Corrie actress Kym Marsh (now Lomas) is mum to David, 17, Emily, 15, and Polly, one, her daughter with actor Jamie Lomas. She tells Parentdish about the joys of premature Polly reaching her milestones, and why she's not having any more children...
Polly was born seven weeks early and has just turned one, how is she doing?
Fantastically well, she's right on the money! She was so, so small when she was born [Polly weighed just over 4lb] and she has only just started fitting into clothes sized 9-12 months recently. She's made such brilliant progress, especially in the last three months and is reaching all her milestones. She's now crawling and standing up and is a very strong little girl. I can't believe a whole year has passed, talk about blink and you miss it!
Is she into everything and anything?
Absolutely, she is here, there and everywhere. Her favourite thing is going out to feed the ducks and playing with her teddy bear - sorry, "Ted!"
How are Emily and David with Polly?
They adore her, which is so lovely to see. Emily sometimes baths her and gets her ready for bed. I'm very lucky.
Two live-in babysitters then?
Not quite! But potentially when Polly's a little older - that will be very handy!
There's quite an age gap between David and Emily and Polly...
And everything has changed! Especially the rules in pregnancy with what you can and can't do. The fundamentals remain though - spend time with your children and be hands on. That's why I'm supporting the British Toy & Hobby Association's Make Time to Play' campaign. It's all about the importance of active play in children's lives. It's so important to get out and about and be active with young children.
You've spoken in the past about being a young mum, did you face prejudices?
I'm sure some young people expect things will be easy, but a lot of young mums really aren't like that, but are under such scrutiny because it's almost a given they're having a baby for a house and benefits. It's really not the case.
What advice would you give to other young mums?
Use any criticism you get as one more reason to look after your children well, pay your way and live your life. Prove everybody wrong.
You've faced criticism, especially on Twitter, about going back to work after Polly was born...
You are dammed if you do and dammed if you don't! It's like we're living in the dark ages, still with the idea women should be at home. I ignore it all and don't entertain it, especially on Twitter. I am providing for my family, end of story.
You lost your son, Archie when he was born 18 weeks early and wrote about your experience in your autobiography, From the Heart. Did writing this help you come to terms with your experience?
I wrote the book a couple of years after Archie's death so I had come to terms with it by then, couldn't have spoken about it unless I had dealt with his loss in some way. It was really cathartic writing the book and about Archie in it. A lot of people asked whether I should or shouldn't have talked about his death but it is a taboo I think people should be open about, as it happens a lot and it is helpful to be able to talk and not feel on your own with it.
What advice would you give to other parents who have had similar experiences?
With time it does get better, at first it feels like your whole world has collapsed and that you will never get over it. You need to get back up again and take each day as it comes, you sink or swim and most importantly you need to take comfort in the people around you who care about you, not to push them away as I did initially. Once I was able to talk to my family and friends I started to pick the pieces up bit by bit.
Are you planning more children?
No, my family is 100 per cent complete. I can't even contemplate having another as my pregnancies have been so very difficult. I have three fabulous children, and am so lucky. I'm all set.
What's your favourite thing about being a mum?
The feeling of pride I get when I look at them, and when other people comment. Hearing people say how lovely David and Emily are fills me with pride, and knowing they're my children makes my heart swell.
And the worst?
Probably the exhaustion and tiredness, but that's not really a bad thing, just part of life. I just love being a mum.
How much sleep do you get?
Four hours, if I'm lucky! Polly does not sleep, whatever we try. I know you shouldn't but I've even had her in with me and still no luck. I really hope she doesn't take after her big brother, he didn't sleep through until he was three! Can you imagine, everyone will be muttering, "Have you seen Kym Marsh, she looks about 90!"
Kym Marsh is launching the British Toy and Hobby Association's Make Time to Play campaign, encouraging parents to make time for their children to play for an hour a day. For more information and play tips visit Facebook.com/maketimetoplay.