When it comes to pregnancy experiences and birth stories, the really awful, traumatic anecdotes seem to stick in our minds. But fortunately, Zoe Foster Blake wants to tip the scales in favour of some super positive stuff by sharing the deets on her delivery, the products she swears by, and how she found the post-baby-numero-two recovery process.
And boy, are we thankful.
The mum of Sonny (3) and Ruby (fresh out of the womb) went to town on a blog post that was so popular it crashed her website.
First up, she revealed that her second experience of childbirth was “awesome” and quite similar to her first.
“I feel tremendously lucky. I know how quickly things can get serious, and heavy, and how out of control it can all get in there for some mothers and babies, and I feel intensely fortunate to have had two positive births,” the 37-year-old wrote.
“I went into spontaneous labour at 2:30am the day before my due date, had my waters broken at around 4cm, (7am), then laboured like a, well, mother, til I was about 7cm dilated. I used gas for pain relief and quite loved it.”
After an hour it was time to push – “Like you’re pooing!!” according to her midwife – and within 15 “very athletic, intense, wonderful minutes” Rudy was born.
And her hot tip for pregnancy prep?
“I really reckon the weeks of acupuncture, acupressure massage (and meditating) I did leading into birth helped a lot, both times. My body did a fantastic job, and so did my baby.”
Zoe has been open about the Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction she suffered during her first pregnancy, which developed into a fractured pubis and osteitis pubis forcing her on to crutches from week 31 until delivery. She previously wrote about how pilates, osteopathy and a range of at-home exercises helped keep it bay, this time around.
And despite her positive pregnancy and childbirth experience, Zoe admitted there were some “dark days” around week six and seven.
“Managing a toddler, even a quite independent three year-old one, and trying to feed and settle a wailing baby at the same time threw me. The fact that two children need you constantly, and at exactly the same time, was an entirely new and wildly challenging experience.”
“Parenting is, without a lick of competition, the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and the hardest job there is. They were the toughest few weeks of my life, I reckon.”
Zoe said she wasn’t anywhere near a diagnosis of postnatal depression, but likened her experience to postnatal depletion.
“Being hormonally, physically, and emotionally depleted…. Or in other words: being a mother. Getting mastitis repeatedly and wanting to run away and sleep for 12 days straight were pretty good clues.”
Fortunately, she said she was lucky to have a smashing support network including a night nurse, which Zoe thoroughly recommends gifting other struggling mums.
Her post received thousands of thankful comments from mums-to-be, with many praising her for her honesty.
The beauty guru had plenty more stellar advice, which you can read here.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health Australia.