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Pictures of Vaginal Breech Birth of Twins!

Pictures of Vaginal Breech Birth of Twins!

Here are 2 pictures of my daughter’s breech birth. I had a vaginal hospital birth of with twins, and my daughter (baby B) was breech. My doctor was incredible and patiently waited for her to do her thing, but she ended up needing a little assistance as she didn’t want to tuck her chin.

I am so grateful that I had such a supportive doctor, and an incredible birth team.

-Ellie

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Mom Holds Baby’s Hand as Born {Surprise Breech VBAC Hospital Birth}

Mom Holds Baby’s Hand as Born {Surprise Breech VBAC Hospital Birth}

A short history of my previous births:

My oldest daughter was a good pregnancy, fairly uneventful, I choose to have a hospital birth for that “in case” reason, and it was probably good that I did, I had a severe postpartum hemorrhage that resulted in blood loss of almost 2 liters. Scary stuff. My son (second born) presented breech and big, tried the ECV, it failed, and a c-section was booked as our midwives here don’t do home births for breech babies, and hospital policy at the time was to book a c-section.

Here is the story for my second daughter (third child):

I had a Midwife appointment on Tuesday afternoon, we were going over the regular stuff, and talking about how things would go with my VBAC. She wanted to do an ultrasound just to get an idea of the baby’s weight. She also offered me a stretch and sweep to see if that would get things going. She suggested going for a walk as well to help the baby drop down a little more.

That evening I took the kids out for a walk to Dairy Queen to treat ourselves to the BOGO $0.25 Blizzards. I was so crampy the whole way there, and thought something really might be happening. But as soon as we sat down in the restaurant, it calmed down and I was fine. I was dreading the walk home as I knew this really was nothing to get excited about.

That night sleep was not comfortable, and I was losing a lot of my plug since the appointment as well. I thought maybe it was actually leading up to something.

My Mother in law came over Wednesday morning to help clean. I was feeling really crampy that morning, and thought it was really mean if this doesn’t turn into anything. Around noon or so, I thought maybe I should start timing them to see if they were actually anything to be concerned about. They were pretty erratic, between 5-7 min and lasting anywhere from 15-45 seconds long. I could still work through them and do stuff. I told my mother in law that I was feeling the same feeling that I felt that my first labor had started with. I thought we should be prepared this could be something, but didn’t actually know if it was as they weren’t getting any closer or stronger for what seemed to be a long time. We carried on cleaning up the house and timing the contractions. We went outside and the kids played with the neighbor kids for a little while, and we were talking about how soon I was due, and I said well about a week out, but I don’t think I’ll make it till tomorrow night at this rate. So that was kind of fun to think that it really could be so soon. While we were outside they were getting stronger too.

Soon people came over for dinner, and so I got to tell them all that it looked like tonight might be the night. I was so glad to just sit down and eat dinner, and not have to do other things. They kept on coming and became very regular at 5 min apart lasting 30secs for 2 hrs. After everyone left I called the midwives, and when she asked me how they were and how long they were lasting, she was like, “Why didn’t you call me sooner?!” And I said, “They weren’t really getting any stronger while I was sitting down.” So I put last minute things together for me and the kids, and got the garbage out to the road as it was garbage day. As we were getting ready, they were getting a lot stronger and more frequent; I had to stop doing stuff while the contractions passed. My Midwife called back to say that there was room for us at the hospital, and everything was a go, and she would be there in about 40 minutes. That worked out well because we would get there about the same time.

The kids knew something was up, it was dark, and they knew supposed to be bed time, but we were getting ready for them to go to Grandma’s house for a sleep over. They were happy to go to grandma’s!

We got the hospital around 9:30pm. To get into the maternity ward we have to pick up the phone to get let in, they ask, how they can help us, and I said, “I’m here to have my baby”. My husband just looked at me. Later he reminded me that he had said the exact same thing when we had our first daughter while I was fighting the urge to push, and I thought he was ridiculous for stating something so obvious. I completely forgot about that. I didn’t know what else to say to the nurses on the other side. We had a little chuckle about it inside. So they got us set up in our room, my Midwife checks me, and I’m 9cm, and my waters are bulging!

