In her first exclusive photoshoot and interview since welcoming her first child, Ashley James introduces her adorable baby boy and reveals his name for the first time.
Photographed in the new edition of HELLO! magazine with her boyfriend, Tom Andrews, 31, the presenter, DJ and empowerment coach also reveals their son, born on 9 January, is called Alfie Rivers Andrews.
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"I love being a mum. Every day I love him more. Before he came along, I suffered from anxiety, but now I feel calm and content, as if I was made to be a mum," she says.
The couple introduce baby Alfie from their London home
"I've run two marathons, but giving birth is harder. I was in labour for 18 hours, but Tommy was with me all the way, holding my hand. And when Alfie finally emerged, it was amazing."
"I used to think that I didn't want children," continues the 33-year-old first-time mother, whose glamorous lifestyle included being flown around the world to DJ at private parties and events for international brands. "Now I can't imagine not wanting a baby or being without him."
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Ashley, who first found fame on the Bafta-winning TV series, Made in Chelsea, has received an outpouring of love and gifts for Alfie. Showbiz friends such as Lucy Mecklenburgh and Lydia Bright – whose babies Roman and Loretta were born last year – have been on hand for support.
"They're really strong mums and I can message them for advice day and night," she says.
"Ollie Locke has been amazing, too, and we've received so many flowers our home looks like a florist’s. And Giovanna Fletcher sent a lovely message."
"Every day I love him more," said Ashley
Ashley believes that if it hadn't been for the pandemic, little Alfie wouldn't be here now.
"Our relationship had already become serious before he moved in," she continues, referring to the fact that she and Tommy made the spontaneous decision to live together when the first lockdown was announced last year, when they had been together for four months.
"There was none of the game-playing I'd encountered with previous boyfriends, and living together felt natural. He's very family-oriented and although I knew from the start he wanted children, I didn't feel ready. I'd never felt maternal and couldn't see a place for children in my life. I was ambitious, enjoyed my job and the freedom to travel, and thought if I had a baby, I'd have to give it all up."
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