We found out at our 29w growth scan that baby was breech but were told not to worry as baby had plenty of time to turn but me being a bit of a worrier went away and did the thing I tend to do and turned to google!
I found myself doing lots of research on breech babies and birth options and I decided then that if baby was still to be breech further down the line I wanted a vaginal breech birth. In my case knowledge is power and having researched I felt a lot more calm and relaxed about what might happen if baby were to stay breech.
At 34w I went into hospital with reduced movements and got chatting to one of the lovely midwives and she said she could refer me to The Safe Active Birth Team that consisted of Supervisors of Midwives for support with my plans and I’m so glad I agreed for her to do that. The support I received from them was amazing, we chatted about everything I wanted and none of it was too much of an ask and a specific ‘plan’ for me and baby was put in place. One of the midwives asked if it was ok with me that she would like to be on call for the birth, to which I agreed. Knowing someone I had met and who knew what I wanted would potentially be there made me more relaxed.
I saw 2 consultants at around 37w after it had been confirmed by a scan that baby was still frank breech, they both fully supported my choices of a vaginal breech birth and understood my reasoning of declining an ECV to try and turn baby, they also answered any other questions that I had
We left it that I would see the consultant again at 40+5 if baby hadn’t arrived before that. From 36w I had some reflexology sessions and as I passed my ‘due date’ I started to feel a little fed up but I think that was mostly to do with hormones, tiredness and being uncomfortable.
I saw the consultant at 40+5 and we decided that if baby hadn’t arrived before 42w we would go in and have a planned c section, even though it wasn’t what I wanted, I felt that by that point I would have given my body a good amount of time for things to happen spontaneously and if it hadn’t then I had some time to come to terms with having a c section.
As I reached 41w I went for another session of reflexology and had a good chat with the midwife who did it, I then headed to the hospital for a sweep which didn’t go ahead as my cervix was too posterior too reach. I came home feeling a little deflated and had a really good cry for no particular reason, and I mean good as it took a while for me to stop crying at anything and everything.
I went to bed early only to be woken at 2.30am with pains, I started to time them to which they were coming every 5 mins. I gave it half an hour before waking my husband and I called the hospital at 3.20am. The pains became more intense quite quickly so I put on my TENS machine and started getting ready, My mum arrived to look after our eldest and we set off to the hospital at 3.50am. Whilst in the car the contractions started to get more intense and closer together, I called the hospital again and asked them to contact the midwife from the Safe Active Birth Team to let her know so she could make her way to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at around 4.30am and were greeted by a midwife who showed us to a room, she did my blood pressure and temp before hooking me up to the wireless monitoring to keep a check on baby and then she went to start filling the pool with water (the consultants were happy for me to use the pool to labour in). The midwife from the Safe Active Birth Team arrived shortly after and with the contractions I started to feel a bit pushy so I asked for some gas and air. We moved down the corridor to the pool room where I got on the floor cushions on all fours before being asked if they could examine me to determine where we were at. I agreed and was happy to hear that I was 8cm, I was feeling a lot of pressure. I went back to all fours and after a couple of minutes baby’s heart rate dropped and took a little while to come back up so the consultant came in and asked me if I would get onto the bed. In the mean time a number of other staff came into the room and stood well back to watch the birth (I had said I didn’t mind others watching when we were originally doing the birth ‘plan’ and I was asked again if it was ok whilst I was in labour). It’s not very often people get to see a vaginal breech birth especially in our NHS trust with if being quite small.
Pretty quickly I was 10cm dilated but baby’s heart rate dropped again so it was advised by the consultant that an episiotomy would help baby be born a bit quicker. I started to push and baby arrived into the world bottom first after 5mins of pushing.
We had another boy!
Ronnie was born at 6.05am weighing a healthy 8lb 15oz.
He didn’t need any support with breathing, we had delayed cord clamping and some skin to skin then about 20 minutes later my husband cut the cord and had a cuddle whilst I had some stitches done. After that we were left for a good hour or so to have some lovely skin to skin and take it all in. We stayed in hospital for observations to be done on him due to him having slightly low blood sugar at birth but there were no further concerns and we went home the following day!
I’m so proud of myself for trusting my instincts and believing in my body knowing what to do. This was 100% the right decision for both myself and baby!