Saturday, September 16, 2017

#7 L's Pregnancy & Birth

L's Story: Begins dark, but ends beautifully! She is truly the calm after the storm. As cliche as it sounds, it was all worth it in the end! 💗

Summer 2016
     After adopting #6 DK, we were over-the-moon. Seriously, our hearts were so full! We felt so grateful and so blessed! After the excitement of adding a new family member, a sense of calm rolled over our family. I thought that meant our family was complete - I was wrong. (This has happened before, folks. We thought we were done after TWO!  ðŸ˜‰)
     When DK was about 2 months old, we were surprised to learn I was pregnant! My EDD was Feb 14, 2016, Valentine's Day! 💘 Unfortunately, "morning sickness" came on fast & furious. It was actually HG. I've experienced this with previous pregnancies, but sadly this was one of the more severe (like what I had with #1 B.)  The constant vomiting & nausea, not being able to keep down solids or liquids, becoming dehydrated, losing 20 lbs, and requiring IV fluids & meds, all led to a very rough summer. I couldn't take my kids to their activities, instead spending the days curled up on the couch or clutching the toilet. One friend stated, "You just disappeared!" I couldn't even make it to church. It was difficult, depressing, & lonely.
   Thankfully, there were 4 great things that happened during this time:

1) My family seriously stepped up. My husband, teenage son, parents, in-laws, sisters, and aunt were my saving grace. They took care of my kids, made them meals, drove them to and from practices, games, meets, and performances. They did the laundry & dishes, brought over meals, offered encouraging words & prayers, and pushed me to go to the hospital when they knew I needed medical help. THANK YOU!  I'll never forget how you were there in my time of need. I am one blessed woman.

2) I found a wonderful support group on facebook. It was lovely to have others that understood.

3) Despite my health, our baby was developing perfectly!

4) It lessened by 12 weeks!! That's the soonest HG has ever left me! Praise God!! Of course, the nausea always sticks around 'til the end, but I can totally "fake it" and go back to living my life!

Fall 2016 
The m&m's say "Nuts?" or "No Nuts?" and the pizza
box on the right says, "Sausage? or No Sausage?"
My family is hilarious... 😏
     By the time school started, I was doing much better! Life went back to normal, and the pregnancy progressed without any complications. We even had a fun little gender reveal party. I was SHOCKED to see pink!

Winter 2016
     I'd been having a ton of "false labor" as always. Contractions were so frequent that I'd begun timing them on my phone. I worried this gal would come by Christmas!
     Also around this time, my dr & I had a slight disagreement over the glucose test. I've always declined the test - not bc I'm trying to be difficult, but bc of my history of HG. The memory of that awfulness is seared into my brain, and I refuse do ANYTHING that may trigger a relapse. I'm severely protective of my health and chugging a bottle of super sweet "cola" or "orange drink" in under 5 minutes will only lead me to vomiting again and invalidate my results. Not saying diagnosing & treating gestational diabetes is a trivial issue, but there are many alternatives to the drink. (See some here, herehere, & here.) My ob with my earlier pregnancies was very laid-back and had no problem with finding a different path. (He no longer practices.) With pregnancy #1 he asked me to see a dietitian and watch my diet. He'd continue to check for sugar in my urine and monitor baby's size. If anything looked poor, we'd revisit the matter. With my subsequent pregnancies, he didn't even suggest seeing the dietitian, just checking the urine & baby's size again. Never had any problems. Unfortunately, the ob I had with this pregnancy was more Chicken-Little-the-sky-is-falling. Not only did he want me to visit the dietitian, but also check my blood sugars 4x a day. I thought it was over-kill, but I obliged for 10 days. After 40 perfect readings, I was done. He wanted me to continue 'til the end of my pregnancy, saying "Things could change at any minute!" I declined. (By that reasoning, shouldn't every pregnant woman test every day until the end of their pregnancies regardless of whether they pass the test?!?!) Anywho, once again, no problems.

