She was nervous. She told me that before she even told me her name. This wasn’t her first baby, and I asked a few questions to try to get to the bottom of her worry, but she couldn’t quite articulate what made her feel so differently today.
Despite a very effective epidural, she was pushing beautifully. She didn’t believe me when I told her how great she was doing. I offered a mirror, which she quickly declined. I encouraged her to check for herself, to feel her baby’s head and its movements, as it continued rotating while choosing its best path outward. She reached down timidly, her hand jumping back once she came in contact with the baby, and her senses showed her she was touching something not herself yet still a part of her.
The extra work in pushing was made clear when my hand came in contact with the baby’s, as the ears emerged. The body almost jumped out after the head and hand cleared, and the baby kept reaching forward until resting in Mom’s arms.