Our baby girl was born on Saturday at the hospital in Truro, Cornwall. She is perfect! We had an incredible VBB, assisted by a lovely midwife. If anyone out there is feeling overwhelmed and unsure about their breechling please know that VBB can be so special.
Briefly, our little one flipped at 37w2 much to my surprise as my first was born vaginally head down so I hadn’t even really thought about breech at all. We went to the hospital to confirm and they immediately jumped to elective section and throwing quite a lot of data at me. It was overwhelming and I felt as thought something was “wrong” with me. I felt pressured to try an ECV but I went home first and did a loooooot of research. The internet is amazing. I decided to try the ECV. It was unsuccessful and now we know that the cord was wrapped around my baby’s head twice so I think that was what stopped her from turning. I doubt I would do an ECV again. I found it to be a very emotional experience.
So I moved on and decided to embrace my breechling as I was now 38w. I didn’t try moxibustion or anything else apart from continuing on with my daily yoga practice (which I did all along anyway). I let go of my homebirth plan because I couldn’t find anyone in my area to support me. I contacted the head of midwifery at the hospital and sent her my VBB plan and request for second birth partner (my doula) which was granted. I also spoke with Kemi Johnson who was just absolutely so supportive and reaffirmed my faith in myself. I filled my mind with positive VBB podcasts and stories and websites and videos. I also wrote an emergency C section plan and spent a little bit of time thinking on that.
My waters broke on Friday night/Saturday morning at 1:30am. The waters were red with quite a lot blood which is a bit scary. I was told to come straight in, the midwife on the phone was so excited when she heard I was planning on a VBB. Hospital was over an hour drive away and when we arrived I was still losing quite a lot of blood. I allowed the doctor to do a VE. I was 3cm. They asked if I wanted to do a section because they didn’t know where the blood was coming from. I declined and asked to wait a little longer as I felt fine and baby was happy. Surges had begun inconsistently. They agreed I could wait but they asked to put a canula in my hand so they had quick access to a vein should the bleeding get worse very quickly. That was scary and also very uncomfortable. But I felt it was a fair compromise.
My labour took a few hours to establish because I kept getting interrupted by various doctors giving me their unwanted opinions about my decision for a VBB. But the bleeding had stopped and waters were coming through clear now so my worry decreased. I got really annoyed with two male doctors pressuring me to talk about my c section plan should labour fail to establish within their timeframe since waters had broken. I just ignored them. When they left I asked my doula and partner to go and speak to our midwife.
They told her no more people in the room. Only her. No one else. They gave me my safe space back.
After that my surges came properly, soon they were just 2-3mins apart and lasting at least a minute each wave. I used my hypnobirthing and essential oils (lavender, frankincense and clary sage). My doula supported my back beautifully with a pressure point. My partner was amazing, reassuring and loving and supportive.
After an hour the midwife came to check in and she noticed that things had ramped up a lot. She asked to do another VE. I agreed but asked that she didn’t tell me my dilation, she was a bit surprised but agreed. Afterwards she told me I was 9cm. But after the check she just said we were going to get ready to meet baby soon. She began to get the room ready and spoke to me about staying standing and trusting my body to guide me into whatever position I needed to be in. I was on my yoga mat, kneeling and leaning into my partner. I began to shake and I knew I was in transition. All I could think was “the only way to my baby is through each wave”.
My midwife gently guided me in trusting my body and reassured me she would be hands off unless absolutely necessary and would talk to me the whole time. She told me not to push until there was just no way I couldn’t. She told me to breathe and take my time through each contraction.
Pushing began and lasted just 11 minutes, midwife called in second midwife to be present. This part was hard. Her one foot came out first, then her bum with her other leg. She was hanging beneath me, the midwife said I could reach down and then I felt her! We discovered we were having another baby girl! I cried! Then the midwife could see her arms were caught over her head. She asked me if she could assist baby because she was a little stuck. I agreed, it was very intense but I see in the video how gentle she was releasing the arms. After the arms were out I could feel the hardness of her head, it was soooooo hard after the squishy body! Midwife said to wait for the next surge and when it came to give everything. I did and she was out! Midwife told me to stand still as she unwinded the cord from around baby’s neck after which came her first cry as she was passed straight to me.
We did it! Euphoria.
The placenta took about an hour but we enjoyed golden hour and baby girl was just perfect, so alert and content. She scored 8/10 on the Apgar at birth and 10/10 after was few minutes. She began rooting and immediately latched on and started asking my body to feed her.
Later I was told that there were doctors and a neonatal specialist outside the door. But the midwife told them she would press the button if she needed help and otherwise to stay outside. She was absolutely incredible. I feel so lucky to have had her assist us in this birth.
Our baby girl was born at 12:54pm and weighed 3.4kg and we were discharged a couple of hours later. No stitches for me this time around.
I know it’s a bit of a long story but I also know there are others out there looking to stock up on positive VBB stories so this is for you. Our bodies are amazing and however we birth our babies, head down, head up, through a section, we are all incredible for what we go through.
Sending love to you wherever you are on your journey.