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It is with a very disappointed heart that I can announce our daughter will be born on February 11th, 2010.

Despite all of my efforts to encourage her to turn, she is having none of it. The four times a week chiro appointments, the weekly acupuncture, the swimming, the moxabustion, the crawling around on the floor…none of it worked.

Even so, I felt confident that all of those things would have at least had made it easier for her to turn today with the assistance of a doctor during an external version. As it turns out, she did not budge an inch.

The version was not comfortable. In fact, it was a lot more uncomfortable than I ever imagined it would be. I knew going into it that it wouldn’t be comfortable, but I really felt that she was ready to turn and might do so with minimal pressure and discomfort. I was wrong.

I was hesitant to even have the version done in the first place. The success rates weren’t that impressive and I knew that with the way she way situated (frank breech, with her feet up by her ears) the chances of success were even lower than with a complete breech. The low success rates are why I tried all of the alternative options first, hoping that she would turn prior to this morning’s version. I weighed the pros and cons of the version and decided that if I didn’t try everything that I could to have a vaginal birth that I would definitely regret it in the long run, so we went ahead with the version.

Having been through it, I can say that no part of me regrets doing it. I know that our daughter was safe since they were monitoring her the whole time and she didn’t even seem to notice what was going on. For me the physical discomfort was entirely temporary. The long lasting pain comes from knowing that I will not have the birth that I had always envisioned.

It seems ridiculous to say, but I’ve had a vision of what I wanted my birth experience to be like since long before we started trying to get pregnant. I can assure you that it absolutely did not include a c-section. Of course there was always the chance that a c-section might be necessary in the long run, but I always envisioned my husband and I hunkered down at our house in the early hours of labor timing contractions. I imagined us driving to the hospital while I tried to cope with the pain of the contractions. I imagined laboring and giving birth in one of our hospital’s fantastic birthing suites. I never once imagined a scheduled c-section.

I am completely heartbroken that I will never get to experience these things that I was so looking forward to. After the initial discomfort of the pressure on my belly, I could feel the tears begin to fall down the side of my cheeks and into my ears. A small part of it was due to the pain of the procedure, but mostly it was because I could tell that she just wasn’t going to move. The tears continued to fall long after the doctor stopped trying to turn her. He kept asking if I was OK and I kept mumbling yes, which I don’t think he believed until I told him that I actually felt fine physically, I was just extremely disappointed.

My OB’s office likes to schedule breech births at 39 weeks, so that was the recommendation after it was apparent that the version was not successful. As much as I do not want to have a scheduled c-section, I didn’t have the emotional energy to fight the recommendation. We went ahead and scheduled it, and that was that. The nurse was very sweet telling me that they will definitely do an u/s before the c-section to make sure that she is still breech, and reminded me that some babies do turn prior to the c-section.

I don’t really believe that our daughter will turn, nor do I think I will spontaneously go into labor before 39 weeks and I feel like I’ve been robbed of something that I really looked forward to experiencing. I am not at all excited about having surgery in order to give birth to our baby. I am not looking forward to recovering from a c-section during a time that I want to be able to be there 100% for our daughter. I want to be able to hold and cuddle our daughter after she is born. I want to be able to pick her up when I want to and not have to ask someone to get her and hand her to me. I want to be able to drive soon after giving birth. I want my baby (and me) to benefit from the hormones released during the birthing process. I don’t want to spend weeks receovering from major abdominal surgery. I want to have the birth experience that I always expected to have.

I feel awful complaining about this as I feel I’ve already been exponentially blessed by even being able to experience pregnancy in the first place. For a long time I honestly thought that I would never find myself in this position. I feel greedy asking for and desiring a normal vaginal birth, but it’s what I want.

In the end, I know that I’ve got to keep my eyes on the prize, and that’s a healthy daughter at the end of all of this. She is the greatest reward and though I am definitely disappointed today, I have no doubt that her arrival will completely erase any of the sadness that I feel today.

