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Meet Melissa Joan Hart's new addition!
One month after giving birth to her third son, actress Melissa Joan Hart is ready to introduce her handsome little lad to the world, sharing the first photos of Tucker McFadden Wilkerson with omg!, as well as details about life at home with her four fellas.
Talking about Tucker's September 18 arrival, Hart says that the labor process never gets easier, but this time it was extra special because her musician husband, Mark Wilkerson, played a larger role in the delivery room. "There is no easy way to bring a baby into this world," laughs the 36-year-old actress, who is also mom to Mason, 6, and Braydon, 4. "This birth was very exciting though because my husband actually delivered Tucker from head to toe, and then placed him on my chest. It was a great."
Hart says Wilkerson's involvement in the delivery room has evolved over time. "When our first, Mason, was born, Mark swore he would never cut the umbilical cord," Hart tells omg!. "He was like: 'I cannot do that. I will pass out.' And then after witnessing all I went through with the labor, he was more than happy to take the scissors and make that cut. So then with our second son, Braydon, it was the same doctor as the first. Once she delivered the baby's head, she let Mark pretty much pull the baby out and place him on me. So that was a lovely moment. I shared both stories with my new doctor, so this time she made him put on full scrubs and let him do the whole thing. I didn't even realize it was happening really. He told me the next day."
So what kind of a baby is little Tucker? "He is a very hairy, hairy boy," laughs Hart. "He has a huge head of hair, which is very dark. In the hospital nursery the night he was born they combed it into a Mohawk. It stands up off his head about an inch and a half. It's so much of his personality." As far as a resemblance, Hart says he's all Wilkerson. "He's a Mini-Me version of his father," she says. "He looks like the other two boys, but really he just looks exactly like his dad. I'm very lucky. I'm surrounded by four handsome, handsome men."
The actress calls the introduction between her older boys and the baby "one of the favorite moments of my life." Because Tucker wasn't born until 10 p.m., the boys didn't meet until the morning after she gave birth. "They came to the hospital to meet Tucker before they went school the next day," Hart recalls. "They were in really cute outfits because it was school picture day. So they were all dressed up and just so excited to meet their baby brother." Back at home they lend a hand when they can. "The boys have been such a help. They're so desperate to feed him a bottle, carry him, or push him in the stroller." Hart also has had the help of family during baby's first month. "My mom was here for like a week and then Mark's parents were here for 10 days," she says. "We're also really lucky to have a nanny to take care of the big boys, so we can spend time bonding with the baby."
As for the little guy's name, Hart says they picked out Tucker early on in her pregnancy, but because they didn't know the gender of the baby, they had a short list of boys and girls names that they brought with them to the hospital. "We used a lot of baby name-finding apps during this pregnancy," she says. "If Mark and I were on a lunch date or something we'd scroll through: 'What about this one?' 'What about that one?'" Tucker came up back in February. "We both loved it and put it on the list. Slowly other names on the list faded away, but Tucker remained." Middle name McFadden, meanwhile, is a family name. "McFadden is my husband's middle name and his mother's maiden name."
The "Melissa & Joey" star is on hiatus from her ABC Family series until February and her focus is on adjusting to life as a family of five ("Just trying to figure out how to get around in our car has been a challenge," she laughs), but she is also making time to work with Merck on Once Upon a Birth, which is a campaign to raise awareness about maternal health and help prevent the deaths of some 800 women around the world who die during pregnancy and childbirth every day. Hart is sharing her birth story on Merck for Mother's Facebook page and for every person who does the same, a monetary donation will be made to Join My Village, which is a charitable initiative that helps women and girls through education, and supports safe pregnancies and deliveries.
"It really is the perfect timing for me to be a part of this, having just given birth to Tucker," she says of the Once Upon a Birth campaign. "I've gone to Facebook and shared my birth story. Now I'm just passing on the word for people to go there to share their stories too. For every story shared, they're making a donation to Join My Village. … 90 percent of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are actually preventable. And this happens here in the U.S. and it happens all over the world. It's just so sad. So the Once Upon a Birth campaign is an incredible thing to do for mothers all over the world."
Hart says she's recovering from her pregnancy and delivery quite nicely. "I'm feeling great," she tells omg!. "In the hospital the night I gave birth the nurses were impressed that I wanted to go for a walk and take a shower. They said: 'We can't get women out of bed for three days and you want to take a shower right now — you just had a baby an hour ago?!' But I'm trying to take it easy, so that my body heals right and I can spend time bonding with the baby. But I have already taken him on walks and out to lunch with my girlfriends. I'm definitely out and about already."
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The actress has said that she'd consider expanding her family further down the line — after all, she is one of eight children — but for now she's just enjoying not being pregnant. When asked about the one thing she's glad she can do now that she's no longer pregnant, she replies, "Honestly it's the simplest things — like bending over. For the longest time, if something fell I wouldn't be able to reach it — or I'd be getting dressed and have difficulty tying my shoe. Just looking at the flight of stairs in my house exhausted me. Now I'm up. I'm down. I can help out more with my older boys. So I appreciate just being mobile. It's amazing how you take that for granted."
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