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The pediatric orthopedic surgeon had no suggestions for my poor baby who was stuck (as in, couldn’t rotate his neck to the left) other than physically therapy.
Life with my youngest would have been a nightmare if I hadn’t taken her to a chiropractor when she was a month old. She has a video with more info that I believe she is very comfortable with having publicly shared.
I realized that my birth was so special and sacred this time that I can’t just post it, details and all, on a blog for the whole world to read. My labor was 20 hours long, beginning Tuesday morning at 9 am after nursing my 20 month old. Once all the kids were in bed and asleep (about 9 pm), I layed down with Brandon and we rested. And your hair manages to look amazing as always ?? She is so beautiful ?? I <3 reading this story!
Birth stories have never effected me much but this story gives me hope that I can have a healing birth the next time around. Whilst I am very cautious about advising other women to do this, I want to encourage you that VBAC3C are indeed possible.
I am in Australia and I do know that at least one hospital over here (Brisbane Women’s) will support VBAC3C, but you have to do your homework quite extensively to find the right people to support you in your journey. Good luck – I pray that you are well supported to have the birth that your heart desires. Your birth story is inspiring, and I’m trying to learn more about Unassisted Childbirth. Thank you for sharing I have had 2 births that were in hospital settings with epidurals, and Im convinced the next one will be natural and the more I can learn hopefully the more I will trust myself and have the courage to do so threw stories like yours so thank you. I have a 9 year old (C-section) and since you mentioned your oldest cutting the cord, I thought to myself – how neat it that! Breech presentation is defined as a fetus in a longitudinal lie with the buttocks or feet closest to the cervix. Predisposing factors for breech presentation include prematurity, uterine malformations or fibroids, polyhydramnios, placenta previa, fetal abnormalities (eg, CNS malformations, neck masses, aneuploidy), and multiple gestations.
Of the 1-3% of term breech babies, there is a 9% chance of fetal abnormalities being present. Perinatal mortality is increased 2- to 4-fold with breech presentation, regardless of the mode of delivery. The perinatal mortality rate does increase with breech presentation, but that is REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF BIRTH! Also, a ten year study done in Sweden, of all places, found that infant mortality was actually higher in vaginal deliveries than delivery by c-section before labor. I found Sweden – I use a database through my University, so I wasn’t sure if I could find it elsewhere!
There are more about thyroid issues and breech if you do some looking, but I have to go to bed! I disagree with the statement made regarding higher TSH levels in women who have breech babies. The posting does not assert that all women who have a baby in a breech position have elevated levels of TSH, but rather that elevated levels correlate with a breech. There are a number of studies about the risks and results for caesarean section vs vaginal birth for breech babies.
One thing is clear: there is insufficient medical evidence to warrant a blanket policy of elective caesarean for breech. I agree Rhonda, I had a natural breech birth – but only chose that route after ALOT of research. It would be a lot better for people to have a wider knowledge of breech births ESSPECIALLY the medical proffesionals so that more woman can manage a natural vaginal breech birth with support & without ridicule. My son is 23 and was breech my whole pregnancy as per sonograms…my Doctor never suggested caesarian before going into labor.
I had a beautiful breech birth in a hospital with a fantastic Obstetrician and unreal midwives. It saddens me to hear that women think a c-section is the only option for a breech birth, when with the right medical support a vaginal birth is just as safe. I was fortunate to have a beautiful breech birth, a vaginal birth, a homebirth, with skilled midwives who believed in me, in my baby, in my body’s ability to birth. I was born breech and my mom never had an issue or problem with my brothers (I was born first) also I was the only girl born.
I have a learning disability which I think links to what happened when my mom gave birth to me. Doing better in therapy now and have been for 7 months and trying to get my life back after constantly strugglig between both (LD and BP) and figureing out how to start over since in school I didn’t have a chance because I had exams to worry about and to understand the material which I struggled with. To make matters worse I was born under Aquarius sign and said to unemotional which cleary changed after being diagnosed with Bi-Polar.
I am not affectionate person which I think falls under aqaurius and probably not feeling like I belong anywhere. I feel like life is unfair a lot no one should have to suffer this much from a birth gone wrong. I do think it’s all linked no one else in my family has mental health issue, no one esle in my family is a lesbian either. After 37 weeks’ gestation, parents should be informed of the results of a recent multicenter randomized clinical trial that demonstrated significantly increased perinatal mortality and short-term neonatal morbidity associated with vaginal breech delivery (see Comparative Studies). As far as I understand, cumulative research shows that c-section deliveries are advantageous (safer for the baby) by a statistical percentage of 1%.
