Birth Story of Savanna Rose
My whole life I have always thought I was made to have babies; I considered myself very strong and healthy and people had always commented on my “baby making hips”. I had studied nutrition and made sure I was eating really healthy during pregnancy and my friends and family commented about how healthy I looked. So it came as a shock to me when I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I was wondering where I went wrong with my diet, especially after background in nutrition, I believed anything can be cured through food and I was eating really well. Because of my GD, they booked me in to have an ultrasound at 36 weeks. It was at this time that they first found out my baby was in a frank breech position. Leading up to this every doctor and midwife said she was head down but apparently my stomach muscles were too tight and it made it difficult to tell. I had plenty of faith that she would turn and that she simply wasn’t ready; I used the Hypnobirthing Australia visualisations along with moxibustion and lots of swimming and talking her around. On the second ultrasound I was told she was still breech and it was recommended I book in to have her spun by the obstetrician. The morning of the appointment I had another ultrasound to make sure she was still breech and they found that the cord was wrapped at least 2 times around her neck. The obstetrician monitored her heart rate in conjunction with my contractions and said it was a perfect reading and they would try to spin her. She explained that if the baby went into any distress during the spinning I would have to have a C-section. I told her I wanted a natural vaginal birth and she said I would have a caesarean either way as it was too dangerous to birth this baby. I had so much confidence in my body and had my heart set on as natural a birth as possible and all of a sudden I was being told that if I didn’t have a c-section it was likely my child wouldn’t be born at all or could have neurological damage. I was completely devastated and couldn’t understand why I felt so much confidence and felt so strong throughout the pregnancy how these things could be happening to me.
I felt so out of control and felt responsible if anything did happen if I didn’t go through with the caesarean. I understood the Drs had to tell me the worst case scenario and wanted a second opinion from someone who had delivered a breech baby. I called the midwives from the birth centre and in tears asked them what I was getting myself into. They were so calming and reassured me that it is only a recent practice that breech babies are given a C-section and that the baby will usually show signs of distress if there are any problems or the labour will stall. I could go ahead with the vaginal birth and if it looked like my body wasn’t capable I could have an emergency caesarean.
I felt that if I didn’t at least try I would never know what my body was capable of. Both the obstetrician and midwives supported my decision when I explained I wasn’t saying no to a caesarean I just wanted the chance to try natural first and felt confident in my ability to birth this baby. I decided against spinning Savanna that day as I trusted that her along with my body were doing the best they could in the situation they had and I didn’t feel right about messing with that process. I explained the obstetrician that I was confident to go ahead with my birth plans and to my surprise she respected my decision. It took me a couple of days to recover from these feelings and worries about why these things were all happening.
Had it not been for my Hypnobirthing classes with Maet, however I never would have known to trust my body; nobody knows your body better than you, not even your doctor. My partner was so amazingly confident and supportive of my decision and reminded me that I was strong and capable of this.
On the 15th march at 9am: I woke up that morning feeling so peaceful and content just reading in bed at a friend’s house. After breakfast I was standing talking to my friend when I felt a popping sensation and a bit of liquid down my leg. I turned to her shocked and said… I don’t think that was urine! She was so excited and we jumped in the car to get to the hospital. When we arrived I was 3cm dilated and was it was such a busy day at the hospital and they were short staffed they had to call in the professor of obstetrics who was experienced in breech births to help deliver this baby. The midwives warned me before she came that she would have to run through all the risks and to stay strong as they have to do this for legal reasons. When the doctor entered the room it was like a light had entered the room, she had a really positive presence about her and instantly changed the energy in the room. I remember her being so relaxed and saying “We used to give birth to breech babies all the time before this breech baby study came in and changed everything” it made me feel instantly relaxed and in safe hands with someone who was confident.
She explained that the urge to push with breech birth is so strong and we cannot have push until the baby is 100% ready to come out and they would be giving me an epidural so I wouldn’t push before the right time. She also said that I would be on my back in stirrups as this was the safest way to birth a breech baby. I declined the epidural and told her I wanted to be able to move around during the surges to help gravity help bring the baby down. She supported me even though she didn’t agree with my decision.
It was all very peaceful for the next couple of hours and they were doing vaginal examinations every 2 hours to ensure the labour was progressing. By the third check I was fully dilated and I realised how hard it was to breathe and not push when that urge came! It all progressed so quickly that no one was ready for me to transition so quickly. I don’t remember a lot from there, but my partner said there was a lot of tension in the room and everyone was really worried about what would happen. In the end I laboured for 5 hours and when I began to push; the bum squeezed out, her legs flopped down on the third push, her tummy, then arms and on the fifth push and a little turn from the dr she popped right out and the cord had already unravelled itself before her head was even born. Everything went perfectly and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The obstetrician had never seen a breech birth go so smoothly and I was told that she was very impressed at how well my body birthed. She was born at 8.26pm and was a gorgeous and petit 2.9kg.
Against all odds she came out beautiful and healthy. She was able to come into the world the way that she wanted to and I’m so relieved I trusted her and my body to do what they were designed to do.
A big thankyou to all my friends and family, midwives and doctors that supported me on this journey; I feel blessed and so lucky that I was given these opportunities at the most perfect time in my life.
(taught by Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner Mae’t Pearson, My Best Birth)