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Larissa Beddoe holds her newborn baby in the front seat of her mother-in-law’s Subaru after giving birth in Sierraville on Nov. 25. Photo by Nic Beddoe

Local nurse gives birth in car

Six-week-old Bria Jamison Beddoe made her way into the world Nov. 25, but the way she made her grand appearance was a surprise to everyone.

“Bria is my third child, and the doctors warned me that the third pregnancy will often follow its own course and the baby will do its own thing,” said proud mom Larissa Beddoe.

Larissa started experiencing contractions at about 5 p.m. on Nov. 25, the day before a large storm front was due to hit the area. With the previous experiences of 96 hours of labor for her oldest child Brock, aged 4, and 20 hours of labor for 2-year-old Brinley, she kept a cool head and calmly kept breathing.

“I stayed at home as long as I could, with the blessing of my doctors,” Beddoe said with a smile. “The first few contractions were fine, but then the contractions got really, really strong, really, really fast.”

“Suddenly it was time to go to the hospital,” Larissa explained, with Larissa’s husband Nic urging her into motion.

With each cascading wave of contractions, the couple became more acutely aware of the drive from their home in Graeagle to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee for the delivery — 46 miles away.

“My husband called his mom, Mariann Beddoe, who had just recently moved to the area, and told her that it was time, so she rushed over to watch the kids,” Larissa said.

“My mother-in-law drove her nearly new Subaru Ascent to our house, and then insisted we take her car to the hospital so that she could use our car, which already had all of the kids’ car seats strapped in, while we were away.”

The Beddoes quickly bundled into the borrowed car and began their journey through the Sierra Valley, hoping to reach Truckee in time for the baby’s arrival.

“We got to Sierraville, and by that point I’m screaming and yelling like crazy, and I felt that urge to bear down and push,” Larissa said. “It was crazy! I barely had time to push my pants out of the way, when my husband said I let out a giant warrior cry and next thing I knew, my water broke in a way I had never experienced before.”

By this point the couple had driven past the Sierraville Post Office and there was no turning back. Larissa went on, “It was one good push after that, and she was out!”

The couple had kept up their tradition of waiting to know the gender of the baby until birth in this third pregnancy and were happily surprised to be holding a healthy 8-pound, beautiful baby girl in the front seat of Nic’s mother’s Subaru.

“The nurse instinct in me kicked in and I time stamped the whole experience, so Bria was born at 23:11. At this point my husband was freaking out, and he sped up to get us to the hospital,” Larissa laughed, “And I had to keep telling him “We’re good! Slow down, we are fine!”

Larissa has served the community for nearly eight years as an Emergency Room nurse at Eastern Plumas Health Care in Portola, and her medical training quickly kicked in as the journey continued.

“Two months prior to giving birth, I had attended a precipitous delivery class, which informed us about babies born in a short amount of time, outside of the hospital environment,” Larissa said. “Little did I know that what I learned at that class would be put to use so soon, in my own experience!”

Larissa ensured that she kept her newborn daughter warm, with skin-to-skin contact, and kept the umbilical cord in place as Larissa finished her delivery just before reaching the hospital.

“In this situation, it is vital to keep the baby level with the placenta, so that was a challenge I was also able to meet,” Larissa said. “That class really helped.”

The Beddoes were met by a team of medical personnel at Tahoe Forest, where they whisked the proud mother and tiny new baby upstairs.

“The team at Tahoe Forest is amazing; it’s really a phenomenal hospital,” Larissa said with a smile. “They took such good care of us during our two-day stay.”

The couple and hospital staff ran into an unusual issue when filling out baby Bria’s birth certificate, said Larissa.

“The hospital couldn’t complete the birth certificate because we didn’t have a specific address for them on where Bria was born, so we ended up choosing the nearest address, which was Tom’s Snowmobiles & Services in Sierraville,” Larissa laughed.

Larissa went on to explain that during their stay in Truckee, her husband Nic dealt with the mess that was, not long before, his mother’s clean new vehicle.

“My husband is an agent with State Farm Insurance, and after he filed the incident, the insurance cared for everything — they had to rip out seats and upholstery, because of course, it was a pretty big mess, but they took care of the entire remodel of the car,” Larissa said.

The family soon received the all clear to bring baby Bria Jamison home to Graeagle, near the burble of one of the Beddoes’ favorite nearby natural wonders, Jamison Creek, which inspired their choice of her middle name. “This is definitely something that we will always remember,” said Larissa.

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