#7 | Jessica's Birth Story: A Footling Breech Baby Coming Through

January 22, 2020

It isn't often we hear stories of women who change providers when their baby is full-term. At her 39 week check-up, Jessica learned her baby was breech...feet first!

After facing an impending cesarean section that same day, she took matters into her own hands. This is the story of a woman whose trust in herself was so absolute, she trekked from New York into Amish country to birth her baby not only in the unlikeliest of places, but also in a most unusual position. If you've ever doubted your body's ability to do what it is designed to do, Jessica's story will inspire you to trust in your own intuition above all.

Episode Resources:
Spinning Babies: www.spinningbabies.com
Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth
ACOG FAQ: Breech Babies https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/If-Your-Baby-Is-Breech?

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You can sign up for online and in-person HypnoBirthing childbirth classes for pregnant couples taught by Cynthia Overgard, as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!

View Episode Transcript

I don't remember the conversation well, but I do remember her saying and make sure you pack a bag because odds are, you'll have your baby by C section this afternoon. And I had literally been eating as I was on the phone with her and she was like put the food down right now because you have to be prepared in case you have to go in for surgery. And that sent me into a full on panic.

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.

It is an often we hear stories of women who change providers when their baby is full term. At her 39 week checkup Jessica learned her baby was footling breech. After facing an impending Syrian section she took matters into her own hands. This is the story of a woman whose trust in herself was so absolute. She tracked from New York into Amish country to birth her baby not only in the unlikeliest of places, but also in the unlikeliest of positions.

My name is Jessica. I'm a wife, a mama. I'm an online health and fitness coach, a lifelong horseback rider. My husband Michael and I will be celebrating our fifth anniversary this spring. We have a four year old daughter named Sloane and a 15 month old little boy named Graham. So Michael and I had been engaged for a year and a half. And we finally landed on having this like country wedding at my parents backyard in Tennessee and I went out and I bought this beautiful dress. I was so excited. And it couldn't have been more than four weeks later when I realized I was pregnant. So Sloane was a total surprise, a wonderful surprise. But I didn't quite feel it was like a wonderful surprise. At first. I was sad for kind of losing this whole year that I had all these amazing plans for a big honeymoon, this big wedding. And I even took a few days to tell Michael I was pregnant. But when I told him he was so excited that his excitement became my excitement and we just moved the wedding up. So I could wear my wedding dress and we had this amazing like intimate beach wedding with just our immediate family. So we ended up using the wedding date as our baby shower, because everyone had already kind of saved the date.

Yeah, exactly. Um, so then we, once the wedding was done, we kind of just really focused on getting ready to be parents. So I don't know if anyone ever really feels ready to be parents. But I felt that we were so far from prepared because we had just bought our new house, we had just moved to a new town, we were working through our careers. And while I always wanted to be a mom, and we knew that was part of our plan, it was not part of our plan at that stage. So I didn't have a doctor. I didn't have anyone that I knew other than the girls I worked with. So someone recommended to me a doctor down the street from where I worked, and it was convenient, and I could go there on lunch breaks.

So that's what we did. What more could a woman one?

Exactly. So now I always knew I wanted to be a mom. And I always knew that I wanted to have a natural birth. And that comes from my mom. So she has some pretty unique birth stories herself. I was actually I'm the oldest and I was born in the car. So yeah. Oh, as the first child, you were born in the car.

So her doctors were saying, you know, labor with your first child usually takes a while stay home relax. She stayed home too long.

So it wasn't a planned car birth.

