CAM Birth Story #12: Poppy's Breech Birth (Dad's Perspective)

In honor of Cesarean Awareness Month 2010, we will be filling the blogosphere with stories from real women (and their families) who know first-hand the consequences of a 32% cesarean rate. Each day we will post at least one birth story submitted by these women. Prepare to be moved (hint: grab a box of Kleenex)!

This morning, we posted Poppy’s Mom’s version. Here’s what Dad has to say about her birth:

So Tuesday morning, Julie wakes me with “I think my water broke”. We looked and it was the case. Now, being over three weeks before the due date, we weren’t quite ready. So we all ran around the house packing bags and preparing. An hour later the four of us piled into the car and went to Julie’s OB.

Once there, Julie is examined and her midwife says, “I don’t think that’s a head.” We check and yep, the baby has settled in breech position. Our options are to have an immediate C-section or to drive across town to the one doctor in Atlanta who does inversions and breech births. Back into the car we go at a trot. We drop off the kids with our excellent friend Jody because stuff is about to get REAL.

So we drive over to Dr. Tate, an older OB, Orthodox Jewish as they come, an odd bird at that. I like him right away. We talk to him for a bit and ask (kind of beg) him to take us on. He acquiesces, somewhat (understandably) grudgingly. From here, it’s the hospital with a short detour to pickup Julie’s mom and sister (just arrived) and grab a bite to eat. Julie has a big bowl of mushroom soup – it’s the last food she’ll eat for 28 hours.

We arrive at the (new) hospital and check in. We get a room and hang out for a bit. And then a bit longer. And a bit longer. After a few hours hanging out, Julie calling all her local mamas for support, me trying to be helpful, Dr. Tate comes in and checks up. Julie is not far along in labor, not progressing much at all. We talk options and decide to wait a bit longer. He heads out and I take Julie’s sister Samantha to her car. This is so she can pick up the boys from Jody’s and take them home. Julie figures that her boys not being home is making her worry, thus preventing labor from starting. I come back and a long night starts.

I won’t go into the details too much. Suffice to say that after a few minor interventions (Cytotec(!) and Pitocin, no pain killers) and a brief meconium scare, we arrive at 9:00 in the morning. Julie’s contractions have gotten tighter but she’s “not quite there yet”. Then she get the urge to push and everything happens really fast. The baby goes from “not quite there” to “about to come, fo’ realz” in no time flat. Doc T does not want to deliver breech in the labor room – we need to transfer to an OR, stat! but the baby is coming fast. What to do?

Did you ever see Terminator 2? That scene where the robot is on the hood of the car as it careens madly down the highway? That is what happens next, as Julie is wheeled into the OR, with Doc T kneeling on the end of the bed literally holding the baby in, yarmulke flapping in the breeze. This guy is a hero.

We all arrive in the OR (me newly be-scrubbed), and out pops Poppy, bottom first. Julie then has to deliver the head which takes a second. Poppy is pulled over to a table and is worked on by a NICU team. She then has to go off to the NICU and I, after checking that Julie is OK, follow.

Again, the details are tedious and I won’t go into them. Leave it that Poppy turns out OK. She has just been delivered to our room after a full day in the NICU and we are a family of three. Tomorrow we upgrade to a family of five, as we get to go home around midday. And so, a new adventure begins.

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