On this day a year ago at exactly 12.52pm there was a gurgling cry and a little person arrived into the world. Nothing can explain the relief of that first cry, of hearing your baby for the first time. Those nine long months of waiting, wondering what they will look like, and whether they will be born safely. Trying to imagine their face, their little fingers clasping yours, and what they will look like dressed in that first outfit that you spent ages choosing.
Nine months of a tummy growing bigger...
Until this day a year ago when we became a four...
And the first time you hold them, it's a feeling that is so hard to even comprehend. The rush of emotions- the intense love, the fear, the adrenaline, and the realisation that life will never ever be the same again.
On this day a year ago a little person stole my heart. Throughout my pregnancy with her, I felt her kick and wriggle non stop, so active unlike her big sister who rarely kicked and who had to be monitored weekly at the hospital as she didn't move much. I used to lie in the bath and see my whole bump move and I would lie awake at night while she turned somersaults in my stomach.
I could certainly feel her presence but I couldn't imagine it. Being a three seemed to work for us, we both loved Mads so much we couldn't possibly imagine feeling the same intense love. I couldn't quite get my head around being a mum to more than one child or the logistics of having two children. I just couldn't imagine being a four.
But I need not have worried.
On this day a year ago a little person completed our family. From the second I first saw her I knew my worries were ridiculous. We all fell head over heels in love with her. I witnessed the most magical thing when her big sister met her for the first time. She was only 26 months but was so incredibly gentle, stroking her face and say 'Baby' over and over again. From that day on they have been the best of friends and watching them grow close has been the best thing I have ever experienced.
And now 365 days later my beautiful newborn daughter is no longer a little baby but not quite a toddler. She is just on the cusp of learning- learning to walk, learning to talk and learning lots of other new skills. But for the moment she is still very much my baby, she's in no hurry to reach the milestones unlike her sister, and that suits me just fine. Mr E always says she seems so much smaller, we don't know why but she still seems so teeny to us.
It's been a wonderful year with our LL. She is a quiet, cheerful little girl, with big blue eyes that sparkle and dance. She has a smile that lights up her whole face and she loves nothing more than to cuddle. She will cuddle and bury her face into anyone- her Daddy, her sister and any stuffed toy that is within reach. But her most special snuggles are reserved for me, her Mummy. She is a Mummy's girl through and through, and is never happier than when she is with me. Mads has always been a Daddy's girl so I am relishing this intense bond we share.
With Mads it was all new. We were learning as we went along, figuring it out together. With LL I have felt more confident, knowing that the baby stage passes so quickly and that there isn't a rule book for doing it right. She came into our bed from 4am most mornings for months, co-sleeping with me, her little body moulded against mine, and she napped on the sofa until at least 8 months. Whereas her big sister was always the best sleeper, it took LL a little longer to realise how good snoozing is. Now she is just wonderful, sleeping from 7 until at least 7 in the morning, with a long nap in the afternoons too. And there is a little part of me that misses those early morning sleepy cuddles together.
She is a lot quieter than her sister, happy watching the world and taking it all in. We used to joke that we forgot she was there when we went out for the day, she would happily sit in her buggy or in a highchair while we attended to her noisy hyperactive sister. Nowadays there are some glimmers of feistiness emerging- she will have a mini loop out if someone has some food and she wants it, and if Mads tries to cuddle her when she isn't in the mood she will push her away. This normally results in uncontrollable laughter from the pair of them.
I could literally write about her non stop, but to be honest my words just don't do her justice. She's made this the best year of all our lives so far, has completed our family, and made me a mother to not one, but two incredible little ladies. I feel so lucky to be able to call both these girl's my daughters.
And now my littlest daughter is one. It's been a super fast year, and those newborn days feel a long time ago. I wish I could bottle up the memories so I could relive them again and again- the announcement video we made after our 12 week scan feels like a whole lifetime ago, and I am so glad I am recording all our family milestones on this blog. Being a mother has made me realise just how fleeting time is.
No doubt there will be a few emotional moments today, and a few teary eyes as we celebrate LL's first birthday quietly together. But while I am feeling sentimental and a little sad that we are saying goodbye to her baby days, I am excited to see all the stages that will come.
As the song says on the little video I made for her birthday,
'Forever is better with you.'
And that couldn't be a truer statement.
Thank you for being ours, we love you darling LL.
Happy First Birthday.
Mummy, Daddy and Mads.