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My absolute least favorite time of the day is bed time. I feel rather fortunate that up until recently, sleeping was not a big deal for me. Having said that, sleep is now something that I feel like I have to put effort into. I don’t have much trouble falling asleep, but staying asleep is not something that I excel at anymore. Sleeping on my back has sadly become not a comfortable option anymore, which leaves me with only my two sides, which isn’t horrible since I tend to sleep on my sides anyway. However, the pull on my back from the enormous weight of my belly limits that amount of time that I can tolerate each side. So I wake up frequently and need to roll over to the other side. This wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have a nagging pain on the left side of my crotch that makes turning over somewhat painful. Then there are the times that I wake up to painful contractions. I have contractions all day long, but they are just painless tightening of my belly, but for some reason the ones I get in the middle of the night are actually kind of painful. Maybe it’s just the contraction combined with the strain of supporting my belly, but it’s not comfortable. I will count myself as fortunate for not having to get up multiple times a night to go pee, in fact, I rarely ever get out of bed to pee. I guess I should just be thankful for this small bit of good fortune.

As a counter to the discomfort of sleeping, my morning shower is by far and away the best time of my day. I have become increasingly late to work (which is not a big deal since we have flex time) due to my extra long showers. The hot water streaming over my achy body is the sweet relief that I look forward to every night as I crawl into bed.

According to random people who seem to think it’s appropriate to weigh in on my perceived size, I am simultaneously “small” and “huge” for how far along I am. Personally I tend to believe that I fall more into the huge category (especially since I’ve already gained 35 pounds), but I do love to hear from my acupuncturist and chiropractor that I look small. Either way, I’m not at all concerned with people’s opinions on this topic. I’m pretty sure that my body knows what it should be doing as far as weight gain goes, so I’ll just let it do what it wants to do.

The baby’s room was finally painted this week. My very generous mom offered, no insisted, that she be allowed to paint the room so that I wouldn’t have to inhale the paint fumes. I’ve come to learn that putting up a fight against my mom on issues such as this will bring no good. Now that the room is painted, I was finally able to assemble baby’s dresser today, which means that now I can load all of her little clothes and diapers into it. This is huge as I no longer have to have all of her clothes stacked on her co-sleeper, which means the co-sleeper can now be disassembled and moved out of her room (and I’m still not sure how it ended up in there in the first place). So all this means that we can finally start making her room HER ROOM and not just a storage place stacked full of all of her stuff. Yay for progress!

I have an ultrasound scheduled on Monday to check baby girl’s current position. As of this very moment, I can say with 99% certainty that she is still breech or transverse depending on how she feels at the moment. My chiropractor says that she’s making lots of progress loosening up the ligaments in my pelvis, hoping that will allow her the space she needs to turn. She also said that she’s never seen anyone with ligaments as tight as mine. The moxibustion treatments are going, well, I guess I don’t know how they’re going. She moves around a whole lot when I am doing them, so I know that it’s having some effect, but she hasn’t turned head down just yet. I just hope that all of these crazy things that I’m doing all add up to a head down baby sooner than later. My OB stated that if she’s still head up on Monday, that they’d like to schedule an external cephalic version around 37 weeks. I’m not even remotely sold on this option as it’s rather uncomfortable for me and I think it’s a lot trauma to put the baby through, not to mention the risk of complication like premature labor or placental abruption. I will keep the faith that she will turn on her own and I won’t even have to worry about making the decision.

Our baby girl has no name. We affectionately call her Tina (as in “Tina, come eat your ham!” from Napoleon Dynamite), but that’s just her temporary nickname. As of two nights ago, we had a list of 22 names that were under consideration. I kept on my husband until he was willing to sit down and review the list with me at which point we were able to cut the list in half and are now down to a respectable 11 names. Sigh. I really think that she won’t have a name until she is born. I am confident that we could cut the list in half again before she’s born, but I think we’ll end up at the hospital with a baby girl in our arms and a iphone list of 5 or 6 names to pick from. Hopefully she will help us out by definitely “fitting” into one of the names that we’ve got left.

