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It's like this, and like that....

I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!

This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...

When right side up is upside down...

Thursday, March 4, 2010
36.6 weeks into this pregnancy, the hubs and I headed to our midwife appointment...blissfully unaware that things had changed with our baby girl. We sat, we talked, we covered the basics. How am I feeling, were we ready, and hey did you want to have a vaginal swab (GBS test)? Sure, what girl doesn't want a 6 inch swab up her vajay at 9:45am?!?!?!

All that was normal, and then the midwife did the heartbeat and position check, and my heart sort of sunk. Luckily her heart beat was clomping along like a little horsey at 130 bmp, so I knew she was ok. But the midwife was having a hard time verifying position. But hey, she's the student midwife so no problemo, let's get one of the pro's. Problem is, the pro couldn't tell baby girls head from her butt either. Egads!

Now we KNOW for a fact she's been head down for a long time. At 33.6 weeks, we confirmed she was head down. The midwife felt her "nestled perfectly in the pelvis. Head down ready to go". So I am not worried. No baby in their right mind would flip the wrong way this close to their birthday, that would be crazy, and stubborn and just plain difficult. Then again, this is my kid, who is already demonstrating just how much like me she is.

So I go for my "emergency ultrasound" at the most hilarious little clinic. It's in the heart of our Chinatown, on the 2nd floor of perhaps the most confused mall ever. Chinese food, herbs and cell phone providers all in one place... conveniently located next to the medical clinics of Wong and Wong. Whatever I'll take it, they had an appointment for me 2 short hours after the visit with the midwife. My darling friend G joined me, as the hubs was not able to, and waited patiently for me in the waiting room...

I was 100% sure the tiny little woman performing my scan would tell me that lump under my ribs was my kids bony butt and away we'd go. That was right up until she put the doppler on my lump and said "and that's her head".

"Excuse me, pardon, fuk the what, how stupid are you, did your degree come from a Fruit Loops box, you've gotta be wrong you insane women my kid would not flip like that" was sorta what went through my mind. There may have been a few more expletives involved.

As I lay there, choking back tears, sure this woman would not "get' why I was upset, I tried to wrap my head around this thought. My child is heads up, which is actually upside down in fetus world.

We left the appointment, I called the hubs and we stopped to get Chinese food, because really, when in Rome...

Back to the office me and my friend go, and I sit in my office the rest of the day, choking back the tears, whining incessantly on Twitter (but getting AMAZING support) and wondering what went wrong.

I also remembered back to the previous Thursday, when in retrospect is when the baby flipped. At 36 weeks 1 day, in the evening at my BFFs house, my baby flipped out. Literally. I had felt funny all afternoon. I'd been crampy, and feeling a tad on the nauseated side. I was starving by the time we put her daughter to bed and ate our dinner, and I knew something was going on. My belly had jetted out so far for a moment, on the opposite side that she'd ever been, that my bestie even commented. I felt crampy in my legs and even had a hard time walking back to my car when I left. It was certainly strange and I actually thought for a minute or 200 I might be going into labour. But it all went away and I thought nothing more of it. Now I know, that was her pulling a gymnastics move.

I spent the better part of Tuesday night crying uncontrollably. This is equal parts fear and confusion, and 9 month pregnant hormones. It is cruel and unusual punishment that your 10 months of sobriety has to end with a shit show of excess hormones. If a girl ever needed to slam back the better part of a bottle of wine, now is the time. I was just gearing up to get all excited about the arrival of my baby, and she threw me a curve ball. And I've never been a good catch.

I am ashamed to admit I felt a little anger towards her. Not really at her, but I just had this sense of "why NOW?" And I felt slightly less excited about her arrival. Not less excited to have her. I'm still just as excited to hold her in my arms, but I am now not looking forward to potentially going into labour. I am not looking forward to it because I don't want it to come unless she flips. Now there is a whole new sense of fear surrounding her arrival. Not the hopeful curious fear that comes with having no sweet clue what to expect, but a raw fear that exposed a nerve which is now perfectly poised to be struck repeatedly.

I've heard from everyone that no matter what, she will get here and I will love her. And I have no doubt about this. As long as she arrives happy and healthy, I will be ecstatic. I know it could be a lot worse, of course I am SO lucky that she's healthy in there, that she's made it to term and that my pregnancy has been complication free up until now. I know a c-section is not the end of the world, and that my life will not be ruined if I have to go that route. I know that bottom line, the most important thing is that soon, we will be a family of 3. But knowing all of this does not make me any less sad. My rational side is fully aware and happy, but my emotional side feels like I lost something.

