We hope all of our readers are enjoying a magical holiday season! In the spirit of the saeason, today’s Birth Story is a precious home birth from contributor, Megan Watier who took childbirth classes with Birth Boot Camp Instructor, Cheryl Amelang in Katy, TX.
Welcome, Holiday Baby!
“Your baby is breech.” Tears streamed down my face at 37 weeks pregnant. We asked the midwives to give us one week to do what we do (my husband and I are both chiropractors) before we attempted an ECV (external cephalic version: a procedure used to turn a fetus from a breech position or side-lying (transverse) position into a head-down (vertex) position before labor begins. When successful, version makes it possible for you to try a vaginal birth.). We went home and started every exercise of spinning babies, chiropractic, inversion tables, baths, peppermint oil, acupuncture, moxibustion, prayer, hypnosis, you name it… we tried it.
At 38 weeks the ultrasound confirmed that baby was still breech. Our midwives informed us that they do not deliver first time mom’s with breech babies, especially a home birth. They referred us into the medical center to a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) doctor that was known for vaginal breech deliveries and ECV’s. On a Thursday we met with this amazing doctor to see if I was a candidate and sure enough, I was! We decided not to schedule an ECV with him at that moment so we could go home and pray about it. Our hearts were telling us to do the ECV with the midwives. The procedure was scheduled with them that upcoming Saturday. That morning we were getting ready when our midwife called saying, “We are being called to a birth, I am so sorry but we need to cancel the procedure.” My husband and I were absolutely devastated. In that moment we decided to contact the MFM’s office just to see when his next available was. We spoke with the doctor himself and he asked, “Have you had anything to eat today?” and “Can you be at the hospital by 2pm to perform the ECV?”
We arrived at the hospital at 1:30 to fill out paperwork and wait. And wait. We were taken to a very cozy room where they put the fetal heart monitor on, and the strap to monitor contractions. The nurse said that the first time in the sixteen years she’s been in her profession this was only the second time she will be seeing a woman do this procedure without an epidural. Comforting, right?
The ECV took approximately ten minutes with the assistance of my midwife and the MFM. Painful? Definitely. Worth it? Absolutely. My sweet baby was officially vertex at 38 weeks + 4 days. We stayed at the hospital for another four hours for monitoring and then we were discharged. Hallelujah! Every day after that I watched my posture, got adjusted, did lots of walking and squats.
Friday, December 16th we decided to have a final date night with our due date looming near (12/20/16). During the movie I was having strong Braxton-Hicks that were taking my breath away and I thought, “Dang, is this it?!” We went home and put up our Christmas lights in hope of pushing me into labor. Nothing.
Saturday, December 17th. Started having off/on strong Braxton-Hicks again so that evening I took a warm bath which halted all contractions.
Sunday, December 18th. I decided to keep busy and go to Michaels for some holiday projects to keep my mind preoccupied. I lost my mucus plug! Took another warm bath that night and it halted all contractions.
Monday, December 19th. Decided to keep my office open for normal business hours and that morning I saw blood with some more mucus! YES! My midwife had informed me that blood meant within 48 hours. But alas, no contractions with a warm bath that evening.
Tuesday, December 20th. DUE DATE DAY! I woke up around 2am with contractions. I thought “Oh dang, these are the real deal.” I got out of bed and had to breathe through a few of them so I started timing. After a few I decided that sleep was more important (if i could fall back asleep) and thankfully was able to. Woke up a few hours later to no contractions so decided to go about my day. My good friend (and birth photographer) came over around noon with Americano’s and the idea of going for a brisk walk. It was a gorgeous December day and it was probably 50 or so degrees, pretty typical for Houston. All of a sudden the contractions started (not sure how far apart they were) and they were lasting about a minute. Our four mile walk (yeah, four miles…) made us ridiculously hungry so Torchy’s Tacos was the obvious choice. On a normal Tuesday I would start seeing patients around 3pm so I figured we could have lunch and then I could go to the office. Well, my contractions were every 7-8 minutes apart on our way to lunch so in the back of my head I already knew today was not an office day. So basically, I was laboring at the Torchy’s bar. I swung by the office afterwards, called all my patients to let them know I wouldn’t be in today and went home.
During this time I was in contact with my midwife and doula. On my way home (I think around 5ish) my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart. My incredible doula arrived around 6-630ish pm and she started getting the living room ready with the birthing tub and air mattress (with the help of my sweet husband). Time seemed to fly by. My custom labor playlist playing, “Holiday Joy” doTerra oil diffusing, laboring on the floor with my pups, husband holding my hand and encouraging me through the tough moments… This was my perfect labor.
I didn’t want internal exams but my midwife recommended we check before I got into the birthing tub to ensure I was far enough along. I was 5-6cm, YES! I hopped into that warm tub of bliss. After a few more hours I was almost complete with just a small anterior lip of the cervix. We tried having me push while the midwife held the lip, we did inversions off the couch, and finally it was gone! Being out of the tub already I just crawled up on the air mattress in the living room and set up camp. After two hours of pushing my sweet baby entered this world at 4:16am on December 21st, 2016. I never imagined giving birth on my back but it was the best for the both of us at that time. I had always dreamed of a water birth, but that’s not worked for us. My baby girl was beautiful, and perfect. 7lbs 15oz, 20.5”.
God had one heck of an amazing birth story planned for my baby girl. Looking back at our 37 week appointment I was so angry and frustrated that I was a pediatric and pregnancy chiropractor that helped women weekly turn their breech babies. Now I, “the expert”, was the one struggling with this. God knew we could handle everything He had planned for us and we are so blessed and grateful to be able to share our journey with other parents.
At Birth Boot Camp, we believe couples CAN have amazing birth experiences! While birth can be unpredictable in many ways, it can be an even more empowering and fulfilling experience when parents are equipped with the tools and information to make decisions that are right for THEM. You can find a childbirth educator in your are HERE or take one of our online classes HERE.