Ready to Push
7:31 a.m.: After yet another vaginal exam, my doctor announced me fit to push. As they set up the room, I spotted my mom huddled in the corner. Even though I had spent the past several hours updating the Internet on the status of my crotch, I felt too embarrassed to have my mom see my "privates."
Some might find it odd that I could share such personal details about my life with strangers but had trouble letting those I know in on the same information. If anything, writing about birth and pregnancy had made me more comfortable around my mother, but the thought of letting her there during such a vulnerable time didn't seem right. Sure, I allowed cyberspace a glimpse into the event, but they weren't there to experience the most intimate moments. Really, it came down to the fact that I felt more comfortable sharing the words rather than the action. Words do not leave people with a graphic image of your crotch.
I instructed her to leave the room so I could get the party started.
My husband walked over to the television, which we left on as background noise all night, and turned it off. I yelled at him to turn it back on. If I was going to ruin my crotch, well, I wanted to watch Katie Couric while I did so.
9:00 a.m.: Since the epidural had left me with no feeling in my lower half, we had to use the monitor to spot contractions. I grabbed behind my knees and bore down at each contraction (just like a bowel movement!) in 10-second intervals. Even though I was in active labor, I felt a little out of it. I actually accused my husband, who was helping hold my leg, of licking it at one point. The pushing continued for about two hours. Eventually, the head started to emerge and, at that point, the nurses started furiously squirting lubricant jelly onto my crotch. I guessed that since lube was what helped get me in the situation in the first place, it should help get me out. They asked if I'd like to reach down and touch my baby. I did and felt the tip of a head poking out. Freaked out, I pulled my hand back, only to find it covered in what could be best described as "bloody goo."
9:55 a.m.: Once the baby started "crowning," the doctor instructed my husband to look at his daughter. He did, and saw what he assumed was her entire cute little head. What he actually saw was just the tip of her head; the emergence of an entire baby head can hardly be described as "cute."
A few more pushes and at 9:55 that morning, an 8 pound, 15 ounce baby girl named Ellie was born. She had a head of dark hair, was 21 inches long, and looked nothing like I expected, but was everything I could hope for.