The chart-topping musician detailed the experience, explaining that she went into labour three months early with her son, George. Doctors attempted to “stop that from developing” by putting a stitch in her cervix, which lasted about a week.
“The stitch broke and I went into full-blown labour and the baby was really, really small,” she explained. “And as I was delivering him, the doctors said, ‘There was a pulse and now there no longer is.’ The cord was wrapped around his neck and he was just too small.”
When asked about how she started her recovery process, she sadly admitted that she hadn’t. “I don’t think I did—I don’t think I ever will, really,” she said.
She revealed that complications with the delivery made the situation even more difficult. Her son was so small he “got stuck halfway in and halfway out, so to speak, during the delivery, and because his skin wasn’t fully formed they couldn’t [use] forceps [to] pull him out,” she said. “So there was a period of about 12 hours of lying there with him deceased in between my legs, which was incredibly [traumatic]. I went into trauma and I don’t think I’ll ever really recover from that.”
An early stillbirth is a fetal death that occurs between 20 and 27 completed weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While it effects just one percent of all pregnancies, 24,000 babies are stillborn every year in the United States alone.
While experts aren’t exactly sure what causes stillbirths, it is suspected that birth defects, genetics, issues with the placenta or umbilical cord, or certain health conditions in the mother (such as uncontrolled diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure) may play a role, the CDC says. Being older than 35 during pregnancy and smoking while pregnant are also risk factors.
Allen, who also suffered a miscarriage in 2008, is now the mother of two daughters, Marnie Rose, 5 ½, and Ethel Mary, 6 ½, with ex-husband Sam Cooper.
In addition to her son’s stillbirth, Allen’s memoir discusses her struggles with bulimia, relationships, and substance abuse. The Kindle version is currently available on Amazon.
This article originally appeared on Prevention US.