PARENTS

Good Morning Britain Presenter Charlotte Hawkins On Baby Names, Birth Plans And Noisy Nighttimes

05/05/2015 21:46 BST | Updated 05/05/2015 21:59 BST

Charlotte Hawkins eschewed the celebrity trend for outlandish baby names and picked the traditional Ella Rose for her daughter.

But the 39-year-old Good Morning Britain presenter admits she was so "overwhelmed" by the cuteness of her newborn baby she was tempted to call her Honey Bee.

Hawkins and her husband Mark Herbert had waited a long time to become parents and had been considering IVF when they discovered she was pregnant.

Following the birth of their baby on Sunday 8 February, Hawkins needed a blood transfusion and had to stay in hospital for five nights, but she says she didn't mind as she was content just watching her long-awaited daughter sleep.

Ella Rose is now nearly three months old, so HuffPost UK Parents caught up with Hawkins to find out how life as a new mum is treating her...

charlotte hawkins

Charlotte Hawkins and Ella Rose

Ella Rose is a beautiful name, how did you choose it?

My husband Mark and I couldn't agree on many names that we both liked, so we made a shortlist of our favourites - and those names were on both our lists.

We wanted to wait until after she was born though to see what she looked like to check the name suited her. The trouble was she looked so cute we nearly ended up calling her something like Honey Bee! So we didn't finally decide until a few days after she was born.

Do you think Ella Rose looks more like you or Mark?

Most people say she looks like a real blend of both of us - although I can see parts of her that come from me and parts that come from Mark. She has Mark's eyes and my nose!

We looked up our baby pictures to see the similarities and she does look very like me when I was a baby - right down to the hair colour as well.

How are you finding being a new mum – is it what you expected? Has anything taken you by surprise?

I am loving being a new mum. Every day is magical as you never know what it will bring. It's amazing when she smiles at you, or laughs when you sing or pull a funny face.

She's developing so quickly you just want to hold onto each moment - she's going to be a teenager before we know it!

I knew being a mum was going to be full-on - but it's non-stop and I'm on my feet all day. Luckily she's sleeping for longer at night now so at least we're getting a bit more rest which helps.

I think the thing that's taken me most by surprise is the fact that babies cry even when you've fed, winded and changed them!

Did you have a birth plan?

No I went in very open-minded and flexible as I know that anything can happen and you just have to let nature take its course.

A few of my friends have found it hard when they couldn't follow their birth plan so I felt it best to just see what happened. I knew I didn't want to have any pethidine [a painkiller] but thought I'd see how it went with pain relief - but I definitely couldn't have done without it.

It's just as well I didn't have a birth plan as I was in hospital for five nights and ended up having to have a blood transfusion.

How was Mark in the delivery room? Was he calm or did he panic?

He was very calm. I think he was fascinated by everything that was going on. It was hard for him as there's no provision for dads in the hospital so he had spent two nights sleeping on the floor before she was even born - he was even more exhausted than me.

He was really supportive though and was keeping a close eye on what the doctors were doing.

What was it like when you held Ella Rose for the very first time?

It was so overwhelming. I couldn't believe we'd created this tiny being. It's such a strange feeling as you've been carrying her around for nine months wondering what she's going to look like when she comes out - and there she is right in front of you.

In the hospital I would lie there and just watch her sleep as I was so amazed that she was finally here - and grateful that she'd arrived safely.

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Ella Rose was born a bit before the shared parental leave legislation came into force, but would you have wanted to share your leave with Mark if you’d been able to?

We'd interviewed Jo Swinson on the GMB sofa so I knew it wasn't going to apply to us. I think it's a great piece of legislation though. In this day and age every family has a different working set-up and it's great to have the flexibility.

Hopefully it will get rid of some of the stigma around employers not taking on women of a certain age for fear of lengthy maternity leave - this way it could be the dad that takes the leave.

It remains to be seen how many dads will make use of it but it's having the option that's important in my view.

How is Ella Rose sleeping?

Luckily much better recently! She was waking up every three hours or so which was exhausting. She's just started to sleep for longer stretches - some nights for eight hours which is brilliant.

The only trouble is I wake up quite often just to check she's OK as I'm worried she hasn't woken up! Also I never knew how noisy babies are when they're asleep - so that wakes us up as well.

Is she feeding well?

She's feeding really well - she loves her milk so there's never been any worries about her not putting on enough weight. She didn't even lose any weight after birth which a lot of babies do and she's gone from strength to strength since.

You had your first night away from Ella Rose at the Motor Neurone Disease Association dinner on March 10 – how was it? Did you keep phoning home to check in?

It was hard - but I knew she was in safe hands as Mark was looking after her and his mum and dad were here too.

The dinner was at Buckingham Palace so we had to hand our phones in so I had no chance to phone home - but I did check as soon as I got my phone back!

Are you missing Good Morning Britain?

It's a bit strange to see them all there without me and I'm really missing them all! It's lovely being able to watch them all in the mornings when I'm feeding the baby though.

Have any of the Good Morning Britain team given you parenting advice?

Most of them have got children so they're all experts - I'm looking forward to picking their brains when I get back.

My editor gave me a flavour of what it would be like to have a new baby - he said you'll start the day thinking I'll just put my socks on and open the curtains... and by the end of the day you'll have one sock on and the curtains will still be drawn!

I didn't believe him at the time but I see now exactly what he means...

It’s early days still but do you think you’ll try for any more babies?

We spent many years trying for a baby so feel blessed to have Ella Rose - and one is enough of a handful for now!

Celebrity Babies 2015