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A Cesarean for Breech Birth with Video

A Cesarean for Breech Birth with Video

In the early days of my pregnancy, back when I was an un-crunchy as could be, my husband told me I wasn’t going to get an epidural. Told me. He was on the other side of the world serving the last couple months of his tour in Iraq and I was in sunny Hawaii, where we were stationed at the time, stunned at his words. My friends scoffed at the idea, “Forget him, you’ll get an epidural if you want one! They’re heavenly!” I believed them.

When he came home I was 15 weeks pregnant. Around that time, I watched a show where the woman giving birth was doing so at home using techniques she learned in a Bradley Method class. The idea of natural birth always intrigued me. My mom had done it several times and when I looked up what the Bradley Method had to offer, I started to change my mind. Maybe I wouldn’t get an epidural after all. Maybe I wanted an all-natural birth.

Fast forward a few months and we were taking our Bradley class. By that time I was fully convinced I was going to have a drug-free, low-intervention, hospital birth. I wrote out a beautiful birth plan. We were ready to tackle everything. Except one thing: A breech baby.

My family has a history of breech births. My mom and aunt were both breech. I was breech until the very end; my little sister was the same. But my baby was head down, at least at my 36 week appointment, so when I walked in for my 38 week appointment ready to be checked to see how far I was dilated (I wanted to know if I should start any natural measures to get things going), I wasn’t ready for the midwife to find something wrong. She brought the ultrasound machine over, waved it over my belly, and showed us. She was butt down, her head wedged in my right rib.

From there, began the most frantic and stressful two weeks of my life. They sent me upstairs for a non-stress test, which I passed fine, and a chat with an OB about scheduling a cesarean or doing an external version. No way, we said, we aren’t scheduling anything. We would think about the version, if it came to that. They sent us home with instructions to return in a couple days for another NST.

At home, we decided we weren’t comfortable with doing an external version, but we were try everything else to flip that baby around. Chiropractor, acupuncture, inversion table, music, hot & cold packs, music & recordings of our voices, handstands in the pool… everything. Nothing. She wasn’t moving.

At my 39 week appointment, the kind OB and midwife sat us down to talk about our wishes. We told them we didn’t want to schedule anything, that I wanted to go into labor naturally to give her every chance she had. They accepted it. And then again, at my 40 week appointment, we said the same thing.

That ultrasound, though, showed that she had one foot up and one foot down. The OB warned that if my water broke, there was a high chance the cord could prolapse and cause an emergency situation. He still was fine with me going into labor naturally, but urged me to consider scheduling a cesarean by 41 weeks if she hadn’t showed. He said it was up to me, of course.

The next day, while dealing with some awesome Braxton Hicks, I decided if she had showed up by the next day (a Friday) I would schedule something for the next Wednesday, 41 weeks. However, as the day progressed I noticed my BH coming regularly, about 6-10 minutes apart. By dinner time, I knew something was up, and even though I had wanted to labor at home for as long as possible, I was worried about the risk of cord prolapse. The hospital had us come in that night.

Our daughter was born via cesarean at 1:05am on December 16, 2011. She was 6 lbs 12 oz and 18 inches long. We named her Penelope “Penny” Ann.

The cesarean was an interesting experience, but so unlike what I was expecting. I received a spinal and requested anxiety medication as well, because I was feeling a panic attack coming. I didn’t feel a thing except some rocking, like I was on a boat. After the baby was born, my husband went to recovery to do skin-to-skin and I chatted with the anesthesiologist for 45 min while they stitched me up. In recovery, after nursing our desperately hungry baby, I vomited from the medicine. The next few days in the hospital were painful, and the recovery took several weeks before I could walk normal or feel an ounce like myself. I never wish a cesarean on anyone who doesn’t absolutely need it.

I don’t feel guilty about doing it, though. There were no doctors or midwives on the island who would deliver a breech baby. Giving her position, I wasn’t going to risk doing it by myself. In the head, we weighed our options and felt fairly in control of the whole process. Still, I feel some disappointment in missing out of the experience that I was envisioning, though I hope with our next baby we can have a home birth after cesarean.

You can find the video here through this link:  http://youtu.be/Ouf4BywpbRA

breech c-section

breech c-section

Birth of Twins {Baby B-Birth in OR before CS}

Birth of Twins {Baby B-Birth in OR before CS}

A few days after finding out I was having twins, I began mourning the loss of my birth experience. Dramatic? Probably. But as a Doula and at the time, prospective, Childbirth Educator, and someone who’s frankly quite terrified of needles, I knew that medication, needles, scalpels and augmentation were not for me.

Coming to terms with the possibility that my birth was most likely going to be filled with things I didn’t want was very difficult. I agonized, cried and had panic attacks over it for weeks. After seeking the advice of other doulas and doing some serious soul searching, I finally started to feel peace about the possible ways I would birth these babies. However, I was very prepared to make informed decisions and fight for what I wanted and needed during my birth experience.

I knew that in order to have a birth that somewhat resembled the ideal I had envisioned, I would need to have a doctor who was ok and on board with at least some of my desires. Home birth was not an option for me so I chose a practice I was familiar with through both personal experience, and experience as a doula, who I knew would give me the best chance at a vaginal birth of twins in the area. That being said, out of the four doctors in the practice, only two were ok with the fact that I didn’t want an epidural or even want the catheter placed but only one of those two was ok with doing a breech extraction if needed, should baby B turn breech after baby A was born. While I knew I could make the decision to refuse any procedure, I also knew it was probably going to be an uphill journey and one I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to climb.

34 Weeks with twins

On the day I went into labor (around 34/35 weeks gestation), the doctor who didn’t mind if I refused the epidural but wouldn’t deliver a breech baby B was on call, but I felt at ease. We arrived at the hospital when I was 5 cm and 100% effaced. Within an hour, I had progressed to 6 cm and was hardly uncomfortable, despite the air conditioner in L&D being broken, and it being 82 degrees in my room. The rest of the labor progressed quickly, with minimal discomfort, and without any mention of pain meds, or epidurals from the nurses and the doctor.

At 9cm I was not feeling the typical transition-like contractions I had felt with my previous 2 labors and wasn’t quite sure what was happening with my body. I had prepared for something so much more intense! I had also prepared to defend my choices with the medical staff every step of the way, but none of that was necessary as they were in awe that I was completely in control of my contractions and pain management, and was willing to listen to and think about the choices I was presented with and decisions I had to make.

There were a few things I did agree to and ask for after making conscious and educated decisions, but they were MY decisions. I did ask for a bag of fluids when I arrived at the hospital, so I had an IV and I did ask for pitocin to be turned on during pushing if it was needed. Staying in the labor room to birth my babies was not an option because of hospital policy, but I was ok with that and we did move to the operating room at 9cm. Though it wasn’t a climate controlled, dimmed room, I was able to maintain my focus and feel at peace with being there.

