Thursday, May 17, 2007

Come on baby, let's do the flip

In the past week and a half, I've held frozen peas to my belly, shined a flashlight on my pelvis, laid on the bed with three pillows under my butt and watched TV perched on a stability ball. I visited a chiropractor. I closed my eyes and visualized a tiny backflipping baby diving down toward my pelvis. I've drunk glass after glass after glass of water.

And every few hours I touch my belly, hoping not to feel the telltale bump that is baby's head. It moves from the left side to the right side, and sometimes it's just over my belly button. But it's never where I want it: head down. It sounds crazy, but I just want a kick in the ribs... instead of a push to the bladder.

Yup, my baby's breech. At 31 weeks. Intellectually, I know I still have time. But because my first kid never turned vertex, I'm freaking out a little bit. With Z, I tried everything to get her to turn. Handstands in warm water. Hypnosis. A touch of moxibustion (which we quit doing because it made the house reek of pot). I even signed up for an external version at 37 weeks, and trust me when I tell you that was no picnic!

Because she was breech, Z was delivered via a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks. I never experienced labor. I was rolled into an overly bright, freezing OR at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 3:20pm and I heard my daughter cry out at 3:44. I didn't have the natural birth I'd hoped for, but I got a healthy, beautiful baby who's been the light of my life. My recovery was quicker than expected, and aside from some side effects form the anesthesia, it wasn't a bad experience altogether.

But I figured I'd paid my dues. I did the ultimate-intervention birth and now it was my turn to have a minimal-intervention birth. For a variety of reasons, location being a big one, I switched to West Suburban Midwives in Oak Park and planned a delivery at West Suburban Medical Center's Alternative Birthing Center (aka the ABC). I found a doula-in-training to give me confidence. I've been taking a prenatal yoga class and I even remember to do kegels once in a while.

I want a VBAC so badly, but I feel selfish and whiny for caring so much about how my second daughter enters the world. My sister just gave birth on Mother's Day, making her the first woman in two generations to deliver the old-fashioned way. I want what she had, and what so many of my friends have experienced. I want to nod along knowingly when women talk about labor and pain and childbirth.

Hell, I want this baby to flip over before I flip out. Because obsessing is not productive. And frankly, it's not my style.


Cross-posted at Chicago Moms Blog, where you can read the rants of raves of plenty of other mothers.