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Breech Babies Are Another Variation of Normal

Breech Babies Are Another Variation of Normal

breech baby, frank breech, footling breech, complete breech

Originally written 10/29/2010.

With my first child, I knew I wanted a natural birth. I chose the local birth center and hired the team of midwives. I attended my regular appointments and the birth classes they offered. Starting around 30 weeks I questioned the position of my baby. I asked three of the midwives at three different appointments if they could tell if my baby was head down. I was overweight at the time and did not think palpation was enough to determine her position. On midwife #3, I requested that we check it out and she agreed.

At my ultrasound appointment and 36 weeks pregnant, I was not shocked when the ultrasound technician said, “Yep, she is breech.” I was not surprised, but I was devastated. This was not something I was educated about or prepared for. Looking back, I was just along for the ride. Big mistake. My doula told me there was still time for her to turn, but not being educated about this, I wasn’t sure.

I started asking my midwives, chiropractors and friends about breech vaginal birth. All I received were mixed answers and usually, “Yes, it can be done, but if something goes wrong it will happen fast. Why take the risk?!” I did a few things, like hanging upside down frequently and handstands in the pool. My chiropractor did the Webster technique, as it has a high success rate in giving babies more room to turn head down. At 39 weeks I had an inversion done. Let me tell you that is painful and unnatural. Wouldn’t do it again.

Finally at 39 weeks I met with a good OB. My husband and I decided to have a c-section because we knew the OB was there to do it (he was in a practice with 16 docs). It was a very emotional ride and left me wondering why there wasn’t more information or support of breech birth.

If you are trying to educate yourself more or are finding yourself in this situation, you might be asking, “What can I do differently? I need more information!” I am here to provide just that for you. Educate yourself, pray about it (or meditate) and make the best choice for you and your baby. Be strong and get the right support.

So, you find out that your baby is breech. What now?

Don’t panic! It’s going to be OK. Your baby is breech for a reason. (S)he may or may not turn and can do so even right before birth. So, be patient.

breech baby, frank breech, footling breech, complete breechWhich breech presentation is your baby favoring? There are three common types.

  • Frank Breech, which tends to be the most favorable. This is when baby’s bottom presents first and feet are by the head.
  • Footling Breech is when baby has one or both feet presenting first.
  • Complete Breech is when your baby is comfy sitting cross legged.

There are things you can do to help baby turn if that is what baby wants. Remember, your baby knows best what position to be in for his/her birth. Look into the following options:

Even when you decide to have faith in your body and your baby, you still want to be prepared and know how to help him/her gently enter this world. Here are some things to consider and research.

  • Know and be firm in your knowledge that a breech baby does not automatically mean c-section.
  • Make sure your OB or midwife is 100% on board and does not fear breech birth.
  • Always listen to YOUR intuition. If you have a fear, process it. If someone else does, don’t waiver in your faith. Trust your gut!
  • When birthing, get in a favorable position like standing, squatting, or even hand and knees (unless your body is telling you different).
  • Read a lot of great breech birth stories! Here is one with awesome pictures.
  • Do NOT let anyone (your midwife, spouse, doula, OB, etc.) pull on baby!
  • Something to educate yourself on further is making sure baby’s head is birthed before they start breathing. The book Emergency Childbirth by Gregory J. White was helpful for me.
  • Have a back up plan. There is nothing wrong with having one.  Don’t focus on it, but know it’s there. Continue to have faith that your vaginal birth will be wonderful and successful.
  • If you get nothing else from this post, remember this: even if you have a c-section, WAIT. Wait for baby to start labor. I say this for two reasons. First, you will know for sure that your baby is ready to be earthside. Second, is that you have given your baby every chance to turn head down. In hindsight, my first baby was born at least 3 weeks early as all my other babies have been born between 42-44 weeks!

A baby that is breech is not an automatic dangerous situation or cesarean. Breech babies have different risk factors and those should be discussed with your care provider, so you can make an informed decision on what is best for your baby and birth, with their support.

