Levi Paul Compton was born via emergency C-section on Friday, July 7, 2017, at 9:09pm. He was 7lb 5oz and 20in. long.
Thursday night, July 6, at about 10:30pm, I started to have regular, long contractions. After an hour of timing them, we contacted our midwife, Gail Brown. To have a home birth, the pregnancy must be at 37 weeks; we were short just 30 minutes, but Gail okayed the home birth and our other midwife, Hannah, came over about an hour later. We had the house clean and perfect for the ideal home birth, for Levi's arrival, and for family to come and stay.
The contractions grew stronger steadily, and I was first measured at a 3, an hour later progressed to a 4, then about two hours after that to a 5.
My parents, my brother and his wife arrived at the house Friday morning to stay with Addie while I labored. Blake was a source of constant encouragement as I tried every labor position I could think of, many of which involved Blake's help.
Then, for almost 10 hours, I stayed at a 5, in spite of increased and more intense contractions. At this point, we tried everything. We even tried to stop the contractions, thinking maybe my body wasn't actually ready to bring my son into the world. However, nothing worked. Finally, I progressed to a six, and stayed at a six for four hours. At this point we tried everything to naturally progress contractions, including using a breast pump. I had transition-strength contractions for an hour and a half, but still measured at a six. This was when my water broke, and the midwives could finally feel what we thought was Levi's head--only, it wasn't his head, but his hip.
We immediately left for St. Anthony's. As I was helped into a wheelchair and rushed through the emergency room, patients waiting were showering me with kind words: "You got this, Mama!" "You're strong, girl!" In the agony of trying not to push, the encouragement of strangers helped me get through the longest wheelchair ride down a hallway and up an elevator that I imagine exists. Once in the room, the nurses quickly checked me - still a six. The ultrasound tech came in and confirmed that Levi was indeed bottom down, and couldn't turn. They prepped me for a C=section right away. In all of this, Blake was my rock. Thanks to nursing school, he could tell me exactly what was going to happen with the C-section and ease so much of my anxiety, especially in the midst of very intense contractions where I couldn't do the one thing I wanted to do, which was push!
Levi was just as steady as his Daddy. In all of this, his heart rate maintained a perfect beat.
In the meantime, my parents, Blake's parents, our midwives, and my sister-in-law waited patiently with Addie in the waiting room. Addie made sure to entertain everyone with magic and dance shows.
Even though I was scared of the C-section (I have never had any kind of hospitalization other than a very bad stomach virus my first year of college where I thought my appendix had burst....because I was a wimp), I had peace. Our families were there. I even got to see Addie before they prepped me. Our midwives assured me that this was the best and ONLY option for Levi's birth. Blake was right beside me all the way. And, most importantly, I had complete confidence in God's faithfulness. I knew this would be yet another story where God's plan was completely different and completely better than ours.
The doctors and nurses who did my C-section were absolutely amazing. They were calm, reassuring, and cared for Levi and me so well. Once out, Levi was perfect. He cried immediately. Soon, I heard the doctor tell Blake to look at Levi: about 6 inches from his belly button was a true knot in the umbilical cord. Had Levi delivered any later, or dropped more during his labor, the problems the knotted cord could have caused are too many (and too dangerous) to list here.
Dr. Jennings came out to update the family on Levi and me, and pretty soon after Blake came out to tell them more about the birth. Telling them about the knot in Levi's cord refreshed the reality of how God had protected our son, bringing Blake to tears.
To summarize, the more I reflect on Levi's birthday, the more I reflect on how good our God is. While in the middle of a hard and what I was beginning to believe was a fruitless labor, all I could think was, "Why is this so hard? Is this really the labor God wants for my son? What am I doing wrong?" I joked that his seeming refusal to leave my womb was that his name is Levi, which means "joined" or "attached;" he was too attached to his Mommy! I actually do believe his name played a large role in this event. I believe God attached Himself firmly to my son, and to every aspect of his birth.
So, to all who prayed for us, especially during those agonizing labor hours, thank you. I truly believe your prayers played a valuable role in what God was doing in unseen places. I am overwhelmed by your love and support, and by how God's goodness shines through even our darkest doubts.