This was not the year Ali Pugh was expecting. When COVID-19 hit New Zealand, her husband’s work came to a standstill and she was needed in the newsroom full-time to cover the unfolding global crisis. Then amid the chaos of 2020, the mum-of-two received some life-changing news.
“It was a lovely family secret that we kept to ourselves for the first few months,” says the Christchurch-based TVNZ reporter, 34. But now that secret can be shared with Woman’s Day readers – Ali and her husband Jo Barus, 45, are expecting their third child in February, a little sibling for five-year-old Theadora and two-year-old Heidi.
“Finding out you’re pregnant is always a magical moment, but to have this lovely news in what has been a really tough year was thrilling,” smiles Ali.
With restrictions on gatherings, Jo – who plays bass guitar for the legendary Dave Dobbyn – was out of work for much of 2020. Ali says that while she’d have preferred more stability during her pregnancy, the news gave the couple something to look forward to during an uncertain time. “Jo went, ‘Yes, we’re going to get a boy!’”
The baby’s sex will remain a surprise until the big day, but whatever it is, the baby is already a well-loved part of the family. There are presents from Thea and Heidi ready to be placed under the Christmas tree, and the baby scans have made the journey to kindy for show and tell.
“I have a bath with them most nights so they can see the baby growing day by day. Thea is actually very nurturing already – she always puts her hand on it to feel it kicking and she gives it little kisses.”
Like her previous births, Ali plans to have this one at home and while she has no qualms about heading to the hospital if she needs to, she’s hoping for a repeat of Thea and Heidi’s peaceful arrivals.
“We’ve had two wonderful home birth experiences, so it would be a real treat if our third was too. I feel so comfortable at home. It’s just quite calm and nonstressful.”
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