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

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

Twyla’s Journey from the Stars {A Breech Home Birth}

Twyla’s Journey from the Stars {A Breech Home Birth}

December 10th.

This nesting business is no joke. I feel like I’m about to sweep a hole through the tile floor. I could serve a 4 course meal in my bathroom, off my toilet even. At least up until the point I walked in and sat down to discover I had just lost my plug. I phone my midwife, Claudette. My first labor was prodromal for three days, then after an amniotomy, 2 hours of hard, fast labor. We all agreed that I should alert everybody at the first signs of impending labor.

As the day went on, my contractions continued. My dear friend N stopped by and began timing them for me. 8 minutes apart! This continued for several hours. I decided to head to the grocery store for our weekly rations, and N joined us. I found myself wandering around, somewhat confused. Seems some endorphins were already having their way with my brain.I paced back and forth down the aisles unable to commit to putting anything in my cart. I finally bought some celery and carrots and hightailed it out of there. By the time I got home, my contractions had slowed to one every half hour or so. I cried a little, fearing I was falling into the pattern of my first labor, which I had no desire to repeat in any way. I phoned Claudette again, and we agreed to meet in the morning. She advised me to get some rest, as it seemed we would meet this little Breechy soon. Taking her advice, hubby and I took a quick soak in the hot tub and then nestled under the sheets.

December 11th.

10 hours later I tucked and rolled out of bed feeling like a million bucks. (Haven’t done that in almost a year now!)


Claudette stopped by to listen to Webbie’s heart rate, check position, (yep, still breech!) and at my request, check my dilation for the first time in this pregnancy. I was 100% effaced, 4 centimeters dilated and stretchy.

I just want to take a moment and say how great it was to welcome her into my home to take care of me. I had never experienced a “house call” before. An exam on my own bed, not on some crunchy paper with my legs in stirrups!

Hubs, eldest daughter and I all headed out to take care of some errands and to enjoy the day. We picked up our mail, and were eating lunch when I excused myself to the ladies room. Oh lovely, more plug! Still no regular contractions. We dropped off our sweet girl with her other daddy and went to pick up a few things from the mall. While wandering (note: following the Mister) around the hardware department of Sears I noticed I was feeling pressure, regular pressure. I spent some time sitting on the bottom shelves there pondering whether or not to phone Claudette again while he looked at tools. I laugh now when I think of the clerk who approached me and asked if I needed anything. He told me he and his wife have 5 boys, and I had “that look, those rosy cheeks of a woman about to go into labor at any moment.” (I need to hire this guy into my practice, right?!) About a half hour later, in Radio Shack, I started timing these pressure sensations.

I saw that they were 5 minutes apart, on the dime, yet I felt no tightening, no cramping, as I had been feeling with my Braxton Hicks the week prior.

After an hour of these, I called Claudette and updated her. Neither of us really could tell if this was the real deal or not, it was just so…strange. It felt like a spreading, from the inside, pressure on my hips and tailbone, but absolutely no uterine contraction. It was almost as if she was burrowing down, nestling deep into my pelvis every five minutes. What a beautiful, gentle sensation it was to feel labor starting all on its own!

I began to feel a real need to be at home, so we headed out. On our way, we stopped to take pictures of the sunset, and when we got home, spent about a half hour out in the front yard photographing and enjoying the moon. I am so grateful to have these pictures! To have captured the essence of the night our baby was born forever!


I remember one of our neighbors coming over and talking to my husband while I was taking pictures.

“Whoa, looks like she’s ready any time, eh?”

“Actually we think she might be in early labor right now.”

“Um. Wow, so getting ready to head out to the hospital then?”

“No, just inside. We are having the baby here…”

Poor guy turned white as a ghost and looked at my husband like he was a crazy fool!

We went inside and closed the door, laughing and wondering if our neighbors would call the cops when they heard me moaning through transition. We had notified only one of our neighbors, but with plans to labor in the backyard in our hot tub, soon everyone in a 2 block radius may be wondering who was murdering (or pleasuring!) the woman in her backyard!

During my pregnancy, my husband would tease me about prostaglandins and the horizontal polka, always finishing with “I put her in there, just let me know when you want me to tell her to get out!”

