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#31 of 53 Old 01-20-2007, 05:03 PM
 
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i found pushing very difficult. i had a hard time focusing enough to push because i just wanted to escape the pain and pressure. finally, my midwife made a tug-o-war rope out of a bedsheet and she played tug-o-war with me as i leaned back (at an angle.) this was EXCEPTIONALLY hepful because it helped me focus on the motion and symmetry of pushing. as soon as i learned how to do this, i got the hang of it.

the next key for me was pushing slowly, even though i wanted the baby OUT asap. i pushed for quite a while, but because i pushed slowly, i was rewarded with no tearing. and i had a nearly 11 lb. baby at home!

i couldn't have done it without midwives who were on their toes, offering different ideas. some of the ideas didn't work, but once we found something that did, it made all the difference in the world. i know that most people say that you have to just trust yourself to do what you think feels right, but sometimes the pain is too blinding to think of solutions! and no matter how much you prepare ahead of time, you really have no idea what the birth will be like until you are in the midst of it.
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#32 of 53 Old 01-20-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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It depends. Each birth is different.

baby #1 - I pushed for 3 1/2 hours. It hurt, but it wasn't actually difficult to push. It was much harder to remain in a squat for most of it!

baby #2 - I couldn't NOT push. My body pretty much did the pushing for me except for the final few pushes. Not hard at all. And he was 9lbs. 5oz!

baby #3 - I didn't get a tremendous urge to push, but I felt like it was time, so I pushed. It was hard work for some reason. I really gave it everything I had.
But I felt fine right afterwards, and certainly no bulging veins or broken blood vessels...I think that's only when women are directed to push or have people telling them to hold their breath and count. :

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#33 of 53 Old 01-21-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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I didn't push hard.... Rachel came out in a breath. I let my body do it. Go with the wave, relax, be passive, your body will do it, it's quite hard to resist a pushing urge. At some point, my body was "pushing" but I didn't want to, I was saying "stop, stop" because I was afraid of tearing. It was impossible to resist it though. I think you shouldn't have veins bulging and all, surely it means that you need to wait you're more dilatated?
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#34 of 53 Old 01-21-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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#35 of 53 Old 01-21-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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It was the hardest work I've ever done in my life (and I've run marathons), but it wasn't that bad. For me, pushing didn't last very long (25 min). It was a bit of a trial b/c I expected to feel relief when pushing, but it hurt just as much (or more) than the last 7 hours or so, which had been very painful. Also, I never had a pushing urge; in fact, I'd been "waiting" at 9++ cm for over 7 hours for that urge that just never came. So I had to push without an urge, which was fine, b/c you just do what you do when pooping, except more. However, I do have to say that I simply loathed and hated the pushing part and the feeling of pushing. It was very, very painful for me, plus it just felt . . . awful!

I second pushing when you feel the urge to push, but there's always a chance you may never have an urge. Even when I was pushing, there was no urge - I was just "choosing" to push when I felt a contraction. Bottom line, everyone has a different experience. I hope you have one of the "easy" "I liked pushing" experiences!
: except that I pushed for 3 hours after 15 hours of labor. I had expected pushing to feel satisfying, as so many women seem to have had that experience.

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#36 of 53 Old 01-21-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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The most common advice I've seen for pushing, from people who enjoyed their births is WAIT.

Just because you're 10cm doesn't mean the baby's ready to come out. Let your body start pushing on it's own.

"foetal ejection reflex" is a good term to look at...
That's some really good advice! Don't push before you're ready, and you won't tire out. And there is noooooooo guessing as to when you'll be ready! Your body will TELL you, sista!!

Also, it doesn't really hurt to push, either. My midwife took olive oil and massaged my perineum while I was in the pushing stage...so it helped me to stretch nicely. When the baby's head (or bum) starts to come out, it puts pressure on your perineum and cuts off circulation - - and your sense of feeling. So you don't really feel all that stretching action that is going on. It's pretty cool the way that God designed our bodies!
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#37 of 53 Old 01-24-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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i had been doing up to 200 kegels per day prior to delivery, and i think that helped pushing be very automatic - i didn't push until i felt the urge, and i didn't have pushing coached, even though i was in the hospital. it didn't feel like hard work at all... it did feel like having a bowel movement... i was disappointed that the pain of contractions didn't melt away into the work of pushing like i'd heard some women describe... i just continued to feel the pain of contractions strongly but with an added sensation of pressure.

at first i tried the breathing technique recommended by the bradley method where on each pushing contraction you take a couple relaxing breaths first and then a pushing breath... but it made absolutely no sense to me in the moment... so i quit that right away and just listened to my body. however... he was coming fast and i was in a semi-reclining position and i did end up tearing fairly badly... the OB asked me towards the end to hold off on pushing, but like i said, it was so automatic that i couldn't *not* do it...oh well...

