Sedation, Balloons and Cakes 

A few days ago we had to go into hospital with our little Leo, don’t worry all is fine and it was a routine procedure but it did mean that Leo had to be sedated. 

Traumatic? No, I’ll never use that word again in relation to anything in my life because losing Millie was traumatic. Testing? Difficult? Scary? Yes – I’ll tick all of the above please. 

We knew a couple of weeks ago after a consultant appointment that Leo was going to have go in and we were in pieces because we did not know how to deal with this. 

Putting our baby boy in the care of someone else? The last time we did this, our baby girl never came home. Trust is a major issue for us, even if he was to be in the hands of a consultant, anaesthetist and nurses – it still didn’t put our minds at ease, not one bit.

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I have felt like the worst mum in the world for the past few weeks because I knew as soon as we were told that Leo was to be sedated that I could not cope being in the room with him when this happened, Dan knew what was going through my mind without even having to discuss it and he said straight away that he would be with Leo when he was given the anaesthetic. 

Why couldn’t I be in there? Believe me, I really wanted to be but I knew that I couldn’t, I have thought about it lots over the past two weeks and I genuinely thought that when it came to it that I would be able to be there with him, but the time came and I couldn’t, so Dan went in there with Leo whilst he was being sedated. 

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You see, I saw Millie like that when I shouldn’t have done. I saw Millie on a hospital bed after she had passed away and, well I’m not even going to describe it to you, I don’t want you to cry right now, I’ll tell you about it another day. 

My experiences of the hospital that day when Millie passed away has affected the way that I am when I am in hospitals and this was just another thing I had to deal with.

The funny thing though, that all the doctors and nurses talked to me as though I was going to go in with Leo, it must be that normally mums do go in with baby/child in most circumstances. I broke down though when the word “cannular” was used during the conversation and the poor anaesthetist thought that she had done something wrong. Dan quickly explained what was going on and she apologised very quickly. I didn’t need an apology though, she wasn’t to know and to be honest, she was in quite a bit of shock when Dan explained what had happened to Millie and I think that she dealt with the whole situation superbly, she really was a lovely lady. 

Someone said to me today in our “inner circle” that we sometimes forget how easy it is to forget how much Millie’s story shocks people and I think what she said is right. We talk about Millie everyday and we do a lot of interviews about what happened to her so we are so used to talking about our situation normally, but she is right it is shockable and most new people who we meet don’t expect to hear this when they meet us. 

So, back to Leo. He is absolutely fine and here he is after coming around and wanting a cuddle from daddy. (Check out his new trick, he loves sticking his tongue out at the moment) 

 
It was awful sat waiting in the hospital for Leo to come back to us whilst he was sedated. We sat there feet tapping, playing with hands, crying, holding each other, twitching … The list is endless. We have never left Leo with anyone before so this was doubly as hard for us. 

I would just like to use my blog to take the opportunity to thank the staff at Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital who dealt with us as everyone was so lovely and this really did help us to get through the day. 
  (Recovering after his procedure)

Phew, so that was the hardest part of this week and then we could move on to the nicer bit of the week 😀

A couple of months ago, we had decided that we were going to hold a Naming Ceremony for Leo and today was the day. 

We really wanted Leo to have his day like Millie had hers but we were really struggling with the idea of a Christening. In fact, a Christening wasn’t even an option for us as we didn’t want anything religious at all.

I did some research and found out that a “Naming” would be an option and I liked this idea because we could make it such more personal, so this is want we decided to go with and began to put ideas together for the ceremony. 

We made the decision to hold the ceremony ourselves with the help of some friends, this made it so much more personal for us and we didn’t think that bringing an outsider in to host the ceremony would work for us.

We spent a while choosing poems and writing the correct words to get across why we were doing it this way and you know what; it worked, it worked really well. 

We had tears and laughter and lots of smiles which is exactly how we wanted it to be. Check out Leo in his first fancy get up 😀

I was even brave enough to use one of my own poems that I had previously written in the naming ceremony. Isn’t it strange? I don’t mind putting them out there online and thousands of people reading them, but put me in front of 50 friends and family and I was a little nervous. It’s easy to read someone else’s writing but your own, wow, well that’s another thing altogether. But I did it and I’m proud I did. Here it is;

I kinda got this feeling that I’m a little bit in love,

With a little gentle coaxing from my angel high above, 

I feel her presence here and it makes me feel alright,

That I can love her little bro and just squeeze him oh so tight. 

Whilst cooking in my belly, I had these pangs of awful guilt, 

That I’d never be able to love and my feelings they’d just wilt. 

But the inevitable it happened when I saw his little eyes, 

And now I can’t bare to let him go when I hear his unique cries. 

His lovely little smile as I tickle his small feet,

But it gets me every time that my kids, they will not meet. 

I swear that she has been here when Leo lies awake night, 

It’s a feeling of security and never one of fright. 

The fear of love it scared me, that I wouldn’t want him here, 

But now he is so real, I always want him near.

You can’t predict the future and you cannot change the past. 

Life is here for living, so let’s live it with a blast xxx

Love mummy x 
See, that was easy 😀 copy and paste and poof! You read it on your smartphones/laptops and I can’t see your face when you’ve read it! Much less nerve racking than this morning. 

