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July 22nd, 2013, 04:41 PM
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Cicada Cicada is offline
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I'm really sorry this is so long, but my little boy had a very complicated and intense birth. I hope at least a couple people read it as I felt that it was important to share. As a FTM, if I was able to birth my son in such a difficult position, maybe it will give strength to others who are being pressured into a csection or induction for much less complicated reasons like being past their due date or being a little on the large side.

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I was one of those lucky women who has a reasonably easy pregnancy: slight nausea but no true morning sickness, no crazy swelling (even though I gained 30 lbs during the 9 months), and I was even able to keep wearing some of my pre pregnancy shirts all the way up to the very end of my pregnancy. The biggest issue came at 33 weeks when I found out that my little boy was breech. I was planning at that point to birth in a birth center within a local hospital, and ultimately hoping to labor and have my baby in the tub. I knew that breech equaled cesarean section, so that was when I began to try literally everything to turn him, short of an external version: hypnosis, acupuncture and moxibustion, the Webster technique done by a chiropractor, swimming, pulsatilla, yoga, breech tilts, forward inversions, open knee/chest position, visualization… well, you get the point. At 36 weeks my midwives started pushing an external version, and I kept declining as I felt that if he was going to turn with a version, he would ultimately turn on his own anyway. At 37 weeks my baby was still breech and I went into the office with a decision: no version, and I would get a c-section if I had to, but only after I went into labor so that I would know that my baby was ready to be born.

When I told my midwife this, they told me that wasn’t an option… their exact phrasing was that I had a “pre-existing condition” because my baby was breech, and that it was no different than having placenta previa. They also made sure to tell me that the hospital staff, from the doctors to risk management, would be angry with them if I went into labor and had to have a c-section in the middle of the night. I was given an ultimatum to either schedule an external version for as soon as possible or a c-section for as late as 39 weeks 5 days.

After talking to a few people who I met during my pregnancy (my hypnobirthing teacher, my doula, and a very experienced midwife) and doing some research, I made the choice to instead plan a home breech birth. At that point my baby was in a complete breech presentation, which is a more favorable position. I was given some references and ultimately decided to hire a midwife from the west coast who had an incredibly impressive resume of over 3600 births and 40+ breech births. The next week my husband and I flew her from Oregon to Connecticut, where she stayed with my doula.

The night she arrived, she gave us some amazing news however: our little boy had turned head down! He was now head down with his back against my left side, which is the most favorable birthing position. I had a hard time believing it as I hadn’t felt him flip, but I heard his heartbeat on the Doppler below my belly button, and the bump up by my right ribs felt much smaller.

As the weeks went on I waited for him to engage. I would feel his head low, but never had the “cannonball between my legs” feeling that I saw described by other pregnant moms. My guess date passed and while I felt minor cramping every now and again, it was nothing consistent that I would have considered false labor or true surges. I lost pieces of my uterine seal, but there was only a tiny bit of blood once. I knew it could still be weeks, so I tried not to get too worked up. My and my husband’s family became more excited and impatient (totally understandable) as time went on and I got more uncomfortable, of course.

Finally on a Sunday morning at 41 weeks 4 days I woke up early at 6am. I used the bathroom and then went downstairs, only to feel my underwear get wet. I went into our downstairs bathroom and checked them only to see thin bloody mucus and a little bit of a blood clot. I immediately knew something was happening and called my midwife, who told me to keep calm and let her know if I started feeling one minute long surges that were five minutes or less apart for one hour or more. My next call was to my doula, which I told that I would keep posted.

Within a few minutes of being off the phone, I felt my first surge. It felt like tightening, and was different than any feeling I had had before. The surge was only mildly uncomfortable and I started timing them with an app on my phone, only to find them start to come pretty regularly, around four to six minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 45 seconds to just over a minute. For the next few hours I breathed through them the way I learned in hypnobirthing class, counting up 20 and down 20 as I breathed in and out. For the next six hours they stayed about the same, so I didn’t call my doula or midwife, as I felt like I wasn’t moving into active labor just yet, and I knew that as a first time mom I could have surges for hours and hours. I also began taking homeopathic hypericum and arnica as instructed by my midwife to help with pain and swelling.

