Monday, March 16, 2009

Belly shot: 33 weeks pregnant

33.2 weeks from LMP. Fundal height at 34.5 cms, all vitals are normal. I'm not too uncomfortable except when I'm trying to sleep at night--but that's normal at this stage.

Physically I feel good. But emotionally--another story. It seems that this pregnancy has been a long, hard episode of constant anxiety and fear, punctuated by occasional moments of calm and peace. I worry worry worry all the time: will this baby make it? will I end up with a c-section? Those two are the Big Ones for me. I am absolutely positively terrified of having a c-section. I know it's not really a big deal for some women but it's basically my personal worst nightmare. I'm tired of this fruitless worry and constant fretting but haven't quite figure out how to shake it for good.

I have to admit that the baby's position plays into my current fears right now. The baby is still happily head-up with its butt firmly wedged in my pelvis. I find it so hard to mentally or emotionally prepare for the birth because I don't know how or what to visualize. I don't know who will be there or where I will be, necessarily. I don't know what it will feel like if a butt is coming out, rather than a head. I just want to be able to settle in and enjoy the anticipation during these last weeks and get ready for the baby, not to have so many unanswered questions--all due to the possibility of a breech presentation.

Anyway, here's my plan of action over the next few weeks:
  • From now until 36 weeks, see a chiropractor who does the Webster technique (I've already seen her once) and do some gentle things to help baby turn around: pelvic rocks, knee/chest or breech tilts (although I can only hold these for a few minutes at most--don't know how some people can do them for 15-20 minutes!), and perhaps swimming or handstands in the water. And things like prayer and visualization, etc.
  • After my home visit and Mother Blessing at 36 1/2 weeks, if the baby is still butt-down, schedule an external version for the following Monday. There's a physician who is very skilled at doing versions about an hour away; she has done a few for my midwife's other clients.
  • If the version doesn't work, start planning for a hands-off vaginal breech birth, ideally at home. I would probably need to find another breech-experienced midwife to be present. Breech births are within my midwife's legal scope of practice, and she has attended quite a few during her training (mostly at home, I think). However, she doesn't feel she has enough experience as a primary midwife to do it on her own. So I guess we'd have to start calling around to find someone close enough to travel in when I go into labor, or bring someone in to stay for a few weeks if there's no one within about 4-5 hours from me.
  • Traveling to The Farm is another possibility, but as I've mentioned earlier, it's 8 hours away so I'd have to go there before labor began and wait. I don't know if Eric would be able to come along and I really would not want to have the baby completely by myself (as in, even though I like laboring in private, I don't want Eric to be 8 hours away!). I'd also rather not have to leave home to have the baby. Or take care of Zari by myself for several weeks. Etc.
  • See how things go the day labor begins. Really, the biggest deciding factor for me will be asking Eric for a blessing once labor has started. If he feels inspired to say that all will go well, we'll go ahead with my plans. However, if the blessing indicates that I need to change my plans--whether that means having a vaginal breech birth in a hospital or even going in for a surgical delivery--I'll accept that change of plans. Probably with a lot of tears and a good amount of trepidation, but hopefully with the courage to do what is best. And of course there are a few situations that would indicate the need for a transfer: a stargazing breech baby is a pretty much universal indicator for surgical delivery of breech babies, as well as a slow, long, difficult labor.
Now of course I really hope that this baby finds a way to turn, whether by itself or with help during an external version! I'm trying not to be overly aggressive about doing too much stuff in the meantime. How do I find the balance between helping the baby flip around and just letting things be, since there may or may not be an underlying reason for the baby's positioning?

I've never had such an emotionally challenging experience before. It's like a heavy weight has been around me much of this pregnancy. I want to be able to feel excitement about becoming a mother and having a newborn again but it's all been dwarfed by this ever-present sense of fear and dread. I don't feel that it's some kind of intuitive foreknowledge that something bad is going to happen. It's just plain old fear and worry, the non-productive kind that gets you nowhere.

Now I feel like I'm whining a bit too here's a picture of Zari from this morning. How is so much cuteness possible?


