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Louise's birth story; Breech Birth in Hospital

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 J
 
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 collapsing onto all fours during each surge. I told hubby to start pumping up 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 an 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 breech babies a normal, vaginal 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. Therefore 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 v’s a safe c section delivery!
I held my hand up each time I had a surge and closed my eyes, shutting everything including this annoying man out of my world. 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”! Exactly what I would have loved to say!
Thankfully this consultant was clocking off anyway and my husband told him to Get Out of the room!
 
I heard a familiar voice introducing herself. Doctor Kick-Patrick – 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!
 
My 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 pushing. 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 they had to hold the monitor on my tummy as I moved around so much they had to follow me around!
 
After some huge pushes nothing seemed to be happening apart from a lot of dilation. I had an In-Out catheter and changed position to laying on m 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 clunk which I thought was her head!
My body relax and I heard Dr Kirkpatrick 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 it’s properties and my doula rubbed it into m 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 Kirkpatrick agreed she’d help me deliver my baby by an episiotomy and tucking her chin in with forceps.
I hardly noticed the Ep or the forceps and sat up when I knew she’d gone from my body.
 
11.11am my baby was born! After 2.5 hours pushing.
 
They took her immediately to the resuscitaire 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 Epi. I was pretty pale anyway and wanted to avoid bleeding.
 
My baby was returned to me naked with towels over the top of her. Wow, what a feeling!
 
They did some investigation and thought I’d need to have stitches done in theatre under epidural as the episiotomy had cut into to my back passage. I insisted if it had to be done I WOULD do it under gas and air only!
Thankfully Dr K had a look and said it hadn’t cut that far back and she’d do the stitches (Good, I wanted a good seamstress anyway!) I held my midwife’s hand whilst my daughter was snuggled up my husbands t-shirt and didn’t even use the gas and air for the stitches in the end!

I offer the breast and she took some sucks, we had her weighed and Vit K given.
We had many cuddles and skin to skin. I also had a shallow bath, aided by my hubby and watched by a sleepy baby in the cot!
 
We had LOADS of tea and toast! And the room was cleared up around us! We had amazing, attentive aftercare.
 
6pm
A postnatal midwife came in and gave me some after birth painkillers and told me a room was made for me upstairs. I explained I had wanted to go home. I was told she couldn’t find my note so I said I was quite happy to discharge myself J
I dressed my baby and we packed up our bags ready to go and sat on the bed waiting to hear when, not if we could go home!
There was no medical reason found as to why I HAD to stay in, they just wanted to check my baby’s hips as she’d been breech for so long.
The midwife came back and asked if I’d been to the loo (I lied) and if I had colostrum. The only thing I wasn’t too happy about was that she reached over and squeezed my nipple and announced ‘Okay well if you can breastfeed you can go’. I didn’t like that, but at least I was ‘allowed’ to go home!
 
7.20pm My dad came to the hospital with the car seat we’d forgotten in the rush and I was wheeled out in a wheelchair (I was sore!) to the car.
 
8pm Reaching home we saw the house in a Mary Celeste type state with the birth pool taupe on the floor and the pump still in the pool outlet, the pool half pumped up!
 
I got into the bath (again) went to the loo (successfully on my own - the midwife would have been so proud!) and climbed into my own bed in my PJ’s. I had a cup of tea delivered by my attentive husband, packet of biscuits, water and every set ip for nappy changed! Settled down to sleep with my baby skin to skin and ready to feed whenever she wanted!
 
My homebirth goal – to have the best chance of recovering from the birth in my own surroundings – tick!
 
Breastfeeding wasn’t as easy as the birth – read my breastfeeding story.

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