Friday, October 30, 2009

Once more unto the breech, dear friends

My title messes with Ol' Bill Shakespeare, and also gives the information that my second-unborn is currently sitting wrong (or right, depending on your perspective) way up.

Yes, I have a breech presenting baby at 33 weeks, a situation only 15% of mothers have, according to Dr Google. Fortunately; a) he/she is not wedged down in my pelvis; b) there is still plenty of time for him/her to turn; and c) this baby seems extremely wriggly and active which is probably why we have this problem in the first place.

So what are we doing to rectify this situation? Well, I am currently typing with two carefully positioned Chinese medicine moxibustion sticks heating up the outside of each little toe. It seems mad and like witchcraft, but apparently this therapy has a 75% success rate when it comes to turning babies, as shown in clinical trials. I'm also going to have some cranio-sacral therapy on Monday to sort out my dodgy pelvis, which could be another reason for this bum-down baby. At least, I'm assuming it's bum down, could be feet first at this stage.

It's funny, about a week before my 32 week midwife appointment I said to DH "If this baby ends up breech we have to decide what to do as I'd still want to try for a vaginal birth and not many practitioners do that now." He basically told me not to borrow trouble, but HA! Who was right? When the midwife made a concerned face and said "this baby's presenting breech" I wasn't even really surprised as I'd been feeling an awful lot of kicky movement in the bladder region for the previous week, which is what inspired my breech remark to DH in the first place.

If he/she is still breech at 36 weeks I get sent for an external cephalic version, where an OB tries to turn him/her around. By all accounts, this is safe for the baby but pretty horrifically uncomfortable for the mother, so keen to avoid that if possible.

Then, if no turn around, we decide what to do. My mind shuts down when I think about a Caesarian, I would do almost anything to avoid one. We do have private health cover if we can find an obstetrician who attends breech births to take me on at such a late stage and there is also an obstetrician working at the public hospital I'm booked in at who attends them.

No birth centre, obviously though and from what I've read and been told by those in the know, the actual safest way for a breech baby to be born is at home with an experienced breech midwife as the absolute most important thing is that You Do Nothing. No fiddling with the cord, no 'helping' the baby out, no tugging or pulling. Do Nothing. Allow the baby to descend totally under its own steam. This is difficult in a hospital setting, as hands-off tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

But we're not there yet. Turn, baby, turn (disco inferno)!

One nice thing was as soon as the grandfatherly Vietnamese TCM practitioner took my pulse he said "Oh, very healthy baby. Yes, very healthy" And his guess, for those playing at home, is that this one is a boy. Probably why it's causing trouble already.

Coming soon: Belly shot! Be afraid...