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When we catch up with Louisa Lytton, the pregnant actress admits she’s feeling a mix of emotions about showing her bump to the world.
“I’m excited but quite nervous,” Louisa tells us. “It’s a weird thing, but you almost feel like you’re not in your own body when you’re pregnant.”
But after a tricky first 12 weeks, the 32-year-old, who’s due in September, is now glowing from head to toe.
Louisa and her fiancé Ben Bhanvra, 30, previously said they wouldn’t put off having kids for the sake of being married first.
And now, with a little one on the way, Louisa reveals that after already having to postpone their big day twice, they have cancelled it altogether.
Louisa looks incredible!
(Image: Karis Kennedy)
“We’re going to have the baby and focus on that, and then get married once we’re ready,” says the star, who plays Ruby Allen in BBC One soap EastEnders.
Here Louisa, who lives in north London with Ben and their Cockapoo Riley, tells us all about her pregnancy journey so far…
Hi Louisa! How have you felt about your changing body?
It’s an odd one. Before, when I had friends and family who were pregnant and they said they felt uncomfortable in their own skin, all you can think is, “But you’re carrying a child.”
Then it happens to you and it’s just something you’ve never experienced before. It took me a while to see what was happening to my body and realise it was because I was growing a human.
The first 12 weeks were tricky. It was a whirlwind of worry, panic and sickness. I was sick in the morning and nauseous all day. The only thing that would stop me feeling sick was eating!
You and Ben said you wouldn’t put off having children for the sake of getting married…
Ben and I had a conversation towards the end of last year and it wasn’t looking like the wedding was going ahead.
EastEnders star Louisa Lytton enjoys 'best day' at surprise baby brunch
EastEnders' Louisa Lytton's anxiety over miscarriage scenes while secretly pregnant
We’d already postponed it twice by then and I didn’t want to put off having children any longer. I’ve always wanted to get married first before having children for tradition, but sometimes things are taken out of your hands.
So we just said, “Let’s see what happens,” and it ended up happening quickly! We were so lucky.
Did you postpone your wedding again when you found out you were expecting?
The wedding had already been put back to 2022 because it didn’t look like it was going ahead the way we wanted this year. Then we found out I was pregnant so we had to tell people we’re actually having a baby so it can’t go ahead anyway! I also don’t want to get married while pregnant.
When are you planning to get married now?
We’ve decided to scrap the whole thing and start again with our plans. We’re going to have the baby and focus on that and then get married once we’re ready.
Now, with the baby, it will be such a different day and it’s just amazing. I was at my mum and dad’s wedding so it’s nice that our baby will now be doing the same.
How is Ben feeling about becoming a dad?
He’s really chilled out about it now. At first he was in shock and it took him a while to tell family and friends. I didn’t want to wait
12 weeks and I wanted to tell my parents, but he wanted to let the news settle.
Are you going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl?
No. All we want is a healthy baby, so we don’t feel the need to find out. Ben says “he” and I say “she” – we’re covering all bases!
Louisa and Ben announced their happy news in March
They've decided to cancel their wedding and pick plans up later
You were drinking tequila shots the night before you found out you were pregnant…
It was Christmas Day and we did a Zoom call with all the family. We played a game and you had to have a shot if you lost. I had two tequila shots and that night I was violently sick.
Alcohol doesn’t normally do that to me. I thought, “Oh my God, could it be?”
On Boxing Day I woke up and said to Ben, “I’m going to do a test.”
He thought I was being melodramatic. I went into the bathroom to do it, then I came running out! I got the shakes. It was such a special, surreal moment. And then I was like, “Why did I drink tequila?”
But I didn’t know I was pregnant. I’ve had comments saying, “Why were you drinking?” It was so early on and I had no idea.
How do you deal with negative comments like that?
Sadly, it’s the world we live in now with social media – people can tell you directly what they think of you.
Louisa as Ruby in EastEnders
(Image: BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)
It doesn’t help that I play not a very nice character and sometimes people mistake that for me. But it’s my job and there’s always a character on the show who’s disliked, otherwise it would be boring. The best thing to do is just ignore it.
Which of your co-stars did you tell first?
I told James Bye and Lacey Turner.
I had to tell them. You almost see them more than you see your own partner! I also told them to explain the constant going to the toilet, the constant eating, and the times I had to run off set.
I started showing really early. They’ve been amazing and were so excited. I’d spoken to Lacey beforehand about wanting to have
a baby. She’s been great and really helped me at the beginning.
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James has looked after me and he has three kids of his own. I’m so grateful to have been working with him during this time.
Your co-star Kellie Bright is also pregnant…
Yes, we keep bumping into each other at work and comparing bumps!