#36 | Birth Story Mini: Tiffany's Breech-Baby Cesarean followed by Natural VBAC

July 13, 2020

Hey, everyone! We've got another great birth story for you on this mini-episode Monday. Tiffany shares the birth stories of each of her sons. Tiffany's first birth was incredibly arduous; after hours of laboring and pushing, her baby started to emerge breech, resulting in an emergency Cesarean section. During her second pregnancy, Tiffany invested extra energy to fetal positioning exercises, and to practicing hypnosis to keep her in a calm, positive state through her second labor. Her hard work paid off, and you'll hear just how quickly Tiffany's VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) was!

If you'd like to share your own pregnancy, postpartum or birth story, we'd love to hear it! 

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If you enjoyed this episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). We are always happy to hear from our listeners and appreciate questions for our monthly Q&A episodes. To join our monthly newsletter, text "downtobirth" to 22828.

You can sign up for Cynthia's HypnoBirthing classes as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

View Episode Transcript

Hi, my name is Tiffany and I have two sons. My oldest is almost four and my youngest just turned two. And my birth stories are about as divergent as you can get. My first was long, arduous and ended in an unplanned c section and my second son was short, straightforward, and a VBAC. And so with my first son, I went into labor in the middle of the night I woke up and I had felt some fluid starting to leak. So I went to the bathroom and I went back to bed and then maybe an hour later, my, my fluid just fully released. So I actually didn't wake my husband, I went to our guests room and I laid down and I labored there for about five or six hours until he woke up and I at that point, and around 5am I was starting to feel some pretty intense sensations. And so we quickly got into the car and we were at the hospital, which actually was about 45 minutes away. When I was admitted shortly thereafter, they found that I was six or seven centimeters dilated. So we thought, great, this should be pretty straightforward. Hopefully he'll be out by lunch. We actually didn't know he was a he at that time. And so I had my doula at the hospital. My husband was there as well. And things were just going slowly. The sensations were really ramping up by about noon. I was really in a bad way. I think my transition time so you know, the last couple centimeters lasted for hours.