They said that if I got the urge to push try not to until they got everything set up. They had to get an IV lock in me still, and ask me all kinds of questions for the charts. Once everything was set up they offered to break my water and that it really wouldn’t be long until I would be holding my baby. I was a little skeptical because they said that last time too (with my daughter) when I got to the hospital and was 10cm, and I spent 2 hours pushing her out – that’s not too quick in my book. Meanwhile I was just lying in bed letting the contractions get stronger, and I could feel that they were changing. I thought “I’ll go to the bathroom”, and I had that urge to give a bit of a push. They were nearly ready, so they checked me again, and I was 10cm, and ready to go. So they broke my water. But before they broke my water they put down about 3 chux pads just in case there was a bit of a gush. Well when they broke my water, I couldn’t believe how much GUSHED out, and it just kept coming and coming! I was sitting in a puddle an inch or 2 deep at least. They noticed there was some meconium in the water as well, so pediatrics was called to help in case she was under any stress once she was born.

So they were doing their thing, poking me, trying to feel what station baby’s head was at, and the student midwife got this look of surprise on her face and announced, “That’s a bum!” I couldn’t believe it! They were so certain at every appointment that baby was head down.  C-section was the first thing that crossed my mind, they were going to have to put me under and slice me open. We’re in a hospital after all, they’re not likely to let me VBAC a breech baby. I wanted to cry but all I could do was say was, “This isn’t fair.” My primary midwife hit the intercom button to talk to the nurse’s station, but then decided to run out to them and tell them what was going on. The room quickly filled up with people once she got back. They hooked up an IV, strapped baby monitors around my belly. It was all very hectic!

The OB on call gave me the option to try for a vaginal birth, and I was shocked she did, but doubted I could do it for some reason. My husband said something funny, “Why don’t you try for like an hour, and see how you’re doing?” I couldn’t believe he thought I could push for another hour. The doctor said, “Oh no, we need to see significant progress in a matter of minutes.” That made me a little more hopeful that this wasn’t going to last all night long. My midwife was also reassuring me that this OB was very skilled in doing breech deliveries, and so I thought, “Okay, fine let’s do this.” If my midwife trusted this OB, then I could too.

They wheeled me down to the OR, and put me on this super skinny bed. I’m still having crazy contractions every 2 minutes. They are asking me millions of questions still – they started in the delivery room with all these questions about allergies and fake teeth, I don’t even remember them all, but remember thinking, “All this is in the file that I had to answer when I did my pre-registration, why do they have to ask again?”

It was really hard trying not to push through the contractions, and I was bearing down with my arms holding onto the edge of the bed, and when they moved me over to the skinny bed there was nothing to hang onto. It was so awkward – how was I supposed to manage these contractions? Finally someone said, “If you need to, you can push a little bit through the contractions.” It was such a relief!

We were waiting for an ultrasound machine to check the baby’s head position; they wanted to make sure the chin was pointing downward and not upward. This was an important thing that could have made the world of difference between c-section and successful vaginal delivery. I prayed so hard that the chin was downward. Once they figured out that her chin was neither up nor down, they let my husband in the room.

With my feet in the stirrups (ugh, didn’t like that at all) I was given the green light to start pushing again, but it was weird, the contractions seemed to have stopped. Funny timing! But it gave me a chance to collect my thoughts and give it everything I could when they did start again.

It actually felt good to push; I could feel her moving downward. At one point she actually slide back up though, and I nearly panicked saying, “No, no, no!”, but my midwives were great coaches, saying, “It’s okay, 2 steps forward, 1 step back, we’ll get there again next push.”  All I could think was that it felt like 5 steps backwards. But in 2 more pushes I felt her bum right near the edge. I actually thought some was out a bit and said, “Can’t you just pull the baby out?” I think I heard someone actually chuckle then. But someone else said, “You’re almost there, we can see the bum when you push.”

The next push the ring of fire started. I must say it is true, you do forget the pain. I didn’t forget that it hurt, just exactly how much it hurt though is a different story. Holy moly. I also felt her pee, and they announced it too. Made me realize I was actually very close to having my baby. With one more push the bum was out far enough that they had to pull the legs out. Pulling those legs out was such an awkward feeling, more stretching pain, and hotter fire. But once they were out it was a lot better. One more push and they pulled the arms out.

I could see her little arm hanging by my hip.  I was so close! So I decided to reach and see if I could hold her little hand, it was just amazing, I put my finger in her little fingers, and she squeezed my finger. I about cried right there. The Doctor and midwives are telling me to get ready to push out the head. It was so uncomfortable, I didn’t think I could push her head out with the way things were, but I had no choice.

