WELCOME TO CLUB
MUM’S REALLY BEEN THE WORD FOR THE NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS THIS YEAR WITH MANY LITTLE BUNDLES OF JOY JOINING THE RANKS OF THE FAMILY-ORIENTATED TEAM
The North Queensland Cowboys baby boom has hit an all-time high this year with six players welcoming new additions.
John Asiata and wife Shailah welcomed their second baby, John Jnr, in August, and Antonio and Brooke Winterstein had their fourth baby, Finnlay, in September.
Also in August, Kane Linnett and his wife Erin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Corbin.
Lachlan Coote’s wife Laura gave birth to the couple’s second child Mia Rose, a younger sister to three-year-old Bailey, in July.
Justin O’Neill and his wife Chantelle’s second daughter Kasia was born in July.
Shaun Fensom and his wife Leah’s twins Cruz and Leo were born in February.
Mrs Asiata says the club has had a “lovely” run of births this year.
“It is so wonderful for us mums, and the players, to be going through similar life milestones off field,” she says.
“I think it unites the club even more. The club is a familyorientated club, and it’s nice that so many of the players are expanding their families or starting families.”
Mrs Asiata says she adores being a mother of two children born a year apart.
“Sure it can be challenging some days to have a newborn and a runabout year-old, but I’m loving this time in my life,” she says. “Little John Jnr is such a gentle and laid-back baby. He is only waking about once a night. It is Eleana who is waking up more as she’s teething.
“But I don’t mind. As a mother of babies you get into the groove of waking up through the night and surviving on broken sleep. I don’t really expect to get a solid eight hours’ sleep for some time but that’s all part of the parenting journey and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Mrs Asiata says she’s grateful her mother lives close to her home.
“To have family to help with the babies is incredible, and John is such a fantastic, hands-on father,” she says. “He comes home from work and he gets right in there helping with the children and the house.”
Mrs Asiata says her family often caught up with the Winterstein family who also live close by.
“The Wintersteins live not far from us so it is very convenient to catch up,” she says. “Brooke had her baby weeks apart from me (having my baby). She is the sweetest of people, really grounded and positive.”
Mrs Winterstein says she feels so “grateful” to be blessed with four healthy children.
“Finding out I was pregnant was a huge surprise so we decided we would keep our pregnancy a secret for as long as we could,” she says.
“We actually did very well with this and only made it public when I was 32 weeks pregnant.
“Even people I would see weekly at games or around town didn’t know. It made it really special that Finnlay was our little secret for so long.”
Mrs Winterstein admits that 2018 has been a “big year” for the family.
“We are adjusting to life after football since Antonio had to announce his retirement (in July) that was medically advised but thankfully having him home at the moment has been amazing,” she says.
“We can get through the newborn stage together.”
Mrs Winterstein says she and Antonio love having a large family.
“We love that fact that our daughters have each other, and they always have a friend, company and someone to play with,” she says. “No matter what, later in life they will always have someone to help them and share special times with.
“I love that the girls are all so different but that they are their own little ‘girl group’. They perform daily to The Greatest
Showman so there’s always singing, dancing and loads of role playing in our house.”
Mrs Winterstein says she cherishes being a mother.
“There’s so many different reasons why I love being a mother. Watching the girls grow and evolve into little people is just wonderful,” she says. “The way that they love me and mostly that they are half of me and half of the person I adore, we made our own little family and that’s pretty amazing.”
Mrs Winterstein says she is learning to accept that it’s OK to have overwhelming days.
“I most definitely don’t have it all together but I’m learning to accept that some days I can’t and won’t get everything done and that’s OK,” she says. “I remind myself to take a deep breath and try to slow my mind.
“Mums have a million different things going on in their brain to keep up with everything.
“It can be hard, very demanding and the sleep deprivation is brutal, whether you have one child or four. But every day us mums show up.
“I do what I can and when I hear our daughters’ laughing or see their little faces light up then I’m totally rewarded for it all.”
JUSTIN O’NEILL WITH HIS DAUGHTER KASIA JAYDE
JOHN AND SHAILAH ASIATA WITH SON JOHN JUNIOR.
CORBIN KEITH LINNETT
CRUZ AND LEO FENSOM
MIA ROSE COOTE