Andrea Byrne reflects on her first weeks being a new mum

Andrea and husband Lee welcomed Baby Jemima into the world on Valentines day 2019 Credit: Andrea Byrne

For forever more, the most romantic day of the year, will have a new meaning for our little family.

At half past midnight on 14th Feb 2019, 11 days before my due date, we thought we would almost certainly be having a Valentine’s baby. My waters broke very early that morning (in a fashion that I assumed only happened in the movies) and we hurriedly made our way to hospital.

As fate would have it, Jemima Hazel Rhona Byrne was not destined to enter the world until the following day at 20.27. The 15th. And very aptly of course Lee’s fullback shirt number throughout his professional rugby career. She is the most wonderfully perfect little being we could possibly have hoped for - and it’s incredible to have her in our lives.

Her arrival triggered what I have decided to call a magical kind of chaos.

After a week in hospital due to a few complications with both me and Jemima, we have begun to settle into a brand new life at home as a six. Myself, Lee, Jemima and the schnauzers Hank, Marcy and Doug of course who, incidentally, instantly adopted Jemima as one of their pack! There’s a high chance she’ll bark before she talks!

In the Byrne household, overnight, multitasking has taken on a whole new meaning (I’m writing this as I breastfeed) and rocking has become a new sport. I’m so accustomed to bouncing Jemima to sleep cradled in my arms, I even started swaying with one of the dogs the other day! And it is amazing how much that subtle movement gets the steps ticking up on the old fitness tracker. I’m nailing that 10k daily target like never before!

Jemima was all kitted up to watch Wales win the Grand Slam Credit: Andrea Byrne

Several weeks in though and we still haven’t totally figured out anything!

Least of all the intricacies of the modern baby’s ‘travel system’ - what was, in the 80s when I grew up, just called a pram or push chair, is today made up of several attachments with a multitude of levers all, I’m convinced, designed to catch out the sleep-deprived new parent. Sooner or later I know I’ll be the one stranded with a screaming newborn in a supermarket car park unable to collapse the contraption to fit it back in the boot. In fact, never mind the years of pressures in live telly, in my new ‘mum life’ it’s possibilities like these which really get my heart racing and encapsulate my biggest fears.

So, if you do see me out and about at the shops with Jemima, by all means come and say hi, and if it’s past closing time, the sun is going down and we’re looking lonely, there’s every chance we may need a hand with some complex mechanics!