This is my birth story with my first child, I’ve put this out there to inspire and support mums thinking of having their baby in breech position, please be sensitive with any comments because this is the story from my point of view of the birth of my child, which was very special to me.
My Daughter was breech from my 20 week scan. She had her bottom nestled in my pelvis and her feet touching her head!
I never lay back in my pregnancy, I worked hard to ensure I only ever lay on my left side or sat forward on the edge of the chair.
From 29 weeks I began offering her the opportunity to turn round. I used everything at my disposal from a complementary angle from yoga to summersaults in the swimming pool! But she insisted on her comfy breech position!
At 36+4 weeks I had a final scan which confirmed her breech position. I began using moxibustion to try and turn her.
37 weeks I had my last day at work teaching two baby massage classes. I was uncomfortable with twinges and what felt like her sticking her hands into my ribs, but didn’t pay it much thought.
At midnight I was getting uncomfortable with Braxton hicks (this was my early labour!)
I jotted down some phone numbers for my independent midwife, doula and hospital, wrote some brief bullet points on birth positions and went to bed.
2am I woke feeling very uncomfortable and lay down on the sofa with hot wheat bags on my tummy and my back. The Braxton hicks were period pains and after an hour I realised having dozed between them, that they were coming every 15minutes!
I decided to have paracetamol and a bath. If it really was labour it would subside if I relaxed in water.
At 3.30am my husband came into the bathroom and asked if I was okay. He was due to fly to Zurich on a business trip at 7.20am
4am I rang my Doula and Independent midwife. My IM told me to have a bath and take paracetamol and said she was on her way when I’d told her I’d already done that and had a surge whilst trying to speak on the phone!
Tens machine on I was getting really uncomfortable and was getting onto all fours during each surge. I told hubby to fill the birth pool for my homebirth!
5am Doula and IM arrived.
6.20am Waters bulging, surges crashing over me 4 in 10 minutes we had the conversation about transferring to hospital. My IM’s breech backup was on holiday. She didn’t feel comfortable doing a 37 week breech birth at home without backup unless I insisted. The only thing I insisted upon was that I wouldn’t go to my local hospital who didn’t offer me a breech birth.
7.20am We arrived at the hospital I’d asked to go to. I’d been offered gas and air in the ambulance to help me to stop the pushing urges but I’d declined. I didn’t find it painful, just difficult to control. I’d settled into a ritual of throwing my coat off as I got hot during the surge and arrrhhhhh’ing throughout and realised the HypnoBirthing I’d done was helping my breathing allowing my control of it all. Between surges I was telling the ambulance lady that it was really quite okay and we’ll make it to hospital having overheard her telling my IM that she’d just found out she was 8 weeks pregnant! I didn’t want to scare her!
As the ambulance doors opened I opened my eyes briefly and arrrh’d thorugh the next surge. They waited for it to end before I left the comfort of the ambulance and was whisked into the labour department. I was vaguely aware of some one holding a sheet up next to me and was grateful my dignity was being preserved!
In the room I made it to the bed and set myself in an all fours position, hanging over the back of the bed for dear life through each surge that I was so desperate to push through and held back.
A VE confirmed I was 7cm (Don’t push!) and I accepted gas and air which numbed the feeling of the push enough for me to resist it for a bit longer. My eyes were tight shut and I could hear discussions going on around me. A consultant was introducing himself, trying to set up monitors around my tummy, talking to my husband and trying to tell me the risks of a vaginal breech birth vs a safer csection delivery!
I held my hand up each time I had a surge and closed my eyes, shutting everything out of my world. I couldn’t make myself understood that I knew exactly what risks I was taking and to just let me get on with it! Finally, my Doula piped up and I heard her say “Yes she does understand, this was planned and we’re hoping for a positive birth thank you very much”!
I heard a familiar voice introducing herself. Doctor KP – an OB I had worked with previously as a Doula and I was overjoyed to hear her voice! I think I told her I knew who she was and I loved her!! This is where I settled. My waters broke and 10 minutes later I couldn’t stop the urge to push. My entire being bore down and I clung to the plastic padding of the back of the bed – to the point that I kept ripping it off the velcro! The sheer strength of my body was awe-inspiring.
A midwife asked me to look at her at some point and asked if she could put a cannula in my hand in case we went to theatre. I said No and shut my eyes again! (I’m petrified of needles!)
My hubby beside me and my Doula somewhere close (I could hear her voice egging me on) I began going with the push my body wanted to do. I remember asking how long I had left as I was concerned, they would recommend a c-section for failing to push! My daughter seemed happy enough and a mw had to hold the monitor on my tummy as I moved around so much they had to follow me around bless her!
I changed position to laying on my left side. A VE confirmed 10cm and baby’s bottom began appearing. Not the best position to birth a breech in – which was clear later.
I pushed her all out right up to the nape of her neck – cheeky minx had her arms wrapped around the outside of her legs so that was a large shape, which I thought was her head!
My body relaxed and I heard Dr K say it was her head left to deliver. The first time I fully opened my eyes and seemed to completely come to. I asked for my Jasmine oil which they questioned but I explained about its properties to help contractions and my doula rubbed it into my tummy. A few minutes later I told them no contraction was coming. I was encouraged to wait, but just knew my body and brain really had thought I’d delivered her head already.
Dr K agreed she’d help me deliver my baby by an episiotomy and tucking her chin in with forceps. I hardly noticed the episiotomy or the forceps and sat up when I knew she’d gone from my body.
11.11am my baby was born!
They took her immediately to the resuscitative and Dr K’s head appeared to my left explaining that my baby was fine and was pinking up nicely, then she began making little sounds!I had the injection for the placenta and agreed to this as they’d had to use forceps and cut me. I was pretty pale anyway and wanted to avoid bleeding much more.
My baby was returned to me nude with towels over the top of her. Wow, what a feeling!