What’s in my Hospital Bag: Baby Edition

There is a huge amount of information on the internet what you should pack in a hospital bag for baby, when you should pack it, how much of what to pack and what not to pack at all. And although all helpful, I found when I was pregnant with Violet I struggled to find a decent source of information on Australian products, or at least products you could actually buy in Australia.

So, as an Australian mother about to have her second baby, here’s my list of essentials, things you’ll actually put to use and things you’ll definitely be able to buy here down under, whether it be in store or online. And if you’re not from Australia, these are all still products I’ve used and love so if you can get your hands on these things, do try!

This post could get quite long, so if you’re in a hurry, you’ll find the summary of each item in italics underneath my blabbing.

1. Nappies and Wipes

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I thought it best to begin with the obvious. I can’t remember if the hospital supplied nappies when Violet was born, but even if they did it wasn’t many so you will NEED these (obviously). Generally they suggest at least one packet, two if you want to make extra certain you’ll have enough. When it comes to the type it really is personal preference, every baby responds differently to different types of nappies. Some babies have extra sensitive bottoms, but generally they all get a little rash from having a nappy on for the first time in their existence. I have Huggies Essentails packed for the moment, I’ve tried them with Violet and find them to be quite good quality, I’ve also packed the BabyLove wipes. But as I said, it really is just a case of seeing what works for your baby, I had Aldi Newborn nappies in Vi’s hospital bag and they worked just fine and I don’t remember which wipes I used. As long as they catch the poop and don’t fall apart you’re on the right track!

Pack at LEAST one packet of newborn nappies and a packet of wipes(whatever kind you want)

2. Blankets

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Now these the hospital DOES supply, so if you’re not fussed on what blanket your little one is wrapped in then you really don’t need to pack any. Personally I like to have a couple of different colours and patterns for photo reasons, and I also love the extra softness. I have two packed, a white waffle type from Designer Bebe in Bamboo Viscose, it feels absolutely heavenly, honestly can’t get enough! And the second is a cream and white striped blanket from Bubba Blue, one side has cute pink animals on it as well. It’s a little thicker, just in case the air conditioning in the hospital is a little cool and lets be real, it’s always overly cold in hospitals.

Pack blankets you like if you want, although the hospital will supply some

3. Singlets (x4)

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These are a must in my opinion, new babies are used to the cosy warmth of inside our uterus so they do need a few extra layers to keep their body temperature normal. I’ve packed 4, I do believe they are the kmart brand, but I could be mistaken (they were a gift). Really any baby singlets will be just fine and newborn size is your best bet unless you’ve been advised otherwise, you can often purchase them in packs which is super handy for the hospital.

Pack at least 4 newborn singlets (newborn size)

4. Long Sleeved Onesies (x6)

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Long sleeved onesies are also a must, for the reason previously stated. I have a real issue with decision making, hence why I’ve packed 6, but 4 would also suffice. The terry towelling onesies are absolutely excellent, I’ve packed 3, you’ll find them at a number of different stores from kmart to Best and Less and they’ll all be about the same quality. They’re just that little extra bit warm, plus I can’t get enough of the look of a newborn in a terry onesie. I’ve also got 3 non terries, because I can’t make decisions remember? ZIPS are your friend, I didn’t realise we only have ONE newborn onesie with a zip, but the more zip ones you can find the better (the buttons are from satan when its 3am and you can’t see properly because of how tired you are).

As for sizing, I found 0000 (4 zeros) perfect on Vi who was born 6lb 13oz (about the average size of a newborn), She also fit into 00000 (5 zeros) and wore a couple in the hospital, however I wouldn’t recommend purchasing any as they outgrow them within about a week. I have some packed but that is really only because I have them so I may as well use them. It’s also best to pack one or two 000 (3 zeros) just in case you have yourself a little chunker.

So to play it safe pack at least one 000 and a few 0000 long sleeved onesies, if you can, buy the ones with ZIPS!

5. Short Sleeved Onesies (x2)

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These are definitely not 100% necessary. You’ll be wanting to keep bub as warm as you can, however on the off chance that the hospital is warmer than expected, I’ve chucked in two short sleeved onesies. It’s unlikely that bub will wear them, however she is an end of spring baby so I thought I’d better be safe. If anything she might wear one of these underneath a swaddle and a blanket, but likely not on its own.