Dec 28, 2016 - 33w1d. I went in for a check-up & ob checked baby's position - head down! Yay! (My last was breech.) To my surprise he also wanted to do a cervical check. I assume it's bc I normally deliver 1 to 2 wks early? I consented - 2 cm & 50% effaced.

Jan 26, 2017 - 37w2d. Wkly check-up. My dr was out, so I saw another. She said I was measuring 3 wks small & suggested an ultrasound. I wasn't concerned bc with #3 P I was measuring 5 wks small & my very-laid-back dr at that time just said, "you hide it well." Plus, it all depends on how baby is laying & how a given provider measures. I didn't feel the need for another ultrasound (already had the routine 1st & 2nd trimester ones), but scheduled one for 1.5 weeks out, knowing I probably won't make it until then.

Feb 3, 2017 - 38w3d. Saw my dr again, another cervical check = 2-3 cm & 75% effaced. He wanted to schedule an induction for a week early bc my quick labors made him "uncomfortable," and he needed more "control" over me/the situation. Aside from being opposed to (& offended by) being told I need to be "controlled," I was also still dealing with some trust issues from my last birth. I reminded him I prefer the natural way. A younger me would have jumped at the offer. In fact, in the past I'd done just that. Two out of 5 of my labors were induced. I was sick of being pregnant, anxious to meet my baby, and all for scheduling his/her arrival.
     However, the older I got, the more my views changed. I was shocked & saddened when I saw women experience the "cascade of interventions," especially when unnecessary interventions ended in c/s. I knew opinions on elective 39 week inductions differed, but the only opinion that mattered in this case was mine and I was at a firm no.
     In addition, the more times I've gone through the whole birth experience, the more I've learned what I like and don't like. Pitocin & AROM fall squarely in the "don't like" category. I felt no need to rush my baby out before she or my body was ready. Having done both natural & induced, I found natural to be far superior imo. (No judgement towards those who've induced early.)
     Despite declining, my ob continued, asking what if labor went so fast I delivered at home? I replied that I'd happily have a home birth*, which led to him telling me the dangers of home births. I could suffer a uterine prolapse! Why he chose to focus on that complication, idk? I'd think pp hemorrhage or the need for neonatal resuscitation would be more likely, but again, idk? I politely listened, but declined again. Finally, he said if I go past 40 wks, then we'll HAVE to schedule one. Hmm, unlikely, I thought, but we'll cross that bridge if we come to it. 
     [And just to dispel the myth: I've been told when on pit you're not "allowed" (oh, how I despise that word) to move around & must labor in bed. Not true! Ask for the IV on the back of your hand, not the inside of your elbow, that makes movement easier. I've walked, rocked, danced, & plie-ed my way through pit-induced contractions. 😉]

Feb 7, 2017 - 39w
3 am - Noticed some contractions, but not concerned since false labor is so common for me.

7 am - More contractions. These were different/more intense, so I start to think this is it! As I was helping the kids get ready for school, I warned them that baby may come today.

8:10 am - I texted my husband to give him a "head's up." He was working 1.5 hrs away. I told him he didn't need to come home yet.

10 am - While having some strong contractions, I gave #6 DK his bottle and thought this will probably be the last time I do this with him as my baby. 😢 Soon we'd have 7 kiddos and 3 "babies" - a newborn, a 10-mo-old, & a 28-mo-old.
     Now it became a question of timing for me. Thoughts swirled in my head: How fast will this one go? Crazy fast like my last? When should I tell my husband to start the drive home? When should I call my MIL to come over & watch the kids? When should we head to the hospital? Further complicating the matter: I tested GBS+, so I was supposed to have a bag (or 2?) of antibiotics before I delivered. But I HATE laboring in a hospital so I didn't want to get there too soon. And if I didn't get the antibiotics, like my last birth, it's not that big of a deal, they'll just take a blood sample of baby to check she's alright. But I'd rather be the one dealing with needles than my newborn. So back & forth I went...

10:30 am - I texted my husband to come home.

