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Pregnancy & Birth

Kirstie Stanway-Thorne's baby news and a surprise gender reveal

The Sky Sport presenter discovered she was pregnant days before heading overseas to cover the Rugby World Cup

By Kelly Bertrand
Nervously gripping a confetti tube, Kirstie Stanway-Thorne looks up at her husband Gareth and grins.
"I'm sure it's a girl," the expectant mum tells Woman's Day, before twisting the base to release an explosion of blue – yes, our photoshoot has doubled as a gender reveal.
"Oh, my God, it's a boy?!" she laughs. "Amazing! Not what I was expecting. I really, in my heart of hearts, thought it was a girl. I wasn't even contemplating a boy. I even saw a little girl in my dreams, as strange as it sounds!"
Life is full of surprises, which Sky Sport presenter Kirstie, 31, knows full well. In fact, "surprises" sums up her past year perfectly – from unexpected globetrotting to finding out she was pregnant just days before she left New Zealand for a four-month overseas trip.
Oh, boy! Kirstie and Gareth take a moment to digest the big-reveal results.
"Overwhelmed is probably a good word too!" she smiles. "It was a week and a half before I was supposed to fly out and although it wasn't a shock – we'd started trying for a baby because you never know how long it's going to take – we just figured it'll happen when it happens and the timing will be perfect whenever it does.
"And there it was, right before I flew out to cover the Rugby World Cup in France!"
Instinctively knowing something was different with her body, Kirstie's gut feeling told her she was pregnant at only three weeks along.
She explains, "I'm very, very in tune with my body. If I take medicine, I can feel it working inside me. I just had a feeling, so I told Gareth that I needed a pregnancy test. Of course, he says, 'Don't be stupid – we don't need one of those yet!' But I couldn't get this feeling out of my head."
Kirstie's suspicions were confirmed instantly – and, hysterically crying with joy, she presented the test to a stunned and somewhat disbelieving Gareth, 38.
"Oh, there was a big initial shock factor, for sure!" she shares. "The first thing he asked me was if I had done the test right! But it was the most beautiful moment – it was like nothing I've ever experienced before."
Then, after only a few days to process the news with Gareth, Kirstie set off alone to France for the World Cup, knowing she'd be away from whānau and friends for four months, with a packed schedule of work, plus a delayed honeymoon following her and Gareth's January 2023 nuptials.
"It was such a long time. When I left New Zealand, I wasn't showing at all, then when I came back and saw people, I all of a sudden had this huge bump! It was a real rollercoaster of emotions, to be honest, because I was so happy and so lucky to be in France, covering a Rugby World Cup and absolutely living my best work life – it was an experience of a lifetime.
"But when you're pregnant, sometimes all you want is your bed and your kitchen to make some toast, and to not live out of a suitcase! A 16-hour flight home in a middle seat when you have to pee all the time is also an interesting one! There were lots of mixed emotions and, of course, I was wildly hormonal!"
As well, Kirstie desperately missed Gareth, who only joined her at the end of the tournament so they could take off on their long-awaited European honeymoon, which turned into a bit of a babymoon.
"It worked out so well in the end because we got one whole month of quality time together, which I'm sure will be in short supply going forward!
"Travelling around was so beautiful and we went to the most amazing places – Sicily, Barcelona, Rome, Canary Islands and then Morocco, before finishing up in Cornwall, in England, to visit family."
The couple's honeymoon turned into a babymoon!
After quick stops in Dubai and Cape Town to cover the rugby sevens, Kirstie finally landed back in Auckland four months after leaving – and with a five-month-along bump!
Fittingly, she felt her son's first kick on the flight from Johannesburg to Singapore – and unsurprisingly given his sport-mad parents, he hasn't stopped moving since.
"I was in such work mode when I was overseas, I was almost distracted a lot of the time and not consumed with thinking about the baby, but now I'm home and things are normal again, it's now full
baby mode!" says Kirstie. "I love feeling him move – it's so nice to have that connection.
"Now we're just so, so excited to meet him. It's crazy to look back on it all and think about where this little baby has been. He's travelled all over the world already – he's been to a Rugby World Cup final! I can't wait to be able to tell him the most amazing stories. What a lucky baby."

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