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Kirsty McCabe: My life as a mum

Kirsty McCabe

Weather presenter and meteorologist Kirsty is mum to four-year-old Ethan and Logan, nearly two, with architect husband Renato Marchio. Here, she talks diet, delivery and dust-ups over dinosaurs…

I loved being pregnant and I miss having a bump. I do get a little bit jealous when I see pregnant ladies, but then I remember labour... However, when I was first pregnant it did take me some time to adjust to putting on weight and having people comment on how I looked. Second time round I embraced the bump more quickly. I was lucky that both pregnancies and deliveries were straightforward, although in my first trimesters I did have some bleeding and that was quite stressful.

“I was a little bit queasier with my second and also had worse heartburn”

Like most mums, the bump appeared more quickly second time round. I was a little bit queasier with my second and also had worse heartburn. There is an old wives’ tale about heartburn being linked to babies born with hair and that definitely held true for me! My first, Ethan, had very little hair, but my second, Logan, was born with lots of jet black hair.

I was in the right place emotionally and financially to start a family. I was 34 when I got pregnant with Ethan, and although I'd have liked to have had children younger I definitely wasn't with the right man in my twenties! 

“If you can't eat chocolate when pregnant, when can you?”

I ate a lot of ice-cream! I took a pregnancy multivitamin throughout and while breastfeeding. And I did try to eat healthily but allow myself a little bit of indulgence. If you can't eat chocolate when pregnant, when can you? Same applies to breastfeeding and cake - it's essential.

I like going to the gym so I kept up the exercise throughout my pregnancies. With Ethan I was still doing Body Combat classes at the local Virgin Active gym when eight months pregnant! I think there is a lot of pressure on women, not helped by the media. Being on camera I was keen to get back in shape after my first and probably rushed it a bit with Ethan. Second time round I took it more slowly so I could simply enjoy the first few months with Logan. 

The gym was an excuse to see other new mums. I found some postnatal exercise classes run by Jane Wake (Baby A-Wake) that I could bring Logan along to, a definite plus when you're breastfeeding or don't have any childcare in place. These had the added benefit of being a chance to chat to other mums about a host of issues, with no topic off limit! When it comes to baby weight, at the end of the day I would tell myself that it's nine months on and nine months off.

“It is strange being responsible for a tiny person when you are absolutely exhausted”

The first few weeks were a blur. Years of shift work had prepared me for sleep deprivation but it is strange being responsible for a tiny person when you are absolutely exhausted and your hormones are all over the place. I much prefer it a few months in when you feel a bit more on top of things again. I do remember being amazed that I made this little person and how you can't take your eyes off them. I'm probably more nostalgic about the first few weeks now that it's a distant memory! I also look at newborn pictures of my boys and realise that perhaps they weren't quite as beautiful as I thought at the time! Obviously they are very good looking now.

The boys get on really well, most of the time. But there are days when I feel all I do is break up fights over toy cars, trains and who gets to sit next to Mummy. Logan hero-worships his big brother and copies everything he does. Ethan is very protective over his little brother and will look out for him at nursery. I love listening to their chats and games when they don't know I'm watching. Ethan is quite shy whereas Logan is more outgoing. Both adore dinosaurs but are terrified of the animatronic ones at the museum.

“I think working mums should be embraced by businesses”

Being a working mum is tough. But it's what works best for us, in terms of being able to afford our house and also because I want to work. I think working mums should be embraced by businesses, we have years of experience and can multi-task like no other. I also have huge respect for stay-at home mums, because I did that for a while and it's tough! 

Motherhood gives meaning to life. Once you have children you might moan about the little things but the bigger picture, of course, is that you wouldn't change it for the world. Your children are the most important thing to you and equally you are the most important thing to them. There's nothing like a little person being absolutely overjoyed to see you and hug you and say ‘I love you Mummy.’ Of course, I may have a different view on this when we get to the teenage years!

Kirsty will be presenting the Simplyhealth Grandparents Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tommy’s Awards

 
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