KEYWORDS: push, delivery, contractions, contraction, baby

Techi's Story--Chapter 4

David Berg

March 1979DFO788

1. ABOUT 1 P.M. AS DADDY PRAYED FOR ME & told me goodbye & I finally left the house to get into the car, my eyes filled with tears because I knew it was so hard for him to be separated from me at this time, as well as the fact that I would miss him. But also I think I was crying mostly because of how sweet & precious he was & how much love he gave me. I really was in a way happy he was not coming with me, because I knew that the strain might be greater waiting at the hospital than staying safe at home where he could relax with those who loved him & who could take good care to him.

2. DADDY TOLD ME LATER that he got the verse for me as I went out to the car weeping: "He that goeth forth with weeping, bearing precious seed (Techi!) shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves (the fruit, Techi) with him!" (Ps.126:6.)

3. WHEN WE ARRIVED AT THE CLINIC, I went in & sat in the lobby while the girls went to find the proper people to admit me & take me to my room. Within two minutes, a nurse rushed out as though there were some huge emergency & hustled me off to be examined!

4. ALTHOUGH I FELT like it would probably be hours yet & that I was in no need of urgent attention, I did appreciate their concern & fast action‚ since some hospitals are known for just the opposite. I was then checked for dilation internally by a cute little girl nurse who could hardly believe that I was already six centimeters dilated—only four centimeters away from complete dilation.

5. SHE LOOKED AT ME INCREDULOUSLY: "You're not having any contractions?" she asked. "No‚" I replied, "none at all." We even thought she might still be a student nurse in training & had misjudged the dilation, when she said I was that far along, & yet I was not even having any contractions. She could hardly believe it herself!

6. I STARTED TO HAVE A FEW MORE LIGHT CONTRACTIONS again while I was on the toilet having my third BM, & found that it was a lot easier for me, anyway—& more comfortable—to have contractions while on the toilet, since I could relax there more, easily than I could while lying in the bed, since trying to relax my vaginal muscles in bed felt like I was going to urinate at the same time & wet the bed. But while on the toilet, it really didn't matter whether I urinated or not.

7. SO I SAT ON THE TOILET for as long as I could until a nurse came in & said, "Don't stay here!" in a few words of her broken English. They seemed to be in a big rush to wheel me away somewhere, but was I ever surprised when they took me straight down to the delivery room & got me up on the big table with everything ready to go!

8. HERE I WAS ONLY HAVING VERY LIGHT CONTRACTIONS something like light menstrual cramps! By the way, I think that is one reason why the Lord lets a lot of women experience menstrual cramps, because labour contractions are much the same, although contractions are much the same, although usually of much greater intensity during the latter part of the labour. However, some women's menstrual cramps are of strong enough nature that, by comparison, their labour contractions are a pleasure!

9. BY THE TIME I HAD GOTTEN TO THE DELIVERY ROOM & the midwife had checked me, I was two more centimeters dilated & was now eight centimeters—with only two more to go! Well‚ so unlike the U.S.‚ everything was calm & peaceful & unhurried in the delivery room, & the midwife was preparing her equipment & talking to Sue & Sara, accepting them immediately as part of her little team. She gave them their white clinic gowns to put on—as well as one for me—& they chatted about different things with Sue interpreting.

10. THE DOCTOR ARRIVED A FEW MINUTES LATER, & he sat down while I lay on the bed & the other three stood around waiting like at a meeting where the preacher is late. I don't think I was ever so shocked in my life that they were expecting the baby to come right then, as I was hardly even having contractions! Occasionally I would have a small one that the others could scarcely detect.

11. SO WE WERE ALL THERE WAITING in the delivery room talking calmly‚ & it was certainly a different experience from the time four years before when I had rushed into the clinic in Tenerife with Davidito's head crowning 20 minutes before delivery, with everyone in a flurry & hurry! In Tenerife the young substitute doctor had rushed in‚ taken one look at me & yelled, "Push! Push! Push!", while my contractions had been coming fast & furiously & my desire to push was almost irresistible! Things had certainly changed for the better!

12. WITH ONE CONTRACTION I HAD which was little heavier than the others, I became hot & sweaty & nauseous which is common during labour. Since the midwife was out of the room at the time, I asked Sara to get me a container in case I had to throw up. So she spotted a metal sterilising tray on the counter & took the equipment out of it so we could use it for this purpose if necessary. When the midwife came back in, we told her what we had done & expected her to be a little upset, but she only said, "No‚ no, no—that's alright. Of course!"

13. I HAD TO URINATE while on the table, so they put a bedpan under me‚ & afterwards, the midwife then broke the water bag, expecting that that would bring on harder contractions & therefore hasten the delivery. But it didn't seem to make too much difference in the intensity of the contractions, although the intervals between them became much less.

