Monday, September 9, 2013

The Day Levi Paul Came

Birth Stories aren't for everyone, so if you don't like them you can stop reading this post right about now :O)

Disclaimer:  this is a birth story, I don't like when people give horror stories, because birth is such a wonderful miracle and horror stories don't help.  Not all parts of my story are flowers and daisies, and some of it was very hard,  but I just want to give you the realness of my day, good and bad and the miracle in the end. 
Oh yes, and lots of photos!

We will start with the day before Levi Arrived,  FridayAugust 30th.

It was a great day! a very relaxing one at the pool with my girls and my friend Heather.  Did I mention how great being in the pool felt while being pregnant, it was pretty amazing!

I had a Dr.s appt in the afternoon, everything looked great, no early labor signs.  Just already dilated to a 3.5, but that didn't seem like a big deal since I was dilated to a 4 for like 3 weeks with Sarah.  
My midwife advises that I should not take my time getting to the hospital, I agree.

Brett and I got to go on a date with baby Sarah, since the older girls were at a friends house.  It was so special and perfect spending time with just her.  We snapped a quick photo, and right when I saw it I thought to myself, "I look swollen.......hopefully that doesn't mean baby is coming tonight"
See, swollen!
 We invited Mallorie, our nanny to stay the night since we were getting up at 6am to go to the balloon classic.  I jokingly said to her, "wouldn't it be funny if I went into labor tonight?" 
 haha, hilarious, right?

Go to bed at 10:30
Wake up at 11:30 because I thought I peed myself. 
 If you are pregnant, you know that it is not uncommon to have a little leak, I mean your bladder is basically out of control.  It did seem a bit early in the night for me to already have to use the restroom and I thought to myself, "I hope that wasn't my water breaking"..... but it was such a small amount I went back to sleep...... for like 10 minutes..... and then another gush.......uhhhhh I couldn't possibly have peed myself again.

I stand up and walk into the bathroom and whoosh water leaking all over the bathroom floor. Yep, that would be my water breaking folks.  Here we go!

I call for brett, like 10 times, and finally have to yell, "BRETT, WAKE UP, MY WATER BROKE!"  Brett responds by bursting out in laughter.

I text and call  Celine, who is a friend/photographer who is going to be capturing this special moment of Levi being born.  She lives about an hour away so I don't want to hesitate in letting her know 
This is Happening!

But actually not much is happening.  
I was not going into labor, I am just leaking everywhere.  I start some laundry, finish packing up, eat an apple, wake up Mallorie, and even go for a midnight stroll in the neighborhood with Brett.

Still nothing, no active labor, I don't even know if I had one contraction.  Mallorie is awake with us and probably thinking to herself, "this is what labor is like?" as I laugh and do laundry.

 I was so thankful Mallorie was at our house, seriously, the Lord knew!

Finally, at about 1:30 we decide to head to the hospital, Celine is already there and it has been 2 hours since my water broke.


We check in 

they confirm my water is broken and I am still at about 3.5cm dilated.  Ok, great!

So I walk

bounce on a ball

stair out the window

hang out
chat with celine, walk more.  
Still nothing....... hours go by.

We all try to rest

Except for I can't.  Seriously who can fall asleep when they know a baby is coming!!!!!  
I feel bad, Brett and Celine have basically gotten NO sleep all night and here I am NOT going into labor.

Night turns to morning. It is such a beautiful morning! We can see the balloons lift off for the balloon classic,  my girls are there, without me!

Oh and another thing, once your water breaks, they can't really keep checking your cervix to see if you are progressing, it puts you at risk of infection, so I have no idea if there has been an ounce of progression throughout the night.

The Midwife comes in around 7, asking how labor is going and I pretty much tell her I am not in labor.  That is when she tells me the "P" word....... she is going to have to put me on pitocin because it has been to many hours since my water broke and no labor..... My heart sinks a bit, I really don't want to be induced, but I also know that with each hour my risk and the babies risk of infection go up as I am not laboring.  (I know I know, there are women who have gone a week with their water broken, at home. but I am in a hospital and that is not an option, and even if I was at home, I am not going to walk around for a week leaking amniotic fluid taking care of my other 3 kids, praying I don't get an infection just so I don't have to be induced).

