#234 | Cynthia's Second Birth Story: Lessons in Trust

October 11, 2023

Hello, everyone! It's Cynthia here. Today, in celebration of my birthday, I want to share the extraordinary story of my daughter's birth. This personal narrative delves into the pivotal role intuition and self-trust played throughout my conception and pregnancy with her. You'll learn of some unexpected challenges we faced, and you'll hear about our unconventional attempt to reposition our breech baby head-down. Definitely don't try that at home - even though we did.

I hope you enjoy it. Catch Trisha in the outtake.

p.s. I shared my son's birth story way back in Season One, Episode 10 and you can listen to that here or you can read the published article here.

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Then the 30 week checkup: your baby's breech. 32 week checkup: Your baby is breech. 34 week checkup: Your baby is breech. 35 week checkup: Cynthia, your baby's breech, we need to talk. And she said, I recommend that we make an appointment for you to get an external cephalic version known as an ECV at 37 and a half weeks. And I said, and what if the ECV doesn't work? And she said, well, then the team would be recommending a C section. And I said, No, I'm not doing it. And then I said, and I don't know why I'm saying this right now, but I'm feeling in my bones. If there is just one person on earth who can turn this baby, that person is my husband.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

Hello, and welcome to this October 11 podcast episode. For those who don't know, October 11 is my birthday. So as a birthday gift to myself and in keeping with a promise that I've made over the years, I'm recording and releasing today the birth story of my second child, my daughter, Vanessa, and most of it is actually going to be around the pregnancy, not the birth. In episode 10. I shared the birth story of my son Alex, that's the one that most people are more familiar with. That's the first thing in this industry I ever had published. So his birth star was actually in multiple magazines and even one British textbook, and it's the one most people have heard. But my daughter's story is, I would say equally as interesting. Certainly more dramatic than my son's. It's the story of well, there's a component of loss in the story. There is a detail around the same day October 11. In the story, and it's the story of a breech baby being turned late in pregnancy in a way that I had never heard before and have never heard since. Trisha is not in this episode. I know you'll miss her. I know. It's strange for me to do an episode without her as well. But she made the choice to not be in the episode while I'm telling the story as she made that choice. When I did my son's birth story in Episode 10. She will be in the outtake she's going to do an outtake after she listens to this story herself. I know you're wondering as well, why I'm the only one telling my birth stories and Trisha isn't? I can't answer that, you'll have to ask Trisha that question. I can only tell you that it doesn't take much to get me to tell a story. As our listeners know, I come from a family of storytellers. And Trisha has always said she didn't really feel like she had all that much to say about her births. But the more I learned about her births, the more I realized they're really very interesting. I just recently heard that in her first pregnancy with her daughter, Lola, she was pulled term and she decided that she went three and a half hours into New York City that might get labor going. So she actually tracked all the way into New York. And sure enough, it got labor going. And instead of going three and a half hours back home when she realized labor was starting, she decided to stay in New York for dinner until Labor got very intense. So to me, that sounds like a good story. And her son North her third arrived when she was home birthing as she did with her first two, but he arrived before her midwife showed up. So in a sense, even though Trisha is a midwife that is considered an unattended home birth. And in one of our highlight reels on Instagram where it says our story, you can see the video clip of North emerging from Trisha and her taking him into her arms. It's I think I cry every time I see it. Honestly, it's incredible. So maybe you guys can do a better job convincing her than I've done and getting her to tell her own birth stories on here, but for for now, I'm going to be talking about the story of my daughter Vanessa's pregnancy and birth. After my son Alex was born I really didn't feel anywhere near ready to have another baby as I think so many women do. I noticed a lot of my friends were having babies two years later and at that point for me, I just thought like how are they doing this? I don't feel anywhere near right Be to do this. And in the summer before he started preschool