Kyle was there by my side, giving me comfort and courage as things got more and more painful. The labor stretched out longer and longer, and later I felt disappointed that it lasted 8 hours (and Mikah’s had only been 4 – more on that later).

But I stayed relaxed using techniques found in Hypnobabies (just like last time – another great experience in staying empowered and in control!)

I was moving into the pushing stage but wasn’t progressing much. The contractions were getting much more intense, and I could just visualize the baby coming out at any moment. My midwife instructed me that I needed to get out of the tub so I could birth on the birthing stool. I had no desire to move at that point and I couldn’t understand why she was persistent in saying that I needed to get out.

I had previously discussed with her that I might want to deliver in the tub, and at the time, she was fine to support that choice. But now she seemed pretty insistent that I get out of the tub.

I heard her talking to Kyle, and Kyle started to drain the tub. I was getting more and more agitated about this decision that I wasn’t supportive of, so between intense contractions, I said firmly (and loudly?!), “Ok, everyone out of here except Kyle and Karen!”

Everyone quickly left and it was just us.

Another contraction came, and after the intense pain eased off for a minute, I asked Kyle, “What is going on?!”

He said Dianne felt I should get out of the tub as the relaxation of the water would aggravate a muscular condition I had in one area of my body. I said I didn’t care about it and I wanted to stay in the tub. Kyle and Karen were supportive, and everyone came back in.

The tub was refilled, and I got into a squatting position in the tub. After each excruciating contraction, I felt my abdomen to see if the baby had dropped lower. I was shocked and dismayed to find he wasn’t moving lower.

After several pushing contractions, I made the decision to get out of the tub. I knew I needed more support with my muscles, and I just couldn’t get it in the water.

My team helped me onto the birthing stool, and everyone took a position to support my body – one friend and a midwife assistant holding my legs and pushing them inward during contractions; Kyle supporting my muscles that needed attention; one midwife gently pushing downward on my abdomen during contractions; my midwife with her fingers in the birth canal (more on that later); and Karen behind me on another chair, sporting my body weight between contractions.

The intense pushing contractions went on and on, and the pain was indescribable. I later learned I was in the pushing phase for 2 hours! It was terrible. I was exhausted and just wanted the baby to come out.