Shane Richie Opens Up About His "Extra Special" Delivery
|Gabor Scott /WENN|
For Shane Richie, holding his newborn child is always a "wonderful moment" — but fatherhood the fourth time around is "extra special" because for the first time, he’s dad to a daughter. "I felt proud, but at the same time anxious," admits Shane, who welcomed 6-week-old Lolita Belle Shelley on July 27th. "I’ve had a lot of cowboys and now I’ve got a princess." Already dad to 16-month-old Mackenzie-Blue with wife Christie and sons Shane Jr., 19, and Jake, 16, from a previous marriage, Shane says the dynamic is decidedly different with Lolita.
"With a boy…once they get older you can let them go, but with Lolita, I instantly felt very protective — it was overwhelming. She’s my little girl and I know it’s my job to keep her safe and that really got to me."
That much is apparent when the 44-year-old former EastEnders star thinks forward to his daughter’s formative years! "I pity the boys that knock on the door when she’s a teenager, because they won’t get past -– I’ll be the strictest dad in the world," Shane says, adding that Lolita is "going to be a real daddy’s girl" who will "be able to have anything she wants."
As for their choice of name, "we both know the significance of naming her Lolita," Christie tells the magazine. "I just thought it was a lovely name and didn’t think there was a big problem. With hindsight, there was always going to be a bit of backlash with Shane naming his daughter Lolita, because of his reputation for dating lots of women before he met me, but it’s not something we worry about."
Click ‘more’ to read about Lolita’s birth and Mackenzie’s reaction to his new little sister.
Introducing the two youngest Richie children went off without a hitch. Mackenzie was waiting outside the hospital room where Lolita was delivered, and when Christie’s parents ushered him in "there were tears all around," Shane reveals. "We’d got presents for him so he didn’t feel left out, and we made a real fuss of him," he says. "He wandered over to see Lolita and ended up giving her kisses, which was lovely."
Christie was induced two weeks before her due date because of an ongoing problem with restless leg syndrome, a common ailment in pregnancy that left the 29-year-old averaging two hours of sleep each night. Lolita was delivered the following day without incident, but eight hours after her birth she gave her parents quite a fright when she momentarily stopped breathing. "Lolita started choking," Christie recalls. "I picked her up and called the midwife who ran out with her and gave her oxygen and put her under a heat machine. Apparently the mucous in her system had clogged everything up and she was fine, but it was so scary — she’d started to turn purple."
With the scare behind them, the couple are already contemplating yet another addition to their family! Says Shane,
"I know Christie would like to keep going and have some more children, and I’m happy with that. I think it’s every woman’s prerogative, so if she wants more children, who am I to say no?"