flip, baby, flip

16 March 2014

come on now.

Are c-sections the end of the world? Absolutely not! I've heard enough code white/emergency stories from Simon to know that c-sections play a vital role in plenty of deliveries and have saved lots of lives. Lots. But! Are some doctors too quick to call c-sections? And are inductions occasionally scheduled prematurely? Absolutely. Fortunately, that's not my area of expertise and not up for debate ... I'll let you chat with Ina or Ricki all about that. I'll be honest and admit that the thought of staying in the hospital for 4 days to recover from a c-section only scares me because I have no idea what we would do with the three older kids while Simon is working. I don't even know what we're going to do with them when I go into labor (we'll figure it out .... we always do). My point is that logistics plays a big factor in my fear of having a c-section because my priorities are nothing but screwed on straight.

So! Two weeks ago I had an ultrasound and the baby was decidedly breech. And big. I went ahead and did what I do best and stressed about it and chewed on my cuticles and stressed some more. One of my old college friends (hi Amber!!!) emailed that after having two breech babies and emergency c-sections (c-sections not related to the breech situation ... if I understand it correctly?) she took matters into her own hands with pregnancy numero tres and rubbed Young Living Essential Peppermint Oil all over her belly like a crazy woman (direct quote). The baby flipped and she had a successful vbac after two c-sections which is pretty amazing. Sold! Grace was sold and ordered the exact peppermint oil from Amazon about .04 seconds after she read her email while Simon was supportive and admitted that anything was worth a try.


It came, I diluted with coconut oil (thanks for the warning, Cate!), I rubbed, and I watched as the baby went dance crazy. Simon says he/she was just scrambling to get away from the awful smell (it wasn't awful ... ). I did the same thing two days later and then I put the oil down somewhere that I just ... can't .... quite ... remember. So! A total of two peppermint coats.

Fast forward to this past Friday where I had another ultrasound because the baby's stomach seemed weirdly small (it's fine now and the baby is still very large but I'm now cuticleless ... thank you, large child) and bad-a-what?! Head decidely downtown. I'm blaming the oil. And Amber. 110%. Laugh all you want but ... this baby isn't a mover and a shaker like his/her siblings were and the oil put him/her into move it move it mode.

I know I'm only 33 weeks along so this isn't a SUPER crazy story but let me think it is. I know some of you have some really stubborn baby flipping stories. (Cari - has at least two floating around her archives). People on Instagram mentioned eating candy (that was my next course of action, sorry lent), laying upside down on an ironing board (Simon said, "I can see you getting into that kind of crazy"), swimming, hitting up the chiro (a super sweet reader sent me a local rec and I was definitely going to try that at 35 weeks), and my mom thought I should try Pulsatilla. Truth be told I didn't spend more than a hot minute on the Spinning Babies website but I know it has lots and lots of good ideas too.

I'm curious to hear any and all baby flipping stories or I'm happy to just sit here alone with my own while I pin a rose on my nose and get that dirt of my shoulder. 

And again!! ... C-sections are not the devil. Ask Ana .... or a lot of other people, I'm sure.

56 comments:

  1. YAY!

    Maybe this baby will be a Thin Mint fan? ;)

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  2. Good job, baby patton! No flipping stories, but I can relate on the nail biting about what to do with older children- we were fortunate Ella came while my mom was here. Novenas to st Joseph and st Gerard for the win ;) I'll start asking them to send someone your way for the kiddos!

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  3. So, my husband laughed his head off after I showed him your Instagram picture of the oil (we like essential oils, don't get me wrong). I'm going to have to tell him it worked. I tried the handstands in the pool with my first one because he was posterior and already very low. I don't do handstands when I'm not pregnant, but being pregnant made that even less enjoyable.

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  4. So, so glad the baby flipped!! That's crazy about the oil. Our baby's head is downtown for now but I'll keep this mind in case he flips back :) And I have to say that I'm getting stronger and stronger opinions about C-sections and inductions as I get closer to my due date (thanks in part to Ina and Ricki even though I know they're biased).

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  5. My #3 baby was breech at 35 weeks (I think that was when) and the doctor did a version. He manually flipped that little baby to head down. He did it in the hospital, with ultrasound to see exactly where baby was, and it stuck. It didn't hurt at all, just felt like a lot of pushing. That was 12 years ago now.