At this point my only pains are hunger pains!  My midwife allows me to order breakfast, halleluiah!  She tells me after I eat that she will start me on just a little pitocin, she doesn't think I will need much, since I am pretty far dilated, just a little to kick my body into gear.  As my friend Celine put it, "you just need a whiff Jenni'"  
Celine was so sweet and encouraging, she knew I did not want to be induced.

OH and my labor and delivery nurse was the same nurse who helped deliver Maya, so special and fun, she actually shares Maya's birthday, that is why we remembered her and now she was getting to
share this joyous day with us again, blessed

 IMG_6352-2740656700-O IMG_6386-2740658038-O

At about 9am, I finish breakfast, I have tried to walk around, and bounce on the ball more hoping my body will do something before they start the pitocin, but still nothing.......

 we also get some laughter in.  
Did I mention I was laughing really hard at the women next store in labor, her yelling and screaming was so weird and sporadic..... it didn't make sense. I felt terrible laughing, knowing I would be in her place in a few short hours, but I seriously could not control the laughing, either could Celine or Brett!

Pitocin starts just after 9 am Here we Go!
IMG_6341-2740655980-O IMG_6349-2740656133-O ,

and slowly but surely I go into labor.  The contractions become a little stronger, but totally

I know most people think once you have pitocin you must get an epidural, but that is not always the case.  I did not get an epidural, and the contractions were not any stronger that what I had had with Maya or Sarah, they were painful and uncomfortable at times, but still totally managable.
IMG_6362-2740656993-O IMG_6414-2740659257-O

My friend Celine, was amazing support and encouragement, she was even giving me counter pressure on my back to help!  She was basically a friend/photographer/doula!

Dr. Checks me at around 12:00, and I am dilated to a 7 and 100% effaced!! Wahooo, I can do this!  She then turns off the pitocin since I am in labor.

 A little after 1:00 I am at a 9!  Yes, baby is coming soon!

or not so soon......

I think everyone one of us in that room believed that Levi was coming with in the hour...... that is why the next 2.5 hours were so terrible.  I got stuck, stuck at a 9 for 2.5 hours!

It was the HARDEST thing I have ever done in my whole life!!

I was shaking the whole 2.5 hours, I felt like I had pregnancy induced MS.
I was stuck in Transition for 2.5 hours

My contractions were so strong, but sooo far apart.  Every time I would have one I would get so
 nauseous and want to pass out.

I was so hot, but Brett said my head was so cool IMG_6536-2-2740663213-O

 My body was so completely exhausted that I was falling asleep in between contractions, which didn't help bc I was totally not motivated to move my body in different positions that would be helpful.
Asleep in this photo
In my head I thought I was never going to meet my baby boy
I thought and even said, " I can't do it....."
It became very emotional
I began to cry
IMG_6515-2740662162-O IMG_6517-2740662323-O

...... it was very hard

and I just felt like a leaky mess
everytime the Dr. would check me and I was still 9, I wanted to die and wished I had an epidural...... to late at this point though.

I prayed, prayed a lot.  I told Brett to pray for me.  IMG_6382-3-2740657774-O

" I can do all things through Christ who strengths me" kept me going.  
I remember hearing from the Lord, "my yolk is easy, my burden is light, give me your burden I am here to carry it for you"

Brett was right by my side, encouraging me, breathing with me, rubbing my back, and walking me to the bathroom a million times.
IMG_6488-2-2740661231-O IMG_6435-2740659666-O

It was such a mental and physical battle like nothing I have ever experienced.
I really wanted my midwife to be more vocal, give suggestions and encouragement, but she really didn't do a whole lot of that.

Finally she started making me sit a be in positions that were really horrific feeling but made me progress further.  She could see the babies head was caulked just so my body couldn't dilate further, so I had to lay on my side with a ball that literally looked like a minion between my knees.  I didn't think I was going to make it.... my biggest hope was coming from the nurse who told me that Levi was doing great despite my circumstance.
if you look in the botton left corner you can see the minion ball
At about 3:40, after 2.5 hours at a 9, I got the best news EVER. I was dilated to a 10 and could push!

Since my contractions were so far apart still I new I couldn't make it if I didn't not get him out soon, my body was just done and I couldn't handle hours of pushing.