So the stories I had always heard were like, you don't need any medical intervention like unnecessary medical intervention, right? And she just had this baby in the car. So in my head it was how hard could it be to have a baby If you can have a baby in the backseat of a car, you can have it anywhere, you can have it anywhere. So I knew I wanted a natural birth and honestly the idea of IVs and epidural c section like that terrified me. So giving birth wasn't scary, but medical interventions was very scary for me. And I getting to know this new doctor and talking to her, I kept bringing up that I wanted a natural birth. And she kept saying things like, this is your first birth. We'll see how it goes. Let's see how you feel when you're actually in labor for a few hours. And those are just red flags for me. I didn't feel good that these were her responses. It didn't feel supportive. And I felt like I was going to just really not have a voice when it came down to the minutes that it mattered. So I was reading a random blog about this woman who was in labor and she went running and like right before just because she felt so good. And she mentioned HypnoBirthing I thought never heard of this, but kind of sounds up my alley, started Googling and found out what it was found out. Somehow there was a hypno birthing class very close to where I lived right here in Westport, Cynthia Overgard and called her up and she happened to have a class starting like the week we got home from our honeymoon. So we jumped right in. And my husband who was a little skeptical at first. Loved it. He was So onboard and so open, which I was already 100% into this whole natural birth thing, and was really happy that he got on board with me. So after a few weeks of meeting with Cynthia, we we started to think about changing providers. And we ended up switching at 32 weeks from our medical doctor in the city to a midwifery team here in Connecticut. And it was probably the best decision we could have made because everything just went from that moment on smoothly and we felt heard, we felt like we would get the birth we wanted. And we stayed very open to should things change that we would roll with. However that day went, but it sounded like we were going to get the birth that we wanted to have. So August 13, went into labor at one in the afternoon, we went over to the birthing center. I used the hypno birthing techniques. I was basically in like a meditative state the whole time. Like no talking just really quiet in a tub which a water birth is like, the greatest thing ever, from going from being on my couch at home to getting in that tub, like, highly recommend the tub. So, four hours later Sloane was in my arms and it was just one of the best experiences of my life. And I remember saying like, the next day on the phone with my parents, like I would do that again tomorrow, like pregnancy is hard birthing babies is no problem like that was I loved it. I loved birthing my daughter.

So, yes, it was truly truly magical.

Did you feel I know in HypnoBirthing, we really try to avoid the word pain, but did you feel resistance comfort? Yeah. I told everyone truthfully, that I would not describe anything I experienced as pain. It was intense, intense, like nothing I had ever experienced but zero pain. Unlike what we know pain to be to think that was in part from the conditioning from HypnoBirthing, where we just stopped thinking of the word pain, we stopped using the word pain, we kind of mentally reject the word pain if we hear it, and we learn to interpret that sensation as something different Do you think that helped you to conclude after the fact that this was just a level of comfort versus discomfort?

I think that was a huge part of it. I also read Ina May Gaskin's book, and she had a lot of like, personal stories, and she had this one I taught her guide to childbirth, probably. She has beautiful stories in there beautiful stories, and instead of focusing on anything being uncomfortable or pain, I was just focused on opening and relaxing the whole time contraction and expansion. Yeah, yes, but it was definitely an expansion. That's the right word because contraction I made a point not to think of anything like closing right. Sloan's birth reinforced everything that my mom had always kind of taught. about birth. And it made me want to share that with other moms to be because there is such a fear. And I think, you know, movies and stories like perpetuate that. And my experience was so far from what, like the scary things you see in the movies was I wanted other moms to know. Like it doesn't have to be this big scary thing. It's It's beautiful. So after as long as about as long as about 24 hours old when I was like I want another baby and my husband's like, let's like hold on a few minutes, you know, let's just relax and get used to this whole parenting thing. So I guess it was around the time Sloane was maybe like 1415 months old. I really started to like okay, I think we want another baby. I wanted them to be close together. And again, like I got pregnant right away. But this pregnancy actually ended in a miscarriage. So I miscarried at six weeks, but I didn't know it until 12 weeks So I had already announced it and it was a whole big deal. So I was a little nervous, of course to like, get pregnant again. But I really wanted to so we kept trying and it took another almost 10 months to get pregnant after that miscarriage. And when I got pregnant, I found out I was pregnant with our second baby. I it took me a long time to relax and start to enjoy the pregnancy for the first first trimester, I'd hardly let myself even enjoy it for a second because I was the last one ahead, even though had ended early in my mind, it had ended later. So it was probably around 15 weeks that I finally started to like, relax into the pregnancy. You know, tell people about it, and which is way harder with your second pregnancy because you look pregnant so much earlier.

Oh my gosh.

