Interview: Melanie Meets Olivia Wayne
Sky Sports presenter, Olivia Wayne is a familiar face to many, not just from her Sky Sports News slots, but also from her presenting work in the world of fashion and sports, as an ambassador for Marie Curie cancer care. She is passionate about fitness and wellness, and carried her dedication to working out straight through her pregnancy. She had her first baby earlier this year, and Melanie went to visit her to meet baby Ozzie and find out how Olivia was getting on.
Melanie: So Ozzie is Twelve weeks old. tell us about the birth?
Olivia: Really good. All natural birth. No pain relief.
Yeah – 29 hour labour though but no interference at all and no ripping, no tearing, nothing. So really, I bounced back pretty quick, there was no recovery needed really if you know what I mean.
So it was bearable pain for you?
I had wanted to have a water birth as felt the water would really help manage the pain, but then I was induced and they say that actually an induced labour can be more intense, but I have nothing to compare the experience to. I had a doula, Mars Lord, by my side and she and my amazing husband were incredible. I would recommend a doula to everyone, she was so helpful, supportive and motivational to us both and she knew that I wanted to experience as natural a birth as possible, and she really kept me focused and reassured.
Was it at home or at hospital?
No, it was at hospital because I had a liver condition that came on late, so they had to induce. They were happy for him to come out naturally though, but it was hard and it was painful.
How was your partner?
Oh my God, he was involved in every contraction, pushing on the small of my back. So that really took the pressure away. I had two paracetamol the night before and that was it – no gas and air, nothing.
Now I have to talk to you about your Instagram picture because I just though it was so inspiring, ten weeks after you’re training with a PT and he’s got Ozzie in the sling and you’re lunging and doing all your stuff. There’s no excuses is there really?
I really believe there are no excuses.
And I know people are going to think, ‘But she’s got a PT, meh’ but if you have the support, you can probably get somebody to have the baby for an hour.
Or half an hour in your house. Yes, I am lucky I’ve got a PT and he comes to me, so it’s not like I’m having to go to a gym. He comes to you and uses your floor in your lounge, it doesn’t have to be a gym but I just think it’s so important for Ozzie that I’m healthy, fit, strong and when he’s running around I want to be running around with him. It’s tiring with a baby, of course, and exercise gives me the energy I need – the less you do the more sluggish and tired you feel. So it kind of only facilitates feeling good and although sometimes the thought of it could be quite energy draining, it’s always worth it afterwards.
People often ask how I have the energy to do everything, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that doing all the exercise generates my energy.
It really does and also the endorphins, I need the endorphins. Working out for me, is as much head as it is body and physique, and to know that I’m feeling fit and strong and having that sweaty work out makes me feel good. The endorphins flow and it clears my head. When you’re a new mum it’s all a bit ‘baby, baby, baby’ so to have an hour to yourself or even just half an hour, that can be all you need and then you’re back on it and happy again.
It’s such a positive message because I know that people just leave it and the longer you leave it the harder it is to lose the baby weight.
100% but then I also had a good pregnancy and worked out throughout so really it was only about six weeks off of exercise, it wasn’t like nine and half months off.
But moving, even just going for a walk, you know, 10,000 steps, you feel great when you know you’ve hit that 10,000 on your pedometer. For me it’s just so important.
So were you a total gym bunny before you got pregnant?
I’d say before pregnancy, yes, total gym bunny, but never happy in my body, I’m always striving.
In what respect?
You know, I want to be more toned, more lean and I really like weights, I’m not really, you know…
A bouncing around type?
Yes! I like heavy weights and squatting and all that stuff- I work out like a body builder! I really enjoy it. Then when I was pregnant I had to check with my trainer if I could do the same type of workout, and you absolutely can and I did throughout. I of course modified some exercises, I didn’t do crunches and things like that but I always had a bar on my back and squatted.
But you can adapt your workout, I’ve actually just seen someone in the gym this morning who was heavily pregnant in the gym last time I saw her. The baby’s now, I think, six weeks and and she’s back! She feels that being physically fit helped during childbirth and recovery.
So 29 hour labour with no pain relief, standing the whole time, and I was in hospital for three nights before, literally awake the whole time, pacing the corridors – without that physical strength from the squatting and all of the other things I do, I don’t think I would have had the stamina and the strength to get through any of it.
Knowing in my head that I can do hard stuff in the gym just psyched me up for birth being like, ‘I got this, I’m strong’ you know? I just felt empowered. Since the birth my workouts now are harder than they used to be too. I don’t mean that they feel harder – they *are* harder and I’m using much heavier weights.
So how did you feel about your body changing during pregnancy because lots of women really don’t like that funny bit where your waist thickens but you don’t look pregnant yet – you just look like you have gained weight.
