Lily Allen on 'extremes' of life after stillbirth


Lily Allen

Lily Allen has spoken about the the loss of her first child and the "extreme" highs and lows of her life.

The singer said she had a "tough time" when her eldest daughter had to be fed through a tube for several months.

In an interview for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, Allen said: "I was scared of losing her the whole time."

Lily Allen, who performed at Glastonbury on Friday, had a stillbirth six months into a pregnancy in 2010.

The following year her daughter Ethel was born with a condition called laryngomalacia.

"All I wanted to do was just breast-feed her and to sit there in my chair with her and spend those precious hours into the night looking after your child."

"When we lost our first, I remember thinking it's just so bizarre that I seem to have all these really unique experiences, you know, the highs along with the lows," she said.

"From playing on the main stage at Glastonbury to 70,000 people to losing a child, it's just, everything seemed to be extremes."

Lily Allen

Allen, who released her third album Sheezus this year, said her daughter's condition made it difficult for her child to eat.

"It's basically a problem with the throat," Lily explained.

"She was working so hard to breathe, to just exist really, and she wasn't really gaining any weight at all.

"Because all of the food she was taking on, she was just expending the energy on this breathing process.

"When she was really, really little the doctors said she had to have an operation to correct it and then that didn't work so she had to have it again.

"And she was tiny, she'd lost so much weight and then as a result of that, because of what happened before with my previous, it was just a really tough time.

"She just had to be tube-fed for about seven months, eight months. But she's fine now, absolutely fine."

During her appearance on Desert Island Discs she chose the song I Would Rather Go Blind by Etta James which she associates with her stillbirth.

"It's quite difficult to talk about it," the singer said.

"Sometimes I think that listening to certain songs can be really helpful to take you back to a certain place.

"I lost a child three years ago now, and I just remember leaving the hospital empty-handed, so to speak, and driving from Homerton in Hackney, all the way down to Gloucestershire and this song being on a CD that Sam was playing and in a weird way it's just a nice song to kind of connect to."

Desert Island Discs is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 11:15 BST on Saturday 29 July

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