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#1 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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having had an epidural with my last VBAC, I cheated my way through pushing by looking at the monitors and listening to the nurse tell me when and how hard to push while lying flat on my back.I don't want that again... so I've been reading stuff. Intuitively I would think you let your body give you signals and push when you get the urge. But then I keep reading stuff about natural labors and midwives telling you not to push yet, or to hold it, or to push bla bla bla... Can people comment on how  they pushed while not on meds? Did you get an urge or just push with every contraction? What is normal?


 

 

 


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#2 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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i had the same sort of experience with ds1. i had to be told when to push but 2nd time around, i had a natural birth and boy, once i got it all figured out (how to push successfully etc) , i knew when!


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#3 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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With DD2(home birth), I got the urge and didn't know it! I thought that I just had to poop, and told my midwife that. I think she knew what I really meant though even if I didn't lol. We went in to the bathroom, and she checked me, and I was ready to push. I pushed with each contraction and she was born over the toilet. lol. She didn't tell me what to do, when do push, anything, she just let my body do it. :) 

 

With DD3 I had the urge and the nurse(hospital birth) was telling me NOT to push because the doctor wasn't there yet. She actually applied pressure to her head which helped hold off the urge to push for me for a min. I couldn't stop it though, and the nurse ended up having to deliver. DD3 was COMING, and there was nothing we could do to stop it. lol. I was on my back for that one too because I got to the hospital complete and ready to push. They didn't even have time to take blood or anything. I just changed in to the gown, laid on the bed, and was ready. In the hospital they try to tell you to not push with every contraction, but I like to. They say it will wear you out faster, but I want to be as productive as possible. Mine have have always been out in 3-4 pushes(and contractions).


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#4 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tjjazzy View Post

i had the same sort of experience with ds1. i had to be told when to push but 2nd time around, i had a natural birth and boy, once i got it all figured out (how to push successfully etc) , i knew when!



Can you tell me how you figured it out? :) Do you mean you sat back and listened to your body and just let it do what it wanted or did you read or what?


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With DD2(home birth), I got the urge and didn't know it! I thought that I just had to poop, and told my midwife that. I think she knew what I really meant though even if I didn't lol. We went in to the bathroom, and she checked me, and I was ready to push. I pushed with each contraction and she was born over the toilet. lol. She didn't tell me what to do, when do push, anything, she just let my body do it. :) 

 

With DD3 I had the urge and the nurse(hospital birth) was telling me NOT to push because the doctor wasn't there yet. She actually applied pressure to her head which helped hold off the urge to push for me for a min. I couldn't stop it though, and the nurse ended up having to deliver. DD3 was COMING, and there was nothing we could do to stop it. lol. I was on my back for that one too because I got to the hospital complete and ready to push. They didn't even have time to take blood or anything. I just changed in to the gown, laid on the bed, and was ready. In the hospital they try to tell you to not push with every contraction, but I like to. They say it will wear you out faster, but I want to be as productive as possible. Mine have have always been out in 3-4 pushes(and contractions).


Were you able to tell the nurse to get her hands off or were you so delirious you let them do what they wanted? I would think that I would yell at that point...

 


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#6 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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I don't ever start pushing on my own. My body takes over at some point and begins to push on its own. I basically just follow its lead and let my body do its thing. I don't push for more than 30-45 minutes and haven't torn with either of my homebirths. My hospital birth w/ epidural had nurse/dr. lead pushing. I had 30 stitches and it took me months to get back to normal. I much prefer letting my body do its thing.


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#7 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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Kind of a gross reference (sorry for the TMI!) but...when you go #2, do you think about how or when to bear down?  In my experience, that's what pushing babe out on instinct is like.  Your body has a reflex to bear down when something (#2, baby) is in that area.  For me, it starts with little grunts at the top of a contraction, as early as in transition (with #1, I did this for a couple of contractions and then announced "OMG, I'm pushing, am I supposed to be pushing? LOL!), and the urge builds as baby moves down.  I am still only pushing for little short spurts even at the peak of pushing, though.  The midwives (in my experience, the doctor did the same!) do tend to tell you to ease off the pushing as the head emerges, it gives time for tissues to stretch around baby's head.