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#38 of 53 Old 01-24-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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Well, like others said it's different for everyone but pushing for me was easy. I had an all natural labor and delivery with a midwife in a hospital. No one told me when to push. I just started doing it because my body pretty much made me do it, lol. My midwife said just listen to my body and go along with it. I didn't think I would want to push on my back but surprised myself by doing just that, with the head of the bed up. It's weird, I had all these ideas of how I was going to labor and I didn't do any of it. I wanted to be up and walking/standing but my labor was going so fast that it's like I knew to stay in bed (it seemed to slow things down a little so I could handle it) and that's where I felt most comfortable. Anyways.....pushing was a great change in labor, for me. Instead of just relaxing and riding the contractions out I was able to actually do something with them and the intensity of it all was easier to deal with. Like someone else said, pushing is like throwing up. When you let your body guide you to that point you just have to do it. I didn't purple push at all and only pushed about 5 minutes total. For me, the actual pushing didn't hurt. It started to feel really uncomfortable when the head was crowning. I was very quite throughout everything but I was screaming in my head all of these thoughts, lol. When that head is being born you keep thinking there is no way I'm going to open up anymore than this and then you do. I kept saying that to myself over and over, lol. After that head is out it feels so much better! The shoulders and the rest of the body weren't that bad at all. I mean there's alot of pressure and your opening up more again but nothing like the head.

I so hope you get the birth that you want! I wish that for every woman.
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#39 of 53 Old 01-24-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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Fetal ejection reflex, baby!

I won't lie, it was the most painful part of the labor for me, but there was no "effort" or I should say "intent" from me to push. My body just did it. I was on autodrive, my body was just deep in the process and doing its thing. I had no birth attendant there when the pushing urge came, no one telling me that I was "ready" or not to push, and so my conscious brain had no part in it whatsoever. In fact, I did not realize that all that intense pressure was pushing until my son's head just popped out and I reached down and received him into my hands.

(I was in the shower by the way, and will add as a side note that this convinced me of the awesome power of the body. I always planned to recieve my baby and even though I was standing in a hard tiled shower catching a wet, slippery newborn, and not expecting him to come that instant, I still DID IT! If anything, that would be the situation where one would think that you couldn't catch the baby, but my body just automatically did what it had to do to protect him. )

I suggest reading UC stories to see people's experiences with instinctive laboring, and pushing in particular. Good luck with your HBA2C!
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#40 of 53 Old 01-24-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nannyboo View Post
i know that most people say that you have to just trust yourself to do what you think feels right, but sometimes the pain is too blinding to think of solutions!
I think there is a misunderstanding here. It's not about using your brain to figure out what to do, it's about letting your body figure out what to do and letting your instincts guide you. So more accurately, it's that you trust your body to compel you to do what it needs you to do.
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#41 of 53 Old 01-24-2007, 08:17 PM
 
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I have pushed out 2 babies and it was pretty much my body doing the pushing and I was along for the ride. Yes, it was very intense, yes, it was hard work, but no, I never actually felt like "I can't do this, give me drugs" -- That thought never crossed my mind. Yes, the way birth is played up in movies and stories makes it sound absolutely terrifying. I was scared to death to birth a baby until I actually got pregnant the first time and started reading all I could about natural childbirth. I would strongly recommend reading the Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (Ina May Gaskin) it's an amazingly positive book about birth and women's bodies and I would call it my main inspiration. After learning all I could, I wasn't scared any more, I was excited about it and wanted to experience it. I actually enjoyed my birth experiences (probably more in retrospect than actually right there, but hey, it's nice to look back and think happily about it all ). Good luck to you. I found it very helpful to really pay attention to what I was feeling, sensations, etc., and really trying to let my body guide me to do what felt right for me.

Mom of (11/27/03) and (9/29/06).
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#42 of 53 Old 01-25-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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the first birth, for me, was after many agonizing hours of not progressing (or something). I *think* I may have had a cervical lip but nobody told me nothin' so I don't know why it was so awfully painful.

so, #1, with light epidural and pit, was VERY hard work, and 2.5 hours of HARD pushing, with episiotomy and attempts at vacuum extraction to boot (I say attempts 'cos baby had too much hair and the thing kept slipping off heehee).

