Luke's Breech Birth Story
I woke up at 3:38 with some irregular contractions. This happened before, so I told myself I would lay down and try to get some more sleep. Well, they continued and when I went to the bathroom. After I got up I noticed some spotting. Craig (my husband) woke up and I told him that this may be the real thing as I had some spotting. We both started cleaning up the house as it was out of order from the weekend. Craig started to get the pool ready to fill with water. (I bought a three ring inflatable pool for $30. I used the same pool for my last waterbirth.) I called my midwife (Kate) and told her what was going on. The contractions were approximately 4 minutes apart. I also called my friend Jennifer as she was coming to help take pictures and video tape the baby’s birth. We also planned for our 12 year-old daughter, Kelci, to witness the birth. Craig went to take the garbage out and I was in the kitchen straightening up when I felt something wet running down my leg. So, I called Kate back at 5:05 and told her that my water broke. I could not stop walking around the house. The contractions were not uncomfortable. Kate and Alisa (the other midwife who came to assist) arrived at 5:50. When Kate checked me to see how dilated my cervix was, she got this funny look on her face and turned to Alisa and said “I think I feel a foot.” So, Alisa checked me and confirmed Kate’s findings. My cervix was 95% effaced and 5 cm. Jennifer arrived and we told her that the baby was breech. She called the brethren at our church to pray for me and baby.
Alisa and Kate went outside to discuss this situation of having a homebirth with this breech. They returned inside and told me and Craig that it was our decision if we wanted to attempt a homebirth or go to the hospital. (I had seen an OB during the first half of my pregnancy; and we would have contacted him.) Craig and I talked it over and prayed about it and felt a peace about staying home. Alisa had delivered a couple of breech babies before so she was basically in charge now and Kate was assisting. I was still walking around the house and having a very easy labor. Alisa had explained to me how labor is with a breech and when my cervix was complete, I would feel pressure but not an urge to push. She said I needed to just relax and let my body do the work of bringing baby out and not push. My contractions were not in a consistent pattern at all. I would have a couple of small contractions a few minutes apart and then a stronger contraction a minute or two after the last one.
A month before my due date I was really feeling anxious about the pain of labor and asked a number of people to pray for me; that the Lord would help me through labor. He answered our prayers because this was the easiest labor I have ever had!!! I kept saying “This is unreal. I can’t believe this.” I was walking around and talking; nothing like labor with my other five children. I sat on my birthing ball for a while and did get into the pool for less than 30 minutes, but I was more comfortable walking around the house. I did have Craig put counterpressure on my back when I was getting toward the end of labor. We also heated a rice sock and it felt good to put that on my lower belly as I was feeling a bit crampy.
Around 9:40 I was standing up next to my computer desk and told the midwives that I was feeling shaky, nauseous, and kept burping. She said that I must be going through transition. (I still couldn’t believe that I was actually in labor, because it was so easy and wasn’t really painful.) I wanted to be checked to see if my cervix was further dilated because I felt a bit of pressure down below. A little after ten I went to the bathroom and could actually feel the baby’s foot with my hand. Then his foot came out. At this point I moved over by the bed and laid on my side but wasn’t comfortable in that position, so I squatted by the bed with Craig supporting me. The baby pulled his foot back up--this was so cute. Anyway, Alisa was holding a warm washcloth against his foot so he wouldn’t get chilled. Then his lower body came out and this is when things became very intense. I was still squatting and Alisa told me not to push. Then she said, in a very stern voice, “Get her flat on her back!”. So, Craig pulled me back on top of him (he was lying on his back and I was lying on top of him--poor Craig). The baby’s arms were stuck up by his head and Alisa reached her hands in to help ease him out. I was saying “Ouch! Do you have to do that?!?”. Then Craig said “It has to be done”. This helped me to have him right there encouraging me. Alisa said that she had to give me an episiotomy to fit her hands in there and help get baby out. I felt her cut me but don’t remember it hurting. After that, she reached up there and pulled Luke out. He had the cord wrapped around his neck twice. He wasn’t responding, Alisa was rubbing him and we were talking to him. Alisa finally used her Oxybag (sp) and Luke finally started to whine and cry. He was a bluish grey color. Once he was born Kelci ran out of the room because it scared her to see Alisa working hard to get Luke to respond. I asked where Kelci was and nobody knew so Jennifer went to check on Kelci.
Luke’s apgar was only 6. He was fine, but his body temp was a little low. His umbilical cord measured 3 feet long, no wonder it was wrapped around his neck. Alisa said it was the longest she had ever seen.
The placenta was taking a while to birth and blood was pooling. The midwives said it would help if I urinated which I just couldn’t do. After about 30 minutes the placenta came out (I think I had to push it out). I was bleeding too much to the point that I couldn’t get up-- I almost fainted. Alisa gave me some herbs to help and finally gave me two shots of pitocin. She told me she would have to catheterize me if I didn’t urinate as soon as possible. I finally was able to get up and go to the bathroom. I was bleeding so much that we used all the blue pads and all of the available towels in our house. Our neighbor brought some of hers over for us to use. The bleeding finally subsided and my color was beginning to look normal again.
We ordered a pizza and our neighbor, Judy, brought over some delicious limeade, tuna sandwiches, and homemade applesauce. Nothing tastes so good after giving birth.
Luke weighed 7 lb 2 oz. I’m so thankful that he was not as big as I thought he was going to be. My other son was born at 31 weeks weighing 3 lb 15 oz, and that was pretty big for his gestational age, so I figured that if I had another boy he would be about 9 lbs. Thank the Lord Luke was small.
When Luke was a couple of days old Kate told me that I should lay Luke in the sunlight coming through the window because he looked a bit yellow. The next day she called and told me she was concerned about his color so I took little Luke to the Doctor and the doctor hospitalized Luke for jaundice. (Good thing, my mom arrived in town the night before so she could stay with my other 5 children, get them ready for school, etc.) So, Luke was under the bilirubin lights for 5 days and we finally came home. But while in the hospital Luke had many blood draws, a couple of IV’s, and constantly being bothered by nurses to take vital signs. (Poor baby, had to have an IV in his head and Mommy accidentally pulled it out so they had to put another one in his hand.)
The week after we came home from Luke’s hospitalization, I took him to the Dr. to have him circumcised. He was circumcised and when I came home and changed his diaper I thought that it looked like too much blood. I called the Dr. office and the nurse told me to wait until the next diaper change to see if it had stopped. Well, it seemed to have slowed down quite a bit and we slept fairly well that evening. The next morning when I changed him around 9:00 am there was blood all over everywhere. It was just dripping down him and his diaper was full of it. I called the Dr. office (it didn’t open until noon), then I called my midwife and she suggested that I go right in to the Dr. office and wait till the Dr. arrived. I did just that and the Dr. said he had accidentally cut the dorsal penile vein and he had to anesthitize Luke and give him a little stitch in that area. POOR BABY! I had to wait in another room (My decision) but I could still hear him crying. If I would have known this would happen I would have NOT had him circumcised. (My 8 year-old son was 9 weeks premature and he was circumcised during his 32-day stay at the hospital when I wasn’t there.)
Luke is fine now and is very healthy thriving on Mama’s milk. I love my little guy!!!
(click the picture to enlarge)
Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
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