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Hanna and Martin Kinsella are clearly loving parenthood as we meet up to help them introduce their first child, Maximus James, to the world. The Real Housewives Of Cheshire stars welcomed their adorable son on 20 February at 7.28am, weighing just under 9lb.
But during our exclusive shoot for OK! VIP Club members, Hanna, 32, and Martin, 38, explain there were tears of relief as well as joy when he arrived safe and well following a “scary” birth. Login or sign-up to the OK! VIP Club to see all the gorgeous pictures from the stunning family shoot.
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After going 11 days overdue, Hanna went through a gruelling 18-hour labour before medics grew concerned for Maximus and said she had to have a C-section.
But none of that mattered when the cosmetic dentist finally met her “perfect” baby and started “crying her eyes out”. “I remember looking in his eyes thinking, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is our son!”’ she tells us.
Since bringing him back to their Cheshire home, the challenges have kept on coming as Hanna initially struggled to breastfeed Max, who had tongue-tie. “The best of us would have given in but she persevered and that’s paying off,” says cosmetic doctor Martin.
Meanwhile, Maximus is already following in Hanna’s footsteps after making his filming debut on Housewives, while her co-stars have met him via FaceTime. “I had so many flowers and balloons – Seema [Malhotra] sent this amazing balloon arrangement and it took up half our living room!” she reveals. Here, the couple talk about the labour, parenthood and their plans to grow their family…
Hi, guys! Congratulations – how have your first few weeks as parents been?
Hanna: It’s definitely been a steep learning curve. The first couple of nights were a bit crazy and it was all very overwhelming. I struggled with breastfeeding.
Martin: It’s tougher than we thought. Night one was funny and night two wasn’t quite as funny, was it?! Hanna has done unbelievably well with breastfeeding as Max struggled with tongue-tie, so he was struggling to latch.
Hanna: It’s a lot better now. And we soon figured out that the very angry cry was, “I’m hungry!”
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How did he end up arriving via C-section, Hanna?
Hanna: The birth wasn’t how I planned. He was 11 days overdue and we spoke to the consultant. Originally, I’d booked in a Caesarean on the 11th day but I wanted to try naturally. The consultant said, “Why don’t we do a sweep and get things going?” So, I had this sweep, which was the most uncomfortable thing ever! Then he sent me to one of the midwives and she was adamant she wanted to do another sweep, and they put in a pessary to try to get the contractions to start.
Martin: It sent Hanna into quite a hard labour.
Hanna: I was in labour for five hours at home and went back to hospital and she said, “You’re only 2cm dilated, you need to go home.” So I laid in the bath for eight hours and I was like a shrivelled prune.
Then what happened?
Hanna: We went back to hospital, they put me on an oxytocin drip and gave me an epidural, and my cervix was just not opening. So the decision was made to go for a C-section.
Martin: The minute they put the epidural in, her personality changed. I’d never seen her like that and she was obviously in agony – but the gags and jokes were flowing.
Hanna: It definitely worked!
How long were you in labour for?
Hanna: Eighteen hours. Because it had been so long, his heart rate was going up and down and they said, “We’re best getting him out.” So we went for a C-section. They took me down to theatre. I remember looking at Martin and there were tears rolling down my face, I was really scared.
Martin: He was out in two or three minutes. I worked on sections years ago in gynaecology, so it was quite surreal to be on the other side.
Hanna: The minute they showed me him – they lifted him up like Simba [in The Lion King] – I literally burst into tears. The registrar was welling up as well, because I was like, “I’m your mummy! He’s your daddy!” He was just gorgeous. He looked the spitting image of Martin. I was like, “Oh my God, I’ve given birth to my husband!” [Laughs] He’s a mini-me of Martin.
Martin: He was obviously gorgeous!
Martin, it must have been scary for you?
Martin: It was hard, because there is nothing you can do. I’ve seen people have babies before but never seen anyone in labour like that.
Hanna: It was funny, as every time a contraction came I was like, “Talk about a holiday.” And he was like, “Think about the Maldives” – which actually helped me a lot.
Martin: I’m proud of Hanna, because of what she had to go through.
Could you be there the whole time, Martin?
Martin: Under these circumstances [Covid], I felt very fortunate I could be with her throughout.
Hanna: I don’t think I could have done it without him there.
Who got to hold Maximus first?
Hanna: They put him on my chest.
Martin: We both dived in.
Hanna: Yeah, skin-on-skin is important and when you have a C-section it’s difficult as you’re behind a screen and not mobile. They put him on my chest and took him to weigh and clean him.
Martin: I went and helped clean him up and cut the cord.
Hanna: He was a whopper – just under 9lb. My doctor said, “If he came out the natural way, it probably would have been an assisted delivery and you’d have ended up with a lot of stitches.”
Real Housewives of Cheshire star Hanna Kinsella leaves hospital with baby boy after giving birth
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Where did his name come from?
Hanna: Me and Martin agreed on this really early on. We liked the shortened version, Max, and it’s such a strong, powerful name. It means “greatest” and his middle name is James. And Martin’s middle name is James.
Martin: My dad’s middle name is James. My grandfather’s name is James.
How would you describe him?
Hanna: He’s so alert and his eyes are so bright and open. He’s only a few weeks old and he looks at you. He’s a good baby. The only time he gets upset is when he’s hungry – he’s a typical man!
Martin: He’s very good.
Are you getting sleepless nights?
Hanna: He sleeps for three hours. It is hard going, because he feeds at 12 and then he’s up at 3am, and then at 6am.
Martin: I’m chief nappy changer. I’ve got it down to a fine art.
So you’re getting on with breastfeeding better now, Hanna?
Hanna: Yeah. It’s hard going and there’s a lot of guilt that surrounds it as well.
I felt I couldn’t give birth to him and then I couldn’t feed him. You put a lot of pressure on yourself and there were moments I’d get really upset. But as time’s gone on, I’ve persevered.
Is parenthood what you expected?
Hanna : It’s a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. But at the same time the love I feel for him is a lot stronger than I thought it was going to be.
Martin: We’re happier than we ever imagined we’d be.
Has Maximus made his camera debut on The Real Housewives Of Cheshire?
Hanna: He has! He was good as gold and then he pooed everywhere.
When we last spoke you weren’t sure if you were going to do another series. Why did you decide to?
Hanna: The producers really assured me that they’d work around me. Being a first-time mum, you’re not sure how much time you’ll have to dedicate to being on the show and everything that goes with it. I want to be with Maximus as much as I can but they’ve been really good.
Do you both still want a big family?
Hanna: I definitely want more [babies].
Martin: I think it’s fantastic and the whole experience of having our first baby was amazing, and we’re in a lucky enough position where we could have quite a few children and support them well.
Hanna: I still want four – but I’m not sure how my uterus will feel about it!
Finally, tell us about your nursery…
Hanna: It’s my pride and joy. I had an interior designer called Steph Moreton help me. It’s neutral but it’s a woodland theme. The big tree is my favourite thing in the nursery.
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