Ok, big shot! Let’s see!

A half hour and many giggles and I love you forever’s later, my contractions got serious.

“Oooohhh…. CALL THE MIDWIFE!” I crooned sweetly from the bedroom at my husband who thought he was making himself a sandwich.

What seemed like 3 minutes later Dana materialized at our doorway. She was our midwife’s assistant, and lived about 10 minutes away, though I honestly believe that both of them teleported to my house…or drove 90 miles an hour, they got to us SO FAST!

Claudette arrived about 5 minutes after Dana, with several rolling suitcases and other miscellaneous baggage. I felt pretty bad about calling them out at this hour, considering they would just have to pick all this stuff up and go home when my labor stalled, I thought, watching them lay out birthing supplies, unpacking my kit, tenderly setting our baby’s first outfit beside 3 little hats and several receiving blankets. I thought about all the effort they were going through, all the meticulous care they were taking getting things prepared just so. Oxygen tanks, resuscitation equipment, heating pads, anti-hemorrhage drugs in little vials lined up just so on my coffee table…all for a woman who is not really in “true” labor. The fact that I was having all these apologetic thoughts as I stood naked in my living room wasn’t a true indication of active labor to me, I suppose.

I retreated into my bedroom to give my hypnobirthing training a go. Basically, to lie down, breathe deeply, and relax all the tension from my body. Or not.

Lying down was NOT OK. It made my contractions feel like my torso was an aluminum can someone was twisting into a rope and then stepping on.

OK!  Well, that was what I was counting on here! I panicked. If this wasn’t going to work, then I was screwed. SO SCREWED. I knew what a hard labor felt like, and the thought that I was going to experience that again right now made me want to die.

I decided to try out the hot tub, as I planned to do most of my laboring there. My husband made me a beautiful enclosed canopy and hung twinkling little lights all throughout the inside. I climbed in, had two contractions in there and climbed right back out! I needed to move, and at this point, gave up on trying the ‘Just Be a Limp Noodle Method’. I went back inside and stood by the fire, trying to become as fluid as the flames, letting the pain resonate through me and out, not trapping it within.

It took me a half hour or so to get into the rhythm of it, to let go of the fear of it, and to simply be an obedient bystander at this great show. To SURRENDER. My body said MOVE. So I did.

With Mister on my heels fanning me vigorously, I zoomed down the hall into the kitchen and back, several times and to my surprise, found it to be completely manageable. After a few “runs” I began to feel like a mama panther. I paced my house back and forth huffing, growling and tossing my head, eyes dilated and sightless. At times I almost broke into a run even…when appropriate.   I imagined myself hiking naked under the moon, in the cold December night air. It sounded so amazing, and the absolute most appropriate thing to do. I told hubby this, and headed for the front door. He gently steered me away and back down the hall. I complained, but in the back of my mind knew that it probably wasn’t a good idea, us living in a suburban neighborhood and all, a naked woman in labor might prompt my neighbors to call enforcements of some kind, which I agreed would be annoying and disruptive.

I noticed that during the absolute peak of contractions I would pause with my pacing to rock my hips in belly dance-style movements. In the back of my mind I pictured women in ancient Egypt and how many of them must have danced their babies out just like I was that night.

After a while I ended up in my older daughter’s room. I paced back and forth, squatted and swung my arms up and down like metronomes to the beat of my labor. At several points I looked over and noticed the cat curled up on a little table, watching me with a slightly irritated look on her face for disturbing her slumber with all my blubbering. It was really reassuring and amusing- to realize that amidst all my internal chaos I was still on earth, in our home, in my daughter’s room… and the cat was annoyed.

Soon I began to feel very tired. The lovely endorphins were kicking in, and I felt boozy. Between them I would lean over and rest my head, almost falling asleep. As soon as I was comfy and dozing off another pressure wave would build and I would have to get up and swing my arms, power walk and squat when all I wanted to do was SLEEP.

During contractions I started talking to her.

