Footling breech

posted by Z. Briggs

It’s a Wednesday and we’re sitting patiently waiting to be called for our 36-week ultrasound. We’re so close to the end, and I’m a little tense. Chad has a show that he has to perform on Roosevelt Island later that day, and he can only stay for another 40 minutes till he has to go. The paperwork from my midwife’s office hasn’t been received… ugh. More waiting, some phone calls, and finally my name is called! Yay! We haven’t gotten to see our little guy since he was about 20 weeks, so this is very exciting.

preg3We go in, I get lubed up, they stick the wand on my belly—and … he’s shy. His hands are all up by his face and he’s hiding. We move me around from side to side and get a couple of nice shots for the scrapbook. The technician is doing all of her measurements, and at one point I see her type BREECH on the image. And I think, “Wait, what?” But then suddenly she’s done, I’m wiping the goo off my belly and we go sit in a separate area to hear the results from one of the doctors on staff.

About 5 minutes later a doctor comes over and says to us, that yes, our little guy is breech right now. My mind starts to melt and I say “ok, well we have an appointment with our midwife tomorrow.” She says that’s perfect and then dismisses us. The rest of the day is a bit of a haze, I’m trying to not be upset about this news, as I don’t have all the information yet.

Thursday morning Chad and I go to our appointment, only to find out when we get there that one of her patients is in labor and that she needs to reschedule for tomorrow. Her staff told us that they tried calling me, but I was already on the subway on my way there. Sigh … oh well. So we reschedule for Friday. Friday morning we go back, our midwife is there, and she gives us the news—not only is he breech, he’s footling breech. I can feel my face getting warm, my eyes welling up … as she continues to tell us that this form of breech presentation is more rare, and that doing an external version procedure to turn the baby would be risky. She has already scheduled a c-section for us on March 1st, in case he doesn’t turn. “He might turn, but it’s very unlikely.” Chad and I are both visibly shaken. We weren’t expecting this at all. My pregnancy has been so typical. I was so much looking forward to a vaginal birth and everything that it entails—the wonderful and the difficult. I explain to my midwife that I understand all the risks and why a c-section is the best choice, but that I just need a few days to mourn the loss of the expectations of what I had hoped my labor would be.

I, of course, go home and look up how to turn babies, the methods, the ideology and we try a few things. But over the course of the weekend, the amount of pressure on my pelvis and hips becomes so much that I feel like, you know what—it is what it is—and I begin to accept that I will most likely have to have a c-section.

I’ve had a few more days to take in this news, read about c-sections, and process how I’m feeling. It’s interesting, living in a large metropolitan city like New York you have to accept that you are not in charge a lot of the time. You’re not in charge of the subway—even when you’re late and you really, really need to get someplace and the train has stopped for 20 minutes due to an “earlier incident.” You can’t control the weather, even when you don’t have an umbrella and you have to walk five blocks from the train to your destination with no umbrella, no galoshes and HUGE puddles. You are constantly a part of something bigger. At the end of the day, I am not in control. I can do all sorts of things—maintain a healthy diet, exercise, educate myself, but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do. There might be a very good reason that our little boy is in this position. As much as I want to have a natural un-medicated birth, I also want a safe birth and a healthy baby. We go back to our midwife tomorrow. He might have flipped into “launch position” he might not have. Either way—I’m accepting of the situation—and happy to know that other than this he is doing great.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Blogs, Knocked Up