    Fast forward two more years, and pregnant with twins. Twin A was always lower and head down. Twin B was higher and breech. Well, right around 34 weeks, I was sitting on my bed one evening and felt this huge movement across the side of my belly and I told my husband that I thought the baby just flipped over. And sure enough--he did! So I ended up giving birth naturally to twins, both in the correct position to just come on out (and they were small, so that made it a little easier!) :)

    So glad your little one flipped. Much easier and so much less stressful!

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  6. this is a riot!!! glad it worked! my first was breech and they used the knife on me. wish I had tried something other than cat stretches and back bends... but like you said - c-secs are NOT the end of the world. I vbac-ed just fine with my second and life goes on :-)

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  7. I've been trying to get my husband to use essential oils for the headaches he seems to be getting all the time. He thinks it's crazy and won't hear of it! But, all those people who swear by it can't be wrong! Can they??

    And no, C-sections are not of the devil. Both of my babies are here because of them!

    So glad you got your baby to flip! And I hope he/she stays that way!

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  8. I absolutely loved this post! Working as a nurse in L&D, I see PLENTY of versions that work out beautifully (I totally plan on having one if my not-yet-conceived child is breech). We also tell people to put one hot pack on the part of your belly where his/her bum is and one where his/her head is, sometimes that helps them flip! Good luck :)

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  9. I would totally come nanny the mini-Pattons for your L&D Vacay if I could lift anything heavier than a loaf of bread! And if having a complete stranger from the internet volunteer to keep your kids wasn't Lifetime Movie scary! I have met two of my blog readers - one flew me to California for a few days and it was totally fine and they weren't weird at all although they did have a particularly nasty fight that had me running for the hotel bar - and the other met me in a completely open, public place in Boston while I was visiting there - but I was younger and less suspicious then. Glad that baby flipped... keep him/her in place for the next two months!

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  10. My sister in law went to a massage therapist to get her breech baby to flip. Apparently there is a pressure point somewhere on your big toe (?) that can be squeezed to help. Maybe superstition, or maybe not, but my nephew flipped right around like magic.

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    1. There are also pressure points on the big toe that will help start labor that worked for me, use caution and consult an expert if anyone likes the idea of pressure points on the toes:)

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  11. I used the ironing board trick to flip two of my babies who were breach. My OB also recommended that while I was laying on the ironing board to put headphones playing loud music at the bottom of my pelvis. I only had to do this twice a day for about a week with both boys (who were both a BIG 10 pounds, 23 1/4 inches!). I had 2 vaginal deliveries with them. Worked like a charm!

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  12. Hand stands in the swimming pool persuaded my 9lb, 8oz. chunker to get positioned for a successful VBAC. I also walked stairs sideways.

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  13. I'm 32 weeks and baby is transverse right now (ow!). I'm up for trying anything. Peppermint oil please! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. It's amazing how freaking uncomfortable transverse is. My 2nd was transverse for ages, then I had an evening where she just went crazy in there, it was awful, I was (almost sort of) afraid I was going to end up with internal bleeding. Then when I got up the next morning... Sweet relief. I did some spinning babies but I have no idea if it was because of that, or just because she felt it was time.

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  14. All mine ended up head down, so no flipping stories from me, although I have had friends who had good success with the chiropractor. Glad the oil worked. And although I'm really glad that I never had a C-section, I know they are not the end of the world. My sister's first baby had the shortest cord on the planet (according to her OB) and there was no way she was making it down the birth canal, so C-section. And then my sister went on and had all her others with vbacs. The important thing is that you have a healthy baby in the end. I'm just a big, giant baby about any medical procedure.

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  15. YAY! Peppermint oil made my last go CRAZY when I put it on my back, but you know what?? He wasn't posterior when he came out. All I know is Philip would spread it on my back with a ziplock bag over his hand (while he said - every time - "I don't know why I don't take gloves from the hospital sometime...how much oil do I have to put on???") and it flipped him at least part of the way and the midwife turned him the rest. So... peppermint oil. My hero.

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    1. That is so cool. I never thought about it turning a baby from the sunny-side-up position! My daughter was posterior a few weeks before my due date, and I did a ton of squatting and whatnot to turn her around. Fortunately it worked :)

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  16. I wish someone had given me this tip!

    Simone was breech. if you look on my twitter & IG archives to get a full grasp on how stressful it was for me. I was planning a natural midwife birth which doesn't jive with babies coming feet first. I tried breech tilts (the worst!) & finally went to the chiropractor. It worked for us almost immediately but was kind of an expensive solution - that wasn't covered by health insurance. Oh well.

    I'm so glad you found something that worked. Pregnancy is stressful enough!

