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Zoe Marshall's "wild" birth story was one chapter in the mayhem that has been her fourth trimester.

It's been a whirlwind couple of months for Zoe Marshall. After welcoming her second child in June with her football star husband Benji Marshall, the new mum of two is now making the move to Queensland as part of the new NRL coronavirus bubble. 

An unexpected interstate move during a pandemic seems daunting. Packing after just giving birth and not knowing when you're going to return home is... next level. 

Watch: If your newborn could text… this is probably what it would look like. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Sharing a series of tired-looking selfies on Instagram Stories, Zoe wrote: "The look of a newborn mum realising she needs to pack up life for her family and move to QLD this week for the inevitable future. This was not in the fourth trimester 'how to' book."

In a second post she wrote, "Also the realisation that she has no clothes that fit and has been living only in pyjamas."

"Also realising she hasn't seen people for four weeks and will have to leave the house," she added.

Image: Instagram/@zoebmarshall 

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In between moving her life and looking after a newborn, the new essano ambassador managed to sit down with Mamamia to share the whirlwind birth of her daughter, Ever, and what she's planning on doing differently the second time around.

Zoe Marshall on being transparent about her fertility struggle.

For Zoe, pregnancy hasn't been a walk in the park. And her struggles, devastation and frustration have been well-documented.

Whether you follow Zoe on Instagram or have listened to her podcast The Deep, you'll know how candid she's always been about her pregnancy journey. She has stage-four endometriosis - a condition that commonly causes fertility issues, with many women unable to fall pregnant naturally. 

"To be honest, I actually think it’s quite common now. Sad as it is it doesn’t seem to be easy for women to fall pregnant these days. I’ve always shared my endometriosis and fertility experience even when I miscarried, I did allow a few months for it all sink in, but I eventually shared what my experience was." 

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Being so bravely open within the media is something Zoe said has helped start a conversation around fertility struggles, encouraging other women to connect with others and know they're not in it alone.

"I think being honest and transparent allows other women to be honest and open in their own lives too. I also think discussing topics that seem difficult or uncomfortable takes the stigma away and allows other women to feel more connected through their struggle."

Zoe Marshall on the birth of her second child.  

After a difficult arrival of their first child, Fox, Zoe said she hoped that the pregnancy and birth of Ever would go a lot smoother.

"The first experience was wild - I’m sharing it soon on my podcast. This whole time I was pregnant I wanted a more pleasurable experience than my last," shared Zoe.

"I know that’s a funny word to use but having the syntocinon with Fox I just wanted something less brutal, so an epidural was always on the cards."

However, in an Instagram post announcing her second pregnancy, Zoe said she felt incredibly sick throughout the first 11 weeks, and was finding it tricky not being able to be honest about it.

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"The pregnancy with Ever was difficult. Incredible morning sickness and then gestational diabetes diagnosis made everything more complicated - but otherwise she was really healthy," said Zoe.

Listen to The Delivery Room, Mamamia's candid podcast of real life birth stories. Post continues below. 

When it came to the birth, Zoe said things couldn't have gone more different to the pain-free, epidural birth she had planned.

"Let’s just say that for some reason on the day everything I thought I wanted, changed, and I ended up on all fours drug-free. It was the wildest experience of my life," she said.

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In the end, the couple welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby girl, named Ever J Marshall. 

Sharing the news with the world, both Zoe and Benji posted a series of intimate and raw photos straight from the delivery room. 

Zoe Marshall on the pressure to 'do it all' after giving birth.

After the birth of her first child, Fox, Zoe went back to work at four weeks postpartum. During this time she openly shared her struggle with post-natal depletion on social media, saying postpartum care was "something I had completely neglected". 

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This time around, she said she'll be doing things differently.

"That’s why I created my podcast - I made so many mistakes the first time around, I wanted to do things so differently," she said.

Talking about the pressure that women feel to prove they can do it all while being a new mother, the 36-year-old said she's slowly learning to prioritise her own needs and knowing when to ask for help.

"This time I decided to take maternity leave, even though I work for myself - I will have had about four months off. I’ve also put in a lot of self-care which really means creating a strong support network around me," she shares.

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"This means that I can spend more time with the baby and Fox, and less time on laundry and food and thinking about the house. It’s something that I have worked hard for and saved for and requested from friends rather than gifts clothes or things for the baby." 

"I definitely think asking for help, or services - even a laundry service - can be so much more beneficial to a new mother."

Zoe Marshall on self-care post-pregnancy.

When it comes to moments of self-care during the day, Zoe said "I have so little time in the day, which is funny because I’m just feeding and changing nappies and settling a baby - but the time just flies".

"So, I indulge with using essano products. My favourite is the Hydrating Rosehip Mist Toner ($13), because it’s just a little spritz of freshness during the day when sometimes you don’t even get to shower. Bliss!"

"I actually used it during the birth too. Knowing it’s all natural is comforting, so I feel okay using it around the kids." 

For Zoe, other skincare go-tos include the essano rosehip oil ($23) which she uses for "everything from my nails and cuticles to my eye bags".

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"Even if I can’t get to the shops, I can rely on Benji to pick it up for me from the supermarket!" she adds.

Other than focusing on skincare, Zoe said her post-pregnancy self-care right now looks like this: "A lot of Netflix and chill happening in between feeds and the changes. And also going to bed bloody early!"

What's one part of your self-care ritual post-pregnancy? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: @zoebmarshall and @blumenthalportraits

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