To the mum tapping her brakes at the lights, we’ve all been there.

To the mum struggling to carry her newborn while her toddler is having a tantrum, I feel for you.

To the mum rocking her shopping trolley while the person in front faffs about with no regard or awareness that your baby is about to go from 0-100 REAL quick.

To the mum feeding her baby in the cafe while her own meal goes cold, I don’t remember the last time I ate a full meal – uninterrupted. You’re a good mum and your child will one day thank you (maybe).

To the mum who hasn’t washed her hair in over a week, you rock that mum-bun.

To the mum persevering through the pain of breastfeeding in order to prove a point or to keep others happy, do what’s best for you. A happy mum is more useless than a broken one.

To the mum who isn’t sure if that stain on her pants is food or fecal matter, you rock on.

To the mum who’s stuck on the couch under a sleeping baby while your phone is out of reach, I feel you sister.

To the mum stuck in the car with a sleeping baby/toddler not knowing whether to risk the dreaded transition. Stay there, get your phone out and relax.

To the mum swaying side to side in the coffee line, I still do it 18 months on. I don’t think it ever stops.

To the mum reading this while gritting their teeth because there child won’t go to sleep – breeeeeathe.

To the mum hiding in the bathroom crying so she can get one moment’s peace, we’ve been there.

To the mum scared to feed their child formula because of fear of judgement, just do it. Happy mum = happy baby.

We’re in this together mamas! I salute you! Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and realise this parenting gig is a tough one. We’re not alone and that there are SO many mums experiencing the same things as us each and every day but very few will openly admit it.

If you see a mama out in public, struggling, who could do with a helping hand or a hug. Reach out, you could make her day. You could be that one adult conversation she has been craving for all day.

You’re doing an amazing job, don’t question yourself mama. You’re doing just fine x

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Second time round I am going into this whole experience with so much more knowledge than when I was pregnant with Baxter and well, knowledge is power – right?

I will not allow myself to feel bullied, judged or pressured into anything. I’ll have my tin of formula in my hospital bag if I’m having issues and my baby is hungry. I won’t question my decision for a moment. I will give breastfeeding a go but I will not allow myself to get consumed by bad feelings, pressure and the potential onset of PND.

I’ve come up with a few points that I need to remind myself when times get tough.

  • Don’t be so hard on me – high expectations often result in disappointment, like the above, be strong, stick to your guns and don’t allow yourself to get pushed around.
  • Accept help when offered, even if they don’t do it the way I do – I am the biggest control freak and I NEVER accept help when asked. It’s just not in my nature, I am always the first to put my hand up to help others but when it comes down to people offering help, I always say no.
  • Have an open mind when it comes to breastfeeding – don’t put so much pressure on me. Same as above. I am sticking to my guns, I know what I want and what I won’t allow. I want my baby to be healthy, happy and not hungry. If it all works out, awesome. If it doesn’t, well I tried.
  • Don’t buy so much shit – so many clothes didn’t get worn with Baxter because I went crazy (everybody does with first babies, right?), at least his sister can rock them. The flip side is because we did buy so much crap for Baxter, we didn’t need to buy too much for his sister.
  • Enjoy those first few weeks – we know it’s going to be shit, so let’s try and enjoy them. It really is scary how quickly those weeks go so embrace the fourth trimester in a haze of sleep deprivation and hormones.
  • Try not to compare them – the births, the kids, everything. They’re two totally different children and will no doubt act it so don’t be disappointed if one doesn’t sleep as good as the other (this is a legit fear as Baxter is the bomb sleeper).
  • Don’t freak out during the adjustment period – Baxter isn’t going to be impressed with the new family member (nor is the cat) so I need to give him time to adjust and come around to the idea that he now has this little bundle to help me protect.
  • Just breathe – it’ll no doubt be a bit shit for a while, but they will love each other eventually, right? Don’t sweat the small stuff, what will be will be.
  • Spread the love – remember to give equal amounts of love to both kids, while the new baby is going to need lots of attention and will be very dependent on me, don’t change how I am and have always been with little B.
  • Don’t feel pressured with visitors – this got me last time, I knew people wanted to meet our new addition but I put a lot of un-needed pressure on myself to keep the house clean and was still finding my way with establishing feeding which didn’t help as I wasn’t comfortable with getting my boob out in front of friends/family in those hazy first few days.
  • Take care of myself – know my limits, you know your own body better than anybody and if things don’t feel right physically or mentally, talk to your midwife or GP. With a history of anxiety/depression and PND with my first, I’ll be kept a close on eye on this time around and I know what to look out for. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re struggling.

I know there will be plenty more that I’ve forgotten about and will learn on my journey to 2 under two (oh my god).

