We caught up with the brilliant Rosie Spaughton from comedy duo, YouTuber fame and married couple Rose & Rosie to find out more about their inspiring journey to motherhood.
We were listening to your podcast (Rose and Rosie: Parental Guidance now streaming on Spotify) and you’ve said that the road to pregnancy and parenthood seems really secretive so you want to share your journey as a same sex couple – what’s the response been so far?
Overwhelming! Everybody has found that the path to same sex parenthood isn’t clear, and there are many different routes to take and that every single clinic and sperm bank gives conflicting advice! Different clinics want you to take different fertility tests, different places have different prices, and different methods to conceive work differently for different people!
That’s why we wanted to create the podcast, Rose and Rosie: Parental Guidance - to shed some light on the process and to help people! But we didn’t realise how much we would be learning too! Our guests have been so incredible and informative, and we’ve received so many messages with people’s stories and that they’ve been going through the same issues! It feels so relieving to know that we aren’t alone and that we are talking openly and honestly and working towards change!
Rose sadly suffered a miscarriage during lockdown, can you share anything that gave you guys the support you needed?
We were incredibly fortunate to have each other. We made sure not to rush the grieving period and process everything properly. I’d also like to thank Tommys for reaching out to us and offering support at a time where we needed it the most. We also took great comfort in hearing other people’s stories and experiences. A lot of people from our online fandom opened up about their own experiences of loss, and this really helped us feel like we weren’t so alone.
How are you finding pregnancy?
I love being pregnant! But that doesn’t mean it isn’t tough sometimes. I think the number one issue is constantly worrying if you’re doing the right thing for your baby - which definitely isn’t going to get any better once the baby is born! The most surprising part of pregnancy for me has been that I constantly need to burp and Rose has to pat my back and wind me - I remind her that it’s great practise for when the baby is here! But other than that, I’m really enjoying the experience of being pregnant - I know it won’t last forever and I will miss it when it’s over!
Up to this point, what pregnancy myths have you already managed to dispel?
I cringe when I think about all the judgements and assumptions I made about how I would handle pregnancy before I got pregnant. I will definitely say, you can’t judge anyone on how they handle pregnancy and parenting because it is such a personal thing, and everyone has different reactions and coping mechanisms. My ‘morning sickness’ definitely wasn’t just in the morning! I thought I’d just throw up and then feel fine, but no, I WISHED I would throw up! I just felt so, so nauseous 24/7 for months, it was miserable. I was starving hungry but every type of food turned my stomach.
I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media saying that maternity leave is NOT ‘time off’ or a ‘holiday’ but that it’s hard hard work of healing your body from birth, no sleep, constant worrying about your baby. So I think that’s definitely a myth that needs to be dispelled!
Have you been using any apps or reading any blogs during this time which you've really loved/found really helpful?
I have used the Pregnancy + app throughout my entire pregnancy and I found it sooo helpful. It gives you a timeline of your pregnancy and what needs to be done when, like having certain scans and packing your hospital bag. It tells you the baby’s estimated weight and size, and let’s you know what’s developing week by week. I’ve also really loved the Peanut app for reading about other people’s experiences and chatting with other pregnant people, Emma’s Diary for information and tips and The Positive Birth Company for preparing me for birth! I would also highly recommend Now Baby Live as an excellent antenatal class to prepare you for parenthood.
Can you offer any advice on where to start if you need to look into fertility clinics?
I would start off by googling all the nearest fertility clinics in your area, and then checking out their websites and seeing what suits you best. If you’re LGBTQ+ I would highly recommend seeing if their website caters to you i.e is it LGBTQ+ friendly, do they have a section dedicated to same sex couples conceiving? The baby journey is already such an emotional one that you want to ensure you feel safe and included. And if the clinics nearby aren’t right for you, I would recommend travelling. Trying for a baby is a vulnerable time and you want to ensure you are well taken care of.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of getting pregnant right now?
I’d say, it’s great to get immersed in the culture! Parenthood is a whole new world, so get joining Facebook groups, apps, and asking questions to any friends who are parents! But equally, I would say that it is an unexpected journey - some people get pregnant a lot quicker than they expected, and for others it can take years. I would get involved and start doing your research, but make sure you have other things going on in your life to keep you busy - it’s never healthy to become too fixated on one thing, as that can put the pressure on!
What’s the funniest thing you’ve read about pregnancy or motherhood?
Our dog trainer told us that he trained his son into a bedtime routine using the same method he used on his puppy!
What advice have you read that you think you’re going to follow when the baby arrives – at least at the beginning – and what do you think you’ll ignore?
I’m going to follow every single bit of advice out there about getting a baby to sleep - I think as a new parent, the lack of sleep is the most daunting aspect, and you can’t really do anything to prepare for it! You just have to wait until your baby is born and see how it goes!
