When Love Island star Jessica Hayes' boyfriend Zeb popped the big question during a magical Ibiza sunset this summer, the 29-year-old mum-of-one found it all the more special.
Despite her excitement at the prospect of spending the rest of her life with her new property developer man, 37 – who she met just over a year ago on a night out with friends – the happy news follows severe heartache for Jess.
In November 2020, she tragically lost her son Teddy after experiencing a late miscarriage at 19 weeks, later splitting with Teddy's father Dan Lawry, with whom she also shares three-year-old son Presley. She credits Zeb for getting her through the heartbreaking period.
“I was really at rock bottom," Jess reflects when discussing her engagement with OK!. "And I wasn’t ready to meet someone as I was healing from what had happened.
“I’d had a really tough year and when I look back I was at breaking point and struggling so bad with everything.
"Then Zeb just came along and really saved me in so many ways. As soon as I saw him I was obsessed and we were just inseparable from then on. I just knew he was for me."
Jess spoke of the shocking news of her miscarriage with OK! a few months on as she came to terms with her loss.
“My heart is shattered,” Jess told us at the time. “These have been the hardest months of my life, but being a mum to Presley has helped get me through losing Teddy."
Revealing how she lost her son, she explained that she experienced some bleeding and rushed to hospital.
She said: "They asked me to stay in for the night so they could monitor me. I felt fine! They kept checking Teddy and there was nothing wrong with him. So at first, I was quite relaxed.
"They just couldn’t explain where the bleeding was coming from. Then I was watching Netflix when my waters broke. I tried to get up but fell to the floor. I knew it was bad.
"I rang for the doctors and nurses, who started checking to see if I was going to go into labour.
"I didn’t know what to expect or what a baby looks like at 20 weeks. It was hard to get my head around. Then they took me to the bereavement suite and in the end, I knew, of course I needed to see him.
"He was my son. My mum saw him as well and then they let Dan come and say goodbye."
But since then, Jess has praised new man Zeb for pulling her out of her darkest days.
"When things are going wrong, it’s hard to pick yourself up and picture anything else," she discloses. "But I 100% believe that even the bad things you go through in life are things falling apart so better things can come together.
"I wouldn’t have expected everything to be so good now and I’m so happy. When you’re in something you don’t always realise how bad and toxic things are until you’re in a normal, happy relationship.”
Son Presley was at home with his dad when Jess and Zeb got engaged and Jess says he is a bit too young to fully understand Mummy is getting married.
“I said, ‘Do you like Mummy’s ring?’ And he was like, ‘Oh wow, it’s so pretty,’ but he doesn’t understand,” she says. “But I can’t wait to see him all dressed up in a little suit. I guess he’ll be a pageboy or maybe he could bring the rings down?
"But he’d probably have a strop on the floor and lose them!” she laughs.
For help and support with baby loss visit https://www.tommys.org
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