I didnt have any ultrasounds during my pregnancy, my ob and midewife were sure that my son was head down though. In the end they said it would be much to dangerouse becasue my amniotic fluid was green and this ment my baby had pooped in me, meaning he was stressed.
But when i finally got to hold my baby i was happy he was alive and healthy and decided it was the right choice to have the csection. I was a full breech baby- and I have had health issues- digestive and allergy- since I was – well- since I can remember.
The news of little or a lot of dilation can either help or hurt a mother’s mental state in labor. A study was done in 2010, and published by BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, that proves the existence and accuracy of the purple line for many women. An earlier study was done in 1990 and published in the Lancet which also proved the existence and accuracy of the line, though the sample size was smaller. The reason for the Purple Line is believed to be due to the increased pressure on the veins around the sacrum. The photo below is from Jackie, who was so excited when her purple line showed up around 8cm she actually asked her photographer to snap a photo! The sounds a woman makes in labor can tell a care provider (or partner) much about where the woman is in labor.
In early labor (0 to 4cm) a women can normally converse easily or with little effort during contractions.
As dilation progresses, the finger-breadths between the fundus and the breast bone becomes smaller and smaller – at full dilation, you can normally no longer find the gap between the two. However, my suggestion is that for the average laboring woman we learn to not equate cervical dilation with progress or lack of progress. If you are a mother who wants to avoid cervical checks completely, or wants to know how to assess dilation before your care provider comes (or you go to them), then these methods can serve you well.
After having two babies now (one homebirth transfer and one homebirth), I can tell how far dilated I am mostly with noise.
We also have to remember that cervical examinations are inaccurate, studies show this time and again. I love your point about dilation not being an accurate estimate of when the baby will be born. I agree that dilation doesn’t tell you much, but I want to point out that there are other, more important reasons to check the cervix. At my sister’s birth the midwives used temperature changes along her leg- they were experimenting with it and found it very accurate.
This is very interesting, and I’d really recommend that expectant mothers read as much as they can to be best prepared.
I have to say that I am very thankful to have birthed all 4 of my boys in the UK where the primary care is midwife run. I have searched the obstetric and midwifery literature and I have yet to see any research that shows a benefit to the mother or the baby from doing routine cervical exams. There is, on the other hand very good evidence that doing cervical exams increases the rate of puerperal infection. So all across the world obstetricians, midwives, and nurses are routinely doing something that has no demonstrated benefit and a very well documented harm.
So the next time someone, anyone, wants to check your cervix in labor, ask them to explain precisely what the benefit of doing so is.
I did include links to studies showing the harm of cervical checks (infection increase and the inaccuracy). I would argue that a study on cervical checks for position when progress is not happening at all (in other words, mother feels urge to push but it is obvious baby is not moving down despite position change and strong urges) is not needed, as the information gained is obvious – not dilation but rather a possible obstruction.
This is a legitimate four-year retrospective cohort study involved all consecutive term singleton deliveries reaching the second stage of labor but you are going to discount it because it doesn’t go along with your logic? I shared the photo with my friend who is pregnant with triplets and so badly wants another homebirth but is having issues finding a midwife since midwifery is so crazy in our state (nc).


I am going to share how the birth went, but the details and beauty of it I am keeping to myself. I visualized and practiced positive self talk (to myself.) It was amazing to just give over and relax. I don’t comment on the facebook page a lot but you are a true inspiration and a wonderful woman! I am so excited for you, that have had the chance to heal from previous trauma and self-doubt! I wished to do an unassisted birth, but was convinced not to… Lucky for me, I had awesome midwifes that stayed outside the room for one birth and permitted me to birth in the water for the second ?? Reading your story I saw myself give birth to my 2 little girls quietly, letting my body do the magic. Thank you for sharing, and I can totally understand why you wouldn’t want to share the intimate moments.
I have very few negative feelings about how my daughter’s birth transpired, but I so desperately want my homebirth next time.
It was such a special moment in my life that I am so grateful I got to experience, but also so healing after two previous traumatic c-sections. Fetal abnormalities are observed in 17% of preterm breech deliveries and in 9% of term breech deliveries.
