I went into my 34 week appointment feeling good. Big, but good.
We had our appointment routine down and it was typically the same. I made our appointment for 8am. I met with the midwife. They weighed me, asked me questions, gave me some paperwork and away I’d go.
Week 34 was a little different.
“Well, it feels like baby is transverse.”, my midwife said as she was palpating my stomach.
My head quickly flicked her direction. “Wait, what?”
“Transverse.”, she said, explaining his positioning within my womb.
That wasn’t what I was expecting but after she said it, it made sense. I felt his kicking in different places, it was extremely uncomfortable and what I thought was a round little butt I was feeling when I put my hands on my tummy was actually his head.
Well, darn. I needed to know more!
She said it wasn’t a big concern at 34 weeks and he’d most likely flip head down in the coming weeks. I was given a Spinning Babies website to check out and she advised me to start doing some exercises to encourage him to flip.
As some of you know, I was really set with Thomas George’s birth plan. Although empowering and perfect, it didn’t go the way I’d wanted at all. This time I was going in with the same birth plan — my number one goal of experiencing an unmedicated birth.
This? Transverse? This threw me for a loop.
I jumped online and read different articles. I did my spinning babies exercises everyday. On the couch, upside down, stacked pillows, inverting, ice packs.. Tom even talked to my pubic bone a few times!
We went to our 36 week appointment and I was hopeful. Two weeks had passed and he moved around so much that I couldn’t really tell what end was what. I felt a little lump I prayed was his butt in my ribcage but didn’t want to make any assumptions.
“Breech.”, was all she had to say this time.
He had made his way from transverse to completely breech.
My heart sank. That wasn’t the news I wanted to hear at all. She assured me that it was good he was moving and that he still had time to turn.
I wasn’t feeling confident but she let me know I was a great candidate for external version. She gave me a card to call and schedule an appointment with the OB downstairs.. we were going to try to manually flip this baby.
Before the consult, they wanted to gather as much information as they could for the OB. They had me schedule an ultrasound at 7:00am the morning of Halloween.
I went to the appointment without much thought, got home and Tom headed into work. When they called with the results, it was the last thing I was expecting.
They told me that my amniotic fluid was low, really low. They thought maybe my water broke and had been leaking. The mentioned cord compression and I started to cry. I wasn’t feeling the best anyway. The nurse said they wanted me to pack a bag and get there ASAP — they needed to monitor and check me. She told me to prepare to stay for a couple days.
I should have taken a couple deep breathes before I called Tom but I called him right as I hung up with the nurse. All of the emotion came up when I heard his voice and I could barely talk between the sobbing. Poor Tom! He came straight home.
We arrived at the Maternity Care Center in Woodbury midday and they had my room ready. Right away they hooked me up to an IV and started to monitor baby.
When I met with the OB Dr. later in the evening he had very few options. He said even if my amniotic fluid went up, there is no way it would get high enough to be in normal range. If it didn’t change at the morning ultrasound we’d have to get baby out via c-section.
Our other option, if the fluid went up a bit, was to attempt the version to flip baby. If it worked, he wanted to induce me so that we could get baby out of the low fluid. If it didn’t work, he still wanted to do a c-section.
Worried about the baby, the compression, the c-section — I was a mess. Thank goodness for my midwife who brought me tissues and promised me I had options. She said to wait until morning before I get too concerned and we’ll go from there. One thing at a time.
Going to bed that night, I was almost 100% positive we’d be meeting baby the next day. From the way the morning started to how the day was ending just wasn’t what I was expecting at all, I just tried to go with the flow and believe it was all playing out as it should.
Tom arrived the next morning at 6:45 and we headed to our appointment downstairs.
I laid on the table, they gunked up my belly and she started the ultrasound.
Instantly the tech looks at me and says, “So you did have the version.”
Tom and I locked eyes, “No, no we didn’t do the version.” I quickly responded.
“Well baby is head down. Yep, there is his head, far down into your pubic bone.”, she said.
With angels singing her words rang through my ears and I couldn’t help but smile the biggest smile in the world! He flipped in the night!
We were so happy knowing we didn’t have to do the version. There were still so many things up in the air and we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves but the fact that baby was head down meant a lot and it just really set the tone for the day.
When we got the final results from the ultrasound we couldn’t believe it. My amniotic fluid levels went from a 2.3 to a 7.9 overnight. (We were hoping to get them to a 4 or 5). The nurses and midwives celebrated with us in our room and when the OB walked in that morning he said, “It’s magic!”
Magic, prayers or the will of baby boy Jokinen — we got discharged a few hours later.
With baby’s head down, I’m so much more comfortable. I’m feeling so ready to knock out the final weeks at home and prepare for a water birth. (Hey, anything is possible and I believe that even more now!)
So grateful for all the well wishes and prayers from family and friends all over the US! We love you guys so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!