NEW mum Kate Ferdinand has revealed she will pay tribute to Rio’s first wife Rebecca on Mother’s Day with “family PJs day and toast.”
In her first major interview and shoot since having Cree almost three months ago, Kate said Mother’s Day will be spent quietly at home as a family of six.
The children will remember their mum and Rio’s first wife, Rebecca, who died in 2015 of breast cancer aged just 34, and Kate said there will be no big celebrations planned.
The family have endured unbearable tragedy over the last few years, also losing Rio’s mum Janice St Ford, 58, to cancer in 2017.
Speaking to Fabulous, Kate said: “It’s a difficult day in our house because the children have lost their mum and Rio’s lost his as well, so I always feel anxious in the lead up to it.
“We always have a lovely day, but the build-up is hard.
“I’ll find it hard to celebrate myself as I don’t want to seem insensitive or selfish when Rio and the kids have lost their mums.
“So we’ll do a family PJs day and have a toast to Rebecca and Janice. And to me as well.”
Kate, 29, and Rio, 42, got together in late 2016, and coming into a family so grief-stricken was not easy.
She has spoken before about the challenges of step-parenting in these saddest of circumstances, but it is testament to her love, empathy and perseverance that they have forged such a strong unit together.
It’s [Mother's Day's] a difficult day in our house because the children have lost their mum and Rio’s lost his as well, so I always feel anxious in the lead up to it.
She is now a step-mum to Lorenz, 14, Tate, 12, and nine-year-old Tia, as well as caring for her and Rio’s new baby Cree.
After a pretty smooth pregnancy with Cree, Kate suffered a gruelling birth that culminated in an emergency caesarean.
The experience left her devastated because the recovery was painful and slow – for weeks she was effectively bed-ridden and unable to perform the simplest of tasks.
Although husband Rio was a pillar of support, Kate felt frustrated and desperately sad that she couldn’t pick up Cree from his crib herself, finding it difficult even to change his nappies.
She said: “I think I cried every single day for about five weeks.
“You expect to be doing everything you possibly can for your baby and when you can’t… It was something I really struggled with.
“I was in my own little world, I felt really confused and had lots of anxiety and I didn’t think anyone understood.”
However, encouraging openness has been key and now that she’s through the newborn fog, her advice to other women is the same.
Kate recently impressed fellow mums after sharing a very candid selfie of her hair scraped back in a messy bun, wearing maternity knickers that revealed a brutal-looking bruise on her thigh.
She said: “My body was bruised, I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs and I just thought: ‘Surely other people must be going through this too?’
“I felt very strongly that I wanted to be a voice of normality. I’m so glad I did it, because the response actually made me feel so much better.
“There were so many people who could relate to it and it normalised what I was going through.”
I think I cried every single day for about five weeks.
Since getting back into light training recently, Kate has started to feel more like her old self. Just a few weeks ago she couldn’t have imagined feeling confident enough to shoot for the cover of a magazine, but exercise is so crucial to her mental wellbeing and its effects have been transformative.
“I was very by the book at first; I was too scared to do anything too soon. But recently I’ve been doing very light Pilates for 30 minutes and going on long walks.
“I’ve only just started doing light weights. I am a new mum, I’m tired, but I have made a conscious effort to move more because it makes me feel better and I’m feeling so much better.
“In the first six weeks I never thought I would feel like this, but exercise and getting moving has made a huge difference.”
So is the turbulence of the last few weeks enough to put her off going through pregnancy again?
Speaking of Cree, Kate said: “We love him so much. He’s so funny, he’s going to be so cheeky. He was smiling at three weeks! He’s such a happy boy.
“I’m never going to say never, but at this moment in time I have four children and five seems like an awful lot!”
Previously, Rio calls wife Kate a ‘yummy mummy’ as they cosy up for rare selfie after son Cree’s birth.
The proud parents shared the first glimpse of their little one in a sweet snap of Rio and the kids gathered around their Christmas tree in matching green pyjamas.
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