“OOOOOOUUUUUUUUTTT BABY, COME DOOOOOWWWWWWWN BABY, Yesss baby, I want to meet you, I want to hold you… to kiss you… “

I was getting exhausted. Though I had only been in labor for 6 hours at this point, my contractions had been coming a minute apart for the last 2.5 hours.

I made my way into my kitchen where the midwives were sitting at the table eating chocolate, laughing and drinking tea. “I’m tired.” I announced, waiting for them to give me the magic solution to my problem. They looked at each other and smiled. “Do you want me to check you?” Claudette asked. I declined and retreated back to my cave for more pacing.

10 minutes later I was back. “Can you check me now?” She agreed and followed me to my room. Thus far she had asked me only one other time during my labor if I wanted to be checked, when I went in to announce that I had some bloody show earlier, shortly after they arrived. I had avoided it so far out of fear of my water breaking during/after the check. I had labored before with broken waters and much preferred this, thank you. Though at this point I think I was nearing the end of my energy reserve and wanted some feedback.

In between contractions she knelt down and checked me as I leaned forward onto my dresser and rested. I was 7 cms dilated in the front, and 9 in the back.

She went on to explain that though it was a good coping mechanism for me to run laps around the house, it wasn’t doing what needed to be done. I wasn’t allowing the baby to hold the pressure on my cervix which is what it would take to move things along quicker. She suggested that I do lunges during contractions, and remain still.

Someone might as well have told me to place my hand in a fire and sit still as my skin blistered and melted off my bones…but I knew she was right, and I had to try.

I took a deep breath and put my foot up on my daughter’s bookshelf as I felt another one building. I steeled myself and prepared for massive agony.

I could feel my pelvis open up like a clothespin, joints at the maximum extension, then a little more. I felt so crampy and achy down low, then lower. Standing still gave me a chance to notice and really feel what was happening within me, and it almost felt good! I made low noises, attempting to let some of the insanely intense energy out of me, and then it was done.

Alright, I thought, I can do this!

I went back into my room and into the bathroom and started restlessly folding the towels draped over the shower door. I had an incredible urge to nest, even this far into my labor! I paced back and forth in the bathroom between contractions. I felt another one coming, and got into the suggested lunging position. As it wound down, I felt my belly curl over, and a telltale grunt followed.

Pushing time! YAY!

I love pushing. I happen to be one of those women who is incredibly efficient at pushing, my first only taking 18 minutes. I was sooo almost done!

I suggested Hubbs to RUN and fetch the midwives as our baby was on her way!

Claudette appeared in my room seconds later, asking to check me again before I started pushing. Being that we were attempting a breech birth, it was important that I be fully dilated and then some if possible for the safest delivery.

I was complete…with a lip… darn!

She asked me to wait, if I could and keep up with the lunges.

I took a deep breath and lifted my leg up onto the ottoman at the foot of our bed. Dana was sitting on our bed peacefully, watching it all unfold. I looked at her, through her, as the pressure wave grew stronger. Time stood still. I flared my nostrils and took in as much air as my lungs would allow. I felt my cervix stretch over our baby as she passed through it and filled me to bursting below. Deep inside I felt the screaming intensity of post orgasmic sensitivity and heat. I was a tuning fork, my entire body ringing with the energy of birth, the cosmic power of earth moving through my bones. I went blind. I saw grasses blowing in the wind, clouds drifting through the night sky, heard my heart pounding in my ears as I ran and jumped off a cliff. And I was falling, soaring…  Complete peace and stillness. Looking back on this, I nearly tear up and feel overcome with emotion and awe, even though I can hardly touch but the hem of that incredible moment. Those last few contractions before our baby was born were an incredibly spiritual experience. The kind of stuff one goes looking for on the other side of DMT, LSD, or Iowaska. I compare my experience to a type of vision quest. The sort of thing that pushes your body and soul to the edge of the abyss, one foot in life, one in death. To stand there rooted, yet flexible, simply existing and allowing the forces to crash into you, through you, fearlessly…peacefully. Pain disappears, agenda evaporates, all things seem trivial and illusory in that place. All is one, and all is well.

