'We want a big family - I want my five-a-side football team
'Emmerdale's Charley Webb and Matthew Wolfenden chat to OK!'s Kirsty Hatcher about their second baby, how Buster will be a 'protective' big brother, and why they are now stronger then ever...
While OK! Chats to Emmerdale stars Charley Webb and Matthew Wolfenden about their second child, their five-year-old son Buster, who is a ball of energy at our exclusive shoot, makes it clear what he's hoping for 'Brother, brother!' he chants when Matthew asks him what he wants his mummy – who is just Over halfway through her pregnancy – to have.
But We'll have to Wait Until December to find out if he gets his wish, as Matthew – who has been with Charley since 2008 after meeting on the set of the ITV soap — tells us: 'We could have found out the sex at the [20-week] scan but we didn't. We're going to keep it a surprise like we did with Buster.'
The actor – Who recently returned to our screens as David Metcalfe – and his partner, who plays Debbie Dingle, announced the pregnancy on Twitter in June with a sweet black-and-white family picture. The image shows Matthew holding a sign saying 'Baby #2' with an arrow pointing towards 27-year-old Charley's belly, while Buster pulls a face as he stands behind a sign reading: 'Only child expiring... Dec 2015'.
Things couldn't be better for the pair, who got engaged in 2009 and welcomed Buster the following year. When OK! meets them for our exclusive shoot, they bounce off each other as they talk about their excitement at expecting a 'Christmas time baby'.
While Charley – Who's indulging her craving for cheese and onion crisps as we chat – may have just walked down the aisle on Emmerdale with Pete Barton (Anthony Quinlan) in a wedding which ended in disaster after her affair with his brother Ross (Michael Parr) was exposed and a helicopter crashed into their reception, in real life she's in no rush to tie the knot. Instead, she and Matthew, 35, are prioritising their family.
Here, they talk about how this pregnancy has brought them closer together, their plans to expand their brood and why their wedding plans are on hold – for now...
Congratulations! How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant again?
Charley: I was so shocked. The first time I knew was pregnant because I felt exhausted and really faint, whereas this time I didn't really feel any different. To be able to conceive is a miracle. A lot of my friends can't so we just feel so lucky.
Matthew: It really is amazing.
Where were you when you found out?
Matthew: We were at home. We really weren't expecting it because after We decided we were going to start trying again, a lot of people told us it could take a while to get pregnant with the second. Then one morning Charley was called into work early and I was still in bed. She was getting in the shower and all of sudden she ran into the bedroom and woke me up, shouting: 'I'm pregnant!' It certainly wasn't the most relaxing way to wake up [laughs] Charley went to work and I went out and bought a few more tests, then I drove to the Emmerdale set and We met up and did another just to make Sure!
The way you announced it on Twitter was rather special...
Matthew: Yes! Can't take any credit for that. It was all Charley.
Charley: It was my idea and then Matthew did the artwork. We were desperate to announce it by then. I was 14 weeks and bored of keeping it a secret.
Matthew: Usually the Emmerdale press team would announce it for us but we wanted to do something a bit different. We told our friends and family before that — they didn't just find out about it on Twitter!
When did you tell Buster?
Matthew: We had an early scan at about ten weeks. We told him it was a big secret. Then when we announced it on social media took Buster to school the next morning and all the mums said congratulations, but they did actually know about it four weeks before because Buster stood up at story time and told everybody that mummy was pregnant! He's so excited.
Charley: He's at the age where he really gets it.
Matthew: He's been asking when he's getting a baby brother for a while and he's constantly kissing Charley's belly, funnily enough, when he puts his hand on her belly the baby stops wriggling, so now he thinks he can put the baby to sleep.
Have you had your 20-week scan?
Charley: Yes, we had a 4D one and it went really well. It's definitely a wriggler! I felt it move for the first time three weeks ago. Feeling them move is my favourite part about being pregnant. You could even see it swallowing on the scan. It was amazing.
Do you know what you're having?
Matthew: We could have found out the sex at the scan but we didn't. We're going to keep it a surprise like we did with Buster.
Charley: It's a very pretty baby so I thought it might be a girl, but it really looks like Buster. He's so desperate for a little brother, So We're kind of hoping we get a boy. I think there's something really special about having two of the same.
