I couldn’t have imagined my pregnancy and delivery being SO different, 18 months apart. My pregnancy with Maddox was perfection from start to finish. My first delivery was fast and exactly to ‘plan.’ There was no guessing, no questioning, just calm simplicity. I LOVE that I am able to carry babies and being me… was persistent on a natural, vaginal delivery which was made possible by a perfectly cooperative boy.
As soon as I discovered I was pregnant the second time, I knew it was a girl. I had 17 weeks of all day nausea and vomiting followed by migraines, more nausea, anemia, headaches/migraines, restless legs, back pain, insomnia and overall wild discomfort. To follow my first pregnancy, I was persistent and planning on/hoping for a nice, calm, easy going vaginal delivery again. At 35 weeks, I found out Penelope was full breech and stubborn. I tried almost everything in the books to flip this girl with no change. We tried all the circuits and exercises. I practically lived upside down for the last month of my pregnancy. We tried lights, music, acupuncture and an unsuccessful ECV. I prayed to the gods, the universe and anyone listening for her to please flip and get ready. My last ditch effort was meditation. I ‘gave up’ and released my control. I asked P to show me what she needed and to help me create a plan in her best interest. This gave me the most peace I had had in weeks. I was now ready. I felt confident in her safety. I felt confident in my strength no matter the outcome.
My doctor knew the importance of a vaginal delivery, if safe for Penelope. He connected me with multiple OBGYNs in hopes of finding someone who can assist me in the delivery. The first doctor booked a cesarean for January 14th. We sat on this appointment for a week but as it got closer it felt more and more ‘wrong.’ It just wasn’t what I felt she wanted or I needed. I reached out to my GP and he booked me with another OBGYN. It took a couple tries but I found someone who’s birth plan aligned perfectly with mine, without prompting. He explained the risks and statistics associated with a breech delivery. Unfortunately these deliveries are rare today which means statistic sample sizes are limited. SO we also weighed pros and cons. In order for a breech delivery to be successful, there is specific criteria that needs to be met. Baby needs to be around 7-9lbs, full breech with a tucked head and lots of amniotic fluid. Mama (ideally) needs to be on her second vaginal delivery. Due to my first delivery, we knew this one would be quick and we assumed she wouldn’t delay in my pelvis. We monitored the last week and a half of my pregnancy closer and she checked all the boxes making us perfect candidates for the delivery. The OBGYN was in full support and confident in me waiting and delivering vaginally. This was SO important, his knowledge, education and confidence was all I needed to feel SO good about this option.
With everyone on board, we played hurry up and wait for my water to break. As we approached 40 weeks, I saw my OBGYN to discuss options if my water didn’t break. (Really we discussed when to book a cesarean). We also decided to do a sweep that day to encourage labour. This took about 10 minutes to work. Contractions began as soon as I walked out of the office and got in the truck. I went home and we waited. Due to her position, contractions were in my pelvis, not my abdomen like expected. I contracted through the night every 10 minutes or so and into Tuesday morning. I contracted through the morning and knew this was the day! Things began to progress around noon so I decided to shower and get ready to go. During my shower I contracted 5 times in 20 minutes. They were coming faster and stronger but still no water breaking. I did some last minute research and discovered they may have to break my water at the hospital. Due to her position, we assumed there wasn’t enough pressure low enough to break it on it’s own. We decided to call the doctor and go. By the time we left the house, contractions were 2-4 minutes apart and intensifying. We live an hour from the hospital so it was quite a drive to say the least haha
We made it to Northfield Rd in Nanaimo, around 10 minutes of lights and traffic to get to the hospital. At a very busy red light, I got the urge to push. If you’ve had babies, you know this means it’s time. I squeezed alllll my muscles the opposite direction to hug her in and fight the urge. I called the doctor to meet us right away as I knew this was it! We pulled some sketchy moves and got to the hospital in time.
I was quickly checked in and prepped by the support staff for delivery. I was fully dialated and ready to go upon arrival. This was around 330/4pm. We were long past the point of any medication and I am uninterested in an epidural so that was that. Contractions were steady with minimal or no break and all in my pelvis. My water still hadn’t broken so I began to push in hopes of bursting the sac. It worked! I managed to push P low enough to burst the sac. It didn’t take long for her to drop and (I haven’t looked at the photos yet) begin to drop her feet earth side. (Yes you read that right….there are photos of feet….just feet, dangling). We let her take her time and drop further into my pelvis before bearing down and pushing. I pushed for 15-20 minutes allowing her to slowly make her way. She did. She progressed beautifully on her own with a little encouraging. It was just that fast, we had our baby girl earth side and HEALTHY. She dropped both feet, I felt her shoulders ‘pop’ and her head followed effortlessly. Penelope had no complications and a perfectly round head 😉
Now having a breech delivery and ‘normal’ delivery, I have to admit this one felt better (LOL). Experiencing feet, hips, shoulders and lastly head made for a smoother transition and gave my body a better chance of adjusting and stretching. I never felt the same amount of pain as I did with Maddox. My contractions and urge to push came from my pelvis as apposed to my whole abdomin like my last delivery. The urge to push felt like a strong urge to pee. It was a very isolated feeling and required a conscious choice to use my whole core to push. Definitely different 🙂
I am recovered, feeling amazing and Penelope is perfection. I am in full gratitude to my doctors and hospital staff for supporting my beautiful breech delivery. With their support and shared vision, I avoided a cesarean and had a completely natural, vaginal, breech delivery. It took multiple consultations, half a dozen ultrasounds and a little stress and worry but we made it happen.
I hope this beautiful experience encourages you to SHARE IT because these deliveries are rare. I hope it encourages expecting mamas to explore their options. If a vaginal delivery is important to you, explore your options, there is so much possibility you may be missing.
No, not every breech story ends this way, I knew that but if your end result is the same whether you plan on a cesarean or plan to wait it out, why not wait it out? For me, it was important to try. My OBGYN was comfortable letting me go full term which allowed Penelope and my body the time it needed to begin labour instead of booking a cesarean without that chance. Having the right support staff made all the difference. They weren’t uncertain or worried or even skeptical. They were confident in my delivery and confident in a rushed c-section if she didn’t transition through my pelvis fast enough.
I learnt so much through my research and consultations. If you have questions or need support, please reach out to me. I know how stressful and wearing this decision can be 💖💖