  1. You and I are neck in neck in terms of pregnancy. I'm 33w4d. My LO finally turned head down last week right before my MW appointment. Like you, I'm terrified of having a c-section and its to the point that I've begun to question whether or not my fear would lead me to take unnecessary risks. This is my first pregnancy so I've managed to worry about every crazy thing that could possibly go wrong. To combat that I've picked up Spiritual Midwifery again and focused on the parts about getting rid of attachments. Its been hard, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. When you've got your heart set on a certain birthing experience I think you end up fearing more because you're afraid it wont happen. Reading Spiritual Midwifery again has helped me to realize that I can choose to have a happy birth, regardless of where, when, or how it happens. Sometimes I envy these women who get pregnant and hand themselves over to the doctors without ever thinking that it could be different. Maybe ignorance is bliss.

  2. I'm rooting for you. My baby has been head down the entire time and I am worried it will suddenly flip up at the last moment. Sheesh.

  3. hi Rixa
    I've been in a similar head space after two home births and then 2double footling breech twins. It's exhausting, and i'm sorry to hear that you are wading through all the what-if's instead of being able to truly enjoy this part.

    Have you considered accupuncture and moxabustion or homeopathic remedies (pulsatilla)?

    even better than breech tilts, is wheel barrow lifts, to get the pressue of the sacrum but to get the lift.

    I am rooting that this baby is going to start doing some dancing very soon so you don't have to come up with any contingency plans and do what you truly feel most comfortable with.

  4. It sounds like you're doing a good job of looking at all of your options and having plans to deal with any complications. I hope you wind up with a positive birth experience.

    I've been stressed out during my current pregnancy too - like you I don't think it's any sort of premonition, just plain old fretting and worrying. I wish it would go away, though.

    Zari is adorable.

  5. you know.. it's so odd you mention anxiety. I just wrote a post about my pregnancy anxiety this time around. I've never had so much anxiety before!! and yet I know so much better... bleh. it's put a hamper on things, for sure.

    I agree with the first poster - sometimes I envy people who re birth-ignorant. that seems so easy sometimes! (though I know... that's not a good attitude!) the other night I told my husband i wish I could just get a midwife so I didn't have to think anymore. no more thinking. I'll just push when they tell me. hehe... of course that snaps me back into reality.

  6. Have you spent much time thinking about what it is (about c-sections) that you are afraid of? Is it a fear for your or the baby's safety? Or does it have more to do with losing the home birth experience the you enjoyed with Zari?

  7. I'll be praying for that baby to turn, and for peace for you. Even though I do regular hospital births, a C-section is my worst nightmare too!

  8. Rixa,
    I know how are you are feeling too!
    I lost most of my anxiety mid-way through since I had a ton of support for my homebirth and felt as if I really was prepped for a breech birth. That prepping did worlds of good for me. Once I settled in that I'd be birthing a breech baby, it was all good. And in labor, I didn't really think about her breech positioning until it came time to push.
    I think that as long as baby is in an optimal breech position (as you mentioned), is monitored intermittantly throughout labor, and you wait for your body to dilate 10+ (breathing through contractions for about an hour before pushing)...then I personally don't feel there is any more difference than birthing any other kind of malpositioned baby (i.e. acynclitic, nuchal hand, etc). I'm not an expert, of course, but that's my humble opinion. :)
    As you said wisely, if you try all of those methods of turning and baby doesn't...I would ask "why" and trust that your baby wants/needs to be born breech.
    If baby doesn't appear to be moving down after a long time, perhaps then you could weigh your other options...
    Just my thoughts.
    For you, I send peace.

  9. PS I had to LOL about "not knowing what it feels like for a butt to come out first" cuz I just want to know what it feels like for a HEAD to come out first. :)
    I can tell you that just like crowning, her bottom "rumped" for quite a long time. And the sensation was only really intense, but not painful, nor did I experience the "ring of fire". She moved down slowly slowly slowly, but all on her own (me pushing of course) without anyone intervening.
    However, I did tear to an almost 4th degree, I think when her arm dropped out. Oh well! :)
    And while I don't have any other experience to compare it to, having witnessed births as a doula, I don't sense that I felt much difference than women birthing vertex babies. Ya know? I don't remember being confused or feeling as if my body didn't know what to do....
    Having a mirror did help a ton, though, just so I could kinda identify her parts as well as aid in pushing efforts.
    Ok, enough about me.
    Your birth will be amazing. Our babies begin to guide and challenge us even in the womb, don't they? I love that you allow that intimate and intricate process to unfold.