A split second later I snapped to and felt something between my legs. I pulled down my underwear quickly and saw the milky-clear bag of waters ballooning out from me. I could see the clear water swirling around with bits of blood and vernix incased within a globe. It grew larger and larger then burst with a loud pop all over the floor.

Immediately the urge to push was unavoidable.

I was vaguely aware of Dana running supplies in from the living room (My original planned birthing space) as fast as she could while Claudette supported my bottom with oils, washcloths and counter pressure. How wonderful! It never occurred to them to ask me to move! (Reason number 10,364 why home birth and home birth midwives ROCK!)

My husband was sitting on the bed in front of me, I squeezed his hands, and let go. I felt her body stretch mine to the limit, and then begin to part from me.

I felt everything, and it was glorious.

I looked down in between my legs and heard Claudette’s delighted chuckle- “She’s peeing on me!!”

I could see her little buns sticking out, cupped in Claudette’s palm. I shut my eyes tight and pushed her out into the hands that have caught thousands before.

Emptiness. A river of fluid down my legs. A baby crying!

She passed her through my legs and set her on the bed. “Short cord, ok?”

(AH! Short cord! Breech babies are usually breech for a reason…if I had gone through with the external version, it could have snapped her cord, possibly killing us both.)

I looked at my new daughter. Wide eyed, crying, chubby, beautiful, and cooked to perfection! I tried to scoop her up to my chest but her cord was too tight. I set her back down on the bed and cradled her up in my hands and crooned “Hiiiiiii babyyyyyy…There you are”

She settled down for a moment then cried some more. She pinked up right away and needed no suctioning! With their help I scooted up on the bed to lie down with my fluffy pink delicious newborn.

(My own bed! Yes!!)

They checked her over and deemed her perfect, (of course she is!) and with hardly a bruise on her bum. Claudette took me to the bathroom to get cleaned up and dressed (My own bathroom! Score!) while Daddy got to snuggle with his precious little girl for the very first time.

A while later we weighed her, she was a yummy 6 lb 13.5oz and 19 inches long.

Claudette checked me out and found me intact, not a tear in sight. (For those of you who are wondering if birthing a backwards bub renders your cash and prizes unusable, I will have you know I was back in the saddle a week later, and good as new within 3 months, so the answer is no! I’ve never had a single issue of any sort “down there” before or after children. I get that question a lot. Nutrition and exercise, people!)

I was on top of the world.

I did it! WE did it!


I had my little Breechy at home, and it was even more amazing than I thought it could be. I ate some food and drank tea, then invited my mom and sister over for a sneak peek of the new baby. There was so much love there, people… No resentment, confusion or sadness, no wanting, no pain.  Just pure respect and love.

A few hours later, Claudette tucked us in and kissed me on the forehead, turning the lights off behind her as she left.





Midwife: Claudette Coughenour, New Life Birthing Services

Photography: Babymoon Birth Services and family

Amazing Breech VBAC {Fast hospital birth with pictures}

Amazing Breech VBAC {Fast hospital birth with pictures}

My first 2 babies were quick & easy induced vaginal births. My 3rd baby was delivered by caesarean section (in Jan 2011), as she was breech. A c/s was something I never wanted, yet the Drs insisted (via scaremongering crap) I have one due to her breech position. I was happy to go ahead with a vaginal breech birth (VBB), but the Drs were not confident and since they no longer practice breech deliveries I ended up with a scheduled c/s. She was delivered at 39wk 4d, happy, healthy and oh so perfect. Everything went really well thankfully. I still regret not trying harder to get a vaginal birth, as I knew I could have done it. I decided I would most definitely be having a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) for baby #4.

10 months after Mila’s birth, I found out I was pregnant again. Due end of July 2012.

My 4th pregnancy was very smooth sailing. I never had any morning sickness, or any problems at all. We chose to find out the sex of our baby at 20 weeks, a girl. We had moved from Canberra to Central West NSW (so we went from city to country pretty much) a few months before we found out we were pregnant, so I’d be delivering at a different hospital this time around.

