When it came to bringing her second child into the world, James Van Der Beek's wife, Kimberly Van Der Beek, was determined to have a home birth under any circumstances -- even if it meant going against her doctor's orders.
After delivering her first child, daughter Olivia, at the hospital with the help of a doula, an epidural, and pitocin, Kimberly knew she wanted to do things differently the second time around. She wanted to give birth to her baby boy naturally at home -- but then her doctor discovered that baby Joshua was breech when Kimberly was 37 weeks pregnant.
And that changed everything, because she was informed her that if they could not get the baby to flip -- she'd have to have a c-section to deliver him. It was just too risky to try a vaginal delivery because there was a chance that her baby could become trapped in her pelvis.
But Kimberly wasn't about to give up on her dream of having a natural birth at home, even with a breech baby. After trying everything she could to get her baby boy to flip, it became obvious that he wasn't going to budge. And that's when she was referred to Dr. Stuart Fischbein, who agreed to deliver her breech baby right in the privacy of her own home.
Thankfully, baby Joshua was born safe and healthy -- and Kimberly even admits that she was up and showering an hour after he made his entrance into the world (How in the hell?)
And while I fully understand why having a home birth was so important to Kimberly, I can't help but wonder if carrying out her wishes was really worth the risk, considering how many things could've possibly gone wrong with her son's breech birth.
What if he had gotten stuck in her pelvis? And what if the only way to get him out was an emergency c-section? And what if she needed an emergency c-section and they couldn't make it to the hospital in time and the unthinkable happened -- all because she wanted to fulfill her dream of giving birth in her own bed?
Of her decision, Kimberly says, "I truly believe a woman should be able to plan to birth where and how she is most comfortable. In order to make such a decision, it’s crucial to have options."
Ok, so I get what she's saying -- I really do. But when it comes to the safety and well being of your baby, don't those "options" kind of get thrown out the window? If I'd heard the word "breech" so much as whispered when I was about to deliver my son, I probably would've high tailed it to the hospital right then and there to make sure we were in a place where we were surrounded by professionals who could help if anything were to go wrong.
It's wonderful that everything worked out for Kimberly and baby Joshua -- it really is. And while I do believe every woman should be able to give birth in whatever way she chooses, I worry that other moms-to-be will see her story as proof that delivering a breech baby at home is a piece of cake. Somehow I'm guessing nine times out of ten, it isn't so simple -- and it's probably pretty darn scary.
Are you planning a home birth? What will you do if your baby is breech?
Image via David Livingston/Getty