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Frank breech natural vaginal hospital delivery (long)

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I found out at 37 weeks that my son was frank breech. The midwives I was going to deliver with won't do breech deliveries and their backup physician does only C/S for breeches. I was kinda freaking out as a result.

So I started doing research into what could be done - turn the baby or have a vaginal delivery or did it have to be a c/s as EVERYONE was telling me.

The day after the U/S confirmed breech presentation, the midwives made me an appointment with a local doctor for an external version. The doctor was unable to move him because my son was too low in my pelvis (as the doc said "his butt is in the bowl".)

I did try a bunch of tricks I found: lying upside down, chirpractic treatment (helped the sciatica, but no movement from the baby), moxibustion (that was just weird, I gotta say). No dice. Baby was happy to be butt first.

I did a ton of research, looking at the term breech study as well as other ones, and came to the conclusion that based on our specific situation, if we could find a health care provider who was skilled and experienced with breech deliveries, it would be safer for all of us to birth him vaginally.

Luckily, the doc who attempted the version is also the go to doc for vaginal breech deliveries in the area. He is basically the only one around who will even attempt it. He said that my case - second time mom with one previous vaginal delivery, term baby, frank breech - made me a great candidate.

I did learn that I had to birth in the OR at his hospital, but as I discussed it with my doula, pretty pictures on the wall won't change the fact that we are in a hospital. But since my first was born in the hospital, I had a reasonably good idea of what "policies" they would try to make us use - and we came up with some methods of avoiding those which we though would interfere. Neither my dh nor I felt comfortable with a home birth with a lay midwife - especially since our insurance wouldn't cover it.

So I went home and waited. My first had been born at 36 and 6 days, so I expected my second would be born early too. I was wrong.

On my due date, I started getting mild contractions. I was excited because I had been at 3 cm for at least 3 weeks, and had lost a lot of mucus earlier the week, but nothing seemed to be happening. The contractions were on and off all day, but nothing particularly unpleasant.

I went to bed that night and slept a good 10 hours. I was sorta disappointed since I thought maybe it had been false labor. But around 10am the contractions started again, this time more intensely. They were still mild enough to let me finish up some work and even have a final meeting with my intern (who freaked out when she learned I was in labor - she kept asking if I needed to go to the hospital or something - too influenced by TV birth stories, I think...).

I was suffering from weird time dialation - I called my doula about every two hours, but could never really tell her how often my contractions were coming. Finally dh timed them for me, and we realized that they were pretty consistantly 6 - 8 minutes apart.

The doc's nurse had told us to come into the hospital when the contrax hit 10 min apart, but my doula strongly recommended we wait until I was closer to 5 minutes - a big strategy to avoid many hospital policies! This made sense too in order to avoid traffic...

Around 6:30pm, I went to lie down and watched some silly tv (america's home vidoes, actually - on a marathon!). The laughter actually helped with contrax.

Around 7:30 the contractions started getting more intense so I did some visualization with dh about pain radiating out of my body. He said he could tell it hurt more because I started swearing like a sailor.

Around 8:30pm, I got in the shower to help with the contractions and while it helped make them easier to deal with, they also sped up a lot - we went from 6 min apart - 90 sec long to 3 minutes apart for 45secs. So around 9pm, we called the doula and started preparing to go to the hospital.

I got there at 10pm, feeling good, though the drive over sucked - I swear we hit every pothole during the 20 minute drive... it took me 10 minutes to get from the car to the L&D ward, but I was just taking my time (with a contraction coming every 3 minutes, NO ONE was going to hurry me).

We got to the floor, spent a bunch of time on paperwork, etc. I also told the nurses that I didn't need an IV because the doc said it was unnecessary (a not completely untrue statement, but he had been a lot more vague about having a heplock inserted) and it took them an hour to check with them that yeah, I did need to have at least a heplock - but that was one hour I managed to avoid that thing sticking in my arm! I really hate IVs.

Because this was a hospital, they did have to do a vaginal check - I was at 6 cm when we walked in the door. They did an U/S to confirm the baby was still frank breech. They also made me lay on the bed for 30 minutes while they monitored his heart rates. That SUCKED. My water broke during one contraction while on the monitor - suddenly it felt like something popped. As soon as the 30 minutes was up, I ripped off the monitor things myself to get myself off the bed.