Matthew: Our only concern with Buster wanting a baby brother so much is maybe We should have found out the sex just in case it's a girl, so we can prep him. It's hard not to just ask what the sex is! Charley: I'm sure he'll be fine if we have a girl. As long as the baby is healthy, we'll be happy.
How have you been feeling, Charley?
With Buster I was sick all day, every day up until about 22 weeks, whereas with this one I haven't really been physically sick, I've just felt constantly nauseous. Thankfully it stopped at around 16 weeks and now I only feel sick now and again. I've found if I keep myself full then I'm okay.
Have you had any cravings?
Salted french fries. I also love cheese and onion crisps and I've started eating a lot of chocolate. I've actually had a dairy intolerance for over a year now, but I've started introducing it back into my diet because I'm craving it so much – especially cheese. They also say if you don't have dairy when you're pregnant it can cause problems, because the baby needs calcium. I was worried the baby may develop an intolerance, too. My face used to breakout in red lumps, but so far it's been fine.
You suffered from indigestion while pregnant with Buster. Have you had it again?
The worst, it's been so bad. It started about two weeks ago. Most of the time it comes after eating
but sometimes it just comes when it wants. Last time I was drinking Gaviscon by the bottle! Overall, though, I've enjoyed this pregnancy much more and it's been fareasier.
You said after having Buster you felt teary. Are you worried about getting the baby blues?
I think I did feel a bit down, but at the time I didn't really recognise it because I'd never been through it before. You can't really explain it, especially as you're so exhausted. If it happens again I think I'll be much more prepared.
How do you think Buster will be with the baby?
Charley: Well Emma [Atkins], who plays my mum in Emmerdale, has just had a baby and she came over with him the other day and Buster was absolutely amazing. He's a very loving child. He may be crazy, but I think he'll be a very protective big brother. He's even protective of me.
What's Buster's personality like?
Matthew: He is a live wire. He has a huge personality. He's very clever and very funny. I really love the age he's at — he's just gone five and it's brilliant because he's like my little mate. We're best friends. We have a laugh and he comes home from school and tells me jokes. He's fantastic but he's a proper lad, he loves to get mucky and run around in the garden and play fight.
Charley: He's got so much energy! So that's another thing while I've been pregnant and exhausted — I'm thinking a quiet child would be really Useful, but you wouldn't want a boring one, would you?! They say you never get two of the same so I'll probably end Up with a really quiet child with this next one, but hopefully not because I wouldn't know what to do!
Are you worried about having two children running around?
Matthew: Oh God yeah!
Charley: I don't think anyone could cope with two of Buster. He's got so much energy. It would be nice if the next one were slightly calmer.
Matthew: When Charley was pregnant with him my head was constantly in a pregnancy book, but I think I'm much more laid back with this one.
How many children would you like?
Charley: It would be great to have a boy now and then a girl in the future. That would be perfect.
Matthew: We've always said we want a big family – I want my five-a-side football team – but that may change after the second one!
Charley: That definitely may change after the second one! And we're certainly not having five! One of my friends said two is lovely but three is a pack, and I think that would be really lovely.
Are you having a baby shower, Charley?
Yes, but We're not Sure when. All the girls at Emmerdale are really excited to come. My best friend Sheree [Murphy] is organising it and she's got a mood board and everything. If she's left to her own devices, it Will be very girlie.
Have you got a birthing plan in place?
Charley: No, but we're planning to have the baby at the same hospital as we did last time because we loved it so much. We may also go and stay at Matthew's parents' house the week before I'm due, as it's close by.
Matthew: We don't want a home or water birth, just one that's as simple as possible.
Charley: I had gas and air last time so if I need that again, I will. Hopefully I won't have to have a C-section, but as long as that baby comes out healthy, however they get it out is fine by me. My labour was amazing last time and really enjoyed it. It was the thing I was least worried about — I was just obsessed with him coming out breathing.
What was Matthew like at the birth?
He was brilliant. We were both really calm.
Matthew: It was an incredible experience. You just have so much respect for your partner after seeing them go through that.
Charley: I do remember at one point he told me to stay positive and I punched him in the face with the gas and air mask! By that point I'd just had enough.
Matthew: I know not to say that this time, don't I?!