14. FINALLY THE DOCTOR SAID to me, "Alright, do you feel any urge to push?" But I answered, "No, none whatsoever." "Well," said he, "Maybe with the next contraction you can try to push a little." To help bring on the contractions, she lightly plucked at my stomach over & over with her thumb & forefinger, like you would a guitar. So with every contraction from then on, I pushed & I pushed & I pushed! And with each push, Techi came closer & closer to being born!

15. I THINK THAT IF THE LABOUR IS NOT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT‚ the first stage can almost always be handled easily, even without formal preparation beforehand, simply by relaxing & trusting in the Lord, with resultant almost automatic changes in breathing according to the intensity of the contraction. If possible‚ it is very helpful to study carefully the breathing techniques & practise the relaxation exercises, but in any case, the most important thing you can do is to keep your mind stayed on the Lord.

16. HE IS YOUR PEACE. Your help comes from Him. In Him is your confidence. You must put your confidence in Him, not in your breathing techniques. Put not your confidence in man (or man's techniques) whose breath is in his nostrils, but put your confidence in the Lord. (Ps.118:8; Is.2:22.)

17. I BELIEVE HOWEVER THAT IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER AGAIN, I would take time to study the breathing & pushing technique developed to facilitate the expulsion of the baby during the final stage to labour.

18. THERE ARE SEVERAL SIMPLE MISTAKES YOU CAN VERY EASILY MAKE THAT CAN PROLONG THE PUSHING & expend a lot of energy needlessly instead of making every push & every minute count towards expelling the baby. This often happens to women in labour who don't really understand the correct way it should be done.

19. I FOUND THAT WHILE PULLING ON THE POSTS BESIDE THE STIRRUPS on the delivery table, I was straining & tensing my entire body & arching my back instead of keeping it rounded & firmly pressing against the table & wastefully trying to push with the top half of my body instead of the bottom half, even expending a lot of energy making grunting noises as I pushed that were unnecessary, resulting in trouble for several days afterwards with my throat being filled with mucous & becoming raw by trying to clear it so much.

20. (SARA: IF THE POSITION & TECHNIQUE FOR PUSHING in delivery is even briefly practised & therefore understood by the mother-to-be, the birth of the baby can take place more gently, relaxed & slowly. She'll most likely have more confidence in herself & her own body if she knows what is happening & does not totally depend on commands coming from other people.

21. (SHE SHOULD PUSH ONLY WHEN THE URGE TO PUSH IS IRRESISTIBLE.—Your uterine contractions will let you know! You make the pushing efforts when the uterus makes them & not otherwise.) I never had any irresistable urge to push—in fact, no urge to push at all! That's why it was such a miracle that Techi was born easily & naturally. But for most, that irresistible urge will come, & you should wait for it before pushing.

22. (SARA: IT HELPS TO REMEMBER THE GOLDEN RULE ABOUT PUSHING: You can never push too late, but you can make labour unnecessarily painful & do damage to the cervix by pushing too early.

23. (AT THIS STAGE OF YOUR DELIVERY, the doctor or midwife may shout commands at you &, of course, you feel you must obey. However, if they've been informed that you have trained yourself in the natural childbirth position for pushing‚ they'll probably be relieved that you know what to do at this important time in your delivery.

24. (PRACTISE THIS POSITION FOR PUSHING: While sitting on the floor, lean against three or four pillows‚ positioned as though you were learning back in a deck chair. Spread your legs as wide apart as possible. Tuck your hands behind your knees & hold your elbows out. Now, lift your legs so that your feet dangle loosely off the floor.

25. (PUT YOUR CHIN ON YOUR CHEST & tip your shoulders forward off the pillows. Check that you are not sitting on any part of your pelvic floor, or bottom area. These vaginal & rectal area muscles play a very important part in delivery & must be taught how to give & open up as the baby's head is descending through the pelvic floor.

26.(THE NATURAL CHILDBIRTH PUSHING TECHNIQUE IS CALLED the "Block & Push," & is used for pushing with strong contractions that accompany the bearing down sensation Dilation of the cervix is complete & the baby's head is ready to crown for delivery.

27. (IN YOUR DELIVERY‚ POSITION YOURSELF FOR PUSHING when the doctor tells you you will be able to push with the next contraction. When the contraction begins‚ let your breathing pattern move up in speed (you'll be blowing out at this stage of labour) until the urge to push overtakes you. Then inhale on the second or third big breath, & hold it. The diaphram full of air helps push down on the uterus & push out the baby.

