April 3, 2014 12:04 pm

34 Weeks – Relief


Well, more accurately, I went in for a baby positioning check on Monday and we tried to turn the baby again. This time instead of pushing her head to my right, Denise pushed it to my left, and I guess once we got the baby sideways/transverse, she slipped right into vertex position.

We confirmed it with a quick ultrasound and I was sent home with their extra doppler to check heart tones periodically. They got up to the 160s when we were pushing her around but they dropped back down to the 140s before I left the appointment, so that was a great sign. Basically, you don’t want to see “decels” – decelerations – in the heart rate and we didn’t see any at all. Baby seemed to tolerate the ECV really well.

That description makes it sound a lot less uncomfortable than it actually was – parts of it were definitely painful and it kind of felt like all my internal organs were being rearranged, but it truly was a small price to pay for a vertex baby. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Baby movement feels really different now – before there was just a big round head up top, and now it’s all knees and feet and buns and the baby kind of feels like a squid.

I’m a little nervous that she’ll get a wild hair and decide to turn again before she’s born, but I’m doing what I can to get her head engaged in my pelvis and I think now that she’s head-down she’ll probably stay that way. (I hope.)

This breech thing has felt like a huge anvil hanging over my head for weeks. Once I realized that turning the baby was successful, I was so relieved I can’t even tell you. I’m so much less stressed out, and I feel like I’m able to continue planning for and visualizing my ideal birth as opposed to being torn between futilely hoping for a VBAC but trying to plan for a c-section.

Also, I joined the VBAC Facts Community on Facebook, which is a private group full of supportive people, lots of knowledge, and great birth stories. It’s improved my FB experience exponentially – there’s always something great coming up about VBACs on my feed!


March 25, 2014 2:24 pm

33 Weeks – Mini-ECV

Today at my prenatal appointment, my midwives tried to do a mini external cephalic version turn the baby into a more favorable position. It was weird and uncomfortable (and, yes, parts of it were painful at times) but we got the baby into a horizontal/transverse position before we decided to stop. Baby’s heart tones were good throughout, though she was obviously wondering what the heck we were doing to her. It just got to a point where she kind of needed to turn toward my spine which would have been hard to do and we didn’t want to over-stress her.

Not even five minutes after we were through, she was already head-up again. Stubborn!

Baby’s butt is still kind of off to the side a bit so A) apparently that is just how I grow babies, and B) it’s still totally possible for her to turn. (FINGERS CROSSED.)

I was given some arnica liquid to help with any post-ECV soreness. Denise says I’m doing all the right things, and she suggested I could try acupressure on my pinky toes too.

I continue to have no proteinuria and my BP was 108/68. I’m measuring exactly on target. I’ve gained 27lbs so far, which is more than I wanted to gain but it’s still less than half of what I gained with Wesley. Everything looks fantastic, save for the breech presentation.

I have a drop-in appointment to check baby’s position next Monday, and then my next prenatal is the following Tuesday.


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March 21, 2014 3:26 pm

Still Breech but Less Panicked

On the advice of a friend (thanks Meag!), I called my midwives today to have them talk me down a bit and see if they would be able to confirm baby’s position before the weekend. That way, if I was wrong and baby was head-up, I didn’t have to spend the weekend upside down. However, if I was right, maybe we could try to do something about it.

They both palpated the baby and had different guesses, so they confirmed it with a super quick ultrasound. I was right, unfortunately – baby is breech for sure.

Denise says I have a lot of room and adequate fluid for the baby to turn, and there’s still a lot of time. She’d be more concerned if I was a first-time mom, but this is my second baby and the baby’s butt isn’t engaged in my pelvis, so that’s a good sign that she’ll still turn. She was also able to move the baby into a transverse position for a bit, so that’s a good sign too.

Denise recommended I keep doing all the stuff I’ve been doing, and indicated we could try to turn the baby around at my next appointment if I’d like.

I’m disappointed that I was right, but I’m glad I know for sure and I’m feeling a little less panicked.


I cried after I made the phone call asking to come in. (And by “after” I mean I was getting choked up on the phone when trying to describe how I was feeling and I’m glad the office manager told me she’d have Denise call me back to talk.)

For some stupid reason, I guess I see it as a sign of strength to not need to call for help? I never once came in “unscheduled” like that when I was pregnant with Wesley – not even the time I fell down – and I think I was a bit little proud of that. People make fun of pregnant women for freaking out about every little twinge – I’ve heard of hospitals calling them “frequent flyers” for coming in to be checked so often – and I liked that I wasn’t one of the people that call in for stupid stuff. It’s hard to get past that and be okay with saying “I know this might not seem like a big deal to you but I need help processing this.”

I’m supposed to be collecting stuff for my birth kit, but now it all feels really horrible and jinxy. Like, “why buy [homebirth thing / postpartum thing], I’m not even going to need it anyway.” And I hate that I keep thinking those thoughts! They’re awful. I want to NOT be thinking those things.

I don’t know. It’s difficult to articulate to somebody who hasn’t had a negative birth experience why having the chance at a positive or empowering birth experience would be important to me. I’m sure it sounds dumb.

Obviously, I recognize that having a c-section isn’t the end of the world – I have a lovely little boy who was born that way. But birth matters. Having a “healthy baby and a healthy mama” is super important but it is also not the only thing that’s important – mama’s experience matters too.