My body compelled me to push. The desire was overwhelming. Not even 11 hours into labor, I perched on my knees in the tub. When I felt a contraction coming on, I'd lunge forward toward the side where I could rest my arms. I knew it was getting close to time to see her since I felt the desire to push with each contraction.
'When you feel the need to push, just push into it,' the nurse midwife told me. It was evident that she knew too that the time was near. My somewhat quiet labor that included only deep breathing transformed into a more audible, warrior cry. With each desire to push, I grunted and used every fiber in me to push. I would shake after each contraction subsided.
The nurses and midwife moved me onto the bed to check my cervix. She was ready to come, +1 in my vagina, meaning that she was now moving past the cervix. On my knees while holding onto an exercise ball, I continued to push. Now the cramping of each contraction was coupled with a new sensation, a burning sensation.
I knew from birthing classes that it wouldn't be much longer. As long as I kept doing what I was doing, I would be seeing my daughter for the first time.
She crowned. If I wanted, I could reach back to feel the top of her head. I was asked if I wanted to. 'No'. I wanted to focus on getting her out. I focused my thoughts on how I'd be holding her soon.
'Nikki, get ready. As soon as she comes out, I'm going to pass her through to you between your legs.' I shook my head. Another big contraction was coming. I used my breath to inhale deeply and get a few good pushes in. As the contraction started to subside, I felt what I can only describe as a pebble feeling like it was stuck at the top of my vagina. (I found out later, I had torn above and below my vagina.) It was the only time I said, 'Ouch'.
She's ready, I told myself. Just a few more pushes, and I would have her in my arms. The contraction was coming. I leaned into each push heavily taking in huge gulps of air to push as much as a could. Suddenly, it seemed as if the burning, pushing and sensation of everything fell out of me. I heard a cry and reached between my legs to grab ahold of my girl.
Had I not taken birthing classes with my husband to prepare for labor and delivery, I would not have felt confident like I did going into it. I was aware of the many different paths it may take depending on me and her. I may have thought I could only be in one particular position or think I needed pain management outside of deep breathing. I'll be talking about what I learned in my next post. What I learned, along with my lifestyle, allowed me to have a natural childbirth with less than 12 hours of labor.
I look forward to sharing more with you, so you feel as empowered or understand the process more. Thank you for reading.
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