My baby shower with my friends is next Sunday. While I’m excited to finally get to have a baby shower, I’m also kind of nervous as I don’t really enjoy being the center of attention anymore like I used to just a few short years ago. I’m also worried about how I will handle things emotionally. Only 3 people at the shower know of our struggles to get pregnant and everything that we went through to get to this point, so I’m hoping that I don’t turn into a blubbering mess when it all hits me. I suppose if I did, I could blame it all on the hormones, right?

Speaking of hormones, I don’t seem to have any of them. Or any of them that effect me emotionally, at least. The couple of times that I have cried while pregnant were 100% justified, and not at all induced by some sappy commercial on the TV. I don’t feel like I’ve had a shorter fuse than normal and I don’t really feel like things affect me any more than they ever did. Maybe it’s the acupuncture that evens everything out for me, or maybe I’m just lucky? I should rephrase that and say that maybe my husband’s just lucky. :o)

That’s life at 36 weeks for me. I’m still in awe that in less than 6 weeks, we will be holding our long sought after baby. We are so fortunate.

There seems to be no doubt that this baby is in fact part me and part my husband. I say this because so far she has been incredibly stubborn. The OB confirmed my suspicions that little baby girl remains in a non-head down position. This has me rather frustrated at this point. Somehow I didn’t realize that after a certain time frame, most babies are in fact head down. I just thought that they turned when they turned and that was that. Apparently 34 weeks is really the point where they’d like to see babies head down. I’m now 35 and a half weeks. And she’s head in my right side.

As I mentioned in my last post, a c-section just isn’t what I had in mind for my first, and likely only, birth experience. So I’ve begun Project Flip Baby. The project is somewhat time consuming and, quite honestly, rather expensive.

Step 1: Get chiropractic treatment using the Webster Technique. Of course none of the chiropractors that are covered by my insurance practice the Webster Technique. So I will get chiropractic treatment 2-3 times a week, hoping to realign my pelvis and provide her with a uterus that is welcoming to a head down position.

Step 2: Increase acupuncture treatments to once a week. Sigh. I so thought I was done with weekly treatments. My savings account was finally starting to grow again after months and months of weekly treatments to the tune of $280 a month, plus whatever herbs, vitamins or crazy new “miracle” item my acupuncturist could think of to add to my tab.

Step 3: Start a daily regimen of moxabustion treatment – 20 minutes of holding a smoking stick of dried herbs over each pinky toe.

In studies, the moxabustion was shown to increase the spontaneous correction rate in breech babies from 73% for those who did nothing, up to 92%. I will definitely take that extra 19% chance of having her turn.

The Webster Technique was shown to result in an 82% success rate in turning malpositioned babies.

I have no idea what the success rate of acupuncture on its own is, but I’m really hoping that my three pronged approach to getting this little girl to flip works out for us.

If not, then the only other option prior to a scheduled c-section (assuming she doesn’t flip on her own later), is an external version, which I am definitely not comfortable with yet.

So far I’ve felt lots of movements following my first Webster and moxa treatments, but she’s most definitely still head to the right.

Flip girl, flip!

There are times when I feel like I’m hiding a whole slew of dirty little secrets. Like what kind of birth I want to have, how I plan to feed my baby, and what kind of diapers she’ll wear.

I live in what many consider to be a pretty progressive city. Even so, I frequently feel as though I need to hide my plans, thoughts and ideas for fear of judgement.

For example, I’d really like to have a med free birth. It’s not something that I’m going to be absolutely devastated if I don’t get, but it’s still something that I’m striving for. Living where I do, I don’t really think that this is an uncommon sentiment, but there are always people who think that the desire to birth med free is absolute lunacy.

Take, for example, my boss. I’ve mentioned her before, she’s technically due about a week and a half after me, but is scheduled to have her baby on February 22nd. She ended up having her first son via c-section which was scheduled immediately after they discovered that the baby was breech and he was delivered two weeks prior to his due date, as planned. Her second son arrived by scheduled c-section two weeks prior to his due date as well, since she had no intention of attempting a VBAC. Her third son will arrive one week prior to his due date, which makes her incredibly nervous that she may actually go into labor on her own before the surgery is scheduled. Yes, that’s right. She’s afraid she will go into labor beforehand. She has never felt a real contraction before, and she doesn’t ever want to.

