When I was 37 weeks, 5 days, my midwife discovered my baby was in the breech position. For me, this was especially disappointing, as I am desperately hoping for a VBAC. I was really upset to think my chances for a VBAC were flying out the window because of a breech baby.
For a week I tried everything:
•Moxibustion (did everyday for 6 days)
•Chiropractic – Webster technique
•Knees to chest position multiple times per day
•Headstand, shoulderstand, down dog
•Laying on ironing board at 45 degree angle
•Visualizing and talking to baby
•Using flashlights, music, talking and having 2-yr old sing through TP tube at belly
•Swimming – handstands, somersaults, deep dives
•and some good emotional releases (I think I cried a box of tissues)
None of the above worked (although I think it was all helpful to send baby a message and give her more room), so at 38 weeks 5 days, I went in …
to have an external version done and it was successful!
In the morning, I did one more moxibustion treatment at home, then on the way to the hospital, I listened to my Hypnobabies Fear Release track. When it came to the part about creating my “bubble of peace”, I was thinking about all the comments I received from friends/family in response to an email I sent out the day prior requesting their good thoughts, good vibes, and prayers for this baby to turn. I took those comments and visualized them typed on strips of paper and I pasted them to the outside of my bubble.
When we arrived at the hospital at 7:30 AM, we luckily got a very nice nurse who got us settled into the triage room. They hooked up the fetal heart rate and contraction monitors and baby was very active, which was good for establishing a baseline. I listened to the beginning of my Hypnobabies Turn Your Breech Baby track and tried to get relaxed into the setting. My doula arrived around 8 AM. I listened to more Hypnobabies while we waited for the doctors. Just before 9 AM, the perinatologist I consulted with arrived with one of her colleagues, who the nurse later informed me was the `one to have for this procedure’. I had explained to the doctor during the consult that I was planning on using my hypnosis practice for the external and she was very excited and supportive. So, they asked me what I needed and I asked them to just give me 5-10 minutes, if possible, to get relaxed. The nurse gave me a shot of Terbutaline, a smooth muscle relaxer, to relax the uterus.
About 10 minutes later, the doctors came back. I made sure that I was listening to the part of the Turn Your Baby script where you visualize your hands reaching into the uterus and gently stretching it open, making more room for your baby, and then reaching your hands around your baby and nudging her around when they did the procedure. I wouldn’t say that I was in a deeply hypnotic state, because it was difficult with all the interruptions, but I was staying very relaxed and focused on the script. I kept my headphones on the whole time, and my eyes closed and I didn’t listen to what they were saying, or watch what they were doing.
It was SO intense, but I stayed totally relaxed and calm the entire time, even though I swear my diaphragm was in my ears and I could barely get any breath into my lungs, and I was sure my xiphoid process (little bone attached where your ribs come together) was going to pop off! I did want to scream out “STOP!” but I just focused on my Hypnobabies script and was talking to my baby the whole time. I finally opened my eyes after about 2 minutes when I felt the hands come off and looked at one of the doctors and she was smiling, so I removed my headphones. It was good news!
I was really surprised at how forceful it was and I never felt the baby turn on her own. I guess I thought they’d give her a little nudge and she’d turn herself around. The doctors said they couldn’t believe how relaxed I seemed and they said, “We need to find out what that is you are listening to!” [Of course, I told them all about HB.] They also said that a big part of her getting to turn was because I was so relaxed. I figure if it took four hands to move her, she doesn’t have room now to flip back on her own. I’ll be 39 weeks tomorrow.
They kept me for 3 hours to monitor my contractions and baby’s heart rate. She was just fine – never wavered outside a normal range. I was having some pretty strong contractions (according to the monitor) although I never felt any sensation beyond strong tightening of my uterus. I also had some mild cramping, but after about 90 minutes it all normalized, although I was still crampy, which I’ve been feeling for a few days anyway. The nurse called the doc to see if she could release me, and the doc wanted her to do a cervix check before they sent me home. I politely declined and assured the nurse I was not in labor, as I have labored before. She was okay with that, just smiled and said, “Okay”.
I kind of struggled with the fact that this was a bit of an invasive procedure, but I figured it’s a LOT less invasive than another cesarean and I truly did try everything else I could to get her to turn on her own. I’m glad we tried it and now I am confident that it will be smooth sailing from now until the birth…
39 weeks, VBAC