Undiagnosed Home Breech Birth
“Oh to write about the birth of my second baby. I want to write it all down but the experience is all wrapped up in such a haze of emotion that whenever I go to write it down I get stuck at the very start. What I felt like at the time was that I wanted to go into a dark warm room on my own like a cat to birth emerging with baby like Ta Da! Here he is!
Like many women, I had had a bad experience with my first birth and to be honest I was not relishing the thought of doing it all again. I planned ahead, booking a Doula was always part of the plan and thankfully the universe sent me Sam. I can’t fully explain how comforting it was to have her there by my side throughout. My birth took a turn for the worse when baby took us all by surprise and was born in a breech position. Instead of a calm dark room I actually ended up delivering with 2 midwives and 2 paramedics present. Sam was by my side and my husband was on the stairs, the furthest away from me, as he had been running up and down fetching things for the midwife until the second one arrived and by then there was a bit of a crowd at the top of the stairs!
Not really a birth story that is easy to share, or one that other mums want to hear over a cuppa at toddler group. My baby is now two and after a rocky start is thriving and is now a happy, busy toddler.
I wondered how I would cope after this birth because I had a really hard time after my first. My first birth was in hospital and afterward I suffered with really bad anxiety and flashbacks. I couldn’t sleep because I would be re-running through what had happened and the adrenalin would rush through me keeping me awake even while the baby slept soundly beside me. I actually think I coped better after my second birth than my first, once baby was well enough to be home from hospital. And that’s because it was a much better birth even though the outcome was not. Of course, if I could change the whole thing then I would, but there were definitely positives for me to focus on.
Labouring at home was awesome! I woke up at 5.19am after about a week of on off pains. I tried to get back to sleep, my reasoning being if it was labour they would intensify and wake me up. They did and so I went downstairs in the quiet, put on a big cardigan, made a cup of tea and paced the kitchen a bit. It was great I was moving around, rocking on my hands and knees, nothing else to think about but making myself as comfortable as possible.
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When the midwife arrived then it felt like day, there was a shift from dark early morning to bright daytime. There was a contraction where I felt 6 pairs of eyes on me (midwife, doula and husband) all trying to guestimate about how far along I was. I excused myself and got in the shower. The joy of being at home! It was lovely. Even though the pains were strong it was so much nicer being at home. I felt more able to relax and allow the pain to do it’s job of opening the cervix rather than in hospital tensing up and trying to hold it all in. Not the ideal thing to do when trying to give birth!
Another positive was the TENS. There was a point where Sam offered me the TENS and I didn’t think it would do anything but oh it felt so good. I had that on my back right up until the pushing stage. Sam being there afterwards at the hospital was another positive too. While other people had gone in different directions (midwives were writing up my notes together in a different room and my husband was with the baby in NICU) she was my constant.
So even though my birth story is maybe not the best one to read about while you are pregnant I would still recommend a homebirth (just ask for a late scan to check everything) and booking a doula is the best thing you can do. Sam was the only person there who knew what I wanted. My husband was in it with me, he was as worried and panicked as I was. Even though things had gone way off the intended track, Sam kept as much of it to how I wanted things to be as she possibly could.
We had had lots of discussions about my previous birth and how I would like things to be and honestly, I was surprised how much she knew and remembered. It made the world of difference.
Doulas are worth their weight in gold, she will advocate for you, support you, and reassure you and support your family too. Thanks Sam! 😊”
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Samantha says – “I am really touched by all of this – I had no idea my presence made such a difference to Kate, whose birth shows it is the way we are treated that makes the biggest difference to a positive birth, even when it does not go anywhere to plan. Despite a birth that on paper was more traumatic than her first the support and care given to Kate during her second birth meant she felt more positive about her experience.
I learned a lot from Kate’s birth around the birth of breech babies and discuss the possibility of an undiagnosed breech with all my clients. “Hands Off That Breech” as coined by Mary Cronk involves no guided pushing and leaving the baby to find his or her own path, importantly including no guided breathing.
Samantha Gadsden walks with women on their life’s journeys. She is an experienced Doula, based close to Cardiff in South Wales, mother to 4 children and wife to Eddie, more information can be found on her facebook page, Samantha Gadsden Doula and her website, Caerphilly Doula. SOS Doula, Telephone and online support is always available.
If you are interested in writing a guest blog or sharing a life or birth story please feel free to contact her HERE.
“Your Journey, Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth“