Breech Presentation: A Story of One Mama Going Forward with a Breech Birth

Thank you Ashley for submitting this story of a breech presentation birth. Welcome to the world baby Luke! We are so happy you. The path you and your mother traveled together is beautiful.

What is a breech presentation?

A breech presentation is when a baby is born butt first instead of head first. About 3-5 percent of moms will have breech babies. Breech is a variation of normal birth. However, many women are told to go straight to an elective c-section when breech presentation is noticed. If your baby is breech and you may wonder what your options are. I highly recommend listening to this podcast from Midwife Maryn Green of Indie Birth Beautiful Breech: Opening the Doors to an Options Many Women are Told is Impossible.

Ashley’s Breech Presentation Birth Story Begins with Surprises

My first pregnancy was a rollarcoaster of emotions. I’d been seeing a midwife with the plans of doing a home water birth.  The night before our first wedding anniversary, I was walking through the grocery store when I felt a small gush. I didn’t think much of it because there were no contractions. There just wasn’t much…maybe I’d just peed a little?

The next morning my husband suggested I call the office just to be sure and to keep them aware. Mbut my Naturopathic Doctor requested that I come in for a check. We arrived at the office a short time later and she ran checks for amniotic fluid, but nothing came back positive. Everything was fine.  She suggested that the pop and fluid might have been the outer layer of my amniotic sac rupturing.

That night was our first wedding anniversary. I was sitting on the living room floor when my back started hurting. Despite my husband’s efforts to massage my back and make it feel better, the pain started to increase to the point that I could only be on hands and knees. I realized I was likely in labor. My husband called my midwife and she said she would send a nurse to check in first.

A breech presentation takes me by surprise and has me panicking for a moment.

No more did the nurse walk in than my ND followed, as well as the rest of the crew.  They checked me to see how far I had dilated. I was already at an seven. Then they paused. My ND said, “I think that’s a butt cheek.” The nurse said, “let me check, yep, that’s a butt cheek”.

I quickly went into a panic, where was the head midwife? Why wasn’t she here yet? What was going to happen?

My birth team talked me through this while my ND got on the phone and started calling hospitals.

I did not want a c-section!

I was begging them not to make me have a C-section. I just don’t do well with needles and the thought of a c-section was causing panic attacks.  Once they got off the phone they told me that we’d be heading into a local hospital. Luckily, the doctor on call had done breech births.

My husband quickly gathered what he thought we needed since I hadn’t prepared a bag for me or baby. Then, we rushed to the hospital. The whole way there I prayed about what I needed to do and I felt that no matter what I chose, my son would be fine.

When we got to the hospital, they quickly wheeled me through the E.R. to a birthing room. They did a quick ultrasound to check my son’s position. The doctor agreed to the breech vaginal delivery but wanted me in a place where they could do surgery if needed because of the position he was in so they rolled me into the O.R. where they put me on the table.

I will admit the bright lights and people rushing around me were a little overwhelming. I was grateful that the doctor was allowing me to do this even though it went against hospital policy.

I have a voice and a choice and I didn’t back down.

The one thing I remember having to fight against was the epidural. I didn’t want one and they kept encouraging me to get one. Finally, I yelled, “Where’s my husband? I’m not making another decision till you get him in this room”. The doctor looked at the nurse. The nurse looked at the doctor. He said, “go get him in here RIGHT NOW”.

When they wheeled me into the O.R., they had taken him into a separate room to suit him up. By the time they got him in the room with me, I was dilated to a 10 and couldn’t help but to push. My body would bear down with long and hard contractions.

My son’s heart rate would drop but come right back up after each contraction. It was late and labor and delivery was pretty quiet so the room filled with every nurse that could fit.

The doctor was very much hands off and let me do my own thing until we stopped making progress. He quickly examined the situation and did an episiotomy because my son’s butt cheek had gotten stuck. Once his bum was repositioned, it didn’t take long before I pushed him out.

Baby Luke was here, but not in my arms.

The next thing I know, all these nurses are rushing to surround the little side table. My husband had gone over to see what was going on and later told me that he was born white as a ghost. The doctor and head nurse were both still with me. 

I’m not sure if it was that so much was going on that I was just spacey or if I was just really naive as a first time mom, but the doctor said push one more time and out came the placenta…and I jumped.

I looked over and started to panic. Was my baby okay? Why weren’t they letting me see him? Why did I feel like a vaginal delivery was okay if he wasn’t going to make it?

I heard his voice for the first time.

Then he screamed the loudest scream I’ve ever heard from such a little person.  My husband said that they took him over and got him under the heat lamp and started to massage him to get the blood moving.

The doctor stitched up the episiotomy and my husband handed me our son.  He was pretty bruised on his little bum cheek but overall healthy and thriving. They took us back to the delivery room. Then, transferred us to a recovery room where we were able to rest for the next little while. 

The nurses were amazed.

My husband said every time he stepped out of the room, I was the talk of the nurses station. I had nurses come in to congratulate me and tell me how strong I was. Many wished others knew how strong they were.

Honestly, I didn’t know how strong I was. My fear of a c-section was greater than my fear of having a breech baby. I learned that despite policies, I had choices.

I learned that even when something is planned, that plan can change within minutes. You have to roll with the punches.

I have gone on to have two more kids. One was a hospital birth because we had moved and there were no local midwives at the time. My third was a homebirth as I was lucky to have a midwife move into the area the month before we got pregnant. All of my births have been different but all have been beautiful in their own way.

Thank you Ashley for sharing you incredible story of baby Luke’s breech presentation.

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May you find your strength and be guided by your heart, mind and spirit as your birth unfolds.

Suzie Vehrs

She Births Bravely Also Provides Birth Tub Rentals and Doula Services in Seattle, WA