when he was three and a half, I was starting to think about it all the time. And I started having dreams that I was having a daughter. I take dreams really seriously, especially when they're really vivid and really emotional. And just the kind of dreams you remember your whole life. Because ever since I think it was eighth grade, I've had dozens of dreams throughout my whole life that have come true, usually dreams that came true the very following day. In fact, I believe in one of those dreams, I actually saw my daughter because in the dream, the baby had all this dark hair for a baby. And my daughter was born with a ton of dark hair. My one of my one of my best friends looked at her when she was born. And my boyfriend said, I'm sorry, it looks like a wig. She had a ton of hair. And in the dream, I was holding this baby that had all this dark hair. And I remember feeling like she was like this very wise, old soul, which is how I feel about my daughter. Though many of us say that about our children, it does feel very real to me, it does match how I felt in my dream. And I think most memorable of all, I woke up with this overwhelming feeling of love for this baby. And I did wake up one morning and say that little baby had a long name ending with an A, which didn't make sense to me, because I always believed at that time. If I had a daughter, I would name her Rachel after my mother, but it was my own mother, who would say why don't you name a girl Vanessa. And she ended up having a long name that ended with an A because my mother recommended that so my daughter's name is Vanessa Rachel. So anyway, I was starting to feel sort of compelled with the notion of having another baby. It just really felt like the time was right. It sort of felt inevitable. My son started preschool that September. And I remember sitting across the table from my husband and saying, you know, I feel like another baby is coming to us. And I think it's time to have another baby and he took no convincing. We conceived on one try. I sometimes feel uncomfortable sharing that truth about my life. Because I am well aware of how very many women struggle for years with infertility. And it must sound very insensitive for anyone to ever admit that they conceive on one try. But that is my life story that is for me, not where any of my particular struggles have been in life, I conceived my son on one try. And 15 months later, before I got my period back when I ovulated that two weeks before we inadvertently conceived again. And then we lost that baby very early on in that pregnancy very like just a couple weeks after learning that we conceived. So I miscarried that baby. But I did expect to conceive on one try again. And and we did. This was now September 2008. And on my birthday, October 11 15 years ago today, I was five weeks pregnant. And it was a Saturday. And I was teaching HypnoBirthing as I always did on weekends, and I drove to the center and I was unlocking the door about 30 minutes before 10 or 12 couples were to arrive. And as I was unlocking the door, I felt a very sharp pain. And I felt sort of the feeling of a rupture. And I immediately started bleeding. Before I even got inside a few moments later. I had just gotten off the phone with my dad who was wishing me a happy birthday. And we had plans to go into the city that night. And we were so happy and excited. And no one knew that I was pregnant again. And I kind of frantically dialed my husband I said oh my gosh, I just lost the baby. And I have all these couples coming right now. And I was wearing these white jeans. And he said it's okay. It's okay. You know, we'll conceive again, it's okay. You know, he just said whatever he could to comfort me. We had a brief conversation and I just knew I had to pull myself together. So I was very sad. But I thought i i better switch into cerebral mode now because this is the last thing any of these couples need to concern themselves with. And all these cheerful, beautiful couples showed up and I basically threw on a smile. I sat very carefully to cover what could show through my jeans. And I just switched into teaching mode. And as soon as the class ended and everyone laughed, I went to a midwife who I was in touch with and told her that I felt this sharp pain which I didn't experience the previous time I had miscarried. And also unlike the previous time, the blood was diminishing. It wasn't getting stronger over those hours it was starting to diminish. And I just kept saying Do you have any idea what this means? And she said, Look, we're not going to know anything until we do a blood test. So I can do one right now. And then you'll have to come back in two or three days. And when we do the next one, we'd like to see your HCG levels at least double if you still have a viable pregnancy. And if you did experience a loss, we would expect to see those levels plummet.

