This episode is a deeply personal and inspiring journey shared by Naoma Kleisner, RN, MSN and Mohamed Koraichi, who bravely chose a breech vaginal birth for their son. From the early discovery of a breech position at 25 weeks to the challenges of finding supportive care in Chicago, their story unfolds with determination and resilience. We’ll explore their birthing experience, including acupressure, birth balls, and the choices they made to ensure a positive outcome. This episode is not just about breech birth; it’s about informed choices, the strength within, and the importance of supportive care during a remarkable birthing journey.
- Watch the video of this podcast episode on the EBB YouTube channel here!
- Access the EBB Signature Article: Evidence on Breech Version with a free handout here.
- Join the EBB Pro Membership and get access to contact hours, a doula mentorship, live trainings, and a PDF Library with exclusive handouts (including a 2-page handout on breech) by joining here.
- Learn advocacy techniques through the EBB Childbirth Class.
EBB Podcasts about Breech:
- EBB Podcast 111: Positioning Breech Babies with Dr. Elliot Berlin
- EBB Podcast 171: The Experience of a Unique Vaginal Breech Birth with Janae and Andrew Rick
- EBB Podcast 172: Breech Vaginal Birth with Dr. Rixa Freeze and Dr. David Hayes
- EBB Podcast 173: Evidence on Breech Version
- EBB Podcast 296: The Evidence on Breech Birth with Dr. Rebecca Dekker and Sara Ailshire, MA
- Check out the workshops at Breech without Borders here.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:00:00:
Hi everyone. On today’s podcast, we’re going to talk with Naoma Kleisner and Mohamed Koraichi about their breech vaginal birth experience. Welcome to the Evidence Based Birth® Podcast.
My name is Rebecca Dekker, and I’m a nurse with my PhD and the founder of Evidence Based Birth®. Join me each week as we work together to get evidence based information into the hands of families and professionals around the world. As a reminder, this information is not medical advice. See ebbirth.com/disclaimer for more details.
Before we get started with today’s episode, I have an exciting announcement. Early bird registration for the 2024 Evidence Based Birth® conference is now open. This is a two day virtual conference designed to unleash your potential in birth and beyond. Plus, if you register by February 7, you will get access to the conference along with a bonus Q&A with Dr. Nicole Rankins OB/GYN and host of the All About Pregnancy and Birth podcast. Just go to ebbirth.com/conference to find out what ticket opportunities are available to you either as a birth worker, healthcare worker, or parent. And now, let’s turn to today’s podcast which is a remarkable birth story shared by Naoma and Mohamed. This incredible couple was freshly postpartum when we recorded this episode so there is a nursing newborn in the first 18 minutes and baby is making a few of those baby noises that we could not edit out. If this is too much of a distraction for you there is a transcript of the story available at ebbirth.com/299. Mohamed and Naoma’s baby falls asleep about 18 minutes into the recording so his little noises quiet down at about that 18 minute mark. Or, if it’s not enough to hear their baby but you also want to catch a glimpse of how cute he is, you can watch this episode 299 on our Evidence Based Birth® YouTube channel.
And now I’d like to introduce our honored guests, Naoma Klesner and Mohamed Koraichi. Naoma recently graduated with her master’s in nursing in 2023 and has a background in research. After learning that their son was breech 25 weeks pregnancy, Naoma and Mohamed were surprised to learn that no in-state providers were willing to do a vaginal delivery. This led them to begin researching vaginal breech birth options and ultimately led to them giving birth at a hospital in another state. Today we’re going to talk with Naoma and Mohamed about their unique experience and how Evidence Based Birth® resources help their family in their decision-making process. Naoma and Mohamed, welcome to the Evidence Based Birth® Podcast.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:01:42:
We’re happy to be here.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:01:44:
Happy to be here.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:01:45:
So I am so excited that you’re here to share your story with our listeners because you had a very unique experience. Can you start by just telling us a little bit about yourself and your journey into parenthood?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:01:58:
Um, like it was actually kind of a surprise. So we had, we’ve been married for almost four years now. And I was like finishing up nursing school and then I learned that we were pregnant. So we kind of just went from there.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:02:13:
Yeah, we learned at 3 a.m. I woke up and she’s like, “Oh, I’m pregnant.”
