Monday, December 9, 2013

Tess Merrilyn VanBibber

I haven't blogged in forever, how sad! Now that we have a new member of the family, I am hoping to change my ways! I say "hoping" because before Tess was born, I had some twisted idea in my mind that I would have so much free time after she arrived. How very wrong I was!

I love birth stories. I love reading/hearing about people's experiences with bringing in new life. Birth truly is a beautiful thing. So... I've decided to share ours.

Tess was due on November 4th. November 4th came and went, with no baby. I had a feeling that she would be late, so I wasn't TOO anxious when she didn't arrive that day. However, day after day went by with no signs of baby arriving. I tried all the "tricks" to get labor started. I walked and ran, yes ran (not a pretty sight). I ate spicy foods, I tried massage, I ate certain foods, and nothing worked. I went to my Doctor's appointment a few days after Tess was due. He checked everything out and said I had not progressed from my previous appointments a few weeks earlier. I wasn't even dilated enough to have my membranes stripped. He suggested that I schedule an induction date, and hope that she came before then. That's just what we did. I scheduled the induction for the 12th, and thought there was no way i'd actually have to be induced. The 12th came, and there was still no sign of Tess.

We arrived at the hospital around 7:00 pm.To start, I was 75% effaced and dilated to a 1.  They got my IV in, hooked me up to the monitors, and started me on the meds. I started having contractions right away. At first I could barely feel them, then they began to get stronger and more regular. Pretty soon they were 2 minutes apart. I was getting tired already! I felt like I was getting no rest in between the contractions. This went on for hours. At 4:00 am the nurse came in to check my progression. I was just sure I was getting close to delivery... Nope. She informed me that I was at a 90% and still at a 1. I wanted to die! All those contractions with barely any progression. They told me they'd just let things keep going as they were, and that my doctor would call in a few hours to check in. Justin and I got absolutely no sleep that night. Around 8:00 am my contractions began to slow down, and the doctor said I needed to get started on the strong stuff... Pitocin. If I thought my contractions were painful before, boy was in for a surprise. I labored with the Pit for a few hours and my doctor came in to check me. I told him that if I hadn't progressed I was going to cry. After he checked me he cringed and said " Try not to kick me when I tell you this..." I had not progressed at all! I was true to my word; I cried. My doctor said he would come back in a while to break my water, and hopefully that would move things along. Originally, I had wanted a natural, unmedicated birth. However, after laboring all night with no sleep, and then to have the doctor tell me i'd made no progression, I lost it! I cried again to Justin and told him I didn't think I could do it without an epidural. Around 3:00 pm on November 13th, my water finally broke on it's own. My contractions were crazy intense! I told the nurse to get the anesthesiologist because I needed an epidural right away. He came, and gave me the epi. I cannot tell you how good that felt. I was a changed woman, cracking jokes and smiling! I started to progress quickly after that. Before I knew it, it was time to push! I had THE worst heartburn ever, and kept asking if they could give me some TUMS. The nurse told me no, and the best way to get rid of my heartburn was to get the baby out.  I was so tired I didn't know if I'd be able to do it, but the human body is an amazing thing.The excitement of knowing I was minutes away from meeting our baby, (and that once she came out my heartburn would be gone) was enough to give me the strength to push. Justin was an amazing support, and there is no way I could have done it without him. What a champ!

I will never forget the moment I held Tess for the first time. She was so soft and tiny, but had a nice set of lungs! Even though I was just seeing her for the first time, I felt as if I had known her forever. My heart absolutely melted when I was able to hold her, smell her, and touch her tiny little fingers and toes.

My amazing Mama was able to come to the hospital a few hours after Tess was born. She stayed the night with us so Justin could go home and get some sleep (He had to work the next day). Tess was wide awake and my Mom held her all night long. I was so grateful to have her there to help me, and teach me how to be a Mama. Tess and I were both doing well, and we got to go home the next day.

I was in labor for just under 24 hours. Tess was born at 6:53 pm on 11/13/13. She was 7lbs 11 oz. She perfectly healthy, and we love her to pieces!


  1. Congratulations, Rachel! My main motivation for pushing was so I could finally eat something, so I know what you mean about the heartburn. Haha Tess is beautiful. I'm glad you're both healthy and happy!

  2. She is adorable! That is crazy you were in labor for that long, but it's worth it! I can't wait to meet her in a couple of weeks!