SHOW / EPISODE

Episode 304 Aisha's Surprise Breech HBAC

51m | May 29, 2024

Aisha’s first baby was a scheduled Cesarean for a breech presentation during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though she was symptom-free, Aisha tested positive for COVID and was not able to be with her husband or her baby right after birth. Her surgery was routine and uneventful, but the isolation left her devastated.

 

Aisha moved and was living in Oregon during her second pregnancy. She deeply desired a home birth and found a midwife to support her who also happened to be trained in vaginal breech delivery. Aisha went into labor sooner than expected but handled it beautifully. When it was time to push, surprisingly, feet started coming out first! Her team stayed calm and ultimately brought her baby earthside safely. Aisha is so proud of what she accomplished!


Evidence-Based Birth Article

The VBAC Link Blog: ECV Explained

The VBAC Link Blog: How to Turn a Breech Baby

The VBAC Link Podcast: Chelsey's 2VBA2C Breech Babies

Needed Website

How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents

Full Transcript under Episode Details 


03:31 Review of the Week

06:10 Aisha’s first birth

11:16 A COVID-positive Cesarean

14:38 Third pregnancy

20:02 Planning for a home birth

22:51 Breech workshop with Dr. Stu

24:57 Labor begins

31:25 Pushing out an unexpectedly breech baby

35:29 Reviving baby

40:53 Vaginal breech birth is possible

49:39 Adding to the supportive provider list


Meagan: Hey, hey everybody. Guess what? We have a breech VBAC, actually, it’s a breech HBAC coming your way today. We have our friend, Aisha, with us and she is going to be sharing her amazing journeys. We know that when it comes to breech, it is difficult to find support. It is difficult to find the evidence in that and this is one of the number one reasons for Cesareans in the first place. If you have gone through our podcast, we have over 300 episodes at this point, you will probably hear quite a bit that, “Oh, my baby was breech. We tried an ECV and it didn’t work so I had a C-section,” or “My provider didn’t even offer that and I had a C-section.” 


This is one of the number-one leading reasons for a C-section and it doesn’t always have to be that way. Aisha is living proof of that. Welcome to the show, love. How are you today? I’m so excited for you to be here. 


Aisha: Yeah, thanks. I’m so excited to be here. It’s like a dream come true. It’s wild. 


Meagan: It was so fun. Before we started recording, she said that not long after she had her baby, she was like, I’ve got to get my submission into The VBAC Link. 


Aisha: It was bathtime earlier this week when I saw the email and I was freaking out like, Oh my gosh. It was cool because my daughter is going to be a year old soon, so it was fun to think about her birth and I almost felt guilt because I was like, Oh my gosh, I haven’t listened to The VBAC Link in a minute, but how much this podcast blessed me and strengthened me to go on to have a VBAC, specifically a breech VBAC which was not planned for. It was wild and I’m just really grateful for my provider. 


Meagan: Yeah, absolutely. I cannot wait to dive into this story. 


03:31 Review of the Week


Meagan: We do have a Review of the Week and then we will turn the time over to our friend, Aisha. This is from larrr23 and it was left in March of 2023 so just over a year ago on Apple Podcasts. It says, “Hi, Meagan. I love your podcast so much. I always end up crying at the end of them. So happy for these moms who get this VBAC. Thank you for creating this podcast. It is so inspiring to hear these stories. I’m 38 weeks pregnant and hope and dream I get my VBAC here soon as well. Keep doing what you are doing here. You are helping so many women achieve their dream birth and knowing that they are not alone. Thank you for that.” 


Well, larrr23, if you are still listening with us, let us know how your birth went. I hope that you had an amazing birth no matter how it ended. Thank you so much for that sweet review. This is what I really am here for. I love this podcast so much myself. I listen and I record it and I hear these stories, but then I go back and I listen. I’m still hearing and still learning even knowing a lot about VBAC. I am still learning and growing myself and it’s just so fun to hear these incredible stories. I’m so grateful for all of you who are submitting your stories and sharing these stories both on Facebook, Instagram, and here on the podcast. 


So thank you for your review and as always, if you wouldn’t mind leaving us a review, they truly are what help other Women of Strength just like you find the podcast. You can leave that anywhere you are listening to the podcast or you can even email us at info@thevbaclink.com


06:10 Aisha’s first birth


Meagan: Okay, are you ready to share your stories? 


Aisha: Yes. Yes. 


Meagan: I am so excited, so ready. I’d love to turn the time over to you. 


Aisha: Yeah, okay. So for my VBAC journey, I feel like it’s really important to understand how I got there. I got pregnant with my first in 2020. My husband was in the military so we were stationed in South Korea. It was right before we left Korea. We moved back to the States. We had already been going through COVID in Korea so it wasn’t as big of a deal because we had it first if that makes sense. 


