Despite being exhausted and ridiculously thirsty, I was so calm when I heard David’s alarm go off and felt him gently nudge me telling me to wake up. There was such peaceful excitement within knowing that today was the day I would get to meet and carry in my arms the little girl I’d been carrying in my tummy for 9 months. The little girl that kept me up many a night because she never stopped moving, the little girl who got hiccups every single day, gave me terrible varicose veins, and played kickball with my bladder; MY LITTLE GIRL! Monroe’s birth was a scary whirlwind ending in an emergency c-section, so having this birth completely scheduled and planned was such a different experience.
My mom arrived a few days before birth to help with last minute preparations. The day before we dedicated the whole day to Monroe and did all her favorite things. It was officially her last day as an only child and I wanted it to be special. We went to the park for blowing bubbles and flying kites, had ice cream, played on the playground, and drew with chalk. She had the best day!
I don’t know if it was pregnancy hormones or just fear of the unknown, but that night I was so emotional. I’ve rocked Monroe to sleep almost every night in her 2.5 years of life, and that night I cried the entire time. I was an emotional wreck. In fact, I’m crying now just thinking about it. This was the last night of her being my only baby. Come tomorrow morning, she would officially and forever be my big girl. She was the girl that made me a mama; she’s my best friend, my mini me and my sidekick. As excited as she was about her baby sissy, I couldn’t help but feel guilty for taking that ‘only child’ title away from her. How would she react to the new baby? What if she’s jealous? What if she’s mad at me for leaving her for so many nights while I’m in the hospital? What if she doesn’t love her baby sister? These were all the questions racing through my mind as I rocked my only baby to sleep for the last time. I think I rocked her for over an hour after she’d fallen asleep just because I didn’t want to let her go. I finally laid her down, but even then I stayed to hold her hand and watch her sleep for a while longer. My mind raced with questions of the unknown all night which resulted in little sleep on the night I probably needed it most. I had such conflicting thoughts that morning. Excited to meet our newest little one all while so nervous about Monroe’s sweet feelings.
We’d packed the car the night before so we got dressed, brushed our teeth, I snuck one more hug and kiss from my sleeping girl, and we made our way to the hospital. Everything was just so much different and so calm this time. We walked through the front door, took the elevator to floor three and checked in. I walked up to the front desk and simply said, “We’re here to have a baby!” She laughed and took us back to get me washed up and in a gown. I got my IV (which took her 2 times to get in and hurt so badly!!!), we went through my countless list of medicine allergies, my Dr came to check in, then it was just a waiting game to be taken back. They were short staffed that morning with a few scheduled births so we knew it would be a little later than expected. One of the nurses came in and told us that when we heard a baby cry from the next curtain over, we were next. The smile on David’s face all morning was so sweet, he was beaming. He’d officially accepted that he would forever be a ‘girl dad’ and was so excited. We took a few “almost time” selfies for social media, I put on some makeup, we answered some excited texts and then we heard a baby cry.
It was almost time. Here is where the nerves kicked in for me. I knew that all too soon, I would be getting that dreaded spinal block. I thought the epidural was bad last time…that was NOTHING compared to how terrible the spinal block was. Oh my goodness. The nurses had David wait in the hall as they took me back into that cold sterile room and prepared me for the major surgery that was about to happen. They were playing pop music, I can’t remember the song but I know I sang along for a bit. Just one last second of calm before the spinal storm. Fast forward a bit and after what seemed like eternity, they finally brought David into the room with me and they began the procedure. I remember telling my Dr to keep my scar pretty. I told her if she could cut a perfect straight line in an emergency situation last time, she could certainly do it now…and she did.