I think one of the main benefits of not having the epidural came in at this point.  My body could feel exactly how I needed to push him out, I know it sounds weird, but I could feel where he was and how to maneuver to get him out!  So 2 pushes later Levi Paul Goodlin was born at 3:49pm.

Words cannot express the emotion I felt when I met him IMG_6582-2740665291-O IMG_6583-2-2740665324-O IMG_6600-2740666211-O IMG_6621-2-2740667062-O IMG_6656-2-2740667777-O IMG_6682-2740668508-O

Daddy getting to hold his son for the first time
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 And the 2nd specialist part of the day, the girls and Mallorie meeting Levi
  IMG_6775-2740670351-O IMG_6784-2740670548-O IMG_6821-2740670975-O IMG_6800-2740670796-O IMG_6810-2740670944-O IMG_6904-2740672870-O IMG_6921-2740673152-O

This girl, I tell ya, she is so amazing and took such wonderful care of the girls.  I did not worry about them for 1 minute.  I am so glad she was part of this special day!

And Celine.... there are really few people in life I would ever allow in a room with me while giving birth, she is one though.  I don't know what it is, but she has experienced this herself, she has such grace, encouragement and discretion.  I cannot even tell you how special it was that she was there to share this amazing day with us.  She will forever be a special part of our lives and little Levi's!

We have a son!

OUr amazing little gift

And although the story was not the same, or nearly as easy as the birth of baby Sarah
the outcome was the same.
A healthy baby, a tiny miracle

Our son. 
We love him so much!


  1. Thanks for sharing your story...oh, my goodness...I felt like I was feeling your pain (physically & emotionally)!! I was in Hawaii on vacation with Albert & our little ones when Blake called to say Jenielle was in labor...she was early. We talked to her, facetimed with her a few times so felt like we got to experience it with her a little...I actually got to see her go through the contractions. I loved technology just a little more that day!! Reading your experience was a bit like going through it with Jenielle, I guess.... :) Congratulations again ... what a blessing your family is!!

    1. JoAnne, My mom wasn't here yet and my in laws were out of town in Omaha for the weekend, (we did facetime with them also). Guess that's what happens when you have your baby on a holiday weekend :O) glad technology was on your side also!

  2. Jenni -- I just realized Levi & Phil share a birthday! Great story! You did great! Whew! Glad that one's over!

    1. So fun that that is Phils birthday, what a special person for Levi to share his birthday with :O) and yes, totally glad that one is over!

  3. Well, there we go, Jen! I knew Levi's birthday had to have some significance. He shares the birthday of the guy who married us! Cheers to Aug 31!

  4. I had tears because your story and pictures brought back memories of the pain (oh, the INDESCRIBABLE PAIN!) of when the girls were born. I was in transition for 2 hours with Briana...oh, trust me, do I empathize with you. Like you, I felt like I was going to die. And I kept falling asleep, which Steven totally did not get. LOL Congratulations on rounding out your family with a boy, and for enduring what you endured. He is going to be such a HANDSOME and cute little boy!

  5. Oh my goodness, this made me cry! So sweet. That would stink to be stuck at a 9 for 2 1/2 hours! I thought it was really interesting about the pitocin, how you thought the contractions were just the same as your other labors - I always kind of thought that too, but I didn't have an entire pitocin labor to compare it to. I love all the pictures - beautiful! Congratulations again!

    1. You know I think maybe if I would have actually stayed on pitocin that last 9 wouldn't have been so long, but I was pretty stubborn about not wanting it at all.....that's what I get I guess :O)

  6. amazing!!! my word for august 31st. you were amazing, brett was amazing support, levi being born (beyond) amazing, and you guys gave me the most amazing sacred gift! reading this brought back the many tears i had that day. you are like a rockstar birther (is that a word?), you inspire & encourage me so much. maybe someday you can return the favor (if we convince vance!) to take pics for us :) love you guys!!

  7. I was so happy to read this! I can't wait to see how my labor turns out and it's crazy because no two are the same. I'm happy for you and your family (:

    1. I can't wait to hear your story, so excited for you guys!

  8. That first picture of Levi on your chest and you looking at him? One of the most beautiful moments I've ever seen captured on film. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

  9. Ahhhh thanks for sharing...beautiful...hahaah I never posted my birth story because It was a bit of a horror story...well the outcome was amazing but you know what I mean..haha


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