SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH SAM Attwater AND VICKY OGDEN

While most of the romances on television’s Dancing On Ice haven’t lasted the course, actor Sam Attwater and professional ice skater Vicky Ogden became the first couple from the show to get married. And now the loved-up duo are expecting a baby girl! Former EastEnders star Sam, 29, and Vicky, 31, had already become partners in real life before they became dance partners on the show’s final run in 2014. Sam had previously won the sixth series of the show three years earlier with professional skater Brianne Delcourt. Sam and Vicky married in August 2014 at Northbrook Park in Surrey, which was covered exclusively by OK!. Now they’re busy putting the finishing touches to the nursery. Although Vicky is six months pregnant when we meet, she still looks tiny. Sam confides that it hasn’t been an easy pregnancy as she’s suffered with morning, afternoon and evening sickness, while for much of this time he’s been away from home, touring in theatre productions. Despite all of this, they appear to be relaxed about their impending arrival and say they can’t wait to become parents. Here, the couple reveal how Sam has a plan to bring the curtain down if the baby arrives early, how they kept the pregnancy a secret for months and why Vicky had to check with the midwife if it was fine to skate and dance with fire while pregnant¦

Congratulations! How are you feeling?

Sam: Thanks, we’re both over the moon about it. It all seems to have happened so fast. It’s just so exciting!

How are things going?

Vicky: For the first four months I had severe sickness, when I was being sick up to nine times a day. It wasn’t just morning sickness, it would hit me whenever. If I was in the car I would have bags with me.

Sam: We would pull over in a lay-by and all sorts of places just so Vicky could be sick.

That sounds pretty hideous…

Sam: At that point we hadn’t told anybody about the pregnancy, so it was a nightmare for Vicky trying to hide the fact that she was being sick nine times a day.

Vicky: It was, and then the week before Christmas I got the norovirus. A number of us got it at the ice rink so that wiped me out. There were no fluids staying in me whatsoever. And Sam was in panto in Carlisle! I was literally curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor, crying my eyes out. I had to go into the walk-in health centre they tested me and said I was virtually dehydrated.

Did it have any other effects on your body?

Vicky: I lost a lot of weight. That plays on your mind, as you want to do everything correctly for the baby. I was petrified that I wasn’t giving the baby the right nutrients.

Sam: There was one Sunday when we were out in the car and Vicky just said: I don’t think I’m enjoying being pregnant.’ I think she was just exhausted from being sick all the time. She is usually so fit and healthy.

Why didn’t you want people to know about the pregnancy?

Sam: The main reason was that we wanted to tell our family on Christmas Day. We had a scan, so I edited it and put a Santa hat on the baby, so when they opened their Christmas cards they would see that Vicky was pregnant!

Vicky: I wanted to have the time to speak to my students and parents [Vicky is the school director of the International School Of Skating in Milton Keynes] to tell them the news, but also reassure them that I would be back.

How did your families react when you told them the news?

Sam: My parents weren’t coming to us last Christmas so we told them over Skype. As soon as we showed them the scan they got very excited and shed a tear. Vicks’ mum came round and we gave her the card with the scan inside.

Vicky: She didn’t have a premonition but she said when she was driving round on Christmas morning that she just thought that it would be lovely if we told her I was pregnant. My brother’s baby was six months old so she thought it would be nice to have another one. She was very happy and there were some more tears.

How long are you intending to take off work?

Sam: Vicky is a workaholic. Two days?

Vicky: There’s a skating camp in Austria that I’m planning to work on and that’s five weeks after the baby is due [at the end of June]. We’ve booked the flights. I couldn’t imagine taking six or 12 months off.

Sam: I’ll be going along as daddy day care!

Do you not think you need to take a little more time off?

Vicky: The thing is that I have worked with some of my students from when they were six years old up until when they are 18, so they’re like my ice babies. I feel like I can’t just walk away and take a year off. We can put some ice skates on the pram and the baby can come, too!

Were you trying for a family?

Sam: Last March we decided to start trying. We got a call from my best friend Jon [Hawkins] saying that he and his partner were expecting. I called Vicky and joked: They’re pregnant before us!’ But then Vicks came home and said she thought she might be pregnant. So we did a test and found out Vicks was pregnant. I was straight on the phone to tell Jon we were pregnant, too!

How did it feel when you were doing the test?

Vicky: I remember looking at the test, straight away it came up as pregnant. I thought, just leave it for another few minutes, but I kept looking. It didn’t sink in straight away. But I felt so happy.

So who did you tell first?

Sam: Obviously Jon, as it was amazing that me and my best friend were going to become dads at the same time.

Vicky: I had to tell my friend Jennie Krupinski when we were touring in Professionals On Ice. When we used to go to the bar after each show we made out that my lime and soda had vodka in it. I found out the day before we were due to start rehearsing that I was pregnant, so I was worried about doing lifts and I perform with fire. I had a bit of a panic that the midwife might say I couldn’t perform because of the risk from breathing in fumes!

But what about doing all the lifts and being flung around?

Vicky: My skating partner Eriq Loins severed a tendon in his finger a few weeks before, so headbangers and other tricks were out the window. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, Eriq found out his wife was pregnant, too!

Sam, how did you feel when Vicky found out she was pregnant?

I was made up, totally ecstatic. Both of us love kids. Everybody has said we’ll make amazing parents. Vicky works with children and we have our theatre school, too Universal Performing Arts. We did a show last year and I was stood in the wings getting all choked up thinking, there are my kids. It felt incredible to watch them learn and grow. So that made me wants kids even more.

