Tag Archives: birth stories

The Birth of Leliana

Jessica with Leliana

Image: Jacqueline Sequoia, used with permission

From Atlanta, back to Asheville

Jessica’s baby remained persistently breech at term, and she was unable to find a provider in South Carolina to facilitate a vaginal breech birth. When she attempted to decline a CS and negotiate a vaginal birth, she was informed that if she came into the hospital in labour, she would be given general anaesthesia and her CS would be ‘a lot rougher.’ (Folks, the ACOG published something just for you: Committee Opinion No. 664: Refusal of Medically Recommended Treatment During Pregnancy.)

This was Jessica’s first baby, in a frank breech position (extended legs), with no additional complexities. Her sister, Family Practice Doctor Jacqueline Sequoia MD, heard about Dr David Hayes and Harvest Moon Women’s Health because they were hosting my physiological breech birth training. Jacqueline includes obstetrics as part of her practice and booked to attend the workshop with some colleagues. Jessica and her husband Brian met with Dr Hayes to consider their options, and once Jessica made her decision, found a rental apartment in Asheville on Craigslist.

Let’s contemplate that for a moment. In order to have support for a physiological birth, rather than the threat of a coerced CS, women are having to relocate to another state and rent temporary accommodation, because the baby is presenting breech.

When Dr Hayes and I arrived at Jessica and Brian’s apartment, Jessica’s labour appeared to be progressing well. As people entered her space, Jessica gradually moved into the tiny bathroom at the back of the apartment, reminding me of Tricia Anderson’s metaphor of cats in labour. I turned off the light. This labour had a journey, as all labours have. Throughout her journey, Jessica was surrounded by people who love her. At the end of it, Jessica beautifully and instinctively birthed her little girl, Leliana, who weighed 7lbs 8oz.

This video contains graphic images of a vaginal breech birth.

Being attuned to the general lack of training in physiological breech birth among health professionals, and the consequences for women and babies, Jessica and Brian were keen to share this video of Leliana’s birth to help others learn. If you would like to read more about the minimally invasive manoeuvres used at the end of this birth, you can read our blog on Shoulder Press and Gluteal Lift.

brian

Thank you, Jessica, Brian, Leliana, Dr Sequoia and Dr Hayes for sharing this video. The link to this blog post can be shared, but the video cannot be downloaded or reproduced without permission.

Shawn

celebrating becoming a mother

Today is my first son’s birthday. I’ve decorated the cake, packed the basketball tournament lunch, gathered the little presents. Ely’s birth set me on a path, and the love I have felt from the moment he was born knows no other. So I’m celebrating by posting a poem I wrote about giving birth. This birth was Waldo’s, my second son.  Birth is life.

early ely

early days with Ely

Morning Story
for Waldo Myles Capability

we are what gets written –
we are what blooms

you move and I echo

the story written in my body
to tell over again with twists and groans –
the story written in your body to seek out –
memory, the river which threatens and feeds

you move and I echo

my body uncurling from the pain of release –
your body uncurling from the pressure of flight

you move and I echo

mom and me

my mom & me

we who risk failure
and lunge into our song

you move and I echo
my own primary call

The story of you emerges
wearing its caul
of tea and toast
and breast and boast
in the ecstasy of our achievement.

Each time the shell of me breaks
I am larger and louder –
more full of wind
and song and thanks –

for the day you were born.