“Okay, now push.” the kind face smiled down at her.
Gripping on to the bed rails she used all her force to push, her head filled with regret that she hadn’t opted for some sort of pain relief. Her husband stood, helpless beside her as the pain began to ebb away.
Her breathing steadying, she closed her eyes, desperately trying to remember what the numerous books she had studied said about visualisation. It was no good, another contraction took hold, twisting her sotmach in it’s vice like grip.
“And push. You’re doing great.”
It didn’t feel like she was doing great. She was a mess. Her hair clung to her clammy forehead, her head spinning from the enormoity of what was happening. Nine months hadn’t been long enough to prepare for this.
“We can see the head.” the midwife beamed. “We need this next push to be a big one.”
Just the thought of doing anything, exhausted her. There was no way she could push anymore.
“I – I ca-” she began, as her sotmach tightened once more and the overpowering need to push resurfaced.
“That’s it, keep pushing. You can do it.” the midwife coached her. Kate’s white knuckles gripped the bed, her eyes clenched shut as she found strength she didn’t know she had.
As sudden as it started, the pain stopped and the room was filled with the loud cry of her new son.
Hugging his tiny, blood-covered body to her heart, tears stung the back of her eyes, her heart felt too large for her body. All traces of the pain erased, she couldn’t take her eyes from him.
“He’s perfect,” her voice was barely a whisper, “He’s just perfect.”
This is in honour of my son who turn three next week. It was a lot trickier than I imagined to write about labour, you really do forget it all.
The photo is mine and is him at about five minutes old.