The Stubborn Third Child (And My Anxiety)

I remember reading once that the first child is for the mother, the second for the father and the third is the child you deserve. Ha! Something like that. It always makes me think of the many gorgeous, cheeky third children I know – my sister being the prime example. I personally always wanted three children so I guess that’s why that saying has stuck with me. My mother in law also told me once that the third child is always the one to bring a truly different element into the family.

As for my third child, she seems to be living up to these expectations. At around the 28 week mark I learnt she had flipped from head down to head up (breech) and there she has remained ever since. She seemingly taunts me with her apparent comfort, continually pushing up with her feet and digging her hard little head under my ribs. Just so I know she’s still there and, you know, still breech!

At this point I would like NO advice on how to get her to turn, nor anecdotes about other babies who have magically turned at this point, because I have heard them all. Everyone is so well meaning and of course at first I was very eager to hear these stories and theories but we’re coming to the end and it’s starting to mean I have to make some actual decisions rather than doing handstands in the pool or perching on all fours watching TV. I know people are being encouraging but at this stage (36 weeks 5 days) it feels dismissive in a way rather than helpful.

The worst thing about the situation is that I have become completely obsessed, thinking about almost nothing else and unable to just relax and enjoy the time I have left with the older two. I’m alert to every movement of the baby, stressed about whether I should get an ECV (External Cephalic Version) and constantly looking up breech c-section stories online.

Currently we are booked to have the ECV on Saturday, but I’m still not 100% sure we’re going ahead with it. Basically it’s a procedure where the OB turns the baby manually using their hands – it’s reasonably common and fairly low risk, although there is only a 50% success rate. Further to that, there are risks, the biggest being that the baby will go into distress and need to be delivered via emergency c-section. I don’t mind about how she arrives in the world to be honest but would rather not put her under any stress, particularly with a 50% success rate (though I have been given a 60% chance due to it being my third baby and having, you know, a used up stretched uterus!).

Also stressing me out slightly is the fact that I have a heart condition and I have stupidly read online that the drug they give you for the procedure can cause irregular heart rhythms (which I already have), but I need to talk that through with my OB tomorrow. I also need to stop googling things!

On the other side of the coin there is the whole C-section possibility, which I just never would have considered as a possibility for myself going into this pregnancy. But there you go – that third child. Actually from a larger, theoretical perspective I could not care less how baby gets here, as long as she gets here healthy. Doing this third time around I know that none of that stuff really matters long term. I am just being an absolute wimp from a practical point of view; I’ve never had any kind of surgery, I’ve had two babies with only a bit of gas, I still hate needles like a 5 year old (and needles in the spine!?). But I’ve realised for baby’s sake I just need to toughen up and do it if I have to. I can do this!

Finally, it’s the uncertainty getting me down. I just don’t know what is going to happen, and for someone who plans and plans and plans it’s difficult. But maybe that’s what the universe, and this beautiful third baby, are telling me – I can’t always have control, and that’s okay. I need to surrender to that and accept that. While I’m not always completely tapped in to that spiritual side of me I do completely believe it’s there and it’s important and I really need to embrace it right now.

SO that’s my plan – breathe deeply, accept the unknown. Be fine with any outcome. And leave all major decisions up to my OB from this point on, because what the hell else am I paying her for?! Special thanks to J for that last piece of advice, it is actually so helpful just to remove any decisions from my own hands.

Wish me luck, and peace!

Z x

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