Where was I?
Oh yes, in the Tub of Doom, trying not to push.
I was there with Sharon and G, and I was begging to push. At a certain point I demanded they go get Cindie so she could check me again to see if I could start pushing. I didn’t want to wait one more second if I didn’t have to.
Eventually Cindie got back and checked me. I was at 9 cm but she thought it would be okay for me to start pushing. I was sooo relieved and I could not wait to get out of that tub!
(The hospital would not allow a water birth but I had absolutely zero desire for one at that moment anyway.)
Somehow I got out of the tub and onto the bed. Cindie and Sharon suggested I get on all fours and let them push on my hips from each side. That was ridiculously uncomfortable, and as they were brainstorming other positions, I just flopped onto my back and refused to move.
I had read plenty about how laying on your back was the worst possible position for pushing, but it really was the most comfortable thing at that point. All of their other suggestions sounded like they would require a ludicrous amount of energy.
So, on my back it was. They assembled the squat bar at the foot of the bed, and made a rope out of a sheet which they looped around the bar. I put my feet on the bar and grabbed one end of the rope in each hand. This gave me great leverage for pushing during each contraction.
Even though the pushing hurt in its own way, it was a better kind of pain than the trying-not-to-push. It felt more productive, I was more in control.
The lights were low, and each person in the room was completely focused on me. They listened to me swear and complain during the pushes, and they were silent and observant during the rest times. The predictable rest intervals in between the urges to push were the only way I got through, I jumped from one to the next, stringing them together, relying on them.
I don’t know how long the pushing lasted. At one point I looked at the clock and it was 9:30 pm. Cindie said that Zane would definitely be born that day. More than one hour but less than three.
At one point when they could see the head a little bit but he wasn’t coming out any further, Cindie (or Sharon?) suggested they bring out the mirror so that I could watch what was happening during the pushing. They thought it might help focus my efforts.
I really, really didn’t want the mirror when I had thought about it before going into labor. I am sooo squeamish, I thought I could get through if I just didn’t have to see what was happening down there. But in the moment, I felt like I would try any suggestion to get the baby out quicker.
And what do you know, being able to see that little purple head become more visible during a push was extremely motivating. My pushes became a lot stronger and more intense.
And then, Cindie put on her gown and gloves, the baby nurse was called into the room, and Sharon got the camera ready. The push that brought Zane into the world was stronger and hurt more than he others, but not by a lot. I was surprised at how once his head was out the rest of him just slid right out.
Cindie and G caught him together. I heard him cry, and then they put him on my chest. I asked if he was okay and I asked if he was a boy.
I was out of breath and sweaty and this was the most surreal moment I have ever experienced. A baby! Came out of me! He was in there the whole time, working just as hard as I was.
I could say this was the most profound moment of my life, and it was. But it was hard to appreciate that in the instant. He wasn’t there, and then he was. It was more disorienting than anything else.
It wasn’t until after everyone left, and the three of us were alone in our room, that I began to feel the quiet magic of what had happened.
(and of course since I have more to say I’ll be doing a post next about how the birth compared to what I thought it would be like)