Ten years ago I took my first real step into the world of birth. I gave birth naturally to my second daughter. My water broke at the start of labor around 5am and she was born at 7:30am. The first 2 hours of the labor were smooth and easy. I was in the zone listening to my Hypnobirthing CD with my headphones. My mom had to force me to head to the hospital because she was sure that the baby was coming quickly. I was in no hurry at all. Once checked in my dilation was found to be 5cm which I was glad about. About 2 contractions later I started to feel the urge to bear down. I ignored it at first and then told my nurse and my husband that I feel like I have to push. My nurse asked if I went natural with my first baby. I said "no".
She said that "its going to feel like that the whole time when you go natural".
That is when I started to really doubt myself. Was it really going to feel like I have to push the WHOLE LABOR? I didn't have long to worry about this because another contraction came and I was pushing. My body was trying to expel my baby. The nurse heard me and said that she would have to check my cervix. She did and yelled to my husband "press the call light!".
Then she told me to do something that should never be told to anyone "Don't push!"
Anyone who has experienced a baby coming out of their body and being told not to push knows how absolutely impossible and cruel this is! After "breathing through" a contraction I looked right into my husband's eyes and said "get someone in here who can deliver this baby NOW". He told the nurse in a VERY strong tone to find someone immediately. She wasn't happy, but went out into the hall and returned with a midwife named Nancy.
Nancy calmly came over to the foot of the bed, looked and me and said "honey, you don't have to stop pushing anymore".
My husband loves to describe what happened next as "Out came the baby like a bar of wet soap". It really did happen that way. She shot out so fast that I actually said "Was that the baby?". Seconds later the baby was in my arms and we realized that we had another daughter. I was overjoyed and completely shocked. Was it over already? I just gave birth naturally!
It was a wonderful birth, but definitely could have been better with a doula! A doula could have told me to trust the urge to bear down and to follow my body's lead. She could have whispered in my ear that I don't have to stop pushing, that the nurse could actually catch the baby. If I had a doula I might not even be birthing with that OB practice or that hospital (my next 2 were homebirths).
If only I had known about doulas.
At that time in my life I didn't even know what a doula was. I could never have predicted that 10 years later I would have been in my 9th year of doula-ing and running a business for doulas. I have a client experiencing prodromal labor as I write this post and might even be helping out another mom on the day that I celebrate this birthing day...we will see!