People talk a lot about childbirth, about the painful contractions, the nausea inducing pain and the immediate relief when you are holding your little baby. It is something that frightens a lot of first time moms, and can even get the nerves going again in an experienced mom. When a mom is expecting for the first time, she is terrified about childbirth and will receive a lot of advice. The advice is normally around how to get through the pain of contractions and to not be afraid to ask for an epidural.
No one tells her about what it feels like to push.
An experienced mom has been through childbirth before, but it really is true that when you see that baby you forget everything. I mean, you know it hurts, you remember it hurting but it is hard to pin point the exact pain feelings. Babies are just that cute and loving, they make us forget and they make us want more to add to the joy in our life.
We forget about what it feels like to push.
Whether it be because no one prepares us for the push feelings, or that we have forgotten they can be quite alarming. Even if you have an epidural you will still feel an immense and uncomfortable amount of pressure. This is good. You need this feeling to tell you when it is time to push. To be quite honest, it feels like you really have to go to the bathroom, with the biggest poop you have ever done in your life.
When this magical moment happens, a lot of things run through our heads, things we would never ever say! Here are 15 of them.
15 “Well, That’s Different”
At this point of childbirth, most women have felt a lot. They have felt a lot of intense and painful contractions, some even throw up. They have felt uncomfortable and hot and cold at the same time. Listen, childbirth is not pretty, no one said it was. If you get the epidural, you get a bit of a break from all of these feelings. You won’t be completely comfortable, but it’s better than nothing.
When you first start to feel that push-pressure, you may think, ‘hmmm, that is different.’ You start to wonder if your epidural wore off, because you really don’t think you should be able to feel this. Don’t worry, while it is a new feeling, it is an important one. When you start to feel that pressure, it is time to go, time to push that little baby out.
14 “OMG, I’m Going To #2!”
This is very common, and is a fear shared by many women around the world. That they will poop on the delivery table. Truth is, you might, I’m not going to lie to you. The pressure feeling feels almost exactly the same as that feeling you get when you have to go to the bathroom in the worst possible way. It is the same muscles being worked to push out a baby that you use to push out a poop.
It is normal to poop during the pushing stage of childbirth, and I wish more and more women would not fear it so much. I know it has been said a million times, but I will say it again; the doctors and nurses really have seen it all and it does not bother them in the slightest. You may not even know you poop, they clean you up and remove all the mess before anyone knows what happened.
13 “Is My Bum Going To Explode?”
Ok, a lot of this article is going to be about your butt, let’s just face it now. That is because when you push you use a lot of you butt muscles. I remember laying on the table with this pressure, and I was convinced that my whole bottom was just going to turn inside out. The rational part of my brain knows that this is not likely going to happen, but I really thought it would.
Now, while your butt will not turn inside out, you may develop hemorrhoids while pushing. This is when the blood vessels in the rectum kind of pop out due to extreme pushing. Again, while you are not pushing a poop out, you use the same muscles, and the nurses will tell you to push like you are pooping. Hemorrhoids may be painful and a pain in the butt (pun intended), they are definitely better than turning inside out.
12 “So, That’s What Johnny Cash Was Singing About”
I am sure we are all familiar with the Jonny Cash song “Ring of Fire”, and I am sure we are all used to hearing that pushing a baby out is quite like leaving a ring of fire. If you are a first time mom, or are just very curious, and want to get a sample of what this ring of fire feels like, I have a trick for you. Open your mouth wide, and go even wider to the point where you feel your lips kind of stretching. A bit uncomfortable right? Well, it is like that but ten times worse.
Now, if you have the epidural you may not feel the ring of fire as intensely as someone who goes all natural, but you will still feel some effect of it. There will be burning, stretching and tears. Many, many tears, and that is OK, just let them all out and then remind your kids for the next 30 years about the pain they caused you.
11 “OMG, How Big Is This Kid?”
Childbirth is long, it takes a long time, we know this and we expect it. We know for some labour can be pretty quick and easy, but I am guessing that number is low so I’m betting on the majority here. What no one warns you about is that the pushing part of labour can be just as long. Sometimes, hours. I was one who only had to push for 25 minutes, but I know a lot of people who pushed for more than 3 hours.
There reaches a point where we start to wonder just how big this kid is! Did we eat too much during the 9 months and create this large giant monster that is about to come ripping out of our lady bits? It feels like it is never ending and that this must be a larger than average sized baby that is about to come out.
10 “I Can’t Do It”
Ok, this one you may say out loud, I know I did. I reached a point where it just didn’t seem physically possible for me to continue anymore. They count to 10, and you are supposed to push the entire time, well they must have a different method for counting to ten that I am not used to, they count so slow.
Some may not say this, as they don’t want to be seen as a wuss or a wimp. It is absolutely normal to reach a point in your childbirth journey where you just can not do it anymore, and this time usually comes when you are pushing. You have (probably) just been through hours of pain and exhaustion, and the hardest part is the pushing which comes at the end. Seems like torture, that the hardest part of labour comes after hours of no eating and little sleep.
9 “You Do It For Me”
This one kind of goes hand in hand with the last one, the one where you feel like you want to give up. It also is the same because you may just say it out loud. If you have birthing partners in the room with you, maybe your spouse and/or mother, it can be quite normal to want them to do it for you. Heck, I would have even been willing to let one of the nurses take over. Be my guest.