EVERYONE was saying “Push, just one more push. You can do it! Almost there!” I just wanted the pain to stop, and I knew that getting her out faster was the quickest way I could end it. So I gave it everything I had, and then found more energy from who knows where, to get that baby’s head out.

And then there she was, hanging off the Doctor’s arm, kind of bluish looking, but that’s normal for being just born. I couldn’t believe I did it! All I could do was say it over and over again, “I did it!” They had taken her over to the table, and I hadn’t heard her cry yet. I was starting to get a little worried, but then there it was a big wail at nearly the same time as I was delivering the placenta.

Then they were cleaning me up, and told me I had one little tear and asked if I wanted one poke or two. Two was to freeze me first before giving me one stitch. I thought to myself why bother freezing me now, what’s one little stitch going to hurt compared to what I just did? So I just asked for one poke. I just felt the tug of the stitch, maybe a slight poke, but it felt kind of numb already.

Finally they brought her over to me, and I got to hold her for only a few minutes. She was doing a lot more grunting then she should be, and they were concerned, so they brought her over to the NICU.

Once they got me all cleaned up, it was time to go back to our other room, we called our parents let them know what was going on. I thought about how quick it all happened. We got to the hospital around 9:30pm, and delivered her 2hrs later. Once back in the delivery room, they finally told us how much she weighed; it was a whopping 9lbs 15oz! When the midwives were finally were able to do the newborn assessment, and measured her length, it was 22 ¾” long! My big girl! Our midwife said she was almost like a 6wk old baby.

I think about it all now, and it really was a blessing that we didn’t know she was breech. Had they known they would never have let me try. If it had been a different Dr on call, it probably wouldn’t have worked out – the OB that night is one of the most experienced in our city. If they had known, they would have done an ultrasound and saw how big she was, and said no way.

We finally got to go home on Saturday afternoon, and Zoë has been such a great baby, the other two have been so good with her as well, it has been such a wonderful experience so far. There were a few things that afterward I would have liked to happen differently, but I can’t do anything about it now. With baby #4 on the way we’re going to attempt a homebirth. Please pray that everything can go smoothly and I can just have a natural normal uncomplicated birth!

This mama went on to have her next baby at home. Birth story to come!

First a Hospital Breech Birth and then an Unplanned Unassisted Birth Story

First a Hospital Breech Birth and then an Unplanned Unassisted Birth Story

Hospital Breech Birth

My first pregnancy left me somewhat jaded and mistrusting of doctors and hospitals.  My baby was breech.  He had been breech since the 12 week ultrasound and had stayed that way since.  I tried inversions, hot and cold packs, music on my lower abdomen and even handstands to get baby to flip.  At 38 weeks he was still breech.  An external cephalic version was attempted but failed.   On multiple occasions, my OB used every scare tactic in the book to try to force me to schedule surgical delivery.  He talked down to me and essentially told me I would kill my baby if I tried to deliver my breechling vaginally.  I dreaded my prenatal appointments and began to get worn down from the constant confrontation from him as well as from my family.

I have a scientific background and did my due diligence in researching breech birth.  I decided it was something I wanted to attempt.  I stopped seeing my current OB and began searching for someone who would support my breech birth.  I contacted local midwives and called all local hospitals.  No local hospital was willing work with me.  The midwives who responded to me thought I was too high risk since I was a first time mom as well as carrying breech.

I began to get disheartened as I hit many dead ends.  Just when I began to lose hope, I got a phone call from midwife Gail of spinningbabies.com.  She let me know of a Doctor at a hospital 2 hours away from me who would attend breech births.  She even offered to be my doula!  For the first time in a long time, I felt calm and at ease about my situation.  I felt accepted and normal.  My appointment with the new OB was completely refreshing as he spoke to me like an equal and treated my baby’s position as a variation of normal.

The labor was long and very taxing- about 15 hours of active labor and 6 hours of hands and knees pushing.  I had excruciating back labor due to baby’s frank breech position.  But, the end result was a healthy baby (9 lbs 9 oz!) and a healthy, uncut mother.  I was so proud of myself.  I felt I had beaten the system.  I jumped through hoops, fought with doctors and my family, and eventually stooped to desperation…but, I beat the system.  I had never been more proud of myself or more thankful to those who had helped me and believed in me.

