melissa anne charbonneau

     Birthday: March 10, 2008 @ 5:57PM EST
Due Date: March 23, 2008
Weight: 7 pounds, 3 ounces
Height: 21 inches
Hair color: dark brown / black
Eye color: dark blue
Name: Melissa Anne Charbonneau
Nicknames: "Spud" (before she was born) and "Baby Bee"

Melissa's 1st Year

Lilypie 2nd Birthday Ticker

Melissa's Name
James and I, once again, made lists of our favorite names and Melissa appeared on both lists, but we didn't have much time to discuss the names because of the moves, chasing a 2-year-old AND Melissa decided to come two weeks early. We just made it under the deadline because we had just "decided" two days before she was born! Because we didn't know if "Spud" was a boy or a girl, we had to pick out two sets of names. Why are boys names so much easier?

MELISSA Greek: Honeybee; a mythological Greek nymph who fed honey to the infant god Zeus and was later transformed into a bee. Melissa is my middle name, although she is not named for me. Her nickname is Lissa.

ANNE English. Graceful; a variant of Hannah introduced to Britian in the thirteenth century. Ann is the middle name of her maternal Grandmother, the middle name of Rebecca's Godmother and the heroine of the Anne of Green Gables series of books by Canadian authoress Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Melissa's Horoscope
If you were born on Monday, 10 March, 2008 (PISCES):

"Monday's child is fair of face."

Your personal ruling planets are Neptune and Sun.

You possess great creative potential and charisma and enhance your appearance by selecting the finest attire to make an impression on others. A born leader, people look up to you, but take care not to abuse the positions of respect and authority that will be invested in you.

Who would think that you have such a deeply soul searching nature - but you do - and it is precisely that inner vision that will be the basis for some of your greatest achievements.

Health issues relating to yourself or family members may also be a catalyst for spiritual growth at different times of your life. You are highly sensitive, compassionate and love romance in all its forms.

Your lucky colors are copper and gold.

Your lucky gem is Ruby.

Your lucky days of the week are Sunday, Monday and Thursday.

Your lucky numbers and years of important change are 1, 10, 19, 28, 37, 46, 55, 64,73 and 82.

Famous people born on your birthday include Barry Fitzgerald, A. Honegger, Chuck Norris, Sharon Stone, Neneh Cherry and Shannon Miller.

When We Found Out We Were Pregnant
The week James and I found out we were pregnant, we were interviewing real estate agents to help us sell our house. We had interviews every night and that Saturday and things were very hectic. I knew that I was late, but I wasn't "feeling" pregnant yet and because we were so busy with getting the house ready for the market, it was easy for us to delay taking the pregnancy test. Once we did, however, James delivered the news just like he did with Rebecca and we were anxiously counting the weeks to our first ultrasound appointment.

Our Initial Reaction to The News
Overwhelming joy, shock and apprehension. We were so excited and happy to be blessed with a second pregnancy, but were very anxious about the health of our baby and me given the circumstances surrounding Rebecca's birth.

First Trimester
James, Rebecca and I couldn't wait for the first trimester to be over. I was so sick this time with Melissa and I was having a terrible time with all of the usual smells and foods. In addition to actually being sick, I also started having migraine headaches around week 11 and from then through the end of the second trimester, I had a debilitating headache at least once a week. It was rough. To make matters more interesting, we had our house on the market and were showing it at the last minute all the time so I couldn't stop to be sick - I was constantly on the move between Rebecca (who was 2/2.5) and keeping the house show ready.

First Heartbeat
Melissa's first heartbeat was detected by Dr. Bernstein on Thursday, August 30.

Ultrasound Photos

10 weeks / 10w6d

10 weeks / 10w6d

13 weeks / 13w3d

13 weeks / 13w3d

Second Trimester
Crazy! Did you know that Melissa had several homes and was actually homeless for a time during the second trimester? Not only did we sell our house and move, we also had the holidays, too! The pregancy was going very well, I was starting to manage my headaches better and Melissa provided constant reassurance when she started moving early... and kept moving! She was so active!

Boy or Girl?
Yes, we wanted to know, but Melissa wasn't about to tell us. She was breech all the way up to the 33rd week. Everyone was guessing that she might be a boy because the pregnancy was so different this time.

Ultrasound Photos

18 weeks / 18w3d

18 weeks / 18w23

22 weeks / 22w3d

22 weeks / 22w3d

Third Trimester

01.28.08 :: Inside of the Delivery Window
   I can't believe that we are officially inside of the delivery window! Yesterday we had our 32 week "Spud Check" with Dr. Kramer. Spud is developing well and is already at 4.5 lbs! At about 1/2 a pound per week from here on out, Spud should be in the same ballpark as Rebecca 7.5 to 8.5 lbs. Spud is still breech but has moved from "Indian-style" to "Rockette" or "Karate Kid". We couldn't get any good pictures because Spud had both a hand and a foot up by his/her face for most of the exam. They even tried
to get some of those cool 4-D ones for us, but no luck. We'll have an appointment with Dr. Berenstein on Thursday and another with Dr. Kramer again this coming Monday. Maybe we'll have some good pictures then, but for now, you can click here to see larger ones of the two we have.