Immediately after being checked and found “complete” I felt the urge to push, and 5 pound 13 ounce Baby A was born after a few pushes, 5 hours after arriving at the hospital.  Not one nurse counted or yelled or told me how to push, which was exactly what I had asked for.

When Baby A was born I remember thinking she was tiny and had a great cry, but I didn’t get to actually see her face. She was passed to my nurse who started checking her over, who then had to passed her to the NICU nurses because the doctor needed her help. Baby B had flipped transverse as soon as her sister was born and she did it fast too.

Everything I had read about twin births said that the worst pain you would ever feel would take place if you had to have a version during labor without an epidural. And there I was, facing a version without an epidural. When I made the decision not to have an epidural I was very much aware of the possibility of the pain but I figured I would rather endure 5-10 minutes of intense pain than all of the risks and side effects associated with an epidural through a labor.

Somewhere between both the doctor and me “talking” to Baby B and begging her to turn and the doctor and nurses beginning the version, I went into a trance like state. I didn’t feel pain, just a lot of pressure. I spent the last minutes of labor fully aware of everything that was happening, but It felt like  it was happening to someone else and I was just watching.

During the version there were about 5 hands on my belly, some holding the space where baby A had been, others turning baby B. They were able to turn her to be head down, but she then turned transverse again and her heart rate became rocky.  The doctor decided it was best to do an internal version to try to get her into position to be born. He was holding the ultrasound transducer with one hand and internally moving the baby while trying to keep her cord from prolapsing with the other. He was able to move baby B into position to be born but then she moved her hands above her head. So we sat, and waited. Waited for her to move, waited for something, anything that would allow me to push for her birth. And we waited while the doctor still was holding her cord and her in place, internally.

After roughly 13 minutes of waiting, her heart rate plummeted and wasn’t showing any signs of recovering. She needed to be born right then, but that wasn’t going to be possible to do vaginally. I will never forget the look in the doctor’s eyes when he looked at me and told me he had to do a c-section. He knew how much I didn’t want one and how hard I had fought for this birth. I knew that he didn’t want to do a cesarean and had tried everything possible to get Baby B to be born vaginally. There just weren’t any other options.

Because I had chosen not to get an epidural I was going to go under general anesthesia, which I had never been under before. The anesthesiologist who was standing by quickly started preparing the anesthesia while the nurses were racing to put sensors on my chest. The pitocin was turned off, and the room was switched from a birthing room to a fully functioning operating room in less than 45 seconds.

Right before I was put under general anesthesia, the doctor saw on the ultrasound screen that Baby B had moved her hands, and yelled for me to push. And in the confusion and haste of the OR, I pushed twice and our feisty 5 pound 8 ounce Baby B while the doctor guided her into the world, just 17 minutes after her sister was born.

I will forever be grateful to my doctor for trying so hard to give me the birth I wanted and what I needed. He respected me and my knowledge and trusted me and my body to do what it needed to do to birth these babies. Never once did he look down on or question my choices, he never made me feel like naive or pressured into anything. He went well outside his comfort zone and fought for me and fought for birth and in those 17 minutes, admittingly learned a lot.

Edited To Add:

Even though it’s been nearly seven years, the story of the birth of my twins will sometimes hit me and cause me to pause. I’ve never shared this picture before- I wasn’t ready to. I was honestly scared to. This picture captured and froze a moment so personal, and intense. The intensity and emotion are still fresh, even after all this time.

My sweet Baby B, being born into the hands of our extremely patient and incredible doctor. Her umbilical cord coming before her, after a nearly 15 minute internal version (without pain meds), seconds before I was going to be put under for a crash c-section. This moment, with our baby girl halfway between my womb, and the beginning of her life outside, before she’d even taken her first breath, was captured by my husband as he stood next to me, praying desperately for his wife and baby. He will tell you this moment defined and shaped him more than any single moment before, or since. And I don’t doubt that because it did for me too. But I can only imagine what he felt watching our baby’s birth unfold from his vantage point: the unknowns, the joy, the confusion in the chaos. Truly needing to trust, have faith, and let go.

Seven years later my perspective is changing. Instead of the uncertainty and a moment hanging in the balance, I am starting to see a joyous beginning, a triumphant entrance into the world and the perfect start to the life of our feisty Baby B.

twin vaginal birth

The birth of my twins serves as a reminder of strength and courage that I hold within. If I can get through a nearly 15 minute internal version without pain medication, I can handle almost anything. I look back on that day with peace and a sound mind, knowing it went exactly the way it was supposed to go, with nothing to regret.

GGTwins Mom

gg twins 2

GG Twins sleeping

gg twins

Twins Born Naturally in a Hospital {One Breech} and Breastfeeding Twins!

Twins Born Naturally in a Hospital {One Breech} and Breastfeeding Twins!

I am a mom of 3. I got pregnant with my twins while on the 5 year IUD. When I found out I was pregnant, I already had a baby girl that just turned 1. Finding out I was pregnant was a shock and at 11 weeks finding out I was having twins was a bigger surprise. I had to change midwives because I had my first child with a midwife at home and she wasn’t able to attend high-risk pregnancies. I went to midwives 45 minutes from where I lived to get the care I wanted. Every month after I had an ultra sound. At 20 weeks, I found out they were both boys.

I was always tired and ran out of energy quickly. I had morning sickness the entire time. The smell of toothpaste, eggs, body odor and BBQ sauce always made me sick. I woke up late took a nap and went to bed early! My ribs were popped out of place about 8 times during 30 weeks to 37 weeks. I had to keep my chest wrapped. At 34 weeks Baby B was still not turned. I started having troubles moving, lost my balance often, and couldn’t sleep more than 45 minutes with out waking up and having to stand up and move. At 37 weeks 2 days, I had my last check up I was dilated to 3 1/2 centimeters and both babies turned vertex!

I went home and took a nap, enjoyed my daughter and cleaned up a little. At 8:12PM, I started with painful back labor. When I got to the hospital at 9:35, I was dilated to 9 ½ centimeters. I continued to stand (counting the seconds in my contractions being 20 seconds apart) while they checked me and hooked me up to the monitors. I had to deliver in the operating room in case of any problems! I had my best friend with me, my midwife and 7 other people in the room. I gave birth to my son Landon Jackson at 10:13PM naturally. After Baby A was out baby B turned sideways, My midwife tried to turn him manually and instead of him turning down he became breech. About, 13 minutes later at 10:26PM, I gave birth to my second son, breech. I was able to breastfeed both of my twins for about 45 minutes after birth. My first night in the hospital was spent trying to get my bleeding under control. Around 4:00AM, I received 6 shots and a nurse pushing on my belly until the bleeding finally slowed down.