Unplanned, Unassisted Home Birth

We learned we were expecting again when our little boy was 9 months old. Because of the stress of my first pregnancy, I knew I needed a different option.  I just couldn’t go through pregnancy in a hospital environment again.  We interviewed several birthing centers as well as a home birth midwife.   Despite recoils from family and friends, we chose home birth.  It felt right for us and I clicked right away with Erin, the midwife.  We were thrilled when Erin confirmed around 20 weeks that baby was head down.  The 9 months of stress free prenatal appointments were pure bliss.  Instead of talking down to me, Erin supported me in every way she could and was always there with an open ear.  Instead of dreading my prenatal appointments, I looked forward to them.  Erin cared about me in a way a doctor never has.  She came to know me, my son and my husband deeply.  She knew details about my personal life and helped to entertain my busy son during our appointments.  She started out as my midwife, but very quickly became my friend.

As labor drew closer, my Husband, Stephen, joked several times that he thought this delivery would be quick.  Little did we know this would be such an extreme understatement!  I woke up on Monday night with horrible stomach cramps, nausea, and eventually vomiting.  This lasted for about three hours.  I was able to fall asleep and work up the next morning feeling fine.  Around noon on Tuesday I passed some blood tinged mucus.  I notified Erin of my symptoms, but she didn’t seem concerned and said I should expect labor to begin in the next few days.   I went about the rest of my day as usual.

I tried to go bed early that night because of my lack of sleep from the night before.  I finally made it to bed around 8pm.  I couldn’t get comfortable and I never got to sleep.   I had my first ‘real’ contraction around 9:30 pm.  I had a few rounds of prodromal labor, so I still wasn’t convinced this was the real thing.  I timed my contractions for an hour and found them to be 8 minutes apart and getting stronger.  I got out of bed and talked to my husband who was working on homework in our living room.  We timed my contractions for a little longer and found them to be 6-7 minutes apart.  I put in a phone call to Erin and she decided to start the trek to our home.   At first I was hesitant for her to leave since my first labor was so long, but she lived an hour and a half away and thought it would be better safe than sorry.  In retrospect, it’s a good thing she left when she did!

At that point, my husband and I started setting up things for our home birth. We thought we would have plenty of time so we didn’t rush.  Steve was getting supplies laid out and started figuring out the birthing tub.  I focused on making our bed with a waterproof cover and an extra set of sheets.   While I was making our bed, I noticed my contractions were coming around 6 minutes apart and were getting really strong.  I had to stop what I was doing and breathe through each one.  Erin called around this point to check how things were going and if I wanted her assistant to leave ahead of her.  (The assistant lives a half hour from our house.)  I didn’t realize how progressed I was, so I told her I didn’t think it was necessary.

At that point, it was around 12am and Erin was about 45 minutes away.  I finished making up the bed and I head out to the kitchen to see how the rest of set up was progressing.  I just made it to our kitchen counter when I had a gripping contraction.  I hung onto the counter and breathed through the pain.  I did what felt natural to me- which happened to be a strange lunging motion- during the contractions.  Steve had the birthing pool inflated and was just starting to connect the hose to the kitchen sink when I had another contraction only 4 minutes from the last one.  Steve walked by with the hose, told me he loved me and started filling the pool.  The next contraction came less than three minutes after the last one.  I thought I felt the baby move down.  I just couldn’t believe baby would come this quickly, so I brushed the feeling off.

Then, contractions started coming right on top each other.  As soon as one would end, another would begin.  At the end of the next contraction, I felt a slight urge to push.  I said to Steve that I thought baby was coming, but he ignored me and kept on working on set up.  (I found out later that he didn’t believe me at first!)  When the next contraction came, I felt baby’s head move down quite a bit and the ‘ring of fire’ sensation started to build.  At that point I yelled, “THE BABY IS COMING!  CALL ERIN!!”

Steve ran over to me and ripped my shorts and underwear off.   He saw the top of the baby’s head.  At that point, he turned into a frantic mess.  He phoned the midwife (who was still 30 minutes away).  I told him to get some chux pads (which he proceeded put on the floor upside down J)  I was able to pant through two or three contractions during this time.  After the pads were down, I knelt down on the floor and hung onto the kitchen counter for dear life as my panting ceased to work and my body began to push the baby out on its own.