At 24wk 5d I presented to the hospital with abdominal pain, and after some assessment it was decided I would have an appendectomy. Sure enough my appendix had burst. That was a scary few days, faced with the possibility of preterm labour. Before the surgery, I insisted they give me steroids for baby’s lungs, and if things went sour, to do all they could to save her. Thankfully the surgery went fine with no problems, and I recovered well. Baby stayed happily snug inside and showed no ill effects. I continued on with no problems through the rest of my pregnancy, watching my bump grow and getting excited about meeting our new baby.

At 37 weeks I went for a scan to check positioning of baby, despite her being cephalic (head down) a few days earlier at my antenatal appointment. Surprisingly though, she had flipped to breech. I couldn’t believe it! But I figured since she had been head down just a few days ago, surely she would turn back around, there was still time. In the meantime I tried a few baby flipping exercises, but not holding onto much hope of them working as they never did with Mila.

When I found out I was pregnant, I started reading as much information and birth stories on breech as I could. I knew that if I had another breech baby, I would push harder for a vaginal breech birth (VBB). I never expected it would come in handy.

I saw my OB a few days later, and I informed him that in no way will I consent to a c/s. I insisted I will be having a vaginal birth with this baby, as a c/s was completely unnecessary. He was supportive, agreed that we wait till I go into labour before making any decisions (I was surprised by his reaction, as I was more than ready for a fight). Though he did feel I would end up with a c/s and baby wouldn’t turn. This same OB when I first saw him a few months earlier, had asked why I had a c/s with #3. He was surprised that I wasn’t given a trial of labour with her since I’d had 2 previous successful VB (Vaginal Births), and my babies were only small. But since this would be a VBAC, he was slightly cautious.

Bub continued to be breech at the next few appointments, and as much as I had hoped she would turn, I gave into the fact she wasn’t going to turn head down.

I saw another OB at 39 weeks (I rotated between 2 OBs, so when I did give birth, I was familiar with whomever would be on call that day), and she performed an internal to see where I was at (She also did this as she couldn’t clearly tell if baby was still breech or not, which she was, and an internal helped her to tell). I was found to be at 2cm, soft and very favourable. She told me that I’d most likely have baby within the week. She knew my thoughts on having a c/s, and that I would be refusing one. As much as they didn’t want to deliver a breech baby vaginally, they also couldn’t refuse care. As bad as I felt putting both her and the other OB in that position, it wasn’t fair that I would be put in the position of not birthing the way I wanted, since it was my body & baby etc. That was Thursday 26th July.

I had been losing my plug over the last week or so, just little bits. Then on Saturday 28th (at 39+6) morning I found the rest of it had come away, though I knew this didn’t tell me much, labour could still be a week or more away. I’d also been experiencing painful Braxton hicks contractions over the last week, not too painful, but noticeable. These happened mainly when I was breastfeeding Mila (18mths old at the time). Though on this day I noticed they were around a bit more, and hurt a little more, not regular though. I really didn’t think anything of it, especially since they had been bothering me for weeks.

I headed to bed at 12:30am that night, I got nice & cosy, and then had a cough. Well as soon as I coughed my waters broke/burst. Totally didn’t expect that! I spent the next 20mins trying to get hold of the maternity suite, when I finally did, the Midwife (Susan) informed me that as it was the weekend and baby was still breech, my husband Lach & I would have to drive to Orange Base Hospital. My local hospital had no theatre staff on call, and they wanted that back up should something go wrong. Now Orange was over an hour drive away, and we weren’t too happy about driving all that way, but figured we had no choice.

After I got off the phone (just before 1am), I started getting painful contractions. They were coming every 5mins, and lasting just over a minute. This gave me a little hope that I may get a VB, as I had never gone into spontaneous labour with my other kids.

My Mum arrived at our place around 1:20am, and saw that I was having contractions. She soon suggested we get an ambulance to take us to Orange, as not only was Lach so tired and unwell (he had a horrid flu over the past week), but my previous VB were fast, and we didn’t want to risk birthing on the way. So she called up for an ambulance to take us. I was labouring on my bed at this point, on all fours. I was worried about a cord prolapse as I wasn’t sure if baby had engaged her bum yet or not. I really wanted to get up and jump in the shower, but didn’t want to risk being up right and possibly having a cord slip out.

