Sam Quek introduces baby son and shares unique name: ‘Our family is complete’

When we arrive at Sam Quek’s exclusive cover shoot for OK! , she’s already in the make-up chair, relishing her first bit of downtime since welcoming her second child a month ago – a beautiful boy called Isaac “Zac” Gregory Mairs.

However, while the former Team GB hockey star is beaming and relaxed today, she tells us the past four weeks have not been without their challenges, including Zac’s dramatic – and at times worrying – arrival into the world. Sign up as an OK! VIP, for free, to read her interview and see all the snaps from her OK! shoot with baby Zac.

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In the early hours of the morning on Friday 11 March – just a day after Sam was on our screens hosting BBC show Morning Live and a week before her due date – she began to experience the early stages of labour.

Sam says, “I was due to present my last show on the Friday. Everyone had said, ‘Looking forward to your last show, Sam. We’re going to miss you, but make sure that the baby doesn’t come tonight and you wrap yourself up in cotton wool because we need you to present tomorrow morning.’”

“I laughed it off and said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m expecting him in a few more weeks, I think he’s going to be late like Molly.’ Then, at 2am Friday morning, I woke up and felt a bit of a twinge. Those twinges gradually grew stronger and stronger and turned into contractions.”

Things then took a worrying turn for Sam, who previously confided in OK! that she suffered a tragic miscarriage with her first pregnancy. She noticed she was bleeding – and started to panic.

“I’d been having recurring nightmares that if this birth went to a C-section, I was going to haemorrhage,” Sam admits. “I just felt like something was going to go wrong for this one, I don’t know why.

“I went to get changed, and when I saw there was a bit of blood, I started to panic, naturally – when you’re pregnant and see blood, it’s never a good sign.”

At around 3am, Sam and her husband Tom arrived at the hospital where the doctors told her everything was fine, but that they would keep her in as a precaution. Tom was even sent home to look after Molly as they didn’t expect any changes until at least late afternoon.

However, at 11am, when Tom was in a mad rush getting the nursery ready, there was a development at the hospital and Sam’s consultant said they needed to act fast.

Sam continues, “I was being monitored, and when there was still fresh blood hours later, they were a bit concerned where it was coming from. The consultant said, ‘Just to be safe, we’re going to whisk you down for an emergency C-section. We don’t want to take the chance that it could be anything sinister, so we would advise getting him out.’

“I replied, ‘Whatever is safest for the baby – but I’m not going into theatre until my husband gets here…’ I rang Tom and told him they were going to do it as soon as he got here.”

Recalling his hospital dash, Tom explains, “I expected it to be a bit more like the movies, where you get the call that says, ‘Your baby is coming,’ and you have to get in the car, weave through traffic, brave red lights and have a policeman pull you over where you say, ‘My son is about to be born!’ But, actually, every light was green, the traffic was quiet and I parked right outside the maternity unit.”

With luck and the amazing hospital staff on their side, both Mum and Dad were present when Zac was delivered via emergency Caesarean using forceps at 2.15pm, weighing a healthy 7lb 14oz – the same weight as Molly when she was born.

Sam recalls, “I cried. When his little face popped up over the curtain, it was the realisation that he’d finally got here, was safe and was going to join our family of three to make it four.”

Tom adds, “I was in awe. I was looking at Sam, she was looking at me, and you’re both hoping he’s got 10 toes and 10 fingers and he’s happy and healthy. It was more a feeling of relief.”

Former I’m A Celebrity contestant Sam credits her laid-back husband Tom with helping her get through the ordeal, and says he’s continued to be her rock since they returned to their Liverpool home.

“C-section recovery is tough and when your hormones are all over the place, you’re emotional and get frustrated that you can’t do the simplest things. I struggled with the recovery, it felt a bit longer, and my scar split open so I had to go back to hospital and get stitches and antibiotics,” Sam says.

“But Tom has literally been my right arm. I couldn’t even pick up Molly or hug her, so any time I needed to move her from A to B, I had to shout for Tom. He’s been so brilliant and I don’t know how he’s managed to put up with me and the hormones, sweats and tears.”

The feeling is entirely mutual, with Tom saying, “Sam’s an exceptional mother – a different grade. She hasn’t moaned at all.”

