So we're almost at week 37 now, meaning there is about 3 weeks to go until baby number 2 is due. The last few weeks have been a bit difficult but we've finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel.
Roughly four weeks ago, I was in a fair bit of pain in my bump area and so I was told to go to the labour ward at Stoke Mandeville hospital (where Elizabeth was born) for a check up. The hooked me up to a monitor to try and work out what was going on. I was there for just over three hours. I was asked several times if I thought I was in labour - which of course I didn't - but I couldn't help but wonder why they kept asking me that. It turned out that I was contracting and they couldn't tell from the monitor if it was real contractions or Braxton Hicks. Eventually they decided that I had basically pulled a muscle in my abdomen area and I was told to take it easy. Now that's easier said than done when you have a very active 20 month old to look after. Frans helped me out as much as he could, coming home after lunch the following day, sorting out dinner, taking Elizabeth to nursery on the Wednesday and picking her up again (thank heavens for nursery!!) and generally doing as much as he could to give me a rest. By that Wednesday evening (2 days after being at the labour ward), I was feeling much better and was a lot more mobile than I had been on the Monday. Things were looking even better on the Thursday morning.... then Frans had a car accident.
Frans left home on that Thursday morning to go up to a meeting in Nottingham, roughly 2.5/3 hours from where we live. He called me just after an hour from when he had left the house and told me not to panic but that he'd been in a car accident. My tummy muscles went into overdrive! No one was hurt but the car was in pretty bad shape and he needed the insurance details from me. After much faffing his end, he got his car picked up and taken to a garage and I drove up to bring him home. He had made it as far as Northampton. Although physically fine, Frans was clearly a bit shaken by the ordeal. We went and had some lunch and just spent a bit of time chilling and absorbing what had happened. We were pretty convinced that the car would be written off so we started talking about the next step. A hire car was available from the Saturday and we found out the following Wednesday that the car was a write off. We now have a Mercedes E class to ferry around our growing family.
So two weeks after my trip to the labour ward and the car accident, I saw the midwife for a routine check up. Whilst feeling my tummy, she informed me that the baby had flipped over and was now in a breech position. I couldn't believe it! The baby had been head down in the perfect position since 24 weeks (which is when they start monitoring such things) and I couldn't understand why it would choose to turn around at 35 weeks! This meant that the type of birth I wanted could be in jeopardy if it didn't turn back. She booked me in at the hospital for the following week to see if the baby had turned and said that I should go and do some research.
My first port of call was the NHS website for more information on breech babies. This led me to various other websites, reading all about ECV's, caesarean sections, risk factors and ways that I could help the baby turn without any medical intervention. I also spoke with friends who had been in a similar situation and another friend recommended her yoga teacher for help and advice. One thing that was mentioned by multiple sources was something called Moxibustion.
I rang up The Practice in Thame as soon as I could as I was told their acupuncturist performed this moxibustion technique. Unfortunately the lady I needed was on holiday but there was another acupuncturist there - a lady named Jane - and she might be able to help. The receptionist tried to contact her and I was told that Jane would be in touch. I waited and eventually Jane called me. She did perform Moxibustion and had one free appointment that afternoon. I was so pleased! Although I'd done some reading about the technique, I didn't really know what to expect. Jane was lovely and explained everything to me before we started. This was a technique that needed to be performed twice a day for about 15 to 20 minutes so I was shown how it all worked so I could instruct Frans when I got home. He performed his duties very well indeed for the five days that followed and then it was time to see the midwife at the hospital....
That appointment was two days ago. The midwife's initial reaction was that the baby was head down with it's back on the right. However, after further poking and prodding, the position of the heart beat caused her to be unsure and so I was referred for a scan to confirm the baby's position.
So this afternoon I went over to Stoke Mandeville hospital and had a scan. Within seconds I was told the baby was head down with it's back on the right (on the left is the ideal position for birth) and that we could rest easy - the baby was NOT breech. I was so relieved to hear that!
Hopefully now the baby will stay head down although it can move it's back from side to side as much as it likes. I'm not too fussy. There's three weeks left and I couldn't feel more positive than I do right now.
Bring it on!