I have some significant memories of my doula applying pressure to my back The birthing waves just rolled over me one after another after another. And I was feeling really strong, really strong intensity and sensations in my lower back. And so she would push and press on my hips every time I would have a contraction, which towards the end was very, very often. It was the most intense thing I'd ever experienced. I felt the urge to push for a long time. So when my midwife checked me and I was finally 10 centimeters, which I think was around 230. I, in the afternoon, I started to try to push and push. And of course, I didn't have an epidural or, you know, any sort of intervention like that I didn't have a hep lock or anything. So, you know, our baby's heartbeat was great. And I just thought why had No one ever told me that pushing would take this long I, I actually had burst all of the blood vessels in my cheeks and around my eyes from pushing him so intensely, and it was just the most harrowing experience I'd ever had. But my midwife felt that he was starting to come out. And we were all so excited and so thrilled. However, as he was starting to emerge, as she could see something, she realized, hang on a second. This is his bottom. And then they did an ultrasound pretty quickly and realized that he was Frank breech. And so this is something we didn't know. And I hadn't had an ultrasound in my third trimester. So aside from feeling what I thought was his bottom up near my ribs, you know, it was actually his head. All throughout my third trimester with the midwife palpating my belly at regular appointments, no one had any idea. They didn't catch it. I didn't catch it. So no one knew he was breech. And as his bottom was starting to emerge, you know, at the very earliest earliest stages of that, the midwife had a doctor and OB GYN come in pretty quickly. And she the the surgeon explained to me very sweetly that all births at this hospital if they're breech, they have to be taken out by C section. And so, at that point, I think I just wanted it to be over. And I said, Absolutely, like, let's do this, like get this baby out. It was just all in about 17 hours of just the most intense sensations I'd ever experienced. Really just distressing and feeling just a lot of despair throughout that day because I just wanted it to be over and this As someone who I didn't want any interventions, I wanted a really natural calm birthing experience. I had studied hypno birthing, and I had done the relaxation, hypnosis, and birth just still took me by surprise. So I went into the operating room and I had a spinal block put in and I'll never forget, The surgeon said to me so kindly as they were doing that, she said, she held my hand and she said, this is the last contraction you're going to feel. And I just remember thinking and probably saying, Thank God. And so I was on the operating table. And I've had surgery before. I've never had surgery when I've been awake before. So that was a new experience for me. And I wish that I had known a little bit more about what c sections involve before I had had my son and I also have a lot of grace with myself because I don't think I would have been in the headspace to want to know about it. But I didn't have I guess the greatest reaction to the anesthesia. Although I've heard that this is common. I started shaking uncontrollably when my son was taken out. My husband told me he was a boy thankfully, no one else said it. So you know, of course, my son was pulled out of me and then taken over to be cleaned off. And it was just a very medicalized experience as C sections are and I had him on my chest or sort of my neck area as they were sewing me back up for, you know, a brief time and then my husband took him I was fortunate that my doula was allowed to be in the room with me as well, which I don't think is standard protocol for this hospital. But I think everybody probably felt a little bad for me, because we'd been going for so long. And it was one of those things that, you know, if I had known if we had known he was breech, then likely I would have had a C section scheduled, although having my second baby. I'm very glad that I did not have a C section scheduled and in hindsight, I was very glad that I was able to labor as far as I was. I don't think I would have been able to get my son out. Without doing potential damage to myself and to him when when he was taken out of me, they found that he had a lot of bruising on his back and on his hip where I was just muscling him through trying to push him out. So I'm thankful that for my, you know, first time pelvis trying to get him out that I had an alternative to that and was able to have a C section. And that being said, I grieved not having a natural childbirth or a vaginal birth, I really struggled with it. And for a good nine months, I was in a very dark place of feeling envy for women who had experienced a natural birth, feeling less than feeling somehow that my situation was so disappointing and I didn't feel my body had failed me, but I felt that Why me? Why didn't I get that experience when I had prepared so well and I wanted to get pregnant again, relatively quickly. And so, when my first son was a year old, I conceived my second son and his pregnancy was different. His birth was very different. I went about the pregnancy a little differently. I took active steps to prevent this second baby from being breech, which I now knew there were many things you could do to help get baby in a good position. And so I did all of those things religiously. I did all of the yoga all of the forward bends all of the birth ball setting all of the walking, and by my third trimester, I was doing a pretty intensive daily circuit of that combined with hypnosis to really help ensure the chance that I could have a natural VBAC because I knew that while they do happen, that second c sections are the norm. Emma, and I had never known anyone who had had a VBAC before. So it was something that, you know, with my midwives we discussed over and over how to kind of set me up in the best position to have a VBAC. And so I, I did all of the work. And we learned that he was head down at every ultrasound and of course, I had ultrasounds in my third trimester with my second son because we didn't want a repeat surprise at the hospital. And so when we learned he was head down, I thought, this is the universe's way of telling me that this is going to happen. And I think I kind of knew that. It was in my that it was going to happen, and then it was in the cards for me. So on the day of my second baby's birth, I also woke up in the middle of the night. Same thing, I went to the bathroom, I felt fluid leaking out of me. I was about a week early. I was actually two weeks early with my first son, which I think was my body's wisdom of knowing that if he was going to get any bigger I probably would not have been able to push them out. It's amazing how our bodies work and how there are things that we can't foresee that are there to protect us. But with my second son, it was a very shortly. It was a very short birth. I woke up around 330 in the morning, my water fully released at 5am when my husband called my mother in law and said, You need to come to the hospital and pick up our our son. So this is the this is the real deal. And I was having intense sensations, but they weren't unmanageable, although around 630. So this is three hours in, I was getting dressed and my husband said, I know that look on your face. I've seen that look before I think it's probably time to go. I was getting dressed. And I said, baby, I just want to let you know that I don't know if I'm going to be able to do this without an epidural because this is really hard. He said whatever you need. And so we packed up my son drove the 45 minutes to the hospital I'd given birth at the first time, which I loved and of course, had a great experience. And so I wanted to just do that again. And I actually forced down scrambled eggs in the car because I had remembered from my first birth with the intensity that I felt and how long it lasted. I knew that I would need some fuel. If I was going to do this again for 12 hours or more.

The car ride was not easy, but I had my hypnosis and I breathed through the contractions and when we got to the hospital, I was still very calm. The person who came to wheel me to labor and delivery said you do you think I need to rush and I said, I don't think so. And then when we got there and I met the midwife and the nurses who would be attending my birth, we kind of checked in verbally everything was going well and then about 30 minutes later, they were putting all of the equipment on me to do the regular monitoring, which is standard practice at this hospital for V backs, you know, the hip block, etc. And I started to feel some intense stuff. And I told the nurse I said, I just want you to know that I want a natural birth. But I may be asking for some help here. She said, Whatever you need, you know, we can help you. And my doula hadn't arrived yet. Because I didn't think we needed to really hurry. So it started to kind of kick up pretty quickly. And within about 20 minutes, I was begging for the midwife to come check me and when she did, she was down there for a while. And I remember thinking this is taking longer than it really should. And then when she was was finished, she said, there's no cervix here. You're 10 centimeters, you're ready to push and I screamed out, thank God. She asked me what position I wanted to push in and I told her I really didn't know but I knew that I needed to be upright so that my pelvis could have the room that it needed to have to push him out. And so maybe 30 minutes later, I was on the hospital bed on my hands and knees and had a very seamless, straightforward experience of giving birth to him. And I remember dialing up the song that I wanted to be born to on my phone between contractions. I remember pulling it up because I knew he had to be born to this particular song that I had been envisioning. And so once that was up and playing, I got down on my all fours and I had maybe, maybe 10 pushes something like that it was not the arduous experiences with my first son. And he was small. He was six pounds, two ounces, but I pushed him out. And I remember him coming up to my chest and they handed him to me. And it was the most incredible feeling in the world.

Very different from my first birth. I lay down with him and I brought him to my chest and we just soaked each other in. And it was the experience that I had been hoping to have ever since I got pregnant with my first son. And so I will always be very grateful for both of their births for what they taught me respectively. And I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to have my second birth vaginally.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

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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