The last weeks of my pregnancy were a filled with many a worried and anxious night. At 32 weeks our baby had decided to flip to a breech position and little did I know that the next 8 weeks would be a roller coaster of emotions and actions to try and convince baby to flip to head down. Prior to 32 weeks baby had been head down at various points in my pregnancy so we knew that it was possible for her to be in that position which meant she had the ability to return to head down.
At 32 weeks spinning babies became my most visited website, I must have gone through 1/3 of a bottle of peppermint essential oil that I rubbed over the top of my bump to help encourage baby to flip and when she still hadn’t flipped at 35 weeks I went to acupuncture to help encourage the flip.
My acupuncturist gave me a moxa stick to do at home. I’m not going to get into all the details but basically you light it on fire – sort of like a smudge stick or palo santo- and then you hold it for 10 minutes (or rather your partner does) at the outside of your pinky toe. The heat of the moxa is said to stimulate things and can help encourage movement. So for the next three nights Neil spent 20 minutes serenading my left and right pinky toes with the moxa stick while we watched Designate Survivor.
While I hadn’t fully given up hope I just knew at my 36 week appointment that she was still breech. I was correct and my midwife suggested we go to another midwife who is known for helping manual flip babies so we set up an appointment for the following day. At this point I am on the verge of panic. What do we do if this baby doesn’t flip? I can’t have a home birth but will I be able to have a vaginal breech birth at the hospital or will I end up with a c-section? What do we do with the kids if we have to have a hospital birth? How can I mentally prepare for all of this knowing that this baby could come anytime?!
That night we did moxa just like every night that week and as I lay in bed I felt thought I felt the baby move. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I spent the entire day anxious to see how our appointment would go. We arrived at the office and the first thing Midwife M did was check the position of baby with her portable handheld ultrasound machine. Her immediate response? “You don’t need me.” We couldn’t have been more thrilled. This baby had flipped overnight and now I could relax….or could I?
The next few weeks passed and at my 38 week appointment my midwife suspected that baby had once again flipped back to breach. I was heart broken. We made another appointment with Midwife M and headed straight to her office after my 38 week appointment. As we drove there Edith said “maybe the baby will flip on the way there.” Neil and I smiled and told her that would be great if that happened but it isn’t likely. We arrived at the office and Midwife M first checked manually for baby position and her initial reaction was breech but to double check she took out the portable handheld ultrasound machine she found that indeed babe was still head down. Cue happy dance, sigh of relief, and an intense urge to do anything and everything to get this baby out before she changed her mind and flipped back to breech.
At this point my midwife and I both had hit the point where we knew it was time to encourage this baby to join us earth side. I started going to regular acupuncture, used naturopath herbs, essential oils, walked as much as long as I could and went down the standard list of things to encourage labor. Nothing seemed to be happening though. Only mild Braxton Hicks contractions and nothing else really happened until around 39w3d when I ‘finally’ lost my mucus plug and was convinced that this baby would arrive in the next 48-72 hours. However that didn’t happen and my due date came and went. Feeling defeated and convinced we still had days to go I decided to schedule a last minute date night. I had been invited to a grand opening party for a new vegan pizza spot and since our sitter was free and it was at a time Neil could attend I scheduled our date. Little did I know that this babe had other ideas.
To be continued…