Una Healy: My precious moments
Saturday's singer Una Healy chats about her precious moments being a mum to Aoife
Did you always plan to be a mum?
I wasn't the broodiest person growing up, but then it hit me when I was heading for 'that age', around 30!
Did you enjoy your pregnancy?
I did, I really loved it. Perhaps the hormones just suited my personality! I was more laidback, I got on with everything fine.
Describe birth in one word?
Magical miracle. Oh no, that's two!
Favourite thing about being a mum?
That's hard to say. It's such a lovely feeling, the massive amount of love you have for this little person – and also the massive amount of love I can now see coming back to me. She's still so small, but when she calls me 'mummy', gosh, I'm so proud of her!.
Best advice you've been given?
My mother gave me so much advice from the very beginning, just day-to-day, practical things. She stayed with me for the first six months, she moved over from Ireland, so I had the benefit of her experience. And I'm still on the phone to her every day about stuff.
Perfect family day?
Sunday is our favourite day, as Ben [Foden, Northampton Saints and England rugby
player] always has a match on Saturdays. We love going out for lunch. We drive into the country, have a walk, and then eat. It's perfect.
Why did you choose the name Aoife Belle?
Aoife is Irish and means 'beautiful', I thought it'd be a lovely baby name for her to have. And Ben's mum's maiden name was Bell, so we added the 'e' for Belle, which also means 'beautiful'! So really, her name is Beautiful Beautiful!
Any advice for new mums?
You have to take each day as it comes. Every baby is different, and so anyone else's advice might well not apply to you. That said, you know, if you're struggling with something, there are so many forums out there, all full of other mums who are having the same issues. If you're shy you don't even have to join, but it can make you feel loads better just reading what the other mums are saying.
What have you had to give up?
I'm still the same person really but I don't jump at the opportunity to go out at night anymore. I'd rather come home to Aoife.
Biggest mistakes you've made?
Dozens of them! We all make them don't we? That's how we learn. I remember giving Aoife some milk in a bottle once and I hadn't tested the temperature, and it was too hot. Oh, her little face! I felt awful. Always test the milk!
Has Aoife started talking? First word?
At six months she was saying 'mamamama', but I think she was just really making the noise, rather than saying 'mama'! Then it changed to 'dadada'. She's starting to talk, but no sentences yet. I can ask her where her daddy is and she'll look around for him.
What makes her laugh?
She's really ticklish, which is useful because she hates being changed. I can always tickle her and we get through the nappy situation.
Most embarrassing moment with her?
Me just being a new mum was embarrassing, doing things not quite right. But you live and learn. I remember Aoife was in her car seat, and I was putting it in the car, and I hadn't strapped her in to it. She didn't fall out, nothing bad happened at all. But I thought 'Oh my god! If anyone saw that they would think I am such a bad mother.'
And your biggest panic?
When she was only a day old, in hospital, she suddenly went blue. The midwife saw her, grabbed her off me and pressed the panic button. You can imagine what it felt like. She was put into ICU for 24 hours while they ruled out various things, and put her on antibiotics. It turned out to be fluid on her lung, which she eventually brought up, but it was horrible.
Is Aoife a daddy's girl?
Some days she is. She'll give him hugs, but she doesn't really give him kisses like she does with me because he's always got stubble!
What does Ben do better than you?
He makes her laugh and squeal, swinging her around, doing all the rough and tumble stuff. He actually took her out on the pitch when she went to her first rugby match. They won the game and she was like a little mascot, wearing the Northampton shirt. Then there were pictures in the paper of him swinging her around – it looked like he had her upside down by one leg! He knows what he's doing though, he's careful. And she loves it.
What's Aoife's favourite song?
The one from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: 'Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety-dog...!'
What's her favourite toy?
Our house is so colourful! We have loads of toys. But her favourite is her Little People Disney Princess Castle. It's got lots of buttons and noises, it's really exciting for her.
What would you like to pass on to her?
My mother's my best friend, so I hope that I can pass on that close relationship.
What has Aoife taught you?
Loads of things. How to become a mother, how to be responsible. You can read a lot in books, but at the end of the day it's your baby who teaches you everything.
Has she ever shocked you?
Last week she bit my arm, really hard – that shocked me! She wasn't even throwing a tantrum or anything like that. I think she just wanted to know what would happen.
What do mums have to accept?
That they will never be perfect, they'll make mistakes and that's life.
What product couldn't you live without?
The baby changing unit – everything was just to hand and organised, and it was especially great because I had a c-section, and it meant I didn't have to bend.
What's your guilty pleasure?
A glass of red wine.
What would you invent for new mums?
Sleeping dust. No, hang on. That doesn't sound very good does it?! It's so hard getting through life without sleep though.
Would you like more children?
I'd like to have maybe two more in the future, but for now, just the one is enough.
Una Healy is supporting the Fisher-Price 'Little People... Big Discoveries' campaign.
She was chatting to Pip Jones.