Allo, Arlo! All Black Israel Dagg has proudly introduced his firstborn son to the public in Woman’s Day this week, saying fatherhood is “pretty bloody life-changing”.
Arriving three days ahead of schedule, adorable little Arlo Henry Dagg was born in Christchurch on April 9, weighing 2.9kg.
Because of an operation she’d had five years earlier, wife Daisy had been booked in for a Caesarean on April 12, but Arlo had ideas of his own, and his mum went into labour early. Daisy was whisked to hospital for an emergency caesarean, and Arlo arrived at 12.08pm.
“I couldn’t believe how tiny he was,” says 29-year-old Israel. “We weren’t expecting that because Daisy and I were big babies.”
The couple chose Arlo’s unusual name – which means fortified hill - after Daisy spotted a name tag in a baby shop.
“We had a few other ideas,” says Israel, “but when the nurses asked us what his name was, we both just looked at each other and said, ‘Arlo’.”
Israel, who has fully recovered from a serious knee injury in March and was announced in the All Black squad for the Lions Series last week, is full of praise for Daisy, saying “she’s an amazing mum”.
The 29-year-old interior designer and food blogger – she runs The Rugby Pantry blog with fellow All Black wife Amber Vito - says she’s getting lots of support and tips on motherhood from the Crusaders wives and partners. “The Crusaders girls are like my second family in Christchurch and I get lots of great advice when we meet up once a week.”
While Israel’s on tour, Daisy plans to take Arlo back to see family in Gisborne, where the couple married in December 2014.
For the full story and exclusive photos of Israel and Daisy’s beautiful new baby, see the latest Woman’s Day, on-sale nationwide on Monday, June 12.