I ate some lunch around 11 am, and at 12:30 pm my midwife called me. I told her about my surges and she thought they were just pre labor. She wanted me to get some rest before active labor started so she told me to take some Benadryl and a bath. I got in and the first couple of surges were the same as before… not too intense, and I could breathe easily through them.

Then as I started to drift off they began to feel different. They seemed to get further apart (I had stopped timing them when I got in the tub and my husband was busy cleaning up and getting the house ready) and much more intense. I would breathe up 20 and down 20, only to have them spike again at the end, and they were so intense that I would have to sit up in the tub. After a couple of those I found myself thinking, “What am I doing? I can’t do this!” I knew that sort of thought usually meant I was in transition so I talked myself out of it, thinking there was no way I could be that far along yet. The next couple of surges were less intense, and I thought it was just a fluke, but then I had one so intense that I felt at the end like I needed to have a bowel movement.

My husband was in the room and helped me out of the tub, and I told him to call my midwife. After I got out I sat on the toilet and felt down between my legs, only to feel my water bag bulging out a small bit. He passed me the phone and as I told my midwife my bag was bulging out, my membranes released with a small gush. I told her that she needed to come now and felt inside of my vagina. Where my water bag had been was now what felt like fingers or toes, and as I touched it it moved back. I believe at this point I told her I felt something, whether it was a hand, foot, cord, or pieces of membrane, but I might have already hung up by then.

I got off the toilet and found that the most comfortable position for me to labor in was on my forearms and knees, a position called “polar bear” in hypnobirthing. I stayed like that through a couple of surges, and then asked my husband to get me my birth ball. I ended up leaning my head and arms on it while I labored on my knees, but the surges were still so intense at the end that I needed to get up and go sit on the toilet. I was definitely feeling an urge to have a bowel movement but didn’t push too hard. My wishful thinking was just that the surges were irritating my Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but I think I knew deep down I was in transition.

My midwife and doula arrived an hour or so later, and immediately came to see me. I told my midwife what I was feeling and after another couple of surges she had me come into my living room and lay on the couch for a pelvic exam. My husband had set up our birth tub in the dining room, but hadn’t filled it yet. As my midwife checked me she informed me I was already a nine or a ten, and that there wouldn’t be time for us to get the tub filled and I would be having my baby right there on my couch.

I was a little disappointed, but at that point just wanted to get things going. I told her about what I had felt and she reached inside of me only to tell me she felt hands AND feet (we think now it was just feet as my baby ended up having very long toes) and couldn’t make sense of his position. She used the Doppler and still found his heart beat below my belly button on the left side, and I started asking her if she thought it could be twins (despite multiple ultrasounds showing one baby) because feet low plus a heartbeat down low just didn’t make sense to either of us. She told me I would have to start pushing to see what position he was in, and as I did she informed me he would be a single footling breech.

I was surprised and scared, but not terrified. I asked her if she thought she could do the birth still, or if we should go to the hospital, and she told me she was confident that we could birth him vaginally. I got into position at the edge of the couch, leaning back with pillows behind me, feet on the floor and legs spread, and began to push. My husband and my doula sat on either side of my midwife, ready to help me when the time came. His left foot came out and just dangled there. My surges were still strong, but actually felt like they were further apart than before, maybe anywhere from 4-7 minutes. The urge to push was stronger, but didn’t seem to last as long as before. My midwife told me she would have to reach in and pull his other leg out, which seemed to take forever. It turns out he was trying to step down on my perineum, and she had to lift his foot and then maneuver it out, which took a while. While I labored, my doula and husband reminded me to take deep breaths and kept me hydrated with coconut water.

