I also had the fetal ejection reflex. I didn't have an exam so I didn't know if I was at 10cm but my body was pushing, regardless, after a 27 hour labor. Total pushing stage was 20 minutes and I didn't have a break between transition and pushing. I was hoping for that break! My body just started pushing during contractions when I was in the birth tub. About 5 minutes later I wanted to get out and be upright. I will also agree with a PP that it was super intense and felt better to push but was still incredibly painful! So I sat on the birth stool and was worried that I wasn't 10cm so I had my midwife check me and DD's head was right there and coming out. It definitely felt like a BM (and I did have one) but more like the full body vomiting as described earlier. I couldn't stop it if I tried, although I made myself try to slow it down as she was crowning because I was scared of tearing.
Please help me understand the pushing stage - Page 2
I have never had the urge to push. And I had midwives for both births, too, the second one at home. I was hoping the second birth would be different in that I would have the urge, but I didn't. It could be because I'm one of those women for whom labor is not that bad until the very end of transition, but pushing hurts like a *&%$#@^&*!$^*!. So I just kind of lose it mentally and don't know what to do or what I want because the pain is so intense and I just want it to be over, like, as soon as possible. The only thing different about the second birth was that I wasn't as loud during pushing, I knew when to push rather than sometimes needing to be told, and it took half as long (half an hour versus a whole hour).
The fetal ejection reflex sounds really interesting -- maybe third time is the charm for me!
ETA: Oh, and I think that "push like you are having a BM" was an appropriate direction to give to me -- it did kind of feel like I needed to poop both times (though I didn't actually do so) and the pushing felt similar. But I am pretty familiar with constipation so maybe that's why, lol.
I also had the fetal ejection reflex. Not pushing was NOT an option. My whole, entire body was pushing that child out. It would push so hard, for so long, that I would start to pass out at the end of some of the contractions because I could NOT breathe! That's my only experience to date. Will be interesting to see what happens shortly with #2. I'm not sure if I want that again or not.
I read somewhere that it is actually normal to have a "break" from contractions after reaching full dilation and before having the urge to push. Is this true? If that is the case, then maybe most women are pushing when they should actually be resting before the "urge" comes on?
With my last birth I fell asleep in the pool at this point. It was amazing.
I think pushing like you are having a bowel movement is just the best approximation that can be given... You might use some of the same muscles and you might get a sort of similar feeling, more so with some women then others.
With my first I had the fetal ejection reflex - so crazy! But like a PP poster said it kind of felt good. It was fast - maybe 15 minutes and no one coached me I just sort of did what felt right. I think just a couple minutes before hand I had been checked and was about 8cm but making fast progress and they never asked me to stop or to verify I had made it to the magic 10 cm. I just went with what my body was telling me.
My second I did not have the reflex but something closer to an urge that might have felt a little like needing to have a BM... but only sort of like that - it was obviously not. It was more like huh.. I think I want to push a little bit, then I did and that felt right. In fact the MW had to keep telling me to relax between contractions and not keep pushing. I just wanted to keep pushing. This labor and contractions were way more intense then my first and were not feeling better during pushing (with my first the contractions were better during pushing) so I think I just was wanted it done and was not letting my body just work the baby down on its own. Again I had been checked at about 8cm just before feeling pushy and the MW realized I would progress fast and went ahead a prepared for the birth at that time. It took 25 - 30 minutes this time (bigger baby and possibly not positioned perfectly). The only time to told me to actually push (instead of telling me to relax and let my body do the work more) was when his shoulders were a bit stuck and then they asked me to really push/hold my breath etc. to help get him out.
I posted this in another thread about pushing...
With my first, I reached 10cm and had absolutely no urge to push. My midwife told me to start and I thought, how strange, I just start pushing? How exactly? It was the most unnatural thing and it wasn't until I was pregnant with my second that I realized I had been experiencing a latent or resting stage that is not at all uncommon. Between reaching 10cm and the urge to push there could be a period of a few minutes or even hours where the body shuts down and lets you rest. I didn't know this so I didn't know to stand up for myself and tell the midwife I wanted to wait. I imagine this would be even harder with an OB.
So I read a lot during my second pregnancy about the second stage of labor and found a few great websites about pushing myths
With my second, my husband and I were birthing mostly unassisted (a midwife was in a different room than us) so I didn't have anyone telling me when I was 10cm or when to start pushing. I reached a point in transition where I had just had enough and thought to myself, I'll just try pushing a little and see what happens. As soon as I let my body start that motion I couldn't stop it. I let out a roar and the baby flew all the way down to the perineum. Then my body shut down for about 2 minutes and with another roaring push my son's head came out and half a push later he was all the way out. Just like that.