Levi's Birth Story

Hello! Since my last post was all about me being pregnant, I should probably inform you that I am no longer with child. He came! He finally came! I am a mom of 2, and it's been such a roller coaster of love and adjustment, but I'm finally getting the hang of handling two munchkins and I couldn't love it more. But more on that in my next post.

Levi finally made his debut on May 30th...Memorial Day to be exact. And just shy one day of me being 42 weeks pregnant. And what's funny about that is that he didn't come on his own...our sweet little stinker had to be coaxed out of there still, even being 41+6 days overdue! We just couldn't believe I had to be induced after all that waiting and exercising and hoping. And neither could my doctor. Oh well. He came and that's all that matters.

It was 6 weeks ago today that he made his appearance, and since I got my birth story photos back just a couple days ago, I wanted to write my birth story so I don't forget it. It was such an amazing moment in our life, and I want to be able to remember it always. 

So, as most of you know (well, if you follow me on Instagram and you are a friend or family member) we took Hypnobirthing classes a couple months prior to my due date in hopes that my body would go into labor on its own this time around (had to be induced with Dylan and I hated it) and that I would be able to give birth naturally. I never thought in a million years thought I would hope to labor without any drugs...I still don't know what got into me thinking it was a good idea to be honest. Contractions are awful! But I thought it would be awesome to try for some reason, so we signed up and went to all five Hypnobirthing classes. And we loved it! We loved the concept, the affirmations, the foundations of it all (that your mind is more powerful than your body); we truly believed it all. And I am still so glad we took them, they helped immensely. And we practiced and did the homework we were supposed to do and we were truly hoping I could do this the natural way. This is exactly why I waited until 41+5 days to be induced. I wanted my body to do it's thing...but apparently I missed the line in heaven that gives you the chip that makes your body go into labor naturally. It just doesn't know how to do that at all. And I am so sad about it. 

I had put off scheduling an induction date until the last possible time...at my 41+3 week appointment. We had talked to my doctor (enter Dr. Thackeray...he's basically the shiz) openly my entire pregnancy about not wanting to be induced, and he was super supportive. We knew once we went passed 40 weeks we would have to have stress-tests done to make sure the baby was okay, and he was both times we had them. So at my 41 week appointment I prayed hard that I would be dilated to an 8 :) no but really, I just prayed I would be any further along than the 1 I had been dilated at for 6 weeks. Well, I got my wish: I was 1 1/2 cm dilated and 60% effaced (that was no change). I was so devastated. And super annoyed at my vagina. Like I'm pretty sure I gave it a pep talk the next time I went potty...I was so mad! But anyways, after checking me I knew what the doctor was going to say, and I looked at Brett and knew we had to choose a day. It's so bizarre choosing your kids birthday. He told us we could come in later that night, which I immediately shot down. I didn't like knowing that that was our last day as a family of three...I wanted to have some fun first. So we set it for Saturday night (and the appointment was on a Thursday). Home we went to finish packing my suitcase (yep I'm the biggest procrastinator ever) and wrap our minds around the fact that by the time the weekend ended, we would have a new family member. 

Saturday we took Dylan to Liberty Park and he rode all the rides with Brett while I waddled and watched. We ate yummy food and soaked up the warm weather. We then tucked Dylan into bed, read him stories and sang songs with him and just cuddled with him for a long time, knowing it was the last time he would be put to bed without a sibling there with us. It was sad for me, but so exciting too. I gave him one last kiss then we left him to sleep, then went and put all of our stuff in the car and waited for the phone call for us to come in to be induced(they said it would be anytime between 7pm-10pm). Well after watching several episodes of The Office, 10pm came around and still no call, so I called at 10:15pm. They said they had an unusual amount of women who came in to give birth that night (naturally of course...insert my eyeroll) and to put my phone on loud and they would call me anytime in the night when they had an opening to come in and if I hadn't heard from them by 6am, to call again. Let me tell you how well I slept that night...yeah. I didn't. I was too paranoid I would miss the dang phone call so I slept in half-hour increments and checked my phone basically the entire night. I was not happy with them one bit.

