today is my daughter's 4th birthday. koruna is observant, quick, gentle, tenacious, soft, careful, inquisitive, forgiving, funny. she is wise beyond her years. she has a laugh that makes my heart sparkle. she's luminous. i am honored to be her mother. i am wild about her. i worship her. i love her.
koruna's birthday has me reminiscing about her extraordinary birth.
koruna chose to curl up inside of me breech and would not be persuaded to change her position. you can read about our methods of persuasion here.
i think all kinds of birth are beautiful and that each woman should listen to her own heart, body, and baby. my heart and my body had long ago chosen natural. but koruna's breech presentation got me wondering if she was choosing cesarean. it got me wondering that because we found that cesarean seemed to be the only option for a breech baby in this country.
but, me, i like my options. and i figured koruna would, too. so ian and i did some research. and we found that much of the world still considers a vaginal delivery the first option for a breech birth with a cesarean as the backup plan. i found it sad that we couldn't find anyone who would deliver koruna naturally. i found it downright SCARY that we might not be able to find anyone who COULD deliver her naturally.
it is a dying art, y'all. one that leaves families with less options.
Ina May (I love you, Ina May) has this to say about it:
- The cesarean rate for diagnosed breech presentation is more than 95 percent, and it's increasingly unusual to meet women of childbearing age who have given birth to a breech baby vaginally. Vaginal breech birth is now so rare that very few medical or midwifery students have an opportunity to see it even once during clinical training. With little or no chance to be mentored by a clinician with significantly more experience in breech labor and birth, they lack the skills and knowledge that a safe and competent practitioner in this area should have. This lack of skills and confidence continues to drive the cesarean rate for breech presentations even higher and contributes to accidental injury of the baby during cesarean delivery.
this article came out a few days before koruna was born and addresses canada's turnaround on it.
- ...many medical schools have stopped training their physicians in breech vaginal delivery. The problem now, according to Dr. Lalonde, is that there is a serious shortage of doctors to teach and perform these deliveries.
ian and i searched our hearts and then we searched the web. it took a while, but we found dr. frederick cummings in denton. when we drove up to meet him when i was 38 weeks (!!!) pregnant, we found that he was an accomplished doctor with a vast experience in the art of breech birth. we also found that we trusted him from the minute we met him. he not only gave koruna the opportunity to be birthed naturally, but he also allowed interns, nurses and other medical professionals into the operating room so that they had the chance to learn. several of these folks stayed past their shifts so that they could be present, indicating to me the rarity of this opportunity. dr. frederick cummings is one of my forever heroes.
another one of my heroes is our friend brielle epstein. she supported me and ian as we listened to our hearts and to our daughter while making our decisions about koruna's birth. she became our doula and drove up to dallas and then to denton to support us as we welcomed koruna into the world. she offered us guidance, ideas, strength, and comfort. she was later our midwife at marvel's birth at home. we love her dearly and are so grateful that our lives are touched by hers.
i am still surprised that we found dr. cummings. after much searching, i ran across one comment on one website that mentioned his name and we followed that little thread to him. i am glad to know that there is a lot more information out there these days. websites addressing the issue are now numerous and easy to find. the following are a few i've come across:
i am grateful for koruna's entrance into the world and for every day since. Happy koruna's birthday, y'all.