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Is Louis Tomlinson's Baby Fake? The One Direction Star Says No

It's really hard being a parent. Trying to find the right work/life balance after your baby is born, trying to stay connected to your partner, trying to convince social media that your baby is real... wait, huh? Conspiracy theories that Louis Tomlinson's baby was fake have been gaining steam over the last little while. Why would someone pretend to have a baby, you may ask? (I mean, outside soap opera plot twists, that is. It's pretty common on soap operas, but not so much in real life.) That part is still a mystery.

Yet that is exactly the rumor fans have been cultivating over the past year about Louis Tomlinson and his partner, Briana Jungwirth (we're going to go ahead and assume she is real too, ok?). "Babygate", as the conspiracy theory has been so cleverly named, is based on a few different possibilities — one of the most pervasive being that Tomlinson and his fellow One Direction mate Harry Styles are embroiled in a secret love affair. So secret, in fact, that neither Tomlinson or Styles ever admitted to being in love. The bandmates lived together and were friends, so many Directioners assumed the next natural step would be that they were in love, even giving them a new name "Larry", which I don't love, if I'm being honest (too boring).

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Whatever the reason behind the big cover-up, the story goes that One Direction management invented a relationship between Tomlinson and Jungwirth in 2015 and a subsequent pregnancy later that same year. The level of deception Directioners have noted rivals "second shooter on the grassy knoll", JFK assassination-type investigation. It involves manipulating the paparazzi, utilizing one of a friend's twin babies for photo shoots of the supposedly pretend baby, comparative analyses of hairstyles and family members, to name just a few.

Also, at a concert not long after Tomlinson and Jungwirth allegedly began dating, he threw a doll off the stage at a concert while yelling, "It's not real", an act which seemed proof-positive to fans that he was embroiled in a maniacal scheme to create a fake baby.

I mean, you have to give the fans props here. They are dedicated and merciless in their pursuit of "the truth":

It turns out, Tomlinson finally had enough. He took to Instagram on Thursday with a photo of his little boy to shut down rumors that his baby was fake. So, world, get ready to meet the very adorable and VERY REAL Freddie Reign Tomlinson, born Jan, 21, 2016:

Jungwirth beat her man to the punch with a sweet shot of baby Freddie snuggled up on her chest:

Despite my happiness for the young couple and their adorable baby, I have to admit, I'm a little bummed the theories aren't true. It's just... the fans went to all that trouble, you know? And who doesn't love a great conspiracy theory?

Back to the drawing board, Directioners. Better luck next time.