So around 15 weeks, we started to really get excited about And the pregnancy was just smooth sailing. We had no issues. We didn't find out if it was a girl or boy, we didn't find that out with Sloane either. We liked that moment of surprise. So, you know, we just started planning the nursery and doing all that fun stuff. But every appointment went really well. And my midwifery team was wonderful as far as being like, I don't wanna say hands off, but we didn't do any extra ultrasounds or, or anything like that. In hindsight, maybe we should have done some more ultrasounds, but we'll see.

So, so foreshadowing of what maybe an ultrasound would give us a heads up. So I was 39 weeks and four days pregnant and I went in for an appointment had been there the week before. So at that point, you're going weekly, and a new midwife one that I hadn't met before, listening to the baby's heart and we're just chatting. And she's like, um, has anyone I mentioned the possibility of this baby being breech. And I said, Nope. And she said let's let's do a quick you know, I guess little ultrasound or whatever in the in the room. So she pulls out her little, her little ultrasound wand and she's like, yep, your baby's breech. So she was very calm about it, which was good for me. So I'm internally freaking out, like, what does this mean for my second natural water birth and I'm hoping to have and she starts telling me basically that no one in the area will do a natural breech birth. So if the baby stays breech, I will have a C section. They can try and a CV where they turn the baby externally by pressing on your your abdomen and external cephalic version when they manually turn the baby. Exactly in the hospital setting. Don't they give the woman a drug to relax the uterus. They use an ultrasound Yes, it's all underground. Some women have an aversion to attempting that and others are willing to add to it depends on the type of breech position as well. So it's not always a safe choice. How did you feel about doing it?

So my head was spinning. And my initial reaction was, I want to have a natural birth. So I will try what we need to try. But I was afraid of needles. And I didn't they mentioned that there is a pretty good possibility that if you go in for an ecV, it will end in a C section right there because sometimes it just heart rates drop things happen, and there will be a placenta, right?

It will cause fetal distress, and if there's any signs of stress, then they will want to act quickly.

Mm hmm. Yes. So that midwife was like go home. Think about it. Call us tomorrow. On home explained everything to my husband. Before I called my husband I got in the car hysterical and immediately text Cynthia here to say, What do you know about breech babies? What do you know about ecV and who do I need to talk to she lovingly and quickly respond? did with the name of a spinning babies practitioner? Then I called my husband got myself together enough to tell him on the phone what was going on? And we decided we would talk about it that night. So, that night we decided we would try the ecV but that we would talk to try to get in touch with a few other people get some information, find out what if we had any other options. The next morning, I got a phone call from another midwife at the practice, who was in a panic that the first midwife had let me leave at 39 weeks and four days without having gone straight across the street to the hospital for this procedure. And I don't remember the conversation well, but I do remember her saying and make sure you pack a bag because odds are you will have your baby by C section this afternoon. And that sent me into a full on panic.

So I What were you feeling in that moment what was going on?

I just felt like I had absolutely zero control over the situation. I didn't even have a minute to think about what, what to do. So right in that moment, when I got that phone call, I was feeling just totally overwhelmed and scared. And I felt like I had zero say, in how this was going to go. It sounded like I had to show up at that hospital for the CCTV. And I had literally been eating as I was on the phone with her and she was like, put the food down right now, because you have to be prepared in case you have to go in for surgery. And I'm 39 weeks now five days pregnant and I'm hungry. So I'm like, okay, and I'm panicking because I have my daughter and I don't have plans for what to do with her. So it was just it was a terrible feeling. And I believe I text Cynthia back and I said, this is what's going on. Who can I talk to what are my options, and Cynthia put me in touch with Nancy Waner. And I Call this woman, this midwife in Boston, who doesn't know me I've never met her before. And she called me back in the middle of a party that she was hosting at her house. And she spent half an hour with me on the phone. And the one thing Cynthia and Nancy kept repeating to me via text or on this phone call was breaches not a complication. It's a variation. And those words were so comforting to me, because it made me feel that the baby wasn't in danger. This wasn't a medical emergency. This was something that we could work with. So Nancy, put me in touch with another midwife in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which is about three and a half hours from my house. And I called Diane Gosselin at new baby and I explained what was going on. And I said, I'm supposed to go in for an ECB in three hours, should I go in and she said, I can't For that for you, but if you want, you can get in the car and you can drive to me right now Diane happened to have just by chance, this woman staying with her to learn American midwifery practice. So she said, drive to me today. You can come and stay at my birthing center. I have rooms and you can work with a spinning lady's instructor and we'll see what we can do. But Diane has birthed over 1000 breech babies.