The Ambos arrived around 1:40am, one of them lived just around the corner from us, so he got here pretty quick. After a check over, he informed me that we would have to go to the local hospital first before making our way to Orange. I felt bad as I had been told to go straight to Orange, but the Ambos said it was protocol. I had a contraction or 2 on the way, and wasn’t looking forward to labouring like this if we had to go to Orange. I had a canula inserted while in the ambulance in case I needed fluids etc.

At 2am, making our way along the corridors to the maternity suite I had another contraction (I was on my back, ouch!), and we were met by my Midwife Susan. I had to wait for the on call OB to arrive to do a check to see how far I was progressing. When she got there, I had an internal and amazingly I was already 8cm dilated! I couldn’t believe I was that far already, so quickly. This was what I wanted since finding out bub was breech, as the OBs had both said if I arrived at hospital at 7/8cm they would be happy to go for a breech VB. After my internal, my OB said I wasn’t going anywhere (YAY!).

Both my OB & Midwife explained how we were going to approach this birth. I had previously discussed with my OB how she would do it, so had a fair idea with how it’d go. I was told once I was fully dilated & ready to push, I’d have to come back onto the bed, on my back with my bum right at the end of the bed. They would be taking the ‘hands off approach’, where I would be left to birth baby without anyone touching her. This was so bub wouldn’t flex her head while still inside me, which would possibly cause her to get stuck. Though Susan said she would have a hard time resisting the urge to touch baby, as she was so used to being hands on when catching (cephalic) babies.

It was almost 2:30am when I found out I was staying, and I made my way into the shower to labour (boy was it great to be up off my back!). I was in there for about 10 minutes when I decided the water wasn’t hot enough for me (I had it up as far as it would go, with just hot water), so I asked for the gas. Oh that blissful gas, it’s awesome! I only had gas in my 2 previous VB, and found it really helped to ‘focus’ in a way.

Not too long and I was starting to feel pushy and let Susan know. This meant I had to get out of the shower and back onto the bed. I didn’t really want to, and was ready to crawl there, but Lach & Susan managed to encourage me to get up and make my way to the bed. I hopped up onto the bed on all fours (leaning over the head of the bed) and my OB checked me over again. I was almost fully dilated, with a little bit of cervix in the way. I stayed where I was and continued to suck on the glorious gas, fighting the urge to push. I looked up at the clock at this point and saw it was 2:45am.

Finally at around 3am I was 10cm, & ready to push. I flipped over onto my back (half sitting up), got into position, and started to push.

After a few minutes of pushing I could feel bub descending. Out came her bum (and she did a big poo & wee right before her bum emerged), then her feet flipped out from under her (she was complete breech with legs folded). Next out came her head, and then she was immediately passed up onto me. My baby girl was born at 3:13am (just over an hour after arriving at the hospital, making it just a 2hr labour).

australian hospital breech vbac

Susan went to clamp her cord, but I reminded her that I had requested delayed cord clamping as I felt (and knew) it was very beneficial for baby to receive all/as much blood from the placenta as possible. Though a minute or so later the OB asked us to clamp and cut it as bub wasn’t quite responding as well as she’d liked. She was fine though, and I knew this as I could see she was alert and trying to cry, just a little shocked. Lach cut the cord and bub was taken over to the warming tray to have a bit of air blown into her, then she was handed back to me where she latched on and began her breastfeeding journey.

first breastfeed

I indulged in my new baby girl as I delivered the placenta and I was checked over & given a few stitches. Bub was weighed & measured – 3110gm (6lb 13oz) & 48cm. After I showered, all 3 of us headed to a room to get a bit of sleep. Susan let Lach stay with me since it was so quiet on the ward (bonus of a small hospital), and he took up the bed next to me. I dozed in and out for the next few hours, had some brekky then waited for my OB to get back so we could be discharged. At 11:30am we were finally ready to go, and headed home to introduce our new daughter to her siblings.

newborn breech birth

Throughout my whole pregnancy we searched high & low for names. It was SO hard! Well if she had of been a boy it may have been easier, but naming our 3rd daughter was very tricky. Finally when she was 10 days old we agreed to name her Remi Violet.

