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More than OK

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Sunday, 20 July 2014: One Year, One Hundred and Eleven Days Old.

As I go to bed tonight I feel so amazingly blessed to have such a beautiful, friendly, smart, gracious little girl for a daughter, and a kind, loving, honest and strong man for a husband.

I’m not quite sure what it is that’s making me feel the love but I had to drag myself away from Ayla’s bedside after I snuck in for her nightly kiss and “sweet dreams” wish, and now I feel heart is going to burst.

It’s intereseting because feeling “blessed” is something that’s attainable by all of us but I feel so very privledged to be aware enough to see it.

The past month or so has been quite tumultous, worry and stress and uncertainty has hung over us like a fading shadow, and even though logically we know everything will turn out just fine and that everyone will be alright, it’s been hard to let myself really feel it.

I think tonight I’ve just had a renewed sense that these really are some of the best days of our lives, and I’m determined to appreciate them while they’re here.

Hubby, Ayla and I are a fresh little family of three with so much excitement and potential on the horizion and so much support and strength from our friends and family behind us that no matter what happens we will be ok… More than ok.

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The best kind of smile

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014: Three Hundred and Twenty Four Days Old.

Ayla’s top teeth have been trying to make their presence known for the past week, relentlessly pushing and pulling their way through her gums.

But in true Ayla style she’s handled it exceptionally well, even better than with her first two teeth I think, although day today she was making fish faces and sucking on her tongue so I knew Tooth Number Three wasn’t far away.

The only difference I’ve seen in Ayla with teething this time around has been her reluctance to nap in her bed during the last couple of afternoons, instead preferring to be held and cuddled against my chest.

So today I decided to embrace having a teething baby and instead of the usual “feed-rock-put down-and-repeat” process I chose to sit in the big comfy arm chair in Ayla’s room and cradled her while she slept.

It was the stillest, calmest and quietest I have been in a very long time. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I just sat with no phone, no TV and no thoughts of what I should be doing instead yelling at me from inside my head.

Ayla slept so peacefully for well over an hour in my arms and I couldn’t take my eyes off her the whole time, committing to memory every tiny detail I could.

Ayla’s face was so relaxed and the long dark lashes that rested on her ivory cheeks would flicker occasionally as she dreamt. Ayla’s bright pink lips were ever so slightly apart and every now and then Ayla’s blonde eyebrows would raise up as if asking a dreamy question.

And, just moments before she woke, a gorgeous sleeping smile spread across Ayla’s face; the best kind of smile I’ve ever seen.

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Advice

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013: Two Hundred and Eleven Days Old.

Nearly seven months ago, when Ayla was born, my life changed forever.

At first, I had no idea what was going on; I was riddled with insecurities and self-induced pressure, and every day brought new challenges that had me wondering what on earth I’d got myself into.

Now however, I understand that these unsure decisions and self doubt is all part of being a mum, and I know I probably won’t escape the voice inside my head that says “are you sure about that?” or “if only…”.

I find it comforting to feel confident in my own vulnerability and today, for the first time, I found myself in a position to give some advice to a new mum with a four month old daughter.

While I’m far from being any kind of expert, I thought I’d share this advice here too because I’m sure I will need to refer back to it many times in the future.

Firstly, don’t feel bad! Your story is exactly like mine and I’m sure we can’t be the only ones.

“Back in the day” there were no baby rules; mums did what felt right and what worked for them.

But today, new mums like us seem to be given an unpublished “book” that dictates all the things we should and shouldn’t be doing with our little ones. But honestly, I’m sure that even if we DID follow the rules set out in this book to a ‘T’ we’d still make mistakes, and that’s ok.

Why? Because every baby, every mum, every family is different, and rules are really more like guidelines anyway – aren’t they?

Before we know it, our babies will be big. They’ll be running around and bossing us about and they won’t need us much at all.

So don’t feel bad for cuddling them to sleep, soothing them with the breast or planning your day around their naps if thats what feels right. One day soon they will grow out of it. Yes, you might look back and think “it could’ve been easier if I did it differently” but why not worry about that if it happens?