So I spent the next few days on the internet reading everything I possibly could to try to guess what I had experienced, because I really couldn't get past that feeling of a rupture. And that sharp pain. And it really was like, it definitely didn't feel right, it was very, very concerning. I opted to have the next blood test after three days, because I didn't want to go after two days and have a borderline sort of reading, I wanted to really say like, here's the maximum time to see those HCG levels, at least double to know that I still have a good viable pregnancy here. And after I did that, she called me back the very next day. And she said your results are unusual, which is not something anyone wants to hear. She said, your levels have not doubled, nor have they plummeted. They've gone up but only a little bit. So I asked her for the numbers. And I calculated and it was like 30 something percent, definitely not what we were looking for. And she said, you're really not going to know anything until you go get an ultrasound at this time. So my husband and I went with our son a few days later to an ultrasound. And I was on the table for at least 20 minutes while they were like slowly checking my ovaries and checking this and checking that. And just holding my breath, I thought we would find out in two minutes when we did an ultrasound. But we were lying on the I was laying on the table for such a long time. And then all of a sudden, they turned up the volume and we could hear a heartbeat. So we burst into tears. We hugged each other. And we were so happy. And within minutes of my saying what happened in my room, my HCG levels off, a doctor came in and explained that there was a little empty sack there. And unknowingly we had conceived twins, which is in part the reason I shared that fertility was not a part of my story. The thought of having twins never crossed my mind. There haven't been twins on either side of my family in three generations. It was a very bittersweet moment of laughing tears and crying tears all within the same few minutes. And I just have to fast forward for a minute and tell you one thing. We never found out the gender of either of our children during pregnancy. But one day when my daughter was in preschool, and it was after school for her and she was at the table coloring or making something and I was making food in the kitchen out of the blue. She She looked up. And she had this wistful look in her eyes. And she said, I feel like I'm a twin. So that was pretty incredible. And yes, she does know the whole story now. But yeah, that intuition of intuition is very strong in her having lost one of those two little babies. So early in the pregnancy, I really had a hard time shaking my concern that something would happen to this one. And I'm sure many of you agree with me when I say it's really sometimes very difficult in those early weeks of pregnancy before we feel the baby kicking. It's so comforting to feel them. But we just have to wait so long before we can feel anything. And that's always been a very difficult time for me but especially in this pregnancy. It just felt like for ever. In December, my husband had a business trip to Boston, which is where my very good friend, Nancy Waner lives. She's a well known author midwife. She is the midwife who coined the acronym VBAC in her book, silent knife in the 80s. And she has always taken me under her wing professionally and even personally. And I decided to go to Boston with my husband on that trip. And I figured I would spend one of those days with Nancy and I want to things I was so excited about was she could check the baby. And I remember waking up in the hotel room that morning before my husband parted with us. And I remember saying to him, I can't believe Today's the day I'm finally going to be able to check on this baby. I cannot wait till I hear that little heartbeat again. It's been so long since my last prenatal it feels like forever. I just have to know that this baby is okay. So my son and I drove to her house. And when we greeted her, we sat down and we talked for three solid hours. And then after that, she said, So do you want me to check on you don't mean to check on your baby. And I was like, Yes, please. I would love that. And she said, Okay, I'd be happy to Why don't you come in this back room here, and this beautiful room with a big double bed and she said lie down and get comfortable? I'm gonna go wash my hands. And then she came back in, and she palpated on my uterus and she said, Oh, yes, this uterus feels absolutely perfect for for 14 or 15 weeks of pregnancy. Absolutely. Yes. You feel You feel just fine. And my smile sort of froze. And I said, Aren't you going to check on the heartbeat though with a Doppler? And she sat up and looked at me and said, well, Cynthia, a Doppler is just a targeted ultrasound. Now, I don't know if you know, Nancy, but she is very anti ultrasound. And I thought, no, don't tell me a topless a targeted ultrasound. I didn't know that back then. It didn't know she would have those feelings about it. And I was just crestfallen. I really thought, oh, my gosh, how long do I have to wait till my next prenatal before I really, really, really, really