I was really scared to begin pushing.  Obviously, I’d never done it before, and I wanted to make sure she got out quickly so she didn’t have to be stuck in the birth canal for long, so there was that pressure.  Oh, and the fact that even though the epidural was working for my contractions, I wasn’t sure how it would feel to push, as they say, a watermelon out of well-you-know.

But it was actually amazing.  Chris, the very calming and skilled nurse, and I were alone in the very large and nice delivery room pushing while we waited for my doctor to arrive.  I was able to use a large mirror to watch my progress.  I’ve heard people say they have no interest in using a mirror to see their baby come out.  But oh my goodness, I can’t imagine not having seen it all!! It was truly amazing.

And contrary to what some people say about epidurals, I could feel everything – just without the pain (well, until she crowned anyway).  So I knew when it was time to push; no one had to tell me.  I pushed with all my might.  Eventually, I begin to see the top of her head.  Then I got very excited!  With every push, her head got just a little bit closer.  That was motivation for me to push!  I wanted her out.

The doctor arrived.  With Chris letting me brace one leg against him and looking at me telling me “you’re doing great babe!” – which also broke my concentration and made me laugh a little, but was reassuring at the same time – and the nurse supporting my other leg, and the doctor between doing his thing, we pushed our baby out, head first.  It hurt!  I let them know as she was about to crown, “Hey, this hurts!” and the nurse told me “push against the pain” which somehow made sense and so I did.  As her head was coming out, I saw our doctor snatch a pair of shears and snip me down there, as he would explain later, to avoid tearing in worse places.  Her head came out – unbelievable! She had a head full of light brown hair!  My next thought was “oh crap, I have to push out her shoulders, how is this going to work??”  But I did, and as she came out at 9:55 am after less than one hour of pushing, I couldn’t help but spring up and reach for her saying in amazement “My baby!”

I held her close and Chris and I stared at her in complete awe and amazement.  The doctor was delivering the placenta but I couldn’t care less what was happening around me, I wanted nothing to do with anything but staring at my beautiful, perfect daughter, at her big hands and long, long feet.  At 7 pounds 9 ounces she was much bigger than the doctor had predicted. She was chubby, with chubby cheeks.  We loved her instantly.

Stay tuned for Part III, Coming Home.

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