Sam Quek's shock on discovering she was pregnant and having two children under one

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The last time we caught up with Olympian Sam Quek and hubby Tom Mairs, they were excitedly introducing their beautiful baby girl, Molly. And now, just seven months later, the couple are thrilled to share news of another imminent arrival.

Question Of Sport star Sam is 17 weeks pregnant with their second child and she and Tom couldn’t be happier.

“It’s come along quite quickly, so we were pleasantly surprised,” laughs the 32-year-old, who won gold with Team GB’s women’s hockey team at Rio 2016.

Sam’s due date is two weeks after Molly turns one on 2 March next year. But while the little one is too young to understand what’s happening, the pair have no doubt that she will be an “amazing” big sister.

The news is all the more special for Sam, who’s been presenting on The One Show too, as she suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage at 10 weeks before getting pregnant with Molly.

Here, Sam and Tom, 34, who runs a student housing business, tell us about their shock at discovering baby number two was on the way, and Sam opens up about her struggle with morning sickness and why she’ll always worry during her pregnancies…

Sam Quek's shock on discovering she was pregnant and having two children under one
© LORNA ROACH PHOTOGRAPHY Sam shows off her gorgeous bump
Sam Quek's shock on discovering she was pregnant and having two children under one
© LORNA ROACH PHOTOGRAPHY Baby number two is due around her first daughter’s birthday

Hi, both! Congratulations on your amazing news.

Sam: We were shocked but we’re so excited. But because of our previous experiences, I never like to get too excited until we’ve had our 12-week scan.

Tom: We didn’t think it would happen so quickly. I’m actually really pleased we’re going to have two so close together because one of my siblings was just under 18 months older than me and my life was far better having a sibling so close. I also think a lot of Sam’s success is down to the fact that she’s a twin, especially to a boy [brother Shaun], as she had someone to compete with. We’re very pleased for Molly.

Sam: She has no idea what’s coming– she’s still too young to understand! But she will be an amazing big sister. She’s so nosey.

Sam Quek's shock on discovering she was pregnant and having two children under one
© BBC Sam at work presenting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games

Molly’s birthday is 2 March and you’re due on 16 March, so if you’re early you may have two children under one. How do you feel about that?

Sam: I know it will be tough logistically and when they’re both crying, but I’m crossing my fingers that we have another Molly. She’s so chilled and she’s slept through from 7pm to 7am since she was two months old. The next one could be the complete opposite. I’m a natural worrier, but we’re just going to do everything the same and hope for the best.

Tom: I know we’ll be fine. Sam was an amazing hockey player but she’s an even better mum, so I’ve never had to worry. We think it will be really good that Molly won’t be aware of sibling rivalry and she won’t feel left out. There’s always that danger when they get

to two or three that they start to feel jealous. My only fear is that I can’t imagine loving anyone as much as I love Molly.

Were you trying for a second?

Sam: It was a surprise, but we didn’t stop it happening, if that makes sense. We did discuss after Molly that we’d like kids close together and what close together meant. My close together was 18 months and I wanted to start trying after Christmas. But Tom’s close together was to start trying after my six-week check!

Tom: We tried for 18 months to two years with Molly and had the miscarriage. As Molly had taken so long, we decided we wouldn’t stop trying but we wouldn’t start using the ovulation charts and being regimented like last time until after Christmas. It turns out we’re super-fertile now! I was shocked.

Does it take you time to relax into pregnancy because of experiencing a miscarriage, Sam?

Sam: Definitely. You just stop yourself getting too excited in case you get any disappointment. It’s sad because when you get pregnant you should have that joy and elation, like Tom does straight away, but even now I’m constantly worried. I will be for the whole pregnancy. Anything I feel, even if it’s just wind, I think, “Is everything OK?” Every time I go to the toilet, as a woman, if you’ve had a miscarriage, you will check the tissue for blood. It will never go away and it’s just an unfortunate experience for people who have gone through it. But I think pregnancy is a miracle and part of me is so grateful it’s happened so easily this time.

Are you going to find out what sex the baby is?

Sam: I think so. We did talk about a surprise, but then the more we spoke about it I felt like I wanted to be organised, so we know whether to put Molly’s old clothes in the loft or donate them. We’re going to find out at the 20-week scan and then we’ll think about names.

Tom: I thought it would be so nice this time to not find out but neither of us have that discipline. I was saying to the sonographer, “Please tell us what it is,” and she was like, “It’s too early”. But we’ll be happy either way.

Sam: I really want to give birth naturally as I was disappointed I couldn’t last time. It feels like a rite of passage and it’s something I’ve always wanted to experience. There is also more risk with a C-section and more recovery time.

