This situation was a time where too much reading isn’t always a good thing. I had read so many birth stories that the pushing phase was a nice relief from the rest of labor because the woman got to work with the contractions at that point. So, when I first started pushing I was very hopeful. “I thought this was supposed to feel better!” I exclaimed to all present. Tricia replied, “I never said it would feel good.” As I got into the pushing more, it did not feel as bad as at first. I guess I got into it. While in each contraction I felt like I could not even take a break from pushing. At this point in time my water still had not broken so Tricia checked me in between contractions (while I was still in the tub). While she was checking me I felt a pop-I immediately thought she had broken my water but she later indicated she was unsure whether her hand helped break my water or if it was just coincidence.
During this whole time David tried to be encouraging saying that it would only take a couple more pushes. I knew however that the average pushing time for a first time mom was two hours so while I appreciated his cheerleading, I knew it wasn’t true. While those statements were only sad attempts, David truly was encouraging when he reminded me we were almost to my favorite part of every birth story, where Mommy meets her baby. That helped keep me going-not that I had a choice
However at this point, I was told he was starting to crown. Tricia told me I needed to gently push him out and take smaller pushes. “I can’t do that!” I yelled. When a contraction came it was so hard to take a break. Quickly, I figured out that if I took a breath quickly in the middle of a contraction it helped me slow the pushing down.
During this time, David was getting in the birth tub as he was going to deliver King Squishy. Tricia was instructing David to support my perineum with each push. So, when David started feeling King Squishy’s head during contractions, he told us each time. During one contraction he felt his head and said-”he’s got hair!”, which I replied with, “he has hair!” Oh! the little things are the most amazing when it comes to a baby.
When he finally crowned I definitely felt the ring of fire everyone describes. I had been scared of this but it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Soon after Tricia told me that King Squishy had turned and I couldn’t believe his head was already out. I did not realize I had made it that far and it was so encouraging to hear this! I had to keep focusing on pushing now though so I didn’t think of it again. I think I only had to push twice more and he was out. I barely remember those pushes.
Then he was out and I leaned back on David behind me and held King Squishy to my chest. I still remember feeling disbelief that I had had a baby at this point in time. I was in such shock. I just had to laugh. It was truly a joyful laugh. I was so excited I had my baby, and so relieved that it was over. It was truly incredible to have him. David wept too when we first heard King Squishy cry out to us- it was wonderful.
What was/is your favorite part of labor?