We moved back and we are from Washington state so we went, spent time with family, and then we ended up in Texas. Here I am with my first baby, and I don’t feel like I’m a naive or ignorant person but I never really thought about the process of having a baby. I’m the oldest. My youngest brother is 13 years younger than me, but I just never really thought about what went into having a baby. 


Meagan: I agree. That’s how I was. I was like, Oh, cool. I’m so excited to have a baby. I’m pregnant. This is cool. All right, cool. What’s next? 


Aisha: Yeah. I got books. I read things. I joined groups. I watched YouTube videos. I listened to the podcast Birth Queens a lot just to understand more. I had a pretty normal pregnancy. There wasn’t anything too wild and because it was COVID, there was a lot of things over the phone. A lot of people thought it was weird, my friends and family, but my provider at the military hospital didn’t have a good bedside manner and it was known that she didn’t. It’s hard to explain. My husband was enlisted so he was just by the time he left, he was a Sergeant. He was one of the lower guys, so I don’t know if it was us or the culture, but you get nervous to speak out because of rank. 


He’d be like, “Don’t say anything. We don’t know if that will get back. You can’t be.” 


Meagan: Or disrespect them? 


Aisha: Yeah, because there are some military wives who are assertive. Assertive is a better word. I don’t like to use "aggressive" with women. She would just say things like, “You’re gaining too much weight.” I’m like, “I’m walking every day. What do you want me to do about this?” 


Meagan: You’re like, “I’m also growing a human.” 


Aisha: Yeah, I know that I’m gaining a lot. I’m seeing that, but what am I supposed to do about this? I just got stressed about the thought of her being near my vagina. I was kind of scared about it because I was like, I really hope it’s not you. 


We get to the 36-37 week appointment and they do a quick ultrasound. They’re like, “You’re baby’s breech.” I was like, “Oh, great. Cool.” They’re like, “You can talk to a doctor and talk about an ECV.” I know ECVs can be controversial. Some people are uneasy about them, but one thing I thought was interesting about my life is that I was a breech baby and my mom had an ECV with me. 


Meagan: Interesting. 


Aisha: Right? I was born in 1990, so I grew up hearing the story about them trying to flip me. When I heard people like, “Oh, ECVs are so risky,” I was like, “My mom did it. What’s so risky about this?” So we went in and the first provider we met with was like, “I like to put you in the operating room. I like to give you an epidural just in case something happens and we have to slice you open,” not like that, but it felt like that. I was like, Whoa. This is a lot.


So we get to the day of the hospital and luckily, I’m so glad it was a younger doctor. I was like, "Are you bringing me back to the operating room?” He was like, “No, I like to make you comfortable. You can watch TV.” He was really sweet. It was an interesting experience. Of course, you are wearing masks but I remember the nurse took my mask off to let me breathe because it was painful. But they were so nice. My husband wished we had taken a video of because he was like, “They were pushing so hard on you and they were shaking.” 


Meagan: Oh, yeah. 


Aisha: My baby didn’t flip. He’s going to be 3 in April and he is very stubborn. He does what he wants and I’m like, This is totally you. We ended up getting COVID right before having a baby. My husband did. I tested positive, but I didn’t show any signs. It didn’t really affect me a lot. I was just kind of crazy. I remember I cooked Easter dinner and he wouldn’t eat it. I’m like, “I cooked Easter dinner for you,” and he was really sick with COVID and I’m still doing things. 


11:16 A COVID-positive Cesarean


Aisha: We go to the hospital and we test positive again. They have this stupid COVID protocol where I’m like, “I already went through these 10 days,” but they just treated us like we were coming in throwing up on them. Does that make sense? 


Meagan: Oh yeah, I saw it as a doula. Yes. I had a client who wasn’t even sick. She had no idea and tested positive. We all got kicked out and they acted like she was going to kill them. It was really not good. 


Aisha: Yeah. It was just weird. Because mine wasn’t an emergency, I kept getting pushed back because they had emergency C-sections coming. The biggest thing that sticks out to me in my birth was when it was finally my turn, they came to me and they were like, “You’re next, but it’s going to take a little bit because we have to extra-clean because the last person was COVID.” I’m like, “Why do you have to extra clean? Shouldn’t you always clean an operating room? That doesn’t make sense to me.” 


Meagan: You should always extra clean, yeah. 


Aisha: Yeah, that’s gross. What were your protocols before? I don’t understand. 


Meagan: Interesting. 


