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When I was 37 weeks, 5 days, my midwife discovered my baby was in the breech position.  For me, this was especially disappointing, as I am desperately hoping for a VBAC.  I was really upset to think my chances for a VBAC were flying out the window because of a breech baby.

For a week I tried everything:

•Moxibustion (did everyday for 6 days)
•Chiropractic – Webster technique
•Knees to chest position multiple times per day
•Headstand, shoulderstand, down dog
•Laying on ironing board at 45 degree angle
•Hypnosis daily – Turn Your Breech Baby script
•Visualizing and talking to baby
•Using flashlights, music, talking and having 2-yr old sing through TP tube at belly
•Pulsitilla homeopathy
•Swimming – handstands, somersaults, deep dives
•and some good emotional releases (I think I cried a box of tissues)

None of the above worked (although I think it was all helpful to send baby a message and give her more room), so at 38 weeks 5 days, I went in to have an external version done and it was successful!

In the morning, I did one more moxibustion treatment at home, then on the way to the hospital, I listened to the Fear Release.  When it came to the part about creating my bubble of peace, I was thinking about all the comments I received from friends/family in response to an email I sent out the day prior requesting their good thoughts, good vibes, and prayers for this baby to turn.  I took those comments and visualized them typed on strips of paper and I pasted them to the outside of my bubble.

When we arrived at the hospital at 7:30 AM, we luckily got a very nice nurse who got us settled into the triage room.  They hooked up the fetal heart rate and contraction monitors and baby was very active, which was good for establishing a baseline.  I listened to the beginning of the Turn Your Breech Baby script and tried to get relaxed into the setting.  My doula arrived around 8 AM.  I listened to more HB while we waited for the doctors.  Just before 9 AM, the perinatologist I consulted with arrived with one of her colleagues, who the nurse later informed me was the `one to have for this procedure’.   I had explained to the doctor during the consult that I was planning on using my hypnosis practice for the external and she was very excited and supportive.  So, they asked me what I needed and I asked them to just give me 5-10 minutes, if possible, to get relaxed.  The nurse gave me a shot of Terbutaline, a smooth muscle relaxer, to relax the uterus.

About 10 minutes later, the doctors came back.  I made sure that I was listening to the part of the Turn Your Baby script where you visualize your hands reaching into the uterus and gently stretching it open, making more room for your baby, and then reaching your hands around your baby and nudging her around when they did the procedure.  I wouldn’t say that I was in a hypnotic state, because it was difficult with all the interruptions, but I was staying relaxed and focused on the script.  I kept my headphones on the whole time, and my eyes closed and I didn’t listen to what they were saying, or watch what they were doing.

It was SO intense, but I stayed totally relaxed and calm the entire time, even though I swear my diaphragm was in my ears and I could barely get any breath into my lungs, and I was sure my xiphoid process (little bone attached where your ribs come together) was going to pop off!  I did want to scream out “STOP!” but I just focused on the script and was talking to my baby the whole time.  I finally opened my eyes after about 2 minutes when I felt the hands come off and looked at one of the doctors and she was smiling, so I removed my headphones. It was good news!

I was really surprised at how forceful it was and I never felt the baby turn on her own.  I guess I thought they’d give her a little nudge and she’d turn herself around.  The doctors said they couldn’t believe how relaxed I seemed and they said, “We need to find out what that is you are listening to!”  [Of course, I told them all about HB.]  They also said that a big part of her getting to turn was because I was so relaxed. I figure if it took four hands to move her, she doesn’t have room now to flip back on her own. I’ll be 39 weeks tomorrow.

They kept me for 3 hours to monitor my contractions and baby’s heart rate. She was just fine – never wavered outside a normal range. I was having some pretty strong contractions (according to the monitor) although I never felt any sensation beyond strong tightening of my uterus. I also had some mild cramping, but after about 90 minutes it all normalized, although I was still crampy, which I’ve been feeling for a few days anyway. The nurse called the doc to see if she could release me, and the doc wanted her to do a cervix check before they sent me home.  I politely declined and assured the nurse I was not in labor, as I have labored before. She was okay with that, just smiled and said, “Okay”.