As for advice I will be ignoring - probably any unsolicited advice! What’s quite shocking is, I’ve had people send me ‘advice’ who aren’t even parents! Just people making assumptions without ever having been in my shoes. I had someone say that holding a phone too close to my tummy would ‘microwave my baby’ and that ‘drinking diet coke is worse for your baby than drinking alcohol.’ So I will be doing my best to shut out all the noise, and stick to taking advice from the experts!
Have you found any particular exercise really helpful during pregnancy?
I was really gutted as due to Covid and lockdown restrictions I wasn’t able to do the exercise I was most excited for… swimming! But I did enjoy going on lots of lovely long dog walks. I didn’t want to push myself too hard at all, but several 30 minute walks would break up the day so I wasn’t constantly sat at my desk, and I could get some fresh air and clear my head.
Next pregnancy I’m definitely hoping to do some swimming, and when I’ve recovered from birth I want to get back on running! I was doing Couch to 5K before I fell pregnant, but my first trimester sickness but a stop to that!
Have you had any cravings?
LOADS! Pickled onion, pickled onion monster munch, Branston pickle… give me pickle!!! I also craved McDonald’s cheese burgers and coke and anything bacon flavoured. Oh, and Super Noodles! I actually went massively off sweets (they made me sick! Yuck) and chocolate, and just wanted all the carbs!
As two women in the public eye, do you have a view on how much you’ll share your baby on social media?
Yes, definitely. I think that we will be judged no matter what we do…our baby isn’t even born yet and people already have opinions on how we should raise it!
I really believe there is no right or wrong answer, as it’s such a personal choice. Some influencers keep their baby offline and some influencers share everything. I really can’t judge, I’m not in their shoes. We’ve been sharing our lives online for almost 10 years now, so we’ve got a good grip on how to protect ourselves and keep our baby safe. Obviously we would never show anything that we believe would endanger our baby. However, we think that representation is so important, and that for people to see a loving, same-sex couple raising their child is something that could really help.
Ultimately, we’re going to wait until baby arrives, and trust our parenting instincts!
What are you looking forward to most when the baby arrives?
Cuddles with our baby, making our baby laugh, reading baby stories, picking out outfits for baby to wear… everything really! Even the bad parts like soothing baby when they’re crying… we just can’t wait!!
Have you agreed on a name and if not, who will have the deciding vote?
We can’t decide on a name!!! But we have shortlisted several options. We will only go with a name we both agree on, we don’t think it’s fair for one person to have more of a say than the other. We are both equally the parents! If anyone has any good name suggestions, please let us know! We like unique names!
What do you do in your downtime?
What down time? Hahaha. At the moment we are soaking up the last moments of free time and it being just us, by bing watching The Morning Show on Apple TV! We also love good food and gaming!
What do you think your babywear style will be?
We are firm believers in being gender neutral! So we won’t be dressing our baby in certain stereotypical colours or outfits, but letting them wear vibrant, comfy clothes! As soon as they are old enough, we will allow them to have autonomy over what they want to wear. We want to encourage independence and creativity - and self confidence!
Have you decorated the nursery yet and if so, is there a theme?
Yes! We actually decided on a theme before we even got pregnant and we went with ‘Under The Sea’. The room is very green and colourful with lots of soft octopus and crab toys!
Best thing you’ve bought for the baby so far?
We bought a sensory light projector that makes waves on the ceiling and walls. Apparently babies will lie there and watch it for hours, and it also creates a really calming atmosphere for bedtime.
Best pregnancy purchase?
My Kally Sleeps pregnancy pillows! They have been an absolute LIFESAVER! I had terrible lower back and leg cramps until I brought those pillows into my life!
Bit of a quickfire for you…
Rose - Obviously my own LOL!
Rosie - The Minimalists
Best book you’ve read recently
Rose - Why We Sleep - Mathew Walker
Rosie - The Joy of Being Selfish by Michelle Elman
Box set binge of choice
Rose - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Rosie - The Office (The American series) OR Twin Peaks
Self-care of choice
Rose - Shutting out the world and winding down by playing Planet Coaster or Planet Zoo! Nothing is more satisfying than receiving a 10/10 scenery rating on my queuing system!
Rosie - I lie in the bath for hours and watch ASMR YouTube videos. And sometimes I love to read Am I The Asshole? On Reddit, because other peoples problems make mine seem trivial!
Share a favourite life hack
Rose - Doing something the moment it needs doing - putting it off leads to double the pain!
Rosie - Having a To Do list. I put EVERY SINGLE THING on my list. Every day’s mission is to clear the list - nothing feels better than ticking off those niggly jobs!