Friday, May 20, 2011

My Surprise Breech Birth at Home

Another article bites the dust! Yet another article has been declined by the copy editors for the Pampers website. This article is special to me, because I was hoping to share this version of my surprise breech baby's birth at home. I tried working with the editors and revising the article according to their requests, and it was ultimately declined. Here's the article as I originally wrote it (unrevised):

My Surprise Breech Birth at Home

My fifth baby was a surprise breech birth. It was a planned home birth with an experienced midwife.

My first four babies were born in the hospital with an obstetrician. Each one was head-first. I had normal pregnancies and births, without any major complications. I'd given birth medicated and completely natural, and I felt confident in my ability to birth without medical intervention. I trusted my midwife and knew that she had experience with a wide variety of births throughout her career.

My midwife palpated my belly at each prenatal visit and reported that the baby seemed to be head-down. All seemed to be in order for a normal, perfect birth.

I went to my obstetrician's office for a group B strep screen and the nurse-practitioner felt my belly. She wasn't sure if what she felt in my pelvis was a head or a bottom. She suggested that the obstetrician check the position at my next appointment. I didn't have anymore appointments with them, so there wasn't a “next time”. I went to my car and thought about the possibility of a breech baby. I asked myself if my baby were breech if any of my plans for a home birth would change. I realized it wouldn't change anything. I knew my midwife had attended breech birth at home, and I knew she was capable of supporting me if I found myself in such a situation. I felt peaceful about moving forward with my plans to give birth at home.

I had a wonderful labor in the comfort of my home. I was in my own territory and it was easier to be calm and relaxed even in the throes of labor. My husband and two midwives supported me throughout the long labor. I rested in bed between contractions, and I labored in the birth tub with warm water melting the discomfort away.

The big surprise came when I was fully dilated and pushing my baby out. My midwife noticed a lot of meconium in the water and asked me to stop while she cleaned it out and determined why there was so much. When she checked me she realized that my baby was coming out bottom-first! The possibility of a breech birth hadn't even crossed my mind since that day I sat in my car and considered my options. When the discovery was made I felt no fear. I looked at the midwife and she told me to push and keep pushing to get the baby out fast.

His bottom came out first, then one leg and the other leg. Then the torso, followed by one arm and the other arm. Then he took his hands and feet and pushed off of my body and together we pushed his head out. It was an amazing experience, and it was so beautiful. I felt I could do anything after that.

In my eyes it was a perfect birth.


  1. Don't worry about Pampers not supporting you, they are made by Proctor and Gamble who STILL does animal testing in their labs. I haven't bought anything from them on purpose in nearly 20 yrs. :-)

    I personally LOVE your story!

  2. My last birth was a surprise breech, too. I think she was actually my easiest.
    Congrats are your wonderful home birth!!


  3. Andrea von SchoeningMay 20, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    My son, and only child, was a surprise breech home birth, 17 years ago! I love reading this!

  4. My 5th was also a breech, but I ended up going to the hospital b/c she had been transverse the day before, and external manipulation didn't budge her. When I woke in labor, I didn't know what position she was in, and the midwife phoned ahead to the hospital for me. They were ready to prep me for C-s when I arrived, but I demanded they check baby's position. My water broke as the nurse was checking, and they discovered not a head or a bottom, but feet! My stubborn girl just had to do things her own way :) I fortunately got probably the only doctor (on call, middle of night) who allowed me to choose breech delivery. He was prepared with forceps, and the room was full of hospital staff waiting to see something tht rarely happens anymore. I pushed my 9#6oz girl out completely on my own! If I'd known she was no longer transverse, I probably would have stayed home and let the midwife come to me, but it wasn't a bad hospital experience, and it gave the nurses something to talk about for a while ;)

  5. Glad you can share it with us! :)