As I continued through my surges I kept asking, “Is he okay?” and was assured he was. My midwife kept checking his heartbeat with the Doppler and it stayed about 130 bpm the entire labor. I kept pushing, and soon my midwife had my doula and husband hold my legs and push them back towards me. She also had me lean forwards more and put my hands on the edge of the couch, then on my thighs as I pushed. As my surges came, more and more of my baby emerged. My midwife informed us he was “definitely a boy” and also told me when he began releasing meconium everywhere. Supposedly, there was a LOT of it.

I kept pushing and he emerged up to his chest. My surges felt strong, but still far apart, so my midwife gave me another kind of homeopathic remedy that would help them get stronger and closer together. I’m not so sure it worked. But I knew that when I did push I was doing so effectively, as I was pooping too. I know some women are embarrassed about it but I knew that it meant I was pushing well and didn’t really care. I also kept telling myself that there was no going back now, and I was the only one that could birth my little boy. Stopping or not pushing as hard as I could wouldn’t give me relief, only prolong the labor.

His body hanging out of me, I pushed with my surges until he was out to his neck. At that point I believe he was facing right, and my midwife noticed his cord was compressed and his arms were up by his head. She loosened my tissue around his neck and got the cord a little less compressed, but noted that his cord wasn’t pulsing and seemed flaccid. By this point I had probably been pushing for close to an hour and we all knew he needed to come out as soon as possible, despite his consistent heartrate.

My midwife worked at extracting his arms, which was probably the most uncomfortable part of the whole birth for me. She pulled down one and then the other, and all that was left was his head. At this point he twisted and was facing left. I had another longer break between surges but pushed as soon as I was able, as hard as I could. I pushed a few times and felt the “ring of fire” I so often read about described in other birth stories. I knew I had to keep going and pushed until his head emerged. He was born at 5:58 pm on a Sunday, July 14th.

We noticed immediately that he was quite limp and wasn’t breathing consistently. His color and heartrate were good, however. I was scared and exhausted, and my midwife put our son on my stomach and began rubbing him and had us talking to him and calling him by his name, Luka. We did as she said, but there was no change in his condition. We asked if he needed to go to the hospital, but my midwife was confident that his condition would improve quickly. The midwife had my doula cut the cord as it had to be done immediately, and they took him to the other couch and started using a breathing bag on him and suctioning him with the bulb syringe. His color stayed good, but he would take one deep, raspy breath every so often and that was it. My midwife then got out a delee tube and used that instead, which worked much better. He had taken a breath or two while just his head was inside of me, and had quite a bit of mucus. As she alternated the tube and breathing bag, he started taking more and more deep breaths through his mouth. My husband and I watched for what felt like hours but was probably only a few minutes, still talking to our little boy.

Finally his condition was stable enough that she no longer had to work on him, so my midwife passed Luka off to my husband for some skin to skin time as she helped me birth my placenta. It turned out that the cord had been rather short, which could have been one reason Luka was initially breech for so long. I moved forward a bit on the couch and felt immediate relief when my placenta slid out. My doula then took it into our kitchen where she would later be dehydrating and encapsulating it.

I wanted to hold our son, but was too exhausted too, so my husband kept Luka on his chest while I tried to recover. My doula fed me peanut butter while my midwife cleaned me up and informed me that I hadn’t torn, though I had what she called a “skid mark” on the inside of my left labia, kind of an overly stretched area. Later she informed me that she had been very close to having to do an episiotomy, which I didn’t want but knew she would only do if absolutely necessary.

Our little boy continued to improve, and I got to hold him a little while later. He opened his eyes a bit for the first time while he was on me, and I knew that our entire journey had been worth it. We tried to get him to latch, but he wasn’t interested, and seemed to have some jaw and neck issues from his position in the womb.

Luka didn’t sleep very much that night, and neither did I. We pushed our ottoman against our couch and I lay with him skin to skin all night long, rubbing and kissing him. The next day he still hadn’t latched, so we spoon and finger fed him some of my colostrum. My midwife came back the next morning and was confident he would latch, so told us not to give him much formula. We also had a chiropractor look at him that day, and the next. My midwife also measured him at that point and he was 21 ½ inches long with a 14 ½ inch head.

