Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Keep Thine Head Down

My last ultrasound was at 24 weeks pregnant (about six weeks ago).  At that time, my wee one was sitting pretty in the transverse position - head at my right side, feet at my left side.  NOT the prime, head down, ready to birth position.  I didn't think much of it at the time.  But as the weeks have gone by, and I have continued to feel the kicks at my left side, and a big hard ball at my right side, I have started to get a little concerned.  Is this baby going to be breech?

Here ye, here ye, I will not have a c-section (the method of delivery for a breech baby).  I simply WILL NOT.

It's not that I'm so against a c-section in theory.  It's just that I've already had two pregnancies, with two head down babies, with two uncomplicated vaginal births.  I know what it's like to go through that kind of pain, and to mess up things down there.  I am prepared, yet again to go through pain and mess up things down there.  

I shouldn't be going through new things this pregnancy.  This pregnancy should be straightforward and standard.  The three hour gestational diabetes test was change enough.  No c-sections. No complications.  No thank you.

Of course, being the anal control freak that I am, I have taken to the internet to do research and take things into my own hands.  Over the past week, this has involved swimming in the pool where I walk on my hands under water; posting a question on DC Urban Moms soliciting advice; scouring every page of spinningbabies.com; doing daily inversions, cat cows, and breech tilts; researching acupuncturists and chiropractors; and admonishing my baby to get his head down into my pelvis!

(Please note that notwithstanding all of these efforts, I had no confirmation that my baby still was, in fact, breech).

I had a highly anticipated OB appointment today - my 30 week appointment.  I went in ready to demand an ultrasound and a "plan" for getting this baby into position.  I didn't care what the OB had to say about it.  I am the customer, right?

(This reminds me of the time I went on a private boat excursion in Tahiti that included swimming with sharks.  I went into the day convinced that I would refuse to participate, and would hold my ground.  I was the customer, after all.  Ten minutes later I was in the water swimming with the sharks, having been shamed into it.  Awesome experience, by the way).

My OB came in chit chatting about Labor Day weekend, and I abruptly interrupted her.  I went on some rant, which began with I think this baby is breech!  and also involved mentions of stretches and umbilical cords and acupuncture and external versions.  She listened patiently and responded in kind with:

I don't care.  

Um, really?

You are only 30 weeks, she said.  This is your third pregnancy, and your uterus is all stretched out. This baby is going to move and flip and go back and forth.  I mean no disrespect, but right now, I don't care.  

Well, when will you care???

At 35 weeks.  Then I'll care.  

I lost my resolve for a demand for an ultrasound, and started to think that maybe she was right. Maybe I was overreacting a little.  But I still pleaded with her to feel with her hands to ascertain where the baby was. She did, and she hypothesized that the baby is actually head down.  Not breech at all.

I don't know that I believe her.  I mean, it's my body.  I only feel kicks in certain places.  This baby is not head down.  I don't think.  Or maybe it is...

Maybe I should not stress over this just yet.

I have to be honest, I am not always a fan of doctors that shut you down.  I do believe that patients should take control of their own health, and advocate on behalf of themselves.  But in her defense, maybe I am going a bit overboard.  After all, if this baby is breech right now, what is it exactly that I can do about it?

We women think we are in charge of our bodies, and that we have control.  But all it takes is a pregnancy to humble you.  We are not in control.  We are along for the ride.  We can do things to make things easier and help things along, but at the end of the day, we have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Come to think of it, this isn't just true of pregnancy.  It's true of raising children, as well.

I don't completely agree with my doctor.  I DO want to know the status of things prior to 35 weeks. But maybe not just yet.  Maybe for the next two weeks, until my next appointment, I can lay off of the googling and researching and general obsessing.  Maybe I can just enjoy my baby's kicks and the feeling of them without overanalyzing them and assessing where they are coming from.

Maybe I can (gasp) chill out, for a little while.

Just a little while.


  1. Never ever post a question on DC Urban moms. They are MEAN. MEAN. (Maybe I should read your question before I say that.)

  2. I've read that if you play classical music between your legs the baby's head will gravitate towards it because they want to hear it. May be it's just bunk, but can't hurt to try. Good luck!

  3. Is DC Urban Moms still going? Every time I try to go to that site, I get nothing, just a blank page loading. Is there an invite required now? Do you know how to get one?

  4. And if you do play classical music between your legs, please take a picture and post in on this blog. Please!

  5. My youngest rolled completely over (head up) every time we had a doctor's appointment the last month or so of my pregnancy. Within 24 hours of visiting the by-then concerned midwife, she would flip back over, head down, then repeat again the following week. I had to promise the midwife that 6 out of 7 days she was in the correct position (and thankfully she was born on a good day). Kids! :)

  6. My youngest daughter flipped every time we had a doctor's visit the last month or so. Within 24 hours of the visit, she would flip back to head down. I had to swear to my mid-wife that she was head down 6 out of 7 days. Luckily, she was born on a good day. Kids! :)

  7. Ha! I just found your blog today via a link from a friend, and wow are you the right blogger for me at this moment. I'm a midlevel law firm associate, 33 years old and 30 weeks pregnant with my second baby. And I've been feeling worried that said baby is all sideways in there. My midwife doesn't care either, and I'm sure she's right.

    In any event, you have a new regular reader in me!


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