August 20, 2013
Breech Vaginal Delivery


Like many expectant parents, we assumed nothing would get in the way of our vision for an intervention-free natural birth.  We were shocked to hear that our baby was in a breech position at thirty six weeks.  We tried to stay optimistic as we had heard of several natural ways to try and flip our baby.  We tried everything from homeopathic remedies, chiropractic and acupuncture treatments and hypnotherapy to several inversion positions.  

Sadly we found ourselves at Rockyview trying an ECV.  Our baby didn't even budge during the procedure and we were faced with the fact that our chances of a vaginal birth were next to none.  We had several doctors tell us that we would have to have a scheduled caesarean section.  We asked if we could have a conversation about a vaginal delivery and each doctor looked at us like we had three heads; informing us that vaginal birth was not an option.  When we challenged their opinions with current research about the safety of breech deliveries they indicated that these studies were merely a movement and nothing else.  When we pressed further, we were told that there were a couple of doctors who would maybe give us a chance to labour.  Unfortunately we were due in the middle of August and most doctors were on holidays.   We argued to have a scheduled c-section as late as possible in hopes for us to go into labour beforehand and possibly have our baby flip.  

At our 39 week appointment, amazing midwife at the High River Hospital informed me that Dr. Bailey was currently on call and that if I was in labour I could potentially have a natural birth.  Sadly she checked me and I was only 1 cm dilated.  She let me know that I would probably not deliver for another week.  To my surprise I woke up at 2am the next morning one week prior to my due date with steady contractions that continued to strengthen. We decided to go to High River in the hopes that Dr. Bailey would still be on call and open to offering a vaginal delivery.

All the stars aligned.  We got to High River (my water broke on the way) and Dr. Bailey said she would let us labour and if everything went well try for a natural birth.  Our labour and delivery nurse Renee was absolutely amazing...supporting with counter pressure and position ideas.  We arrived at the hospital at 9am and by 2pm we were ready to start pushing.  I was able to labour naturally, but it was suggested that I take some nitrous oxide before pushing as I was quite exhausted.   Dr. Bailey told us that we would be able to push as long as we continued to progress each time.  After just over an hour, Dr. Bailey told me I would have to push as hard as I could and our whole baby would have to come out in one push...even after the contraction was over.  I was given an episiotomy just before this final push.  The baby came out all at once but required forceps for his head.  Our baby needed minimal support and after I was stitched up from a third degree tear...Bodhi was on my chest and we were all overjoyed.

I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to deliver our frank breech baby vaginally at High River Hospital with the assistance of Dr. Bailey.  It was very disappointing leading up to this event to have professionals not listen to us or value our opinion.  We are grateful that we were given the choice instead of being told what to do for our situation.   It was so important to be given to choice to deliver vaginally.  I am very grateful for our experience.