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Olympic swimmer Hannah Miley shares her joy of becoming a mother to a premature baby

Olympic swimmer Hannah Miley shares her joy of becoming a mother to a premature baby

A ‘whirlwind’ experience

Hannah Miley, one of Scotland’s most successful swimmers, has opened up about the “whirlwind” experience of becoming a mother to a premature baby. The Commonwealth Games champion gave birth to her daughter, Bonnie, in October, six weeks before her due date. She and her husband, Ewan, spent weeks anxiously waiting before they could bring her home from hospital in Aberdeen.

Miley, who was aiming for her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, said that nothing could match the range of emotions she felt after the birth of her baby. “It was a bit of a shock, a bit of a surprise, but she’s here and she’s healthy and she’s happy and that’s all that matters,” she told BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime programme.

A ‘miracle’ baby

Miley, who retired from swimming in 2021, said that her daughter was a “miracle” baby, as she had been told by doctors that she had a low chance of conceiving naturally due to her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). She said that she and her husband had been trying for a baby for a while, but had not expected it to happen so soon after she stopped swimming.

Olympic swimmer Hannah Miley shares her joy of becoming a mother to a premature baby

“I think it was just meant to be. It was just the right timing. I think my body was just ready to have a baby and it just happened,” she said. She added that she was grateful for the support of her family, friends and the medical staff who looked after her and her baby.

A ‘different’ challenge

Miley, who won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014, said that becoming a mother was a “different” challenge from swimming, but one that she was enjoying. She said that she was still passionate about swimming, but had no regrets about retiring from the sport.

“I think I’ve achieved everything I wanted to achieve in swimming. I’ve been to three Olympic Games, I’ve been to four Commonwealth Games, I’ve won medals at every level. I’ve done everything I wanted to do and more,” she said. She said that she was now focusing on her new role as a mother, and was “in awe” of her daughter.

“I think she’s amazing. She’s just so strong and so resilient and so determined. She’s just got this amazing personality and I just love watching her grow and develop every day,” she said.

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