Through a seeming stroke of absolute luck, a couple of months ago, I met reality TV star Laura Carter. Laura was 37 weeks pregnant when we met and it brought back so many memories when she asked me about what it was like when my wife gave birth and how we coped in the first few months. Laura has had her baby now and we had a little chat about how different life is with a baby, some of the challenges and most of all the how much fun she is having being a mum.
A: It’s literally only been a month since I’ve seen you and your life has been completely changed! How does it feel being a mum? Is it everything you thought it was going to be?
L: Yes it’s safe to say my life has completely changed! From the moment Jaxon was born he literally became my whole world. It’s cliche but he really did. I’m just overwhelmed with love for him & completely besotted. The first week I couldn’t even look at him without crying, I was literally sobbing as I was breast feeding him because I was so overcome with emotion. Becoming a Mum has been so much more overwhelming in more ways than I actually ever imagined. I’ve become very anxious since having him, I worry about every single thing and find it hard leaving the house with him at the moment but I think that’s just down to me being overly protective. It’s a very vulnerable time for any new mother; you’re suddenly responsible for this little human & it doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read or how ready you think you are, nothing will ever prepare you for having a baby or the unconditional love you instantly feel.
A: Things don’t always go to plan and we learnt that. Lis had so many complications and the birth wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. How did things go for you?
L: My birth wasn’t how I planned it and even though it was a fairly quick & straight forward labour, I ended up having an episiotomy and forceps to help him out. As you can imagine that meant that afterwards I was very, very sore & the first week I was in crippling pain. I don’t think I slept for a solid 4 days after the birth, I was just running on pure adrenaline. Just as everyone promised though, everything is so much better and the pain isn’t as intense now. I can do day to day things without hobbling around & I can drive which means I can leave the nest more with him. Day by day things are getting back to normal and I’m adjusting.
A: I know my wife had a real battle with feeding but she was so glad she persisted (and I was so proud) – how’s that going for you?
L: I always had in my mind that I would breastfeed for a few days to give him the liquid gold colostrum but then move straight over to formula milk simply for the convenience and so I could share the load with my partner. That all changed the minute Jaxon fed from me for the first time. It wasn’t very long after he was born, he crawled to my breast and started feeding & apart from the birth itself, it was genuinely the most amazing moment of my whole life. It bonded us instantly. I can’t describe the feeling of feeding your baby for the first time. For the next few days I breastfed and loved it, even though I was exhausted from the birth and having not slept since, it must have been my natural mother’s instinct that allowed me to carry on feeding him even though I was noticing that the more he fed, the more sore I was getting. The constant feeding, no sleeping and the fact I was starting to get very chapped and sore finally took its toll and so we bought an electric breast pump. This was an absolute god send as it allowed me to fill up two bottles both 4 or 5 ounces a time which ensured that he was still very well fed and in turn slept longer. I’ve had moments where I’ve cried because I literally feel like I’ve turned into a cow, a constant cycle of breastfeeding & expressing but it’s all worth it when I see my baby thriving and growing and being so strong and healthy. We’ve been very, very lucky with him, he has no confusion at all whether we give him bottle or breast and we’ve even thrown a few formula milks in there too on a night if he is feeding a lot and I can’t express enough milk. A lot of babies don’t take to both so I’m grateful that he doesn’t mind either way. Breastfeeding is amazing at first, then it’s gets a little harder but if you power through, it gets easier again and it’s all totally worth it to see you healthy baby thriving from it. I’m so glad I decided to do it, the question is now…how long do I carry on for?
A: That is a question we are currently thinking about to in honesty. Now… Jaxon is super cute, is there anything that he does that melts your heart?
L: Jaxons face completely melts my heart. While I was pregnant I really genuinely couldn’t picture at all what he’d look like or who’s genes he’d take and every time we went for a scan he hid his face behind his hands. He came out a perfect, peaches and cream baby, he wasn’t squashed or had no icky stuff on him at all which is what I’d totally expected, he genuinely came out perfect. I just stare at his face thinking how beautiful he is and my heart bursts with pride. I’m like a lunatic staring over at him while he’s sleeping, he literally takes my breath away every morning I wake up to him. I think I’ll literally melt into nothing when he eventually learns to recognise us & smile back. I can’t wait for that moment.
A: I think we all know that sleep watching feeling, it’s totally normal (I think). Last one then – and i know I’m being nosey here – but what does the future hold for Miss Laura Carter? Have you got anything big planned coming up or are you just going to enjoy you and Jaxon for as long as you can?
L: Haha there’s always something exciting in my little world no matter what I’m doing and the beauty of it is I never ever plan anything, I live in the moment completely. That’s when the magic happens, when you least expect it but always know there’s something around the corner. Right now there’s nothing more special to me than my new baby and I’m going to take advantage of the fact that I can spend all my time with him. I want to savour every single moment with him until I’m ready to get back to work. After Big Brother I went straight back into acting which is definitely something I want to focus on again but not yet. This is such a special time and I’m enjoying every single precious moment.