Before my husband could read more than a paragraph of the first short story, I was trembling with a chill and then the overwhelming desire to push. I told him to call for a nurse immediately. I was ready to push! Happily the nurse came promptly. To my dismay, she announced that I wasn't completely dilated and must not push. I considered disregarding her and doing just exactly what I was felt utterly compelled to do. My husband fresh from the birth class, reiterated the nurses command and added the information that pushing when I was not completely ready could result in injury and slow the delivery. Looking into his pleading face, for his sake alone, I puffed dutifully through the urge to push. The one nurse moved quickly pulling things from cabinets and adjusting the lighting. The second nurse appeared and announced importantly that we did not have a heart strip for the baby. She began to press a monitor hard into my stomach while I was puffing trying not to push. This caused an intense burning pain. I tried feebly to move her hand away and asked her to stop in my tiny breathless voice. Another urge to push came over me like a tidal wave. For the first time since the labor began, I moaned in misery. I was losing it. Now the nurse who was setting things up began asking medical history questions again, "How tall was I? How much did I weigh?" Oddly, I calmed down and answered the questions. My husband figures she was peppering me with questions for just that reason.
The nurse, who wanted a heart strip on the baby, left to get an internal monitor to screw into the baby's head. My husband particularly hated that idea, and I recollect he told her so. The nurse returned with a monitor and a doctor. The doctor took a quick look and announced "This baby is being born now". The monitor forgotten, they gave my husband the controls to the bed and told him to raise the head. Instead he pushed the button which raised the foot. Everyone, who was not laboring, had a good laugh, and the head got raised. The doctor commanded " push." I pushed gleefully. There was a great gush of warm liquids. My joy was short lived because now it burned like crazy. The nurses and doctor were commanding me to push without regard to contractions. Confronted by the overwhelming pain, I announced" I can't, it burns!". The next urge to push hit almost immediately and, of course, I could push. With one last surge of effort, my son was born, healthy and wonderful. It was 1:08 am, less than two hours from entering the hospital and 3.5 hours from the start of active labor.
My son cried lustily, just as he should. His apgar score was a 9. My husband, my new son and I spent a peaceful hour just gazing at each other. I was able to hold and admire him. Our new son made faces and looked at us with impassive blue eyes. What was he thinking? The peace and joy was amazing. This was the bonding experience, I had hoped for. How grateful I am for the those moments. One hour after delivery, I was able to walk to the maternity room while the labor nurse walked along side asking the last few questions on the medical history form.
I wish that I had found these birth stories before I delivered Reilly. Having a midwife in addition to your OB is a wonderful idea, I never encountered before reading these stories. I always thought either a "midwife and home birth", or a "doctor and hospital", no compromising. If I had a midwife in addition to my OB, all thru my pregnancy, I would have had access to someone who knew (and cared) about me. My husband gave emotional support, but knows very little medically. I shudder to imagine what could have happened if things had not gone smoothly in that extremely busy hospital without medical records.