Are you noticing changes in Vicky’s body, Sam?

For ages she didn’t show. It’s only been in the last three or four weeks that she’s got a baby bump. With me being away on tour, now I notice she’s getting bigger every time I come home.

When did you have your first scan?

Vicky: When I was three months. Sam only had December 17 off as he was in panto so we had to say to the midwife we needed to request that date.

How did you feel when you saw the baby for the first time?

Vicky: With having such bad sickness it was nice to see the baby was okay. It made me think it was worth it. It was our first connection to her. I kept looking to see if Sam was crying [laughs]! Sam: It was amazing to see this little tiny person moving around. When I get excited I make really bad jokes. The midwife shut me down straight away!

Didn’t you have another scan a month later?

Sam: Yes, we had one of those 4D scans so we could find out the gender. Was it important to find out the gender? Vicky: We are quite organised with planning. As Sam is on tour, I thought he’d have more of a connection knowing that we had a little girl on the way. We bought a lot of things for the nursery before he went off on tour. I thought I’d always have a baby boy, but as soon as I was pregnant I felt like I was having a girl.

Sam: Yes, we’re very impatient! I wanted a girl because you want to spoil her rotten and let her be that little princess for a while before the next one comes along. I have the scan with me. Every night before I go on in the show, I give my little girl a kiss.

How many scans have you had now?

Sam: We’ve had three with the extra 4D one. That was incredible. You could see her toes moving, her fingers wiggling and the heart beating. When I saw her toes moving it made the hairs on my arms stand up.

Vicky: We’ve got the picture on our fridge. You can see her tiny arm and shoulder. It’s weird as she looks like a clay baby.

Have you thought of any names?

Vicky: We think we have a middle one but we’re not sure about her first name yet.

Is it tough being apart from each other because of work?

Sam: When we’re together we spend all of our time with each other. When I was in panto the hardest thing was opening night. We were about to open and Vicks called me. She couldn’t talk or breathe because she was in floods of tears because of the norovirus. I just felt so helpless.

You have to work unsociable hours to fit in around your students’ time at school, Vicky how have you coped with that?

Vicky: i’m up around 5.15am so i should be prepared for the baby waking me up [laughs]! i’m on the ice at 6am until 9am, i’ll do 4pm to 7.30pm. so it’s not like i do long hours, but i have started to feel the pressure on my back when i’m on the ice. Sam: Vicky has a very quick, noisy routine first thing in the morning. the other day i sent her a photo of a one-man band and captioned it: Vicky in the morning!’ every drawer and door is open and shut.

How have your emotions been during the pregnancy, Vicky?

i think i’ve been okay, although i was quite miserable towards the end of the severe sickness. but when i watch movies or certain tV shows i do look at them in a different light. one of my friends told me to watch One Born Every Minute. the first show i watched, a baby was born early and passed away. i was all over the place. i’m petrified of giving birth.

Do you know what sort of birth you’re having? Sam: hopefully we’ve got a place at the barratt birth centre at northampton hospital. you have a pool in your room in case you want a water birth, but if there are any complications or you decide you don’t want a natural birth you’re taken down to the birthing unit.

Vicky: there are only six rooms so you have to book them at 36 weeks, and when you go into labour you have to call to make sure there’s a room available. if there isn’t a place, we’ll just go to our local hospital in milton keynes.

Did you not fancy having a home birth? Sam: i wanted a water birth at home but Vicky just said no!

Vicky: it’s our first baby. i don’t know what to expect and if there are any complications i’ll have everything around me and they can look after me.

Sam, you’re touring with End Of The Rainbow until the day before Vicky’s due date. What happens if the baby comes early?

the company manager and my dresser have got instructions that if anything starts to happen, i’m off stage and in my car. Vicky got me an apple watch for christmas, so when your phone rings your watch vibrates. i might wear it on my ankle on stage. let’s hope people don’t think i’ve been tagged!

Vicky: my mum is going to come and stay with me for the two weeks before my due date just in case. How do you think you’ll feel when you’re in the delivery room?

Sam: i think i’ll be nervous but excited. i’ll just have to make sure i don’t end up telling jokes! i can’t wait to be a dad. they said if we had a water birth i could get in the pool. i was like, no thanks!

You’re very athletic, Vicky how have you felt about your body changing?

i’ve been conscious of it and made sure that i’ve been eating well. but as soon as the baby’s born i want to be back on the ice. i know i need to be back in shape as soon as possible. Sam: i love the bump. it’s the first time i’ve had a flatter stomach than Vicky!

You both have your own schools how did that come about?

Sam: i went to a theatre school when i was younger and have such fond memories of it that i wanted to open a school to give back the same experiences i had. working with our students at Universal performing arts and seeing them progress has been amazing and makes me even more excited to be a dad to see our own child grow. Vicky is the school director of the international school of skating in milton keynes where she’s worked with children for the past 14 years, training them to become champion skaters.

Do you keep in touch with anybody from Dancing On Ice?

Sam: we spoke to dan whiston the other day. and we told brianne delcourt before we announced the news.

Vicky: we spoke to karen barber on skype as she was out in colorado with christopher dean. she said she cried when she heard our news, which was lovely, as she was part of how we met. we speak to suzanne shaw lots, and samia ghadie and sylvain longchambon, which is great as they’ve all had babies recently too.Sam Attwater and wife Vicky Ogden reveal ‘severe’ morning sickness … Ltf

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