  10. I am sorry to hear of your worrys. I read this today and it helped me me "The disciplined mind brings happiness." It is awful hard to be walking around with all that worry. Maybe try meditating. That does help me when I am stewing about something. Best of luck with the delivery.

  11. Shotgun Mary--I liked what you said about attachments. For me, it was a big deal to accept that as much as I *wanted* to have a UC again, it might not be what I needed/what was best this time around. I had to let Zari's birth be what it was--perfect for me at that time and place--rather than trying to recreate it for this new baby.

    So what are wheel barrow lifts? Never heard of that one?

    EFT = I think I've seen this abbreviation but have no idea what it really is.

    I know about moxi and some of those homeopathics. Kind of so-so about "doing" so much stuff, you know? Like, I just want to live normally and not spend all my free minutes doing these things which may or may not make a difference. Plus I'd have to drive 45min-1 hour away even to find a place that sells the moxi or the homeopathics.

    Everything about c-sections scares me. I don't even know where to start. As much as I know they're great for situations where they're really needed, that still doesn't remove my fear of them. Especially in this case. I have accompanied a friend who walked, very reluctantly, into an unwanted c/s for breech. She had the back luck to go into labor when the only OB in the entire region who did vaginal breeches was on vacation. So she got major surgery. How fair is that?

    I think at heart, I just want to not have to think about making any more new or different plans for the birth at this point. I want to really be able to go inward and get ready for this baby, not be possibly planning a whole new birth at 37 weeks!

  12. Rixa, I am really, truly sorry that your pregnancy has been full of dread. Mine was, too, this last time. Anxiety, uncertainty and fear, coupled with alot of fears and feelings both very real and imagined/magnified that I "Should" be ___ happier, relaxing, listening to the fear, ignoring the fear, blablabla.

    I have had 3 c-sections (as well as a glorious HBAC and a hospital-vaginal delivery) and yes you have every right to fear it. I do you NO service or any of the other mothers on here by mamby-pambying around about c sections. It is absolutley horrible, the pain and insanity and the inability to care for yourself, your toddler, your newborn, well for me it has changed my life. Now that being said, you have a loving husband who would be there with you, your church ladies, and hopefully family. I was utterly abandoned, all three times, causing me so much post traumatic stuff and flashback stuff that well, there isnt anything i can even say about it anymore that i havent beat into the ground on my blog. ALL THAT BEING SAID, none of my c sections were necessary. In that retrospective weird way. So I dont know how it would affect me mentally if I knew they were necessary. Physically, I know my pain would be te same because noone found me worthy of any aftercare, not my doctors, not my nurses not my family or friends. My husband did what he could but alwasy had to return to work within a few days and we never dared pursue the Family and Medical Leave Act because it is unpaid and we couldnt afford it, plus the rumor was alwasy that they fire you if you try to use that. Lovely!

    So, yes, c section is a big big deal. But not for mourning loss of some candlelit dream, just because it is a very very difficult way to start out with a newborn.

    Ok, so done scaring you, but I only speak this frankly because A) you know all this and B) for your readers.

    Rixa, I think your plan sounds excellent. The Webster technique, the external version...also the prayer and "listening" to the "why" of the baby being this way, also planning on a breech delivery, you are so proactive and so strong, by 33 weeks I was out of steam but you are just doing really great. You are very healthy and take great care of yurself as well as have the backup now of some experienced women. I have a very good feeling about all of it and am proud of you for the way you are handling it all and for your candid sharing of your journey.

  13. Thanks Housefairy--I think you said it far better than I could about why I really really really don't want a C/S.

    Leigh, thanks for your strong support. I love hearing from women who have birthed breeches.

  14. A few years back a friend of mine had a stillborn at about 28 weeks. We were pregnant at the same time and I remember we had many conversations about not wanting to end up with c-sections, her especially.

    Anyway, she actually just gave birth to her first child last month and guess what? She ended up with a c-section (for fetal distress I believe). Anyway, what's interesting is her perspective has totally changed. Although I'm sure she was still far from excited about the c-section, her evaluation of the experience was less about her/the process and more about the baby/outcome.

