Celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke and his girlfriend Kelly Simpkin became proud parents after welcoming their first baby together in July 2017. At the time, Nicky and his long-term girlfriend Kelly announced their happy news to HELLO!, saying: "We've had a baby boy weighing a healthy 8lb 5oz. Kelly was amazing." Nicky added that becoming a father again was "fantastic". Baby Nico was born by Caesarean section weighing 8lb 5oz at London's exclusive Portland Hospital. "As they lifted Nico up to hand him to me, I could hear the emotion in Nicky's voice," explained Kelly. "It was a really special moment that we will never forget."
Nicky is already father to Harrison and Tellisa, and revealed he is relishing fatherhood again. "Nicky is very good," added Kelly. "He'll get up with me when I do the night feeds so I'm not doing them on my own. He's really hands-on and will make my breakfast. He does look after me." The hairdresser, whose clients have included Diana, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor and David Bowie, said he felt like he was learning to be a dad again. "The first time around was quite a while back but it’s all coming back to me," he noted, adding that Kelly is a "natural" at being a first-time mum.
The couple have welcomed their first child
"I loved every minute of giving birth," revealed Kelly. "I would do it all again tomorrow." As a sufferer of the autoimmune disease lupus, Kelly is all too familiar with hospitals. "I've had so many medical appointments over the years that I'm not fazed by anything," she said. "I read up on everything and my obstetrician Claire Mellon, who has been my gynaecologist for the past ten years, made me feel so relaxed and at ease. She's amazing. When the midwife came and said, 'We're ready,' we walked to the lift and went down and then it was just the most incredible experience. It was so medical and technical but it also felt so holistic."
Nicky remarked: "Kelly was in the birthing suite fiddling around with the Bluetooth trying to get some music on and I had to say, 'They've started the procedure, you know.'" Kelly then continued: "For the first few weeks, I had the baby blues. It's hard to describe - you have this little bundle of joy but you feel low and lonely. I texted my obstetrician who said, 'You'll have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows but you’ll be fine.' We are lucky that we have a maternity nurse, Eden, to help us. I will express and she has helped with some night feeds."
"Because of my lupus, I have days where I feel super tired," she added. "I can feel it in my bones and joints and I feel headachey - a bit like I'm coming down with flu. Eden has two days off a week and I really notice it then." Kelly's lupus went into remission during her pregnancy. "People would say, 'You must be really tired,' but it was the best I had felt for a while," she shared.
Choosing Nico's name was difficult, say the couple. "He was 'baby' for the first five days," noted Nicky. "Nico was one of the names we mentioned when we first discussed having children a couple of years ago and we came back to it," explained Kelly. "We had to get used to the name in our own heads for a few days." Nicky's mum, who is in her mid-90s, is Greek "and both Nico and George are Mediterranean names", said the hairdresser. "The only thing I wasn't comfortable with was that it sounds like Nicky. I didn't want him to be a Nicky Jr."
As well as being a dad again, Nicky is adapting to being a grandfather – Harrison became a father to Casper five months before Nico was born. "Casper is lovely, he's a real cutie," Nicky confessed. "I'm getting used to seeing myself as a granddad, although I still feel young at heart. It helps that I’m in baby mode one way or another." Nicky grew up on a council estate on the Old Kent Road in South London with his five siblings. He began cutting hair as a teenager, building up a celebrity clientele. He opened his first salon in 1991, went on to create a range of products and made a multimillion-pound fortune.
Bearing in mind his own humble origins, will he be careful not to spoil Nico? "It's a tricky one. I don't know the answer because certain things are what they are," he replied. "I want to teach him the value of things." Kelly added: "You want to give your children everything but don't want to spoil them. We'll treat him every now and again but birthdays and Christmas will be the main thing."
Meanwhile, Nicky and Kelly revealed that they are also hoping to tie the knot. "It's really about finding the right time," said Nicky. Kelly added: "If it had been five or ten years ago, we probably would have done that [marry] before having a baby. But because of my lupus, we didn't know how easy it would be so we thought we would do that [have a baby] first. Maybe we'll get married before we have another child – who knows? It would be cute if Nico could walk down the aisle."
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