Wow, where do I even begin! Livie Kate is already such a joy and these past 3 weeks have been a dream! Seriously, what was life before her? We are all SO in love and she completes our family perfectly! It’s bittersweet because there is a good chance this was my last pregnancy. I think we are perfectly happy with our 3 kids and although I would love to have a TON of children to raise and love and make this world a better place, I also don’t want to take away any love I have for my 3 children. I don’t want to spread myself too thin and not give them each the attention they deserve but YALL…. BABIES. ahh babies. I LOVE BABIES.
OK… where should I begin? Let me first tell you about her name!
Livingston Katherine – a name we have had on our hearts for 5+ years! SO, when I was pregnant with Lofton I was on bedrest for 10 weeks. During that time I started sketching dresses to pass the time and those dress sketches later turned into my clothing line, Lauren James! The first dress I ever designed and put into production was called “The Livingston dress” and it’s the reason I started my company and the reason it was successful in the first couple years! It was, and continues to be, our best selling dress!
That one dress design changed the course of my entire life.
I wanted my daughter to have a name that means something strong and special in my life. I named her after my first dress design because just like that dress, she is changing my life for the better!! (and fortunately I have a great husband who didn’t argue one bit when I told him what we were naming her! 🙂
I knew I was being induced at 39 weeks because when I say I have babies fast.. I mean FAST. My labor typically progresses pretty quickly and then when it’s time to push I have about 10 minutes until I’m holding my bundle of joy! And if you’ve been following me for a while you might remember that I was diagnosed with a 9cm fibroid on my uterus at about 15 weeks. The fibroid is very low on my uterus and my doctor didn’t want it to possibly be a “road block” for baby sis when she was ready to enter the world! So I would have been 39 weeks on Friday, September 14th except I had a little surprise the day before!!
8:30am – I had been having contractions on and off for weeks, but on Thursday morning I woke up having a few more than usual so I decided to come in to the clinic to get checked out just in case! Lucky for me my OB was actually on call that day so the MD I saw in the clinic decided to send me on to the hospital to get labor started right then! (yay!)
9:30am – So we had my hospital bag with me, and the kids were already at school so we were ready to go!! We walked upstairs (my doctor’s office is on the first floor of the hospital) and got into our room! I remember being so at peace during this time. It wasn’t anxious or nervous or overly excited… let me be clear, I was SO excited. but not in an obnoxious way. I was just peacefully READY.
10:00am – So for those who haven’t had a baby here is a quick rundown of what happens when you get to the hospital. (and I was not in active labor so keep that in mind!) It wasn’t high energy and we weren’t on a time crunch. We were able to relax and take our time which I am so thankful for. So you get into your room and first thing’s first you put on your lovely hospital gown! Some women choose to bring their own hospital gown that is cute and monogrammed or whatever but I’ve never been that girl. You’re literally going to get blood sweat and tears ADN THEN SOME on this gown so I always just opt for the gown the hospital provides! Then you’ll get your IV pretty quick. They want to pump some fluids into your system before you have the baby.
11:30pm – OK, so after allll of that they decided they wanted to get my epidural in before starting the medicine to induce my labor because not only do I have babies FAST but I have a “boney back” (haha??) I’ve had to get my epidural redone every.single.time. because the anesthesiologists always say my back bones make it hard to thread in the epidural catheter. They usually only work on 1 side at first and then I have to get it redone and it finally works. Annoying, right?? Well this time was no different. So first of all, I had my husband in there with me during the epidural with my first two pregnancies. HOWEVER. As a nurse, I’ve seen husbands pass out multiple times while their wives get epidurals. It’s not easy to see your wife get a big ole shot in the back SO this time I told my husband to go ahead and wait outside the room. I had a FABULOUS nurse, yall. I wish we were friends in real life. She was amazing. And she took over with holding my hand and making sure I was breathing properly. So if your husband gets queasy around needles like mine does, don’t feel bad about letting him step outside the room or at least sit in the corner of the room! OK, epidural time… so the Nurse Anesthetist came in to do my epidural and immediately said “I just moved back to the states, I’ve been working here for 3 weeks!” (ummm yikes) I should have spoken up here and told him that I totally respected his profession an knew he was amazing but I am a hard stick. Yall, don’t be afraid to speak up! Well I didn’t. And this was the most painful epidural I’ve ever gotten! And of course, it didn’t work. So after a couple hours of only 1 numb leg, his boss (the Anesthesiologist) came in and I explained that I would rather have 5 more sticks to the back if it meant being numb during the delivery! I totally respect and envy the women who go all natural and have babies without any medicine but that’s just not me!! So I asked the Anesthesiologist to take a swing at it and yall he stuck me in the back THREE MORE TIMES before it totally worked. But since 1/2 of my body was already numb it didn’t hurt at all, it was just time consuming!