 

I just finished re-reading Spiritual Midwifery and it did mention in there (or was it in Birthing from Within?  I just read both this week!) that rarely, women don't get much of an urge to push. It suggested that some pressure from midwife/partner's fingers in the vagina might help bring on the urge.

 

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#8 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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The midwives (in my experience, the doctor did the same!) do tend to tell you to ease off the pushing as the head emerges, it gives time for tissues to stretch around baby's head.

 


They do, you read that everywhere! "Go slowly at that point so you don't tear!"  Like you can just decide how to proceed, but personally... I tell you what, I could no more stop or slow down pushing than I could stop in the middle of throwing up if someone told me to! 

 

Sorry if that is a gross analogy, but it's all I can think of that accurately explains how my body just EJECTS the baby.  And that has actually been the only source of fear for me during labor. I think I got so conditioned to think that the urge to push would be controllable, and for me it just was not.  The first time it went sort of naturally slow, but the second and third babies just came on like a train.  I have really panicked and said "Oh no, I'm going to tear!  I need to stop it!"  And in fact, I have not torn either of those times, so I'm trying to change my thinking and just let it happen without fear.

 

I don't think most women will have any trouble figuring out when or how to push, if left alone and not directed by these people who like to overly manage birth. I think I would FLIP if somebody stuck their fingers in me when I was in labor! Oh hell no.
 

 


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#9 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 05:19 PM
 
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Were you able to tell the nurse to get her hands off or were you so delirious you let them do what they wanted? I would think that I would yell at that point...

 



I didn't try, I was trying to hold back the urge to push as well since she wasn't wanting to deliver obviously. My contractions were coming fast at that point too, so I was in a lot of pain as well, so not thinking straight! It was such a relief to finally get her out though!


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#10 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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They do, you read that everywhere! "Go slowly at that point so you don't tear!"  Like you can just decide how to proceed, but personally... I tell you what, I could no more stop or slow down pushing than I could stop in the middle of throwing up if someone told me to! 

 

Like everything else about birth, it's all so dependent on the person.  I have a hard time remembering for sure whether I pushed or not at crowning, it's such a hazy time...I think I kept pushing a bit, but I do think I slowed down.  I am a hesitant pusher, though, I think, so I'll take any excuse to slow down...with DS2, I told my midwife mid-pushing that I could feel myself tensing my perineum against the pushes...I had back labour and she did the hip squeeze thing and it made a huge difference in me not fighting against my own efforts :P

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#11 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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I'm a really loud birther, so for me I knew my body was ready to push when my groans/moans turned into grunts.  Does that make sense?  I really had no control over it for both of my births.  My "primal mama" took over and I just started grunting and pushing with each contraction.  I can't even fathom being told to slow down or stop completely....just like a pp said, it really is like trying to stop mid puke or mid sneeze.  It's a total natural reflex for me.  My midwife never said anything but encouraging words to me during both of my home births and I'm very grateful for that.


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#12 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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my first two I had absolutely zero urge to push ever, at any point, the second was a heavy epidural though..I felt absolutely nothing

 

my third was my only one I had an urge to push and I had a walking epidural...so I never really could figure out why I had urge with her and not the other two

all three I had no problems panting for a few seconds and laying off so I didn't tear (though had a huge episiotomy for the first anyway) and to give a second after the head was delivered to suction out the nose and mouth

 

I despise directed "purple pushing"...its actually the only time I'll really get nasty

 

I think it feels exactly like trying to take the biggest poop ever...not romantic, but there it is

 

