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Rachel gearing up for a party to celebrate first birthday of her little boy

WELL-KNOWN beauty Rachel Kavanagh is gearing up to celebrate her son's first birthday.

The 28-year-old said it's "hard to believe" that a whole year has passed since baby Rhys first arrived into the world two days before Christmas, following his traumatic birth.

Rhys, her baby with partner Shane, was born a whole month early by emergency C-section on December 23.


He had to spend Christmas Day in an incubator as his worried mum waited anxiously. In all, the new arrival spent eight days in the neo-natal unit in Mount Carmel being monitored by doctors.

Yet the owner of Rockstar Tan said that, while her son got a dramatic start to life, he's now an active little tot who couldn't be any healthier.

"It was all quite terrifying and it has been some year for us.

"He was small for so long and it's great to see how much he's thriving now.

"He's trying to chat away and crawling around the place, meeting all his milestones," she explained.

"I was looking at the Christmas decorations this week and I found one that I put on his incubator when he was born and it kind of brought it all back. He's doing brilliantly now, which goes to show the level of care he got in the hospital, which was just amazing."

She added: "The staff were brilliant."

It's now business as usual for the former Fair City actress, who has turned her attentions to building up her tan brand.

She has also got her figure back to her pre-pregnancy shape -- but admits that it wasn't an easy road.

"It hasn't been easy at all. It's not true that it just falls off you running after the baby -- that only happens if you're not eating," she continued.

She signed up with a personal trainer named Alan Conway, who runs boot camp courses and she works out with him twice a week, as well as signing up for a running course.

Rachel also credits her trim figure with finding a new passion for boxing, which she said makes a "massive difference" to her shape.

"It has been really tough, but I've seen some really good results," she added.

And the engaged mum will also be walking down the aisle in 2013 after confirming how she and her partner hope to marry in the south of France next summer.


Her other half, whom she has been with for more than six years, popped the question during a romantic trip to Donegal last year.

She said no date has been set yet -- it's something she'll look at in the New Year -- but she and partner Shane want to have a "small and intimate" wedding.