My first pregnancy was normal and uneventful until I had a partial placental abruption at 27 weeks. The partial abruption had no adverse effects on my pregnancy but to scare me half to death.
At an ultrasound preformed at 29 weeks to check on my son and the placenta we found that my son was still breech. This really worried me because for some unfounded reason, I had been afraid my son would be breech since the beginning of the pregnancy. The pregnancy continued on uneventfully.
As I got farther along, I started asking my OB what position my son was in because I was worried that he was still breech. They told me there was no point in checking until around 36 weeks because babies could still flip a lot. At my 35.5 week check up they did an internal exam and said my son was head down. I was so relieved! I still honestly didn’t understand how I could have the bumps and kicks where they were, and where they weren’t (never in my ribs), and have my child be head down, but I trusted my doctor.
I should have trusted my gut.
I had 3 more internal exams and was told he was head down every time. The bumps and kicks never changed location.
I went into labor at 5 days before my due date. My contractions were very irregular, they would be 10 minutes apart but last 2 minutes or only 3 minutes apart and last 20 seconds. I wasn’t fully convinced I was in labor until my water broke. We got to the hospital and a nurse checked to see how dilated I was and exclaimed, “I feel another hole!”. My first thought was “my baby has a hole in his head!”. They emergency paged my doctor who came in and said I was 9 cm dilated and my baby was breech. She told me I needed an emergency c-section.
They then ran me down the hall toward the OR. One of the nurses actually fell on the way and they left her laying on the ground. I remember thinking that I must be in trouble if they were that urgent. By the time they got me to the OR I was doing the breathing exercises I learned in my birthing class to avoid pushing. I was put under general anesthesia and woke up in the recovery room some time later.
I had no idea where I was or what was happening. A nurse had to tell me I had delivered a baby. My first thought as a mother was “I am a terrible mother, I didn’t even remember that I’d had a baby”. They finally got me back to my room where I met my healthy baby boy but I don’t remember much of that first meeting. We went on to successfully nurse for 16 months and he is now a happy almost 4 year-old boy.
In response to my story, many people tell me “doctors make mistakes”. That is true, but how would you feel if they made that mistake on YOU? Many people tell me I need to “get over” his delivery because I got a healthy baby. When did the physical and mental health of the mother become so easy to ignore?
My next pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage. This was followed by a pregnancy with placenta previa. My previa daughter was delivered at 36 weeks due to excessive bleeding. We had a rough start but she is now a happy, healthy 22 month old. This December I delivered my second son vaginally. He is my VBA2C baby and I am so proud and happy that I was the first to hold him.
It has been a long journey from that first pregnancy and I have learned so much about myself and childbirth. I was so ignorant the first time around. If I could have women learn anything from my story it is to trust your gut. I knew my baby was breech, but never pressed the issue because I trusted my doctors.