One more lady had come into the room – that made 4 helpers AND Leslie! Two of them each grabbed a foot, bracing my legs for pushing support (but I mostly was using my arms to pull my legs back to help me push in the right way), one was charting, and another was solely taking pictures.
(I have to pause real quick and tell you how amazing it was that we ended up having so many people in the room. I was REALLY hoping for a picture of the baby coming out and one right after when he was on my chest, but was told by my midwives that, that might not/probably wouldn't happen because everyone on the team would have a job and I wouldn't want David to be trying to take pictures while his son was being born. So, the fact that there was an extra person who could just take photos during those moments was seriously a HUGE gift from God.) Now back to the story...
I asked David to pray out loud through a few of these last pushes. It was amazing bringing God into the final stretch like that. I felt like it was me, David, the baby, and God working together to get this thing done!
I was doing a kind of opposite/upside-down squat thing – it felt so good. There was so much power in this position. I had to use my arms a lot, but I still had enough energy to do the hard work. Leslie asked, "Are you Russian? This is how Russians give birth." I laughed so hard, "No." David laughed too, "But she is Eastern European." (I loved being able to laugh in such a moment of intensity.)
Not long after that funny moment, our baby's head began to crown. "Woah, I can see his head. It's half way out!", David said, trying to encourage me. Leslie smirked, "Not quite half way." From the moment he crowned, I took it slow. I would push him a little further out and then let his head stretch me so I wouldn't tear.
Leslie rubbed oil around the thinning skin. We did this for about 5-10 minutes and then she looked at me and said so calmly, "Okay, let's get this baby out."
I looked up at David who was leaned over behind me on the bed,
"Tell me I can do this baby."
"You can do this"
"I can do this."
And then I pushed a few more strong, long, hard pushes and his head was born!