Today you are, as Grandad Choo Choo put it, exactly half! Six months old and it’s all gone by so quickly! Some days I sit and go through all the photographs of you (I think we’ve taken at least one of you every day since you were born) and I can’t believe how much you have grown and changed in such a short space of time.
Being your Mummy and Daddy is the best thing that has ever happened to me and Daddy. We wanted you for a really, really long time and were together for eleven years before you arrived – and trust me when I say that’s aaaaaaages. But, we were only very young when we first met – I was fifteen and Daddy was sixteen so we were still children ourselves and wanted to do other things before having babies.
So we did lots of things. We did well at school and went to college (Daddy) and university (Mummy); we learnt to drive and bought our first and second cars; we went on holidays; we went to watch theatre shows and concerts; we got the cats; we got jobs; we bought a house and then finally we got married! It was a really magical day and when you are bigger, we will show you all the photographs and the video and maybe even take you to the venue.
And we were very happy apart from one very small thing that was still missing… you! So when we found out that you were in my tummy, we were both so happy and excited but also very scared as being a Mummy and a Daddy is the most important job in the whole wide world and is a very big responsibility.
Six months ago…
You were due to be born on the 23rd December – the day before Christmas Eve – and as first babies are often late, we were a bit worried you would arrive on Christmas Day and would have to share your birthday with Christmas. Having presents once a year is no fun! Luckily, you decided you wanted to meet us early so, although we were surprised, out you popped two and a half weeks early!
Now you may hear people say that having their baby was the best day of their lives but I’m not one of those people. Having a baby is really, really hard work; it hurts and it is very, very tiring so although I was happy to meet you at last, it wasn’t the best day we’ve ever had! You, however, are the best and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I think both Daddy and I were very overwhelmed when you were born. You didn’t feel real at first, you were like a dream, and when we first bought you home, we didn’t really know what to do but we soon worked it out.
On your third day, I noticed that you had gone a funny yellow colour so called the midwife to come and look at you. She took out her special sonic beam and shined it on your skin and said that you had jaundice so needed to go to hospital quickly. This made Daddy and I very worried – even more so when on the way to the hospital, a van accidentally bumped into the back of our car! Daddy was very chilled out about it as there was no damage but I got very upset and cried a lot and made the van man feel very guilty.
When we got to the hospital, a very nice lady doctor called Alison examined you and explained that you had to go under a blue light to get rid of your jaundice as soon as possible. But there was a problem – there was no room on the ward. Eventually, Alison came up with a solution, but it did have a downside – there was a spare incubator for you but it was in the ICU ward which is where really poorly babies go to be looked after. It meant that although you were the healthiest baby on the ward and would hopefully only be there until the next day, we couldn’t stay in the room with you all the time. You also had to have a little tube put down your nose so that the nurses could feed you without taking you out from the blue light. This made Daddy and I very sad as we didn’t want to leave you on your own but the nurses were very nice and Alison managed to find us a special room down the corridor for us to sleep in so that we didn’t have to leave the hospital.
It was very difficult watching you from the door when we weren’t allowed in the ward. You really hated the blue light and the special goggles you had to wear so you were thrashing about in your little plastic incubator but we couldn’t cuddle you and make you feel better. Luckily, by the second night they had found us a bed together on another ward so we were moved there and had to stay for five more days! Poor Daddy had to sleep on a very uncomfortable chair as he refused to go home and leave us, even though he was very tired. But that’s what Daddy is like – he looks after us always!
I found it very hard being in the hospital and got very sad and cried a lot but Daddy was great. He made me laugh, gave us lots of cuddles and kisses and made sure that I ate and drank enough. As I had been admitted with you, I got given dinners but poor Daddy didn’t so he had to go to the canteen and shop for food when he got hungry. Eventually, exactly a week after you had been born, we got to go home again and were able to settle in as a family of three.
You have achieved so much already.
A few weeks ago you rolled over for the first time and now you have mastered rolling from your back to your front going both left and right, and then from your front to your back again. You have learnt how to wiggle round to get to different places and I am having to watch you a bit more now as I put you down in one place and minutes later you’ve moved!
You’ve also started sitting unaided in the last couple of weeks although you are still a little wobbly sometimes. You’ve always had very good head control as well. You can pick things up and move them from one hand to another. You can suck your own toes and you can also turn the pages of a book. You can follow things with your eyes and head and you are starting to respond to your name. You also blow bubbles and do this really adorable thing where you put your hands on our faces and pull yourself in to give us a slobbery kiss. I love it when you put your cheek against mine and nestle into my neck too.
You have made friends! You lay next to other little babies when we go to our groups and you chat away to them, smile at them, hold their hands and touch their faces. It’s very, very cute!
We started giving you a few foods to try last week and you have now had carrot, peas, parsnip, sweet potato and banana. You are actually very good with a spoon and have managed to get food from the bowl into your mouth with little help from me. You have also learnt how to hold a cup and have a little drink with your food.
Oh and in the last week you have found your voice and learnt how to do the highest pitch scream I have ever heard! I don’t know what the neighbours must think but it’s all your way of communicating and putting Daddy and I in our places. You are definitely the boss of our house now!
