Tess Anthony shares Remis’s breech VBAC birth story. Expecting her fourth baby Tess discovers that her baby is again breech. Mia, Tess’s third baby, was also breech. Mia’s birth ended as a caesarean even though Tess wanted a vaginal birth. This time around Tess is determined to have a vaginal birth. Enjoy Tess’s story about her successful breech VBAC.
Only 10 months after giving birth to my 3rd child, I discovered I was pregnant again, with baby #4.
Mila (baby #3) was delivered by caesarean section (in Canberra) as she was breech. A c/s was something I never wanted, yet the Drs insisted I have one due to her breech position. I was happy to go ahead with a breech vaginal birth, but the Drs were not confident and since they no longer practice breech deliveries I ended up with a scheduled c/s. She was delivered at 39wk 4d, happy, healthy and oh so perfect. Everything went really well thankfully. I still regret not trying harder to get a vaginal birth, as I knew I could have done it. I decided I would most definitely be having a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) for baby #4. We moved to Cowra (in Central West NSW) when she was 8 months old, to be closer to family and a change of job for my husband Lachlan.
My Fourth Pregnancy
My 4th pregnancy was very smooth sailing. I never had any morning sickness, or any problems at all (well not pregnancy related anyway). I was also still breastfeeding Mila, and was hoping that she would continue right through my pregnancy and I’d get to tandem nurse. At 24wks we found out we were expecting our 3rd girl, I was thrilled at the thought of having 3 daughters.
At 24wk 5d I was feeling really unwell and had some mild abdominal pain. I headed to the hospital to be checked out in the morning, but was told I must just have food poisoning of some sort (which I agreed). But I never felt any better, and by night I decided I would head to the hospital again, but this time the emergency department. After some assessing, an on call OB saw me and suggested I head over to Orange. After a few hours waiting at the emergency department, I was seen to and diagnosed with appendicitis; I was to have surgery later that morning. Faced with the possibility of preterm labour, I insisted they give me steroids for baby’s lungs, and if things went sour, to do all they could to save her. Thankfully the surgery went fine with no problems, and I recovered well. Baby stayed happily snug inside and showed no ill effects. Those few days were rather scary!
I continued on with no problems through the rest of my pregnancy, watching my bump grow and getting excited about meeting our new baby.
Discovering Remi is Breech
At 37 weeks I went for a scan to check positioning of baby. Despite her being cephalic (head down) a few days earlier at my antenatal appointment, surprisingly she had flipped to breech. I couldn’t believe it! But figured since she had been head down just a few days ago, surely she would turn back around, there was still time. In the meantime I tried a few baby flipping exercises, but not holding onto much hope of them working as they never did with Mila.
Thankfully, when I found out I was pregnant, I started reading as much information and birth stories on breech as I could. I knew that if I had another breech baby I would push harder for a breech vaginal birth. I never expected it would come in handy.
Insisting on a Vaginal Breech Birth
I saw an OB a few days later, and I informed him that in no way will I consent to a caesarean birth. I insisted I will be having a vaginal birth with this baby, as a c/s was completely unnecessary. He was supportive, agreed that we wait till I go into labour before making any decisions (I was surprised by his reaction, as I was more than ready for a fight). Though he did feel I would end up with a c/s and baby wouldn’t turn. This same OB when I first saw him a few months earlier, had asked why I had a c/s with #3. He was surprised that I wasn’t given a trial of labour with her since I’d had 2 previous successful VB (Vaginal Births), and my babies were only small. But since this would be a VBAC, he was slightly cautious.
Bub continued to be breech at the next few appointments, and as much as I had hoped she would turn, I gave into the fact she wasn’t going to turn head down.
Thurs 26th July and 39wks… I saw another OB (I rotated between 2 OBs, so when I did give birth, I was familiar with whomever would be on call that day), and she performed an internal to see where I was at (She also did this as she couldn’t clearly tell if baby was still breech or not, which she was, and an internal helped her to tell). I was found to be at 2cm, soft and very favourable. She told me that I’d most likely have baby within the week. She knew my thoughts on having a c/s, and that I would be refusing one. As much as they didn’t want to deliver a breech baby vaginally, they also couldn’t refuse care. As bad as I felt putting both her and the other OB in that position, it wasn’t fair that I would be put in the position of not birthing the way I wanted, since it was my body and baby etc.
Signs of Labour
I had been losing my plug over the last week or so, just little bits. Then on Saturday 28th (at 39+6) morning I found the rest of it had come away, though I knew this didn’t tell me much, as labour could still be a week or more away. I’d also been experiencing painful Braxton hicks contractions over the last week, not too painful, but noticeable. These happened mainly when I was breastfeeding Mila. Though on this day I noticed they were around a bit more, and hurt a little more, not regular though – had some for an hour, then none again for a few hours. I really didn’t think anything of it, especially since they had been bothering me for weeks.
I headed to bed at 12:30am that night (my husband Lach had been unwell, so I decided to let him have a few hours of sleep without me disturbing him), I got nice and cosy and then had a cough. Well as soon as I coughed my waters broke/burst. Totally didn’t expect that! I spent the next 20mins trying to get hold of the maternity suite, when I finally did, the Midwife (Susan) informed me that as it was the weekend and baby was still breech, we would have to drive to Orange Base Hospital. As they had no theatre staff on call, and they wanted that back up should something go wrong. Now Orange was over an hour drive away, and we weren’t too happy about driving all that way, but figured we had no choice. I called my parents as soon as I hung up the phone.
After I got off the phone (just before 1am), I started getting painful contractions. They were coming every 5mins, and lasting just over a minute. This gave me some hope that I may get a VB, as I had never gone into spontaneous labour with my other kids.
Calling the Ambulance
My Mum arrived at our place around 1:20am, and saw that I was having contractions. She soon suggested we get an ambulance to take us to Orange, as not only was Lach so tired and unwell, but my previous VB were fast, and we didn’t want to risk birt