Then things started to get intense around 11:30pm. I felt this amazing pain and pressure in my lower back. The rest of the uterus didn't hurt during the contractions, but it felt like my pelvis was breaking apart (and I think it was, quite literally, to make room for that big butt!). I got into the shower and had my doula direct the hot water on my back while I leant over a shower stool, moaning loudly. I lasted for about 30 minutes like this, and got out because I started getting cold.

I was leaning over the bed, with my doula pressing on my back, and i started to really freak out - yelling, "I can't do this, get me an epidural!!" Weirdly, as soon as those words were out of my mouth, my body started to push. I yelled "I'm pushing!!". It felt so much better than the pain I had just been in.

The nurses and residents and medical students rushed in. One of them checked me - I was at 9 1/2 cm. They said "oh, you have another 30 minutes." My doula said, "uh, no, she was at 6cm when she arrived and is now at 9 1/2 and she feels like pushing. Go get the doc!". They ignored her and just told me to not push. I wasn't particularly articulate, but I basically told them I wasn't telling them that I was planning to push, I was rather informing them that my body was pushing and there was very little I could do about it. It was kinda like telling someone to not vomit.

My doula (god I love her), told me to yell out the power of the pushes because it is vital that I was fully dialated with no rim for this baby to be born. So I did - I screamed "I'm not pushing, I'm not pushing, I'M PUSHING!!!" as loudly as I could - just to disapate that power. It didn't hurt, not really - just a ton of pressure and power.

I was at 10 cm almost at once. The resident said, "oh, we need to call the doc, he'll be here in 10 minutes". The doula replied, "this baby might be born in 10 minutes!!". So they put me on a gurney and rushed me to the OR to wait for the doc. I was literally BEGGING them to let me push. It felt like hours, but dh tells me it was more like 10 minutes.

While we waiting for the doc to arrive, our doula asked the attending residents, medical students, and nurses (there were at least 10 people in the OR) if any of them knew how to deliver a breech baby - one said "not vaginally!". Only one nurse had ever even been present for a vaginal delivery of a frank breech and it had been two years previously.

The doc arrived, and I immediately started pushing that baby out. It took 10 minutes. I did have to have an episiotomy because the repaired tear from my first baby made me considerably less stretchy than I could have been.

the doc was great. dh told me that he basically stood there with his hand in the air, not touching me or the baby until the butt was fully out. He then slowly pulled out each leg, and then wrapped the baby's body in a cloth to minimize the stimulation. He used a shoe horn type of device to keep the baby's body at the appropriate angle, but let me do all the work pushing him out.

The doc didn't tell me when to push - but rather sometimes told me to actively push or to disapate the push (yell it out) to help control the delivery. I feel very strongly that my ability to control the delivery of my baby would have been strongly compromised if I'd had an epidural, like I did with my first.

Birthing that baby was like birthing a sausage - long and fat. Once his head was out, I said, outloud "Wow, that feels better!". I gave birth to a 9lb baby boy, with his legs over his head! He still has an enormous butt. : )

I felt great after the birth. I felt so amazingly energized and empowered. And the nurses on the ward thought I was completely insane. Hee!

Siobhan
post #2 of 41
That was awesome!!!! Congratulations Mama! How great that you found an OB that would attend a breech birth - I know that's hard to come by. Cool birth story...
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaSong View Post
That was awesome!!!! Congratulations Mama! How great that you found an OB that would attend a breech birth - I know that's hard to come by. Cool birth story...
thanks!

It took me awhile to get around to posting it but I am still on such a high from that birth!

I am on a one woman mission to let pregnant moms know that there alternatives to c/s for breech deliveries. I think it is a crime that so few docs have experience with breech deliveries - it is dangerous!

Thanks again!
post #4 of 41
Congrats! That is an amazing birth story! Thank you for sharing.
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post

I think it is a crime that so few docs have experience with breech deliveries - it is dangerous!
ITA!!!! I know I would want to deliver vaginally if my baby was breech - so its great to hear these success stories - share yours LOUDLY!!!
post #6 of 41
womanPOWER at its best. thank you for sharing
post #7 of 41
Wow! AMAZING!! Congratulations . . . Inspriational!!!

Julia
dd 9mos
post #8 of 41
WOW!! What a wonderful story!!! Thank you so much for sharing
post #9 of 41
Amazing! Congrats momma!!!!!

