serenetabbie, thanks for reminding me that crowning only lasts a 'minute' .
with ds1 the midwife said to 'push down into your bottom', DON'T! I'm sure that gave me piles, with ds2 I was able to focus on my diaphragm amd push down through the muscles as if they were a brick wall and that way I really felt like I got on top of the baby and helped him out, 3 almighty pushes later. There is something rather odd about straining to such a degree I agree and really hope that things will be even better this third time. Good luck ít's still the most wonderful thing there is.MM
I'd just like to add a lovely thing my best friend, mother of 3 said to me when I was pregnant with my first, that 'if it was that bad women wouldn't do it twice'.