We had a pediatrician appointment on Tuesday, and unfortunately things went bad while we were in the office. He had a bowel movement at the office and needed to be changed, and as the doctor changed him his lips turned purple and she noticed he wasn’t breathing consistently. His cry was also hitched, and she asked us if he had always cried like that. He did have a weak cry from the beginning, but we didn’t think it was an issue, and his color had never changed like that at home. She took his oxygen saturation level and measured his heart rate, and both were a little lower than normal. That’s when she informed us he had to go the newborn ICU at the local hospital, and would be calling an ambulance for us.

I was a mess that day and the next while they did all sorts of tests. He needed a little bit of oxygen at first, but improved quickly and they figured out that he had a partially paralyzed vocal chord. This affected his breathing, which in turn affected his heartrate, and is what caused the episode in the pediatrician’s office. He continued to improve quickly and went on forced room air, then the cannula was taken out completely. They also wanted him to eat quite a bit, so had to give him a feeding tube to finish whatever he wouldn’t in the bottle.

At the hospital I got some help from the lactation consultants and began pumping immediately. By Thursday he was latching with a nipple shield and had even done so for a few minutes on my bare nipple. By Friday his stats had stayed up for over 24 hours, and we were able to bring him home.

Sorry this was so long, but thank you for reading. We had a very difficult and intense birth, but our little boy is healthy and strong with just a couple of small issues that will resolve in time. It is truly my belief that if he had been born at 39 weeks 5 days like my previous midwives had pushed me to schedule, he wouldn’t have been nearly as strong and would have needed a lot more help. We are so happy to have him home and hope this story gives strength to others that are in a tough spot. I can't stress enough though that it is very important to do your research when it comes to any birth, but especially vaginal breech. Our midwife knew how to handle his unique and difficult position, and it wasn't an easy birth in the least, but it got us our little Luka and for that I will never regret any of my choices throughout the whole process.

I was one of those lucky women who has a reasonably easy pregnancy: slight nausea but no true morning sickness, no crazy swelling (even though I gained 30 lbs during the 9 months), and I was even able to keep wearing some of my pre pregnancy shirts all the way up to the very end of my pregnancy. The biggest issue came at 33 weeks when I found out that my little boy was breech. I was planning at that point to birth in a birth center within a local hospital, and ultimately hoping to labor and have my baby in the tub. I knew that breech equaled cesarean section, so that was when I began to try literally everything to turn him, short of an external version: hypnosis, acupuncture and moxibustion, the Webster technique done by a chiropractor, swimming, pulsatilla, yoga, breech tilts, forward inversions, open knee/chest position, visualization… well, you get the point. At 36 weeks my midwives started pushing an external version, and I kept declining as I felt that if he was going to turn with a version, he would ultimately turn on his own anyway. At 37 weeks my baby was still breech and I went into the office with a decision: no version, and I would get a c-section if I had to, but only after I went into labor so that I would know that my baby was ready to be born.

When I told my midwife this, they told me that wasn’t an option… their exact phrasing was that I had a “pre-existing condition” because my baby was breech, and that it was no different than having placenta previa. They also made sure to tell me that the hospital staff, from the doctors to risk management, would be angry with them if I went into labor and had to have a c-section in the middle of the night. I was given an ultimatum to either schedule an external version for as soon as possible or a c-section for as late as 39 weeks 5 days.

After talking to a few people who I met during my pregnancy (my hypnobirthing teacher, my doula, and a very experienced midwife) and doing some research, I made the choice to instead plan a home breech birth. At that point my baby was in a complete breech presentation, which is a more favorable position. I was given some references and ultimately decided to hire a midwife from the west coast who had an incredibly impressive resume of over 3600 births and 40+ breech births. The next week my husband and I flew her from Oregon to Connecticut, where she stayed with my doula.