Naoma Kleisner – 00:02:21:
Yeah, that’s when I do that. It’s probably not the best time, but…
Rebecca Dekker – 00:02:25:
Middle of the night, you’re a little confused, but it started you on your journey. And then, you know, you mentioned to me that you found out your baby was breech at 25 weeks. What were your thoughts at that time?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:02:38:
I mean, me personally, I was worried because I just had like this… I don’t know, they kept telling me he will turn and things like that. And I was… Like, I don’t think so. For some reason, I just had a feeling like he wouldn’t. And I don’t know why. Um, but I think I was very nervous because I knew in the US there wasn’t as many options if your baby was breech. I have friends like overseas. And so I knew in like the UK and things like that, they were starting to do vaginal breech birth again. Whereas I knew in the US, it was kind of like you would still get an automatic C-section. So I was worried, like, what would I do if the baby didn’t turn. Was more what I was feeling.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:03:24:
Yeah. For me, the same thing. It was something new to me, so I didn’t know much about it. And so I started like learning from my wife about it. I was not worried because I always have like kind of hope of things will be good. And we had time. So I was like, all right, she’s going to turn. It’s just, maybe he’s comfortable in that position for now. But later on, we learned that the more time is spent in this pregnancy and the baby is not turned, then the less chance that he will be turning. And that was kind of stressful, especially for my wife.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:04:04:
Rebecca Dekker – 00:04:06:
Yeah. And it’s interesting, Naoma, you mentioned your intuition, you know, telling you that your baby was going to stay breech, even though, you know, having a baby in a breech position at 25 weeks is fairly common, but most of the time they turn, but like, as Mohamed said, as time goes on, the chances go down. And so what were you doing and researching as, you know, your pregnancy progressed and your baby was still breech? Like what things were you trying?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:04:36:
I mean, I did Spinning Babies®. I think everybody who’s breech ends up doing it. Like we had the ironing board. I was upside down.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:04:45:
Yeah. I come from work. I opened the door. I find my wife upside down every day.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:04:50:
Every day. Yeah. I was trying that. I did like other stuff too. Like I had tried like, acupuncture. Moxa. We did that at one point. Massage. I did a few times even. And then. None of it really was working, you know? So, but I think we were consistent with it till the very end. Like I remember-
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:05:08:
Naoma Kleisner – 00:05:09:
Every day we were doing that until I went into labor.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:05:16:
So how did you first come across Evidence Based Birth® and what drew you to explore the resources here?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:05:22:
I was in nursing school and during our labor and delivery rotation, one of the professors had mentioned, “Oh, you might want to check out this podcast that has information about like some of the things that we do on the floor so you can kind of familiarize yourself with some of the practices.” And so I started listening to it then because I didn’t have any kids at the time. So like, I wasn’t familiar at all with labor and delivery. So I thought it would be good to listen. And so I found it interesting. And then when I was pregnant, I started listening to it again just because it had a lot of information that I found useful.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:05:59:
That’s wonderful that your nursing professor introduced you to it. That’s always like, makes my day when I hear that students are using it as a resource. So, when your baby was breech, were there any specific episodes or things you learned from the podcast that you found helpful?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:06:16:
I listened to the one with Dr. Freeze and I forgot the…Dr. Hayes.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:06:23:
Dr. Hayes, yeah.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:06:25:
Yeah. I listened to that one. And then I also listened to the ECV one as well because we did do one. We did that at, I think, 37 weeks, four days. I did an ECV. 37, 36. Yeah.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:06:39:
Yeah. So tell us about the ECV then. What was that experience like?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:06:43:
So what had happened was we had eventually found a provider or like a hospital that was willing to do vaginal breech birth. And when I had consulted, I was working with the midwives and then they wanted me to consult with the OB because they told me at the birth there would have to be an OB and the midwife. And so I went to talk with the OB and she said we should do an ECV before. And so I did it. So just in terms of like, the ECV, how that went was we just arrived at the hospital. I don’t know. I think at like, 6 AM. We had to wake up pretty early.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:07:18:
So we live in Chicago. We used to live in Chicago. We recently moved this week. So Chicago is like one hour from Milwaukee. That’s where we went for ECV.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:07:30:
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:07:31:
Like we felt trust with that hospital and that doctor. And so we went and tried the ECV because we were hoping that the baby will turn. And yeah, so we woke up at four. And got there at six. To me, it was stressful, to be honest. Just seeing the kind of like the stomach and the baby like turning and monitoring the heartbeats going down. It was a bit frightening because I’ve never seen that before. And also, I’m someone who doesn’t go to the hospitals, right? Or hasn’t been much in hospital. So it could be different for someone who’s used, like for my wife, she’s a nurse, things like that. So for me, that was kind of scary.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:08:17:
I mean, like, yeah, so what had happened was the first time the baby did turn and then he turned right back.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:08:24:
During the procedure?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:08:24:
Yeah. And so they turned him, and then they waited and then they did an ultrasound to check and he had actually flipped back. And then what had happened after that, the doctor said they can do it again. And I said, okay. And so they did it, but then his heartbeat, like, dropped considerably after that. And so it was, like, in the 40s for a while, and then it went around again. And so we didn’t want to do it again after that one. And so then that same doctor, after the procedure, she talked to us about, like, what our options would be. And she said that we could do an ECV again in a week. Or we would just plan to do a vaginal breech birth, or we could do a C-section at 39 weeks. And she gave us the risks and benefits of both. And then we decided that we would maybe try an ECV again, but we would definitely do the vaginal breech birth. We wouldn’t do the C-section. Yeah.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:09:33:
