Every now and then we hear a story about a pregnant woman who suddenly gains superhero powers and is able to do what some think is the impossible. As if women aren't capable of the impossible already by just having another human being in her belly and kapow! Those powers are multiplied by infinity. What I'm saying is -- we can do things we think we can't. Our bodies are capable, and so while I do think it's fantastically amazing that Rebecca Anderson delivered her breech baby on the side of a highway in Washington state, I also have faith that many women can do the same.
We can birth babies all on our own. Even breech ones. Rebecca's inspiring story of her highway baby is proof.
A breech baby shouldn't automatically mean c-section. We've been birthing breech babies with surgery since the beginning of womankind. The way I see it, it's similar to automatic doors. We all know how to open a door, but when we go to the grocery store, we've come to expect the automatic open. If all the doors in the world automatically opened, we may start to forget that we know how to open doors ourselves. Just like what's happening with birth. We forget -- doctors forget -- we can do this. Birth is nothing new. And yes, surgical intervention is sometimes very necessary and needed, but sometimes it's overused. Sometimes doctors scare us into thinking we have to have a c-section.
The Andersons' doctor felt a c-section was necessary because their baby was breech. (PS: That doctor was wrong.) They said they prayed that wouldn't have to be the way they birthed their second child. They have a 2-year-old daughter named Ashlyn, who was also supposed to be delivered by cesarean according to doctors due to low amniotic fluid. But they were relived that surgery was avoided that time. They never expected to have their wishes played out a second time in such an unexpected way.
Rebecca was having contractions and they called St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma to let them know they were coming in. Their daughter Ashlyn was dropped off at grandma's house, and about 20 minutes later while still on the way to the hospital, it was time.
Dad Nicholas tried to tell his wife to wait a little longer and sped up in hopes they would make it, but he had to pull over when Rebecca couldn't resist the urge to push. He called 911 and the dispatcher told him a trooper was on the way and put a nurse on the phone for assistance, but when he told her that the baby was breech, he was told she couldn't help him with that. That's a little unsettling, but perhaps she wasn't a labor and delivery nurse. The Andersons stayed calm -- as calm as you could be in this kind of situation. It was 3:25 a.m. on the northbound Interstate 5 in Lakewood when baby Elise was born shortly after trooper Guy Gill arrived. Feet first and happy and healthy -- Elise was 4 pounds, 15.8 ounces. They all went to the hospital after, and because of the vaginal delivery with no complications, they were released the next day. I'm so happy for this family!
There are stories proving our ability to birth without medical intervention constantly happening. In January a breech baby was delivered on the side of a highway by a proud dad in Illinois -- the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice even. In that same month, another mom had her baby outside her car on a highway in -4 degree temperatures. I could go on and on.
Mamas, aren't we amazing! Never fear birth. Never underestimate our superpowers.
Have you or do you know of a mom who delivered a breech baby? What about a highway birth?
Image via SurFeRGirl80/Flickr