Mothering should have an area for us to post our "exceptional" ob doctors for each state.

Barbara
post #10 of 41
Thank you so much for sharing. Its wonderful to hear about successful vaginal breech births! I know if it happend to me I would do the same. BTW- What is moxibustion?

Congrats!
post #11 of 41
awesome story! congratulations
post #12 of 41
Hey- I 'know' you from DCUM (hope you don't think I'm some kind of stalker- I just recognized your name, location, and that you had a breech baby!) Very neat to read your story! I can see how you'd still be on a high from it! Thank you for all you do to encourage women to explore their options when it comes to giving birth to a breech baby and not go straight for the c/s!

I hate that you had to stay on the bed for 30 mins. and also wait to push- but am thankful that that Dr. and the hosp. were willing to serve you! I'm just curious, did they act like you were crazy when you checked in with a planned breech vag birth? I'm sure those residents and nurses got an education that night and I hope it affects them in how they practice in the future! I really truly hope he is able to continue to serve vbac and breech moms!

And it sounds like you had a fabulous doula
post #13 of 41
Wow!!! I'm so impressed and I used to live in your area and know that the c/s rate is through the roof there!!!! Your doctor did you such a wonderful service and hopefully the residents and medical students will be inspired to learn how to assist in breech deliveries. Hopefully your story will also inspire more women to really look for resources. That is inspirational and I will always look to your story for strength when I have my own baby.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaSong View Post
ITA!!!! I know I would want to deliver vaginally if my baby was breech - so its great to hear these success stories - share yours LOUDLY!!!
:
post #15 of 41
Very empowering story, thanks for posting. Congratulations!

I'm in a similar situation but no one wants me to birth vaginally because my last child was a c/s. Unproven pelvis and all that. Wonder if your doc would take me?
post #16 of 41
AWESOME. Nicely done, standing your ground and finding a way to birth your baby the best way for both of you! Congratulations! That's the kind of birth story every mainstream doctor and mama should hear, and hear often!


lizzie
post #17 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsybitsy25 View Post
Hey- I 'know' you from DCUM (hope you don't think I'm some kind of stalker- I just recognized your name, location, and that you had a breech baby!) Very neat to read your story! I can see how you'd still be on a high from it! Thank you for all you do to encourage women to explore their options when it comes to giving birth to a breech baby and not go straight for the c/s!
Heh, it is always fun/odd when mailing groups collide... ; )

Quote:
I'm just curious, did they act like you were crazy when you checked in with a planned breech vag birth? I'm sure those residents and nurses got an education that night and I hope it affects them in how they practice in the future! I really truly hope he is able to continue to serve vbac and breech moms!
Dh told me that after the delivery, when they took the baby to the scrubbed down (God, I hate that about hospitals), he went with them. As they were passing the nurses station, one of the nurses who was at the delivery was saying to another nurse "...and not only was it a breech vaginal delivery, but she went NATURAL!" The other nurse replied, "SHE IS CRAZY!"

The next few days, I made sure to mention to each new nurse that the baby had been breech, and she would then immediately ask about my c/s scar - I replied "nope, he was born vaginally." Most actually then replied, "Dr Tchabo, right?"
Quote:

And it sounds like you had a fabulous doula
YUP! Wendy Wyatt. She is awesome. Bradley instructor, doula, birth attendant at birthcare, LLL leader, and a wonderful mom to 5 kids (most of whom were vbac, I believe).
post #18 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kJad29 View Post
Wow!!! I'm so impressed and I used to live in your area and know that the c/s rate is through the roof there!!!!

yup. I quite intentionally did NOT want to birth at the closest hospital to us - Inova Fairfax. Nice facility, total baby factory and a skyrocketing c/s rate. No thanks.

I really get a huge rush out of help women realize they may have other options. I thank God that c/s exist (my brother was an emergency c/s in the 70s and from what my dad remembers, it was a true emergency) but hate to see them so abused.
post #19 of 41
What a insperation Congrats. That had to be a very powerfull experiance for you.


I know my babies being breech was a huge fear for me because I knew I would have to have a section. With ds it was better tho since the mw I used had a dr they used from breech birth so I was able to really relax with him were I couldnt with my dd.
post #20 of 41
I guess if I ever have a breech baby, I'll be heading up to VA!
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