Yeah. Okay. So maybe let’s rewind a little bit and go back to, you know, your search for a provider. Cause you were learning the research on these different options and your baby was breech before you had the ECV. So the Chicago metropolitan area has a population of almost 10 million people. So are you telling me you could not find a doctor to do a breech vaginal delivery in Chicago?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:10:01:
None. None was willing. And, uh, I met with several, actually. It was very, very hard. And we ended up, when we went to Wisconsin and talked to the doctor there, because apparently all the providers, so the midwives, the CNMs, OBs, and the OB residents were all trained by Breech Without Borders and vaginal breech birth. And so they were offering it to everybody.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:10:28:
Naoma Kleisner – 00:10:29:
In Milwaukee. And so when we went there, I had asked the OB why was it that there was nobody in Chicago, and they said it was because something with malpractice insurance. However, I don’t know 100% why, but she said you wouldn’t find anybody in Illinois who would be able to.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:10:49:
Wow. Not a single doctor would do it. Yeah. So how far along were you when you switched to the Milwaukee providers then?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:11:01:
Rebecca Dekker – 00:11:03:
Naoma Kleisner – 00:11:04:
So it was a later transfer.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:11:05:
So. You started early, basically, like you weren’t waiting until your due date to figure this out.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:11:10:
Yeah, because I guess in my head, I was like, I wanted to be comfortable with the providers as well. And I guess at the end of the day, I was like, you know, Milwaukee isn’t that far of a drive. I could go there and get the care that I needed. And even if the baby was head down, we would just still go there and have the baby there because it’s just an hour away. But at least then we would have the option of both, like just a vaginal head down birth or a vaginal breech birth if the baby stayed breech. It just made me feel more comfortable.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:11:44:
Knowing that whatever happened, you could have options. You wouldn’t be forced into anything.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:11:48:
Yeah, that’s what I was more worried about was being forced into like something I wasn’t a hundred percent comfortable with.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:11:57:
Also, the doctors in the Chicago area makes you kind of uncomfortable.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:12:02:
The one I had seen, yeah, it was even before it was very much like the OB was very, it was all medicalized. And she was even like, after the 25 week ultrasound, we were talking with her and she was kind of saying, well, you’re small anyway, so you would probably need a C-section.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:12:22:
Wow. So she was already at 25 weeks, like telling you your body can’t have a baby.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:12:28:
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:12:30:
Yeah, so that was kind of stressful for my wife.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:12:38:
Yeah, I thought it was kind of frustrating.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:12:40:
And what’s interesting too is when we went to his check right after birth with one of the pediatricians and because we were staying in Wisconsin, north of Wisconsin, her parents place, and there was this pediatrician was one hour away. And when we told them, oh, the baby was born vaginally like breech and they’re like, oh, and they let you do that?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:13:03:
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:13:04:
You know, so it shows like it is something that is kind of viewed as a C-section procedure. That’s the only option.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:13:15:
And it’s not really an option if they tell you you have to do it and there’s no other choice.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:13:20:
Yeah, there wasn’t. Yeah. So even at 25 weeks, they’re kind of just saying you are going to have to have a C-section.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:13:26:
Rebecca Dekker – 00:13:27:
And how did that work insurance-wise? Because I know in the United States, we do not have universal health care like some countries. So what was involved to be able to go to another state? Was that a difficulty for you?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:13:42:
No, I am grateful that we have good insurance. So the insurance that we had allowed us to go out of state. And so I called just to verify, oh, is this provider somebody that we can still see? And they said, yeah. And so it was pretty simple. Pretty simple.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:14:03:
That’s good. That’s good to hear.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:14:03:
Rebecca Dekker – 00:14:05:
So. What are some misconceptions or fears you had before your breech birth and how did your knowledge evolve, you know, from when you found out your baby’s breech at 25 weeks to finding a breech friendly provider at 32 weeks and then having your baby?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:14:22:
Yeah. So, I mean, initially, like I felt comfortable with breech vaginal birth simply because I knew it was done.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:14:29:
In other countries.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:14:30:
Yeah. And it was, it was something where, yes, you do need to see a provider that’s familiar with it, but it wasn’t like, “Oh my god, they’re doing something that could kill your baby. “ So I felt comfortable with it. And so I just went on Breech Without Borders and I was looking through their database. They had like an online directory and the closest there wasn’t any in Illinois, but I did find the providers in Milwaukee and so I went under the website of the hospital called and was like, this is my situation. I just want to see if I can be a late transfer. And it was actually like gratefully not hard to get an appointment with them.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:15:14:
Naoma Kleisner – 00:15:15:
It was pretty straightforward.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:15:17:
Yeah. And Mohamed, what about you? Did you have any fears? I know you talked about the ECV being frightening and stressful, but when, you know, as the pregnancy was progressing and Naoma was constantly trying to turn the baby, what were your feelings or thoughts about having a breech baby?