Unlikely to be used, but two short sleeved onesies can be packed on the off chance the hospital is overly warm

6. Socks, Beanies and Mittens

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Again for warmth reasons these are great to bring along. The long sleeved onesies should cover baby’s feet anyway so socks might not be 100% necessary, but they’re good to have. Mittens are also great, not necessarily because of the temperature but because little ones tend to unintentionally scratch their lovely little faces with their new found hands. And the beanie? It’s just a photo opp too cute to pass up. I have two pairs of socks, a beanie and a pair of mittens packed.

At least one pair of socks, a pair of mittens and a beanie are great to have.

7. Swaddles

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This is definitely something I am doing differently this time around. When Vi was born, we only had the muslin swaddles, THIS time I’ll be packing three different types, one muslin, one Ergococoon and one Love to Dream. Babies wriggle, and often regular muslin swaddles have the tendency of coming undone when least convienient. We had the ergococoon when Vi was little but definitely didn’t use it as much as we could have, not because it wasn’t good, just because we had SO many muslin swaddles. Ergo has a little slit at the bottom for easy nappy changes and buttons at the top to keep their little arms in. Love to Dream swaddles are absolutely raved out here in Australia, I never purchased one when we had vi (because we had a million muslins) but they make swaddling extra easy with a ZIP! So naturally when I was gifted it (thanks Bri!) it went straight into the hospital bag pile.

You’ll want at least two swaddles if not more, and the style is totally up to you.

8. Bathtime basics

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We weren’t in hospital long enough with Vi to bathe her there, but I liked having the products I preferred with me just in case. You’ll want gentle products intended for newborns, and it doesn’t really matter if you don’t end up using them because you will need them at home anyway. I have a few face washers packed as well as the Nature’s Child organic baby wash and some moisturiser. Hospitals can be fairly drying so moisture filled products are always ideal.

The hospital may supply the basics if you have to bathe baby there, however if you have a product preference then definitely consider packing it, as well as 2 or so face washers.

9. Burp Cloths/Hand Towels

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We are lucky enough to have a super crafty nanny merele who is a whiz on the sewing machine. She whipped up these wonderful burp cloths for us before Violet was born. They’re treey toweling on one side and flannel on the other, I’m almost certain similar things can be purchased online, however a hand towel will do the exact same job. Babies can be a bit spewy, so its nice to have something covering your clothes just in case.

3 hand towels or burp cloths are super handy if you’re worried about getting spit-up on your clothes.

10. Dummies

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This is definitely a personal preference. I know some parents don’t use dummies with their little ones so you definitely don’t have to include these in your hospital bag if its not something you want for your child. We do use them, and they worked wonderfully with Vi, it could be completely different with this baby but I’ll pack them anyway. I like to stick to the natural rubber products for newborns, they give me a bit of piece of mind about what I’m putting into my babies mouth. The brands I have packed are Natural Rubber Soother and Hevea, lots of people commented on how ugly they look, but I think the big dummy tiny baby thing positively adorable.

Pack them if you want them, don’t pack them if you don’t want them, simples.

11. Butt Cream

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Sensitive little baby bums aren’t used to nappies yet, so some nappy rash cream is good to have on hand. I have the Thankyou brand Nappy Balm packed as well as some paw paw cream, both are great for relieving those little rashes. Sudocrem is also amazing, I’ll be packing our big tub of that as well when I find it in amoungst all our moving boxes. I think the hospital may have supplied some sample sized creams when Violet was born, but every hospital varies so it’s definitely good to have on hand.

At least one type of nappy rash cream, Thankyou brand, Sudocrem and Paw-Paw cream are all great

12. The BAG

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The centre of it all, the bag! You really don’t have to have anything fancy, anything big enough to fit the entirety of this list in it will work. I have friends that used duffel bags and even suitcases. My mum got me my nappy bag before Vi was born and it is just about the perfect size. It is one of the Colette by Colette Hayman baby bags, they go for about $80 but are definitely worth the investment, I’ll be continuing to use mine as it’s pretty much still in perfect condition after almost 2 years of use, plus I feel kind of chic when I use it, it is very pretty.

