12 May 2014

A Birth Story: Piper Claire, 9lbs 21.5"

I made it to 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  I love my birth story and I am going to go into a lot of detail here, because I want to remember all of it later on.  Some of this is a bit graphic. It is all about the birth of our daughter, so not for the faint of heart.

I had what I would consider a text book pregnancy. A little nausea in the early months, a little weight gain all around, solid blood pressure and minimal swelling. It was ideal. So much in fact that as soon as i pushed out my 9 lb. bundle of joy without the aid of any interventions, i exclaimed (maybe not immediately but shortly after she was born), I could do that again!  Talk about the natural morphine flowing, I was on an adrenaline high.

It all started on Tuesday, April the 29th. I was having contractions regularly so I went to my OB office for another check. Nothing had changed since the previous day, so I went back to work and heeded the doctor's advice, "Come back when they take your breath away EVERY time".

On Wednesday, Rick and I picked up a new bed and put it in our bedroom, with the help of our friend Molly. We had been trying to get this bed to our house since before we went to Disney world, so at least 2.5 months. We got the bed, and it was only fair to "christen" the bed. I knew it would help with softening of the cervix and I was ready to have a baby so why not give it a try.

On Thursday, I started losing parts of my mucus plug. Still regularly contracting, but nothing knocking me over in pain, so i carry on.  I have heard it can be lost several times but I also thought to myself ths late in the game with the other signs, labor was near. I also went and got a 90 minutes prenatal full body massage followed by a 60 minute pedicure at the nail salon.

On Friday, more of the same from the day before, and I think to myself, it has to be soon. I got called into a meeting at the end of the day, as I was the integral part of what needed to be done, and I told the team, in all honesty, I wasn't expecting to make it much longer and would be surprised if I was at work on Monday (despite my due date being 13 days on the horizon).
I also commented to a few friends and received comments about how the baby had dropped. I even took a side by side picture of my stomach between Wednesday and Friday.
Friday we picked Sloan up from her class and walked over to the company picnic. We got our faces painted and Sloan bounced in the bounce houses, we danced, ate dinner, cotton candy, sno-cones, planted a tomato plant, made a bird feeder, listened to story time, more bounce houses and inflatable slides and then we headed over to the main stage for the fireworks. While we waited on the show, we danced. I spun Sloan around in circles, forgetting how painfully pregnant I was, we had a wonderful night as a family of three. Had you told me it was going to be our last night together as just the three of us, I wouldn't have been able to plan it better. I joked that it would be funny to go into labor with the face paint.

At one point that night I told Rick that I thought my water was leaking. I wasn't sure. Maybe i peed myself. Seriously, when you're that  pregnant, it can happen, and while I didn't think i had, I wasn't sure. I had been telling Sloan for weeks that baby Piper would come AFTER the fireworks. I liked giving her small points of reference to relate to the time line because telling a toddler that she would be here in X weeks wasn't really tangible. So first it was after Easter, and then we had another reference. I was praying that I would make it to May the 2nd and not go into labor before or during the party.

When we finally got home on Friday, it was only 930-ish, but we were all wiped out and went straight to bed. Once we had Sloan settled I told Rick that he needed to go sleep in another room and get a good night sleep (he was exhausted from staying up late the night before) and I was having some discomfort. My words were something like, I can't promise she will be here tomorrow, but I have a feeling about this and I am not sure I won't be up all night.

Rick goes to bed, I get on all fours and do some pelvic rocking to get Piper into a better position. It felt like her head was grinding against my pelvis. I finally get to a point where I don't feel like she is trying to reach her arm out of me, and I go to sleep.

On Saturday, i woke up remarkably early and instantly felt/heard a POP. My immediate thought was, I bet that was my water, but didn't feel anything coming out, so I glanced at my clock, 5:45AM and carefully walked to the bathroom. Before I could get my pants down, GUSH.  I still wasn't having contractions, but an excitement/panic swept over me. It was baby day.

The first thing I did was call my mother who had to make a 3 hour drive up here. I got her up and let her know baby was coming, could she please start heading this way to care for Sloan.  Next I called my OB  and let her know I was coming in so that they would greet me at the desk and have my room ready.  Then I went to wake Rick up and let him know my water broke, baby was coming.  I jumped into the shower and probably around the time I was done (6:15am) i started having contractions. While Rick got ready, I woke Sloan up and let her know that her baby sister was coming today and we had to go to the hospital to get her. She was going to her friend Bella's house. We totally forgot to put shoes on the poor kid but i don't think our friends, the Cullens minded one bit.

