Shannon’s Birth Story: Vaginal Breech Birth
This birth story has been shared by Shannon, who works in special education and is a mum to a little girl born in the breech position three years ago.
I had a very uncomplicated pregnancy but was monitored throughout as I live with an autoimmune disease (I ranked higher in the risk category) so at 28 weeks the only difference was I was advised to inject blood thinners daily to avoid any blood clotting issues. I was not given the option to birth at home and was recommended to use the birth suite (consultant-led) at Burnley Hospital.
On my due date 30th August 2020 – my waters broke at around 3 am at home. We rang the hospital and they said to come in or to wait until the early hours of the morning if we preferred (8-9 am) as it often takes a while for things to happen, given this was my first baby, from my waters breaking. However, I decided to head into the hospital (and it’s a good job I did, as you will read later on!).
We left our home at 3:45 a.m. and felt my first contraction-type pain (like period pain) these were around 15 minutes apart at this time. We arrived at the hospital at around 4 am, however at this time (due to COVID restrictions), partners were not allowed in until ‘active labour’ had been confirmed.
I was seen by a midwife and had a couple more low-level pains. The midwife suggested that I go home and was going to give me strong pain relief to take with me in case the pain got worse. However, whilst waiting I had a few more tightenings within those 10 minutes and she said “Do you mind if I just examine your cervix to check if it has started dilating? “. I was fine with that and to my surprise, she said I was 7cm dilated!
I rang my partner to come in and my contractions became more frequent from this point. She had another midwife come to examine me for a second opinion as she thought she could feel a hand above the head as though the arm was outstretched. However, the second midwife said she thought was actually a foot and I waited until 5:30 am for the doctor to arrive with an ultrasound machine to check – he confirmed it was a foot but by this point, I was fully dilated at 10cm and about to have a baby at any point! There was an influx of medical staff into the room and I was told that I would have to go to the theatre for a C – C-section. I was taken to the theatre trusting that the medical professionals had both my and my baby’s best interests in mind. As the theatre team were prepping I actually felt the urge to push and I was supported to deliver vaginally. I needed three cuts (this was the worst part as I had no pain relief due to the speed of it happening).
At 6:10 am she arrived safe and well and I was stitched and taken to the recovery ward. I was given two debriefs afterwards to explain to me what happened and why decisions were made in the birth.
Of note, the baby being in the breech position was undiagnosed as at 35/38 weeks midwives had written ‘engaged’ in my pregnancy notes. Although my birth story is positive, I feel lucky that I was in hospital at the time as had I gone home not realising how far along I actually was, or that my baby was breech, my husband would have had to deal with a breech birth at home it could have been a very difficult situation and possibly a different outcome. I personally feel that if I were to have any more children I would always choose to be in a hospital environment given the level of medical intervention I personally required.