“At 38 weeks pregnant I hired independent midwives to help me have a physiological breech birth at home because the NHS were not supportive of my choices and wanted me to opt for a caesarean. Four weeks and 3 days later my beautiful baby daughter was born at home in record fast timing and it was the most natural and rewarding experience of my life. I have Natal Hypnotherapy and Maya midwives to thank for that. Natal Hypnotherapy gave me the confidence to trust my body and believe in my ability to give birth naturally and Maya midwives supported me, allowing me to trust my instincts and listen to my body before and during the birth. Here is my story.” -Ruth
I had always planned a home birth for my second baby but when I found out she was breech, I was told by the hospital this would be impossible and after an unsuccessful attempt at turning her (ECV) I was given no other option but to have a caesarean. I was distraught, I knew I could deliver this baby normally but was shocked that the hospital were so keen on c-section. They wouldn’t let me leave without consenting to this even though I told them I wanted to explore my options. I was 38 weeks pregnant at this stage and if they had their way I would have had a c-section one week later but I knew baby wasn’t ready and after careful thought and research I told them I wanted to wait and to cancel the caesarean. The majority of staff were not supportive of my choice so I began a quest to find an independent midwife.
Several phone calls later I came across the wonderful Maya midwives, who happened to be experienced in vaginal breech birth and very keen to support me. I was overjoyed and it meant there was a greater chance I could have the home birth I so desperately wanted for my baby. I withdrew from NHS care and had regular visits from the midwives to check baby’s heart rate etc. and then it was just a waiting game. I began listening to my Natal Hypnotherapy prepare for home birth CD again every day, sometimes two or three times a day and I made a poster for my bedroom wall with affirmations and other positive thoughts about the birth.
My due date (20th September) came and went and then a week later there were still no labour signs. The midwives advised that I didn’t do anything to augment the labour, such as acupuncture or reflexology because breech babies must come when they are ready if they are going to come at all. So I waited and waited. Natal Hypnotherapy helped me to remain calm, relaxed and focused at this stressful time when friends and family were growing increasingly concerned. When I reached 42 weeks I decided to go to hospital for a scan and CTG monitoring to make sure everything was ok. The doctors said baby was doing really well and couldn’t find anything at all wrong but would be happier if I’d have a c-section the next day. My instincts told me to wait a little longer and so I agreed to come back two days later for more CTG monitoring. In the meantime I began to prepare myself for the caesarean (by listening to the Natal Hypnotherapy CD) as it was becoming increasingly likely that I might have to give in at some point. Again the CTG monitoring showed that everything was fine but I agreed to go in the next day for my bloods to be taken in case the caesarean was necessary. Although I was more prepared for it, I couldn’t understand how my body could grow this baby, keep her nourished for 9 months and then just abandon her and me when it was time to be born.
That very night I woke at 4am with contractions that felt ‘different’ to the Braxton hicks I’d been having for weeks so I called the midwife, Andy, and she arrived an hour later. I wasn’t in any pain at all but had been preparing for this for months using Natal Hypnotherapy so didn’t really expect to be. There was about an hour where the contractions were really intense but at no time painful and our daughter was born two and a half hours later (bum first) at 7:30. Andy said it was the quickest birth she’d ever seen, so quick that Viv, the second midwife missed it! I was glad I called Andy when I did. I used only a TENS machine and Natal Hypnotherapy techniques and our beautiful breech baby daughter, Amália Rose, was born calmly and peacefully in our bedroom. Her birthday is 7th October 2012, 17 days past the due date. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome, I am so glad that I trusted my instincts and my baby and that I had the support of such wonderful midwives. I will treasure that moment forever.
[Moments after birth with my wonderful midwife, Andy Parker]
[ Amalia and I in front of affirmations poster I made]
[Big sister Ania meets Amalia]
Beautiful baby and positive outcome!
I must admit, I would have been pretty nervous to birth a breech that long past her date. My babies were all so very large, up to 12 and a half pounds that I just couldn’t have waited. They were all within two days of estimate due date, too.
Your preparations truly worked for you. You’re a smart mama! 🙂
Congratulations Mama on listening to your instincts and protecting yourself and your baby girl.
Your story reinforces my dissatisfaction with mainstream medical practitioners. I can’t believe that they weren’t going to ‘let you’ leave the hospital at the 38 week mark unless you signed the paperwork for a C-section. Recent scientific evidence has shown that it is safer for a breech baby to be born vaginally than via C-section for both mother and baby (other health issues notwithstanding of course).
If the medicos had their way, your beautiful baby girl would have been born 3.5 weeks before her true birthday – this means that she would have been far more likely to have been more with respiratory issues than being born when she was truly ready.
The other comment in your story that really irks me is:
‘When I reached 42 weeks I decided to go to hospital for a scan and CTG monitoring to make sure everything was ok. The doctors said baby was doing really well and couldn’t find anything at all wrong but would be happier if I’d have a c-section the next day.’
Medical practitioners are supposed to ‘first do no harm’ and many of them would do well to be reminded of this fact on a daily basis particularly in the Maternity Ward. They agreed that your baby was doing perfectly well, but were still willing to perform major stomach surgery on you and rip her from your body before she was ready. I hear this sort of thing all the time, but it never ceases to stun and anger me.
I had an ob/gyn recommend an elective caesarean to avoid another perineal tear (last time I had a 3rd degree tear as a result of a non-consentual and unnecessary episiotomy which became infected as a result of a practitioner who had questionable sterile technique) for my daughter’s birth last July. Needless to say, I did the same as you and hired an Independent Midwife and my healthy daughter was born at home in our spa in 6 hours last July – I had only a minor perineal tear that didn’t require stitches and healed beautifully in only a week. My girl was born 10 days past her estimated due date, but having an Independent Midwife meant that I had no pressure for an induction which meant the latter stage of my pregnancy was stress-free and enjoyable.
Congratulations again strong Mama and I hope that one day, sooner rather than later, women will be respected and supported by all medical practitioners in their pregnancy/birth/post partum journeys 🙂
I love your story!!! My firstborn was breech and at 42 weeks my midwives did not feel confident continuing with the homebirth plan so I was left with no choice but to have a c-section. I felt abandoned and devastated. I had no idea what my body was capable of since I hadn’t had a contraction. Fortunately, I had a successful VBAC with my second son. Thank you for sharing!
Your story has brought back so many memories for me. This was my first pregnancy and i found myself in the exact same situation. Having been told i couldn’t have children many years ago this pregnancy was so very precious to us (as I’m sure every pregnancy is!). So, i naively followed everything the consultants told me. They tried to turn our little girl but she wouldn’t budge so a c-section was booked for 39 weeks. We’re very privileged to have a wonderful, healthy baby girl. But next time round i would say no and look for alternative ways….. and your story has really inspired me!
Well done, Ruth…beautiful story about a beautiful baby and her mam! But then I AM biased….but still a very proud mother and grandmother.xx
Thank you for your wonderful, inspiring story. Let’s spread it as far as possible. The pictures are stunning. Women have a right to expect to birth as you have and to be disappointed when they don’t get the care that gives them the opportunity to do so. The DVD the ‘Lotus Birth if the Malcolm Twins’
is another testament to the wonder and glory of birth. The second twin is breech. Love and blessings to you.