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:15:33:
Well, because for me, I’m, I don’t have much knowledge. I didn’t have much knowledge about this. I was overall worried and scared because my mom had a tough experience when she gave birth to me, right? So overall, I was scared. But when I was looking at the research and seeing what it says, right, I tend to stick to that and focus. And one thing I read was the risk was, they said, like 100% or more. But in reality, that 100%, was it something like from 1% to 2%, you know?
Rebecca Dekker – 00:16:10:
Yeah, I think it’s like from 1 in 1,000 to 2 in 1,000.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:16:14:
Yeah, 2 in 1,000. I’m like, well, that’s not, because it’s kind of deceiving when you’re 100% because you go, oh, oh, my God. That means definitely there will be something wrong. Right. But in reality, the number. It tells you no. It’s just still a low risk, and we should not worry about it. So looking at that made me more kind of hopeful about the situation. And one thing I would say is that sometimes if we just listen to what other people say, the negative things without looking at the data, that could be overwhelming. So it’s always good to look at the data, the numbers, because they speak for themselves about an entire sample of population instead of three or two people.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:17:02:
So was there anything else you needed to plan for the birth because you were driving an hour or more away to get to the hospital? Like in terms of when were you going to leave for the hospital?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:17:15:
I think we left too early, honestly. I think we almost left too early. Because it was also because we wanted to get there on time and we had never, I obviously hadn’t had a baby before. So I wasn’t sure exactly how long it would take me. We were both not sure how long it would take. And so we wanted to get there early enough. But when we got there, I was only like a centimeter dilated and like 70, no, or 30% efface. And so they just told us to walk. Around a little bit and then at triage, then they checked me again. And I was like, still, I was like two centimeters and then 70% effaced. So they said like, um, maybe if you guys want to stay at a hotel tonight, that would make sense. And that’s what we did. We stayed at a hotel and,
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:18:06:
We stayed for three hours and then we had to go back.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:18:08:
No, it wasn’t three hours. We stayed there until maybe 3:30 in the morning.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:18:13:
Yeah, we came around 11:30.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:18:16:
Oh, really? Yeah, 11:30 p.m.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:18:18:
And then we had to go back, because it started being more, so I had to time it. And it said, based on the timing, that we should go, But the delivery was not… It was still later. It was like, um..
Naoma Kleisner – 00:18:36:
it was like 5:20pm
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:18:38:
5:20 p.m. So we were there at 3:30 a.m. And so, 5:20 p.m. Then it started. But for us, to be honest, partially I knew that we may be earlier there, but I wanted to be safe because driving an hour, I thought I didn’t want like something to happen on the way, right, to wait and end up going to a C-section or something we didn’t desire. I knew we had doctors that were trustworthy in those hospitals and it was worth it to be honest to go. Earlier.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:19:15:
Yeah. So Naoma, tell me what your labor experience was like. Take me through the process.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:19:21
I’m trying to remember everything because to be honest, I was so tired that like some of the bits and pieces I don’t remember. But what I recall is once the contractions started, I wasn’t actually sure if they were contractions. And then by mid-middle of the day, I had called my husband to come and we decided that we needed to go. After we had packed our bags and stuff. And so then we started heading to the hospital. Then we had the thing where I hadn’t progressed that much so we just went to the hotel. But once I was at the hotel, things started to be more, like it was, it got to the point where I couldn’t really talk through the contractions, you know? I just kind of felt like they would hit me like bricks and it was all in my back. So it was a little bit harder and it kept getting more painful. And so then once we decided to go back to the hospital, then… I guess at like what, 3:30 AM you were thinking it was?
