A "waste of money"? Not at all!
This mother, herself a midwife in Australia, attended a Breech Without Borders course in late 2022, along with her midwives. Imagine their surprise when her baby came out, not head-first as expected, but breech!
After attending the Breech without Borders course with Rixa and David last year, I have been privileged enough to go on to have my own story to tell. My beautiful baby boy must have also been listening to the team teach both myself and my two amazing midwives, who also attended the course, as he decided he wanted to enter this world breech. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy other than some very intense nausea and vomiting that never went away. In the final few days, I along with every pregnant woman that's ever been, was a bit over it. Tired of sharing my body, of being sick, of being uncomfortable. I was ready to meet my babe and at 40 weeks and 5 days he decided he was ready to meet me too.
Contractions started just after midnight and were fast and furious from the get go. I attempted to labour alone and let me partner sleep as I was convinced I could be in "early labour" for the long haul. However, didn't last long before I was calling for him. After intense contractions between the birth ball and on my knees with a TENS machine I remember telling James that I didn't know if I was just a wuss or if this was happening much faster than I thought it would. He chuckled and said he didn't know but suggested we go put on a movie for some distraction. The movie also didn't last long and so I went to the shower for some relief. After some time James very carefully, nearly afraid of the response he would get, suggested that if I wanted to birth in the pool I would have to get out before I used up all the hot water. I reluctantly agreed. Just as he was getting a towel ready I had an almighty contraction and massive pressure with a pop of relief where my waters released.
On the way out of the shower I began to vomit and shake uncontrollably. From hands and knees on the shower floor, I told James call Naomi, our gorgeous primary midwife. It was around 5am at this point and the beginning of my transition, which went longer than I thought possible for a transitional period. I started to ask James to "help me" and to say "I can't do this" even though in my head I knew I could; it was just something I needed to say. James and Naomi started getting the pool set up, which couldn't happen fast enough in my opinion. Once filled, I leapt across the room and into the water. If I could have cannon balled, I absolutely would have. The water slowed everything down from the chaos of contractions between the shower and the pool. In my head I remembered this period as the rest and be thankful stage and I told myself to give thanks and relax.
After some contractions and position changes, I started feeling this intense painful pressure in my hips and symphysis pubis that wouldn't leave. At the peak of a few random contractions, my groans and moans of "ow" - the mantra of my labour and birth - became grunty and my body was pushing. My lovely back up midwife Vanessa was called. However, despite putting on a convincing show for a few contractions, my body relaxed and I felt the need to just breathe through. On those first pushes I did remember saying it was too much and really didn't enjoy the sensation of pushing. I wasn't quite ready to meet my baby. I used my combs and breathed until the sensation no longer felt too big for me.
My baby and I worked hard together to rock him back and forth along the pubic arch and during a crisis of confidence I put my finger inside and felt crushed, all I could feel was caput. I felt higher and still caput - in my head I thought this baby is stuck. After a few more contractions, we had "caput" on view, from this caput irrupted a large mec poo. 'Twas not caput but rather my baby's bum.
I remember looking over at Vanessa and wanting to laugh at the huge breech birth nerd grin plastered across her face. Naomi asked if I wanted to get out of the pool - I remember thinking "Like hell I want to move let alone climb out of a pool, Naomi, like hell." I believe some profanity slipped out in my response of no. Baby's heart rate was beautiful and I knew they was right there. With the next contractions we had rumping; he was LST and his legs and one arm were born. Naomi called out that we have two legs but only one arm, I put my hand down and knew he had to come now. With the next push I felt his shoulder release and thought it was his head. Naomi stopped me from reaching down and so with the next push I went for it and out he came into my hands. The absolutely perfect Thomas was here. Our labradoodle Chewy came and gave him his first kiss with a big lick of his head - the key to his successful transition to extrauterine life I'm sure.
It was the absolute best experience, definitely not what a colleague had pictured when she told me a privately practicing midwife was "a waste of money for a primip". I felt so confident in both myself, body, baby and the skills of my midwife thanks to you guys and the work you do. I rave about the course to everyone anyway but now I have the best little person to prove that breech birth skills are so important.