11 am-ish - Drove #4 S to preschool while having contractions. Stopped by LJS's for a fish sandwich & some coleslaw, my "last meal," lol! 😉 since I know the hospital has a no-food-during-labor policy. (I'm never hungry during labor anyways. Plus mine are speedy so this has never been an issue for me.)

12:30 pm - My husband arrived home. We put the two little ones down for naps just as my MIL arrived, and we headed off to the hospital.

1. On the ball.
2. & 3. Immediately following delivery
(yes, she was a bit purple 💜)
4. A few hrs after delivery.
1:30 pm - Arrived at the hospital. This was SO DIFFERENT than last time. I was super calm the whole time. The drive, the trip up to L&D, telling them I'm in labor, changing into the gown, getting the two "belts" strapped on 👎(not a fan), having someone from registration come in to ask me to sign a dozen papers, etc... Everything was so mellow. No rush. No panic. No fear. I was 6 cm. My husband reminded me to breath though contractions. No matter how many times I do this, I always end up holding my breath while in pain, so I appreciate his coaching. He put some of "today's hits" on Pandora. I danced, rocked, swayed, & bounced through contractions. (Now, whenever I hear The Weeknd's "I feel it coming," I'll always think of my labor with L. 😆) I'm a fan of the big birthing ball, but every time I'd bounce the belt monitoring baby's heartbeat would slip & the nurse would have to run in & re-adjust it. By the 5th time, I just wanted to yell GIVE UP! We don't need constant fetal monitoring anyway!!! But I allowed it. Throughout each of my births, I've alternated between understanding/patient/accommodating (it's just hospital policy...they're just doing their job...) to defensive/pissed (I don't give a sh*t about policy! My baby, my body, my choice!)
     Coincidentally, my sister had a dr's appt with my ob at that same time. She was the one who told him that at that very moment I was in labor at the hospital. He later told me he was bummed that he missed my labor, and (again) mentioned my quick, crazy last delivery. Apparently, he called up to warn the on-call ob that my last baby was breech, so she came in to check for sure that this one was still head-down. She was. He also told her not to leave since my labors are fast.

5:15 pm - I stood up from the ball & my water broke! Woo-hoo! I exclaimed, It's baby time!! I think I may have even clapped, people! 😂 (My babies always arrive within minutes of my water breaking.) I told them to get the dr and climbed up onto the bed rocking back & forth on all 4's. I gave a little "test" push & felt her head slide down. Then the dr entered. She asked if I wanted to flip onto my back and said I could deliver in any position I chose. 👍 I was in "the zone" and didn't respond. I gave one push & out she came! A perfect 6 lbs 9 oz, 19.5 in long, born at 5:19 pm with apgar's of 7 & 9. I flipped over onto my back, and we had immediate skin-to-skin followed by her nursing for over 2 hours! I held her as they sewed me up, which was by far the most unpleasant experience, and it seemed to take foooorever! Seriously, will I ever make it through without a cut/tear?? 😣 Is it bc my babies rocket out of me?!?! I told my husband, I.AM.OUT. I am DONE with PAIN. This will be the LAST labor & delivery for me! Lol! Then we ordered some pizza, breadsticks, & chocolate chip cookies, which we ate right in the delivery room! Sitting there, stuffing my face with carbs, my husband commented he hadn't seen me this happy in months! 😄 And it's true! The nausea was immediately gone (goodbye lingering HG symptoms!), food tasted good again, and I was so happy to have my healthy baby girl and NOT to be pregnant anymore!!!