The night she arrived, she gave us some amazing news however: our little boy had turned head down! He was now head down with his back against my left side, which is the most favorable birthing position. I had a hard time believing it as I hadn’t felt him flip, but I heard his heartbeat on the Doppler below my belly button, and the bump up by my right ribs felt much smaller.

As the weeks went on I waited for him to engage. I would feel his head low, but never had the “cannonball between my legs” feeling that I saw described by other pregnant moms. My guess date passed and while I felt minor cramping every now and again, it was nothing consistent that I would have considered false labor or true surges. I lost pieces of my uterine seal, but there was only a tiny bit of blood once. I knew it could still be weeks, so I tried not to get too worked up. My and my husband’s family became more excited and impatient (totally understandable) as time went on and I got more uncomfortable, of course.

Finally on a Sunday morning at 41 weeks 4 days I woke up early at 6am. I used the bathroom and then went downstairs, only to feel my underwear get wet. I went into our downstairs bathroom and checked them only to see thin bloody mucus and a little bit of a blood clot. I immediately knew something was happening and called my midwife, who told me to keep calm and let her know if I started feeling one minute long surges that were five minutes or less apart for one hour or more. My next call was to my doula, which I told that I would keep posted.

Within a few minutes of being off the phone, I felt my first surge. It felt like tightening, and was different than any feeling I had had before. The surge was only mildly uncomfortable and I started timing them with an app on my phone, only to find them start to come pretty regularly, around four to six minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 45 seconds to just over a minute. For the next few hours I breathed through them the way I learned in hypnobirthing class, counting up 20 and down 20 as I breathed in and out. For the next six hours they stayed about the same, so I didn’t call my doula or midwife, as I felt like I wasn’t moving into active labor just yet, and I knew that as a first time mom I could have surges for hours and hours. I also began taking homeopathic hypericum and arnica as instructed by my midwife to help with pain and swelling.

I ate some lunch around 11 am, and at 12:30 pm my midwife called me. I told her about my surges and she thought they were just pre labor. She wanted me to get some rest before active labor started so she told me to take some Benadryl and a bath. I got in and the first couple of surges were the same as before… not too intense, and I could breathe easily through them.

Then as I started to drift off they began to feel different. They seemed to get further apart (I had stopped timing them when I got in the tub and my husband was busy cleaning up and getting the house ready) and much more intense. I would breathe up 20 and down 20, only to have them spike again at the end, and they were so intense that I would have to sit up in the tub. After a couple of those I found myself thinking, “What am I doing? I can’t do this!” I knew that sort of thought usually meant I was in transition so I talked myself out of it, thinking there was no way I could be that far along yet. The next couple of surges were less intense, and I thought it was just a fluke, but then I had one so intense that I felt at the end like I needed to have a bowel movement.

My husband was in the room and helped me out of the tub, and I told him to call my midwife. After I got out I sat on the toilet and felt down between my legs, only to feel my water bag bulging out a small bit. He passed me the phone and as I told my midwife my bag was bulging out, my membranes released with a small gush. I told her that she needed to come now and felt inside of my vagina. Where my water bag had been was now what felt like fingers or toes, and as I touched it it moved back. I believe at this point I told her I felt something, whether it was a hand, foot, cord, or pieces of membrane, but I might have already hung up by then.

I got off the toilet and found that the most comfortable position for me to labor in was on my forearms and knees, a position called “polar bear” in hypnobirthing. I stayed like that through a couple of surges, and then asked my husband to get me my birth ball. I ended up leaning my head and arms on it while I labored on my knees, but the surges were still so intense at the end that I needed to get up and go sit on the toilet. I was definitely feeling an urge to have a bowel movement but didn’t push too hard. My wishful thinking was just that the surges were irritating my Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but I think I knew deep down I was in transition.

My midwife and doula arrived an hour or so later, and immediately came to see me. I told my midwife what I was feeling and after another couple of surges she had me come into my living room and lay on the couch for a pelvic exam. My husband had set up our birth tub in the dining room, but hadn’t filled it yet. As my midwife checked me she informed me I was already a nine or a ten, and that there wouldn’t be time for us to get the tub filled and I would be having my baby right there on my couch.

