The Unassisted, Surprise Breech Birth of Serenity DaniLyn Mize
August 25th, 2010, @ 41w2d, I woke up at 5:30am feeling a small leak of
fluid. I got up and went to the bathroom, laid back down and felt a
*big* gush. I snuck into the master bathroom to change into dry clothes
and get a pad, trying not to wake Dan. I had gone to bed at 2ish so I
decided I should try to get some more sleep before contractions hit.
Between the excitement and the constant fluid pouring out of me, I never
did get any more sleep. I posted what was going on, on CafeMom and
waited for it to get later so people would chat with me and so I could
text my cousin Falyn and let her know what was going on. I wanted to
share with someone but everyone was asleep! Around 6:00am, the
contractions started. I timed them for a little bit and by 6:30am, they
were coming every 4 mins and lasting 30 seconds. I didn’t want to alert
everyone too soon in case it ended up being a long labor but I saw my
mom commenting on Facebook so I knew she was getting ready for work. So I
texted her to let her know she shouldn’t head in. At 6:40 Dan woke up
to get ready for work. I told him baby would be born that day. At
7:15am, I went to the bathroom and I had lost a lot of mucus plug and
there was vernix floating in the toilet. My mom arrived at 7:30am. We
sat around talking, as I posted on CafeMom about my labor. After a bit, I
had to stop talking and breathe through the contractions. My mom filled
the tub up, laying a shower curtain over top to hold the heat in. Dan
went to work for a bit to get a few things done before labor picked up.
About 8am, I texted my friend/doula, Cindy and told her I was having a
baby that day. She told me to let her know if/when I needed her.
At 9am, I got in the tub. The contractions were now 2 mins apart. I noticed then that baby had passed meconium. I knew that was not a huge deal but it definitely surprised me! I texted Cindy to come over as soon as she could. Dan came back after a bit and him and my mom set up the bathroom. They put my netbook on the side of the tub, set up the video camera, put a big clock in there and brought me food and drink. I ate some cantaloupe and string cheese while in the tub. I had had a blueberry bagel earlier in the morning. I turned on Slacker Radio and sang some while I chatted online and texted. Kent and Lili woke up around 9:30am. They came into see me and were unimpressed lol. My mom and Dan pretty much kept to themselves, coming in to check on me every once in awhile. My mom cleaned up my kitchen, which was wonderful! At 10:20, Cindy arrived. She sat in the bathroom with me and we talked between contractions, which was a nice distraction from the pain. By 10:42am, the contractions were 1.5-2 mins apart and 35 seconds long. They were painful but I felt great in between. Cindy used a rolling ball back massager on my back during a contraction. I commented to Cindy and my mom that it was so weird how I could go from feeling great to hurting to feeling great again, just like that. I was still texting and typing in between and when a contraction hit, I would get on my hands and knees or squat. Rubbing my clitoris helped the pain, so that’s what I did! I was aware that I had company and it was weird but I couldn’t care less! I kept saying “God. Oh God.” and my mom laughed and said she had no idea I was so religious! lol.
At 11:05am, I commented that I could feel baby’s “head” about 2 knuckles deep and it felt “squishy”. I thought it felt...off....but I had heard that the head feels soft in the birth canal since its squished up. Hmmmm...... At 11:25am, the contractions were 1.5 mins apart, 45 seconds long and very intense. I was getting pretty tired and regretting staying up so late the night before. I laid my head on the edge of the tub in between contractions and even fell asleep a bit. At 11:53am, I commented online that I felt like puking and pooping and maybe I was in transition. I kept telling my mom and Cindy I needed to puke and they would hold up a pan or trashcan but I never did puke. Around this time, I texted Falyn that the contractions were kicking my ass and my mom and Cindy were laughing at me for texting in between contractions. I got out of the tub for a bit here and sat on the toilet, which made the contractions a little more intense. I sent my last text at noon. After a bit, I got back in the tub. It was probably around this time that I switched from repeating “Oh God.” to “Baby”.
By 12:30pm, the contractions were 2 mins apart and 45 seconds-1 minute long. I pushed with a few contractions. I didn’t have a strong urge but I felt like I needed to “do something”. After a few contractions, I did have the urge. Somewhere around here, I told mom and Cindy that baby was crowning so they got Dan. The pain was pretty intense at this point! I yelled a few curse words. At one point, the phrase “Holy Freaking Crap!” crossed my lips! I alternated between squatting and standing with one leg on the edge. I asked for a mirror and held it so I could see the baby coming out. I thought the baby also looked kinda odd. It crossed my mind that maybe I was looking at a butt. Then I thought, maybe it’s a face presentation. I thought, “There is no way I’m having a bald baby...” but I didn’t say anything. While I was standing, my mom was ready to catch. Then I squatted again. Then I stood back up and she got ready to catch. Then I squatted again.... During a contraction, I reached back and shook my lower back vigorously. Again, I knew I looked ridiculous and didn’t give a crap! I pushed for maybe 5 contractions? At one point I said “I feel like I’m gonna tear!” I knew I had to keep my hand on myself to help prevent a tear.
