Lacey spoke candidly about her experience of motherhood after she recently welcomed her second child with husband Matt Kay. From her top tips for getting enough ‘me-time,’ to keeping two young kids entertained, the actress has covered it all and we can’t wait for you to hear her parenting hacks!
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32-year-old Lacey welcomed us into her home to meet her adorable little boy, Trilby Fox, and passed on her one holy grail piece of advice to other mums.
The soap star encouraged new mums to listen to their maternal instinct because it is “always right.”
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The mum-of-two said: “As a mother you just get this instinct that you didn’t have before and you don’t know where it comes from.
During the exclusive video, Lacey advised fellow parents to try not to listen to outsiders’ opinions. “I find everyone has an opinion and everyone has a different opinion, but your instinct is normally the right one.
“So don’t listen to anyone else, just do what you think is right.”
The stunning brunette also revealed the way that she makes sure to have some ‘me-time’ while parenting two young children. She told us “I just have a bath and I cherish every moment of it every night, a few bath salts and a bit of oil and that for me is I’m winning at life if I’ve managed to do that every night.”
The Stacey Slater actress hilariously added, “Even just moisturising your whole body, that before I had kids was just a standard thing, now that is like a luxury.
“Most of the time you just throw it on your body and put your tracksuit on before it’s even dried.”
To hear more of Lacey’s advice on motherhood, watch the exclusive video above!
Here, in a socially distanced shoot carried out in a Covid-secure manner following Government guidelines, Lacey and Matt told us about Dusty and Trilby’s close bond, how they chose the special name for the newborn and what Mother’s Day means to the actress…
Congratulations! How did it feel when you were told you’d had a little boy?
Lacey: We didn’t mind either way but it was lovely to know we have one of each. I never thought we would have a boy – I was quite shocked. There are a lot of girls in my family and my mum had three girls. It’s nice for Matt to have a boy and it’s been quite different to having a girl.
Matt: It was amazing. It would have been nice for Dusty to have a little sister but for me it was a result to have a boy.
What’s been the biggest difference?
Matt: The nappies [laughs]!
Lacey: We get weed on quite a lot, which obviously doesn’t happen with a girl!
Tell us about the birth…
Lacey: He came at 36 weeks! It was around 11pm and I was just about to go to bed and my waters broke like something out of a film. I had no idea that would happen, as my waters didn’t break with Dusty. I didn’t know you could have that much water, I thought it was for TV purposes only! I didn’t panic, although I probably should have. I actually thought, “Please, not tonight, I am so tired!” I really wanted a water birth, like with Dusty, but you can’t have that before 37 weeks. That was disappointing. I just thought, “No, this is fine, we’ve still got time.”
Then what happened?
Lacey: I got in bed and the water was just trickling so we called the hospital and they said to come in. My mum came to watch Dusty. When I got there, I said, “I really can’t be bothered to give birth tonight because I don’t have the energy.” I was only 1cm [dilated] but as my waters had broken, I had to stay.
What time did you get to the hospital?
Matt: It was 12.30am and he [Trilby] arrived at 3.27am!
Lacey: I didn’t even have time to break into a sweat! They said, “If nothing happens by 4am we’ll have to induce you,” but I really didn’t want that as I’ve heard it slows everything down. I was hooked up to all the machines because he was early, so I just marched on the spot for two-and-a-half hours because I feel like once you sit down, everything slows down. I was saving up my gas and air until I really needed it. Then I said to the midwife, “I think I need to push,” and 10 minutes later he was out! It was half the time of Dusty’s birth. I feel like I’m quite good at giving birth – I should put it on my CV! I had a lovely time.
Were you able to be there for the whole time, Matt?
Matt: Yes. I did some back rubbing! I know Lacey wanted to have a home birth and a water birth but it was actually nice to see the difference between Dusty and Trilby’s birth. I felt just as proud of her as I was the first time because I know she wasn’t expecting to give birth that way, so the way she dealt with it was a proud husband moment. I had a tear in my eye when he was born.
Lacey: It’s much more painful not in the water but thank God it was quick! Home births are suspended due to Covid, so I couldn’t have had one anyway. Matt was great and they’re amazing at that hospital. Trilby was in special care for two days before we came home.
Was he in special care because he was early?