#2 was an easygoing water birth. Well, not exactly water birth as I flipped up on my knees at the last minute (my mom had sudden doubts as to the safety of WB... oh well.) But pushing was very light, very slow and easy. I don't even know how long I "pushed" for...it did not feel like work. Just consciously relaxing everything and pressing oh so slightly so baby could emerge. After his head was out, he rotated and stretched out his legs, and birthed himself the rest of the way!

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#43 of 53 Old 01-25-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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I'm not a good pusher My first child was posterior, born sunny side up, left me with a 2.5cm seperation of the pubic bone. OUCH! But I was in a hospital with forced purple pushing. Second birth was much easier, I pushed and gave birth while squatting, but it still took an hour to get my 6lb 10oz baby out. I had a cervical lip which held things up. I just let my body find its own rhythm to push. A ctx would come and I would begin standing at the end of the bed, as it intensified I squatted down, working with the gravity of the earth. I wish I was one of these women who pops the kid out in two pushes, but I dont think it will happen Don't worry. Your body will know what to do. I scream bloody murder like I'm being killed when I push. I waste a lot of energy doing that, and I had worn out my chest muscles so badly after ds2's birth that I couldn't stand up straight for a day!
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#44 of 53 Old 01-25-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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It totally depends. With my first baby it was a huge effort, but she wasn't optimally positioned - this makes a huge difference. With my next 3 babies, I didn't even have to try to push. My body did the work and they were all pushed out w/o effort on my part (conscious effort anyway) in minutes, if that. They basically barreled out of me. Do what you can to make sure the baby is positioned well, and listen to your body's cues as to what position to take. Don't purple push it unless there's some sort of emergency, and be sure to stay well hydrated & fed so you'll have the energy for the work ahead.

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#45 of 53 Old 01-25-2007, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK well I think I have figured out my issue. I have this horrible fear of dying while pushing (presumably a heart attack or something like that). I think its because I watched a movie called "Midwife" many years ago with Sissy Spacek. She played a hb mw. The mom was in labor and there was a big ice storm and they needed to transfer because the baby wasnt coming out but because of the storm they couldnt leave. So mom kept pushing and pushing and pushing for hours and hours and finally just fell over dead. Apparently it has really affected me because I remember even when I was pg with #1 (5 years ago) asking people about pushing etc. I am not afraid of the pain of labor, or the pain of pushing, just dying. Funny the things that make an impression.
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#46 of 53 Old 01-25-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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Wow!...I remember that movie. Well I think you should totaly drown that image with loads of positive birth stories.
Baby Catcher By Peggy Vincent
Spiritual Midwifery or Ina May's Guide to Childbirth By Ina May Gaskin.
Re-train your brain to view birth as normal and safe.

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#47 of 53 Old 01-29-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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Pushing was terrifying for my husband to watch. He said he swore my lips would rip in two, my face turned purple and blue. The expression inhuman. It was nothing he could have hoped to prepare for. Not to mention the hellish screams I let out between pushes because I was more pissed off than anything. After the birth, I took a shower. I was shocked to see myself just covered in red freckles and spots, particularly in my face and chest. All broken capillaries. My eyes looked horrible. I knew it was work, but I had no freaking clue that it my blood pressure would be so high to allow something like that to happen and I wouldn't have a heart attack or brain aneurysm.

To note, her head was stuck had had to be mostly manually delivered since my body refused to obey instructions to avoid that. Most of heaviest pushing occured when I was trying to get her unstuck on my own unsuccessfully. I had no drugs beyond oxytocin in the last few minutes (uterus decided to go on vacation all the sudden when the moment of truth came).
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#48 of 53 Old 01-31-2007, 10:01 AM
 
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Well, for my first I did have to push - no one coached me, I *had* to push, like waves of this urge to throw up, only downwards. I remember wondering how people in the birthstories who report "Oh, then they made me wait to push because the OB wasn't there" could DO it - but they're all epiduraled up, I guess...

But just because it was completely involuntary and irresistible didn't mean it wasn't work... it was this giant wave of "heave ho" sensation that I just had to go along with and use my effort along with, somehow, and I *was* noisy - DH assumed that it must have hurt from the sounds I made, but they were *work* noises. Picture a Bulgarian weightlifter doing 300-pound clean-and-jerk lifts, and that was what it was like - grunting with effort. The next day my abs felt like I'd been doing situps. But man, was it a huge rush, too, and *for me* the pushing didn't hurt. I was also a bit of a marshmallow - it wasn't anything that required Jane Fonda Abs or anything like that.

