Patsy Palmer reveals her miscarriage heartbreak at nine weeks
EastEnders star Patsy Palmer has revealed she recently suffered a miscarriage but her family helped her pull through the trauma.
The actress - who returns to Walford as Bianca Butcher this month - became pregnant just months after giving birth to her fourth child.
She told the new edition of Hello! that the whole family was shaken by the loss, which was revealed as she went for a scan and shortly before she filmed her comeback.
"It was a shock to be pregnant so soon after having our baby Bertie. At first I was excited but, deep down, I felt fearful that I wasn't physically strong enough," she said.
"Then, at my nine-week scan in October, they told me I'd lost the baby. We don't know why. But it shook us all.
"We'd got used to the idea of having another one in the family. I even joked that I'd be like the old woman in the shoe who had so many children she didn't know what to do. It was especially sad for the kids."
She managed to cope with the loss with the aid of those around her, but she did fear that she was slumping into depression.
"My mum recognised the symptoms. She said the light had gone out of my eyes," Palmer said.
"I've suffered with depression before. I told myself to be brave and to be grateful for what I've got - four amazing children. I know how lucky I am. My family are the light of my life."
She and her family are about to celebrate the first birthday of fourth child Bertie - who was born seven weeks prematurely - this month. The tot was in hospital for several weeks following his birth.
"Bertie has brought so much joy to the family. We're all looking forward to celebrating his first Christmas at home," she said.
Palmer also told the magazine that she and husband Richard Merkell are to renew their marriage vows. They married with a modest ceremony in August 2000.
"I believe in marriage and everything it stands for but looking back I believe we should have thought about our vows a bit more," she said.
She tells this week's issue of Hello! magazine. "Rich and I are soul-mates and it feels so right for us to take our vows again."
Returning to working with a child less than a year old has been tough, she said.
"He's my little mate so it's been a bit of a wrench. This whole working mum thing really scrambles my brain," Palmer said.
"I totally understand how other mums struggle with this. In the end you feel guilty whatever you do."
The full interview is in the latest edition of Hello! which is out now.