Hollyoaks’ Kirsty-Leigh Porter shares insight into heartbreaking loss of unborn daughter

Kirsty-Leigh Porter has been opening up about the tragic loss of her unborn daughter. 

The Hollyoaks star’s first child, a baby girl named Penny-Leigh, tragically passed away in 2018 when Kirsty-Leigh was 29 weeks and three days pregnant with her. 

While sharing an insight into the devastating loss, Kirsty-Leigh admitted, ‘everything flipped upside down’ following her daughter’s death. 

During an interview with OK!, the 35-year-old reflected back to December 2018 when she went into hospital because she was having reduced movements. After doctors scanned her baby bump, they discovered the heartbreaking news that her tot had no heartbeat. 

When speaking about her daughter’s stillbirth, Kirsty-Leigh admitted, “I’m not the Kirsty I was before Penny-Leigh. My soul left for a little bit after Penny-Leigh. Everything flips upside down. You never get over it, you never forget. There’s always going to be a part of you that’s missing”.

Kirsty-Leigh revealed, “I remember one day when I got up and I thought, ‘I can’t carry on like this any more, I have to do something. I do a lot of writing. Once I’ve written what’s running through my head, I feel like I’ve offloaded a lot’”.

“My turning point was thinking, ‘I’ve now got the best guardian angel in the world that I could ever ask for and I’m going to wake up every morning and do her proud’. That kept me going. I thought, ‘She doesn’t want to see me in bed grieving, I want to make her proud’”.

The soap star went on to reveal that opening up about her loss online helped her find strength to deal with her grief. 

“I felt better reaching out. I remember getting a lot of messages of support from total strangers on social media and reading every single one – and finding so much strength in their messages”.

Porter continued, “It’s such a lonely, dark place, you feel like you’re the only woman in the world who’s just lost a baby. Then you realise that there’s this whole secret community that is just waiting full of strength and support for you”.

“I found myself starting to heal and I became part of this baby loss group, this gang of people that you never really wanted to be a part of. The love and the strength of that group helped me to get better and stronger each day”.

Kirsty-Leigh welcomed her daughter Nala Rai into the world in November 2020, which helped her feel like she ‘could breathe again’.

“I was so, so elated and so happy that this baby girl was here and she was in my arms and everything was great and she was OK. And then came the sadness of not having Penny”.

“It was a total contrast of feelings and being hormonal and emotional, I don’t think I stopped crying. It was tears of joy and tears of sadness that one can be here and one can’t. It was just questioning, ‘Why can’t they both be here?’ But also being so overwhelmingly happy that Nala had made it safe. She was here and everything was OK”.

She added, “I felt like I was living but not really living. I felt like the breath had been sucked out of me, that my soul had been sucked out of me. Then she got here and I felt like I could breathe again”.