acupuncture, anxiety, breech, gratitude, homebirth, meditation, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

turn, baby, turn

I had a directional ultrasound yesterday and confirmed that bébé is breech at 34 weeks. Eek!

He was head down at every other ultrasound, and even two weeks ago when Em checked me she felt his head in my pelvis. But on Thursday, Em couldn’t find his head–it seemed that baby boy felt the need to explore upward. Now I need to do everything in my power to get him to head back down.

My childhood friend V is visiting and came with me to the appt at UCSF yesterday, which was with a certified nurse midwife I’ve never seen before and I’m pretty sure the one most people don’t like. After giving my urine sample, she rushed me to the exam room, saying she had to hurry to make it to her own doctor’s appointment. (We had been 5 minutes late after missing the exit in Daly City.) She got me on the table, lubed me up with not-warm lube, and the very second she got the image on the monitor said, “the baby is breech.” So, not a lot of mysterious waiting. Then I watched a series of baby images fly by on the screen as she confirmed his position (including seeing his boy parts for the first time–cool), and then she said things like, “I strongly recommend not having a home birth with a breech baby.” (My understanding is that due to recent legislation, midwives are forbidden from assisting home births of breech babies, twins, and any baby being born outside of 37-42 weeks anyway, and I obviously wouldn’t do it unassisted.) Then she flew out.

Mostly I was annoyed that we didn’t get the chance to leisurely gaze at my baby on the monitor. I was pretty sure Em was right after the appointment the day before–I’d been getting a little obsessed over the previous week with figuring out the position of the baby, waking up at 3am and going to to work on belly mapping. But I just could not figure out what was what. Big kicks here, little flutters there, what the heck is this bump? Now I feel like my intuition was telling me something had changed.

I called Em, and she gave me a bunch of strategies for the coming days as we have 2-3 weeks to turn this situation around. After doing a bunch of googling, I can see that these are pretty universal:

  • Lie on an inverted ironing board against the couch with feet up and head down for 15 mins, twice a day. (I tried it this morning and it sucked. I googled further to find people complaining about it but found no complaints…maybe I did it wrong, but it was the same old discomfort of being on my back which cuts off circulation, plus not being able to breathe, plus feeling all my weigh pushing down on my neck, plus my tailbone grinding into the board. This one needs work–I’ll try with just pillows.)
  • Take pulsatilla, a homeopathic remedy–I took some last night.
  • Moxa: Chinese medicine technique of applying heat near an acupressure point associated with turning the baby: the outside pinkie toe (bladder 67). I’m getting some moxa from Em when I go to breakfast at her house tomorrow.
  • Acupuncture (same pinkie toe point–already had this on Thurs)
  • Lean forward, crawl around on hands and knees, do handstands and flips in the pool
  • Put frozen vegetables by the baby’s head and a warm compress near pelvis, coaxing him toward the warmth
  • Play music or shine light near the pelvis, maybe he’ll get curious and come on down?
  • Talk to baby, meditate, write out emotions, chant, recruit support and head-down vibes from blog followers

I won’t bother going into all the scenarios if he doesn’t flip by 37 weeks, because he will. He just will! (Visualization from V: I’m so grateful my baby flipped and I got to have a natural birth!)

Still, it’s upsetting, and my first lesson in a while in You Do Not Control This. This one is really up to the babe. I’m showing him every 5 minutes with my hands the direction to go, which is roughly counter-clockwise. Turn, baby!

I talked to my sister D last night and she said the same thing happened with her first–and she turned with plenty of time.

Yay, baby, yay baby!!!


11 thoughts on “turn, baby, turn”

  1. Ugh…my guy has been head down the whole time. I was a breech baby. Here’s hoping he stays that way. Your guy will turn 🙂 btw, how is your energy level? I am EXHAUSTED most day! 33 weeks yesterday!

  2. I found out at 36.5 weeks last year my baby girl was breech. I tried moxa, playing music near my crotch, frozen peas, turning upside down….the moxa was so relaxing. I a scheduled c section because she did not want to turn. Her head and ears were listening to the beat of my heart and she was comfortable breech. In the end everything worked out and I was happy. Being in good shape (like you) I healed fast and felt fine physically 10 days later. I was discharged 3 days after the c section and I took care of baby by myself. You will be fine and he could turn by himself. He is only 34 weeks. Xoxo

  3. I also hated the ironing board thing. I had high blood pressure and it made me feel like my head was going to explode. My baby never did turn… I was all set to have external cephalic version, where they give you some asthma drugs that relax your muscles and try to turn baby by pushing on the outside. They won’t try it until 37 weeks though, and I woke up on the morning of my baby turning appointment with my waters leaking, so I had a c-section. As Deirdre said, not the end of the world. I was in the hospital a couple days longer, but honestly did not have any more pain or difficulty than following my 2 (VBAC) natural labors. I also think that he has been up and down is a good sign… my Albert was head up on every scan I ever had.

  4. A friend ended up heading to Davis for a vaginal breech birth after planning a homebirth. Her midwives said Davis over UCSF for vaginal breech delivery. I’ll cross my fingers for him to turn though.

  5. Hi Katie– fear not! I thought all babies flip over a few days before they are born. Happened with both Boys. Love you, Mary

    Please pardon all errors –iPod


  6. Pingback: bb | barrenbetty

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