I am so happy to finally be sharing our beautiful family photos with Levi. Rennai of Ten 22 Studio did an amazing job capturing our new family of four. I also thought I would share his birth story along with them in case you are curious.
I prayed for my labor to be quick with Levi, and I'm so thankful that my prayers were answered. The weeks leading up to my labor I had a ton of contractions, but they would stop after an hour. They were also inconsistent in the time intervals, so I knew it wasn't go time. I had a feeling I would be early with Levi since I was three and half weeks early with Elle, but I was hoping I could make it much closer to my due date. I suspect a lot of my breastfeeding issues with Elle were because she was born so early, and I was really hoping for a different experience this time around.
My labor started around dinner time on Saturday, September 12th with a strong contraction here and there. At this point I was so used to it I didn't really think it was labor. Plus, we had already called my in-laws to come over and grab Elle a couple of times and I didn't want to cry wolf yet again. After dinner had passed and it was almost time to put Elle to bed, I had a little inkling that this could be the day. So, Ryan brought Elle over to his mom's house just in case.
While Ryan was gone I decided to take a shower just in case we were going to go to the hospital. Last time I was in labor I had to wait over a day to take a shower (so gross), so I wanted to make sure I could wash my hair while I had the chance. The contractions got stronger as my body relaxed, and they took my breath away. I quickly got dressed and checked our "go" bag in-between the pain, and by the time Ryan got home it was time to go. Although, I kept doubting myself because I was waiting for the contractions to be exactly five minutes apart and sometimes they would be six or seven, so I thought maybe it still wasn't time yet. But when Ryan saw my face when the contractions came on he knew this was way different than the others and told me to get in the car. haha.
He hurriedly drove the hospital, which is about a half hour away from us. I was holding onto the car with all my might screaming in pain. In between breaths I was yelling at his driving because every jerk and stop made my labor that much harder.
We arrived at the hospital and I thought I was going to have the baby in the parking lot. I seriously couldn't walk, but I had to just to get the entrance. They really need to have a doorman with wheelchairs for the labor and delivery wing. Yeesh!
We got to triage and they checked me to see how far dilated I was. I was already at 8 cm! They wheeled me back right away to the delivery room and told me it wouldn't be long before I had a baby. It was pretty empty in the hospital that night, so my nurse was able to stay with me the whole time. She was AMAZING! She asked me if I wanted to try to do the whole thing naturally since we were so close to the end, but you guys, I just couldn't. At that point I couldn't even catch my breath the contractions were coming so fast. So, I got an epidural and then things slowed WAAAAAY down. We went from thinking I was going to have the baby in an hour to hardly any contractions. They gave me a bit of pitocin to get me back in gear and that sure worked. I was finally at 10cm at midnight!
So, we decided it was time to start pushing, and my nurse was amazing and brought me a birthing bar to hold onto. I could still feel the contractions coming on for the most part, so I started to push with Ryan on my left and my nurse on my right. Oh man was I out of shape! I was huffing and puffing after a couple of pushes. This was going to take awhile. Unfortunately, with every push Levi's heart rate dropped significantly. They had to give me some oxogen and lay me on my side in between contractions to bring his heart rate back up. Poor little guy. The doctor finally came in, and she started putting some mineral oil around my lady parts to make sure things wouldn't tear. She said she could see his head, but it looked as though he was turned to the side. (sigh). So, with every push she gently tried to turn him so he was face down. They got a mirror for me so I could see the whole thing, and when I could finally see his head full of dark hair I got so motivated. I couldn't wait to hold him!
After an hour and half of pushing he was born, and it turns out the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Poor guy! He arrived at 1:27am and was 21.5 inches long and weighed 7lbs and 5 ounces. They laid him down on me right away and I held him for almost an hour before they did all of the poking and prodding. It only took 4 hours in the hospital before I got to see his face. I couldn't believe it.
It has been a month now since we have had him home with us and I can't remember what our family was like before he arrived. When I look at these pictures of our family I feel so proud, humbled, thankful and at peace. This is my family. Nothing feels like it's missing. Everything feels just right and beautiful.
Photos by Ten 22 Studio