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Guest Blog ~ The Little Puffin

The Little Puffin LogoToday we have opened up our page to a guest blog, beautifully written by one of our lovely clients.

Rachel is a brand new Mama to gorgeous little Callum. One of the most smiley of all the newborn babies we have had the pleasure to work with!

Their story is unique and heartwarming, raw and emotional. Rachel has been sharing their story on her own ‘The Little Puffin’ blog to raise awareness of Callum’s condition and has kindly agreed to share her journey with us here…

An honest journey into motherhood…

‘Growing up I’ve never been one to focus on a career path. I never knew what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do, and I still don’t. I simply followed my intuition and did what I enjoyed and that felt right at the time. The one constant throughout all that though was that I knew I wanted to be a mum and that it was something I wanted to rock at!

The reality however was to begin with something somewhat different.

When I found out I was pregnant I was over the moon. This was everything I had wanted and my pregnancy was in many ways a breeze. That was until three weeks early when I continually said that I was “ready” I was thrust into the world of motherhood and Callum arrived by emergency c section.Callum first photo by The little puffin

It turns out I wasn’t ready at all. The birth was fairly standard I would say.. I tried to be a hero and struggle through with just gas and air until the midwife said “another four hours and he should be out”.. that’s it, give me the drugs, simple as that!! Right at the end he got stuck and we needed help, and that’s pretty much how Callum was born.

Callum was a tiny bundle of perfectness, I literally stared at him in awe.Newborn baby boy encircled by mum's hands photo Amberlight Images

I had achieved something I was truly proud of. He was incredible and I loved him so much but the first three months were an unexpected struggle. Motherhood it seems is pretty darn hard…

I remember our first night at home like it was yesterday. Callum screamed all night and we had no idea what to do. I rang the hospital in the hopes they would say come back but apparently that’s “just what babies do” … so we battled through taking it in turns to try and calm his cries. After that first night things did get better but while one thing improved another began to crack.Newborn baby wearing bear hat photo Amberlight Images

Our biggest battle though had to be feeding. I wanted to breastfeed him and the more I tried the more it failed and I got stuck in a vicious cycle of beating myself up. It lasted about four weeks. Four weeks of hell. After that I combi fed him with expressed milk and formula for another two weeks before giving in and moving solely to formula.

My confidence was at an all time low during this time. What I thought I would rock at certainly felt like I was crashing and burning at top speed and couldn’t stop. But the light at the end of the tunnel came when we moved to formula full time and I finally had a contented little baby with a full tummy and my mind settled so my instincts could take over.Newborn baby on white blanket, photo copyright Amberlight Images, Wirral

Over the next few months more challenges lay ahead and frankly more tears poured.

But these challenges were something we never anticipated. When Callum was born we were told he had a large head but otherwise everything looked fine and to just get it checked at 6 weeks. After two further checks we were referred to the paediatrician who noticed that his long bones were short. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see people pick fault with my perfect little baby boy, and nothing prepared me for what followed.

We had blood tests and x-rays and I refused to Google what I knew so far but when we were called to discuss the results the very next day I knew something was definitely amiss. We were told that it was likely Callum had Achondroplasia and this has since been confirmed. To put it simply, in that minute sat in the doctors office my whole world fell apart.

Achondroplasia is the most common form of short limbed dwarfism and most babies are born to average size parents like us. Dwarfism wasn’t even on our spectrum. We didn’t even know it was possible but here we are with a little person of our very own.

Facing Callum’s condition has in many ways made me stronger, and definitely brought us closer together. Although at first I really struggled. I felt like I was mourning my baby and the life I had previously planned, and yet it also felt wrong to mourn a baby that is perfectly healthy and will just be small. I worried about everything, and to some extent I still do. But everyday I learn more and it has made me so determined to spread awareness and not fear. Fear was the initial emotion to spread through me. Would he get picked on? Would he find love? Would he be happy?.. well if you’ve seen my Instagram you will know the answer to that last one. Callum is the happiest little baby I know (and I know I’m biased) but it’s true.

I now know that Callum will be fine. There may be some bumps in the road ahead but hopefully it will be a fairly smooth ride.

Callum is now almost 9 months old and is about to have his first MRI which in itself is scary, at least for me! We have a sleep study planned for later in the year and still need to meet with an orthopedic surgeon and possibly an occupational therapist. I have learnt so many big words in the past few months that I surprise myself. My world today is somewhere I never dreamt I would be but each day I am trying to own it and not be controlled by it.

Today I can say proudly that I am the mum of a gorgeous and happy little boy who happens to be small. He will do everything in his own time and most certainly in his own way, but he will get there in the end. And yes I think I am now rocking motherhood after all (well 90% of the time at least).’

The Little Puffin LogoCallum, with his Little Puffin teddy photo by Amberlight Images

Rachel’s blog, The Little Puffin is her journey with achondroplasia, raising a gorgeous little boy and celebrating the highs and lows of being a first time mum. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook.


You can see Callum’s beautiful gallery from his newborn photo session here.