My babies born at 37 weeks on November 11, 2009 weighed 5lbs 9oz and 5lbs 12oz were healthy. Our second night in the hospital was spent trying to get the blood sugar level under control. Since I didn’t want to formula feed, I wouldn’t allow the nurses to take them into the nursery and bottle feed them. I had no sleep that night for every 45 minutes, I had a nurse coming in and switching babies and testing their levels. On the third day when everything was under control I was able to leave the hospital. I didn’t go back to work until my boys were 9 months old and I was able to EBF until 9 months. I had to start giving one boy a bottle while I breast fed the other. I switched kids each time for every feeding! My twins are now almost 3 and have been fully potty trained since 26 months. I couldn’t be any more proud of my amazing 3 kids! Everyday I learn something from them as I teach them! I have numerous blessings from God and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jessica's Natural hospital twin birth 1 Jessica's Natural hospital twin birth 2

Jessica's natural hospital twin birth 3

Home Breech Birth 2003

Home Breech Birth 2003

Well, this photo is of my planned breech home birth in 2003. My little girl is still very cautious and likes to “test the waters” before jumping into anything.

image

I was 38 weeks when my midwife discovered a little head under my ribs. I did all the visualizations, yoga inversion poses, wore bells low down, etc. to get her to turn, but she was determined to stay where she was. I did not want to do an ECV (External Cephalic Version, a procedure to turn the baby) as I felt there was a reason she wanted to be that way, so I didn’t.

My midwife discussed all of my options with me and I did agreed to an ultrasound (my first ever in 3 pregnancies) and negotiated by my midwife so she felt comfortable about the position. I knew the whole time that we would be absolutely fine and kept reassuring my poor nervous midwife. I felt most comfortable at home and knew the hospital environment was not an optimal birthing space for me. I chose not to tell anyone about what I was doing as I knew the reactions I would have received would not be positive.

My midwife was an incredible educator and lent me many books to read so I had a full understanding of the physiology of breech birth and of the maneuvers she may need to use if necessary. We discussed and negotiated many other things along the way and worked together with some compromises so we were both happy with the situation.

This labor was a bit slower than the others and very gentle (the bottom is a lot softer than the head so there was not the same pressure on the cervix), I spent most of it walking, climbing cliffs to waterfalls and being outside by the fire. After ten hours, I went into the birthing pool (cow trough) and began second stage. I found the pushing more challenging than my other births, however in the end I birthed my baby who was born doing the splits with the longest umbilical cord ever ( I still feel if I had done the ECV she could have knotted her cord)

I am so grateful to the wonderful midwife who allowed me to birth at home. The experience was empowering and inspiring and I hope more people come to realize that breech is a variation of normal.

A Vaginal Breech Birth with Yoga, Meditation and Visualizations {Take Note, America}

A Vaginal Breech Birth with Yoga, Meditation and Visualizations {Take Note, America}

My water broke when I was 35 weeks. It was an “oh no!” moment. I really wished I’d peed myself, but knew I hadn’t. She’d been breech all along. Despite my inversions, remedies, and visualizations, I knew she hadn’t turned. Maybe I should have been concerned about her being preterm. In reality, my first concern was that I was on my way to the operating room. So much for that waterbirth I’d wanted.

There was an eerie calm in the car as we drove to the hospital. Our son came with us. We’re a military family living overseas. My parents were coming to help with birth logistics but they weren’t scheduled to arrive for another month. This emergency C-section was going to be a family affair.

Months earlier I’d opted out of care at the base hospital. My son was born at a military facility. His birth was phenomenal, empowering, and un-medicated. We have a picture of him wearing the t-shirt they put on all the newborns: “property of the US government”. Really they mean it; don’t take the t-shirt home. I’m a big fan of military medicine. But for some reason when it was time to enroll in prenatal care for our daughter, I had a visceral feeling that we belonged with the British caregivers at the NHS.

They put me on a monitor and brought us some tea. The OB came in to explain our options. Options?!? I had options! We could choose to have a Cesarean right then. We could try an external version and an induction. Or we could let labor progress and deliver her vaginally.

My husband, in a shining moment of feminism, told me it was my body and he trusted me to decide. My answer to him was, “I am confident I can birth her.” That shocked me a bit because it felt 100% true, yet I wasn’t sure if it should be true.

Twelve hours later, we were walking the halls before visiting hours ended, 1960s-style visiting hours being one of the few detractions of our NHS birth experience. I told my husband that I needed to give myself permission to really labor. I’d been holding it off all day. He went home. I decided to take a nap and then have my baby. And I did.

When I woke up from my nap, I started doing yoga, child’s pose in a curtained off corner of a bay of metal beds that look like they came off the set of a WWII movie. That military hospital’s looking pretty glamorous right about now. I meditate on the word “courage” and press my forehead into the thin mattress, telling my baby that I will open my cervix for her, I will press my head against this bed and we’ll just pretend it’s your head pressing against my cervix. Things are moving along now.

There are no monitors. No nurses. No doula. No dad. It’s just me and this upside down baby and God, and the mom three beds down who thankfully took a sleeping pill. Our next meditation is “faith”. Somehow this is going to be ok. We do a lot of cat-cow.

We make 35 trips to the bathroom down the hall. This is so not the spa version of American childbirth. Pacing, swaying, lunges; “patience”.

Now it’s getting real. My hips ache in a way they never did birthing my son. It’s like I need them to move out of the way so her hips can work their way past mine. “Work”. This is going to be work. Horse pose. Warrior. Lizard. Monkey. When my prenatal yoga teacher said we were going to do monkey pose I was all into it until it became clear that she meant for us to do the splits. Now I do every hip opener I can contort myself into. I’m getting louder too. The midwives pop in to check on me once in a while, then they leave us to our work.

24 hours after my water broke, we enter our last gate: “Love”. No more yoga poses, just lots of “oooooo-pen” vocalizations as the midwives rush me to a delivery suite. I was a bit like an animal, bothered by the bright lights and loud noises. The next hour was a little less zen than the four hours that preceded it, but no less miraculous: Matilda Jane, 5lbs 12 oz and who knows how long because they don’t measure them in England.

The secondar miracle is that an OB caught my breech baby. In a hospital. On purpose. As an American, I still can hardly believe it. He cried when I explained how it is in the States and how blessed I felt to have the team of providers that we had with us in that room.