It is kind of maddening that we are expected to do this all on our own, we get no help. The only help we get is from our own bodies, and that form of ‘help’ is incredibly painful and uncomfortable. Our spouse gets to sit there all comfortably, saying wonderful encouraging words, and all we want to do is some sort of body switch and let him take over for a little bit, it’s only fair.
8 “Is This Thing Out Yet”
We are tired, and it has been hours, even days sometimes, and this thing just has not come out yet. Yes, I said thing, after painful hours this is not our beautiful baby anymore, it is a thing. It is cruel and unjust in it’s never ending pain. Of course, it is our beautiful baby after it is all said and done, but not one minute before.
All of a sudden, all the pains and aches that come along with pregnancy don’t seem so bad, so we may often think as well, “just let it stay in there.” If it doesn’t want to come out, that is fine with me, stay in there because I can not push for one more minute. You may also reach a point where you think it’s out and it’s not. It is a cruel thing, that goes on and on for hours.
7 “It Has It’s Father’s BIG Head”
We love our spouses. They took care of us for 9 months, and we know they will be the most wonderful daddy’s in the world. We really hope they know that we love them, because when we are pushing out their spawn that they placed inside of us, they are not our best friend. They are not even someone we would pretend to be nice too.
All kinds of shots are taken during childbirth, and bless their hearts, it is usually aimed at our spouse. So, it can be normal to expect some sort of thought to go through a mom’s head that the baby must have his dad’s big head, because it should not be this hard to push out a human being. Another reason we love them so much, is that they take this abuse and love us so much more after. It is only fair they should be subject to some abuse.
6 “What Do You Mean The Shoulders Are The Worst Part”
I remember when I was pushing, and I finally got the head out I was so excited. That was when the nurse decided to tell me that I needed my strength as the shoulders of the baby were next and they were the hardest part to get out. WHAT? No one, and I mean no one, told me that pushing the baby’s shoulders out where the worst part.
We always go alone in pregnancy and think that the head must be the worst part, that is what everyone and every book tells us. Nope, it’s the shoulders. The head may be difficult simply because it is the first thing that comes out, but the shoulders are wider. The skull also is not fused so it is able to change shape to help it come out. The shoulder’s do no such trick. It is not like they magically dislocate and then go back together after.
5 “I Want A Cheeseburger”
OK, this one may be a bit of a far fetch, but I am willing to bet that there are some women out there who had some sort of food thought go through their head when they were pushing. Most women, if they are delivering in the hospital, are not allowed to eat anything until that little baby comes out. I was lucky enough to be able to have apple juice and popsicles if I wanted them but no food.
I understand why we can not, but it seems so counter-productive. They keep telling us that we need all the energy we can get to get through the pushing stage and then they do not let us eat. Food is the best source of energy for our bodies. So, when the end is in sight, and a hungry mom realizes she can eat soon she is probably day dreaming about all the wonderful things she can eat, between pushes that is.
4 “I Will Resent This Child”
OK, we love our children and we are so happy to have them in our lives, but it is quite normal to think that we will definitely resent them when they are out for what they did to us. We are hungry, tired and not in our right minds by the time we reach the pushing stage of labour, so some of the things that go through our heads can be a little insane.
It does not mean you will be a bad mother, or that you do not have any motherly instincts, it just means that you are tired and that you want this baby out of your belly, now! You may think of that moment in time when your baby is a bit older, and they are not being very grateful for all the things you do for them. In this moment you may want to throw your labour story to them, to let them know how much you sacrificed and what they did to you!
3 “No More Children”
Along with resenting your child, you may think in that moment that you will never do this again. When I say never, I mean really never! There is no amount of money that someone could give you that could make you put yourself through all of this all over again. It is just not worth it. Or at least that is what you are thinking in the moment.
Of course it is all worth it, and we realize that as soon as that baby is out and safely tucked in our arms. But when we are in the middle of pushing, in the middle of all the struggle and rings of fire we definitely think to ourselves that this is it. This is the only child we will have, we can not put ourselves through all of this again. But, we do, we do put ourselves through this again, over and over again.
2 “Shut Up”
We may be the ones suffering, but that doesn’t always give us a free pass to say whatever we want, whenever we want. There reaches a point when we just want to yell for everyone to shut up! From the doctor giving us and the nurses directions, the nurses giving us instructions and our spouses yelling sweet, loving and encouraging words. We just want everyone to shut the hell up!
Can they not see that we are very busy right now, and that their words do not really matter. Once the urge to push comes, our body kind of takes over and tells us what to do. Some instructions are nice but we just want some silence to concentrate on what we are doing. Sure, our spouses love us, and their words are sweet but we are already pretty mad at them, so could they just shut up too.
1 “It’s Over”
Finally, after hours of labour and hours of pushing it is finally over. We know it, when we feel that little person slip out from us and we let out the biggest sigh and just kind of sink into the bed. We think to ourselves, thank goodness that is over. Now, the love kicks in, the sweet and pure love we have been waiting for 9 months and many painful hours to feel.
We are elated, tired, hungry, a bit cranky, but over all just at peace. The world is right and we have our little bundle of joy. The pushing is over, and the pain is numbed by the growing of our hearts to fill this new little one in. Or is it, once we think it is all over, that we are done pushing, we hear the words from the nurse that shakes us to our very core. “OK hun, it is time to push the placenta out, you’re not done yet.” Really, I mean REALLY? Nope, not over yet!