Mommy's Time Out Magazine March 2019 | Page 21



The contractions at the worst part were so intense and coming almost on top of each other. I kept moaning and saying that I wasn’t getting a break. The pain was as close to unbearable as I could imagine and my inner voice was starting to feel that I didn’t know if this baby was ever going to come out. Every so often Jessica or Haddie would listen to the baby’s heartbeat with the fetal doppler and check my temperature, the temperature of the water, and my blood pressure and they’d always give a quiet, knowing smile and nod that all was well. I was semi-aware of those checks but knew

that I really didn’t need to be thinking about those details because I was being looked after. All I needed to do was have this baby.

Gabriel remembers me saying “I don’t think I can do this” which is interesting because I don’t remember feeling doubt in my abilities. I DO remember saying “What do I do now?” because I felt that maybe someone could help me since I felt like nothing was changing. It was somewhere around that point that I tuned into the music for the first time and heard Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush singing, “Don’t Give Up”.

Jessica suggested that I try to get out of the tub and go sit on the toilet for a bit. She explained that sometimes a change of position would help things to progress and that baby was probably having a hard time getting down past my pubic bone. I said that okay, I was open to trying that. I moved maybe 1 inch before I changed my mind, shook my head ‘no’, and realized that trying to get out of the tub was totally impossible. I used all of my strength to move onto all fours for a few contractions- which only intensified the pain I was feeling. I then found even more strength from who-knows-where and forced myself into a low squat with my bottom in the water. I knew that getting into a position similar to sitting on the toilet like Jessica had suggested might help to move things along. I stayed there for a few more contractions and asked ‘Is that enough?’ and was relieved when Jessica told me she thought that had probably helped. I got back into my reclining position and felt the massive urge to push hard with the next contraction. My moans turned into more guttural noises at that point, and I surprised myself by making noises that really didn’t even sound human. I was so loud that I thought neighbors would be concerned. I worried that my loud moans were scaring the baby. In one moment, I also expressed concern to the team that ‘I must be driving you all crazy.” and of course, they assured me that it was all okay. My throat was feeling so sore and I was so grateful to the team for the numerous cups of ice water and gatorade that were delivered to me at every opportunity.

As the pushes got even stronger and more desperate, my breathing was turning from more or less controlled panting into hyperventilating and panic-driven gasps. Gabriel breathed with me through these moments and Jessica reminded me over and over to calm my breath. It was actually really helpful to have both of them constantly calming me down and saved me from getting to a point of total fear and dread. I was feeling pretty helpless and hopeless at that point after about 2 hours of pushing when everyone started telling me that with each push, they could see her head full of hair appearing and then retracting in between contractions. On the next one, Jessica told me to reach down to feel her head and that gave me the motivation I needed to keep going