Partner’s Post: Idealism, Realism, and The Breech Baby in Between

Let us begin here: At 36 weeks and five days, the baby is otherwise healthy, but the hoped for mid-November no-risk birth? That has escalated to a late-October or early-November high-risk birth. Well-meaning comments about the potential for flipping the baby are appreciated; Bingo, though, is not going to flip via low-level intervention. Nor do we want at this point for Bingo to flip independent of professional monitoring.

The thing is, PartnerA is an idealist and I am a realist. We’re perfect for and we balance each other in this way. How those traits manifested themselves during the last midwife appointment with DietCoke (D.C.), however, was astounding. I was worried and disappointed; PartnerA was shocked and devastated. I began devising a plan of action; PartnerA pulled inward and wept.

The truth of it is that Bingo is not just breech. The midwife, D.C., referred to Bingo’s position as being wedged in a doorway. Head up, bum down, one leg fully extended up with a foot near the ear, the other leg partially extended down with a knee slightly bent. It’s physically impossible for a baby to be born in the position that this baby is in. We were warned about the risk of Bingo wrapping him/herself in the umbilical cord. We were warned about the risk of a prolapsed umbilical cord too. This is our gentle, hippy-inspired, natural-birth-advocating midwife pushing for medical intervention in our case, which makes me all the more ready and willing to accept it. We are to hightail it to the hospital at the first contraction yelling ‘BREECH!’ at everyone we encounter, instructed D.C., and if PartnerA feels anything at all there, call 911. That’s the reality of the situation.

The consultation appointment with the OB/GYN who specializes in breech pregnancies is scheduled on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 12:30 PM. D.C. refers to his hands as “magic”. Apparently, this OB/GYN is one of the best of the best in the area at external cephalic version.

On Tuesday, October 22, 2013, the OB/GYN will do an ultrasound. Based on his assessment of Bingo’s current position, he will say yay or nay to ECV. If he says nay to ECV, the only option is a scheduled C-section in late October or early November.

If the OB/GYN is willing to attempt ECV, the procedure will most likely occur on a scheduled date between 38.5 and 39.5 weeks (October 31, 2013 – November 7, 2013). The procedure takes place in a hospital with staff and equipment present to perform an immediate induction or emergency C-section as necessary. PartnerA is given an preemptive epidural and both she and Bingo are monitored for signs of distress.

1. If Bingo can be turned head-down during ECV and doesn’t show any sign of distress, immediate induction. Bingo will be born that day or the day after.

2. If Bingo shows any sign of distress during ECV, turned or not turned, immediate C-section. Bingo will be born that day.

3. If Bingo doesn’t turn and doesn’t show any sign of distress, a C-section will be scheduled for a later date.

So barring an unexpected turn of events (har har har), Bingo will be born between October 31st and November 7th.

This morning (36 weeks, five days), PartnerA got to practice paging the midwife when she stepped out of the shower and onto the scale and discovered that she’s lost six pounds in the past four days. “Don’t worry, man,” chuckled the ever-nonchalant D.C. to the anxious first-time we-don’t-know-anything parents. Apparently wild weight fluctuations are normal toward the end of pregnancy? It’s the body’s preparation for labor? Bingo is still moving as much as ever, PartnerA feels fine, and there’s no sign of fluid loss. So for now, we keep on keeping on, thankful that despite the contortionist positioning, Bingo is healthy.

Yesterday, Friday, October 18, 2013, was exactly eight months since Monday, February 18, 2013. Bingo was conceived exactly eight months ago yesterday (to Carly Jepson’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ no less!). Monday, October 21, 2013, is 37 weeks exactly — term. Almost there.

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4 thoughts on “Partner’s Post: Idealism, Realism, and The Breech Baby in Between

  1. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear all this. My heart rate accelerated just reading this post, I can’t imagine how you guys feel. I hope that somewhere you are able to just let go a little tiny bit and trust that your medical and midwifery professionals are competent, caring providers who will get the three of you through this with flying colors.

  2. I’ve been thinking about you two a lot since A’s post about the bingo breech situation. I am sorry things aren’t falling in line with the ideal you had in mind. I really am. It is okay to be sad about that.

    At the same time, I want to somehow gently and with compassionate intent whisper that an induction or c–section you have some time to mentally prepare for need not be a traumatic event — or maybe I mean that getting the birth you wanted (in the broad strokes) doesn’t guarantee happy feelings after? I am having trouble figuring out how to say what I mean, and I do hope you will give some partial credit for intent.

    What I am trying to say is that when I was pregnant with the Bean, I hoped and hoped to avoid a c-section, despite being at increased risk for requiring one. And I did! I had the vaginal birth I wanted! …except, see my blog, it was a lastingly traumatic experience, and I mean capital T Trauma, that I am still dealing with now. Part of the reason I was afraid of a c-section was the prospect of a difficult recovery, and then, what do you know, but my recovery from a vaginal birth was longer and harder than many c-section recoveries. I felt physically awful but also psychologically so — clearly there must be something deeply wrong with me to imagine I felt so bad, when I’d had the “right” kind of birth.

    I’m not trying to be an advertisement for c-sections, but I do think that some of the rhetoric surrounding reducing c-section rates ends up overselling vaginal birth, to the detriment of people like me, who have difficult vaginal births, and of people with legitimate medical need for c-sections.

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