After receiving the epidural, K was restrained to the bed, not mechanically restrained, but due to the loss of feeling in her legs she was not able to walk around. This meant she would be straight catheterized for urinary output and would need to use a bedpan if need be. Otherwise, at this point the RN said she would be able to start pushing shortly.
K, K’s mom, and I all tried to take a nap at this point, sleeping in a chair is not an easy thing to do. I found a footstool and attempted to put me feet up on that, but that hurt my knees so I moved a couple chairs around. I had one with a back that went up to my mid-back and switched it for one that had a headrest, this helped support my neck. We slept on and off for about two hours…then the pushing commenced.
K pushed for a total of two hours. For the first hour and a half the maternity RN guided her. I was not expecting this, I was expecting the OB to lead this process, but he did not come in until the last half-hour. K’s mom and I got to each hold a leg every time K pushed. Hearing K in pain was uncomfortable, I felt awful for her. I was really curious what the pain felt like…she said it was a really strong pressure more than a sharp pain. When the RN said the baby’s head was visible she called the OB in the room. At this time K also asked for a mirror so she could see…I on the other hand promised myself not to look below the waist, so I didn’t. I warned the RN’s in the room and the OB when he came in I did not want anything to do with anything lower than K’s waist, they were all fine with it. One of the maternity RNs actually said, “My husband said the same thing, if he looked he would never want to touch it again.”
The OB ended up being the one both K and I had hoped it would be…he guided K well and provided ongoing support as he did his thing. When the baby’s head first popped out, the doctor noticed the umbilical cord was wrapped around her shoulder, this had been causing her to be pulled back in. K would push and the baby would move down the birth canal, but the cord would pull her back up. After the third or fourth time her head came out, the OB was able to pull the cord off and after two more long hard pushes at 7:01am K was a mom and I was a dad. 7lbs 12oz 19.5in, my daughter was born.