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Louise Roe
My Journey Oct 30, 2019
12 Minutes

My Journey: Louise Roe

Our philosophy is that when it comes to fertility, conception, pregnancy and early years every person goes on their very own unique journey.

We are simply here to support that. Raising awareness and providing tools and the latest science/experts for you to pick and choose from.

We love hearing about inspiring people’s journeys. There is usually lots to learn so we decided to start to share these!

First up is the lovely Louise Roe.

Louise is a bad ass career girl, wife, TV presenter, author, style guru and mother of one. We wanted to understand her path to parenthood and how she manages to juggle it all. Plus, what she has learnt on her own journey.

TJ: What made you decide that it was the right time to start a family?

Louise: We had been married a year or so, and we just felt ready. We also thought it would take longer than it did! So, we didn’t really have a fixed time line. We just thought we would see what happened. It ended up happening pretty quick which was lucky. 

How aware were you about fertility before you started out?

I think generally in this day and age people are having babies later. Particularly in certain cities. We were living in LA at the time, I was very aware of this. I was actually a bit paranoid that I wouldn’t be fertile and may have trouble. Particularly as there seemed to be so many friends of mine having IVF, having trouble or had decided to go down the route of surrogacy or adoption. In the end, I was more worried about it than I needed to be which was fortunate. 

What are some of the modern day challenges that you have noticed/experienced on the path to parenthood? 

Nowadays it seems definitely more common that both partners will work in full time jobs. Or run their own companies. I think that is definitely a double edged sword. If you work for yourself, as I do, it means you are less likely to have traditional maternity leave. The juggle is real!

Obviously this can be great as it means you can be around more. However, the flip side is that it can mean you don’t get much of a real break. Certainly for me, working in the media I felt I didn’t get much of a break. People were interested to follow what was going on straight away. I also notice that people seem to ignore the ‘out of office’ notice these days! However, I did try and stick to mine. I got well prepared ahead of Honor’s birth. I just then really tried to savour the time I had. 

When it came to preparation for having a baby, is there anything you did health/wellness wise?

I didn’t go overboard. I think living in LA you can almost end up going against it. Everyone is totally obsessed with health and fitness, sometimes to the point that it actually stops people having fun. Lucky for me, I had a great doctor, who is still a friend of mine. She was almost quite European in her approach. For example, she said, if I want a small glass of wine once a week if I enjoy it and it helps me relax then go for it. Feeling relaxed and enjoying yourself counts for a lot.

To be honest, I have always been health conscious and exercised. I have always had moderation in my diet, so I didn’t really change that much. 

Many of us find conception/pregnancy quite stressful, did you have any techniques that helped make the process less anxiety ridden?! 

I’m awful. I stress out and worry about everything! Like quite a lot of people now I tried to do things like turning my phone off a couple of hours before bed. I had the occasionally massage. I also just really tried to have a laugh and relax as much as possible. It doesn’t always work of course! Outside circumstances can affect you. So was I relaxed? Well, as much as I could be!

What was your experience of pregnancy? People have such different experiences!

I remember at the six week point when I had the confirmation of my pregnancy. I said to the doctor, ‘oh guess what I feel great!’. She looked at me and said ‘well…it tends to come on around now’.

Sure enough the very next day I felt sick as a dog! To be honest, it was pretty unrelenting all through the first trimester. Thankfully, it went away for the second and I felt full of energy, but then it came back again for the third.

I loved my pregnancy as I felt lucky it happened easily and it was a bonding experience, I loved feeling Honor kick and move. But, I didn’t love it for how sick I felt. I am not one of those people who is an earth mamma and who can’t wait to get pregnant again and again. 

Did you exercise during your pregnancy. If so what did you do and how did that change vs what you were doing before?  

I did exercise. That being said, I was always very careful about asking every instructor what should I do and change to accommodate my pregnancy. I did everything from Barre class, which I did up to two days before. I did also take private antenatal classes for Pilates with a specialist. I was even doing this the day before I went into labour.

My doctor thinks it helped with regards to a speedier deliver. That being said, there were things that I did stop. Spinning was one, as I didn’t want my heart rate up too high. I also stopped doing Barry’s Boot-Camp which is a quite high intensity work-out. I switched for a gentle circuit class and took it easy. My approach to exercise was to do it as long as I was feeling good. 

Did you find any resource that was a particular support during pregnancy. Be it friends/books/websites? 

Well your site was a great support and very helpful! Particularly when I had just given birth. I learnt the hard way about ‘googling’ things. I started to read crazy things like you can give birth if you’re pushing too hard when peeing!! 

How did you find that your lifestyle changed during this time?

My lifestyle did change. A lot. All the cliches are true! That being said, I did have friends who were pregnant who carried on going out. For me, my energy was lower. I just found myself very happy to relax at home. Part of that I think was because we were both still working and travelling quite a bit. So I was exhausted by the end of the day. I was just happy to have friends over for dinner and chill at home. I definitely stopped going out as much as I used to.

What about your mindset? How did that change? Did you have any major challenges/concerns?

It definitely changed and I think for the better. I know it sounds like a cliche but it really is true. For me, it put life into perspective. LA is a bubble where sometimes peoples priorities aren’t in the right order. I just found myself really calming down and feeling very lucky. Particularly as some of my friends were struggling. I started to feel that whatever else happened didn’t really matter. That was a nice feeling . I am a person who has historically worried about little things and I started to learn to do that a bit less. 

Can you talk to us about your birth experience?

I was actually very lucky. I remember going to a talk with a nurse. She was saying that the only birth experiences you tend to hear about are usually one of two extremes. It is either very quick or horrible/where things go wrong. You never really hear of people having a nice normal birth!