When I was talking to her about how my little girl was breech, she said “well, that may work out to your benefit and you can have a c-section and not have to go through labor and birth the regular way!” She also made the comment that she thought that recovery from birth is so much easier when you’ve had a c-section versus a vaginal birth (not that she would know, having only experienced birth one of the two ways).

But she’s an extreme example. There are plenty of other women I know who are more than willing to sing the praises of modern medicine and how crazy anyone would have to be to even attempt a med free birth. Let me set the record straight: I’m no martyr and it’s not about feeling like I’ve earned a gold star for going through some horrific pain without taking meds. I’ve never birthed a baby before, and I obviously have no idea what it is like. I do know that sitting here right now, not feeling any contractions or discomfort, that I would like to try to give birth without drugs. If it comes down to it and I can’t hack it, then I’m not afraid to accept meds. It won’t ruin my birth experience. I won’t forever be disappointed that I didn’t get a med free birth. What’s most important to me is that I bring our daughter into the world healthy. How she gets here is much less important to me than her health.

I would also really love to breastfeed my daughter. Again, living in the city where I do, this is not uncommon. However, in my support group, which has seen four babies born since its inception, all intended to exclusively breastfeed, yet most had given up on it within four months. And please understand that I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I know they all really wanted to breastfeed and I know that none of them took the decision to stop breastfeeding lightly; it was a difficult decision for all of them.
The problem I have now is that they seem to almost shun breastfeeding. They too easily write off the benefits of breastfeeding and too quickly say that formula feeding is the way to go. They seem to put on an air of “been there, tried that, didn’t work, so you shouldn’t bother with it either.” And I don’t want this to come off as them not being supportive of my decision to try breastfeeding; I know that they support it up front. I just feel that if I were to go to any of them with a problem, they would just suggest giving up and moving on to formula feeding.

And I know that this may very well happen. I don’t know a single woman who had a perfect experience with breastfeeding. I know so many women who went through everything that they and their lactation experts could think of to try to keep breastfeeding. And it’s one of those things that women really beat themselves up about, feeling that they should keep breastfeeding because it’s what’s best for their child. There are so many potential reasons that women are unable or unwilling to continue breastfeeding and I’m trying to prepare myself for that, should it happen to me. Just like a med free birth, it’s something that I want to try, but if it doesn’t work out for me, I won’t let the fact that it wasn’t what I originally wanted to taint my experience.

Then there’s the whole subject of diapering and this one seems to be the most controversial of all. I’m really looking forward to trying cloth diapering. I’m definitely interested in the cost savings aspect of cloth diapering, and putting nice fluffy fabrics on my daughter’s bum definitely appeals more to me than chemical laden paper and plastic. Of course the benefits to the environment are nice as well. It seems like a win-win situation.

But so very many people do not see things the way I do. In fact, a lot of people that I would expect to be all for cloth diapering just turn up their noses and comment that they would never, ever consider it. It’s too messy/gross/time consuming; just a hassle in general. And they may be right. Who am I to say…I’ve never tried it. But then again, neither have most of them. I’ve got a fine stash built up, hoping that it will work out for us, but if I doesn’t, then I’m not going to be crushed.

Like I said, I live in a really progressive city where a lot of these desires of mine are considered commonplace. Even so, they’re not things that I share with most people, not even my closest friends in most cases. It just seems like everyone’s got their own opinions and if yours doesn’t match theirs, then you are constantly defending yourself. I don’t want to feel the need to be constantly defending my choices and decisions. I especially don’t want to end up not doing any of these things and have someone come back and say “I told you so.” When people ask me if I have any plans for my birth I just reply to them “we’ll see how it goes.” And when they ask if I’ll breastfeed, I tell them that I’m definitely going to give it a shot. And diapering? Well no one asks about that…they just assume that you’ll use disposables, and I just keep my mouth shut.

And so I carry these hopes and desires silently inside me. These are my dirty little secrets.

Shhh…don’t tell anyone.

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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