Leah shares her story "Because it is a beautiful story, and one I’m very proud of".

Where did you deliver your baby?

Warrington hospital

Were you full term?

39 weeks +1 day

How was your pregnancy?

The pregnancy itself was great looking back now. I found out I was pregnant at 1-2 weeks and was thinking it was going to be the slowest pregnancy ever but it went so quick. At 9 weeks pregnant I had a slight bleed so went to the early pregnancy unit to be checked, baby was fine and developing perfectly but that was really the only hiccup we had during the whole pregnancy to my relief as I’m a worrier and so naturally worried during the whole time. As a mother with epilepsy too I was constantly thinking what if I have a seizure while pregnant, and that all this worrying was going to bring on a seizure, but I’ve stayed seizure free which was a bonus!

Newborn baby, swaddled and sleeping, photographed at Little Wonderland Photography, Widnes, Cheshire

Did you have a birth plan in place?

Not really as I knew I was going to be having a planned C-section. I knew from the get go this was the kind of delivery I wanted so I wasn’t nervous for the operation, I just kept telling myself it was something to look forward to as I’d get to meet Albie at the end of it.

Did you have to change your birth plan?

I toyed with the idea of a natural birth at one point but decided against it due to the epilepsy, I thought a section would be the safest option as it’s a more controlled environment. I was concerned that a natural delivery would bring on a seizure.

Where/how did you access midwife support during your pregnancy?

As I had regular consultant appointments I always turned to Warrington hospital or the midwife at my GP surgery for advice and both were great, they never made me feel like any question was stupid or that I was inconveniencing them.

New mother and father hold their newborn baby, photographed at Little Wonderland Photography, Widnes, Cheshire

Did you have any extra scans?

I paid for an early scan to make sure the baby had a heartbeat I think this was around 7/8 weeks, again that’s the worrier in me. I then had an emergency scan when I had a bleed at 9 weeks and it was crazy how much the baby had developed in a week or so. He had a little paddle for an arm and we could see it moving about on the scan which was just adorable! We paid for a scan at 16 weeks to confirm the gender as I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait until 20 weeks to find out what we were having - I wanted to start buying clothes! We also paid for a 4D scan at Meet The Baby in Warrington, this was just amazing and he actually looked like the pictures we have from the 4D scan.

If you delivered at hospital or a maternity unit, how did you get there? What was the journey like? How soon did you travel in?

We travelled to the hospital around 6:30am on the day of the C section to arrive there and book in for 7am. I did start to get a little nervous in the car so we listened to some music, choice of music that day was NWA lol!

Newborn baby sleeping and swaddled. Posed in an autumn nest prop at Little Wonderland Photography, Widnes, Cheshire

How did you prep for you C-Section? How was your recovery?

I didn’t really prepare myself I just kept thinking this baby has to come out one way or another, and a C-section I knew would be over within 40 minutes or so whereas labour can go on for ages and I could not go through that much pain for so long, hats off to the women that can and have! The recovery was surprisingly easy for me. I had Albie on the Tuesday, came home on the Wednesday and was shopping in M&S on the Thursday. It really surprised me how easy I found it to just get up and crack on with being a mother.

How did you feel when your baby arrived?

Physically I felt a relief of pressure as soon as they pulled him out, it was like my whole body breathed a sigh of relief. Mentally it was the biggest dopamine hit I’ve ever had, and I wish I could relive that moment over and over again. Luckily a midwife in the room took my partners phone off him and filmed and took pictures of the whole thing so I have those to treasure forever.

What are your top tips for a hospital bag or home birth?

I packed for 3 days and ended up coming home the next day, I had a big hold all and a suitcase full! So my top tip would be pack what you need for 1 day and 1 night and have things at home ready just in case you need to stay in longer that someone can bring up for you if needs be.

New father kissing newborn babies cheek, photographed at Little Wonderland Photography, Widnes, Cheshire

What is the best gadget you've used for your newborn?

Ewan the sheep, he glows red and plays womb noises. He wasn’t a big hit with Albie at first, I think Albie missed the womb way too much but over the last couple of weeks Ewan has been our saving grace at bed time. The Nuby rapid cool flask too, life saver!

What advice do you have for mums-to-be and new parents?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Motherhood is not easy and it’s especially hard in those first few weeks when you’re finding your feet, that’s why it was made for women. Once you’ve found your own routine that works for you and baby, everything gets that little bit easier and just because you’re finding it hard it doesn’t mean you’re failing. It’s okay to sit in the bedroom on your own or the shower and cry, let it all out you’ll feel better if only for a little while. Make sure you’re speaking to people and have ‘your people’ there for support, it’s okay to lean on them. And set those boundaries with friends/family members early on, the earlier the better! - you know what’s best for your baby so don’t let anyone make you think any different.

Leah photographed at her Maternity Shoot
Newborn baby posed on side sleeping
Newborn babies feet held by parents hands

I hope you enjoyed Leah's story as much as I enjoyed meeting her and her baby at her Maternity and then newborn session wth me.

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