Friday, October 24, 2008

[More] troubles

Breech. We’re breech.

Here I was, thinking it was just the dogs and cats who were being naughty, but it was Squish too.

We went in for our prenatal on Weds, and for the first time the midwives weren’t so sure about Squish’s position. They strongly recommended an ultrasound. These are not the type of practitioners to require invasive procedures if they really don’t think they’re necessary, so when I hemmed and hawed about setting up an appt for Monday and they countered and said it’d be a “mistake” to wait, well, I took them at their word. We went in yesterday afternoon. And sure enough--Squish is a frank breech (head-up with feet straight up next to his/her head).

This was the second time we’ve been to Meriter’s sonography department, and neither time has been happy. The first time (miscarriage) was much much worse, and I keep telling myself that. At least this time our baby has a healthy heartbeat and they could see his/her little face and s/he seemed happy. Just upside down.

So. Breech. What now? We met with Anastasia from MBC last night to talk over our options. The birth center doesn’t officially catch breech babies (because of insurance risks). There is some leniency with home births (it’d be legal) but it’s their official policy at this time not to catch ‘em on purpose (if one snuck in there, that’d be one thing. But we know about this one now. Mary (one of the midwives) has caught several breeches when she practiced in Africa, and she seemed more willing to consider attending a home breech... But neither Anastasia nor Aszani would agree to it at this time.

So officially, our options are to try everything to encourage the baby to turn. This includes:

~Laying head-down on an ironing board 3 times a day, 15 mins a time, to move the baby up out of my pelvis and hopefully let him rotate back to head-down when I start walking around.
~Putting cold packs on the top of my uterus and a heating pad on my lower, which might get the baby to move its head away from the cold. (Note: I tried this last night before going to sleep, and Squish did NOT LIKE the COLD. But still didn’t turn...)
~Webster Technique. A chiropractic adjustment that Justin doesn’t put his faith in, but that some people say works wonders. It’s supposed to loosen-up your pelvis, balance it out, and encourage the baby to move up and out of it so that gravity can draw that noggin down.
~Playing a tape of my voice from earphones positioned near my pubic bone, hopefully drawing the baby down there to listen. Or having Justin read Squish a story or something from down there.
~Moxibustion. Which is burning incense (mugwort) while stimulating acupuncture points on either side of my little toes with the incense wands. Sounds a little crazy to me, but there’s data to support it. Maybe crazy-people data, I’m not sure, but it can’t hurt so is worth a shot.
~Visualization. Positive thinking and just plain asking Squish to turn, “seeing” Squish turn, believing Squish will turn.

And finally:
~ECV (external cephalic version). They (either an OB or my midwife--I’m not sure who) will manually try and wrestle Squish into a head-down position by pushing on my stomach and the baby and twisting the baby down. The procedure has good results earlier in pregnancy (34-37 weeks, I think) but not so great at this point (39 and 3/7).  We’ve scheduled this procedure for 2pm this afternoon. There are risks with it, risks that the others above don’t have (so I hope they work and we don’t have to do the ECV!), but we’ll try it. Risks:  cord gets tangled around baby resulting in emergency c-section; placenta is ripped off of the uterine wall resulting in emergency c-section; baby’s stressed-out because s/he’s being pushed on so hard and starts to get irregular heartbeat/dying resulting in an emergency c-section.        ....So, it’s not the ideal thing, really. But it’s either try it now or not at all because later the baby will certainly be too big for it to work.

OK, off to get dressed and go into work for an hour to wrap-up my Friday business, and then it’s back home to start our baby-spinning routine. Wish us luck.


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