At 10am Midwife Ellen checked my progress and found that I was 7cm and 90% effaced. I was now moving into transition and was encouraged to try a new position to labor in- squatting. The birthing ball was rolled over to the side of the bed, a sheet placed over it and there I was naked besides my bra laboring on the birthing ball in a supported squat. I used the side of the bed for support to lean over during contractions and eventually found myself reaching out for Neil’s arms across the bed.
Things started to get really intense very quickly and the sensation of the contractions was at times almost unbearable, but I knew I could do it- I had to do it. I tired to focus on my breath, making low noises and fluttering my (horse) lips. Each time I would find myself starting to lose control asking “Why aren’t they here yet” I would be reminded that the contraction would eventually end and I would get a break. I kept talking to myself, telling myself “it will be fine”, repeating it over and over and over again.
At one point I remember making these low groaning noises and I could tell Neil was doing his best not to laugh but I knew I sounded funny and I told him that he could make monster sounds with me too if he wanted. This made us both break out into laughter and I successfully made it through yet another contraction.
As each contraction came on stronger, my desire for it to end became more intense. Eventually, I started to groan that I just wanted them out and “why weren’t they out yet!?”. My midwives reminded me that I need to focus on my breath and try making low “O” sounds which eventually turned into me chanting “ouuuuuuuuut” over and over again. Sarah reminded me to soften around the baby during each contraction and so I started a new chant repeating “soften around the baby” over and over again.
Although I kept trying to smile and laugh the intensity of each contraction was wearing on me and eventually it felt like I just wasn’t getting a break. Each contraction I would close my eyes tight, grab on just above Neil’s wrist and work through each contraction. At one point Neil needed to take a pee break and Sarah moved from pressing on my back and took over his position across the bed. Contractions were coming hard and quick at this point and although I knew Neil was in the washroom I couldn’t help but ask where he was, I just knew I needed him across from me. He quickly finished and came back to his position and I yelled (okay maybe demanded) for Sarah to get back to my back.
Shortly after this I started to feel the “urge to push”. I put this in quotes because I really felt like I need to have a bowel movement. I went through three more contractions feeling this intense urge before I finally turned to Sarah and told her that “I feel like I need to poop.” She asked if I was feeling the urge to push and I told her yes. She looked over and told Midwife Ellen that I was feeling the urge to push and Ellen said I should see if I was still feeling that way after a few more contractions. I told her that I had felt this urge for the last four contractions and then I went through one more. Midwife Ellen then had me get up in the bed to be checked and she found that I was fully dilated (10 cm) and 100% effaced. Now was when I could finally start pushing.
To be continued…