“This is getting ridiculous. This baby is wedged in my pelvis, without ultrasound technology it is unlikely that anyone would have realised this baby was breech. It’s legs are extended and there is little room to move. I am making myself sick doing acrobatics to try to get postural turning, and taking desperate measures to try to get this baby to move. “I just want to be normal”, I hear myself say it over and over again as I talk to family, friends and begin to beg the universe “You’ve made your point!”. The thought of lying on a theatre table, as they cut me open and surgically extract my child, makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t believe that I am “in need” of a caesarean section but I am not the one that needs convincing.”
“Dr A splints and supports one little arm out, then the other, each provides instant relief as they are birthed. I take a breather briefly, I am not contracting. As Dr A hangs my baby over her arm I am instructed to push. “Even though I’m not contracting?”, yes, “PUSH!” the chorus instructs me. At this moment, I feel like I want to “pant” more than “push”, but I am determined to do this “right”. I give one almighty push and my baby is born. (Rosemarie tells me later that “If it was a cephalic birth it would’ve been one push and the baby would have landed in the bucket on the other side of the room”). It is placed on my chest, eyes wide, looking a little stunned, it is 12:25pm. I pull it’s little legs apart, “what have you got?” someone asks me “A girl!” (I knew it!). ”
“After some thought we decided to have the c-sec. I had done no research on the topic and my beautiful home birth was gone to be replaced by a major surgery I knew nothing about! Some googling happened that evening.”
“I was surrounded by mothers who all labored at one time. With the next contraction, I began thinking of my midwife, the talented Lora Burgess who passed away last year, who worked with Evelyn who always said that there are some births that fathers shouldn’t attend. She was right… With each contraction, my midwives, my mother and my friend would breathe with me, sigh with me, and rest in between. They labored right with me and their support, along with counter pressure from Christina, and her whisperings of support and love made me feel that Lora was right in the room with us, nodding her approval and smiling.”
“I didn’t want a c-section unless my baby was in danger. She never was. Her fluid was perfect, her placenta was posterior, her cord was adequate, and she merely arrived bottom first in 4 of the most intense pushes that I have ever experienced. With vertex babies (my previous 4 were posterior vertex), the “work” is basically over once the head and shoulders emerge. The rest of the baby sort of slithers out quickly. Not so with breech babies. I had to work for every inch of my baby daughter’s arrival. The first pushes of her birth exposed her bottom. (She pooped….not unusual for breech babies when their bottoms are exposed to the cool air). The next brought forth her legs because her hips were flexed and her legs were folded Indian style against her body. I roared with the push that brought her shoulders, and lastly, one enormous push later her head was born and I couldn’t believe that Evelyn was saying, “Carla, take your baby!” in a shocked voice.”
Our breech baby Jennifer born by c section.
Had hoped for vaginal breech but new decisions needed to be made as not in a good enough position for me to feel confident with vaginal delivery, back to back footling breech.
At consent form signing with consultant he offered me another chance to try and turn baby under the spinal and if she turned to break my waters and transfer to DS for a natural birth allowing the spinal to wear off. Overjoyed to get another ECV and at least a chance for a vaginal birth. Baby didn’t turn with 3 attempts so proceeded with C/S.
Had radio station of my choice, all the staff picked up on my desire for a joyful relaxed environment and each and everyone of them contributed to making it the amazing experience that it turned out to be. The consultant asked if we wanted to see her being born and the screens were dropped, we saw our baby gently eased from within me, her little bum first, she came out so gently and easily. The consultant handed her directly to me, she was pink apgar 9 at 1 min. I held her against my chest with my cord still intact. We were both covered with dry towels and I rubbed her all over talking to her, she breathed without support or assistance in under a minute. Within the next 30 seconds she searched out my breast and latched herself on. Weighing etc was delayed until I was ready. I had delayed cord clamping and cut my baby’s cord after about 5 mins.
The staff were amazing it was an atmosphere of calm celebration and I felt so involved. I was fine throughout and the anesthetiser then took photos of us all together. My baby never lost her connection with me, she was on my breast feeding and I cut her cord. The staff took great care to involve my husband.
I really didn’t want a c/s felt it would be clinical and that I’d be detached from it. My experience has left me with nothing but joy. My consultant (University Hospital North Stafford) had been fully supportive during my pregnancy and there is nothing more I could have asked for or expected, he made the birth of our baby unique and so personal for us and the theatre team were also amazing. We are blessed to have our beautiful daughter she is feeding so well and I believe this is wholly contributed to her being left to do what nature intended.
“I spent the next 30 hours desperately trying to find an independent midwife with breech experience, and preferably Mary’s recommendation, who could take me on at short notice. Eventually, and having spoken to many wonderfully helpful – but unavailable – IMs, we found Lynn. Little did we realise how short this notice really was – following a few contractions which woke me up during the night, I was in established labour within about 9 hours of confirming our midwife. I was in denial for a while, I couldn’t believe it was such a close call, but eventually had to admit that the contractions had been regular for a couple of hours and we needed to phone Lynn and bring our meeting time forward to NOW!”
“He’s found his voice more now but is still usually a delightfully contented, but expressive, baby and I can’t help but attribute this to the calm and relaxed manner in which he entered the world.”
“It was just as other moms have described here. the move was very intense. I felt the baby get stuck at one point when my uterus tightened. Then I took a big breath and felt the uterus muscle relax and melt as I exhaled. It was amazing, because he completely flipped afterward. I heard the excitement in the staff’s voice even through the scripts. when I heard the perinatologist say, “good boy!” I knew we were done.”
A story of many breeches, from the midwife’s own birth as a footling breech baby in WWII, to others she has attended during her career…
“The best part of the story is the old doctor’s instructions for when to call, i.e., how to tell when the time was right. His first instruction was to do nothing! and see if labor goes away. Then eat bread and butter (still my favorite food) and drink beer, and then do nothing! He instructed my mother that when the labor got so intense that she thought she couldn’t take it anymore, she should go for a walk in the garden or the hallways of the cloister with one of the nuns. He told her to do some slight breathing during contractions and lean on the wall, the fence or a nun. After that she should again do nothing!
He further advised that if she thought she couldn’t do anything anymore she should lie down on her left side with two pillows between her legs and do nothing! At this point he said she should tell the nuns to feed the donkey. When the donkey was full, they should hitch the wagon to the donkey and go get the doctor. He told her when he got to the cloister he would eat some food, have some beer and check in with her and that he would still have lots of time to prepare for the birth.”
“Today my beautiful baby boy is 5 weeks old! I can’t believe it’s going so quickly, he has grown so much already. Motherhood has so far been how I expected and totally not what I expected at the same time; but I’ll save that for another blog! ”
“A few pushes later and the bottom was out, a couple more then the legs and torso. I was nearly there, ready to meet our baby, I was still using the gas and air and had Paul holding my hand encouraging me the whole time. The contractions subsided a little with the head still not delivered so I had to have a small episiotomy. The baby was here. But no crying, Paul went to the midwives to check all was ok…Then there was the cry.”