As if the 3 trimesters of pregnancy weren’t enough, there’s actually another one. Yes, the fourth trimester is an actual thing. Basically, it’s the idea that the first 3 months of life are very much an extension of life in the womb for baby.

In my opinion, the first 12 weeks with a newborn (see my survival tips here) are the most difficult. Hence why it’s been dubbed ‘the 4th trimester’. Nobody really tells you (warns you) or talks about it and I’m not really sure why. In the hospital they often tell you about the dreaded 2nd night, I’m pretty sure with Baxter we were even given a print out on what to expect. Constant feeding being the main thing and most babes don’t know their day from night in those early days (sometimes weeks).

I did some googling….

“Your baby’s fourth trimester starts from the moment he/she is born and lasts until he/she is three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in your newborn, as he/she adjusts to his/her new world outside your womb. You may find the term “trimester” odd, since your baby is already born.”

So there. It is a ‘thing’.

I’ve always told people that things get better after the first 12 weeks, they’re not so fresh, they respond (some what), they smile and are a lot less fragile and become more interactive each and every day.

Back to the whole ‘fourth trimester’ thing. Imagine what the life is like for you wee one tucked up inside your womb: tightly cocooned in a warm, dark, comforting place. Constantly hearing the safe sound of mums heartbeat. This is why they’re like koala’s once earthside. They take comfort in the sound of mum’s heartbeat and her smell. Mum’s chest is their safe place. Your baby will want to be held by you, and only you. Babywearing can help during this period to enable you to still go to the bathroom and do things that help you feel sane without being stuck under a newborn 24/7.

I look at the fourth trimester similar to the third trimester for many. You’re tired, your uncomfortable and many of us are anxious. Some of us still look like we’re pregnant, I know I did – just a lot more squishy!

Nobody warned me about the contractions after birth if you’re breastfeeding, your uterus contacts when you feed and it can take up to 12 weeks for it to return to is normal size. I found I bled more during those first few feeds too.

Don’t worry too much about creating bad habits during this time, you can’t spoil a newborn. They’re still too young to form bad habits.

The fourth trimester is an adjustment period for all, mums/dads & babies. I just wish there was more discussions surrounding it so we can align our expectations and not be so overwhelmed.

IMG_7091

Firstly, thank you. Words alone cannot express the gratitude I have for you. 

You’re a Midwife, a Mum, and a damn good friend.

You made me see a strength in me that I didn’t know I had. A strength I didn’t even know was possible.

You reassured me that everything was going to be OK and that I could do this.

You let me ask all the ridiculous questions I had including a late night text freaking out because my poo was black (thanks iron pills). Questions like “what if I don’t know I am in labour?” haha, how fucking naive was I? You know alright…

You helped us in ways you will never even know. Pre and post-birth.

You’ve never questioned our decisions and you’ve always supported us 100%. I start to ramble and you stop me and remind me that our decisions are exactly that and I don’t need to justify myself.

You’ve been totally honest and straight up with both Reuben and I when we needed it most. 

You made us see sense when we were in a sleep deprived state and it was all getting a bit much.

My midwife is also a personal friend, I was always a little worried her seeing me at my most vulnerable (and seeing my lady bits) but honestly, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. She is a total champ and I don’t regret my decision even when she challenges me – generally for my negativity and crap attitude (and I thank her for it). She was well aware of my past mental health issues and was so amazing seeing signs of PND early on with Baxter and jumping on it straight away, educating me and making me see that it’s far more common than we realise and there is so much help and support out there. She made me feel confident in talking about how I really felt which in turn has allowed me to help others going through the same thing by speaking openly in my blog about my struggles.

Her love and support throughout the pregnancies/births of both Baxter & Lily is something I will be forever grateful for.

You know who you are… thank you doesn’t seem like enough.

18057083_1313091305393642_5427747711100726190_n

20.04.2017 | 3.43am | 8lb5oz – Lily Luca Bemrose


I kept going to start this blog post and simply don’t know where to start because it all happened so quickly. I wrote about Baxter’s and had trouble remembering all the details so figured I’d get onto Lily’s sooner rather than later.

For the days/nights leading up to the birth I was certain that she was ‘coming that night’. Nobody knows your body like you do and I knew stuff was going on but clearly she wasn’t quite ready.

I’ll set the scene…

The morning of the 20th rolls around, 2am – I am laying in bed and think ‘hmm, did I just wee?’ I get up and go to the toilet. It wasn’t enough for me to think much of it. I figured I was just loosing my mind. 5 min later, def not wees. I feel a warm surge of liquid – “REUBEN, get a towel! She’s coming” haha.