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  17. I have had 3 c-sections so far and I am terrified of a vaginal delivery! It is definetly because all I know is a c-sec! Glad the baby turned!!

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    1. I am totally the same way!!!! We were hoping to go all natural with the first, but ended up with a c-section and all our succeeding children have all been too close to consider vbac and I'm ok with that! At least now I know what to expect and don't have to go into labor all freaked out!

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  18. Accupunture has gotten two of my babies to switch. So very weird to watch them move themselves into position. I believed it also helped my fast labors become even faster and not that bad...even while being all natural. Hope this helps.

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  19. Awesome that baby flipped!!! So glad for you. I had a c-section with my first baby (not because of her being breech) and I hated it, though I do know that it's not the worst thing that could happen... My doc was totally willing to let me try VBAC, but baby #2 was breech and I totally freaked. I tried everything except that oil, and you'd better believe I would have tried it if I had known about it, because I tried everything else: lying with hips up/head down, knees and elbows, handstands in the pool, moxibustion, baby turning CD, chiropractic, etc., etc. What finally worked for me was having a version at 38 or 39 weeks. And I can't believe it worked, because my daughter ended up being 10.5 lbs! THEN, same-same for baby #3 with aaaallll the techniques and the version being the only thing that worked in the end. If I ever have a baby #4, I will totally keep that oil info in mind! So, so glad your babe flipped, whatever the cause :)

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  20. Praise God! I don't think c-sections are the devil either, but I sure would like to not have one if I don't absolutely have to. Cannot believe you're this close! I'm excited :)

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  21. I do not have a baby flipping story, but I certainly have the big baby deal. Our first girl was 9.2 lbs and had her through induction, now with baby boy at 35 weeks and he is measuring 2 weeks ahead! Im like ahhh!! Gonna have another ultra sound at 37 weeks to see how much he is gaining. I dont know about there but here in Louisiana where I live they will induce after 39 weeks or give me a c section due to his size. I really dont want the recovery of a c section either and being cut open scares me for some reason. Gonna be the longest next few weeks! Glad your baby turned! :) @ http://welcometoourgnome.blogspot.com/

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  22. Lemme tell you what, Grace. I had my home birth allll planned out and had memorized every word Ina ever published when Joon was still breech. Blah blah blah, crying, panicking, praying, cuticle gnawing, we scheduled a c section. KNOWING it was coming was the biggest blessing of my life...an unplanned or emergency cesarean woulda sucked balls. My birth was peaceful, my midwife was there in the room, and we even begged them into putting him on my chest immediately and all was right in the world. So no flipping story here, just a healthy mom and baby! Oh, and I had him Wednesday and peaced outta the hospital Friday morning, so no long stay for us. My recovery was cake too to be honest. I'm hello.brandilyn@gmail if you wanna chat about it any more, but it sounds like you're in good hands and no matter how it happens you'll be a happy family of 6 in no time!

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  23. Wow! So happy baby flipped for you!
    This is my breech story, fixed with an ECV: http://rattlesandrosaries.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-external-cephalic-version-ecv.html I tried just about everything else, but they didn't work. I'd do another ECV in a heartbeat, if needed! (And this baby was breech for a couple weeks at the start of the third trimester so I was starting to think I'd have to put my money where my mouth is!)

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  24. I used moxibustion to convince 2 of my babies to flip. My husband held it next to my pinky toes every night for about 10 min. Sounds strange but I'm convinced it worked!

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  25. WTF?!! I cannot believe no one ever told me about peppermint oil! I spent at least 2 weeks hanging upside down off the couch and to no avail and all you had to do was rub it on? That is so amazing and I am SO happy it worked for you! Definitely keeping this one logged in the brain for the future, absolutely amazing.

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  26. When I was prego with the twins, Kieran flipped all the time! I had an ultra sound every 4 weeks and he was always in a different position! He flipped at 36 weeks... being a TWIN. You could see (AND FEEL) every time he did it!! Babies be crazy. So glad your guy is head down!!!!

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  27. I'm so glad that Numero Cuatro flipped! Numbers 4-7 were all breech for an extended period of time for me, with varying levels of anxiety attached. #4 flipped by himself at 35 weeks, #5 was complete breech through my 37 week appt. I did it all, but she wouldn't budge. Then my doc brought me in to the hospital for a version and she flipped on her own right there in front of God and everybody. #6 was transverse and then complete breech until 38 weeks and she flipped on her own.

