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Jasey's Story

Addis Vicente Ariza 02/20/21


My unexpected breech baby! 


My little guy flipped last minute without us noticing until I was laboring in a birthing tub in my living room. I woke up at 9 a.m with consistent and very close contractions already. I labored peacefully under the care of my wonderful midwives, Shauna and Mischa, and my partner until about 3:30 when I finally felt the urge to push. After several extremely painful and intense pushes I inserted a finger to check my progress and feel his head. What I felt instead was his foot! Followed by his testicles! I knew the dangers of breech birth and I almost panicked. But the other options would’ve landed me in emergency surgery with its own potential for complications, or giving birth in an ambulance under the care of EMTs who likely don’t have experience delivering breech babies, since few people do these days.


With the assurance and unwavering support of Shauna, I stuck it out, and pushed for almost two more hours (I think, time wasn’t real anymore). My midwives monitored his heart rate the entire time and it was perfect. It never became unstable and I tried to remain calm in between pushes that had me screaming like an animal. I was so scared and so determined. I was in another world and entirely present at the same time. He came down with his foot and testicles coming out first, cross-legged, and I had to give it my all. I got into a squat in the tub and gave every last bit of energy I had for three more pushes and out he came. He was calm, he cried and he opened his eyes and he changed my entire world in an instant. The pain didn’t disappear but my attention to it did because I had my baby. His little swollen and bruised foot and testicles are becoming pink again, and he is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Even though the birth didn’t go exactly how I’d imagined, I am so proud of myself and so grateful for the experience.

*Midwife's note: When Jasey's baby was discovered to be in a complete breech presentation during her pushing phase, she was given informed choice including the risks, benefits, and alternatives for a homebirth of her breech baby.  I also informed her of my experience and training in supporting physiologic breech birth, as well as my opinion that her birth was unfolding smoothly and my belief in her ability to birth her baby.  Her baby was born gently, into the water and her hands, without any need for assistance in being born or breathing afterwards. 

While it is more thorough of an informed choice process to discuss breech birth as an option before labor, Jasey expressed gratitude that she hadn't known until the birth was imminent.

PS. Jasey recently birthed twins at home...I teased her about her extravagance.

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