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Michelle Doherty: I'm loving being a new mum

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Michelle Doherty and Mark O'Shea with their son Max

Michelle Doherty and Mark O'Shea with their son Max

Michelle Doherty

Michelle Doherty

Michelle Doherty

Michelle Doherty

Xpose presenter Michelle Doherty with Mark O'Shea and their son Max

Xpose presenter Michelle Doherty with Mark O'Shea and their son Max

Michelle Doherty

Michelle Doherty

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Michelle Doherty and Mark O'Shea with their son Max

She has graced red carpets and catwalks around the world, but these days model and Xpose presenter Michelle Doherty has other priorities - being the doting mum of six-month-old baby Max.

However, the Donegal woman admits that becoming a mother for the first time has been a huge learning curve.

"It has definitely changed things. You haven't a clue what's ahead of you, really, until it happens. You haven't a notion," she says.

"I've always wanted children and I've always been really excited about it and I'm very good with kids - my sister has four - so I was used to them. But when it comes to your own it's a completely different story.

"Even though people warn you, you still have no idea what they're talking about until you're in that moment."

Breastfeeding was a particularly tough process for Michelle, who had suffered from pre-eclampsia towards the end of her pregnancy.

"I was trying to breastfeed at the start and it wasn't working out for me at all and then I was trying to express, so it was basically like a milking factory every time Max needed to be fed," she says.

failure

"Mark [her partner, Kerry entrepreneur Mark O'Shea] would have to feed him while I was expressing for the next feed and it was just continuous.

"People make out that breastfeeding is easy, so you kind of think when you hear others say that it can't be that hard, that maybe they just didn't want to do it.

"But I really wanted to do it and I still couldn't do it and that killed me because I thought I was a failure."

Michelle believes that more women should be honest about how difficult and often "mentally tough" becoming a mother can be.

"I can't pretend that everything was fine," she says.

"I got such a shock. I really did. Obviously it's not like that for everyone, and I wouldn't like to scare anyone, but that was my experience.

"I just can't lie. There's no point in me sitting here and telling you it was fabulous, it was a dream."

These days, Michelle is feeling much healthier and is back on track and enjoying being a full-time mum in her and Mark's North London home.

"I thought I could multi-task before but - oh my God - you should see me now!" she says. "I'm making bread, putting on dinner and feeding this wee man all at the same time, so I'm telling you, it goes to another level when a baby comes along.

"I wouldn't change it for the world, though. I adore him and I don't know what I would do without him."

Last May, after finishing up her stint filling in on Xpose for Aisling O'Loughlin who was on maternity leave, Michelle moved back to London.

"Xpose have been great - they've kept me doing wee bits here and there, which is great because you have an excuse to put on the face and get your hair done and get out," says Michelle.

"Then I have just got a couple of ads over here as well, which is brilliant. It keeps me going and means I can relax and not be pushing myself to go back to work. It means I can spend time with this wee man and just enjoy him. It really is the best of both worlds."

Michelle (36) is a career chameleon: her CV includes experience as a hairdresser, Aer Lingus flight attendant, model, DJ, TV presenter and actress.

"I have to be really, really careful about what I do now because I don't want to miss out on Max's early years," Michelle says.

"I guess there are big changes ahead for me, but you know, I kind of go through life going along with whatever is meant to be.

"People always ask, 'How can you have done so many things?' And I'm like, 'I don't know'. It just happened.

"I've always loved the challenge. I like taking different paths. The next thing I do could be completely different to anything I've done already and I love that.

"It's exciting to see what comes your way and just jumping then at those opportunities."

For the time being, however, motherhood is Michelle's priority.

"I got two commercial jobs in the last two months and I'm over the moon with myself," she says.

"My friend Jenny Buckley says babies bring good luck, so I'll enjoy every minute of it, that's for sure.

"It's an action-packed life here with this wee man, but it's a completely different action, dirty nappies and all of the rest.

"It's a reality check from the TV glamour of what I did before, but I wouldn't change a bit of it."

hnews@herald.ie


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