Paralympic athlete Sophie faces biggest test yet after giving birth to daughter with same condition as her
AS an athlete, Sophie Gay faced many challenges.
But being a new mum is the biggest challenge the 27-year-old Paralympian, from Westhoughton, has faced yet, following the birth of daughter Chloe.
Mrs Gay, who has achondroplasia — a form of short-limbed dwarfism — is featured in BBC2 programme The Midwives, which will be screened tomorrow.
She said: “It’s actually a lot harder than being an athlete. It’s 24/7.
“I don’t think anybody prepares you for motherhood but it’s great. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.”
Along with husband Dexter, a personal trainer, she is seen attending St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester where staff deal with pregnancies classed as high risk.
The former Rivington and Blackrod High School pupil, who is four foot four inches, said: “I felt it was really important to raise awareness for people with my condition who are wondering whether or not they can have children or carry children and how the pregnancy and birth would go.
“Hopefully I can do that as well. It was all a bit unknown, there’s not really much information out there.
“The only thing we knew for certain was I’d have to have a Caesarean section because I’m not able to give birth naturally.
“I carried her fine and went right up to the date we were meant to have her.
“All in all, it went really well and didn’t have any problems.”
Mrs Gay, who is taking a year off competing in shot put competitions, gave birth to her daughter on April 10.
She said: “She’s got the same condition as me. We found out at the 28 week scan.
“I found that quite difficult to deal with, obviously I know that’s come from me.
“I know how difficult some things are going to be in life but, so far, she’s absolutely fine.”
Speaking of the problems she has faced, Mrs Gay added: “This world is made for an average height person. Even just going to the shops and trying to reach things off the shelves.
“And there can be some cruel people out there.”
The couple have already watched the show they feature in, which is part of an eight episode series.
Mrs Gay, nee Hancock, who grew up in Horwich, said: “It was nice to see her being weighed, the bits that I wouldn’t get to see.”
She carried on training at the gym until she was five months pregnant and believes being an athlete helped her carry her firstborn.
Mrs Gay added: “Dexter’s concern was for me carrying the child but I knew that I would be absolutely fine. You don’t know whether you will be blessed but I would like another one.”
l The Midwives is on BBC2 at 9pm tomorrow.
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