Aisha: We didn’t go back until 3:00 or 4:00. I don’t know. It was late. You know, you’re not eating because they tell you not to eat so I’m starving. The doctor who delivered my baby was super nice. She came in and was like, “Let’s have a happy birthday today.” I don’t remember anything weird. I’ve listened to some episodes where they’re like, “Oh yeah, they were talking about their vacation.” I don’t remember that. 


Meagan: That was me. 


Aisha: Oh yeah. I felt like it was really respectful. The anesthesiologist, I wish I would have gotten his name. He was wonderful. He was so sweet and kept telling us what was happening. I was like, “Oh my gosh. You are our personal tour guide for this.” He was really kind. 


I have a nervous cough. I always have when I get nervous. I just cough. After they took my baby out, I coughed. That’s where I get emotional so they took my baby away because they were like, “Oh, COVID positive. You coughed.” I’m like, “I have a nervous cough. I always have my whole life.” They took my husband away so I was there for 30 minutes alone. Sorry, I get so emotional thinking about it. 


All of those sweet pictures that people have, I didn’t get that. Oh my gosh. My son is going to be 3 and it still brings me. 


Meagan: It’s still with you, yeah. 


Aisha: Whenever I talk, yeah. The C-section itself was fine, but it’s just the care that got me. I never know how to explain that to people. No, it’s the care. So then we finally were in the recovery room. I’m starving. My husband gave me fruit snacks. We didn’t realize I was not supposed to eat, but I was starving. 


We get to the mother’s room at 11:00 at night. The kitchen is closed. I’m like, “I’m starving. When can I eat?” The nurse laughs and says, “When you can walk.” I’m like, “But I’m hungry.” She’s like, “You’ve got to get up and walk first.” I’m like, “But I’m hungry.” What? 


Yeah, so that was him. That’s that part. 


14:38 Third pregnancy


Aisha: Everything else was fine. It was just the care. They lock you in a room when you are COVID-positive. It was just wild. 


When he was about 11 months old, almost a year old, I got pregnant again. We moved from Texas to Oregon because my husband was getting out of the military and sadly, 10 weeks later, I had a miscarriage. 


I had already picked out the midwives I was going to use in Oregon. I was like, I’m going to have a home birth because Oregon has really good laws when it comes to home birth and I am going to do this. 


There were a couple of driving factors to that. One, I did not want to go back to the hospital. I was like, I’m not being treated like that again, because I’m a pretty timid person and I don’t know if I’d be strong enough to advocate for myself. The other thing is we had a toddler. My mom lived in Seattle and my husband’s parents just moved to Idaho. My dad and my step-mom live in Atlanta, Georgia and I’m like, There’s no one to take care of my toddler so we’ll just have a home birth. 


My husband was like, “That sounds kind of weird,” but my husband’s mom actually had a home birth with her fifth. It wasn’t abnormal for my husband’s family, but he was kind of like, “Ew, gross.” We always joked right before I had my first if it was a scheduled C-section, my husband wouldn’t be there because he is really queasy when it comes to blood then finally when they were like, “It’s a C-section,” my husband was like, “Oh, you’ve got this.” I was like, “Nope, you’re going to be there. Sorry.” I know it was hard for him. I know how he gets. I don’t think it was him being weird or anything so I was totally fine with it. 


I had my miscarriage in April and then I got pregnant later that summer. It was cool– I guess not cool. I thought it was cool when I got pregnant with her daughter. Her due date was the same weekend I had my miscarriage. I was like, Wow. It was interesting. 


During my miscarriage, my providers were wonderful. My midwife was wonderful. The ER doctor was so great. It was a sad experience, but it was a peaceful experience. I definitely was at peace with it even though it was really sad. I definitely say the driving force with my daughter, there was a lot of panic and anxiety. I would say, I don’t know if it’s having another child and having a toddler, but I definitely didn’t feel as connected to that pregnancy. But again, I have a very active toddler. 


So one thing though, we didn’t find out the gender which was pretty fun. A lot of people thought it was weird and they were like, I like to prepare. I’m like, What do you have to prepare for? I just thought it would be really cool to not find out. 


I didn’t really post about my pregnancy a lot. I think I announced in January and she was born in April. I didn’t talk to people about having a home birth because I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear people’s opinions about it. I remember I had some friends that I was like, I really don’t want to talk to you about it. They would ask, “Oh, how was your doctor’s appointment?” I was like, “Oh, it was great.” I didn’t say anything else because my midwife would come to me. It was so nice that she came to you and I didn’t have to worry about getting out the door and the whole family was involved. It was super nice. 


20:02 Planning for a home birth


Aisha: Oh, I remember I told my dad. I was like, “Yeah, I’m going to do a home birth.” He was like, “I don’t know. It sounds kind of sketchy. Are you sure?” I was like, “Yes.” He was like, “Don’t you want to go to a real doctor?” I don’t think my dad was being rude, but I was like, “Dad, it’s not a mountain man. It’s a real midwife. It’s a licensed business. It’s a real person. It’s not some woman off the street that I’m like, Come birth my baby. She went to midwifery school.” 


But no, my midwife was amazing. Her name is Liz and she was just so calming. Her voice was just very soft-spoken it felt like, but I was so worried about having a breech birth. Whenever I brought it up, she’d be like, “We’re not talking about that. We’re not talking about that.” I was like, “What if this baby is breech?” She’s like, “We’re not talking about that.” I’m like, “Okay, cool.” 


So when I was pregnant, like I had shared before, I just listened to The VBAC Link. I just listened to The VBAC Link. That’s all I listened to. I worked from home at the time just doing computer work and I would just listen to episodes. I would be sobbing. It was for a lawyer and I’d be doing these things and crying just thinking about all of these amazing things that these women went through and how they were able to bring their babies. 


One thing that I believe I learned from this podcast, so I failed my gestational diabetes test, my glucose test, but I had heard from an episode that it varies from state to state. I was like, Interesting. But my midwife was like, “You just did it by two points or whatever the thing is, so just watch what you eat. Keep a log and let’s talk about it.” So that’s what I did. She showed no other concerns. 


She was like, “Just eat more protein”, then I would log my food and at appointments, we’d go over it and she would go, “Oh, see? This is when your sugar goes high. It’s because you ate this. Let’s try to eat more of this,” and then I tried to stay as active as I could with my toddler. 


My husband was in school. He left the military and was in school finishing up his bachelor’s degree so we live right next to campus. We lived in a basement apartment and at first, I was like, Why? We rented this basement apartment and I was like, Can I legally have a baby here? I was like, Is this allowed? Do I have to tell my rental company? There were these 5 girls who lived above us and I was like, How am I going to do this? Aren’t they going to think this is weird if they hear me? 


But yeah, I just remember this basement apartment. It was pretty tiny. I would just sit in my living room and envision my birth there and be like, Okay, I can do this. 


22:51 Breech workshop with Dr. Stu


Aisha: April comes and my midwife had done a workshop with Dr. Stuart. 


Meagan: Oh, Fischbein. 


Aisha: Yeah, like 2 months before I gave birth. 


Meagan: That’s awesome. 


Aisha: I was like, “Oh, so is this a possibility?” We were on state insurance because my husband is a student. There were a couple of things. They covered my midwife, but we would have to pay for the birth because I was a VBAC but my midwives, they are really great where they accept payment plans because they were like, “We don’t believe people should tell you where to give birth. If you just pay us $5 a month, that’s fine.” 


We ended up paying it all off because we were like, “That’s fine too.” But she told me, she was like, “Well, because you’ve never given birth vaginally, you wouldn’t be able to.” I’m like, “Oh, that sucks,” which is the same thing they told me in Texas. I was like, People breech birth babies all the time.


I was like, “Can I transfer hospitals?” They were like, “No, no one will probably take you because you’ve never given birth vaginally.” I was like, “Okay, that’s weird. Whatever.” I was like, “Oh, dang.”


My baby was due at the end of April and on April 5th, I started getting contractions. With my son, I never had contractions. I never went into labor. I never had Braxton Hicks. I didn’t know how any of that felt so I was like, Oh, this is new. What is going on?


Oh, I did have a doula. In Oregon, when you are on state insurance, they do cover a doula so that was really nice. 


Meagan: Yeah, that’s really awesome. 


Aisha: Yeah. The doula that I had runs the doula program, but I contacted her directly because I was just looking through Facebook groups and she was like, “No, I’ll take you on.” She was actually training to become a birthing assistant with my midwife so it was pretty fun. She worked really well with them. 


24:57 Labor begins


Aisha: Okay, so on April 5th, I start getting contractions. They just tell me to rest. I remember I had a really bad headache so I was like, Oh, maybe I’m dehydrated and maybe that’s why this was happening. So I was drinking lots of water and coconut water and trying to eat protein. 


That night, I remember we were watching Ted Lasso and I was trying to hone in and focus while having contractions. I don’t remember anything else. All I remember is Ted Lasso. 


Then that night at 2:00 AM, my husband ended up calling the midwife because they were picking up. She came and he made this observation when she got there, they slowed down. She checked on me and she was like, “It looks like you’re just having false practice labor,” whatever you want to call it. “Just rest up.” I was like, “Okay.”


So the next morning, I wake up at about 7:00 AM. Through the night, while I go through contractions and my husband was timing them, I’m moaning through them. I took this course. Sorry, I’m jumping around. I took this course called Pain-free Birth so I just was trying to practice what she had taught in it. I was breathing through riding the wave and all of that. 


My husband would moan along with me during contractions while he was sleeping and I was like, “You’re not helping me.” He was like, “Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize what I was doing.” 


Okay, so then I wake up at 7:00 AM and I take a shower. I just remember I was like, I’m going to curl my hair, but then I was like, I can’t do that. 


It’s so interesting how in tune our bodies are and almost how in tune our family is because that week, my toddler slept in until 10:00 AM every day. That day, he slept in until 10:00. 


Meagan: That’s amazing. 


Aisha: He knew something was going on, right? That morning, I remember I ate. I listened to some Taylor Swift music and just swayed around my kitchen. I turned on Anastasia the movie and laid on my couch and went through my contractions. I labored a lot alone which is what I wanted. I didn’t want people at my birth. I didn’t want a mom or any relative and I think my mom would be great during a birth, but knowing me, I think if I wasn’t progressing, I think I would panic and from what I’ve learned, your body can shut down and not do it because I would feel the stress like, No one is comfortable. I’m doing this to people. 


I wanted to labor alone if that makes sense. 


Meagan: Yeah, it does. You didn’t want to be the host of your birth. 


Aisha: Yeah, and I feel like that’s what I would have been. I would have been like, “Does everyone have drinks? Does everyone have snacks? Is everyone comfortable? What does everyone want to watch on TV?” I know me and I was like, I don’t want that. 


So at about 10:00 AM, my husband and my toddler come out of bed. I put on the Peanuts movie for my toddler and I’m just kneeling on my couch which was really sweet. Every time I went through a contraction, my husband was timing them and they were still pretty inconsistent. That morning, I was texting with my doula and keeping her up to date with stuff. My toddler would come over and rub my back or bring me toys and I thought that was really sweet. 


My husband had a 12:00 class and was like, “Should I go?” I was like, “Do what you want, but probably not.” It was really funny because he was actually watching a video for his class. Have you ever seen– I always forget this actor’s name– have you ever seen the show Lost? You know the evil guy, the cult evil guy? 


Meagan: Yes. I don’t know the name. 


Aisha: He was narrating this video, this video on Marie Curie. 


Meagan: Curie? The X-ray lady? 


Aisha: Yes. 


Meagan: That’s so funny because my daughter did the wax. She was Marie Curie for her wax museum for her 2nd grade. 


Aisha: Yeah, so my husband is watching this video and it’s that guy narrating it. It’s about her. I’m going through my contractions, focusing, and asking him questions about it. I was like, “What did she do? How did that happen?” 


I had the Peanuts movie. I had that going on in the background. Yeah. So finally, I’m like, “I’m going to go lay down.” My husband was like, “Okay. I’m going to be there.” 


I go lie down and all of a sudden, I start getting hot flashes and get really cold. I’m like, “What is happening?” My doula finally called me. She heard me and she was like, “You are in transition.” We didn’t realize how far this was happening. I was like, “Maybe we’re not communicating,” but we were telling them about the contractions. We were keeping them up to date. 


I got back in the shower and she was like, “I’ll be right there, but you should probably call your midwife.” My husband was trying to figure out my phone. Something happened with my phone and he was like, “I can’t open it. I can’t open it.” I’m in the shower and he calls the midwives and the one that is not my midwife, the other one who I had met with before and I liked her too, she picked up and listened. She was like, “Okay, we’ll send Liz right over. It sounds like something is happening.” 


I’m in the shower. It just was so funny. I remember being like, I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can do this. No, I can’t. Yes, I can. Then my husband was trying to talk to me. I keep referencing a lot of pop culture things. 


Meagan: I love it. 


Aisha: Do you know that TikTok sound? It’s from a movie with Will Ferrell where he’s like, “Shut up. Don’t talk right now. I’m so scared right now–”


Meagan: I don’t know if I’ve seen that. 


Aisha: Yeah, it must have been trending then, but that was running through my mind. I was like, Shut up. I’m so freaking scared right now. Will Ferrell was going through my mind. Then my husband is just standing at the bathroom door and he’s like, “I don’t know what to do.” Then I’m like, “I feel like I have to poop. That’s what I feel like right now.”


31:25 Pushing out an unexpectedly breech baby


aisha: I go over to the bathroom and go over to the toilet. I am like, “I can’t sit down. What’s happening?” I got scared and then all of a sudden, it must have been my water breaking because there was a pop and stuff went everywhere. Like I said, my husband is very sensitive to things so he was like, “Should I come in there and hold you up?” I was like, “No, because I don’t need you gagging in my ear because it stinks in here. Please stay right there.” 