There are 2 types of people - the ones who get how I feel and the ones who really don't. And I don't blame the ones who don't, because frankly, what is the big deal? And maybe somewhere the old me, the one that existed before my baby ate my rationality (thanks Mae for letting me know what happened!) agrees with them. It's not a big deal, who cares. I sometimes miss that girl. But let's face it, she was drunk a lot so probably shouldn't be trusted. This me, the one who has poured 9 months of heart and soul into researching birth stories, reading really motivating and empowering books about birth, and meeting with her midwives and doula with the excitement of a little girl getting her first dolly on Christmas, is crushed. I'm crushed because I'm not getting what I wanted, and maybe that is a lesson I should learn here. I think my times of living for me are over sooner than I thought. It's time to start living for my baby. This is not to say I appreciate her position right now, or am willing to concede to it. Just that there is probably a lesson in there somewhere.

All hope is not lost yet though, and this is how I stopped the tears. We've looking into all our options. I spent the better part of Tuesday and Wednesday evening inverted in some fashion or another. I've been trying to convince her that it will be better for HER if she flips. I know she's just a stubborn brat like me, and that is why she is going against the grain. So I need to appeal to her in the right way, in that this decision to flip has nothing to do with me and everything to do with making her life easier. And I've been trying to tell her that. But she's also a fetus, so I've promised her multiple pony's (and neglected to mention I mean of the "my little" kind). I've visited a chiropractor and started the Webster technique with her (2 more next week). This morning, I did an hour's worth of acupuncture and moxibustion. I will repeat this on Tuesday. Tonight I am going to go do handstands in my BFF's pool. I am going to try to keep calm and relaxed and hope that she chooses to flip back. And I'm about to go visit an OBGYN who specializes in both version techniques AND vaginal breech deliveries.If she doesn't flip back, then she wasn't meant to. And I will just have to accept that my kid is that darn special, even from -1 month old.

If it comes down to a C-section being the best and most safe way to bring her into this world, I will opt for it in a heart beat. But I will continue to seek out alternative this, and hope she flips naturally right up until the last milisecond before they cut me open.

12 comments to When right side up is upside down...:

{Not Quite} Susie said...

I understand completely how you're feeling about losing something- with my son I was in labor for 12 hours & he didn't move down at all, and then he went into stress. We had to do an emergency C-Section. Luckily he was perfectly fine & (knock on wood) we've never had problems with him, but I am still kind of in mourning over having missed out on a vaginal birth- even 6 months later. However, if it comes down to it, you WILL get through it, but keep in mind you still have plenty of time for her to switch right back!
BTW, left you something at my blog the other day. Its about 3 entries down. :)

Kt said...

Ahhh I would be so frustrated if that happened to me! I know that when my mom was pregnant with me, I did the exact same thing to her as your little one has done. But then, 1 week before delivery, I flipped back. And I have a very stubborn, on-my-own time, type of personality. So maybe your baby is throwing you off track! I'll keep my fingers crossed that baby will turn back!

jss said...

Okay, I gotta admit, I'm totally one who didn't understand what you were feeling. Partly because I haven't thought at all about baby positioning (obviously because I'm busy focusing on the really important stuff like finding celebrity role models for post-baby bodies) but also because I've personally been living in fear of vaginal birth.

Am I afraid it'll hurt? No, not really. I mean, we've been trained our whole lives to expect the worst so the whole idea of labor isn't nearly as terrifying as what happens afterwards. Well...ok...I am afraid of pooping on the table during labor...but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, like I was saying, it's the post-labor stuff that really turns my stomach into nervous knots. Specifically, how the hell do I go to the bathroom.

BUT, all that being said, I think I FINALLY get why you're feeling the way you do. You've put so much energy into your birth plan -- something I OBVIOUSLY can't relate to because I pretty much avoid thinking about mine (if I don't acknowledge it, it'll go away...right?). You've researched methods, you've find the right support system, and you've decided what's right for you. To have that all potentially thrown out the window would be devastating.

SO, I am just so sorry that you're stuck going through this mini-drama so close to what's supposed to be the most exciting day of your life. But I think you're moving towards the right mind-set. Doing everything you can to get "your way", but being willing to accept the best solution is probably the best attitude you could have right now.

Good luck!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think you're being irrational, but I do stand by my point that at this point in the pregnancy if you've "lost" something, be it ankles, alcohol tolerance or sanity, it's her fault.

