Thursday, May 10, 2012

38 BIG weeks update : aka everything you wanted to know about posterior positioned babies, broken tailbones, and my hormonal tirades.

So this is the first week off of work, and I thought the days would be dragging....the house is pretty much in order for baby. Well, let's be real, it is...but there is always laundry to be done, counters to be scrubbed, filing cabinets to organize. I am however, NOT missing work at all. This transition was alot easier than I thought it would be. 

Maybe because I am so baby-focused. 

I mean, how can I not be? He takes up all of my space, mentally, emotionally, physically. We had our 37 & 4 days appointment Monday and Dr. Ottenritter again discussed the fact we are big  (duh). 

We are also (at that time) almost 2 centimeters dilated and 70% effaced! Baby is definitely making moves in the downward direction. We had another growth ultrasound set, but I basically asked him point blank if he thought I was going to have trouble with a vaginal delivery. We again reaffirmed baby's largeness/my crippled ass tailbone/sunnysideupness and this general direction towards Csection being a viable option. He said we could plan that at 39 weeks, dependent on the ultrasound. (!!!!!!!!!!!!) Everything else looked great and we would talk again Monday after our growth ultrasound to make further determination about our game plan. 

So in between those days at the doctor and the ultrasound I did some research. I found out the following (direct from

Graphic representation of why babies who are face-up have problems....YEAH. 

Possible posterior effects range from 

  • Longer pregnancy 
  • The amniotic sac breaking (water breaks, membranes open, rupture of membranes) before labor
  • Start and stop labor pattern
  • Longer early labor
  • Longer active labor
  • Longer pushing stage
  • (Maybe a woman has all three phases of labor lengthened by the OP labor, or one or two of the three phases listed.)
  • More use of vacuum or forceps
  • More likely to tear
  • Sometimes the baby's head gets stuck turned half way to anterior - in the transverse diameter. This can be called a transverse arrest. It is not a transverse lie
  • More likely to need a cesarean (emphasis mine)

This website has been a great resource in terms of getting a better understanding about my ladybits and what can be done to manifest change. Their photography could stand to be updated a bit though, eh? As much as I do love my muu-muus!
Also this:
The best way to tell if your baby is OP or not, usually, is if you feel little wiggles in the abdomen right above your pubic bone - these are the fingers.They'd feel like little fingers wiggling, not like a big thunk or grinding from the head, though you might feel that, too.
The little fingers will be playing by the mouth. This is the easiest indication of OP. The wiggles will be centered in the middle of your lower abdomen, close to the pubic bone.
Well, this boy has been getting his wiggle on in that department for quite some time. I have done the pelvic tilts, the rocks, the cat-cow, sat backwards in chairs, etc...and unfortunately no change. 
I also did some research into midwife/doula blogs. I have a profound respect for the work midwives and doulas perform. I truly thought pre-all these current issues that I would want my next baby to be delivered with the support of one. Alot of great work has been done to provide women with a more holistic, drug free, intervention free birth and I wish I had a more straightforward pregnancy, because I feel like I could push this kiddo out with the quickness! 

Alas, what we are working with doesn't seem to really make that an option. I read some of the commentary/feedback on the doula blogs -- women who labored long and hard with no transition, no progress, terrible back labor, feeling of needing to push at an early stage which leads to cervical swelling, babies getting stuck in the birth canal/distress, having to be taken out via forceps/vacuum/third and fourth degree tears, OR emergency csections after it is all said and done. 

You can almost picture him in there with this wonderful artistic representation, right?
I also did some awesome reading on tailbone breaks and the ladies who have had them. It's an ugly thing, tailbone breaks, with not a lot of good news. You can try sacrum counter pressure and different types of epidurals...but the stories I found were for some smaller babies/less issues in terms of sunnyside up babies. Basically the stacks are kinda against us. As Roy Schumacher would say "dem's the breaks, kid". 

And goodness me, is he big. Niter came into town on Wednesday to accompany me to the ultrasound because Glenn is trying to conserve all his vacation time for when this chunker comes out. She always gets a kick out of seeing her grandbaby, and I am thankful for her support!
We had another nice tech who was quite chatty, and willing to bust out the 3d machine! She seemed really excited about his position (SUPER POSTERIOR WAVING AT US BASICALLY) because normally "babies this far along you can't see at all". Thank heavens for small (or in this case, large) treasures!
Of course he is super cramped in there and so pictures were a bit wonky but seeing him live in action was pretty great. He still has beautiful lips and was practice breathing and sucking in there, making kiss faces. It was pretty spectacular to witness. 
And yes, his cheeks have not gone down in size. 