This was the mainstream medicine approach. We didn’t do anything sneaky or even unconventional. I walked into the emergency room with preterm labor and walked out of the hospital a few days later without so much as a single stitch, carrying a perfectly healthy baby girl. Take note, America.

international vaginal breech birth

Three Breech Births {One Cesarean And Two VBACs}

Three Breech Births {One Cesarean And Two VBACs}

My breech babies: Brooke, Brady and Blake.

“The road to motherhood is not always a clear and simple journey. I learned this first hand as all of my babies presented breech. I do think more women should be given the choice with breech babies – it should be an option to birth vaginally. Where we live, midwife’s are not allowed to deliver breech babies so we did have to go to the hospital [for VBAC] but it was such a different experience from my first [a cesarean].” – Heidi

Brooke Elizabeth

Fall of 2006, I was so excited to be pregnant with our first child and like lots of moms-to-be I read all the pregnancy books on what to expect. I knew I wanted a natural birth but never once entertained the thought that things would not go the way I planned. My mom had 4 natural deliveries so I assumed that I would have similar birth experiences.

On the morning of February 26, 2007, I experienced a mild backache and found it difficult to sit at my desk at work. After struggling through the snowy trek of walking our dogs, and finishing my nightly routines, I could not sleep because of nagging discomfort in my lower back and decided to get into the tub around 7 p.m., which offered some relief. After my second bath, still not being able to sleep, and getting sick, I realized I was in labour!

We called our doula at 3 a.m.; contractions felt like Braxton Hicks1 but were not going away and I could not feel the baby moving anymore. To ease our worry, she suggested we head to the hospital to hear the baby’s heartbeat. Upon arriving at the hospital, around 6 a.m., I was confirmed I was 6-7cm and in full labour. I was shocked I had progressed so far. Then the nurse announced she felt feet rather than a head. As soon as the breech diagnosis was confirmed, things started happening really quickly. I felt like a bystander, and watched as I was prepped for an emergency cesarean section.

I was devastated. I asked through tears if baby would turn or if I could still deliver naturally. The obstetrician laughed; I had no choice – a cesarean section was my only option. I did not question these decisions that my caregivers made and never thought that I could advocate for a vaginal breech birth. It seemed like breech presentations meant babies could not be physically birthed naturally.

Instead of amazing memories of bringing a precious baby into the world, I will never forget feelings of utter powerlessness and disrespect. The environment did not lend itself to discussion about alternatives or my choices. I did not feel I could express myself or that I had an informed opinion. At first I thought I had failed myself and my baby—that I should have spoken up. Later I realized that even if I had the system would not have listened to me—unless I transformed myself into a screaming and angry woman, which is uncalled for. Non-informed consent and blind trust have been institutionalized for so long that no-one even notices this hospital culture. Now I see that my rights were utterly disregarded. I still cry when I think about it.

Brooke Elizabeth, 6lb 7oz, was named by her father after she was born. It felt amazing to finally meet my baby, but discouraging that I had to park myself outside the ICU in order to care for my healthy child, with good Apgar scores. I brought home a thriving, beautiful baby girl, yet her birth was one of the most painful and traumatic times of my life.

Brady James

Pregnant with my second, winter of 2008, I knew I wanted a completely different birth experience and chose the care of a midwife. I was still unsure of birthing at home, because I didn’t know anyone who had experienced a homebirth, yet this seemed like my only alternative outside of the hospital (birth centers do not accept women who have had previous cesareans, or VBACs—vaginal births after cesareans).

I had a wonderful pregnancy and felt nurtured under midwifery care. I was determined to have an unmedicated VBAC. I asked a lot more questions and educated myself about options. Approaching the time of birth, I felt happy, prepared, and informed.

During my 36-37 weeks prenatal visit, my midwife thought my baby was breech. Again! I could not believe it.

All I could think about was the possibility of being forced into another cesarean section.

I was devastated. I felt frustrated, angry and even resentful toward my baby. Why was this happening to me? I had come to terms with homebirth but, because midwives do not have the jurisdiction to perform breech births (despite the fact that they have the training to do them safely), the choice was being taken away from me. I felt angry and again disempowered.

I determined I could get my little one to turn. I learned about breech tilts, pulsatilla, chiropractic Webster Technique, Craniosacral therapy, walking on hands and knees, laying on an ironing board, even the use of ice packs and headphones on my belly. When all failed, I will never forget what my wise midwife told me, “You don’t always get the birth that you want but the birth that you need. You will just have to plan for the best breech birth possible!” It was with her support that we set out to prepare for a natural breech birth.

My midwife referred me to an obstetrician experienced with vaginal breech. Used to working with midwives, he said he was comfortable with vaginal breech and sharing my care with my midwife. I felt again like circumstances were out of my control, and was afraid of the unknown; it made all the difference to have my familiar and caring midwife with me. I was grateful that they had such a good working relationship, as I benefited from their collegiality.

On October 19, around 8 p.m., labour started as it had with my first, although 12 days after my due date! This time when I felt the dull ache in my back and it wouldn’t go away, I knew it was labour.

Our midwife arrived at our home around midnight and announced I was 5-6 cm dilated. We arrived at the hospital at 2 a.m. and I was 6-7 cm.

I was nervous, and unsure of what to expect, andI found it extremely frustrating when the hospital staff tried to deter me from my decision: pushing a detailed, scary, waiver in my face, pointing out risks involved in a breech delivery. I was told my obstetrician was working, but the staff quickly took over in their roles, and it felt as though they didn’t share the same values as my midwife, obstetrician, or me. Just like last time, the medical staff attempted to scare me into having a cesarean section. But they were not successful because this time I had done my research. I knew that in reality a vaginal breech birth with an experienced caregiver is as safe as a cesarean section, that mortality rates for women significantly increases with cesarean sections, and that cesarean sections increase the risks for subsequent pregnancies.

The dull backache was stronger and I found the hot water of the shower most effective. Since a breech VBAC is considered high risk, I was prepped for a cesarean in case things didn’t go as planned. The constant fetal monitor and IV did not allow me to move freely and were as annoying as the back labour.

By 5 a.m. I was 10 cm dilated. My water broke on its own and I was ready to push. It was exiting! I didn’t know what to expect and in the beginning was not pushing effectively: either because this was my first time pushing or my worries about how I sounded and looked inhibited my body from working as it needed to. There was extra staff in the room voicing their opinions which I found distracting, but was able to focus on my husband and midwife.

It wasn’t until I let go, my instincts taking over, that I felt me and my baby working together; I was squatting on the bed and groaning with all my inner being. I was working with my body allowing it to do what it needed to move my baby down.