Anything big enough to fit everything in it works!

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So that about sums up what I pack in the hospital bag for baby. I’m more than likely forgetting things (pregnancy brain right?). But for the most part these are all things I used with Violet in the hospital when she was born. Of course every birth and baby are different and depending on the length of your stay and how big your baby is born you may change some of the sizes and number of clothing items you take.

I pack a completely seperate bag for myself, just because it wouldn’t all fit in one bag. So my next post will be the Mama’s Edition. I hope this was somewhat helpful for someone out there!

If you’ve been there and done that, what are some products you recommend? I’m always on the look out for good item to take!

 

xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne

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The Second Time Around – The differences between my first and second pregnancies

Theres nothing quite like waking up to being slapped in the face with a block. Furthermore theres nothing quite like waking up, 7 and a half months pregnant and being slapped in the face with a block. Delightful and refreshing to say the least. It’s mornings like this that make me laugh to think about how drastically different things have been for my second pregnancy. Although physically they’ve been largely similar, the whirlwind that is life with a toddler makes things… interesting.

No Time Alone (ever)

I remember being 32 weeks pregnant with Violet. Though I did work, for the most part my days were spent watching netflix, reading and going for long walks in the evening, on my own. Hours were filled with excitement and anticipation for what was to come, talking to baby and marveling at the beautiful, tiny clothes we had stored away in a little box marked “baby things”. It was like something out of a novel and had a similar feeling to what you’d expect running through a field of daisies to some beautiful music would feel like.

This time around is like marching into battle with an extra 3 kilos strapped to your stomach. You’re aware that there is life growing inside of you (and how beautiful it is) but you have a JOB to do. And that job is wrangling the beast that is a nearly two-year-old (a cute and loveable beast of course).

Less Marvelling at Tiny Clothes

Amoungst our move I put aside the box marked “newborn” because I know I have to go through it and start washing things and finding a place for them shortly. But the truth is, I’ve not peeked inside even once yet. Not because I don’t want to, everyone LOVES looking at tiny baby clothes. I just simply haven’t had the time, and I know if I do peek the mum instinct will kick in and I’ll then feel obligated to wash it all now. And to be honest, I’ve got enough washing to do at this very moment.

Having EVERYTHING we need already

The beauty that has presented itself at present is the utter EASE of having a second child the same gender as the first. I have bought ONE item for her so far, and I bought it because I bought Violet the same thing in a larger size at the same time and went giddy over the thought of having them in matching outfits. But we honestly already have an entire wardrobe of clothes for her from birth to 20 months, and we haven’t needed a single thing more. The stress I had from the first pregnancy of not having enough is completely gone, and I can say that in utter confidence.

Not Rushing, for any reason, like ever

Above all I’ve felt a huge sense of “theres no rush” this entire pregnancy. No rush to buy things and no rush to set things up. So much so that when I went to my last appointment and my midwife told me I should probably start packing my hospital bag I was shocked, I hardly even realised that there was a possibility of us meeting our daughter within just a month or two! With Violet I was constantly counting down the days, this time, every time I hit another week I’m gobsmacked. Time passes so incredibly quickly when you’re busy with a toddler, even if you’re not doing anything in particular at all.

The Conversations

One difference I’ve certainly picked up on is the conversations I have with people about my pregnancy (mainly people I don’t know, as the people I do know are always very supportive). With Violet it was almost constantly about how young I was and how daunting it must be to be having a baby. I’m not sure if its the bags around my eyes, the toddler on my hip or the ring on my finger, but people seem to be a lot more accepting of the fact that I’m pregnant, while at the same time voicing how exhausted they think I’ll be when the baby is born… Babies are exhausting, toddler or not, they’re a lot of work. So I have no doubt that I’ll be tired, but I certainly don’t need reminding of that every time I venture from my home.

A LOT less reading

I wouldn’t say I’m heading into the birth of our second daughter knowing everything, but I am lot more confident this time around. I did so much reading when I was pregnant with Vi, about what to expect and all of the different things that can and do happen during pregnancy, labour and birth. This time, I glance at my pregnancy app once a week, learn a little about whats happening on the inside and carry on. Every baby and every birth is different, so I’m certainly not expecting things to go exactly the same way, but this time I KNOW what labour feels like, I know what to expect if things go according to plan, and I’m prepared for things even if they don’t go according to plan. I’m not such a novice anymore, and I do like fe feeling!