So here we are at 38 weeks on the dot: the stats!

          - he is in the 95% (up from 89% at our 36 week ultrasound)
          - his head/limbs and pretty much everything is measuring at 40 weeks+ (except for   his thighbones. She said it was hard to get an accurate picture/measurement of them because he is so cramped in there. They were measuring 37 weeks 4 days
          - Averaged all together, he is currently growing a week and a half ahead (39 weeks 3 daysish)
          - His weight guesstimate for the week is 8 POUNDS 9 OUNCES. This means from 36 weeks he has gained a pound and 9 ounces per measurements. So if he continues at that range, I'm guessing "fully full full full term/40 weeks" he could equal out to around ohhhhh 10.125 pounds. I  DO KNOW that ultrasounds are notoriously off, but given their "1 pound either way" rule, he is still quite possible damn near 8 lbs right now and likely to keep growing. Or Jesus Christ on a bike he could be damn near 10 lbs (!!!)

         - His "estimated due date by size" is May 15th per measurements (incidentally this stayed the same since week 36

(Growth ultrasound from week 36 shown for reference)
Sooooooooo it's not all entirely shocking, new news. He's big, we know he's big, and we also know he is sunnyside up. As soon as they told me the info was sent to the doctor's office I tried to get in touch to talk (read: somebody validate the crazy hormonal feelings I have about "giving up" on thoughts of a vaginal delivery) but was unable to speak with the doc because he was with patients. Trust and believe I will call again tomorrow morning. 
I also rang my chiropractor. When I came in for that horrendous pelvic girdle pain (which is back, hi there, I missed you!) he showed alot of concern about my previous tailbone break and what my doctors intended to do during labor. I called a bit late in the afternoon and was unable to get to speak with them either, so will have that on my list to ring tomorrow as well. 

What the chiropractor had mentioned, and my research has shown, is that normal tailbones have a bit of a wobble to them. When a tailbone is broken it has no real way to heal as there is not any way to "set" it. We are always moving, getting up, sitting down (or trying to), etc. So the bone essentially "fuses" into one place when (after months of pain, positioning and screwing the rest of your back/hips up trying to get comfortable) it "heals".
Greatest medical art EVER?!
Ouch is right, lady! I feel your pain!
 Because they generally frown upon x-raying the lower extremities of ladies ( word is it hinders the ability to harvest eggs to grow future ginormo babies) I didn't get any images of my buttbone back in the day.  The Dr. pretty much affirmed that they heal and fuse in any pattern they chose (to the left, to the right, to the back...wait a minute, this isn't DJ Casper up in here...)
take it back now, ya'll
So given this info, kiddo's head would act like a battering ram, descending through the canal towards life like the tough guy that he is, ultimately smooshing that beautiful face up against my ladyparts in the wrong direction, and crushing through my tailbone. (insert here 6 months of being unable to sit down or do anything similar to sitting down, or moving, or being comfortable). 
Shall we rejoice in the name of all things holy and bless the technology that is the cesarean? 

I have as mentioned, a number of AWESOME and supportive friends, who have been there for me throughout this pregnancy.... I have also sought out some guidance from ladies who have had csections (none elected) to get more of a grasp on their experience. A number of them talked about feeling guilty, as if it were "wrong" their little ones were brought in the world in a non-vaginal means, as if it were a failure...and I totally sympathize with where they are coming from. 
I have stated it a bazillion times, and I know everyone is sick of hearing it - but I really went into this thinking I could work my hardest to have a natural delivery. Giving that dream up, mourning that idea of letting things progress naturally, feeling like you have failed or let down your baby or your family is an awful feeling.  And it's unfair. Society is way too hard on  pregnant women as it is - I know in my bones that so long as the baby comes out healthy that I will be healthy. But I'll be damned if it doesn't make me feel guilt ridden to potentially "elect" to have this done. 
Studies have shown that elected cesareans have alot less trauma to mom AND baby, as well as greater recovery times and less complications. Part of me wanted to let labor just happen, but if that means distress to baby, or more issues arising, why go that course? 
sweet Jesus give us a sign
I am turbo aware that a cesarean is not a papercut. It's a major surgery that is painful, and full of risks and potential complications. It's not a walk in a park or an easy way out for anyone. I'd still have a lot of healing to do, and would need support. 
But in my mind, 8 weeks of incision care versus 4-6 months of CHRONIC pain and inability to function in normal day to day manners while caring for a newborn, breastfeeding and trying to get the swing of cloth's kinda looking like a more viable option. 
I know hormones are going awry at this point too, so that certainly is playing a part...but I really wish I could get some sort of sign or validation that this is the right way to go and I'll have no regrets. Regardless of what comes down, the baby will be born and I'll be so thankful and busy I won't have time to care or reflect, right? RIGHT. 
Stretch marks? Well the bastards that showed their ugly faces are still around, BUT they didn't bring any of their cousinsndem so I am pretty happy
Sleep: Is HOT. Night sweats, anyone? Also, sporadic at best. Insomnia is in full force now that I am off work and can sleep in a bit. Turning over is getting super duper painful, and having alot of lower back pain as of late has made getting comfortable damn near impossible. WHINE WHINE WHINE WHINE WHINE. Oh well, 2ish more weeks, right?
Best moment this week: Seeing that little butterball, squishyfaced little love on the ultrasound making kiss faces....I can't get over his lips and can't wait to smooch them!

