Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lev's birth story

In an effort to be more punctual with Levi's birth story than I was with Caleb's (which took me a year to post) I will now share the story of how Levi made his earthly debut.

10/5/2010 (Tuesday) Despite feeling great with child...
...I decided to tackle the "nesting" project of setting up the bassinet in my closet (don't judge wrongfully, it's a rather large closet:) Caleb assisted me by testing out the stability of the finished product and gave it his stamp of approval. Other nesting projects included packing a bag for Caleb and creating a detailed spreadsheet of his eating and napping needs/preferences in the off-chance that I were to go into labor before my mom could be there. At this point I was 3 weeks away from my due date so all of this seemed a bit premature. BOY am I glad I did them, though, because....

10/6/2010 (Wednesday)
12:30am-I woke up after one hour of sleep to find that my water had broken (a conclusion I came to only after ruling out the possibility of having wet the bed, phew!). I then paced back and forth in the bathroom for 15 minutes talking to myself. The dialogue went something like, "Did my water really just break? It sure did! That's impossible, I'm three weeks away from my due date. Well, maybe I should start packing a bag for the hospital (a "nesting" task that had not been completed). Now where did I put that nipple cream?"

This self-talk continued until another gush of fluid came at which point I realized it was time to wake my sleeping husband. "David, David," I whispered. "Huh?" came his drowsy reply. "My water broke and we need to go to the hospital," I said. "WHAT??? ARE YOU SERIOUS??? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE???"

Out of bed he leaped and the next 30 minutes are a bit of a blur. I do recall that we were both running around the house like crazy people. David was on car seat duty (Caleb's out of the car, baby's in the car). I was still looking for the nipple cream and packing my bag. While putting the infant seat in the car I heard David yell, "We don't even have a name for this baby yet!" So he grabbed the baby names book for us to discuss this most relevant issue on our drive to the hospital.

I called our friend Talana (who drove me to the hospital when my water broke with Caleb) and she willingly agreed to sleep at the house until Caleb woke up, a HUGE help!

1:30am-Talana arrived at our house, I debriefed her on Caleb's needs and gave her my intricately designed spreadsheet. We got in the car and headed to the luxurious state-funded LSU hospital while talking about what to name our second-born son. Here we are just before leaving the house.
2:00am-We were settled in the labor and delivery triage room and the 2nd year resident came in to do an exam. In the midst of it he said, "You seem tense." To which I replied, "Well, it's not exactly comfortable." He responded, "Yeah, I'm grateful everyday that I don't have a vagina." The he looked at David (WHILE doing the exam, mind you) and said, "High 5 for no vagina!" His attempt at humor was extremely ill-timed and poorly received so I made it very clear that his hands would be nowhere near my body EVER again.

3:00am-I was hooked up to the monitors, but still hadn't had any contractions so was feeling pretty good. Dilated 1cm.

3:15am-With my water broken and the clock ticking, they needed to induce labor so in went the catheter and contractions started immediately. I told the nurse that I ABSOLUTELY wanted an epidural and did NOT want to feel contractions for hours like I had with Caleb. She put the IV in and had the anesthesiologist alerted. During the next hour I endured severe discomfort as the contractions intensified but kept telling myself, "Soon, I will have the epidural and can take a nap like I did before Caleb was born." The hope of impending relief was enough to get me through. Dilated 3 cm.

4:30am-The epidural was positioned and my feet went numb, but nothing else. "Um, this isn't really helping," I said to the anesthesiologist. He suggested I lay flat on my back to see if the numbing effect will reach the desired area. That lasted for 1/2 of a contraction and then I yelled, "I CAN'T lay flat on my back when I'm in this much pain!!!" Now I was starting to get concerned that the much-anticipated relief and nap were slipping through my fingers. Speaking of fingers, I just about crushed David's as each contraction reached its peak. At one point he said, "I do need to be able to operate with these hands, you know." I think my response was something like, "Well, cry me a river, buddy!" Bad timing!

5:00-7:00am-Despite trying to lay in different positions and being given repeated boluses of medication, my feet and lower legs were the only parts of my body NOT in extreme pain. The emesis bag became my best friend and I had really lost my aloha spirit.
David provided encouraging words, "You can do this!" and I yelled, "I don't WANT to do this. Make it stop hurting!"

7:15am-David insisted the anesthesiologist reposition the epidural and I reached my low-point (hunched forward and having to hold completely still while the needle was placed 2 vertebrae higher all the while vomiting, having intense contractions, and feeling completely exhausted).

7:30am-I was FINALLY starting to feel some relief from the pain when it occurred to us that no one had checked me for about 4 hours. When the resident came in, she said, "Oh, boy, you're completely dilated and ready to deliver."

7:45am-My doctor arrived and had me moved into the delivery room. The pain was completely gone (as well as ALL sensation and motor control...a small price to pay), so it was all about getting our beautiful baby boy in our arms.

8:13am-Levi Costley Ludlow was born after just a few pushes.
Here's the obligatory paternal cord-cutting: With our newest addition:Little 6 pound, 2 ounce Levi:
Levi and I got a visit from several of the ENT residents later that afternoon. What a treat!We did some rearranging of beds in our recovery room for a bit more togetherness:Getting ready to head home:Levi's first car ride. Off to pick up big brother Caleb and then Grandma Costley at the airport, Yipee!:
Here is Caleb with our good friends the Richardsons. Meagan picked Caleb up the morning of Levi's delivery and took such great care of him for the two days we were in the hospital. We'll never be able to thank them enough!
And that's the story of how our family of three became a family of four.


MariLouise said...

...and through it all you looked gorgeous! :) (seriously.) AND, I recognize that awesome carseat!

Kerri said...

Wow...what a story!! No way you look like you just had a baby. Can't wait to see him!!!

Carol said...

Great post. Loved the details which made me laugh/feel compassion for your pain. He looks so darling. What a cute family. Congrats.

Krystal Trapnell said...

Sorry about the epidural fiasco. What good are numb legs when your torso is trying to rip itself apart? I'm glad he's here, though, and that you survived. And that David's surgery hands are still in tact. Love you!

Camille said...

What a fun read! And a beautiful family. Congratulations!

tiffany said...

love, love, love the details! Four weeks old, and you've got it documented already! Way to go! I love the family shot at the end. Thanks again to friends who took care of you and Caleb so well!!!

tiffany said...

p.s. we've gotta talk contraction coping options before the next one...just in case!

Noel said...

Okay I thought the morning of delivery shot was a joke... really! You just pack those little guys in there. Nicely done. I have had EXCELLENT luck with my epidurals... I hope reading this did not jinx me, otherwise get Tiff on one line and my mom on the other, eh! I just keep thinking this one can't go as smooth as the other two... Let's hope I'm wrong. Your little monster is very adorable. CONGRATS

Reno Edweirds said...

You are such a good writer. I loved reading the whole birth story Sorry I didn't check till now. Jessica does keep me abreast on all of the things such as Caleb coming to the world. Congrats!! I am glad he's here and that your epidural finally took.