(oops. forgot to set this one to auto-post!)
I have no idea what time I finally got my head in gear, or what time the midwife called her assistants and we all got down to business. But I will never, ever forget the last part of my labor with James. I've heard women describe the pushing part of their labors as a virtual out-of-body-experience and now I know exactly what they mean. Once I finally "turned off my brain" I felt as though I was standing beside the birthing pool watching myself labor, only I knew and felt exactly everything that was happening to my other self. I was so hyper aware of every sensation, I almost felt like I was narrating the experience, like I was writing the story of what was happening to my body... I know. That sounds superweird. I don't really know how else to describe it.
It was the first time I've been through pushing without having to blow and pant and Not-push, waiting for the last two cm of cervical lip to think out. But this time! None of that! Praise the Lord! And the interesting thing was, I never got to that mind-blowing, irrisistable NEED to push. I didn't even push on every single ctx. I'd push, then not push, then push a little, then push with all my might! I don't really know how long that went on-- I was totally out of it :)
Then I started to be aware that I was actually pushing a Thing, not just bearing down, not just muscles contracting, but something being moved by my effort. I mean, I started to really feel his head and body descending. So different from the other births where, once I could finally push, I just mindlessly pushed with every ounce of strength until they flew out! This time I could feel everything. It was awesome. I reached down to feel his head inside and felt something not-head coming along-side. I asked the midwife to check it out. Blast. That rotten cervical lip-- swollen and holding things up. She easily pushed it up out of the way on the next ctx.
And then crowning! Which was awful. Awful and wonderful at the same time. It lasted forEVER. I bitched and moaned about that quite a bit, but the midwife reminded me that was good-- meant I was less likely to tear. And then his head was out. And then there was this looong, eternally long, contraction-less pause, while Jamie tried to make up his mind which way to turn. He twisted and wiggled and kicked and finally turned and one more push-- he whooshed out into the water. Oh, thank GOD, it's finally over! And reach down into the water-- I could see him in the water, looking up at me and then he was on my chest and he was finally HERE! Thank GOD! It was OVER!