  15. Rixa, it doesn't sound like whining to me. I worried constantly during my last pregnancy and it is a big burden. I didn't even have anything *real* to base my anxieties on, and yet it felt like a huge weight.

    I feel for you and will be hoping and praying that your little one turns.

  16. wheel barrow tilts are the same idea as a ironing board tilt but instead of being on your back with your hips/feet in the air (compressing your sacrum into your pelvic cavity) you are tilted with your head down and feet in the air with out any pressure on sacrum

    how? you put your forarms on the floor, elbows bent and Eric lifts your legs up (at the knees to give as much support to your lower body as possible)

    so it's like a wheel barrow that you might have done as a child, but not on your hands (more support with the whole lower arm)

    my chiro suggested it because it gets you into a tilt with your pelvis as open as possible.

    try to imagine what little things it would take to make this part of your pregnancy journey positive - a blessing way, a belly henna, photos, birth art etc, a positive woman circle, a short holiday.

    intermingle them with the methods you want to try to get your babe to flip.

    Now that I'm on the other side of my c-section, as nasty and unwanted as it was, and even though I can't change my birth, and i'm very happy to have healthy twins (blah blah and all the rest of that..) if i could change anything, it is all the dread and stress that lead up to my babies arrivals. This is always foremost in my mind.

    I don't know if that's helpful at all. It's pretty hard to grieve a birth experience and think about a lovely baby at the same time - because for homebirthers, the two are very connected.

  17. This is the main web site about EFT
    EFT Manual page 32 has the "Basic Recipe".

    It's not to turn the baby though. But it is a great tool to heal some emotional issues behind, well, the issues :)

    I think too, that for most moms, the second birth causes much more apprehension in general, for all kinds of reasons. So some of what you are going through is very normal. EFT may help you sort these things out.

    Personally, there is only so much I would do to try and turn a breech baby. Some babies really need to be born this way!

    Hope you will find some peace with this pregnancy!

  18. Sucks to know so much sometimes, doesn't it? Sometimes I *wish* I was one of those "duh" women who just have babies fall out of them after three pushes and not enough time to make it to the hospital, or have a c/s under general for some truly emergent reason and then go on to have baby after baby via vbac and never realize the gravity of what she has done.

    One more thing... When I started back to school when Monkey #1 was about 5 months old, I cried and cried (and stressed and stressed) over what I was going to do with her while I was in class. I did this for three different semesters. And then I realized it will all work out. It might not be what I envisioned, it might not be perfect, but it will work out. This will too. And remember the four magic words you can say if you do have to transfer:


    I wish you an empowering birth, Rixa, and nothing less.


  19. I know exactly what you mean about worry and anxiety, my last pregnancy was fraught with it. As a planned VBAC, I worried about having another c/s (my worst nightmare also), I worried about rupturing, and I also worried having a plain old vaginal birth since it was "unknown" (would I tear, would the placenta come out or need to be manually removed, stuff like that). Then I had a placental abruption at 31 weeks (2 months ago) and on top of those worries, now had to worry about delivering a premature baby. The strangest thing was, despite all these worries, when push came to shove, I was calmer than I had been in my entire pregnancy up until that point. And the best thing was, I had a wonderful delivery and a healthy baby in the end. I hope the same for you.

  20. I wonder if second pregnancies/births ARE sometimes scarier than first ones because you know more and you know what you want. I remember being terrified when I was pregnant with #2 for many, many reasons, not the least of which being because I had to go to the hospital with him and was more scared of that than being home with my first. I don't have any advice that you haven't already been given, but I do have sympathy and empathy because I have been there.

  21. Wow!! You look so beautiful! And all of this is so helpful!

    Thanks for all of your kind words and advice on my blog too! I always welcome opinions... no matter how different! They're ALL helpful!

  22. Have you considered getting an ultrasound to see if there is placenta previa or any other obvious problem with the baby? I'm not sure how you discriminate between normal worries and intuitions that something is truly wrong, but perhaps if you find that the baby is indeed 'normal," you can let go of some of the worries. I also agree with the poster who says that once something like a stillbirth occurs, c/s no longer sounds like a "worst case" scenario.

