Leonora Bamford talks to Danielle Wilkins about work, motherhood and expecting again following two devastating ectopic pregnancies
As Leonora Bamford leads me around her Chelsea townhouse home, she’s apologetic about the noise. “One of the rooms is being converted into a nursery,” she explains. The founder of parenting and lifestyle blog My Baba already has a boy and a girl, aged seven and five, and is currently expecting another boy in January, something she feared might never happen again having suffered two devastating, and potentially life-threatening, ectopic pregnancies.
“The last one, earlier this year, required me to have quite major surgery,” she reveals.
She cites husband George, a former photographer who now owns the Rolex-customising company Bamford Watch Department, and her close-knit family as the ones who got her through (“my mother and father and I speak on the phone every day”), as well as the charities Wellbeing of Women and The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. “Both of these [charities] have been a huge help to me and a great resource. In fact, I had no idea ectopic pregnancies were so common,” she admits.
So, have the events of earlier in the year prompted her to take it easy this time? “People keep asking me if I’m resting,” she laughs. “But you can’t! When you have two children and you’re trying to run your business, it’s difficult to take it down a notch. I try to take some time to myself before the kids get up in the mornings, but it doesn’t last long.”
The result of her second ectopic pregnancy means that baby number three has to be delivered by caesarean, and Leo, as she prefers to be known, admits she’s feeling a little apprehensive about the birth. “I’m nervous because I’ve never had one before, but I’ve got all the info and I’m feeling prepared, although it’s weird knowing the date he’ll arrive.”
When I ask her if she thinks her approach to motherhood will differ this time, she nods in agreement: “I was quite young when I had my other two, so I’m hoping this time I’ll be a lot more relaxed,” she says. “Before, it was very structured – everything had to be a certain way, but this time I’m hoping things will just fall into place.” She goes on: “For a while, I have felt like there was something missing, although I know I’m lucky to have two gorgeous children already. I almost feel a bit greedy wanting another,” she admits.
It’ll be strange having a newborn at home again though, won’t it? “It will, because I’m so out of that right now in terms of our family life. But luckily, because of My Baba, I still feel quite connected to those early stages [of motherhood].” And are her two children excited? “They’re so excited,” she exclaims. “They’ve even promised me I won’t have to change a single nappy!”
She also reveals that the age gap between her soon-to-be-three children mirrors that of her and her own siblings. “My brothers are five and seven years older than me. It’s quite funny how history repeats itself sometimes.”
In the meantime, it’s business as usual, and after being a mother, Leo’s focus remains firmly on her blog. “A few months ago we were brainstorming about fashion and hacks for ‘mums on the run’ – now it’s more about breast pumps and the best pregnancy pillows to buy for your third trimester,” she laughs. Will she take a step back once her son arrives? “I don’t know,” she admits. “Thankfully, I have such a cool team. I certainly feel I can lean on them, so I’ll just take each day as it comes.”
With both Leo and George working, and the children at school full time, the family like to up-sticks to the Cotswolds every weekend, where her husband’s family resides: “Every Friday, out we go,” says Leo. “It’s like a military operation. People think we’re crazy, but once we’re there, it’s complete chill-out time.
“It doesn’t matter what time of year either,” she adds. “In the winter we sit by the fire, and put on our wellies and go outside. And in the summer we’ll go out to pick strawberries.”
It sounds like just the tonic for a heavily pregnant mother of two, I tell her. Is there anything else she does to help her relax? “Yoga and Pilates once a week, and reflexology,” she reveals. Has she ever thought about giving mindfulness a go? “I think anything in this crazy world of social media that makes you take a step back, can only be a good thing,” says Leo. “It’s been on my to-do list since last January, but,” she looks around the room and shrugs her shoulders, a protective hand on her bump, “with everything going on, I just haven’t got round to it!”