Read Part 1 Here
Read Part 2 Here
Read Part 3 Here
It was sort of surreal when the midwife told me we were going to start pushing. I don't want to say it was anti-climatic, but it just didn't seem like we were so close to meeting our little man.
Oh and I should mention - the best part of my whole day...as I was laboring down, my wishes came true and my nurse Kim had to go help another patient who was about to start pushing! So I got to get a new nurse, Meg, who was AMAZING. I was so happy to have her for the pushing - she was super supportive, nice and helpful. I absolutely loved her!
Shaina and Meg had me do a few practice pushes, just to see how everything was going. I obviously had no idea how to push, but I was pleasantly surprised when Shaina told me I was doing it completely perfectly. With my epidural, I could tell when a contraction was coming (my belly would get tight, but I felt no pain) and then Shaina would confirm it on the monitor and I would start pushing.
An interesting thing that happened when I got my epidural was that my contractions slowed down from every 2 minutes to every 5 minutes but they started lasting a lot longer - each contraction was lasting 2 minutes! (Another reason I was glad to have that epidural!!) So because of that, I was able to get 5-6 pushes (counts of 10 each) in during each contraction. That helped me to make great progress and really move him down each time I pushed. As soon as I started pushing, Shaina told me she thought it wouldn't take long for me to get him out, so that was great motivation to know that he would be coming quickly.
I don't know if it was because I stayed fairly active during my pregnancy, but I didn't find pushing to be hard or strenuous at all. I never felt like it was some crazy physical thing - it was just exciting to know that I was so close to meeting Preston and I actually really enjoyed pushing a lot. Since my contractions were so spaced out, I did get a longer time to rest in between each one and that in between time was actually really fun. We were all laughing and joking around between pushes - I was talking about how I really wanted a beer and a cheeseburger!
I was so happy to have Shaina delivering, as she was really helping to make sure I didn't tear and was able to guide him down the birth canal once he got low enough. I'm not really sure what all she was doing (and Jake said I should be glad not to see what she was doing down there!) but I am sure she's the reason I had such an easy recovery. The biggest part was getting his head under my pubic bone - once he got to that point, it would just take a quick push to get him out. When he got under the bone, they offered me a mirror so I could see him coming out.
Let me just say - I never thought I would want a mirror. But in that moment, I wanted to see him be born so I quickly said yes. They brought it over and I could see his tiny head and SO MUCH blonde hair! It was so funny to me that his head was right there and that his hair was bright blonde, just like me and Jake, that I started laughing hysterically. It wasn't even during a contraction, but Shaina said "That's actually really helping to move him down and out - keep laughing!" It was seriously the most amazing and surreal experience, but I just laughed and laughed and his little head popped out!! Shaina pulled the rest of him out and he was placed immediately on my chest. I pushed/laughed for an hour and 10 minutes and Preston was born at 5:42pm on June 1st.
He was so tiny, pink and perfect. I couldn't believe he was here and he was real. He started screaming immediately and I will never forget looking into his eyes and falling totally in love.
It was honestly the labor and birth of my dreams. I would do it again 50 times if I could have the same experience - I even said to Jake as we were being wheeled down to our room that I was ready to give birth again. I loved every minute of being pregnant and the birth was sort of like the icing on the cake. Yes, the pain I felt before getting the epidural was intense, but it's crazy how fast you forget once the baby is in your arms.
So that's the story about how Preston Charles entered our lives - nothing has been the same since!