Deaths are most often associated with malformations, prematurity, and intrauterine fetal demise.
The increased death rate is due to malformations already present, prematurity and intrauterine fetal demise!
That is, women with elevated levels of TSH are more likely to experience this delivery complication. The main study on breech birth is massively flawed, and subsequent studies that involve women who WANT to have a natural birth show outcomes that are pretty much identical. We had planned to birth at home but on the very day our Midwife phoned saying she was sick and couldnt see us for our regular appointment our bub decided that was the day to arrive- luckily our Midwife was still there with us and fought off the nasty hospital staff but we still had to deliver at the hospital- thats a story for another time though. She was my 2nd baby, and I had to go to a different hospital 4 hours from my home to have her naturally. There were several pre-requisits you have to meet in order to try for a vaginal breech birth, and the baby’s heart was monitored throughout the labour.
I was born 6 pounds 7 ounces and I was tiny yet the doctors choose vaginal birth which after researching didn’t make a lot of sense. In this situation the umbilical cord is squeezed as the baby moves toward the birth canal, thus slowing the baby’s supply of oxygen and blood. In grade school I was in special education and was not intergrated with my peers very often. Says being born that way causes autism and downe syndrome yet I just have a mild learning disability nothing that serious. Really I wished people would get more informed on breech birth I wouldn’t want to see another kid have a childhood I had.
This does not lead to a very powerful argument for c-section births when breech babies meet the basic criteria for safe vaginal delivery. All the midwives told me my son was head down, they try to induce me when he wasn’t wanting to come out and put me on a dip, at one point this stupid midwife even try putting wires on his head and that hurt like hell. In this study, the line was seen about 89% of the time and was only completely absent in 10% of women. This pressure on the veins creates the dark line where the thin skin of the cleft can show it.
This would also be a pretty accurate way of judging when to head to the hospital (if that is your plan) if you are one of the 76% of women this line shows up for. She does not feel the need to rest between them very much, and will most likely continue or pick the conversation right back up after each contraction. When not in labor and full term the fundal height is normally 5 finger-breadths between the fundus (top of the uterus) to the bottom of the breast bone. This measurement must be done at the height of the contraction, and while mother is on her back.
Some may be more accurate than others, but perhaps we should ask ourselves about why we want to know dilation in general. As I stated at the start, dilation is only a snapshot of where you are right now and tells you nothing about where you will be an hour from now or even 30 minutes from now.
This was not a purposeful bias – it was simply the majority of the women who came in during this time period (and consented to be in the study) were Caucasian. The purple line comes up a different height on different women so its possible to not always be accurate with dilatation.
Studies show clearly that bacteria is greatly increased with each vaginal exam, and that is not dependent on waters being broken or intact.
Why is the mother being told that her labor is only progressing if she has reached a certain dilation? I believe most moms can go through labor an delivery without interventions, but with critical assessments, it saves lives. Sorry to knock that one, but interventions are only necessary if sis harm will come to mother or baby and a stall in labor or a less than optimal positioned baby are not emergencies. I gave birth to my daughter three weeks ago and my midwives were comfortable and supportive of my desire not to be checked at all despite the fact that I was in denial for the first hour and a half of labor. With my second, I literally went from 7 cm to 10cm and pushing in 30 minutes (and only pushed for about 5 minutes, and part of that was trying to NOT push because they had to find the midwife). I give this article as a handout in every Bradley Class I teach and I share it with my prenatal yoga students too.
All 4 have been born in the hospital, 2 in the delivery suites and 2 in the birthing center (only gas and air provided). For example checking the head presentation for an asynclitism that can be corrected or prior to applying forceps. The thing about randomly assigning and doing double-blind studies (the gold standard) in pregnancy and birth is that it is often considered unethical in this situation, where action (or inaction) could harm mother or baby. Midwives or doctors can correct the angle of the head sometimes if the mother is dilated enough.
So trust me, I agree with you that they are not needed – hence this post about other ways to measure progress without cervical checks. Other studies (other than the one I linked) show an increase in bacterial colonization after each cervical check. The data is simply not there to suggest that knowing dilation multiple times in a labor does anything to speed up baby coming out, or improve outcomes for mothers or babies. I thought things were getting intense but was unsure so I looked for that purple line and sure enough I saw it!
