Survivor star Moana Hope’s ‘biggest mistake’ when trying to get pregnant

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She’s competed on Australian Survivor twice and had a trailblazing AFLW career, but the last 12 months have seen Moana Hope tackle a very different challenge: Motherhood.

On top of recently purchasing a new house and a new dog, the 33-year-old and her wife, Isabella Carlstrom, welcomed their daughter Svea into the world in November, and are currently planning for their second child.

Isabella Carlstrom and Moana Hope with their baby Svea.
Moana and Isabella are currently planning for baby number two. Photo: Instagram/moanahope

“We don’t like a boring life, to be honest,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle with a laugh. “But I wouldn’t change a thing.”

While the couple’s first pregnancy saw Isabella carrying Svea, Moana recently began the IVF process for her to carry baby number two.

“I've always wanted to go through pregnancy myself,” she reveals. “I’ve really wanted to experience that my whole life, I promised that.

“And we always said we wanted three kids. Bel would go first because I was playing footy and stuff, and then I'd go second and then she would take the third.”

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Moana says she’s “really excited” about the experience, remarking that pregnancy is “one of the greatest gifts of life” for a woman if they want to and are able to.

“My mum is actually hyper-fertile, that’s why she ended up having 12 kids,” she explains. “So I said to her, ‘Mum, please, if you gave me anything, give me that because I need it’.

“So I’m in the process of IVF now. I've just got one last appointment before we try the IUI (intrauterine insemination) and then fingers crossed.”

Isabella Carlstrom and Moana Hope.
Moana is ‘really excited’ about the thought of carrying the couple’s second child. Photo: Instagram/moanahope

‘The biggest mistake’

Opening up about the journey so far, the former sports star admits that she wishes she paid more attention to the medical side of her wife’s experience with pregnancy last year.

“I probably made the biggest mistake when I went with Bel to all of her appointments,” she confesses.

“When they spoke about her, I kind of zoned out a little bit. When they spoke about the partner’s duties I would be in on it, but I probably should’ve tuned in a lot more. I’m learning so much about my own body that I had no idea about.”

She also adds that she’s “low-key shitting herself” at the thought of pregnancy taking over her whole body.

“I'm very active, I love running every day, I love doing crazy stuff like mountain bike riding. So I know I won't be able to do some of that. I’ll keep training, but it's giving your whole body in for nine months,” she details.

“And then after that, the breastfeeding. I watched Bel the first time she breastfed and she looked like she was having her arm sawed off, so I’m pretty scared - although she’s amazing at it now.

“And in terms of the birth side of it, I'll be really honest. Before Bel gave birth I said to her, when I get pregnant, after the first contraction I want the epidural. I don’t care. I just hate pain.”

Moana Hope with her baby Svea.
Moana says that Isabella has been an ‘amazing teacher’ and an ‘inspiration’ to her. Photo: Instagram/moanahope

‘It’s been bloody hard’

Speaking about being a new mum during the world’s longest lockdown in Melbourne, Moana says that naturally, it’s been extremely different.

“Svea hasn't even met some of her cousins. She’s spent almost her whole life in lockdown,” she shares.

“It's been bloody hard, but at the same time, I have loved that I've been able to work from home so I’m able to spend so much time with her. That was one of my biggest fears, being the non-birthing mum, that I’d have to go back to work after two weeks.”

Moana also admits that coming from a sporting background, she has a “terrible trait” when she’s around other parents.

“Whenever I see another kid I always say to the parent, ‘So what was your kid doing at four months? Because mine was doing this’,” she laughs.

“But not in a judgmental way because all babies are different and they develop differently. But I’m an athlete, so I’m super competitive.”

Moana Hope with her baby Svea.
Moana has teamed up with WaterWipes to showcase authentic parenting. Photo: Supplied

As for Moana and Isabella’s parenting style, the couple simply does what they believe is best for Svea and what works for them, which has been “absolutely amazing” so far.

The reality star is currently working with much-loved baby brand WaterWipes, who recently upgraded to a 100% plant-based wipe and biodegradable product range, to showcase authentic parenting.

“If you know anything about me, I try to only align myself with things that are real and organic and things that we use in our everyday life,” she explains, adding that the wipes were initially suggested to her by their paediatrician because of Svea’s sensitive skin.

“A lot of parents when I talk about things with Svea, they go, ‘Oh my god, my baby has eczema too, I had no idea that product existed’. So it's really nice to be able to share this with other parents as well.”

For more information about WaterWipes, visit here.

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