Labor & Delivery
Labor begins....
My labor started in the afternoon on Sunday August 8th.  I had been working all weekend long (12 hour night shifts) and thought I had been leaking amniotic fluid and my contractions were getting stronger.  So, Dennis and I made our first trip to the PRU to get checked out.  I was brought up to Labor and Delivery and hooked up to a monitor.  We waited for a little while to get all checked over and watched some NASCAR racing.  Dennis was hoping this would be the way our labor would be, all nice and calm. Thedoctors were also telling us that that Sunday was a great day to have a baby, most moms had only had to push 2 or 3 times before the baby was born.  I was sure hoping for a easy delivery like that.   I was examined and my bag of waters was still intact and I was only dilated to a 3.  My contractions were becoming more regular now but not close enough and I was not dilated enough to stay.  We were sent home, but the doctor was sure she'd be seeing me later on that night. 
We went and ate supper at my Mom and Dad's and I laid down for a little nap.  I had only gotten a few hours of sleep after my night shift and I wasn't sure what the night was going to entail.  I called in sick to work, as I pretty much knew, I probably wouldn't be able to make it through my shift that night.  Dennis and I went home and took a long walk, hoping to get my labor really going.  About 8pm the contractions were getting even stronger.  I started writing down each time I had a contraction, just to be sure I knew how often they were coming.  They were starting to hurt, but I found if I would pace the hall or rock side to side in my chair, that would help ease the pain.  Dennis wasn't sure what to do, should he go to sleep for a little while, just in case we had to rush to the hospital in the middle of the night?  Finally about midnight, I tried to go to sleep, but the contractions were coming to regularly and too intense I wasn't able to fall asleep.  About 3am, I decide to get in the shower, as I was told that that sometimes helps with contractions and I thought I would get all cleaned up........I knew we'd be going in soon.  I woke Dennis up about 4am and then called my mom and dad.  We were going to drop Haylee off at their house and head over to the hospital.
We get to the hospital and get examined and I was only at 4!!!!!  I couldn't believe it!  All that contracting and I was only at 4!!!!!  Urgh!  They allowed me to contract for another hour and rechecked me.  I hadn't really gotten much further along.  I went into a labor room and they decided to break my water to help me dilate more.  What a weird feeling!  It didn't hurt, but then a contraction would come and GUSH, more water!  Right about then my mom, dad, and sister Ashley came to the unit.  They were just as excited as Dennis and I were. 
About 20 minutes after they broke my water, that's when the real PAIN began.  I think my cervix must have flown open, the contractions were one right on top of one another!  I tried the breathing, focusing on something, everything we were taught in the prenatal classes.  I couldn't take it.  I was sweating perfusely.........Dennis was trying to fan me and get cool washclothes for my head.  As soon as he'd get a cool cloth on my forehead, it would instantly dry up and get warm.........he was not liking seeing me in so much pain.  About 30 minutes of that misery, I gave up, I asked for the epidural.  I was really going to try and go natural, but this was out of control!  Lucky for me, I was the only patient on the labor unit at the time.   I had about 3 or 4 anesthestia people right there in a matter of minutes.  I felt so much better after that was started.  I was able to get some rest.  The bad thing about the epidural is then you need an IV, a urinary catheter, and you are completely numb and can't move your legs.  They decided they weren't going to check me until a couple of hours after my water was broken, so about 8:00 they checked and I was at 9.  They checked again an hour later and I was almost completely dilated.  About 10:00 was when I started to push.  My nurse was just awesome. she was so much fun and was so motivating.  We were all convinced this baby was coming out by lunch time!  See below to get the rest of the are pictures of me pushing!
Anytime there is a washcloth on my forehead, you know I'm having pain!  They were turning the epidural up and down trying to find a comfortable but functional level.
Next came the pushing.  I felt so awkward and incompetant with the pushing.  I don't know if it was because I never did it before or that I could feel my lower half, or that I couldn't get my legs up high enough.  My nurse, Suzanne, was so patient and kept me going.
I know it looks like Dennis is ordering from the "Room Service Menu", but he's really using that to fan me.
My sister Ashley was taking the pictures, she took a lot of pictures of me with the first hour of pushing.  I think she may have thought the baby was going to come flying out and she'd miss getting a picture!.  After some time pushing they finally figured out that Hayden was facing upward and not down like most babies do.  This was making it more difficult for him to come out.
