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28 July 2016

Levi Allen: One Month

NICKNAMES 

Leebs, Leeves, Bubby, Buppy, Little Man, EvieBlu-bluh


SIBLING LOVE

It took Daphne awhile to get used to the idea of Levi at first. She started biting her fingernails and absolutely losing her mind every time Daddy would hold him. She has since gotten pretty used to him, she looks for him every morning when she comes out of her room and usually insists on kissing his toes. She constantly gives him kisses throughout the day and MUST kiss Levi before kissing anyone else goodnight, hah! 


ROUTINE

We aren't really focused on creating a routine for Levi just yet, although I have noticed he has certain patterns. At some point I do expect to create a routine for him, it was definitely something that helped me with Daphne! 




LOVES
  • Nursing
  • Solly wrap
  • Nestor the Bull (his wubbanub)
  • Swing
  • Having his head rubbed
  • Being held
  • Hush Hat 
  • Being swaddled (especially if its warm from being run in the dryer for a bit)


GROWTH
  • Weight: 8.62 lbs. (20%)
  • Length: 21.2 in. (39%)
  • Clothing: NB
  • Diapers: NB - we've used practically every brand of diaper there is, my personal favorites are Honest Co. and my husband's favorites are Pampers Swaddlers (we used this brand with Daphne).

FIRSTS

  • Met Aunt Angie and Uncle-to-be Theron 
  • Met Mom-mom, Pop-pop, Aunt Molly and Aunt Megan
  • Met Grandma, Grandpa Wagner, Aunt Rachelle, Uncle Sullivan and Aunt Nikki
  • Met Uncle Brady, Aunt Meghan, Uncle Ty and Aunt Jessie
  • Church service at Prestonwood 
  • Blow out (and after bath time too, sheesh!)
  • Bath with big sister
  • Peed on Dad 


DISLIKES
  • Bathtime 
  • Waiting for milk 
  • Screams from sister...
  • Gas pains




RECENT GOOGLE SEARCHES -- Just for fun, I thought I'd keep track of these :-)
  • newborn breastfeeding with lazy suck
  • swollen feet after delivery
  • breastfeeding strike 4 days
  • baby latches and unlatches
  • 4 day old hasn't pooped in 24 hours
  • how long to gauze circumcision
  • lily jade elizabeth in camel (a girl can dream...)
  • when to start tummy time
  • baby mine lyrics
  • chim chim cher-ee lyrics
  • game apps to play while breastfeeding


EATING

Levi nurses 8-9 times a day for 5-15 minutes on one side per feeding with typically 2-2.5 hours between feedings with one 4-6 hour stretch at night. At first Levi's latch was actually pretty good and he was actually sucking and swallowing quite well! After his circumcision he was too tired to wake up and want to nurse so things started to get a little dicey. Thankfully I knew enough this time around to go ahead and start pumping in the hospital to encourage my milk supply. I pumped a decent amount and we would offer it to him in a dropper at the breast, but he still wasn't getting enough or latching for very long at all and he wasn't sucking well either. Our first day home from the hospital things started to improve! He still needed some stimulation to continue sucking (a great tip from one of the lactation consultants we saw > there is a pressure point in the palm of baby's hand that will stimulate sucking when you rub it!) but his latch was really good and it only took about a week or so before Levi had a consistently good latch and was sucking and swallowing for almost every feeding. 

It's been a whole new experience to not have to worry so much about successful breastfeeding this time around! Instead of nursing/pumping/offering a bottle for every feeding I only pumped at the hospital and for those first few days at home in place of unsuccessful feedings. Not having to pump has been so freeing! It's also been a bit easier on Dad too, Carson has always been so supportive of my choice to breastfeed - his responsibilities include handing Levi to me for feedings in the middle of the night and changing his diapers and making sure I have water/snacks! I am curious to see how much Levi is getting at each feeding, I would like to go and have him weighed before and after a feeding session at some point. 


SLEEPING

Levi doesn't really have a set sleeping routine yet, the only time he's been fairly consistent is during his 4-6 hour stretch at night. We have found that Levi sleeps longer and better if we swaddle him and wrap him in a blanket, although he is pretty gassy so that definitely affects his sleep. He is also sleeping in his little lounger next to Daddy's side of the bed. 


