There is nothing more powerful or strong in this world than a mother’s instinct.
I had an epidural, but I tried to hold off for as long as possible. I also had gas, which I didn’t have with Millana. That was so hilarious – I was actually Facetiming friends saying “Look! I’m having the baby!”. All up I was in labour for about eight hours. I was induced 10 days early, and when the obstetrician broke my waters he pulled out a clump of Phoenix’s hair! It was so cool.
Trent’s daughters were both born via caesarian, so I was determined to have a natural birth so he could experience both. He was down at the business end of things, holding my leg up, and while he was in shock and awe, he was taking it all in his stride pretty easily.
WHAT’S IN a name
My mum always used to say to me “You’re like the phoenix, Kym – it doesn’t matter what happens, you will always rise”. It crossed my mind when I was stopped at the traffic lights one day, then I turned my head and graffitied on a construction site was the word ‘Phoenix’. I suggested it to Millana and Trent – who’d hated every other name I’d suggested – and they both loved it!
Millana is a mini mum to Phoenix. She’s so in love with him and she can’t believe she has a little brother. She was an only child for 12 years and we were alone together for nine years after I separated from her father. We never thought in a million years that we’d have another baby. She had always hoped and prayed for a sibling, so now she feels grateful every day.
THE weighting game
Having a teenager and a baby is tiring. A few months after Phoenix was born, it got to a point where I was tired and anxious all the time. I was only sleeping whenever he slept and I also noticed I had lost a lot of weight really fast. When Millana was born, it took me about 18 months to lose the baby weight, so, at my age, with my metabolism being slower, I expected it would take longer than that this time, yet within three to four months I was even lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. Blood tests revealed I had hyperthyroidism [an overactive thyroid], which explained why I was feeling anxious and exhausted and had dropped too much weight. I’m on medication now and I’m slowly starting to feel like myself again. I’m now able to go out for a walk around the block with Phoenix, and even my family has noticed a big improvement in my overall health.
HOME & work life
When Millana was just 12 weeks old, I went back to work on Neighbours, then when she was one I toured with Dirty Dancing. I missed out on the early time and I was not going to miss out on it again. I enjoyed every special moment of the formative months, and now I just feel so strong and healthy. Phoenix is such an amazing baby, in terms of his needs, that I’ve started reading scripts again for TV, movies and musical theatre, and I’m considering various offers. I’m really keen to get back in to the industry.
Parenting has changed a lot since I was pregnant with Millana – there are so many more things to worry about! I don’t know how people have their first now – it’s information overload and there’s so much conflicting advice coming from every direction. You only have to open up your Facebook feed to start to feel inadequate. All of this can distract you from your instincts, and there is nothing more powerful or strong in this world than a mother’s instinct. You’ve got to trust it above and beyond anything else, and just love the hell out of them!