Right about now 3 years ago I was in labour; hunched over a bed, breathing deeply and “doing really well”. If I close my eyes and I pretty much remember a lot of detail about this birth; about all my births really.
This birth was my 4th and even thought was almost 4 years to the day from my previous birth it was all very familiar. Except the woman that was howling in the room next to me. She was psyching me out. Every time she screamed I held my breath waiting to hear a newborn’s cry. It never came because this mother was wheeled off for a c-section.
The hours went by and I was handling the labour quite well. It wasn’t the labour I was freaked out about. It was the whole pushing the baby out. You see, the last baby I had as bigger than anyone expected – 4.2 kilos. Now even thought I pushed him out with relative ease and no tearing it was everyone’s reaction to his size that I remember.
And with this last birth I was already 1 week overdue. My OB assured me that obviously I could birth big babies; if in fact I was having another big baby. That was something that no-one could predict with any accuracy; one way or the other.
So at around 3pm or so those magic words “You’re 10 centremetres dilated. You can start pushing”, were uttered.
Now here’s where I thought I’d try something different. I wasn’t going to actually push just because the midwife said I could. I asked my OB during my labour with my second baby that if I didn’t actually physically push, would my body still push this baby out? Yes was the answer.
So I’m lying on my side and the midwife telling me I can push. I refuse. “I just don’t have the urge”, I say. I pant through the contractions.
“It hurts more to resist pushing than to just start pushing”, pleaded the midwife.
I considered what she said and it honestly didn’t feel that way to me. Until this one contraction came; it honestly did feel counterintuitive to resist pushing.
So when the next contraction came I held my breath, pushed as hard as I could and I felt my baby’s head being born. “The head’s out” the midwife exclaimed.
“No kidding” I felt like saying back. “I think I know what that feels like”.
With the next push the rest of the baby came out. 2 pushes and that was it.
“Well done”, says the midwife. “You did an excellent job. It’s fantastic that you listened to your body”.
“Then why on earth are you telling me to push when I’m telling you I don’t need to”, I wanted to exclaim back.
I looked at my littlest one and he looked at me; all 4 kilos of him. And I swore I would never do that again. I also said the same thing after the birth of my second baby. 😉
Just messing with you all.