She may be “a tomboy at heart,” but the NRL WAG says since being pregnant with her second child to Rabbitohs footballer husband Sam Burgess, 29, she has been reaching for more muted colours.
"You’ve obviously got this pile of hormones that turn you into someone very nurturing, protective and caring and it comes out in how I dress when I’m pregnant,” Phoebe, 29, says.
Here, the media personality exclusively opens up about her difficult second pregnancy and how her life has changed since becoming a mum.
How’s it feeling the second time around?
"I wish I had a better handle on it but I think everyone will tell you that the second pregnancy is very fast and furious – because you’re running around with a little one and in my case, an 18-month old. So because our babies are so close together, my body is physiologically ready to go again and it’s expanded very quickly so I’ve got a really large bust that I’m working with and a baby that’s measuring off the charts so he’s very, very big.
"Physically it’s been a lot tougher and the hormones have played a big part – I was very sick at the start of my pregnancy. I wasn’t sick with Poppy once but I’ve been running for the sink this time, having dizzy fainting spells. It’s been the whole works. Now I’m a lot better but the issue now is my back. I’ve had a long history with major back problems. So now I’ve just got this huge bump and quite a sore back.
"I fainted due to low blood sugar, low blood pressure – I probably just needed to eat something. Sam and I were at Bondi Junction going to the movies and I just got really light headed – it’s quite common during pregnancy, it wasn’t a big deal at all. Lucky I wasn’t alone! I’m usually pretty good but I think I pushed it too far that day and I wasn’t listening to my body and I went an extra hour without food which I just can’t do when I’m pregnant."
When is bub due?
"We were due Christmas Day but it’s a big baby, they’ve brought it forward so the due date is technically the 20th but Sam’s 30th birthday is the 14th of December so because of my back problems – I had Poppy naturally, no drugs. I actually wanted all the drugs, I just had no time for them, I had her in three hours, she was so fast! That’s how that birth turned out! It wasn’t the most ideal birth for someone with a bad back so we’ve looked at possibly having a caesarean this time around. It does make me nervous but I think birth in all its forms is a nerve-wracking experience."
Did you plan to have the babies so close together?
"We did. We planned to have them even closer but you have to listen to your body and go with what’s possible. We have always wanted to have kids very close together because they’ll be so close growing up. But also for the fact that I have some really serious structural issues with my back so the closer we have kids together, the closer I’ll be to getting that fixed and then potentially looking at having another baby. We just wanted to get two in just in case anything should happen – which I’m sure it won’t but we just wanted to have two really close together."
What issues have you had with your back?
"It’s always been a long-term issue. I’ve had two surgeries. Four stays in hospital, I’ve changed a lot of my life. I’ve got a team of doctors around me helping me out with it and everyone has their thing – this is mine. After a game, our house is a bit funny because Sam is usually pretty beaten up and I’m hobbling around pregnant. I just have disc issues – I have a degenerative disc issue in my back. Sometimes I just need to rest which is tough for someone who is quite active but I’m looking at getting a final fusion a year after I’ve had this baby so hopefully that will help. It’s just an ongoing thing and there’s no answer for it. It’s chronic pain. We just deal with it all together.
"I was really athletic as a kid. Back issues usually start out being hereditary but I was in a skiing accident, I played representative tennis at university, I rowed, I did swimming, water polo – I did everything but I think the skiing and the tennis and probably not looking after it with Pilates and my core strength – over time it just caught up with me. I probably didn’t look after it as well after my first surgery."
This article originally appeared on WHO.