Bottoms up: The birth of Oliver

By Published On: August 3rd, 2011Tags: ,

I was due November 15, 2010, but our son, Oliver, was breech throughout the entire pregnancy so we had a planned C-section for November 11. From the time we first made out limbs and a spine, he was butt down. That’s how he remained until the day he was born. Also, I had an anterior placenta and scar tissue from previous surgeries. My OB did not feel comfortable trying any versions.

On November 6, we headed to a friend’s surprise birthday party. Earlier in the day, I was having some contractions. I kept thinking they were uncomfortable but not painful, probably Braxton Hicks. My husband Jeff downloaded an iPhone app for timing contractions and since I never thought I was going to use it because of the planned C-section, I decided to go ahead and time these contractions for the fun of it. For six hours or so I kept track of them. They were all over the place: sometimes seven minutes apart, sometimes three, sometimes lasting 30 seconds, sometimes over a minute.

Later, I joked with our friends that I had done everything listed under “what to do to go into labor,” including eating spicy food that morning and taking a walk. I also brought a pineapple over to their house for dinner.

Throughout the evening, I kept timing the contractions. They were still all over the place. Around 9:00 p.m., I used their bathroom. I thought I heard something plop into the toilet. I looked in and swear I saw pieces of the mucous plug. There was also some blood and mucous on the tissue when I wiped, but my contractions weren’t bad. We left their house around 9:30 p.m and told them we were probably going home, but we might call Labor & Delivery because the contractions were getting slightly painful.

On the way home, I called my OB’s answering service. I got a call back from the doctor on call who told me to come in to be monitored. In the next 30 minutes, the contractions went from being slightly painful to me screaming at Jeff that if there was any day he was allowed to speed, this was it. We made it home, dropped off our dog who was with us, grabbed our packed bags (thank heavens for that), and headed to our hospital 15 minutes away. Every contraction from that moment on was excruciating. I now understand and empathize with the women screaming in all those movies during labor.

We got to the hospital parking lot and I had to stop twice on the walk to the door because of the contractions. The guard on duty took one look at my face and immediately brought me a wheelchair. They got me into Labor & Delivery, checked me in, got me into the beautiful gown and strapped me to the monitors. The doctor on call came in and did an internal. Uhhh … I was 4 cm, 100% effaced and -1 station!!! What that means to the uninitiated is that I was in active labor. They did a quick ultrasound because of my scheduled C-section. My son was fully engaged in my pelvis – butt first!

Things moved fast after that. They prepped me for my c-section and rolled me into the Operating Room at 11:09 p.m. The anesthesiologist gave me a spinal. It had an immediate effect. I kept mumbling “It feels weird, it feels weird in my feet and legs,” but I didn’t feel anything from my c-section, not even pulling. My husband sat by my head the entire time. At one point, the anesthesiologist asked him to stand up and I heard Jeff ask, “What’s that?” The anesthesiologist replied, “That’s his butt.” My husband saw Oliver being born, still butt first.

Oliver Gary Williams was born on November 7 at 12:37 a.m. weighing 5 lbs 12 ounces and measuring 18.5 inches long. They took him to the nursery, promising to bring him back once I was sewn up and in recovery.

Oliver ended up spending a few days in the NICU because of a spontaneous pneumothorax but he is doing wonderfully now. He is the center of our universe. His smiles light up our days and his giggles make my heart skip a beat every time.

Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!

By Sylvie