Once I was fully dilated, the nurse said I should feel the urge to push. I never did. I basically "faked" the urge to push - instead I continually felt my tummy for signs of a contraction and once I felt it, told the nurses I was ready to push. I don't know why I never felt the "urge" - perhaps it was the epidural... maybe one of the downsides to the epi vs. natural.
For each contraction, I pushed 3 times for 10 seconds each, holding my breath. My hubby said the first few contractions I really wasn't getting anywhere (of course he told me this after the fact) but then once I got the hang of it, they could see her moving down. What surprised me most was that the first 15 mins of pushing, only myself, hubby, Mom and the nurse were present - I had expected the entire delivery team to be there. Once I was getting close, however, the nurse paged the docs and the room was full before I had time to have another contraction!
I didn't experience any pain during delivery and only pushed for 30 mins before baby was out. I did, on the other hand, have a few tears and an episiotomy which, thankfully, I didn't feel at all. Once baby was out, she cried immediately and I could see her colour was great, a nice pink! The NICU team took her quickly but she was in my arms within 2-3 mins. Her APGAR scores were 8 (at 1 min) and 9 (at 5 mins), so she is a healthy babe.
I was basically a ball of emotion - crying like a maniac and over-the-moon relieved she was healthy and happy. Apparently I was given a shot of oxytocin right away (don't remember any of that due to being completely high on baby love) and my placenta was delivered within minutes. Once baby was out, the docs turned to getting things cleaned and sewn up. I was in la-la-land, making jokes and kissing all over my little babe.
After the docs finished up, we started breastfeeding right away and Janey's latch was great (relief!). She was rooting as soon as she was on my chest - so cute. Daddy took Jane as I got cleaned up in the bath. Despite an early delivery at 8:06pm, we didn't get up to the recovery room until 11ish. Long day!
I am so thankful I had my hubby and Mom with me. They were exactly what I needed - my hubby was my support and motivation and my Mom was my peace of mind.