needed to go for it.

What is Triploidy?

Triploidy is a rare chromosomal abnormality where foetuses have an additional set of chromosomes in their cells.

It occurs in 1-3% percent of all conceptions, according to the National Organisation for Rare Disorders.

The triplication of the chromosomes is caused by the fertilisation of an egg by two sperms, the fertilisation of an egg by a sperm that has an extra set of chromosomes or the fertilisation of an egg that has an extra set of chromosomes by a normal sperm.

Pregnancies with triploidy are usually miscarried early in the pregnancy, or stillborn later.

If the pregnancy continues to term, the infant will most likely not survive more than a few days. The few infants that do survive will have multiple severe birth defects. 

Source: National Organisation for Rare Disorders and Healthline.

I gave birth to my daughter on November 20, 2016.

I was in labour for 36 hours and I think I was in denial throughout, until she was born and I didn’t hear her cry.

She’d passed before she was born. That was a blessing in a way, because I know she wasn’t in distress and the only thing she felt was the warmth and the love before she died.

She was tiny, just a bit bigger than my hand – 280 grams.

Emily’s father cut the cord and the midwife wrapped her up and put her on my chest. We had some time with her, and took some photos of us as a family.

In the Gwent, they’ve got the Butterfly Room, like a bereavement room, and we actually spent 27 hours there with her.

I was gone. The noises that came from me, I’d never heard before. I was begging the midwife to go in and stay with Emily. I didn’t want her to be on her own.

I didn’t want to let her go, I just wanted to stay there forever. In that moment I just wanted to die at the same time so I could stay with her. It was horrendous.

I remember having to say goodbye to her eventually and I’d seen in films how women scream and cripple down to the floor, and I’d never thought that was really possible… but it happened to me.

I was gone. The noises that came from me, I’d never heard before. I was begging the midwife to go in and stay with Emily. I didn’t want her to be on her own.

Leaving that room was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but having those photos was incredible, I looked at them straight away and I still have them right round my house now.

The day after I did post on Facebook because a lot of people knew I was pregnant, showing a photo of me with Emily – but you couldn’t really see Emily.

Since then I’ve shared the odd photo now and again to keep raising awareness and to help other mums know it’s good to speak about it.

The photos, like with Chrissy Teigen’s, show us battling huge grief… to me, sharing that, it felt powerful.

My baby existed, I loved my baby, I wanted to share her and share that moment.

As difficult as it is to read Chrissy’s post, seeing people talk about it more openly is brilliant. You don’t have to go through this alone.

I did split from Emily’s dad shortly after, we grieved in completely different ways. I blamed myself for a lot of it.

But my best friend, Sean, 27, at the time helped me a lot and we’ve actually ended up together.

We’ve since welcomed my rainbow baby, Charlotte, and it’s nice to be able to talk to her about Emily as her big sister, with the photos there too.”

Starr received huge support from SANDS (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity).

'They left us with beautiful memories'

Leanne Beazeley, 32, from Essex, and her husband Matt, 35, sadly lost their firstborn son William on September 25, 2017, at full term.

A post-mortem found Leanne had gestational diabetes which had caused William to put on too much weight towards the end of the pregnancy – despite blood tests not detecting any issues.

She says: "Matt and I had been married a few years when we started trying for a baby, and we were lucky enough to fall pregnant very quickly.

I went past full-term, to 42 weeks. There were never any concerns about William, he was moving around and my bump was very big.

But a day before I was due to be induced I stopped feeling him move.

I called my husband back from work and we went into the hospital… I knew something wasn’t right. We had a scan and she couldn’t find the heartbeat. He was gone.

I was so shocked, you’re never expecting it, I was terrified at the time and they had to calm me down before trying to find the baby’s heartbeat.

We did get sent home and we went back in two days later to be induced and deliver.

The hardest bit over that weekend was me still being 10 months pregnant.

The labour lasted 13 hours and it was a hard one, I felt everything… he got stuck at one point and of course because he wasn’t moving, he wasn’t helping me to deliver.

He was 9lb13oz when he was born – a big boy.

Where to find help

BABY loss charity Tommy’s funds research and provides support to couples going through miscarriage and baby loss.

SANDS (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) is the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK. You can call their helpline on 0808 164 3332.

You can also contact The Miscarriage Association on 01924 200799 and Child Bereavement UK on 0800 02 888 40.

Meanwhile, Saying Goodbye, a division of charity The Mariposa Trust, provides support for anyone who has suffered baby loss at any stage of pregnancy. You can call them on 0845 293 8027.

I’m glad that I experienced it the way I did, I wouldn’t change that delivery – I had to do it, I had no choice. But emotionally it was very difficult.

Obviously not hearing him cry was really hard, but it was also really peaceful.

My husband was able to tell me we had a boy and could cut the cord, which was lovely. Whatever way you look at it, he was our baby.

They took him away and cleaned him up. He’d lost a bit of skin around his shoulder where he’d been stuck and they wanted to clean him up and dress him for us before we saw him.

They left us with beautiful memories.

We took a few photos ourselves and we’d been told about getting a photographer, but we hadn’t planned that.

When a midwife asked us if we wanted to contact Remember My Baby, we agreed knowing we wouldn’t get that experience back again.

It’s the best thing we ever decided to do, they’re perfect.

Having those photos has brought us massive comfort. Our family have got copies and we’ve got pictures around our house too.

We were lucky enough to go on and have a little girl, Lola, the following year. She’s just turned two and we tell her about her big brother. The pictures will also make it a lot easier to explain it to her when she’s older.

We did eventually share some of the photos online too and it enabled us to be open about it.

What is Remember My Baby?

'Remember My Baby' (RMB) are a UK wide registered charity which aims to offer a free gift of baby remembrance photography to all parents experiencing the loss of their baby before, during or shortly after birth.  

The charity is now trying to expand baby remembrance photography services to all hospitals and birth centres in the UK.

If you are a skilled photographer and are willing to volunteer your time and talent to help families, visit RMB for more details.

We just hope it will help other people going through this. It’s such a big part of our lives, he’s still our family, so why shouldn’t I share photos of him like I do our daughter?

I follow Chrissy Teigen on social media, I love watching her stories because she’s such an open book.

She’s followed by millions of people so that pregnancy isn’t just going to go away. She’s been able to say, ‘this has happened, I want to put out the photos first in my own words’.

I absolutely support that. I feel for her and I think the photos showing her own grief are so important too. It will help someone else.

For us, a big part of this was understanding that we’re not the only people that this has happened to.”

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