A Breech Vaginal Birth

blog_Shan Henderson

Miss Isla Jane had us on our toes from the beginning – first trimester bleeding and in the first scan uncovered a single umbilical artery (SUA), which meant frequent scans in the third trimester. 30 week scan showed that Isla was in breech position, which started a lot of conversation with midwives and obstetricians being something that was a rare occurrence. We tried spinning babies, a ECV, acupuncture and chiropractor with no luck in spinning Isla into a head first position. The hospital highly encouraged a planned C-section and was very persistent to this being our only option as a breech vaginal birth wasn’t supported by the public hospital system. Very stressful for a mother about to give birth, while trying to stay calm and doing everything to bring on labour, there was a lot of second guessing myself on what I was planning for. My gut was telling me to stick with a spontaneous labour and hope that it is a quick vaginal breech birth with no intervention or convincing in moments of doubt and vulnerability. 

So here goes – where education and hypnobirthing classes paid off!!! (Thanks to the amazing Bec Black) 

Feeling empowered to stick to my preferences and know that there are other options if we need to consider them in the moment. Went to bed on the 13th June, 8pm (no niggles, not a single sign of getting close) woke up at 10pm with instant contractions, every 2 minutes and very intense. Waited in bed for an hour while I counted the contractions before getting out of bed to make some toast and start to pack the last minute bits and pieces for the hospital. It was all systems go, until I had a shower. Everything slowed down, and very inconsistent, from about 1am-4am I was having contractions every 5, 10, 15 minutes, sleeping in between them coming and going, however they were so strong that I couldn’t talk through them. 4:30am I decided to make our way to hospital just in case things were going to ramp up quickly. We arrived at hospital about 5am, our midwife (MGP) had our room ready and the bath running, however because things were super slow I was told to stay out of the bath and stay active on my feet walking around to hopefully break my waters and get things moving along. My midwife was super supportive to birth vaginally as she had some experience in this, however her end of shift was fast approaching so we wanted to get this baby moving as she wasn’t confident I would get the same support with another midwife. About 8am i was measuring 6cm and still very inconsistent contractions. Our midwife suggested to go for a long walk, up the stairwell and see if this moves things. 30 minutes went by, with many intense contractions, things were ramping up so we headed back to the room so we were in a safe space. Doctors came in at this time, while having very consistent contractions wanting to discuss caesarean as I was still presenting in breech position, Vanessa my midwife and Dean saw that I was in some serious transition, and knowing the baby wasn’t far away, they asked the doctors to leave the room while I went through a contraction, I needed to push, I needed a spew bag, I was hot, sweaty and wanted a cold face washer – our girl was coming, and coming fast but I was in denial as my waters still hadn’t broken. Within two minutes, Isla was born, in her sac, which broke when she gently landed on the bed. It was the most magical thing! I could not believe I had done it, breech birth with no intervention. It really shows what a strong and confident mindset can allow you to achieve but also, that every birth is different, transition stage can range from hours to minutes, waters don’t necessarily need to break and you just need to hold on to a positive “can do” mindset while you ride each wave as they come.