When they told me it was time to start pushing Otis out I think I was relatively calm. My entire labor had been pretty easy considering I had epidural before we got started with the pitocin so up until that point I had pretty much just hung out in a hospital bed for 12 hours. I assumed that pushing would be the same level of easy.
2 hours later I realized that that was not true. At all.
When I think about the two hours spent pushing I remember all kinds of emotions.
Excitement because this was going to be easy breezy Cover Girl.
Confusion because, um, I’m doing everything you’re telling me to do and I still don’t have a bouncing baby boy in my arms.
Exhaustion because I’ve done everything I can for 9 months to not move and now you want me to basically run a marathon?
Loneliness because when I looked around the room to try to pass off the responsibility of bringing this baby into the world I realized that no one, and I mean NO ONE, could do anything other than me. Sure, everyone in the room was supportive and helpful, but at the end of the day it was my responsibility.
Defeat because we’ve been doing this for over an hour and nothing is happening. Are you sure I can’t just go home and try again later?
Determination because I want this baby out now.
Wonder, amazement, fear and an amazing amount of love because have you seen my little guy? He’s wonderful.
I think back to my labor story and all of the emotions that came with it pretty regularly. I don’t think those emotions only happen when a woman gives birth. I think this cycle of emotions plays itself out every time you try to do something worth doing in this world. Every time you try to create or write or build you go through this cycle of excitement to feeling like there is no way in hell anything will ever change.
The thing is, the hospital won’t let you leave once you’ve started labor. A baby is entering this world in one fashion or another.
Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for our dreams. No one is going to c-section your dreams out for you. You have to keep pushing. You have to get to that point where you feel like there is no hope and you’re totally alone and you have to push. One more time. And maybe even one more time after that.
But if you keep pushing you’ll eventually find that all of your efforts paid off and you’re looking at something you can’t imagine life without…
Like the Karate Kid
Or the Mona Lisa
Or impromptu Back Yard Bible Clubs
Or the American Revolution
The world needs you to push.