The Breech Birth of Baby Olivia

The Mother Hood birth stories have been lovingly shared by mums.
In their own words, they have told the story and experience of their child's birth. 
Please read and respond with respect and love.

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Parents: Blake & Kelly Bowen

Baby's name:  Olivia Maree Bowen

Baby's date of birth: 16th November 2012

Where do you live? 
Whangarei

Where did you plan to give birth?
Whangarei Hospital

Where did you actually give birth?
Whangarei hospital

Tell us about your pregnancy
I am not maternal in any way, shape or form but I always dreamed of having children. I got married and decided to try for a baby.  Little did I know that I was one of the super lucky people that would fall instantly. This was a good thing but also a “not so good” thing – as it was a big shock to us both! 

I had people around me before I decided to try that were struggling to fall pregnant and who were having trouble with miscarriage – so I guess curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to ensure that I could carry.

Seven weeks in I started to bleed over Easter weekend & prepared myself for the worst.  I spoke with my midwife (the amazing Maree Morgan!) and she was just totally honest….it could go either way and we would just need to wait and see. I had blood tests on the Tuesday and my HCG levels were through the roof – things were looking good! By this time I also had my head permanently down the toilet or in a bucket….I was SO SICK! 

From here I just cruised along as best I could and embraced pregnancy (in all its glory – haha!) Up until around 28 weeks when I had another big bleed after work one night. I was admitted to hospital and there was no real discovery as to what had happened, scans were had and a multitude of tests but nothing came of it.
It was just one of those things….off I went back home and back to work and life carried on.

Fast forward to 35 weeks and my husband and I were lying in bed laughing at possible “tragic names” we could give our daughter and I rolled over to go to sleep and literally “POP” went my waters……

No pain, nothing really ….just a constant stream of water flowing ….I called my midwife – as a first time mum you can’t really prepare yourself for what’s going to happen…she took me through a series of questions and told me to pop myself back to bed and try and get some sleep …I was like “whaaaaaat??” 

But my waters have broken... I’m going to have my baby now…. little did I know this wasn’t the case – haha.

After all the excitement and ringing my mum to let her know my waters had broken I popped myself back to bed to sleep.

What happened when you went into labour?

The pain woke me at about 2 or 3 am …it was just like a bad period pain ..but it came and went.

I worked through it on my own in bed, then ran a warm bath and lay in there for quite some time as it took the edge off the pain, then walked around the house and eventually it was a “reasonable time of morning” and I could call my mum and my midwife. Maree talked me through some more questions and could tell by my voice how far apart the contractions were and determined it was time to pack up and head to the hospital. I didn’t have a bag packed, I wasn’t ready at all – it was really hard to think in so much pain ….in hindsight – I should have done it the night before (hindsight is a great thing).

Tell us about your labour and how it progressed
I arrived at the hospital at about 7 am

It was such a relief to see Maree waiting for me when I arrived. She is the most incredible midwife – I was so nervous as I was 5 weeks early and had no idea how things were going to progress from here…or what would happen when.

Maree got me changed into a gown and told me to head around the ward for a walk ….A WALK??? 

Ummmmm ….no!! I was in “labour” and I was terrified my baby might fall out on the floor or my waters might explode more while I was in the hallway.  No way was I walking around the ward (I knew it all of course) so we hung in my room (this was in the old maternity ward so the rooms were pretty average) After I had got changed and settled down, Maree performed her examination to see how far dilated I was. I think for a first time mum this is the scariest part. You have been prepared within your antenatal classes that until you are 3cm labour hasn’t “started” and you may be sent home.  I was TERRIFIED she was going to say I hadn’t dilated enough and I was going to have to wait it out.

It was my lucky day – I was 3cm & in active labour – YAAAAAAY!!

As baby was pre-term I was put on a monitor to keep an eye on baby’s heart.  I HATED This, the tight elastic around my tummy was horrible & made me feel sick, also I couldn’t roll over as the monitor stopped (there are notes all over my birth notes which elude to the fact I constantly removed the monitor or rolled over anyway). 

This also put an end to wanting a water birth as I couldn’t be in the water with the monitors on.

As the contractions got stronger I started to feel more and more sick….like super nauseous (I’m no good with pain) and I also have a fear of vomiting. Maree organised an injection to help with this and it made a huge difference to how I was feeling and then the waiting game began ….it wasn’t much fun!