A friend of mine had kindly gifted me some adult nappies, what a god send. I put a pair of them sexy panties on and jumped back into bed. Reuben tells me “go back to sleep, reserve your energy” yeah, ok – thanks for that. This is what we did with Baxter but clearly Lily had other plans. Less than 5 minutes after laying in bed mildly freaking out that it was all finally happening contractions started and hit me like a freight train. 2 minutes apart from the get go and getting stronger and stronger each time. We called the midwife at 2.30am and told her what was going on, she said to come in and said she’d see us within the hour as we had to call on Reuben’s parents to come out as Bax was in bed fast asleep. Waiting for them felt like an eternity to the point that we were down in the garage with the car running. Contractions in the car are honestly hell. I thought to myself “why the fuck am I doing this to myself all over again?” and then I remembered we’d soon meet our little girl who’d complete our family and it’d all be worth it.

They finally arrived and we were on the road just after 3am. Shit was getting more intense as time went on and I kept saying to Reuben “this baby is coming, I feel like I need to push”.

We were traveling from Lower Hutt to Wellington Hospital where we’d chosen to give birth and we most definitely ran a few red lights when Reuben realized I wasn’t exaggerating and this baby was coming, and fast.

We arrived at the hospital carpark delivery suite lifts, they’re locked after hours and you have to use the phone of doom. We called up and said “yeah, we’re about to have a baby in the carpark” and we waited, and waited, and waited…. I was literally leaning against the parking machine, nappy and all, crossing my legs in an attempt to keep this baby in all while some teens were in the carpark getting wasted. Fun times. After what felt like 10 minutes, we called the midwife to tell her we were in the carpark and an orderly had still not come to let us up. She shortly greeted us in the lift and we were on our way up to delivery suite. It would have been about 3.30am by the time we got into the room which Reuben labeled the dojo.

I literally when into sheer panic within seconds as everything was happening so insanely fast. I yelled at my midwife saying I needed to push, I felt SO much pressure it was insane. She said the rest of my waters hadn’t gone and that was probably the pressure. Within seconds of her observation and examination, WHOOOSH – the rest of the waters go and I shit myself at the same time (I’d hoped I wouldn’t as I didn’t with Baxter but honestly don’t even give a shit now I think about it – see what I did there). Great idea on the chicken tandoori, Reuben. Lol.

I am not even exaggerating, within seconds I was pushing, 2 pushes and Lily Luca was born at 3.43am. 13 minutes after arriving into the delivery suite. If you were following our live updates on Snapchat you would have seen the gap in Reuben’s story, it literally happened THAT quickly. I am scared to think what had happened if she didn’t come down and get us from the carpark when she did or if I’d gone into labour at a different time of day and had traffic to compete with.

Lily was born happy and healthy (well, so we thought). In the days prior we learned that she’d potentially contracted some type of viral infection and her body was not strong enough to fight it off. She was having trouble with her breathing and was not maintaining a healthy body temp. We spent 4 days in the Wellington Children’s Hospital and I cannot express enough how amazing the staff were throughout our stay.

It was an extremely tough and emotional time for me since EVERY single family member on both sides got hit with Gastro. Dad, Mum (passed out at our place while caring for Baxter and got concussion), Baxter, Reuben’s Mum & Dad and then Reuben dramatically collapsed at the Children’s Hospital and spent the day in a private room there in isolation vomiting etc. It was fucking tough I tell you, due to everybody being sick and us not wanting Lily to be exposed to it I was doing this all on my own. It was difficult for Reuben and the rest of the families as they weren’t even able to see Lily. We communicated via text, FB chat and FaceTime. It was one of the loneliest and toughest few days I’ve experienced to date. It was so hard knowing Baxter was really sick and I couldn’t even see him and had to take everybody’s word that he was OK. I knew he wasn’t. I could feel my depression and anxiety coming flooding back and cried myself to sleep every single night. I put on a brave face/voice for Reuben most of the time but he knew it was killing me.

Everybody is OK now, Lily and I are back at home. Reuben and the rest of the family has recovered. Baxter seems to be 95% although I think some of his not being 100% is the getting adjusted to the fact there is another person in the house now. He is really good with Lily and comes in and says “halllooo lilllllly”. Cute af.

Reuben has been absolutely amazing despite all the drama. I can tell already that him and Lily are going to have the cutest bond ever.