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#13 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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I too just grunted DS out. About 20 minutes before DS was born, I started grunting and bearing down with each surge. I couldn't help either of those reactions. I wasn't so much pushing "down there" as my belly/abs were contracting and moving DS down and out. It's difficult to explain but there was nothing for me to think about, my body was just doing! The only things my midwives said were words of encouragement and to feel DS' head when he came down. The whole experience was great.
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#14 of 38 Old 04-05-2011, 08:46 PM
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my epi experience seems to be totally different. i didn;t feel any pain but i for sure felt the urge to push. i remember it being more like pressure with the meds.

i knew when to call the nurses back in because i felt the urge (they didn't even want to check because i had perviously been at 1 cm....i was then at 9....we had to insist that they check). and the monitor wasn't registering contractions so there were times when i had to tell them it was time to push. i basically was able to direct the whole thing.....even doped up. 


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#15 of 38 Old 04-06-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Can you tell me how you figured it out? :) Do you mean you sat back and listened to your body and just let it do what it wanted or did you read or what?



it's hard to remember now but i think one thing was that my labour nurse pointed out which pushes were most successful and i got it figured out that way. you figure it out pretty quickly! it was much harder with the epidural bc it's hard to feel anything so you don't even know WHEN to push. during drug-free birth, you know when to push for sure bc the urge is there and it's easier to figure out which pushes are moving the baby. it's hard work though and i found it kind of traumatizing. thankfully, you forget all that really quickly. i healed quicker after drug-free birth and found the baby to be more alert as well.


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#16 of 38 Old 04-06-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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1.) Please don't let anyone hold your baby back.  That can cause serious problems for your baby, like brain damage.

 

2.) The baby comes out.  You can't help it, so don't worry about it too much.

 

3.)  For me, it's more like riding a frieght train.  Nothing is stopping it.  My last baby was born in one long push.  I don't think I was even having a contraction through the whole thing, but my body just made me push through.  You know what?  She hadn't engaged yet because the cord was wrapped tightly around her body, twice.  Very tightly.  And the placenta came right after her.  SO...if I had tried to hold back or whatever, she could have been compromised.  My body and her knew she needed out, all at once, so that's what we did.  All of my births have been different, and they have all been what they needed to be.  My advice is to worry about it less, and just work on getting to a place where you can trust your body and your baby.  :)  Sounds hippy, but it's worked 4 times for me.  Actually, the first time was a little rougher than it needed to be, but I didn't listen to my body...I listened to the hospital.  My body told me to get on my hands and knees and curl up in a ball...a great position for turning posterior babies, which she was.  The hospital said flat on your back...


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#17 of 38 Old 04-06-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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I hate pushing, it makes my head feel like its going to explode (and this is body guided urges never being told to push).  So I have taken to just breathing the baby down.  You don't really need to push, your baby will usually come down all on its own.  Its kinda like feeling the need to have a bowel movement.  You know when you need to go, someone doesn't have to tell you. 


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#18 of 38 Old 04-06-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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I use to really stress about the whole pushing thing. I would look to the DRs to tell me when it was time, so afraid Id push at the wrong time or miss some magical push-window. sounds silly now, but it really did freak me out.

 The last few births were different tho. One pushing urge felt like when you have explosive diahrea- whole body shuddering and trembling, convulsing, my body just pushing him out.

One urge just felt like extreme pressure down there and I found I was pushing without having deciing to.

One felt like I was just opening up. No real feeling of force, but felt so good to push against that opening.

 With none of them was there a point where I was sitting back trying to get 'in tune' with my body, trying to see what it was telling me. Birth, for me anyways, is just way too primal for rational thought.

 

 

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#19 of 38 Old 04-07-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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my first was epidural and I had to guess at the pushing thing.

 

this last one, wow...two weeks ago so really fresh in my mind...when pushing started it was pretty much without my mental consent. I almost had nothing to do with it, and my body did it all on it's own. hurt like nothing I've ever experienced...so bad...but at some point I realized that if I "helped" the pushing, as in...put my own mental and physical effort into it along with whatever my body was doing all on it's own...it'd go faster and the pain would stop! 