Charley: Yeah, he definitely knows not to say that now! It wasn't that I wasn't positive, but that sentence did not go down well [laughs]!
Have you thought about names yet?
Charley: There are a few names in the air but we've not sat down and discussed them. [To Matthew] We like the more unusual names, don't we? But We don't Want to reveal them because I've had a name stolen before. I'm not going to say who it was – they know who they are! [Laughs]
Matthew: Yeah, we're on the same page with names so there won't be any arguments over that. We've also been looking back at names in my family.
Charley: It's got to suit Buster, too. We won't be choosing a traditional name.
Are you planning on breastfeeding, Charley?
Yes. I did at the beginning with Buster and if it suits me and it suits the baby then I will, but I certainly don't feel that pressure that a lot of mums do. After six weeks Buster didn't take to it anymore, and it was stressing him out and me out, so we just switched to formula.
Matthew: That's my favourite part. I loved doing the feeding as it gives you that time to bond. I can't wait. It also eases the strain on Charley.
Matthew, you have tattoos. Will you be getting a tattoo to mark the baby's birth?
Yeah. They're just something I've got over the last few years. I've always wanted to have them and some people regret them, but I don't. I started with the 'B' for Buster on my right shoulder and have gone from there. I'll definitely get something, but I'm not sure what yet. I guess it depends what their name is!
Charley: I'm not a massive fan of tattoos but I do like Matthew's, especially his sleeve.
Do you feel like this pregnancy has brought you closer together?
Matthew: Yeah, we can't Wait.
Charley: I feel like having two children is a real family network. We're definitely excited to add to Our little brood.
Matthew: Having a child changes the dynamic of your relationship, but in a nice Way. You have to become a team, which is a lovely thing.
Charley: I think some people have a child because their relationship isn't that great, but having a child is really stressful. This pregnancy has definitely given us an even stronger bond, though.
Matthew, you and Charley split briefly in 2013. You've said taking a break from your relationship was "the best thing you've ever done' — why is that?
It definitely was. We just had six months where we thought we'd re-evaluate. And nearly six months to the day, we got back together. We just needed sometime apart to reassess things. We had a two year old at the time and things were stressful, but it was the best thing we've ever done. We stayed friends the whole time and we had Buster, so we saw each other every day.
When was the moment you realised you couldn't be without each other?
Matthew: All the way through that six months really! It was brilliant, though, because it did just give us that time to sit back and reflect. A lot of people do it and it really did work wonders for us. We always knew we were going to get back together.
Do you ever argue now?
Charley: Oh God, yeah!
Matthew: I don't believe these couples that say they never argue. We don't have proper arguments, we just disagree. It's mainly over Buster because I'm laid back and Charley says I need to be stricter with him.
Charley: I think it's really important that children have boundaries. I'm definitely the stricter one.
Matthew: I've found that it's just easier to agree with Charley, though!
Charley: He's learning.
Matthew: It's only taken eight years!
Do you still have date nights?
Matthew: Yes. Sometimes we're both working 12 hours a day but we'll make sure we make time and leave Buster with the nanny so we can go out for dinner. We'll stay out for an hour and then rush home to see him!
Charley: We also have a holiday home in Wales, near Snowdonia, so we spend a lot of time there.
How often does the nanny come?
Charley: While we're working. Our parents help out from time to time, too. Buster's nanny will also continue to look after him once this baby is born.
Speaking of work, how has filming been, Charley?
The filming for the wedding involved a lot of emotional scenes and stunts because of the helicopter crash, so that was extra tiring and we had some really long days. A stuntwoman did a lot of it so the main thing I had to do was drop on the floor, which was fine because my bump wasn't too big. Last time filming got really hard towards the end of my pregnancy.
Have you bought any maternity clothes yet?
l just can't buy them. I almost feel like bringing out my own line because I can't find any nice ones. There's nothing that I want to put on and you do still want to look nice when you're pregnant, otherwise it can be a bit depressing because you don't feel like your body is your own anyway. I've never actually bought maternity clothes before because with Buster I just wore bigger things, but jeans got really uncomfortable, so I'm going to have to get some.
Do you both know how much time you're taking off work?
