zoey's birth story

I should probably preface this by saying when I was pregnant I was very, very afraid. Of everything. Like, not healthy, not normal, often times ridiculous amounts of fear. I became a different person. I am writing this to remind pregnant-mel-in-the-future NOT to be so afraid. I'm also writing it in past-tense because I am praying, growing and learning how to be less afraid. Also to add to that, I got very huge. Like almost 200 pounds huge. I ate my nervs and found food as my escape, to push down the fear and hope that by eating I would feel better. That didn't work, but I did enjoy lots of good food along the way.

Before I got pregnant with Zoey I had had what looked like the an ectopic pregnancy. We're still not sure what happened other than I had a positive pregnancy test, was spotting lightly and yet no little one in the uterus. I hadn't even missed my period yet and my hcg levels were really low and whatever was going on, my levels weren't high enough for a viable pregnancy. To be honest, it was more scary than sad and after lots of fearful nights I was so relieved when it was over. I was sad, but I knew the process (having had a miscarriage before Jack) and just wanted to crawl deep into my bed for the next three months until we could try again.

But I couldn't do that because I had this adorable, lively one year old who kept me dancing around the house and took me for long walks around the neighborhood. I'd look at him and hear Jesus reminding me, "see, mel, your body is capable of doing it. I've done it once before and I'll do it again. This just wasn't My timing." I was filled with hope, but also fear that what if it happens again? Who knows God's timing? I sure don't. But I chose to trust and push aside feelings of bitterness towards Him and envy of other moms that were able to get pregnant and stay pregnant. I begged Him to keep me from being angry; at Him, at life, and at just the affects of the fall.

So, three months later we tried again and walla. Before I had even missed a period I got sick. Like seriously sick. Like an ear infection (as a 27 year old? What?) and a horrible sinus infection. My sister was graduating high school and so I went to Phoenix with Jack and could hardly hear, breath or keep food down. It was miserable. But my brother was in town and I couldn't miss seeing him. He had just told me a few days before that his wife was pregnant and just an hour before I had take a pregnancy test and that awesome and terrifying word came up right away. Andy and I daydreamed about our kids being pals while I secretly feared losing our little one. (well, not so secretly, who am I kidding? I was walking fear, ya'll.)

My sister's graduation weekend left me feeling energized from being with family, but feeling so sick. I had high hopes about this pregnancy.

And our little girl stuck. She was a fighter and my incredible doctor let me get an ultrasound whenever I was feeling scared. I spotted one morning and thought for sure it was over, but there she was, her little heart beating away (at a higher speed, which is a good sign for a girl.) Once we hit the second trimester I was relieved, but tried not to get my hopes up too high that it would be a girl. I love boys and wouldn't mind having all boys, but I think every mom has this secret hope that she's going to have a girl.

We spent the summer laying low. I felt so sick and fought off everything that was going around. I enjoyed our Jackboy, but spent a lot of days afraid of of what could happen or might happen. I look back and wish I had enjoyed that summer, nausea and all, and rested in the peace that Jesus brings. I wish I had let Him shower me with that peace.

 When I lay on that table for the ultrasound I had prepared myself for the worst. For something to be wrong or even her heart to not be beating (this sounds morbid writing it, but it is so true.) But there she was, transverse even at that size and looking as cute as ever. Our sweet baby girl. John was so surprised  and delighted. I was so excited and scared all at the same time. How could I raise a girl? How could I be a good mom? Boys are awesome, but need a little bit less from their mama's. But a girl? Who was going to teach her how to be brave and strong and care more about hearts than appearances and...who me? That was my job? I was so scared. But a good kind of scared.

So we celebrated Jack's second birthday and Thanksgiving and Christmas. With each Holiday I enjoyed more and more food, haha. But I savored it!

