Question about the urge to push - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-06-2014, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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When I was in labor, I was completely dilated with an anterior lip for 6 hours straight-- during this entire time I was having transition-like contractions that had me grunting and involuntarily bearing down (felt like the reflex to throw up, but was throwing downward instead)-- the only problem was that it HURT to push and I couldn't... baby wasn't descending and I was just stuck in this limbo state of not wanting to keep her in because it hurt too bad and not wanting to push/bear down because it hurt too bad.


I tried several serious times to push, leaning over the bed  standing and sitting on the birthing stool- and the downwards pressure just caused more unbearable pain in my cervix and grunting/bearing down that I couldn't stop, the only comfortable position was laying down so there was no gravity against my cervix.


Was THIS the urge to push?? Should I/could I have just pushed through the pain and gotten the lip out of the way or would that have torn it/caused it to swell (even more... apparently after 3 hours of this my midwife said it was swollen).


unresolved birth processing going on... sorry for all the questions.

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#2 of 6 Old 01-07-2014, 05:09 AM
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I think it varies. Some women can "push past" a lip (I've seen this more commonly with 2nd or more baby, where the cervix/body has "done this" before), but for others it seems to swell/tear. It's impossible to know in hindsight what would/could have helped. Some caregivers try to hold back a cervix to help a woman push past it. It can be excruciating, but sometimes works. I've read birth stories where ice was used to bring down swelling, which sounds incredibly painful.

This does sound similar to the urge to push except for the cervical pain that was stopping you. Unbearable pain in you cervix sounds like your body's wisdom telling you not to push yet. I have seen exaggerated position changes (like the Miles circuit) help shift a baby's position to dilate the cervix more evenly. It sounds like some of your involuntary pushing may have been trying to achieve some repositioning, too, though perhaps at the expense of some cervical swelling.

For me, the urge to push was involuntary and irresistible and the sensation of my contractions moved from cervix/uterine pain to a rectal/vaginal "pressure" ( way more intense than pressure, but not as painful as transition contractions)

Good luck with the processing!

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#3 of 6 Old 01-07-2014, 10:13 AM
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I had this with 2 births. The first was like yours, and I panted and had a rough time for hours holding back before it was out of the way, because going with the urge to push that baby's head pushing on things gave just made it worse. And it's more oh my body is pushing, than I feel like I want to push. The second, I had my MW hold the lip out of the way to get somewhat past, had her apply arnica oil on the swelling lip and tissues, laid down flat and panted for 10 minutes, then baby flew out in one push. Third baby I didn't have that issue at all and by the time I was checked I was complete, pushed for 8 minutes.

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#4 of 6 Old 01-07-2014, 11:09 AM
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Interesting...sounds similar to my birth as well. When I was in transition and the contractions were one on top of the other there was this period where I started to panic. I kept checking myself and could feel no head yet. I felt as though I wasn't making progress although I was in unbearable pain contraction on top of contraction. I wonder if possibly I had a lip as well, although I had an unassisted birth and ridiculously small hands...I couldn't feel anything. Anyway, I just wanted it to end. Wanted to make some progress so I attempted pushing even though I felt no urge. I really don't think it did anything. What finally worked and baby came shortly after was for me to concentrate REALLY hard on relaxing and visualizing myself opening up. I think maybe I had some fear that was holding things back? Once I made myself relax and let things happen my body started involuntary pushing and grunting...i remember it feeling so primal and out of control-fetal ejection reflex and baby was out in three pushes if I remember correctly. Was actually quite interesting...although would have been nice to have one of those near painless births that I read so often about :-)

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#5 of 6 Old 02-06-2014, 08:37 PM
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I'd like to meet these women who have "near painless" child births! No fair.
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#6 of 6 Old 03-18-2014, 09:09 PM
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My "urge to push" has always been that - a pretty much unstoppable, nearly involuntary pushing that I just had to go with, or else my body was going to go ahead and push on its own anyway.

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