KATE Ferdinand has revealed that “so many people have asked” her if she loves her new baby son Cree more than her stepchildren.
The new mum, who gave birth in December, opened up about post-birth life in a searingly honest interview.
Kate, 29, shares son Cree with husband Rio, but she is also a devoted step-mum to the kids Rio had with first wife Rebecca; Lorenz, 14, Tate, 12, and nine-year-old Tia.
Rebecca tragically passed away in 2015 from breast cancer aged just 34, and Kate has cared for Rio’s kids as if they were her own.
Kate recently invited followers to ask her anything about her motherhood journey so far and was slightly taken aback to find several people questioning whether she loved her biological baby more than her three stepchildren.
She told Fabulous: “So many people have said it. Even when I was pregnant people would say to me: ‘Do you think you’re going to love the baby more than the other three?’
“And it infuriates me. There is no difference, I love them all.
“Maybe I’m lucky that I see them as the same, but I’m never, ever going to treat any of them differently.”
Kate and Rio 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.
In the interview Kate spoke of suffering a gruelling birth with Cree 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.
Even when I was pregnant people would say to me: ‘Do you think you’re going to love the baby more than the other three?’
Although husband Rio, 42, 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.
On top of that, she felt guilty for not spending more time with her stepchildren.
The hopes and expectations she’d had were shattered, which she struggled to accept at the time.
“I think I cried every single day for about five weeks,” she says. “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."
Kate said she is keen to give other mums an honest account of the realities of motherhood, and was recently praised for posting a candid selfie on Instagram.
In the shot, her hair was scraped back in a messy bun, she was wearing maternity knickers that revealed a brutal-looking bruise on her thigh but baby Cree was oblivious to it all, curled up in a milk slumber over her shoulder.
Kate says: “I was really nervous about posting that picture, but something in me just felt like I had to.
“I was scrolling on social media and seeing lots of women having babies and looking amazing and seeming really happy, and I was just thinking: ‘I don’t feel like that, I feel overwhelmed’. I loved him so much, but I was struggling.
“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.”
She also revealed how 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.
The family have endured unbearable tragedy over the last few years, also losing Rio’s mum Janice St Ford, 58, to cancer in 2017.
So there are no big celebrations planned.
She 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.”
Since getting back into light training recently, Kate has started to feel more like her old self.
She said: “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.”
When asked if she will have any more kids, Kate said: “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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