KNOWING

This is a big one, because having already experienced pregnancy and child birth there is one thing I know about that is overwhelmingly exciting, and that is the incredible love that you experience when you hold your baby for the first time. Nothing can compare to that. With Vi, I was excited, but also quietly sh*tting myself… This time its all LOVE, and that is an amazing feeling.

It’s strange because you get so caught up in the world that is parenthood that you often forget that you’re carrying another tiny person inside of you wherever you go. I still have moments where I’m shocked to remember that we’ll have another tiny little person in our arms in such a short time.

 

xo Emily @LovingLittleOne

30 Weeks Already?!

(I’m a little late in posting, as I wrote this a week ago and forgot to post it, but I’m 31 weeks and 3days today and in this photo)

I’m lying on my side whilst typing this on my laptop, not out of laziness but simply because it is the only position I currently feel even somewhat comfortable in.

Some how, out of the blue, I received a notification on my phone today from my baby centre app telling me that I’m now 30 weeks pregnant… excuse me!? I’m dumbfounded, if I’m being totally honest. But at the same time not surprised as I’ve been feeling increasingly less stoked about being a giant pregnant whale as the days pass, so its really no wonder we’ve reached the 30th week of our journey.

I don’t know if it’s my lack of memory from my pregnancy with Vi, or what but I genuinely feel so much more uncomfortable so much sooner this time around. My hips seem to have taken it upon themselves to age by 60 years or so within the space of about a week, so the pregnant lady waddle is now in full swing, as well as the midnight leg cramps and rather regular Braxton Hicks Contractions. Have any of you mummies felt the same way in your second/third/so on pregnancies?

I’m still craving sweet things, along with everything else that probably isn’t the healthiest for your body, but I do try to combat it with the consumption of fruit instead of muffins and cream buns (although both of those are still more regularly consumed then I’d like to admit). I take comfort in the fact that soon I will no longer be home to a tiny human and I’ll be capable of exercising regularly again. Weight has never been a major focal point for me, and as long as I’m within the expected weight gain range I don’t stress myself over it too much. After all, I am growing a human baby, it would be absurd to expect my weight not to fluctuate, regardless of what I’m eating. But I’m sitting at roughly 11kg gained at the moment so we’ll see where I end up by the end!

As one of my recent posts stated, we’ve just made a massive move from Brisbane to Central Queensland. So another source of exhaustion beyond this baby does exist, and I can’t blame it all on her. It’s been just over a full week since we made the move, and although we aren’t yet in our own place again (we’re staying with my parents for the minute) it has been a welcome change. As well as a chance to relax for a couple of weeks while we regather our bearings. The fresh air and open spaces really have been missed, so it is wonderful to be able to surround ourselves in the countryside once more.

As for the transfer with the pregnancy and everything, I still haven’t toured the hospital here yet! So the fact that I could be giving birth in the next 7 weeks or so definitely feels a little surreal at the moment. I have been transferred though so I’m now just waiting to hear from the hospital for my first scheduled appointment, which will hopefully be soon!

Overall things seem to be travelling smoothly, considering the circumstances. I doubt anyone would actively WANT to make a big move this late in a pregnancy, but it happened, and we survived! My morning sickness still hasn’t reappeared, so I’m taking that as a solid win. And despite being ridiculously HOT 24/7 (CQ for you!) and morbidly tired, I feel content for the most part, and count my lucky stars that Vi sleeps relatively well and still graces us with two naps a day (touch wood).

I’m so interested to see how Violet will respond to the arrival of our little Bean. We’ve been actively trying to engage her with the idea of a baby for the entire pregnancy, and she now has the word “bubby” down pact, and will gladly give my tummy kisses quite often. She’s been familiar with “gentle” for a long while now, considering we have always had pets in the house so I’m confident she’ll handle that aspect fairly well. But for the most part our journey to becoming a family of four is a wonderful mystery! I can’t wait to see it unfold.

So the countdown begins! And as little bean would say if she could speak,  “Ready or not, here I come!”

It’s a GIRL – 27 weeks

Lots has been happening in our life the past couple of weeks, hence the lack of update.