And I was already huge and still had one more month to go! I was scared of how big I would get and at that point I was having a hard time restraining my eating--I was more nervous than ever. Speaking to future Mel here: REMEMBER THIS! Drink water, go for a walk, but do not worry-eat. It gets us nowhere.

and a cute one of little two-year-old Jack and his "favorite car"

Also I should say that I was a nervous spender and the month of January was rough. I wanted to be prepared and spent way too much on extra things "just in case" and so that I could be a hermit for those first few months. Note to future Mel: YOU ARE NOT A HERMIT. You love to get out and NEED those breaks and seeing friends. Or just a quick stop at the store.


I went to a Dr. appointment on Monday, Jan. 31 and I was not in active labor. I was maybe 2cm and her head was still bobbing around when the Dr. checked me. I should not have been so insistant on going into labor, but I was ready/afraid and so she stripped my membranes, again. This time around I was planning on doing whatever the Doc told me. She was working that next day and wanted to be around when the baby was born. Looking back, I should have waited. I should have prayed for strength, walked more and just rested in His timing. But, the past is the past and I don't regret a second of those hours before Zoey was born.

We went to the hospital around 7:30 Tuesday night and were checked in about a half hour later. I was barely a 3 and the nurse was annoyed. My doctor came in, gave me the go ahead and got me checked in (She really is an awesome Doctor) But the nurse was again, a little mad, haha.

We got checked in, walked the halls, got through contractions and even watched a little TV. It was getting late and we were both tired. My Dr. mentioned she might want to give me a little bit of pitocin and I said okay. But FIRST, the epidural. So around 11 the anesthesiologist arrived. I was shaking and so scared I would be forever paralyzed or something. He asked me to tell him when I felt a lightning strike or something. I did, which was scary, and before I knew it my legs felt like heavy logs and the pain was just a mere pressure. When it started to arise I asked to have the button pushed a little and it. was. awesome. 

Seriously, incredible.

Jack's birth was magical and memorable because he was my first born and because I felt every single thing, but this was just as memorable and magical because I felt no pain so I had room to feel (I'm a big feeler) the anticipation of meeting our little one and what I would do and say when they placed her in my arms. I was so excited and could barely sleep from the excitement.

A couple of hours later my Doc said I was at a 10 and ready to push (this was after she broke my water.) It went so fast. After my first push I reminded my awesome nurse about the camera so she could snap some pictures. THAT'S how alert I was and how little of pain I was in, still in awe and still in shock. Thank you, Jesus!

And then, after a couple of pushes that I couldn't really feel, out came this beautiful, dark haired, tiny little ball of love. All 6 pounds and 14 ounces of her. 

"What?! Weigh her again, please!" I joked and cuddled my brand new miracle. 

The life we prayed for and trusted would come in His timing, Zoey Evelyn.

And life she was, right from the beginning. Her dark blue eyes starred at me and into my soul. I felt like I was looking back at an old friend, an old pal that had shared jokes and tears together. Here she was, my daughter, my little girl and so real.

The nurse reminded me to get her to cry because she had some fluid in her lungs. She coughed a bit and then cuddled back up, closing her tiny little eyes.

note to future Mel: please do not wear dark purple nail polish when you are giving birth. not too cute.

 That moment was so wonderful and perfect. Just like I had imagined, but had let fear steal away. Seeing a healthy baby seemed to bring a flood over my fears. I thank Jesus for our little miracle and that every life is so precious. I was afraid to hope, afraid to believe that God's grace and mercy could be so real. I pray that doesn't happen again.

Our Zoey brings so much life to our family. The recovery went well and the weight too, with special help from Weight Watchers. 

She has brought life to our dinner table, our evenings together and to her brother. They are little pals and she has brought out the brightness of Jack's empathy and protection for his little sister. I can't wait to see them sharing a bunk bed and telling stories into the night.


Thank you for bringing life into our world once again. Ever since you were born you had such an easy going nature. You nursed well and long and were plenty patience on learning how. You are such a fun little person and I can't wait to see who you become and how God uses and develops you. I pray you choose life in Him and walk close to Him each day.

I love you, birdie. I love you so much.


I'm off to pay attention to the little girl at my side who wants my water bottle.

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