Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Elliana's Birth Story

Elliana Joy Boyington was born on May 21, 2013 at 11:34 pm.  Her birth story is quite long and detailed.  As always, I plan to share the truth:  the good, the bad, and the ugly .  I'm definitely putting myself all out there with this post.  As I have said previously, negative comments will not be tolerated. 

I woke up on Tuesday morning around 2:30 am not able to sleep.  I was so full of excitement, anxiety and nerves.  We were on the road around 5 am or so and made it to the hospital right on time at 6:00 am.  Our nurse, Deborah, greeted us and took us to our labor and delivery room.  She wasted no time getting things started.  She handed me a hospital gown and a cup and pointed me to the restroom.
In the elevators on the way to the 3rd floor

My last picture standing up! haha
 There were so many questions to answer about my previous health history and such.  Deborah got my IV inserted and started me on fluids.  Dr. McKenzie came in around 7 am to break my water.  This was what I was most terrified about!  I was so scared that it was going to hurt.  I did feel a little bit of pressure but no gush or pop.  Just warmth.  It was the strangest feeling.  At this time the nurse also started Pitocin.  Within 30 minutes or so my body was already having minor contractions but nothing too painful.  As Dr. McKenzie explained it, I was experiencing all of my labor in the hospital; whereas other women endured the first phase at home.  I knew I was in for a long day, but had NO idea what lied ahead...
With my sweet nurse, Deborah
Within an hour of my water being broken I felt like I had to urinate.  This feeling didn't stop!  At first my nurse told me that I didn't have to go and it was just me feeling my water continue to leak.  When she finally gave me the bedpan I proved her wrong.  From there I used the bedpan once an hour.  Because they had broken my water, I was not able to get up on my own and use the potty.  It wasn't very fun, but at least the bedpan was made to fit under my hiney comfortably.
My sister's Instagram post

Me being silly

Somewhere around 9 am or so my mom and little sister arrived.  Within an hour from then my
sister-in-law arrived as well.  I had planned from the beginning to have Sheri present for both labor and delivery.  My Granny and Pop had been in town for a doctor's appointment so they showed up as well.  Looking back I should NOT have let so many people be present in my labor room.  I was in such a fog that I never asked them to leave.  I was too worried about hurting people's feelings.  When I felt the contractions growing stronger I couldn't even cry because I didn't want everyone to see how badly I was hurting. 
Dr. Mac talking to my family

My amazing SIL, Sheri

Around noon I was starting to feel more pain from the growing contractions.  I can't remember if the nurse or myself suggested another cervical check.  I was so excited to be at 3 cm and completely thinned out.  I didn't know that my body was ready for the epidural.  I would have been happy with just a little bit of pain medicine to get me through.  Deborah told me it was epidural time and I didn't argue with her.  Everyone left the room and I was quite a bit nervous.  My nurse was so sweet with me and kept me calm.  I prayed beforehand for the anesthesiologist that God would guide his hands and I would feel no pain.  Surprisingly, the IV I had received earlier in the day hurt worse than the epidural itself.  There was a slight pinch when he gave me the local, and just some pressure with the actual epidural being inserted.  I felt cold down my back when the medicine started going in and that felt amazing because I had been so hot all morning.  They laid me down and had me lie on both sides.  My entire left leg went numb but I never felt the same way in my right side (I later had all feeling return to my right side during pushing).

The nurse had me text Brandon and let him know that he was allowed back in the room along with everyone else (again I should have said no one but Brandon and Sheri).  The rest of the day is much of a blur.  They would continue to check me and I was very slow to progress.  By this point my Dad had finished working for the day and he was there too.  He popped his head in from time to time but tried to stay out of the room when possible.  My sister would escort everyone to the cafeteria, and mom worked on sewing.  I just laid in the bed.  It was nearly impossible to watch TV and reading a book or anything else was out of the question.  In all honesty, I have no idea how I passed the time.  I do remember at one point beginning to feel very nauseated.  They added Zofran to my IV bag and it helped tremendously.  Once the nausea had worn off, my step-dad and little brother arrived.  Nate was terrified to come near me. I was a site for sore eyes and was growing more and more tired as the day wore on.
My step-dad, David

Granny, Nate, and Sneakers
I was sending out text messages to friends and church ladies all day long.  I would write everything out in my "notes" app on my iPhone and screenshot the message from there.  This was a great idea on my part because I now have a frame of reference.

