Friday, November 30, 2012

Breech update

I mentioned in my 32 weeks post that my baby was still frank breech (head up, feet up by his face).

At 33 weeks I started doing everything I could do get him turned. Acupuncture, moxibustion (both with my acupuncturist and at home, twice a day), inversions, watsu, chiropractor (Webster technique).  The Spinning Babies website has lots of helpful information about these techniques if you want to learn more - that's where I learned about the inversions.

I felt like the baby was trying to turn but just couldn't get into position. He's super super wiggly - as in when the doctor told me to do kick counts and make sure I get 10 kicks in an hour twice a day, I told him I usually get 10 kicks in about 90 seconds, every hour of the day.

Moxibustion would make him wiggle, inversions would help him slide up in my torso, watsu made him incredibly, violently, active for hours afterwards (and was super relaxing and therapeutic for me - if you have a watsu practitioner nearby I highly recommend it in late pregnancy), and the Webster technique felt like it was giving him more room. But he didn't turn.

So yesterday, at 36 weeks, 5 days, I went to the hospital for my doctor to do a version (official term is 'external cephalic version' or ECV). This involves the doctor manually turning the baby from the outside of the belly - sorta like squashing a watermelon seed under your finger and having it squirt out the other side (this was the image that popped in my head during the version!)

I was at the hospital for about 3 hours, with prep (they prep you for an emergency c-section because there's a tiny chance the version can either stress the baby or cause the placenta to detach), pre-monitoring (non-stress test) and post-monitoring (non-stress test).  The version itself took about 90 seconds. It was intensely uncomfortable but bearable. (My husband helped me through it, and I realized I need to cut my nails before I give birth, as he was ok with me squeezing his hand, but not digging in with my nails. Hee!) After 90 seconds, my doctor said, ok, we're done, and I couldn't tell if it had worked so had to ask.

Such a relief! If he stayed breech I would have had a scheduled c-section as very few doctors in the US do vaginal breech births (my doctor used to but stopped after a particularly tricky/risky delivery). So now I just need him to stay head-down (it's unusual but possible for him to flip back), and I can work on going into labor naturally prior to being induced on December 15 at 39 weeks.

After we got home, our nursery furniture was all delivered, and we hung our mobile and started putting up the wall decal. I'll post a photo once it's done.

Tomorrow I'm 37 weeks and considered full-term! Crazy!

Monday, November 5, 2012


On Saturday we went to a tea hosted by my RE for his new parents and pregnant patients. He does this twice a year, and it's a nice chance to see him and the staff who helped us get here, and meet other IFers who've had success.

He went around the room to chat with each couple, so we got a few minutes with him. He called us his trailblazers.

Last year, after our terrible SIRM cycle in Las Vegas, we decided to move on to donor eggs, and wanted to come back to our local RE, who had done our first 4 IVFs. However, at the time he didn't offer CGH testing of embryos (tests all 23 chromosomes), just FISH PGD (tests 9 chromosomes), and his shared risk plan required transferring 2 embryos. I contacted him and explained we were ready to do donor eggs, and that we really wanted to work with him, but only if he could offer us CGH testing, and would do single embryo transfers. He agreed (although it meant we couldn't do any version of the shared risk plans), so we were the first patients to get CGH via his clinic.

He shared with us on Saturday that now CGH is standard, single embryo transfers are standard, and frozen transfers are standard, and that he considers us the reason they moved that direction.

Feels good to have helped, indirectly, all those patients who came after us.

And since we expect to start working with him again at the end of 2013, we were happy to hear he's now doing the endometrial scratch that's proven to dramatically increase implantation rates.

In other news, we had our newborn care class yesterday, which was relatively useful and interesting. Nothing earthshaking, but good information. Both my husband and I have read a lot of books, so the class stuff tends to be largely repetitive.

Breastfeeding class is Thursday, and I haven't done much reading on it yet, so hopefully will be a more valuable class.

I've also realized that I've entered the swollen ankles/feet part of this pregnancy. Even in the mornings my ankles are a little swollen, and by the end of the day, ankles are visibly swollen and feet are puffy.

And I'm horrified to admit that my belly button may be starting to turn into an outie. I had a navel piercing way back when (removed when I had my laparoscopy in August 2009), so one side is kind of pinned down, but when the baby was pushing my belly yesterday, the other side definitely bulged a bit. Eeek!

33 weeks and 2 days today. Tomorrow we can say we have five and a half weeks to go. Yikes!