When Anet found out her baby was in a breech position at the 36th week scan, she and husband Givi thought that the breech part of it was a mistake, something they misheard. But when a second scan confirmed it, Anet was determined to enjoy it all the way. “ I wanted it to be unique, something different” she says. “And I decided to trust my midwives and my body and thought that if the baby was comfortable, and healthy, there is no need for me to get in the way of what was going to happen.” Secretly, there was small part of her that was actually happy – “I wanted to have a unique experience, to have special experience with my second baby”, she says.
Anet and Givi had their first baby at Birthvillage four years ago. They came for a water birth and had a wonderful and peaceful birth. This time around, her breech baby decided to give her a new experience. “When I heard the words C-Sec from other places, it used to get me a bit upset. Just because the baby was in breech position. I decided that if Donna and Priyanka – my midwives were confident about doing this, I would definitely explore further. When I asked them, they said they were confident – and their main issue was that both husband and wife needed to be on board with this kind of birth. Once we were all on the same page, they went through every single piece of information about breech birth with me – all te possibilities were explained. This gave me a lot of confidence.”
Anet watched a lot fo breech birth videos online. “ I saw many different ones – women having a vaginal breech birth. Also, in my family and my husband’s many of them were breech births, so I revisited those tories also. All those breech babies were born healthy. So I didn’t see a reason to have fear about this one.”
“I think another reason why I didn’t have fear, was that I had a lot of people praying for me. I had a deep faith that I could do this. And my only desire was that I didn’t want to be at any other place other than Birthvillage to have this baby. I followed my diet with no compromise.”
When it came time for birth, Anet’s experience was indeed very different from the first one. “My first baby was an easy, water birth. The baby came out within one hour of being in the water. But this time around, I had a slight pain on and off for 3-4 days. I waited for the contractions to set in, but the next day I had a hip and thigh ache, but still no contractions. And then, at night, I felt the baby kick and at the same time my water broke. In half an hour I was having contractions that were 9 minutes apart. But they were not really that intense. Two hours later, contractions were 5 minutes apart, but still they were quite bearable for me. By around 11 that night the contractions got more intense.”
“When I got to Birthvillage, my midwives were there to fully support me, and they clearly told me not to push till I was 10cm dilated, since it was a breech birth. When I got to that stage, I was on my hands and knees position. Finally, when the mucus plug came out, I was relieved and happy that some kind of progress was being made. When the baby was coming out, I had to push very long, intense deep pushes….this really tests the strength of your lungs. In every gap between the contractions, I prayed and then went into the next one. After several of these pushes, the baby’s bum emerged, then the legs came down, then the chest. There was a very strange feeling, a few moments when the baby’s entire body was out, but head was still inside me. It was a strange feeling. But at this point, I actually felt like not pushing. Just before this, I was pushing naturally every 10 seconds, but at this stage it was a little longer interval before the urge to push came again. Then with the next push, the head also came out. My midwives were almost completely hands-off for this birth. They were right there with me every step of the way, but the only actual physical contact that was needed was when one of them did a gently touch at the baby’s hand to come out of my body, just before the last push brought the head out. I got the baby immediately for skin-to-skin, and surprisingly, I had no tears that needed any stitches. It was a very, very different experience from my first one, but I am so glad I chose to have it this way!”
“The reason I didn’t have any fears about going ahead with this was mainly because we know the whole team from our first birth there. Every time we met them, it is clear – you get a clear vibe that they know what they are doing. And I know that they are straightforward – if they can do it only will they take it on, and if it’s not possible, they clearly tell you that also. So I had complete trust in them and their expertise and their confidence. Two of my sisters are breech babies, so this was not a very strange thing in our family too. I feel that in the institutions everyone is following a que, and whatever the person in front has chosen, the next person in line also chooses. I was sure that this was not how I wanted to approach this birth. Also, Anet had such a deep and powerful willpower that I really did not have to do anything but totally back her up. Even when we crossed the 40th week, I asked her – what do you want to do. And she very clearly said to me – I want a natural birth, and I want to be at Birthvillage. “
“A a father witnessing this breech, I have to say that it was more than double the effort that I saw Ant having during the first water birth. That was a relatively easy and peaceful one. This was longer, and more intense, but she was so confident and so I was not anxious. At every moment I would see our midwife there, fully engaged with what was happening, with a confident smile on her face. When Anet would ask her about the progress, our midwife would be speaking with such positivity and confidence, that really it was not a space where fear was anywhere near that vicinity.”