The past 12 months have been a whirlwind for former TOWIE star Jess Wright.
Not only did she finally get to walk down the aisle to marry businessman William Lee-Kemp last September, she also welcomed her first child, Presley, in May.
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Jess, 36. The couple’s wedding was delayed several times due to Covid before they finally got their dream day in Mallorca, surrounded by friends and family.
And despite dreaming of motherhood for a very long time, Jess recently confessed that becoming a parent is a lot harder than she ever thought possible as she opened up about her postnatal depression.
Here, she tells new how she’s bouncing back after a rocky few months…
Hi, Jess! Little Presley is gorgeous! How are you finding being a mum now?
It’s amazing. It’s just something you can’t put into words really.
It’s an incredible, crazy and wonderful journey.
You recently spoke about your difficult start to motherhood.
Do you still have tough days?
Sometimes, but my hormones are fine now. Originally they were all over the place, and it was a crazy few weeks. But they subsided, and thankfully I felt completely normal again. I hear from so many girls now, and some of them are still suffering a few months on – or even a year later, so my heart goes out to them, because it’s not easy when you have a difficult birth.
Did you take anything to ease your hormones?
No. They suddenly just balanced out. I think it was all the hormones from the pregnancy and giving birth.
I was induced but I had a C-section in the end, so there were many factors to it. Since then, Presley and I have got to know each other, and we’ve found ourselves in a lovely routine. We’re in a nice little bubble.
Are you back to your pre-baby weight now?
Not quite. I’m definitely not back to where I was, but I’m working hard at the gym and I’m trying to eat a little bit cleaner.
Having said that, I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself because I only had a baby a few months ago.
It is difficult when you give birth and then look in the mirror and say
to yourself, “How do I get back to where I was?”
Especially at the beginning, when you’ve just had a C-section, and you’re not allowed to do anything physical. I couldn’t even go on a dog walk for a few weeks, so that was tough.
Although, I think it’s a case of remembering that I did something amazing by carrying a child for nine months, so what I look like isn’t important.
Has it made you appreciate your body even more by seeing what it can do?
Yes, it really does. I feel so empowered that I carried this child.
He’s started to show his personality and he’s smiling back at me all the time, and he loves to watch Mickey Mouse on the TV.
It feels amazing and rewarding to think I carried him. I don’t think I’ll ever get my head around it.
When did you start exercising again after the birth?
I went back to the gym at six weeks, and I’ve been going ever since then. I feel great for it. It makes me feel alive, and I’m so lucky I have my mum around the corner – she pops in while I go to the gym for 45 minutes.
It’s fantastic to be able to go to the gym again because even at the end of my pregnancy, I couldn’t do anything active as I was so heavy.
How often do you get to go?
I go two to three times a week. I feel it also helps with my recovery because it makes me strong again. I have weighed myself, and I’m on my way to getting back to where I was, but I’m not there yet. I think it will definitely take a while. I just want to be fit again.
What do you do at the gym?
I’ve got a personal trainer once a week, and then I do some fitness classes like HIIT. Sometimes I do weights and run – basically a mixture to keep me motivated.
Do you use this time away from Presley to focus on you?
I think it’s important to have a bit of the life I did before [I became a mum], and for me that was going to the gym. They say a happy mother is a happy baby, so you need to take care of your health as well as the baby’s.
Do you ever feel pressure to look a certain way?
Yes, of course. I can’t help but feel when I’m out and about that people are looking at me and judging.
It’s difficult because there’s that fine line of not caring as it’s irrelevant, but also people seeing you and thinking you don’t look how you used to.
As a first-time mum in the public eye, that can be hard, so you need to have a thick skin. The pressure can get on top of you a little bit, but if I’m happy and healthy that’s all that matters.
Have any of your pregnancy cravings remained?
No. I craved a lot of sugar at the end of my pregnancy and luckily that’s gone. I was eating so much chocolate back then.
You will celebrate your wedding anniversary in September, and what a year it’s been. How will you both mark the occasion?
We may go away for it with the baby, which we’re looking into
at the minute. I can’t believe it’s been a year – it’s been crazy.
Rochelle and Marvin Humes just renewed their wedding vows. Would you like to do the same?
Yes. I always said I would love
to renew our vows in the future, because the pandemic took away that element of excitement to an extent. It would be wonderful to do it all again in five or 10 years and do something a bit different.
Former Made In Chelsea star Louise Thompson has been vocal about her struggles since becoming a mum. Have you spoken to her?
No, I haven’t spoken to Louise, but I did reach out to her on Instagram, and I keep up to date with her posts.
I’ve been in a position where my mental health’s not been great, so it is important to reach out. I hope she’s OK.
I felt so bad for her going through what she did. Motherhood isn’t a bed of roses all the time, so it’s crucial not to paint this perfect picture because ultimately that’s what makes people feel worse if they’re already down.
How many children would you like in the future?
Oh gosh! Ask me in a couple of years – I’m not sure. We might have another one, or maybe two more, but not for a while.
Jess is working with Owlet. The Smart Sock Plus works from newborn to age five, tracking oxygen level, heart rate and sleep trends for peace of mind. See owletbabycare.co.uk.
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