Sharing this story is long overdue, ha kind of like the birth story itself, but I'll get to that in a little bit! I have a habit of collecting all my personal memories and then letting them live on my harddrive or computer instead of sharing them with the world like I tell all of my friends and clients to do! Ha ha! Anyways, as I sit here looking back on this culmination of years of waiting for a baby, 9 months of fighting for hope after an early loss with our first pregnancy, and what turned out to be a 38ish hour labor, my perspective is re-aligned and enriched.
I share this story because I believe birth in all its guts and glory is something to be remembered and celebrated. It is a small dot on the timeline of life, but it carries a weight with it that is empowering and emotionally rich. So without further adue, I give you the story of the birth of Piper Joy and the mama and daddy who fought hard to bring her into the world!
Il make the backstory brief since Its been 2 YEARS since this actually happened! I had been seeing a midwife for my prenatal care, everything had been going smoothly and we had a due date of May 5th. Now a due date is literally just a number, but as I neared mine I found myself making it more of a big deal and having to face the reality that babies really do come when they want to! So our due date came and when a gal in our birth class actually had her baby on my due date and I said to myself angrily "We are NOT switching due dates!!" Little did I know that's exactly what would happen. So 40 weeks came and went, 41 weeks came and went and on the 5th day of that 41s week we had Operation: Kick Baby Out day where we did everything to naturally get labor going.
It was a Tuesday evening on May 17th when we finished a walk up the back trails of a local park and a friend came over to do acupressure on my ankles that I suspected there were some rhythmic sensations happening. I am an experiential learner so I didn't really get what was going on and decided to relax with a bath and some wine to see what would happen I sent will to bed and ended up laboring for a couple hours, needing to sway back and forth during every contraction. I woke him up and we called our midwife who told us to keep on doing what we were doing a check back in the morning.
Well, we ended up calling our doula around 6 am after we figured out this was the real thing and we needed some support of someone who had actually been involved in a birth before. Thankfully we did because when she arrived she calmly indicated that we better get to the birth center sooner rather than later. So we hopped in the car, and guys I seriously did not think I could ride in a car with the intense contractions, but I sat in the back seat and got on my knees for every contraction through the rush hour traffic in Seattle!
We made it to the birth center and to my delight I was already at a 6! Woohoo! I got in the tub and labor for a while which felt sooooo good, but after a little while, I showed signs of stalling. We decided to get me out of the tub and try laboring on the bed to see what would happen. I honestly don't know how long this next part lasted, but as time passed I could feel a lot of pain in my pack and in one certain spot particularly that would not go away. I had an incredible team around me who were beyond selfless in rubbing my back and legs and especially my husband who held me and didn't say a word when I kept digging my chin into his shoulder as he braced me through contractions. I literally could not have done this without him. I knew in my mind that I was loosing the mental and physical foundation to jump off and keep laboring.
This image below is when my midwife told me that I had stalled for a good chunk of time and that the best decision we could make would be to transfer to a hospital so I could get an epidural and rest. I was devastated and really did not want to accept it. This was the last thing I wanted, but at the same time, I knew that everything she was saying was true. We tried a few other things as a last-ditch effort until we got the word that Northwest Hospital would take us and then we hobbled our way to the car.
I talked to God a lot on the way there, honestly and frustratedly telling Him how I really didn't want to do this but I trusted Him in it and asking for the strength to go to a place where I specifically chose not to be in the first place. We made it to Northwest Hospital around 6 p,m on Wednesday May 18th, where we met the kindest and sweetest nurses ever! They told me we needed to wait till they processed me in the system before they could do anything, but before too long in walked the anesthesiologist who graciously offered to do my epidural before they got me in the system! And although I didn't want to have one or be put on anything, I leaned on the people around me to remind me that even though my plan was changing it was all going to be ok. God wasn't leaving me alone to do this on my own, and it brought me to a humble place where I really knew how much I needed Him to get this baby out.
I "rested" through the night, and I definitely should have tried to sleep more, but as first time mommas know, even if you want to its so hard experiencing all this newness and try to not think about getting to the glorious end as fast as you can. Finally at around 7 am (shift change for the nurses) they told me I was ready and could start pushing, I had been told that 4 hours of pushing could be average for a first time mom, so I geared up for that hoping it would be much faster. Well, in true "Piper Labor Fashion" it wen exactly 4 hours, although thankfully it did not feel like 4 hours. We tried multiple positions, I finally got to eat some blessed popsicles, and counted down from 10 during each contraction more times that I can remember during. Our friend Missy was an indispensable part of our support, she never tired of encouraging me and reminding me that I was made for this and I COULD DO IT! This was so important for me because near the end when it seemed like we were stuck again and the midwife was talking about a "next step" without actually saying the word C-Section, Missy unwaveringly held strong to the belief that I could and would do this my way. They brought in an OB to "asses" me and she said that she would be back in 30 minutes. This made me so determined lit the fire in me that I needed and I said to them (in my head of course), "Ha! well then Ill have this baby out in 30 min!" So thats exactly what I did! And at 11:22 a.m. Piper Joy made her debut and life has never been the same since!
This was the AMAZING student midwife who started the hospital adventure with us the prior evening and stayed an extra 4 hours which would have bene her break to be with me during the pushing! She helped make this a sweet memory for our family! And Will got in on the skin to skin action too! How sweet do him and baby Piper look?
She weighed in at 8lbs 7oz and measured 21 inches long!
This is our first family picture! And that brings me to my best friend Allison who courageously took on the role of birth photographer and learned how to use my camera! Not to mention that she stayed with us over 24 hours! And the final image is one that I wanted to re-create from my childhood when I was brought home from the hospital!
Thank you so much for going on this nostalgic adventure with me! Every birth story and baby deserves to be told and celebrated! I hope this inspires you to look back on your own story and share it! There is something special about being invited into this story in a woman's life! And as always Message Me if this moves you to make memories of where you are right now! It doesn't require a milestone event to celebrate you and the ones you love!