Can anyone tell me what the pushing stage feels like?

(112 Posts)
OhGood Fri 15-Mar-13 18:57:24

I had an epidural up for this bit with DD and so have no idea what it's like. I would love to hear anyone's experience.

Was there any change in pain levels from dilation to pushing? Was it any less painful, or more painful, or different pain? Did it feel more like pressure? With DD, I could feel pressure and feel her moving down and turning - did you feel that? And crowning?

Feeling very biscuit at the thought of going through this all again...

Crocodilehunter Tue 02-Apr-13 21:02:05

To me it felt like when you have diarreah and you can feel your whole body pushing involuntarily, then you push too, I remember it more as pressure rather than pain at that point, the crowning hurt but the rest was fine (remember relaxing completely once the head was out & DP telling me that job wasn't done yet grin ) but for me (aside from crowning) pushing was the best part of labour!!

BoffinMum Mon 18-Mar-13 17:06:29

I never really got what I would term an overwhelming urge to push, it was more an awareness. I could have had a choice whether to do it or not, IYSWIM. But I was able to get into a bit of a rhythm and do it quite efficiently from about the second DC onwards.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 18-Mar-13 15:59:32

DD was an epidural so didn't feel it, I had to 'think' to push.

With DS it wasn't an urge to push as in, "oh, I need to push, so let's push". It was more like throwing up, only a much bigger sensation. You know what I mean? You don't decide to throw up, it just happens and your stomach convulses. Well the pushing was similar for me, except much bigger, like my whole body convulsing and expelling. Very intense but not painful. More kind of "bloody hell what is THIS".

The contractions were just like horrid cramps. At transition I noticed the crampy feelings starting to also be a bit convulsion-y, a bit push-y. Which made sense as I was moving from dilation to pushing.

Crowning stung. But not hellish. And it's over quick. And you can't do anything about it anyway. You really just have time to go "Christ it stings!!" and then it's pretty much over.

frumpet Mon 18-Mar-13 14:56:44

The contractions feel like the worst period pain mixed with trapped wind . Then there is the crowning , which is like doing the biggest peanutty poo in the world ever , you know where you are afraid to push it out because you are not sure your sphincter will stretch enough and it stings like buggery when you do ? well like that but worse grin

Still not as bad as a tooth abbcess though

withjamin Mon 18-Mar-13 14:34:36

I think what freaked me out the first time was that it isn't just painful, it's really really intense in a "this is my whole body doing something massively massive on it's own" sort of way. I ended up with an epidural for DD1, overstimulated by syntocin drip and shaking with agony.
Second time round, had mentally prepared myself to try and roll with the punches a bit more. It took a lot of self-control to dig in and let it happen.
Good luck!

Theicingontop Mon 18-Mar-13 12:05:56

I was induced and was being a complete nutter about no pain relief. It was excruciatingly painful, back-to-back contractions, no let up.

When I felt the urge to push, it was absolute bliss. It didn't hurt at all and actually felt really nice, like the beginnings of an orgasm blush. The only pain I felt was a slight sting as I tore a little bit (couldn't control my pushing). Had gas and air for the stitches and realised I'd been taking it wrong throughout my whole labour, and got quite high.

frazzledbutcalm Mon 18-Mar-13 10:12:16

I've had 4 dc and NEVER felt the urge to push. Midwife had to tell me each time. Only had pain relief for dc1, nothing with other 3 so it wasn't like there was anything stopping me from feeling the urge. I felt like I needed to poo with dc1 but it wasn't a strong urge making me know I was ready to push.. With dc2 and dc3 midwife (who was my sister) knew from my changed body language that it was time for me to push. I go deathly quite in labour, do not speak, or anything! Dc4 I felt pressure so I knew it was time (finally cottoned on after first 3!), but it didn't feel like the overwhelming urge everyone talks about. For me, pushing through the pain did take all the pain away so it was easier than the labour pains. Thankfully, only felt crowning with dc2. It was the horrendous ring of fire as mentioned by others, but usually it's over very quickly.

tilder Mon 18-Mar-13 08:03:05

After the irrational weird behavior of transition, at least something (hopefully) happens during pushing. Just keep pushing as long as you can each time.

My pushing stage has been quicker each time too. But crowning always really smarts.

Good luck, focus on the end game and listen to your dp and midwife.

atrcts Mon 18-Mar-13 07:54:55

I didn't feel the urge to push even though I apparently had been in that stage for over 2 1/2 hrs 'pushing' down a pretend poo when I was told to, but feeling no urge at all whatsoever so a little bit confusing for me!

I had been induced and was on a drip which made the contractions strong and painful - I had no burning at the crowning stage, but the 'contractions' became unbearably sharp and sore, so I was beggin for some pain relief but they denied it as I apparently had to 'feel' to push (which didn't work).

In the end I was consented for c section or forceps and rushed to theatre where they gave me a spinal block and I managed to delivery on the 3rd and final push of a forceps pull.

So to this day it is still a mystery to me when people describe crowning feelig like a ring of fire and the natural urge to push being like a poo or vomiting, as I have given birth without experiencing either of these.

WellHello Sun 17-Mar-13 21:32:02

I remember feeling bloody glad to finally get to the pushing stage and get the show on the road! I was pushing for ages though, had to have slight help from the suction cup thingy at the last minute. Briefly remember the stinging of the crowning but they cut me to make it all easier as Id been at it for so long and ran out of steam.
If it doesnt take too long, you'll find the pushing stage a sort of relief, as it gives you something to do with all that pressure/pain.

RooneyMara Sun 17-Mar-13 20:52:51

'Definitely do it as long as you can, but don't worry if you need to give the odd bottle of formula if your baby is hungry and you need a sleep!'