Final thoughts
I loved the calm, mellow nature of L's delivery, especially following the chaos of my last birth. While M's was quick & crazy, L's was smooth & unrushed. If M's birth was like white water rafting, L's was like sailing down the lazy river. Interestingly, my daughters' personalities seem to match their deliveries. M is stubborn & energetic, while L is laid-back & content. They are both beautiful additions to our family!! 😉

To reveling in the differences and appreciating my babies,
💗- Becky


*Full disclosure: After 3 hospital births, I was ready for something different. So with my 4th & 5th pregnancies, I explored the option of birthing at home. We'd had some good birth experiences, but also some ridiculous/unpleasant/frustrating ones. Nothing traumatic, thankfully. Here's one example...
With my 1st & 2nd kids, THEY BROUGHT US THE WRONG BABY! 😱😲
- With #1, the nurse wheeled in a baby boy & said, "Here's your son. We fed him for you." Me, confused, "But I'm nursing?" Nurse, "Oops, sorry, wrong baby!" wheels him away...
- With #2, nurse wheels in a baby girl, "Here's your daughter!" My husband, "She's already in the room with us..."  Nurse, "sorry..." quickly wheels out baby...
So with #3 and then #4 I refused to let them be taken out of the room, and they fought me on this, bringing in the charge nurse who said they had to take #3 out for tests. I firmly reminded her that this was my child, and we could leave whenever we wanted to. The nurse tattled to my then-ob (the laid-back one), who laughed & teased, "That's right, Becky, we're all trying to steal your baby!" I replied, "Hey, once is an accident, TWICE is a pattern!" I shared this story at work, thinking it must be just me, and one of my colleagues said the SAME THING happened to her daughter! 😲 WTH?!?! By the time #5 came, the hospital had changed it's policy to encourage rooming in, but still offered multiple times to take baby out for tests, which, of course, I declined.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

#5 M's Pregnancy & Birth

[Edit: Yes, it's long. Here are the cliff notes... My dr told me breech babies have to be born via c/s. No discussion or informed consent. I had a quick, unplanned vbb. Now I believe full disclosure is a must, vbb training is crucial, & women deserve choices in childbirth.]

A little background...  
At the time of this writing I have 7 kids: 1st is biological, 2nd bio, 3rd bio, 4th adopted, 5th bio, 6th adopted, 7th bio. All of my labors & deliveries have been fast, easy, & uncomplicated. (Wish I could say painless too, but no such luck...)  Anyways, I hit 10 cm, baby slides down, I tell my husband to go get the dr, 1 or 2 pushes, & I'm done! We even have the ob on video saying, "You make it [birth] look easy" & "You were born to do this!" followed by my husband in the background yelling "DON'T TELL HER THAT!!" 😂 I also have A TON of "false labor." I normally start feeling contractions at 16 weeks, which freaks me out every time since baby is non-viable at that point. By 7 months, they're normally time-able. I'll go every 8-10 minutes for 2 hrs & then they'll just stop. Also, I normally deliver 1-2 weeks early. 👍👍👍 The one complication I deal with during pregnancy is HG. The constant nausea & vomiting, weight loss, IV fluids, and meds are awful. Thankfully, the severity always lessens by 20 weeks or before. The nausea sticks around 'til the end, but vomiting becomes only occasional so I can get back to living life! 

M's Birth       

Over half-way through my pregnancy
at the Great Wall of China
I got pregnant with #5, my breech baby, while we were in the process of adopting our son (#4). My EDD was Nov 12, 2014. At 20 weeks, we flew to China, spent 2.5 weeks there, and made it home on July 4, 2014. The rest of the summer we cocooned and worked on attachment & bonding. Many days I was outside wading in the cold pool water with the kids. I'll always wonder (perhaps irrationally) if that 13 hr flight to/from China or all that time in the cold pool caused #5 to be breech.

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 - 37w3d. At a regular OB check-up dr suspected baby was breech. We scheduled an ultrasound to check for sure, and I was told breech = c-section. At home I focused on getting that baby in an optimal position! Spent the weekend trying moves from spinning babies.

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 - 38w. Ultrasound confirmed baby is footling breech. Discussed ECV to try & flip her. I had concerns, particularly bc bio babies 1, 2, & 3 all had true knots in their cords & I worried if this one did, an ECV could tighten it & kill her. Ob assured me we'd be monitoring baby for the entire procedure & following. I consented & scheduled it for the following day. Spent the night calling chiropractors & acupuncturists to help baby turn - none were available on such short notice. (2 weeks from due date.)