That's *just* my experience, and its different for everyone....
:

I have to say after giving birth i really wondered how women could wait to push!! your body does all the work, i think you're only there to help out :

Mom to Adam (December-9-2006)
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#49 of 53 Old 01-31-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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I have to say after giving birth i really wondered how women could wait to push!! your body does all the work, i think you're only there to help out :
:

I was in my MWs office Tuesday and asked her about pushing. I asked her what makes a good pusher? I have 4 babies and pushed each of them out in less than 15 minutes, 3 of them in less than 10. I have a very good friend that pushed for 4 hours with #1 and 2 hours with #2. My babies were considerably larger than hers and we both birth at home (my last 2 at home).

My MW believes that most of it is psychological. She finds that women that have unresolved issues and or fear have longer pushing stages. She feels that I push my babies out so quickly because I believe in the process, know my body well and listen to it and don't have any fear of labor or pushing. Even with my last two when it was painful to push I wasn't really fearful it was just something I knew I had to get through.
My MW is also a strong believer in a woman pushing when she feels the urge and has no issue with a woman being 10cm for hours without pushing as long as the baby is doing just fine. She never checked me in my labors so I don't know if I was 8 or 10 when I first started pushing. I have to tell you knowing that she trusted me so much and trusted the process made me feel even more powerful and uninhibited.

She told me that a lot of women over think pushing - the ones that ask her a lot about pushing and how and where and what position are the ones that push the longest. I remember being surprised in birth class when a woman brought up the fact that we hadn't really discussed pushing and she wanted someone to tell her how to do it. I told my MW that I just figured it was like pooping and she agreed. It is an impulse and when a woman is able to be connected and listen to her body she waits for the impulse and goes with it.

Keri

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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#50 of 53 Old 01-31-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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Baby #1 -- hospital birth, I showed up in transition but didn't know it. They were monitoring me for a while before they realized I was ready to push, so they wheeled me in a rush to the delivery room. As soon as I got on the delivery bed and pushed once, it felt like such a relief. I hadn't realized it but while I was being monitored, my body was starting to push on its own. Anyway, the pushing felt so good that I put everything into it and burst capillaries on my face and in my eyes. The nurses told me to back off. But it still felt good to push -- the only pain was the ring of fire with the head birthing. I birthed semi-upright, with a nurse and dh helping me hold up/back my legs.

Baby #2 -- homebirth. I remembered how great pushing felt and probably started in on it earlier than necessary. I did a lot of grunting and moaning with the pushes, which surprised me because I was quite quiet in the hospital. Again, it was the ring of fire that was painful, not the pushing.

Baby #3 -- homebirth. I was in the bathroom, trying to walk and rock through the contractions for as long as possible this time, so I didn't start pushing too early. My mw called through the door that I sounded pushy, did I want to come into the bedroom and try some pushing? I made a beeline for the bed, got on my hands and knees, and started pushing. Again, it felt good to push, and there wasn't even much of the ring of fire thing that time. And lots of moaning and vocalizing again (dh shut the window so we wouldn't alarm any neighbours at 2 am ) and pushing was pretty short, she was out in about 3 pushes I think.

None of my pushing phases have gone longer than 30 mins, I think. Waiting until your body tells you to push is a huge help, in my experience.

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#51 of 53 Old 02-01-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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No blue in the face pushing for me.

I waited until my body just couldn't not push. Then the baby came in 3 pushes and I remember feeling no pain at all in between pushes. I could feel the baby between my legs. I remember that part very clearly.

Yes, I firmly believe that waiting until you can't hold it in anymore is key.
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#52 of 53 Old 02-01-2007, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In my mw's book that she gives out ( a binder w/ info printed out) there is an article about a mw (or maybe it was even an ob I dont recall) who went to Jamaica to a hosp there to work/volunteer. All the moms labored in one room and went across the hall to deliver. The mw's were so busy with deliveries that they really werent with the laboring moms and they never checked them. The moms simply walked across the hall when they felt the urge to push. The writer says that despite the fact that all the women were flat on their backs, they ALL pushed out their babies in 30 min or less because they came across the hall when their bodies told them to go.

The writer also says she applies the same thing in her practice and has the same results. 30 min or less - first time moms, vbacs, everybody goes quick.
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#53 of 53 Old 02-01-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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I read that book Midwives, too. It's scary, isn't it, that that pretend mama died from pushing so much. Don't forget though, that it's pretend. Hard to let go of, I know. I read The Red Tent in the last couple of days of my last pregnancy.

You can do it. Your body is made to get this baby out, and then have more babies.
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