Despite having to downgrade her dream wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic and managing the stress of the financial impact it's had on her family's business at Australia Zoo, Bindi Irwin was finally given something to smile about when she and her husband Chandler Powell revealed they were expecting their first child – a daughter – together.
The young couple, who first met following a chance encounter in 2013, were overjoyed to share the news with friends and family in July, with the TV star revealing she was thrilled to be starting a "new life chapter".
However, Woman's Day hears that the 22-year-old's first trimester – often a difficult time for expectant mums – has been made all the more challenging thanks to her mother Terri, who appears to be struggling with the fact that her little girl is growing up.
According to a source close to the family, the 56-year-old is slowly stifling the couple with constant guidance and advice. Now the mum-to-be is not only overwhelmed but even contemplating moving out!
"Bindi is already seeing hints of how it's going to be once the baby arrives. Terri is so overbearing and is very used to being the one who makes all the calls in the family," explains a well-placed insider, who insists 23-year-old Chandler is also finding it hard to stomach his mother-in-law's constant advice.
"Chandler can barely get a word in between Terri's opinions.
"Bindi is growing worried he's being pushed to the sidelines over his own kid. Even something as simple as Chandler suggesting what they should have for dinner turns into Terri overriding him and blabbering on about Bindi's iron intake."
Of course, Bindi and Chandler know Terri "means well", but, says our source, "They can only imagine what it's going to be like once their bub arrives."
While Bindi is torn between saying something to her mum and keeping the peace, friends say Terri only wants to help her daughter.
"As a mum who raised two kids mostly by herself, she feels she has a lot of wisdom to impart," a family friend tells.
But Bindi, who proudly took to social media recently to share a scan of her baby, is ready to become the matriarch of her own family now."She's starting to realise her marriage and child come first," our source explains.
"She's trying to pluck up the courage to tell her mum she needs to calm down – or Bindi and Chandler will escalate their future plans to move out.
"Bindi hates confrontation but she's reaching that point in her life where she understands her mum isn't the be all and end all. Being pregnant and married has changed everything... Bindi knows she's her own woman now."
It's been more than a decade since Steve Irwin's father Bob Snr, 81, is said to have last spoken to Terri, Bindi and 16-year-old Robert, following a bitter feud over the handling of Australia Zoo.
But a close family friend tells Woman's Day, if there's one person who can mend the rift, it's Steve's niece Rebecca Lobie.
The 32-year-old is the daughter of Steve's sister Joy and her husband Frank Muscillo, who were "walked out" of the zoo.
Rebecca is said to be itching to make contact with her pregnant cousin.
"Bec is resigned to not having Aunt Terri in their lives, but is desperate to at least mend ways with Bindi and Robert before their grandfather is no longer around," tells the source.
"Bec is all about family first, so when her mum and dad fell out with Terri so publicly, it was losing her little cousins that was the most heartbreaking," the insider says of the bikini model who shares two sons with her husband, Mick.
"She wants her boys to know their cousins, and is hoping Bindi's baby will change everything for the once united family."