I was blessed with an easy and smooth pregnancy until 28 weeks when I learned my baby girl was breech. While I knew that I still had plenty of time for her to turn, there was this nagging voice inside of me that knew she was comfortable the way she was positioned.
I refused to accept it. Fear set in. I had always envisioned a natural childbirth, and the thought that I may need a c-section if she didn’t flip was frightening to me. This just couldn’t be; this wasn’t what I wanted! So began my two-month journey of trying to get her to turn.
Chasing the dream- turn, baby, turn!
First, I talked to my baby and explained that down was the way out. I played music and shined a flashlight at the bottom of my belly because I was told babies follow sound and light. I placed ice on the top of my belly because I was told babies move away from the cold. I sat on an exercise ball a lot and bounced- apparently this would loosen my hips and give her more room. I visited the Spinning Babies website religiously and tried many of their techniques such as the breech tilt and inversion. I placed myself in yoga postures for 20 minutes at a time that would encourage her to turn. I did supported handstands at the wall. It began to feel like flipping this baby was a full time job!
When at 32 weeks it was confirmed that she was indeed still breech, I got even more serious. I went for acupuncture. The acupuncturist performed moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine technique that has had a lot of success in turning babies. Basically, you take a stick of moxa made from dried mugwart (doesn’t smell so great!) and burn it near an acupuncture point on the pinky toe for 10 minutes at a time. This encourages the baby to move. It felt totally out there but I was willing to try anything! I followed up with two more acupuncture sessions, and did the moxibustion at home for about 2 weeks. Nothing happened.
When at 34 weeks baby still hadn’t turned, I decided to go to a chiropractor for a couple of sessions. I was told the Webster Technique had a very high success rate in turning breech babies. I knew that going before 36 weeks was a good idea because baby still had room to flip. Although my first adjustment felt great for my back, it didn’t work. Baby stayed breech.
And then, the shift.
An “a-ha” occurred during my second session with the chiropractor. As she adjusted me, I listened as she told me about staying positive. She suggested trying some other spinning babies techniques, and explained how swimming and doing handstands in a pool could turn the baby. Though her advice was well-intentioned, in that moment all of the struggle I had been going through for almost two months came to a head. I knew I couldn’t listen to all the voices outside of me anymore; I had to listen to the voice within.
As if having an out of body experience, suddenly it was just baby and me in that room. I knew at that moment that all of my efforts and struggles were over. All of the voices around me were no longer serving baby and me, but actually bringing on anxiety and a feeling of failure. I realized that I was the one carrying this baby, and we were connected strongly beyond anything outside of us. This whole situation was actually just about the two of us, and no one else could truly understand our connection. I just knew then that she was in the right position, and it was time to accept it.
When I got home that evening I vowed to surrender to what was, and let it be. There were two pieces of wisdom I was offered that helped me to find peace and serenity in the situation.
“Baby knows something that we don’t.”
My doula Caprice was so helpful and supportive during this whole process. When I explained that I had tried everything and was ready to surrender, she told me that sometimes baby just knows something that we don’t know. There is probably a reason she is staying in her position. Maybe the cord was too short for her to flip. Or maybe it was the position of the placenta. Or maybe it was the shape of my uterus. Or maybe, baby just didn’t want to be upside down! Only baby really knew, and I had to trust her.
I realized that this was my first true test as a mama. Could I let my baby be who she wanted to be and not force my ideas of what is right on her? I realized that yes, I could. I could sacrifice my dreams and wishes for the birth I wanted, and allow her the birth she needed. Sure, 97% of babies go into the head down position, but my baby didn’t want to; I thought, maybe she is just unique and marches to the beat of her own drum. Sounds a bit like her mama! 🙂
“Some babies want to be lifted into the world.”
I was also blessed to have a conversation with Marcelene Dyer who has had 7 natural childbirths and tons of experience in the birth field. Her calm and peaceful energy was so reassuring and comforting. She told me the story of a beautiful c-section birth that she witnessed and explained that she truly believed babies choose how they enter the world. She said, “Some babies just want to be lifted into the world”. Wow. Lifted into the world! How beautiful! Those words stuck to me like glue and guided me to my full surrender (and to the creation of this blog!)
And here we are.
I am now 6 days away from my scheduled c-section and feeling ready to meet this little one. I no longer feel like a failure, but like a mom who loves her daughter. I daydream about holding her in my arms, and imagine that one day I will tell her this whole crazy story. I think we’ll laugh about it together.
When she is lifted out into the world, and I see her face, I’ve got a sneaky suspicion all of this struggle will disappear and our love will overtake it all.
Keep being you, little one. Your daddy and I can’t wait to meet you!