Miss Anything? My equilibrium? I just keep getting bigger and bigger and it is hard to get around in tight spaces/my kitchen when both Glenn and my mom are in there trying to cook and I need to reach over to get a glass of water. Seriously, I am huge and my frame of space is out of control. 

Movement: Still moving around alot, which again makes me feel like I won't "go" as quick as people are guessing. I read that posterior babies with their big heads don't descend as quick so maybe that's why I am feeling him so much. I still love it and it gives me a good feeling to know he's doing well in there.  
Food cravings: fruit and chocolate and fruit with a side of chocolateAnything making you queasy or sick: Not sick per se, but definitely noticing the subtle pains of oncoming baby-is-ready-to-evacuatenessGender: Boy! It was hilarious because our ultrasound tech was ALL ABOUT showing us his little ween and taking 3d images of his ballsack. I am sure he will treasure these forever.
Labor Signs: Alas, noticing more of what I think are Braxton Hicks, or just him kicking me really hard or jutting out....probably Braxton Hicks thoguh. Symptoms: Back pain, boob pain, pelvic girdle pain, sense of anxiousness/fear/guilt.  But I am still hobbling around with the best of them and trying to keep up some semblance of a cheery disposition!

Belly Button in or out? Officially at its flattest and weirdest.
Wedding rings on or off? On! Three cheers for no swelling yet in these late stages

Happy or Moody most of the time: Very happy - I have a great support system, Glenn and my mom and I have been pretty busy this week with last minute prep, and have enjoyed fabulous dinners each night and shared lots of laughs and moments to destress before baby comes. They are fabulous, fabulous people for calming me down, lifting my spirits, and telling me everything will be okay. That and the texts, emails, IG/facebook/twitter love have really really helped me overcome moments of sheer hormonal freakouts.
Looking forward to: Talking to all these doctors, formulating an official birth plan, wrapping things up on the homefront, relaxing and enjoying my family, and of course MOTHER'S DAY! Niter thinks this is a great day to have her grandbaby. Glenn is also pro, for reasons below:

He's hilarious. Another reason I married him!

Here's hoping our next update will still be at 39 weeks, baby will still keep growing, and I will feel validated in making sound decisions about how to progress with labor! 

As always - thanks for reading and for feedback! CHEERS, IT'S ALMOST TIME!

also cheers to continuation of no pants until Baby day


  1. GOOD GOD that information is terrifying! Since I just started following--I totally see your dilemma now with all the developments of big baby natural delivery v. c-section. Like I got into on 'ol instagram, my little nugget got stuck; however, no one noticed this until I had been pushing for around 1.5 hours (you lose track pretty easily when you're epidural is falling out.) So I was forced down the emergency c-section route since it had already been about 13 hours since my water broke. It honestly happened so fast that I didn't even have time to worry about it, I woke up and didn't feel anything. The painkillers were magic, and while it was hard to sit in a chair, stand, and walk for a few days, I was released in less than 48 hours-- and I could shower alone, and walk slowly, but fine. They sent me home with Percocet and Ibuprofen and as long as I took them on time, I was moving around pretty well actually. I even weaned myself off the Percocet by the end of my first week or so, and was just taking my Ibuprofen. You'll need lots of help for the first couple days definitely, but I'll bet you'll heal up much faster than you think. And definitely don't feel guilty, if you decide beforehand to go down that route; you'll know what to do when the time comes :)


  2. I love that picture from the car ;)


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