On September 9th, 2016, our family was completed. We welcomed our new baby girl, Melody, into the world. And as Harrison, our three-year-old, kept saying, “We’re all here!”
So here is Melody’s official birth story. If you want the short version, she was born at 10:39am, on September 9th, 2016. She was 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and 20 inches long. She has light blonde hair and blue eyes, and she’s just perfect. Want the long version? Read on!
I told Daniel I was pregnant at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The kids were in bed, and we went out in the backyard with some sparkling cider to toast the new year (we can see the city fireworks from there). He knows that I like to choose a word for the year, and I like it to be the first word I say in the new year. We had been trying for about 6 months to get pregnant, and I had found out the day before that we were successful!
Actually, to back up briefly… I had taken a pregnancy test as early as possible, and when I looked down at it on the counter, I didn’t see a “positive” line. I kind of shrugged and thought to myself, “That’s what I figured,” because I had been getting several months worth of negative tests and was getting a little discouraged. But then I went to pick up the test to throw it away, and I noticed the faintest of pink “positive” lines! So it was straight to Google to see if a faint line was a good indicator. I found out that a faint line meant that I was almost definitely pregnant. So I went to the store and bought three different pregnancy tests, and over the next two days got a stronger positive result on all of them. Baby was coming!
I had planned on telling Daniel a different way that I was pregnant (here’s how I told him about the other kids), but after midnight struck, I decided it was a good time to tell him. So when he asked my word, I looked up at him and said, “Baby.” He kind of laughed and then I said, “No, we are having a baby. I’m pregnant.”
He was excited of course. We both wanted a girl, to even out our two boys and one girl, and halfway into the pregnancy an ultrasound confirmed that she was, indeed, a girl! So we were thrilled.
For this pregnancy I had to get on a new insurance plan, and long story short, it meant I had to drive into Phoenix (about 45 minutes each way, and super slow during rush hour) for every appointment, and to have the baby. It was a lot of back and forth, but we knew it would just be temporary, so it was okay.
At my 39 week appointment, I scheduled an induction. I was fine with going full term to my due date, but I did not want to go more than a day or two beyond that. My due date was September 10th, and they scheduled me to go into the hospital at midnight the night of September 11th/morning of September 12th. But none of that ended up happening! I finally had a baby come (one day) early!
The night of September 7th/8th, I was up all night long with contractions. I considered heading into the hospital, but the contractions (while regular) didn’t get more painful, and it just didn’t feel right to go in. So I figured I’d wait until morning, get the kids to school, and then see how I felt. I had contractions right up until about 9am, and then they stopped. We were hoping that I’d have to call Daniel during the day at school to come take me to the hospital, because his students knew we were having a baby any day, and they were excited for that to happen.
But no contractions the rest of the day. In the afternoon, Daniel had an online conference, so I took the kids to the playground, and before we left, we walked around the lake at the park, which was maybe about 1/3 of a mile. Then we headed home.
TMI WARNING- skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to hear it!
Later that afternoon I lost my mucus plug, which I have heard about before, but never noticed losing with my three previous pregnancies. But it definitely happened with this one! With the previous night’s contractions, and this new development, I figured that there was a good chance labor was imminent!
Sure enough, I woke up around 1am with contractions and started timing them. They were regular and got progressively more intense, so at 3am I woke Daniel up and said it’s time! We were all packed, and he jumped right out of bed, and I texted my mom and told her to come. She got to our house about 3:30, and we were off to the hospital!
I kept timing contractions the whole way. They were pretty textbook- about a minute long and five minutes apart, although I had a few periods of time when they would be closer together, like 2-3 minutes apart, but shorter, about 30 seconds long.
When we got to the hospital, I felt okay enough for us to park in the parking garage and walk over to labor and delivery, rather than parking in the smaller, emergency area. We went to the main desk where they put me in a wheelchair and whisked us over to labor and delivery, where we took the elevator to the fifth floor, where OB triage was.
They took me back, and I changed, and by then contractions were getting pretty difficult. I had someone taking information, someone taking blood, someone checking my progress (um ow), and Daniel just holding my hand and talking me through the contractions! Finally they wheeled my bed to a room and called for the anesthesiologist. The nurse told me she wasn’t going to check me again, because she was worried I was fully dilated, and if that was the case, they couldn’t do an epidural. At this point I was in so much pain that that sounded pretty horrible, so I was like, okay then don’t check me!
Luckily the anesthesiologist came quickly, and by maybe 5 or 5:30am I was able to relax!
“Relax” is a relative term of course, when you’re in labor. We tried to doze a little bit for the next few hours, and we watched some television. We were both excited when it was 7am, because that’s when Daniel’s students realized that they had a sub, and they knew immediately what that meant! So there was excited messaging back and forth (he has some message groups with his student leaders), and we promised to keep them updated.
The rest of labor was uneventful. I think at one point I asked for a top off on the epidural, because it started to hurt on my right side. Of course, that meant that the left side basically became like stone. About 10 or so, the doctor came in to see me, and it just so happened that it was my favorite doctor that I had seen during my pregnancy. I only saw her once, but I really liked her. She took a look and noticed that it was about time to push, and my water still had not broken yet. She also thought it looked like there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, which had not happened with my other kids. Because of that reason, they called the NICU nurses to be there when the baby was born, just in case she needed some extra attention.
At about 10:30 it was time to push, and Melody was born at 10:39! She was covered in meconium, so after a quick “hello” and a cuddle, they asked if I wanted them to take her and clean her up…which I did! She was brought back soon, and we got to see how cute and sweet she was.
She was 9 pounds, 1 ounce, which is the same as Carter, my first baby! She was an inch shorter, at 20 inches. Everything seemed fine, and there were no complications in the next days and weeks either.
We spent the rest of the day together with our new baby, and my parents brought her three older siblings to visit after school. They loved their little sister!
It was a restless night, but I didn’t care because I was just in love with my new baby girl. The next day was busy, with doctors coming by, hearing tests, and Melody’s first bath (which she did NOT enjoy). In the mid-afternoon they officially discharged us. I would have liked to stay the rest of the day and another night, but there wasn’t really any reason to, so we headed home!
And that’s the long story. Melody is 8 weeks old now and sleeping next to me as I write this, and she is just perfect. We are so in love with her and, as I like to say, she completes our “family song.” Cause…you know… “Melody.”
So here we are, a family of six, two boys and two girls, and infinitely blessed. We were showered with love and gifts from our friends and family, and we’ve had so much fun showing her off. I personally have been doing my best to savor every moment, every funny baby face, every kiss of her forehead, every smell of her head, because this is my last baby and time flies so quickly.
We love you baby girl! “A pretty girl…is like a melody…”
Here are some of my other favorite pics from her first few weeks. Also check out her official newborn photo shoot with Melissa Donaldson Photography!