Janell’s Birth: Quick, Easy labor to 10 cm, then c-section for undiagnosed breech

September 24, 2011

Janell had a great labor, and probably could have vaginally birthed her breech baby if her care provider had been experienced in breech birth. Remember that breech is just a variation of normal, and babies were born butt or feet first for centuries. It is a lost art in our culture, but some midwives still know how. Melody Pendleton and Richelle Jolley are both experienced in breech births.

It has been a little while since the birth of our little guy, but I did want to say thank you for the classes! I knew I wanted to do hypnobirthing and try to make labor and delivery as comfortable as possible without drugs, etc. I also wanted to pass our “story” on to you as well.

HypnoBirthing C-section

So the night I went into labor, August 6, 2011, my mom was coming from out of town. (about an 8 hour drive) and had called me on her way down and said she didn’t know if she would make it all the way that night or if she would have to stop and get a hotel room. She later told me that she felt like she needed to just keep driving and make it to St. George that night to stay at my grandma’s house (her mom).

My husband and I decided to go out to eat at a burger place at about 7:30pm. While there at the restaurant they forgot about our order, so we sat there for at least 20 minutes, watching people who had arrived after us, receiving their food and then leaving. At about 8:30 our order had been fixed and we were finally eating. While we were waiting for our food I had joked with my husband about “What if I went in to labor right now…… by the time our food comes we would have to say “sorry” it’s too late my wife is in labor and we are leaving.”

After dinner we decided to stop by my grandma’s house to visit. My mom had arrived probably about an hour or so beforehand. After that we drove home and decided to go for a walk around our apartment complex. After the walk, (at about 10:15pm) I decided to take a shower, etc. My husband started watching t.v. in the living room. While I was getting ready/ showering etc. I started having surges. However, I was not sure if they were the normal ones I had been having throughout my pregnancy or not. As I was doing my hair I noticed the surges were maybe feeling a little different and I noticed that unlike my previous surges, I felt like I had to be moving or circling my hips during these ones. During the surges I would just stop what I was doing, start my surge breathing and start circling my hips, and then afterwards continue with what I was doing. Finally at about 12:20am I woke my husband up, who had fallen asleep on the couch and who had been asleep this whole time. I told him, “I think I need you……It might be a long night……and I’m not sure if I am in labor or not.”

He got up and we went to our bedroom so I could lie down and to try and and keep me relaxed by practicing various things we learned in our HypnoBirthing classes. My husband kept telling me that everything was okay, to just relax and reminded me to do surge breathing etc. He was very supportive. At this point my surges were like 3-4 minutes apart and I still wasn’t sure if I was truly in labor or not. They did feel somewhat intense. At about 1:15am I sent a text to my cousin who lives in St. George, and also had done HypnoBirthing, and asked her what it was like to be in labor and if she thought we should go to the hospital or not, because we had wanted to labor at home as long as possible. She told me that I would probably know because I would be quite uncomfortable, my surges would be quite close together and that I wouldn’t really be able to talk through the surges and get on top of them. At this point I didn’t really know what to do, because the surges were manageable, and I didn’t want to get to the hospital too early but since I “wasn’t really sure” if I was really in labor or not, I didn’t want to wait too long to go there either, just in case.

After a couple minutes of talking about it, my husband and I decided to pack up my stuff and get ready to go to the hospital. We thought we would just go there and “see where I was at”. It was probably about 1:30am when I was laboring by the side of my bed that I felt some “wetness” all of a sudden. I honestly wasn’t sure if my water just broke or if I peed my pants.

As we drove to the hospital my husband would hold my hand and try to gently stroke my arm as well as verbally try to get me to relax, etc. When we got to the hospital (around 2am) the nurses were awesome. They immediately pulled out the copies of our “Birth Plan” that we had left there a week or two before. They knew I was doing HypnoBirthing and were very respectful of it. As they went to check me, they were shocked because I was already at a 7! My husband and I were shocked too! But they also said that the baby was breech and that in fact my water had broken, so they said it was too late to try and do the things we learned in our HypnoBirthing classes to try and turn the baby. Things immediately started to take a different course and they had to call for the doctor to come ASAP and we were told that I would have to have an emergency c-section. (The fact that the baby was breech was a shock to my husband and I because just a couple days before when I had my last appt. with the OB/GYN he told us that the baby was head down, even further than the week before.) Even upon hearing this news, I tried to remain focused on my breathing and was very calm.

The nurses kept trying to ask me questions and get me to sign different papers in regards to the c-section, etc. but I didn’t want to. I just wanted my husband to keep holding my hand and try to comfort me during my surges that were very close together by this point, so they just started communicating with my husband instead. When my doctor arrived he checked me to just make sure that the baby was in fact breech before they took me to the operating room. He confirmed that the baby was breech but also noticed that I was now a 9 1/2 -10 and was ready to go. They rushed me to the operating room ASAP and when I got there I could tell that if they didn’t hurry with things that the baby was just going to come out. I remained calm as I had to receive the spinal block and throughout the procedure.

At 3:13am (about a 5 hour labor) Asher Noe Watkins was born and much to everyone’s surprise he was 7lbs 8oz! I saw him just for a second as they took him away. I had started shaking and feeling cold during the procedure. When I got to the recovery room and got to hold my baby Asher for the first time I immediately stopped shaking. It was an awesome feeling. Even though our “ideal” birth experience and the way we wanted things to go took a different course we just went with the flow of things and I know that HypnoBirthing truly helped me. I even had the nurses that were working with me tell me that I did an amazing job and that I totally could have done it all, if I didn’t have to have the c-section. That made me feel good, because I will be honest, it was pretty hard for me to try and get relaxed at times, especially when the surges got more intense and closer together. I didn’t know if I could do it but I just tried to remain positive and focused.

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