At 5:45 pm Dr. Mac checked me and I was 7.5 cm and 0 station.  I was definitely progressing, but Ellie was not dropping any.  Little did we know that this was a foreshadowing of the evening's events.  Ellie would never fully drop into my pelvis and would make pushing hard work.  At this time in the evening, Dr. McKenzie was very encouraged and positive that we would be having a baby on May 21 no matter what.
My hair was awful from laying on it all day long
At 7 pm there was a shift change.  I had prayed for good nurses during our hospital stay and God definitely heard my prayer!  Whitney was with us for the duration of our time during labor and delivery.  She was awesome.  She was young and funny and had a great time goofing off with us.  She checked me around 6:35 pm and I was at 8 cm.  At this point I thought things were really beginning to move.  (I was wrong!)  I was so excited that I posted on Facebook that we had only two more centimeters to go.  Everyone was excited for us, but I had no more posts after that until way later!  (Everyone thought we had just forgotten to update, they had no idea that I stayed in labor for that much longer.)
The most amazing nurse EVER
I was checked again at 8:02 pm and I was 9 cm and still at 0 station.  Ellie wasn't dropping and they told me this meant I would have to push that much harder.  Also, I heard Dr. McKenzie say "LOA" which meant that baby girl's head was facing left.  I was so saddened and discouraged but tried to not get too upset.

Somewhere before 9 pm Joy showed up.  She left the kids in the waiting room and came in to see me.  I was so overwhelmed and tired from the day.  My room was filled with people and it felt like everyone was talking and I was just sitting there taking it all in.  Brandon and I still have no idea why we didn't ask for some privacy.  I should have taken a nap at some point during the day, but had no quiet time.  My family was only there because they loved me, but I was so overwhelmed.
I knew it was about time to be checked again so I asked Joy to pray over me.  The nurse cleared the room but I told Joy she could stay behind.  Whitney checked me and told me that I was at 10 cm and it was time to push.  She called Dr. McKenzie, although it would be a little bit before he showed up.  This was at 9 pm.  Brandon went to get the family and told them to come in and get all of their things.  After we had Ellie they would come to see us in a different room on another floor.  At the last minute I asked Joy to stay.  I had planned on having Sheri in our room before we were ever even pregnant.  In that moment, I just knew that I needed Joy too.  I had my "Dream Team" and we were ready to have a baby.

On my left I had Sheri and Whitney (nurse).  On my right I had Brandon and Joy.  There was nothing that could have prepared me for the pushing phase of labor.  Because of the epidural it was hard to know if I was doing anything or not.  We ended up having the mirror rolled in so I could look and focus on that area.  Whitney would tell me that I was doing a good job but I was so unsure.  We would push for three sets of ten with each contraction.  As time wore on I had to hit my pain button again and again.  The feeling came back in my right side and that was NOT pleasant at all.  I was eventually given what's called a boost.  Brandon actually made that decision for me because I didn't know what to do because I was in so much pain.  I am still proud of myself in that I never wasted any of my contractions.  There was only set that we didn't push through, and it was because Dr. Mac said to rest.

During my pushing we had so many funny moments.  I was strategically placing everyone around me and telling them to push my legs harder or easier.  Sheri said that her arms actually hurt the next day!  Joy was feeding me ice chips in between contractions, and we had the iPad playing in the background.  About an hour into pushing Dr. Mac came back in and I wasn't making much progress.  Ellie just couldn't drop.  He told me to keep at it hard and he would be back.  It's h

It seems like the 2.5 hours of pushing flew by.  It was the company I was with.  There was a lot of prayer and it was a beautiful time.  It must have been nearing 11:30 pm when Dr. Mac returned with a desperate look on his face.  He explained to me that I had a narrow pubic arch and Ellie was having trouble descending.  She would slip almost past it with each contraction, only to move back inward when it was over.  He told me that he would have to use the forceps to deliver my sweet baby.  I immediately started crying.  I didn't want him to hurt my precious daughter.  From there everything flew by.
Getting ready to really meet my little girl

It's almost time!

My girls!  

Almost time!

Dr. Mac telling us that it's almost time and that he needs to use greater measures to deliver Miss Ellie

Brandon was terrified when he saw the forceps.  Dr. Mac tried to fit them inside of me to no avail.  He then grabbed the scalpel.  He cut me from my vagina to my rectum.  Brandon didn't even tell me.  Dr. Mac was then able to slip the forceps completely inside me and Brandon said that he started crying.  The nurses had to take the slippers off of Dr. McKenzie's feet so he could grip the floor to pull Elliana out.  They had me pushing with all of my might.  Everyone in the room was cheering me on and I was praying out loud calling on Jesus to help me in between .

At 11:34 pm my precious daughter was born and I heard the most beautiful cry in the world.  They placed her on my chest and it was a moment that I will never forget.  I thanked God for her and kissed her beautiful little head.  I was so overwhelmed!  They asked me if they could clean her up for a minute and they they brought her right back to me.  I don't remember now, but Brandon said that we spent about five minutes just looking at her.

I love that Joy was able to capture Elliana and the clock in the same picture!
Brandon said that his hand was shaking so hard when he was cutting the cord

I can still remember this one moment like it was yesterday

My beautiful little girl

ALL of the girls this time
Then the fun stuff started......  Dr. McKenzie then told me that he had cut me.  It was a second degree episiotomy.  I knew that something had happened because I felt like a train had just driven out of my vagina.  Even through the epidural and booster I was still feeling pain.  He delivered the placenta and then started working on repairing my lady parts.  During this time I was able to breast feed Ellie for the first time and Brandon also had skin-to-skin with our daughter.  While Dr. Mac was putting me back together, Joy stayed by my side and held my hand.  At one point she said that I came up off the table into her arms crying out in pain.  It all hurt so terribly and I was very aware of the pulling and tugging going on down there.  I had no idea what was in store for me in terms of recovery.
Brandon looking at Elliana

She's fiesty!
It felt amazing holding her for the first time

Brandon was in love with our little girl from the first moment he saw her

She stopped crying as soon as they placed her back on my chest

Elliana enjoyed skin-to-skin with Daddy

Once Dr. McKenzie had finished with me he prayed with our little family and it was time to head to our room.  

When they brought in the wheel chair I was so sad.  I knew that I had to stand up and sit down in that chair.  Standing was very difficult and sitting down was even worse.  I could not sit straight down.  I rode in the wheel chair to our room on my side while holding Ellie.  Little did I know that I wouldn't sit straight down for over a week.

Our little family grew by two feet
When we got into our room, the assigned nurse knew that I must be worn out.  She had seen how long I stayed stuck at 9 cm and then how long I pushed.  She was taking me to the bathroom to change my pad with all of the medicine and show me how to take care of my lady parts and I began to feel sick.  I was overcome with hot flashes and the room got dark.  I was on the verge of passing out.  Brandon and I don't know what caused it.  We had a long day, I lost some blood, I was in extreme pain, and my life had just dramatically changed with the birth of our little girl.  I looked at the nurse and told her I was about to faint.  I knew that my blood pressure had dropped dramatically and told her that I needed to get back to the bed quickly.  When I went to stand I could not.  Brandon was so focused on Elliana that he had no clue I was so sick.  I got his attention and he and the nurse (Kaitlyn) put their arms under mine and helped me slowly walk back to the bed.  I had already been given a double dose of pain medication and it couldn't even begin to relieve the pain I was feeling in my bottom.

I was so upset.  It was now time for Ellie's first bath and I couldn't even stand up to go into the bathroom to see her get her hair washed.  Of course my cell phone was with Sheri in the waiting room.  Brandon offered to take pictures with his iPad but I started crying.  He went to the waiting room for me and retrieved my cell phone since there was absolutely no way I could get there.  Our family had no idea what was going on or taking so long but Brandon assured them that they would come back at some point.  It was around 2:30 am.  They had been waiting all day but I was not going to share these special moments with anyone other than my husband.  I felt like we deserved that.  In the back of my head I was hoping that they would understand but I honestly "didn't give a rip" anymore.  I was in so much pain and was trying to enjoy those little moments.  Brandon took so many pictures of her getting her hair washed.  I could hear her little cries and would talk to her so she could hear Mommy's voice.  The sweet nurse then brought her back to the little heated table and completed her bath there so I could watch.  She knew that I was just devastated that I couldn't get up and move around.

Miss Elliana loved having her hair washed

Holding Daddy's hand

We had the sweetest nurse, Kaitlyn

Baby girl's head looked awful that first night but is perfectly rounded now
It must have been near 3:30 am when we were finished with bathing Ellie and I was comfortable again.  They had loaded me up with pain medication (safe to take while breastfeeding) and it was time to let everyone in to see the baby.  In hindsight we should have sent everyone home hours ago.  I was so exhausted and it was way too much stimulation having a room full of visitors so late/early.  Everyone had their time holding the Ellie and slowly started to leave. Dad stayed until 5 am and left to go home and shower and then head straight to work.  Brandon and I were beyond tired!

Ellie was safely swaddled in her little plastic bassinet and we tried to sleep.  I assure you that I got maybe 1 hour of sleep in the first TWO days after her birth.  Dr. Radbill did rounds and woke all of us up.  They never did vitals on us at the same time.  The pediatrician also had to come check on her.  My nurse checked on us periodically and then lactation came to visit us.  Overwhelmed doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.  I understand that everyone wanted to visit but we should have limited everyone.

