Ashlee's Breech Birth Story

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Ashlee's Breech Birth Story

My Breech Birth Story

A big thank you to Ashlee for sharing her breech birth story. Ashlee has been one of our most amazing, supportive and inspiring members of our PregActive family who has been with me throughout her pregnancy and postpartum recovery.

Hi Everyone,

I thought I would share my successful and beautiful breech birth story with you all.

When I fell pregnant with my son 5 years ago I decided to go under the care of the Obstetrician who delivered all 3 of my nieces. His name is David O'Callaghan.

My pregnancy was amazing with no complications. I went into labor 10 days early and delivered my beautiful son with no complications or intervention.

So when I fell pregnant with our second, I contemplated going public but my husband convinced me to go under the care of David again.

Thank goodness we did.

At my 32 week check up we discovered that bubs was breech. But I was told that there's plenty of time for them to move and because it was my second pregnancy there was an even higher chance that they would turn.

But at every check up it was the same news, still breech.

I started trying acupuncture, moxa sticks, osteo, spinning babies positions and I was already doing pregnancy yoga (with Kerryn 🙌🏼) but nothing worked to turn baby! This little one was pretty happy in this position.

So at 37 weeks we started to discuss my options.

David told me I had 3. A cesarean, ECV or a breech birth.

He then went on to say that he doesn't perform ECV'S as he thinks there's too many risks associated with them but I could get it done elsewhere if I wanted.

I decided if he wouldn't perform it then there must be a good reason so I decided not go with that option.

I told him I obviously wanted what was the safest option for my baby and if that meant a cesarean then so be it but my wish would be to deliver naturally.

Because this was my second pregnancy and my first was a natural delivery with no complications I was already a good candidate.

I was sent for a scan to see what position the baby was in and how big they were.
We were told that bubs was about 5 pound 7 and in a complete breech position (which is the best one for a breech delivery).

At 38 weeks pregnant everything was in our favor for a breech birth.

We had numerous discussions about the pros and cons and what the risks were and what would happen if something was to go wrong but in my heart I really trusted my ob. He was so positive and kept telling me to trust my body and that he believed I could do it.

So on my due date (10/08/18) at 10.20am my waters broke on my girlfriends couch!

We went straight into the Freemasons hospital in Melbourne where I met my beautiful student midwife and my amazing husband and sister.

Contractions started at about 12.30pm but they were all over the place.

I was checked by my OBGYN at around 1pm and I was 3cm dilated.

He then came back at about 4pm and I was still only 3cms.

He told me that the contractions needed to be more powerful in order to help push bubs down. So he ordered the induction drug (oxytocin) to help move things along a bit as the labour just wasn't progressing.

Again I trusted his judgement.

But I was very scared as I had heard how contractions go from 1 to 10000 instantly!

The drug went in at 4.45pm and we were told it takes about 30 mins to take effect.
My OBGYN went back to his rooms across the road and said he would be back to check on me in half and hour. No one expected things to progress so rapidly.

About 5 minutes later I was in active labor and having back to back contractions. They were so intense and I had no time to ask for drugs so I just had to rely on my tens machine which at this point was turned up as high as it went!!

By 5.15 my body had the urge to push and I just had to go with it.

I was told my ob was on his way and wouldn't be long (little did I know that he had jumped on his push bike and was speeding down Victoria parade running red lights to get there).

At 5.17 my midwife checked me and as she finished a little foot appeared which shocked everyone, it was meant to be a bum!

My midwife urgently sent my student mid wife out to find help and she came back with a young ob who has never seen a breech birth, let alone delivered one.

There was actually no-one in the hospital at the time who knew how to deliver breech which is astonishing!

He looked incredibly scared.

And my husband said he has never seen a doctor put gloves on as slow as he did!

By this stage I had managed to push bubs legs and body out and all that was left to go was the head.

Just as the young OBGYN started to try to maneuver bubs my OBGYN raced in the room.

I was on the floor with my knees in a bean bag and my head on the bed.

He tried to get the head out but I was in the wrong position. He told me he needed me to jump on the bed so he could get a better angle. He didn't need to tell me twice so somehow, with my babies body and legs hanging out, I jumped up on the bed on all fours.

After a few seconds, David had managed to put his fingers in bubs mouth to lower the jaw and out she came.

Our little baby girl was safely in my arms.

She let out a little cry and then nestled into my chest. She was perfect!

I didn't need any stitches which was amazing.

We are so lucky that everything worked out in the end. My only worry was if my ob hadn't arrived when he did, I'm not sure that anyone would have had the experience to get my babies head out.

Overall I'm so glad I trusted my body and I'm so lucky I had such incredible support from my OBGYN , student midwife, husband and family and friends. With the right Obstetrician or hospital, who weighs up all the risks and tries to eliminate as many as possible, a breech birth should always be an option if it's safe for mum and baby.

I just can't believe how many hospital staff were shocked when they saw I had given birth to a breech baby naturally.

I find it so sad that it's become such a lost skill.

Our Andi girl was never going to turn and now we know her little personality it all makes sense. She's strong willed, independent and does life her own way, just like her birth.

Good luck to any mamas out there about to give birth, it’s all worth it and as crazy as it sounds, you will want to do it all over again.