Monday, July 17, 2006

I happened to be near an Old Navy this weekend, so I thought I’d go in and see what they had in the way of maternity clothes – any skirts, or long-ish shorts that I could actually wear to work? Of course it turned out that the particular store I went into didn’t have a maternity section at all, but I did happen to walk by one rack of “low-rise” skirts that I thought might fit. In yet another example of the cussedness of the universe, all they had in most of the colors that I would consider wearing were XXS and S. I could just tell by looking at those there was no way I was getting them over my much more ample ass. I did finally find a L, so went into the changing room to try it on. Quite a shock when I looked at my belly – all of a sudden, I’d acquired the beginnings of stretch marks! I was really hoping that I would avoid those. My genetics suggest that I might – neither my mom nor my sister got any. But there they were, in plain light pink. Oh well, nothing I could do about it. Que sera, sera.

I had to laugh at myself when I had M look at my belly later and he didn’t see anything. They weren’t stretch marks, idiot, it was just from the dress I was wearing being scrunched against my belly by the seat belt. He.

Anyway, some other things on my mind… I read on bbycenter that the Bradley method of natural childbirth allows women to deliver drug free 90% of the time! That is really a pretty amazing statistic, so I decided to get a couple of books out of the library and see what I think. Unfortunately, the method is taught over the course of 12 weekly sessions, so I’m a bit late for that. But I did read through the entire book on Friday night, and it sounds well worth trying. Now I just have to get M to buy into it (it requires full participation from your coach, which includes nightly practice sessions). I was hoping he’d read the book over the weekend after I’d said that I wanted him to, but that didn’t happen. I hate to nag, but I might have to! Does anyone out there have experience with this method? I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

Phred is still clearly breech, and although it does seem that breech vag. deliveries are possible, the medical establishment tends to want to do C-sections if the baby stays that way. So I’ve also been looking into methods for turning Phred over. There are a couple of positions that are suggested for encouraging this at home – one where you basically lie on your back at a –45 degree angle, your feet up on a couch, bum supported by pillows, and upper torso on the floor. The second is kneeling on the ground as if you’re going to crawl, but then putting your chest onto the ground, again getting your bum higher than your chest. Some other things include acupuncture, moxybustion (performed by an acupuncturist, burning certain herbs very close to particular spots near your baby toe – the heat is supposed to do something to encourage the baby to turn), or “external cephalic version (ECV)”, where your doctor uses her hands to turn the baby. Anyone tried any of these methods? At the moment I’m trying the two positions, although you’re supposed to do it more often during the day than I can manage, what with working. I thought I would ask my doctor about doing ECV at my next appointment, and perhaps make another appointment with my acu as well.

18 comments:

One Mother's Journey said...

I don't have any experience with a breech baby but I hope you still get the birth experience you want. Though in the end, as long as the baby is HERE and healthy... that's really all that matters.

Great job escaping stretch marks. My stretch marks have stretch marks.

Erin said...

I'm just an occasional lurker who happens to be a Bradley teacher (who delivered naturally). The class is normally taught over 12 weeks but you might be able to find a teacher in your area who is willing to do an accelerated class so that you get as much info as you can. It's a great book but having someone to help you in person is priceless. And it often helps to convince somewhat-reluctant husbands (as mine was) to actually do the exercises everyday.

Have you checked out spinningbabies.com? It's a great website with lots of suggestions to help a breech baby turn. An ECV can work but should really be a last resort in the event of "ECV or c-sec". Maybe you can find a birth attendant who's experienced in breech babies?

I know this is probably all assvice, but if you have any questions, you can e-mail me through my blog.

Anonymous said...

Just delurking to add assvice from my experience: look into a chiropractor that is trained in the Webster technique. It worked for me, even though I was hugely skeptical (okay, and huge). The chiropractor only does some very gentle adjustments, they don't need to touch your belly.

Em said...

I went to the chiropractor from 32 weeks right up to a few days before I gave birth. It helped my back and pelvis but my birth didn't go to plan. All I can say now is that epidural is a blessed, wonderful thing!

Watson said...

Hi Nico,

This probably seems very new-agey and strange but in her book "Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood," Naomi Wolf mentions her baby was breech. A small group of family members got together in a circle, and 'asked' the baby to turn, and s/he did!

Like I said, it sounds weird but who knows, maybe worth a shot.

Best of luck with everything!

Reesh said...