On the way to the Cullen's house, I told Rick to take me to the hospital first instead. Then I changed my mind again and said, no just drop Sloan off. LETS GO. So we ended up going the long way to drop her off, and we laughed about it as we hit every single speed bump. The contractions were painful and I wasn't doing a good job at timing them (what was the point? Water broke = baby coming) but i think they were about 2-3 minutes apart and getting stronger.   We sang kids praise and worship music on the way to drop Sloan off which was interesting. Sloan wanted me to sing with her, and i tried between the pain. I gave her a big hug and told her I loved her. She was brave and did great. She loves the Cullen Family and was looking forward to playing at their house.

Once we dropped Sloan off, Rick and I drove to REX.  On the way there we reviewed the birth plan again. I didn't want drugs and was determined to not get an epidural no matter what. Rick stood behind that and was so supportive of me. We agreed he would be my advocate and would help me out.   We had the MOST WONDERFUL nurse, Theresa. She was supportive of my natural plan and upon arrival, I was 4cm dilated and 90% effaced. This was at 7:15am.

I made Rick go get breakfast so that we didn't have to deal with any blood sugar issues while I was in labor (he is a type I diabetic) I then made him eat in the bathroom bc i couldn't stand the smell. What a trooper!  By 830am, I am 6cm dilated and still have a little cervix left, so probably still 90% effaced. I made the doctor check me again when she came in at 9am, and i was still at a 6. Feeling a little discouraged, I asked her how long she expected this to last and she replied that less than 2 hours baby should be here.  At first the nurse said by noon, but now she is saying likely much sooner, especially with the natural labor. Rick was so incredibly supportive. Rubbing my feet and squeezing my arches through the contractions to provide counter pressure. He also put counter pressure on my back since most of my labor was spent bent over a "peanut" type ball on my hands and knees. Letting gravity take the weight of the baby away from my body somehow helped me deal with the pain. I also did a lot of praying. Rick prayed, I prayed, it just helped. The pain was manageable.
Look, I took a picture of myself in labor :)

I told him a few times I couldn't do it without drugs and he replied back, You're already doing it. It's too late to get the drugs, or other encouraging things. He was AMAZING through the labor and I really couldn't have done it without him!

The contractions were getting harder to manage and the nurse suggests that I get into the shower for a bit.  So around 9:30, I sat on a large birthing ball aka yoga ball and let the hot water hit my back and stomach. It made it much easier to manage the contractions.  Probably around 9:50 I was done with the shower. I was EXHAUSTED and just had to lie down. It was hard work. I know several times I remarked "I HATE LABOR". I do. It sucks but it is a means to an end. At this point, I had told myself, if i'm still 6cm, i will get the drugs. I was too tired, my labor had only lasted 3-4 hours but it was exhausting. Said a little prayer and turned off the shower

Rick helped me out of the shower and by the time I dried off and got back to the bed, I laid my head down for probably half a second and then with the next contraction I told the nurse it was time to push. She checked me and I was at 9.5cm with just a lip. I had to relax through two more contractions to let the weight of the baby open up my cervix the rest of the way. It was time to have a baby!

I am suddenly filled with a little fear/anxiety. I have to do this without drugs. What was I thinking. This was going to hurt! These thoughts were quite fleeting because the next thing I knew I was on my back pushing...

I decided I would push from my back, just like I did with Sloan. She put up the leg things ( i have no idea what they are called) and the doctor came in and we got ready. I think Piper wasn't as low as Sloan to begin with so it took a few extra pushes. Maybe 3-5 extra minutes. I probably started pushing around 10:00AM and by 10:19, after what felt like the biggest poop of my life (b/c pushing out a baby is like pushing out a really big poop only harder- it just hurts but the only way through it is through it.)

The doctor's first comments, OH wow, she is a BIG baby. They let me hold her and she felt very heavy. I held her for a good big before they weighed her and she was 9lbs. I pushed out a 9 lb. baby, without any drugs or medication or intervention of any sort. And i felt AMAZING. It was such an empowering moment. And if given the chance I would do it all again.

Piper Claire Beeman was born at 10:19AM on the 3rd of May, 2014 at 9lbs and 21.5" long, 12 days before her due date!! And she is perfect. She looks a LOT like her big sister, with smaller ears, and bigger cheeks, and adorable dimples. I don't think I could have predicted her arrival any better had I tried.

Piper's first car ride home - not so tiny!

I'll post soon about how awesome she sleeps! We are so very blessed!


  1. Loved it. Thank you for sharing about your precious miracle!

  2. What a woman! I know you, Rick and Sloan are proud of the new addition to your family. You are so blessed.

  3. Congratulations, she is a doll!!! Way to go, mom!

  4. Your awesome for doing it all natural! Even if the docs and myself would've done labor vs. C-section, I dont think I could've done it natural! Keegan was only 4 ounces bigger than Piper, love these juicy babies of ours! Congrats cuz, ♥ you!