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:20:21:
Yeah, 3:30, we went to the hotel at 3:30 a.m. We went back to the hospital.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:20:26:
Yeah, and so then we went back, and I was five centimeters by that point. Oh, wow. Yeah. And so, and like, I was five centimeters and they said it was 100% effaced. Yeah. Yeah, so they admitted me at that point. And then at the hospital, like, it was actually nice. I really liked the nurses. I didn’t really feel like I had a breech baby. Like, they didn’t really do much different. They would check his heartbeat every, I think it was like, I don’t know how often the nurse came in, do you recall? Because I wasn’t on continuous fetal monitoring at all until I had to push.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:21:03:
They had to come out, say every like 30, 40 minutes, they check something like that.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:21:09:
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:21:09:
If I have to guess. Yeah.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:21:11:
Yeah, and I was able to go in the shower, and the hot water kind of helped with the pain. They had other stuff, other things.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:21:18:
There is like, certain points. I don’t know if there is scientific proof about this, but I’ve read that it does help. There are certain points in the feet where you press that helps.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:21:31
The acupressure points.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:21:33
Yeah. And what I found that the nurses there too were aware of them. So they were helping me do it. Yeah.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:21:46:
And then I guess. The only thing is I couldn’t get an epidural because the doctors wanted me to be able to move, especially during pushing. So it was just kind of trying to manage the pain myself. And my husband was obviously supportive. I think, though I did ask for, I think I forgot what it was called, Nubain or something. Morphine and opioid injectable in your IV then? Yeah, yeah, just to kind of sleep because I hadn’t slept for so long. And that helped. And then like, obviously, the pain picked up after a few hours, but it helped me just get some sleep. And then after I slept too, I was an eight, had progressed to eight centimeters. So it helped, I think, just relaxing a little bit.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:22:40:
I think just doing the positions that a person is comfortable with, right? There is one thing that was helpful is we went to a birth class together, which was in the birth center of Chicago. And the birth center just to focus on vaginal birth and they showed us many techniques during labor. Yeah, and you did help me with those. Yeah, and that was helpful to be aware of. Especially for husbands to attend because sometimes, for example, my wife was in labor and she was in pain, and I had to kind of think about those movements and ask her, there is this movement, do you want to do it? And making sure the facility a person goes to has those.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:23:28:
Like the birth balls.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:23:30:
The birth balls, things like that to help.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:23:33:
Yeah, so you used a lot of positions, Naoma, you used water, you had pain medication and used birth balls and acupressure. It sounds like you had a lot of people and ways to help you stay as comfortable as possible. Yeah.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:23:49:
Really, to be honest, the contractions, like they hurt, but it wasn’t really until pushing where I felt like, “Oh, this was getting hard.”
Rebecca Dekker – 00:23:58:
Yeah. So what happened at that point? Like what time was it when you were fully dilated and, and what happened with that?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:24:05:
Because I had asked, I kind of lost track of time, but I asked the midwife after how long I was pushing and it was, she said like about an hour. So I think it was, I think Emma said like started at like, 4:20.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:24:20:
The actual pushing.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:24:23:
Rebecca Dekker – 00:24:23:
In the afternoon.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:24:24:
Yeah, in the afternoon. They checked me. I was fully dilated. And then they said, like, if you feel like you need to push, you know, then you can push. But I didn’t really feel like I needed to at that point. But what had happened, too, though, is once… They figured out I was fully dilated. That’s when a lot of people started coming in. Like, I think they had them, and that got me nervous.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:24:46:
That’s the only thing. If I had feedback for them is when a person is fully dilated and they’re especially looking to do things their own way, like vaginal for our case, to not have all the stuff coming, like the staff come in and stay there watching. Because it was kind of scary because you’re like, okay, what if we took more time? Are they going to go to C-section? Right? And so that made her kind of like…
Rebecca Dekker – 00:25:18:
So there were people observing. Do you think it was maybe because it was a breech birth and people wanted to learn and watch who weren’t actually there to help?