Want more Spud? Here is some more info:
  • Spud is in week 32.
  • Spud is estimated at 4.5 lbs; delivery weight estimated at 7.5 - 8.5 lbs.
  • Spud's heart rate is at 142.
  • All organs are great, but detected a heart murmur that will likely go away on its own. Rebecca had a
          murmur that wasn't detected until she was 2 weeks old and then quickly went away by itself.
  • We still don't know Spud's gender - and won't until he/she is born...SURPRISE!
  • Spud will likely be born on Wednesday, 3/19/08 or Saturday, 3/22/08 - sorry, this does throw a
          wrench into the whole Easter thing.
  • Spud is still an ACTIVE baby of mystery - this kid is not only a kicker, but a whole body roller. I
          imagine him/her on a sit-n-spin because that is the kind of movement I'm feeling.
  • Spud is incredibly flexible - try holding one of your hands and a foot to your face at once!
  • I'm doing very well - there's no indication at this time that I won't be able to make it full term.
  • Next appointments are Thursday, 1/31 w/ Dr. Berenstein and Monday, 2/4 w/ Dr. Kramer.

  • 02.04.08 :: Officially on "Spud Watch" - 1st Update
    On James's 32nd birthday this past Saturday, we entered into week 33 with some anxious thoughts for what the week would hold. I am very pleased to report that we had an excellent exam with Dr. Kramer this afternoon! Here are the details (and these will have to do because we don't have any photos from this week's ultrasound):
  • THE MURMUR IS GONE (we go back in 1 week just to check) - thanks to one week off of the caffine.
          Sadly, I still got a headache last Thursday, but if the baby is healthy, then it is totally worth it.
          Unfortunately, I'm back to having to use the Tylenol 3 (that's prescription strength Tylenol w/
          Codine) when I feel one coming on. I just wish the Codine didn't make me so nauseated!
  • Spud is finally HEAD DOWN and in the birthing position! Spud is facing towards my back, so we didn't
          have a chance to see the face today.
  • Spud has a lot of HAIR - LOTS OF HAIR on HIS/HER HEAD... but then Rebecca wasn't a baldy
          either. It is kind of crazy actually seeing the baby's hair during an ultrasound!
  • Today, Spud is 33wks, 3 days.
  • Spud's heart rate is 138.
  • Spud is still very active.
  • I'm still doing well - say a prayer that I won't have any more migraines!
  • Next appointments are Monday, 2/11 w/ Dr. Kramer (anatomy scan & checking for murmur - wk 34);
         Thursday, 2/14 w/ Dr. Berenstein (regular OB check up - wk 34) and Monday, 2/25 w/ Dr. Kramer
          (full anatomy scan of Spud and me - wk 36).

  • 02.11.08 :: "Spud Watch" - 2nd Update
    34 weeks, 3 days... I am feeling pretty pregnant now and I have firmly entered into that time of the pregnancy when you (and your partner) aren't sleeping very well. Last night I decided to count: 2 times for the bathroom, 2 times kicked awake, 3 times hard to fall back to sleep because of kicking and 11 times just to roll over.

    We had our latest exam @ the perinatal specialist today to check the heart one more time to see if the murmur was gone and to check out Spud and my progress. The murmur was still gone and we are both doing very well. Spud is still head down and in what was described as the "perfect" position for birth - although he/she is still sitting high in my pelvis. We also tried to get some more of those cool 4-D photos today, but Spud's nose was just too close to the placenta to make a good photo. Rebecca and I did see the baby's face (even with the smooshed nose) and it was VERY cool! We go back on 2/25 (36 weeks) for another ultrasound and on 2/14 to see Dr. Berenstein.

    02.28.08 :: "Spud Watch" - 3rd Update
      As I sit here typing this, I can feel little Spud squirming all over the place. One thing is for certain - this kid is active. I'm beginning to wonder if Spud will be a good sleeper, or if he/she will be awake for most of the day.

    We've had at least one doctor's appointment every week since I last updated the site, but we've just been so busy with the move that I haven't even had a chance to scan in the photos from earlier in the month.
    Luckily everything is fine - both of us are doing well and very healthy. I couldn't be happier - I just can't believe that we are already here! This pregnancy seems to have flown by!

    Today we are 36 weeks, 6 days. Spud is estimated at around 6.5 lbs, so with a little over 2.5 weeks to go, the baby will likely be just shy of 8 lbs. Spud's arrhythmia is also gone and his/her heart is beating beautifully. Needless to say, I can't wait to have a piece of chocolate again!