I had a breech baby which turned I believe because everynight I put a hot water bottle on the bottom of my belly and an ice pack on the top of my belly. You can find all sorts of interesting natural techniques for turning breech babies at: http://www.breechbabies.com/

I also had a drug free labour and I got thru it quite nicely using what I had learned about breathing in a Hypnobirthing book. The basic concept of a drug free labour is that if you are scared you are going to cause yourself uneccessary stress which is going to cause you to tense up and slow labour down. If you are not scared and can just breath thru the contractions you will have a wonderful labour.

In the end you must choose what is right for you...

pixi said...

I have a friend who tried all those things but didn't have any luck (she ended up having the C-section). But that doesn't mean the same thing will happen to you, necessarily. Phred still has time to flip. Keep doing the positions - I really think those can work - and hey, it's a tiny bit of sanctioned exercise!

T said...

I went to a hypnobirthing class and they went through those techniques - maybe you could consult a midwife if you haven't already? Also - my acupuncturist is phenomenal if you want her name - my ob was going to do a study with her because she's so knowledgeable and well known. I don't think I would have gotten pg without her!

Anonymous said...

hey there--i'm 32ish weeks as well, and my baby is also still breech. just wanted to say two things: one, my midwives are TOTALLY not worried about this at 32 weeks (I am worried, but they're confident things can change) and, two, that all the EV seems kinda serious (it's done in a hospital), most people i've talked to describe it as "intense" rather than painful. If your provider doesn't seem comfortable with it, i would look around for someone who does--I think it's one of those things that's a skill that some people cultivate and some people don't. In general, I would think that it's good to be with a provider who really respects your wish (if it is your wish) for a vaginal birth--many doctors see no problem with caesarians and thus aren't motivated to help you avoid them. I feel lucky to have providers who see part of their role as enabling me to have a positive and minimally-invasive birth experience.

anyway, here's hoping that both our babies get their heads in the right place!

Anonymous said...

I had a breech baby turned by external cephalic version at 38.5 weeks. I'd tried for weeks to get the baby to turn on her own, with no luck. My OB deferred to the maternal-fetal medicine specialists to do the actual turning--they do the procedure all the time.

Apparently versions work about 50% of the time, and if it's going to work, it tends to work right away. They did an ultrasound to check fluid levels and placenta location first, to see if those were favorable.

The version was short (actual baby-turning took maybe a minute or so), and intense, but not unbearable, at least it wasn't for me. It's a very physical thing with a lot of pushing and pulling. During it, I mostly lay there and tried not to tense up. (I figured if I could get through five years of infertility, I could handle a version.) I went on to have a vaginal, head-down delivery three weeks later. Good luck to you however you choose to proceed!

elle said...

I did the same thing re stretch marks! ha! Good job dodging them.

Chee Chee said...

I have no suggestions but I hope something works and you can get little Phred turned around. Good news about the stretch marks!

Thanks for checking on me.

VanillaDreams said...

Wow, that is amazing that you have avoided the stretchmarks!!! You rock!! :)

I know nothing about getting babies to turn, soooo all I can say is Good Luck With That!!!! ;)

In the end I hope it works out for you, but most importantly that your baby arrives healthy, no matter how he/she ends up getting here.

all the best,
'Nilla @ Vanilladreams

Sassy said...

Wow! Looks like you've got lots of really good advice here. I'm just glad to hear everything's still going well. Take care.

pixi said...

You've been quiet for a while. Hope everything is OK!

Alexa said...

They can turn your baby FROM THE OUTSIDE? *shudders*

Anyway, I hope you are well and that Phred has flipped by now...

Rebecca said...

Lucky you to be genetically predisposed to *not* having stretch marks! I have them, and they're not even from pregnancy! :)

I'm glad to see there aren't any more alarming contraction-related posts. I was afraid I was going to miss news of an early arrival while I was languishing in the Land of the Disconnected...

Ova Girl said...

good luck nico, those positions to turn the baby are mentioned in 'Active Birth' as well. My acu told me that he could not only turn the baby he could assist with an easier labour and I was preparing to have a few sessions with him except...I went early!

Re the pain etc, I have to say I am a total wuss, honestly...if I think back to me attempting to inject the first dose of lucrin!
But I just tried to take each contraction as it came, to try and 'float' over the contractions using the breath and get my breath back on the other side. I just took it bit by bit. Even at their most painful I was always able to control my breathing pretty much. A coach who is on the ball and tuned into your breathing is essential. I never felt alone.

good luck!