Warning: full details and medical terms to follow!
As I mentioned in the last post, I went in for my 40 week appointment and had my membranes stripped…
I woke up at 3am on Tuesday the 15th and my bag of waters was leaking. The hospital staff had me give it 1 more hour and when I was still leaking, I went on in. They confirmed it was amniotic fluid and I was admitted. Now, for those that know, I was very adamant about wanting a natural, medicine free birth. So I asked how long I had until they wanted to induce with Pitocin. They gave me 5 hours from when it called at 3 am. I walked and walked and walked. At 8am, I had not started labor. At that time I had to concede and was hooked up to Pitocin to induce labor. The contractions were strong and very painful. As my nurse, Sarah, told me, when your body produces Oxytocin, it also produces endorphins. When Pitocin (synthetic Oxytocin) is given, your body doesn’t usually kick in those endorphins unless it also kicks in its own Pitocin. I did the slow, gradual increase of Pitocin.
The pain was serious, but I was working to manage it naturally with the methods I had learned. Every time I asked how far I was, I was told I wasn’t even in active labor yet. All I could keep thinking was, “If this isn’t even real labor, what am I in for when I am.” I was genuinely disheartened each time she told me that I wasn’t in active labor yet.
By 4:30 that afternoon, the contractions were constant and unrelenting, yet I kept being told I was still in early labor. I had started at a level 4 Pitocin and was now at 28. When they told me I was still only 3cm dilated, I knew I would be giving up another aspect of my birth plan and I chose to get an epidural. They inserted an interuterin catheter to measure the strength of my contractions. They also confirmed that Ella was head down, but was facing the wrong way (sunny side up), which explained my terrible back labor pains.
I’ll post a funny story about the epidural later… Stay tuned because it’s good!
The epidural gave me instant relief and I felt a LOT better, but was happy that I could still feel my legs and move them. They checked my again at about 6:00 pm. I was now at 36 level of Pitocin and still only 3cm dilated. The catheter they had placed indicated that I was constantly contracting and my uterus was not properly releasing between contractions, which explains why my “early labor” pains were so incredibly painful before the epidural.
At this time, they stopped the Pitocin to give my contractions a break and get my belly to relax.
Between 7:00 and 7:30 they started the Pitocin back up. They monitored my contractions closely and had to keep bumping the Pitocin dose back down because my contractions would get too hard and too close together again. My nurse for night shift, Kelly, had to keep me at an 18 level for a long time. For awhile, despite now having no feeling in my legs, I had Chad and the nurses help me turn over and lean over the back of the bed on my knees. I wanted to do whatever I could to help Ella get down the shoot! I also put Peppermint Oil from my new YL oil kit on my back since my friend had used it to help her baby flip out of Sunny Side Up position.
At about midnight, Kelly said I still wasn’t in active labor. Once I was in active labor, I would probably need to be there at least 4 hours to get me dilated and Ella down enough for delivery. Chad went to the house to let the dogs in.
The last time they had checked me was 6:30. With all they had done, they didn’t want to keep checking me since risk of infection increases each time. Kelly finally checked me again at about 12:50am on Wednesday, April 16th. She opened her eyes wide and said Ella’s head was “right there” and I was “complete” and ready to push! Mom started crying. Kelly high-fived me! I was so relieved. Now we had to figure out where Chad was, since the house was a 30 minute drive…
About 10 minutes later he came in and didn’t believe the nurse when she first told him I was complete! He had almost stopped long enough at home to finish his dinner. He had almost taken a “short” nap which usually never is just that. We were so blessed that he didn’t.
By 1:15, the nurse had me start a few “practice” pushes while we waited on Dr. Henderson to arrive. She arrived a short time later, also shocked at how the events had suddenly unfolded.
I pushed for an hour, holding Chad’s hand between pushes and watching my baby make her decent into the world with each labored push. At 2:17,
Ella Grace Tipps entered our world. I cried, Chad cried, mom cried. It was beautiful.
Dr. Henderson said I had a perfect delivery! I had a small tear, not even 1st degree. She told me she had needed to have me push more right at the end because Ella’s heart rate had started to drop. I’m glad she didn’t tell me at the time or I might have freaked out!
I did get my delayed cord cut for her to get the extra cord blood. Her cord was short like mine had been, so we were blessed that it wasn’t wrapped like mine had been! Chad cut her cord and they placed her on my chest. All I could do was marvel at my little miracle and cry happy tears of joy that I was finally holding her. Daddy was a wreck too. I also got my skin to skin for the first hour and got the first nursing in before they cleaned her up and did all of her other assessments.
God was in that room. Every nurse, tech, and even Dr. Henderson were sure I was headed for a C-section. God let my body do what it needed to without me ever being in active labor. Dr. Henderson said I had just proven the textbooks wrong with this birth, but we know it was God! I found out later that my friend, Leigh, had delivered in that same room the week before. She had an unusual and yet miracle birth as well. When she told me that we had delivered in the same room and that her mom had prayed over the births to follow in that room, I cried, thankful for a night God who works in amazing and miraculous ways.
We are so excited to have Ella here and to share her with the world! Thank you all for the prayers, love, and well-wishes! We are so thankful!