Martine McCutcheon has revealed she is to be a mum after thinking she may never have children following health problems.
The 38-year-old star is three and a half months' pregnant and, sharing her news in Hello! magazine, she said: ''This pregnancy has brought us a joy we never knew existed."
It will be her first child with her husband of two years, singer-songwriter Jack McManus.
Former EastEnders star Martine told last year how she had fought a secret seven-year battle with the chronic fatigue syndrome ME, which led to severe depression.
She told Hello!: "We'd always said that if we were fortunate to be blessed with a child, that would be wonderful, but we were very aware that it's not a given.
"As a woman in her late 30s who's experienced health problems, I thought I might have to accept that it wasn't a path my life was going to take, but it would have been a great sadness in our lives if that had been the case."
Her child is due on Valentine's Day next year, great news after she declared bankrupt in 2013, as a result of her illness leaving her unable to work.
"It was a terrible time in our lives," she said. "But you discover who your friends are and we found amazing support from people who really came through for us.
"It's like finally the tides have turned. Great things are starting to happen on the work front, but more than anything, expecting our baby boy has given us clarity about what matters."
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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