So there you have it, the birth of Lily Luca Bemrose. Quite the exciting and dramatic story.

18011055_1311841305518642_3379587283164041577_n18056824_1316382791731160_3305918596822636936_n

Right, I’ve had sooooo many people messaging me on various platforms asking me for my updated hospital bag essentials list.

I did use my initial list as a starting point as well, it was a bloody good list!

Similar to last time, I’ve packed and unpacked the bags (yes, bags) several times. This is mainly due to me being terribly behind in the washing and saying to myself “oh, I wanna wear this in the next few weeks”.

Like last time, I would recommend taking enough clothes etc to get you and baby through 3-5 days that way if you end up having a long stay, you’re more than prepared. In saying that, I was in for 3 nights (4 days) and I’m pretty sure I wore the same clothes for a large majority of the time. Yes mum, I changed my underwear. Even though most people say “oh I can send my partner home to get more” I’d rather just have it there with me. We have a 30 minute drive (no traffic) to the hospital.

I will say in advance, I am super anal so took everything whether or not I ‘needed’ it, it was good to have it ‘just in case’. It’s better to be over prepared than unprepared, right? I am all for being over prepared, it’s easier than sending people out for stuff.

Right, I’ve broken this down into 5 lists;

For you:

  • Comfortable clothes for after the birth – I took slouchy yoga type pants and a nice baggy top to hide my newly acquired pooch, track pants will become your best friend. I have my amazing Silent Theory pants that I’ve lived in throughout my pregnancy, hence why I keep packing and unpacking them
  • Socks
  • Nana undies – the higher the better, especially if you have a c-section you don’t want ones that rub on your stitches. The Warehouse do awesome packs of nana gruts super cheap so you can chuck them after.. or keep wearing months after like me. You can get a 5 pack for $10. I took 2 packs ‘just in case’ (plus I know I will live in daggies for months after, hahaha
  • Toilet paper – the hospital stuff is like baking paper and that’s the last thing you want to be wiping your lady bits with. You can also get those amazing hoo-hah wet wipes, I used these once I got home (up until about 8 weeks when I got the courage to wipe and not dab). I found putting some WaterWipes in the fridge/freezer is ahhhh-mazing down there
  • Maternity pads – you’ll need em. The hospital supply you with ones that resemble a large single mattress but I found the libra maternity ones better as they had wings. In saying that, I was rolling two up (hospital ones) until I came home and once the bleeding died down I swapped over to the libra maternity liners
  • Maternity bras if you’re planning on breastfeeding, take sports bras with no underwire if you’re not going to BF. I don’t think I’ll ever wear a bra with underwire again, haha.
  • Labour clothes – if you don’t want to get stuck in a hideous, unflattering hospital gown, pack some clothes you’d like to labour in. It all happened pretty fast for me so I ended up in a long singlet, it covered my lady bits while walking around the room (some dignity) but also meant the midwife etc could do their thang
  • Slippers & Dressing gown – a lot of people say the hospitals are hot but I personally found it bloody cold!
  • PJ’s – Peter Alexander do amazing maternity pyjamas but they’re hella expensive, I was lucky enough to be gifted some by my amazing mama!
  • Phone/Charger – I also packed my portable battery pack ‘just in case’
  • Snacks: I took barley sugars, gummy snakes and Powerade. All of which got demolished during late nights feeds the following days and that dreaded second night. I also came across these devine Lactation Cookies which I’ve been eating now for the past 2 weeks – they’re delish!
  • Essential oils (if this is your thang) – I used the Le’esscience Labour Blend & Clary Sage during Baxter’s birth and will be using them again this time around. They have a huge selection of ah-mazing pregnancy safe blends AND they’re made here in NZ
  • Your own pillow – hospital ones are s.h.i.t – make sure you use a bright pillowcase so you don’t forget it when you’re in a rush to get out of there like I almost did!

Toiletries:

(I went and raided Countdown/The Warehouse for all those mini travel bottles)

  • Shampoo & Conditioner – save room and find a 2 in 1 or just rock the dry shampoo!
  • Hairbrush, Hair ties or headband if you want to ensure your hair is out of your face
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Lip Balm – by god did I need this
  • Moisturiser
  • Soap/Body Wash
  • Breast pads if you’re intending on BF’ing – I got some awesome reusable ones from Bibbitty Baby! I also purchased some Hydrogel Breast Discs to try this time around as my nips were RUINED last time
  • Lanisoh (nipple cream)
  • Hand cream
  • BB cream – I could not be fucked with full on makeup but this made me feel, and look less like a zombie when it came time for visitors
  • Medications you may need
  • Weleda Hypercal Lotion if you have a vaginal birth – this stuff was amazing the weeks following, I chilled it in the fridge in a shot glass then syringed it onto my lady bits, you could always make a heap up in a pump bottle but I found this awkward as hell and it just ended up everywhere but on my hoo-hah

It looks like a lot, but all of this fit in a small toilet/makeup bag for me. As I said, I went for the small travel sized bottles that the supermarket/Warehouse stock.