Any time I started to drift off to sleep I would be woken up by someone in the room or Ellie crying.  It's all such a blur now.  To top things off, I couldn't lay flat in my bed, but had to stay rolled over onto my side.  My bottom hurt terribly.  When I had to get up out of the bed, it was a planned movement and I needed help to get up.  Walking was such a tiring task and I couldn't stand up straight.  I actually couldn't stand up straight for days and my back has since paid the price.  Also, I could feel gravity pulling everything out of me each and every time I stood up.  This feeling also lasted for days.

We were in the hospital from 6 am on Tuesday morning until 2 pm on Friday afternoon.  Because I had Elliana so late on Tuesday night we had to stay until Friday.  In those days there were many tears from both Brandon and myself.  As I began moving more I realized all that my body had endured.  I tried to skip my pain medicine one night and paid for it later.  I thought I was alright and didn't need it.  Boy was I wrong.  My entire body ached from pushing for 2.5 hours.

On Thursday in the hospital, a new problem presented itself.  I had been so out of it that I hadn't noticed my bladder acting funny.  Brandon helped me to the restroom and when I stood up I thought I had lochia/blood pouring from me.  As he helped me take off my hospital underwear, we realized that it wasn't blood, but me urinating.  I couldn't control it.  My entire bladder emptied right there and the nurse saw it too.  In that day it happened a total of FIVE times where I couldn't control it.  Since then I've little to no more control over my bladder.  From the trauma I endured this could be normal until 6 weeks postpartum.  The doctors didn't seem too worried at all.  (On Saturday 6-25 at home I had a bowel movement and "pushed" and that revealed bright red urine and a nasty UTI.  I still have UTI symptoms today over two weeks later).

My story could terrify most women into not having a vaginal delivery.  When we decide to have another child we will definitely move forward with a c-section.  We had no idea that my body could not tolerate a vaginal delivery.  The doctor also had no idea about my narrow pubic arch.  I'm here writing now 14 days postpartum and the main part of my episiotomy has healed, but I still have a rather large opening on my perineum.  It's going to take a while for it to heal.  I am dilligent about keeping it clean and apply Tucks and medicine all day long.  I've been using baby wipes on myself to wipe.  Unfortunately it must heal from the inside out and who knows how long that could take.  Regardless of what I have endured, Elliana is worth every ounce of pain.  She's my precious miracle and I would do it all over again in a hearbeat.


  1. Wow! What a delivery. I am so proud of you and Brandon, though! Elliana is beautiful! My sister had a third degree episiotomy with her last one! She was in so much pain! I have spent so much time thinking about getting pregnant I haven't ever thought about delivery!

  2. Wow Courtney! I am amazed that you made it through all of this. I so wish that you didn't have to go through any of it to bring Ellie into the world. You are such a strong person!

  3. Hoping that you are healing well.

    Your daughter is beautiful.

  4. She is just precious, what a gift!

  5. Wow- you really endured a lot for your little girl. What a trooper! Glad you gave the whole story so other people can share your special moments with Ellie. She is so precious.

  6. Oh Courtney! Holy cow! That is quite a birth story. I got chills when you talked about the episiotomy and Brandon's reaction. That had to be so tough to witness. You sounded like you had some amazing nurses to take care of you. Little Ellie is just adorable!

  7. Oh Court. You are an amazing woman. I cried reading this from both joy and sympathy for you. She's precious. I love all

  8. The pictures. Will be praying for your continued healing

  9. Oh man... I can't believe everything you went through! Gracious! I will pray you continue to heal and the pictures are so sweet and precious!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I pray that your recovery improves quickly. Your family is so gorgeous.

  11. This story had me in tears! Thank you for sharing all the details of your beautiful daughter's delivery. Your story actually reinforced all my fears about giving birth within the next couple of weeks; but I know it will be worth all the pain. I hope you're still recovering well. You've done a wonderful job keeping strong and brave and doing everything right for your baby.

  12. Wow, just sitting here in tears. What a story and what a beautiful baby you have. Reagan had a big bump on her head from the doctor having to use the vac to pull her out.

  13. So proud of you!! I am glad you are healing well and I wish you and your family nothing but the best with your daughter :)

  14. I just can't believe that once again our stories are do similar. The only differences- I yelled at my visitors to get out that they weren't invited! Hehe, I had vacuum instead, and haven't had bladder issues (though had uti symptoms after a bm that lasted a good 2weeks).

    I'm 4weeks now and feed really good for the last 4 or do days. Not perfect, but really comfortable. Hopefully you'll feel really good in another week or so too.

    I swore I was having a c sect next.. But I'm slowly changing my mind :-)

  15. Sorry for all the typos! Using phone and I never proof read :-S

  16. Wow that is quite the birth story! I hope that you are starting to feel better.


Thank you for visiting my blog! I appreciate your comments and support on our journey.

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
Psalm 71:14