know that this baby is okay. And she said, Cynthia, I have a Doppler. It's right over there. This is your pregnancy. This is your baby. I'm happy to go get it. And we can listen to the heartbeat. But let me just ask you this. Where is the trust? That is a moment of my life, I will always remember. At that point in my life, I was a fairly new HypnoBirthing instructor. But I had already taught a few 100 couples at that point. And the whole point of HypnoBirthing is trust. And I had a moment where I was sitting there with her the Doppler within reach. And I thought, Well, who am I? Who am I behind the scenes? Who am I? In front of my child? Am I disingenuous? Do I portray one thing to my clients and to the public, but I live differently? am I teaching trust, but am I not really living trust? And it's not that anyone would know. But I would know. I kept a journal throughout my pregnancies at my father's strong recommendation. And I'm so grateful that he told me to do that, because they become so precious and valuable to me. And I found a part of my journal where I talked about that moment. I wrote, on one hand a tormented me to agree with her. On the other, I realized I was consumed with our culture's obsession to constantly check on the baby, nothing would change whether our baby was well inside of me or not. All that had to change was me. I could either go through the rest of this pregnancy, the rest of my life as a mother, trusting or not. I had a choice. Nancy's words took their hold. And it's not that it was easy for me to decline. It was necessary. So I proceeded through my pregnancy after that, and sure enough, a couple of weeks later started to feel my baby. And we had planned on a home birth, in part because my first birth was so quick three hours from the very beginning to the end. And I had a long trip to the birthing center from where we lived, it was an hour away, and I was I was afraid the second labor would be even faster. So at that point, I had seen a lot of my own couples have beautiful home births, and we made that decision. And then I hired Amy Romano as my midwife. She's also an author, excellent writer, and researcher. She was on our podcast twice, once in 2020. And once in 2021. And at my 28 week checkup, she palpate it on my uterus and she said, okay, everything feels great. Right now your baby is breech. And but that's to be expected right now. And when she said that, I just felt a rush of panic. I don't know why. I don't know if that was intuition, or I don't know if that was just me being neurotic. But I felt like saying to her, I can't bear to even hear the word breach. That's how uncomfortable it made me when she said that. Then the 30 week checkup. Your baby is breech. 32 week checkup. Your baby is breech. 34 week checkup. Your baby's breech. 35 week checkup. Cynthia, your baby's breech. We need to talk. We had talked all along about what I had been doing to try to get my baby to go head down but my baby had just stayed in the exact same position since at least that 20 weak points. I had tried the Webster technique with a certified prenatal chiropractor. I had tried moxibustion with my acupuncturist. I had tried it homeopathic Pulsatilla and all the spinning babies positions. I mean, I had scoured the internet for ideas. And I had been speaking to Nancy Waner all along who agreed with everything I was trying. And she had added. Cynthia, I want you to turn everything in your home upside down, I want you to turn their clocks upside down, I want you to turn your shampoo bottles upside down, I want you to see everything inverted, to try to get this baby to turn. And that's where I drew the line. I didn't put anything in my home upside down. But other than that, I truly tried everything all through those weeks, as

as my pregnancy progressed, and it became increasingly clear this baby was not changing position. And I almost never felt my baby at all because the position she was in. It seems the limbs were kind of in the middle of the uterus. So it was not surprising that I really just was not feeling a lot of movements from the space Baby. We also didn't know at that time, that right then, at 35 weeks, she was already the size of most full term babies because she was born at 39 weeks weighing nine and a half pounds, she weighed nine, seven. So she would have been about seven and a half pounds, which also indicates it would be much harder to get a baby to turn. But fortunately, we didn't know that. And I didn't have that added negative belief to, to carry and discourage me. And I will say I taught HypnoBirthing every single weekend of that pregnancy except for Christmas. In New Year's, I was constantly teaching a new group of couples every single month, I started off the first couple of months with no one knowing I was pregnant, then I was showing like everyone else. And here I was at the end of my pregnancy. And with my couples I was now the next one do I was the farthest along in pregnancy of anyone in the class. And I have to say there was definitely maybe self imposed feeling of pressure, like not wanting to let people down, which I know sounds crazy. But it was a real feeling. I had like just so many couples, I was so close to who were