As we neared the end of the 2 hr mark, my “time limit” for pushing as a VBAC, my midwife negotiated with the obstetrician to give us 30 min more as I was doing so well. It was close to his shift ending and, although he agreed, he brought in the obstetrician that would be taking over after his shift. As my birth history was reviewed the new obstetrician commented, “She’s already had a cesarean and this baby’s breech, perhaps there is something wrong with your pelvis and you cannot have a vaginal birth”.

I felt the need to prove her wrong. I touched my perineum and felt a little male part, my baby was right there presenting frank breech! I had gotten out of bed and the nurses told me, “Stop pushing. Get on the bed.” Our midwife ran to get our first obstetrician back into the room.

The minutes on my back were the most excruciating and uncomfortable I had ever felt. Eventually, I was told to push continuously without stopping; it is customary to push a breech baby within 7 minutes of seeing their body parts. My midwife was present, and my obstetrician helped deliver my baby. It was very intense, and amazing, holding my son on my chest . Brady James was born at 7:26 a.m., a healthy 8lb 1oz, on October 20, 2008.It was a very healing and empowering experience, and I am thankful for the support from my midwife and obstetrician.

breech vbac

I had nurses ask me the next day why I would try to deliver naturally when I knew the baby was breech. Having gone through both a cesarean section and natural breech delivery—I would take the breech delivery any day!

hospital vbac breech birth

Blake Carter

Fall of 2011, my third pregnancy, I was overjoyed and optimistic that I would get my home water birth.

As my first 2 babies were both breech, we were a lot more aware of the baby’s position. So when our baby was still head up at 33 and then 34 weeks, I started to worry..

For weeks we tried to turn the baby using moxibustion, hypnotherapy and acupuncture, to no avail. I tried to remain optimistic, telling myself baby would turn, and went to bed every night listening to the Hypnobabies script on turning breech babies.

Around 38 weeks I was exhausted—mentally and emotionally— with the realization that nothing was going to work. I was tired of defending my body, the shape of my uterus and my baby. My babies simply preferred to lay breech. I was frustrated and felt a deep sadness giving up my hopes for a home water birth. It felt unfair that some women didn’t appreciate their luck.

breech maternity

I knew I had been through a natural breech delivery before. My midwife reminded me that I could still have a natural breech delivery. Still I had a good cry. It was a real moment of release for me — releasing the negative feelings around what I was giving up. and it I felt as if a huge weight was lifted. I was then able to refocus on having a positive birth experience.

We planned for a natural birth with the same obstetrician that delivered our son. I was better able to communicate what I wanted for this birth— freedom to move. This translated into intermittent monitoring and a hep-lock. I saw both my midwife and obstetrician on a weekly basis.

breech belly

My due date came and went. I really relaxed and enjoyed my last days of pregnancy. It was a lovely state to be in.

This time Braxton Hicks were stronger. I thought I was in labour but then would wake, realizing I was still pregnant. Five days after my due date, contractions were not going away; it was noon. I made the kids lunch, contractions took my breath away. I called my husband at 1 p.m. unsure if it was active labour. When he got home 15 min later it was clear to him it was.

We called our midwife who said she would stop by around 3:30 p.m.. However, I felt really uncomfortable and hopped in the rental birth pool my husband prepared. As my body entered the water I instantly felt relief. I spiraled my hips and visualized this baby moving into a favourable birth position. It felt so good to be in the warm water. I felt in control, easily able to focus on my breathing and to visualize a peaceful and natural birth.

My husband could tell contractions were only a few minutes apart and called our midwife back. When she arrived, around 2:15 p.m., she confirmed that I was in labour and 8 cm dilated. We left for the hospital immediately and arrived by 3 p.m. I confided in my husband that I really did not want to leave the safety of our home and felt apprehensive about going to the hospital. As we checked in my labour completely stopped. I guess it is true your body needs to feel safe before giving birth!

Our obstetrician was in surgery and the resident on duty was very cheerful and suggested, ”Lets break your waters and get things going.” I relayed the information that had been discussed beforehand with my obstetrician—we wanted things to progress on their own naturally, with the hep-lock and intermittent fetal monitoring. I expected to be met with resistance however she was very pleasant. She explained their recommendation, but that it was ultimately our decision.

Now that I was at the hospital, had met the staff, who were on board with our wishes—I started to relax. I could again focus on my labour and meeting our baby. I started walking the halls, taking deep breaths in hopes this would bring the contractions back.

After a few minutes of walking, the contractions came back. I spent the next hour or so between sitting on my birth ball and having my husband rub my back and then in the shower/tub.

I heard the nurses discussing transferring me to the operating room to give birth. I tried not let it distract me but I yearned for the depth, space and privacy of our birth pool at home. It was now 6:30 p.m. . It felt like I was stuck at 9 cm and I was starting to feel an urgency for things to happen. Me and my midwife decided to take 30 min before considering breaking my waters.

A few minutes later my obstetrician came in; it was 6:45 p.m. and he was off duty at 7 p.m. He told us that he was going to stay but would not help deliver our baby if he was off duty. He broke my bag of water and relayed to the other obstetrician that I was still 9 cm dilated and he felt feet rather than a bottom. My baby was a footling breech! Within 10 min of breaking my water I was fully dilated and ready to push, it was 7 p.m.

I was apprehensive of experiencing pain being propped up on the bed, yet this time was different; I was better able to work with my body. With coaching from my midwife and nurse, and after only 17 min of pushing, I gave birth naturally to Blake Carter! I was supported by the obstetrician on duty and a resident as our obstetrician and midwife watched—it was an amazing experience!

breech vaginal birth

breech hospital vbac

The tone in the room was so positive and encouraging with this birth, as opposed to questioning why I would birth a baby breech, as with my second. The obstetrician and resident were great and genuinely interested in my well-being and in being involved with a natural breech delivery.

breech newborn

Having 3 breech babies, with very different birth stories, I have learned so much. With Brooke, I learned that things don’t always go the way we plan and sometimes things happen outside our control. With Brady, I confronted fears from my first birth; I realized that I could have a natural birth in the hospital. It was through Brady’s birth that I healed from my first. With Blake, I was grateful to experience a shift in the medical system in regards to attitudes toward the safety of vaginal breech births.

breech newborn photo

sleepy breech newborn

breech siblings

I hope that my personal birth experiences help to educate others about vaginal breech birth: that breech does not necessarily equal a cesarean; that women can ask for a second opinion or find a caregiver to assist in a natural birth; that women should feel empowered in their birth choices and experience and should trust in their inner strength and natural ability. Natural unmedicated vaginal breech births can be done and can be a wonderfully amazing and beautiful birth experience!

smiley breech newborn

More photos and a birth video can be found at Vanessa Brown Photography

Frank Breech Story {Vaginal Hospital Birth After Induction}

Frank Breech Story {Vaginal Hospital Birth After Induction}

In 2009 I became pregnant with my second child. I was very excited. My first birth had gone very well, easy, no complications, no interventions. After birthing an 8lb 1oz posterior baby boy after only 4 hours of labor and 30 mins of pushing, I decided the second would be out of hospital.

