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Life Update

I'm honestly quite stunned that I'm able to sit here at my bench and write this blog post. It has taken Azura 9 weeks to actually nap during the day! Mumma has been exhausted.

We are finally here and I am grateful. I actually freakin' love motherhood, particularly now I'm actually reaping the rewards of it via smiles, hearing her laugh in her sleep, listening to her voice for the first time as she learns to talk (by talking I mean "goo!" noises and "ahhh" sounds which is so much more exciting than I could have actually thought) and being able to have time to myself as she sleeps.

The start was rough. Real rough. And I don't know that if my introduction to motherhood, being physical birth, had of been a more positive experience rather than a traumatising one that greatly impacted my mental health, then maybe the first few weeks could have been easier. Because in all honestly, I have almost been at my lowest. The first 6 weeks of Azura's life were one of the hardest of my own. (Oh my goodness, as I type this she's having such big dreams and I swear my heart is about to burst through my chest). I had to deal with:

  • The physical pain from birth, muscles aching from hours of labour, muscles aching even more from being held up in stirrups on the hospital bed for hours, pain in my back from the two epidurals, and vaginal pain of course, both interior and exterior

  • Lack of sleep from the 5 days of contractions, 24 hours of labour in the hospital, overnight stay with no sleep either, and then looking after a newborn. It took me 3 weeks to catch up on sleep

  • After 3 weeks Azura had stomach pain and diarrhoea, which came with hysterical crying that just about broke me. We nearly took her to the hospital, but I called a helpline and it turns out I was overfeeding her (apparently "you can't overfeed a breastfeeding baby" or "if in doubt, whip it out" isn't quite right)

  • Then she was struggling with being overtired from not sleeping at all throughout the day, it would come to evening and she'd be so overstimulated (babies bodies produce adrenaline and cortisol when they're overtired, which is entirely counterproductive and basically royally fucks you) and become quite upset, constantly tugging at her ears and visibly so uncomfortable because she was exhausted

Gosh, it puts a lump in my throat to even about it all. There were other things on top of it all, such as expectations and pressure from family, supporting Sam through that and the massive change in our lives, dealing with the mental trauma from abuse and disrespect at the hospital when birthing, trying to keep our relationship together when it's so tempting to just snap because you're so exhausted, stressed, and mentally and emotionally drained, having my Pa pass away, living in an environment I felt trapped in with little sense of freedom, and of course trying to look after a brand new tiny human when I had no idea what the hell I was doing. It was as if my mental health finally gave way. As you all know I've been dedicated to a beautiful spiritual journey since I was 20, but as of a year ago it started going downhill for me. I moved back from the Gold Coast to Sydney to be with Sam, 4 days before a 5 month lockdown. I went from complete freedom and literally living my best life in a place I felt I truly belong, to moving back to a place of my past that I never intended on ever returning to which was filled with not-so-lovely memories, inhumane restrictions on our basic human rights due to lockdown, and was even fined $1000 for being 10 minutes from my house to go for a bushwalk because I was going insane being cooped up. I had quit my job in QLD to now have no income (no one could work), I had a falling out with my little sister who had meant the absolute world to me (which literally felt like a death losing my connection with her), my stepdad was diagnosed with bowel cancer and I couldn't support Mum through it because they were outside my allowed area, I lost two cousins and couldn't attend their funerals due to restrictions, I DID eventually get work a few months later back at Toyota/Lexus where I used to work when I was 20, only to be stood down a few weeks later due to vaccine mandates (and you can bet your ass I fought it with everything I had, so much negative, wasted energy), and even though I'd moved back to NSW after 2 years away, I still couldn't see my family or horses and felt more alone and isolated than ever. Anybody familiar with Saturn return? Cos this was my year for it and holy fuck it has walloped me. If you've been following me for a bit, you'd know I deactivated my social platforms for a good 6 months, and this is all why. I only came back to announce the pregnancy with our little girl (my light amongst the darkness), and even then it didn't feel authentic for me to play the role of 'influencer' anymore and have barely worked with brands since. I also stopped life coaching and all graphic design and social content strategy services because I just had no energy to even look after me, let alone hold space for others.

So, ya girl has had a bit on, and god damn was I in need of a change. Sam and I had the intentions of moving back to the Gold Coast around this time, when bub was 2 months old, but she reached that age and we weren't ready to move states and be solo. But we'd been living with his parents for the past year, and felt we needed space to be a family and create a home, so we've moved to a beautiful luxury apartment on the South Coast, in a gorgeous new area right on the water called Shell Cove.

All the in built appliances are Smeg, we bought a brand new fridge, washing machine and robot vacuum (less duties for mumma!), our lounge is new and we finally bought a nursing chair too! I was told so much that the number one necessity when you have a newborn is a nursing chair, but I didn't actually know why until I experienced the extreme back pain myself from constantly rocking my baby to sleep, or settling or feeding her. I'm actually sitting in it now, and had a nap in it earlier while Azura snoozed in her nest. The area is incredible, with a huge brand new woolies just downstairs, great food places, monthly markets, a beautiful walk along the marina, and two of my favourite beaches very close by (Boneyard and Mystics, both surf spots).

It's an immense breath of fresh air and a change of environment can do you the world of good but I still need to heal and that may take some time. Now that Azura is sleeping during the day, I've been able to take the small steps toward finding myself again and the connection I used to have. I'm working on this by:

  • Making my house a home. As a cancer moon, my home environment is my safe space to retreat to and go inward, to recharge my energy (especially as a projector too). I put a focus on unpacking everything as soon as I could, gave all of my plants some love by placing them nicely, watering them, and propagating vines, I bought a candle for my bedroom and a diffuser for the living room, and made the space feel like my own.

  • Writing a gratitude list when I'm feeling particularly low. Our minds are actually wired to look for the negative in life, as a protection mechanism from when we had to keep an eye out for danger such as sabre tooth tigers. Those dangers aren't around anymore, and our brains look for other potential problems instead (hello ego). To shift out of this mindset, I like to look for the positive amongst the darkness instead.

  • Trying to get outside as much as I can, especially now I'm in a new area! I have a lot of anxiety about leaving home with a little one, and the further I get from our home base, the higher that anxiousness rises. But I need the fresh air, and so does Azura, and we can't stay cooped up all day so little by little I'm trying to venture out and do more (this morning I put her in my wrap carrier and did a little woolies shop! 🥳)

  • Journaling, even if it be written in a google doc rather than pen and paper, as long as I have the opportunity to cleanse my mind of thoughts that circle around and around each day. Putting your thoughts into a 'safe place' allows your mind to release it and create space for more positive and productive thinking!

  • Sharing more of my journey online, via instagram posts, stories, reels, and blog posts. I don't create content to be a particular figure, I do it because I literally love to share my mind, experiences, lessons and learnings. With a Sagittarius north node, I have a hunger for knowledge and then share what I've learnt with others. Creating posts and reels fuels my passion for creativity, and it's something I'm slowly putting more of an effort into because it makes me so happy.

That's all the capacity for self love I have for the moment. Breastfeeding truly does drain you, as beautiful as it is, and keeping my baby warm and fed, ensuring she has clean clothes and bedding, keeping the house a home, making sure my partner is doing okay too, right now all comes before filling my own cup. Eventually I'll do more of what I love and what makes me feel connected to source. As Azura grows, I'll be able to take her to waterfalls and rainforests and get that grounding in that I crave (such an earth sign), and I'll be more confident with leaving her with family so I can go for a ride or have some time for myself. Little by little I'll put together pieces of myself, slowly building an entirely different woman, reborn from the ashes and created anew.