EXCLUSIVE: Pregnancy was the “sickest” Moana Hope’s ever been, but ahead of the birth of baby no.2, her joy is palpable

''I've wanted to carry a child since the age of 18.''
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She’s been at the top of her game playing AFLW and took on tough challenges on Australian Survivor in 2018, but Moana Hope confesses her biggest challenge in recent times has been battling morning sickness!

“It’s the sickest I’ve ever been. I’d say take your top 10 worst hangovers and combine them into one day,” shares Moana, talking to Woman’s Day from the Melbourne home she shares with wife Isabella “Bell” Carlstrom, 30, sister Livinia (“Vinny”), 29, and one-year-old daughter Svea.

“I’ve had a lot of apologetic moments to Bell. When she was preggers, I remember about week 13 she had really bad morning sickness, I think I said to her, ‘Oh, it’s not that bad,’ and now karma has hit me with a bus!”

Moana is expecting the couple’s second child any day now after Bell gave birth to their daughter in November 2020.

Now towards the end of her pregnancy, Moana, 34, has been taking life one day at a time since falling pregnant thanks to Monash IVF.

Beaming from ear to ear, she admits she gets goosebumps recalling the moment she discovered she was pregnant.

“I was so happy!” says Moana, who is leaving the gender of the baby a surprise.

“I’ve wanted to carry a child since the age of 18 and being able to contribute to our family and knowing I’m giving Vinny and Svea a little sibling, I’ll remember that moment for the rest of my life.”

Their new arrival will join Vinny, Svea, Bell and Moana.

(Image: Instagram)

With 13 siblings of her own, Moana admits it was always her dream to have a big brood one day, so she’s now feeling grateful her dream is coming true.

“I literally have a little person in there right now – it’s one of the coolest things in the world,” she smiles.

Equally excited for their family’s newest addition is “big sister” Vinny.

Born with Moebius syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that affects the muscles that control facial expression and eye movement, Moana took Vinny into her care nine years ago.

While pregnancy has been “amazing”, it hasn’t come without its challenges for Moana.

(Image: Instagram)

“Vinny’s super excited and has already bought presents for her new sibling,” says Moana.

“Every five minutes she’s asking, ‘Oh, is it kicking?'”

Meanwhile, Svea is equally smitten with her soon-to-be sibling. “Oh, she love, love, loves kids, she’s so excited,” says Moana.

“When I say, ‘Where’s baby?’ she points to my tummy, and kisses my tummy. I can’t wait for them to meet.”

Moana cares for her sister Vinny, who can’t wait to meet the new bub

(Image: Instagram)

Dividing her time between caring, motherhood, her own traffic control business, and keeping fit, somehow Moana still finds time to give back to charitable causes close to her heart.

Eager to help out local communities doing it tough, Moana has thrown her support behind Sunbites Good Fuel Fund, an initiative designed to lift up local charities and shine a light on the heroes behind them.

“I know what it’s like to need support and to have struggled,” Moana explains.

Moana and Bell wed in Melbourne in 2019 before welcoming daughter Svea.

(Image: Instagram)

“I grew up in a housing commission [home] and sometimes we couldn’t afford to eat and stuff like that.

“I know what these charities are pushing towards and what people donating means to them, it means others can have hope, so it means a lot to be able to give back.”

Sunbites is committed to supporting charities who are fuelling their community and will be donating $25,000 each month until November 2022 to a local charity.

For more information or to nominate a local hero, visit Sunbites’ website.

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