My breech birth story


Today's society stresses the importance of education, while excluding skills. Though I agree experience is a part of education, I know there are a lot of long-time healthcare professionals out there who could not do what my NYC-based midwife did in the early hours on April 14th, 2022.

When I was informed my baby was an unstable lie and could possibly be born breech, I felt completely calm. I knew my midwife had two breech experiences during my prenatal relationship with her, on top of others before. I was also relieved I lacked a planned hospital birth because that would have been a scheduled c-section—which I have no desire of ever experiencing.

As suggested by my midwife, I reviewed Breech Without Borders literature and watched vaginal breech birth videos.

I kept my potential birth story in private.

I quietly asked my friend in heaven to watch over me and my unborn child during the labor. When my water broke—followed by contractions—as I had envisioned, I knew all was well.

Soon after my two midwives arrived, it was confirmed I was fully dilated and in labor with a breech baby. My only thought was that the birth would be longer with more pain.

I suppose the cliché that ignorance is bliss has a lot of truth because I was unprepared for the end of my less than 12 hour labor.

Both midwives present made sure not to disrupt the delivery.

The baby was a frank breech with healthy signs of cleavage and tummy crunches. She had a stuck left arm and was anterior—nothing scary.

My midwife took care of her positioning and all that was left was the head to come out.

I have never felt so exhausted in my life. I was up the night before from false labor contractions and was pulling my second all-nighter laboring my second child.

When her movement ceased and I couldn't get her out, my superwoman midwife had the intuition that the baby's head must be stuck. She did maneuvers I am unsure what to call (but know the educational videos are on BWB). I know she went up my bottom to push my baby's head down while putting her fingers from her other hand in the baby's mouth to get her whole head facing down before pulling her head out with both hands. She performed seven minutes of CPR with the final two of my baby breathing with her.

911 and the rest of NYC's rescue squad arrived. Someone made a comment about the cord still being attached to the baby…they were not allowed to come near baby or me.

I had a strange feeling during those seven minutes of whether or not my newly born baby would live or not. I have felt this indescribable feeling once before while awaiting my close friend to take her final breath after having gone brain dead. And though I cannot describe it in words, it's not a normal emotional state.

BUT during those long minutes, I felt confident my strong daughter would survive because she had an angel watching over with a specific request.

And just in case my Christian God was feeling spiteful, I promised them I would return to church if they kept my child on earth with me—which they did. And I went back to church.

Whether or not someone believes in God is not the point of my birth story.

The point is that I was able to vaginally birth my breech positioned baby with a highly educated/skilled/experienced/intuitive midwife who cares most about babies.

My midwife's breech training was with Breech Without Borders. Her CPR training was with Common Sense CPR. Her birthing experiences are with those who want to birth their way. Because of caring professionals, I birthed my baby how I wanted to and got to keep my Rose.

When I reflect on what if's, the scenarios are endless. Rose was such a heavy breather that after multiple pediatrician appts and internet researching, her pediatrician and I confirmed she must have been born with laryngomalacia. Though not severe in her case, one of her what if's was had she been born via c-section and still had trouble breathing…where would that have led us? I also do not bottle feed or agree with sugar water. Would the NICU hospital policies disrupted my preferred parenting?

Thankfully, I don't have to live with regret because my healthy and strong daughter is thriving tremendously. And I didn't have to end up in the hospital post-her 07:03AM breech birth.

Breech Without Borders does tremendous work because they care about babies. I only want to birth my babies surrounded by women who care and Breech Without Borders made my birth preference possible. I feel it is up to the birthing person to decide on how and where they want to birth. We shouldn't be told we have limited options because of our unborn child's position. All maternity healthcare workers should have this special training for those rare breech positioned babies who may not have mothers open to a c-section.

I am forever grateful toward Breech Without Borders and of course, my incredible midwife.


Danielle Walsh