“Don’t push!”

“Don’t push! … Stop pushing!”
Said to the birthing woman. Her water had just broken and baby was crowning at the same time.

(The only medical personnel in the room were a nurse and a first-year resident, who had never seen an unmedicated birth before.)


7 thoughts on ““Don’t push!”

  1. Stac' says:

    Ugh, this is a horrible thing to say to a woman, and completely ridiculous. There is a point where you could be offered a million dollars to stop pushing, and you wouldn’t be able to do it, because the body is pushing involuntarily.


  2. Shaindel says:

    This was mine, and the 2 before.

    Introduction: This birth was a whole adventure. It was my second. With my first, I had days of prodromal labor during which we went into the hospital and got sent home a few times. Contractions never became too intense that I wasn’t able to talk during my first birth – I was joking with my husband in between pushes!

    Same thing happened again – after a week of prodromal labor, contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting 45-90 seconds, and getting slightly more intense. So we went to the hospital on a Thursday night. The hospital was so crowded, it took an hour before the lady ahead of me went into triage. When we finally got a room in triage, my midwife checked me, and I was 2cm, 40% effaced. Went home.

    Saturday afternoon, contractions picked up again – 3 to 5 minutes apart, 45-90 seconds long, and getting more intense than Thursday’s. Again, we met the midwife at the hospital at about 6:45 in the afternoon. I was 4cm, 70%. Spent a lot of time walking around the hospital, in the shower on the birthing ball, doing squats, etc… At about midnight, my midwife checked me again. No change. We went to sleep (or, my husband and doula did, and I tried) and she came to check me again at 7am. Still no change.

    At that point, we had a conversation about starting a pitocin drip, which is when she told me that “either the baby comes at the right time, or we make it the right time,” which sounded ridiculous to me. (Either it’s the right time, or it isn’t, right?) She also told me that Pitocin means no waterbirth, and being on the monitors the entire time but I don’t have to stay in bed, or I can take Cytotec instead. After pressing her, she admitted that the baby and I were both doing fine, and if I had come into the office at 4cm 70% with contractions 10 minutes apart (they had petered out a bit), she would send me home. So we left Sunday morning after signing out AMA. Everyone thought I’d be back later that day or the next to give birth.

    (As an aside, it was the first time anyone in that hospital had ever turned down Pitocin.)

    Thursday night at about 2:30 I felt contractions again. Really strong – they woke me up. I went into the bath while my husband called the midwife, who decided to come over to our house to check me out (we live 5 minutes from each other and about 45 from her hospital). She came at about 3:30, and found me at +3 station! We called our babysitter and left at 4:15 to the hospital.

    We got there at 4:42, fought with the emergency room desk for a bit (“Are you sure you’re in labor?” “What’s your social security number?” etc) and then ran up to the maternity ward. That’s when we had a conversation with the nurse about being put on the monitor, followed by “Stop pushing” when my water broke.

    My daughter was born at 4:49am after 2 pushes, 7 minutes after we arrived at the hospital and 2 minutes before the midwife got to the hospital.

    The whole stay was a big fight with the baby nurses about breastfeeding, vit K shot, eye goop, and sending my baby to the nursery. If I can convince my husband, I’m staying home next time.


      • Congrats on your birth, no apologies needed for the “novel”. It is ridiculous that after what can be one of the most physically exhausting acts we do as women, we then have to be so on guard to advocate for our own and our newborn child’s best interests. I’m sorry your hospital stay was so difficult, I hope your hubby agrees to a homebirth next time too!


    • Michelle May says:

      I was not able to convince my husband to let me stay and birth at home with my second birth (his first), but after witnessing the poor treatment I received during my last hospital birth, it’s all hands on deck for our home birth planned for the end of March 🙂


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