Here is a friend of mine who recently gave birth to her footling breech. I hope I have not been spreading breech vibes to babies around me!
She wrote her birth story because breech mamas need more people who can hear them and understand them. Those of you who planned or wanted natural births but couldn’t find anyone to attend them may recognize some of your own feelings in her story. Thank you for sharing!
This was my fifth pregnancy. And maybe my most challenging one. I always wanted four kids by the time I was 30, and I did just that. My life was good and everything felt right. Then when my youngest turned 5, all of a sudden I felt the pang to have another child. My husband and I thought and prayed about it and decided to try. After a couple months of no success, my husband and I went on vacation for three weeks without the kids. While there I realized how easy our lives were with older, independent kids and started doubting whether we should try for another. The answer was decided for me when we got home from vacation and found out I was expecting. I definitely went through a mix of emotions from shock to happiness to frustration to nervousness…
And then the morning sickness set in. Or rather, all day sickness. And then I found out my insurance wouldn’t cover a midwife and I wasn’t going to get the water birth experience I really wanted. But I plugged through and tried to stay positive.
And then we found out the baby was a girl. That was a high note for us because we already had one girl and three boys and really wanted to give our daughter a sister. That buoyed my spirits.
And then at 32 weeks, I sat with my friend and told her about how the baby’s movements felt different than previous pregnancies. I told her it felt like a brick wall right under my ribs and that it felt like the baby was kicking her way out of my cervix. She told me that that was exactly how it felt with her second child, who was breech.
Breech? What? That hadn’t even registered as a possibility. I don’t have breech babies. I don’t have c-sections. I wanted desperately to have a vaginal birth without an epidural (I hate epidurals. I had them with 2 of my kids and hated them!). My friend directed me to her website (mybreechbaby.org) and gave me some guidelines and tips on things I could do to help her flip.
I tried inversions, belly down and belly up. I tried massage. I tried essential oils. I tried moxibustion. I tried talking to my baby. I tried visualization of her flipping down. I tried prayer. I even tried an ECV. All with no success. At 38 weeks, I was scheduled for a c-section the following week.
Throughout those 7 weeks from when I found out she was breech until she was born, I went through various worries. I was worried about surgery. I was worried about being sad because I wasn’t getting the birth I wanted. I was worried about the recuperation time. I was worried about not having a bond with my baby because I wouldn’t get her put immediately on my chest after birth. I was worried about having a panic attack on the operation table because I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and I didn’t think I could handle the bottom half of my body being numb and cut into while I was awake and aware. I was worried. Very worried.
But I can truly say that I’m so grateful I had those 7 weeks to prepare for the c-section. By the time she came, I was able to face my fears and know that I had done my best to flip my baby. And when the doctor took her out and brought her to me to see, I was so grateful that she was so perfect.
The c-section was difficult for me, though, I won’t lie. I did hate not feeling the bottom half of my body. I did hate that I couldn’t hold her right away. I did hate that I couldn’t even see her while she was at the warmer being checked out. I did hate that I had labor shakes on the top half of my body so bad after she was born that I couldn’t even nurse her right away. I did hate that I was so nauseous that first day that I had to be restricted to just liquids the second day. I did hate that I needed so much help even getting my baby in and out of her bassinet. I did hate that the recuperation has been longer and more painful than my vaginal births. I hate a lot of things about the c-section…
But I have the most beautiful baby girl a mother could ask for. And I can focus on that. And be grateful for that.
Cameo is a homeschooling mom of five kids. She’s had two of her kids via induction with an epidural, two on their own with no epidural, and the last was by breech c-section. She says there is nothing more amazing to her than bringing a child into this world. She loves sharing her experiences and hearing others’. She is a certified doula, helping bring joy and calm to birthing moms in the Bowie, Annapolis, and Severn areas. She blogs at www.mamanamaste.com and loves to read and do yoga.