  23. HI!
    I am re-reading "Birthing from Within" and it might be helpful to you- esp. the birth art info
    Also, I was a footling breech born vaginally in 1976- NO PROBLEM!
    also, c-sections are quite terrible, but through every adversity, you find greater strength. If you want to go there with the what-ifs about a cesarean, think about how to give the baby the gentlest transition and then leave it at that. As in, make sure the baby is handed right to Eric for skin to skin, put off the newborn bath and testing unitl after you're out of recovery, etc. That's what I would do differently if I could go back to the moment of the surgery.

  24. I can sympathize with your worries. I am 28 weeks and the baby is in the same position, happily rump down. I have a bit of time yet, but I still worry quite a bit, about that and everything else possible. My first pregnancy was completely worry free, even with early labor at 33 weeks, and an eventual c-section. part of that I am sure was ignorance of what could go wrong, but mostly for this reason; we had been given strong answer to prayer in the temple before we married that we needed to get pregnant right away rather than waiting (he ended up a honeymoon baby), and we felt certain Porter was meant to be here, so I had no worries at all. God had it well in hand. This time, although we still prayed about it, and felt good about the decision, we felt it was more our decision that the Lord supported. I think that has played into some of why I have worried more about this birth.

    My other comment is to say that perhaps part of why the baby hasn't turned is because of your fear. I have done a lot of reading lately connecting mind and body. The mental/emotional fear can tense our body to the point where we actually cause our fears to happen. I have been trying to let go of my fear of another c-section for that very reason. Being at peace with either outcome, homebirth or hospital, natural or c-section, has really helped me. I am hoping that once I have completely brought myself to peace that the baby will feel my inner peace and calm and feel comfortable to turn on his own. I still do my affirmations for the birth I desire, at home without interventions of any sort, but I am more accepting of the possibility of having medical help if I need it. Like you, I also plan on having a blessing when I go into labor. I never thought of it last time, and in hind sight, really wish I had. Perhaps it could have prevented an unneccesary c-section.
    Good luck, and my thoughts are with you.

  25. The first image I have in my mind of my daughter was her tiny butt hanging out of me. She was Frank breech, and I saw her butt (looking through my legs from my hands and knees) just as her legs flopped out of me. She was hanging for just a moment when her head popped out. The midwife didn't touch her as she descended so she flopped on to the table like a little foal being born. She sneezed as soon as she came out, and the whole image made me laugh out loud. Some people cry when they first see their child, I laughed.

    I was worried about her being breech (I did just about everything to try to get her to turn), but she was destined to come out her own way, and who was I to try to change it? I opted out of the external version. I actually didn't have enough amniotic fluid to do it, but I had decided against it before I knew that. There are only two doctors in Germany who do the Webster technique, so that wasn't an option for me.

    Hard labor lasted about 7 hours, and even though it was the hardest thing I've done, I don't think it was a more difficult labor than most other natural births with the baby in the proper position.

    I hope that s/he turns so that you can have one less worry, but is s/he doesn't, I hope the experience will be as wonderful as the birth of my stubborn girl.

  26. You've had some wonderful comments here.

    First, peace to you. Peace helps you to enjoy pregnancy AND delivery, no matter how your baby is positioned.

    I really love what you're doing to get the baby to flip. My last baby (5th) was in the breech position until I was 35 weeks, then she flipped. I don't know if it was the pelvic rocks I did, or sleeping with my pelvis elevated (just with firm cushions, kind of stair-stepped on my bed -- my doc had suggested elevating the foot of our bed, but my hubby couldn't sleep like that, so I improvised), or what. Maybe she just turned on her own.

    Make sure you're drinking GALLONS of water so that you're well-hydrated so your amniotic fluid will stay at its peak. S/he will turn more easily with more amniotic fluid.

    And... I've only been reading here for about 8-10 weeks, and you're super-hands-off about birthing, from what I've read, so this is probably an "of course" to you, but when you're laboring, do NOT let anyone break your water. Your baby can flip even very, very late in laboring, but breaking the bag of waters will pretty much cement his/her position. So, if you're laboring with a breech baby, it'll up your chances of the baby turning on his/her own if your sac is intact.

