WENN Kate and daughter Clemency
Parentdish met up with three generations of the Silverton family at the Baby Show – BBC newsreader and presenter Kate Silverton, 41, her mum Patricia, and Kate's gorgeous three-month-old, Clemency.
How do you think your struggles with infertility [Kate had four cycles of IVF] affected you during pregnancy? Did you enjoy it more because Clemency is extra-precious, or less because of worries that something might go wrong after all you'd been through?
"It was utterly joyous discovering we [Kate's married to security expert Mike Heron] were pregnant. People said we might worry more but actually it was quite the reverse.
Initially it was tough because I had a big bleed at nine weeks and at A & E they said I'd miscarried.
"Having then discovered the next day that she was still around and the fact that she had been conceived naturally to us was a total miracle, so I just thought she's meant to be and really relaxed into the pregnancy. I'm not a big worrier actually.
"I suppose my overall outlook is a bit like that – I'm rather fatalistic about things. So when we thought we couldn't have children, after the initial heartache, I thought 'well this is my lot and many people have tough times and this is just my cross to bear.'"
PA Kate and her husband Mike
So it was an enjoyable time?
"I had a lovely, lovely pregnancy. The preparation was key, I think. I like Gowri Motha and she has an expression that you wouldn't run a marathon without training for it and that's her attitude to pregnancy.
"I had some holistic treatments – massage, reflexology – and that really helped with the physical side of the pregnancy such as water retention. I was also eating well and still doing lots of exercise so overall I had a general sense of wellbeing."
Do you ever feel you can't complain about the harder bits of motherhood – that after trying so hard it wouldn't be fair to then complain?
"I can understand why people [who've had fertility issues] feel that they can't complain if it's been so long but I have no issue with saying 'wow this is tough' – it's human to admit this is a difficult job.
"My sisters used to phone me and say it was hard [with their kids, before Kate had Clemency]. Amy would ring me and be saying 'I'm having a really hard day' and I'd be running around dealing with deadlines or going off to Afghanistan and I'd think 'you don't know what tough is'. But now I know.
Everyone can tell you how hard it is but you don't realise until you do it. It's an entirely new world. I haven't had any qualms about saying this is quite difficult as I think it's really important to acknowledge that.
I haven't had a nanny or anything and it's now that I really realise how important it is to have family. I miss my mum as she lives quite far away but when she is here helping me it's invaluable."
What sort of parenting style have you got?
"I read a lot beforehand as every expectant mum does. I read every book going. I really wanted to immerse myself the experience. In the first 10 days to two weeks after Clemency was born my husband and I just succumbed to her and her needs - I thought if I can just listen to her and instinctively respond to her it's kind of got to work, because that's nature's way.
But there were times when she was crying and I thought 'I've fed you, I've changed your nappy and I've winded you and you're still screaming'. It's a very steep learning curve.
"I do feel so incredibly lucky though - every day I look at her and feel blessed. I've appreciated every second."
Sometimes people dealing with infertility get well-meaning but misguided advice from friends – the 'why don't you get a dog/ adopt' type of comment. Did this happen to you and have you got any advice for those with friends going through infertility about what they can say?
"What upset me more than the things people might say was when I felt they thought they couldn't talk to me about it all and it remained the elephant in the room.
I didn't want to be pitied and didn't want people to feel sorry for me because that just made it worse.
"Some people said to me, 'it'll be fine, it'll work out' and that was rather annoying as I'd been told that it wouldn't. A friend of mine later said she knew it wouldn't necessarily be fine, but she felt embarrassed and didn't know what else to say.
"I suppose I feel more confident talking about it now – I've had a foot in both camps. When I know someone is going through this, I talk honestly and ask about how they are. Ithink that can be more cathartic than ignoring it totally."
What are the best and worst things about motherhood for you so far?
"All the clichés apply! I suppose that little smile you get when you lean over the crib in the morning.
The worst – probably in those first few weeks it had to be the sleep deprivation the sleep thing – it's an issue for everybody I know but at least I'm used to it with getting up at 3am to present breakfast TV!
Do you think you'll have any more babies?
"Well, if it happens, it happens – it would be amazing - but we're not going to go down the medical route again. For now we've got our hands more than full!"
Given we're at The Baby Show, can you tell us what your must-have/ godsend baby products are so far?
"A good changing bag, snooze shade for the cot and a classical music baby mobile – all my antenatal group girls have a specific mobile (I'm not allowed to mention particular products!) and we call it baby voodoo as every baby that goes underneath it calms down quickly and remains contented for a magical 20 minutes. My cranial osteopath recommended it. Also my breastfeeding bib [a cover-up such as this one."
Anything that you think is a waste of money?
"Lots of clothes for the first few months (elementary first mum error) that she has hardly worn!"
When do you think we'll see you back on our TV screens – will you head back to work soon?
I'm not keen to leave Clemency at the moment – she's too precious!
"I've been dabbling a bit though. I've got a nice programme out with Anne Robinson which will be shown on March 5th on BBC2, called My Life in Books. I was on set for two hours for it and one of my friends – a mum from antenatal group – was looking after Clemency jusr round the corner and she kept sending me little video clips of her, which was lovely.
"I'm not keen to rush back full time just yet. I'm self-employed though and that whole balancing and juggling that every parent knows will have to start coming into play at some stage."
Kate has asked us to say you can follow her journey through motherhood on Twitter @katesilverton1
Kate will be appearing on My Life In Books on March 5 at 6.30pm