This is is part two of my labor and delivery story; I last left off with my body getting ready to push…
My body wants to push, the only problem is that no amount of pushing yields any results. I can feel my energy flagging due to extreme nausea from the pain. I could only manage a couple of bites of watermelon and some coconut water. The extra carbs I had eaten earlier had already been burned through and just as an athlete needs to refuel during a grueling race, I needed to do the same after hours of hard labor. My midwife suggested I eat a tablespoon of honey for quick energy—which worked.
She checks the baby and discovers that he is in the posterior position and still hasn’t dropped into the pelvis. If you’re not familiar with a posterior facing baby, let me brief you: ideally babies will be head down and facing the mother’s spine; their heads also measure smaller than a posterior baby and thus will have an easier “exit”. A posterior baby, however, will have a face up position with his backbone against the mother’s backbone which can ensure a longer pre-labor, active labor, and pushing stage—oh and horrific back pain. These types of labors are more difficult for first time moms (hello!) and can result in cesarean sections.
Luckily, I was unaware of the aforementioned—only that I now understood the cause of my debilitating back pain. It was hard to figure out what hurt the most, my back or my abdomen every time a contraction hit. Up until this point I had been in and out of the tub three times (once at home and two, two hour spurts at the birthing center). The warm water was the only thing that helped me in the tiniest bit (besides my precious doula massaging my back) and I desperately wanted a water birth. This was not to be, however, as my midwife told me that the water was slowing down my contractions and hence my progress because it was too relaxing (ha! I never felt relaxed).
She has me try all sorts of positions to try and flip baby boy, inversions, pelvic tilts, squats, side-lying pushes, and even resorts to pushing on my abdomen each contraction to help me push him out. Throughout the whole ordeal she is intermittently monitoring his heart rate; they are in awe, for despite the multiple positions, in and out of the water, and the extreme pain I am in, his heart rate remains perfect and never changes. They kept saying “Wow! You have a really happy baby in there!” This made me feel good because I knew that we could keep trying as long as he was doing great in there.
After pushing for what seemed like EVER, my midwife’s tone of voice changed when she talked to me. I’ll never forget how serious she was when she told me “You have to get your game face on and you have to push through the pain. You have to.” I had a gut feeling that if I didn’t do this, I was going to the hospital.
I remember pushing and pushing with all of my might, with energy that I no longer had, through pain that was indescribable, over and over and over. No one’s face was changing and I knew that he was still not out yet. I prayed and found a strength that I never knew I had as I continued to push. Everyone started smiling and encouraging me and then my midwife gave me a mirror and told me to reach down and touch my son’s head; I was stunned—this whole time I had thought that he was already half-way out by now! It motivated me to continue and after a few more pushes his body slipped out at once. I caught him and they immediately put him on my chest, just like I’d wanted—skin to skin.
He was so beautiful and pinked up right away. He weighed seven pounds, seven ounces and was born on June 23 at 12:43 pm on Sunday after the biggest full moon of the year and some amazing thunderstorms. It was as if he were making his entrance known.
We named him Elijah meaning, “The Lord is my God”. We are completely and utterly head-over-heels in love. It’s as if every day is Christmas! Thank you to all who have sent your blessings, prayers, and well-wishes!
A super special thanks goes to my wonderful, strong, and supportive husband, Luis. Without you to lean on our son’s birth would not have been possible. You were my rock from beginning to end and are not only my best friend but my partner for life . I LOVE YOU!
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com She can also be reached at www.101FIT.com or www.PinkIslandFitness.com and 239-333-5771.