Okay - so I didn't know any better :-)
I was looking through some of my favorite sites to put together a list of links and I came across this article on the breech birth site. I think it's so, so funny, because I didn't meet ANY of the criteria for a "safe" breech birth! What does the American College of OBGYNs know anyway? :-)
Here's the article:
"If an expectant couple were to insist on the academic position and want to try for a vaginal breech delivery, however, I feel obligated to consider it, because it is legitimate. But this consideration would be undertaken only if the criteria of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are met:
1) An ultrasound as labor begins to make sure the baby is "frank" breech--not complete or footling (incomplete). Only a frank breech (the most common type in which the hips are flexed but the knees are straight,jack knifing the baby so that the buttocks deliver first) may deliver from below. In the other types, one or two feet and legs are in the way, which will jam up while trying to negotiate the pelvic pathway out.
2) An estimated fetal weight of no more than 3800 grams(about 8 pounds), which can be determined by the ultrasound.
3) X-ray pelvimetry to get actual bone measurements of the pelvis and compare them to the dimensions of the baby's head. If it's close, this delivery is better handled via a C-section. If there's a generous difference in the pelvis's favor, it's doable.
4) A proven pelvis. That is, this can't be a first delivery. The expectant mother has to have had a baby before, vaginally, and of term size, indicating that this is a pelvis that can come through (no pun intended)."
My baby wasn't the "right" kind of breech - he was footling: his big ole feet came out first! And he was *only* TWO POUNDS over the "safe" weight limit. And my poor little pelvis wasn't "proven" yet, because he was my first (I think it did pretty good, though!)
Let me also put in a word for my midwife: her experience and skill level is ten times what an OB has with normal, natural birth - especially a breech birth! If I had to do it all over again (and I hope to get the chance soon - hopefully head-first next time!), I'd gladly choose to put my life and the life of my baby in her hands, with full confidence. Homebirths are SAFE - and more than that, they're FUN!!
(The above article can be found at: http://www.gynob.com/breechvag.htm, called "The Best Way To Deliver A Breech Baby")