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:25:27:
Could have been that, yeah.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:25:29:
But I had asked if they could ask me before. I had asked for no extra people if possible. Because like we’re Muslim. And so I also don’t feel like 100% comfortable with like, men there who weren’t needed, but I don’t know. I’m pretty sure the pediatric team was there. Yeah. There’s just a lot of, it felt like there was a lot of people. And I think it was mostly because he was breech that they wanted be there.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:25:59:
Okay. So there was, yeah, the pediatrics people waiting to make sure he was okay after he was born.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:26:04:
Yeah. It’s just like when I felt like I didn’t need to push at that point, but I was fully dilated. So I guess it was just like stressful for me because I was like telling them, “Oh, I don’t know if I need to push yet.” And they were like, “Oh, just be patient.” But I was already nervous. And so I was like, I don’t know. Now I feel more anxious because there’s so many people…
Rebecca Dekker – 00:26:24:
So many people watching you. Yeah.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:26:26:
So that just made me, I think it made it more anxiety provoking for me, and then I wasn’t 100% sure how to push either. Yeah. You know, so… It took me a while to figure that out. I felt like. And my water broke during pushing too, so. There’s just a lot of sensations going on.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:26:49:
Did they ever tell you what kind of breech position he was in? Was he complete breech or Frank?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:26:56:
Frank. His feet were up by his face. They were up by his face almost.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:27:04:
Yeah, I watched him, how he came out and it was kind of interesting. Like coming out breech because it’s not like what we’ve seen in classes and stuff. Because he comes from his butt first. And it just looks like a piece of meat instead of head. And then the butt comes.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:27:24:
And the legs seem like they take forever to come out because they’re all the way up by his face.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:27:29:
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:27:30:
And then the feet kind of drop, right? The legs and the feet kind of drop after the butt. Then the head stays there. And that’s where I was worried, right? Yeah. The head was the last part because I heard stories that sometimes the head can get stuck. Yeah. But it was not the case for us. He was able to come out easily.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:27:52:
So were you in an upright birthing position, Naoma?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:27:55:
Yeah, I was on hands and knees. They wanted me to push on all fours. When I had talked to the OB, they said they wanted a physiological. Like their goal is to reach for him. And so they said like, unless they needed to do maneuvers, they wouldn’t.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:28:10:
They weren’t going to touch him. Right.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:28:13:
And so they didn’t really – I guess I wasn’t really paying attention because I was pushing.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:28:21:
I think it’s interesting when I attended the Breech Without Borders training, they showed us videos of the physiological breech births, and they show the standard maneuvers that the baby makes themselves, like as they’re coming out, and they kind of do these little tummy crunch, stomach crunches.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:28:38:
I felt something in there.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:28:39:
Yeah, and then the head is tucked in, comes out, so they don’t want to interfere with what the baby does to get out. If that makes sense, unless there’s an abnormality.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:28:50:
That’s what they were telling me too that like, unless they noticed something that they were they wouldn’t be intervening unless they noticed something happening. And so the only other thing I was worried about too was because that previous OB who I had seen before I had switched to somebody who was like…
Rebecca Dekker – 00:29:07:
Who told you you were too small.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:29:09:
Yeah. And so in my head, like, because when you’re pushing and I had never had a baby before you were like, you know, it’s, it’s just an odd sensation. And it’s hard to tell if you’re making progress or not. And it’s painful too. So you’re like, “Okay, this hurts. Am I making progress? Am I not making progress?” And then in my head, I was thinking, ‘’Well, this OB was telling me I’m too small.’ So I kept thinking in my head, ‘Oh my God, what if I’m too tiny? And he won’t, he’ll get stuck.’ But I mean like, he…once he came out, he was like, crying and what they didn’t need to like suction him or or anything actually he was.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:29:48:
It was very normal yeah, yeah like for me when i went through that um like like everything, the stories that I heard and reflecting back on the numbers, right? Yeah. It was, yeah, like I should always trust what the data tells me and follow that. Because I looked at the birth that we had and it was like, thankfully like everything was normal. It’s not like all these frightening stories that people share. The only thing I would say for me, I wanted to go do it at a hospital instead of a home. And a home which is also normal, right? And I can see us doing a home and nothing would happen. The only reason why I thought that is sometimes… When you are In labor, there are people their mind can change in that time where they can’t hold the pain, right?
