The pushing started and I immediately felt relief. The problem was that my contractions were still only 6 minutes apart. I think that worked in my favor because I was able to gain my energy back after each push. When I first started pushing the nurse asked if I wanted a mirror to see what was going on. I remember people saying that it helps motivate you to have a mirror so I thought it would be a great way to see my progress. They put the mirror down there and I looked as I pushed. I would see the lips open up and then close. They even had me put my hand down there to feel the head and the hair. I couldn’t feel anything. I was so out of it and so low on energy at this point I wasn’t sure how I was going to get the baby out. Chad kept trying to get me to drink water because the nurse and doctor expressed concern that I could be dehydrated. He kept putting a straw up to my mouth. I could barely open up my mouth enough for him to get the straw in there to drink anything. I couldn’t even talk to him. I was also so hot that I tore off my hospital gown and was completely naked. I did keep asking the nurse and doctor if my progress was normal or if I was making any progress at all. I kept looking at my bikini line in the mirror and kept thinking how easy it would have been to just make an incision right there for a c-section. I also kept asking “are you sure this baby is going to come out?!”. The doc. assured me that the baby would be coming out vaginally. It was absolutely horrible. I was so discouraged. The doctor would even leave for several minutes at a time. When the doctor would leave, I’d give up all while thinking “there is no way I would deliver this baby if she wasn’t here”. I would keep pushing but wouldn’t try nearly as hard as I would have had she been in there. I think the longest stretch was 20 minutes. I was left with Chad and the nurse. I finally had them take the mirror away because it didn’t seem to be helping me out much. I tried numerous positions to help and get this baby out. I even tried standing up and squatting using a birth bar to try and help things move along. Nothing seemed to be working and standing used up SO much more energy than lying down did. I finally decided that the best position for me would be to squat while leaning up against the bed.
Once the doctor finally came back in she stayed in. She also noticed that the little guy wasn’t doing well. Every push, his heart beat would go down to about 40 beats per minute. This wasn’t a huge problem, but it was a problem. The doctor decided to go ahead and ask if she could hook me up to a saline solution to stop me from dehydrating, a pitocin drip to get the contractions closer together, and oxygen to help get me and the baby through this whole experience. I agreed to all. Chad kept asking me “Linds, are you sure you want all these interventions?!” He was so good at making sure this is what I wanted. At this point I didn’t care. I wanted to do WHATEVER it took to get this child out. It hurt so much. The doctor also asked me if I’d like a local anesthetic put in on my perineum in case I tore. I decided that as long as it wasn’t an epidural (it wasn’t) that I would go ahead and have her numb the area as I had a feeling that I would probably tear.
The next phase all is very fuzzy. It’s almost like I blacked out or had an out of body experience of sorts. I remember things speeding up all of a sudden. After the pitocin started, the contractions felt like they were non stop. I felt like I was just in a constant state of having to push and if I wasn’t pushing the pain was so unbearable I thought I would pass out. I kept pushing and pushing. I don’t even know how I had the energy to keep going. I remember them repositioning me to get into baby time position. They were all encouraging me and kept saying “keep pushing Lindsey, he’s almost here!” They kept telling me only a few more pushes. This really motivated me so I just kept pushing and going. I had no clue how much progress I was making at this point. I felt something slide out and saw him on my chest. Someone said to me “hold onto him Lindsey”. I was in so much shock that I had no idea how I had a baby on my chest. I instantly snapped back into reality and had a surge of energy at this point.
I was so happy that it was all over. The first thing out of my mouth to Chad was “F*@% this natural birth $hit!” It was the hardest, toughest, most difficult thing I have ever done in my life and I’m convinced I’ll never ever go through anything else more physically demanding in my life. I’m so proud of myself for doing this naturally. I am not sure if the next one will be medicated but I do know that my recovery was nothing short of miraculous. I’m not sure whether to attribute that to the fact that I did this naturally or not. I knew all along that I could do it and that an epidural was out of the question. I’m not sure why I felt so strongly about doing this naturally but once I get an idea in my head I almost never go back on it. I just kept telling myself the entire time that I could do it. I must do it.
When the baby was put on my chest, I looked at my husband who’s eyes were filled with tears and asked him “is this Emmett Thomas?” He replied “yes, it’s Emmett Thomas”. I has thought I would also be filled with tears but I don’t think I had anything left to give. I was so worn out that I was just so happy it was finally over. I look back at that evening and though I didn’t feel the oxytocin pumping through my veins at that very moment, I know it was there. After he was born, they put him on my chest and I just started at him. They let me hold him for about 30 minutes before taking him to clean him off and take his measurements. I was in pure and utter shock that I created this perfect human. Everything about him was/is just amazing. After they took him off of me, there was miconium everywhere (baby poop). He had pooped all over my chest. They took him away and weighed and measured him.
I must say that the rest of the night continued to be the most incredible night of my life. My parents were also there but we didn’t have any pictures of them holding E. Our parents were in the waiting room from 10:30am-12:15am. They were all such troopers. They kept taking bets on when the baby would make his grand entrance. Apparently the doctor told them that he’d most likely be here by 7pm Friday night. Once we had him, I breastfed him (45 minutes on ONE side!!) and then had them come back to see him. They only stayed for another 30 minutes at most to hold him and say hello to their new grandson. Everyone was SO tired. Once they all left, the nurses took us into our recovery room and spouted off a million and one different directions. One thing I do remember was that I would be cold and shivering uncontrollably and probably would not sleep at all during the night. The shivering started immediately after she told me about it. I also remember having a turkey sandwich to eat. Wow, when you haven’t eaten in over 24 hours, the most incredibly thing is a turkey sandwich. I was also allowed to sleep with the new baby on my chest for the entire night. I just remember waking up every 15 minutes to look at him, kiss his head, cuddle him, whatever I could do to sneak a peak at the newest addition. I wanted it to be morning so badly so that I could talk to Chad about the whole experience. I couldn’t wait to see family and friends the next day.
I can truly say, without a doubt this was the most challenging and yet most rewarding experience of my life thus far. I know it can only get better from here and now a few months removed from the experience I can honestly say I’d like to try natural again. Let’s just hope the NEXT one is a bit shorter 😉
We love you more than you will ever know Emmett Thomas.