Another Midwife appointment, and YES I am stillllllll pregnant. I expected my appointment this morning to be rather uneventful since I am so close to the end. But I was wrong!
First off, all the 'usual' stuff was fine. My blood pressure was great, no real swelling, measuring a week ahead still, etc. But then we got to the part of the exam where my MW and her apprentice palpate my belly from the outside to see if they can determine baby's position. This is important for a lot of reasons, but primarily because it's illegal in AZ for a MW to deliver a breech baby at home. Well, when listening for baby's heartbeat, it was stronger on my left side, but its position was consistent with a transverse baby, which would be almost impossible to deliver at home, since almost all transvese babies end up in c-sections. Add that to the fact that my MW's apprentice couldn't tell for sure where baby's head was, and my MW started to be a little concerned. She came over to palpate my belly, and said she thought baby was head down, but typically baby's head can be moved some at this point, and she wasn't able to move it much at all. All this together led her to wonder if baby could be frank breech, meaning I'd feel kicks up high because both baby's feet AND head are up top, and the bum is at the bottom. Here's a picture of what a frank breech baby looks like:
Now, most texts consider this kind of breech to be the most favorable for avoiding a c-section, but most texts don't practice obstetrics in Arizona. According to my MW, there are few OBs who are willing to 'allow' a vaginal delivery of a breech baby, no matter its position. And, as I stated above, homebirth MWs are not allowed by law to deliver a known breech.
So, with all this in mind, I had some decisions to make. There are really only 2 ways to know if a baby is breech. The most obvious is via ultrasound, but the other way is to have an internal exam to see if she can feel whether it's a head or a bum presenting.
I was avoiding internals, as I think I've mentioned before, primarly because they don't really tell you anything useful, and I was afraid having one would lead to frustration. But in this case, I really felt like it was the least invasive way to get some answers. When I asked what would happen if baby IS breech at this point in pregnancy, I was given 3 basic options:
1. I'd transfer care immediately to an OB and schedule a c-section.
2. I could attempt an external version, which could work, but may not.
3. I could opt not to find out, in which case I could attempt to deliver at home, but if baby presented as breech my MW would be breaking all sorts of rules to attend to me.
Thankfully, baby 'Andre' IS head-down, and I am 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. The dilation and effacement mean little to nothing, really, except that it's more than I had at this point in pregnancy with Luca, and she was born right on time. But being head-down is EXCELLENT news!
I go back on Wednesday for a check-up, presuming we have not yet been graced with baby's presence.
In related news, I had reflexology done today as well. Reflexology is rumored to help encourage contractions and kickstart labor if the body is ready, and I found a place running a special which was $30 for 60 minutes. Let me tell you....best $30 I've spent in a loooooong time! I was a little uncertain at first because it was a man doing the reflexology, but you stay fully clothed and sit in a reclining chair, so I got over that pretty quickly. He started with my head, scalp, neck, and shoulders, then moved onto my arms and hands. Oh lord do I love an arm and hand massage. PURE heaven.
After that, he moved to my feet and calves. It was relaxing...SO much so that I drifted in and out of a light sleep at a few points, which I am never able to do during a massage.
So far, no contractions have come out of it, but if nothing else I sure am relaxed.