Yesterday I went to visit my friend, Diet Coke. The visit marked the beginning of appointments every two weeks, as Bingo creeps closer to graduation.
Having seen Herbal Tea just two weeks ago, and the most interesting feature of that appointment having been HT’s enthusiasm for Orange is the New Black, I naively wondered what there would possibly be to talk about only two weeks later.
As I sat in the waiting room, I heard the student midwife being prepped by Diet Coke in the background, “This is the patient with very low iron levels.”. Notoriety, oh good! The student appeared moments later, smiling nervously and grasping a clipboard with paperwork that– no doubt– referred to my hemoglobin. I was ushered back into an office that I hadn’t been into before, the exam table made up to look like the bed in a slightly worn, but warm, B&B and pictures of babies and nursing women on the walls. The student asked me about blood tests, iron supplements, and birth plans before asking me to lie down on the table/B&B bed for the physical exam.
I reminded myself of the fact that she was a student as she measured my fundal height beginning somewhere near my vagina, and again as she struggled to find Bingo’s heartbeat (I wasn’t worried, having felt Bingo kicking minutes earlier). In general she was nice, competent, and she had warm hands: all things that I appreciate.
I suspect Diet Coke had been listening through the door: she appeared moments after the student had finished her exam. She asked the same questions, repeated the fundal measurement from a more comfortable location, and found Bingo’s heartbeat within seconds. Then, feeling at my belly, she paused. “Huh”, she said. She poked at my belly some more, bouncing both hands just below my ribcage. “Huh”, she repeated: “I feel a nice, bouncy head here.”. Turning to the student she directed, “Feel this.” Four hands were now pushing on my stomach: “No, here. Over here. Feel that? That’s the head. Up here.” Diet Coke looked at me over my belly, “Thanks for being a teachable moment.”
Apparently, Bingo’s head is somewhere around my rib cage and Bingo’s feet are somewhere around my pelvis*. As Sea explained it later, Bingo is upside down. Upside down in fetus-land means that Bingo is right side up. At 30 weeks, this isn’t totally uncommon, but it isn’t typical either. Bingo has four weeks to do a headstand before we’re sent in for an ultrasound to confirm the upside down/right side up position. If Bingo refuses to turn (please don’t be a jerk, Bingo), then they start trying to move Bingo manually. I’m not totally sure what this involves, but it doesn’t sound terribly comfortable. So get to work and put your head down, Bingo!
*I’m a little confused about this positioning, as I feel Bingo’s movements the most on my right side under my ribs. Either Bingo’s bum feels like a head and the midwife is wrong, or the kid is just really into fist pumping.