/Denise Lewis, 46, believed she was going through early MENOPAUSE before learning of pregnancy

Denise Lewis, 46, believed she was going through early MENOPAUSE before learning of pregnancy

She’s set to become a mother for a fourth time in December, after excitedly announcing her pregnancy with an adorable Instagram post back in July.

And Denise Lewis, 46, has revealed that in the days leading up to learning she was expecting her baby – her third with husband Steve Finan O’Connor – she initially suspected she was experiencing early signs of the menopause.

The Olympic champion told Hello! magazine: ‘I really wasn’t well – feeling feverish then cold – so I went to the doctor to find out if I had flu and they did a blood test. I thought: “Okay, this is it. I’m pre-menopausal.”

Surprise: Denise Lewis has revealed to Hello! that she initially thought her fourth pregnancy was pre-menopause, before learning she and husband Steve Finan O’Connor were expecting

Surprise: Denise Lewis has revealed to Hello! that she initially thought her fourth pregnancy was pre-menopause, before learning she and husband Steve Finan O’Connor were expecting

Surprise: Denise Lewis has revealed to Hello! that she initially thought her fourth pregnancy was pre-menopause, before learning she and husband Steve Finan O’Connor were expecting

‘When Steve asked if I was sure I wasn’t not pregnant, I said: “Hmm I didn’t think of that; let’s check.” Then I thought: “Oh my goodness – it is possible.”‘

After absorbing the shock of her pregnancy, the former heptathlete soon found there was another hurdle to overcome – the reactions of others.

She said: ‘I wondered what people would think. I’m 45, going on 46 – “You’ve got three children already. Do you need more?” There were a few cogs going on in the back of the mind, but I was very touched by the response. Very touched.’

Bumping along: Olympic champ Denise has been keeping a low-profile since announcing that she is expecting her fourth child – her third with husband Steve

Bumping along: Olympic champ Denise has been keeping a low-profile since announcing that she is expecting her fourth child – her third with husband Steve

Bumping along: Olympic champ Denise has been keeping a low-profile since announcing that she is expecting her fourth child – her third with husband Steve

Speaking about the progress of her pregnancy, she said: ‘I feel healthy and well, but it’s been made a big deal for me that my age is an issue, so I’m on high alert. I asked my sonographer: “Am I the oldest woman you have ever scanned?”

‘He laughed and said: “Don’t be daft. I’ve had much older.” I think it’s odd the way they deal with older women, especially as a lot more are having first babies over the age of 40 now. But they have procedures to follow.’ 

Expressing a wish to have ‘holistic’ birth, she added: ‘I have to be open because I don’t know what my body can do. It’s exciting. I think it will be different.

‘Everything is new again. Being a new mum at whatever age is testing and I think I’ve forgotten what it feels like. But we’ll take it in our stride. Honestly, I just feel blessed.’ 

Glamorous: The sports pundit was resplendent in a black gown when she attended the Victoria Beckham x Vogue Party in September. Pictured with Vogue editor Edward Enninful (centre)

Glamorous: The sports pundit was resplendent in a black gown when she attended the Victoria Beckham x Vogue Party in September. Pictured with Vogue editor Edward Enninful (centre)

Glamorous: The sports pundit was resplendent in a black gown when she attended the Victoria Beckham x Vogue Party in September. Pictured with Vogue editor Edward Enninful (centre)

Announcing her pregnant over the summer, she wrote on Instagram: ‘”Someone ate all the pies…” Yes folks I’m eating for two delighted and nervous even though I’ve been here before. Looking forward to what I hope will be a safe and stress free pregnancy.

‘I’ll keep you updated with pics as my waistline expands. Next stop, the hunt for #maternity #clothes . In the meantime it’s business as usual. #busymom #family #work #fitmom #maternity #babybump #number4 #oldermom’. 

Out now: Read Denise's full interview in the latest edition of Hello!, out now

Out now: Read Denise's full interview in the latest edition of Hello!, out now

Out now: Read Denise’s full interview in the latest edition of Hello!, out now

The sports pundit married Steve – who formerly managed pop group All Saints – in 2006, and the pair are parents to sons Ryan, 12, and Kane, nine.

She also has a 16-year-old daughter called Lauryn from her marriage to former athlete Patrick Stevens

Last year, Denise, who won a gold medal in the heptathlon during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, spoke of how her busy family life had affected her fitness regime.

‘I can’t do it like I used to because my children come first and I have to prioritise their needs,’ she said. ‘I can never stay in bed because the guilt kicks in far too quickly.

‘There’s always something to be done in the house with a family of five. My children are sporty and we’re always playing in the garden. You can make games up together, things to get your heart rate up.’

Read Denise’s full interview in the latest edition of Hello! magazine, out now. 

On a screen near you: The Wolverhampton-raised star, who won a gold medal in the heptathlon during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, is now a regular athletics pundit for BBC Television

On a screen near you: The Wolverhampton-raised star, who won a gold medal in the heptathlon during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, is now a regular athletics pundit for BBC Television

On a screen near you: The Wolverhampton-raised star, who won a gold medal in the heptathlon during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, is now a regular athletics pundit for BBC Television