Rebecca Dekker – 00:30:48:
Make them change their mind about what they want.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:30:51:
For example, my wife during labor, because it was her first time and she had those memories of what the doctor said and all that play. And she thought that she’s not going to be able to get the baby out because she’s too small, right? Yeah. Because of that and the pain, for example, she was calling for a C-section.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:31:13:
I started to, yeah. Because I was in so much pain.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:31:14:
She was like, I need, that’s it, I don’t care. I need a C-section right now. I’m in pain. But she was associating that really just… And I was scared. With, yeah.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:31:23:
That’s the other thing? I think that was… I really think if the OB had never told me that you’re too small, you would need a C-section anyway, I would have been more confident in myself. I think it was really at that point, like just a lack of confident..
Rebecca Dekker – 00:31:40:
It’s very mental. Yeah. It’s cognitive. You’re in your head pushing the baby out. Yeah. Your own thoughts can work against you. It’s so sad that, you know, I think a lot of physicians don’t realize that what you say to someone when they’re pregnant, when you’re in a very vulnerable situation, that those memories stay with you and can impact you.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:32:06:
And I wish I, I honestly wish I was at that practice once. Earlier, even if he wasn’t breech, because I remember even asking one of the midwives, because you would rotate between midwives per appointment. And so I was talking to one and I just said, one of my doctors before told me this, is that the case? And they were much more reassuring. Your pelvis can like, it will change during childbirth and it’s not going to stay in one place, dynamic. And like they were much more reassuring and said that they didn’t really have any concerns. But the problem is because one person told me that, that that just made me, you know, especially.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:32:48:
You can’t erase that memory of that person saying that.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:32:51:
Exactly. Exactly. And like when you’re in a situation that’s kind of high stress, you kind of, I feel like you fall back on that one thing.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:32:59:
Yeah, we tend to, you know, you could have 99 people say something positive to you and one person says something really negative about you or your body and that you remember the negative thing.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:33:11:
Yeah exactly you that and that’s what happened so but gratefully the midwives are very encouraging they were like no that’s not what you want.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:33:19:
Yeah. Exactly no, that’s not what you want.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:33:22:
And they knew you were almost there.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:33:27:
Yeah, but that’s also because why they stick to the plan too and encourage it because they saw her birth plan yeah right he had um i’ve never seen other birth plans but i can tell from doctors faces they were surprised yeah because the birth plan was very that’s way too detailed very not too much content it’s not that it’s detailed and specific on what she’s looking for and has citations right for proof.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:33:57:
Yeah, I did that.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:33:58:
And having that, doctors tend to be, I think, more careful and respectful because you are citing, right, from reliable sources and research studies. So they tend to stick with you through that. And I saw that in the hospital where they were more careful and to respect what she’s looking for. And my advice, if there are people in the Chicago area or Wisconsin, near Milwaukee, is to be honest, to go to the hospital. It’s called Aurora Sinai, right? I think so, yeah. Aurora Sinai Center. What’s interesting, the hospital, when you go there, you would not think it has those really well-trained doctors, resources and stuff because of its location in the city. You would think it’s because of the location being maybe like a lower middle class or lower class that the governments would not have something for the people, right, in the area. But in reality, it turns out totally different. That place was a very good place. And visiting places in Chicago, the hospitals that are even in, for example, near like Evanston, which is a well-off area, was not as good as the other one, which was great.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:35:28:
Yeah, looks can be really deceiving with hospitals and labor and delivery units. And so many hospitals put money into artwork and fancy buildings. And, you know, but then their staff have low morale or they treat their patients disrespectfully. So it’s more about the people and the culture and not the building. And I think a lot of parents get confused.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:35:52:
And that’s what I want to say, like to not go there and judge because of how the building looks.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:36:00:
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:36:01:
It’s about staff, right? How do they treat others? Do they respect everyone? Right. No matter of religion or race. So those are the places to look for.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:36:13:
Because in Chicago, even with me, I had other issues where I saw an OB and they would make. They would make like discriminatory comments because I… I don’t know if it was because I was Muslim.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:36:24:
Yeah. They start assuming things, for example…
Naoma Kleisner – 00:36:28:
That I’m like, that I’m abused.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:36:30:
Yeah, like, for example, like if she wears a scarf, because I asked her to wear it. No, in reality, she wore it before she even married me. And in reality, even if I tell her to not wear it, she will actually yell at me and tell me why you’re doing that. Right. So when we go to even like some areas that could be dangerous to wear a scarf that are very rural, I tell him, “Hey, change that,” and she tells me no, right, she wants to stick to her style, and people sometimes don’t have like prejudice thoughts and they can treat you different based on faith or etc so that’s one thing why I’m saying don’t judge a hospital based on the look..