For partner/family/support person:

  • Camera (make sure you charge your battery or take spares) and don’t forget a memory card! My partner was on birth photog duty last time and done an awesome job
  • List of people who need to be contacted after the birth if you’re not up for doing it
  • Snacks/drinks
  • Change for the carpark/food etc

For baby:

  • Hats, booties, scratch mittens (you can also use socks)
  • Light blanket or muslin for swaddling
  • Merino onesies or suits – some people prefer gowns as they’re easier for late night changes
  • Singlets
  • Leggings
  • Woollen cardigans
  • Baby wipes/nappies
  • Wool blanket
  • Capsule or carseat – the hospital generally check this on discharge

NB: With Baxter, I packed all newborn clothes but he was quite small so ended up in prem clothes for a week or two once we came home (he wasn’t prem), so if you think/know you’re having a wee babe then I would take 1-2 prem suits just in case.

Backup bag in the boot of the car:

  • 2 spare outfits for bubs
  • Extra blanket/swaddle in case other gets soiled
  • Extra nappies/wipes (hospital often has this stuff but if you have a preference as to what you want to use then take your own
  • Change of clothes for my partner + toiletries
  • Camera charger

Ladies, leave a towel in the car if your waters break at home and you have a wee (haha) drive to the hospital. I needed a towel in the car, and on my side of the bed which was lucky as my waters broke in bed. I finally remembered to take the towel out of the car a few weeks later when I rose from the newborn haze (ha, ew).

As I say, everybody is SO different. It’s likely Reuben won’t be staying so he probably won’t need half of his stuff but he used it all last night as he did manage to stay a night or two (I would have discharged myself had he not been allowed too). Every birth can be so different so we are prepared for all situations and if we don’t use it, no major. Some people take the bare minimum while I like to feel comfortable and have my things with me.

I hope this helps!

13230100_1022978281071614_9142603659484747327_n

K so, I’ve been extremely shit with keeping up the pregnancy updates with this second pregnancy. I wasn’t that great with Baxter either even though that was what started this blog off.

34 weeks and 2 days today, 5 weeks 5 days remaining. H O L Y – S H I T.

This pregnancy has gone insanely and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that life is simply so damn busy that I haven’t have time to clockwatch. Between working full time, the blog and a very active 18m old – time is not something I have a lot of.

My last update was 27 weeks, and it doesn’t feel like long ago that I sat down to write that. I summed a lot up in that last post about what’s been going on in our life, my fears and our current situation.

As this pregnancy draws closer by the day I cringe at how slack I’ve been this time around, it’s not a case of not caring, as above – lifes just been busy.

Shrimpy’s room isn’t ready yet, nowhere near but I am not in a panic yet as she will be in our room to start off with anyway. I have however sorted out the bassinet, washed all the sheets and its made and ready for the little lady’s arrival. My mum is amazing and washed her clothes in preparation so I just need to put them into her drawers.

I am yet to pack my hospital bag, that’s my plan for this afternoon. While I do this, I will be updating my Hospital Bag Essentials post and will be doing a new one with what I packed/took second time around. I am generally a really organised person, who has everything ready WELL before its needed ‘just in case’. So I am genuinely surprised at how chill I have been this time around.

I have to say, I’ve had a pretty bloody good run when it comes to the pregnancy itself. I haven’t had any morning sickness whatsoever (didn’t with Baxter either). As of late I’ve had a fair bit of pain in my back & hips but nothing I can’t handle. My heartburn has come back in full force in the final trimester and I am so uncomfortable that sleep is a distant memory. Either way, I am super excited to meet this wee poppet and I know Baxter is going to be the cutest with his little sister. He is such a gentle wee soul. We settled on a name and Baxter rips my top up to reveal my belly and yells her name – I melt.

I will aim to do 1-2 more updates before she comes and will of course blog about the birth as I did with Baxter and Reuben and I are still deciding whether or not we share some stuff on Snapchat (jezzbee) while I am in labour.

Chat soon x

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset