My Breech Baby Boy Is Kicking My Cervix

Yes, my ever-growing list of pregnancy-related ailments now includes this torture, which was confirmed by abdominal ultrasound on Thursday, the final day of my 32nd week of pregnancy. My baby, already 5 pounds 3 ounces, compared to the normal 4 ½-pound range at 33 weeks, is currently breech, so the incessant pounding at the bottom of my uterus really is from his pedaling, jabbing feet.

It literally feels like he’ll be able to kick his way out, so I’ve been worried about the damage done to my cervix, whether funneling, thinning, or dilating. But, apparently, my cervix is super-strong in this pregnancy, unlike when I was pregnant with my 5-year-old son and dilated starting at 27 weeks of pregnancy. During a trans-vaginal ultrasound, also conducted on Thursday, the technician said my cervix is still 5 cm long and closed.

The trans-vaginal ultrasound also confirmed that I still have marginal placenta previa, so Dr. E, the doctor I saw Thursday, said I will remain on partial bed rest.

I haven’t had any placental bleeding since the first day of my 26th week of pregnancy, which is phenomenal, but Dr. E said that as I get closer to my due date, I will have more and more contractions, which could jumpstart the bleeding again. Therefore, if I see any red blood, I need to travel immediately to labor and delivery, so the baby and I can be monitored.

Thankfully, at this stage of my pregnancy, the infant survival rate is at least 95%, plus my little guy has benefitted from steroids given to me during my pre-term bleeding episode, so his lungs will be mature soon, if they aren’t already.

Dr. E confirmed that, if the placenta previa condition continues, I will have to have a C-section to deliver. She said specifically that the practice will not even attempt vaginal deliveries when the placenta is within 2 cm of the cervix because of the possibility of hemorrhaging, which could be detrimental to both me and the baby. Considering that there has been little to no change since placenta previa was diagnosed during my 13-week ultrasound, 20 weeks ago, I don’t hold out much hope of it rectifying itself.

The ultrasound technician said that the fact that my baby boy is breech isn’t considered a problem until the 36th week, but if he and my placenta stay where they are, they’re conspiring for a C-section, in my opinion.

The two ultrasounds also showed that my amniotic fluid level is ideal for this stage of the pregnancy; my baby’s development, with the exception of his size, is within his age range; and, in addition to his large body, he has a big head. My 5-year-old son has an off-the-charts-size head too, but it doesn’t look out of the ordinary, and, as I tell my son, he has a big head to house his very big brain.

As of Thursday’s weigh-in, I’ve gained 60 pounds since starting to try to get pregnant via in vitro fertilization (IVF). I’m unbelievably uncomfortable, and the combination of my asthma and my reduced lung capacity is making my days and nights difficult. I have no energy, so I told Dr. E that, even if she’d told me to stop bed rest and be wild and free for the final weeks of my pregnancy, I can’t handle more than modified bed rest as it is. (Weeks ago, I was tested for anemia, which some of my readers thought could be the reason for my complete exhaustion, but no anemia here.)

I return to the Center for Maternal and Fetal Health in two weeks, the first day of my 35th week of pregnancy, for another doctor’s appointment, a non-stress test to evaluate my baby’s heart rate, and ultrasounds to check my amniotic fluid level and placenta. Starting at 36 weeks, I will have an appointment every Friday for the duration of this pregnancy.

As I become more and more comfortable with the age, size and strength of my baby boy, I am becoming more and more nervous about having a C-section. But I keep reminding myself that five years ago, as a result of two botched epidurals, I endured 17 ½ hours of hell to give birth vaginally to my 9 pound 7 ounce son. So, while an incision through my stomach and uterus won’t be fun to recover from, it might be easier than my prior childbirth experience. And either way, I know that my body will have no long-term memories of the pain, while I will have the joy of loving another child.

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