Breech Homebirth

by Birth Without Fear on January 31, 2013

* If your baby is breech, please discuss possible complications and options with your care provider.*

I had recently moved to the bay area, which meant I had to find a new midwife. With full support from my husband I chose a home birth.  We were unsure of when exactly I conceived, so I had two due dates, two weeks apart.

The first due date came and went, so we did a vaginal exam to see if I was dilated at all. I was 1cm, but to our surprise my midwife noticed that the baby was actually breech; a quick sonogram confirmed this. Knowing that she was educated and skilled in breech birth, and that women all around the world have vaginal breech births, I didn’t hesitate. I was informed that roughly 20% of breech babies need some form of resuscitation.

At 4am on Thanksgiving my water broke, my contractions started at 10 minutes apart. I laboured around my apartment for 17 hours, with a total of 3 hours of pushing. My contractions were never less than 4 minutes apart, and they got weak because I was tired, so I took some time to rest in between sessions of pushing.

At 8:53pm my baby was out. She was not breathing, but had a pulse. The midwives and my husband stimulated, suctioned, and ventilated our baby girl for two of the longest minutes of my life before she began to cry. While they were ventilating my baby I also began to hemorrhage, but received a dose of Pitocin immediately.

I finally had my baby in my arms, and was moved to the bed to deliver the placenta. However, mine was stuck, and had to be removed manually (this hurt just as much as giving birth). But a short while later I was cleaned up and in bed with my loving husband and beautiful baby.

Three days later the midwife checked up on us and said we were doing better than average. We are both extremely healthy and happy now.

After the birth we notified everyone we had a breech birth. Some of the family was against the home birth and very against breech deliveries, so to avoid their opinion we kept it a secret.

If we were to have another I would definitely choose another home birth. It was the most empowering experience of my life.

Not only did she have a big head, but her arms were also up around her ears!

Photography by Babymoon Birth Services.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Brie January 31, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I’m so jealous of the lack of cellulite in your pictures! Awesome story and a beautiful baby! Way to believe in your abilities! CONGRATULATIONS!

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Jenna K January 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Big head, hands by her head but the cutest-sweetest angel face! Good job, Mom!

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Laurel January 31, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Congratulations! You are a rockstar!
Who was your midwife? I had my first baby at the Sacred Birth Place in Oakland, which was great, but want my second birth to be at home.

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Molly Roy January 31, 2013 at 10:15 pm

What an amazing story! You really don’t hear too much about breech home birth (I don’t at least). My sister was breech, and my mother had a natural hospital birth, but it took some special convincing with the doctor.
And I know it changes the labor significantly not to have the weight of the head helping dilation, so power to you. Congratulations!

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Michelle January 31, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Beautiful story! Perfect! What an experience! Proud of you and your family. Getting to know you has been such a blessing to me. You are a such a beautiful person and it shows.

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Kristi January 31, 2013 at 10:55 pm

New life birth services out of petaluma.

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Kristi June 30, 2013 at 1:53 am

I’ve had several months now to reflect back on my daughter’s birth, and every time I do, I feel amazing, and empowered.
I didn’t always want a home birth. My mother had 3 hospital births, all with epidurals, and episiotomies. My grandmother actually had a twilight birth, and wasn’t even awake for several hours after my aunt’s birth. The first birth I witnessed was during my clinical time of becoming an EMT at a level one trauma hospital. She was 15, on baby number 2, and delivered him on her back with her legs in the air. The doctor cut her with out even telling her what was happening. I thought all this was normal; it was what you see on TV, and in movies, I figured this is how I would have my child. Then shortly after watching my first delivery I saw The Business of Being Born. I knew from that moment on, I would have a natural, home birth. I wasn’t going to have a kid for several years, but that didn’t stop me from researching it. I learned as much as I could about natural birth through blogs, videos, and books.
My husband was never thrilled on the idea of giving birth at home; he was scared. So we compromised, and began prenatal appointments at a birthing center. 36+ weeks in we move to Petaluma. There happened to be a birthing center nearby our new place, but they didn’t like accepting late term transfers. I found a midwife who would do a late transfer, and I convinced my husband to have a home birth.
The pregnancy was smooth, and easy. I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would, but I was healthy, and so was the baby. My midwife was awesome, and very thorough, and informative. At approximately 41 weeks I was dying to see if I was dilated at all (I was really uncomfortable) I was, but she noticed that she didn’t feel a head, but a butt! She had already done over 50 breech births, and we were both confident in continuing down our path, with a slight variation. She sent me home with several books, and moves about breech birth. She also recommended chiropractic care, and spinning babies.
A week later, and nothing I did would make the baby turn head down. I had a very peaceful birth (even through all the moaning) everyone was cool, and calm. I labored for about 12 hours with my husband by myself, with an occasional check in from my midwife. (It was Thanksgiving and she lived a few blocks down the road.) When she came over with her assisting midwife, and a student midwife I got in the tub, where she gave me pointers for quicker dilation. Finally it was time to push, but I had no idea how, I’d never pushed out a baby before. More help from the midwife, and some alone time with a mirror, and the hubby, on the toilet helped get things moving. A short while later my baby was out, and while some say I had complications, I never thought of it that way. I had a skilled team of people around me, that knew exactly what they were doing, and how to handle anything that got thrown at them. I believe it would have happened even if I gave birth in a hospital, if I wasn’t forced into a c-section.
Looking back, my birth was beautiful. If I had to change anything, I would have cleaned during the early stage of labor, so my cluttered house would have looked nicer in the photos. Oh, and the best part about having a home birth, is your house instantly smells like newborn. I’ve been on cloud nine ever since that day. If I have more kids, I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way, or with any other midwife.

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