38 Weeks Pregnant – Update Time!

After my last post regarding my quest to encourage my baby to flip from being breech to a head down position, I went through many different levels of emotion. I mentioned how determined I was as my days were consumed doing inversion exercises, moxibustion / acupuncture treatments twice a day, and meeting with a chiropractor 2-3 times per week for the Webster Technique. I was indeed obsessed and a little out of my mind. After several weeks of treatments the baby stayed put, and I was in total fear.

I began to research breech deliveries and found out it was a true possibility. My midwives at GW Hospital felt that I would be an excellent candidate for breech delivery. Their practice does have experience delivering breech babies and the midwives work hand and hand with a couple of OBs who have skills with forceps for extra guidance should the baby need it as the head emerges last. Heavy stuff. Risky stuff. But not impossible. I researched more and discovered that breech deliveries were something that women have delivered from the beginning of time. No they weren’t routine, but the woman didn’t just die if her baby never turned vertex. The trouble is, OBs in the US have become out of practice since the 1980’s and have sent nearly all women with breech babies to the operating table. Delivering a breech baby turned into something that was an art form, a finite skill, to something no one knew how to do.

Today, interested OBs and midwives go as far as India to witness and learn how to deliver a breech baby. It can be done! My issue was that “all stars needed to align” for the team at the hospital to allow me to proceed. … The baby would need to be a reasonable size — and Jack was born 9lbs — which worried me. I am measuring smaller with this pregnancy, but I did worry that my body just makes big ole babies. I needed to have a normal blood pressure also, and all the emotional stress was causing my blood pressure readings to border just a little above average.

I had a melt down. I cried for four straight days out of fear that I wouldn’t meet all the criteria and would wind up in surgery. My family supported me for a delivery as did Daryle. I actually felt passionately determined, but yet I was so fucking scared of it not working out. Of me dying. Of my baby having brain damage or dying. On a Monday morning at 35 weeks, I wept silently through my Webster adjustment. And later that day when I met with my midwife — she knew I just needed to know. She felt my belly all over, felt down near my pelvis and said “that feels like a head.” She brought in the sonogram machine and quickly placed it on me — confirming that the baby’s head was DOWN. She had flipped in the middle of the night — because I never noticed it! Waves of emotion drew over me. Strength, power — the feeling of being in control of my body, tears streamed and hope rose again for a successful delivery.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get back online to share the news. I didn’t want to “jinx” the baby’s position because it’s been known to happen that a baby will flip back up to breech. But I do believe in my heart that she is going to stay head down. I enjoyed reading the point that eventually a baby’s head becomes too heavy and that’s why they naturally move to a head down position. So I will carry with me that she has a big head like me and will stay in the right spot from here on out.

Other than that, I am feeling huge! At times I really worry how I will juggle an active (nearly) three year old with a tiny baby. Jack has been my sweet baby — he has received all my love, attention, and heart for the last three solid years and will have a major adjustment once this little girl arrives. I want this baby to be as loved as he has been. I also don’t want Jack to feel deprived. I have a lot of love to give. I just pray for patience from all.

This past Monday, I had a series of eight contractions in a row. It took me a while and after they didn’t go away, I pulled out my labor app and tracked them some more. I had 12 more, mildly painful. Another emotional streak came over me. 37 weeks was sort of considered full-term, but I was not ready to go to the hospital. I drank some water and moved around and after awhile they subsided. From experience my midwife and doula separately agreed that those contractions mean the cervix is getting ready for delivery and that the baby may come early. Another point in this pregnancy that I wasn’t expecting. My midwife said “just when you think you have it figured out, there’s a change.” She said if more contractions begin to track them as I did. If they go away — continue on with my day. And if they continue, to give them a call. Second babies can progress quickly into what they referred as lighting labor. Bam! So in the meantime, I have packed my hospital bag, all baby clothes have been washed, and the car seat is ready. I’m just hoping to last as close to 39-40 weeks as possible because I think it’s best that way.

That’s all for now. Thank you truly for your interest reading my blog, love and support.

Katie

Breech Baby — I do not want a C-Section.