But if you’re on my socials you probably would have seen our gender announcement! And if you’re not, as the title suggests we’ll be meeting our second little girl in November! Which is absolutely crazy. Clearly I was outbid in the “wait until birth or have a gender reveal” debate. Though I will admit we had an absolute blast at the reveal, and we are really stoked to welcome another little girl to our family. See the pictures below for the awesome results of the reveal thanks to Nan-ma Dee and Aunty Em!

The last couple of weeks I have become increasingly uncomfortable. After all, we are just about to bid the second trimester goodbye and fly into our third and final! Ridiculousness if you ask me… I honestly don’t know where the last few months have gone. But of course, all of the toilet trips, cramped legs and sleepless nights will only increase from here on out! And as inconvenient as they are, I’m still feeling incredibly blessed that I’m able to carry our second baby girl.

I thought I should address the question that I’ve been asked a million times since the Sunday of our gender reveal; “Are you disappointed at all that you’re having another girl?”, and the answer is absolutely not. The image of the “perfect family” seems to be very engrained into peoples minds; a boy and a girl. But we’re not in anyway disappointed, Vi is the light of our lives and we’re certain that this little girl will bring us just as much happiness and joy, in equal amounts as what a little boy would bring.

It can also be quite frustrating just how many people who ask “so how does Dan feel about having two girls?”, because of course he is excited and happy. He is a fantastic dad to one little girl, and he’ll be just as fantastic with two daughters. We may welcome more children into our family some time down the road, but for now we’ll have our two girls and life will be just the way it’s always meant to have been for us.

To be frank with you all, I think we’re both feeling a little relieved. We have an entire storage cupboard of girls clothes all ready for when this little one arrives, and we don’t have to stress about learning the ropes all over again with a tiny newborn with a ballsack that requires adequate wiping. Win-win right?

Obviously I’d love for Dan to get to experience having a son. And I honestly have no doubt in my mind that it will happen for us one day. But for now at least, baby days will be on hold until the girls are a little older and we have a little bit more of our lives in order.

So many changes are happening, and if you’ve read my latest post you’ll know that we’re making the move to Central Queensland from Brisbane in just a couple of weeks time. This means I’ll be birthing at a different hospital, and we’ll be bringing our little girl home to a completely different house. The prospect of these things has been stressful of course, but we’re looking forward to the future with optimism.

For now life consists of being kicked in the ribs, trying to get Vi to take her naps properly and packing boxes. But also the delightful things like toddler kisses, new words and Vis wonder at my tummy and her little sister that is growing safely inside.

In my pregnancy with Vi, at 27 weeks I was exactly 10 weeks and 5 days away from meeting our little honey! And now the countdown is on to meet our second. We can’t wait to smother you with love little one.

Xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

Making a Change – We’re Moving

In my last couple of blogs I’ve mentioned we’ve been going through some pretty hectic change, and I do feel as though now is the time to share what that change is with you all.

There is no fluffing around it, so I’ll just get straight to the point, we won’t be living in Brisbane very much longer. And by very much longer, I mean we’ll be moved and settled within the next month, so BEFORE this baby is born.

It’s funny because I feel as though everyone thinks we make sudden decisions and never truly make up our mind on things, so this might seem very sudden, or you might be thinking “they probably won’t end up moving”. But the reality is, we’ve been thinking about this for well over a year. The first time we thought about it was literally an entire year ago when our lease was due for renewal, but at the time we had some things happening in our life that seemed to indicate that we weren’t ready for it just yet.

But now we’re here, a whole year later faced with the decision to either make a change or continue on with the way we currently live our lives. Both Dan and I agree that although the way we live our lives now isn’t necessarily bad, it’s not sustainable for our future. It might be sustainable for a 22 and 21 year old without children, but thats not our reality. And we want to be living life in a way that is sending us UPWARD, not flatlining us.

Brisbane is wonderful, really. We’ve been so privileged to be able to call it our home. We’re surrounded by supportive friends and family at almost every corner, and have the convenience of having pretty much anything we could possibly need at our fingertips. But that convenience is also an appeal for thousands of other people, which means the cost of living here is unbelievably high. I’m not about to share figures, because you just don’t do that with the internet, but I am about being honest, and we honestly can’t afford to live well here, thats just the reality of it.

