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Presenter and mum of 2, Kirsty Gallacher, talked to goodtoknow about being a mum, her unplanned pregnancy, having Post-Natal Thyroiditis and eating lots of bacon! Here’s how we got on…
How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?
I felt wonderful because we’d been trying to have another baby and luckily for us it didn’t take very long. Our first one wasn’t planned and our second one was – it was lovely when I knew I was pregnant, it was a really fabulous feeling. Obviously, with Oscar it was an amazing surprise but it was also quite shocking so with Jude it was a little bit calmer.
I had a horrendous pregnancy the first time round, I was very healthy but, at the same time, very ill. I get very sick – so I was sick for 7 months basically. And the thing is you don’t know if you’re going to be the same the second time as the first time and apparently it does get worse because you’re more tired and you have more going on in your life, more kids – so to have a third I’d better beware! It’s like a hangover – horrible feeling!
What about weird cravings, did you have any of those?
Yes, I’ve had some weird cravings and one has continued – which is worrying! In the beginning, I wanted carbs all the time; bread and chips which isn’t me because I don’t usually eat all of that stuff. But crispy bacon – I desperately needed crispy bacon! Again I don’t eat a lot of bacon but that was one of my cravings. And Soreen malt loaf; I love it so much. I was addicted to it in my second pregnancy and I’m still addicted to it. I had a little bit every day I think…
What was it like looking after a baby all of a sudden? Was it scary?
It was unexpected but it was also the right time to do it. I was very ready and we’d been together a long time – I was 30 so I wasn’t too young. 30 is a good age and I think you’re often ready for the next stage as a woman. Bringing him home from hospital was a very strange feeling. I was sobbing about him going in the car because I was worried about his safety – so when we left the hospital I’ll never forget the sick feeling in my stomach of putting him in the car to leave ready to go on a motorway. I remember thinking, ‘This is horrendous’. So, yeah, you do realise the full extent of your responsibility and what your dealing with. The responsibility is massive and that never goes away.
So it must have been hard returning to work and leaving your boys for the first time…
Yes, it is hard. I went back to work quite quickly with both of them – I think about six weeks – I was very upset going back to work. Even though the days were short and I chose wisely what I was doing, I still felt nervous leaving at any time. I worry now, back at Sky Sports, as I’m full time but half my brain is always thinking, ‘are my children OK?’ Especially, if people have to ferry them around – like picking Oscar up from school – I do worry a lot. I do get a bit worked up and I am a worrier anyway.
We do a lot of recipes on the site – and we really want to know, what’s your signature dish?!
I’m not a massive cook because I don’t get a lot of time – but we eat quite a lot of vegetarian food. I buy minced Quorn – my kids don’t have a clue that it’s not meat. You can do all sorts of things with it like shepherd’s pie and bolognese – it’s very quick and easy.
We’re currently running a campaign to help fight the obesity crisis in the UK right now, it’s called Goodtomove. How important is it for kids to be active?
It’s vital for kids to be active. Great for fitness reasons and health reasons but also to be in the fresh air and outside. Oscar and Jude go for walks a lot – we walk the dog and they run around – we take a football and a rugby ball and they do a lot of kicking and passing – it’s quite lucky they’ve got a rugby player dad! Oscar’s just found out that he loves boomerangs so that’s great.
You suffered from Post-Natal Thyroiditis – can you tell us how it felt and how you coped?
Post-natal Thyroiditis – it’s very difficult actually. I had flu symptoms and my hair was falling out in clumps. I was like an old woman, achey knees and back and my skin was very bad. The doctor said he thought I might be anaemic but he tested me and we found that I had a hyper-active thyroid – so I had more than the normal amount of Thyroxine in my system, over double I think, which is really dangerous. It makes you very nervy, agitated and stressy – often you find people shake quite a lot. I lost so much weight as well. People thought it was because we were under pressure to look good on TV but absolutely not. If it’s post-natal, it does balance usually and you have to be watched very carefully. I had to have a radioactive test, which wasn’t very nice, as I couldn’t go anywhere near my newborn baby or the dog or anyone! But luckily it showed that mine was post-natal. I fluctuated and went back to normal in about 7 months. If you have it, think positively and be patient because you don’t feel great and they don’t want to put you on tablets if you’re post-natal.
Another big topic for mums out there is losing the baby-weight. Is it an issue for you too?
I’m lucky because I’ve always been very active and I don’t find it difficult to regulate my weight but that’s not the same for a lot of people, I understand that. When you have a baby, you’ve been through quite a traumatic experience not just mentally but physically too. I think you need to realise what your doing and how big a task it is – I think there should be no pressure whatsoever for women to lose weight. When I started, it wasn’t about losing weight it was actually just about feeling a bit more active. You’re stuck inside all the time, breastfeeding, feeling sluggish and I wanted to get outside with some fresh air and break free! So when I could, I did some fast walking and pushed the buggy up a hill and down a hill – which was great exercise. That’s the way to start – there should be no pressure – as long as you get back to doing something to help your heart and fitness levels.
Finally, do you have any advice for pregnant mums reading right now?
There’s no good time to have a baby – it sprung up on me – but it definitely was the right time. I thought I’d have one at 32 but I was 30 – I realised women think later now. You need support, obviously, because it’s very emotionally and physically stressful but wonderful at the same time. As a person, it’s made me much more selfless, more emotional and you empathise with people and situations a lot more.
Kirsty Gallacher is supporting Beko Mums United – an online community helping mums and families to have fun through football. Visit
www.facebook.com/bekomumsunited for her tips and a chance to win great prizes.