    At today's appointment, Dr. B. and I scheduled the c-section for Wednesday, March 19th at 9:30am (unless I go into labor sooner). Keep your fingers crossed that Spud will wait! :)

    As I am re-reading this... I am thinking that I must have had some intuition that Melissa might be early! :)

    The Big Day

       I still can't believe it!

    Melissa was scheduled for a c-section on Wednesday, March 19th, but she decided to come on her own when I began labor with her in the early morning hours of Monday, March 10th. Although I had been in labor before, this time it was very different. I labored low and then I was only laboring on one side. (The doctors are still baffled by what happened, but James and I suspect that the left side was not able to contract properly because it was the side that was damaged during Rebecca's birth and therefore was not receiving enough blood/oxygen to contract properly.) I didn't think I was in active labor until I was timing contractions on the way to the hospital to be monitored. When I was admited, I was 2 minutes apart, 80% effaced, 2+ cm dilated and "showing". It was a good thing I
    called James when I did because he had to drive 40 minutes from Germantown to Brunswick and then another 45-50 minutes back from Brunswick to Rockville. We hadn't even packed and Rebecca was still in her pajamas!

    Luckily, all of the cards fell into place this time even though nothing was planned. Aunt Kathy was our emergency contact and she was called to meet us at the hospital to take care of Rebecca and on the way to the hospital our families were called and given the "sit tight" message - little did we know that we'd be calling them again just an hour later to say that Melissa would be born today! Luckily, Dr. Berenstein was at the hospital already because he was performing an emergency procedure earlier that afternoon and agreed to stay and perform the c-section for us - THANK GOD! We arrived at Shady Grove shortly after 3pm and Melissa was born via c-section by 6pm.

    The surgery went well and I recovered quickly in post-op. I couldn't wait to hold her and I finally had my chance by 9pm when I arrived in the recovery suite. It was love at first sight all over again - what an amazing experience! This is the way a birth should be!

    03.13.08 :: Announcing the Birth of Melissa Anne Charbonneau

    Melissa Anne
    Melissa Anne Melissa Anne  
    Melissa Anne
    Melissa Anne Charbonneau

    March 10, 2008

    5:57 PM

    7 pounds, 3 ounces

    20 inches long

    What a surprise! Spud is a girl and she decided to come early! Really early! Due on Easter Sunday, 3/23/08, but scheduled for c-section on Wednesday 3/19/08... she, just like her sister decided to come on her own terms when I began labor with her in the early morning hours of Monday, 3/10/08.

    Melissa Anne is our second daughter and looks a lot like Rebecca did when she was born. Melissa has black hair (lots of black hair) and blue eyes.

    James and I still cannot believe that we have had the baby and that we are now home with her. She was delivered at Shady Grove by Dr. Wayne Berenstein and assisted by Dr. Gail Skinner. The surgery went very well and I am making a wonderful recovery and am even happier now that I am at home and with Rebecca.

    Rebecca is adjusting very well to being a big sister. She is still trying to make sense of everything, but I am sure that she will soon be putting the pieces together. She has handled everything remarkably well from Monday when Mommy had a "boo-boo" on her tummy and needed lots of kisses to help me feel better to being whisked away to the hospital, then to Aunt Kathy's where she woke up to seeing her Grandmama, Grandpapa and Aunts Erin and Gigi there, too and then back to her new house with Grandmama to await the arrival back home of her little sister and her mommy and daddy.
    We are overjoyed and can't believe that we're already here! Please continue to keep us all in your prayers for the next few weeks as we make this transition. Thank you to everyone who has already sent us their blessings and wishes of joy, happiness and a safe and speedy recovery for me.

    We're very excited to share our new addition with all of you, so please stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks as well as more photos!

    Growing Up
    Date Age Height Weight Head Clothing Size
    Mar. 10 birth 20" 7.1875 lb. 13" 0m
    Mar. 17 1 week 20" 7.25 lb. 13" 0-3m
    Mar. 24 2 weeks 20" 7.75 lb. 13.5" 0-3m
    Apr. 10 1 month 20.75" 8.44 lb. 14.25" 0-3m
    May 12 2 months 21.50" 10.44 lb. 14.6" 3-6m
    Jul. 14 4 months 24" 13.13 lb. 15.5" 3-6m
    Sep. 15 6 months 25.25" 14.31 lb. 16.3" 6-9m
    Dec. 17 9 months 27" 16.19 lb. 16.9" 6-9m
    Mar. 11 12 months 28" 17.7 lb. 17.1" 9-12m
    Jun. 18 15 months 30" 19.4 lb. 17.2" 12-18m

    Family Growth Table

    Family Growth Charts
    Click on each image to see them larger.
    growth_chart_height.jpg  growth_chart_weight.jpg