Sunday 14 January 2018

What am I doing

I keep updating the blog in my mind, but actually finding the time to put mind data into actual's just hard!

I am almost at the end of this pregnancy. The really important part: baby is healthy, far as anyone can tell.

The curveballs:

  • I've mentioned the gestational diabetes. I am diet-controlled, and lately, I seem pretty good at it. No sweets, no sugar (that was sad over Christmas, but bearable), no fruit juice and no fruit with meals though I can have fruit after meals. Lots of protein and fiber and vegetables. Basically, when Mr. Turtle cooks good news, because he does lots of protein and we use whole wheat pasta and have found a quinoa recipe or two that is not too boring. When I cook, bad news because I like comfort food and my instinct is to make everything carb-a-licious. Eating out is generally bad news too, even if I try to get the healthy, protein-heavy option. But my two ultrasounds since diagnosis show Sprite growing just fine so I guess I get a B+ or something on this.
  • At 36 weeks I went for my regular appointment at the maternity clinic. Dr. VE (same who delivered AJ, coincidentally, or I guess  tried because she was actually delivered in OR) measured my belly, palpitated and did brief internal exam. She said she'd like to send me for an ultrasound, because I was measuring a centimetre small (and AJ was small for gestational age so I have a "history" of smaller babies), and when I asked her if the head was down she said, "I think so" but then she hemmed and hawed and said it was unclear and she "doesn't like surprises." Still, I didn't read much into that so it was a surprise when the ultrasound (@ 37 weeks) showed Sprite as incomplete breech: head up, one leg curled under and the other up by her nose and arms doing God knows what.
The ultrasound threw us into a "what the hell to do about breech baby" frenzy. That's been what the last few days have been about. I'm over 37 weeks, so the likely answer to the question is we can't do much and will end up with scheduled C-Section. However, we've decided to try some other things first and see if they help.
  • regular inversions (anytime I can find time and a couch to turn upside down)
  • Breech tilt once a day (I find this so comfortable and easily stay upside down for 20 minutes or more)
  • External cephalic version last weekend, which failed (They got Sprite about 3/4 of the way, but could not get her head into pelvis). I got lots of compliments on my ability to endure pain however.
  • Webster protocol (chiropractor) several times in the next few weeks: the idea behind this is the back part of the pelvis can get out of line and twists the uterus, causing less room for baby, so they avoid going head down.  Webster attempts to correct this by re-aligning the SI joints
  • Acupuncture...haven't done yet but scheduled.
  • Possible consult with the breech delivery team. There is one hospital in my city that will attempt a breech vaginal delivery if certain conditions are met. I don't know if we meet those conditions (probably not with incomplete breech) but I said I'd still like to know for sure, and my maternity clinic has been supportive of this.
This is, obviously, making the weeks leading up to the birth rather more stressful than they could have been in an ideal scenario, and I am disappointed in that I would prefer a birth with as few interventions as possible. Also, all through the pregnancy people have been telling me that the second child is easier to birth and obviously I hoped that was true or that I would at least have the chance to find out. Plus I have that great pain endurance and labouring technique! All for naught? But on the other hand we have been approaching the matter quite logically and I think I'm comfortable with trying All the Things to turn baby and if it doesn't work, accepting that we did our best and so did the people supporting us, including medical team.

Next week is my last week at work.  I am mostly confident I will  get all the stuff done there too, though it's a bit insane. I am taking some time off for appointments but will also be trying to get work done when I'm off. Yep, taking time off work to do work. Whatever. Dr. Clarissa Estes tells a story of a woman who made sure she scrubbed the kitchen spotless before she blew her brains out with a shotgun. Gruesome, and I'm not comparing mat leave to violent suicide, truly I'm not, but I am definitely the type that scrubs the floor before blowing my brains out. Nobody's going to come in and say I left a mess, whatever happens.