I kind of struggled with the fact that this was a bit of an invasive procedure, but I figured it’s a LOT less invasive than another cesarean and I truly did try everything else I could to get her to turn on her own.  I’m glad we tried it and now I am confident that it will be smooth sailing from now until the birth…

~Karen
39 weeks, VBAC

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The whole time I was pregnant with Carter he was either breech or transverse.  By the time we got to 34 weeks, the midwives started to get concerned.  We tried everything to get him to turn.  I mean everything!  Chiropractic care, moxibustion, spinning babies techniques, Turn Your Breech Baby CD, acupuncture and acupressure.  My midwife even tried a gentle version of an external cephalic version two or three times.  Nothing worked.  So we scheduled an external cephalic version for 37 weeks.
       I was nervous about it since I had heard from many people that it was so painful.  But I’d read a story from one woman who was studying hypnobabies who didn’t have such a hard time with it.  So I decided to go into it with the expectation that it would be all right.  The morning of the version I did a Fear Release session and I listened to the Turn Your Breech Baby CD.
       We got to the hospital and checked into a room on the labor and delivery ward.  The nurses were super nice.  They hooked me up to monitor the baby.  They use elastic straps that stretch across your belly and one measures contractions, the other measures the baby’s heart rate.  I was having contractions that lasted 1 minute every 3 minutes!  But I didn’t even feel most of them.
       They took an ultrasound to confirm the position of Carter.  They said he was transverse, which was better than the frank breech he had been lately.  I was so hopeful!
       They took my blood pressure and it was quite high.  I asked them if I could do some relaxation and have them take it again.  They just left the cuff on anyway and said it would automatically take it periodically.  I laid back and listened to a Deepening track.  The next time the cuff took my blood pressure it was down to a normal range.  (I don’t recall the numbers now.)
       Nurses kept coming in while I was doing Deepening to check the baby’s heart rate.  I just used center switch if they had questions.  I felt nice and relaxed and confident.  After about an hour of monitoring, then started an IV.  Now, that was a touch painful, but not too bad.  I just stayed relaxed and focused on the Deepening track that I was listening to again.  They gave me terbutaline to prevent contractions.  I had been told that this drug made you feel really jittery.  That worried me since even one cup of coffee leaves me feeling terrible.  But again, I just concentrated on the feeling of confidence that I entered with.  And I ended up not feeling all that bad after all.  It wasn’t as bad as a big cup of coffee, though the jitteryness lasted for a couple of hours, until I got something to eat.
       So then the doc came in.  He didn’t get started until about a half hour or so later than scheduled since he had to attend a birth just down the hall.  By the time he got there, Carter had flipped back around and was a complete breech.  The doc wasted no time and got going.  He tried to push him in one direction and it didn’t work, so he tried the other.  The whole time he was doing it I was concentrating on relaxing all my abdominal muscles, like the Breech Baby CD directs you to do.  The sensation was not painful at all.  It wasn’t comfortable – I wouldn’t have wanted this done for half an hour – but it really didn’t hurt at all.  After trying in the second direction, the doc said it wasn’t happening.  I think he had tried about 3 or 4 minutes, tops, but time is funny in theses situations, so I’m not sure.  I asked him if he would try one more time.  This was my last hope to avoid a c-section!  He was surprised I asked, but did try again.  No luck.  Carter wouldn’t budge from my pelvis.
       As he was washing up, he told me that he was impressed with how well I’d handled it, he said most people don’t do so well.  I told him that I thought perhaps he was just being gentle and he said he wasn’t.  I think, from his tone of voice that he was implying that he was anything but gentle.  After that they monitored me for about another hour, longer than usual because of the contractions I’d been having.  I just lay there and talked to my husband planning what we were going to eat (I was starving!).  They finally let us go and we went for some Asian food.  For about three days afterwards I was a bit bruised where he’d been pushing.  I guess he wasn’t gentle after all!
       I chalk up my ability to be relaxed and confident going into the version to Hypnobabies and credit it with my ability to stay relaxed through the procedure.  It gave me confidence that it would work for during my birthing time.  Unfortunately, we ended up with a c-section, but it wasn’t all bad.  The results – a happy, healthy, beautiful baby boy – were what mattered.  I was happy to be able to say that I tried everything to get him to turn but that he just wasn’t supposed to.

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