 At about 930 I had another examination ….about 5 cm …..keep going Kelly – you are doing well….I, once again, ask Blake to turn down the air conditioning down (they kept turning it up every time they came in – little did I know that this was because they were preparing for a preterm baby and it NEEDED to be warm.
We waited again, watching the world go by outside.

I decide at this point that I want my mum in the room too – but she is at work an hour away.  I had originally only wanted Blake with me.  Blake makes the call to dad to speak with mum….you really can’t plan for what you want on the day – you have to roll with it.

11.00am  I start to get the urge like I want to push …Maree does another examination – I’m 10 cm – WAHOOOOOOOO!!!! And so it begins…….

After a fair amount of time (it’s about 12 pm now) things aren’t progressing & Maree isn’t sure of the baby’s presentation. They bring in a portable ultrasound to have a look….and discover that she is breech….from there on it was all a blur for a very long time.

At this point I was beside myself, crying for pain relief, begging for an epidural, cannot do it any longer, can’t they just cut my baby out, I’m tired.

 I can remember at one point the room being flooded with people, we had a paediatrician, 2 obstetricians, my midwife, the head midwife and another 2 hospital midwives…they were all talking between themselves and I can just remember having no idea what was going on – I have this image of Blake sitting up by my head with his head in his hands. Eventually, Maree came to let us know what was happening…this is what I can remember….

 My baby was breech, she was presenting bum first.

I couldn’t go to the theatre as there wasn’t one available & this baby was on her way & there was no stopping her.

My labour was now out of Maree’s hands and I was in secondary care

I couldn’t have an epidural as it was too late

I needed to listen to the instructions given and believe in my body and I would have a baby very soon.

 In came the Obstetrician that was going to deliver my girl, he saved my life…he saved our lives.

 He looked like he was about 90 years old…if anybody had the experience to save us he did.

He looked me in the eyes and he told me he was going to need to carry out an episiotomy to help the baby come out as she was folded in half and that when he told me to push, that I needed to push like I’d never pushed before and trust him.

If I did as he said – I would have my baby very soon….and I did.

I pushed so hard that when I closed my eyes the black turned white and I was seeing stars….Blake and Maree were both up beside me and I was squeezing their hands as hard as I could.

2 more…..and her bum was out ….then legs….

They, at this point,  realised that she had the cord wrapped around her neck 3 times….they removed this slickly and I didn’t know about it at all.

Lastly, they used the forceps to ease her head out…and she was here, earthside……..my beautiful baby girl ……and then gone……

As she was pre-term, and due to her tough delivery – the took her away and I can just remember seeing them all talking and whispering around the incubator in my room…I was feeling so euphoric after being in so much pain and then it all going away…you could almost say it was a state of delirium.

What I didn’t realise, was that I was bleeding ….very heavily …and they needed to work to remove my placenta (Damn…..just when I thought it was all over!!) …long story short – whilst attempting to remove it (after I had been on a drip for about 30 minutes) the obstetrician snapped the cord and I was going to have to go to theatre to have it surgically removed……can you believe my luck?!

I managed to naturally birth the most amazing little girl who was breech…and now I needed to go to theatre to have the placenta removed?! So I was going to have the battle scar of the Episiotomy AND another scar from the placenta.

While they were fluffing around discussing it I had the urge to push and BOOM.. out it came 

(I wouldn’t recommend doing this as it put them into a frantic fit that part of it might have been left behind but I was over it…and not going to theatre as far as I was concerned).

At the same time my little girl was handed to me and we finally got some time together and she latched for her first feed….we were both exhausted but I was super happy to have my baby finally and to be told she could stay out of SCBU so long as I kept her well fed and kept her temperature up!

At this time my mum finally arrived too… such happy memories

Did you go to the hospital or stay at home?
I stayed in the hospital for 3 days – didn’t enjoy it but I needed to ….

Share your birth experience.
It’s something you can’t describe until it happens. You also cannot prepare for it either.

What things would you do the same?
I wouldn’t change anything – it’s all part of the experience and it’s grown me as a person.

What advice would you give to other mums?
Go with the flow and remember you are designed to do what you are doing and your body knows what to do. Trust in your midwife and professionals.

When you have contractions don’t fight them, the more you relax the easier it is for your body to do what it needs to do. 

Don’t try to be a hero. 

Ask for help. 

If people offer help – TAKE HELP!!

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