Some people might say, “you’re getting by, why do you have to be able to live well? If you’ve got food on the table then you shouldn’t be worried”. We are able to put food on the table, sure. As well as pay our rent and bills on time, but at the end of the day, after ALL of the expenses, we’re left with absolutely nothing. We’re sitting in a house, paying someone else’s mortgage with almost every cent we earn. Dan is literally busting his butt to get to the end of the year with nothing to show for it. And thats something that we’re just not okay with anymore.

We want to be able to afford to have Dan take a weekend off, and not struggle for money for the next 2 weeks as a result. We want to afford to take our kids on little camping trips, which literally cost next to nothing besides fuel and our time. To be able to afford to have a date night (JUST Dan and I!) more than once every 6 months. There’s honestly so many more things I could list off that we can’t afford right now that we would love. But more than anything, I want Dan to get home from work at the end of the day and not feel like he’s suffocating in a job he doesn’t enjoy to live in a home we can barely afford to be in.

I definitely know I don’t have to explain our reasons, so I suppose this is where a post I’ve written is more for me than anyone else. But we know that this is the right thing for us, as much as we’re going to miss the place we’ve made a home together in, and the people who have so warmly supported us. There is so much more to be felt in life than stress over money and time, and good things can be found anywhere if you look hard enough.

Perhaps the wonderful thing about all of this is the possibilities that lie ahead. Change petrifies the both of us, but also fills us with hope as well as gratitude for what we’ve already been so lucky to have. So while things are still so uncertain in terms of where exactly Dan will be working or the home we’ll bring our latest little addition home to, we do know that the change we’re making BEFORE we know those things will propel us into a brighter future, not only for us but for our children as well who will always be one of our biggest priorities.

Stay tuned for updates! Because there will be MANY.

Xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

Pregnancy, Week 23: Ethics and Questioning my Sanity

You know you’ve been binge watching too much of Netflix’s “The Good Place” when just about every thought that pops into your head, you manage to somehow link back to moral ethics. And this week/last week… we watched the whole two seasons (again). So now, I’m sitting here questioning the ethics behind feeding my toddler left over roast veggies because I couldn’t be arsed grocery shopping, again.

Don’t get me wrong, the veggies are healthy and she LOVES them so it’s not the act, more or less the laziness behind having zero groceries in the house for about the 6th day in a row.

At 23 weeks, my brain is mush and the absolute last thing I want to be doing is grocery shopping. It’s always crowded, and about 8 degrees colder than I find mildly comfortable. PLUS last time I went grocery shopping I got stank-eyed by a 2 year old (not my child, surprisingly. Though she has got a good stank face) and its really just something I don’t have the strength to face again just yet… He was a MEAN looking 2 year old.

little bean is now big enough to show easily in pretty much anything I wear. Which is both good and bad. Good because it’s more obvious now that I’m having a baby and its not just pudge from my last one. And bad because pretty much all of my non maternity pants no longer fit, including my favourite tights. But alas, this bump will only grow bigger so I’ve again reached the crossroads between sucking it up and continuing to wear the same wardrobe week in and out, or buying more maternity clothes. Which is never really a good idea if we’re being honest, they’ll only be needed for a few months longer, then they just become baggy house clothes that you spent too much money on.

My memory is currently about as awful as my bladder capacity. And whoever said you should have less frequent trips to the toilet in the second trimester is a LIAR. Swift kicks to the bladder make it pretty difficult to go any longer than about an hour between loo visits. I forget where I put my phone, my keys, my wallet, Violet’s nappy wipes, the TV remote… pretty much anything smaller then a carry-on bag you can bet I’ve misplaced. It certainly doesn’t help that Vi tends to hide these things regularly, but you know, you can’t blame everything on the kids.

Beyond losing things and stretching clothes, the last couple of weeks have been super all over the place for me, emotionally. I tend to swing wildly and randomly back and forth between “everything is okay, we’ve got this” to “holy crap what the hell are we doing”, and although both feelings are pretty normal, I’ve felt myself internalising them a lot more than usual this pregnancy. Which means bad news when the bottled emotions come spilling out all over my coffee in the form of panicked wails.

