Family

Beth Allen and Charlie McDermott's 'low-key' baby girl Nell

''I really feel like it's solidified us as a family. When you've got two kids, you have no option but to all be together and that's really nice.''

By Fleur Mealing

At the very reasonable hour of 10.32am on a Tuesday in May, beautiful baby girl Nell Irene Rainee McDermott was born via Caesarean at Auckland Hospital to the tune of John Legend's Penthouse Floor.

And although her parents, former Shortland Street actress Beth Allen and her husband Charlie McDermott, insist they didn't plan for the funky jam to be playing, the laid-back song sure fits their cruisy wee gem.

Meet Nell Irene Rainee McDermott 
**Born:** May 22, 2018 
**Weight:** 3.29kg
Meet Nell Irene Rainee McDermott
Born: May 22, 2018
Weight: 3.29kg

"They let you put on a playlist and it's quite civilised," tells actor and theatre producer Charlie, 35. "We walked in at 7.30am and had a baby at half past 10. It was like a well-oiled machine! She came out, I took one look at her and thought, 'You're going to be easy!'"

"And she is," smiles Beth, 34. "I remember when they held the baby up. I could hear the happiness and elation in Charlie's voice, then they handed her to me and she was so chill – she just lay there and looked at us. Ever since, she's been really low-key. She doesn't complain and doesn't fuss, so she's fitted in really well."

Beth as  Shorty's Brooke, with her co-star Sam Bunkall.
Beth as Shorty's Brooke, with her co-star Sam Bunkall.

While the mother-of-two, who played scheming Brooke Freeman on the iconic Kiwi soap, had hoped to give birth naturally following the C-section she had with son Sid in 2016, doctors insisted she undergo the operation again as she showed no sign of going into labour almost a week after Nell's due date.

Beth confesses, "I'm a bit gutted because it's something I always thought I would do and now, if I have any more children, I definitely can't have a natural birth. I'll get over it, I'm sure, but I was disappointed. That said, in the end, it's all about the baby, not the birth, isn't it?"

The new arrival fits in to the family so well. "She doesn't complain and she doesn't fuss," says
a blissed-out Beth.
The new arrival fits in to the family so well. "She doesn't complain and she doesn't fuss," says
a blissed-out Beth.

As the actress smiles down at her little girl, Nell also breaks into a grin, prompting proud dad Charlie to exclaim, "I just love her! You can't not. It's a weird biological thing that makes you beam. When she smiles back, she looks like a very happy starfish."

Beth adds, "There is that cheesy thing where you're not sure if you could love another child as much as the first, but you just have more love if you've got two of them."

Having named Sid, now two, after Beth's great-grandfather, the Auckland couple gave their newborn the actress' grandmother's name, which is also Beth's middle name. She explains, "We wanted something shorter because she has a long last name. It's feminine, beautiful but still quite strong."

Her middle names honour other family members – Rainee comes from Beth's mum Laraine, while Irene was Charlie's grandmother who sadly passed away a few months before Nell was born.

Big brother Sid has fallen under Nell's spell too.
Big brother Sid has fallen under Nell's spell too.

After a couple of years working hard here and in the US, Charlie – who created and produced the hit show Pleasuredome: The Musical – confesses that having a second child has forced him to slow down. "Now it's like I can take my foot off the pedal and enjoy the moment," he says.

Beth agrees, "I really feel like it's solidified us as a family. When you've got two kids, you have no option but to all be together and that's really nice."

Big brother Sid seems happy to have a baby sister too, briefly glancing away from Peppa Pig to give her a kiss on the forehead when he thinks no-one is looking.

And although they have a busy household with two children, a dog named Ned and cat called Billie Jean, Charlie and Beth admit adding to their brood is definitely on the cards.

Charlie says, "I was one of four and Beth's one of three, so I think we'll have another one."

Nodding, Beth agrees, "We make nice kids – that's what the obstetrician says. We should have some more."

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