Sunday, February 19, 2012
Desperate times call for...humiliating measures
The next morning I awoke and immediately touched the top of my stomach. Adelaide Anne’s sweet round head was protruding from the space where her tush used to be. Tears filled my eyes as my optimism faltered: If we could not get her to turn, early Tuesday morning (the day before our daughter’s official due date on February 22nd) I would have to go to the hospital where the doctor would relax my womb before performing an external cephalic version, which means that he would manually turn her from the outside. Although this routine is said to be painful, it did not fill me with fear as much as the possibility that Addie’s heart rate could drop from the stress of being maneuvered and from the medication given to relax my womb. If her heart rate did not return to normal, the doctor would have to perform an emergency c-section that even my husband could not attend.
After eating breakfast, my determination recovered. Randy helped me climb up on the inversion table and handed me the hot and cold packs. We played Beethoven through headphones connected to the laptop in an attempt to lure Addie down. Twenty minutes later, I climbed off the inversion table and leaned over an exercise ball and rolled my pelvis to work my daughter loose. Even while writing, replying to emails, or talking on the phone to reassure my mother that I was not in labor and would let her know if I was, I would be in some incredibly awkward position the Internet promised would flip breech babies.
Big shocker. The Internet lied.
When my husband returned at 5:30, the baby-turning boot camp truly began. With my legs fully extended and my hands flat on the floor, I “elephant walked” up and down our hallway, which -- at this stage of pregnancy -- looks far more ungainly than it even sounds. Afterward, Randy slid a blanket beneath my back, lifted me off the ground, and shook the blanket back and forth to wiggle little Addie’s foot out of my pelvis. Back on the inversion table, we tried administrating hot packs, cold packs, lukewarm packs, frozen packs and played through the headphones every classical selection I had.
Our daughter, with typical firstborn stubbornness, refused to budge.
But neither did her parents.
For a touch of comic relief, Randy started speaking to my stomach through a paper towel roll. I began threatening to ground Adelaide until puberty if she did not obey us and get her behind in gear. The next day I went to a chiropractor who adjusted my pelvis to dislodge Addie’s foot, then I followed this up with a massage (figured I should get some benefit out of the deal).
Tomorrow we find out if our efforts to flip our daughter have worked. But either way, the desperate times calling for humiliating measures will not cease. This afternoon we purchased castor oil that I am going to chug as soon as we see that Addie is head down. If she is not head down, I still have twenty-four hours until the external cephalic version. And, believe you me, I will be spending every minute of those twenty-four hours elephant walking up and down the hallway with a cold pack at the top of my stomach and a hot pack at the bottom.
But soon, very soon, we will get to hold our baby girl.
In the end, nothing humiliating matters.