'Watching birth of my daughter was the most emotional experience of my life'
Rosanna Davison has described the moment she saw the birth of her daughter as "the most emotional, exhilarating, terrifying and overwhelming experience" of her life.
The former Ms World was speaking about her first Christmas as a new mum after her little girl was born via a surrogate last month.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, she said her dad Chris de Burgh has been serenading baby Sophia since her arrival home to Ireland. "Dad has been singing to her [but] she's asleep for it," she laughed.
The Lady in Red singer was waiting in Dublin airport when Rosanna and husband Wes flew home with the baby they had always longed for. "It was an incredibly emotional moment for [Dad] meeting his first grandchild," she said.
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Although the family traditionally fly to Mauritius as part of their annual New Year celebrations, Ms Davison said she is looking forward to curling up on the couch in Wicklow, now that paradise has come to their home.
"We'll be staying home in Ireland for New Year's Eve," she said. "It will be quiet nights in at the family home in Wicklow. We love spending our evenings snuggled up with Sophia and our dogs on the sofa."
She explained: "My brothers both live in London, so they didn't have a chance to meet her until the holidays - I couldn't wait to introduce her. We also brought Sophia down to Wexford to meet her 93-year-old great-grandmother for the first time. It was a really special day. I loved all the family getting to know her and fall in love with her. She's a little dote."
On how she is finding motherhood, she says: "I'm enjoying every moment. I feel we've both settled into parenthood smoothly. Sophia is a very sweet-natured and placid baby, so she's no trouble to look after and her favourite thing to do is sleep on our chests. Our dogs are far more demanding.
"Thankfully, she's a great sleeper and sleeps through the night, apart from her feeds and changes. Wes is back to work, so I'm doing the nights and don't find them too difficult. I've never needed huge amounts of sleep, so it's been a smooth enough transition."
On how Wes has taken to fatherhood, she says: "He has been really 'hands-on' with nappy changes and feeds. He absolutely adores his little girl. He spends the evenings cuddling her."
And the hard-working model, turned nutritionist, says her career will have to take a back seat for a while: "I'll be doing bits and pieces, but trying to juggle it with caring for Sophia. I've waited years to become her mum and she's my number one priority now."
In July, Ms Davison revealed she and Wes were expecting a baby girl after experiencing difficulties conceiving. Describing it as "a long and very tough journey for us, sadly with multiple miscarriages along the way", the couple chose gestational surrogacy abroad, which was their only viable option for a biological child.
She said: "Miscarriages are devastating, often lonely and frightening experiences for women and couples, yet sadly they're fairly common.We had a challenging few years trying to deal with them physically and emotionally and to try to find a solution."
On her advice to other women who have gone through the same experience, she said: "My advice is to speak openly to a close friend or family member, because it can be such an isolating experience. Proper awareness, support and understanding is crucial to the challenging physical and emotional recovery process, especially when all you want to do is blame yourself for a miscarriage."
She said the surrogacy process has been "long, stressful and expensive" adding that there are never any guarantees it will work. "I would advise couples to absolutely go for it, but to do plenty of research into the legal and medical side and take your time when deciding the surrogacy route that's right for you."