Zoe Hardman has introduced her baby son Kit to the world as she reveals how she turned to hypnobirthing to overcome the trauma of her first birth. Zoe, who is married to former rugby ace Paul Doran Jones admitteds she was left shell-shocked after having her daughter Luna and needed the meditative sessions to help her overcome her anxiety. The presenter, who was once told she would need IVF to conceive due to her low egg count, went through a gruelling 19-hour birth and a forceps delivery without any effective pain relief. "The first time around I was a smug pregnant lady saying 'this is easy', until the birth," Zoe HELLO! in May 2018.
"But second time around my pregnancy was so rough… The hypnobirthing sessions really reset me. I came back from my class and said to Dozza (her nickname for Paul) 'I feel like I'm getting there, this is going to be a new birth, a new baby' and I was really calm going into it this time. I had an epidural and I called it at the right moment, I wasn't too late like the last time round. And by about five past midnight Kit was born. The staff at The Royal Surrey were so kind and supportive. I was so grateful, we are lucky to have the NHS." Kit Peter Doran Jones was born on 28 April at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, weighing 7lb 11oz.
Paul added: "I find it bizarre that women have all these opinions on childbirth, there is a lot of judgement. It should be each to their own, you have to do whatever works for you, it's such a personal choice. But why would you go through all that pain when you don’t have to?" In the exclusive interview, former rugby ace Paul also opened up about retiring from the sport he loved, and his happiness for close friends Mike Tindall - who is expecting his second child with wife Zara Philips – and his best man James Haskell, who recently got engaged to Chloe Madeley.
"Mike sent us a message to say congratulations after Kit was born," said Paul. Joking about his friend's recent nose job, he laughed: "I always said Mike was the only bloke I knew who could smell round corners. I'm pleased for him that he managed to get it sorted. When we were in a team meeting, I'd hear him snoring over my shoulder – but he wasn't asleep, he was struggling to breathe."
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Then there's the upcoming wedding of Chloe Madeley to Paul's school friend, England rugby team-mate and best man, James Haskell. "I've known for a while that they were getting engaged," Paul teased. "I was staying in their house while I was travelling for work, and I knew that Chloe was keen to get married but she thought it wasn't happening. I found out James was going to propose because one of our other schoolfriends designed the ring." He added: "I don't know if I'll be best man, but I've got my phone on. He was best man at my wedding so I have an eagerly anticipated speech ready for him. I know how hard I can go after he did mine."
The past year has seen a lot of change for the family, with Paul's retirement from rugby, moving house – from Cheltenham to Guildford – and the arrival of little Kit. "My career hasn’t ended the way that I dreamt it would," admitteds Paul, who also owns a restaurant in Gloucester, The Grill Shed, and is developing property and plans to teach rugby to youngsters. "It's hard to leave something you’ve loved so much. I’m lucky to have achieved all I did. But the upside is that I'm making the most of family time, being present and able to spend so much time with the kids."
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Zoe added: "We've had to be pretty fluid, which is fine as long as we’re all together, and it’s been so lovely having Dozza here. Thankfully, I don’t feel any pressure to get straight back to work. Heart has been amazing, saying I can do the odd show now and then and come back when I want. I do a podcast called Made By Mammas with my friend Georgia Dayton, which I can fit in around feeds. Since having the kids, it’s all about them and our family. The baby brain is strong at the moment so we'll see." And will there be any more rugby tots running about the house? "Noooo, we're done," laughed Zoe. "We've got a holiday booked for just the two of us, because we didn't have a honeymoon. We'll probably just fall asleep, but I can't wait."
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