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014
8 am - 38w1d. ECV fails. The dr & nurse just assumed this meant we'll schedule a c-section. No discussion of "why?" No discussion of the risks & benefits of a c/s. And absolutely nothing about a possible vaginal breech birth (vbb.) This wasn't an emergent situation, so it was the perfect time to have this conversation. The young nurse tried to be very compassionate & shared info about her experience, as she had recently had one. She recommended I ask for the catheter to be placed after I'm numb, admitted that it's unpleasant, painful, & recovery is rough, but said my ob is good at sewing things up as "pretty as possible." While still hooked up to monitors, she noticed I was contracting regularly. I told her it's nothing, I have a ton of "false labor," & just wait until evening - that's when they get really intense! We went home & spent the day as usual. Again, trying to find anyone/anything that can get her to flip. 

8 pm-ish - I decided to take an evening bath in our large jacuzzi tub in hopes of getting her to flip. Stepping out, I noticed a few contractions, but paid no attention as that was normal. Helped my husband put the kids to bed, then tried more exercises, positions, heat & ice to get baby to flip. I even shined a light between my legs, people! As in, move towards the light, baby! ðŸ˜œ All the while, having contractions. I mentioned it to my husband, but still wasn't concerned. Around 10 pm, I climbed into bed (that always gets them to stop), but not this time. At about 10:30 pm, I went downstairs to tell my husband, and I was hit with one that brought me to the ground on all 4's. It was time to go to the hospital. We called my MIL to come over & stay with the kids. I woke up the oldest to let him know what was going on. I should have prepared him better for what labor looks like bc seeing me in pain really scared him. At about 10:45 pm we're off. I'd like to say I was super calm & confident the whole time, but I'd be lying. As we drove down the road along the river, I broke down. I was scared. I cried. I called my mom & sobbed into the phone. But by the time we'd reached the other side of town, I'd pulled myself together. No more fear. I had a job to do, and I was ready! I could do this!  IT WAS GAME TIME!! 

11 pm-ish - We got to the hospital, & I was wheeled up to the L&D floor. As soon as I arrived, I told the the nurse baby is breech & I was VERY NEAR delivering. (Being my 4th birth, I knew what it felt like when delivery is imminent.) My ob just happened to be on-call that night. I changed into a gown, came out, & again warned the nurse that baby would be here VERY SOON. She didn't respond. There was no discussion of the c/s. No verbal or written consents. Then two lab techs came in (why 2, Idk???) to draw blood. I wondered, how in the world will I stay still long enough for them to get a vein? At this point I was up on the bed, not hooked to any monitors, on my hands & knees, rocking back & forth, (my preferred method for dealing with the labor pains) while the nurse reminded me to breath. (Whenever I get stressed-out or in pain, I literally hold my breath without even realizing it.) I tossed out one of my arms and, amazingly, the tech got a quick, easy stick. 
     And then...it happened...so quickly that the techs didn't even have time to leave the room, instead snuffling into the corner, backs to the wall, watching the events that were unfolding before them. I was still rocking back & forth facing away from the door when I heard my dr enter. At that moment, another contraction hit, I felt intense pressure, my water broke with a SPLASH, & baby literally RODE THE WAVE OUT!! 😲😱 My ob jumped into action. Baby was completely out except for her head. He asked me to flip over onto my back and I did. Then told me I need to push out her head - I could hear the urgency in his voice. He wanted that baby out NOW. (I assume he was afraid of head entrapment?) I gave it one push & her head was out! Viola! A healthy baby girl: 7 lb 1 oz, 20.5 in long born at 11:22 pm with apgar's of 7 & 9. It all happened in a matter of seconds. We didn't get immediate skin-to-skin, and, in hindsight, I'm not even bummed about it, just happy to have had a healthy labor, delivery, & baby without surgery! After the nurses checked her out, she was placed on my chest & nursed perfectly. It was then I learned the surgery team had been paged upon my arrival. They hadn't made it yet. The call was cancelled, and they were all being told baby had made it out safely. 
     Unfortunately, I did tear. 👎 In fact, it took the dr much longer to sew me back together than it did for M to be born!  And, as the nurse at the ECV said, he did take the time to do a very good job. Afterwards, he hugged me & congratulated us. I could sense his relief at a positive outcome. He said it had been a long time since his last vbb. The next few times I saw him (including my first visit for my next birth), he mentioned that intense breech birth. He and the nurse joked that it gave him a few more grey hairs... 😉

