Apprentice star Tom Skinner introduces baby son Henry as he and fiancée share details of dramatic birth

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Anyone who’s given birth will know it’s no walk in the park, but for Sinead Chambers, fiancée of Celebrity MasterChef star Thomas Skinner, the experience was particularly harrowing.

Not only did their firstborn, Henry Albert, make his debut appearance almost two weeks late, his heart rate dropped more than once during an induced labour, meaning Sinead, 30, couldn’t get the epidural she wanted.

As Thomas stood by helplessly, the doctors at Basildon Hospital worked hard to assure the new parents everything would be alright – and, as you can see from our gorgeous, exclusive pictures, little Henry was delivered safely and in good health on 5 November, weighing 8lb 13oz.

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For cheeky chappy Thomas, who was a fan favourite on the 2019 series of The Apprentice and is known for his catchphrase “bosh!”, Sinead’s labour was an emotional roller coaster.

But the couple, who have been together three years, agree the result was well worth it.

Seeing the pair gently fuss over little Henry is a delight and you can tell they are relishing every moment of parenthood.

Even the lack of sleep isn’t worrying them! “I can get away with three hours,” says Tom, 30, who makes his living delivering mattresses and pillows in between his TV work.

Here the delightful couple, who live in Essex, invite us into their home to show off Henry, relive the “terrifying” labour and reveal why the baby is a “little ringer” for his besotted daddy….

Congrats guys, Henry’s beautiful!

Thomas: Thank you so much. Being a dad is just the best thing ever. I’m absolutely loving it.

It sounds like the birth was quite stressful though – what happened?

Sinead: So, Henry was 13 days late and I really didn’t want to be induced, as I’d heard it was more painful – which it was! I went in on the Wednesday to start the process, but the baby was distressed and his heart rate dropped.

They monitored me and told me they couldn’t give me the pessary [to start the induction] as a result. They actually wanted me in the labour ward that evening but there were no beds.

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Anyway, the baby was fine and his heart rate went back up. They kept me in overnight on a different ward, then at 7am in the morning, took me upstairs, broke my waters, put me on a drip and within four hours he was here.

A dropped heart rate sounds frightening…

Sinead: Yeah it was! And because of Covid-19 Tom couldn’t come and stay with me until I was on the actual labour ward, so I had to spend that first night on my own. When I heard Henry was in distress, I got really scared.

Thomas: It was well scary. Sinead rang me up crying, and I couldn’t do anything to help. It was the day before lockdown, I couldn’t even go to the hospital.

I just panicked so much. I kept telling her it was gonna be fine, but I was proper scared. But the team that looked after her, the midwives and the doctors, were fantastic.

You had a relatively short labour – you must have been relieved?

Sinead: Oh massively. That and I was just so glad to have the contractions stop. They were so painful.

Thomas: They told me she was really struggling with the pain, so they said they would give her an epidural. Then the doctor came in and just said “no”. The baby’s heart rate had dropped so low again, they couldn’t risk it.

Sinead was upset, and in the worst pain she’s ever experienced. I was so panicked and worried and kept asking the doctors if she was okay. I was an absolute mess.

That all sounds so traumatic!

Sinead: I honestly thought I was gonna die, it was that painful. Other women on the ward were screaming too – it wasn’t just me.

Thomas: It’s clichéd to say, but it’s true – seeing it all happen was like watching my favourite pub burn down.

Thomas!

Thomas: [Laughs] Nah, I’m kidding. Being there for the labour and seeing that baby come out, that was unbelievable – it was the best thing that’s ever happened in my life.

My mates all said to me, “When you see that baby being born, something happens to you.” And it’s true! I was crying my eyes out. I was like, “Give him to me!” I cut the cord and everything. I’ve never felt love like it, I tell ya.

So, you’d agree he’s totally worth it?

Thomas: Oh my God, absolutely.

Sinead: The second he was put on my chest, I knew it had all been worth it.

And the labour hasn’t put you off having more babies in the future?

Thomas: No chance. I want a football team!

Sinead: We’ll see about that… I would definitely want more, though. I’d love a girl.

Where did the inspiration for the name come from?

Thomas: Henry is my grandad’s name and my middle name. My grandad was a proper legend and it’s lovely to carry the name on, and little Henry’s middle name is Albert. We just loved it – nice strong name!

Henry Albert sounds very regal…

Thomas: Oh yeah, he’s gonna be a king! I’m gonna set him up with Princess Charlotte when he’s older.

Can you already see the sort of child he’ll be?

Sinead: He’ll be cheeky – he’ll be the image of Thomas.

Thomas: And my mum said I was the devil child, so I’m looking forward to that. Ha!

How are you both coping with day-to-day life as new parents?

Sinead: Every day is different. Henry doesn’t have a routine at the minute – he feeds when he wants. We’re taking each day as it comes.

Thomas: I love just watching him. I could sit and stare at him forever. And I do!

Is the sleep deprivation getting to you?

Sinead: I’m not gonna lie, it is difficult – but it’s worth it. You just have to get up and carry on. That’s the thing, you don’t have a choice, you just have to get on with it. I’ve been breastfeeding and while it was difficult to start with, it’s getting better every day. Henry’s still learning, I’m still learning. But we’re getting through it.

So, what’s Henry’s sleep like?

Sinead: Well, last night for instance, we put him down at about 11.30pm and he slept through until three; then he was up at five again until seven. But he’ll nap throughout the day. We’re not in a routine yet, but he’s ever so content. He loves to sleep.


Have you had a lot of well wishes from celebrities?

Thomas: So many people have congratulated us! Lord Sugar, Judi Love, Ryan-Mark Parsons – everyone I’ve ever done stuff with on the TV has been in touch. We’ve had so many cards. I’m gonna get the Tipp-Ex out and sell ’em next year!

What have been the best presents’?

Thomas: We got lots of lovely gifts. My mum knitted some gorgeous outfits and I think they are my favourite, she’s very talented. We’ve had a full baby West Ham kit, which I’m very happy about!

One of my mates got him a teddy bear which breathes – it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s meant to be white noise, but it terrifies me! I look at this thing and think it’s possessed!

Babies do love white noise, though…

Thomas: Well, exactly – so I’ve gotta keep it around.

Sinead: Henry loves the sound of the hoover, too. I often put the hoover on when he’s there.

Thomas: And he loves the car, doesn’t he? Going round the bends and stuff. And rocking him in the pram.

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What sort of dad is Thomas, Sinead?

Sinead: He’s very hands-on. He’s even helped change the nappies, which I was surprised by.

Thomas: I just love cuddling him, bathing him, having him in my arms – I love it all.

How do you find the time, considering you’re still working full time doing your deliveries?

Thomas: I don’t need a lot of sleep – I can get away with three hours a night. Once I’m in for the evening, I’ll very happily chill with the baby all night. I go to work and FaceTime Sinead four of five times a day, and she’s always sending me little pictures.

Sinead, how do you cope when Thomas is not there?

Sinead: I think I prefer it. He makes more mess when he’s at home!

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