This was about the third hour of pushing.  The external monitor kept missing Hayden's heart rate with each time I pushed, so they put internal monitors in, one on Hayden's scalp and one onto the uterus to measure his heartrate better and my contractions better.  Hayden's heart rate was also faster than it should have been and I spiked a fever.  They were concerned about infection and dehydration so I had to get blood cultures drawn, a fluid bolus and antibiotics started.  They also put me on oxygen to get more oxygen to Hayden as well.  Looking back at these pictures, I think this was about the time I could have started panicing, but I didn't.  I think deep down I was confident in what my nurse was doing and if I started to get nervous then that would make Dennis and my family nervous as well.  Do you see my mom videotaping?  The bad thing is..........we ran out of video tape with how long the pushing took!  We had to rewind the tape and start at the beginning!  Who would have known it would have taken this long?
Finally the delivery!!
About 2pm, it's decided that Hayden is just not progressing like he should with the 3+hours of pushing that I did.  With him being tachycardic (high heart rate) and my fever, they don't want to stress him anymore.  He is up way too far in the birth canal to even try forceps or vaccuum (which I wouldn't let them anyway!), so it had been decided that I would need a c-section.  My regular obstetrician stopped by a couple times and they actually had consulted him as well.  I always thought I would fear going in for a c-section, but I just knew it was the right thing to do.  I wasn't scared at all!  The nice thing was, Hayden wasn't stressed so it wasn't a mad rush to get me there.  The nice thing too was my mom and Dennis both got to go into the delivery room with me.  I already had my epidural and so they just put meds in there to prep me for surgery.  I was brought into the OR and I was SO out of it.  I couldn't hardly keep my eyes open.  The surgery began and I was so tired.  I could feel some tugging and Dennis started to videotape.  Pretty soon, before we knew it, Hayden was ready to come out!  There was A LOT of tugging and A LOT of pushing on my belly and out he came, 3:50pm.  Dennis got to capture it on video, but I had yet to see Hayden.  I started crying.........Hayden was crying!  Dennis says to me, "Mandy, he's HUGE!"..........and goes off to be with Hayden.  My mom also goes over there and the two of them watch as he gets examined, cleaned up, and weighed.  One of the great things is, I knew the Pediatrician that did Hayden's first exam, he was a wonderful doctor that worked up in the NICU with me.  I knew he was in good hands!  Here are some pictures.
What a conehead!  You can see right where his head stopped coming through.  He had a long way to go and it just was not fitting!  C-section was definitely the way to go!
8LBS 14.4OZ  21 1/2 inches long
I FINALLY get to see him!  My precious boy.  I could hear him crying and crying but it took about 15 minutes before I got to see him.  They brought him to me and I kissed him immediately........then I lifted up his hat to see his hair.  He is absolutely beautiful!  Nothing will ever compare to that first time you lay eyes on your baby!
Those little ducky lip of his crying, it was such a beautiful sound and sight!  He then started sucking on his hands almost immediately.  He wanted to nurse!  He had been cut off of all the sweet sugar I used to feed him and he wanted more! :-)
Without seeing our mouths, you can tell we're all smiling from ear to ear that our little Hayden was FINALLY here.  As his aunt Ashley said, 'it was the longest day of my life"...........tell me about it sister!
It was about another hour in the OR before I was all put back together and wheeled into the recovery room.  There I needed to be monitored but I was able to have visitors.  Grandpa Deden and Ashley were there waiting.  Then came Great Auntie Tish and Auntie Megan.  Dennis parents made their way up from Decorah and they do were on of the fist to see him.  So many tears of happiness were shed.  It's almost an out of body experience.....while it's happening, you can't believe that it's finally here.  How much love this boy has already it absolutely unbelievable!  In recovery, I got the opportunity to nurse him for the first time.  He latched and ate like a champ.  He was so bright-eyed and alert, it was awesome.  Hayden needed some blood cultures drawn while we were waiting and I got to call work and announce my big news.  The pediatrician came in and spoke with me and said while the blood work was pending, Hayden would need to get shots of antibiotics.  I've seen what has happened to babies who get infections and I was more then willing to have them give him antiobiotics until we knew he didn't have an infection.  Finally around 7pm, I got wheeled up to my room on the postpartum floor.  I had my nurse running from the minute she got in at 7am until she was done at 7pm.  She did a great job and am so thankful for her!  Here are some pictures of the visitors in the recovery room..........and click here to see pictures of Hayden and his visitors while we were in the hospital.
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