I was a little disappointed, but at that point just wanted to get things going. I told her about what I had felt and she reached inside of me only to tell me she felt hands AND feet (we think now it was just feet as my baby ended up having very long toes) and couldn’t make sense of his position. She used the Doppler and still found his heart beat below my belly button on the left side, and I started asking her if she thought it could be twins (despite multiple ultrasounds showing one baby) because feet low plus a heartbeat down low just didn’t make sense to either of us. She told me I would have to start pushing to see what position he was in, and as I did she informed me he would be a single footling breech.

I was surprised and scared, but not terrified. I asked her if she thought she could do the birth still, or if we should go to the hospital, and she told me she was confident that we could birth him vaginally. I got into position at the edge of the couch, leaning back with pillows behind me, feet on the floor and legs spread, and began to push. My husband and my doula sat on either side of my midwife, ready to help me when the time came. His left foot came out and just dangled there. My surges were still strong, but actually felt like they were further apart than before, maybe anywhere from 4-7 minutes. The urge to push was stronger, but didn’t seem to last as long as before. My midwife told me she would have to reach in and pull his other leg out, which seemed to take forever. It turns out he was trying to step down on my perineum, and she had to lift his foot and then maneuver it out, which took a while. While I labored, my doula and husband reminded me to take deep breaths and kept me hydrated with coconut water.

As I continued through my surges I kept asking, “Is he okay?” and was assured he was. My midwife kept checking his heartbeat with the Doppler and it stayed about 130 bpm the entire labor. I kept pushing, and soon my midwife had my doula and husband hold my legs and push them back towards me. She also had me lean forwards more and put my hands on the edge of the couch, then on my thighs as I pushed. As my surges came, more and more of my baby emerged. My midwife informed us he was “definitely a boy” and also told me when he began releasing meconium everywhere. Supposedly, there was a LOT of it.

I kept pushing and he emerged up to his chest. My surges felt strong, but still far apart, so my midwife gave me another kind of homeopathic remedy that would help them get stronger and closer together. I’m not so sure it worked. But I knew that when I did push I was doing so effectively, as I was pooping too. I know some women are embarrassed about it but I knew that it meant I was pushing well and didn’t really care. I also kept telling myself that there was no going back now, and I was the only one that could birth my little boy. Stopping or not pushing as hard as I could wouldn’t give me relief, only prolong the labor.

His body hanging out of me, I pushed with my surges until he was out to his neck. At that point I believe he was facing right, and my midwife noticed his cord was compressed and his arms were up by his head. She loosened my tissue around his neck and got the cord a little less compressed, but noted that his cord wasn’t pulsing and seemed flaccid. By this point I had probably been pushing for close to an hour and we all knew he needed to come out as soon as possible, despite his consistent heartrate.

My midwife worked at extracting his arms, which was probably the most uncomfortable part of the whole birth for me. She pulled down one and then the other, and all that was left was his head. At this point he twisted and was facing left. I had another longer break between surges but pushed as soon as I was able, as hard as I could. I pushed a few times and felt the “ring of fire” I so often read about described in other birth stories. I knew I had to keep going and pushed until his head emerged. He was born at 5:58 pm on a Sunday, July 14th.

We noticed immediately that he was quite limp and wasn’t breathing. His color and heartrate were good, however. I was scared and exhausted, and my midwife put our son on my stomach and began rubbing him and had us talking to him and calling him by his name, Luka. We did as she said, but there was no change in his condition. We asked if he needed to go to the hospital, but my midwife was confident that his condition would improve quickly. The midwife had my doula cut the cord as it had to be done immediately, and they took him to the other couch and started using a breathing bag on him and suctioning him with the bulb syringe. His color stayed good, but he would take one deep, raspy breath every so often and that was it. My midwife then got out a delee tube and used that instead, which worked much better. He had taken a breath or two while just his head was inside of me, and had quite a bit of mucus. As she alternated the tube and breathing bag, he started taking more and more deep breaths through his mouth. My husband and I watched for what felt like hours but was probably only a few minutes, still talking to our little boy.

