Michelle re-assures us that there is still time, but we need to act quickly with our interventions. She gave us a list of things to try to turn a breech baby. Our shot-gun approach included: Chiropractic adjustments, Acupuncture, moxabustion, herbs, hypnosis, visualization, pelvis tilts, sifting, hanging up-side down, flips in the pool - even cold potatoes and flash lights! (theory is to put something cold by the baby's head and it will move away from it, and towards the light). Amazingly, when we did several of these techniques, especially the chiropractic, acupuncture and hypnosis, the baby DID move! It started to shift head down about half way around, but then stopped, and moved back to where it was. We later learned there could have been a number of factors preventing it from turning all the way, such as placenta or cord location.
(chiropractic) My new mission was to get this baby turned! It was on my mind all the time. And, unfortunately, that stressed me out. We continued all of our interventions, hoping that something would work. I was so discouraged when people told me they had a breech baby, did one pelvic tilt and the baby turned. Or a medical professional who said they had a 90% success rate, but no, not successful for me! I was glad we exhausted all our options, though. I would not be at peace knowing we did not try everything!
The last several weeks of my pregnancy were filled with worry. After discussing our situation with many professionals, and alot of thinking and praying, Avery and I decided to go for an elective C-Section if the baby did not turn. If a baby is breech, especially a Frank breech as our was (both legs up straight), there are chances for complications or even serious injury to the baby. Hip and shoulder dislocations, or even a broken collarbone. I would rather have a c-section, and have the baby breastfeeding immediately and get out of the hospital, then the baby stay in the hospital with an injury and miss out on bonding.
I know, I know, you all are thinking "Here she is promoting natural childbirth, saying that all women can do it, and she elects to have a c-section!" First, I always say "educate and empower". So, I educated myself on the pros and cons and all facets of a natural breech birth and a c-section. Secondly, I always tell mothers to trust their instincts, follow their heart and do what they feel is best for their family. I believe that if we were living 100 years ago, our baby might have be born fine, but he could also have been born with broken bones or serious injury, such as a breech baby's chin getting stuck on the pelvic ring as it descends. This can cause the baby serious neck and spinal cord compression, and suffocation and even death. I could have had many complications, including hemorrhaging, and even death. These events do not always happen, but they could. We are fortunate to have emergency care for when we need it. Not for normal, healthy births - which makes up 90% of births! But for that small 10% that need it. We choose to have 5 minutes of "emergency care" that would result in a lifetime of perfect health.
If you have a breech baby, or have another complication, and choose an elective c-section, you can still have a "natural" c-section, which I will explain below and in future blogs.
We insisted on waiting to go into labor before heading to the hospital. Why? When a women knows she has to, or chooses to, have an elective c-section, the OB will schedule it about 2 weeks BEFORE her due date. That way he can be sure that she will not be in labor. A contracting uterus makes his job a bit harder. However, due dates are estimates only. And the lungs are the last thing that develop, finally complete right before birth. So, if your due date is off by a week or two, and you go in 2 weeks early, your baby could be born 3-4 weeks early! Way too early, and not ready to face the world yet! That is why we insisted on waiting to go into labor. That way we would know baby was ready to come out. Also, many times, babies will turn with the contractions. It would be our last hope.
We met with the OB that Michele uses. Dr. Boulting was amazing! He understood our desire for a natural birth, and reassured us that if the baby turned while we were at the hospital, he would send us right back to the birth center. He knew our birth plan and would follow it as much as he could. That made both Avery and I feel much better. I never gave up on the thought that this baby would turn, but I finally started to come to terms with the reality of a c-section.
(my henna belly tattoo)