Bindi Irwin on Pregnancy, Baby Names and Carrying on Her Father’s Legacy
Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell tied the knot just days after shelter in place orders were put into effect in Australia as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Fast forward to one year later, and they are mere weeks away from meeting their baby girl, who they have lovingly dubbed Baby Wildlife Warrior. The former Jungle Girl star is gearing up for her biggest role yet with unmatched enthusiasm.
TB: Your due date is quickly approaching, but let’s go back to the beginning. How did you share your big news with Chandler?
Bindi: It was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve ever had. I had taken a pregnancy test and upon discovering the positive result I ran into our kitchen where Chandler was making us our morning cup of tea. He didn’t hear me come in so I just stood there for a while watching him pouring the hot water and thinking about how this news would change the course of our future in the best way. Once I told him we were both completely speechless and crying tears of happiness. We sat together with our tea talking about everything on the horizon and how we were going to share such wonderful, life changing news with the people that we love. In a matter of seconds our daughter became the center of our universe. My amazing family and Chandler’s have all been thrilled and supportive since they first found out that we are going to be parents. Their love and kindness is incredible and we know that Baby Wildlife Warrior is going to be so loved.
TB: We know Terri is going to be the best Grandma—has she picked out a grandma name yet?
Bindi: My extraordinary mama is my best friend and I know that she is going to be such an amazing grandmother. We spent a long time searching for grandma names that also had an animal link. We decided that she’s going to be called ‘Bunny’. When she was growing up in Oregon her neighbour down the street was always called ‘Bunny’. It only just dawned on us that it wasn’t her name but rather what everyone called her since she was a grandmother figure to the entire neighborhood.
TB: And Robert? He was so proud and excited to be a part of your nuptials, we can only imagine his delight over becoming an uncle!
Bindi: Oh yes, Robert has decided that ‘uncle’ needed an upgrade and he’s now calling himself the ‘funcle’ which means fun uncle. I love it!
TB: Notably missing is your late father, Steve Irwin. How are you planning to share your Dad’s legacy with your daughter?
Bindi: My dad would have been the best grandfather. I always joke that if he was still here we’d never see our baby because he’d take her on all kinds of adventures! I want to make sure our baby girl gets to know my dad and thankfully we have many documentaries and photos we can share with her. I think she’ll love getting to watch footage of Dad working with all kinds of animals and learning about his legacy.
TB: Any early thoughts on how you plan to approach motherhood or your role in your Wildlife Warrior’s life?
Bindi: I want to give our daughter the opportunity to experience as much as possible in the world to set her up for life. The greatest gift my parents ever gave me was their unconditional love and support. They encouraged me to travel my own path while always being there to lend support if I needed it.
TB: Were you both on the same page about wanting to know the sex of the baby? And was your intuition correct?
Bindi: Chandler and I both wanted to find out if we were having a boy or a girl right away—neither of us are really patient with surprises. We were completely blown away when we found out that we are having a girl as we were both so sure our baby was a boy. Most of the people in our families were quite convinced it was a boy as well. We’re over the moon with happiness knowing that we’re going to have a little Wildlife Warrior princess.
TB: Choosing a baby name is one of the biggest decisions for most parents. Are you and Chandler on the same page?
Bindi: We are waiting to meet her before we decide on a name. We want to hold her and make sure the name that we choose fits her perfectly. We have been looking through family history on both my side and Chandler’s side for family name inspiration. Once she arrives I think we’ll know exactly what to name her.
TB: What are you most excited about when it comes to baby girl?
Bindi: I can’t wait to experience the magic of the world all over again through her eyes. Watching her grow and find her own passions in life will be such a gift. My hope for her through life is that she follows her heart to do what she loves. She’s going to be the most beautiful light in this world, it’s a blessing that I’ll get to support her on the journey that she chooses to take.
TB: You created a beautiful nursery for your Wildlife Warrior. What was the inspiration?
Bindi: With my sweetheart mum being called ‘Bunny’ I had to include some woodland creatures in our nursery designs. Bunnies seemed like the perfect theme for our girl’s nursery.
TB: We know you’ve found comfort in your maternity clothes and in raiding Chandler’s closet! What have been your go to pieces?
Bindi: Maternity jeans are my new favorite things. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go back, they’re just so comfy! I’ve also found that since I can’t button my khaki shirts over my tummy anymore Chandler’s khaki shirts have come in handy. I think at this point some of my best advice to women who are expecting is to be comfortable. You’re already dealing with all the challenges that come with pregnancy, you should let yourself wear whatever brings you some kind of comfort.
TB: What’s on your baby registry?
Bindi: We’ve been asking our friends and family to send us their favorite childhood book for us to share with baby girl. Chandler and I want to read her stories that have a connection with the people we love.
TB: Your Zoo family is so important to you and Chandler— you even included them in your wedding. How do you plan to include them as you welcome this new addition?
Bindi: We actually live right in the middle of the zoo! Australia Zoo is like a resort for wildlife, a sanctuary dedicated to conservation and education. We have a wildlife hospital that has rescued and rehabilitated over 100,000 sick, injured and orphaned animals with the goal of giving every patient a second chance at life in the wild. Everything we do is to create positive change on the planet and protect as many beautiful animal species as we can. I’m so excited for our daughter to grow up learning about the importance of giving back and making a difference in the world for the future generations. My family started this work over 50 years ago and I have always been grateful that they included me and my brother every step of the way. We’ve been tremendously lucky to learn about how to care for so many different animals and educate others on conservation. My dad was the first person to create the term ‘Wildlife Warrior’. Being a Wildlife Warrior means to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We’ve been referring to our daughter as our Baby Wildlife Warrior. I know in my heart that she will forge her own path to make our planet a better place through her connections with the gorgeous animals that we protect here at Australia Zoo and the conservation work we do with animal species around the globe.
TB: You’re in the home stretch! How are you feeling? Any wild food cravings?
Bindi: Thank you! We are beyond excited for our beautiful baby girl to arrive soon. Pregnancy has been the most extraordinary journey and every day feels like a new miracle or milestone. I’m feeling really good. At about 5’ 2” I’ve always been quite small so carrying our daughter has definitely brought challenges as she continues to grow. Reaching down to tie my shoes or pick up an animal is quite difficult now that’s for sure! I have also experienced some interesting food cravings like seaweed and lettuce wraps—random but delicious!
TB: How are all the animals at the Zoo reacting to your growing bump? Do they know something special is about to happen?
Bindi:They’re all very excited and I definitely think they know something is going on. Even our crocodiles are curious about what is different with me. I love that both my animal family and human family are excited about our baby.
TB: What’s the best advice you’ve received during pregnancy?
Bindi: Do what’s right for you! Every pregnancy is different. You have to trust your maternal instinct and listen to your body and growing baby.
Published February 2021