2:00pm – Epidural is working and they start the medicine to induce labor!
ok… fast forward through all of the waiting and watching and bags of fluid and all of that….
7:45pm – I was only dilated to 7cm at this point which was slow for me! But all of a sudden Livie’s heart rate started dropping with each contraction. I had been texting with my friends at this point saying “I’m only dilated to a 7 this is going to take all night! Don’t bother coming to see us until tomorrow!”
Well, I spoke too soon!!
7:48pm – Right after I said that the nurses ran in and threw a huge oxygen mask on me and made me turn onto my side (which is hard to do when you’re numb) And then I had to turn to my other side.. and then back again. They were trying to get her heart rate to quit dropping so drastically. ok… PANIC MODE SET IN. Lance was actually getting a sandwich at the time and came in to see everyone in the room and the oxygen mask on me and tears streaming down my face and of course he started worrying because I couldn’t even explain what was happening through my tears. I was SO SCARED. I remember asking my nurse what exactly would happen if they needed to get her out asap and she said “well, we would do an emergency C-Section but I don’t think we’re there QUITE yet…” Quite yet!? As in… you aren’t sure that we’re in the clear!? I was hoping for “oh hunny that won’t be necessary, you’re FINE! But no. We weren’t there QUITE yet. They were checking me and I had gone from a 7 to a 9 in about 30 seconds. Livingston’s head was coming down so quickly that it was getting smushed a bit causing the heart rate drops. But the doctor came in and was cool as a cucumber, yall. She was like.. this is 100% normal, you’re FINE. We are just being extra cautious. But she checked me again and I was a 10! A TEN. It was go-time!
7:50pm – My epidural machine started beeping and said “low medicine” LOW MEDICINE!? no. no no no. I turned to my doctor and said “you better turn around right now and go get me some more medicine before it’s time!!” and She laughed and said, “honey, you’re having this baby RIGHT NOW. haha there is no time for that!” So the nurses hurried to get everything set up and they told me, “you have enough medicine in there for 1 more push of your pain button. I’d suggest pushing it now!” so I did.
7:55pm – I WAS FREAKING OUT. I wasn’t ready. “can I just have a C section??” “I can’t do this” “I’m not prepared” “ahhhhhhhhh” so my OB nurse, (the one who works with my doctor and has been in every dr. appointment and delivery room for my babies) pulled out her cell phone and started playing Push It by Salt N Pepa. NO lie. haha It made me laugh and I started to push! Well yall… before the lyrics to the song even started I was holding my baby girl!
7:58pm – Livingston Katherine Stokes entered the world! She was BEAUTIFUL yall. Sometimes babies get a little squishy and cone headed because labor takes so long but because of my quick labor, she was perfectly round and gorgeous and looked like a little Gerber baby!! I had asked for skin to skin time before they even weighed her so after Lance cut the cord and they did a quick wipe down they put a hat on her and laid her on my chest. And there she stayed for the next 2 hours! I got to do this with Linden as well and it’s a time I will never forget! Same with Livie, I will forever remember that time we had together!! After I was decent and covered up and the doctor was ready to leave they let my family back into the room. First just my mom, then my dad and the boys, and then the rest of the family was able to come after we had a moment together as a family of 5. The boys immediately LOVED her. There wasn’t, and hasn’t been any sort of jealousy or animosity. They love her fierce and have taken their job as big brothers very seriously! 🙂
10:00pm – The medicine from the epidural wore off and I was finally able to walk so they cleaned off Livie and weighed her right in my room. Lance put her in her first outfit, as he does with all of our children, and he was finally able to snuggle his new baby!! I love my skin to skin time but I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Lance to have to wait so long to hold his babies!! He always rushes over to get them dressed and scoops them right up! One thing I love about Lance is that HE LOVES BABIES. And babies love him! He’s great with babies too, not scared or timid, he love them fierce! So after some snuggles we were finally ready to go to the Postpartum wing where we got some rest and were spending our first night in baby heaven!
If you made it all the way through that, thank you for sharing this time with me!! I wanted to be very thorough because I use this as a way for me to remember special times as well as share them with you all so I know it’s pretty lengthy!! Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes over the past 3 weeks since Livingston was born! And thank you for letting me take this time to put blogging to the side and just enjoy my time with my family! 🙂 Love you all!!