2014 Behind the Bump Pregnancy

Behind the Bump: 36 Weeks

July 15, 2014

36WeeksOh my goodness, what a week.

We started out with a midwife appointment on Tuesday, which began with me realizing I was all of a sudden gaining more weight than a baby elephant. Large and in charge, coming through. I know I’m still on a healthy curve but it was a bit like, “That’s nice, SCALE. GOOD DAY TO YOU,” and the scale was all like “But wait, let me explain, it’s normal and it’s because you’re…” and I was like “I SAID GOOD DAY,” and stormed off. Picture me and my belly ‘storming off…’ I mentioned the baby elephant thing to my husband in the waiting room and he was like “Do you KNOW that you’re ACTUALLY gaining more weight than a baby elephant?” and I, of course, said no, because WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS THE WEIGHT GAIN OF A BABY ELEPHANT, I MEAN REALLY?! And then he just gave me a look and I had to put my hyperbole in my pocket and slink away.

Then the appointment progressed with two new midwives (our secondary team for when labour happens) and PLENTY of talk about labour, which hasn’t really phased me in my prenatal classes but was making me extremely lightheaded and a bit jittery in the appointment. Then I jump climb laboriously up on el tabla for the position check/heartbeat listen and that’s where things continued to go awry (don’t panic, baby’s healthy). My regular midwife had thought the baby was head down, and this one was like “What’s that hard thing?” which I had previously understood to be a baby booty and just really thought that baby got back. So she gets out these medieval heart-listening tools (shown below) to get a more accurate idea of where the heartbeat is coming from, and it resonates just below my belly button, which helps nobody because that’s where it could be regardless of position. (Small sidebar: I got to hear baby’s heartbeat through a stethoscope and it was so cute. Just like a faint little drum.)

PinardHorn-640So midwife #2 then does the whole exam and comes to the same conclusion, which is, in fact, no conclusion at all. Nobody knows if that’s a booty or a head, and therefore nobody knows 1) if baby actually got back, and 2) what position baby’s in. They were like “it’s either a very round bum or a head” and I was like, “hey honey, it got your bum!” Which he thought was charming and endearing, I’m sure. So they asked if I wanted another midwife to check and I thought HEY WHY NOT?! Let’s bring everyone in for some kind of training exercise perhaps! So midwife #3 (four including my regular midwife who had already checked at previous appointments) comes in, introduces herself and proceeds to do the same exam the other two did. For those who don’t know what they were doing, it’s just an external exam where they feel around my belly with their hands. Nothing invasive or horrifying in any way. So she’s like “If I was a betting gal, which I’m not, I would say it’s head down with a bony bum,” which I didn’t know how to take because she said IF she was a betting gal and then said but she wasn’t. And then I was all “oh, maybe it got my bum instead.” So our options were: stay put and have an internal exam done, or go for an ultrasound in the next day or two. I’m like “WELL, of those two options, the ultrasound definitely is more appealing…” (and more accurate) so she sent us for an ultrasound the next day.

Then I spend 24 hours COMPLETELY over-analyzing every movement the baby makes and wondering what part of it is moving. Annnnnnnnnd to cut the suspense, we go for the ultrasound and the baby is breech. A Frank Breech to be exact, which means the baby is folded in half with its feet at its head, but its feet aren’t in front like this illustration below. The baby is turned to my/its left, so the feet are up my left side.frank breechI tried to stay pretty calm and tell myself that MANY people have had their babies turn – up until the last minute, but I spent most of last Wednesday evening with a broken spirit, to be totally honest.

My midwife called the next day and told me two options: 1) Have an OB try and turn it or 2) Don’t. After a long conversation, I figured we’d go for it. I’d rather have them try and if it doesn’t turn THEN play the waiting game and see if it turns on its own, and then decide between a vaginal breech birth or a c-section: neither of which looks like a super option to me right now. It’s called an “External Cephalic Version” and is all external. You can see a video of someone having it done here.

So in the days following (Thursday through Monday), I tried all of the tools in the internet’s toolbox to try and get the baby to turn. Many of them make sense but are absurd, and some don’t make ANY sense but have been known to work sometimes. BUT ALL ARE BETTER THAN A BREECH BABY! Even if I didn’t get it to turn, I figured maybe I would make it a bit easier for the OB to get it to turn? Ok, so I tried playing music to my “lower abdomen” while lying reclined on an ironing board that was half propped on the couch. Seriously. And my husband walked in and was just totally befuddled. Determination, yo. Also, lying inverted on an ironing board for 20 minutes is one of the less comfortable things I’ve done. Then there’s downward dog, ice on the top of your belly and warmth on the bottom of the belly ETCETERA. Then there’s acupuncture, which makes no sense to me but I actually know people who had acupuncture done and then the baby turned within a day. Ok, I’ll give it a try.

So acupuncture last night (Monday) resulted in nothing really. The baby is supposed to move a TON and then flip (from what people have told me happened to them), but that didn’t happen. And today I’m waiting to hear from my midwife to know about an appointment at the hospital for an ECV. I might have to go in Wednesday and wait until someone can see me.

Le sigh. Any late-turning breech babies here or anyone who birthed a Frank Breech? RAISE YOUR FREAKING HANDS IN THE AIR (and leave me a comment)!

Oh and also, now that 36 weeks is done, we’re full term!

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Sarah

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