Serene's awesomely serene breech vaginal birth of her second baby
Our roller coaster began when we found out at 36 weeks that baby was breech. We tried all sorts of ways to turn baby. Osteopathy, chiropractic, hot/cold packs, music, hypnosis, energy healing, talking to baby, forward leaning inversions etc. I wasn’t keen on ECV (external cephalic version) so we didn’t do that. So after all that, baby still hadn’t turned, we accepted that baby has her own reasons to stay in this position. Now to find someone who is willing to help us have a vaginal breech birth.
Our then doctor was unwilling, so we had to look elsewhere. Dr Roslan and Dr Zana Zalinda from Rampai Puteri were suggested. By that time, I was already 39wks. We made an appointment with Dr Roslan which was five long days away. In the meantime, we contacted Dr Linda but she was on leave even though she said she does vaginal breech births.
Our meeting with Dr Roslan went well. Upon hearing baby was breech, he said “Congratulations!” Haha! My due date was the next day but he said for breech births it is better not to induce. At the same time, he also was not keen on baby going too far beyond the estimated due date. He gave me a week to go into spontaneous labour after which we would have to consider other options. He said that with breech the best is to sit and wait for baby to come out except for the head, which may need assistance. He also told us he had never delivered breech with the mother on all-fours (my preferred position).
Three days later at 10am, my water s released. At about 11am surges started but we were just doing stuff at home. At around noon, I wanted to take a shower and noticed meconium. I was alarmed. Messaged my sifus and they assured me it’s normal with breech babies but I was still a bit worried because it was quite a lot. So no shower, packed and headed to the hospital.
Surges progressed quickly and was about 10-15 mins apart. Got checked by Dr Zunita at 3pm and was 4cm dilated. Was told meconium is normal and just to monitor. I kept talking to baby to be healthy and strong and that she’s doing well. We checked into the room and were left to labour on our own. At 5.30pm the nurse came to check and told me to lie down for CTG. That was the most excruciating part of the whole experience. I was 7cm. This was the first time I did this (strapped to CTG) and no wonder mothers give up due to the pain. Went into the labour room at 6pm and laboured some more with hubby by my side. Nurses wanted to do CTG again and I expressed my dismay. So they just took baby’s heart rate, which was good, (good job, baby!) and checked me - 9cm!
By this time I was vocalizing and knew baby was near when I started to tremble uncontrollably and my body started pushing involuntarily. Doctor arrived and just waited and said that I’m doing well. When baby was coming out, my body just pushed -whether or not I wanted to. This was unlike my previous birth where I could still breathe baby out. Anyway, my body and baby just worked together and I could feel baby rotating and coming out with each surge. Doctor said “When the baby’s legs are out I need you to be on your back, is that OK?” I asked him to give baby a few minutes to do it on her own and he allowed me to. So I stayed on my hands and knees... Right after baby's legs cleared, her arms came out along with her head! Just slipped out so easily! Totally hands off! We’re so happy that Dr Roslan supported our wishes and allowed nature to take its course.
We had an hour of skin to skin contact, hubby cut the cord, and doc came to my side with a smile saying I did well and that he was impressed. It meant a lot to me coming from him. It was a beautiful experience and while it’s so different from my first birth, it was nonetheless as empowering. I had no tear, just an abrasion, and it healed pretty quickly.
Although we were initially shocked at the unexpected news that baby was breech, and had to give up our initial birthing plans, we're very grateful for the experience for it has led us to so many supportive, wonderful people on this journey, not to mention reinforced our belief in our bodies and nature (and prayers, of course :) ).