We hired a great midwifery team. My pregnancy progressed normally, although I felt very tired and nauseated through most of it. We changed our birth location from birth center to home after talking to our midwife about the two options, and realizing that it made more sense to stay home to welcome our baby girl.

In late 2009, my husband accepted a job transfer to Houston, Texas (we are Canadian and were living in Edmonton, Alberta at the time). We decided that I would stay back with our soon to be 4 year old son, and he would make the move to Texas alone for the first few months, so I could continue my care with my midwives and our daughter could be born at home, in Canada. He left at the end of January 2010, our daughter expected to arrive mid March.

At 36 weeks, I went to my midwife appointment as normal. As my midwife palpitated my belly, she seemed to be taking longer than normal… “No, no, no baby”. My heart sank for just a moment and I said “is she breech??”. My midwife told me she thought the baby was breech, but she wanted me to have an ultrasound to confirm. She told me she would refer me to an OB, who would be able to confirm and if she was breech, we would go over options. She gave me some exercises to do (breech tilt, etc) and suggested a Webster Trained Chiropractor close to my home. She was very supportive.

I went home that day, and called the Chiropractor to make an appointment. I attempted the breech tilt, but with my husband away, I found it difficult to get into a good position. I researched ways to turn a breech baby, and tried ones I felt I could do on my own. The night before my appointment with the Chiropractor I got a call from the OB’s office saying they wanted to see me the following morning. I cancelled the Chiropractor and went in for my ultrasound. My husband was back in town for the appointment the next day. We went into the hospital, they hooked us up to an NST, and I waiting for the OB. He came in, put the ultrasound wand on my belly, and confirmed that my baby was breech. She was easily moved with the wand, and the OB said he was sure she would turn on her own. We agreed to come back in 2 weeks to check on things.

At my 37 week appointment with my midwives, my daughter was transverse. I thought that must be a sign that she was moving back into a good position, and I didn’t need to worry about it anymore. I continued to do what I thought would help turn her, but I never did go to the Chiropractor.

I went back to see the OB at 38 weeks. Breech. Again! He talked about the possibility of trying to manually turn her, but when he felt to see he position, she was engaged in my pelvis, and he was not able to move her. He told me I had some options to consider. I could opt for a cesarean or I could try a vaginal delivery with him in the hospital, knowing that if there were any signs of complications, I would have an emergency cesarean.

I cried on my drive home that day, this is not what I was expecting to hear. I was completely devastated. When I got home I immediately started researching, and continued to do so, hours a day for about 4 days. I talked to my midwife, she assured me that whatever I chose, they would be there to support me. In the end, I didn’t feel right about just signing up for major surgery, if there was even a slight possibility that I could do this vaginally. We lived an hour and a half away from the hospital where the OB delivered, and with my first labor being only 4 hours, I talked to the OB about inducing. He reluctantly agreed, making sure to tell me that induction went against my own beliefs in natural child birth. I realize now how rare that kind of OB is.

I was due for the induction at 39 weeks, 4 days, on a Friday. Wednesday, I had my midwives sweep my membranes, in hopes that would be enough to start labor and be able to avoid the medical induction. They swept me 3 times on Wednesday, and I spent much of the day walking around, contracting every few minutes. It never amounted to anything. We dropped our son off with friends, and stayed in a hotel close to the hospital for the 2 days prior to the induction, in case labor did start.

On Friday morning, I got up about 6:30am, ate breakfast, had a shower and headed over to the hospital. We got there about 8am. They offered me a brochure on breech delivery, and told me that the OB had ordered the induction be done with cervidal. They talked to me about what it was, how it worked, etc and then inserted it. I was 1-2cm. Contractions came every few minutes for hours, but they were not very strong, more annoying than anything. I walked around the maternity floor, and hung out with my husband for much of the day, just chatting, trying to sleep, etc. My midwife told me to call her when active labor started, so I had them check me about 5pm and I was 5cm!! They removed the cervidal at that point, and I labored on from there. I called my midwife and she arrived about an hour later.

Active labor continued as normal. At one point, I can’t really recall at what point, they told me my baby was no longer engaged and was sitting transverse. At that point they hooked me up to an IV incase an emergency cesarean was required. I felt very limited by the IV and I spent much of the next few hours, sitting in bed. They checked me at 7cm, and a few hours later, still 7cm… the OB came in and offered some additional augmentation. I declined and he agreed to give me 2 more hours. That was 8pm. My baby had turned again and was frank breech. At that point my midwife suggested that I get out of bed, empty my bladder and try to get mobile.

I got out of bed, emptied my bladder and tried to walk around. Contractions were very strong at that point, and I could feel my legs shaking under me. I leaned on my husband, but quickly requested a birth ball. I sat on the ball at the end of my bed, rested my arms and head on the bed, and swayed slowly. My husband sat on one side of me and my midwife on the other. They were so supportive, rubbing my back, and just sitting quietly while I went through the most intense experience I have ever had. I was getting hot flashes and was shaking uncontrollably, my midwife was so wonderful at reminding me to relax my shoulders and breathe.

About 10pm, right about the time my OB was going to come back to check my progress, I felt my water break. I felt the warm gush of fluid and stood up. Water flowed out of me at what seemed like record amounts. I felt intense pressure and knew that it was almost time to push. I made my way to the bed, because I felt too weak to stand. Once I got into the bed, I started pushing. I heard someone yell “she’s pushing, 10:05pm, get the doctor”. My OB came in, I don’t think he said anything; if he did, I don’t remember. I felt a lot of bodies in the room, I knew there would be, but I didn’t expect to feel it. The urge to push was strong and uncontrollable. I had remembered that same feeling with my son. I tore badly with my son, and tried to push gently to avoid that this time around. I heard the OB say that her feet were out. One more push and I had my daughter. 10:13pm. I felt her body on my chest and looked up. I only saw her feet. Moments later they took her from my chest and moved her across the room to the warmer. It seemed like it was miles away, but I could see her, and she was beautiful.

It wasn’t long before I had my baby back in my arms, all 7lbs of her. My midwife told me that after her feet were out, the OB let go, and while he was waiting for the back of her head to emerge, the strength of my push sent her flying out of my body, and he caught her mid air.

