Footling Breech at Home?! Absolutely brilliant birth!
This amazing birth story had me sobbing the first time amazing mum, Amy shared it with me. Hypnobirthing gives women the tools to learn to believe in themselves an trust their body. All hypnobirthing birth stories I hear, I love, but this one is definitely up there with the most awe inspiring for me.
Here is the story in Amy's words (we have dad's story coming soon). My husband and I attended an antenatal class that was aimed at information. It went through each stage of pregnancy and after birth providing facts and expectations. In the three hour session about labour the word ‘pain’ was the one most frequently used and most of the session was spent discussing the types of pain relief that we would all be using as the course leader said ‘labour is painful’. As I already felt anxious about giving birth before this session I was clearly feeling no better after it had finished! We signed up for hypnobirthing after one of the other couples on the course talked about it over coffee. After our first session I felt incredibly emotional. I was so happy that there was another way to bring a baby into the world; a calm, positive and controlled way. I cried all the way home with relief. My husband and I were so dedicated to the program and took our training and practise very seriously throughout our pregnancy. We made the decision to have home birth to allow all of us to stay together and best create the environment we wanted.
Our birthing adventure begins……
My husband and I were having a grown up cuddle(!) one Friday evening and I experienced a gush which we believed to be my waters breaking. We phoned the midwives and were told to contact them when things had moved further along. Throughout the next day I experienced discomfort but things did not progress any further than this and by 4pm we were in hospital being told it was a false alarm.
For the next two days the discomfort continued in my back and I slept a lot. On Sunday morning I woke at 2.30 am and experienced a gush. I let my husband continue sleeping and I tried to continue sleeping as well. Early in the morning I woke my husband and we phoned the midwife team who suggested we return to hospital for a check up due to the false alarm a few days ago. We were in hospital for around 4 hours and were able to return home with all being well with baby who was head down and ready to go!
We came home, had lunch and took the dog for a nice long walk all with minimal discomfort. Upon returning home from the walk I stood in the kitchen and felt another gush. I got in the shower feeling quite happy and got out of the shower on my hands and knees needing all my hypnobirthing strategies at once. My surges had kick started and went from zero to four every ten minutes by the time I got out of the shower. We again phoned the midwife team who said they would be on their way to the house.
We had a birthing pool at home and it was this point that my husband started to blow it up. He was continually called away to be my support and encouragement. I was finding the surges extremely intense. The midwife arrived after an hour and initially observed. We gave permission for her to complete an examination as I was finding things more and more intense. It was at this time I now can appreciate that I was probably in transition. When completing the examination the midwife revealed that she could feel feet! Our baby was going to be joining the world best foot forward!
The midwife phoned for her partner to come and an ambulance crew to come to the house. When they arrived our baby’s feet had been born and I was extremely thankful for the gas and air which I had waited for. With this I was able to make use of all the strategies I had learned and been dedicated to practising. I found my trance state and from then on coped well with focus and determination to have my calm home birth. We were given the option to continue at home or be transferred to hospital where I may deliver the baby on the way and my husband would have to travel separate to me. We decided to stay at home as our baby was doing well and so was I.
The house was full of people; the ambulance crew played with our dog and kept him busy, one of the midwives was on the phone to a supervisory midwife with experience in breech deliveries and the other was supporting my husband and I.
Each surge came quickly and with the gas and air I relaxed into the rhythm of my body. My baby’s legs were delivered one by one and then things slowed down. I was in such a deep trance state that I had very little awareness of what was happening around me; I was so focused on myself and my baby. I was drawn from this trance when I heard one of the midwives say nothing had happened in quite a while and we should start to think about transferring to hospital. I came out of my trance to firmly say NO! I was ready to bear down. The midwives suggested a change of position and I was able to bear down with reduced use of gas and air. The coaching they offered was just what I needed it was fierce and encouraging which matched my determined state of mind. As each part of her little body came into the world I felt a huge release of pressure. When she was born she struggled to take her first breath and was given support with this.
My daughter, Annie Mae made her way to hospital with a midwife while I was supported at home to deliver the placenta naturally and unintentionally on the toilet!! I had a bath in the birth pool which I never entered as things progressed so quickly and due to the increased onitoring we needed. I was then transferred in a second ambulance and spent one night in hospital where Annie was declared fully fit and healthy. While in hospital news of our delivery spread and each shift change in staffing brought new visitors who were keen to hear about the breech home delivery; we were quite the celebrities!
Our beautiful daughter was born three hours after my exit from the shower and two hours after her feet first entered the world. The midwives were elated at the experience I had been able to give them. They videoed the birth as a record instead of taking notes; neither midwife had the time to do any writing! I was asked to give permission for the video to be used as training for midwives and to promote natural vaginal deliveries with breech babies. After the birth we all gathered for a debrief and the reality of what we had achieved together really sunk in. There was no explanation as to how Annie had changed positions or even if she had. I have to give a huge thank you to my wonderful husband for his role in maintaining the environment and managing the stress levels to enable me to focus. I know now that he took on so much at the time and fully appreciate the support and confidence he had in me throughout our pregnancy and birth.
I am still so in awe of my body and how strong it is; I often feel overwhelmed and tearful for my achievement and sense of pride. I have a new respect for my female body. I had no stitches and have recovered extremely well. The midwives had such faith in my body and how prepared we both were due to hypnobirthing. If we had not been rehearsed and dedicated hypnobirthers the midwives said that they would have made stronger suggestions towards an emergency transfer to hospital which ultimately would have resulted in a cesarean. I am convinced that without the calm birth school the midwives would not have trusted me and I would not have had the confidence or trust in my body to give birth naturally to a breech baby. I am so thankful to the tools and assurance that I gained from hypnobirthing and I look forward to making use of them again in the future. If you want to have the confidence in your birth find out more about the Calm Birth School classes here