'I'm convinced it's a boy': Laura Byrne opens up about parenting and baby number two

Photo: Laura, Matty and Marlie-Mae.
Photo: Laura, Matty and Marlie-Mae.  

Laura Byrne and Matty J are just nine weeks away from welcoming bub number two to their gorgeous brood.

The former Bachelor star, who is already mum to 15-month-old Marlie-Mae, has revealed that pregnancy has been 'so much harder' the second time around. 

"I've been exhausted", she tells Essential Baby. "Marlie was an easy pregnancy and I breezed through it. I think going back-to-back my body has struggled."

"You don't get time to rest or take a nap when you have a toddler. It's all very non-stop and relentless so you never catch up on sleep."

The 31-year-old is surprisingly calm and optimistic about how the couple will manage with two under two, gushing about what an incredible dad Matt is. 

"The babies will just 18 months apart," Laura explains. "It's wild. Everyone keeps telling me horror stories... but I'm really looking forward them being close in age - especially as they get older and can play together and be little best friends." 

"Plus, Matt is the most amazing dad. He is so hands-on and we really are 50/50 with everything." 

Laura also revealed she finds the work/parenting juggle a challenge - and one thing she wants to do differently this time is to take longer before she goes back to work.

"WIth Marlie, I went back to work really early," she explains. "She came to the office with me almost every day from six-weeks old and I had her in a bouncer under the desk. I felt like I had to prove something, to myself, that I could do it all, but this time I want to step back and lean in to being a mum."

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"It's such a short period that they are babies."

While Laura had a 'fairly intense' birth with Marlie, being induced at 42 weeks and the little girl posterior, the jewellery designer admits she has absolutely 'no expectations' or any kind of birth plan.

"It's one of those things that are so unpredictable and you have zero control over," she tells Essential Baby. "Ideally I'd like a natural birth and would love to experience a spontaneous labour this time, but I'm absolutely fine if that doesn't happen. I'm open to whatever is suggested."

"One thing I will say, is that epidurals are really great," she laughs. "With Marlie I felt like I had to be a bit of a martyr and experience how painful labour was before asking for the drugs, this time I don't feel the need to do that. Please give me the full menu of epidurals immediately!"

The couple have, once again, opted to keep the baby's gender a surprise, although Laura is convinced she is having a boy.

"I'm getting boy vibes and have since the moment I find out I was pregnant. I'll be totally shocked if this baby comes put a girl!"

"Matt is desperate to find out", she says cheekily. "He really wanted to find out this time, but got sidelined. I just love not knowing. The surprise was such a special part of the birth with Marlie." 

As for names, the couple have one potential girl's name locked in, but can't agree on a name for a boy.

"Matt keeps calling the baby Theo," she says, admiring his tactic. "Even his mum, who came to visit from Brisbane for the weekend, declared how happy she was the baby would be called Theo! 

"He's really pushing for it and got quite the campaign going." 

Laura, however, doesn't love the name and feels it has too much of a "Grecian God' connotation.  

"I mean, neither of us are Greek. I just feel names need to have some sort of significance and reflet who you are a little bit. We will see!"

Photo: Supplied Photo: Supplied

The young family plan to spend Christmas and new year in Bondi - and Matt's family will fly down to join them.

"We are getting right into the festive spirit, playing carols in the morning which Marlie loves - even if we haven't been able to put decorations on the tree this year as she just pulls them off! "  

Laura has also been very organised, buying most of her gifts online through Amazon, who she has partnered with for the holiday season.

"I've actually bought more presents for Matt than Marlie. She has so many toys already - and we have no space in our apartment! 

"I'm keeping all our gifts delivered safely to Amazon Hub to ensure everything is kept a surprise. Matt is such a snoop!" 

2021 is set to be a huge year for Matty and Laura, who fell in love on The Bachelor in 2017 and got engaged in April last year.

Along with the new baby's arrival, Laura said they hope to buy a new place mid-year, having outgrown their small two-bedroom apartment in Sydney's east.

The loved-up reality stars have also locked in plans for the wedding for the end of 2021. 

"We've decided to have it down the south coast," Laura explains, adding they have only just started organising it. "It will be a small wedding - and fortunately I won't be pregnant for it. We can't wait." 

So, will the happy couple have any more kids after this? 

"Matt comes from a big family and we always said we would have three, but maybe we'll stop at two. We are at a very full-on stage so we will wait and see how we feel in a few years. Never say never!"