Sunday morning at 6:02am we got the call, and they told us to come in at 7am. That's when things got real. It's just so bizarre knowing you are leaving the house for the last time just how things are as they are, and when you come back through the door you will be holding a little bundle with you. It was pretty exciting and scary driving there. And no we didn't wake up Dylan to say goodbye again...we had already had our goodbyes the night before and I thought it would be too hard to do it again. 
So we got to the hospital at 7:20, prompt as always. We gave them our birth plan, and they got me hooked up to the fetal monitors. On went The Office and in went the Cytotec to soften my cervix. The plan was to hopefully just get my body to make its own contractions from the Cytotec in hopes that I wouldn't even have to use the Pitocin. The first round of Cytotec didn't do anything. No changes. Oh, but they did bring me food which was awesome! I didn't get to eat at all while being induced with Dylan and was so weak from the lack of it. But anyways, the second round started some contractions that were a little intense but nothing extreme. But, they were consistent. That was the key. So they stopped the Cytotec and just let my body do it's thing for a couple hours. I was contracting on my own for a while...but after an hour they faded and didn't come back. Talk about a bummer! I was all excited and thinking I may be able to actually do this without the darn Pitocin, but my hopes were dashed. My contractions had taken my cervix from being 1 1/2 cm dilated to 2 1/2 cm. Not enough progress. I was so flipping bummed. I knew what had to happen next and it was what I had dreaded since the moment I knew I was pregnant. 

Pitocin seriously is the worst guys. I would rather eat mud pies than be on that crap. I asked for the absolute smallest dose possible (they range it from 2-20, at every even number, so 2, 4, 6 etc.). So I was started at a 2. In this time my Mom and Dylan came to visit (she was watching him for us) and it was such a nice distraction from such a long process. He is a doll, and was so excited to see his baby brother, and was a little disappointed he wasn't there yet (join the club kiddo). They stayed for a couple hours, and in that time, there were no contractions. They wanted to up my dose, so we said our goodbyes and I was bumped up to a 4. Holy crap did that slight change from a 2 to a 4 make all the difference. I started contracting almost immediately, and just like I had remembered with Dylan's birth, they were hard and extremely fast. I used a lot of my hypnobirthing techniques and walked around, bounced on a ball, had my nurse give me counter-pressure (my nurse was AMAZING! I was obsessed with her!) breathed a certain rhythm each contraction and got on all fours to fight the pain, but it was too much to bear. If you have been induced you know exactly what I'm talking about. Those contractions are seriously HELL! I got to a point where I felt like I was suffocating because they were just so on top of each other, I could barely breathe. I asked them to check me after doing this for 2 hours and I was at an 8. I went another half hour and asked them to check me again with tears streaming down my face and I was still at an 8. I couldn't take it anymore, and asked for the epidural. It wasn't in my plan, but I was so proud of how far I had gotten on that damn Pitocin. I had only made it to a 5 with Dylan. 

I have no idea why I even bothered going through any of the pain without drugs. Once that epidural kicked in, I was literally on Cloud 9. I think it made me a little high, the mix of the epidural and how exhausted I was...I felt like I was in a dream. I was laughing, cracking jokes, and wondering why I had waited so long to get it. It just was the best thing. I was going on almost 24 hours with no sleep. And I think that's just what my body needed; to relax. From the time I got the epidural (at an 8) to the time I needed to push (at a 10) was 15 minutes. I couldn't feel any pressure or anything. It was great! I wasn't even sad about not feeling the urge to push, they had to tell me when, and I was completely okay with it. I started pushing at midnight and he was out at precisely 12:15am. While I was pushing my doctor asked me if I wanted to feel my baby's head...it was squishy! I knew it would be, but actually feeling it was so crazy!

And once I saw him and they put him right on my chest from being birthed, my heart grew 3 sizes bigger. His little cry was the sweetest sound, and feeling him on my chest was the most amazing feeling. But after being on my chest and snuggling him for a few minutes, he started shaking a little bit, and he felt cold. It was starting to scare me, and I let the nurse know. She let him stay there for a couple more minutes, and after the shaking didn't stop and his temp didn't come up, they took him over and put a huge tube down his throat to clear his lungs. It was awful to watch. Apparently as he was coming out a huge gush of amniotic fluid came over his head and he inhaled a bunch of it. They also thought his blood sugar may be low, so they pricked his poor little heal to get some blood to test it. I hated seeing that! He had only been in the world for a few minutes and already he was feeling pain. It made my heart hurt. But after a couple minutes his lungs had cleared and his blood sugar was fine, and they gave him back to me so we could have our hour alone with him, and he was warm and calm and absolutely perfect. We just stared at him, just Brett and I, and talked about how long it took for him to get to us, and how long we had waited for him and all the trials we had to go through for him to finally be here in my arms. I loved being in that room, the three of us alone, in the middle of the night, not a sound but his little breaths and our kisses on his head and our whispers in his ear of how much we loved him and how cute he was. It was such an amazing day/night and I am so grateful he's here! 

I am so grateful I have these photos. I unexpectedly had a birth story done with Dylan and cannot tell you how often and how much I obsess over those photos, so I knew I needed it with this birth as well. It brings back all the emotions and love I felt in the time I was going through this. Thank you again Morgan! You captured our sweet little love and his birth story perfectly :)

*Photography by Morgan Olsen at In Frames Photography