Ultimately, I ended up pushing her out while squatting. Once her bottom was out, the rest of her flew right out! Sure enough, she was breech! I caught her and brought her up out of the water. She was hard to get a grip on! It was 1:17pm. Her cord was over her shoulder and between her legs. I picked her up and snuggled her. After a bit, I checked in between her legs and announced that she was a girl! I knew it! Kent and Lili came in right after she was born. They told me later they heard laughter and happy sounds so they knew she was born. They had both decided they didn’t want to be in the room when she was born. I couldn’t pull her up very high as her cord wasn’t very long. I pulled the plug to let some of the water out of the tub so I didn’t have to hold her up so high. The water was yellow and had tons of meconium floating in it! She started fussing a bit so I nursed her, leaning over uncomfortably, so as not to pull the cord. She was pinking up wonderfully, her feet and hands stayed purple for awhile, and she was a little gurgly. She coughed and sneezed up some fluid.
I wasn’t sure if the placenta had detached yet, so I pulled very gently on the cord, tried coughing, tried pushing but it didn’t come out. I reached inside and could feel it inside of me. So I pulled the cord a little more, it was hard to grip, and squatted and pushed a bit and it came right out at 1:51pm. We hung out in the tub for awhile and she nursed like a champ! We drained the rest of the tub and Cindy helped me rinse the blood off. I moved the placenta to show my mom all the different parts and some good size clots poured out of it. They gave me some towels and we covered up while fresh water ran and Cindy boiled some water for an herb bath. We put the placenta in a pan on the edge of the tub and it was a bit challenging, just barely reached. So I decided to cut the cord. Cindy and Dan sterilized the scissors and my mom brought me the cord tie that Lili had braided. I tied it on and it actually started cutting through the cord. The brought me the scissors and they were hot! So I had them run them under the water to cool them off. I cut the cord at 2:52, nearly 2 hours after birth.
Dan texted Falyn and she headed over. I asked her to bring me some Arby’s as I was starving and Dan’s truck was blocked in. She came in and I devoured the food while I held baby girl! After I stuffed myself, I held her so she floated in the herb bath and she was so content! She cooed happily and looked so peaceful. My mom and Cindy set up my bed and laid out our diapers :) Cindy left shortly after this. My mom and Dan helped us out of the tub and into bed. My mom cleaned up the tub, even dealing with the placenta! She put it in the fridge and covered the pan with tin foil. We weighed her and she was 8 lbs even!
I couldn’t have asked for a better birth. While it hurt like crazy, looking back I realize the really rough part only lasted maybe an hour. The thought of going to the hospital or getting drugs never crossed my mind. At one point I did think “No wonder women dope themselves up! This freaking hurts!” I couldn’t imagine how her birth would have happened had we been in a hospital. They probably would have known she was breech as they would have insisted on an ultrasound. They would have insisted I schedule a c/s and it would have been very difficult, if not impossible to find a caregiver that would have attended a breech vaginal birth. They would have kept her for a longer time and given her antibiotics due to the meconium. It breaks my heart to think of how it could have been and I’m so grateful for her peaceful entrance into the world. So how did I miss that she was breech? I felt a hard bump at the top of my uterus around 8 months and thought it must be a head. But then everytime she hiccuped, I felt it low. So I figured her little butt must have just been pretty hard! I am glad I didn’t know, as I went into her birth completely confident and at ease. Had I known, it may have shook my confidence. My mom and Cindy both told me later that they were also wondering if she was breech when they saw her start to crown but none of us said a word!
I measured her the next day and she was about 20”, though it’s difficult to get her stretched out. She likes to keep her legs bent up, after being like that in the womb. She is very peaceful and nurses like a champ. I feel great. I didn’t tear at all and hardly feel like I gave birth.
We announced her name today, on August 27th. We decided to name her Serenity DaniLyn. Serenity was my idea. It’s earthy and means “peaceful” and sounds very feminine. DaniLyn was her daddy’s idea. It combines his first name, Daniel, with my middle name, Lyn. If she ends up more tomboy than hippie, she can go by her middle name.
All my birth attendants did absolutely wonderful. Dan stayed back for the most part, checking on me and taking pictures here and there. He was totally calm and did exactly what I hoped he would. My mom was very helpful, doing what needed to be done and distracting me when I needed her to. Cindy reminded me to breathe when my noises showed I was losing it, massaged my back and explained things to my mom and Dan, easing their nerves. I am so grateful for each one and I feel that everything went exactly how it was meant to go. It doesn’t feel like some amazing, astonishing thing they I had a breech baby in my bathtub without assistance. It just feels normal, like “What other way *would* it go?” It was a miraculous, amazing, completely normal, simple thing to do.
Feeling pretty good....
On to hands and knees for every contraction
Felt good to be weightless
Feeling her "crown" (is it called that when its a butt? lol)
Need a break
Looking with a mirror. "No, seriously. What the hell *is* that??"
Mom's ready to catch!
But, no, gotta squat again...
First nursing. She's beautifully pink!
Look at all that meconium!
Cutting the cord!
An herb bath while mama enjoyed her Arby's :P