The doctor came in at about 8:35pm. I had never met her before this point. The vibrations that she put off felt very different than Regina. For lack of a better way to put it I felt as if she was not happy to be there and had a better place to be. Very stuffy or stuck up feeling. Not exactly the greatest first impression, but hey this was who was delivering our baby. And just because she was from my doctors facility it made me feel better about her delivering than the hospital doctor. I am not sure why that was the case really.
She and Regina got the little tool out to break my water. I remember asking something. Maybe what to expect. They told me I wouldn’t feel anything just the water coming out. Previously, I told Ryan I was interested to see how my water would break with it being a natural experience and it still being intact. With Miss M’s labor my water broke first and more of a leak I think so a completely different scenario. I honestly don’t remember the sensation or my thought around my water breaking. I asked Ryan about it the other day. He said I made a comment or noise that made it seem like I felt some kind of pressure or release. After he said that I vaguely remember feeling the water come out and maybe being soaked up on a pad. But I wouldn’t bet money on it.
In the next few minutes a few things happened. I am not sure in the order of which it happened, but I remember these key points. The doctor checked me. She said I had a little lip on my cervix not dilated. She seemed mad about it. She asked me to do some pushing. Regina seemed irritated at the doctor. For a moment it made me wonder what was wrong. I didn’t remember the “right way” to do the whole breathe, hold, chin to chest while pulling legs back, push, breathe, repeat thing. I didn’t feel like the pushing really did anything. I remember thinking, “This can’t be right. If it is, pushing is going to take much longer than last time.” Which was only about 30/35 minutes. I blurted out, “I don’t remember how to push. Someone needs to give me a tutorial.” I might have even said it twice. Regina assured me I would know what to do when it was time. But then gave me a quick reminder.
The doctor was just kind of standing there. Regina asked her if she was going to stay in or step out for a few minutes. I am glad she did! The doctor said she would wait outside. I asked Regina what was going on because I could sense some uneasiness still. She said she was used to working with the patient until crowning happened. She told me what was up with my cervix and told me to roll over to my right side for a minute. So my left leg went into the right stirrup. I asked several times before now and again here, “Am I pushing with this contraction?” Doctor seemed to always say yes. Regina seemed to say if you feel like it. Now on my right side I did a few pushes. The first breath didn’t seem to do much, but the second and third always felt like it yielded good results.
Again, I am not sure the order of details here. I did a few pushes on the right side, then went back to my back. Regina might have checked to see if the lip was gone. Then, we did some more pushing. On one push it felt really good to push and felt like we were making great progress. I wasn’t hearing anything anyone was saying through the push. Suddenly, I hear several, “Stop, Stop, Wait. Stop pushing!” As I finally processed what was being said and stopped pushing there was a rush of people coming in the doors. I clearly remember Regina say, “Let me get my team in here.” Meaning we did not want this baby’s head out before everyone was set and ready for the possibility of another shoulder dystocia. I also remember thinking, “Ok, ok. I understand what you are saying. But man that one was a good one.”
I guess I waited for a minute. I don’t remember waiting through a contraction or anything. We were back to pushing. I don’t know how many pushes it took. During one push I started feeling the intense pressure some call “the ring of fire.” Don’t get me wrong you definitely feel pressure and a different sensation, but I think “the ring of fire” is a little intimidating for what it really is. Or at least what I experience it to be. I thought the same with Miss M’s birth.
Baby’s head was out! People sounded joyful, were saying good job and were excited. The pushing continued. However, I didn’t feel the rest of the baby come. I don’t know how many pushes or how long it was. But I soon realized we were in the middle of another shoulder dystocia. Our baby was stuck again. Ryan was on my left side by my head as he had been the whole time we were pushing. I definitely don’t know the order of events or time frame on this next part. I will share some of the things I heard and some of my thoughts, as random, scary and real as they were.
Several voices are telling me to push. “Push. Come on momma, push. Keep pushing.” I continue to push. I am not panicked, but I do not feel like my pushes are doing anything. I am basically constantly pushing between breathes. I don’t feel contractions. I just keep pushing. I hear the doctor talking. Regina is asking the doctor if she wants certain maneuvers. I hear someone say something about start counting time. I knew that wasn’t good. Doctor didn’t sound panicked but more matter of fact. She says, “That won’t work.” to one of Regina’s question. My thought was, “How do you know if you don’t try it?” I hear someone ask, “Do you want me to call for Dr. Hayes?” which was the hospital doctor. To which I thought, “What is she going to do!?”
I hear someone call out two minutes. In that moment a wave of total fear came over me. Miss M was only stuck for one minute and there were a few moments we thought she wasn’t going to make it. Now we are at two minutes. My thoughts, “Is this really happening again? Will we be lucky enough to have two healthy babies come through this? Did we make the wrong choice to not have a c-section? This time it’s going to happen. We are going to have a dead child. And it is going to be my fault. I am doing everything I can and it is not enough.”
I feel Ryan by my side. Maybe his hand on my head. His lips close to my ear. I had been hearing his voice, but it had mostly been blending in with the other voices of “push”. For the first time I hear exactly what he said. In a scared, shaky voice he tells me to give it everything I have. I continue to push as hard as I can along with a scream. I felt a ton of pressure and what felt like the doctor’s hands inside of me. I just knew they had given me the largest episiotomy possible to make room. Then, in a moment I felt the pressure release and the baby come out. There was a small sense of relief. She is out! We are over that hurtle. Now to see if she is okay. It was only a short moment until I heard the smallest sound. Maybe a breath, maybe a cry or whimper. But enough to give me hope she was alive.