Breech birth in Perth, Australia
by Michaela Hrdounova (@douladownunder)
MY BREECH BIRTH STORY
When I was pregnant with my second baby, around 34 weeks we found out baby is in frank breech position (with bum down). I knew there is still time for baby to flip on their own, but I did a Spinning Babies course and started practicing all the techniques to help my baby flip.
At 36 weeks, baby was still breech and I got offered an ECV and the possibility of an elective C-section. I came home and cried. I wanted to give birth at a birth centre with my midwife in a most natural way possible.
My midwife mentioned a vaginal breech birth that could be done in the hospital and that she could come with me.
My appointments from then were only in the hospital with different obstetricians who all have different stands on vaginal breech. I spoke to two lovely obstetricians who were supportive and positive about breech birth, assuring me that I was a good candidate. I kept refusing ECV and started mentally prepare for vaginal breech birth. I was told they don't induce breech babies, so we booked a C-section at 42 weeks just in case.
We had an appointment when I was 40+4 with another obstetrician who asked if I want a stretch and sweep. Darren and I both agreed that we will leave it as a last resort for the following week if nothing happens.
We got home and Darren went to work and I went about my day with our daughter. At 2:10pm I went to the toilet to pee and I felt like I just keep peeing myself afterwards. I called my midwife and told her that my waters might be leaking. She said I better come in and check. I had no contractions at that point, so I called Darren to come home and I drove to the hospital (20min drive) on my own. I noticed some tightenings in the car but nothing intense or painful.
I got admitted around 4:30pm and when a midwife came in to check on me, my waters really broke and all this gush came out. She said she doesn't need to check anymore because this is obviously my waters.. She offered to check how dilated I was. To my suprise I was 3cm! She strongly recommended I stay in hospital because baby is breech, so they can keep an eye on me.
I called Darren and told him I am staying but I feel like there is no need for him to rush because I don't really feel anything and things could take a while. Boy I was wrong!! Luckily he insisted on coming, just in case.
I kept walking around the hospital to get things moving and noticed these tightenings are getting a little stronger and are 5-6 minutes apart. Around 7pm I got back to my room and tried to get some sleep. I actually fell asleep; the contractions were not painful at this point. Darren arrived around 9pm and joined me in this single bed for a cuddle and a nap (we didn't qualify for a birth suite because I wasn't in established labour yet).
I don't know if it was the oxytocin rush from the cuddle on a narrow hospital bed but around 11:45pm I woke up and I had a REALLY intense contraction. I went to the toilet (across the hallway) and when I was walking back, one of the midwives saw things ramped up and said she will come check me.
I woke Darren up telling him it's happening. He was so sleepy and out of it, he couldn't believe me. Next minute a midwife came in and checked me: I was 5cm. Contractions were now really intense and only about 1.5 min apart. I started to shake, feeling naseous and started making those moo noises. I thought to myself, that can't be transition yet, I was just 5cm.
The midwife was running around trying to organise a quick transfer to a birth suite because baby was coming! I was walking to the birth suite. I had two strong contractions on the way there, leaning onto Darren while standing and doing my breathing properly.
We got to the birth suite around 1:30am. The obstetrician checked me straight away and I was 9cm! At that point, I couldn't stand anymore. I was on all fours on the bed and I could feel baby coming out. There were so many people in the room, all very supportive and cheerful. I could hear myself making moo noises a lot and also saying "OMG I can't do this" (very common to say when baby is ready to come out). Baby's bum was emerging, then I could feel his legs popped out. With the next contraction his arms came out and Darren said he could see him hanging and moving while the head was still inside! (how cool is that?) I had to wait for the next contraction to get his head out but it came quick, two pushes and he was born! Our beautiful boy Max, very long 57cm and little chunky at 4.25kg. Born at 2:10am, exactly 12 hrs after my waters started leaking. Under 2.5 hrs of active labour, no pain relief! I couldn't be more impressed with my body and my baby.