No, she has attended over 1000 breech births and I'm sure she didn't give birth to that many children. That would be insane.

1000 would be crazy.

Okay. She attended the birth of a 4000 breech babies.

She's attended 1000 breech births. That's a lot of births and all she Yes, it's her and her partner. Oh, they are one of very few places that will I think they're attending all the breach first in the country there there are a couple there few midwives throughout the Entry who specialize in this and people just flock to them. Yeah.

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Did this midwife and Lancaster's agree for you to come and if you went into labor while you were there, she was going to catch her baby.

She didn't agree to that. But I think it was unplanned that if I went there, she wouldn't be like go to that hospital down the street. I think she would have delivered delivered the baby. My husband came home thinking we're heading to the hospital for an ACV and I said pack an overnight bag. We're going to Lancaster and because he is such a wonderful husband, he didn't even question it. He just packed a bag and we drove to Lancaster.

Well, they have great outlets there. He was probably thinking they were going shopping or something. Yeah,

exactly trick. So we threw our three year olds in the car. We drove to Lancaster and I spent the day the spinning babies instructor and then one thing that kept coming up was the baby had been in this breech position the entire pregnancy. He was also at almost 40 weeks. pretty large odds of him flipping at this point we're pretty slim. So Diane and myself and when One of her students, Jessie Lu, really talked a lot about having a breech birth and what that would mean. And if it was something I wanted to consider, and she never once pressured me in that direction. She just wanted to give me all the information, sent me home with lots of books on breech births, and told me to call her in a few days and let her know what we decided. So I think it was five minutes into the car ride, we called her back. So while we were talking about making this big decision, there were a few things that really stood out that helped us make this decision. For the circumstances I was happy that I had a proven uterus which just meant that I had already birth the baby naturally. Graham was actually a footling breech. So that means he was feet down instead of like, bummed out, which I think is more common for breech birth. And a big concern with that is that his feet will come through before him fully dilated, and then he won't be able to be fully worn so his feet will be out the cord might be partially out which could present issues. So the one thing they told me I would have to really like, agree to was not to push until they told me to. So if I felt the urge to push, I would have to just breathe through it and wait until it was really time because the odds of me having that urge earlier. Were pretty strong.

Let me understand something. So you went over you made that spontaneous trip. And you brought Sloane, you brought Michael, you went there. You spent the day with the spinning babies expert, you said they were doing maneuvers or they were doing exercises with you. And then were you just having a theoretical talk like, oh, if you decide to stay and eventually go into labor, this is how it will be. Or were you already did labor start happening? Oh, no, this was all just talking about. If I decided to have a natural breech birth with this woman, this is kind of how it would go. And was the idea that you would just stay there and hang out there and live there until you went into labor in the next week or two or whenever that would be.

That was not my idea. So I guess it could have been we could have kind of camped out in Lancaster. But we had my parents coming to meet what I thought would have been a new baby who should have already been there. And my daughter's third birthday party was planned.

So your parents were coming back to New York. work from Florida from Florida, because they were you expecting the baby sometime that week under the normal circumstances? Yeah, here you're in Pennsylvania. They're headed to your home in New York. And you're planning this birthday party?

Yes. Because I thought I was planning everything that the baby would be there. You know, he was going to be early because Sloane was two weeks early. So I would have this three week old baby at the birthday party, and it was going to be fine. But that was not how things were going so much. to Michael's dismay, I said, No, we're going home. And when I go into labor, we'll just drive back to Lancaster. And Diane said, you can expect like with your second birth, a good gauge is about half the time. And I said well, Sloan's birth, start to finish was about 13 hours. So I've got about you know, let's say five and a half hours just for a buffer.