The baby was born in three contractions.  The first one pushed baby’s head out half way, the second pushed baby’s head out fully.  After this point, my contractions let up for a minute or so. Steve was able to talk to Erin on speaker phone and she encouraged us with calm affirmations.  When the third contraction came, baby’s shoulders and body were born into Stephen’s arms.  The time was 12:37 am.  I heard cries right away.  Steve passed the baby through my legs and I clutched the newborn to my chest.  Steve said, “We have a boy!”  But, the sex of the baby was the last thing on my mind.  I was just happy to have a healthy, pink, crying baby.  I looked down at the baby and saw him looking back at me with trusting, clear eyes.  He knew me.  I breathed in and smelt his sweet head.  It was such a serene, peaceful moment.  A moment I’ll never forget.

A few minutes after the baby was born, we made our way to our bedroom where I laid on our bed and waited for the midwives to arrive.  Baby latched on and began nursing like a pro.  15 minutes after our baby was born, the midwives walked into our bedroom, each one beaming a smile as they congratulated us.  Erin checked baby’s vital signs and found them all to be perfect.  As she was examining the rest of baby’s body, she got a strange look on her face.  She looked at Steve with a huge smile.  I saw him follow her gaze and watched as his face twisted up in confusion.  “It’s a girl!” he exclaimed.  It turns out in the pandemonium he mistook her parts for male!  Even though I was thrilled with having another little boy, all along I had secretly been hoping for a girl.  Emotion washed over me as I realized that the sweet little being I held on my chest was indeed the little girl I had been pining for.

Erin helped to deliver my placenta and afterward explained each part to me.  It was beautiful in a unique way.  She then checked my bottom.  I had two superficial tears that did not require stitches.  The assistant midwife prepared a wonderfully relaxing herbal bath for us.  I got into the bath with baby and Steve and I bathed her together.  She was calm, alert and perfect in every way.   After the bath, Steve, baby and I crawled back into our freshly made bed.  Baby was weighed and measured.  9 lbs 5 oz and 21 inches at 8 days ‘overdue’.  A healthy girl!

Erin talked to me about ways to keep comfortable post partum and explained warning signs to look out for.  We chatted for a few more minutes before the other midwives came in to say good night.  Erin tucked us in and told us to get some rest.  She said she would see us tomorrow and congratulated us yet again.  I listened as the midwives milled around, working on cleaning up from the night’s event.  They even did the laundry before they departed, bless their hearts.   I smiled to myself as I recounted the last few hours.  Who would have thought?!?  A three hour labor?  Even though my home birth didn’t go quite as planned, (I really wanted to be able to use that tub, darn it! J), I wouldn’t change it for the world.  The experience of an unassisted childbirth is something I’ll never forget.  It was so completely empowering.  Delivering our baby into my husband’s hands is an experience that has bonded us even closer together as a couple.

Birthing my sweet girl at home was everything I hoped it would be and more.  There was no fear and no stress.  There was just intensity and love.  I am so incredibly thankful to those who supported me in my journey, but I am especially thankful to Erin.   I am thankful to Erin for her quiet, calming presence.   I am thankful to Erin for genuinely caring about me, always listening to me, and never talking down to me.  But, I am most thankful to Erin for empowering me, believing in me and allowing me total control over my pregnancy and birth.

I  felt completely at peace with the world as I drifted off to sleep with my already snoozing husband on one side of me and my sweet little baby girl on the other.

In the News: Footling Breech Twin Boys…Born ‘A Year Apart’!

In the News: Footling Breech Twin Boys…Born ‘A Year Apart’!

I have seen and both heard about this story. I finally read it and realized why. Not only were these twin boys born on different days of different years, but they were born completely natural and BOTH boys were born feet first. Two footling breech babies. Nowadays that is rare as many care providers are not skilled in catching breech babies, especially footling breech.

“Both babies came out feet first, known as breech birth. But Rosputni credited a midwife, Eileen Stewart, with helping her get through the complications without any painkillers or labor-inducing drugs.”

They were born in the hospital, assisted by a midwife, just 33 minutes apart. Each of these minutes counted though as they were born the last few minutes of 2011 and the first few minutes of 2012.

“They have completely different birth dates and years,” Rosputni said. “I don’t know if it’s ever happened. I’ll have to do some research. I’ll have to Google it.

The boys appear to be fraternal, not identical, twins: Ronan has auburn hair like his beaming mom, while Rory has darker hair like his proud dad, Thomas.”

A hospital birth of twin boys both footling breech born without the use of any drugs?! Yes, that’s a noteworthy story for sure! To read the full story, visit Buffalo News.

For another birth story of twins born on separate days, read here.

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