Ferne McCann has said she has surprised herself with motherhood and that she has loved having her daughter, even though it was not “part of the plan” for her life just yet.

The former The Only Way Is Essex star became a mother in November, but her pregnancy was overshadowed by the attention around her ex-boyfriend – the father of her daughter – Arthur Collins and his involvement in a nightclub attack.

Collins was convicted at Wood Green Crown Court of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, and nine counts of actual bodily harm against 14 people on April 17 over an acid attack on nightclub revellers.

Ferne McCann Ferne McCann (ITV)

But McCann, who is set to show her fans her pregnancy journey and her early experience at being a mother in a new ITVBe programme, has said that her daughter Sunday has been the “light at the end of the tunnel” following a “turbulent” year.

The new mother, who is raising her daughter without the help of Collins, has said she has surprised herself with both her strength and at how well she has taken to this unplanned moment in her life.

The 27-year-old told the Press Association: “I think, as human beings, you really do surprise yourself with your own strength.

“When you’re faced with something this tricky, you just have to deal with it.

“These past six months have been tricky times, they’ve been testing and it has been turbulent, but the light at the end of the tunnel was – for me – Sunday. I just kind of surrounded myself with great family and friends.

“At the end of the day, I’ve got Sunday and I’m just so happy, and she’s healthy, and I’m just relieved.”

McCann, who found out she was pregnant two weeks before Collins was involved in the nightclub attack, said she had not expected to find herself expecting so soon.

I thought today would be the perfect day to tell you all her name…meet Sunday 💗💗💗

A post shared by Ferne (@fernemccann) on Nov 5, 2017 at 4:57am PST

“It was definitely a surprise when I found out that I was pregnant,” she said.

“I wouldn’t say I was always the maternal type, but I’d definitely class myself as being maternal now.

“I always wanted children, but it wasn’t a part of the plan for this year.”

She added that she is “so glad” Sunday is part of her life and absolutely loves motherhood.

McCann said she had been worried that she was not going to get “that initial rush of unconditional love”, but that she now has a very strong bond with her daughter.

“Every minute that you spend with your baby, the love just grows and blossoms, and that bond that you’ve got – mother and baby – it’s all you need in life,” she said.

“I really feel complete.”

:: Ferne McCann: First Time Mum airs December 12 at 9pm on ITVBe