Yes, I hated that fat bit and also, it’s in the twelve weeks that usually you’re not saying that you’re pregnant so you want to shout out, ‘I’m not just fat, I am pregnant’ but you don’t! For me I only liked how I looked pregnant when the bump was properly established and so felt quite gross for about 24 weeks. I also hated that my boobs got so huge. I’ve never had boobs and then I had these knockers! And on me, I’m small framed and I’m short so they felt seriously huge. I still don’t love them but they’re feeding my child (literally) as we speak. I felt very puffy – puffy legs, puffy arms, just fat.
At least when I had the big bump I felt better. But then to add to it all, I went off anything green. I like healthy food, I enjoy eating healthily, but all I wanted was toast and cheese and pizza. But I just went with it and knew I would be able to work hard afterwards to make up for it. I tried to still eat vegetables and greens, but mostly I had what I felt like because I felt nauseous for most of it.
And also by the end the bump was so big that I couldn’t even eat that much. So when I say I wanted pizza it would be a slice and I’d be full, so I wasn’t really overdoing it in that sense. And then I just thought, I’ll just work hard afterwards and to be honest it fell off instantly because I think a lot of it was water and fluid rather than weight.
The moment I gave birth I wanted ice-cold cucumber and carrots and peppers right away. I craved refreshing nutritious food. I just didn’t want chocolate or rubbish. But also when it comes to breastfeeding, Ozzie has reflux so I have had to cut dairy and soy out my diet. I never ate much dairy before pregnancy anyway as I didn’t really love it but it’s in so much food – dairy and soy is basically in everything processed, so I’m quite limited now in what I can eat.
You’ve taken to motherhood amazingly well haven’t you?
I hope so. I enjoy it. When I was younger I had depression, not for long, so I was very aware, ‘Am I going to get post natal depression?’ but I feel good. Did I tell you that I had my placenta encapsulated?What does that mean?
Your face says it all! But basically my doula took my placenta away in a freezer bag after the birth. It was dehydrated, put into capsules and then, well, you take your placenta. Just think about all the nutrients and nourishment it contains.
They can’t really do a proper scientific study on it, but many doulas and midwives, as well those of the spiritual and homeopathic persuasion swear by it. For your mood, for energy, for the blues, and probably for weight loss, breastfeeding and milk production too.
How many capsules do you get from one placenta?
I had a small placenta so it wasn’t very big but it was still 160 pills and they say you can keep them in the freezer for when it’s menopause time because again, they’re supposed to help with that. It’s really amazing.
I’ve never heard of that, although I’ve heard of people eating it, and I remember in the past that people talked about frying it.
Ha! The thought of that! At least the pills just look like any vitamin. My doula said that she could make it instantly into a smoothie for me, but I was like, ‘Too much, too far, you’ve pushed it – no.”
She also dehydrated the umbilical cord and made it into a heart and I was like, ‘Why would I want that?’ and she said that most people love it, but my was response was ‘I do not love it,’ so we buried it because I didn’t want to throw it in the bin! But then I went for a walk the other day and I saw it out lying on the grass! Obviously a fox or something had dug it up, but I still just can’t really throw it away so I re-buried it and now I’m sure it will just keep re-appearing – Ozzie’s umbilical cord!
(laughing) Gosh that is so funny! So how are you feeling about going back to work and how long do you want to breastfeed for?
I’ve always thought I would breastfeed for a year. I read a lot on the amazing heath benefits, and I love the bond I feel with my baby and I definitely see how it could go on longer so I guess I’ll see how it goes but I want to achieve a year. By the time he’s on food as well it’s not going to be all day every day – like now! However, my work at Sky is shift work, and just thinking about that minefield of expressing and getting it all ready, makes me realise I’m just not there yet. That said, I thought I’d take a year off but I’m already quite keen to do something, so it might be a lot sooner than I thought.
You do the mornings mainly don’t you?
Yes, Friday, Saturday, Sunday mornings which means that I get up at three am (it got me in great training for the middle of the night wake ups!).
And also the thing about work is, the first day it’s all new and exciting, ‘Oh, I’m back!’ but then after that you’re at work, and in the nicest possible way, nobody really cares. So I need to be able to feel I’ve got my shit together because otherwise it’s going to be too much.
I was at my busiest when I was having my babies and it was tough. I was not cruising it in any area of my life. I was struggling because I was working so much that the car would pick me up and I would get in the back of it and sit on the edge of the seat all the way home because I was desperate to get home but they would be asleep when I arrived, so then I wouldn’t see them and my head was all over the place. I went back too soon really for both of them.
When did you go back?
After three months for both.
So that’s me now, and that’s the thing even getting up and out is a challenge. I have some events coming up, Mum and Baby events, which will be lovely. But even that in my head is such an operation of ‘Right, I’ll have to leave at this time if he’s crying, I have to feed at this time’ you know? It’s not easy and he’s not on a bottle so that anyone could just feed him, it doesn’t work like that. These are all choices and decisions that I have ahead of me, but for now I’m just going to enjoy this time that I have with my little man!