Even now, almost 7 months later I find myself in awe. I can’t believe I did it! Well I knew I could do it, but I figured I’d end up with a c/s one way or another. I just didn’t think things would go the way I wanted. I now know that if we go back for another baby, and he/she is breech too, I will push again for another breech vaginal birth without question. I won’t let anyone convince me otherwise. I am so unbelievably happy that I got the birth I wanted, the way I wanted. I’ve watched my birth video over & over, and it amazes me every time seeing a bum come out first!

newborn breech vbac

newborn hospital breech vbac

Breech Birth Video: Faith in God and His Will

Breech Birth Video: Faith in God and His Will

Amanda sent her video in to share with the BWF Mamas. Her journey, after a loss and finding out her baby was breech took a lot of research, education and faith. She was open to listening to her instincts and to God. Her faith in both carried her through fearing another loss, finding out her baby was breech and how to birth, then finding support in having a vaginal breech birth! Thank you Amanda for sharing your journey, your courage and your faith with us. ~Mrs. BWF

Breech Does NOT Equal C-Section

Breech Does NOT Equal C-Section

I have written before how a breech baby is another variation of normal. Having a breech presentation does not mean you automatically need to schedule a c-section. Remember, our babies are wise and know just how they need to be for birth. Most of the time, babies will turn, even late in pregnancy and labor!!!  You can read my other post for more thoughts, support and ideas here.

I want to share a few breech birth videos for inspiration. My first baby was breech and everyone I talked to said, “Sure, you can have a vaginal breech birth, but if it goes bad, it will do so fast.” Not very encouraging. I had no where to turn to for POSITIVE support. I bet you can guess what happened. I had a c-section. Would I now for a breech presentation? No way. Not automatically. I’d give my body and baby the chance to birth vaginally.

So, if you are finding yourself pregnant with a breech baby that is not turning, you have my support and the support of all the BWF mamas on Facebook!

Edited to add this new video. I can not comment on these techniques as I’m not a midwife or doctor, but it is definitely an very interesting breech birth video! If any OB’s or midwife care to comment, please do.

Another new video to add. An OB attended home birth of a breech baby.

Enjoy these beautiful videos and remember it is YOUR body, YOUR birth, YOUR baby!

Your Body, Your Birth, Your Baby

Your Body, Your Birth, Your Baby

OB, doctor, pregnancy, birthI do not know where women got the idea that doctors are a “knight in shining armor” here to rescue them. Actually, the AMA has been incredible at making themselves fit that role. Regardless, it’s a lie.

When I hear a mama say, “They are going to let me…” I cringe. I absolutely want to vomit. Since when do they own you?! IT IS NOT UP TO THEM how and where you birth. It is up to YOU!

You have been deceived. Your doctor is not a knight in shining armor here to save the day. You do not have to just be happy with what they will and will not let you do. You do not need saving.

If you are educated and know all your choices (truly know them) and are 100% happy with having an induction or a surgical birth, then by all means, I respect that. But do NOT let an OB in a white coat tell you how your body can and can not birth. Due dates are an estimate. You can birth a healthy baby at 42, 43 and even over 44 weeks (I have). Your body can birth vaginally after one or more c-sections. You can birth a breech baby vaginally. You were made for this!

There are many OB’s and midwives out there. Find another one who will support you to birth how YOU choose to birth.  There are always choices. You just have to decide what you are comfortable with. Your doctor isn’t going to come and grab you at one week past due date and drag you to the hospital. You don’t have to show up until you are pushing (if at all).

You are not a victim. You are not helpless. You are not broken. You are a mature, beautiful, responsible pregnant mama that can choose to have a c-section 1 week post dates or choose to wait until your baby and body decide to start labor!

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