breech, gratitude, homebirth, IVF, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

happy

Please watch this video of NYC people dancing to the song “Happy”–only if you want to feel happy, smile, and maybe (probably) dance. It gets me teary in the same way that the Virgin America safety video gets me teary–so life-affirming, somehow. That’s what it’s all about.

I’ve been feeling happy! Why? BABY FLIPPED! I went to the chiropractor on Wednesday and she said, “This baby is head down!” and Em confirmed it the next day. It was the hugest relief, just huge. I had done a lot of the techniques on my list, and some of them may have worked. Most effective seemed to be the moxa followed by a hot bath with frozen vegetables on the top of my belly. My belly was rippling with his dramatic movements.

But, most of all, it was a lesson in trusting my intuition–and also, crazily enough, his. I put my faith in the idea that this baby knows how he’d like to be born. I gazed at this poster to give him additional inspiration:

headdown

And he totally did his thing. To ensure that he stays in place, I’m still doing the moxa every other day, deep squats, walking, and listening with my new fetalscope to confirm that his heartbeat can be heard best just above my pelvis. Yay, baby, yay, baby!!!

Also, I’m just happy right now. My baby is on his way and I’m already 35 weeks. Two friends on a long road of infertility just let me know they’re pregnant–local SMC friend J and also a blogger friend in England who’s also an SMC (and while you’re on her site, don’t miss her video “Ice, Ice Babies”). Healthy new babies were recently born to longtime friend L and newer friend and prenatal yoga partner and fellow homebirther J–the first of our crew to give birth (I have yet to hear the story!!). I got about halfway through my thank you cards (phew). I ordered some stuff I needed online (including an overdue giant body pillow), picked up my laundry, cleaned the house (ps you don’t realize how much cleaning the house requires bending). Went to a dinner party last night with 3 pregnant friends and their husbands, all due within the next 6 weeks. I’m almost done with Book 6 of Harry Potter. Kabuki Springs is going to email me when they get more green sarongs in from Indonesia. I’ve started writing down names. These are good times!

I don’t write about work here but let’s just say that it feels less and less relevant as the approaching birth takes center stage. I’ll leave my projects in good shape, but man it takes a lot of energy to get through a work day. On weeknights I just want mindless viewing (just rewatched Desperately Seeking Susan) and to not do my dishes. I can totally understand taking off 4 weeks before the due date, although I’m definitely not wishing these days to go faster–they are sweet and precious and I need them all to get through the to do list. Maternity leave starts 4/25.

So what’s still on the list, let’s see…I need a space heater. Who told me they could give me one again? Please remind me. Need to put in the little washer and dryer. Need a sarong from Kabuki (I picture myself laboring in a sarong). By 37 weeks, I need the carseat installed, the tub set up and tested out, and…the house decluttered (getting there). I need to do my taxes and do a will. I need to give away a pile of baby stuff I don’t need from the hand-me-down pile. I need to find a pediatrician.

I had a dream that I started going into labor. I experienced a dream contraction which I breathed through with my mom by my side. I woke up and was glad I wasn’t really in labor yet and also kind of laughed at myself for inventing a sensation I can’t possibly imagine. Before I went to study abroad, I had recurring dreams of being in France, walking down cobblestone streets, thinking, “I can’t believe I’m really here!”–and I wasn’t. I had not yet been to France and my brain was cutely trying to invent what it might be like. I can sense it beginning to do that now.

Although I don’t have many details yet from J about her new Peanut, she did text me this today, “I feel like I was in a weight lifting competition and I won! Sore, tired, proud! I get emotional just thinking that people I love like you will go through it soon.”

Which of course gets me emotional too… She came with me to birth class as my partner two nights before giving birth!

Here’s my selfie for this week. I read today that the baby won’t get much longer at this point but will continue to fatten up by about half a pound a week, so there will be more growing to do. According to strangers with no internal editors, I have achieved “about to pop” status–with 5 weeks to go.

Have a great week, friends! xo

35weeks

 

 

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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 http://www.spinningbabies.com 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!!!