When I was pregnant with my second little lady, people were quick to offer advice or little snippets of their lives as a family with more than one child.
Tales of how my body would not be the same after having two children (it isn't), tales of how tired I would be (I am), and tales of how it is hard work but totally worth it (it is).
I was worried about whether my heart had enough space to accomodate and love another little person so unconditionally, and many people assured me that indeed you would love your new baby just as much. That I shouldn't worry and that you would fall head over heels in love, just like you did with the first.
I found that thought quite unfathomable at first, intriguing almost, but when LL arrived in the world, it hit me. Just like that. In fact perhaps more so because I was more confident as a mother, and less scared of this tiny, seconds old baby that had been placed in my arms.
These women who had walked that journey before me, the journey of a mother to more than one were right about a lot of things.
But there was one thing nobody told me.
Something happened that nobody mentioned, and it hit me like a ton of bricks from the second I heard the little pitter patter of footsteps running down the hospital corridor to meet their new baby sister. The way she ran in, looked straight into the plastic hospital cot and said her sister's name.
I fell even harder in love with my biggest daughter.
I don't know what it is. Maybe it is the fact that having a new baby has made Mads seem much older. She is like a little friend to me now, communicating and interacting, and seeming much wiser than her two and a half years. She's funny, and she makes me laugh every day.
Perhaps it is the presence of a new baby that has made me realise just how special the past two years have been, and how lucky I was to have her all to myself for such a long time. How lucky I have been to have been able to find my feet as a Mama with a really chilled out, happy baby.
Perhaps it is because LL has made me realise how babies are such a blank canvas, ready to be shaped and moulded into tiny little people- and how much my first born daughter is turning into a incredibly kind, caring, affectionate and happy girl.
Perhaps it is just because of the way she is with her little sister, never once being jealous, unkind or out of turn. The way she holds her hand, strokes her ear, asks to go next to her in bed in the mornings, and includes her in everything she does. The way she declares 'You are my best baby ever', and 'I love my little sister'.
Or perhaps it is just because she is Mads.
My first born little lady.
Whatever it is, no one told me I would feel this way. The love I have for her has deepened even further, magnified, and grown all over again since having LL.
I'm more proud of her than ever before and at least once a day she makes me turn to jelly with something she comes out with, says or does.
She's a cheeky monkey, she can have tremendous tantrums, and she leaves mucky handprints all over my cream sofas, but my god I love her.
And that said cheeky monkey has been with us for 2.5 years today. A funny old milestone- still very little, but at the same time careering at a fast pace towards three.
It's been a fabulous 2 and a half years Mads. Thanks for being you.
We all love you very much. xxx