Finally, I don’t know the times. I’ve been told they showed up pretty fast, but you know when it’s all happening. You lose the concept of time. My doula shows up. She says that my husband, his name is Logan, was standing there with a towel. He was ready to come in and catch a baby. She said he looked almost like a butler. He was just standing there. 


She comes in and rubs my back and I was like, “Heidi, I’m so stupid. This is so stupid. Why am I doing this?” Then comes my midwife with all of her stuff. You know what? It is so crazy. 


That morning, I don’t know if this is with all home births, but with my midwife, I had to buy certain things. I had to buy towels and hydrogen peroxide. I had to buy all of the stuff. It had come literally that morning. I wasn’t due for 3 weeks. 


They take me into my bedroom and all of a sudden, I hear them ripping things open, just moving stuff and ripping things open. I’m just over the bed and moaning. One of my biggest regrets is not having a birth photographer because they are all fuzzy and terrible pictures. 


Then they said I was pushing, but I don’t remember pushing at all. I just remember riding those contractions. Then at one point, they asked me. I think it was my doula. She was like, “Aisha, do you want to feel your baby? Do you want to put your hands down and feel your baby?” I said, “Absolutely not. No, I do not,” which I’m kind of glad about because I probably would have felt a foot or something and that would have scared me. 


I’m leaning over my bed and then like I said, my midwife is a very conservative, meek person, very soft-toned. All of a sudden, I heard her say, “Aisha, I don’t want you to panic, but your baby is coming out ass-first.” I was like, “Oh, that’s different.” She said afterward when we were talking, she said she saw it and she just leaned back and went, “Hmm.” She took a picture of it and then my husband’s perspective was funny because he said he comes and he sees feet and he was like, “What is happening? Why is my baby coming out this way?” 


She tells me to get on my hands and knees. She gets firm because I don’t know what is happening. I get on my hands and my knees beside my bed. She tells me to push and I’m like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have not been pushing this entire time,” but I must have pushed. Then I heard a splat and I was like, Is that my baby? It was my placenta. It felt out of me.


Meagan: What? So baby was born, you turn over, and then the placenta? Or wait– 


Aisha: Yeah, so I’m on my hands and knees. The baby is born. I hear a splat and I get on my knees. I get up, lean back, look down, and there is a placenta. 


Meagan: Okay, I was like, Whoa, wait. That can’t… My mind was backward because I was like, Well, your husband saw the feet so I’m assuming baby’s out.


Aisha: Yeah, sorry. The baby was out. Yeah, but I thought it was my baby falling out of me but I’m kind of glad my placenta came out like that because I was more scared to birth my placenta than my actual baby. 


35:29 Reviving baby


Aisha: I turn around and she’s pretty limp. My midwife explained that it’s pretty common for breech babies to come out not breathing. She was talking to Heidi and she was like, “Get the–” what’s it called? An ambu bag? 


Meagan: For oxygen and stuff? Yeah. 


Aisha: She’s directing Heidi where it is. 


Right before I had her, we didn’t talk about names, but I had a strong impression it was a girl so I approached my husband. I was like, “Hey, I have these three names.” Her name is Margaret. I was like, “Margaret Sage, Margaret Alexis, or Margaret Alexandria. You pick.” He was like, “Margaret Sage.” I was like, “Okay cool. Let’s do it.” We don’t even know what we’re having. 


Anyway, so she was limp, limp and not breathing. I just look at her and I go, “Oh, it’s a boy.” My doula goes, “No, Aisha, it’s a girl.” I’m like, “No, it’s a boy.” I’m so dazed and then Liz was like, “Aisha, I need your help.” She had been doing mouth-to-mouth. She was like, “I need your help, Aisha. Talk to your baby. Help me with your baby.” So I just start stroking her and holding her head up. 


Later, Liz said that I don’t know if she said this to say this, but I was one of the best assistants that she had. She was shocked because I recently gave birth. She said she recently had a father and he kind of panicked. She said it was kind of cool. I didn’t know what was happening. 


Meagan: Your intuition kicked in. 


Aisha: Yes. I’m just like, “Hi, hi, hi. Hi, baby.” I’m just holding her head and then they got her breathing and gave her to me. There is a picture of me. You know those candid shots that you see where it’s ugly but beautiful? That’s what it is. It’s ugly, but beautiful. I’m crying and holding her. Blood is everywhere, but I love that picture so much because it represents something that I did. 


Oh, I skipped this part, but when she was coming out breech, I was like, Those midwives in Texas can suck it. I’m doing this. I was told I can’t and I did. That’s crazy, then they just put me in my bed and then by protocol, you have to call EMS and EMS came pretty quickly. They came. I remember they asked me, “Oh, do you want to be transferred?” I was like, “No.” They were like, “Baby looks good.” Then they asked my husband, “What’s the baby’s name?” 


