*This post contains graphic content which includes talk of all things birth related. Please feel free to scroll down to the pictures and skip out on the details if you are squeamish!
You have no idea the relief I felt when I started feeling the urge to push. It was the light at the end of the tunnel. I was getting so tired and I just wanted to get to the end so I could rest. I was in the tub when I started feeling the urge to push and so the nurse and Ryan had to lift and help my naked self to the hospital bed.
When I got settled into the bed the doctors (my doctor and a student doctor that I had approved being there) were there ready to get this show on the road! The doctor checked me to confirm that I was indeed fully dilated and proceeded to break my water. Oddly enough, after reading so many birth stories I was concerned about meconium in the fluid. So, even in my delirious state I asked if it was clear, which it was!
The doctor proudly announced I could start pushing at the next contraction and as that contraction started, I got mad.
After all of my reading up on labour and delivery I had thought that I had learnt everything. What I failed to realize was that even though you feel the urge to push, you still feel the painful contraction. I was under the impression that once I got to this stage of labour that the contraction pain would go away so that I could focus on pushing! It doesn’t. I got so upset and kept asking why I still felt the pain of the contraction. Which everyone assured me was normal. Except I was so mad because I felt like the universe was playing some sort of sick joke on me!
Not to mention the doctor started doing this thing where he would want me to push against his fingers (that were inside me) and would stretch me as I was pushing. I was SO close kicking him in the head and even said to him, “Don’t “f**king do that!”. Ryan said he was worried I was going to hit him.
When I was pregnant I had asked a lot of women what was worse, contractions or pushing. They all said contractions and I assumed I would be the same. I wasn’t. I hated pushing! Contractions were something I could relax and focus on getting through. I wasn’t prepared for how strenuous this pushing gig could be.
At around 8 PM I started pushing. I pushed lying down, I pushed squatting, I used a bar, I used a towel and it literally felt like I was making zero progress. The nurses and doctors were all very encouraging but I felt like I wasn’t doing anything.
At this point I was so focused on the doctor telling me what to do and how close I was that I actually have no memory of Ryan during the whole pushing process except to tell him when to put a cold towel on my forehead and yell at him to take it off when it got annoying.
The pushing process FLEW by. 2 hours felt like 20 minutes.
After every contraction a nurse would check the babies heart rate as well as mine to make sure everything was good. Around the 2 hour mark I could feel the mood of the room shift. I started darting my eyes around from person to person in silence hoping to understand from their expressions what was going on.
An oxygen mask was put on my face and during the next contraction the doctor’s light tone was more urgent as he was telling me to “push”.
After that contraction was done they checked the heart rates again and our main delivery nurse scooted away and started digging through drawers. The doctor gently told me that he had to use the vacuum and he needs to do it now. The nurse handed him the vacuum and even though I wasn’t having a contraction he told me to push anyways because the baby needed to be out now!
*Later I was told that the baby’s heart rate was low (40’s-50’s) and mine was so high that it was comparable to someone completing a marathon. They were worried for us both*
Using the vacuum he pulled (and I pushed) for one minute! I never even got a chance to feel the “ring of fire” because the head come out so fast. The doctor then proceeded to try to deliver the rest of the baby but he announced to the nurses that the shoulders were stuck and they proceeded to push on my stomach!
Again, I was always under the impression that once the head came out that the rest was easy! As I was pushing the rest of the baby out I even yelled, “I thought this was the easy part”!
Within 1-2 minutes, at 10:31 PM the baby was out and lying in between my legs. The baby looked so bluish/white and wasn’t breathing. The doctor and nurses started doing what they could to get him to start breathing while the baby was still in between my legs. At this point, I should have been the concerned parent and asked, “Is the baby ok?” but instead all I kept repeating was, “What is it?”
Of course the medical team was too busy with the baby to answer me and all the sudden I could feel Ryan’s scratchy beard by my ear as he whispered in a tearful voice, “We have a son.” This moment with Ryan will forever be engraved in my mind as one of the best moments of my life.
And that’s when the emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. As I was crying I kept saying, “Oh my god! We have a baby. We have a son!” “It’s a boy! Holy sh*t!” “Everyone was wrong! It wasn’t a girl!”
Finally when the doctor was sure the baby was O.K (it was really only about 5 minutes), they placed him on my chest and Ryan and I finally got to have a look at our little boy! I never felt like this was a baby that I had never laid eyes on before. Instantly I knew he was mine.
I ended up with mostly 1st degree (and 1 small 2nd degree) tears and as the doctors were stitching me up Ryan and I enjoyed staring at our son and talked over names. We kept calling him “Buddy (like, “it’s ok buddy”) and the doctor thought that was what we had named him. Ha ha!
Finally, the doctors were done repairing me and making sure that I was o.k. The doctor remarked that my placenta weighed 2 times the normal which is great for the baby. Now that everything with me was good, it was time to get a closer look at our little man! He passed all the tests with flying colors and was the picture of health.
Finally, it was time to weigh him! Everyone was placing bets at how big he would be. Our doctor was dead on the money with his guess of 8 pounds and 8 ounces!
It was almost 3:30 AM when everything was all said and done. Everyone left our room so that we could get some sleep. Our baby was still nameless at this point and we decided to reconvene the discussion in the morning after a few hours of sleep.
Ryan passed out pretty quickly but I was still flying high with adrenaline! As I looked over at my son sleeping beside me in his bassinet I couldn’t get over the fact that he was here (and that he looked so much like his Daddy while he slept!). The months, weeks and hours leading up to this moment were erased. This little dude, who had been kicking me all this time was here and that was all that mattered. I told my son that I loved him very much and that I promised to do my best to raise him to be a good person.
I can’t thank my doctor and the staff enough for their help in welcoming our son to the world. In the end, I got the natural birth that I wanted but I couldn’t have done it without the support team. I can’t say enough about the maternity ward at our hospital! It is by far one of the best birthing units in the whole Ottawa Valley (in my opinion). We later found out that I was the first all natural birth that this student doctor had ever seen and I think I may have scarred him for a while! Ha ha! But he also mentioned how neat it was to see the process from start to finish and what a woman is capable of.
This support team also means my husband who was a rock star the whole time! This typically short tempered man listened to my every cue and was very patient with me even when I got difficult! Sam and I are very lucky to have a strong Daddy like him!