I totally agree about not stressing.smile But just to add that it can mess with your milk supply if you top up with formula. (I'm sure most people will do their own research anyway!)

actually I really, really need a sleep right now but am terrified of mucking up bf! plus have no formula in the house and no idea what to do with it if I did...

After being told for an hour not to push (impossible for me, and trying not to was very painful), I was transferred by ambulance to the big city hospital as DS was in distress. As soon as we arrived the new midwife took one look at me and told me to push NOW. As soon as I did, the pain vanished. It was 20 minutes of quiet. I didn't feel him crowning - I had an episiostomy so I'm guessing this was because of the local anasthetic (if so why don't they give you anasthetic for that bit regardless of whether or not you need and episostomy?). Felt his body slither out but it didn't hurt.
I actually found the first few days of breastfeeding far worse.

OhGood Sun 17-Mar-13 19:43:28

Bigpiglittlepig
Yes I think I will...

rooney best piece of advice I had before DD was 'push like you're doing a poo'. Really worked. But because there was no pain, I wasn't scared of pushing, whereas at 9cms I was even scared of letting them break my waters because I just didn't want to do anything to make it worse.

laward good luck tomorrow!

So - summarise: like pooing out a bowling ball that's on fire, or possibly a watermelon with spikes...but if baby's in good position, and you get lucky, you might get away with the pain being more manageable than transition, your body taking over to help you push, crowning without tearing and then...ta da! Baby! And the weird empty fanjo feeling beyond the limits talks about.

I keep thinking about how many women are doing this round the world right now. Women are amazing.

piratecat Sun 17-Mar-13 18:47:00

I had no urge to push at all. Never ending back and forthness for two hours. Hideous, sorry but it was.

neontetra Sun 17-Mar-13 17:08:23

For me the pushing bit was the best bit, very primal. Conversely, also felt like I was ripping myself in two. But then thought, what choice do I have, so just went for it!

I was still bruised from the canula attempts 12 weeks later!!

Scrambled yy to the canula being the worst bit! Took four attempts to get one into me for DS2 (induced) which wasnt even used for anything! That was about half an hour and he was born then less than two hours after they broke my waters! grin

ohmentalnessisme Sun 17-Mar-13 13:09:46

Pushing felt totally primal, uncontrollable and incredible! I remember shouting that I didn't want to push and then my body just did it anyway. I went really hot and sweaty then this awesome power took over, it did feel like my arse was turning inside out but I have never felt stronger than I did then. It took about 50 minutes but only felt like about 5. I went to a strange place in my head and just went with my instincts. Have faith op, the human body is an amazing thing! smile

It's like a major bum cramp, whilst feeling as though you are squeezing a watermelon through your bum, although obviously baby is coming down your birth canal/vagina. Then a burning/stinging pain comes next as you try to give birth, that is felt in your vagina. Then when baby is born comes massive relief as you feel baby slip out, the most magical bit smile. Although i never enjoyed labour as was painful, the ending was really special, nothing compared to it. I remember all my babies being born.

Discolite, IME and O it felt about the same (DS was asynclitic (ear first) and wound up as an EMCS, then I had two VBACs with DD1 and DD2). But there was a lot less pushing in the productive second stages and it all went (obviously) far quicker.

But then I didn't really feel pain from the fruitless pushing -- the bit I would have said was painful/distressing was the bits where I was asked NOT to push for a bit in spite of the overwhelming urge to do so.

BoffinMum Sun 17-Mar-13 11:15:01

Birth is the nearest most of us get to an Olympic sporting achievement!

BoffinMum Sun 17-Mar-13 11:08:59

I would add that while I was pushing I remember thinking ' this feels odd, something's not quite right, I had better focus my technique a bit'.

BoffinMum Sun 17-Mar-13 11:07:24

I had one big baby who came out in the superman position and only just managed an unassisted birth as he was my third. Crowning was the same as normal but pushing took a lot longer. In the photos I look absolutely knackered!

Discolite Sun 17-Mar-13 09:54:02

OP I was going to ask this very question!

I had DS (first time I've written that) 8 days ago. My waters broke about 6.30am, was checked out in hospital and sent home. I started getting contractions by about 9am but they were irregular (2-3 mins apart) and lasted only 30-45 seconds. It was pretty painful but I coped until 2pm when I went back to hospital despite a certain degree of scepticism from the midwives, which was fair enough. I'm a first time mum and my contractions were weird. Anyway, when they finally examined with via a speculum (after 90 min wait as they weren't convinced I was even in labour and didn't want to cause an infection) I was 9.5cm dilated! We were all surprised grin but I was just glad I wasn't overestimating the pain.

I pushed in the water for an hour with gas and air and the pushing was much better than just contracting. Problem was, it didn't work. So I pushed on the bed for 30 mins. DS still didn't move. He didn't budge with the addition of a syntocin drip and a further hour of pushing. So it went to a spinal block and forceps as he was firmly stuck. He hadn't even made it past the cervix, he was presenting on the side of the crown of his head and he had his chin stuck out, so he would never have made it out on his own. It may be an uncommon view on the net but I thank god for forceps, they got him out and both he and I are undamaged.

My question is to anyone who has this type of birth and a birth where they've pushed out the baby themselves - how did the pain of fruitless pushing compare to the sensation of the baby actually moving through the vagina? And how did the pain of dilation compare to crowning? I didn't actually notice transition myself and although contracting and pushing was painful, I did cope. I'm just interested as I've already told DS that with any luck he'll have a brother or sister before too long!

BoffinMum Sun 17-Mar-13 09:45:57

Need to poo - brace self - momentary ring of fire - keep it slow, breathe nicely - there we go, gosh that's wierd, having another person's head between my thighs - another push - right, sorted. Is it alive?

That's what goes through my head each time.

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