My whirlwind, my snowstorm, my little fireball of energy. You are my youngest. My wildest. Forever my baby. You joined our world on a warm summers day like the breath of fresh air that you are. We couldn’t believe what a perfect addition you were to our family. Fierce in nature, right from the start.
We found out we were expecting you just before Christmas 2013. We were eager to tell the good news to Riley and Sonny. They couldn’t have been happier. They spent every day looking after you as you grew inside me. They rubbed my tummy and spoke to you often.
Riley told stories and sang to you. Sonny fetched toys for you to play with and I didn’t care that he didn’t understand you couldn’t play back. All that mattered was the bond between you and your brothers was there from the very beginning.
The boys watched on as my tummy grew bigger. We announced that you were their new baby brother and discussed names we could call you.
A favourite story of ours is ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and we used the story to explain what was happening to you. I told them whenever Mummy had something to eat or drink, you stole it all and got bigger and bigger. Riley would notice every now and then that I had grown and say ‘wow he really is eating all your food isn’t he!’
Due to previous C Sections, I had a planned C Section with you. It was lovely to be able to explain to Riley and Sonny that on this day we would be going to the hospital to fetch their new baby brother.
In the early hours of the 15th August, me and Daddy got ready while your brothers were sleeping. We said goodbye to Nanny and began our journey to the hospital. We left a little note along with some chocolate buttons to ease the disappointment of us not being there when you woke.
My pregnant belly was full of nerves. I hadn’t slept well that night knowing I was going to be away for at least 3 nights. I was going to miss your big brothers so much. That was the longest I had ever stayed away, the last time being when Sonny was born.
You were born on that beautiful morning in August. Carrying in the heat was hard work, and something that came as quite a shock after having 2 winter babes.
I remember so vividly the day we brought you home to meet your brothers. 4 days without their Mumma, they were bursting at the seams. They had only seen you in photographs. I was so poorly after having you see it just wouldn’t have been fair to have had them visit not knowing when I could come home.
Riley was beside himself with pride. A big brother all over again. How was that even possible? He’s my biggest baby you see, and he will always be no matter how big he grows. He loved to hold you and help to fetch things that I needed for you while I was recovering. He just loved to be around you and was terribly sad when he had to go back to school.
Sonny came over to have a little look at you and swiftly turned to continue playing with his trains. I encouraged him to see you, to engage with you but he didn’t want to. I wasn’t going to force you upon him. So we gave him all the space he needed.
The following morning I was up feeding you when Sonny came pottering into our bedroom. He stood in the doorway and stopped dead in his tracks.
‘He’s still here!’ I think he thought to himself before dropping his head to his chest, letting out a growl and stomping back to his bedroom. Daddy went to cheer him up but it made little difference. There was a strange new dynamic in the house and he didn’t like it. Not one little bit.
And that’s how it went for a few days… Sonny hated the noise that you made when you cried, he’d put his hands over his ears and growl. He hated me holding you for what must have felt like all of the time and he hated that I wasn’t able to get up and run around with them in the early days while I recovered.
That’s how it went for a week or two until slowly but surely Sonny came to warm to you. He didn’t mind so much the smells from your bottom. Nor did he mind the peace and quiet while you soundly slept.
Instead he became fond of the softness of the skin on your head as he kissed you. Fond of your little fingers, how they were just like his only very small, and how adorably cute you looked when you smiled at him for the very first time.
From there, the bond between you grew stronger. Sonny was proud to show you to strangers in the street, to his teachers and his friends at school. It was you who he didn’t want to leave in the mornings and it was you who he ran to and kissed first after school.
As you grew bigger yourself you became a learning curve for Sonny. You taught him patience. Tolerance. It was you who taught him to share. It was you who taught him empathy and compassion. It was you who taught him how to love a baby like you.
You taught him he can’t always be the one to win or have everything he wanted. He would happily give up his favourite toy just to see the joy in your face.
I see you now only 2 years old cuddled up beside each other on the sofa with his arm around you. I see him interact with you, taking the time to teach you all the things he knows. (Good and the not so good.)
I hear you in the morning chatting away to each other in languages I havn’t fully grasped. I hear your brothers when they tell you how cute (sometimes annoying) you are and how much they love you.
You are the breath of fresh air. You are the outdoors in. The sun on a rainy day. You are everything to our family and we all love you with everything we have for everything that you are.
Our Zachy baby.