Finally his condition was stable enough that she no longer had to work on him, so my midwife passed Luka off to my husband for some skin to skin time as she helped me birth my placenta. It turned out that the cord had been rather short, which could have been one reason Luka was initially breech for so long. I moved forward a bit on the couch and felt immediate relief when my placenta slid out. My doula then took it into our kitchen where she would later be dehydrating and encapsulating it.

I wanted to hold our son, but was too exhausted too, so my husband kept Luka on his chest while I tried to recover. My doula fed me peanut butter while my midwife cleaned me up and informed me that I hadn’t torn, though I had what she called a “skid mark” on the inside of my left labia, kind of an overly stretched area. Later she informed me that she had been very close to having to do an episiotomy, which I didn’t want but knew she would only do if absolutely necessary.

Our little boy continued to improve, and I got to hold him a little while later. He opened his eyes a bit for the first time while he was on me, and I knew that our entire journey had been worth it. We tried to get him to latch, but he wasn’t interested, and seemed to have some jaw and neck issues from his position in the womb.

Luka didn’t sleep very much that night, and neither did I. We pushed our ottoman against our couch and I lay with him skin to skin all night long, rubbing and kissing him. The next day he still hadn’t latched, so we spoon and finger fed him some of my colostrum. My midwife came back the next morning and was confident he would latch, so told us not to give him much formula. We also had a chiropractor look at him that day, and the next. My midwife also measured him at that point and he was 21 ½ inches long with a 14 ½ inch head.

We had a pediatrician appointment on Tuesday, and unfortunately things went bad while we were in the office. He had a bowel movement at the office and needed to be changed, and as the doctor changed him his lips turned purple and she noticed he wasn’t breathing consistently. His cry was also hitched, and she asked us if he had always cried like that. He did have a weak cry from the beginning, but we didn’t think it was an issue, and his color had never changed like that at home. She took his oxygen saturation level and measured his heart rate, and both were a little lower than normal. That’s when she informed us he had to go the newborn ICU at the local hospital, and would be calling an ambulance for us.

I was a mess that day and the next while they did all sorts of tests. He needed a little bit of oxygen at first, but improved quickly and they figured out that he had a partially paralyzed vocal chord. This affected his breathing, which in turn affected his heartrate, and is what caused the episode in the pediatrician’s office. He continued to improve quickly and went on forced room air, then the cannula was taken out completely. They also wanted him to eat quite a bit, so had to give him a feeding tube to finish whatever he wouldn’t in the bottle.

At the hospital I got some help from the lactation consultants and began pumping immediately. By Thursday he was latching with a nipple shield and had even done so for a few minutes on my bare nipple. By Friday his stats had stayed up for over 24 hours, and we were able to bring him home. Since then he came off formula completely, then began latching and came off of his bottles. He feeds a LOT, but it is important to me to exclusively breast feed him, so I try not to deny him whenever he seems hungry.

Sorry this was so long, but thank you for reading. We had a very difficult and intense birth, but our little boy is healthy and strong with just a couple of small issues that will resolve in time. It is truly my belief that if he had been born at 39 weeks 5 days like my previous midwives had pushed me to schedule, he wouldn’t have been nearly as strong and would have needed a lot more help. We are so happy to have him home and hope this story gives strength to others that are in a tough spot. I can't stress enough though that it is very important to do your research when it comes to any birth, but especially vaginal breech. Our midwife knew how to handle his unique and difficult position, and it wasn't an easy birth in the least, but it got us our little Luka and for that I will never regret any of my choices throughout the whole process.

As I guess I can't post attachments yet, here is a link to his pic: Luka Sleeping In My Arms Photo by 7indigo | Photobucket
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Last edited by Cicada; August 22nd, 2013 at 12:20 AM.
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