Introducing Sam Albert Newton Welsh

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Australian TV veteran Bert Newton, 69, and wife Patti, proudly show off the new edition to their famous family in this week’s edition of Woman’s Day. Bert’s daughter Lauren Newton, 29, and husband Olympic swimmer Matt Welsh, welcomed their first child together, son Sam Albert Newton Welsh, on January 19th. Here the extended family talk of their love for Sam, the fear surrounding his birth and adapting to parenthood.

Click the extended post for all the baby-related highlights and many photos.

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Bert, who in Australia is famously known for his moon face and constant smile, broke down and cried after the birth of his first grandchild last month. The actor, who has been a television favorite for decades, was ecstatic following a nervous wait while daughter Lauren had an emergency cesarean section. Lauren explains,

There was a problem with the placenta. It was beginning to break down, which wasn’t good for me or the baby. The doctor said that I had to go and have an emergency c-section right away.

I didn’t know if the placenta would last through the operation, or if the baby would be OK. I was worried because it might not have been working properly for weeks and the estimated birth rate was low. We just didn’t know what condition the baby would be in. We didn’t know or care whether it was a boy or a girl, our only concern was that it would be healthy.

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And the couple were ecstatic when their perfect baby boy arrived two-and-a-half weeks early, in prime condition. Lauren’s mother Patti adds,

I didn’t want to go into the operating room with Lauren and Matt because I think that’s a special time for the two of them. But I was very nervous so I was all emotional when Matt came out with the baby and told me it was a boy.

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Matt adds that Lauren was nervous, but during and after the birth he has never been more proud of her.

Before Sam arrived Lauren was very, very nervous. She didn’t know what to expect but she surprised herself, how strong she is. That was her moment to shine. Now she wants another one but we’ll have to see about that. The big thing wasn’t just love — that’s a cop-out word. It was an overwhelming urge to protect this new life — and I was so proud of Lauren.

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And do they want Sam to be a swimmer?

Sam absolutely adores his bath. There’s a little part of me that hopes he has my affinity with water and I will be able to teach him a bit. I’m not sure I want him to be a swimmer, though. We’d prefer to get him into something that starts at midday, not 5am.

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The couple, who say Sam was a name "they just loved", didn’t know the sex. The name is a tribute to Lauren’s family, her father specifically. Patti adds,

We didn’t know the baby’s sex before he was born and Matt and Lauren had kept their choice of names a big secret. So when I called to tell Bert we just cried on the phone for about ten minutes.

Sam is going to be an incredibly loved child, with Bert already relishing his role in Sam’s life.

Obviously, becoming a grandfather is something you don’t really appreciate until it happens and I can’t think of anything else in life that’s given me this much joy. I’m working under instruction at the moment, but my job is to nurse Sam and cuddle him and make sure he is OK.

He’s lucky because he’s got great parents and, of course, his other grandparents, Tricia and David Welsh, adore him too. There’s a lot of love in his life. We’re just hoping Sam isn’t going to be it. No pressure, but we don’t want them to leave it too long to have another one! We want to be around to enjoy our grandchildren.

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Sam has a few more famous relatives, including his uncle Matthew Newton, who is an actor. Sam’s first present was from Uncle Matt.

It’s a cuddly Noddy toy because Matthew once played Noddy in pantomime. He was totally over the top, and we’ve never let him forget it.

Matt adds finally that the love within their family is undeniable and has grown so much more than he could ever have imagined.

Lauren and I don’t know what we did with the love we have for Sam before he arrived. We’ve got even more love for each other too. When we got engaged I somehow loved her more and when we got married. I thought it couldn’t grow any more but sure enough, with the birth of our child it’s gone to a whole new level. There’s such a strong bond between us.

Source: Woman’s Day, Feb 11th, p. 4-8.

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