28. (PUT YOUR CHIN ON YOUR CHEST, push your shoulders & ribs downwards‚ & still holding the air in your chest‚ push your tummy muscles & pelvic floor, or vaginal & bottom area, forwards—very similar to pushing out a big BM. Think on that related feeling at the time & you will be better able to push.

29. (YOUR HUSBAND OR HELPER SHOULD HELP SUPPORT YOUR BACK while on the delivery table by putting an arm behind your back. You should also be supported by at least two pillows in the lower part of your back.

30. (DURING ONE LONG CONTRACTION, THE DOCTOR OR MIDWIFE will have you push two or three times for as long as the contraction lasts.—Remember to keep pushing when you've borne down for as long as you can, then prepare to block & push again. Raise your chin, gently release what air is still left in your chest & hold the pushing position while you do so. Now take in a new, big breath‚ block it again & repeat the pushing effort. Some women like to count to ten while pushing, then release, & block & push again. Do not push once the contraction has stopped. Your doctor will tell you when to stop pushing & rest until the next contraction begins.

31. (WHEN THE CONTRACTION IS OVER‚ you release the air you've held while pushing & lie back to relax. But make sure to lie back gently, as you pushing was helping to bring the baby down the birth canal & his head slides back a little after each contraction. If you flop back quickly, the head only goes back even further & defeats the work you've just accomplished while pushing.

32. (BECAUSE IN HOSPITAL DELIVERIES YOUR LEGS ARE USUALLY BRACED IN STIRRUPS on the delivery table, you must lie back & clinch the bars supporting the stirrups with your hands. This horizontal position makes pushing more difficult because:

1) Your hands, arms & therefore entire top half of the body are very tensed & strained, when they should be more relaxed, while the lower part of your body works at the actual pushing.

2) It's more comfortable for a woman if she can be propped up with pillows rather than lying flat on her back; she can also see the baby born, & gravity aides in the expulsion. By holding up your legs yourself you make it easier to beat down & push with your tummy muscles & release your pelvic floor muscles, which enables the baby to come out in the most natural, comfortable way.

3) Pulling on bars lends way to arching your back when the back should not be tensed, but shoulders rounded & back supported.

33. (EVEN IF YOU'RE OBLIGED TO USE STIRRUPS ON THE DELIVERY TABLE, these tips on the pushing technique should still be of help in pushing, along with the "Block & Push" technique of breathing.

34. (SUMMARY: LEARN HOW TO KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS ROUNDED FORWARD, chin tucked in against your chest, jaw & legs relaxed, arms & hands loose, & above all, the muscles of the pelvic floor relaxed as you press the lower part of your spine flat against the bed as you push, rounding rather than arching your back & so rocking the pelvis forwards. Relax completely after each contraction.

35. (DONE THE WRONG WAY—with groaning tension in the throat, clenching fists, etc.—you are not only wasting valuable energy, but actually presenting an obstacle to the birth in tightening the pelvic floor & putting great stress on the vaginal walls.

36. (AFTER PUSHING HARD FOR A NUMBER OF STRONG CONTRACTIONS, which usually takes around 30 minutes time, the doctor or midwife will suddenly tell you to stop pushing & pant or blow out. The baby's head is emerging & it must be delivered slowly so as not to tear the vaginal opening. You may be told to stop in the middle of a hard push during a contraction. When the pushing urge will still be very strong. This contraction should be handled gently & without the force of your tummy muscles behind it.

37. (TO KEEP FROM PUSHING WHITE THE BABY'S HEAD CROWNS & the child is being delivered, hold your legs in the same position as for pushing, but simply pant like a lioness in the hot sun. Let your head go back, mouth open & therefore relaxed & prepared to "give" birth; there is little chance of the vaginal area tearing if this method is practised & followed.)

38. WE HAD ASKED THE DOCTOR TO TRY NOT TO CUT ME if there was any possibility that I could stretch enough without that being done & without tearing‚ & he promised to wait as long as possible. But it seemed that I was not stretching enough. The scar tissue was not elastic enough to permit the mouth of the vagina to stretch wide enough for the baby's head, so he told me:

39. "I THINK IT WOULD BE BETTER IF I JUST MADE A LITTLE CUT. Otherwise, your labour will be prolonged, & also there is danger of your tearing where you tore before with your first baby. That old former scar tissue is not elastic enough & will not stretch." So we told him of course to go ahead with what he thought best, which he promptly did with one little snip & no feeling of pain.—And two more pushes & the baby was out!

40. IT'S SO THRILLING TO SEE A NEW LITTLE LIFE BORN INTO HIS KINGDOM FOREVER FOR HIS GLORY! This was the promised little girl whose kiss would comfort her Father & make her mother & the whole World happy‚ as the Lord had said.