Tom: When Molly was born via C-section there was an element of Sam that felt she’d failed to give birth, but I didn’t see it that way at all.

Sam: But this time I will put less pressure on myself as you know more the second time.

How have you been feeling, Sam ?

Sam Quek's shock on discovering she was pregnant and having two children under one
© Instagram Sam with her baby bump during Molly’s pregnancy

Sam: Like with Molly, I’m massively suffering with morning sickness. Thankfully, I’m not sick very often but I’ve felt sick constantly.

Tom: Last time, Sam took a while to show, but there’s no denying the bump this time.

Sam: I recently shared a throwback picture from eight weeks ago and someone commented, “Can you tell your followers this picture is highly airbrushed as you definitely didn’t look this slim on The One Show last night.” I thought, “You cheeky bugger!”

You presented the BBC’s Olympic breakfast programme over the summer. Was your morning sickness bad then, too?

Sam: Yes, but I didn’t know I was pregnant. I thought it was just the early mornings, because I was getting up at 2.30am. I felt so rough, but I would just force a cereal bar and a coffee down me. I felt sick every day, I was exhausted and I didn’t want to eat anything. I genuinely thought I was coming down with a really bad illness or Covid but I’d done so many tests. I could only eat one meal a day and I had to live off crisps and white biscuits for weeks.

Tom: Sam presented superbly throughout and then it got towards the end and she said something like high jumper instead of long jumper and that they were from Belgium. She came off set and I mentioned it was an Italian long jumper and she said, “Oh my God, the last time I used to get words confused was when I had baby brain when I was pregnant with Molly, and that was the last time

I felt like this.” I was looking at her like, “There’s no way!” She was also filming the Captains’ Challenges for Question Of Sport and couldn’t work out why she was losing, because she’s so competitive.

Sam: I was like, “My hand-eye coordination is gone.”

Is that when you took a test, Sam?

Sam: I was staying in an apartment next to the studios, so I took one the day I finished presenting while I was packing.

I thought, “I’ll just check, but there’s no way” – and the line came straight up.

How did Sam tell you, Tom?

Sam Quek's shock on discovering she was pregnant and having two children under one
© Instagram With partner Tom

Tom: She came home that day and was really quiet, and I was like, “Are you OK?” and she just pulled out this whole handful of pregnancy tests. It was like a Wolverine claw but with pregnancy tests [laughs].

Sam: I had this big idea of how I was going to tell him, but I couldn’t hold it in any more, so I just burst into tears and pulled out these four pregnancy tests.

Tom: Then I welled up. I was made up and ecstatic. I also had a bit of a twinge of guilt because I’ve always felt that, as a guy, if you get a woman pregnant there is that responsibility. And I felt like, “Oh God, I’ve got Sam pregnant just as her career has got massive.” The car would be arriving at 10am to pick her up for Question Of Sport filming and she’d be chucking up at 9.30am. Sam’s fiercely competitive and we were worried that she wouldn’t be able to give her best performance. But we had nothing to worry about because Sam is a bit of a monster [laughs].

Were you worried at all because you’re so busy at work, Sam?

Sam: It was weird, actually. The biggest things in my life have happened in 2021. Molly was born, I had the Olympics presenting gig and being a captain on Question Of Sport, which has literally been my dream job since I was 15. But ultimately, my dream was to have

a family as well and having a baby shouldn’t stop you achieving your dreams. I’m very fortunate to have Tom – he’s brilliant. And he has his own business, so he can be a bit more flexible. And our parents are brilliant. I quite often get asked, “Now you’re

a mum, are you going to be able to work?” and that frustrates me so much. It doesn’t matter what you do, every mum makes it work. Being a working mum is so important to me, especially with Molly being a girl.

Tom: Question Of Sport couldn’t have been more supportive. It could work really well if Sam’s part of the next series as the baby would arrive before filming starts.

Has starring on Question Of Sport been everything you hoped it would be, Sam?

Sam: Yeah, and then some. At first there was so much pressure being the first female captain. You can be accused of not knowing much about sport, so I felt I was there to prove people wrong as sometimes you know a bit more than the men! There was also that pressure to fill some very big shoes as Sue [Barker], Phil [Tufnell] and Matt [Dawson] were excellent. But ultimately, the show moves on and it can’t be the same people forever, and now they’ve changed the show a little bit so it’s moved with the times. We also have a greater young audience and a greater BAME audience.

Tom: The first few weeks you have the odd misogynist saying they’re ticking boxes and being woke by hiring Sam. Sam didn’t get this job because she was ticking a box. She got it because she’s an absolute animal when it comes to sport. Now the comments have changed to, “She must be cheating because she can’t know these answers.”

Sam: It’s nice to prove people wrong.

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