***Word of Caution - Before you continue reading, please find a piece of wood to knock on or cross your fingers on both hands and then cross your wrists and shake them like they do on The Parent Trap.
We think our babe may have finally decided to turn head down. Since mid-July, the little rascal has decided to be breech. And I have been working diligently and persistently to get him/her to turn the other way. The care I receive will let me deliver a breech baby, but to be honest, I was struggling because I didn't really want to go that route. I would have, but who wouldn't want their baby to assume the most optimal fetal position?!!
Here are things I've been doing since July...
1- Iron Slant Board. The first couple of days, I laid an ironing board against my parents' sofa and got on it upside down for 20 minutes at a time, a couple times a day. This didn't work out at our house. I think the slippery berber carpet kept the ironing board from being sturdy. So, I moved on to a different solution...
2- Breech Tilt. I stacked up pillows against our ottoman. Then, I would invert for 20 minutes at a time, a couple of times a day. They wanted me to do 3 times a day, but I couldn't find the time with a 2 year old and everything else going on. But I've spent many hours upside down trying to relax my abdomen, visualizing baby head down, playing video phone games, talking with a friend, Jamina (I've managed to have upside down phone conversations. Trust me. It's harder than you think to maneuver the telephone in that position.) River attempts this from time to time. And be careful getting up, you can get light headed easily.
3- Pulsatilla. Pulsatilla is a homeopathic used for colds, but it's supposed to get baby active. So I dissolved a few under my tongue about 30 minutes to an hour before I inverted. I would do a few days on and then a few days off the homeopathic.
4- Warmth and Cold. Sometimes when I inverted I would put frozen vegetables on the top of my fundus. Sometimes I would put a heating pad on my pubic bone. And sometimes I would do both. Babies are supposed to be drawn to the warmth and shy away from the cold.
5- Flashlights and Daddy's Voice. We pulled out a flashlight from time to time, and Ryan would hold it near my pubic bone. He would talk and sing to baby down near my pubic bone trying to coax that sweet child to him.
6- Chiropractor. I've been getting adjusted throughout the pregnancy, but when we found out baby was breech, I had a new goal. She didn't feel like the Webster Technique would be effective for me because I was too flexible. I never knew my flexibility would be a problem. But she does keep my hips, pelvis, back, and SI joint aligned in hopes and with great confidence that baby would turn. This past week I asked her to check the alignment of my Pubis Symphisis (pubic bone). She used this activator tool, checked my alignment, and then pressed that tool against the bone several times to pop it into place. I admitted that that was the most action I had received in a couple of months since Ryan and I are on the No Touching Prescription to keep my cervix closed. She laughed and said that was ok with her as long as I didn't start showing up everyday to get her to use the activator.
7- Acupuncture. I started seeing an acupuncturist. I will admit I was a little nervous at first. Needles!! That's one of the million reasons I try to stay out of the hospital when I give birth. But I didn't feel them go in or being taken out. I actually fell asleep for about 40 minutes the first time. Quite enjoyable. She used the moxa stick on my toe and sent me home with one and some instructions.
8- Moxa Stick. She suggested doing this twice a day for 10 minutes near the edge of each pinky toe. Admittingly, we did it once a day. The one day I tried to do it myself, I dropped the lighter on my leg and now have a nice wound that's healing. We would listen to my birth music play list, and Ryan would get to "moxa-ing."
9- Birth Art. If you know me well, you know I teach Birthing From Within classes. One of the big things is Birth Art. I started spending some time working through some of my fears and issues surrounding the possibility of a breech birth. I'm not an artist, but I began trying to clear the negativity out of my head. It worked like a charm!!
10- Affirmations. I began posting positive affirmations and words around the house to switch to a positive mindset.
11- More Water. I already drink about 10 glasses a day, but I increased my amount to 12, making sure 100% that I drank that much water throughout the day. I did with River, but I slacked with this one. My goal was to increase my amniotic fluid to give baby more room to flip.
12- Handstands in the Pool. Whenever I could, we would go swimming and I would spend some time doing handstands and flips in the water. Quite a sight, I must say.
13- Forward Inversion and Spinning Babies. I've spent some time on the spinningbabies.com website. Amazing for getting baby in a good position and keeping the baby that way. Before I would do the breech tilt, I would do a forward inversion off the couch for about 30 seconds. I would do this frequently throughout the day...off the side of the bed, off the side of the couch. It only takes 30 seconds and you're leaning forward instead of backwards with the tilt. I feel like it creates a better hammock for baby. In fact, that's how I got out of bed this morning...on my hands. I started feeling the baby move transverse, so I tucked my chin under, put my hands on the ground with my knees on the edge of the bed, tried to relax my abdomen, held it for a little bit, and then crawled out of bed on my hands and onto the computer.
Whew! I'm exhausted after typing all of this. Who knows what actually has turned the baby and if baby will stay this way?! It could have been my persistence, a combination of everything, or just the baby saying, "Ok. I want to turn now." But here's what my gut is telling me. I think the Forward Inversions really helped me from the spinningbabies.com site, the acupuncture and moxa stick, the activator adjustment from the chiropractor, relaxing a releasing some fears with the Birth Art, and listening to my Birth Music Play List, and the total confidence in my body from my care providers.
Yesterday, we were at our appointment. We were talking about some options with my primary midwife this time. We discussed the option of trying an External Version with three midwives present next time. And in the case, that baby didn't turn at any point she would let me decide how I wanted to handle it...Go For It or a Cesarean Birth. Uh, that took about 1/2 a second. I'm Going For It!!
This whole time all of the midwives at The Farm have been completely confident that baby would turn or that I could totally do it! When she checked baby's position this time, she became 100% confident head was down. I wanted to believe her, but part of me was unsure.
After our appointment, we were at The Farm Store having a lunch picnic and letting River play on the playground. My midwife with River came by to say Hello. She'll be away the whole month of October, so she hasn't been able to be our primary this time. But she is so wonderful! She tries to come to my prenatal appointments...just because and she's in on most of our decisions. Who does that?!! Not getting anything from it. Anyway, she stopped by and talked with us for awhile. She's been giving me a pep talk this whole time with baby being breech. She even said it was ok if I called her on her vacation while I was in labor to hear her tell me I could do it. She gave me hugs and kisses and confidently told me AGAIN that - "Kari, I've seen you give birth before. You could give birth to a footling breech (hardest breech position) if I had to, no problem." She offered to check me on the spot. So I assumed the lying on the back position with knees up on the picnic bench and she confirmed - Baby Is Head Down No Doubt!!
Now, I'm working off of some of the suggestions from the Spinning Babies website for keeping baby in a good position. Sitting upright, good posture, sitting on a birth ball, etc. At least, I am free from some of my other 13 tasks at this point. And I feel GOOD!!!!
I'm somewhere around 33 weeks give or take a few days or a couple of weeks. Hahaha! But my goal is to at least cook this baby for 4 - 5 more weeks. I'm getting closer and my paper chain link is getting shorter.