Introducing Katie Piper. Truly an iconic figure, Katie is now eight months pregnant with her first child. In this exclusive interview, she talks about her hopes and fears for her baby daughter, plus ginger biscuits, morning sickness and why she can’t go a day without a chocolate milkshake (or three).
How old will you be when you have your baby?
What’s your due date?
“If it’s a natural birth my due date is 27th March but it’s likely to be C-section, in which case it’ll be early March.”
What does your birth plan include?
“I’d hoped to have a natural birth but I’ll probably need a C-section; I have breathing problems and scar tissue in my nose and as my diaphragm moves up I can’t breathe properly. There’s also scar tissue on my stomach where I had rib cartilage removed to reconstruct my nose, and from a feeding tube for an injury to my esophagus. It’s getting quite painful so the doctors are worried about the pushing.”
Have you chosen a name yet, or got a shortlist?
“We thought it was a boy! So we’ve had to choose a new shortlist!”
Did you choose to find out the sex of your baby before they arrived?
“We decided to find out and we’re having a little girl. We couldn’t wait.”
Complete the sentence: “Right now I can’t live without…”
“Chocolate milkshakes! 3 or 4 bottles of Yazoo chocolate milkshake a day. It has to be really cold, in a glass with a straw. I buy it in the supermarket then drink it in the car!”
What are the best bits of pregnancy?
“Going about everyday normal life then I’ll feel a kick and I think oh my goodness I’m growing a little life inside of me. I didn’t know whether I’d be able to have children so to feel that movement is such an amazing thing. It’s a really wow moment. It’s a real privilege.”
And the worst bits of pregnancy?
“I was really, really sick to begin with. For the first 4 or 5 months I didn’t tell anyone that I worked with on Body Shockers (Katie’s series on Channel 4) that I was pregnant. I kept coming in being sick thinking, “I bet they think I’m hungover!” I don’t know why they call it morning sickness – it’s all day. It was every day in the 1st trimester including a projectile vomit on Oxford Street! The only thing to alleviate it was constant eating. I had all these plans to have a really healthy pregnancy – and all I want to do is eat!
Complete the sentence: “I wish I’d known…”
“I should have just got new bras straight away. I’d get in a cab at the end of the day and feel so uncomfortable I had to undo it! I thought maternity bras would be really frumpy, I didn’t realise they were so nice!“
Tell us why you love Kiddicare
“I went to the Lakeside store – I was amazed. It’s completely new territory for me but I felt like I belonged! It wasn’t overwhelming or scary; in fact it’s easy because there’s everything you want in one place. I was worried it was all going to cost thousands but I thought it was affordable, plus there’s all the great brands.”
How have you prepared for baby?
“We’ve painted the nursery and had a lovely baby shower; such gorgeous gifts! Animal print leggings and a dressing gown with little ears! We’ve also been on a first aid course; it was really useful. It covered resuscitation, choking and what to do if baby’s not breathing. It just feels really reassuring to know.”
Which other parents do you think are inspirational parents?
“I think Kate and William are doing a great job as young parents with all the other pressures of their roles. I loved following Kate’s pregnancy – I feel like myself as and not as other women can relate to her more than previous royals who have had babies. It seems normal and down to earth.”
What are your hopes, dreams and fears for your daughter?
“I just want her to find her own way in the world and do whatever she’s passionate about. I’ll support and encourage her whatever but I don’t want to bring up a child that’s mollycoddled – I want her to be resilient. I think I have natural fears for my child – the world’s changing so much with access to the internet and social media – things that can make children vulnerable.”
You’ve been through some dark days in the past. How have you found the strength to get through it?
“My own mum is classic ‘stiff upper lip’ Brit. She doesn’t believe in wallowing in self-pity, she’s all about endurance; giving up isn’t an option because there’s a life to lead. I always remember her saying ‘you don’t go through all this intensive care to fight for life and not to live it’. She’s absolutely right – life’s for living, not for moaning about what’s happened in the past.”
What do you admire your own parents most for?
“My mum’s a teacher – she dedicated a lot of her life to us as she was off in school holidays and both of my parents made us their world and always put us first. My mum and dad didn’t hesitate in putting their lives on hold when I was attacked. If I can be a tiny bit like my mum I’ll be really happy.”
How have you coped with pregnancy hormones?
“Some days I’m really happy and excited, other days I feel a bit unconfident or like everything’s out of my control. I think it’s important to step back and give yourself a pat on the back and say ‘this is an amazing thing I’m doing!’
What have you worn throughout your pregnancy?
“My regular clothes made me a bit miserable when they didn’t fit anymore! I did really well on the high street for basics and got a couple of tops from Isabella Oliver. I love clothes that fit my bump and show it, while not restricting me. My maternity jeans are from Seraphine – I went for an under the bump style but everyone says over the bump are also really comfy and supportive.”
Don’t miss our exclusive interviews with our Inspirational Parents paralympian Dame Sarah Storey and Apprentice finalist Claire Young. Stay firmly in the know by following our #inspirationalparents on Twitter.
Visit baby specialist Kiddicare for all your bump to baby essentials.