Ironwoman Hayley Bateup is ‘super excited’ her partner April Zekulich is pregnant with their first baby

CHAMPION ironwoman Hayley Bateup is “super excited” her long-time partner April Zekulich is pregnant with their much-wanted baby.

“We have hoped for this for so long,” says the three-time Coolangatta Gold winner.

“Now we don’t have much longer to wait and we will have achieved our dream.

“It’s definitely getting more real now as April’s bump is starting to show.”

Hitting the baby jackpot on their second attempt with IVF specialist Dr Michael Flynn at Pindara Hospital, Hayley, 35, says it has been amazing to share the whole experience with April, 39.

“Seeing our baby on the scan was mind-blowing. When I’d seen the scan photos of friends it never really affected me but when I saw our own baby, well, that was a different story. It was so exciting!”

The committed couple intends to divvy up the motherhood experience.

“I think Hayley will be the disciplinarian,” says April. “I’m a bit of a softie but so is Hayley.”

“We’ll share the load,” says Hayley, who played Nitro on TVs Gladiators. “Of course, for the first six months April will be breastfeeding so that will mean more work for her. Although April is hoping I’ll be able to breastfeed as well.”

While Hayley has her doubts about her own breastfeeding capabilities she definitely reckons two mums are better than one.

“Both being girls, we already get it,” she says. “It’s not like we have to explain anything to a man. Although the baby will have plenty of male role models in my father and April’s dad and other good male friends.”

Their little nipper, due midyear, will be the first child for both mums-to-be who are already preparing a nursery at their newly renovated Gold Coast home.

“This baby is going to get heaps of love from both of us,” says Hayley, now in training to complete as a professional cyclist. “We’ll give him or her a strict but fair childhood — exactly like I had growing up. A stable upbringing filled with heaps of sports and lots of time at the beach. I had a tinny and a motorbike when I was a kid.”

April, the eldest of five girls, says she’s “feeling great” and has toned down her exercise regime since falling pregnant.

“It was the right time to retire so we could start on the next chapter of our lives,” says Hayley, who is now concentrating on building up her popular fitness program, Bateup’s Body Blitz, and training nippers as head coach at Mermaid Surf Life Saving Club.

“Kids and I get along really well and I love being able to teach them and show them how to do things,” she says. “And I think training the nippers has given me some preparation for motherhood as well — well, I hope!”