Bare with me while I learn to not lose my mind!

Reuben said to me last night “you need some new content”. The sad thing is, he’s right. Life has been so insanely busy as of late that I really haven’t set aside time to blog as much as I would have liked. I’ll be honest, I’ve set aside NO time. As I’m sure you’ve been able to tell. We’ve had a pregnancy announcement, Christmas, NY, my 30th birthday in less than a week (cue meltdown). I’ve celebrated the 2 year anniversary of this very blog and the Facebook page ticked over 30 THOUSAND followers, I am still in shock. To top it all off?.. the baby is going to be here in 13.5 weeks. OH MY GOD. That is 95 days away. Are we prepared? Um, kind of.

Having a second baby is NOTHING like having your first baby, well this is how its been for me anyway. I was so extremely organised about this time with Baxter. His room was ready and I’d probably moved the furniture around and re-organised everything like 5 times and I was probably packing my hospital bag for the 3rd time. I was petrified about the birth and each week I would remind Reuben “you know the baby is going to be here soon right?” cos men, well. You know.

This pregnancy has been oh so different and I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that its a girl. I have to check the app on my phone to confirm how far along I am when people ask and am only just now starting to really come to terms with the fact that in a few short months, our baby girl will be here and our family will be complete. Yes, no more babies. I know what you’re thinking.. everybody says that no more. But this is what we want. We’re ecstatic to be having one of each and 2 is what we always wanted.

Babies room is nowhere near completed. We’re doing some renovations on the spare room which will end up being Baxter’s new room, and shrimpy will go into Baxter’s current room once she’s graduated out of our room. That is the plan, the room needs to be painted and currently resembles a hoarders living room. As Reuben would say “we have pleeeenty of time”. It’s not doing good things for my anxiety, thats for sure. But I know it will all work out.

Do you know one thing that is really starting to scare me? Freak me out, make me anxious? Its extremely selfish. Really. Baxter has been an amazing sleeper since an early age. We’ve been so so lucky, everybody told us he would stop it eventually and “it won’t last for long” typical buzzkill comments. He hasn’t stopped. He is still sleeping anywhere from 12-15 hours a night. I am not joking, this kid is a mini version of his Dad and he LOVES to sleep. And yes, he has a small day sleep too. I am so scared that the new baby is going to affect his sleeping and that we will all fall apart. Deep down, I know its selfish. Baxter being a good sleeper has really helped my PND because I KNOW that sleep deprivation is a killer, trust me, I did experience it. Those first 3 months were hellish. It actually fucks with your brain and it can be quite dangerous at times. I am genuinely worried that if his sleep gets all out of whack then we will have two not sleeping and how will we cope? Oh poor me you’re probably thinking, but its scares me and triggers my anxiety. I don’t know how I will cope.

I know its going to be tough, we’ve done it before, I know the rough times will pass and you start having good days between the bad days, then good weeks, good months. I am just starting to panic. I know Baxter will change a wee bit with his sister arriving, although he is young. I am sure he will know. He seen me with a friends 9 week old baby a few weeks ago and the look he gave me truly broke my heart. It made me feel like. I had to sneak back into his room later to tell him that I loved him. I felt terrible and I know these feels with flood back soon when I am spreading my love and attention between two.

Every baby is so different and I have no idea what to expect.

I am shit scared that my PND is going to come flooding back in full force. My GP, Midwife and family are amazing. I have a great support system so this shouldn’t be a concern of mine, but it is. After discussions with my GP, Midwife & Reuben we decided it was better for me to remain on my medication throughout this pregnancy. I felt good about the decision until some dip shit pharmacist who filled my prescription scare mongered me and told me it was extremely dangerous for the baby with me being on medication. Who the hell does he think he is? Like I wasn’t in a vulnerable enough state.

Anyway, I am starting to ramble a bit. I haven’t blogged in a while, I start to type and now I can’t seem to stop. Sometimes airing your thoughts and fears make you feel a shit load better. I know it often makes others feel better because they realise their fears are normal.

Thanks to my anterior placenta (I had one with Baxter too), I’ve only felt movements in the last two weeks but it definitely makes it all feel a lot more real.

Life has been hectic but I promise I will blog at least once a week going forward!

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I really wished I’d written notes about my birth earlier as 10 weeks on is not the most ideal time to recollect it, whilst the labor itself feels like a blur now I will do my best to remember the details.

To put things into perspective, my due date was the 28th of August. I was so desperate to get this baby out earlier, if not on my due date. I drunk copious amounts of raspberry leaf tea (which tastes like radiator water), I bounced on the swiss ball till I couldn’t bounce anymore, I curb-walked and I had lots of sex (upon instructions from my midwife) although feeling like a beached whale and having sex was the LAST thing I wanted to do. Ladies, you know exactly what I mean.

