This was actually the part that I was somewhat worried about. Because well...you know...it was still kind of hard to believe a baby could come out of...you know...
But pushing ended up being one of my favorite parts of her birth! It was so exciting to know we were at this stage and our baby would be in our arms soon! (And it was good to know all the pain and craziness would be over soon! Kind of. Recovery isn't exactly a picnic.)
They sent a resident in to help me push. And it did not go well. She tried to coach me when to push and it just did not feel natural. I was also flat on my back. Thankfully, Peter had been texting with our treasured doctor throughout labor and she was planning to come to the hospital as soon as she finished her office patients even though she wasn't on-call (because she is just that amazing). She came within a few rounds of pushing and she was such a breath of fresh air coming through the hospital room door.
Dr. M is one of the greatest women I know. She is intelligent, compassionate, competent, and godly, with a warmth and peace about her that can only come from Christ. She also volunteers her time for our crisis pregnancy center. When she came through the door after a long day at work (it was 7pm at this point!) she came in smiling and energetic. She quickly and confidently gave orders to the medical staff and things started to get SO much better. She coached me correctly with pushing each contraction, I was able to change positions somewhat and be more inclined, and we were getting somewhere now!! It was actually kind of exciting, although I was still worried about the baby and the meconium issue but NICU nurses were standing by with their equipment.
I pushed for ten minutes. That's it. So wonderful. I've heard many first-time births have 1-2 hours average of pushing. I think it actually helped that I didn't have an epidural because I could feel each contraction and thus could feel the urge to push. Pushing actually helped relieve the pain-- another plus.
Dr. M asked me if I wanted to watch. She was getting more and more excited so I knew the baby was coming. Plus that "ring of fire" they say you feel? Yeah. I felt it. However, despite our pre-birth conversations (that I would want to watch the baby come out and Peter would NO WAY be down there and seeing anything since he gets queasy with medical stuff)...I replied to her question about watching: "No. I'm focused." And I was, haha. Eyes closed, I was completely focused on pushing because I did not want a baby to be half out of me and then lose the contraction and have to wait for the next one (probably an irrational fear). HOWEVER, my sweet queasy husband watched every moment of our precious daughter arriving without feeling queasy at all. He said it was incredible. I am so darn proud of him. He even cut her cord (another thing he had not thought he'd want to do).
She was here. She was on this side of the womb. NICU took her first but I don't remember that. All I remember is Dr. M holding her out to me a few minutes later (tears coming as I write this) and asking if I wanted to hold her. Since I hadn't seen NICU evaluate her, I kept saying, "Is she ok? Is she ok?" When they reassured me that she checked out just fine, they laid her on my chest and Peter and I looked at each other with so. much. joy. Peter laughed with true, pure delight. What a moment. I'm so grateful our doula snapped a picture at that moment (without us knowing until later) because despite my bedraggled appearance, all I can see is beauty and joy.
Sweet baby G, you have been prayed for and loved your whole little life long. We are so grateful for you. This story is for you.
"When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world."