He’s here! And he’s absolutely perfect.

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After a long and amazing labour (worth a blog post of its own) our little bundle arrived on March 4th, 2016 at 7.38 am in Mediclinic City Hospital in Dubai.

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Labour can be emotionally tough on the Dads! Thankfully I had the best birthing partner anyone could ever ask for. Do not underestimate the power of this support.

 

Thank you to the unbelievable midwives of City Hospital-especially Dipo, Charlene, Monica, Abbey and Asma-who helped deliver our boy safe and well. It was an emotional experience saying goodbye to the nurses who I felt so indebted to for minding and caring for us at such a vulnerable and crazy time.

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Harry and his doctor who minded him all the way through pregnancy and delivery

It’s so good to finally have Harry here with us after the long wait. I would say it was a 10 month wait but really we have looked forward to meeting him for the past 10 years we have been together.

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Harry’s first bath was not his favourite experience!

Named after his ancestors (a long line of Henry’s and Thomas’ on either side) and coming in at 8 pounds 7 ounces and 57cm long he is everything we had hoped for and more. Some days I look at him and see myself and other times he gives me a look or does something that is just like his dad. He has slipped into our lives in a way that makes me completely forget what life was like before he came.

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Our chunky monkey at 1week old

 

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Henry’s Great Great Great Grandfather, Henry Mc Closkey, a school master born in 1825 in County Down and also known as ‘Harry’.

Lots of people say that bringing the baby home is scary but I was really excited to finally have him with us and he’s so good natured that our first night was lovely. I’m a big fan of breastfeeding and co-sleeping and I think it’s made life so much easier in so many ways.

 

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Harry’s first day at home chilling in his mamaroo bouncer in between feeds.

I think getting out and about as soon as possible was a good idea for us. I didn’t want the baby to get too reliant on routines (especially as my maternity leave is so short) and I didn’t want to hide myself away for too long and then be scared about everything. Don’t get me wrong, we had a few pyjama days where the baby fed and we just looked at each other all day.

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2 weeks old and already at his first brunch with Granny O’Connor, his aunt Ceara and aunt Mary Kate as well as his cousin Aoife and Ro Ro.

The toughest thing for me post-partum was taking to the Dubai roads with my precious cargo. Driving in the UAE can be stressful at the best of times but with a newborn baby it’s particularly challenging! Granny, Mary Kate, Harry and I drove to a sling meet in Um Sequim when Harry was 2 weeks old and there was lots of sighing and sweating let me tell you. It was all worth it when later that day his Dad got him in the Boba 4G carrier and he fell asleep straight away. To be honest I don’t know how people operate without a carrier or sling.

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I never really understood the phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ until now. Thank you to my Mum, Mum-in-law, my two sisters and Louise during this time, we could not have done this so smoothly without your help and support.

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Easter holidays in the Fairmont Ajman getting spoilt by his two aunts.

 

 

I’ve also found huge support from the many great mother groups and breastfeeding groups here in the UAE-if anyone needs any recommendations just contact me on the website.

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Our experience with City Hospital was fantastic and they looked after us so well from pregnancy to birth. Our first paediatricians appointment was also a positive one (although I think I was on an extra high after the nurse told me I had lost 14 kgs two weeks post-partum!) and our doctor had even trained in Ireland so he was able to explain the different approaches to vaccines etc which allowed us to make more informed decisions.

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Just a couple of hours old and so alert!x

When we first toured the hospital I was impressed by the fact that it looked like a 5 star hotel but worried that the nurses and doctors wouldn’t be as good as at home, I have since found the level of care and attention to detail to be far beyond anything I have experienced anywhere in the world.

My next challenge is getting back to work and keeping the breastfeeding on track as well as getting back training once I get the okay from my doc. Will follow up at some stage with a blog post!

 

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Mummy & Harry’s first day back to work, he’s not even 6 weeks old here.

 

J x