Coronation Street star Victoria Ekanoye introduces baby son and opens up on traumatic labour: ‘I was in hospital for a week’
Former Coronation Street actress Victoria Ekanoye has introduced her and Jonny Lomas' adorable baby son in stunning photos for OK! VIP members.
The 38 year actress and The X Factor: Celebrity star looks simply stunning in the gorgeous, exclusive photos as she also announces his sweet name. After giving birth to her "miracle" baby boy earlier this year, Victoria has also opened up about her son's traumatic birth, where she remained in hospital for a week, in an honest interview, especially for OK! VIP members.
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Victoria Ekanoye is clearly loving motherhood as she happily breast-feeds her baby and changes his nappy while we catch up on the phone. The former Coronation Street star and her partner Jonny Lomas admit they’re “smitten” as they exclusively introduce son Théodore Christopher Ekanoye-Lomas.
But the peaceful scene is a far cry from those of his birth – and in addition to their joy, there is a huge sense of relief.
Victoria has sickle cell anaemia, so she was induced and put on pain medication for the birth. But her body rejected the drugs and she suffered a severe reaction – then had to endure a labour that lasted almost three days, much of it without pain relief.
At one point, Victoria even feared losing their little boy – who finally arrived at 1.45am on 16 January, weighing in at 7lb 12oz. “The thought of not leaving as a three is heartbreaking and that’s what pushed me through,” says the 38-year-old, who also competed on The X Factor: Celebrity.
Here, the couple, who split their time between Nice in France – where Jonny runs a building firm – and Lancashire, tell OK! about Théodore’s arrival and whether more kids are on the cards…
Congratulations! How did you choose Théodore’s name?
Victoria: We put a few names in a pot and then we were like, “What if he doesn’t look like that?” I had a tough birth and was in hospital for a week, so we waited three days and decided on Théodore Christopher. Christopher is Jonathan’s dad’s name. He’ll be schooled in France, so he has an accent on the “e”.
Jonny: I’ll introduce French from an early age and he will be hearing and speaking it at nursery. I can’t wait!
Tell us about the birth…
Victoria: I was induced on 13 January when I was 39 weeks. From when I was induced to when he came, it was almost three days! With sickle cell it’s not advised to have a birth without painkillers as it can trigger a sickle cell crisis [episodes of pain], so I was induced and put on pain medication. But I had a really bad reaction. I was vomiting, I couldn’t walk and I could barely speak. Jonny said I was out of it and he was really worried. I also had chest pains, so I ended up having an ECG within 30 minutes of giving birth, as with sickle cell you can get chest syndrome, which is basically a stroke. It was traumatic but I can’t imagine how hard it was for Jonny watching it.
Jonny: It was a very stressful time! It was hard to see Victoria struggling and in so much pain.
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Were you given other pain relief?
Victoria: They had to wait for the medication to wear off so I could have something else. It ended up being over 24 hours from when my waters broke to when he came, which was also concerning as they worry about infection. Eventually, the vomiting subsided and they gave me an epidural, which pretty much saved me as I was in so much pain. But my body was in overdrive from trying to fight off the other medication and it made the epidural wear off, so I needed a top-up. A big part of sickle cell is also fatigue and I was so dehydrated from the vomiting I was convulsing. I had no energy and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to push him out. It was breaking my heart as it was too late for a Caesarean.
That must have been scary…
Victoria: It was. They brought a doctor in who was going to use forceps. Thank God the midwives were incredible, there was one who managed to get me into a zone with pushing. They did an episiotomy, where they cut you. I gave one more big push and his head popped out. Jonny saw it and he was speechless! The midwife said, “Reach down, it’s your baby’s head.” I started crying. I did one final push and as his arms and waist cleared me, I pulled him out and up onto my chest.
Jonny: She was incredible, strong and so resilient. She gave every last bit of energy to deliver him. I’m so proud of her.
Wow! How did you feel?
Victoria: We were overjoyed. The biggest thing was relief I’d been able to get him out. Hearing him scream was the most joyous sound as he’d been stuck there a while and we were scared he wouldn’t make it. He’s our little miracle. It’s definitely the most challenging thing I’ve done.
Jonny: It was pure relief that he was here and they were both OK. That moment was perfection. I’ll never forget it.
Victoria: Afterwards, Jonny said he was thinking, “Have I lost my girlfriend?” He said he was so scared.
Did you decide to have the baby here instead of France because of coronavirus?
Victoria: No, because of my sickle cell. My team is here. I was seeing my specialist, obstetrician and midwife every two weeks because it was such a high-risk pregnancy – partly due to my sickle cell and also it was a geriatric pregnancy [a pregnancy in a woman over 35]. That term makes me laugh!
Coronation Street and Celeb X Factor star Victoria Ekanoye stuns in maternity shoot ahead of giving birth
Victoria Ekanoye gives birth: Coronation Street star welcomes first child with partner Jonny Lomas
How is the breast-feeding?
Victoria: It’s so magical. He’s definitely a hungry baby! It was tough initially and I know it’s not for everyone, but we got there in the end. It’s tough on your nipples and it drains you. I express so Jonny can help feed him. He’s very hands-on, they have the cutest bond.
Jonny: It’s a new experience but it’s the best thing in the world. It’s tiring and at times stressful but it’s a good stress! He’s the best and just perfect.
With fertility being harder due to your sickle cell, does it feel even more special?
Victoria: Oh God, yeah. I believed before we got pregnant we’d need help, like IVF. We did discuss freezing my eggs. When I got pregnant we were in France four weeks into lockdown. I was like, “What’s going on? Is this the right time? What about work?” But it’s ended up being the best time and, thankfully, Jonny’s company is thriving.
Have you discussed getting engaged?
Victoria: It’s something we want to do. I’ve always had the thought of having the baby there as part of the union before I was even with Jonny.
Jonny: I’m not sure when the ideal time would be but maybe when he’s a little older and he can walk Mummy down the aisle!
Victoria: We used to joke about our wedding before we even got together. He was friends with my cousins in school and we’ve always stayed in touch. There was a drunken Christmas kiss forever ago and that was it until five years ago, when we both happened to be single.
Would you like any more children?
Victoria: I actually feel content. I know Jonny would love Théodore to have a sibling and it’s not that I wouldn’t, but I don’t know it would be as great an outcome as it was with Théodore. It was a close call and what would happen if I didn’t pull through or I didn’t get them out? But also at this point, especially with fertility being more fragile with sickle cell and age, we’re very satisfied. But I’ll also say never say never, as he’s adorable. There would also be nothing wrong with adopting.
Would you like to go back to Corrie one day?
Victoria: Oh God, yeah. I loved being there. I’d love a really meaty storyline. He [Théodore] has lots of aunties waiting to meet him, like Sair [Khan], Faye [Brookes], Nicola [Thorp] and Tisha [Merry]. I also have a WhatsApp group with Patti [Clare] and Paddy [Wallace]. They’re always checking in.
Have you had messages from your X Factor: Celebrity co-stars?
Victoria: They’ve all sent lovely messages and Ricki [Lake] sent me a voice note. Even Elizabeth [Hurley, who Victoria worked with on The Royals] and her son Damian, every time I post anything they’re like, “We’re so happy for you, keep sending the pictures.”
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