so happy. And this whole tone even on I had a big Facebook following at the time with a lot of conversation. And there's just such a tone of like, oh, Cynthia Overgard is pregnant and somebody is having a home birth. And it's so exciting. And I was carrying this secret because I didn't want to discourage them into thinking their own babies might end up breach at the end of pregnancy. So it was very, it was very tough. And Amy, as I said said to me, we need to talk, the odds of your baby going head down are really getting low. At this point. Your baby could still turn but we have to start thinking of the next steps. And she said, I recommend that we make an appointment for you to get an external cephalic version known as an ECV at 37 and a half weeks. And I said what if the ECB doesn't work? And she said, well, then the team would be recommending a C section. And I said, No, not doing it. And she said Cynthia, we can't do a home breech birth. It's really our last shot effort. And I said I understand you don't but what why don't you? I mean, you didn't you learn how to attend to breech birth when you are el and she said I did. But women don't give us that practice. Women don't tend to opt for vaginal breech births. And we have a policy at the homebirth practice. We just we don't do it. You're gonna have to make another plan if we don't get this baby head down. And I said to her I idea makes me uncomfortable. I don't think there's anything wrong with doing it. I think it's, it makes sense. But it feels wrong to me. And before we left that day, she said, Cynthia, can I just make the appointment for 37 and a half weeks, and then you have time to think about it. And I hesitated. And then I said, no. Don't even make the appointment. I don't want it. I didn't want to be in a hospital. I didn't want to be introduced to a doctor. I didn't want to sign paperwork that would say if anything went wrong, they could give me an emergency C section. I didn't want to force my baby in any way because I didn't understand the reason for my baby being breech. And I couldn't like go over the fact that maybe there was a reason for it. I was listening to an intuition that was saying, Do not go do this. I also know during an ECV women are often given some kind of drug or a pain reliever or even I think an epidural in some cases. And just the whole thing felt like going down the wrong path. For me. It just felt like this path is not leading where I want to go. And I didn't know what I was going to do about my situation because my midwife at the same time was telling me she can't attend a home breech birth that was not going to be an option for me. So I had called Nancy and said, Listen, I know you're in Boston. I know you're three hours from me. But is there any way you would be willing to attend my home breech birth if? If it comes to that? And she said she would. I also want to share that my own mother apparently came into the world reach. It's just part of our family story. That when she was coming into the world in the 40s, the doctor had apparently said up and this one's coming up backwards. And that was it. That's my own mother. And we all have ancestors who birthed their baby's breech. Like going all the way back to the beginning of time, from your mother to your grandmother to great grandmother. Like think about how many women go up your lineage? How many of them had reached babies, like probably so many of them, but for me, this felt very close to home. My mother came into the world very simply, breech. Why shouldn't my daughter Yes, I was a little intimidated by the notion of birthing a baby that was folded in half. We did know her to be frank breech, but I still couldn't convince myself that I really needed to intervene. But The idea of not working with Amy and and transferring care and the whole thing was just feeling like very overwhelming and I wanted everything for this baby to turn. So at 35 weeks to the day, it was a Friday. And in fact, it was exactly four weeks before my daughter would be born to the day. I went to Mrs. Greens, natural food market, and I bumped into this wonderful woman who had taken my class a couple months earlier, she was still pregnant. I was farther along than she and she was like, Oh, Cynthia, it's so good to see you. You look so great. You look so big and ready. And I was thinking about you today because I had a dream about you last night. And you know what I think about dreams to begin with. I love dreams. And I take them seriously. But Rebecca meditates twice a day, she even made a video, like an actual DVD on how to meditate with toddlers. She said, Yes, I had a dream that you had the most beautiful home birth. And I said you did, really? And she said, Yes, it was so nice. And my husband and I were there. And I said, Well, wait a minute. It was starting to feel really realistic for a second. But you and your husband were there? She said, Yes. We were there. But like it was just amazing. You had this beautiful birth. And I said, you don't know what a heavy heart I have right now and how much I need to hear this because I have a breech baby. My baby hasn't changed positions in about two months at all. So bumping into her was really, I think, a