My new niece is well and happy and breastfeeding beautifully. Cheryl is also well – lacking in sleep, but otherwise unscathed by the long labour. And my brother seems to be taking it all in stride. I’m very excited; they’re matter-of-fact.

I seem to remember being rather matter-of-fact myself – you have an enormous responsibility and you have no choice but to get on with it, so you do. But, for this first family baby since my baby, I’m thoroughly enthused. Listening to Steven’s descriptions of the labour and delivery, and of the new baby, took me vividly back to my own pregnancy and delivery. It’s such an intense, miraculous experience, so fraught and at the same time so ordinary. I’m not sure that we’ll be having another baby ourselves (the sheer exhaustion caused by the first few months gives me pause), but I’m wistful about the wonder of being pregnant and giving birth and meeting a newborn for the first time. I felt like I was doing big important work and I enjoyed it, even though the first half of my pregnancy wasn’t the easiest.

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