June 4, 2013
Foothills Hospital - Cesarean 

Claire arrived a week ago today.  I am extremely pleased with the birth despite the fact that I ended up getting a C-section.

At 36 weeks we found out that Claire was in a frank breech position, we proceeded to try everything to turn her including an ECV (external cephalic version), moxibustion, loads of inversions, acupunture, chiro and meditation!  Unfortunately nothing worked.

We called our midwives around 2:30 am last Monday morning as my labour pains seemed to be bleeding into one another and we knew we needed as much time as possible to maximize our chances of a vaginal delivery.  The midwife proceeded to call around to the hospitals and we made the decision to go to the Foothills because the Dr on nights was amenable to a breech vaginal delivery, our midwives had good relationships at Foothills, plus Scott and I had been to the Foothills for the ECV as well as a consultation about a trial of labour (vaginal breech delivery)and we'd already filled out our consent forms and our discussion was on record.

The Obstetrician on nights really didn't have anything to do with us.  At shift change a new Dr and the chief resident came in to see us.  Both the doctor and resident didn't even ask us what we were planning to do or question our decision to attempt a trial of labour.  They  were simply on board.  The Obstetrician did mention that she wanted us to have an epidural closer to the end - but we ignored that as we had a lot to get through before that decision needed to be made.  They did an ultrasound and confirmed that baby was in a complete breech position (there was a bit of concern that it was a footling but they confirmed that wasn't the case), the head was tucked and the weight was in the right range - they figured 3500g (guidelines are max 4000g).  So we were good to go.

I arrived at the hospital 5cm dialated but at 10:00 am nothing had really progressed so they broke my water.  By noon I still hadn't progressed and so we had a heart to heart with both Obstetricians plus our midwife.  We could continue to labour, get an epidural and see if that helpled progress things or go for a c-section.  We opted to continue to labour and so stepped up our attempts to get things going. Scott helped me to do steps, we tried nipple stimulation and walked the halls.  My next check showed that I had progressed to 6cm and fully dialated and that baby was down a bit further.  Everyone was super encouraged.  I jumped in the shower to help me cope with the pain - mistake - I totally stalled again.  Around 3:00pm we decided to try the epidural and see if that helped move things along.  Our midwife didn't think it would really help as I had been relaxed and working through each contraction.  Unfortunately she was right - I didn't progress at all during the next 2 hours on the epidural. I had wireless fetal monitoring on the whole time I was labouring, fortunately Claire was in tip top shape the entire time.  We agreed at 5:00pm that things were simply not progressing and decided to have a c-section.  The c-section was pretty  horrible, mostly cause I felt so vulnerable and exposed but also because I was dissapointed.  But as the obstetricians were getting her out they both exclaimed - wow, this is a chunky monkey!  When Claire was born and weighed she came in at 4115g!  The ultrasound evaluation had been 600g off!  Her head was also 37.5cm.  As soon as Claire was cleaned up a bit and breathing she was put on my chest, Scott had to hold on to her.  That decision had to be okayed with the anesthesiologist, but we asked before the surgery and he okayed it.  We also asked for delayed cord clamping but Claire came out 'flat' so they cut the cord quickly.  We also asked to get skin to skin with Claire as soon as possible.  As soon as I was wheeled from the OR our midwife and a nurse supervised as Claire routed around on my chest and fed for the first time.

I think that having her vaginally would have been even more trauma to my body and to her then the c-section turned out to be.  I was glad we laboured as long as we did and glad we got to be skin to skin so quickly after her birth. I also felt 100% supported by the staff at the Foothills and credit that to the discussions we'd had before hand and the relationships between our midwife and the staff.  There was a lot of interest to come and witness the breech delivery amongst the residents/interns/nurses.  No one questioned us and in fact everyone was excited and rooting for us to be successful.

Claire is super healthy, I'm recovering well and Scott and I are thrilled with our "chunky monkey".