New mum Gemma Atkinson has given fans heartwarming insight into how her young family has bonded.
The former Strictly star posts regularly about her darling dogs Norman and Ollie on social media - and it is clear they are both very loved and very much members of her family unit.
Not only did she previously throw a birthday for black Sproodle Norman, but both of her boys figured prominently when she let the world know she and partner Gorka Marquez were expecting.
Gem, 34, announced her pregnancy by sharing involving her pooches, sharing a pic of them wearing signs around their necks which read: "Guess what ... mum's pregnant. We're going to be big brothers!"
Norman even sleeps next to her cot upstairs.View this post on Instagram
And it seems Norman and Ollie have been dedicated in their role as ‘older siblings’ to baby Mia, born at the start of July.
Sharing videos and images of how the boys were introduced to Mia after mum and daughter came home from hospital with her Instagram followers, Gemma explained how they settled the new arrival in with her 'sons'.
She wrote in the caption: "We sent home one of Mia’s baby grows for them to smell before we arrived.
"I knew they would jump up at me excited as they hadn’t seen me for almost a week, so I protected my stitches with my pillow, had five mins alone greeting them which I loved after being in hospital.
View this post on Instagram
Progress check 🙋🏼♀️ I said I’d keep you all posted on my post natal journey and I can honestly say that I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Mia is 10 wks on Thursday. As many of you know my birth wasn’t how I’d planned. I had 2 days slow labour leading to an emergency C section then a haemorrhage (The Joys!) Anyway, looking back I’d do it all again to have Mia & the fact she’s here happy & healthy makes it all worth while. Mentally I struggled for a while because I was frustrated at not being able to hold her for long, take her for walks, lift the car seat, I had pain around my scar when feeding, I felt a little helpless. Plus I was on strong medication which was making me feel a little fuzzy. At 6 weeks PP I was given the go ahead to start training again but only light cardio. For the last month I’ve done daily 30 min brisk walks with the pram & on days it’s been raining I’ve done my stair master at home. Food wise I’ve kept my diet clean & I’ve been cooking in bulk to last me a few days & to save time. Breakfast is always protein, fats & fibre (eggs, greens & avocado) and I’ve had my Oats and fruits after my walks. I was keeping track of my weight but I’ve decided to ditch the scales. Firstly because I have more body fat than muscle at the moment & when I begin weight training at 14wks PP that will change so I may not drop anyway despite being leaner & fitter. Also with my body retuning to normal hormone cycle wise (or with old Aunt flow returning shall we say) 😐 I will at times be holding more water & even though I’ve trained & eaten clean, I will still go up on the scales leading to all kinds of silliness in my head. That’s why I’ve always said I’m happier going off how I feel mentally & how my clothes fit instead. I still have some swelling around my scar, it still aches at times & my little belly pouch is still very much there. I’m softer all over and cardio wise not as fit & I’m definitely weaker so I still have a long way to go to how I was physically but mentally, I feel really happy. I’m so lucky & so blessed to have my beautiful family and that over shadows everything in my opinion ❤️👨👩👧
"Then we lay Mia in her carry cot with her net on to allow them to smell her without getting too close. After 10 mins I then held Mia and allowed them to do the same.
"Mia slept the whole time and within 15 mins of them realising she wouldn’t do anything the boys were bored. The rest as they say is history!"
Gemma added: "They have accepted Mia as the new pack member."
View this post on Instagram
I’m asked a lot how Norman & Ollie are with Mia and how they were introduced. The first 3 slides here was the day after I came home from hospital. We sent home one of Mia’s baby grows for them to smell before we arrived and I knew they would jump up at me excited as they hadn’t seen me for almost a week, so I protected my stitches with my pillow, had 5 mins alone greeting them which I loved after being in hospital 🥰 Then we lay Mia in her carry cot with her net on to allow them to smell her without getting too close. After 10 mins i then held Mia and allowed them to do the same. Mia slept the whole time and within 15 mins of them realising she wouldn’t do anything the boys were bored 😂 The rest as they say is history! They have accepted Mia as the new pack member. They sit with me when feeding her, follow whoever is carrying her around the house, Norman even sleeps next to her cot upstairs. The love I have for Norman & Ollie I cant even put into words. Before Mia and Gorka they were here with me through everything. Unknowingly helping me through so much and just making my life fun and happy. Like all dogs do really 😊 This is how it works for us. I grew up with dogs. Our first dog Fergie came along when I was 18 months old and from an early age taught me a little bit of responsibility with helping make her food and take her for walks. She also made a wonderful cuddle buddy too. I’m sure in time Mia will annoy them when she’s crawling around wanting to play but the patience & calmness they have around her makes me quite emotional. They are beautiful souls and make our family that extra bit special. 🐶🐶❤️
The ex Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actress also noted how her beloved pets now dote on Mia wherever she goes.
"They sit with me when feeding her, follow whoever is carrying her around the house, Norman even sleeps next to her cot upstairs," Gemma explained.
She continued: "They are beautiful souls and make our family that extra bit special."
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