Preparations at home: going pretty well! AJ now has her big girl room, and we have a nursery with baby clothes and diapers and furniture in it. It's a real thing not a room full of junk. Not a Pinterest nursery by any means but it was never going to be, even AJ didn't get that FFS. We got this. In an alternate universe I would include some pictures but in this universe I have to get to bed.

Have a beautiful week!


  1. I think it’s great you’re approaching this news with realistic expectations. There’s a lot of techniques on can do to help a baby turn, but sometimes (often?) it doesn’t work and usually there’s a reason.

    Can I offer a pros list to a C-section?
    1) prioritizing that baby is born safely.
    2) zero vaginal tearing.
    3) instead of spending hours pushing and working through labor, you will only have an hour in the OR
    4) because recovery from surgery is longer, you’ll have more time in the hospital meaning more access to nurses and postpartum help.
    5) you won’t have a medical team staring at your vagina
    6) no surprises due to waiting to go into labor. I had a friend who delivered in the hospital waiting room because her husband and the medical team assumed they had more time. Though it’s one hell of a birth story, she still hasn’t entirely forgiven him.

    1. Thanks, I appreciate that. I guess I never thought I would be facing a c section by default. I was reassured by all the things I was doing to make Sprite’s birth plan as similar to AJ’s as possible (except hopefully quicker and easier). It was a comfort thing. Still is. But these are good points to keep in mind if the plan must change.

  2. Oh my gosh, you cracked me up so much with the scrubbing the kitchen before blowing the brains out story -- morbid for sure, but I love that you're in that space. I don't love the extra stress of the breech positioning, that stinks. Jeezum, I've heard the manual moving around is horrific, I hope you don't have to do that again! What will happen will happen, and I hope it's the outcome you want for the birth you want, but it seems to me you're also realistic and as long as Sprite is healthy and comes into the world in one piece (and you too), it will be fine. I like Cristy's list for C-Section pros -- from friends who have done the pregnancy-birth thing, there's this stigma that a C-Section is highly disappointing, not "real" birth, and other hooey. It's major surgery, which is scary, and your recovery would be longer, which stinks when you have AJ too, but a healthy birth for the two of you could take either form (clearly I am not an expert in any of this so feel free to tell me to shove it). I hope everything goes smoothly as you get to maternity leave (and I totally get taking time off to work and really feel like your ducks are in a row), and then you can relax a bit before you become a family of four. :)

    1. Haha, you make good sense. Glad you were not horrified by the shotgun story; for me it says so much about the conscientious female mind. Yeah, in the big picture of things I’m quite sure everything will be alright,no matter his Sprite gets here. But I’m also grateful for choices and the ability to make them in an informed way, in so far as I can.

  3. Hooray for 37 weeks! You sound like you are well informed and have a positive attitude, which is an awesome place to be in. Babies in the womb are great at telling us we aren’t in control. I hope baby decides to turn head down! That is cool there is a possibility of a vaginal breech birth. People saying the second birth is easier is a bunch of crap. Everything is different for each mom and each baby so avoid expectations whenever possible. Keeping an open mind makes it easier to adjust to whatever does happen. At least that’s they way I like to look at it. Wishing you a solid clean up the floors phase before Sprite arrives.

  4. We went through a similar thing with Pickle measured small at 36 weeks and after the doctors panicked about iugr found she'd turned breech. I tried everything to help her turn back (couple of things you didn't mention and may like to look into are pulsatilla and moxibustion.) Nothing worked and in the end had an emergency C a week before the scheduled C because my waters broke and there was meconium in the liquor. She's continued to insist on doing things her own way :-).

    1. Heh sounds familiar. We have tried moxibustion once a day (supposed to be twice but reality). When the stick is near my right toe she gets most active. Lately we’ve been trying it while I’m in the breech tilt: combine 2 together lol. Glad your emergency c section went ok. Had to giggle at meconium in the liquor: I know it’s a typo but still funny.