Things you like
- Peppa Pig – we don’t let you watch tv very often as we prefer to play with you but whenever we put Peppa on you calm down and become mesmerised for a little while.
- Your cuddly Hares (although I call them bunnies) – we bought you three different “Guess How Much I Love You” hare toys before you were born – a big one, a rattle and a comforter and you seem to love them all!
- Bouncing and swinging – you giggle and laugh when we bounce you up and down on cushions or on our knees and you really like it when we sing” The Grand Old Duke Of York” and “Horsey Horsey” as they involve a lot of bouncing. You also love going in the baby swing at home and at Nanny and Grandad ChooChoo’s.
- Going in the sling – you get all excited when you see me putting it on!
- Sensory – yesterday at Sensory Adventures you played with jelly and loved squishing it between your fingers and moving it around with your hands. You always seem to have lots of fun when we do sensory time!
- Looking around.You are so interested in EVERYTHING! Whenever we go out you are looking around at everything and taking it all in. You remind me a little bit of a meerkat sometimes as you like to stand up and check out what’s going on! The only downside is that you are very difficult to get to have a nap – it’s as though you are afraid of missing out if you fall asleep! Daddy has a special knack of getting you to sleep though as you very rarely do it for me – my little pickle!!
- Books! You are definitely your mother’s son as you always seem very excited by a book. You (mostly) sit nice and quietly when you have your bedtime story.
- Swimming – I love watching your face when you have your lessons as you don’t stop smiling
- The cats. You are fascinated by them and always smile when you see one of them. You are being a bit of a pickle though and keep grabbing at their fur which they don’t like but Daddy and I are trying to teach you how to stroke them properly.
- Ladies – you are such a little flirt and always laughing and smiling at random ladies wherever we go. You are very cute though so we don’t mind!
Things you don’t like
- The noise of hand dryers
- Daddy coughing – your eyes go all wide and you look all worried but then Daddy makes you laugh so it’s all ok again!
- Getting in your car seat. Not sure why but whenever we put you in your car seat you scream and scream until we drive off. You also only seem to fall asleep five minutes before we reach our destination!
- Staying in one place for too long when we are out and about – you like to be moving and get irritable if we stop off for too long!
- Sadie the dog at Nanny and Grandads – you did it for the first time this week but every time you looked at her, your bottom lip appeared and the tears started rolling!
- Being left on your own in a room.We are trying to get you used to being in your own room at night-time as you are getting too big and wiggling around too much for your crib now. So far you’ve managed three nights in a row so you are doing very well Bubba!
How our lives have changed
Daddy and I can barely remember what life was like before you came along as you’ve made it so much better.
I didn’t realise before but I am so much happier now, even though I get less sleep, we have less money but more bills and I have very little time for myself. You have given me purpose and I feel, finally, that I am doing something with my life that I was always supposed to do. And the time I do get to myself to have a bath, to watch a film, or go out with my friends is so much more precious so I appreciate it more.
I have a greater understanding, appreciation and even more love for Nanny (my Mummy) now than I did before as I finally understand everything she sacrificed for me and Aunty Bee; all the long nights, the tiredness, the putting herself and her needs last and the overwhelming, unconditional love for us. One day, when you have babies of your own, you will understand too.
I love Daddy so much more than before. I always knew he would be a good Daddy but he is just amazing with you. He looks after us and makes us laugh a lot and even when I’m feeling tired and sad, he knows how to make me feel better. He still holds my hand as we walk along the road but he pushes your buggy with the other one now too. And you look so much like him! Everyone says it, it’s practically the first thing they say when they see you. You are very cheeky like Daddy as well, a perfect little mini me!
The world is both brighter and scarier now. Brighter because you are here but scarier because things that used to not bother us as much or things that we never even thought of, now make us worry more and we have to be on alert 24/7. It’s almost as though we now wear special “danger” glasses that flag up all the potential dangers in our surroundings that we have to protect you from.From little things like hairs wrapped around your fingers (we don’t want you to accidentally cut the circulation off), to people walking dogs that might bite you, or cars that might crash into us as we drive places, to bigger worries like the Bad Stuff in the news. But for all these things, I promise we will try our very best to protect you from them and keep you safe and happy.
Becoming a parent has been a learning curve. We’ve learnt how to look after you and a lot about pregnancy, birth and child development. We’ve learnt (well it’s an ongoing skill) how to juggle looking after you with doing the housework, working and seeing family and friends. I have learnt to do an awful lot one-handed – like going to the loo with you balanced on one hip and pulling up my knickers with the other! And the beautiful thing is that we are continuing to learn new and different skills as you learn too!
Oh Jack you will never know how much Daddy and I totally love and adore you! You are everything and more and just the love of our lives. You are perfect in every single way and we feel so honoured, blessed and proud to be your parents. The last six months have been such a precious time for us and although it has gone by so quickly and you are getting older and more independent every day, we cherish those memories but can’t wait for everything to come!
Happy half birthday my “son-shine”, I shall write again soon.
All my love, cuddles and kisses,