DEVELOPMENT
  • Holds head up when laying on someone's chest or during tummy time
  • Good eye contact 
  • Responds to voices



HEALTH
  • On our second day at the hospital after Levi was born his bilirubin levels came back a bit high so his pediatrician recommended sitting him under the "billi lights" during that second night. That was also the night that he was too tired to latch and suck so I pumped for every feeding and we gave him whatever I could pump from a dropper while at the breast. We had a very helpful and encouraging nurse from pediatrics suggest that we use donor breast milk so that he would be eating enough and passing the meconium in order to lower his bilirubin levels quicker. I had no idea that you could use donor breast milk! In the morning his levels had gone down and though he was still a bit jaundice, he was cleared to come home with us. 
  • I try to give him his vitamin D drops whenever I remember...second kid problems!
  • His circumcision has healed nicely and we only fold the skin back during bath time (1-2 times a week) per our doctor's instructions. I was a bit worried about how to change diapers and properly care for Levi after his circumcision but it was really no big deal - for the first day we changed his gauze with a good amount of vaseline and placed it like a tent over his penis every 3 hours, after that we only changed the gauze/vaseline for every diaper change and his pediatrician recommended doing that till his belly button fell off (as they both heal in the same amount of time)
  • Levi has had tummy/gas issues since we brought him home! I'm not sure if its reflux or not, but we have been dealing with a pretty fussy guy. We have been giving him gas drops, mostly at night, and they seem to help by the second dose. My go-to's for dealing with his gas issues are wrapping him in the Solly wrap, making sure he has a couple good burps after nursing, gas drops and the "bicycle" move to try to make it easier for him to pass those toots!
  • Levi lost about 8% of his birth weight by his two day appointment, which was a bit more than we expected since breastfeeding him was getting better and was much easier than with his big sister who had lost 13% of her birth weight at that same point. But Levi's pediatrician didn't seem too concerned and at his two week check up he was still not up to birth weight, but again his pediatrician didn't seem concerned. 


PARENTING
  • I have been using the Similac app to keep track of how often/how long he nurses. 
  • I plan to use the Wonder Weeks app again to help keep me informed of any upcoming "leaps" and developments. 
  • We will definitely need to work on self-soothing and scheduling but I don't plan to start for awhile. 


LOOKING FORWARD TO...
  • Baby smiles...favorite thing ever.
  • Seeing what color his eyes will become, right now they are a really dark gray/blue/green. 
  • Getting into a routine that hopefully allows Momma to get more done around the house...or maybe even NAP! 
  • No more tummy/gas issues!
  • Sleeping better, longer and easier at night. 
  • More baby coos and giggles!

    24 July 2016

    Birth Story: Levi Allen

    To say that this pregnancy has been very different from my pregnancy with Daphne is an under statement! In many ways it was easier; morning sickness wasn't as intense, weight loss wasn't as drastic and the third trimester was actually way easier this time around. However it was super exhausting to be pregnant and chasing a busy toddler around!

    I had been experiencing typical labor symptoms during the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy; strong yet inconsistent contractions, loose stool, spotting, losing my mucus plug (around week 37) and mid/lower back pain. I had a couple nights where I thought I could be in labor (we even went to the hospital once!) with more consistent and painful contractions. All in all the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy with Levi felt a million times easier than when I was pregnant with Daphne!

    When I was waiting for labor with Daphne my doctor stripped my membranes to try to induce labor, she ended up doing it about four times and Daphne still came two days late! So with Levi, I figured it would probably be the same song and dance. At 38 weeks my doctor stripped my membranes (which worried my Mom because she wasn't flying out to help us until the next week), I'm fairly certain I lost my mucus plug the week before and I continued to experience spotting and pink discharge. Although I experienced more spotting, discharge, back pain and contractions - I actually felt pretty good that last week before labor!

    My Mom arrived in Texas on Monday night, June 27th (right in the knick of time!), we went out for pizza that night at my favorite pizza place here and got to bed at a good time - it had been a long day for all of us! The next morning on Tuesday, June 28th I had my 39 week OBGYN appointment at 10:30. Our plan was to go to the appointment, grab lunch to eat at the church and then walk around the church until we had to come home for Daphne's nap. Mom and I walked miles and miles almost every day for weeks before Daphne's delivery, so I figured we would have to do the same thing to get true labor started with Levi! Around 11:00 am I saw my doctor and I was about 3 cm dilated (woo-hoo!!), I told her to go ahead and strip my membranes again since I figured Levi would end up coming close to his due date and I really wanted to go into labor naturally.

    After we left the doctor's office we went straight to the Chick-fil-A drive-thru for lunch. In the drive-thru line I had a pretty strong contraction but I figured it was normal since I had had those off and on for a few weeks now. Once we got all set up and started eating at church, it was probably around 12:00, I had another strong contraction. I tried to hurry up and eat my lunch! I had a couple more strong contractions and decided to go ahead and start timing them, they were already about 2-3 minutes apart!

    This was the screen shot I took of the app where I was timing my contractions to send to my mother-in-law and best friends as we were on our way to the hospital. 

    Carson was leading a recording group for our student mission trip so I texted him and asked when he thought he would be finished, and quickly realized that he would not be able to stay for the rest of the recording - it was "go time"! My mom, Daphne and I walked back to where he was with my contractions still strong and staying two minutes apart. Once we were all together we started walking to the car, I had to stop and lean on Carson for every contraction and practically ran to the car in between contractions! My Mom was very helpful in distracting Daphne from seeing how much pain I was in during my contractions, there were a few times where Daphne looked up at me and asked "Okay?" and her little face was so worried! I looked at her in between contractions and tried to smile at her to ease her worry.

