With my first son, a "failed" home birth (had him at my hospital's birth center after some scary decel's), I never had much of an urge to push. But push I did! It wasn't until about 2 hours into pushing that I finally felt that unmistakable bearing down feeling, and he was born soon after that. My second son's birth was different in that I stood up to push, but still, I never had that "my uterus is pushing for me" feeling. Instead, I just wanted to push because I wanted to be done. And it was a great delivery, I was hanging off my headboard in kind of a squat, bearing down with my whole body. He was almost nine pounds, and he came without a tear, what an amazing feeling to breathe out a head, and sort of let go of the body. I was just wondering how the pushing phase was at everyone's home birth? What was that "urge to push" really like?

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I felt the strong urge to push probably a good hour before I actually did. My water never broke and so I somehow felt I wasn't ready. When my midwife and I decided I should push it was only a matter of minutes before my son came out on a wave of water. Truly incredible. I was squatting in the kitchen with my sister-in-law and a bit of chair supporting me. I loved the pushing because I really felt I could actively use my body to help birth my son. When I was laboring it was more meditative and I felt I needed to let my body do the work.
With my first I got the urge to push around 9cm and I did. It seemed to fade away though and then I did coached pushing for about 2.5 hours. The second time (Aug 23rd of this year) my labor was insanely fast (less than 2 hours). I got an intense need to push that seemed to relieve some of the pain somehow. It was undeniable and there was no possible way for me to not push. I didn't have anyone there (since my labor progressed so fast) but I just pushed and the baby came out in a couple contractions. There was no stopping the pushing or slowing it down. I just went with the flow. It was intense and certainly got the job done. But since he came out so fast the second time I did tear in two spots needing 8 stitches total.
I had the urge to push at about 8cm. It was the only thing i could do during contractions to not go through the roof. But i only grunted with each contraction. When i was fully dialated i couldnt stop pushing. That was the only thing my body wanted to do. I only pushed 26min and my daughter was born no tears nothing. I had had 2 previouse c-sections and one was due to the Dr saying my baby wouldn't fit. But i never had the urge to push with him like i did my daughter. My midwife told me it is going to feel like you have to take a crap the size of texas. And it did.
This is a terrible analogy, but honestly, bowel movements and birth kind of use the same muscles so here goes.

Have you ever been having a bowel movement and then all of a sudden your abs clinch up for a brief second to help push out the poop without much of your control? That was what it was like for me. Only it wasn't a brief second...it lasted for 10 or 15 seconds each time (probably with each contraction). It didn't start until he was down in the birth canal. I don't think there was any possible, physical way I could have stopped it, even if I wanted to.

You can be complete and not have the baby in the birth canal yet, so if you started pushing at "completion" rather than at the "urge" then you probably weren't totally ready to start pushing yet.

I've been told (though I don't have any first-hand knowledge or articles to back it) by a midwife that pushing too early can actually cause too much squeezing on the baby, resulting in some decels that aren't reassuring. But, I really have no further info on that.
Kayla that's the only thing I can liken it to as well! It's completely impossible to resist and it feels so good to give in and allow you body to do it's work!
I did get the urge to push... big time! It was all I could do when the contractions came on after I was fully dilated. It felt soooooooooooo much better to push! It did feel like I was in control of birthing our baby. It was an amazing and tiring experience, especially since I was in labor for about 4 days total (so I didn't sleep for 4 nights!) I am planning my first home birth, and this time, I plan on either pushing standing up, or on all fours. My midwives say that it is really amazing to push on all fours, it is a natural position to push in.
My urge to push was so strong. I asked my midwife to check me because I told her I needed to push and she checked and I was only 5 cm dialated. When I got to 9 the urge was so strong that I just started to push and in 11 minutes my little 5 lb 14 oz peanut was out. I just assumed that everyone had that urge, but so many stories I've heard lately said they had no urge and 2 of them ended in c-sections. I hope that I have a similar experience with my next homebirth.
Well.... with my first I had an epidural, and just pushed at 10cm. It worked well, he was born after 20 minutes of pushing, no tears, no help. With my second, it was at home, and I had reached 10 cm. I got into the birth pool, and after a few minutes, my body just started pushing. It wasn't an "urge to push", it was "oh my gosh, my baby is coming!". It was literally involuntary. What I did was actually hold back a bit once he started to crown (which was harder than anything), so I didn't tear. I left my hand on his head, and did what I could to slow down the pushing. He was born after 8 minutes, with my body doing all the pushing on its own. No tearing. And, this is kind of odd... when my body was pushing, I had a completely primal, deep growling coming from my throat. I also had no control over this. It was all completely natural, I can't really say that it hurt (I swear!), it just.... happened! I'm glad I didn't push just because I reached 10cm, because my recovery was quick and easy. No soreness, no tearing... I was sitting with my legs crossed half an hour after he was born! There was no mistaking it, he was ready to be born and my uterus did all the work. I was just there for the ride!
I never had the feeling either. During my home birth, I so wanted it to be over that when I hit "fully dilated" I just pushed....I think that maybe the urge comes when your body is ready. Yes you can push out a baby before the urge, but maybe with the urge, it'd be even easier? I don't know...I hope that my mental urge to push and my physical urge to push match up this time around, I'd be interested to see what it feels like!
with my first child I was in the car on the way to the hospital when i had the urge to push. I had to breath in short little breaths and fight that urge. When I got there my husband rushed in and got wheel chair and they brought me up to the maternity ward. I was grunting uncontrollably in the elevator on the way up. He then had to convince the nurses to check me because they didnt think i was fully dialated (just an hysterical first time mom to them). They checked and said I could start pushing. Then they went to wake up the Dr on call. My son was born 15 min after arriving at the hospital. They still managed to do an episiotomy. That hurt more than the small tears I had with my other two kids.
With my first who was born in the hospital, my midwife basically told me when it was time to push. Laying on my back and I ended up with broken blood vessels in my face. When I had my next two (one at home and one in a birth center) I was just relaxing, in the tub( I love the tub ), doing my breathing. I remember as the contractions were getting very strong, changing to a position where I was facing the edge of the tub and using it for support. I also felt better with a contraction if I, well lets say if feels like you were trying to get that last drop of urine out when you go to the bathroom. So not really pushing but starting to ( while still taking slow breaths). For one child she felt like she just dropped and I had to push because she was coming. With the other I felt like I needed to go #2 and when I got out of the tub on no that's not what it was. The baby was ready to be born. I had taken a hypnobirthing class and that really taught me how to relax and there was no time. I took one contraction at a time and I knew my baby will be coming out when she was ready.
I had the urge to push like folks have said, like wanting to do a bowel movement. The first real pushing was during the height of pain but only 30 minutes before I had not dilated at all. The midwife and doula thought it might take me days to have the baby, but I just knew that I was having this baby soon. With one good push, something popped out, maybe the plug?, and I was so happy to have some tangible progress. I pushed for 4 hours total. Now, I was not doing hearty pushes after the first. I did Hypnobirthing classes which encourage your body to do all the work, and I really didn't want to tear. So I just did mini pushes. I feel lucky that no one ever urged me to push harder, and I did not tear. The urge was not bigger or smaller, just the "wow, I have to go feeling".

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