    And #7 . . . oh Glory, #7, what a pill. He was breech from 30-34 weeks, transverse at week 35 & 36, vertex at week 37, and back to transverse at 38. I did all the exercises, the weird positions, the music playing at the bottom of my belly, the special incense recommended by my doctor's Vietnamese partner - you name it, I tried it. At 39 weeks, he was still transverse across the top of my stomach (picture a baby rainbow). His arms legs and the cord (!) were dangling straight down over my cervix and giving everyone the vapors about a cord prolapse should my water break on its own. The only thing I hadn't tried was a version, so they brought me in to the hospital for one right before I hit the full 40, with the plan to induce if the version was successful or section if it wasn't.

    The version itself wasn't bad - just a lot of pushing and shoving - but the meds to keep my uterus from contracting were so not cool. The version worked in about 15 seconds (yay!), and then they started pitocin and broke my water (not as yay!). I labored all night, and then at 5 am and 8 cm, #7 flipped back to full breech position. Flipped FLIPPIN' back. He dropped off the monitor and everybody rushed in to see what the what was going on. They did an ultrasound and saw . . . his hind end. I am not even kidding when I say that broke down in the ugly cry. The doctors couldn't believe it. They thought if he was going to flip back, he'd have done it sooner. No amniotic fluid left and I was not really feeling an amnio infusion and a trial run at a breech delivery after a night of induced labor sans pain med, so they took me to section. I felt like I had given it more than the old college try.

    Knowing that little bugger now, I am completely unsurprised that he flipped back around. A stubborner baby I've never met.


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  28. A friend of mine used an icepack. Baby got cold, baby flipped. Crazy. Stay un-breech, little one!
    Anne McD

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  29. Frozen peas flipped him head down but he was still sunny side up. Then we tried moxabistion and the chiro which kinda sorta worked. He had his hand stuck by his head and it made for a labor from hell.

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  30. No breech babe here, but my sweet girl came face up (with her head tilted to the side and the cord wrapped around her neck). Managed a vaginal delivery but it was freakin' long. Ripped her poor mamma to shreds. And of course, I'd do it all over again in a hearbeat (though I am firmly praying that the future chiddlers come normally!). :)

    If you're in the mood for a little birth story-ing: http://faithandmacaroni.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-one-in-which-there-is-margaret.html

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  31. Fingers crossed all will be well in time for D Day.

    SSG xxx

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  32. Glad you were able to add the carrier oil. I definitely won't forget to again, especially when using peppermint oil. Eek! It's so great that all that minty freshness got the little one heading the right direction. Though I've never had a breech baby, I will say that having required a C-section with my 2nd, they're pretty darn wonderful if you really need one! ;)

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  33. with my second I avoided an induction using accupressure at 38 weeks... and i used spinning babies to flip my posterior baby while in labor.

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  34. I'm laughing at all your disclaimers -- "Not evil! Not evil!" Anyway, glad to hear the little sucker is facing where s/he should.

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    1. oh, I clicked on Cate's blog but I still don't get why essential oils and pregnancy are no-no's (i.e., why you had to dilute it?).

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  35. Awesome tip! I haven't had a breech baby [yet] but I am going to pass this tip on to my many friends who have. Spinning Babies is brilliant but doesn't always work. And thank the Lord for epidurals (am I right?) and c-sections, when needed. Modern medicine is a thing of wonder.

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  36. My first, who had been head down during my entire pregnancy, decided to flip at 36 weeks. Not cool. I didn't even know it was possible at that point! I was seeing an amazing OBGYN in Boston at the time, and she was very cool about it. She said yes, if baby remained breech we would have to do a c-section, but there was still plenty of time to try and flip my little one. She even had an acupuncturist on staff! I ended up doing the ironing board thing, and a couple of other positions from the Spinning Babies website. My son flipped back to head down at 38 WEEKS. I should also add at birth, he was 9lbs 3oz. I have no idea how he found the room to move back to that position, but hey, I'm grateful he was able to do so! ;) Glad the peppermint oil worked for you!

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  37. I don't know why you have to hate on c-sections ;)
    I kid. I kid!
    The logistics of this last one (and I only had two at home) were pretty crazy. And then, some people are like,'yea- you should just stay in the hospital by yourself and have the old husband stay with the kids'. Not an option, in so many ways!
    happy that baby flipped ;)

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  38. This baby was transverse for months until I went to the chiropractor and now he/she is head down like a good baby. Thank God! My midwife says that the more kids you have, the easier it is for babies to turn head-down at the end because your uterus is more, shall we say, relaxed. The first time moms have a tighter uterus and it makes babies harder to flip. I'm so happy your baby cooperated :)

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  39. Yes to all those baby flipping essentials. At 36 weeks our son was breech and huge. I did all the this you suggested including handstands in a swimming pool and that 10 pound baby flipped back. (It felt like Everest erupting in my womb) and I delivered him. So big babies can move!

