Radio star Leigh’s joy ‘our family is complete’

The George FM breakfast host and his partner Lee are over the moon with their two beautiful girls
Emily Chalk

It was a moment George FM presenter Leigh Dolbear – aka General Lee – and his partner Lee Gilmour had desperately wished for.

After multiple operations and rounds of IVF, the couple couldn’t wait to meet their second child. Well actually, that’s not entirely true.

“We had the C-section booked for January 5… we were absolutely praying she wouldn’t make her entrance on New Year’s Eve!” laughs Leigh (or ‘Boy Leigh’ to his pals). “As a DJ, it’s the one night of the year where you’re always guaranteed to be working!”

Laughs Lee (Girl Lee), “Every day we were like, just get through! Don’t come on Christmas, don’t come on December 31… but we got there!”

Now seven months old, baby Edie is a real beauty, and she completes the Dolbear-Gilmour clan perfectly, joining proud-as-punch older sister Gigi, three, and pup Rocky, who loves to add to the household chaos by regularly escaping out of the back yard.

“Yeah, it’s all go around here now,” Leigh says with a wide grin. “It’s been a juggle that’s for sure and it’s taken a bit to get used to. But this is something we’ve wanted for a very long time and it’s been a longer process with the IVF. But it makes it all the more special.”

Says Lee, “We have so many ‘pinch-me’ moments now because none of this was guaranteed. So we’re absolutely over the moon.”

Little Edie’s birth was markedly calmer than Gigi’s, who needed an emergency C-section. It was a process Lee and Leigh were both keen to avoid this time around, hence booking the elective C-section in early January.

“It was so bizarre, going into the theatre knowing that when you leave you’ll have a baby – but you also have to have this really big operation,” says Lee.

“Both Gigi and Edie were in the high nine-pound [4kg] range, so the C-section was definitely the way to go! But we just wanted the safest way to bring Edie into the world. I mean, you probably remember more of it than I do!” she says, turning to Leigh.

“Yeah, the surgeon was like, ‘Do you want to have a look this time Leigh?’ and I said, ‘Ah, no’, because what would have happened is I would have ended up on the ground after fainting, and then they’d have two problems!”

Edie is the apple of her parents’ – and her sister’s – eye. “She’s actually been a really easy baby,” says Lee. “Those first three months are so bloody hard, but if they’re a good sleeper it’s a lot easier and thankfully for us, she’s a good sleeper.”

It took Lee and Leigh almost all of the nine months of pregnancy to come up with Edie’s name, with the pair struggling to land on the perfect moniker.

“Names have always been really hard for us,” tells Leigh. “We had some good debates!”

“I got quite angry – he didn’t like any of the names I liked, but he didn’t come up with any!” laughs Lee. “I really liked the name Eddie, and we like the names to have come from the family in some way – Gigi was my dad’s nickname, and her middle name is Joy, from Leigh’s mum.

“Leigh’s dad’s middle name is Edward, and it spiralled into Edie, mostly because of Gigi! We talked to her about Eddie, but she would only say ‘Edie’.”

Chimes in Leigh, “And when we were like, ‘hey, this isn’t bad!’ So really, Gigi named her. She’s Edie Jean as Jean is Lee’s mum’s name. But if we could give any advice to anyone about naming your kid it’s this. Do. Not. Tell. Anyone. Other opinions can sway yours and it creates so much more anxiety!”

For big sister Gigi, having Edie around has been a dream come true.

Leigh and Lee’s eldest Gigi is jumping for joy at being a big sister to Edie.

“It’s so cool to see Gigi interact with Edie, she was so excited to have a baby sister,” says Lee.

Leigh adds, “You just have to be on your toes with them all the time now – it’s a lot of, ‘Gigi! Gentle hands, she’s not a doll!’ But she’s very helpful and very sweet.

And as for the happy-but-slightly-exhausted parents, Lee Squared, as they’re known collectively, are just trying to soak up every moment before Lee, who works in marketing at Mediaworks, heads back to the office. They’ve even already had their first family trip to Fiji, with Edie taking her first flight at just 10 weeks old.

“Fiji has always been a special place for us, and we were lucky that Leigh had a gig that we could tag along with,” says Lee.

Leigh hosts the George FM Breakfast show with Tammy Davis.

Adds Leigh, “And at home we’re working with some funny hours with me on breakfast radio, and Lee is up three or four times a night and most of the time I can’t help because Edie wants milk!”

Lee nods and adds, “It’s been a bit hectic and challenging, and I have no idea how I’m going to battle with going back to work and getting myself ready and getting them sorted! But everyone does it somehow, so we’ll make it work!”

You can listen to General Lee on George FM Breakfast, now broadcasting in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.

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