As a first time mum, being overdue was like the end of the world, seriously. I was in the mindset that this baby was never coming and that he’d be in there forever.

The 30th of August rolls around and I wake at 5.30am. I felt/heard something weird, I reluctantly put my hands ‘down there’ and felt warm liquid. For a moment there I thought I’d pissed the bed. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My waters had broken, it was not what I’d expected from seeing way to many unrealistic american movies. I managed to save the mess in my bed and made it to the bathroom somehow. I sat on the toilet thinking ‘holy fuck, this is happening’. I woke up my partner and was like ‘um, I think my waters just broke’, we’re both in a panic running around the house yelling ‘he’s coming, he’s coming’. He told me to try get some sleep, um, yeah right. That was not happening. I think I may have drifted off for a very small period of time but my mind simply wouldn’t let me. The day I’d been waiting for was finally here and I was shitting bricks (not literally, but may as well have). As it was so early int he morning we decided to hold off calling the midwife until later that morning (9am). Contractions were quite far apart at that stage and I was still questioning myself as to whether this was the real deal or not. My midwife was off for the weekend (typical, I KNEW it was going to happened on her scheduled weekend off!). Backup midwife told us to come in and get checked out, generally once your waters have gone they check on everything and you are put on IV antibiotics after 12 hours if things are progressing due to the risk of infection. We went in about 3.30pm I think. She questioned whether or not it was actually my waters, I told her I definitely didn’t piss myself so it had to be. I jokingly told her it smelt like semen and not urine (have heard this is strangely normal). She done an internal and confirmed I was 1-2cm dilated and done a stretch and sweep while she was done there which was not the most pleasant of experiences but knew it’d be nothing compared to what was ahead. After we left things felt different, I knew that whatever she’d done had really moved things along. She’d told us to come back at 10pm that night, with all our stuff and expect to be in for the night (and that we wouldn’t be leaving without a baby). If things weren’t to progress, the plan was I’d be hooked up to an IV for antibiotics until things got going.

Not necessary, at 8pm I screamed at my partner from the bathroom to call the midwife and ask if we could come in earlier to which she said yes yes, come in. My contractions were getting closer (don’t even ask how far apart as I can’t remember now) but they were getting more intense. I think contractions really stepped up for me around 6pm (from memory) and just got worse from then on. Having contractions in a moving vehicle is one of the most hideous experiences, sitting at the lights trying my best to slump into my seat so the people next to us couldn’t see me while I was gripping the door panel in the car so hard I was making an indent in the rubber. We were traveling from Lower Hutt into Wellington Hospital as this is where I had chosen to give birth (we lived in the city when we found out I was pregnant). We finally pull into the hospital carpark and sure enough, the fucking lifts lock off at 8pm. I was adamant I was going to give birth in the carpark gripping the pay & display machine. We buzzed L&D and what felt like an hour later (was actually less that 5min) a security guard with a wheelchair arrives in the lift. I’ve never been so happy to see a complete stranger.

We get settled into our room and they do another internal and I was only 4-5cm I think? I was disappointed, with the pain I was feeling I was expecting 10cm! Hah! Sadly no. I remember struggling to find a comfortable position to ride out the contractions. I was on the floor at one stage, on the bed, walking around and spent a majority of my time on the toilet as I constantly felt like I needed to pee (more that I ever did throughout the whole pregnancy). On what was to be my final toilet visit I sat down and ‘WHOOSH’ the most unreal noise and hollywood gush of water, so much so, my partner, the midwife student and midwife all heard it even with the bathroom door closed. I look behind me in the toilet (as you do), it was brown. For a split second I thought holy shit, I just did the most ruthless shit. No, meconium in the waters and I knew that was bad so I went into panic mode instantly. I yelled something along the lines of ‘holllyyyyy fucccckkk I need to push, he’s coming’ and the midwife ran in and helped me off the toilet and onto the bed. I started off labouring on all fours on the bed, I found it so uncomfortable and constantly felt like I was going to shit. This is very normal by the way and was one of my biggest fears. I didn’t, thank god. My partner was AH-MAZING, putting ice cold flannels on my forehead and shoulder blades, within seconds they felt piping hot and I’d yell at him for more cold ones! I finally got my way and was able to swap positions and labour on my back, instantly I felt like all this pushing was actually getting me somewhere! I went into the birth wanting to have no drugs whats so ever and I am so pleased I was able to fulfil my birth plan. How? I have no idea. Sheer determination and the right mindset I think. I recall people telling you about the ring of fire, by god. The feeling/pain down there would resemble somebody holding a blowtorch to your lady bits at close range, on that final push when I actually felt him coming out was the biggest relief I have ever felt in my entire life, I instantly felt a pressure release (duh, a human just came out of my VAGINA!). Don’t get me wrong, the pain was out of this world but the moment they’re out and you hear that first cry, it actually is so worth it (I thought people were crazy when they said this to me). He was straight up onto my chest for skin on skin and was so alert! My partner cut the cord which was amazing as we didn’t think he’d be able too (hates blood etc, and there was plenty of it). Once I thought it was all over I forgot I still had to push the placenta out, thank god its squishy and barely compares to a HUMAN! My poor partner, the midwife said soft push, which I swear I did and the placenta literally shot out, along with a fuck tonne of blood. Apparently there was a small pocket of blood behind the placenta which helped with it’s exit, haha. I thought my other half was going to pass out. It looked a lot worse that it actually was. Upon inspection, it turns out my sac ruptured in two places, hence the two lots of waters I lost. It was definitely reassuring to know I hadn’t pissed myself earlier than morning but a bulk of the waters were lost on the epic toilet visit. To be honest, the hours after this were a blur. I remember my parents coming up to the delivery room to meet the little fella and this was such an awesome moment to watch.

