Simon Thomas has announced that his wife Derrina has given birth eight weeks early after falling ‘rapidly ill’ from preeclampsia.
The presenter, 49, took to Instagram on Wednesday to confirm that they had welcomed a baby daughter following a ‘fear-filled’ labour the day before.
It comes five years after Simon lost his first wife Gemma to blood cancer in 2017, three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
New addition: Simon Thomas has announced that his wife Derrina has given birth eight weeks early after suffering from preeclampsia
Difficulties: The presenter, 49, took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce that they had welcomed a baby daughter following a ‘fear filled’ labour the day before
Simon shared an array of photographs of his newborn baby daughter and his wife Derrina, 31, smiling as she lay in her hospital bed after the difficult labour.
One photograph showed his son Ethan, 12, who he shares with his first wife Gemma, meeting his younger sister for the first time as she lay in an incubator.
In a lengthy caption, Simon revealed that his daughter was born eight weeks early and only weighed three pounds after Derrina fell ‘rapidly ill’ from preeclampsia.
He said he felt ‘proud and blessed’ to welcome his baby daughter after the ‘fear-filled and stressful’ labour on Tuesday.
New arrival: Simon shared an array of photographs of his newborn baby daughter and his wife Derrina smiling as she lay in her hospital bed after the difficult labour
Recovering: Simon revealed they had a ‘long road’ ahead of them and would be staying in hospital for the next few weeks (pictured: Derrina and Ethan, 12)
But Simon admitted that the family still have a ‘long road ahead’ and would be in hospital for the next few weeks.
He penned: ‘Not everything in life goes quite according to plan. One moment we think we’ve got eight weeks until our little one arrives; the next, after Derrina fell rapidly ill, we’re suddenly welcoming into the world a very tiny, but hugely precious baby girl weighing just over three pounds.
‘The neonatal team at Stoke Mandeville hospital were simply incredible and held our hands physically and in spirit the whole way through a very fear filled and stressful day yesterday.
‘I cannot express how proud and blessed I feel right now – I have a beautiful, brave wife in Derrina, a precious son and now a tiny, wonderful daughter and sister for our boy Ethan.
Hard times: In a lengthy caption, Simon revealed that his daughter was born eight weeks early and only weighed three pounds after Derrina fell ‘rapidly ill’ from preeclampsia
Sweet moment: One photograph showed his son Ethan, who he shares with his first wife Gemma, meeting his younger sister for the first time as she lay in an incubator
‘We have a long road ahead of being in hospital for the next few weeks; but we have the best team around us.
‘Thank you Stoke Mandeville and thank you NHS for being there for us and thank you God for blessing us as a family so much.’
The former Sky Sports pundit did not reveal if he and Derrina have chosen a name for their newborn daughter yet.
Simon only announced he and Derrina were expecting their first child together in an Instagram post last month.
He made the happy announcement that he would be expanding his family as he shared a snap of Derrina’s ultrasound scan.
Tragic: Simon lost his first wife Gemma (both pictured with Ethan) to blood cancer in 2017, just three days after being diagnosed with adult acute myeloid leukemia
Simon penned: ‘Fourteen months ago today, @chrissayburn & @brittanysipling sang this beautiful song of blessing over us. There’s another little blessing on its way…!’
Alongside, he shared a video with clips from their wedding day before their hands slowly revealed the scan.
He also shared a heartwarming collage of photos from his life with Derrina, along with a snap of the couple smiling with his son Ethan, 12, who he shared with Gemma.
Fellow TV presenters Dan Walker, Vernon Kay and Jenni Falconer congratulated him on his news.
Cute: Simon only announced he and Derrina were expecting their first child together in an Instagram post last month. Simon shares his son Ethan with his first wife Gemma
Simon’s late wife Gemma Thomas tragically died in November 2017, a year after she was sent home for bed rest by her GP after visiting three times with flu-like symptoms.
Two years after Gemma’s death, Simon found love with Derrina and they wed in a ceremony at Norwich Cathedral in July 2021.
The former Blue Peter star shared a snap of himself looking elated on his wedding day as he walked his elegant bride down the aisle before an applauding congregation of well-wishers.
Captioning the heartwarming image, the Norfolk-born father-of-one, who lost his first wife Gemma to leukaemia at the end of 2017, simply wrote: ‘Love. Wins.’
The happy couple’s big day was attended by a host of Simon’s TV presenter pals, including several former Blue Peter and CBBC presenters.
Love: Alongside his baby news, he shared a video with clips from their wedding day before their hands slowly revealed the scan
Exciting reveal: The couple’s hands and Simon’s son Ethan’s hands were brought away to then show the ultrasound scan
Simon frequently talks candidly about his late wife’s tragic death and recently said his new wife Derrina struggles with ‘guilt’ in the lead up to anniversaries of Gemma’s death.
Appearing on Kate Ferdinand’s Blended podcast, he said that he views anniversaries of his first wife’s passing as simply a ‘marker in time’.
But Derrina feels the family should do more to celebrate her life for the sake of Ethan, who Simon shares with Gemma.
Simon said: ‘I think sometimes you struggle a little bit with guilt, in particular around anniversaries. I’m very comfortable with anniversaries as in I don’t overthink them.
Baby on the way: The sweet video shared by Simon also included a closer-up image of the ultrasound scan
‘I think the first year when you go through loss, those firsts are massive and every first is a hurdle to get over, but with time it becomes easier.
‘I’m not one who, any anniversary wants to do anything particularly significant. They’re just, for me, markers in time. But from Ethan’s point of view it’s a ‘Would you like to do something?’.’
Simon explained that while Derrina is often keen to mark the anniversary, Ethan often prefers a low-key day, perhaps sending a ‘balloon with a little message’ rather than a large event.
‘I think sometimes she feels we should be doing more because of that guilt you feel, that maybe we’re not doing enough, and I try to reassure Derrina and say it’s fine’.
Family: He also shared a heartwarming collage of photos from his life with Derrina along with a snap of the couple smiling with his son Ethan, 12, who he shared with Gemma
Doting: Simon also took to his Story on Saturday to share a snap with Ethan who he said would be an ‘amazing big brother’
Derrina opened up about taking on her husband’s grief, insisting that she was more emotional than Simon and Ethan at Gemma’s last two anniversaries, despite never having met her.
‘You just feel this real guilt and I definitely feel that especially the last two [anniversaries] I have been probably more emotional than you two [Simon and Ethan], she said.
‘It’s is silly because I didn’t know Gemma, but you take on what everyone else is feeling in the wider circle.
‘I guess there’s a bit of sensitivity, but it’s also that empath just thinking, ‘This is horrendous’. I definitely take on other people’s sadness and loss and I definitely get emotional.’
Happy day: Two years after Gemma’s death, Simon found love with Derrina and they wed in a ceremony at Norwich Cathedral in July 2021
She became emotional as she opened up about comparing herself to Gemma, admitting that the ‘little voice in her head’ often tells her that ‘Gemma would have done it better’.
‘As a woman you’re so aware of how things were and nobody has ever said ‘Mummy would have done it like that, or Gemma would have done it like that’, no one has ever said that.
‘But in your head, that little thing on your shoulder will say, ‘She would have done it better, made a birthday really good or Christmas really good’ and you’re so aware of that when you’re in that situation.’
Marking her birthday in May 2020, the TV personality thanked then-girlfriend Derrina for making him ‘happier than he dared to believe he could be again’.
Joy: Marking her birthday in May 2020, the TV personality thanked then-girlfriend Derrina for making him ‘happier than he dared to believe he could be again’
Sharing a black and white snap of Derrina, Simon said he was ‘head over heels in love’, and said that his and his son’s life had been ‘blessed’ by Derrina, who he started dating in 2018 after reportedly meeting her through a church group.
Sharing the picture to his Instagram account, he wrote: ‘A very Happy Birthday to this very, very special lady. I can’t begin to express how much this lady has changed my life.
‘She’s loved me when I was hard to love, stuck with me when I’ve messed up, walked beside me when there were easier paths to tread and made me happier than I ever dared to believe I could be again.’
He added: ‘Sometimes people don’t always see this. They say things like it’s good that she’s able to keep the boys company or be there to look after them. But Derrina isn’t some kind of carer – she’s the woman I have fallen head over heels in love with.
Cancer: Simon and Gemma tied the knot in 2005 and were married for 12 years before Gemma suddenly passed away three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia
‘My life and my boy’s life has been massively blessed by her and she deserves all the love in the world because she’s a total one off. Happy Birthday @derrina xxxx (I know she’s not a fan of PDA’s’.
Simon and Gemma tied the knot in 2005 and were married for 12 years before Gemma suddenly passed away three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live in November 2018, the ex sports presenter addressed his new relationship for the first time – though he kept Derrina’s identity anonymous at the time – and said it has been ‘an incredible support’ for him.
The father-of-one admitted he could be falling in love, but said Gemma could never be replaced, saying: ‘I’m very aware she was someone I didn’t know before and have got to know over the last few weeks and months.
‘Right from the early stages – she had this empathy towards me. She’s Christian as well and that’s important to me as a man of faith.
‘She’s been an incredible support for me. She was the only person who would always pick up the phone. What I saw in her, I saw in Gemma. When she said my phone is always on, she meant it.’
The former Blue Peter presenter, who has described himself as a ‘man of faith’, reportedly met Derrina through his church.
Derrina is a church minister’s daughter and currently works in the legal industry.
Awareness: Simon’s late wife Gemma tragically died in November 2017, a year after she was sent home for bed rest by her GP after visiting three times with flu-like symptoms