Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where Were You One Year Ago Today?

One year ago today I had a doctor's appointment. A routine prenatal visit. I had woken up the night before with some horrible pains, not contractions, but very familiar pains. The pains I felt every time the baby would flip into the breech position. During the last six weeks of the pregnancy, my doctor, chiropractor and I were on a mission to get the baby head down. Accupuncture did the trick, more than once. The only problem was that it would only last for about 5-6 days and the baby would go breech again.

I have to back up about two weeks. We had successfully gotten the baby to the right position by accupuncture. At 38/39 weeks my doctor said he would induce, since the baby was head down. We did not want risk having to have a C-section. The OB ward was slow that day, only one other lady and I were there, both inductions. Her husband would come in to visit from time to time. According to him, we were both laboring at about the same rate. Suddenly my nurse told me she had to go help next door. I heard the WORST blood curdling screams I had ever heard in my whole life. Then we heard a baby cry. My nurse came back to check on me and I told her I wanted whatever the lady next door had. She had already given birth, and I was barely getting started. She said, "Believe me, you do not want what she had." Later, the new dad from next door came in to tell us his wife had given birth. He looked pale and was shaking when he told us that when his wife had gotten up to use the restroom, the baby (unexpectedly) started to come...and was born feet first. They would have sent her to have an emergency C-section, but labor was moving too fast and they had to deliver the baby breech. The nurse had been right, I didn't want that. My labor never progressed that day. I was sent home, a very sad and tired mama, and more fearful of having a breech baby than ever before.

On my due date, September 11, 2006, I went in for a regular check up. My hubby was out of state for his uncle's funeral, so I had a friend come over to watch the kids while I went to see Doc. At the appointment, he gave me the bad news that the baby was breech again. (I had figured as much.) I told him that I was a little concerned I might be in very early labor. They WHEELCHAIRED me to the OB ward almost immediately--me protesting all the way. "Hey, I walked in here, why can't I walk?" (They had doctor's orders, I guess if my water were to break, the cord could fall into the birth canal and strangulate the baby?.?.) I was put in a bed and hooked up to monitors. Sure enough, I was in the early stages of labor.

My doctor came in to check on me after about an hour. He said they were going to get everything in order to do an external version--flip the baby by pushing on my belly. I protested again. I had a sitter at home, no husband in the state, and no camera! I begged him to let me go home...to work out childcare, pack a bag, and get my camera. He reluctantly let me go...for one hour only, with orders to get back to the hospital IMMEDIATELY if my water broke.

I sped home in my 15 passenger van. When I got to our driveway, I could see our sheep roaming in our neighbor's bean field. I laid on the horn and got their attention. They just stood there. I finally drove into the ditch and chased them with the van back into the pasture, being tossed and turned all over the van seat with every bump I hit. I could really feel the contractions by this time. I got the childcare situation worked out, my bag, and my camera and off to the hospital I went, ready to have a baby.

The external version team was ready when I got back to my room. They started by doing an ultrasound. Guess what? Baby was head down! (He had his hand on his head like he was dizzy or something.) I think all the bouncing in the van flipped him right over. I could already see the headlines in medical periodicals, "Chasing sheep over bumps in a 15 passenger van is a new alternative to external version". I spent the rest of the day in the hospital and my hubby made it back to see them hook me up to pitocin. Labor had slowed, and we didn't want to give the baby a chance to go breech again, so I was induced.

This time the induction worked. I really wanted to have the baby quickly but kept telling everyone how I would prefer to not have my baby on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. I got my wish. Little Prince Charming made his way into the world in the wee hours of the morning of September 12, 2006. So now you know what I was doing one year ago today. How about you?


  1. Awww... What a story!! Thank you for sharing.

    How scary, having a baby without your husband! And the sheep... HELLO?!! Don't they understand labor? Sigh... I guess not!!

    Blessings, Beckie :o)

  2. Wow - that's a story! Thank goodness for those sheep!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I'm blessed by this reminder, Michelle. I have been mourning not being able to do much for you physically for the past year...you know what I was doing that day-interceding! Praise the Lord!

    Happy Birthday, Prince Charming!

  4. I love hearing that story...chasing sheep. I chased cows by foot the day before Jeremy was born...I think that's what broke my water!

  5. :o) Loved hearing your labor story!


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