Looking at my pregnancy and delivery records/discharge papers I was in established labour at 8.10pm, admitted at 9.05pm (30th of August), was fully dilated at 11.45pm and gave birth at 12.49am (31st of August). Looking at it that way, it seems so short, but it really didn’t feel that way!

Labour deets (for those who care):

1st stage: 03.35

2nd stage: 01.04

3rd stage: 00.12

He was born happy and healthy weighing 7lb5oz.

I suffered two labial lacerations which required stitches, thank god I received anesthetic as I don’t know how much more I could have taken down there.

Would I do it again? I don’t know, haha. Not anytime soon, but if I was stupid enough to I think I would definitely try for an unmedicated, natural birth again, I felt so empowered afterwards and it was such a good feeling.

Women are amazing, regardless of how they birth – what an experience. Hats off to all your mums out there. The human body is an amazing thing.

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I came across this post the other day and it really resonated with me because I am THAT friend right now and I have been for a while now, while I was pregnant with Baxter and more so now that he is here.

For friends without children it’s harder to understand, they often take it personally or think that you’re choosing not to make any effort or that you simply don’t care. That is not the case at all. I wrote about it early on in my journey as a new mum and to be honest, things haven’t changed a lot for me these days and as Baxter has gotten older.

I’m tired, and when I am not tired I have a million and 1 things to do.

With so much going on in our lives we need to remember to be kind to ourselves, that those true friends will understand and offer a helping hand instead of being annoyed at our absence.

A good friend once told me ‘you find out who your true friends are when you have a baby’. There is SO much truth in this but when she told me at the time I thought, really? Fuck yes. I was THAT friend. I didn’t know how to act or be around friends who had just had babies because it’s something I hadn’t experienced personally.

My priorities have completely changed since having Baxter and I never saw it coming, there were people I considered good friends who have never even met my son and due to this I have pulled back and decided that I don’t need people like that in my life. Yes, people without children are busy too but so much changes once you have little people who depend on you entirely. Being a mum has really made me see things in a whole different perspective. You realise what’s important and what isn’t. You learn to care less about what other people think and more about what you think of yourself. You realise how far you’ve come and you remember when you were such a mess you thought you’d never recover. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you have become and this new life that you created.

I don’t like going out at night because 1. I am tired and 2. That means I don’t get to say goodnight to Baxter, I then go to work in the morning and he is still asleep when I leave so I then don’t get to see him until the next evening. When I am not busy being a mum, more often than not the last thing I want to do is be social, and that’s all me, not you. I’ll be totally honest, I was a bit of a nana even before Baxter came along. I’ve never been a party girl and I would much rather sit at home watching shit TV and eating Tim Tams in my Jim Jams but that’s just me. I love seeing my friends and hanging out but find things are just different now.

I have the lowest tolerance for bullshit these days, from dramatic friends to opinionated people online (ironic as I can one of them). I have so much more to worry about these days, and have just found I simply can’t be bothered with trivial things that are of such low importance to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have so much patience when it comes to my son, I just seem to have lost it for everybody else and I think I put that down to the fact that my life is so devoted to him right now. I have been shit on my so many friends in the past, haven’t we all that I really just don’t have time for people in my life who are out for the benefit of themselves. There is simply no point.

I will not apologise for the way I am. I am me. I live an insanely busy life in order to provide a good future for me and my family. I can be a real shit friend but I can also be the most amazing friend, often there is no in-between but those who know me know that this is me and I would drop anything for them.