Afterthoughts 

Not to take away from the fact that my ob did a excellent job assisting in M's birth, but in retrospect the lack of discussion & informed consent beforehand was unacceptable. The day he suspected M was breech, the day of the ultrasound, or the day of the failed ECV ALL would have been an ideal times to have such a conversation. 

When a dr says, "Breech babies need to be born via c-section." What does he/she really mean? It COULD be...
- "I prefer to deliver via c-section." 
- "I need the control, predictability, & convenience offered by a c/s." 
- "I have a fear of perceived liability."
- "I am a strong believer in the conclusions of the Term Breech Trial, and therefore believe all breech babies should be born via c/s."
- "I want to support my employer, and I know c-sections are much more lucrative than vaginal births."
- "I believe my medical degree trumps your bodily autonomy & informed consent, so if you disagree or refuse treatment, I'll either drop you as a patient or force you to have a c/s." (Scary, but this and other forms of obstetrical violence have occurred despite being unethical & against ACOG's recommendations.)
- "I'd like to help you deliver vaginally, but our hospital has a 'breech ban.' "
- "I lack the training &/or experience to assist in a vaginal delivery. But if it's important to you, I'll help you find/here's a list/visit this website to find one that is."

Any of these could be true...or, perhaps, none of them are. Who knows? (I hope & pray that for the majority it's the altruistic reasons that are true.) What IS true is the fact that women deserve a dr who doesn't suffer from too much pride to believe his/her way is the only way - one who possesses the honesty to admit his/her motives and the humility to seek out help. I certainly should have been told of the risks of a c/s, such as increased risk of hemorrhage, infection, damage to other organs, longer recovery time, complications to future pregnancies, potential injury to baby, breathing problems for baby, complications breastfeeding. Why did I have to look those up on my own? (some sources 1, 2, 3) Perhaps it's unreasonable to expect an in-depth conversation about the Term Breech Trial, or its critics, or its defenders, or PREMODA, or ACOG's opinions, or PubMed's research, but there was definitely time for SOMETHING. I know to an ob - a surgeon - a c/s can be common, even enjoyable. In fact, I listened to one explain that the reason he chose obstetrics was because he liked the surgical aspect. But to many women, c/s are major, life-changing events. (And please don't counter with, "Well, all that matters is a healthy baby." That is NOT all that matters. Pregnancy & birth involve TWO humans, and BOTH of their lives & experiences matter.)

This experience opened the door to wanting to learn more about breech birth. Why hadn't I been given options? Do most breech babies die if born vaginally? Was my situation a statistical anomaly? So,
...I talked to or read from other ob's, midwives, l&d nurses (including one who had delivered a breech baby when the dr couldn't make it in time), and other moms who had given birth to breech babies vaginally & surgically.
...I searched the internet, watching vbb videos and tutorials.
...I spoke with women a generation or two older than me, and they acted like M's birth was "no big deal" because back in their day it WAS no big deal. They or their peers had first-hand experience with this type of birth.
...I listened as one ob visited me after M's birth and explained that vbb isn't as shocking/dangerous as some believe today. He compared it to flying. Most of the time everything goes fine, but when it doesn't, the results can be tragic, so they have a "better-safe-than-sorry" policy.
...I tried to put myself in my dr's shoes. And you know what? I get it. I can see how assisting a mom with a vbb could be scary. BUT I still believe the choice lies with the mom. Leaving her in the dark is NOT the answer. And I'm saddened when I hear a mom say she's been told her only option is a c/s, especially since not even ACOG recommends this type of blanket policy.