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However, the down-to-earth couple admit that going from one to two children has presented some major obstacles – especially considering the close age gap between Molly and Zac.

“It took us all last night, this morning and two lists just to get ready to come here today,” Sam smiles. But she maintains they’re taking it all in their stride.

And that’s clear to see on OK! ’s shoot when the multitasking mum hides a muslin cloth beneath her glam outfits to clean up Zac’s milk spillages during the photos. Meanwhile, she and Tom take it in turns to feed their son and entertain big character Molly.

It’s also evident Molly’s taken to being a big sister, as she sweetly points at Zac and says “Babba”, and even gives him a few kisses on the head in front of the camera.

“When we went home from the hospital, Molly was with my parents,” Sam explains. “Tom came in with Zac in the chair and she was brilliant. She came right over, stroked him on the head and said, ‘Aw!’ Considering she’s so young, she knew what a baby was. I suppose that’s down to the little dolls she plays with at home.”

Tom adds, “I made sure I had my mobile phone on record. Her first reaction was to play with the car seat and the label – and then she realised there was a little tiny baby inside.”

“Sam’s a twin with her brother Shaun and those two almost have another language. Seeing that, I know Molly and Zac will be so close. It will be an amazing relationship for them, too. It’s a real blessing.”

Family comes up often throughout our chat and understandably plays a huge role in both Sam and Tom’s life. In fact, Tom reveals it was his ancestors who partly inspired their son’s name.

Tom explains, “We’ve got a big family bible that was passed to us last year to fill in Molly’s details. When we were thinking of baby names,

I was looking back through it, and there was a guy called Isaac – and that’s when the first seed was planted. I asked my dad about it afterwards and he said, ‘Oh, he was a cheeky gardener!’

“My best friend from school is called Gregory and we made a deal in year seven that we’d name our first-born son after each other. He had a son before me and called him Thomas, so that’s why Isaac’s middle name is Gregory.”

Meanwhile, Sam’s Morning Live work family have been nothing but supportive since Zac’s arrival, sending congratulatory messages and gifts.

“Being part of the Morning Live group is so special. We’re all mates and love what we do. We’ve got a WhatsApp group, so we’re constantly in touch and taking the mick out of each other.

“When I was due to go to work and didn’t turn up, there were a few questions. The show’s doctor, Dr Punam, had actually said to me – because I’d not been too well with the norovirus – ‘Sam, if pregnant women have dodgy bowels, they tend to go into labour a few days later.’ I said, ‘No, it’s definitely just the norovirus.’ So she texted me when she knew I’d had the baby, saying, ‘I told you!’

“But they were all so supportive and brilliant. They had a little baby shower planned for me that I obviously didn’t get to have, but they sent lovely gifts together – one for Zac from The White Company with cute teddies, and a lovely little something for me too.”

Sam plans on introducing Zac to the gang when she returns from maternity leave next month to front the BBC morning show alongside presenters including Gethin Jones and Kimberley Walsh.

“I’m going back to Morning Live in May and really looking forward to it. Both Tom and I work and want to do the best for our family. I need my independence and ultimately enjoy working,” says Sam, who is also a team captain on Question Of Sport.

“Having the opportunity to first present on The One Show, and now be a permanent fixture on Morning Live, is something I never thought I’d go into.

I feel extremely lucky that I’ve been given those opportunities and have to grab them with both hands.”

And while the couple would never say never to expanding their brood in the future, they’re very content with their family at the moment.

“Before and after Molly was born, I was the advocate for having as many kids as possible – I was going to get a specialist car. But having experienced life with two, even for four weeks, I’ve definitely put the brakes on that for a little while,” Tom laughs.

“Having a girl and a boy, I feel our family is very much complete at this point. I have no idea what the future holds, but if we’re in this situation come April 2023, I’ll have even more wrinkles, be even greyer and even fatter,” he adds.

And Sam concludes, “Naturally, having children has brought Tom and I closer together. As a family, we’ve got so much to look forward to. I’m so excited to watch the children grow up and have a close relationship because there’s only a year between them.

“People keep asking, ‘Are you going to have another one?’ and you’d never write off the possibility of a child, but for now we’re just going to enjoy life as a family of four.”

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