Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Watching Top Chef, eating Top Ramen
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Dear Pema's Father has a lot of question on this topic so rather than hijack another thread I'm taking it here. I am relating my experience only. I am not an expert.
My daughter was persistently breech at 38 weeks despite all sorts of attempts to lure her around. I did everything I ever heard of except the Webster chiro technique. (I was game but couldn't find a chiro who knew it.) Moxibustion had me very hopeful because it certainly got her moving but she didn't turn. I think she didn't have room by then.
So, my home midwife refers me to an OB/midwife office. I meet with a midwife who makes me an appt for 4 days hence to have the baby turned by teh OB who is the best baby turner they know of. He is on a streak of 11 successes in a row. I read everything I can find and resolve to use my relaxation techniques and not take any drugs. I firmly believe I can do this and that if relaxation is sufficient for childbirth it shoudl work here, too....
Go the hospital starving after a 9 hour fast. Very clinical, very tense setting. The nurses are bright and cheerful but I am on edge. The doc bustles in. (bear in mind I haven't even met him before. Thank God the midwife came too.) He wants to go over the risks of the procedure with me. I have reviewed them and have signed all the forms but he wants to discuss them. Now. Ten minutes before. O-kkkaaaaay. He is very intent on me knowing that there could be an abruption in which case they will sprint down the hall with me and do an emergency C. I will not be awake, my husband will not be there and that is why we must have you on an IV even if you don't want the meds.
So he leaves, says he'll be back in ten minutes after they hook me up. So, IV, ultrasound, repeated offers of muscle relaxants and pain relief. He comes back, grabs my tummy, digs his hands in deep and I can feel the babe starting to turn... then bouncing back into place. And again. And now in the other direction. It hurts. A lot. I am gritting my teeth and squeezing my poor husbands hand like a washrag. He stops for a break. Chats with the midwife for a moment.
She comes over and tells me that I am very tense and he really doesn't think he can do it. She strongly encourages me to take the muscle relaxant. Points out that while she really gets it that I want to avoid drugs... A section two weeks later will be a much greater change from my ideal than a hypo of drugs now. Good point. They give it to me in the IV. He leaves for about ten minutes to let the drug work. Dh and I try to get calmer... but honestly, I never felt like I had a single calm moment that morning.... the whole hospital energy was definitely working against me.
He comes back and tries again. And once more. I can feel it getting so close and then reverting. Finally he says, "Well, that's all I can do." I flip a little. "No! Please, try one more time. Just one more time. We can do this! I'm gonna go with it more. It hurts a lot and I'm gonna holler instead of holding it in. Ignore me... just do it. Please!!!" So, the last time I yelled my head off and Bonnie turned for me. My husband was a little pale after. But it worked and I had my homebirth.
Now, in contrast, there is a midwife here in Hawai'i who does versions. (My saga happened in Virginia.) I have talked to women who have seen him do them and to him. He doesn't use any drugs. He just gently massages and coaxes the baby around. It takes a long time sometimes but he just does it easily. He says he's not even sure what he does... he's talking to the baby softly and he's touching... and then tumble! There she goes.
I'm not trying to scare you. I want you to be prepared. Things may be really different for you. I hope you have success.