I started to cry laying on the table. While I knew I was in perfectly capable hands, something about not being able to see what’s going on scares me. I held on to the fact that in just a few minutes I would hear my baby cry and know everything was going to be alright. David was right there the whole time and then I heard Dr. Gopal say, “she’s here and she’s beautiful.” as she popped the baby’s sweet little head over the curtain for me to steal a peek. She was so little, so beautiful, so perfect. They took her over to get her measurements and David joined them. Finally he came back and in his arms was Mikaela Jade, born on May 8th, 2018 at 10:03am. She weighted 7 pounds 14 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. She was so perfectly perfect and we were so happy.
They finished closing me up and it was finally my turn to hold my baby. We headed back to recovery and did skin to skin for about an hour. She didn’t even cry. It was such a precious time. We text our family and a few close friends to tell them the news and send some pictures then sat together ooh-ing and ah-ing over this new life we’d brought into the world. She was just so cute and looked so much like Monroe as a newborn.
Once we got in our room for the rest of our stay, it was time to get Monroe to the hospital to meet her baby sissy. I was so excited to see her that I wasn’t even worried about her reactions anymore. It had felt like forever since I’d hugged her even though it had only been a few hours. They arrived and David met them at the door to catch this sweet moment on video. “Are you ready to see mommy and meet baby sissy?” he asked her and she softly shook her head yes. He opened the door and she immediately came to the bed where I was sitting holding her sister. She touched her hand and said, “That’s my baby sister.” We didn’t have to explain a thing, she knew exactly who she was and instantly loved her. There was no jealousy or sadness, only love for her new baby sister. My mommy heart was happy as all my fears from the night before melted away.
We got gifts for the girls to ‘exchange’ when they met for the first time. From Monroe to Mikaela, a hippo Wubbanub paci and from Mikaela to Monroe, a Hallie Hippo stuffed toy from the show Doc McStuffins. Naturally Monroe lost her’s in the hospital parking lot that night and had a complete meltdown come bedtime when she “couldn’t find her Hallie from baby sissy,” but we quickly ordered a new one via prime and the world was all right again. Monroe came to visit me every single day in the hospital but when she left me every night, it was so hard. Like I said at the start, I’ve rocked my mini me to sleep almost every night since she’s been born. Even though I knew I’d see her the next day, I still hated to watch her walk out of that hospital room each night. Friday morning came and we could finally bust out of the hospital. As expected, our 11am departure turned into closer to 2pm, but we finally got out of there. We arrived home to the sweetest sidewalk chalk welcome and huge running hugs from my big girl. She was just as happy for me to be home as I was.
Come May 1st, baby sissy still didn’t have a first name. We’ve known from the ‘yes’ on the pregnancy test that if it was a girl, her middle name would be Jade after my sister but couldn’t settle on a first. We each had names that we loved (and vetoed each others…HA) and some that we liked but we just couldn’t agree on one. Finally, the weekend before she was born, I asked Monroe what baby sisters name was and she said Mikaela. I’d told Monroe all of our options and that’s the one she said. When David got home that night, I told Monroe to tell him baby sister’s name and she again said Mikaela. We didn’t even discuss at that point. It’s like we both just knew that Mikaela Jade was the one.
Mikaela is almost a month old now and she’s been the best baby, even better than Monroe was and that’s saying something. She sleeps in 5 and 7 hour stretches every night, she eats well, and doesn’t cry all too much. She loves to snuggle with mama and loves to be swaddled. Big sister is doing so well with her and is such a big help. She’s constantly soothing her by giving Mikaela her paci and always wants to hug and kiss her. “I am being gentle, Mommy!” she always says. She calls Mikaela HER baby and loves to tell people, even strangers, that she has a baby sister. I love the relationship they have and while I know it won’t always be perfect, I can’t wait to see how that relationship grows over the next few months and years.
Thank you for all of your kind words and support as we welcomed our new baby into this world. Thank you for sticking with me as I took most of May off to prepare for and then get to know my newborn. I am thankful each day for all of the love and support that I’ve been shown from my Sweet Tea & Style community. I am blessed beyond measure to have two beautiful girls and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect addition than Mikaela Jade. My family is officially complete.