My husband was like, “I don’t know.” I missed this. He had been running around doing things. When my midwife got there, we had street parking so she just parked in the middle of the street and asked my husband to go park her car. Keep in mind that I still have my toddler. I think he napped that day which is crazy. That’s wild. Oh my gosh. My baby was born at 12-something. My son woke up at 10:00 and he napped. He woke up to a baby. That’s crazy. I never connected that but he was awake for a very small amount. 


Yeah, that’s it. They hung around for a bit and then they left and that was that. 


Meagan: All was well. 


Aisha: Yeah, it was crazy. I can see the shock when I share it to people, but it’s probably one of the best things I have ever done, the coolest thing. I feel like I’m a pretty average person. When I was filling out my bio, I was like, I’m a stay-at-home mom and I watch a lot of TV. Yeah, then I did it. I had a breech birth. I guess I missed this thing. 


They weren’t tracking that she was breech. They think that maybe she flipped during labor. It’s not like I went in planning to have a breech birth. It just happened. 


Meagan: She obviously wasn’t aware when she was like, “Oh, I’m taking a picture of this. This is crazy.” 


Aisha: Yeah, they actually used the picture of Margot coming out of me. I think I shared it with you guys. She shared it. They actually share it for advertisement. She was like, “Can I use this?” I was like, “Yeah, that’s fine.” 


Meagan: Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing. Let me see what picture. I haven’t even seen your picture yet. Oh yeah, this is an awesome picture. 


Aisha: Yeah. 


Meagan: Yes. 


Aisha: It’s kind of crazy. 


Meagan: This will be posted on our social media so if you want to go see this really awesome picture, I definitely suggest it. One leg is still inside. 


Aisha: I think both of them, right? 


Meagan: One is out and then it looks like one is maybe coming out soon. 


Aisha: Maybe. Yeah, when I was trying to look for it last night, my husband was like, “I have lots of pictures. They are gross.” I was like, “I know which one I am looking for, you weirdo.” 


Meagan: Yes, I love it. Thank you for sharing it with us. 


40:53 Vaginal breech birth is possible


Meagan: Breech birth is possible. Rebecca Dekker over at Evidence-Based Birth did an episode actually just recently looking at this. It says January 2024 so just recently. We’ll make sure to add the link in there. It was with Sara Ailshire I think is how you say her name. They talk about breech birth and it’s a long transcript and it’s a great podcast so I would highly suggest it. They talked about how the study that was published in 2022 that included the studies from a 10-year period of 2010-2020 and they found that perinatal death rates were 0.6% in planned vaginal breech groups and 0.14% in planned Cesarean breech groups which is kind of crazy to think. 


It’s pretty low. When we talk about death, that’s a serious thing to talk about. Those are pretty low. They did find that Cesarean favored the rates, but there was not anywhere near as high as the breech trial. We just know that breech is starting to dissolve, these options. The providers in Texas were like, “No, we don’t do this.” 


I mean, ECVs aren’t even offered in a lot of places. 


Aisha: Oh wow. 


Meagan: Especially for VBAC. So for this instance, if you were a Cesarean going for a VBAC and having a breech baby to flip, a lot of providers are like, “No, that’s not okay.” We actually have a blog about that too showing that’s not necessarily true. You have options and we need more providers doing Stu’s training like yours going out and learning. 


I love how coincidental your training was to your birth. Really, really, really cool. 


Aisha: Yeah, it was crazy. It’s interesting that you say that. Now we live in Nebraska because my husband is in graduate school. Nebraska has some pretty weird laws about home birth. They are the ones, I don’t know the wording, but you can’t have a doctor or a midwife there. You have to have an undergrad– I don’t know how to explain it. I wonder if we had a third baby, what do I do? Do I have to tell a provider that I had a breech home birth after Cesarean? Obviously, my kids like to be breech. What do I do? 


Meagan: There’s something about your body that has breech babies. 


Aisha: And I’m not asking you, that’s just something that I think about a lot. I’m not comfortable being in a state that doesn’t support what I want when obviously I went through something. I’m obviously not going to do something that harms my child, but I feel like my mental health is important too. I think with my son’s birth, it just always makes me sad to think about. It’s really hard because right after I had Margot, I met two other women who are onto their second and they have had C-sections and they are like, “I’m just going to do it again. I’m just going to have a C-section. My doctor said that we can attempt but I might not progress.” I just want to shake them like, “You can. Don’t listen to that doctor!” But then I feel like it’s also important to respect a woman for how she wants to birth. If you want to have a C-section, that’s totally fine. 


