Last week, we got a bit of a surprise at our 33/34-week prenatal appointment.
“Your baby is breech.”
I tried not to panic. “Breech? But Boo was head down last time. I had pelvic pressure! Are you sure?”
My midwife assured me that she was sure – and compelled both my husband and I to palpate my belly alongside her to feel the tell tale head up near my ribs – but also insisted that all would be fine.
"You’re early still," she said. "You’re a second-timer and you’ve got so much room in there. I bet you anything the baby turns itself back over in the next two weeks. It's still really active, right? And, if the baby doesn't turn by the time we do the home visit, we’ll start working on some active encouragement."
Unfortunately, I’m not the wait-and-see type.
My husband and I went home that evening, put the kiddo to bed, and sat on the couch talking. But not before I emailed a couple of pregnant (or recently pregnant) girlfriends and my doula. In a panic, of course.
Then I tried to reason with myself.
We are still early and my uterus is apparently quite roomy. Babies do this all the time; they just like to mess with your head, especially second children! We have so many options ahead of us if s/he tries to be stubborn.
I went and grabbed a bag of frozen veggies from the freezer, placed them at the top of my belly, and settled back in to the conversation. My husband, meanwhile, settled himself on the floor at my feet, and directed his responses at the underside of my bump. Y’know, just in case the baby likes the sound of his voice and wanted to head down to check it out.
But what if the baby doesn’t flip back over? What if there’s a reason s/he went head up? But what if… what if… we drive ourselves crazy with worry for no reason? Hey, wanna watch a movie?
I spent the rest of the evening ignoring the t.v. and instead scoured the Spinning Babies website, collected recommendations for local acupuncturists and chiropractors from doula friends, and wondered if I would be moving to Tennessee at the end of the month.
Yeah, my mind went there even.
The next day, I started a nightly routine of Forward-Leaning Inversions, encouraging chats with my belly (hey, are you listening in there?!), and then climbing into bed with the Hypnobabies breech track on my iPod while I drifted to sleep. I gave up on the frozen veggies, though, as that small gesture somehow seemed like overkill. (Ha.)
A couple of nights in, I had a dream about the birth. Unfortunately, I rarely remember more than brief snippets of my dreams, but what was in my head when I woke up were visions of me birthing the baby and s/he was head first and came flying out fast. Considering how much I hated pushing last time, the visioned speed of it all just felt like a bonus.
I eventually got in touch with the chiropractor as well and went in for an appointment. I’d been meaning to go in for a general adjustment anyway and this provided the perfect excuse to finally make it happen. And that same day, I stopped in at a local center for a brief acupuncture and moxibustion session, just in case.
I already alluded to the fact that I’m not a terribly patient person, right?
This week, when I finally returned to the office after a holiday break, I couldn’t help myself.
Happy New Year! How was your Christmas? By the way, did E tell you that Boo was breech last week? Oh, she did? Great. CAN YOU CHECK ME RIGHT NOW AND SEE IF S/HE’S TURNED BACK OVER? Yeah, I really missed you guys last week. It’s good to be back. So… exam room… now? Yeah? Awesome.
And whaddya know but that little bugger was head down again and wedged right back into my pelvis where s/he ought to be. I wasn’t sure whether to thank the baby for cooperating or yell at it for needlessly stressing me out. Either way, I was relieved. And surprised at how glad I was to be back in full-waddle mode once again.
Now here’s to hoping Boo stays put and doesn’t try to issue any more desperate cries for attention. I'm not sure my heart can handle it.
Did you have any freak out moments in pregnancy when you thought something wasn't going the way you wanted or needed it to? How do you cope when feeling stressed and pulled between rational thinking and emotional worry?