Dan and I are no strangers to this whiplash kind of emotional rollercoaster, just seems to be heightened for the both of us at the moment which can be both stressful and confusing. We do have big things going on in our life beyond the baby and Vi that are obviously contributing, it’s all reached quite a pivotal peak and we’ve just been left clinging on to faith that we’ll reach the other side relatively unscathed and hopefully in a better place as a family.

The irony of life really rears its head in moments like these, the most challenging things often come around at what feels like exactly the wrong time. But then again, is there ever really a good time to face trialling adversity? Probably not, much like there never really being a good time to go to the dentist or call Centrelink *shivers*. But we push forward, whether it be by choice or by the force of change and time.

The one thing I am sure of is my love for Dan and the family we’ve created together, beyond the crazy hormones and shitty life situations. They give me my sanity, a constant in a world that is so uncertain for us at the moment. They’re all of my good mornings and all of my goodnights, and soon we’ll have one more little person to cuddle for all of those.

These 23 weeks have certainly been wild, and very very fast. In fact, I really can’t believe we’re here already. We’ll be seeing you soon little bean!

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we truly are.

-Arthur Golden

Xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

“Who the hell am I” : Challenges with self image in Parenthood

From the moment you lay eyes on your first born, you feel a shift. Suddenly, everything you once deemed important becomes a shadow behind this tiny little human that lays quietly (or loudly) in your arms.

The first moments are often peaceful and relieving, and most often remembered through a haze of exhaustion and hormones, no matter how your birth took place. Though the one emotion that will forever be cemented in your brain is the tremendous amount of love you felt, and still do.

Your days become a giant mixing bowl filled to the brim with crazy things you would have never imagined in your life before your baby. Not only learning to navigate feeding, sleep, changing and settling your little one, but doing the same for yourself whilst in full blown recovery from likely one of the biggest physical events your body has ever been through.

There is no use in trying to be polite about it, your body is a mess. Your hormones are through the roof, you bleed for weeks on end, you leak endlessly from your significantly larger (and significantly more painful) chest balloons, all while getting the equivalent of about 3 hrs sleep every 24 hours (depending on circumstance of course). So really, there’s no wonder you may be sitting on the couch at 3am with a newborn attached to your boob thinking, “who the hell am I?”. In fact, your life changes so much after having children its no wonder at all if you’re still sitting on the couch at 3am long after your toddler/teenager has gone to bed thinking “who the hell am I?”.

There is a lot to be said about the way we think about ourselves. Outside influences almost always contribute to this, so it is only natural that your self image changes after becoming a parent, for women and men alike. I know, as a mum, there is almost a constant looming pressure to provide the absolute best experience for your children as you can. From tummy time and sensory play when they’re tiny, to outside park play and time spent with other children in toddlerhood. I find myself almost always analysing our days wondering if we’re doing enough. Even though I can almost guarantee that if you’re there for your kids, they’ll feel like it is enough regardless of what you get up to.

Beyond those moments, there is the downtime, when you’re alone and left with time to think about you. Social media for me, is one of the major things that triggers these moments. It’s more or less allowing myself to think about the fact that I am really not sure of who I am beyond parenthood. I’m not sure of my style, or what people think of me as a person beyond being a mother (not that either of those things should matter). I’m sure this is something other parents experience, and even people who aren’t. The path to understanding yourself is very complex, and often confronting. But it has definitely been something I have been left to contemplate quite often.

The main thing I take away from it, is that its okay not to know these things. And it’s certainly okay for now, to let “parenthood” be my definition, even if its just for a little while. Because the truth is, what defines you is something that is constantly evolving. I mean, many aspects of my life have defined me; my love for art, reading and learning, my determination to improve myself through the sport that I loved (squash), and even the places that sport took me throughout the years, as well as the people I’ve grown up with, and the people I’ve met along the way. Every detail of the events and people in my life have helped create “me”.

And for better part of the last 3 years, parenthood has been a massive part of who I am. My life, twenty-four seven, 365 days of the year. So yes, I am a mum. I’m also a lot of other things, some of those things I understand, and some of them I don’t. But for now, what I most understand is my life with my loving partner and my soon to be two children. And right now, I’m totally okay with that being all I know, because more that will define me is yet to come.

xx Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com