Hello baby

You are six months old today and they have been the most exhausting and challenging six months so far.

They have also been the happiest and most joyful and we’re so happy you are here.

You arrived on a May evening, born at home in a water pool, as planned. We didn’t know you were a baby boy, as with your brother’s arrival, it was the best surprise of our lives. When I saw you, our new baby boy, I could never express in words how it felt to finally have you here. I remember that night as blissful; here at home with our team of incredible midwives. Once they left, and we carried you upstairs to sleep between us on your Sleepyhead, I can only describe the way I felt seeing you sleeping next to your daddy as pure elation. I knew I should sleep but how could I, with you here? And anyway, at any moment I couldn’t hear you breathing or snuffling I had to prod you to make sure you were okay.

You’re more than okay. You’re wonderful.

You may look like the spitting image of your brother, but everything he did, you don’t. You can’t take a bottle. Goodness knows we tried. Your colic that lasted three months but felt interminable, leaving you screaming night after night (after night after night after night) and me sobbing as I rocked and swayed and tried so hard to soothe you, but couldn’t. You are so easily bored, you need constant attention, just like your father. I work around you, I must; but what a challenge it is. You hate the car; some journeys are a nightmare. You still wake anywhere between two and five times a night. Some nights I feel I’m going mad with tiredness.

But you put your tiny warm hand on my neck in the early hours and it feels heavenly. Your beautiful eyes light up when you smile, you are so smiley, strangers comment on your smile in the street, the supermarket, the swimming pool. Your signature quiff, gone now, but it made you you for so long. Your giggle, it’s infectious, your great big gummy laughs, your dribbly kisses, the way you burrow your head into my neck, your splashing in the bath, the way you gaze at your big brother and he makes you laugh, and adores you in return.

Seeing my oldest baby become a big brother, it’s lovely. No jealousy from him, just love and endless patience at my tiredness, all the ‘I’m justs’ – feeding/changing/rocking/soothing your brother. He never seems to mind. I missed him when you first arrived – no one warned me of that. He was only inches away from me but there you were; tiny, clinging, needing. I couldn’t go to him and it was hard. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Just writing your name now – I haven’t been able to write your name here these last six months; tiredness, yes, but almost a quiet disbelief that you are really here, after wishing for you for so long. We’re so lucky. Jonah Thomas Richard: we love you to the stars. We’re so glad you’re ours.

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