“It was very intense and quite traumatic,” smiles a relieved Kayla, safely back home and tenderly cuddling new arrival Romi Yves Boyd under the watchful gaze of big sister Willow, 4.
“I was getting really stressed and bub was really stressed …
“It’s quite crazy, because it all happened so much earlier than we expected. After my waters broke, we were running around the house packing bags before we raced off to the hospital.
“We didn’t have anything prepared. But Romi was ready and knew what we needed in our lives, I suppose, before we knew. She actually came on my mum’s birthday, the day before my 32nd birthday, so what a gift!”
After the nail-biting, last minute drama, Romi was delivered at 7.40am on Saturday, September 28 at Brisbane’s North West Private Hospital, weighing a healthy 3.2kg and measuring 51cm, with a shock
of jet black hair.
Strongman Darius, an Australian and Queensland State of Origin representative, freely admits he cried at the outcome. ‘‘It was pretty awful seeing Kayla in such pain, going through contractions while they tried to put an anaesthetic needle in her back,” reveals the tough 32-year-old, once described by former coach Wayne Bennett as ‘the most introverted player’ he had ever coached.
“I kept thinking, ‘What if something goes wrong?’ There was just panic with Romi coming three weeks early, then the emergency caesarean was
a bit of a shock.
“So it was a real relief when everything turned out OK and we saw our little daughter safe and well.”
Romi was all the more welcome since the Boyds had tried for nearly two years – including a failed IVF attempt – before stylist and blogger Kayla finally conceived their longed-for second child, whose name was inspired by favourite movie Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.
Nobody could have predicted such a joyous outcome in July 2014, when a deeply depressed Darius admitted himself to three weeks’ rehab after Kayla walked out on their marriage, unable to deal with his demons.
The fullback turned five-eighth’s ‘black dog’ was really biting as a result of poor on-field form, the crippling injury suffered by his Newcastle Knights best mate Alex McKinnon, and his own traumatic childhood.
Darius, whose single mother left him with his grandmother when he was just 15, never knew his father’s identity and still doesn’t, despite a couple of potential candidates coming forward for DNA tests.
“I’ve left it there,” he says softly. “I just want to grow my own little family. I was an only child and sometimes, seeing Willow around other kids, I felt she was lonely and needed a sibling.”
“Now there will always be someone there for her and that’s what I’m so excited about.”
For Darius, this marks a happy ending to a torrid football season, in which the Broncos crashed out of the NRL finals following an embarrassing 58-0 thrashing by the Parramatta Eels. Although his captaincy has been criticised, he plans to play on next year.
“I just hang around positive people and try to be really positive in everything I do and see,” he grins. “Footy has its ups and downs but at the end of the day, it’s only a job. It’s not as important as family. Family and friends are the most important things in life, I guess.”
Serenely breastfeeding while Darius waits to burp the baby, Kayla adds: “We’re a good team and Darius is an amazing dad, really hands-on.
I think we’re both a lot more relaxed the second time around because we wanted another bub for so long. It seems Romi was a lifetime in the making!
“You wonder how you can love your second child as much as your first, but you just do. And it’s wonderful to see Willow being a big sister, so nurturing and caring …”
There’s a pause for thought, then Kayla laughs: “Before you ask, the doctors say we need to wait at least 12 months before having another baby, and we’re fine with that. But we do plan on having one more baby, although we’re very happy as a family of four.”
Perhaps, if she falls pregnant again, Kayla will finally get to shine in the glamorous, bump-friendly OGLIA-LORO Couture gown she never got
to wear – as a result of Romi’s early arrival – at this year’s Dally M Awards!
For more, see this week's New Idea - out now!