 

And it did. 

 

If you think about it...the baby isn't going to stay inside you. It's not possible. Women who are completely incapacitated can have vaginal deliveries...the body does it's job. So whether you feel an urge to push or not, wait long enough and it won't really be a question. It WILL happen. 


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#20 of 38 Old 04-07-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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with my hospital birth, the urge to push started building during transition, but wasn't uncontrollable until I was almost to 10 cm. my first push (when I was still being told not to push because I still had a cervical lip) got me to 10 cm and broke my water. for that birth it was a lot like feeling I needed to go #2.

 

with my homebirth I suddenly realized that my body was pushing, had my midwife check me, and since I was complete started consciously pushing. I was told to stop pushing when DS was crowning, but couldn't. I did end up with a slight bit of tearing. 


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#21 of 38 Old 04-07-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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I too just grunted DS out. About 20 minutes before DS was born, I started grunting and bearing down with each surge. I couldn't help either of those reactions. I wasn't so much pushing "down there" as my belly/abs were contracting and moving DS down and out. It's difficult to explain but there was nothing for me to think about, my body was just doing! The only things my midwives said were words of encouragement and to feel DS' head when he came down. The whole experience was great.


That was my experience, too, exactly! 20 minutes after the first grunting. Bearing down. There was no stopping it, no thinking about it, and my abs were doing it all. I tried to hold back as she was crowning because I was so scared of tearing (I didn't) but there really was no stopping it.


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#22 of 38 Old 04-07-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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I've had 2 natural births, and like many of the other ladies said, in my experience your body just pushes. For my first, I still had a little lip on my cervix when the urge to push started. My doctor mostly let me listen to my body, but she did tell me not to push until the lip disappeared. I completely snapped at her, and remember my doula whispering in my ear that it was OK to give tiny little grunty pushes, which I did. Once I the lip finally thinned out and I was given the OK to push, it took a few kind of akward pushes before my body just got it. This is kind of a strange analogy, but it reminded me a bit of dancing. Maybe it is just because I'm not the most confident dancer and am somewhat challenged musically ;), but when I first start to dance I feel a bit awkward and like I am off beat. After maybe 30 uncomfortable seconds, I start hearing the music and dancing with it instead of against it. Learning how to push felt a little like that - I knew my timing was off at first, and then it wasn't. But how I figured it out? I don't really know.

 

For the second birth, I had a midwife who was pretty hands off (in a good way - I loved her!) She gave me no direction on pushing that I remember, except to warn me that for a second birth, transition is often not as bad as the first time, but pushing can be more intense. Both were true in my case! Once I was pushing she just let me do my thing. I didn't tear either time, and there were no complications, so it worked well for me.

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#23 of 38 Old 04-07-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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I had a surprise breech homebirth and could barely control my pushing.  I was grunting and contracting, but not consciously pushing.  My body was almost on auto-pilot.  I was on my hands and knees.  I did not keep track of time, but pushed maybe 30 minutes and I did not tear.


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#24 of 38 Old 04-08-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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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.

http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/inspired/river.html

http://birthskirt.blogspot.com/2010/03/rule-of-10-versus-womens-primal-wisdom.html

http://sarahvine.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/how-dilated-am-i-assessing-dilation-without-an-internal-exam/

 

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.


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#25 of 38 Old 04-14-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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My natural urge to push also felt like I needed to poop. I actually thought to myself "if I can just get this HUGE poo out, I can get on with having the baby." Except, there was no huge poo. Ha. It was the baby! I had no choice but to push, really, just like if your body really needs to pee or poop or puke or laugh or whatever else, it just does it. Plus, I also felt like I would feel much better after I "pooped," and I did, just minus the poo. The only directed pushing I had was one big one for the placenta, because I was tired and dazed and distracted by then, and needed some encouragement. That part was actually a very nice sensation - really soft and warm!