beautiful part of the story. I feel like it was just the universe's way of giving me a little ray of light and hope, which I really needed. Okay, so that night, it was Friday night. And my husband and I got our son to bed. And my husband went out to buy the basic home birth supplies that our midwives had told us to purchase for the birth whether my midwife was going to be Amy who hadn't I hadn't transferred out of her care yet, we were still hoping the baby would go head down, or whether I would be transferring to Nancy, but I still needed these basic homebirth supplies, you know, like hydrogen peroxide, and I don't know all these little random things. So my husband ran that errand. He was out of the house, I was home. And I was on my computer and got this little cryptic email from Nancy. No greeting nothing. It just said, call my mentor midwife. Yes. Nancy as a mentor, herself, one of the best midwives in the world. She has a mentor. That's how seriously she takes her work. She said call my mentor midwife, Valerie in Utah. This is her number. Ask her if there's anything we haven't thought of yet. She is very skilled in breech births. So I thought, What are the odds that Nancy and I combined, haven't thought of something that's actually going to get this baby to turn. But I also thought this would be very impolite if I don't call her since she's asking me to. So I need to call her. So I said, Well, I might as well do this right now. So I picked up the phone called this woman, Valerie in Utah. She answered the phone. She said, Hello, like that. And I said, Hi, Valerie. My name is Cynthia Overgard. I'm a friend of Nancy Waner. And she started going up. Uh huh. Yep. Just like that. And I started to speak a little bit faster. And I said, Well, I'm 35 weeks pregnant. And I have a breech baby who hasn't really changed position in seven weeks. And Nancy and I have really tried everything I've already tried. acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathic, all the exercises, this baby has not turned. And Nancy just wanted me to check with you to see if there was anything we potentially didn't think about. She said, Where is your placenta? And I said, Well, it's an anterior placenta, and it's attached, sort of on the right side. She said, Where's your baby's head? And I said, My baby's head is like, under my left breast. And she said, Where's the bottom and I said, the baby's bottom is like, lower down in my uterus under where my right hand is, if I hold my hand there, so she said, Okay, Cynthia, your baby is in the perfect position for turning. I'm going to tell you how to do this right now. And I said, Wait, right. Now we're going to get my baby to turn. She said, Yes. Can I hurt the baby? And she said, Cynthia, I have done this countless times. Believe me, it is impossible for a woman to hurt her own baby impossible. Now lie on your back and tell me when you're ready.

I didn't really believe that it was impossible. That's what she said. I mean, I don't know. Maybe she's absolutely right. But that was basically her message to me. And I laid on my back. And she said, I want you to take your time and find your baby's head with your left hand. And I want you to find your baby's bottom with your right hand. And after a moment or two, I felt like I did and she said, Now Cynthia, I want you to push down on your left hand and lift up with your right hand at the same time to flip your baby. It was just like, so. Oh my gosh, I remember clenching my teeth and went and squeezing my eyes shut and being like, oh my gosh, like, Ah, I just felt so nervous doing it. And I tried. I really tried I really made multiple efforts to push down on the head and lift up on The bottom and I absolutely could not get this baby to budge. And I was feeling completely tense. I was feeling myself just tense. And after about 20 minutes, I said, Listen, Valerie, I really don't think I can try any more. And I don't want to take any more of your time. And she said, Well, do you think you'll try again later? And I said, I don't feel I can do this. And then I said, and I don't know why I'm saying this right now, but I'm feeling in my bones. If there is just one person on earth, who can turn this baby, that person is my husband. And she said, Okay, well call me back when he gets home. And that was a very unusual realization that I suddenly had conviction that this just might be possible with my husband, but I had really tried my very hardest and this baby didn't budge. My husband came home a little while later, when he walked in with his bags of stuff he had to buy. I said, I have a very unusual request of you. And he said, Okay. And I said, Mansi had me call her midwife mentor in Utah, who is convinced we can get this baby to turn. And she coached me and told me how to do it. And I was completely unable to do it. And I told her, I had this feeling if anyone could do this, it would be you. And he said, Okay. And we called her back. And she said, put me back on speakerphone, Cynthia lie down on the floor and relax. And Eric, I want you to kneel over Cynthia. And I want you to find your baby's bottom with your left hand. And I want you to find your baby's head with your right hand. And I