A short while ago I published an article about a mother living with  chronic Bipolar disorder. The story touched many hearts as it shared the candid journey of Candice Spammer, who gave birth to a beautiful boy born with a cleft lip/palate, one of the side effects of the medication she was on. If you missed that story, you should really go check it out. Do that by clicking HERE.

phoenix 2

How beautiful is this boy?

What I loved about the story is that it stirred up in me a real belief in the human spirit. How we are built to endure all sorts of pain, more often than not coming out stronger in the other side. This women went through so much on her journey to becoming a mom.

Candice recently sent me an update of how Phoenix’s surgery went and I just had to share it with all of you!

*I need to add a big disclaimer here as Candice touches on the subject of breastfeeding, which she feels attributed to their recovery journey. Please remember this is HER story and we are in no way trying to hurt or offend those of us who were either unable or chose not to breastfeed. We all do whats best for our situation, our baby, so lets not open a big can of worms ok? 🙂

I am happy to report that 1 year since his lip repair, Phoenix is doing incredibly well.

He is a well-rounded, extremely active, funny, mischievous and delightful (nearly) 15 month old who keeps us all on our toes while keeping us entertained at the same time.

Phoenix had his lip repair just 3 days shy of 3 months old, on April 15th 2015.

The experience of him having surgery was terrible and so incredibly stressful. Phoenix typically nursed every 2 hours and he had to have his last feed at 3:30am, and he only went into theatre at 7:50am!

But, praise be to God, he wasn’t even fussy! No tears even. The Vincent Pallotti Hospital staff were amazing and so supportive and reassuring.

The surgery took around 2 hours. His lip was numb after surgery so he couldn’t latch onto my breast, which was SO full from going so long without feeding him. He was crying terribly.

I managed to hand express around 20ml which we gave him through a syringe, although he didn’t have much due to being so miserable. I eventually asked the nurses if they could please switch the cot for a normal hospital bed so that I could lie with him like we did at home. I felt it would be more calming to let him lie close to my breast and try to suckle.

Well, it worked! He finally managed to feed at 10pm. I was so relieved.

The first week of his recovery was truly awful; I was so scared of hurting him and he hurt himself by rubbing his face / lip against us many times, then crying horribly. We had to keep him medicated so that he wasn’t in pain which was another terrible experience as he HATED taking meds.

Although, once those first weeks passed, his recovery was remarkable. He has healed so beautifully and is such a happy smiley little man.

Phoenix and I have a very strong bond thanks to breastfeeding; it’s the most amazing thing.

Storm is totally in love with his brother and loves holding him and playing with him; he is a wonderful big brother.

We have had no major medical concerns other than the initial cleft issues. Like me, Phoenix has some sinus issues when there’s a change in the weather, and he’s had a couple of colds with bad fever, but thanks to breastfeeding (Yes! We’re still going strong!) he hasn’t even needed antibiotics. Mommies milk truly is amazing.

I truly want to inspire and encourage other mommies / mommies-to-be to persevere with breastfeeding if they can. It is such a rewarding experience and really is the absolutely best nutrition for baby. If we could do it, cleft and all, then so can you.


we are so happy that everything went so well Candice and wish you and your family all of the best!


Hi I’m Leigh! Did you enjoy reading this post? I really hope so and would love you to stick around a little longer! Please feel free to browse my blog for other articles or to keep up with all the latest news and to be the first to hear about some great competitions, come and find me me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also email me directly at leeloobaggins@hotmail.com or simply subscribe below and never worry about missing out!