I agree that two or three examiners may disagree about how far someone is dilated by 1 or even 2 cm in teaching hospitals, but as in many observations in medicine we follow the trends.
She had quit pooping after a long road trip and I didn’t want to load her up with things that were bad for her in the name of getting her to poop.
I’m in PA and it sounds like I would be hard pressed to find a midwife even willing to attend a homebirth of twins, should we ever be so blessed. Please always talk to your care provider when making any decisions about your pregnancy and birth. If I know you and begin talking to you and feel comfortable sharing details with you, then I will, but not like this…on the internet!
After a while, my feet starting getting numb, so I got on hands and knees and it was INTENSE. You look so beautiful and peaceful in your picture and I have to say again you are utterly amazing! Hopefully since its not a complete unknown this time I can give myself over completely to the process. Can you imagine how inconvenient it would be for the OB if you were to go into labor over the holidays? My initial obstetrician, whilst supportive of my decision, could not deliver a breech baby naturally (due to insurance).
I was not allowed an epidural as you have to be active in labour, and had to birth on a birthing stool (which was fantastic).
Maybe at first when I wasn’t in distress but after 11 hours in labor and being in distress thats when things changed.
It is almost too bad I feel like I suffered the most and for the longest time I couldn’t properly communicate what my problem was.
Only by the time my waters had broke for 48 hours and I only had one contraction that I didn’t even feel they did a scan and found out he was breech, by this time all my waters had gone and a dry birth would have hurt my son so was left with the only option with was an csection. I would love to see a study done on the later life health issues associated with breech births- as well as a national data base to track the health of all children born breech in the future. No matter how a mother plans to birth, when the time draws near, dilation is the one thing on her mind.
If the mother has only been in labor for a few hours and finds out she is already at say, 7cm, she may think her time is nigh…only to find out that she has many more hours of work ahead.
The line was more apt to show in women with spontaneous labor than in those with induced labor (80% vs.
They noticed a significant correlation between the station of the baby’s head and the length of the line. This pressure from the head creating the line also means that you can reasonably assess the station of the baby’s head as it moves down. But you can see the Purple Line so clearly (though I did take the liberty of highlighting it for you). In active labor (4 – 6 or 7 cm) the woman usually has to do some breathing or vocalizing during contractions, and normally stops speaking during them.


As labor progresses, the uterus pulls up on the bottom of the uterus (which is the cervical opening) and this is what creates dilation.
This means it will not be the most comfortable way of assessing progress – but it does work. However, in reading birth story after birth story (and watching video after video) I do see this trend.
In some situations the information can be very useful, for instance if a mother does not want to head to the hospital too early or if she is negotiating for more time in labor but does not want a vaginal exam at the moment (or at all).
Long labors with slow dilation can suddenly speed up and reach full dilation (and baby in arms) in mere minutes or hours compared to the slow dilation of the previous hours or days. Then once I reach 3-4cm dilated, I can’t talk in between contractions either and will sometimes be vocal during the contraction as well. It would be interesting to hear from midwives who have attended a large number or births for women of color. Also I been present at births of lots of different ethnic groups and there is a change in the colour around the line in the natal cleft.
The information can also cause a mother emotional distress if she feels she should be further along or is not going fast enough for her provider’s liking. Every vaginal exam increases bacteria, and therefore increases the risk of infection to mother and baby. I got to experience trusting myself and them to judge how I was doing using all of these methods. I’ve had 3 homebirths since and my midwife can tell where I am by the noises I make and my manner. In my experience as a doula and student midwife, this happens just about as often as the purple line.
I know, there are all these charts of labor progress, station versus time, alert lines to cross, etc. That should keep them out of your hair, and your cervix, long enough to for you to focus on the task at hand in peace. While progress is not the same for everyone, knowing that something is happening at the mother’s pace (not a graph on a chart) is important for the mother and care providers. Well clinical studies show that all gall stones, kidney stones, or foreign bodies like glass or bullet fragments need to be removed, as long as they are not causing problems.
In most labors one nurse or resident is the same person examining the patient and that same person can easily determine a change in the cervix from exam to exam. I started taking her to the chiropractor and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. When the baby was a few days old, Brandon and I were watching a movie that was kind of emotional. After about 2 more she was crowning and in one more contraction she slid out into Brandon’s waiting hands.
