Last Wednesday, I shared Donny's birth story. For this Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane, here is the story of how Hayden was born!
My due date was November 10, and I was hoping he would be born on the 11th. Donny's birthday is 12/12, and I thought it would be so cool if our next child was born on 11/11. Such a birthday did not seem likely, though, when I started having contractions late in the evening on November 5th. I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions frequently, but these were different, and I could feel the pain in my back. I slept undisturbed that Sunday night, but on Monday morning, I was still having frequent contractions, and they continued into the afternoon. After hearing from doctors and experienced mothers that second children come quickly, I expected labor to progress rapidly, so I called Don to come home from his work an hour away.
When he arrived, I didn’t feel like we needed to leave for the hospital right away; my contractions were about three minutes apart, but not very painful. We stayed home for a while, waiting for labor to grow more intense before calling the doctor. Finally, after we put Donny to bed, we decided to start the 35 minute drive towards the hospital. We went out for a light dinner at Panera and then walked around the mall until all the stores were closing. I still didn’t feel like I needed to be there, but I also did not want to go back home, only to return in an hour. So we went over to the hospital to have me checked out.
After monitoring me for a while, the hospital nurse checked me and said I was 3cm dilated. I said, “So I can probably go home then?” But she said they would check me again in an hour. While we waited, Don and I did a LOT of laps around the hospital maternity ward. I was still having lots of contractions, but they didn’t seem to be getting any more frequent or more intense. When we finished walking at midnight, they stuck me back on the electronic fetal monitor, and the nurse was supposed to come back in 15 minutes to check me. I was sleepy, so I dozed off a bit, feeling annoyed that I could possibly be at home while I was stuck in an uncomfortable hospital bed. At 12:45 I noticed the time and wondered if they had forgotten about me. Finally at 1am, after leaving me on the monitor for an hour, a different nurse came in to turn the monitor off and check me. I was still at 3cm, so they finally let me go home. Don and I got home around 2am, and although my contractions were gaining intensity, I slept through the rest of Monday night.
Don stayed home from work on Tuesday. I was still having contractions, but no worse than the day before. In the middle of the day, we took a long walk to the local elementary school to vote, hoping the walking would move labor along. We were walking for at least an hour, but to no avail. I continued having contractions up until I went to bed on Tuesday, and then I slept through the night. Since nothing had progressed, Don and I agreed on Wednesday that he would go back to work. The morning continued the same as the day before. Then Don returned home in the early afternoon because his boss said he could telecommute until the baby was born, instead of having to race home when I called. Shortly after he arrived, I decided to lie down while Donny was napping, figuring that I might as well rest while I could. I ended up being very glad I took that nap!
I woke up around 3, and at 4:00 I noticed my contractions were more intense than they had been, so I started timing them. They were about 3 minutes apart, so I told Don that it was really time and I called the doctor. I was thrilled to find out that my midwife - the same one who delivered Donny and would have delivered me if she hadn't been on vacation that week - was the one on call. Because there were 2 OBs and 2 midwives in the practice, I knew it was a blessing from God that I should be so fortunate to have my own midwife there for my second late-night labor.
I checked into the hospital at 6:00pm. Around 6:30 I was 4cm dilated. I said, “Great, it took me 2 days to get one centimeter!” Don and I did some more walking around the hospital, and at 8:30 I was at 5cm. We continued walking until my contractions were getting strong enough that I had to stop frequently and have Don massage my back. But at 10:30, I was only at 6cm. I was starting to wonder if Hayden would ever come out! I sat on the birth ball and played cards with Don for a little while, and then I spent some time lying on my side, since my midwife thought the baby’s head might be transverse, and this would help him get into a better position. Around 12:30 I was finally at 8cm, with incredibly painful contractions, and my bag of water was still intact. Thankfully, both my nurse and midwife were really great about letting the labor take its course instead of trying to push unwanted interventions on me.
Around 1:00 on November 9th I finally got into the waterbirthing tub. Don got in with me and pushed on my back during the contractions. I was so glad to have his support, and the midwife even admired how well we worked together. In between contractions I was fine, but during them I was in so much pain…I knew it had to be almost over! My water finally broke at about 1:45, when I suddenly started pushing. His head was out with a couple pushes and at 1:51, Hayden Israel was born!
I was on my knees in the tub, and when Don and my midwife went to pull him out, the cord was wrapped around his neck twice and around his arm, too. They had to quickly cut it so they could untangle him and get him stable, since he was completely limp. Fortunately with a little oxygen he was fine, just like his big brother who also came out tangled. Soon we had some time to bond with Hayden, and he nursed, too. I was so glad that my little waterbaby had finally, in his own sweet time, come out in the world!