It's only a three hour drive to Lancaster. So we're good. So we actually,

I don't mean I don't meet a lot of amazing I don't mean a lot of utterly optimistic women. It's just So refreshing to hear something like this, everything was fine. The classic mom like I'll throw the party, I'll host my parents. Labor will start and I'll drive during caster when labor begins.

Well, ironically, that's exactly how it went. So we went to the birthday party not here and ironic, not even ironic, really. It's like you visualized It was your intention. Tell us what happened.

We went to my daughter's birthday party. We hosted it that morning, my dad flew in, literally came straight to the birthday party. So now my parents are both with us. We had some family back to the house after the party. And I've I'm usually pretty, pretty cool and calm and just go with the flow. And it got to be about six o'clock at night. And I was like, everybody's gotta go. I'm done today. And I remember crying to Michael at about 11 o'clock at night and just saying, I am so tired of being pregnant like now I'm 41 weeks pregnant. I just want this baby to come. I don't want to be pregnant anymore. So I guess Graham heard that because At 445 that morning, I woke up and I said, Oh, I'm in labor. Okay. And this time I actually had back labor. So I was a little uncomfortable. And I told Michael we had to drive to Lancaster but he had to put the birthing ball in the back fold down the seats of the back of her pickup truck, put the birthing ball back there because I couldn't sit still. So I made it to about New Jersey, sitting in the front seat and then I said, I have to move into the back. And I'm using all my HypnoBirthing techniques, we have our rainbow relaxation hypnobirthing, meditation playing. I'm just hoping Michael's not listening to it as he's driving because we don't need him specifically says I know on the audio do not play this while drive I said you can't listen but I need this right now. So think to yourself for the next three hours and got to New Jersey, so about an hour or so into our drive and I climbed into the back and I laid over the birthing ball so my arms are over the top of it and my belly is kind of hanging And with every surge, I just rolled my hips around because I could not sit still, there was just too much energy too much happening. And then I would go back into like this quiet, crouched over position. So there's a point in labor where you're like, this has to be done, right? Like it's has to be the end. And I had just gotten to that point. And I felt Michael pull, like slowly into something. I was like, Oh my gosh, he's pulling into the driveway. We are there. This is it. And all I can think of is the tub. The tub for my first birth, I just want to get in the tub. And I opened my eyes and I look out the front windshield and there's a huge sign in front of me that says tattoos. And if I could speak in that moment, I don't know what would have come out of my mouth. But I was really disappointed.

Why was he taking you to get a tattoo right then?

Great question. Okay. So apparently, a freight train was coming and wait. Thank goodness. So that would be a long delay, and was rerouting him. So he was just turning around to go around this freight train because we are in Amish country. And speaking of which it is Sunday morning.

So he totally prepared at any given moment to like, put the car in park, jump in the back and catch your baby. So the whole thing about delivering in the car, because I was born in a car, and you were just like, this might happen. Okay, you were just gonna catch the baby yourself in a car. Do you ever just keep going? I was very confident that was not going to happen. Like it never even crossed my mind. As I'm telling my parents that this is my birth plan to drive to Lancaster three and a half hours away. They were concerned that that would be a real possibility. And my thought was, it's not gonna happen. If it does. We'll be okay and like, absolute worst case. At that point. The fire department delivers a baby or they rush us to the hospital and But I really didn't think it was going to happen.

There is sometimes that feeling like I have myself, I have everything I need, like, I'm right here, my baby is right here. Wherever I go, I'm okay. We can sometimes be struck with these moments because that really is how we've given birth through history. Yes. And it's, it's the cultural adaptation of birth. It's like you need your plan, you can do this. And that's all wonderful. It makes it safer. And it makes it emotionally more relaxing for many women. But we do have these moments like, I've got everything I'm the baby's right here. I've got everything I need. I'm right here. So it sounds like you were having one of those moments and for people to even be asking you later What were you thinking? I'm almost guessing you you weren't thinking beyond that moment. You're You're were you very present was a very momentary we always just in the moment, and without worrying, like how far are we when are we gonna get? Were you just in the moment?

