Actress Natascha McElhone has spoken movingly about the death of her celebrity surgeon husband as she showed off their baby son to the world.
The 37-year-old released pictures of baby Rex, whom she’d been carrying for just four months when Martin Kelly, 43, died suddenly.
In a touching interview, she spoke of the devastating loss and how she is coping with bringing up Rex – now seven months old – and their two other children, Theo, 8, and Otis, 5. She also revealed why she chose to be alone at the birth of her third child.
“It just felt right somehow,” Natascha told Hello! magazine.
“If Martin couldn’t be there, I couldn’t replace him with someone, as that would have felt very strange. I wanted to be on my own because that was the way it was going to be. I was going to be my baby’s only parent so I may as well get used to it.”
She said her first thoughts after the ‘painful and challenging’ birth were ‘Phew, we made it!’ before the ‘tremendous joy’ kicked in.
Rex was born in the evening and the next morning Natascha sent a text to the babysitter, asking her to bring her boys to the hospital.
Natascha also explains in poignant terms the moment she found out that her husband had died. Natascha reveals how she dropped the phone and her legs buckled when informed of her husband’s death last May. Martin Kelly collapsed and died on the front doorstep of their London home while she was filming Californication in America. He had been preparing to fly to America to meet his wife, who was also looking after their two boys.
His death came just four days after the pair’s tenth wedding anniversary and he was about to fly over to see her and celebrate it before her 20-week scan. She revealed how she reacted to the hammer-blow of being told by a close friend that her husband, one of Britian’s leading plastic surgeons, had died. Natascha told Hello!: “I did that thing I thought people only did in movies – I dropped the phone and my knees sort of buckled under me.”
She added, “The only other people who were going to be affected as deeply as me were the children – apart from Martin’s mother, of course – so they were the first people I told, although I don’t think it’s fair for me to talk about their reaction. That’s so much their experience.”
Her husband’s mother went with her to the scan where she discovered she was having a boy.
Natascha said she had decided she wanted to the know the sex of the child because she wanted some ‘knowns’ amongst the ‘devastation’.
Their son Rex was born on October 16th last year, at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital – where Martin Kelly had carried out much of his work.
Natascha said the newborn ‘dear little head’ is constantly going from ‘side to side’ like he is at a tennis match as he watches his brothers play.
She named the boy Rex Coltrane Kelly as her husband’s hero was jazz musician John Coltrane. He was almost called Coltrane Kelly, she admitted.
Natascha said of the two elder sons, “They just adore their little brother and are for ever smothering him in kisses, but then that’s how we’ve always communicated – with hugs and kisses.”
She said, “I thank God I had two babies with Martin before so I know exactly what his reaction to Rex would be. So I imagine him kissing the back of Rex’s neck and doing all the things he loved doing with the others.”
“I say to the boys, ‘Daddy used to do this with you guys.’ They’ll say, ‘Let’s do it to Rexy!’ and we all pile in and give him hugs.”
“I walked in the park this morning thinking of Martin, as I always do, and wondering: the one thing I miss terribly about him is that he had the answers to everything. I guess what I want to know now is what would his answer be to this – to our loss, to life without him. But I’ll never know.”
The full interview is in Hello! magazine.