Sailing friend-ships

I’ve always been a fairly lonely sort of person.  I’ve never been one of those people who has masses of friends, or been part of an unseparable group. Through school I found that I had friends in various groups, but never was completely part of one or the other.

My closest friends, I can count on one hand, and they have been beside me for years- in fact, my best girlfriend and I have been friends since the first day of kindergarten, and that was a loooong time ago.

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Time to rest

From the early days of my daughter’s life, the need to perfect her sleep has been very high on my priority list, but not just for wanting to control potentially ‘bad’ sleeping habits. Mostly, for the desire to be able to continue on with other aspects of life while she sleeps- housework, business, sleep, even basic care like showering and peeing. And the fact that (particularly the days) have been nothing short of a broken record of catnaps, crying, and bouts of only sleeping on me, has left me frustrated and frazzled that nothing else has been done around me.

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A letter to my daughter

When I was pregnant and contemplating all that was to come, I wrote an open letter to my growing baby. And after a rough and tough week this past week, I felt it was appropriate to re-read it, and remind myself of my dreams and desires for my little tiny. But this letter is also for anyone and everyone who feels unsure of where they are headed, unsure of who they are, starting out or slowing down, because you are just as worthy as Tilly to hear these words, and feel their power. This is for you.

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Feeling female

The mum bun. A staple in every mother’s daily life. Add to that greasy hair, the same clothes every day (or pjs day and night), neglected nail polish and probably hair in places that you just can’t be arsed getting rid of. I’m pretty sure every single mum is nodding in understanding right now. It’s like a signature look.

But some days, I look in the mirror and think, who the hell is that? And I realise how much of a difference it makes when I make an effort to look after myself. When I take the time- and the right- to feel female.

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Leaping leaps

Oh good Lord, the dreaded development leaps. Those necessary evils that help our babies become thinking, feeling, doing machines. If you have little ones, and you don’t already have the Wonder Weeks app, download it now- it will make soooo much sense!*

So we are currently one week into leap 4, which, for those who have been through it before, know it is a longggggg one, almost 5 weeks! As with the first three, Tilly hit that fussy bit bang on time- she goes from being part-time Velcro to full-time Velcro and loud to boot. My eardrums don’t know what’s hit them.

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Feeling alone

One of the clearest memories I have of those first days post-baby is sitting on the lounge at home, a day or so after we left the hospital. There were a few people there- #thelove and my mum and his mum, perhaps a couple of others, I can’t remember. I had Tilly in my arms, and she was unsettled, and I remember realizing that, despite being surrounded by people, I was completely alone. 

It terrified me, and was the cause for many tears in those first days. This tiny human needed me, and me alone, and absolutely no one else could provide for her what she needed. I couldn’t escape.

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FOMO

Fear Of Missing Out. We live in a society that's rife with this phenomenon, and being in babyland, we're certainly not escaping it here. If it's not me wishing I was able to get out and about and rediscover life as an adult again, it's a certain tiny person wanting to check out the party every moment of every day and night (I hate to break it to you kid, but you're really not missing out on anything. Mum and dad are too tired for any parties right now- we're boring as batsh*t!).

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Sleeping

They say sleep deprivation is the worst form of torture. I've been tired before, but nothing like what having a newborn baby does to you. And the irony of the situation hasn't escaped me- you lose sleep over getting them to go to sleep! And it's quite often the basis of conversation about baby- people ask 'are they a good sleeper?', 'are you getting any sleep?', or comment- 'get your sleep now, it will get worse!', or 'sleep when the baby sleeps' (which, for the record, is next to impossible to do. Am I supposed to eat and shower and converse with other people when the baby does that too?!).

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What you do and don't need

Okay, so when you're pregnant, you've got a lot of time on your hands, right? I mean, it's growing away in there, but there's not much else you can do with it, except spend all your time thinking about it, and shopping for it. Right? Of course I'm right.

So, you see all these cute, pretty, itty bitty things that capture your eye and your heart, and make your ovaries squeal with delight, and, if you're anything like me, you find yourself building a little collection of baby things (and sometimes hiding things from your other half, shhh). Super fun!

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Mourning & rediscovering you

The concept of life & death is one which has captivated mankind since the beginning of time. Why are we here, where did we come from, where do we go? We spend our lives searching for these answers, and marvelling in the complexities that make up life.

I never linked both of these things together when it comes to having a baby, though. I always thought it was just the former- life. I mean, that's what a baby is, right? The creation of life? It seems though, that the two cannot be separated. Death is a part of having a baby, too.

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A one-handed gig

There's a meme that floats around about when your nose is blocked, and you contemplate all the times you took breathing for granted. Well, turns out I took having two hands for granted, too.

I never thought I'd be able to go to the toilet with one hand, but guess what- when you've got a finally-sleeping baby in your arms, you learn how to undo and do up your jeans with one hand (and not looking!) pretty quick!

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What's in a name?

I've always been fascinated by names. I struggled with accepting mine for most of my childhood and teenage years- it took me a long time to recognise the beauty in a less-than-common name, and especially a name with such an integral meaning for my life. Felicity is Latin for 'happiness', and I've long known that I was given that name for a reason. I live for happiness, for myself, my loved ones, and everyone I meet. It is the basis of my business, it is the basis even of this blog, to share what makes life happy, and worth being a part of.

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of babies, and wondered what I would call them. I've gone through phases with different favourite names, pored through baby name books and websites, paid close attention when meeting new people, to see if they have names that grab my attention. I've kept lists of favourites over the years, practiced writing them, even practiced yelling them, in anticipation of one day having to tell off my unruly children (ha!). And I even think perhaps the opportunity to name a baby was potentially more exciting than the baby itself!

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Too much love

You hear it all the time, that the birth of a child brings you a love you've never known before. It's hard to comprehend if you don't have children- and I know I certainly could only imagine it, if not understand it or experience it.

I felt a weird disconnection to myself the day Tilly was born. As this tiny human was coming out into the world, I felt myself almost looking at the situation as if being another person in the room. It seemed so surreal that there was a real live baby, that it was mine, that I was actually giving birth to her. I've dreamt of having children all my life, but was it really real?

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The need for PERFECTION

The desire to be perfect has long been my greatest hurdle in life. From a young girl, I had this indescribable need for everything to be a certain way, and I fell down hard whenever things didn't live up to the expectations in my mind. It's proven to be both a blessing and a curse, but as a parent, it is most definitely proving to be a curse.

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Breastfeeding troubles

I always knew I was going to at least attempt to breastfeed my children. It is the most natural step forward from childbirth, to then feed your baby, as your body has been preparing to do so for 9 months. During pregnancy, it took me a while to adjust to the idea of having someone sucking on my breasts though, I won't lie. I actually even remember the day I noticed my nipples were changing, and I genuinely freaked out and cried about 'turning into a cow'. I called my mum, and had a weep over the phone about how I hated that my body was changing.

When Tilly arrived, however, I was ready and willing to make breastfeeding work. I had attended classes, I had had sessions with a lactation consultant, I knew all the technical info about how to get breastfeeding correct. I was ready for it to be easy.

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Tilly Mae : a birth story

At 12:39pm on Friday 18th May, 2018, our daughter Tilly Mae Cook entered the world. Weighing 3.98kg and 53cm long, she was perfectly pink and healthy, and our lives changed forever.

But the process of getting her here was just as life-changing for me. Pregnancy and childbirth have been two of the most challenging and forcibly soul-searching experiences I have ever been through- and those who know even a little of my past know I have experienced some extremely challenging times. 

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