I was asked to write my story, but I must preface, that it is just that: MY story. We are all different, our bodies are different, and G-d’s plan for us is different. So, this is about what happened to me, and as for you, you need to make the best decisions that you and your care provider can make. And then you need to pray.
I had my first daughter when I was 21 years old. I proceeded to have 4 more daughters, the youngest was born in the summer of 2012. Before my first child, I had an early miscarriage, which was caused by the contraction of CMV, a cousin of Mononucleosis. Between numbers 4 and 5, I had a miscarriage in my second trimester, which unbeknownst to me had really happened at 11 weeks. Pregnancy is not easy, but it is awesome, and with whatever difficulties I may have had, I consider them to have been strong, healthy, and immensely fortunate pregnancies.
When my youngest was 17 months old, I found out I was pregnant with twins. Surprise?! These would be the kids closest in age to each other, and there would be 3 of them in total. I have tried almost every form of birth control, but they have each caused me a lot of difficulty, but that is for another story. Maybe later. For now, where was I? Oh right: TWINS..... I had a great twins pregnancy. I carried my weight all in front (HOORAY!), I was on my feet until the end, and I didn’t seem to be headed toward an early delivery like so many multiples pregnancies do. The only issue was that toward the end, both of my babies presented in a breech position. For those of you unaware, as I was, if Baby A is breech, it is preferable for Baby B to be too, in order to attempt a vaginal delivery, so that the babies’ chins do not lock. We did not tell people we were having twins so I received a lot of advice on turning the “baby” around. We tried a website that gave us ideas, but that turned out not to be an option for multiples and it was a bad idea. A very bad idea. I wish they would’ve mentioned that. An aversion is also not an option for twins, though I can’t say I was sad about that. It doesn’t sound like fun.
I had 5 vaginal deliveries, all uncomplicated with minimal pushing. I personally am a fan of the epidural, or should I say I’m a fan of the least amount of pain necessary, and had one for each of my deliveries. I don’t desire a home birth; I don’t use an exercise ball, a
bathtub, or even different positions during my labors. I’m happiest in the hospital, on a bed, with a professional MD that I am familiar with. I’ve never hired a doula or a midwife nor have I used breathing techniques. Again, MY story.
So, I spent my whole pregnancy hoping and praying that I would not need a C-section and yet Baby A would not switch to a vertex (head down) position. He was exerting his stubbornness right from the beginning. I had had 3/5 of my babies with my doctor, Jay
Goldberg in Beverly Hills, CA, and prenatal care with him for the 4th (one was born before we lived in California, and he was out of town for another). On one of my visits, I expressed my distress at needing to have a C-section for what was probably my final
hurrah. He mentioned that it was not necessarily the case. He said that I was a special case, with multiple uncomplicated vaginal deliveries and he didn’t see why we couldn’t try for another.
In other words, he felt I was stretched out enough to squeeze them out feet down. “Tell me how you really feel Doc!”
To be clear, while he had delivered multiple Baby Bs that were breech, he had never delivered an initial baby that was breech. He called a specialist, who is also our friend, that I was seeing, who recommended against it. Yet he trudged on. He proceeded to research the possibility and he got the hospital, its staff, and his partners on board (Go Cedars!). Of course, this was all just a consideration, not a “sure thing”, and it came with the understanding that if anything went awry, a C-section would be an immediate backup plan. But isn’t that always so? When I was 37 weeks, Dr. Goldberg went on vacation for 5 days; however, all of the doctors in his practice agreed to step in and try for a vaginal delivery should they be called upon. He even got two doctors, from rival practices, with more breech experience than he, to agree to assist. The man gave me my money’s worth. Literally.
Here’s the thing. There’s something to not having to make decisions. If the hospital had not given me a choice, I would not have felt the burden or responsibility if things went wrong. But alas, Dr. Goldberg did a good job persuading everyone and I did get the choice. As I approached 38 weeks, we scheduled an induction, because if we were going to try it, we needed as controlled an environment as we possibly could have. Boy did the naysayers come out of the woodwork. My friends, family and many medical professionals advised against it. I was scared to death of making a decision that would effect myself and my family forever. I called a former doctor of mine, from a foreign country, who has a tremendous amount of experience with breech deliveries and he said he wouldn’t do it. I did call a woman who had delivered her own breech twins, by herself, in her home, but I’m not that kind of risk taker, and I didn’t receive much comfort from that. My husband, was incredibly supportive, as always, and was willing to stand behind any decision I made, which was kind but not that helpful. Like I said, with decisions, comes responsibility. I was told the repercussions of a failed attempt could mean death or permanent damage to one or both babies. Again, isn’t that always the case? It was tough, and I got little sleep as I neared the end.
But, we stuck with the plan. I was induced at 38 and 2. My babies were so high up that it took a lot of work by all of those involved to get them down and out. When A kept presenting footling, and not butt first, Dr. Goldberg said we may have to change course, but then he pushed A’s foot back in and managed to get him to rotate a bit. There were 27 people in the operating room, not including my husband and myself. My dignity was nowhere to be found. I was an experiment, the star of a very stressful, very scary performance; I was famous. Not the kind you dream about when you’re little though. It was rough. We had two long sessions of pushing, one to maneuver A’s safe trip down, another to get him out. The team was supportive, the Dr. had others assisting, and the nurses were cheerleaders. It was way more painful than I had imagined, and that was with an epidural. In all honesty, at one point I asked if they could just open me up and get it over with. Many a pleading made in labor.... But A came out butt first. He was born healthy and safe. As soon as he got out of the way, B made a quick turnaround and was delivered head down, like his sisters before him. I had twin boys They were healthy and BIG (6’13 and 5’7), and they were here. Oh, and did I mention that I was completely intact? No stitches and no tearing. Phew, that was a close one.
So that’s my story. Would I be asked to write about it if things went wrong? I don’t think so. But they didn’t. Thank G-d! They went perfectly. They continue to go stunningly and we feel blessed. We have a beautiful family, a doctor we still adore, and we manage to get sleep with the aid of our wonderful baby nurse. Do I advise women with breech presentation to have vaginal deliveries? No. It’s enough pressure to be responsible for my own 9 person family!! What I can express, is that everyone has their own case, and there is no hard fast rule for any of us. Do your research, talk to a competent medical professional that you are comfortable with, and don’t forget to pray. If after all of this, you still want to talk, ask the webmaster to send me your contact info. I’ll help in any way I can.