5 signs you’re Nesting, as determined by the Wongbergs

Here we are in week 37, and suffice it to say, it’s been another eventful week.

Having determined the week before that we have a breech baby on our hands…. er… on board… we’ve been elbow deep in stretches, inversions, moxibustion sessions, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and obstetricians visits. We’ve been swimming and walking, stretching and flexing, talking to baby and playing her music, but alas, our baby doth not wish to turn.

As week 38 nears, we know that the window for baby turning is getting smaller and smaller, as baby herself is getting bigger and bigger. I’ve read that baby can be growing as much as an ounce a day, and judging by the sneak peak ultrasounds we’ve seen, our baby is carrying it mostly in the head and bum, just like her father.

I’ll tell you one thing we figured out, albeit a tad late – for all of you expectant fathers whose partners are not enjoying the heat nowadays let alone the back pain from pregnancy, go for a dip in a local pool. We have one around the corner, and as Becca puts it, you’re weightless to the point where you don’t even feel pregnant anymore. It’s a nice relief after shlepping your little zygote around for the last 8 months.

Breeched babies supposedly can take the opportunity to roll into proper position during a swim, but sadly this wasn’t the case for us.

We’ve determined that at this point, we are down to 3 options and therefore had a fairly major decision to make.

Option the first: Continue with a breech birth. While historically, this was frowned upon, as more doctors gain better familiarity with the process, there are more successes. With that being said, the risk associated with breech births is such that we are not comfortable putting baby in that position (pardon the pun!). In a breech birth scenario, there is the possibility for baby (and mum) to suffer complications, and an emergency c-section would need to be performed. Not the most risk averse approach.

Option numero dos: External Cyphalic Version aka “Version”. Becca got a sneak peak of the version technique and it was NOT comfortable. Recognizing that Becca would have a spinal anesthetic, she would not feel the pain, but the idea being that with the relaxant administered, the doctor can physically manipulate the baby and turn her, followed quickly by inducing labour, and Becca pushing out baby naturally soon thereafter. Again, the number of complications that can arise including but not limited to a sudden drop in baby (or Becca’s) heart-rate, followed again by an emergency c-section, are potential happenings that push this beyond our risk tolerance.

Our third and most reasonable option, is the scheduled c-section. As the OB iterated, this option lends itself to be the most straight forward and risk averse option as it allows us to schedule the surgery, have our midwives on hand, provides Becca with the ability to have skin to skin with the baby immediately after birth, and we should be out of the hospital within 24-36 hours. Since we are with midwives, they actually have extra visits that they’ll do postnatally, along with the wonderful support from family and friends, we should be just fine.

It’s an oddly appealing option as it falls in line with our desire to be organized to the point where we now can literally schedule our baby’s birth. The unknown is now a bit more decided.

Time to update the baby betting board at work and take the win!

All of these options still have the caveat that baby may still turn! We are not relenting and will continue the stretches and moxibustion up until the newly scheduled date. Just before the operation, the doctor will check and again, and if baby has actually turned, we head back home and wait for labour pains.

I, myself, was a c-section and so my mother can relate first hand accounts of how things were… 35 years ago. Friends just had a cesarian and all seemed well, but Becca is still concerned at the prospect of being under the knife, as she has never had major surgery.

I’ll give it to our OB for being one of the most pleasant, reassuring, and professional individuals that we’ve met throughout this journey, and the fact that he will be there performing the surgery is much of the reassurance we need.

 


As all of this information has come available, and the final pieces of the pregnancy puzzle have fallen into place, our week together off work has continued, and low and behold it would appear that the next phase of pregnancy has kicked in, in parallel…

Nesting.

Without further ado, here are the 5 key indicators in the Goldberg/Wong (aka Wongberg) household, which have led me to this conclusion:

1. The nursery is complete… finally… and strangely, quickly all at once

Star Wars themed cause regardless of gender, baby is going be a geek
Star Wars themed cause regardless of gender, baby is going be a geek

2. We have a bag packed, nay, a suitcase packed, and it comes with us in the car, just in case Becca goes into labour while we’re in line at Costco or snacking on Bao’s at the CNE.

3. The dog has a bag packed – not even kidding.

Cute, but not actually our dog, Party
Cute, but not actually our dog, Party

4. We are cleaning the house… constantly… On one hand it’s very clean, on the other hand, at this point I think it would be quicker just to shave the dog, but I digress.

5. We have blanched 30 pounds of food so that we can quickly prepare healthy meals while taking care of baby… or in case of a zombie apocalypse.


 

 

Becca is an incredibly strong woman, and the fact that she’s muscling through all of these chores, while staying so positive and wonderful, is truly a gift. I’ve read stories of women undoing knobs from drawers and cleaning the screws, so I would say we’re doing just fine.

All signs point to birth as being the next stage in our pregnancy or in bloggers terms, one more blog entry away.

I’m sure next week I’ll have even more to talk about including my last day at work and what other expectations I have of what the future may hold.