    And, I know you've not had any u/s, but I agree that it might be wise to consent to one just to check if there's some physical reason why the baby has not turned... Maybe wait until you're 38 or so.

    Loved Tammy B's story, and it makes me think -- surely there are birthing positions that are better for breech babies than others. That's worth looking into, as well. :)


    I feel a little weird commenting here, because I'm one of those mothers who have totally "normal" births and push a baby out in three pushes. And, I do agree that being "over"-educated can increase apprehension. But, for me, it increased my sense of empowerment; I learned something new with each pregnancy and birth, and all that knowledge led to progressively BETTER birthing experiences, and MORE peace, because I felt like I had more tools, going into birth, each time. (Birthed all five children 100% naturally, no meds, not hooked up to an IV, Bradley-style, for the most part... but, all in a hospital. We're not planning for more, but my husband said, especially after the ridiculous $2000+ bill for "room and board" for my infant, which was 80% covered by insurance, after she roomed with ME and was fed by ME, "You could birth at home, unassisted." We may do that, next time, if there is one.)

  27. Karen Joy,
    Yes, agreed with you 100% about not breaking my water! I should try sleeping with my hips elevated--this baby is so well engaged that I suspect it's keeping it from turning. Did you sleep on your back then, or on your side? I get pretty woozy/dizzy now if I sleep on my back, even though I find back sleeping far more comfortable than side sleeping. (Oh, those achey hips in the morning!)

    I'm not averse to an U/S if I end up having a version. It might even be part of the procedure anyway.

    I do need to drink more water. Thanks for the reminder.

  28. Rixa,
    I am a longtime lurker on your blog, and I feel compelled to write to you. It breaks my heart that you are so worried. My son was breech until he was 36 weeks, and I too spent so much time worrying about it that I didn't enjoy a good portion of the pregnancy. I was reading obsessively, going swimming and doing flips, doing inversions on our stairs in the house (similar to aforementioned wheelbarrow technique, but easier on husband's back), talking to him, getting Webster Technique, going to an acupuncturist, doing moxibustion, putting peas on his head, carrying around pictures of vertex babies in my pocket that I would look at whenever I had a blank moment, listening to a "Turn Your Breech Baby, Yes You Can!" hypnosis CD, even playing the worst, most abrasive punk rock music in my husband's tape collection to get him to move away from the noise. I think the moxibustion worked the best to get him moving, and I would recommend spending the 2 hours to drive out to get some or ordering it online. I cannot say if he would have turned anyway if we had done nothing, but I felt like at least I was giving it my best shot to encourage him to turn, and I was going to obsess about it whether I was doing this stuff or not.

    You say that you "don't feel that it's some kind of intuitive foreknowledge that something bad is going to happen. It's just plain old fear and worry, the non-productive kind that gets you nowhere," so maybe it would work to quell the anxiety by really giving yourself over to the idea that your next birth could be a c-section. Lean into it, investigate the fear, do a meditation on what a c-section and recovery would be like to go through. Imagine what emotions it would bring up, how it would change your perception of yourself, how the recovery would be different, just let that worst case scenario play out as you imagine how you would navigate it. If you go to that place and let yourself really inhabit it as a possible reality, maybe it will help you be more at peace so that you can lay it to the side for the rest of the pregnancy. Maybe the mental preparation that you have to do for this pregnancy is centered on letting go of wanting answers or certainty, giving yourself over to the unknown. You have such an amazing store of knowledge about birth, but you probably remember from Zari's birth that at some point, all that book-learning falls away and a more instinctual mind takes over. One of the gifts of labor and birth is that they exist in the freshness and unfolding of time. This 'being present to what is' cannot be prepared for with plans about how things might/should/ought to go because if the reality doesn't match your script, you're lost. Any chance that you can throw away scripts altogether for this birth?

    Having said all that, you are a really strong, incredibly knowledgeable woman. You are a voracious reader, and look at what you have done already: birthed your first baby totally unassisted. Wow! I would never have the courage to do that. If anyone would be prepared to have a successful breech birth, it would be you. You are also strong enough that you would be able to refuse consent for an operative delivery unless it were a true medical emergency.

    I also know that you had not intended to get an ultrasound during a pregnancy, but it is true that it might give you some answers and peace of mind about this baby. Sorry that this is such a darned long comment.

