I remember when Jude was born, I thought, “I don’t want another baby. Ever. How could I ever love another baby as much as I love him?” Soon enough, even though that fear of not having enough love to give was still present, it wasn’t enough to stop me from wanting another baby. Jude was around six months when I started wanting another one. Chris and I always talked about having at least two babies, and possibly three. It was just a matter of when. As much as I loved the idea of another baby when Jude was six months old, I knew it would be way too hard to have another one so soon, so we waited.
On Christmas Eve of 2011, about three weeks after Jude and I returned home from a visit to America to see the family, I took a pregnancy test for the heck of it. I thought it would be incredible if my test came out positive on Christmas Eve, but I didn’t really think it would as I had taken one just a few days before and it was negative. We were Skyping with my family and I excused myself to the bathroom without telling them what I was doing. I told Chris it was positive, but he could already tell from my ecstatic face. Then we got everyone’s attention on webcam (they were excitedly opening Christmas gifts so couldn’t hear us) and announced that I was pregnant and everybody was very happy for us. We got the best Christmas gift ever!
As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I instantly loved the little baby growing inside of me. The excitement I felt for this pregnancy was the same excitement I felt when I was pregnant with Jude. I no longer had that fear of not being able to love a second baby as much as I loved Jude. My heart grew to make room for both of them.
On February 9, 2012, we got to hear our baby’s heart beat for the first time and we learned that our official due date was August 30, 2012. The baby looked great, but I was sick as a dog. As much as I loved how I felt during my pregnancy with Jude, I hated how I felt during this pregnancy. Morning sickness…scratch that…all day sickness (!) kicked in pretty much right away. I can probably count on both hands the number of days I didn’t throw up during the whole nine months. The only thing that alleviated my nausea even the tiniest bit was french fries (healthy, right?) and the smell of burning matches. I was so sick during this pregnancy that by the time I gave birth, I had lost 50 pounds.
Chris and I said all along that we didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl. We both thought it would be awesome to have a girl so we could have one of each, but we also thought of how fun it could be to raise two boys. We were so impatient, we decided to go get a special gender ultrasound at a private facility while my mom was visiting in March that year. The first time we went, they couldn’t tell at all because the cord was between the baby’s legs. They let us come back a second time for free, and although they couldn’t tell for sure at that one either, they said they were about 80% sure it was a girl.
In April we had a routine developmental ultrasound at the hospital. They couldn’t say if it was a boy or girl either, and they also couldn’t see the heart and stomach as well as they would have liked, so they scheduled another ultrasound for me for two weeks after that. I was 22 weeks along during the second ultrasound and they were able to tell on that one that everything looked great and as it should. Still no confirmation of boy or girl. We were pretty much counting on the fact that it was a girl at this point and we were amused that she wasn’t letting anyone know for sure what she was.
In May I had my routine glucose tolerance test to make sure I didn’t have gestational diabetes. I didn’t have gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Jude, but unfortunately, I had it this time. I had to take insulin three times a day and luckily, this controlled it very well. Another appointment we had in May was for a 4D ultrasound at another private facility so we could get a good look at our baby. They were able to tell us there that 100% we were having a girl! We were thrilled. She instantly became little Melody Isobel. In June I had another routine ultrasound at the hospital. This time they wanted to monitor her size because of my gestational diabetes. By the time all was said and done, I had 7 ultrasounds during this pregnancy!
As Melody’s due date neared, we prepared for her arrival in all the usual ways. We didn’t want Jude to feel neglected while we were so busy with the new baby, so we took time out to make him feel special and loved. Jude knew there was a baby in mummy’s belly, but I don’t think he fully understood what that meant. He painted a onesie for the baby and he was very excited about that. He used to kiss my belly to tell Melody goodnight when he was going to bed. He was sweet as could be!
After much reading and thinking, I decided to have an elective c-section with Melody. With my weight, gestational diabetes, and the fact that I had had an emergency c-section with Jude, it felt too risky to have a VBAC. We went to the hospital early in the morning on August 21, 2012, which also happened to be our third wedding anniversary. It was much different going in for a planned c-section rather than an emergency one. I was so much calmer than when I was rushed back to have Jude. They got me all prepped and numbed, then Chris got to come into the operating room.
The light for the surgeon to see by was tilted in such a way that I was able to see what they were doing. Some people might be grossed out by that, but I thought it was incredibly amazing to be able to see my daughter’s birth that way. I’ll never forget that. At 11:31 AM Melody Isobel was born. She weighed 4 pounds and 12 ounces and was unbelievably tiny and adorable. The first thing I remember saying when they brought her over to us was, “She looks like Jude!”, which is funny because I don’t think she looks much like him anymore. Chris and I were blubbering messes just like we were with Jude. They actually let me hold her while I was still being operated on. Chris helped me so she wouldn’t be in any danger of falling, but she weighed so little and was so tiny that they laid her on my chest and I was able to look at her, talk to her, and rub and kiss her little cheek. She stared at me in wonder and was calm as could be. She’s been pretty calm ever since.
Something that I should have been told about by my midwife and wasn’t, is that I had low iron. That, coupled with the blood I lost during the surgery, meant I needed a blood transfusion. I had a rough recovery after Melody’s birth, but after several months of being on medication, my iron levels were back to normal and I was finally feeling like myself again. She was totally worth it!
This little girl came into our lives and changed them forever. She’s been a ray of sunshine since she’s been born and I know she’ll continue to be. Jude loves his little sister immensely, and she loves him too. I’ve honestly never seen a happier baby than Melody and we are always getting comments from people about how cheerful she is. I thank God for both of my babies and I know I’ve said it before, but I really can’t believe I’m blessed enough to be their Mummy. When Melody was born, Chris and I both felt like our family was complete and we still feel that way, it’s an awesome feeling! Happy first birthday, Melody. I love you, gorgeous girl!