I respect those in the medical field, and I believe most drs truly care about their patients. This shouldn't be about "us vs them," but rather about working together to recognize areas that need improvement. We all have the same goal - a healthy, happy mom & baby. We may just have different ideas on the best way to get there. For me, the joy of M's birth will always be mixed with the frustration that I felt uniformed and the resentment from narrowly escaping unnecessary, major abdominal surgery. I hate that this has left me with cynicism and distrust towards drs & hospitals. 

The more time passed, the more questions arose...
What if I'd had the c/s, and THEN learned what I know now? Would I ever be able to get over the anger? What if I hadn't gone 2 weeks early? Would I have used that time to learn more about breech birth? Would I have looked for a breech-friendly provider? Would I have found one? If I desired a planned vbb, would my husband & family have been supportive? What if I couldn't find another provider? Would I have just refused to consent to the c/s? Then what? What if that night I had M, a dr with no vbb training or experience had been the one on-call? And what about the future? Will my daughters have any choices in childbirth?

I can't help but compare it to my line of work: math education. Imagine I was your child's math teacher. I do a fantastic job teaching addition, subtraction, & multiplication, but I don't offer division education. My preferred method of division is using a calculator - It's quicker, easier, & more convenient for me. If your child wants to learn how to divide without a calculator, he/she will have to go elsewhere. I'm sure his/her lack of access to division education will never affect his/her quality of life or options for the future should he/she decide to take another math class. And I'm confident there will never come a time when I need to perform a division problem without a calculator...

So that was my experience. I consider myself very lucky - I avoided major surgery & got a healthy baby girl. Compared to my other births, this one was no harder/worse. It was actually my quickest labor yet. It felt just like my head-down babies, but in reverse. Feeling the feet come out first was weird, but not more painful. Her body came out easily - just slide out like a wet fish! 😉 The only work I had to do was that one push at the end to deliver her head.

Would I recommend a vbb to other women? Yes. But there are many factors to consider, and I'd never try to pressure a mom one way or the other. I would encourage her to explore her options, learn as much as possible, ask "why?", and ask for the research/evidence upon which your provider bases his/her opinions. Be aware: you may encounter some who treat you condescendingly, laugh, or brush off your concerns. (I've experienced all three.) But don't let anyone make you feel foolish. Remember, a medical degree does not trump your ability to think critically and exercise informed consent. 

I hope it's clear I'm not anti-c/s. They save lives. I am against skipping informed consent or "faux" informed consent (drs giving women only the info that backs up their opinion.) And I'm not advocating vbb for all. Each situation is unique - the data available, the woman's bodily autonomy & informed consent, and the experience of the provider must all be considered. Every woman has the right to make the decision that is best for her, whether that's vaginal or surgical. And each one deserves a supportive team behind her - not condemnation or judgement for her choice.

It's unfair to all involved that while drs spend years prepping for worst-case-scenario, they lack training in vbb. Three to 4% of pregnancies end with breech presentations, and I'm proof that sometimes a woman WILL come in ready to deliver or in the mist of delivery. That's why having the skills to deliver a breech baby vaginally is SO IMPORTANT. We can't always control our environment, so shouldn't it be advisable to have the skills just in case? As the saying goes, "Better to have it & not need it, than to need it & not have it."

Interested in learning more or looking for a breech-friendly provider? Check out these websites:
- Spinning Babies

Happy Birthing, Momma's! 💕-Becky

#headsup #bringbackbreechbirth #reteachbreech #trueinformedconsent #choicesinchildbirth #variationsofnormal

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#charlottesville

I don't understand...I'll never understand. I WILL hope & pray for the softening of hearts & the changing of minds & the end to this... 💗
In peace & love - Becky