    When it was "go-time" with Daphne I had no relief in between contractions, I guess I was expecting to feel that with Levi's too. I was surprised to feel a lot of relief between contractions. Once we got in the car I suggested that we go home and if the contractions continued then we would go to the hospital. The contractions got much stronger on the ride home and I was having to implement my Lamaze breathing techniques for each one so we decided it was definitely time to go to the hospital. We dropped Mom and Daphne off at home and Carson grabbed our hospital bags and we started off for the hospital. My contractions were pretty intense at this point lasting for about 45-90 seconds and still 2-3 minutes apart but I was still experiencing relief between them which made me wonder if this was really the real thing.

    The hospital put us in a c-section prep room and the nurse checked me and said that I was about 4 cm dilated and she was pretty confident that we wouldn't be sent home today. My doctor came up a little while later and checked me again around 1:30 and said that I was a good 5 cm already! She said they would go ahead and start my fluids and order an epidural, I was so shocked that it had been this easy so far! I remember finally letting myself visualize my son at this point, I didn't want to let myself feel too disappointed if they sent us home so I hadn't really let myself until then. It was so exciting to know that I was well on my way to holding my baby boy in my arms! 

    Carson took this picture of me while we were still in the c-section prep room, this was right after the nurse told us that she thought this was the real deal! 

    Once my doctor left, the contractions became unbearable and I had started to shake, I was moaning and practicing my breathing techniques (and practically squeezing my husband's hand off) for each one. They moved me out of the prep room and into a labor and delivery room, once we were there the nurse went ahead and asked the anesthesiologist to come now (I really liked our nurse for labor and delivery! She was warm and funny and joked that "she was tired of hearing this girl moan", hah!) which I was pretty okay with! Once it came time to get the epidural, I realized that I was pretty nervous about how painful it would be. With Daphne's labor, I was in so much pain the entire time that I didn't feel anything by the time I got the epidural! They administered the epidural around 3:00 pm in between contractions and it was no big deal at all! Barely a pinch! After about 10 minutes or so I wasn't experiencing any pain during the contractions (Carson took this opportunity to go down to the cafeteria and get a burger, since we figured we would be at the hospital for awhile - we love epidurals). 


    Carson took this after the epidural had kicked in, feeling much better! 

    When Carson got back, the nurse dimmed the lights and told me to rest, she said she would be back to check me in a couple hours. We put on some relaxing music and I tried to sleep. After about an hour I realized that I felt something in between my legs, I was worried that the epidural was wearing off so I called the nurse. She checked me around 4:00 and said that I was already at 8 cm, this thing was moving quick! She turned me on my side and said she would go ahead and call another nurse to start prepping the room for delivery. The nurse that came to prep came in a little while later and starting making conversation, I began to notice more and more pressure in between my legs. Around 4:30 I told the new nurse that I felt like there was something between my legs and there was a constant feeling of pressure. She stood at the end of my bed and told me "If I need to catch a baby, I can catch a baby!", haha! She stood right there and called for the other nurse to come check me, I was already at 10 cm and ready to push!

    The biggest difference between Daphne and Levi's delivery was that even though I had an epidural both times, I felt the sensation to push and much more pressure with Levi. I think in between every push I told the nurses and doctor that I could feel pressure, they kept telling me that it was normal and the sensation to push was helpful. But I would definitely have preferred to have felt nothing like I did with Daphne. 

    After about an hour of pushing, the doctor gave me a small episiotomy and then Levi was here at 5:34 pm! They placed him right on my chest and his small cries seemed instantly familiar.

    This feeling will never get old. New life is so miraculous and this memory of meeting my son for the first time will last forever. 

    I could feel much more than I would have liked to as they were stitching me up, but getting to study every inch of my son provided quite the distraction. I delivered the placenta (and even got to see it - so cool!) and after about an hour of skin-to-skin the doctor was finished with me and it was time to get Levi weighed, measured and more skin-to-skin and nursing.

    Levi Allen Wagner born June 28, 2016 at 5:34 pm weighing 7 lbs. 10 oz. and 20 in. long!

    Levi's delivery was also different from Daphne's in that it was so quick that Carson really didn't get a chance to do as much "coaching" as he did with Daphne's. However, he was so loving, encouraging and helpful and watching him instantly bond with his son was the best thing EVER. 

    I absolutely loved all the skin-to-skin time! 

    From start to finish Levi's labor was around 5 1/2 hours, the Lord answered my prayers in his quick, easy delivery and my fast recovery! Here are some of my favorite pictures of us during our hospital stay after Levi was born.

    Carson took this right after they took us to our recovery room, Levi was so alert! 

    What a perfectly beautiful boy. 

    Daphne meeting Levi for the first time! She was so cute! 

    My little "hunk"! 

    We were so ready to take our boy home! 

    He felt so fragile and small when we put him in his car seat! 

    Oh Levi, Momma loves you so much already.