When we got back, I got in the shower, and finally things started getting a little more intense. This was probably around 1:45. I started losing track of time. Contractions kept getting stronger and closer together in the shower, so I stayed in a long time and tried to work with them. When the water finally got cold, I asked my husband to set up a chair in our bedroom backwards with a pillow and pad so he could rub my back. After a few contractions that way, I was starting to get overwhelmed -- felt like crying, a little shaky, so I asked my husband to page the midwives (they'd stopped back to drop off something with the other newborn, and were to come over right after). They were actually at our door at this point.
The baby was so low at this point, my midwife couldn't get the heart-tones without me lying down, so between contractions I made my way to the bed. Heart-tones were good, but contractions were bad here -- I never felt contractions were painful with Arthur's birth, but boy was this different! I was having a very hard time keeping it together. I realized lying down wasn't the best option, so I got up and leaned on our radiator. My midwife brought over a hot pack for my back. It felt so good, but I was really having a hard time.
I think I probably could have started pushing at this point, but I also felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, and I think that was what was holding me up. After a bit, the heart-tones started to drop during contractions, but bounce right back up after, so my midwife really wanted to check me to see if I could start pushing. I knelt on the bed, didn't feel like I could move much further, but I did take my dress off and threw up (that was actually a relief). So she checked me from behind, said I was complete. Apparently this was at 3:35 pm.
She asked me to try pushing. My husband was in front of me on his knees; I had my hands on his thighs -- this was a really good position! I started pushing (I knew I was pooping, too, but my midwife was cleaning me up), and I could feel him moving through. It was really painful, but felt really cool at the same time. I thought I'd gotten his head out. I think this must have been his head moving past my cervix when my midwife said to reach down and feel his head. I didn't really want to deal with it at the time, and started to say something to that effect, but she said "Susan, just reach down", so I did. And I felt the squishy top and the overlapping skull, and pushed some more, while she described slowly seeing his eyebrows, then his eyes, nose, and mouth. I felt an arm pop out (with my hand), and felt his shoulders moving through (with my body), then instinct took over and next thing I knew I was holding him on my chest, my midwife says she had her hand underneath him but never really held him. This was at 3:44.
The first thing I said was "Here she is!" Then I checked and realized I was wrong! He was a bit purple, and didn't cry right away, but absolutely perfect.
We rubbed him down, got a few squawks out of him. My husband went to get our son, who really wanted to see the cord. The placenta came uneventfully a few minutes later. No tears, and I am feeling really well.
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