I definitely see the benefits in both especially when you have young children. The women who I met who were like, I’m just going to have another repeat C-section, they are not around family. That’s hard to plan out. 


Meagan: It’s hard. I think that’s one of the things that we want to do at The VBAC Link is give all of the information so when a provider is like, “You could, but it probably wouldn’t really happen so we can just go do it easily and schedule it and have a C-section.” We just want you to know actually what the evidence says and that it’s actually not true. Here is an option over here. Whether you pick it or not, we here at The VBAC Link support you 150,000% percent, but in the end, we really just want you to know what your options are and not just be told something that’s really not true. 


Aisha: Yeah, whenever I meet women who have had C-sections and they are pregnant again, I always tell them, “The VBAC Link. Do you listen to podcasts? You need to listen to this one. It will help you so much.” I think we don’t realize. I was talking about this with my husband recently. We don’t realize that you can pick your provider. You don’t have to go with somebody that you don’t like. 


Here I was with my son and this midwife– and they just recently changed their base name but it was called Fort Hood, Texas. In the Fort Hood, Texas Spouse Facebook group, people were like, “This provider is terrible. I don’t like her.” You could just look up her name and see all of these negative things. You never saw a positive and you just feel like you are stuck with this person like, Oh, she’s been doing this for 20-something years. She must know what she is doing. 


Meagan: I love that you pointed that out. Dr. Fox and I talked about this on an episode. I think it was on our podcast, not his, where we talked about how we have the option to choose but then we also have to respect their option to choose because if they don’t feel comfortable supporting this type of birth, that’s okay. That’s their prerogative then it’s up to us to stay or to go and to find if that’s the right provider because we can fight for what we want, but we can’t make someone change their mind so that’s why you are doing your research and looking up those reviews, talking to your people in your community, really having an open discussion with your provider. 


Most of the time, your provider is going to give you pretty quickly if you are giving open-ended questions. You’re going to get the, Oh, that didn’t jive with me. That didn’t resonate with me, pretty early on. 


Then even then, even if you have a later situation where you have a provider who was supposedly supportive the whole time and they are changing their tune, again, like she said, you have the ability to choose. You do not have to stay with that person. You do not. You can leave, which is hard. That is very daunting. 


Aisha: It is. I feel like we are a people-pleasing culture. 


Meagan: We are. 


Aisha: We really are and we want to trust our medical professionals because they went to school. They know. I watch Grey’s Anatomy. I’m not a doctor. When they tell me my blood pressure, I’m like, Okay, cool. I don’t know what that means, but you told me it’s good. You want to trust them, especially with something so intimate about being near your private parts and having such a spiritual experience of having a baby. I don’t want those people in my birthing space. Yeah. It’s not something that I want. 


Meagan: And a lot of the time, they’re not going to want to be in yours either, right? That’s what is so important. If we are feeling that way, they might be feeling that way. It’s important to read those. I felt that way and I don’t like contention. I mean, sometimes you might disagree with that because sometimes on the podcast, we can get sassy but I don’t like it and that’s how I didn’t want to tell him I wanted to leave. I didn’t tell him that I didn’t like what he was saying or how I was feeling and I stayed then I had a repeat Cesarean instead of fighting for myself and standing up for myself. I stayed. 


49:39 Adding to the supportive provider list


Meagan: It’s not the biggest regret of my life because I feel like that birth specifically is truly what brought me here today in my doula career and in this career, but at the same time, it really wasn’t what I wanted and I do believe that I probably would have had a different experience if I would have followed my intuition and gone somewhere else even at 36 weeks. It was the very end. 


Don’t ever hesitate to change once, twice, or even in labor. Do whatever you need to do. Oh my gosh, know that breech is possible. Breech is 100% possible vaginally. 


Aisha: It is. 


Meagan: And if you are listening right now and you are like, Yeah, it is because I had a breech birth too, or whatever and you had a breech-supportive provider, will you please email us at info@thevbaclink.com? We want to add these providers to the list. I’m trying to narrow this list down into specific things like vaginal birth after multiple Cesareans, ECVs, and breech birth because we have so many people looking. We have so many people looking and I know they are out there. They exist, but I am just one person here in Utah so we all need your help. If you have providers in and out of the hospital who will support breech, please email us at info@thevbaclink.com so we can add to the list along with Aisha’s providers. 


Closing


Would you like to be a guest on the podcast? Tell us about your experience at thevbaclink.com/share. For more information on all things VBAC including online and in-person VBAC classes, The VBAC Link blog, and Meagan’s bio, head over to thevbaclink.com. Congratulations on starting your journey of learning and discovery with The VBAC Link.




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