  29. Katherine, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. Well, thanks to everyone, really. It's sometimes overwhelming to see all of the support I get here--and humbling. I really appreciate it.

  30. You should read Rose's story: and perhaps contact her as she went throgh a lot of what you're saying here and ended up birthing a gorgeous breech babe at home (video is there as well:

  31. Thanks for reminding me about those links Emma. I remember reading/watching them when they were first posted. I love the video.

  32. Hi Rixa,
    I really liked Maria's advice to consider EFT.
    I recommend going to for information about EFT and a great DVD that allows you to witness EFT in action following real life cases. It also has a "how to" section.
    I wonder if the emotional climate we are living in right now is affecting your emotions and level of fear. In any case, EFT helps you to let go of fear. Its impact can be quite dramatic.

  33. I just want to leave a little reminder that a C-section is not *always* a nightmarish experience. I had an unexpected C-section (birth center transfer) and, under the circumstances, it was a positive experience in every way. The OB and nurses were kind and respectful; the baby was in my husband's arms from the second he was born and never left my side as soon as I was stitched up; the hospital policy was more supportive of breastfeeding than I could have imagined. My grandmother stayed with us for three weeks while I rested and recovered, helping me have a problem-free recovery. I realize I was extremely lucky to be at such a mother-and-baby-friendly hospital (we actually drove an hour in second-stage labor to be at this particular hospital) and to have excellent postpartum support. I know this can't be the case for everyone. And I totally understand why a C-section terrifies you. I just wanted to remind you that even that eventuality, though not ideal, can be a positive experience.

  34. (You said:) "I should try sleeping with my hips elevated--this baby is so well engaged that I suspect it's keeping it from turning. Did you sleep on your back then, or on your side?"

    Well... I always started out on my side, with my legs a bit apart so that my feet were lying at the same level, and not one on top of the other. But, I would *always* roll onto my back as I slept because I'm naturally a back sleeper. :) I used as flat a pillow as I could stand for my head, a smaller squishy pillow where my waist used to be, a firm cushion under my hips, then a few more pillows/cushions to elevate my legs and feet. It was a pretty comical setup, but it seemed to work. It helped, too, for "normal" swelling during pregnancy, *AND* for the awful vericose veins I had during pregnancy. Anytime you can elevate the swollen veins so that they're above your heart, it'll relieve pressure. So... it'll help your swelling feet and ankles (if you have swelling), help your vericose veins, and maybe encourage your baby to turn, too!! So, I thought it was worth the crazy pillow-setup. :D

  35. I am sending hugs to you. It is hard having the unknown. Here is a link to some other ideas of letting go of fears.

    It sounds like you have some good plans in case baby is breech at the time of birth. So maybe you should spend some time visualizing your "ideal" birth... knowing you have plans in place in case it isn't "ideal"

    Also in the Hypnobabies Birth Partner's Guide there is a beautiful Change of Plans script, which is wonderful to have on hand, in case you need a change of plans.

    I imagine you have listened to the Turn Your Breech Baby Now CD. It is fine to listen to even if baby isn't breech because it is all about being head down, so it would just reinforce that position if baby is head down.

  36. I just wanted to add my voice to Alexandra's. I had an unplanned C-section for my 2nd baby when baby's heart rate plummeted during labor, but it was a very positive experience with a lot less pain during recovery than my amazingly easy vaginal birth. C-section does not equal failure, death, or the end of the world.

    Anyway, now that your baby has turned around, I bet you're not quite as worried. Happy birthing:)

  37. Hi Rixa, if you did not have an ultrasound, how did you know the baby is breech? Was it intuition/kicking you felt down instead of up?

    I am also wondering what made you to seek midwifery/prenatal care this time around?

    Not sure if this will help, but breech babies are a variation of the normal. Often breech babies can't turn because their cord is too short.

    A really good book on Breech Birth is Maggie Banks' book "Breech Birth Woman Wise."

    I imagine if you hadn't sought prenatal care, your baby either likely would have turned (some babies do turn in labor even - though the stats on that aren't great considering most women have an elective c/s well before their due date) or else, you would have had quite the suprise but in the end I'm sure even a suprise breech would turn out ok.


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