For weeks leading up to my labor I had been doing maneuvers to encourage the baby to spin around. He had been positioned posteriorly and he was incredibly low. I set up a medicine ball to lean over while watching tv and tried hard not to recline when I was sitting at work. I had my husband lay down rainbow colored alphabet tiles, which formed a path for me to crawl back and forth on with my two year old son following behind me like a mama and baby elephant. I was obsessed with getting the baby to spin around and would often wake up, restless, in the middle of the night and go crawl. Less than a week before delivery I got the news that my efforts had worked and he was in the optimal position. Yet here I was, stalled out. When I had asked the nurse to check his position earlier in my labor she informed me that his body was still anterior, like I wanted, but his head was "a little tilted." When my sister showed up at the hospital at close to 9 am and saw me suffering, more than an hour after my water had been broken, she encouraged me to elevate the back of the bed, turn around and lean against it. She figured I was having back labor, and even though I wasn't, I decide to give the position a try. It worked, not to ease my pain which was actually magnified now, but to quickly shift the baby's head into position until it was creating evenly distributed pressure on my cervix and without the padding of amniotic fluid to lessen the blow. Once that contraction hit I lost it. If my pain had been a ten it was now a fifteen. And before the first contraction was over another one began. I started to shake. I felt like I could visibly see my abdomen undulating as the contractions swept up and down my body, in succession one after the other for what felt like 10 minutes. While I had been able to maintain my breath and had been mostly successful at focusing my energy during my earlier contractions, I now felt like hollering. Yet it wouldn't come out, it was as if I had such little control over my body that I couldn't even coordinate a yell. Where my earlier contractions had made me vomit, I couldn't even do that now. I felt like nothing up against this. A huge thunderstorm was raging and I was suddenly reduced to a puddle, my body pouring out onto the floor. Meanwhile I heard my sister and the nurse chatting about work as if it was coming from another world. When the contraction finally ended, exhausted and terrified, I turned around and made the nurse check me immediately. Nothing. I got back on the medicine ball and began crying, bawling. I begged the nurse for an epidural or a c-section, I didn't care anymore. I began the chant "I can't. I can't. I can't do this! I can't." I wanted to run away so another contraction couldn't get me. When the very next one hit I was sitting on the medicine ball and felt the over powering urge to push. There is no real way to describe this feeling, other than that it is unmistakeable and completely consuming because you can suddenly think of nothing else. Even though I wasn't actively pushing, it felt like the baby was. He was coming out, and he was coming out NOW! When I told the nurse she began to yell "Stop! Don't push! You're not dilated, don't push!" When the contraction passed the need to push passed and I once again collapsed against my husband, feeling totally and utterly defeated. The next contraction came on and the impulse was even stronger, I knew this was it. The second it was over I laid back on the bed, the nurse checked me and found that I was ready. That long contraction had in fact dilated my cervix from 7 to 10 centimeters and I was complete, I think my body had just needed a few minutes to register it. When she told me that I could start pushing with the next contraction I felt relief, and determination. The doctor came in and everyone counted down with each push, after about five pushes, he crowned and after one more my beautiful baby boy was out. He was born on a Monday morning, the day before he was due. I started crying again. They put my naked, wet, 8 pound 13 ounce baby on my chest and I kept crying, feeling relief, feeling elated and in love, but also totally traumatized by what I had just experienced. I cried for a while, even after they picked him up to swaddle. A few moments later, my baby boy was handed back to me to breast feed and he latched on immediately, looking up into my eyes.