Wednesday, August 15, 2007

37 Weeks: How to get to Cephalic street.

I have always been a bit directionally challenged. When I'm the passenger in a car I have a tendency to look more at the details of my surroundings; a freshly painted fence, a kitty cat in the window of a house, the crazy person hauling his chattel goods down the street, rather than paying attention to where we're actually going. This means that when it comes to be my turn to get somewhere on my own, I'm usually pretty clueless. Maps are somewhat helpful, as are directions, but usually I'm still a nervous wreck finding my way somewhere new.

Peter, however, is a pro getting places. I have an inkling that he just reverses whatever my instinct seems to be, because I'm usually wrong. In any case, it seems our unborn child takes after me.

I know that babies in utero are born with the instinct to flip head-down - in fact they're DESIGNED to do this, by virtue of the fact that, as of the third trimester, their head is by far the biggest and heaviest part of their body, therefore it should naturally end up (thanks to gravity) on the bottom. Problem is, my baby has never been head down and probably doesn't know how to get there. So, like me, baby prefers to just hang out in the hood she's* used to.

The best position for a baby to be in when beginning birth is in a Cephalic (or head-down) position. The LOA or Left Occiput Anterior position is most favorable. Our little darling seems to be enjoying the Frank Breech position. I dunno. Looks uncomfortable to me. In any case, she still moves around in there, which makes me feel as though there's a cheese grater in my belly (I suspect the baby will be born with fingernails and toenails), but she always settles back into a breech presentation.

There are some ways to encourage a baby to turn. Many ways, in fact, and I have been trying them all. Without going into too much detail about the difficult decision making process Peter and I were involved in last week, I'll just say that the best course of action seems to be to wait and see, but plan for the worst.

That means we've booked a Caesarean section for the 31st of August, a Friday at 7:50 in the morning. Seems like a good day to be born, if you ask me. I'm actually due Sept. 4th, but the c-section is scheduled early because there is an element of danger if I go into labour naturally while the baby is still breech. If my water breaks, the umbilical cord can come out and get pinched because there's no baby head in the way to keep the cervix blocked. This is very bad because, like a kinked garden hose, a pinched umbilical cord doesn't let any fluid through, which means no food or oxygen for baby. Which means an ambulance ride in downward dog position and an emergency c-section for me. Not my idea of fun.

I figure, if I'm going to have abdominal surgery, it might as well be under optimal conditions. I hate surgery, especially needles of all types. IVs are scary and the idea of a pokey-poke in my spine is making me shudder. I'll be freaked out enough as it is without having to deal with contractions and worrying about the baby.

There is still the chance that baby will turn and I am holding out for this.

Perhaps if I drew her a map...

* I say "she" because both ultrasounds failed to show any boy-bits, so rather than call baby "it"...
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