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Andrea Byrne prepares to return to ITV Wales after 'magical' year with baby daughter Jemima

Andrea came into the ITV Wales studio ahead of her return

After giving birth to her first daughter Jemima in February 2019, Wales at Six presenter Andrea Byrne reflects on her 'magical year' on maternity leave ahead of her return to the presenting seat.

Proud parents Andrea and Lee with daughter Jemima

It’s hard for Lee and I to believe, but Jemima is just about to turn one - and she is rapidly developing an array of new skills.

Toddling and (some) talking are both very gradually being mastered.

The big birthday, though, is accompanied by mixed emotions in the Byrne household.

Whilst on the one hand, it means an end to maternity leave and an exciting Wales at Six return, I’m also naturally apprehensive about life with less Jemima in it!

Andrea describes her year with Jemima as 'magical'
Andrea with her husband Lee, daughter Jemima and their three dogs Hank, Marcy and Doug on Christmas Day

I’ve been fortunate enough to spend nearly a year looking after her and we’ve had some magical times, some chaotic times … and some magically chaotic times.

But the sleepless nights and those moments in the supermarket car park when it feels as if you need a physics degree to fold up the stroller up again and fit it in the car, all pale into insignificance as you proudly watch a little personality developing through a lot of smiles, giggles, mischief and baby babble.

I do, however, have a newfound respect for all parents out there - and I hope one day I make it look as easy as you!

Andrea has presented Wales at Six since 2008 Credit: ITV Wales

As for returning to work, I find myself pretty reassured that millions of you down the decades have survived this transition along with your babies!

So, despite missing our little girl dreadfully, I am also a little bit curious to know how she’ll react when she sees Mummy on the telly at 6 o’clock before she goes to sleep. At least I’ll be able to give her a little wink ahead of her slipping off into baby dreamtime!

On a more serious note, it’s also really important to me to be some sort of role model for Jemima as she grows up. Hopefully, by watching me do my work as a presenter and a journalist, she might just be inspired with her own ideas about what she wants to do when she’s older.

Jemima seemed to enjoy the bright lights of the studio

I’m looking forward to seeing you all on the air. Treat me gently as I ease myself back in!

If I break out into a rendition of ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ halfway through the live programme, then you’ll know something hasn’t gone quite to plan!

Ahead of her return, Andrea popped into the ITV Wales studio to speak about coming back and told fellow presenter Alexandra Hartley it was a "difficult journey" to have Jemima.

"Everyone's got their unique journeys to parenthood and ours was quite complicated so we just remind ourselves during those crazy moments of those things."

Watch the full interview with Andrea:

Andrea is back on screen on Monday 3rd February.