I remember when I first became pregnant with LL, or even when we thought about having another child, I couldn't possibly imagine my heart expanding enough to love another baby as much as I did Mads.
I have a little sister and I always joked to my Mum 'Which of us is your favourite?' Even when I was young, I thought you couldn't possibly love your children exactly the same- surely my Mum sneakily was more fond of me because I was the first born, or had more of a bond with Anna because she was the baby?
I wasn't worried- I knew I would love our new baby more than anything, but there was still a tiny shed of doubt in my mind about the dynamics of having two children.
And of course, the second I held LL for the first time, in fact the second I first heard her cry, just like that my heart expanded and I loved her just as much as her sister.
Mads is my 'big girl' and LL is my 'baby girl'.
But it is hard to describe the love I feel for my little ladies, and in a way it is different, yet at the same time it is totally the same.
Mads is my first born and I had two years of her being our everything. I nervously watched her grow and achieve her milestones, and I consulted 'Dr Google', my Mum and friends to make sure I was doing a good job. She is growing into a cheeky, wonderful little girl and I couldn't be any more proud of her. In a way my love for her has grown even more since LL came along as she is so affectionate and caring towards her sister. She is just incredible.
But LL...well she's my baby. And I am 99% sure she is our last baby.
I feel more confident as a Mummy. Of course I worry about her, I take her temperature far more often than I need too, and I wake up in the night to check she is breathing. I still consult Dr Google. But I feel like I know that I am doing a good job this time around. After all, her sister is turning into a lovely little person.
I am more relaxed, as a mother, and about routine. She still sleeps downstairs with us in the evening, and I am in no hurry to stop our evening snuggles. She doesn't go in her moses basket for nap times, instead snuggling next to me on the sofa or in my arms. I have probably made a rod for my own back for the future but at the moment she is a very chilled out baby.
I am relishing every single cuddle, feed and smile. With Mads I had the luxury of being able to do that all day long, but with LL I obviously have Mads to look after now too.
For some reason it makes those little moments even more special.
A lot of the time life revolves around Mads, she is more demanding of our attention, and we cater to her needs at the moment. I will put LL on the sofa and realise that I haven't even looked at her for 10 minutes. But when I do catch her eye she gives me the biggest smile as if to say 'I am here Mummy and I am ok.' And that smile just gives me shivers, she really smiles with her eyes.
I can't really explain it but this added confidence, these snatched special moments, and the fact that she is more than likely going to be the final baby in our family, means that I am finding this stage just so intense and incredible. My heart aches for her and I cannot explain the way she has completed our family.
With Mads, I was more than happy to express milk so my Mum could have her while we went out occasionally, and I loved that she was so independent and went to anyone. It made me proud that I had a chilled out, relaxed, independent baby. But with LL, I just want her close to me. I want to enjoy every milk coma cuddle, every sleepy stretch and every gummy smile.
She may be a very tiny little person but she has filled a very BIG role.
She has made our family complete and stolen the remainder of my heart. She has created love and emotions I didn't even know existed, and I certainly didn't think I would feel.
She is my gorgeous, smiley, chilled out little lady. The little sister to my beautiful big girl.
She's my baby. And she's the missing piece.
And that makes her very special indeed.