Halloween is a night meant for tricks and treats, costumes and fun. One baby had a trick up her sleeve that surprised everyone, including her mom.
I was enjoying a dinner party with friends Halloween night when the doula called and said things were getting intense and that I needed to come right away. I rushed up to Eagle Mountain from Provo praying that I wouldn’t get pulled over, or worse, miss the birth. Luck was on my side because neither happened.
I ran upstairs to where my client Abby laid laboring quietly on a mattress on the floor. Earbuds in listening to whatever music was helping her through the contractions, she worked through each one gripping her husband’s hand. Dani, my dear friend and her doula, was hard at work giving counter pressure and applying a TENS unit to Abby’s back.
With each contraction I saw the physical evidence of the incredible work her body was doing. Abby laid on her stomach sideways the whole time while she felt the waves come and go of each contraction. Meanwhile, the midwife Bryanna Lee, Tooele Midwifery, was racing to the birth too. We were hoping and praying she would get there soon because baby had started to crown. Abby had been pushing so quietly and gently!
Finally, Bryanna arrived and set up her equipment, but also sat back and watched patiently as Abby’s husband was guiding the baby out. Then we realized what looked like the head wasn’t actually the head. It was a baby bum! Dani looked at me and her face reflected how I felt: shock and awe. The sack was still incased around the baby and you could see the meconium had settled at the bottom of the sack. Bryanna took over and finished guiding baby out gently the way she was trained to do for breech babies. We all held our breath as Abby gently breathed her baby out, unknowing that it wasn’t a typical birth.
Finally baby was born, but needed some help breathing. Fortunately, she began to breath on her own quickly and Bryanna put her in Abby’s arms. Abby laid down, cuddling with her new baby, relief and exhausted. It was a quick birth- just over an hour long! The baby was perfect and Abby had no complications from the birth – no tearing or extra bleeding.
Abby’s mom and mother in law were both there (in fact, they were watching my 4 month old baby for me- bless them!) so they took turns coming up to meet their newest grandchild! And because baby was born right before bedtime, Abby had her two older children come and meet the baby. They were fascinated by everything and Bryanna was awesome and took the time to explain things for them and just like kids, they said the darnedest things about the placenta and blood.
No one was more surprised than Abby that her baby had turned at the last minute and we all were so amazed at her birthing a breech baby! That was a first for most of us – because watching it on “Call the Midwife” doesn’t count!