Until then we’ll probably be adding to the nesting list above… in fact we just got back from doing #6 – canning tomato sauce, and pickling beans and cucumbers…

I think our shelter is finally ready – bring on the walking dead!!

Moxibustion, Webster’s Technique, and other terms I learned this week

Yes, I realize that rhymes… my talent knows no end.

I’ve also discovered new talents such as setting up planks of wood lined with blankets and pillows in order to invert my pregnant partner and turn our breeched baby.

It’s been quite the week.

Up until now, every time someone has said, “how’s Becca?”, or “how goes the pregnancy?”, the response has been,”excellent…touch wood” – evidently one should not merely say ‘touch wood’ without actually touching wood, but I digress.

3 weeks back, during a visit to our midwife, a thorough prodding and poking was underway, when the midwife stated that she wasn’t confident that the baby was facing the right way; that is to say, she had a hunch that our little one was breeched. She asked for us to hang in there until our appointment the following week wherein she would check again, and if still unsure, would send us for an ultrasound.

The next week when we arrived, more poking, prodding, pushing, and pressing, and yet again, the midwife was unconvinced.

“I’m 95% sure that just a boney bum I’m feeling, but let’s book an ultrasound just to be sure.”

Becca and I needed to know immediately, so we booked the ultrasound for that afternoon. We were as confident as the midwife that our baby was seated just fine, heck, everything was going so smoothly up until this point.

Finally at the ultrasound clinic, the technician brought Becca in and shortly after called me into the room. She showed us the baby’s spine and feet and hands, and stated quite firmly that the boney bum we had been feeling was indeed our baby’s head.

It’s referred to as a Frank Breech, we soon found out, where the baby’s bum is wedged in Becca’s pelvis, while his or her hands and feet are doing some fancy yoga pose.

frank breech

 

We were both caught pretty off guard.

How big a deal was this?

What can we do?

The ultrasound technician reminded us that the most important thing was that baby is healthy; understand that this is first and foremost in our minds, and we are grateful.

Frozen for a moment, we collected ourselves and decided to head next door for a bite to eat as we hadn’t had a meal since breakfast and Becca had mentioned wanting some poutine.

We ordered, sat down, and then yours truly decided to google…

Let me tell you, as someone working in Healthcare, I can attest to the fact that you should NEVER USE DR. GOOGLE, but alas, I didn’t know what else to do.

I started reading off stretches, exercises, techniques, percentages, and then finally started discussing muscle relaxants, ECV procedures and c-sections.

When I looked up, Becca’s eyes opened wide, and she made the tiniest “oh” sound, and then burst into tears.

I relive that many times a day.

I’ve never seen her cry this way.

It broke my heart in a way that I never want to feel again. It reminded me that my commitment to her is to never allow for her to feel that way.

I love Becca so much and I do everything in my power to make sure she is safe from pain and harm.

Leading up to the labour, I’ve often thought about how I’m going to handle seeing my partner in pain. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it is something that needs to happen and after our baby arrives, all of the pain will go away and be long forgotten.

The potential for a c-section is not comforting, regardless of statistics that I’ve read highlighting that for Canada one in every four births is by c-section, and in the US it’s one in three.

I think of the irony that we had just emailed out our birthing plan to our families, and made special mention that this was what we assumed would happen, though “baby may have his or her own plans”.

Was that ever true!

So here we are now, 5 short days away from our 37th week of pregnancy. I’ve taken the week off of work to help Becca get inverted for 15 minutes every 2 waking hours. While lying upside down on a plank balanced against the couch, we put cold packs at the top of her belly, so baby will move away from it, and play music through our belly buds towards the bottom of her stomach so the baby will gravitate towards the sound. Surprisingly, we’ve determined that my voice works better than the music, even though we were skillfully playing “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds, and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (“Turn Around”) by Bonnie Tyler. Guess my own personal rendition of “Turn, Baby Turn” to the tune of “Disco Inferno” is more of a crowd pleaser.

We also visited our RMT for some acupuncture and bought a Chinese herb called Moxa with which we do something called Moxibustion (Moxa + combustion), where we affix the herb to Becca’s pinky toe and burn it.

IMG_6608 (1)
Smokers are jokers

Next up is a follow up midwife appointment tomorrow to see if anything has changed or improved. If need be we have a chiropractor appointment on Tuesday for them to do what’s called the Webster technique, which will open up Becca’s pelvis and help with the turning attempts.

Lastly, if all else fails, we’re going for a consultation with a doctor who is well known for his ability to turn baby’s through a technique called ECV (External Cephalic Version), which is pretty much the last ditch effort before we start discussing having a c-section.

We are very determined people, and so we are confident that we’ll do whatever we can to turn this baby and get back to our birth plan. If we end up having to go down the path of a c-section, at least we’ll know we’ve tried everything in our power.

Unsurprisingly, I was a breeched baby too, and my mum had to have a c-section. She doesn’t let me live that down… or the fact that she gained 67 pounds… sorry mum 🙂

If Becca has the c-section, I’ll make sure we don’t blame baby for it. After all, he or she will just be taking after their father!