Ste. Gen March of Dimes Ambassador Family passionate about organization’s work
We're no longer taking walk registrations online, but please come to the walk on April 16th. We can register you then (4:30 pm - walk at 5:30 pm)
Sarah and Brad Lipp were five weeks away from the birth of their first child, Raeleigh Ann. On a Thursday evening they had a nice dinner and were planning for Brad’s hunting trip on the weekend. He and some buddies were planning to leave after work on Friday. Both Sarah’s provider Kelly Donze, WHNP, CNM and Dr. Tony Lam, OB/GYN assured him she would be fine and all was good for him to go.
In the middle of the night his plans changed. Sarah’s water broke at 1:00 a.m. She called Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital and was told to come in to have things checked out.
It was soon determined that Sarah would indeed be delivering her baby that morning. Arrangements were made to transfer her to St. Louis—the hospital’s standard procedure for moms less than 35 weeks.
“When they told me I would be delivering that morning and they were transferring me to St. Louis, Brad and I went through every emotion possible,” Sarah said. “There was joy, sadness, fear. We were both terrified and didn’t know what to think.”
While waiting for the ambulance, the nurses kept a close watch on Sarah and her baby. The nurse told her she probably wasn’t going to need the ambulance--she would be delivering sooner than that.
“Dr. Lam came in, and of course he’s always smiling,” she explained. “It wasn’t but a few seconds and he said we were going to deliver—NOW. I just started balling. We hadn’t covered the birth in my Centering class yet. I kept saying ‘she can’t come yet, I don’t know what I’m doing!’ I had planned a waterbirth, and of course there wasn’t even going to be time to fill the tub. This was not what I had planned.”
At 4:10 a.m. on April 25, after a mere three contractions, Raeleigh Ann came into the world—all three pounds, 10 ounces of her.
“I didn’t get to hold her,” Sarah said. “They were busy checking her out. Her lungs were fully developed, but she was a little lazy with her breathing. Everyone was amazing, and Devon in respiratory therapy was terrific. She was so calm and kept telling me she’s going to be fine.”
Little Raeleigh’s first ride would be in an ambulance to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital for a nine-day stay. The stormy weather prevented her from being transported by helicopter.
“Brad was there with her, and kept letting me know what was going on,” she explained. “I kept pacing the floor, waiting to be discharged the next day so I could get there to see her, and when I got up there, I was in tears before I got to her room. This was quite a whirlwind, but the nurses there were just as amazing.”
Sarah thought Raeleigh was so tiny until the nurses kept saying how huge she was.
“When I saw the one- and two-pound babies I told my husband how very lucky we were,” said Sarah. “At nearly 11-months-old, Raeleigh is thriving. She’s healthy, always smiling, and is great entertainment. That’s why we’re happy to be the Ste. Genevieve March of Dimes ambassador family. “No doubt the March of Dimes research on premature births and the care of preemie babies benefitted me and countless others. I want to help pay it forward.”
Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital is hosting a one-mile March of Dimes fun walk on April 16 and Sarah invites the community to participate. The walk will cost $10,
SGCMH is pleased to be sponsoring the event as the March of Dimes has provided a variety of grants and services to the hospital including its successful Centering Pregnancy Program and the newly-implemented Baby and Me Tobacco Free program.