Rebecca Dekker – 00:37:18:
Judge on how they treat you if they treat you with respect.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:37:22:
It’s not about really the area where it’s located or is this like a high end area or not it’s about the people that work there and what are their values.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:37:34:
It’s so important. I want to hear a little bit more advice from you, but before we go, can you also tell us, what did it feel like when your son was in your arms right after you gave birth?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:37:45:
Probably it’s the best. Like, I mean, like, it was almost like a shock. Like, you don’t even. I don’t know, you go through that whole process of labor and pushing and all of a sudden they’re like, oh hey, now you can hold your baby. And I’m like, wait, it’s done, thank goodness. And like you’re holding Ben and it just almost feels surreal. Like it doesn’t even, it feels like you’re literally dreaming. That’s how I felt. I don’t know. How did you feel?
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:38:09:
No, for me, to be honest, it feels like, because I love soccer, right? It’s like winning a World Cup. It’s like you’re going through this kind of tough stage, right? You and your wife, and you’re there to support her. And she’s like, almost like the player that tries to get the goal, right? And then when she scores that goal, which is giving birth, you feel like you have a trophy, you know? More than a trophy, you feel like, oh my God, we did it, like as a team. And it was just beautiful. It makes you kind of forget about all that. You forget about the other stuff when you went to your home, yeah.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:38:47:
Yeah. Is there anything, any other advice that you want to share before we go?
Naoma Kleisner – 00:38:55:
I guess just if you feel confident and I don’t know, I think a lot of the times, at least for me, I used to not really stand up for myself with physicians, even when I felt like they weren’t listening to me. And then once I became pregnant, I realized I kind of had to if I wanted to get what I wanted. And so I guess at the end of the day, if you don’t feel supported by your OB or your medical team, there are resources where you can look up and find providers that are more receptive of like if the baby is breech, breech birth. And if you’re able to make an effort to go and see them because you don’t deserve to be kind of corralled into the birth plan that that particular group, I guess maybe they think it’s best, but if you have evidence to suggest otherwise, you should go with what you feel is best for you.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:39:49:
Yeah, for me, I would say, like, trust always the research, what it says. And sometimes it’s good to be careful. There are research that is outdated, right? For example, regarding breech a long time ago, there was research that says, oh, there could be risks and this. But the most recent research shows the opposite.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:40:13:
That it can be, even though there are risks, like you can’t. At the end of the day, any birth is going to have risks. Risks, yeah. And I think you have to calculate what risks you’re willing to take.
Mohamed Koraichi – 00:40:25:
And assist based on that. The other thing I would say as advice for like people, other partners, would be like husbands kind of like study to listen to a podcast about what other people go through. Go to a birth class, if possible. Just to kind of be knowledgeable on how to support during labor because that’s where when kind of like your wife or partner needs you the most. Yeah. Right? And it’s good to be a good teammate, right? Instead of just a person that watches the process and let the nurses do everything but being in there because – For example, my wife, I knew that she’s going to remember if I don’t support her through that, right? And it kind of stays in memory, right? Because that’s like a very important, crucial time for that person. And that’s where you kind of show the love and support is through action, through that time.
Rebecca Dekker – 00:41:26:
Yeah, it can reveal a lot about, you know, your dedication to each other and your partnership and your teamwork. That’s for sure. Well, Naoma and Mohamed, thank you so much for sharing your story with our listeners. We really appreciate it.
Naoma Kleisner – 00:41:40:
Rebecca Dekker – 00:41:41:
And I also wanted to let our listeners know that, you know, this is the fourth in a mini series we’re doing about breech births. You can go to episode 296 to learn the evidence on breech birth. In 297, we cover frequently asked questions. In 298, we talked with Dr. Emiliano Chavira about overcoming barriers to breech vaginal birth. And we are so thankful to Mohamed and Naoma for sharing their breech vaginal birth story. And we’ll link to some other episodes in the show notes as well. So thanks, everyone. We’ll see you next week. Bye.
This podcast episode was brought to you by the Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class. This is Rebecca speaking. When I walked into the hospital to have my first baby, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Since then, I’ve met countless parents who felt that they too were unprepared for the birth process and navigating the healthcare system. The next time I had a baby, I learned that in order to have the most empowering birth possible, I needed to learn the evidence on childbirth practices. We are now offering the Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class totally online. In your class, you will work with an instructor who will skillfully mentor you and your partner in evidence based care, comfort measures, and advocacy so that you can both embrace your birth and parenting experiences with courage and confidence. Get empowered with an interactive online childbirth class you and your partner will love. Visit evidencebasedbirth.com/childbirthclass to find your class now.
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