You have a lot to think about, true. But the possibility still remains that she's just gonna FLIP THE HELL OVER and all of your thinking will be for naught. I'm not saying don't do it, of course you need to do it.

You worked really hard and did a lot of preparation for the birth that you want to have. I would hate to see you lose focus on it when there's still a great possibility that you'll get it. Remember to take some time to re-focus and re-center on the original goal, that's all I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you're being irrational, but I do stand by my point that at this point in the pregnancy if you've "lost" something, be it ankles, alcohol tolerance or sanity, it's her fault.

You have a lot to think about, true. But the possibility still remains that she's just gonna FLIP THE HELL OVER and all of your thinking will be for naught. I'm not saying don't do it, of course you need to do it.

You worked really hard and did a lot of preparation for the birth that you want to have. I would hate to see you lose focus on it when there's still a great possibility that you'll get it. Remember to take some time to re-focus and re-center on the original goal, that's all I'm saying.

KShiell said...

Good luck with getting you're little girl flipped. I can only imagine the emotions you must be dealing with right now. You've put so much effort into "planning" the birth you want and it's really heart breaking when that "plan" doesn't fall into place. You've still got a few weeks to get her turned around and I wish you nothing but the best. I'll be hanging around here checking for updates on the position of your sweet little girl!

Anonymous said...

Every other ultrasound appointment I had, Sophie was flipped the opposite direction from the last. She'll do what she wants unfortunately doll and all you can do is take a deep breath and say "You're all mine when you get out missy!" Hahaha.

I think my times of living for me are over sooner than I thought. It's time to start living for my baby.

Don't say that sweetheart. That's how you get postpartum depression when you have the baby because you convince yourself there is no living for you anymore. You can't let yourself get like that. Be sure to still make time for yourself, hun, even after her arrival.

Anonymous said...

Oh I can imagine the dismay! I hope she flips back. You are right about all the blahblahblahs - in the end you'll be holding your sweet little daughter. I do however think you are lucky in some way: a lot of women who plan natural births (or plan their birth in a specific way) don't think about alternative scenarios. Sure, your babe could flip, but you now at least do have a little more time to think about the alternative and come to peace with that option as well. You can think about what options you'd want within the c-section option and get awesomely informed.

It still sucks though, I completely understand!

Anonymous said...

I think I know exactly how you feel, and I think you wrote this wonderfully. You have a great outlook on the whole thing, and have found some great ways to push past your frustration and work with what you've got. Because like you said, no matter how it happens (even if it isn't ideal for you) you will come out of it with a new baby that you can hold in your arms.

But...I'm sending positives thoughts your way for a baby girl that turns...and soon!

Stefani said...

Hang in there!! I had a rough pregnancy and toward the end she was wrong side up too. I went in for an ultrasound at 37 weeks and she had finally flipped but up until then, she was breech. I was horrified at the idea of having a c-section and I COMPLETLY understand why you are so upset. It's like having something taken away from you when you want that birth experience so badly. I'll be hoping that she turns and you get to experience labor the way YOU want to... hang in there! ::hugs::

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear your little one to be pulled a flip on you! best of luck with the remainder of your pregnancy - she's going to be lovely and you'll be a wonderful mother no matter how she comes into the world!

hugs & cheers!


Emily said...

I've been there mama. And, as someone who was cut open for the second time just three days ago- I can tell you everything will be OK.

I feel like planning is good, and I cried for days when I had to have the version & then plan the c-section but it went fine, Hudson was fine, he had no problems breastfeeding, he wasn't all drugged out or anything. I mean- he was totally healthy. I was up walking within 4 hours of surgery and never have had to take anything stronger than Ibuprofen for either surgery. I was carrying Hudson the day after surgery.
-sections aren't ideal. I wanted a birth just like your plan. But, you roll with those punches. You take it as it comes & either way- she's GOT TO COME OUT so you do what needs to be done.
I say keep working on flipping her. But realize that you don't have to feel defeated if it goes the other way. You've cooked a human. That's a feat. I feel like a lot of judgment is passed onto moms who have c-sections, even if it's for reasons that are legit. Yeah, pushing out a human is exhausting- but having major abdominal surgery while you watch? Yeah, that's an entirely different type of strong and focused. Either way, you have to do things you never thought you'd have to and face things you'd never imagined. No one is BETTER than the other no matter what the internets tell you!

Love to you, B. You are strong willed and will get through this.


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