I am a doula now, thanks in no small part to this experience. I was not a doula then, and didn’t know everything I know now, but I knew enough to trust my body and my baby. I knew enough to ignore the negativity around me, and the all the people telling me I was stupid for even trying and to just get a cesarean. I owned my birth, I did it on my terms and I will forever be able to tell my story, without regrets.

footling breech hospital birth

Story from Trina, of Moonlight Doula

Double Footling Breech Birth Adventure {Vaginal Hospital Birth}

Double Footling Breech Birth Adventure {Vaginal Hospital Birth}

“I am a chiropractor who specializes in pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic. I am certified in the Webster technique which is a special technique/analysis that helps balance a mom’s pelvic bones and ligaments via a chiropractic adjustment and also helps take stress/torque off of the uterus by finding trigger points on the round ligaments. Not only does it help mom feel and function her best but it helps baby get into the optimal position for childbirth. Ironically, my baby happened to be hanging out happily breech at 39 weeks pregnant.” – Crystal

I had been getting adjusted regularly (almost daily), doing inversions and breech tilts (spinning babies), visualization, ice/heat pack, playing soft music at my pubic bone, etc… BUT my baby boy really was enjoying sitting Indian style/cannon ball in my uterus! My care started off with Alpharetta Women’s Specialists midwife Janet and plans for a North Fulton Hospital waterbith as I had planned with my first son, Alex, who is now 2.5 years. I knew from my first labor and delivery that not all things happen according to the “birth plan” but never did I expect to be full term and not even know who my provider or hospital would be, let alone come to find out at 37.5 weeks that baby boy was not head down.

My midwife, Janet was pregnant and began transferring all her patients due around the holidays (my EDD is 12/23) to another midwife group. Unfortunately ISIS had a midwife whose son had died over Thanksgiving and could not take me, so I was transferred to North Fulton Women’s Specialists. I had one appointment there with the new midwife, Michele, and Dr. Mudugno (whom I saw a couple times at my post-partum checkups from having my first son with Diane Tandy a couple years ago). I was given the option to have an External Cephalic Version performed first thing Monday morning at the hospital in order to get him to turn. I was agreeable to this, seeing as how 1 or 2 out of the 3 OB’s at this new practice were not comfortable doing vaginal breech delivery and I would likely end up with a C section if he wasn’t turned by the time I went into labor.

At the hospital, prior to my ECV, I picked the brains of a nurse that had worked there for a couple decades. I asked if vaginal breech delivery was allowed/ever performed there. She said, not intentionally and hasn’t been done in a very long time. This is when I knew I had to get in with either Dr. Bootstaylor or Dr. Tate ASAP. By the way, the ECV was unsuccessful after two very painful attempts. The Terbutaline Sulfate given to me to relax my uterus, made the rest of my body a nervous wreck. Come to find out that it can cause tremors, tachycardia, palpitations, all of which were happening to me while my baby was getting pushed and pulled in-utero. Not fun! I’m also wondering if I had a mild/moderate allergic reaction because I am allergic to Sulfa drugs. Anyway…

Dr. Tate was booked solid and I couldn’t get an appointment with him until Thursday so I decided to have a consultation with Dr. Bootstaylor Tuesday morning to get his perspective and the diagnostics on this baby’s dimensions via an ultrasound. I was really impressed with all of the midwives at Intown Midwifery and Dr. Bootstaylor when I attended an Intown Midwifery Meet & Greet the prior week. It was confirmed that my baby boy was complete breech, weighing approximately 8.5 pounds based on femur measurement. Dr. Bootstaylor informed me that he will only deliver frank breech (butt presenting first) due to a couple risk factors of cord prolapse, feet coming first, etc. He said we can just wait and see if baby decides to change, I can go into labor spontaneously and then have a c-sect or schedule a c-sect for after 39 weeks. I knew I still had to talk with Dr. Tate and Thursday couldn’t come soon enough.

At my first appointment with Dr. Tate I loved the fact that he took the time (3 hours) to share with me all of the pros/cons of breech vaginal birth. He gave the most thorough informed consent that I have ever experienced and had me sign a few forms about what we discussed. Not too many doctors are willing to take the time to explain the risks, side effects, benefits and alternatives in this much detail. It was so important to me that I got all of the facts to make an informed confident decision. He did a head/body ratio analysis of the baby and my score was a 0.91. He said he is willing to deliver breech vaginally since anything under a 1.1 is ideal for this scenario. I was so relieved to hear this. This meant my baby’s abdomen was the same size or even slightly larger than his head at this point. So during a breech delivery if I am able to push out the butt/body/abdomen then I should have no problem pushing out his head, avoiding one of the risks of breech vaginal delivery, head entrapment. He also stated I had a “proven pelvis” which means I have pushed out an 8.8 pound baby with no complications in the past. My “homework” was lots of walking, sex and nipple stimulation! Sounds like work at 39 weeks pregnant! Lol!

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Given my options and the probability of success for vaginal breech delivery I chose to go into labor spontaneously. My baby boy was in the complete breech presentation (he was basically sitting cannon ball/Indian style) at the appointment with Dr. Tate. I promised to call when either my water broke or my contractions are at 6-8 minutes apart every hour. I continued to get adjusted because, regardless if the baby turns or not, chiropractic care helps the body function at its best which I need for an optimal delivery!

12/17/12 7:25 AM Woken up from sleep by a contraction. I felt another about 5 minutes later. I began using the contraction timer I had downloaded on my iPhone the night before. Ironic that I felt the need to go out with my fiancé and 2 year old son as our last meal for a family of 3 the night before! I even took my 39 week pic in front of our Christmas tree and wrote this jingle/caption, “My Christmas Jingle: All dressed up and nowhere to go! It’s raining outside and I wish it were snow. 39 weeks pregnant and 1 to go? Alex is excited to meet his little brother and Santa Claus. Ho ho ho!”

After about 30 minutes of the contractions I realized they were consistently 5-7 minutes apart and I got in touch with my doula and my parents, letting them know what was going on. Since my first son’s labor was over 27 hours I thought I had plenty of time to labor through this first phase in the comfort of my home. My 2.5 year old son and fiancé were sound asleep in bed. I got up and began finishing up the laundry, packing the rest of the hospital bags, getting breakfast ready for my son and his overnight bags packed for the friend of ours that would pick him up from daycare. In this amount of time (2 hours or so) I was able to observe my contractions lasting about 50 seconds, every 5 minutes, consistently. My fiancé woke around 9 and I called Dr. Tate’s office at 9:30 to tell them my progress. I was surprised when they told me to go in to the hospital as soon as possible. I decided I would take a shower and shave my legs before I woke up my son to get him ready for daycare. I hardly felt the contractions in the shower so I extended my stay in there but once I got out, contractions hit me so hard that I began sweating through them, dropped to my hands and knees during them and had to recruit my fiancé for sacral counterpressure to alleviate the intensity. My son woke up worrying about mommy, grabbed mommy’s hand and said “I help you, mommy. I help you.” So sweet! I realized my contractions were getting more serious and productive when my son asked me to read him a book and I couldn’t read 3 words in a row because of the pressure and intensity. It was time to get gone! Lol! After I started saying, “Dear God, help us all.” (My mantra during Alex’s labor/delivery!) My fiance also started realizing we needed to have been on the road a while ago.

