Turn, baby, just turn.
There’s a special kind of crazy reserved for a woman whose pregnancy isn’t going to plan.
A woman like Kim Kardashian West, who has just found out that her baby boy is breech. ‘Breech’ is what we call babies who are the wrong way up for birth – they are feet first, rather than heads down, and delivering a baby who is leading with their toes is a whole different ball game. A more complicated and potentially dangerous one.
Once upon a time, of course, we didn’t know what our babies were doing while they were inside us, but now we do. And so, if at your later pre-natal appointments, it turns out that your baby is still “upside down” and hasn’t instinctively repositioned themselves for the smoothest possible arrival by week 32, you will be given some options.
Those options are:
– Find yourself a rare medical professional who will perform a breech delivery.
– Schedule a C-section, stat.
– Try to turn that baby.
Kim Kardashian, woman of will that she is, wants to do the last thing. And, like many a deluded parent before her, she is trying everything.
“I lay practically upside down three times a day for 15 minutes,” she writes on her fabulously overshary blog. “I play music in the right position and ice my belly in certain spots to get him to squirm out of the breech position. I even started accupuncture where I burn moxa (mugwort) on my pinky toe every day! I am even attempting hypnosis!”
Oh, Kim, I feel you. I have been there. When my first child was deemed in an inappropriate pose for birth, I went all out to change its (later proven to be a HER) tiny mind.
I lay with my legs up against the wall whenever I possibly could, which, considering I was working full time up until the birth, was inconvenient, to say the least.
I paid lots of money to a woman to go to her house and have her stick needles in my feet and burn moxie – thick, smelly black incense stuff – near my toes.
I then took the smelly stuff home and made my other half burn it near my toes. Even though we had houseguests. Even though my feet were more swollen than Kanye’s ego at the time.
I attempted yoga poses that would have probably been deeply beneficial if I had started doing them in a much earlier week of pregnancy than 33.
And then, when all of that inevitably failed and I felt like an outcast in the FIX THAT BREECH NATURALLY web forums I had joined, I went hardcore, and booked an External Cephalic Version – an ECV.
Friends. If your baby doesn’t want to turn, a kindly doctor with firm hands is unlikely to convince them otherwise. And believe me, a man grabbing your baby WHEN IT IS STILL INSIDE YOU and twisting it around is potentially dangerous, inconvenient and hurts like nevermind.
God knows what it felt like for my poor baby.
But I did it. All in the name of trying to achieve what I stubbornly decided was my holy grail – a “natural” birth (yes, really natural, having a team of three playing spin the baby in a hospital ward).
Kim Kardashian and I have something in common, apparently. We have swallowed the story that avoiding a C-section somehow matters a great deal. That the way your baby comes into the world has some sort of relevance to what comes after. That the smoothest possible journey to motherhood starts with a vaginal arrival.
What ninnies we are, thinking that we can take back control of our lives with some burning moxie. What even IS THAT? I still don’t know. Sorry, but the nice lady I was paying told me it was a great idea.
Okay, so it can happen. Watch the incredible moment a doctor successfully turns a breech baby:
Back in the hospital, when the nice doctor with the firm grip manhandled my little person into the “proper” position, we all gave a little cheer. And then, under the gaze of the ultrasound, she slowly, slowly re-righted herself, like a clock winding the wrong way.
The ECV served a purpose, even if it wasn’t the intended one. Two days later – and 10 days early – my daughter came flying into the world in a screamingly intense four-hour delivery. Head first. She didn’t want to risk any more man-hands bothering her in there.
And the burning moxie was really getting up her nose.
Kim. Give it up. One way or another, your boy will come out safely, and you will look at him. And Kanye will put down his phone for a moment and look at him too. And all will be well.
The rest doesn’t matter.