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#26 of 38 Old 04-14-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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With #1 i was told not to push so i didn't.  It was hard, tiring and terrifying, and after 2 hours of "not pushing" (just grunty little ones between the top-of-lungs roaring i was doing so i wouldn't push) DD was born.  I did ONE "good" push, and she came ears-to-toes in that push.  I hated not pushing.

 

With #2 there was a knot in her cord and she was pretty high when i was fully dilated.  I had been grunting at the peaks of contractions (i roar when i contract, so i would go ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu during a contraction and during a pushy one it would be ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh gh gh oooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuu) and then she decided it was time.  I pushed for 6 minutes, i remember noting at different points what i was doing with fascination since i wasn't thinking about any of it.  Like for example i pushed right through one contraction, then rested then pushed right through the next, and the gap and the next and then she was out.  I'm pretty sure her knot was bothering her and she put her foot to the floor (literally, onto the fundus, pushing herself lower and making my body push without a contraction) to get born.  I also noticed that between pushes i was sheep-breathing (panting) without any plan to do so, or direction from anyone.  It was just the direct feedback between my perineum and brain at work.

 

Don't worry Mama, it'll all happen.  Your butt knows how.

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#27 of 38 Old 04-20-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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My birth experience with ds2 was amazing. Totally natural with a mw. She actually told me not to push but to let my body push out the baby. I let my body take over and he came out without any epi or tears and pretty quickly too :)


 


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#28 of 38 Old 04-20-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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I'm kind of the odd one out here - I've never had the urge to push with either of my 2 births.  Number 1, I was fully dilated and waited like 2 hours for my body's natural ejection reflex to kick in.  I'd studied hypnobirthing which is all about breathing the baby down, no pushing required.  So I was doing that with nothing happening.  (I was at home, no drugs)  My midwives started to get a bit restless then, and my contractions had started to slow down (I'd been going a long time and was exhausted, not holding down any food etc) so at their direction I pushed HARD, despite no strong urge.  After about an hour and a half of hard hard pushing my son was born - would my body have birthed him in it's own time if I hadn't pushed on direction?  Not sure. He wasn't getting distressed or anything, but think the concern was more that I was getting exhausted.  With my daughter again, no urge to push but during/after transition she had a heart decel and my midwife said something along the lines of "we need to get this baby out" and I pushed her out in one.  The reflex was obviously working that time, and/or my muscles were much more pliable!  Midwife was surprised - she'd meant like hopefully in the next half hour or so, not immediately, but my body responded in any case.  So I don't know in either case if the "urge" to push would have come if I'd just waited longer.  My 2nd midwife did comment, when I was recounting the experience of my first birth, that she didn't think it was always possible to "breathe" the baby out, especially with a first birth.  And she was very hands-off/natural/let the body lead in her approach and very experienced.  Sometimes she said, you do have to push hard, but obviously the ideal situation would be to wait until the urge comes.  I'm hoping the urge will come naturally to me this time! 

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#29 of 38 Old 04-20-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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My first one (hospital birth that ended in c-section) - no drugs during labor and I was instructed to push and told to push when I hit 10cm

 

My most recent birth, it was all of a sudden and my body did it all on it's own. I wasn't consiouscly trying to push, it just happened. My midwife did have me breathe through them for about 15 minutes (cervix was still a little in the way) and then she let me push as I wanted to - asking me to breathe at some points to help things "stretch". I did have two skid marks, but I didn't tear - 45 minutes of pushing.

 

 


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#30 of 38 Old 04-20-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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I've never felt the urge to push as I've had epidurals plus nurse led pushing for all three of my babies but all three were out in way under 5 minutes and I've never ripped or been cut. Sorry I'm no help!! Maybe this time I'll skip the epidural then I would know. :D I've heard the urge to push is strong when your body is ready. 


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