The prose of no rotation and no descent: rotating to free the arms

There is this pause.  Some could call it a hesitation.  It may only be a split second.  It comes from going against your old agreements about how you are supposed to meet birth hands off.  Attend birth.  Help or not help.  It is ok to honor that part of you.  Just the pause while the doll in your pocket understands yet nods you forth.  A pause taken to stop and review, but you have already moved the birthing mother onto hands and knees with a leg up.  A pause that cannot be timed or maybe not even seen.  One second, two seconds.  It is not too late.  But your instincts were intact then and are intact now.  Here you are without worry but also a place of something new.  You are holding life.  Three seconds.  You have practiced for this.  The baby is surprisingly hard to get a hold of as it is slippery.  Wet.  And your mind is still clear even if it doesn’t look textbook.  

You knew that the signs were there.  A lack of rotation or descent.  You stare at the disappearing tidal marks as the color slowly refills on the baby to pink or is it now pinkish purple?  Another contraction.  

You know you could wait.  Stay with this old hands off agreement just a little longer to justify your move.  But why?  Now you can save time.  It’s coming either way as your body has told you.  The baby is talking to you.  Maybe it won’t be easy to resolve.  The baby gasps or tries to gasp.  The old agreement whispering, “Breathing movements.”  Now you know for sure it is time to go against the old rules.  They are not working for you or this baby in this moment.  

And purposefully you move and you try one thing and think about the next.  You’ve seen it in videos, midwives thinking amidst a need for help, where to place the hands.  They are practicing externally, and you know you will move surely beyond figuring out of the hand placement.  You must turn this baby with hands full of prayer.  One way, a movement of one arm.  The other way, keep going, keep going, keep going, and you go up and retrieve what was caught.  Babies are delicate souls but the body takes more pressure in the right places and directions.  We find ourselves removing that arm, returning to the mechanisms, and awaiting gravity.  

…Not too long… don’t wait too long, as we have started, and with this lack of tone we will finish.  You think about going to flex the head but your tools are there in front of you externally.  “Don’t waste time,” says your hands, and you hold the baby and use leverage pressing forward yet nudging back for the head to go into flexion.  A maneuver with many names.  Asking for assistance to lift folds of tissue adding form yet clearing a pathway for the head to be born.  Birth.

This is what we do as the tone is low.  The fear today is absent.  Stimulating, talking, tracking, preparing for breaths.  My body hasn’t breathed either.  Take a breath.  Take a deep breath along with that baby. A long….. deep ….. breath.  There you go.  Just like that.  The baby may be resuscitating you.  

#normalizebreech #breechbirth #similartoshoulderdystocia #rotatingtofreethearms #surprise

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