Yes. I mean, there was no besides that. moment when I felt this has to be over over at the tattoo place. What do you mean, this had to be over? I didn't follow that. It was just like, it might just be transition like, Oh, right. Yeah, in labor and like you, I'm in it for hours now a few hours. And it's just like, how much longer can this go on?

Like, did you mean like, I can't last much longer? Or did you mean like, I know this feeling and the baby's coming soon?

No, I think it was more of the first like, Okay, I'm done. I can't do this any longer. Which I? Of course, you can you do you do you do it as long as you need to.

But that is a sign of transition. The mind gives up before the body.

That is a sign of transition that says usually when a woman says can't do this anymore, you know, they're close.

And I remembered that from your class that had come up at some point, whether it was in a story or, and so as, as much as in that moment, you're thinking, I can't Do this I also realized like, the end is near. I will have that baby in my arms soon.

So you left the tattoo parlor, we left the tattoo parlor, and now apparently tattoo to talk to us no tattoos. Speaking of being in the moment, I am so unaware of what's going on and apparently Michael is in the front seat panicking because it is Sunday morning in Amish country, which means every horse and buggy is out on its way to church. And he can't pass any of these horses and buggies because it's hills and he can't see.

This is charming. The horse and buggy. No, they did it feel kind of magical and charming. I mean, it sounds that way. It didn't. I was shaking my head over that birth ball and I had no idea what was going on. Okay, this was all told to me. She's not taking in the scenery. No. No, there was no glancing at the window or doing her thing. staying focused. Yes. So we do Finally arrived at the birthing center. And I think, Tom, and we get there and they say there is a room down below that has a tub like right here, you'll walk in the door. But that room with the tub with the Jets is up this old, narrow, creaky staircase. And I said, I will take the tub right here and they said, No, no, you're gonna want those jets. I was like, No, I don't want to climb those stairs. And they somehow convinced me to climb the stairs on my hands and knees, made it up to the top and gotten that tub. Thank goodness and labored for about another hour, hour and a half maybe. And then I could tell I was trying to resist pushing because I didn't want his feet to come out before I was ready. And one of the midwives said No, it's okay. If you really feel the urge to push you can you can start. So it was only a few minutes of pushing and he was out with the exception of his head. So you know they were checking the cord and you everything was going fine. There was probably four midwives plus Michael there. And one of the midwives says to me, we want you to get into a runner's lunge. And in my head I was still in the tub in the tub. He's mostly delivered. At this point, they just needed his head like his chin to talk a little bit so his head could slip out and help somehow I threw a leg forward and gotten to this Runner's lunge and felt him come out and one of the midwives actually gave him a little nudge and he floated through my legs and I was able to receive Him, myself. he floated in the water through that's how I received my daughter the same way right into my arms. So he came out right to the water and you just took him in your arms and that's when you discovered you had a son. Yes.

Did that feel physically different from your first birth?

It truly didn't. My memory is released when history He came through. So as the the membranes and his feet were coming through it felt the same to me as it had when Sloan's head had been birthed.

So when his feet and body came through that was similar to the sensation of when Sloan's head came through, it wasn't like the head was comparable to the head. That's interesting. Yeah. And then when you birth his head, was that the most arduous moment of the birth.

They had talked to me about, like a franc birth versus a head down birth. And because like the baby's bottom is almost the same size as the head. That's why there's less concern. So by the time his head was coming through, it was it was nearly about slipping right now. But he came out first one leg, both feet at the same time, both feet at the same time venue. So he came out, basically straight.

Yes, like Sloan's head coming through and his feet came coming through. That was a little more intense part of the birth But once like that initial body part comes through the rest of it just kind of flowed easily. Yeah, like you can feel like that initial stretching that initial like, something's really happening here. And then it's like his feet were through and it's like, okay, the rest will be smooth sailing. So, again, like I wouldn't describe any of his birth is painful. It was intense. The back labor was definitely more uncomfortable than my labor with Sloane, but not not painful.

Do you ever fantasize about going back to that midwife who called you and said you have to stop eating? You could have a C section this afternoon. What would you say to her? What if she could hear this? Whether to be inspired or for you to say, look, I took my control back, whatever the underlying emotion driving you, what what do you just wish you could say to her What have you envisioned saying to her?

