Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bottoms Up

Parts of this may be tmi (too much information) for some of you. If you or your spouse has had a kid already, it's probably not, but if you haven't, then just be prepared or don't read the first couple of paragraphs. _DO_ read on after that though!

So VNB and I went to the big, 36-week check-up on Monday. While there, they did all the normal stuff (weight, pee in a cup, listen to heartbeat, answer questions, measure fundal height), plus a few more things (more bloodwork, vaginal exam, and two midwives independently checked the position of the baby).

Well, as usual, my weight gain was twice the "normal" of a pound a week, but they've stopped mentioning it at all, so I guess they figure that there's nothing to be done about it at this point. Plus, no one that knew me before can believe that I've put on 40 lbs, so it must at least _mostly_ be Baby. Peeing in a cup was normal, as were the heart tones, and I haven't heard anything back from the bloodwork, so it was probably fine too.

The midwife said that I was probably already a little dilated, about 50% effaced, and that she could feel the head. Then both of them felt up my belly and determined that the baby was head-down, as it's supposed to be at this point. So, things were good!

BUT, I was measuring small again (that's that fundal height thing), so I should go for another ultrasound, just in case. Their first available appointment was next Friday, so we weaseled/whined our way into a 10:30 cancellation.

The very first thing the tech said to us? "Well, the baby's breech."


Now, Baby had definitely been doing some major acrobatics in the waiting room, so it's possible that s/he just turned around for the pictures...but it's also possible that Baby's butt is round enough that both midwives thought it was his/her head.

Baby's still in the "frank breech" position that they were at the last ultrasound (remember how cute we thought it was that they were going to be a gymnast or a diver because of the pike position? Yeah...not so cute anymore.). If Baby doesn't turn, and if we can find a midwife/OB willing to do so, this is actually the only breech position that can be delivered vaginally with relative ease (the butt's not shaped _that_ much differently than the head, it's just a little smaller)...but otherwise, we're looking at a c-section. Our midwives have already told me to go ahead and schedule an appointment with their back-up OBs, just in case.

In the meantime, there are things I can be doing (exercises and stuff) to try to convince the baby to flip over. Also, there is anecdotal evidence that my stress level may cause the baby to feel the need to comfort me (or him/herself) by snuggling up by my heart and voice. So, theoretically, now that I'm done with meetings and rehearsals and concerts and can relax some, Baby should relax and flip over. I can also try putting ice packs on the top of my belly with light and music (or VNB's voice) near the bottom (of the belly).

Then there's "moxibustion." An acupuncturist takes these sticks of something, lights them, and puts them as close as I can stand to my little toes. For some reason, this makes the baby move around a lot and apparently flip over. I, personally, have always shied away from acupuncture. I'm not a huge fan of getting needles stuck into me to begin with, but to have them stay there for long periods of time while I look at them is like the worst thing ever. But add to that all of the "eastern mysticism" stuff and I'd just rather try something else. Except that this doesn't involve needles, and I've heard (and read) from multiple sources that it's actually pretty reliable for getting babies to turn. And getting this baby to turn is something that I'd _REALLY_ like to do. But I'm still in a bit of a quandary...because a lot of acupuncture, I firmly believe, is based on you believing that it will work. If I don't think it will, then it's probably not gonna. But I also don't want to leave any stone unturned.

Anyway, so I'd be interested in your opinion on acupuncture/pressure and/or moxibustion.

I'd also like all of you who are pray-ers to be praying this baby over for me. We were really hoping for an all natural birth in the birthing center rather than at a hospital. If Baby doesn't turn and we don't change practitioners, we're looking at major abdominal surgery in a hospital with lots of drugs, a much longer recovery time, and which adds all sorts of health risks to both me and the baby.

This baby may only be half "Turner," but as my dad said, "Turn! Turner, Turn!"

And, this baby just needs to realize that it should go ahead and practice for all those years ahead of him/her when, to the amusement of many a minister/musician, the entire congregation of mostly non-drinkers throws back their "shot" of grape juice during communion. That's right Baby, "Bottoms up!"

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