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Having a baby doesn’t have to stop you being a Firefighter, Jo shares her journey

I was 20 years old when I joined the fire service and I had my son, who is 7 now, at 32. I’m now 39, and 17 weeks pregnant expecting twins!

I took 9 months off when I had my son, but with having twins I will be taking a year off this time.

Returning to work after maternity leave was certainly nerve-wracking, but I had great support from the Service who brought me back gradually, which helped with the adjustment to the new life motherhood brings.

I had a C Section with my son which did have an impact on getting my fitness back, as I had to go through the pain barrier of training again, but I achieved it. I got past the pain barrier and training became much easier – I had my son in January 2014, and ran a half marathon in October the same year, without stopping!

As a parent I do always worry about balancing my job and motherhood, but the flexibility of the shifts and work patterns allow me to be there for my children and do my job. I was also lucky to find a child minder with my son who would have him Monday to Fridays on my day shifts, so he just went in twice a week – and I’ll be doing the same this time.

I do worry with having twins this time round of the impact it will have, but as most expecting mothers - or anyone going through change - this is a normal reaction I like to think.

I’m pretty certain the feelings and challenges I’ll face this time round will be the same, but this time I know the Service and my colleagues are there for me, and any nerves or anxiety I have on returning I will have support on.

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Jo crouching in front of fire engine holding young son