Lacey: Yes, and because he had fluid on his lungs and he had to have some antibiotics. I felt sorry for him. It’s so strange to see your baby strapped up to loads of wires. But he was only considered a week premature. I spoke to other mums there and realised how lucky we were. Some of their babies were born at 24 weeks. You could only have one parent there every 24 hours because of Covid, so it didn’t make sense for Matt to come up to the hospital. But that meant he didn’t see him for the first couple of days. It was so strange.
Was that tough, Matt?
Matt: Yeah, it was weird. It was so different to what happened with Dusty because we all came home together. It was a lot easier to form a bond with Dusty than it has been with Trilby because I had a couple of days without seeing him. I also had to leave two hours after he was born because of Covid but they let me see him again for a few minutes.
That must have been hard…
Lacey: You have to think about everyone’s health but it was so hard. I didn’t see him for nearly the whole of the first day as I couldn’t go to the special care unit. You feel like you should give birth and your baby goes on your chest and stays there, but that wasn’t the situation, which is sad. He was put on my chest and then Matt’s, and then he was whisked off to special care, but at least we got that skin-on-skin. He lost quite a bit of weight at first, he went down to 5lb 8oz, but that’s normal. He’s well over his birth weight now and he’s a good eater.
Matt: He’s been home for a month now, so I feel like I’ve bonded with him.
How did you decide on the name Trilby?
Lacey: I knew a girl once and her sister was called Trilby Fox and I always thought it was such a cool name, and I quite liked it for a boy, so I’ve had it in my head for a really long time! It’s nice because when people say, “What’s his name?” you say, “Trilby, like the hat.” When we had Dusty, we said, “Dusty, like Dusty Springfield.”
When you got pregnant with Trilby you called him a “miracle” after previously having two miscarriages, Lacey. How did it feel when you got to hold him?
Lacey: It was amazing. We’re so lucky to have gone on our journey and to come out the other end with two healthy babies, and especially to have one of each. We feel really grateful. He was so tiny and because he was early it makes him that bit more special. There are people who go through a similar sort of thing and unfortunately don’t come out with that happy ending, so we know we’re blessed.
Have you been breast-feeding?
Lacey: No. I was 50/50 about doing it. I found it really difficult last time and Dusty found it stressful but I kept an open mind. But then when he had to be in special care, I thought, “Instead of trying my hardest to pump and get everything going, let’s just keep it as easy as possible for everybody and keep him fed.” He has his last feed at 11pm and then he wakes up around 3am, and then he’s not up again until 7am!
What is Dusty like with Trilby?
Lacey: She has been so amazing. Seeing them together is amazing. She loves a doll and I think she thinks he’s her doll. You can’t give him a bottle without her having to hold it and she says, “Cuddles, cuddles and my brother.” She can’t say his name though, she calls him “Pilby”!
Ned [their Maltipoo dog] has also been really good with him. It is a bit manic with two but I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Those hard moments disappear. Dusty is full of personality. She’s a real drama queen. We’ve hit the terrible-twos phase, so we do have tantrums but she likes to be the centre of attention. If she doesn’t end up on the stage, I don’t know what we’ll do with her! She recently started nursery a few mornings a week, so it gives you that time with just one baby.
Matt: I’m sure we’re biased but she’s a baby Einstein. She’s only 18 months old and you can already have a conversation with her.
How did you find Dusty starting nursery?
Lacey: I sobbed in the car park. I wouldn’t take her for two weeks. I made Matt take her because I couldn’t do it. She just felt too small, even though she was ready. She cries when we pick her up because she wants to stay!
How long did you have left at work when you went into labour?
Lacey: Two days. I texted work saying, “I won’t be in tomorrow or the next day but I’m happy to come in next week.” I had such a quick birth and my recovery was so quick, I just popped in a few days later to finish my couple of scenes. EastEnders were amazing and accommodated the times I could work. The plan is to have six months off and go back in August. So please, God, we’ll be able to travel to Ibiza so we can have a few months at our home there!
You lost your close friend and former EastEnders co-star Dame Barbara Windsor last year, Lacey. What are your favourite memories of her?
Lacey: I have so many. She could walk into a room and everyone would know she was there. I learned so much doing scenes with her. She came to our wedding [in 2017] and she was amazing. There was a real sadness on set after [she passed away] but then we also had a celebration. It’s terribly sad but I’m glad she’s resting up there and dancing with her mates.
It’s Mother’s Day this week. What does it mean to you now, Lacey?
Lacey: It was lovely to be a part of it last year but this year to have two feels extra special. I think you always have that thought of, “Is this ever going to happen for us?” But we were lucky enough to come out the other side with two. They’re very cool for making me a mum.