Third trimester at last!
This week was the week of Ephraim’s birthday, and somewhat described in this gallimaufry post.
But it was a whole three weeks ago, and my memories of it are fading rapidly.
I don’t remember feeling very bad this week. I was mostly concerned with trying to walk and stretch the right way so that Frank Breech Flannery would flip over. This exercise was extremely short lived. Nearly all the stretches had to be performed while semi-upside down, and were not exactly conducive to doing things like breathing properly or being able to walk around for an hour or so afterwards, due to dizziness. I figured that I still had a lot of time for her to flip, so I decided to just do the stretches that weren’t physically debilitating and to just leave it at that. If she never turned, oh well. It was very hard to tell if she was still upside down or not.
I know I must have been feeling pretty well since I was able to stand all day in the kitchen and cook for Ephraim’s birthday. The Braxton-Hicks contractions had disappeared, and I wasn’t having any trouble with irritable uterus yet (which usually shows up about this time.)
dyeing baby shirts
On a whim, I decided to dye some of the little white baby shirts I like to use. Apparently the price of RIT dye has gone up, so I thought I’d try using avocado skins and pits since I usually throw away quite a few every week. I used the skins and pits of about 4 avocados for this, and that was plenty for the three or four shirts I dyed.
Dyeing like this is very easy as it’s not something that’s time sensitive or that needs to be babysat. The thing to be most careful of is that the avocado dye does not boil, as it makes it more brown than pink.
I had another appointment this week–just a regular one, with no ultrasound or extra tests or anything.
As the nurse was checking for Flannery’s heartbeat, I mentioned to look for her quite low. She’s always in the lowest part of my abdomen; never, ever higher than my belly button, not in kicks, not anything. The nurse started feeling around and commented that she felt the same big ball I always feel right below my navel.
“Can you tell if that’s a butt or a head?” I asked.
She paused. “I usually can, but…not this time, not really,” she said. “That right there could be her butt, and that’s her leg…or maybe that’s her head. I really can’t tell.”
I told her I was in the same boat.
Jeremy commented later that at least we know Flannery is good-looking.
options for frank-breech-flannery
I’ve always been able to tell where the babies were in utero by this point. When pregnant with my first–now over eleven years ago–I found the concept of belly mapping through the Spinning Babies blog. I’ve never actually drawn a map or used a doll as is suggested on the site. I just used the principles of large and small movements, the firmness of the back, the bulge of the head (or butt). Flannery really threw everything for a loop, though. Her movements felt muffled like I had anterior placenta–but I knew I didn’t.
I never felt strong kicks from her anywhere. Her hands and feet seemed to be acting on the same latitude. Once I saw her frank breech on the ultrasound, the kinds of movements I was feeling and their locations made a lot more sense. Maybe that was also why she was so low without being low–meaning she was consistently under my belly button, but not very low in my pelvis. I’m not sure.
I was fairly sure by the consistency of her movements and the fact that the nurse couldn’t tell her position either that she was still upside-down-folded-in-half. So I asked my doctor about a plan of action for if she didn’t turn head-down on her own. I didn’t know if her being my eighth baby would mean I had a better shot at birthing her vaginally anyways–I know the vast majority of doctors won’t deliver a breech baby vaginally, but he’s been around for a while and is generally laid back about things.
External Cephalic Version
She still had lots of time to flip over. If she didn’t, he would try to turn her manually at 37 weeks. This timing is so that if there is any problem with the baby they can go ahead and deliver them. His success rate for ECVs for multiparous mothers is very high. For first time moms, the versions (he said) are successful maybe 1 times out of 10. In other words, my poor stretched-out loosey-goosey uterus and I would be good candidates for the procedure. I read up a little on versions online. Word on the digital street is that they’re very, very uncomfortable.
If the version didn’t work, there was no option for a vaginal birth with her. He wouldn’t do it, and there’s no way with my history that I would be finding another doctor that would or attempting to have her at home. I feel very fortunate to have had seven babies without any surgery, so if this time was the time I had to experience that, well–so be it.
My materials for Flannery’s closet came in, and I cleared out our closet to prepare it for moving her things. This entailed pulling Jeremy’s dresser from its home in the closet, clearing out the random rabble (mostly homeless pictures and frames), hanging her new tapestry (after agonizing over whether I even liked it in our room) and moving her rug, bassinet, and the end table I use as a baby dresser into the space.
I moved my chair from its corner over next to the closet, but I really didn’t like how much space it took up. I wasn’t sure what to do about it, though.