want you to push clockwise, push your baby's head down and push your baby's bottom up. He was just taking it all very seriously. He was very focused, he was very relaxed. And he placed his hands on me very gently, as she described. And when she said to push, he didn't push. He just kept his hands on me very gently. And he didn't really move his hands. And I was just smiling and watching him. And in the course of the next 10 minutes or so, if you could have watched my husband's hands on high speed film, you would have seen his hands completely invert their position, you would have seen his left hand move from the lower left to the top of my uterus and you would have seen his right hand go from the top down to the bottom. And the all the while I didn't feel anything. I just sort of felt like he was barely gently massaging me or doing Reiki on me or something. And I didn't think anything was happening. And as soon as his hands had totally inverted their position, and his right hand was down low. He looks up at me and smiled. And he whispered, I think I think the baby turned And right on cue as if the baby was informing us at that moment, intentionally. Right on cue. I felt all these active kicks exactly where you would expect to feel kicks in a head down, well positioned to baby. It was incredible. It was an incredible moment of my life. I sat up and grabbed the phone. And I said to her, Oh my gosh, we did it. We think the baby's head down. And she said, I'm not kidding. I'm not exaggerating. I have this in my journal, because it was so comical. She said, Yep, told you Okay, good luck to you now. Bye bye. She her words were literally Yep, told you, after seven weeks of anguish, and conviction that this baby wasn't going to turn. And without the knowledge that she was as big as she was. He gently and easily turned our baby. And we hung up the phone. And then for the second time in that pregnancy, my husband and I hugged and we laughed and cried at the same time.

What was incredible to me, after that experience, was that I truly tried turning my baby myself and I tried with more effort than my husband did. And what I learned once again, in that pregnancy was trust. When I was doing it myself, I lacked the trust that I could really do it. It didn't feel right doing this with the midwife over the phone and my husband not home. I was 10. So I was nervous. I was asking if my baby would be okay. But when my husband was doing it, I had conviction that he wasn't going to get his ego involved. He wasn't going to be determined for a certain outcome. I was smiling. I was relaxed and that relaxation, and that trust changed my outcome. When I asked him later why he didn't push like she had said to push push up on the bottom and down on the head. He said that wasn't necessary. I just wanted the baby to feel the pressure and I wanted the baby to scoot and move and I could feel the baby Even though I couldn't, my husband was saying I could feel the baby just inching away from the pressure, I could feel the baby moving. That was what felt right to him. So even despite her expert advice, he still listened to himself. And he did what he was doing in the way that felt right to him. We called Amy The following morning, and we said, oh, we have great news. Eric, turn the baby. She said, Okay, great. How about I come down, she lived an hour away. I better come down and visit you and just like, you know, check on everything. And I said, Yeah, great. That's terrific. We've got nothing going on. So she came down and visited. And when we hung out in the kitchen, and we gave her some food, and she said, So tell me exactly. Tell me what happened. So we excitedly told her about Valerie and owl, Eric turned the baby. And she said, okay, yeah, okay. All right. Why don't I just check on everything, and I'll be on my way. I said, Great. So we went living room, I laid back on the couch. She leaned over me, Eric was sitting across the room in a chair watching us, and she palpated on my uterus, and she could feel my baby's head where she had never felt my baby's head. In the vertex position. She's sat up, and she looked at me. And she looked at him. And we both saw the blood drained from her face, like her whole face, lost color, her lips, everything, just lost color. She just looked at him. And her next words were, how did you do that? Even though we had just told her the story. She couldn't believe it. She said, How did you do that? And that's when I realized she had been incredulous. Until she really felt the baby head down. And that's really why she came out of her way. Because I think that was very nice of her. She came out of her way, because she felt she had to break it to us that our baby wasn't head down. And I think to everyone's delight, she saw that the baby's head was to head down. So we kept our plan to birth with her, of course. And I picked up my son from preschool on June 5 2009. It was his very last day of preschool. It was a Friday. And I was getting him into the car and a friend was nearby getting her son into the car and said, Hey, how are you feeling? And I said, I feel like I'm sort of maybe in labor right now, I think. And she said, Wait, why? And I said, Yeah, I'm feel like