JACK ANTHONY CHRISTENSEN – OUR LITTLE BREECH BABY
At 28 weeks we discovered Jack was in a Frank Breech position. In the weeks to follow, we tried to turn him via ECV and numerous other methods, without success. We were advised by one obstetrician our only choice was to birth via c-section and were booked in for 39 weeks. All we wanted was the option to trial a vaginal delivery. Finally we obtained permission to proceed with a trial from the wonderful Professor Jones.
Our beautiful son was born bottom first on August 25th, 2011 3.2kg (7.2lb). I went into early labour from around midday August 24th, at 40.5 weeks. We went to the hospital around 1am, and spent some time monitoring Jack’s heart rate etc. As I was only 1cm dilated, it was decided I should go home to rest (the nurse gave me a sleeping tablet to assist the sleep). By 5am I was well on the way, so back to the hospital we went, with me having contractions every few minutes (Christian copped a speeding fine which we later got out of, thank you Mr Policeman.)
I was admitted to the Birth Suite – no longer allowed to birth at the Birth Centre as I was now considered as high risk. I spent hours in the shower, over a fit ball. My memory is sketchy on progression from here. I did beg for some better pain relief a number of times, however I was progressing so fast, nand my midwife Karen knew I wanted minimal intervention, so she kept me on track. I lay down for a while on the bed, and spent some time on a bean bag. The pressure was so great at this point that I was worried Jack would fall out! It was quite unnerving changing positions, and I was certainly not ready to push!
The rest of the birth was spent standing, leaning over the bed with my Mum and Christian supporting me from the other side, holding each hand. Photos of my dog and my Nanna’s Rosary beads kept me focused.
I figured I was getting closer when more people started to enter the room. (This was distracting, though apparently my contractions had really slowed down). Professor Jones appeared and also gave me some words of encouragement. The gas was taken away from me when they needed me to push, so I could concentrate better. After almost an hour of pushing, a bottom appeared, the legs then flopping down. I remember watching the machine monitoring Jack’s heart rate, reminding myself that it is absolutely crucial that we get his little head out now, and to stay focused. After what seemed like an eternity, his head appeared.
I always thought I would be too shy to chant or sound out “ooo” during labour, but it certainly worked, helping me to release some pain.
I had tears of surprise when Karen advised there wasn’t any tearing. Eventually we left the Birth Suite, and Karen allowed us to spend the night in one of the beautiful Birth Centre rooms (they were empty at this stage, and was where I had wanted to birth). Day two was not fun, as the Pediatrician thought Jack had a bowel obstruction, and he ended up having every test under the sun, when in fact there was nothing wrong with him and all we wanted was to go home. I was up and walking around, slowly but fine. We went home later that day.
The continual phone support from the Birth Centre for several weeks after was fantastic and we never felt alone. We cannot thank Karen Hollindale enough for her brilliant support prior to and during labour. Without her guidance we would be without the magical memory and sense of achievement we experienced, birthing our Jack, NATURALLY, as we wished. Women of Karen’s calibre and all the Birth Centre midwives are truly a credit to the RBWH.
A sincere thank you from Katie, Christian and Jack Anthony