Actress Hayley Tamaddon is relishing in her new role as a mother, but is also keen to reflect an accurate account, as she spent many nights sobbing with stress.
But the 42-year-old from Blackpool says being a mum is still the best job she has ever had, especially as she didn’t think she would be able to ever be able to conceive a child.
The former Dancing on Ice star had been plagued by ovarian cysts throughout her adult life and she admits she had never found the time to consider getting pregnant, as she was busy with her roles in Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Shameless.
But as she hit 40, she began to think about her family plans.
She explains: “When I hit the age of 40 I thought to myself, I should ask the doctor about my fertility.
“I had always wanted kids but it had obviously never been the right time or situation, but the doctor said there’s a strong possibility I couldn’t have them.
“I had suffered from ovarian cysts since being a teenager and even when I was in Coronation Street, I was still in and out of hospital with it.
“I was going to have some tests but then my relationship broke up at 40 and I thought, ‘well it doesn’t matter now, maybe kids wasn’t meant to be.’
“I have always been so career driven that I just thought ‘trust the universe and go with it.’”
Hayley carried on with her work projects, including playing the lead role Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie on a UK tour and starring in comedy feature Eaten by Lions, which was filmed in Blackpool.
In the interim she met her now fiance Adrian and at the end of last year, Hayley was planning on relocating to America to see what work were available there, when she found out she was pregnant.
She reveals: “I was all set and then boom - I got pregnant out of the blue.
“I’m a big believer in fate and I truly believe I was meant to wait until I met my partner Adrian and my life had balance and I was finally settled.
“Myself and Adrian were over the moon when we found out, as it was such a shock, but sadly it wasn’t to be as four weeks later I miscarried.
“But I wasn’t sad. All that told me was I was still able to get pregnant, even at the ripe old age of 42, so we tried again and within a matter of weeks I was pregnant again.
“The pregnancy was tough. I was diagnosed with polyhydramnios, which means I had too much amniotic fluid, so I was massive! And being only 5ft2. I was carrying a lot of extra weight.
“Doctors decided to bring Jasper early by C-section on October 12.
“It was an incredible birth but I have to admit I have found the recovery incredibly hard.”
Hayley is now settling into motherhood and similar to other celebrity mums, like Stacey Solomon and Giovanna Fletcher, she is keen to portray a realistic picture on social media as she admits it is hard.
She reveals: “Jasper is just amazing. I am so in love with him and he’s made my life.
“It’s like I’ve known him forever.
“It’s not easy though, I have lots of sleepless nights as he gets fussy about feeding at night time and I’ve spend many a night sobbing in the kitchen at 3am wondering how I’m going to soothe him or get him to sleep.
“But I think all new mums go through this.
“I think it’s important for people in the public eye to be honest and not just show the ‘perfect baby’ image on social media all the time.
“All new parents struggle in some way or another. And it’s okay.
“It’s okay to cry and it’s okay to ask for help. I’ve done both - a lot.
“I got some help from a sleep consultant called Lisa Lamb. She was amazing and really helped me with Jasper’s sleep routine.
“I’ve also been to a breast feeding clinic to get some help with feeding too.
“Being a mum is the best and hardest job I’ll ever have. I am loving every single second.”
Hayley is now making the most of her time at home with Jasper, as she will be returning to work at some point next year.
She says: “I have to and want to go back to work next year.
“As much as I’d love to be a stay-at-home mum - and I really would - I also have bills to pay and sadly I just can’t afford to take a year off.
“And also, I love my job. I’m actually excited to get back to work.
“I want to be a working mum and I’m looking forward to what role I take on next. I also want to take Jasper to work with me. I have a lot of actor friends all offering to babysit, so lucky me.”