Alice’s Birth Story


To read part 1 of Alice’s story, click here.

Around noon I was started on induction medication. A few hours later I was 3cm dilated and ready for an IV. The nurse was able to draw blood off the IV tube to use for my blood tests (a truly awesome thing since I have a needle phobia.) Since there was no concern for the health of my baby, I was able to be given anxiety medication. This was a small bit of good news on a day filled with bad.

Due to this anxiety medication (it was good stuff guys) I don’t remember all of the next couple days, and I remember things out of order. Not being able to remember the waiting and the devastation I felt that day is a small mercy. I got through everything as it happened and I didn’t have the mental capacity to be anxious or worried about what was coming next.

My amazing friend Mary joined us at the hospital that afternoon and provided a lot of distraction for us both (and snacks too!) She was absolutely heartbroken for us and after Jason called her to let her know that Alice had passed away, she came over right away. She is the type of person that can’t just sit and do nothing, when she could be doing something to help, and I’m so so glad she was there for us.

After my IV was in I was able to get medication through it instead of having to take it orally. I also only needed to drink because my mouth was dry, as the IV was keeping me hydrated (that was really nice after having to drink water like a fish my entire pregnancy.) Soon, my contractions were painful enough that I thought it was time to ask for an epidural. This was part of my birth plan all along, it just depended on when I asked for it.

Getting the epidural was something I was nervous about all along, and it wasn’t any fun. I don’t remember having any contractions while having it put in, but I was crying and shaking a lot. The anesthesiologist wasn’t the most patient guy ever (the only not awesome experience we had with the staff the whole time) and I remember just wishing that it was over before it started. He didn’t like my crying either because it made me shake… I understand how that would make his job more difficult but I couldn’t help it!

After flight delays and traveling all day, Jason’s parents arrived at the hospital. They joined Mary and our friend Kelly in the waiting room. I don’t remember when they got there, or much about the night at all, but they were there and I know it was especially good for Jason to be able to hug them during such a difficult time. (Remember, I had anxiety meds, so I was basically doing fiiiiine.)

Perhaps before the epidural I was given pitocin through my IV as well. I was progressing ok and soon felt that I could sleep. We told Mary and Kelly to go home since the staff didn’t think I would be giving birth anytime soon. I wanted my friends to be able to sleep a bit. Waiting around is exhausting on top of all the emotions we were all going through. Jason and I both laid down and slept for about an hour and a half. At some point I remember feeling incredibly cold. Jason said that was a scary time for him because I wouldn’t stop shaking. The nurse piled blankets on top of me and I just kept shaking. She said it was common with IV fluids and that it sometimes caused a drop in body temperature.

Since I had an epidural and couldn’t walk I needed to have a catheter. I soon woke up feeling a lot of pressure and I told the nurse that my catheter hurt. She said to turn onto my side to see if it relieved some of the discomfort. I turned and still felt the pressure. She took it out and that didn’t help either. She told me that it shouldn’t be hurting any more and checked me to be sure. She then said that I was fully dilated and that on my next contraction I should push. Jason was awake and texted our families to tell them that I was starting to push. This was at 3:55am.

The nurse had me laying on my side and Jason holding my right leg up. She showed him how to hold it and then said she had to go get some things and that she would be right back. Very shortly after she left I pushed one more time and felt the baby crowning and her head come out. Jason told me “her head is out!” I wanted to respond and say “I know! I can feel it!” but another contraction came almost right away and I pushed her the rest of the way out. The nurse came in just then and Jason let go of me and the nurse cleaned her up and swaddled her. My baby girl was born and the only people in the room were Jason and I. (Since then we’ve thought that perhaps we should get a discount for having done the hardest part on our own! ;)) Alice Christine Piette was born at 4:01am on April 10, 2013. (I pushed for only 6 minutes… how’s that for efficient?!)

Jason came around the bed and hugged me. We had all day to prepare ourselves for the worst. We knew that our little girl would not be alive when she was born and so we were able to be very proud in that moment. We got through labor. We did it. Together we made a baby and brought her into the world.

The doctor then came in and Jason joked with her by asking her “where were you?!” She missed the main event! :) The nurse handed me Alice and I was able to hold and see my sweet baby girl for the first time. She had soft, dark hair and Jason thinks she had my nose. She was absolutely beautiful and looked very peaceful, just like she was sleeping. Jason and I held her and spent time with her while the doctor checked me out and finished the delivery process. I delivered the placenta (there were no knots or clots found in the cord, and nothing abnormal about the placenta) and got stitched and cleaned up. Jason’s parents and Mary then came in and were able to hold Alice as well.

04_aliceWe were able to stay at the hospital with her for as long as we wanted. We took pictures, and had a photographer come in and take photos as well (she was a volunteer through an amazing organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, who organizes volunteer photographers to take photos of your stillborn baby.) I thought that seeing Alice and holding her would be the hardest thing I would ever do, but Jason and I both would never trade that time we had with her for the world. We were able to see and hold her and say goodbye. It was also extremely difficult, but it was incredibly important to us as well. We now have photos and memories of her, and that is so so special to us.

10_aliceWe were discharged from the hospital around noon. I remember watching the nurse take my little girl out of the room and remembering thinking that that would be the last time I would ever see her, and that I was the most exhausted I have ever felt in my life. We went home then, with an empty car seat in the car and pain in our hearts.

(All photos in this post were taken by Brianna of b2 photography, who is a volunteer photographer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.)

10 Responses to Alice’s Birth Story

  • Mary says:

    I can’t say it enough.

    I love you.


  • darcie says:

    My heart is broken for you guys. I sit here in tears, wondering what I can say.
    Please know that you are thought about, and loved.

  • jeannett says:

    no words.
    just tears.
    i’m glad you have photos of your stunning girl.
    so very glad.
    hang in there mama.
    it’s never what we think it will be, is it?

  • Elin says:

    So much love for you and Jason. I’m so so sorry my dear.

  • I will never forget this story. My heart will always ache for ya’ll – but I am SO proud of you for sharing this and expressing your feelings. You are surrounded by love……my thoughts are always with ya’ll

  • Ali says:

    The saddest story beautifully written. I think about you every day, I can’t believe how brave you and your husband are, you’re both incredible to be handling this as you are. Hugs for you xxx

  • Kristi says:

    Alice was an incredibly beautiful baby, I am happy you shared a few pictures of her with us. I am still so incredibly saddened by what you two have had to go through. I continue thinking and praying for you guys, and will never forget, even if I’ve never met you. Thank you again for sharing the story of Alice.

  • anna says:

    Oh Sam. Alice is absolutely beautiful. I think Jason’s right about her nose – I see so much of you in her sweet face. Thank you for sharing part of her story, and those pictures… they’re a treasure.

    I think about you every day, Sam, and hope each is a tiny bit better than the one before.

  • Alma Hoffmann says:

    I have NEVER posted a comment on anything, but I had to tell you how incredibly brave you are and how AWESOME you are for sharing your story! God Bless you and your family!

  • Ashley says:

    I’m so sorry… I lost a baby at 12 weeks.. Although I never knew what the baby was.. I named her and it made it a little easier.. I can’t imagine the pain you felt that day and still feel… My heart breaks for every mother that has gone through this.. Or a loss of a child in general… That’s not how God intended it… I miss my angel Nevaeh Nicole … Every day…..

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Hi. I'm Sam. I'm glad you're here. This blog of mine is a place for me to write about whatever I'd like... maybe you'll be interested in what I decide to put here. That would be awesome, wouldn't it? :)