Hi my friends, I know it’s been an eternity since my last post. I’ve been re-thinking the voice I want this blog to have, whether I even want to write a blog any more and to be honest, I just don’t have a direct answer right now. I love Sunshine+Design and it’s been an important creative outlet for me over the last four, five (I can’t even remember) years. That said, I’d like to share some news…

First, I will be 34 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I’ve had an awesome pregnancy with #2. I think the second time around is actually easier because I’ve been so calm about everything. My main focus is on Jack and frankly, I don’t have the head-space to obsess about every tiny feeling the way it felt so natural to do when I was pregnant with Jack. I haven’t been tired — there’s just no room for that. In fact, I’ve felt the opposite — I’ve had lots of energy and pretty much have conducted my life the way I had been.

This will probably be the last full length picture I’ll post of myself. I’m at 32 weeks pregnant here, and was having a good hair day. I already look — ahem, different. Say hello to my messy bedroom.

As you may have remembered from my first pregnancy three years ago, I am passionate about having a natural childbirth. In my heart I do believe there are way too many unnecessary c-sections in the US and I do not want to be part of that statistical group. I do believe the over-use of pitocin and epidural can create a snowball effect, distressing the baby and leading a doctor to advise an emergency cesarean when the baby doesn’t come after a set amount of time. I chose to have an unmedicated birth with Jack and that is my aim for this baby as well.

At my 31 week appointment, my midwife felt my belly and informed me that the baby was breech. My reply: fuck. She was so calm and told me not to stress. She advised me to do some exercises from the website Spinning Babies to help encourage the baby to turn head down. My midwife even said not to obsess and do the exercises 100 times a day, but just to bring them into my routine.

An inversion from the website Spinning Babies. The idea is to get your pelvis above your head to create more room and entice your baby to do a summersault.

Hello big face and huge belly! This is an inversion from the website Spinning Babies. The idea is to get your pelvis above your head to create more room and entice your baby to do a summersault.

I would not describe myself as a “type-A” person. But I do have my pressure points. Learning that my babe is breech, I’ve gone from total depression, to angry, scared, and determined. I want this baby to flip. The trouble is, everyone I talk to outside of my midwife practice jumps to the fact that I am inevitably going to have a c-section. I don’t want to hear this.

I started seeing a chiropractor who specializes in the Webster Technique which helps encourage the baby to flip. I go in 3x a week where the chiropractor adjusts my spine to help create more room in my pelvis. It’s really quite fascinating and it feels incredible. I walk out of the office feeling relaxed with full of endorphins. It builds my courage and gives me hope.

I’ve also had an acupuncture session where the acupuncturist strongly advised me to incorporate moxibustion twice a days for 2 weeks. Moxibustion is an easy and inexpensive home remedy —¬†you do not need to go to an office to have it done. (There are YouTube videos that show you how.) Smokeless moxa sticks are available on Amazon for next to nothing. You light one stick and hold it at the edge of your pinky toe — near the base of your toenail (so not right at the top, just a teeny bit lower).

Light the moxa stick using a candle.

Light the moxa stick using a candle, otherwise you’ll have to use 10 matches before it’s fully lit.

Doing moxibustion is sort of like meditating. I turn on some Indian music, light a lemongrass candle, put my feet up and close my eyes to visualize the baby turning around. The coolest thing is, every time I do it, the baby really wakes up and begins moving around. My acupuncturist said it’s important to establish a strict routine for my body to follow — two times a day at the same time every day. I love trance it puts me in. I come out of the session¬†feeling rejuvenated and again full of hope and determination.

Here's a little something to remember me by: My feet. No really, I'm posting the photo in b/w so that you can't see them too much. Here's my diy way of holding the moxa stick near my feet. Please note, I did this before hearing the advise from my acupuncturist. You only need to use one stick on one side.

Here’s a little something to remember me by: My ugly feet. No really, I’m posting the photo in b/w so you can’t see them. This is my DIY way of holding the moxa stick near my feet. Please note: I did this before hearing the advise from my acupuncturist. You only need to use one stick on one foot.

I’m trying to stay positive that the baby will flip. Statistically only about 4% of babies will stay breech. I try to remind myself of the good stories I’ve heard — that some babies just like to stay near your heart, but eventually do flip. Some even take as long to flip as 37-38 weeks. That moxibustion, Webster and inversions work. I feel like a warrior in this fight — against the masses. I will not give up hope. I will march, and I will prevail no matter what. Now COME ON BABY, let’s dance.

If you’ve had a breech baby turn, I’d love to hear about your experience. I need all the positive stories I can get right now.

With love and thanks.



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