To be honest, I hadn't really haven't given that any thought.

I think I would love to go back and just not so much be like, look what I did or anything in that regard but maybe just Hey, you know what moms in that moment are in a really emotional overwhelmed, it's a scary scary place to be. And your reaction your demeanor, your vibe was was not helpful. It didn't serve me at all and there was no need for you to call me in that panic and, and send me into this flurry of emotions and stress when I was so pregnant and so, so
vulnerable, yes, vulnerable, thank you.

Everything in pregnancy and childbirth should be in terms of whether this is serving the mother you just hit the nail on the head. This isn't about right and wrong. Every woman would have chosen something unique for herself in the same situation. No one is right. No one is wrong. Everyone has to birth according to her own terms. But we who support those women, we always have to be asking ourselves, is what I'm doing? Or is what I'm saying serving her or is it not? And she herself has to say it. Are my thoughts serving me, is this decision serving me? Because there is no right and wrong, there is no good and bad. And you hit the nail on the head by saying, you know, you wish you could say to her, it just didn't serve me. So what could she have said that would have served you better.

I just think calling me with a different energy speaking to me in like if she had taken a breath before she got on the phone with me and she said, Hey, you are almost 40 weeks pregnant. This baby could come at any time. We know you want that natural birth. Come in. Let's see if we can Flip the baby. And we'll we'll take it from there, we'll see how the day goes, we'll be prepared, we'll be open to what happens. And if medical intervention is necessary, if we have to have a C section, we will do what is right for the baby. And for you to make sure everyone comes out of this healthy. But let's give it a shot. And let's not take too much time to make a decision. with you being so close to the end of this pregnancy.

We should never be made to feel that we're without choice. Yeah. And that sounds like what you're saying is what it would have been the difference if she had just presented it as though there were choice.

Yes, yes. And because even saying it as I just did, there's not really an option there. She's telling me to come in and have this done. But I wouldn't have felt like I was doing a disservice to my baby. If I didn't come in that minute. If I didn't put down that bite of pizza that I had in my hand. You clearly weren't there. Clearly we're not feeling that mean you had a very, very different feeling. Unfortunately. Unfortunately, this system of how we do birth in this country doesn't support a choice all the time. It's just, you wouldn't have been able that midwife was feeling the pressure of the system. And she didn't feel she had choices. She felt I have no choice but to get you in here and ensure that this baby comes out in the safest healthiest way into her and into that hospital into that practice. So Syrian delivery is the safest way. She's not trained to do breech birth. Probably none of the doctors in the hospital where she's working are trained to do breech birth. So she didn't feel she had a choice. She felt she was keeping you and your baby as safe as possible. That's not the right thing, necessarily. That's just how the system of maternity care is. And this is why what we talked about on this podcast is so important because you do as the woman have choice and you had to work a great deal and tap into all your resources and you had Have an unbelievable amount of trust in yourself and your body. I mean, it blows me away.

What made you want to come in and share your story today?

Oh, well, I think Trisha has pointed it's that you have options. And we so often here the culture is to just have your doctor trust your doctor and whatever they say goes. And I'm not saying don't trust your doctor, but I'm saying do your research, do your homework, talk to people find out what's available to you. And, you know, at the end of Cynthia HypnoBirthing classes every, every week, she would hand out a little affirmation, and one that I happen to get with my first pregnancy was trust your body, trust your baby, and it has been on my mirror in my bedroom for the last four years. And that was my mantra as soon as I found out Graham was breech. It became I trust my body. I trust my baby. And I said that to myself over and over and over and I truly believed it. Trust your body, trust your baby, do your research and then make the choice that's right for you follow your heart. You know, my choice to drive to Lancaster and have this baby naturally isn't the right choice for everyone and that's totally okay. But truth be told, it's not even the choice that a lot of the research would have supported. You are an example of a woman who had an unbelievable amount of trust in herself and followed it.

It's my choice to drive to Lancaster in labor and have a natural breech. birth is not the right choice for everyone. And that's okay. You have to do your research, feel what's right in your heart, trust your gut a little bit and make the choice that's right for you. You are never without a choice.

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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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