On Monday, April 11th I had my 39 (and 3 days) week appointment with my midwife. I went in to see Jean. I had lost three pounds (mainly because my swelling went down), my blood pressure was great, my urine was good (we check for sugar and protein, among other things). Noah was measuring perfectly. I was having lots of practise labor, making my cervix soft as butter (to quote Jean). I was two cm dilated, 50% effaced and baby was -1. The bad news…he turned. From LOA to full on OP.
I was heartbroken. Jean advised me to see the chiro that day, so I made my appointment and set my mind to do whatever I could to turn my boy. I did not want to labor with an OP baby. Zoe was OP for most of my labor and the back pain I experienced was not fun, so I was trying to avoid the same scenario again. I also know that a mal-positioned baby is one of the main reasons for FTP: failure to progress. Dreaded words. I was scared of those words, I’ll be honest. I’ve seen labors with a mal-positioned baby and they can be long and difficult. And though my labor with Zoe was only ten hours, I was still worried that if I had an OP baby I would experience a long and painful labor. With that in mind, Jean mentioned that if we got baby to turn that it might be a good idea to sweep my membranes, (wanna know what that is? Click here.) to try and kick start labor while my son was in a good position. I agreed.
That afternoon I saw the chiro and she adjusted my left hip and massaged the ligaments surrounding my uterus. She also suggested acupuncture to help align my uterus and I was game. Six needles in my right foot and leg.
After my appointment I went home and had a doula/apprentice midwife friend, Abbie come and use her rebozo. She also gave me some homeopathic meds to help align my uterus, Pusatilla and Kali Carbonicum. That evening, I filled my tub and laid belly down in it and did pelvic tilts. I visualized, I prayed, I did everything I knew to do. And….by morning, he turned. My hunch was ROT, but I would have Jean confirm that evening at the childbirth classes I assist with. Jean palpitated my uterus and let me know he was indeed ROT. She suggested that she try to manually move him to ROA and I was game. I laid on the couch while Jean manipulated my baby inside my uterus. She managed to successfully move Noah. Which meant that all things were go. The plan was the next morning (Wednesday, April 13) after we picked my mom up from the airport I would come in and Jean would sweep my membranes. That evening, Jean gave me an Ambien to help me sleep through my contractions (for several nights I had been waking up with practise contractions) and advised me to get some rest. I did. Twelve solid hours of sleep.
Wednesday morning we piled in the car and drove to the airport to pick my mother up. She was flying in from Israel to be with us for Noah’s birth. From there we came home and had lunch and caught up. I was having very mild to light contractions throughout the morning. Nothing I wasn’t already used to, these Braxton Hicks had been coming for a while now. After lunch we headed over to the birth center.
Jean check my cervix. I was 3 cm, 80% effaced and baby was hanging out at -1. Jean asked again if I was sure I wanted to have my membranes swept and I was sure. For several reason I felt it was okay to have this procedure done: my body was showing signs that I was ready to labor, my son was in a good position for labor, and my mind felt ready (my mom had arrived, I had finished as much studying for my LCCE exam as I could, etc, etc). Jean swept my membranes and I held tight to my mom’s hand while I horse lipped it through the brief procedure. Wowzers, it was uncomfortable, I swear I felt Jean pick my nose. But, it was over before I knew it. Jean helped me up. Asked me how I was, and said she was confident I would labor very soon.
And she was right.