Moving on, I also read about cervical checks during childbirth and how research has shown it's mathematical unpredictability. Ooooo these two hit home for me, as I was a "please tell me how much I'm dilated" kinda gal with my first birth. This time around though, just the thought of it sent shivers down my spine. It was clear EEEEEVERYONE was to stay well away from my vagina!!! thank you very much. Then I read this on how there there is more to birth than having a baby, which was in so many ways SO very important for me, personally. Like I said before I wanted to be prepared for any scenario and what my choices were so I read lots more here, here, here, another good research paper about birth positions and birth, and because I had started to think about it, I read this too.
At this junction is where I've just realised if I share every single thing I read, I wouldn't have the space to actually write the story (now you understand when I said my brain was gonna explode). It was a day to day thing, reading about 4 or 5 articles in a day!! So I've decided to condense it and give you just enough and if your interest is sparked, then you can go ahead, research and read more on your own ok?
Let's move on.
In amongst all the reading, I wrote my birth plan and left it at the GP for my midwife. It included things like “leave me alone”, “don’t talk to me unless absolutely necessary”, “don’t touch me”, “don’t turn on the lights”, “NO Vaginal examinations unless it's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!”. I felt I had to say it like this to jar people’s mind a bit. I wrote the first one which sounded a bit too “sweet and normal” so I rewrote it towards the end without censoring what I wanted to say. Sometimes birth plans just get taken for granted and are sometimes just glanced over without much attention. So I made sure my language was strong, sharp and straight to the point.
Then when she left, I had time to myself to freak out and panic. Once my hubby doula came home, I collapsed in fear and tears. Why oo why!! All my preparations! All the reading and work to prepare!......and now baby is breech?!!!. I can't birth a breech baby.. It's going to be cesarean for me, I know it! They won't give me a chance to try! I don't even know if I could try! It's soo hard...you can go on and imagine the rest of what I said. I was basically vomiting my own conditioned thoughts about breech birth that I have ever heard. In my head, it just couldn't be done, it's just not done! Then my love, my husband listened, held me, allowed me to weep and cry and then said, we're not even sure it's breech, baby. Her guess is not 100% accurate. Why don't you try and see what you can do and then we'll see what happens on the day. Don't give up now. (I knowww right?! Told you he was amazing)
So I dried my tears...still feeling beat down on the inside but my research commenced yet again. I read SO much on spinning babies website it was alarming and maybe not all needed but what's an obsessed pregnant woman to do eh? :-). It was a treasure trove of delightful information. I found and joined an amazing group on Facebook called Breechbirth UK. Again an amazing group of women with so much information. I'm telling you, I know I could not have had the confidence I did to birth my baby breech if it wasn't for this group. They changed my brain cells..literally. I read posts on women who's babies turned last minute, who used acupuncture to turn baby, who used osteopathic treatment to make room for baby to turn, who birthed their babies breech and enjoyed it?! I was like wow....really? C'est possible? And yes, it totally was.
First things first, I booked an appointment with this Osteopath, Sally. I usually send women to her from my Pregnancy yoga classes that have problems with carrying baby's weight or placenta preivia and she helps them all and now, it was my turn to see her. She was excellent, so gentle and I just enjoyed what seemed like a massage to me but what she called making room in my pelvis for baby to maybe turn. I had two sessions with her and then I booked to see Penny the acupuncturist but changed my mind because of two things, my feelings to go to her changed and secondly, I ran out of cash (which came first? I’m not quite sure). I also committed myself to including various positions in my personal practice that I found on the spinning babies website to help flip breech lying babies.
From this Facebook group, I found a link to this amazing video with mama, birthing her baby breech. Watching it was the last straw for me. Moreso because her story was just like mine (after trying the myriad options to turn baby) and also because it was her first baby! It was powerful and electrifying and suddenly I felt..oh, it' not that bad. I think I can do that. If I'm just left alone, I can do it. I just need someone to pop the legs out for me like the doctor did and that's it? Hmmm, not too bad then and actually, hubby can pop the legs out if I need (turned out he didn't need to do that either as my baby's legs popped right out on their own). So after watching it, I showed to my hubby doula and he agreed it was quite a powerful one. Also after watching this and feeling pretty exhausted and out of breath with all the upside-down postures to try to flip baby, I stopped it all. If she's going to be breech at birth, then so be it. I was done. I was done with trying to do this and that to change her chosen position. And as a result, I actually felt relaxed and had time to prepare mentally for the event.
Then soon after, I get a call from my midwife's supervisor. She says something along the lines of, 'I know you said noone is to call you but your midwife said she saw you and that baby might be breech and I wanted to check in and see what we may do to help. Why not come in for a scan and then see from there? Because if baby is breech during birth, just a few amount of midwives are trained to deliver breech so you may need to come to the hospital just to be safe.' And I said just hold on a minute, I do not want any scan. I am not going to the hospital to birth this baby before I'm even sure she's breech. I'll stay at home and if she's breech on the day and I feel I need to go the hospital then I will and not a moment before. Because I know that once I step foot on your 'turf' and baby is breech, noone is going to have the patience to wait for me to birth naturally and it would most likely lead to a c-section. So no thanks, I'll stay home and see on the day what happens. And she goes, no it won't necessarily lead to a section unless it necessary and......then I'm say, oh yes it would I fear it would. I know how these things work. I hurl myself to your hospital and suddenly no midwife is trained to help me and off I go to the chopping board. Thank you but again I'll stay home and if baby is breech and we need help and no midwife can come to us then we'll come to the hospital but not before, thank you. Then she says ok and I hung up.
I was not be budged and maybe this was coming from a place of fear of being chopped up, being touched by a group of people who "want the best for me" and having my choices taken away from me like my first birth but it felt nice to stand up for myself and speak out ad say exactly what I wanted. It's a shame but birthing a breech baby vaginally is becoming a lost art you as you hear these women talk about it and most people just assume C-section is the only way and it's NOT!!!.
Anyway, I was shaking after this phone conversation and when my hubby doula came home? Yeah you got it right...more tears. Tears of "ok, I also need to open up to the fact that babe might actually be breech and it may lead to a c-section". I did so much work with this mentally in preparing not to lose myself, so if I did have the abdominal surgery I wanted to remember I could have it totally on my grounds and with dignity.
She (midwife's supervisor) also sent me a 2 page letter with regards to our phone conversation. I didn't read it as you remember, I was keeping my energy high and didn't want to be put down by anyone's words. So my doula hubby read it for me. And told me in summary it basically says they may not send anyone if I choose to have a homebirth because they are not sure who will be on call on that day. It was this moment that the seed of having a Freebirth was almost sealed. I said, well we'll just have to do it ourselves then. This was approximately, 3 weeks before baby's arrival. And watching that movie again with the warrior mama breech birthing her son, Eden just finalised it for me. I was ready!
Next time: Guess due date approaches and passes. I'm swelling with excitement as impatience grows. What do I do?