Florence Catherine Broadbent arrived early at 36 weeks and 6 days (the same gestation as her older brother, Oliver, now 11) at 16:52pm on Remembrance Day: 11.11.21 (an auspicious date for a special little lady).
Weighing a tiny but perfect 6 pounds 4 ounces (2.83 kilos) and born via elective c-section at St James Hospital in Leeds (just like her brother, Alexander), Florence is already 2 pounds heavier now at 5 weeks old.
Her name was the only one my sons and husband agreed upon and she is named after my Greek great grandmother Florendia (Florence is also a nod to her birth date on Remembrace Day and the great Florence Nightingale). Her middle name Catherine is after my wonderful mother-in-law Cathy (also known as Fifi to her sons and grandsons).
It’s hard to describe how deeply in love we are with our beautiful daughter, Florence but I’ll give it a whirl. Her curious almond eyes simply melt our hearts; her honey-scented skin means we spend all day kissing her sweet cheeks and she’s filled mine and my family’s lives with utter joy. Our rainbow baby really has brought us sunshine after the storm we endured last year.
And have you seen her hair!!!
My sons dote on her (how lucky is she to have such protective and loving big bros), as does her Daddy who is besotted with his little girl.
They’re two peas in a pod as you can see!
Florence reminds me so much of my sons looks-wise, and her personality so far is most similar to Xander’s as a baby as she’s incredibly calm and content (poor Oliver suffered with colic as a baby so struggled).
Florence rarely cries and so far, usually only wakes once a night for a feed (after a midnight feed before she sleeps in her cot beside our bed) so I really can’t complain. Why am I still tired though-ha?!
(Boy done good-husband treated me to this stunning pink sapphire and diamond ring to celebrate Florence’s arrival. Thank you for the discount Woodfords Jewellery).
I’ve cried many happy tears since Florence’s arrival and feel forever grateful to be experiencing these precious baby days once again after 9 years since Xander’s birth.
It’s funny as so many friends and even followers predicted more kids for me, over the years with many even saying they’d dreamt/ visualised I was having a baby girl next.
Several are convinced I’ll have one more but I’m not sure Peter would agree to that! I’ll save some of the clothes in case!!!
After an easy but admittedly anxious pregnancy after I suffered a miscarriage a couple of months before Florence was conceived, her arrival was early due to several complications including ICP/OC (intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy), a pregnancy liver condition (the predominant sympton being itching without a rash), that I also experienced with Oliver.
As the NHS website states, ‘Some studies have found that babies whose mothers have ICP have a higher chance of being born prematurely or stillborn’ so we’re thankful she was delivered safe and sound during a calm elective.
I had a few hours notice the operation was happening but I was informed it was likely, the day before, making it a similar experience to my elective with Xander where I felt calm and safe, and it was completely different to the traumatic emergency section I experienced with Oliver.
The new, state-of-the-art theatre (with its pink walls making it feel less clinical) calmed me and the highly experienced and supportive medical staff who reassured me throughout the op, made it an entirely positive experience for Peter and I. I sent hampers to everyone who helped as soon as I was able to.
I was actually home the following day and by home, I mean my parents’ home in the countryside in Leeds as I’d visited my folks during the October half-term with my youngest son, Xander, not forseeing that I would be leaving weeks later with a newborn! Xander’s homeschooling consisted of a lot of Countdown to be fair! Thank goodness his school were so understanding. What a whirlwind. We don’t seem to do ‘boring’ in this house!!!
I had had an elective booked at Wexham Park Hospital on the 24th so we were ill-prepared to say the least.
I do however love that Florence’s homecoming early means she’s a Scorpio like me and my mother-in-law and as she was born 5 days before my own birthday on the 16th of November, I was still by a whisper still 40 when she arrived! And it’s been non-stop excitement since then!
At 13 days old she made her TV debut on the Jeremy Vine show on Channel 5 proving my point that babies can be calm enough to be allowed in the Westminster Hall chamber in the Houses of Parliament after a warning was issued to MP Stella Creasy to no longer attend with her baby son. (Florence slept throughout). As MPs are not offered maternity leave and must represent their consistuents in person in Parliament, plus, importantly, breastfed babies would struggle to be apart from their mothers, this seems another knock for equality for mothers in the workplace and by an institution who should be setting an example.
…5 weeks have truly flown by and it feels like Florence has always been here.
I’m reminded of the wise words of an Exec Producer and mum of three I used to work with (when I was a TV Director) who told me before Oliver’s birth that, ‘Having a baby is like meeting a stranger you’ve known forever’. True words.
Oh, Florence we adore you with all our hearts, thank you for choosing our family sweet girl, we will love, guide and protect you forever x
A huge thank you to friends, family, followers and brands for the cards, gifts and kind words you’ve all showered us with. We are touched and humbled by your kindness x
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