You know, when you cannot NOT push that baby out!!

There is a lot more to my stories, but I'll try to just stick with the part about pushing.  With my first baby, I was so weary of the intense back labor and wanted to just be done.  Yes, I was going all natural.  The nurse told me to tell her when I thought I was ready to push, and it would feel like I kind of needed to have a bowel movement.  Well, I was feeling a lot of pressure ( of course! ), and not knowing what the 'urge to push' really felt like, I told her I thought I was ready.  They checked me, and I was a 10.  They called the doctor and got everything ready, and I proceeded to push for 1 1/2 hours.  It wasn't till those last few pushes, that I finally felt that urge to push.  I was like, 'Oh, this is what I was supposed to wait for!  It feels good, and my body actually WANTS to push!"  I tore a little, and was VERY swollen and sore for a long time.  It hurt to walk for several days.  (by the way, I mostly fault myself for this!)

So when baby number two was on the way, I pretty much vowed that I would NOT push until I felt that urge to push.  With the way the labor progressed, we all thought it was going to be quick, but I stalled out at 7 cm for 5-6 hours without much progress.  Just pretty intense back labor, again.  This time I was starting to get really weak, and I was losing my confidence that I could get through it (even though I knew I would).  I finally got up off the birthing ball, and on the bed on my knees leaning over a stack of pillows.  That's when, glory hallelujah, I got the urge to push!!!  I was so relieved to know that I was just about done!!  I asked if I could just push her out in the position I was already in.  The nurse was nice and said I could if I had to, but it would be nicer (for them) if I could turn around and get in the position they like.  I was feeling generous, so I obliged. :)  Unfortunately, as soon as everyone was in position, the urge to push WENT AWAY!    I was like, what??!!  How does this happen??  I refused to push till it came back.  After a while of this, the doctor suggested that I just try with the next contraction, and see what happened.  Well, I did, and out she popped with ONE long push!  I also had no swelling, no soreness, and and felt absolutely fantastic afterward!!!

This is my story behind my question, has anyone heard of having the urge to push going away like that? 

My best guess is that it's because I changed positions, but why would that make it go away? 

Thanks for your thoughts!

Tags: back, birth, hospital, labor, natural, push, to, urge

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The urge to push is caused by pressure on certian nerves on a certain place in your birth canal (forgot what they are called). My guess would be that you are right about changing positions that made it go away. Maybe it removed the pressure on those particular nerves and so the urge to push went away? Gravity was helping the baby's decent and when you changed positions the baby retracted higher into the birth canal relieving the pressure on the "pushing nerves".

Not pushing until you can't stop yourself is referred to as "laboring down" which is where the contractions do most of the work at getting the baby down the birth canal. Your body does the work without the energy of pushing being wasted when its not necessary, then when the urge to push is so strong you can't help but push the baby is close to crowning anyway :) Thats why the second time around you only pushed once and got the baby out--you had labored down for this delivery. It is also why no swelling occurs--not as much pressure placed on cervix and birth canal with laboring down as there is with "directed pushing."

I have also heard from Midwives that the urge to push may stop or stall to give the Mom a chance to rest and get ready for the hard work of pushing--our bodies know what we need.

And, although this was not the case in your situation, sometimes if the umbilical cord is too short the urge to push will stall, since the cord is getting tight and preventing the baby from fully decending.

And as always stress, fear, and anxiety can cause a woman in labor to stall-I assume this includes the pushing stage as well.
Thanks for your input!

I had tried researching it before and hadn't found anything. This time, I looked up about the nerves, like you talked about. They are called the Ferguson Plexus of nerves, creating Ferguson's reflex, the urge to push.

So it totally makes sense that the 'Ferguson's reflex' would go away if I changed positions, and the baby's head was not longer pressing on the nerves.

Also in my research about pushing, I found this information. This definitely happened to me this last time-

"The general rule is that when baby is crowning, you should stop pushing and pant, blow or breathe so that you have plenty of time to stretch s-l-o-w-l-y. Unfortunately, when baby starts to crown, caregivers get very impatient and tell you to “push NOW, push hard, GO GO GO GO!”. Baby pops out like a cork in a champagne bottle and poor mom’s perineum tears in the process. Again, as long as baby is doing fine, why hurry this process? I’ll be the first to admit that one reason is because IT HURTS! However, I also know how bad it hurts to heal from huge tears due to forcing baby out like a rocket. I would much rather endure a minute or two of that ring of fire, than 6 (or more) weeks of healing and pain. I’ve done it both ways, and if get pregnant again, my husband has orders to hit me over the head before baby crowns so that I don’t listen to that little devil on my shoulder saying “push! Get the pain over-with NOW!” --thebirthteacher.blogspot.com

Although it did go extremely well, I still should have just listened to my body, not the nurses, doctor, and my husband who were all telling me on my first pushing contraction that she was right there, almost out, and just push her out Go Go GO! :)
with my third baby born 3 mos ago, the urge to push came and went but the contraction stayed for 10 minutes. blah. but he was born with only a few pushes, no tearing.

unfortunatley natural childbirth is not seen as often as a medicated birth so it can seem strange or wrong somehow to caregivers when you were just checked and still had a ways to go, then all of a sudden you are bearing down.

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