However, I have not seen any studies indicating higher TSH levels in women done in the US or other countries. After researching my options, and much thought, I did not want to go down the c-section route, and having delivered my first daughter, who was in a posterior position, I knew that my body could achieve a natural breech birth. I was up and about minutes after giving birth and my daughter arrived safely and healthily. I suppose I have a lot of knowledge about a lot of things (I am constantly researching), opening others eyes to change.
Looking at the date of the article and the comments I doubt this will be seen but I will be looking further into all this as it has always been my opinion that the breech births do affect the later health of the child. Women who are not dilated or effaced at all during a prenatal appointment can suddenly have a baby in arms an hour later.
I would assume that the line would show up for women of all colors, but perhaps it depends on the skin tone. In my experience, when I feel that primal urge to push come over me, it means I am fully dilated!
Fever, which is the only indicator that study shows, is not the only indicator of infection either.
But logic tells us that if something foreign is in our organs or skin and has the potential to cause pain or a foreign body reaction that we probably should have it removed. What I’m finding the hardest info to find online is about checking for tearing after birth. Wait for that baby to fully develop so s(he) is ready to be earthside (don’t induce or have an early cesarean if there is no medical indication to do so). They alsy didn’t want me to wait till i was in labour cause of the speed of my labour. There have been several studies, the most well known being the PREMODA study (Goffinet et al, American Journal of Obstet Gynecol (2006, 194: 1002-1011) showing that in carefully controlled environments, there is no significant difference in outcome between planned vaginal birth and planned caesarean section. Cervical dilation tells us one thing and one thing only – where you are right that second. The first thought that comes to mind (and the only thought usually) is that you must have a vaginal exam. And another study abstract which was done on models.] When you add in multiple people checking, the accuracy gets even worse. As the harder work sets in, mothers retreat inside and tend to ignore those around them or get serious in other ways.
When women are prepared for this stage they can be reassured that this means labor is almost over and baby is near. I’m thinking the Purple Line has more to do with pressure on the sacrum than dilation. Maybe in the hospital situation the fact that midwives don’t actually stay with the woman for more than a few minutes at a time mean they rely on internals rather than continuous observations. So do you go ahead and request unnecessary surgery to have these removed because logic trumps research studies? It’s not about tolerating pain, it’s about giving over to the process of birth and having no fear!
The older 2 children woke up a few hours after she was born and were so happy we were home.
I ended up in the hospital with my daughter’s birth, but planned a natural homebirth with a midwife. I had second degree tears with the first and am just u sure about how I’m going to know if I need to go get looked at after the birth. Most issues with breech births are because of other factors and not because of where baby is born. It tells you nothing about what came before that check (when you compare to other labors or women) and it tells you nothing about what is to come.
But this Purple Line or Bottom Line is not he line that is normally there (which is usually pink).
The line showed up most when women were around 7-8cm dilated, and seemed to fade in some women at almost complete dilation. Keeping the jaw slack and not clenching helps the pelvic area to open and not clench as well. This usually comes out during contractions, and may be a gush of fluids and mucus and blood. Following this purple or red line which is based on venous congestion and not really cervical dilation is an indirect measure of cervical progress where a cervical exam is a direct measure of cervical progress. This is also when I realizied that I had to COMPLETELY give over so I didn’t stall my labor like the last two times. I feel strongly that I’m not going to year like that this time around as I feel that I will be better able to listen to my body with no interruptions but I still need more info just in case. And lets not forget that vaginal exams are just plain uncomfortable at the best of times – in labor they can be downright hellish. And according to this study sample, the line seems to first show for most women around 3-4cm. If a woman’s membranes were broken before this point, she may have another gush of fluid at this point. The baby was moving all throughout my labor (she was high and working herself into a good position) and I never once felt I would need to transfer. I am planning another home birth, and this time pray that my pregnancy and birth go better this time. With my last birth, the primal, guttural sound that came out of my throat with the first involuntary push caused me to lose my voice for a week. Just wanting women to have realistic expectations, because otherwise it causes unnessessary grief! If a woman has hemorrhoid, vulvar varicosities, pelvic congestion syndrome, lower extremity varicosities, prolonged labor with excess IV fluids, preeclampsia with edema and other conditions will certainly affect this purple line reliability. For this blog though, I will share that we were ecstatic and of course in a “we did it!” excitement. I realize now, that I could have just chosen to let my body and baby do what it does know how to do.



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