Strolling along idyllic white-sand beaches, lounging under palm trees and sipping on mocktails at flash resorts, parents-to-be Siobhan Marshall and Millen Baird couldn't have asked for a more chilled-out babymoon in Hawaii.
"This was our last chance to get away before we have the baby and we wanted to do some relaxing," the pregnant actress smiles, adding that the pair desperately needed a change of scenery after two months of performing a play in Palmerston North while she suffered from terrible morning sickness.
"We love Palmy, but we were ready for a holiday, and all we really did on this trip was soak up the sun and chat on the beach. It was a beautiful experience."
With their daughter due in August, there will soon be precious little time for kicking back, but despite the fact she's six months along, Siobhan says, "We haven't really got our heads around the fact that it's not going to be just us very soon. It's a strange idea."
Millen adds, "It'll be an adjustment. At the moment, we can dash off anywhere at the drop of a hat, but soon we're going to have to think twice about that. Every time Vorny's belly becomes a bit larger, it gets more real."
The former Outrageous Fortune star continues, "The day we finished doing the play and I no longer needed to fit into my costumes, my tummy just popped out. Now the morning sickness is gone, I just feel weird and stretched. My boobs are huge. It's crazy!"
The Auckland beauty, 35, and her Taranaki-born bloke, 45, are chatting to Woman's Day from Los Angeles, where they've been based since tying the knot in 2016. The day we speak, they've just found a place to live near Newport Beach, where they'll raise their little girl.
"We thought that if we're living in California, we really should get the whole beach experience," an excited Siobhan explains. Step Dave and 800 Words star Millen adds, "We're about 50 minutes from the big smoke, so it's a balance between work and lifestyle."
Both their families have expressed concern the couple aren't bringing their child up in Aotearoa and Siobhan admits to some uneasiness, but she insists, "I'd be nervous about pushing this thing out no matter where we are! We have no idea what it'll be like having a baby.
"At the moment, the plan is to keep bouncing back to New Zealand whenever we need to, but once she arrives, it might be like, 'Woah, we're coming back for good!' We just haven't thought too far ahead. We haven't even bought anything for the baby."
While the parents-to-be might not be prepared for the new arrival, a lot of planning went into her conception. When Millen was 12, he had surgery on his testicles, which had failed to descend, and was told he'd struggle having kids naturally, which a test in his 20s confirmed.
He recalls, "When I had the operation, I told everyone it was a hernia because there was such stigma attached to it, but as the years have gone by, I've realised it's just anatomy."
Siobhan adds, "He told me pretty early on, so we joked about it. At least we didn't need to use condoms – and so many people need assistance these days, so it's no biggie."
The pair put themselves on the waiting list for IVF three years ago and eventually started the process in Auckland last year. However, there was a hiccup when the actress reacted a little too well to hormone injections and produced too many eggs, meaning she had to go under general anaesthetic to have them removed.
Laughing, Millen recalls, "That was a bit unsettling as she kept coming in and out of consciousness, which reminded me of an old dog I had who was put to sleep.
It was traumatic, but I knew she would be fine as we were surrounded by professionals. And Vorny knew it too because every time she came round, she'd be telling them, 'You guys are so clever!'"
Siobhan explains, "Going under anaesthetic was a bit scary for me as I'd never had any sort of operation before, but it was just like I'd had a few drinks. I'd do it again!"
Of the 16 eggs removed, eight became embryos and one of these was implanted into Siobhan's uterus. There's usually a 10-day wait to see if the embryo has successfully attached itself, but the actress suspected she was pregnant straightaway.
"I knew it because of a dream I had the night they put the embryo in me," giggles Siobhan. "A snake bit me on my arm and wouldn't let go. It woke me up and that must've been the exact moment the embryo attached itself to my uterus."
A home pregnancy test confirmed the news, but the pair only celebrated with a fancy dinner after the blood test from the fertility clinic.
Siobhan tells, "We felt so lucky because a lot of people who do IVF have to do rounds and rounds of it. You hear so many stories of people losing their babies and miscarrying. There are so many ways it can go wrong."
But Siobhan wasn't so lucky when it came to morning sickness, which plagued her pregnancy up until the 18-week mark, while the couple were rehearsing and performing their play The Love List in Palmerston North.
The actress laughs, "I've pretty much vomited in the bathroom of every café in Palmy. It was horrible. I had it 24/7. I'd wake up needing to puke. Luckily, when it came to actually being on stage, the adrenaline would kick in and stop the nausea. But as soon as we were driving home, I'd be chucking out the window."
The couple also had their 16-week scan in Palmerston North, with Millen recalling, "The radiologist said, 'Jeez, you've got a hyperactive one bouncing up and down,' and then the baby spun around and it looked like she was giving us the fingers."
The scan also revealed the overjoyed duo were expecting a daughter, but again, this was something Siobhan had anticipated in a series of spooky dreams. In one, she was a kahawai swimming amid a school of other female fish, while another involved a female foetus complaining about the "womb service" and demanding blue Powerade, which the actress used to combat her constant nausea.
"That made me think we're going to have a really bossy one," the actress grins. "But it'll be nice to have a girl so we can dress her up in cute little dresses."
Now back home in LA and counting down the days until they become parents, Siobhan muses, "Raising a kid will be a challenge and a fun life experience. I hope we like her – what if she's horrid?! Everyone says the first few months will be a struggle, but it'll be so worth it. I can't wait to see Mills being a dad. He'll be a really good father."
Millen adds, "I've been thinking about myself for 40-something years – and Vorny for the past five – so it'll be character-building to have someone else in the mix. We can't wait to meet her."
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