Charley: I'm still talking about what my plans are, but I had six months off last time. I also don't know how I'm going to be feeling after having a new baby. I don't think they even know what my exit storyline will be yet!
Matthew: I didn't time my paternity leave very well last time. Buster was eight days late, so Charley had Buster on the Saturday and I was back in work on the Monday!
Charley: That didn't go down well!
Matthew: At least this time it's around Christmas so we get two weeks off then, and I get two weeks of paternity leave. Plus, we live so much closer to the set now.
So you've moved recently?
Matthew: Yeah, we're only about 15 minutes away. We're currently living in an apartment in Leeds but we still have our old house, we're just renting it out. We had to move because we're working 12-hour days, five days a week, and the hour-and-a-half commute on top just wasn't working for us.
Charley: We're looking to buy somewhere in the area we're in now, we just haven't found anywhere we like. The baby will be sleeping in our room for the first year, but if we find somewhere that's perfect before they arrive, we'll get it.
Matthew: It has to have enough rooms and a big garden because the next house we buy is going to be our forever home.
Do you think you'll get married before you have another baby?
Matthew: I don't know. We keep talking about it but other things keep coming up and getting in the way. I'm rubbish at planning so it would all be left up to Charley anyway! We'd obviously like to, it's just as and when we can.
Charley: Yeah, it isn't a priority for me. I'm not one of those girls who have always dreamed about their wedding. A family has always been more important. When we do it, I'd like all my children there and to have a role, so we'll see.
Do you know what sort of wedding you'd like?
Charley: I don't like having the attention focused on me so it will definitely be something small. The thought of walking down the aisle in front of lots of people fills me with dread.
Matthew: We'll probably do it on the beach. My dream is to do it abroad with everyone in shorts and T-shirts!
Charley: We won't do a church wedding. I think I'd rather go off and do it and not even tell anyone! We're not going to Las Vegas, but we're both so laid back, we'll probably book it the week before and whoever can come, can come.
Matthew: We say we want it small but when it comes to actually sitting down and planning it we'll probably end up with hundreds of people!
Will the Emmerdale cast be coming?
Charley: Of course! A lot of them will probably end up being bridesmaids. I'm not sure exactly who yet but I'm really close with Emma [Atkins], Lucy [Pargeter], Sammy [Winward], Charlotte [Bellamy] and Zoe [Henry]. Sheree and my sister Cassie will be sharing the maid of honour role.
Matthew: My best men will be my brother David and my cousin Neil. Chris Chittell — who plays my dad Eric — will definitely be one of the ushers.
Have you tried on any dresses, Charley?
No, but I certainly won't be wearing a meringue! I'd like something simple and understated, or maybe a vintage dress. I don't think I'd wear anything like Debbie did because even though it was pretty, it was quite bohemian. There were actually six dresses, so it was very weird seeing a stuntwoman who looked exactly like me wandering around in the same dress!
What was it like filming the wedding?
It was really good fun but very emotional to watch back! No Emmerdale wedding ever goes smoothly and those scenes were quite intense. The actual wedding was great because there were so many people there so it had a real party atmosphere. I've loved working with Anthony and Michael [Parr, who's character Ross Barton was having an affair with Debbie and was killed last week by his on-screen brother in a shocking twist]. I've known Anthony for years because he's my brother Jamie's [Lomas] best friend.
Matthew, are you sad your on-screen wife Natalie Anderson is leaving?
I am. We've been working together for four years now so I'm really going to miss her. The door has been left open, though. On the plus side it's great for my character as I don't know what's next for David. I'm excited to see who they pair me up with.
How do you find living and working together?
Charley: We rarely see each other at work so it doesn't really come into our lives.
Matthew: No, but we did film a scene together the other day and our characters actually spoke! They did once suggest putting our characters together about six years ago, but we both said no. You need that balance and it works really well. We get Buster to bed, have a few hours alone and then we get into bed and learn our lines together.
Charley: Exactly. I'll definitely be taking the new baby to visit the set and see Matthew working, though.
Matthew: Last time Buster came to watch me do a scene in The Woolpack but every time they said action he shouted: "Daddy!'
Charley: We haven't brought him to the set recently because the scenes I've been filming have been quite emotional and intense, and before that Matthew had to film some kidnapping scenes, so it wasn't very appropriate!