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. 


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