Mine was very quick. Just over 4hrs. Click here for a look at the video I did all about my birth experience. Initially I didn’t actually think I was having contractions. I did the usual ‘distract’. I got in the shower at 4am and then got back into bed. Then my waters burst. In a very dramatic fashion, which they tell you only happens in the movies, but I really felt it!

We rushed to hospital, which was luckily only 5 mins away as I was already having contractions a minute apart. I didn’t have to wait very long! Fortunately I managed to get an epidural, which I had wanted. Then Honor was born. 

It was fast and furious but I felt very supported. It was quite funny actually, which I didn’t expect. My doctor was on a bike ride and ended up cycling into the hospital as it was the quickest way. I was ready to push, but they told me to wait til she got there! Didn’t know you could do that! She still had the helmet mark on her head when Honor was born so we were laughing about it during my labour. It was actually really nice as I certainly wasn’t expecting to laugh during labour.

I heard a lot of negative scary stories in the lead up to mine about birth. So I like to spread a more positive experience if I can! 

If you were going to go for it again, is there anything you’d do differently? Any pearls of wisdom after your own experience?

Well we have have moved back to UK so now it would definitely be a different experience. I think I would relax more knowing what I do now. Obviously I can say that now that I do have a child, its very hard to think like that before you have had one.

I think I would do a lot of the same things I did. I would have still read all the books. People say you are more relaxed on the second so I’m sure I will be. I think I’ve also learnt how clever babies are. They really do sleep when they need to and they will tell you when they have had enough food. That being said obviously they still need a major guiding hand! 

How have you found being a working mum? What has helped you? What have you felt like you needed more help/support with? 

Actually what has helped me is to talk to other working mums. I have noticed that there is actually so much support out there, even in the two years since I became a mum. There seems to be so much more help online and even better facilities. Popping up like crazy. Things like offices where there is child care. Even more support in airports. There are breastfeeding pods. I didnt know about those when I was travelling!

However, there are also moments where it is too much. But I’ve realised that is very normal. It is a pendulum swing. My friend once said that you have to realise that ‘balance’ is fleeting. So enjoy the moments where you have it, but you have to realise and accept it will go. The good news is that it will come back again. Like a pendulum. That really helped me. 

What do you see as the biggest challenges raising a child in our modern world?

I think keeping them as children as long as possible. People used to say that children in cities grow up too fast. The difference now is that most children have access to screens and social media. They also see you using your phone. So even in the middle of the countryside it is hard.

It is hard to protect children and get that balance because. Banning screens altogether is not necessarily the right answer either. There are some educational programmes even for one year olds and schools now use technology. It is part of our lives. It’s finding balance.

I think there is also this pressure on parents. When your child is doing things/milestones and the whole ‘my child is a genius’ thing. The reality is they all get there in the end. As my friend said: no adult crawls into a cafe on all fours! Remembering that and not stressing out too much I think is helpful. It is part of their journey. They should be allowed to enjoy that and go at their own pace. I also think kids need to be kids. They need to get muddy and messy and they need to repeate things over and over again and not just be told to get on with it. 

What are your go-to brands/support networks/resources?

I love Medela for breastfeeding. They do great pumps and bottles. I couldn’t have done it without that. Honor has eczema and has very sensitive skin. We use Naturopathica who make an amazing Calendula cream. I must have tried about 20! Any biodegradable wipes and coconut oil on her skin. I still use that as a very as a gentle moisturiser. I also like Wellements for their slightly more natural lotions and potions.  

Finally – you’re a super successful bad ass career girl, wife and mum. What does a day in the life of Louise Roe look like? How do you fit it all in?!

What I love about what I do is that no day is the same. So, one day I might be on the way to NYC for a shoot. I love the fact that I still get to travel. I find it refreshes me as a mum and is great to do occasionally if you can. Other days I might be shooting near where we live. This week we are shooting a tabletop thanksgiving story for example. It is just so varied. I’m lucky I get to do that. It may be also writing a piece that is really heartfelt or personal or going on TV. No two days are the same. 

How do I fit it all in? With lots of help! It is the help of an amazing nanny, husband and dad and also grandparents. Which is why we are spending time back in the UK to be near them and have them help! It is definitely not just one person who looks after a child and helps raise them. 

Ok so a couple of quick-fire final questions:

What is the one piece of advice you’d give someone who is just starting their journey?

I was told over and over: dont wish away any time because it is true that the fog of newborn-ness does go away very quickly. Then the next stage goes away quickly too, and the one after that. So you then either have to have another one to get it back or really hold onto it!

I think even when they are crying in the night and when you are shattered, remember that this time will pass. You may even be surprised to find you miss that time!

So, just try, even when you’re exhausted to enjoy it and be present in the moment. As much as you can. Obviously not possible all the time.

The other would be to put your phone away,  if you can. Friends of mine, who have slightly older children have a really good approach. They have a phone station in their kitchen. So when everyone comes home from school or work everyone’s phones go into the station in the kitchen. You can check the phone but it has to stay in that area in the kitchen. I think its a brilliant idea. 

What was the one product you couldn’t live without during your journey?

Baby Mori make really soft organic soft onesies and sleep sacks. I use them day in day out. 

What has been the one thing that surprised you the most about having a baby?

The thing thats surprised me is how much I laugh with Honor. Not just fake giggle as you think you might do with a child. Proper laughing with her! They have such amazing sense of humour from such a young age. I often find myself genuinely laughing my head off with Honor and I really love that and didnt expect it. 

To see more from Louise check out her website here or on instgram  @louiseroe

If you’d like to share your journey and inspire others please drop us an email [email protected], we would love to hear from you!——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

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