Precious moments: Claire Sweeney
The actress explains how having a baby has changed her approach to life
Did you always want to be a mum?
From a very young age, I knew I didn’t want to leave this world without having a child. I had two miscarriages before Jaxon came along, and I was 43, so he really was the most wanted baby in the world.
Who’s been your biggest parenting influence?
My mum was very relaxed and I’ve adopted that approach; there’s no point worrying unless you have to. Mum’s always there if I need support, but I don’t always follow her advice. When Jaxon was tiny she told me to let him cry once in a while, but I couldn’t – I can’t stand the idea of him being upset. While I was pregnant the internet was reassuring at times, as I was never sure what I was experiencing was normal.
Describe birth in one word.
So what happened?
I was lucky; I had a really lovely pregnancy then, because Jaxon was breech, I had a caesarean, which was surreal as I ended up as high as a kite on anaesthetic. But despite the fogginess, nothing could quell my excitement, and the minute I saw my son the connection I felt with him completely blew me away. It was like nothing else.
Best thing about being a mum?
If I had to name one thing, it would be the intense love I feel for my baby – a strength of emotion I have never experienced before. Every time I look at my son, I think, ‘This kid is just fantastic,’ and the love seems to grow a bit more each day.
Claire is patron of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation; and currently touring with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She was talking to Lucy Benyon.