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  • Shawntel Newton

Luca James

I have been so excited to share Luca’s birth story with you all. I also asked you what you wanted to know so I decided to share our story and then answer some common questions I received at the end.


About three weeks ago we were on our way to the hospital to have our third baby boy. I was a ball of emotions as we packed our bags and headed out. It was a mix of pure excitement and also a lot of nerves. This was going to be my third c-section so I knew what to expect but I couldn’t help but be very anxious about the process. It’s an interesting feeling knowing the exact day and time that you are going to have your baby (a benefit to scheduled c-sections).


Due to all the restrictions with COVID-19 we had to be screened before entering labor and delivery. A hospital staff member took our temperatures, had us put on masks and rub on hand sanitizer; all understandable precautions. After we were checked in we were escorted to our private room where a nurse asked me to put on my hospital gown and started taking my vitals. That’s always a long process full of medical questions and trying to get situated. About an hour or so later my anesthesiologist came in to introduce himself and go over what was about to happen. This was not my first time so I was well aware of what was about to happen. This still did not help with my anxiousness. I just kept silently praying that God would ease my nerves and just allow me to enjoy everything about the process.


After we went over everything my nurse came back into our room and told us it was time to go. My heart was racing. The nurses walked me into the operating room where I felt the temperature immediately change to a cold and sterile room with bright lights and full of masked medical staff. It was somewhat of an uncomfortable feeling when you know you’re about to be laid down on the table, fully exposed and strapped down! The anesthesiologist administered my spinal block and immediately laid me all the way back on the operating table. Paolo was able to come in at that time which helped my nerves a lot and I just had him hold my hand while the doctors started the c-section.


I don’t experience a lot of pain during my c sections; the pressure does not bother me and thankfully it all happens pretty fast. I don’t really like silence so I tend to make conversation so it’s less awkward. Within a few minutes of making small talk I started to hear a loud sweet baby cry and I heard, “look at all that hair.” To be honest I was pretty nervous about what I was going to hear because last time I was in that operating room I heard something that shook me to my core (see past posts on Leo). Though, I knew no matter what. God was in control. I prayed and thanked God for the breath and life of our new son.


The nurses got Luca’s vitals and then wrapped him in a warm blanket and brought him over to me. With my other two sons, I remember loving it when the nurses first brought them right up to my face so I could see them and they would start to smell me. I know that sounds weird, but it melted my heart thinking that they are smelling their mommy and ready to be cuddled. Soon after my incision was sutured up, I was wheeled into the recovery area where I tend to get very dizzy, nauseated and throw up. No surprise that’s what happened for the next six hours. That didn’t stop me from holding and feeding Luca...must be that God-given mom power! Once I started to feel better we were about to go to our room where we could begin our precious alone time with Luca. We FaceTimed the family and wanted everyone to know he was healthy and we were doing fine. Those next few days at the hospital were great. We had amazing care and were able to love on our son. No complications and no unknowns!


What a blessing this all is! We are so beyond thankful for our sweet family and I love sharing our family with you. I am going to go ahead and answer some questions some of you sent me…


A common question I received was, “Anymore babies?” Haha well that’s hard to answer lately. We have three kids under three and it is no joke! Honestly though, we have always talked about having four kids! We tried starting our family just a year into getting married but God held that back from us for a few years (see past post). So once we started having kids we didn’t wait too long after to try having another. So our boys are all 17 months apart. I think once Luca is sleep trained and I am getting more sleep then I will be able to think about a fourth. But for now I’m enjoying the three of them and trying to get into a good routine.



“What’s it like with toddlers and a newborn?” Well...right now I have to say this is NO JOKE and pretty hard. It’s still a unique situation since we are in “quarantine” so our routine has been different for a while now. Anthony and Leo are still pretty demanding and need a lot of attention. We are also potty training Anthony so there are a lot of transitions going on! Thankfully he’s catching on quick and it’s actually pretty easy. I would say the hardest part has been how much Luca eats. I am breastfeeding and you forget how much newborn babies want to eat. So having to feed him constantly and take care of Leo and Anthony can be challenging. Thankfully I have a playroom with a gate so in the morning I am able to somewhat lock us in there and safely feed Luca while Anthony and Leo can play where I can see them. And I have sleep-trained Anthony and Leo so I know that I'll get from noon till about 2:30 everyday to have alone time with Luca or if he’s also napping I'll get some time for myself. We try our best to give our kiddos attention not only together but individually; and properly discipline them when needed.


“Was it harder/easier than your other birth experiences?” This was the easiest birth experience for us. You can see past posts on Anthony and Leo’s births, but with Luca there were no complications. Very routine c-section and praise God Luca was totally healthy and we were able to go home within 48 hours. I am also healing the fastest too. I was the most active with this pregnancy and didn’t gain as much weight.


“Was recovery different than the last two?” Yes, I believe a lot of this was because I was not emotionally stressed like I was after Leo was born. There were so many unknowns with Leo that I was stressed and I believe it didn’t help in my recovery.


“I have seen a photo of the three c-sections. Is there a special reason for yours?” When I was nine months pregnant with Anthony (my first born) I had placenta previa so my doctor wanted to induce me due to the bleeding and high risk. Unfortunately I ended up being in labor for about two days and then ended up getting an infection and had to have an emergency c-section. Since I had an infection they had to take Anthony right away after birth to the NICU to test and make sure he didn’t have an infection. Thankfully he did not have an infection but it was a very traumatic experience for me physically and emotionally. I decided after that experience to move forward with all c-sections. I did not want to risk going through something like that again.


“Has the transition from two to three been easier or harder than you thought?” Well I knew this was going to be hard and tried to prepare myself but nothing could have prepared me to have three under three. Thankfully Paolo has been home since we’ve been in quarantine so I have had a lot of help from him! He’ll playfully say to me, “How do you do this?” Ha! Being a stay-at-home mom can be very draining but overall so rewarding! I think that the hardest thing has been the little to no sleep right now. I don’t really get a chance to re-charge! I have to remind myself that this too shall pass.


“Seems like you recovered fast from your c-section...any tips?” I was the most active with this pregnancy and didn’t gain as much weight. I focused a lot on my core during pregnancy to help with my recovery. After my surgery the doctors want you to stay in bed for 12 hours but then they want to see if you can start walking, and I was determined to get out of the hospital bed and get my legs going. I listened to my body and took it slow but pushed myself to start the healing process right away. I wore my tummy band and that helped so much. Once we were home I made sure not to lift my other boys and rest when I could. My doctor gave me permission to go on little walks so we did and I believe that helped me a lot too. I think it’s so important to listen to your body and your doctor.


“Was it harder/easier than your other birth experiences?” This was the easiest birth experience for us. You can see past posts on Anthony and Leo’s births, but with Luca there were no complications. Very routine C-section and praise God Luca was totally healthy and we were able to go home within 48 hours. I am also healing the fastest too. I was the most active with this pregnancy and didn’t gain as much weight. nthony right away after birth to the NICU to test and make sure he didn’t have an infection. Thankfully he did not have an infection but it was a very traumatic experience for me physically and emotionally. I decided after that experience to move forward with all C-sections. I did not want to risk going through something like that again. Listen to your body and your doctor.


Well my friends, as always, thank you for following along and always being so supportive and encouraging! I hope you enjoyed Luca’s birth story and if you have other questions, feel free to ask. I am an open book! Here are some photos from Luca’s birth and at the hospital.



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