We made it out of the house around 10:40 and to my son’s daycare at 10:50… it was a quick drop and run because I was already feeling pressure in the birth canal. I remember my fiancé asking if we should just go to the hospital without dropping our son off at school. I was thinking, “Yes”, but my mind knew that he would probably have missed the birth due to our son not being able to be in the L&D room or just trying to get a toddler to cooperate in such a rushed scenario, so I screamed “Drop him…FASSSST!” As we approached Alex’s school, he began singing, “ Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday mommy, daddy, Robi! Happy Birthday to you!”. Kids are so intuitive! He knew how to make mommy feel better!

We had about 15 minutes to go to get to Emory University Midtown Hospital in the heart of Atlanta…Thank God it wasn’t rush hour, because it took us 25 plus minutes with the traffic we did encounter… and that was with Xavier running 2 red lights in midtown. I was so impressed and surprised by how calm Xavier was during this process. He is typically a type A, almost OCD personality that is very impatient. He showed a lot of calmness during this process which I definitely needed at this stage. It was 11:08, we were on 85 South and my water broke. I began to panic a little. I called my doula and had her call Dr. Tate. Xavier assured me “Just because your water broke doesn’t mean you are having the baby soon/now.” My body was telling me something else. I felt my baby boy slip into the birth canal almost immediately afterward. This whole time I was in the back passenger seat of our SUV, squatting on the floorspace hugging the back of the passenger seat with my head on Xavier’s shoulder, saying “Dear God, help us all!” Visual: I’m 6 feet tall and very athletic build. I don’t fit very well in a floor space of a car. You should have seen the pedestrians and other cars looking in at what the heck was going on in our car? Was that lady shot or something? Haha! Comic relief in between intense urges to push, and I think I did… twice.

11:16 Emory Hospital front entrance is a chaotic traffic jam of Marta buses and backed up valet service… 200 yards to the doors…! I could reach down and feel baby parts coming out of me and was going into shock not knowing if it was feet/arms/cord because it definitely was not a butt or a head! I needed someone to come and sweep me up and fly me to the moon, or at least the labor and delivery room! Not an option. Xavier yelled at a police officer directing the chaos that there was a woman in labor and to take the car…

We both got out and walked about 50 yards… I stole someone’s wheelchair and yelled… “Labor and Delivery… he’s coming out… NOWWWW!” The lady pushing the wheelchair was going about as slow as she could go in the hustling lobby while onlookers are yelling, “She’s in labor!” I decided she needed to see the severity of the situation so I outstretched the waistband of my yoga pants and she and I could see his feet/legs. After 2 other passengers in the elevator got a birds eye view of a woman with 4 legs, they will never again be the same!

“Stand back everyone!” The wheelchair pusher screamed. “ Here we come. Sir, get that door. And that one.” As she is racing me sitting sideways in the wheelchair to the labor and delivery room on the 3rd floor.” The registration desk is trying to flag us down and get us to register! Really?! We pulled up to the first L&D Room and there he was, the angel of a Dr. that was off-duty but ready and willing to take on this delivery. A L&D nurse pulled out my waistband and said, we’ve got a baby coming out and it’s not a head! A nurse/doctor on each appendage hoisted my petite delicate (haha!) self up on the bed and ripped my pants off…

Dr. Horton did a couple maneuvers with the baby’s arm which was giving him a high five already inside the womb. I had already pushed my baby boy out up to his thighs upon arriving. Dr. Horton had to adjust baby boy’s arm and flex his head forward by some maneuver that I was definitely not expecting!

3 minutes after arriving at the hospital front doors, “I need you to PUSH!” fell on deaf ears in shock from my last 15 minutes of labor. Everyone in the room came together to encourage me, “PUSH Crystal!” and with one room-shattering, bone shaking scream… his head was out and baby Robi Xavier was born at 11:20AM, a strong and healthy 8.7lb, 20 inches long!

I was in shock and in love! I couldn’t believe how fast I had progressed, that I got to have a vaginal breech “Footling?!!!” delivery and that it all felt so efficient and natural and safe! That God really was watching over us, since Dr. Tate didn’t get notice in time, Dr. Horton was the next most experienced vaginal breech delivery doctor and he was almost “waiting” for me outside that room at that time (even though he was technically off-call and getting ready to go home for the day). So many OB’s may have pushed the panic button due to lack of experience, etc… but he was so calm and relaxed and ready.

The unmedicated labor and birth was night and day from my first labor and delivery and my son was wide awake and alert and nursed 3 times from birth to my post-partum room. I felt awesome and ready to leave an hour after delivering. The only weird side-effect was that my legs would not stop shaking like I was freezing cold, and it lasted a good hour, until after I delivered the placenta. They said this is a common effect from the effort of pushing out the baby. The most painful part of my experience was uterine contractions after delivery. When my son nursed, it would send shock like sensations down the inside of my thighs and legs and I got very nauseous several times.

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This had to be one of the most adrenaline packed births ever! I’m sorry Dr. Tate was not able to participate due to my fast transition and regret that his OB residents didn’t have the chance to observe another fantastic breech vaginal delivery with him. But I feel grateful for Dr. Horton and blessed that he was calm and cool and had been trained in vaginal breech delivery. I feel grateful for Dr. Tate and his willingness to take on VBAC’s and breech vaginal birth with such confidence in himself but more importantly in the woman’s ability to birth naturally.

So, in my quest to avoid a c-section I met some wonderful providers, toured 3 different hospitals, and finally found the information, peace and clarity that I needed to make a confident decision to have a vaginal breech birth. If not for the experience of Dr. Tate with this and the gentle guidance and time that he took to give me all of the information I needed, I would have spent my last week of pregnancy worried about an eminent c-section rather than focusing on the possibility of a beautiful natural birth. C-section could be the end result any time in birth, but I would hope it is only in case of an emergency. If my body is capable of handling the labor and delivery of my child no matter his presentation, I am ecstatic that I found a provider who is comfortable with that and respects the body’s ability to birth! We are blessed to have a healthy and strong baby boy and happy, healthy and unmedicated mama mia! Robi Xavier is nursing like a pro already and has gained a pound and a half and an inch and a half all in his first week and a half! We are so blessed.

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Crystal owns C’hi Chiropractic in Atlanta

 

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