baby

Soap star defends his partner against troll: "My wife and I have lost 11 babies."

Warning: spoilers ahead for Australian fans of Coronation Street.

Coronation Street star Simon Gregson has shut down a Twitter troll by revealing his wife’s tragic history of baby loss.

Gregson’s character Steve McDonald has been involved in an emotional storyline on the soap in the UK this week, with Steve and wife Michelle losing their son at 23 weeks.

It’s an intensely personal storyline for both Gregson and Kym Marsh, who plays Michelle.

When someone sent a tweet to Gregson’s wife Emma Gleave, he hit back: “To the £&)(; who tweeted my wife. We’ve lost 11 babies, first being 21 weeks four days. Maybe think or do your research before tweeting someone.”

Gregson, who has three children with Emma, told The Mirror that the original tweet was “uncalled for”. He felt the person who sent it “needed to be told before she upset anyone else”.

Gregson as Steve and Marsh as Michelle. Image via ITV.

He later went into more detail about the tragic losses.

“As a bloke being there and witness to all this, you feel completely helpless. Your wife who has carried the baby and has not given birth to the baby. Then there’s all the stuff that goes along with being a human being - the chemical reaction, everything that goes on in your brain. The hormones and all that kind of stuff. The bloke’s completely helpless. What’s he supposed to do but support?"

Meanwhile, Gregson's co-star Marsh and her former partner, Jamie Lomas, lost their son Archie when he was born 18 weeks early in 2009. Marsh, who also has three other children, says producers let her decide whether or not she wanted her character Michelle to go through a similar loss.

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“They invited me to go home and speak about it with my mum and the children," she told The Sun. "That’s what I did."

“I remember having quite a long conversation with my mum and she said to me, ‘What is your gut instinct? Because that’s usually the right one.' I said it was to do this, and she asked why. And I said, ‘Because I’ve always tried to do my bit for charities that fund research or help people to discuss and talk and heal around baby loss.’"

Marsh as Michelle. Image via ITV.

Marsh was consulted on the script and because of her own experience in hospital, she was determined that the soap shouldn't use the term "late miscarriage". She says other women have told her they also hate the term.

“That was one of the things that really annoyed and angered me because I had just given birth to a baby.

“I didn’t miscarry my baby, I gave birth to him. Why is there no birth certificate? What? Because he didn’t survive? What is that? When I am not here any more, nobody will know that my baby existed.

“That is the thing that upsets a lot of women, that thing that they can’t have a birth certificate."

Marsh says she wanted to "honour" her son through the storyline. “When you lose a baby it’s something you learn to deal with, and something you learn to accept. And learning to accept what’s happened to you only comes from talking.”