Jesse, you're two!
I remember everything about that day; how things started so well but ended in a hospital ride, potential pre-eclampsia and being rushed to theatre. I remember the incredible Scottish doctor, the calm of her voice even through her heavy accent, the frustration at being 9.5cm, the terror at hearing my baby's heart rate slow and the sudden intense urge to push. Just as the anaesthetist had finished preparing, just as Martin had donned his scrubs, just as the incredible male midwife (oddly also named Martin) held my hand and told me we'd both be fine, Jesse screeched his way into the world, after 4 minutes of intense pushing and with zero pain relief (something I still to this day can not quite believe).
Two years on and I believe everything about your start in life has brought us to this point. Something fundamentally changed when I had you, when I almost didn't have you. Perhaps it was a blend of that realisation plus the mistakes I'd made as a first-time Mum that helped me to push past the insecurities I'd felt before and do what I had to, to trust my own instincts above other's advice. But I can't give myself all the credit, of course it's you too; the most wonderful second child, the calm in the storm, the ying to Archie's yang, you've always slipped into our family seamlessly and we don't know what we'd ever do without you.
We still bed-share, a stark contrast to with Archie who was in his own cot and [mostly] room by the same age but had I known how wonderful it is to sleep each night with a teeny warm body cosied up beside me each night, I would've done things differently. I nurse to sleep at around 7pm and Jesse has just started to drop the evening wake (that would happen like clockwork every single night between 9-10pm for the past 6-8 months). I'd usually either go to bed at that point or nurse back to sleep which never took long, but the fact that Jesse now sleeps pretty much from 7pm - 6/7am is insane!
I stopped worrying about all the 'sleeping through' business a long time ago and simply nursed on demand throughout the night (easy as we bed-share, most of the time I wouldn't fully wake). I never clock-watched, I just did what came naturally and got back to sleep and it worked and there were no tears, no upset, in fact it was all a pretty beautiful journey. There was no definitive date or milestone for when he slept through for the first time because I slept, and half the time I wouldn't wake through him nursing, so I honestly don't know! He just sort of did it when he was ready, something I'd been told would happen but never fully believed.
Jesse has eaten less over the past few months, it appears to be due to the epic task of growing the last of his teeth. He'll always demolish breakfast and usually dinner, but lunches are tricky; he prefers hot meals to cold snacks and finger foods. I now only breastfeed before naps and bedtime, so he'll occasionally have a small cup of cow's milk but mostly tends to drink water. He'll never turn his nose up to an ice lolly or a pack of sweets and adorably pottered over to me this morning with a stray smartie in his mouth to ask permission to whether he was allowed to eat it or not (something Archie is incapable of even now at 4.5, it'd be gone without question if it were his brother!).
Unlike Archie, who was a little slow to pick up speech, Jesse expresses himself a lot and is talking more each day. I think the fact he has an older brother constantly talking to and playing with him has helped immensely as he'll always repeat Archie's sayings and questions. His current favourites are "Choo choo!", "PUR-PLE", "cookie", "Mama look!" and tonnes more I could never hope to remember with foggy morning brain, though yesterday's favourite was "Anny Manny" (Auntie Mandy).