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  40. Oilssss. So happy it worked!

    Also, you and I both know that you were doing the Tootsie Roll while typing that title. Maybe that is what actually flipped the babe...

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  41. Glad that worked! I hope it sticks! Fingers crossed! I recommended the chiro on instagram. Someone in my Bradley class was breach the whole time and had a chiropractor use the Webster technique on her at 36 or 37 weeks to flip the baby. It stuck and she was able to deliver a head down baby at 42 weeks.

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  42. There seems to be an oil for everything! I was to try thieves oil that supposedly gets rid of germs and ick in the house when diffused.

    I had a c section with both mine... Harder recovery, especially the 2nd time when I had a toddler at home, but not the worst thing ever I guess. I hope your babe stays down and you can get her/him out the good ol' fashion way! :)

    Megan from Chasing Davies

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  43. Hooray for flipping! Whatever works!! I was lucky enough that Henry put himself head down as soon as possible and then was too big (did I say lucky?) to re-flip himself. But I am definitely on board with avoiding a C-section if at all possible. I know they can't always be avoided and save lives (my nephew's life included) but major surgery is just not on my to-do list. Thanks but no thanks.

    And to comment on a previous post... I noticed you hadn't blogged. I'm trying to decide if I need to get some more notinthecomputer friends or if I can just classify myself as observant. Hope you all are feeling well.

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  44. Try acupuncture and chiropractic and the sooner the better! They have great success rates with it and I swear by both.

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  45. I'm not gonna talk about flipping, cuz I know nothing, except that I'm SO HAPPY for you! And it's so cool to hear how the oils worked. (My friend is reallyyyyyyyy into all things oils right now.)

    So all I have to say? LET ME SEE THAT TOOTSIE ROLL.

    And I smelled what you were stepping in even before I read "come on now."

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  46. FASCINATING! So happy for you that this baby is head down now! I'm just scratching the surface with essential oil's and this is just one more reason pushing me further onto the bandwagon. Sarah @ thejellyjars.com

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  47. C-sections aren't the devil but ihhhhhh they kinda are the devil. Im glad you (hopefully) avoided one.

    That's pretty insane about the oil. I would've passed on that just for skepticism's sake but, then again, I am a cynical woman.

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  48. Yay! And I kinda feel like someone really famous just waved at me because I mentioned candy on instagram!

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  49. My second was born in December, not breech, but she was just taking awhile to twist around to the right spot after a day of regular, not intense but still annoying, contractions. (She was on my right side head down, but the babe has to be on your left side, evidently, before coming out of the birth canal, and they don't simply twist a quarter turn counter clockwise, but have to go clockwise all the way around in a circle . . .) After going in and disappointingly being at only 3 cm, the midwife gave me these exercises to do that night: http://www.milescircuit.com/the-circuit.html

    So I did the Miles Circuit (which is basically laying with your rear end up in the air, then side relaxation position, then stairs or lunges---each for 30 minutes), then took a benadryl and tylenol to try to get some sleep. I think it did the trick. She came fast and furious the next morning. I was kind of annoyed that they didn't give me those exercises sooner! Totally recommend to get labor going or make it go faster.

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  50. That is AWESOME! I've been a reader for awhile and never commented (mostly bc I read from my iPad and commenting from it is de debil). But, I love all your stories, and particularly your advice for having two under two...happening to me in 3.5 months!!

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  51. Baby girl #1 was breech and I had a scheduled c section ( I did not try to get her to flip as I was deathly afraid of labor so I was content knowing for a fact how she would get out of my body) and yes at the time I was scared but after having that c section and knowing we would have another child at some point I was all on board with that c section train!!! Baby # 2, decided to have another c section (opted out of the vbac) and once again I was all aboard that c section train! Now people may ask me, don't you feel bad that you never got to experience labor and delivery and my answer is always NO!!! Honestly both my c sections went flawlessly and honestly staying in the hospital for those 4 days was heavenly....I mean, people to wait on you hand and foot and having time to get to know that little human you are now responsible for, I would do it again in a heartbeat!!! Yes, I am probably in the minority for my ways of thinking but to each their own, right?!!! :)

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