We’ve managed to grab some lovely family photos today though. Since having Leo, I’ve definitely got a thing for family photos, having both parents in the photos because so many of Millie’s only have one or the other of us in. I think people are getting used to me throwing my phone at them and saying “please take a photo of us”.

 
  
  
Today was made so special by a lot of our close friends and family being there, it was just lovely to have everyone in the same room for once and of course, I made sure Millie was included too.  

 

I have to say a HUGE thank you to Jay from B for Balloons in Hazel Grove who did all Leo’s balloons for today, she did the most amazing biggest balloon I have ever seen with Leo’s name on and he absolutely loved it as he is currently loving balloons whenever he sees them.

 

And the cake, well that was just so much better than I ever could have imagined! It had a little baby on the top to represent Leo and I loved it’s little mouth AND not only that, it also had ROLO on too! 

The best bit though, is that we couldn’t decide which flavour cake to have, we were stuck on Red Velvet or Lemon, so … Victoria, she used both in the cake!!! Very impressed.

  

Victoria Queen of Cakes, Stockport 

I find cake makers such fabulous people, I envy their patience to make the cakes and the intricate details that they put in them. I have the complete patience of a Gnat, I would end up throwing the cake at the wall! 

So what’s the next big thing for us? 

WEANING. 

Hmmmm. 

Still not going well.

We are going to attempt the first step tomorrow, putting Leo’s Highchair up. I need to get over my Highchair issues, this being that I suffered many flashbacks and nightmares of Millie being in the Highchair that day and I’m not sure what I’m going to be like when we put Leo in it. 

So, to deal with this, I’ve turned back to something that my Psychologist taught me to do. Break things up into little stages and you’ll eventually get through them all.

1) Buy a new Highchair – DONE

2) Set the Highchair up

3) Let Leo play in the Highchair with his toys

4) Attempt to feed Leo in his Highchair 

As you can see, number 1 is complete. We are planning on completing number 2 tomorrow and then we’ll see how quickly we can get to number 3 and number 4. 

I spoke to Alison (our NZ friend who lost her gorgeous little boy Kory in a similar situation to Millie) and she has helped me a bit with regards to starting to wean Leo.

We will get there. Soon. Wish us luck. xxx

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12 thoughts on “Sedation, Balloons and Cakes 

  1. Ann

    I am so glad that Leo’s procedure went well. Something g like that is always a worry, but you have added worries, understandably. It’s lovely to hear of Leo’s naming day and it is heartwarming to see your pictures. He sure is a lot like Millie, Jo. I don’t blame you for one second for wanting you and Dan in pictures with him, you are both very proud, that is clear to see. You are doing remarkably well, even on days where you may feel like you’re not, the progress you’ve made is clear. You’re always going to get obstacles, and the weaning stage is just that. Yes it has to be done, but there’s absolutely no rush. You’re doing the right thing breaking it down into smaller steps. Good Luck, I hope it goes well, and if not, take a step back and try again another day. Much love to you all xx

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  2. Sharon Johns

    Aaw you are sooo brave Jo – you are a warrior , and your little Leo is lovely. I am sure that Millie is with you all every day, and your poem is beautiful – I always find poems a great release to put into words how you are feeling. Glad you had a fab day.xx

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  3. jo wilkins

    Let me tell u. As any parent going tho a op. Its a worse nightmare.Putting the life of ur child in somebody elses hands Going tho what you are Jo its very real. I would never put myself in your shoes. I was so scared to see see my baby go to sleep. I cant ever imagine how you felt. My heart is with you both. Leo is very special. He has the best parents xx

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  4. EmmaS

    I just wanted to say how brave and inspirational you are sharing your words with us. Your little Leo is so beautiful and looks sooo munchable! He really is adorable.
    I loved your poem, the cake, balloons, it looks like you all had a wonderful day.
    Millie will always be with you all, relishing in her brothers fun and laughter, especially yours too. One day we will all be together again, and in the meantime, her legacy will save so many lives and her spirit will be around you as delightful as a butterfly and as beautiful Leo’s little giggles and smiles.
    God bless you and your beautiful family xxx

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  5. amber

    Really pleased Leos procedure went well Jo your words are so heartwarming I won’t lie I did shed a little tear when reading your poem xxx Beautiful photos of a beautiful day for such a beautiful little boy xxxxxxxxx ❤ M ❤

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  6. Steph

    Hi Jo
    My little one is 1 next week and he has been using. Chicco snack pocket seats (I think that’s what they are called) the tray is removable but you basically strap to your dining chairs and he gets to sit at table and eat too. I never had an experience like you but being a mum second time around has been a bit harder for me. I’ve struggled to let go…. But I find him sitting next me so much easier than a high chair and I don’t feel is be helpless if I needed to get him – that may also be because I’ve been on your fantastic first aid courses 😊😊😊 much love to you and Leo! Xxxx

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  7. nicole

    Very inspirational what you do, I can’t imagine what you have been through. My first born has spent most of her life in and out of the operating theater and it never gets easier and I can’t do the sedation part so daddy does! I donated my kidney to her 2 years ago was the most worrying time for us all especially not being there. I just wanted to say that it’s amazing how you raise awareness of things that don’t necessarily get it that should. Blood donation, organ donation is close to our hearts. Millie and Leo have amazing parents and millie will continue to live on in the amazing things you do xx

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