So for the sake of record keeping, here is Piper's birth story...
On August 10, 2013, I was 1 day past my due date and ready to have this baby. We’d been taking advantage of the beautiful summer nights, going for walks to the popsicle store (much to Cayden’s excitement).
I’d counted contractions on the 7th, and again on the 9th, but finally on the evening of the 10th, I could tell something was different about these contractions. Around 9:30pm, they started coming regularly, every 10-11 minutes. By 11:45pm, they were starting to get painful, and ranging 3-5 minutes apart. When we called Seihwa to come watch Cayden, it was just after midnight. I wanted to take a shower before leaving for the hospital, but my contractions were painfully coming in waves every 2 minutes, making it not so relaxing.
We got to the hospital around 12:45am, August 11th. They took me up to a room and checked my cervix around 1am, hooking me up to the monitors as well. I tried going to the bathroom, but that was not a good idea as getting up and down was super uncomfortable with contractions still coming ever 3-5 minutes. Unfortunately, the nurse said I was only 3-4 cm, which was only one more than when I had been checked 3 ½ days earlier. She talked to Dr. Lee, who said we could go home and wait or stay at the hospital for two more hours and get checked again. I knew that this was the real thing, so I told them I was staying, but if I didn't progress any further in those two hours, they were going to send me home! At this point, my contractions were 5-6 minutes apart and I threw up for the first time in this pregnancy.
Around 3:30am, the nurse came in to check my cervix again and thankfully I was 6 cm and fully effaced – yay! Even though they had told us they couldn't officially admit us to the hospital yet, the nurse said she had already admitted us because she (like myself) knew that we weren't going home anytime soon after she saw me lose my breakfast.
Bryan’s parents and Carrie showed up around 5am, just in time to see me during the most painful contractions. I was quietly working through them, but they didn't stay long in the room, regardless.
The contractions were getting very intense, but I was trying not to clench up against the pain, and instead focused on relaxing and breathing very deeply. I think this helped me progress quicker, and by 5:30am, I was ready for the epidural. I think I could have done it without the epidural, but I kind of figured “why?” After the epidural, life was great, but I think the doctors forgot about me.
By the time they did check me, nearly 4 hours later, I was “complete” with only a small lip of cervix left. The nurses called Amey Lee to come and break my water to get things moving. When she came in to break the water, the head was visible, along with a bubble formed by the bag of water. Dr. Lee told me look at the bubble, so I leaned forward, causing Piper’s head to begin to crown, and causing everyone in the room to yell out “woah, woah, stop!” My crouching forward had almost been enough to get Piper out, but they weren't quite ready, so I leaned back again to wait. After much preparation for an explosion of the water bag (complete with the nurses and Dr. Lee wearing goggles and holding up splash guards), nothing exciting actually happened when Dr. Lee pulled on the bubble, breaking the bag.
I pushed once and out came Piper’s head. Dr. Lee quickly put up her hands and told me to stop pushing because Piper (like Cayden) had the cord wrapped around her neck. I could hear Piper’s gurgly little cry, even before she came all the way out. Guess her name is appropriate, because she’s had good pipes from the start! Dr. Lee snipped off the cord and then I pushed one more time, and out she came! It was 10:03am and it was amazingly fast.
When she came out, one of the nurses commented that she had strawberry blonde hair. I was amazed she could tell the color of her hair because it just looked dark brown to me! Eventually, her strawberry blonde hair did show itself, but it took a few rounds with Johnson & Johnson to get there!
She had the screachiest cry I’ve ever heard – we called it her pterodactyl cry because that’s what it made me think of. Throughout her first days, she would sometimes just let out this screech that was so high-pitched, but then be fine. Even at night, which was a little unnerving.
By 11am, our family had met Piper, and Seihwa, Jane and Lois showed up with Cayden at 12:15pm, and Cayden got meet her little sister for the first time.
Upon seeing Piper, Cayden turned to my mom and said, “I have a baby sister!” and to me, she said, “She’s got tiny little eyes!” She also expressed her desire to take a bath with her, which was probably spurred on by her excitement to play with baby sister’s new bath toys she got for her baby shower.
Even more exciting were all the presents Cayden got…a box of goodies from Aunt Lauren and the long-searched-for Dr. Kit from Piper, which Julie had finally found for me at Toy R Us after I had searched all over Corvallis for it.
Once the water was running over her head, she calmed down, and looked so much like Cayden getting her first bath.
By 4pm we were moved into the much smaller recovery room, where people started to stream in to see us.
It being Sunday, a bunch of college and high school students came to see us after church. At one point, there were 16 Asians in our room, all clamoring to hold little Piper (except for Michelle, who was afraid to hold her).
Everyone signed a photo mat to put around the “Piper” puzzle Carrie and other waiting room family members had put together that morning.
Through all the ruckus, Piper either slept or looked around in wonder at all the faces. She hardly cried, as long as she was being held – a pattern that continues to this day!