something might be going on. So I better get home. And I went home and my husband was there. And I was saying I'm not sure I don't want to waste Amy's time. I'm only 39 weeks to the day and I don't know what's maybe these are just Braxton Hicks. But I feel like there's like an activity starting some something is starting up. So I did call Amy and told her how it was feeling. And she said, alright, well let me shower and I'll take my time coming down. But I'll yeah, let me head down. And don't worry if you're not in labor. That's that's what we do. But you probably are. So um, so I'll make my way down. And she got there at about 430 and shortly thereafter, the assistant midwife showed up I had never met before, named Tricia Ludwig. And she walked in wearing her shirt that said yell midwifery at your cervix. I immediately liked her. And my husband had filled the inflatable tub we had purchased with warm water. He got a hose like from the bathroom so I could have comfortable warm water. My son was holding a cold washcloth to my forehead. Nancy always told me that children and animals are utterly calm through birth, because we're taught to fear birth, and they have an inherent trust. And my son was totally calm. And there's a really precious picture of him in me, nose to nose right before my daughter came out. I was on my hands and knees. And he just came up to me like forehead to forehead. My daughter was born at 9:17pm weighing nine pounds, seven ounces, no tearing, I got out of the tub, that into my bed. The overriding word for me to describe a home birth is just casual. It's very casual. You don't go anywhere. The Birth Center was beautiful, and I loved it. And I thought this would be similar but it was not similar at all. It was just like there was nothing to mark the beginning of the event. And my midwives had arrived I was six centimeters, which was exactly the case in my son's birth. When I first got to the birthing center. It's just you know, at one point, Amy and Trisha got food from my kitchen and they were just eating it while they were sitting on the bed watching me and it was just a very peaceful experience. My son was born on a chilly clear March morning during sunrise and my daughter was born during a warm, rainy spring evening during sunset. And each of their births taught me what I needed to learn at the time. My son's birth taught me to take responsibility to use my intelligent mind to learn and to make decisions and to educate myself and prepare and then at the end of course, with HypnoBirthing I had to let go of a lot of that and surrender and relinquish to the birth My daughter's birth was a very deep experience from beginning to end in trust, because at that point, I was always in my head. And her whole pregnancy from beginning to end was a reminder that there is always a big piece of this totally out of everyone's control. And all I can ever do is trust, when we want to control everything we're forced to trust once again. So I feel thankful to each of my children for what they taught me unconsciously as they came into the world. And I feel grateful to my husband for his role in changing the trajectory of each of our children's births and dramatically changing the outcome in each case. He changed my first birth by being the first person to suggest that we leave our doctor and birth with midwives. And that decision changed my birth and changed my life. And then he changed the trajectory of my second birth by turning our breech baby with his own bare hands. Thank you for listening to my story.

Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

Well, Cynthia, after listening to that beautiful birth story, you have convinced me, I will tell my stories on the podcast. So that is yet to come. But first, I just want to make a quick comment on this first story I shared today on your birthday. That was a very serendipitous moment in each of our lives that I was called to be at Vanessa's birth that day. And while I don't actually have a tremendous amount of memory from her birth, not in the way I would if I had known you the way I know you now. I do remember having a very calm feeling throughout the whole birth. I remember entering your home and it just feeling very at peace. I remember you just seeming very confident, calm, collected, relaxed. I remember the whole birth process just being quiet, calm, peaceful, everything that any woman would dream and homebirth to be. And also I have never known somebody who actually turned their own unique or whose partner turned their own year who turned their own baby at home. And I love that as part of story because this should just be more of the norm. This should be more of a practice that we  especially as midwives or mothers ourselves, just gently being able to manipulate a baby's position without resistance. It makes me question why we make such a big deal of ECVs. So thank you for sharing this today. And I'm wishing you a wonderful, beautiful, spectacular birthday that you deserve. And I'll see you soon at our lunch today. Happy Birthday.

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About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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