Martine McCutcheon: Motherhood has shown me true love
Martine McCutcheon wasn't prepared for how much love she would feel for her baby son Rafferty - her child with husband Jack McManus
Martine McCutcheon had never been "so in love" until she became a mother.
The 38-year-old actress and her husband Jack McManus welcomed son Rafferty into the world last month and the former 'EastEnders' star - who has previously spoken of her struggle to conceive - has admitted she wasn't prepared for the depth of feelings she has for her child.
She said: "I used to think, when I heard people say having a child was their most life-changing moment, that they were just saying that because it was the expected thing to say.
"Now I so get it. I have never been so in love, so content and so full of happiness in my life. My mum always said to me that it is a love like no other, and it's absolutely true.
"This baby boy is the love of our lives and I think the fact this didn't happen easily for us and faced challenges along the way has made him even more precious."
Martine and Jack faced further problems when Rafferty arrived, as he was taken to a special care unit for two nights after suffering problems with his lungs.
Despite her worries, Martine - who married Jack in September 2012 - knew her little boy would be "just fine" as soon as she saw him being treated.
She told the new issue of HELLO! magazine: "Basically, his lungs were filled with fluid, but we were told that it wasn't anything to panic about and that he was being taken to the special care baby unit to be monitored. I was aching for that skin-on-skin contact and to hold my baby and bond with him.
"But when we went to see Rafferty in the incubator, he was already trying to lift his head and I thought, 'You're going to be just fine, little man.' "