Hayden's Birth Story

Photo by Sarah Christensen of Becoming Sarah

My pregnancy with Hayden was a little rougher than that with Hadley.  Perhaps it's because I was chasing Hadley around, catching every cold she caught and just not able to rest like I did before children.  But all in all, my pregnancy was ticking along, with the occasional discussion about my blood pressure since I was preeclamptic with Hadley.

At my 37 week appointment with my midwife, my blood pressure spiked in the office and didn't fall back to it's normal low numbers while I was in the office.  So, I was sent to the hospital for observation.  

While at the hospital, my blood pressure readings were generally low.  However, I had a couple of high readings that lent some concern.  I was given the option to induce, or stay overnight to be observed and complete a 24 hour urine collection.  While I was fearful of an induction since Hadley's took four days, I felt it was the best avenue at this point.  Quite frankly, the anxiety of the blood pressure conversations were making it worse and I was done being pregnant.  I opted for the induction and I was assured they wouldn't let it go on for the painstaking amount of time it took with Hadley.  But they also felt that things would move more quickly because I was already dilated and this was baby number two.

I settled into my labor and delivery room.  Jonathan brought Hadley by for a visit and they went home for the night.  After a visit from a girl friend, I, believe it or not, settled in for a blissful night of being all alone. This was only the second night ever being alone since Hadley was born.  

My heartburn was horrendous and the doctor who was on inserted a foley bulb.  Neither of which are fun.  BUT, I was given some Pepcid interveniously and an Ambien and I slept like a baby.  At least for a few hours.

By morning, I was only dilated three centimeters and there I sat for the next several hours.  Jonathan made arrangements for the neighbor to care for Hadley so he could come to the hospital and my aunt came late morning.  My mom, who was in Arizona when she learned I was going to be delivering three weeks early, made it to the hospital around one.  

Around 12:30 p.m. they checked my cervix and felt I was a good five.  In my mind, once I hit five centimeters I could ask for an epidural.  But I wasn't terribly uncomfortable and I considered taking a pass.  Until my midwife told me she was going to break my water.  I opted for the drugs at that point.

And what good drugs they were! The epidural was so good, I not only couldn't feel my contractions, but it dropped my blood pressure super low.  After a bout of nausea, I was laid down flat and they put oxygen on me.  I drifted off into a lovely slumber while my family went down to the cafeteria for lunch.

At 3:45 p.m., the nurse checked my cervix and I was told I was only a six.  She felt I wouldn't deliver till that night, so my mom was headed over to pick up Hadley and bring her by for a visit and some dinner.  Within a few minutes after she left, I felt the most intense pressure I have ever felt.  I never felt it with Hadley, but I certainly felt it with Hayden.  I felt like she was trying to fall out sideways.  The nurse came back to check my cervix and told me it was time to start pushing. After the midwife checked in, the pushing process began.  

I wanted no help...  My audience included my mother and aunt (who turned the car around and made it back in time) and Jonathan.  The nurse asked them all to sit down and I opted to position myself and push the way I felt comfortable. I felt so empowered. So in control of my body.  I was pushing my baby out with all my might, determined not to push for the two hours it took with Hadley.  

25 minutes later, I could see her little head between my legs.  It was amazing, so much so I didn't mind that my family was taking pictures of my crotch.  Once they unwrapped the cord from around her neck and hand, they laid her on me and she cried.  A beautiful cry.  And we rubbed and rubbed and rubbed her to clean her up.  The next thing I knew, she was reaching up and touching my face.  It was like she knew.  There was no question I was her mom.

After delivering my placenta, sewing me up and treating my hemroids, I lay there blissfully enjoying my new baby.  And before I knew it, she latched onto my breast effortlessly.  Little did I know, this was going to be a challenge later on down the road.

But, my beautiful girl is here.  I have two beautiful girls.  I am complete.