MY BABY WAS BREECH || MY EXPERIENCE WITH ECV

Below is my experience with having a breech baby and a successful External Cephalic Version (ECV) to turn her and have a vaginal birth:

When I think back on my pregnancy with Persephone, I find that my memories are sufficiently fuzzy and pleasant in nature. However, objectively I know that it was not a walk in the park by any means. I dealt with all the normal things that most women have to deal with, with the added bonus of having Gestational Diabetes (which I go over in detail in another post). But everything else was going along relatively well until I went into my 36 week appointment and my midwife announced that my baby with breech.

Breech. One of the many things that you don’t want to hear a short 4 weeks before your due date. She was head down (with a 85 percentile head) a few short days before during my growth ultrasound. How could this be? SURELY I would have felt that sort of move. While my mind raced trying to process this implication, she asked when I would like to schedule a “version” to turn the baby. I numbly nodded, knowing that I wanted to avoid a C-section at any cost.

The face of a stubborn baby that is about to turn breech.

Natural birth had always been the goal. Gestational diabetes shook that path, but after controlling it with a strict diet I was certain that my birth would not be impacted past extra blood sugar testing before and after labor. But breech? I was devastated. I felt like now my body had truly betrayed me completely. And this time it was going to cost me more than just no ice cream and pricks on my fingers.

Persephone was not frank breech, she was technically oblique, with her head in my ribs and butt sitting on my left hip. Looking back, this was probably very lucky as it meant that neither her butt nor feet were logged in pelvis.

Ok, so moving through my stages of grief. First was denial, then anger, and now bargaining. I was not going to let this baby remain breech dammit. With my ECV scheduled in 10 days I was going to try my hardest to get her turned around.

First, this meant hanging upside down 3 times a day. And no I’m not kidding.

It’s called a breech tilt, and no, it’s not comfortable when you have a stomach the size of a watermelon. Unfortunately, doing these did nothing except making me almost pass out from blood rushes to the head.

The second thing I tried was walking, but it was a little too late as walking a mile or two a day promotes baby to move head down earlier in pregnancy. But at 36 weeks, she was just too big for it to do any good in that regard.

Next, it was time to turn to Chinese medicine. I did acupuncture at least 4 times in those 10 days, but while relaxing, she didn’t turn.

Then I tried moxibustion. This is done by burning two moxi sticks next to your little toes to promote the baby to move. And yes, this is also a thing.

Surprisingly, it made her super active. However, yet again it seemed like it was too little too late, as she was too big to turn herself.

I was ready to give up. My last hope for a vaginal birth was the ECV. There were risks, but I thought that the risks of the ECV were equivalent to needed a C-Section. And at that point I was resigned to having one to avoid disappointment, comforted by the fact that I would have a healthy baby at the end of the day.

As for the actual ECV procedure, I was scheduled to show up at Labor & Delivery at 7 AM that morning after not having eaten for 12 hours. Which is pretty much a nightmare for a pregnant women as well as someone who is supposed to be monitoring their blood sugar. After being admitted I waited for an hour or two in the room while they monitored the baby and waited for the OB to become available. Surprisingly, I was already having small contractions that I couldn’t feel.

Once the OB and her partner where done delivering another baby the nurse gave me terbutaline, which suppresses the contractions while they try and turn the baby. It hit like a rush of adrenaline making me flush and shaky. To my surprise, as the OB was feeling Persephone’s bottom and head to see how easy it was to move her, she just kept turning.

“Are we starting now?”

By the time I asked that question, she was already turned around. Besides a bit of pressure (obviously), I felt almost no pain. The OB was almost as surprised as I was that she was so easy to turn. And after getting her head into a good position and confirming everything with the ultrasound, I was done. My stomach was wrapped in a binder to keep her head down, and I was done.

Relief washed over me, still shaky from the drugs. The ECV was a success, and I would be able to go on and have a vaginal birth.

Read my birth story here.

xoxo,

Kevlyn

 

 

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MY EXPERIENCE WITH GESTATIONAL DIABETES

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34 weeks pregnant at the Rhododendron garden

For those that have experienced relatively normal pregnancies, you understand the monthly appointments always tend to be somewhat anti-climatic. Usually any question results in the answer, “That’s normal… yes, even THAT”. Being on my second pregnancy I went for the 1 hour glucose test without much thought. It was an old hat to me, I’d grimace and chug down the flat lemon-lime glucola, have my blood drawn and life would go on. That was, until I got a call from the nurse.

“Your blood test results were high, you need to come back in for the 3 hour test.”

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MERCURY IN RETROGRADE

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No, the camera wasn’t crappy. This is actually what my screen looked like. RIP.

You know that the small planet is making its backward trek across the sky as soon as your sturdy and trusty MacBook Pro sings its last hurrah. It somehow survived a toddler this long. Stickers, screws loose, power cord frayed, encounters with water, and many hours of Thomas the Train, but this is the day it decides to never boot again once and for all (although the water may have contributed to your demise, let’s be honest).

Now to get through the witching hour and the slow approach of the work week as I wonder whether or not to continue my love/hate relationship with Apple computers. Is my distaste for Windows 10 enough to justify the cost? Maybe…

Time to change another blown out diaper and nurse continuously until bedtime. I think I have Mercury to thank.

Or may I just need something to blame it all on besides my poor husband.

xoxo

Kevlyn

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MY HIGH SCHOOL REUNION || 10 YEARS

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This week I attended my high school reunion. It also happened to be the hottest day of the year in Portland at a sweltering 101 degrees. I’m not sure if my brain started to get fuzzy from the wine, marathon social interaction, dehydration or a combination of all of the above. But when beads of sweat are dripping from your entire body as you try and navigate relationships from your past, you just got to go with the flow.

I think I need to preface my experience with a short explanation of St. Mary’s Academy (or SMA, as we affectionally call it). As you can probably tell by the name, it was a Catholic college prep school. It was relatively small with about 150 girls in my class. Oh yeah, and it was all girls. Yes, I am the proud product of an all-girl’s catholic prep school. Do I get a badge or something?

SMA was a unique experience and I definitely wouldn’t change it for the world. There are, of course, the misconceptions of what it is like that one needs to answer every time your high school days come up. “No we didn’t have a uniform unless you count sweatpants, and no everyone wasn’t a lesbian”. If anything the school was challenging and pushed us all to become powerful female leaders. But besides all that, my favorite part was the lifetime friendships that I made and the fact that we are all still close to this day. I am happy to be apart of this tribe of women.

 

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I didn’t have exceedingly high expectations going in to the reunion, although I was more stressed out and anxious than I thought I was going to be. Partly because I have literally no clothes that fit me right now, I’m breastfeeding, and my hormones are still up and down. But it turned out all right like most everything does, with the exception of the temperature, and I ended up having a great time. Sitting on the periphery and looking around you could see that some people lost weight, some gained, (ahm…myself included), everyone now knows how to do their make-up, and there is one or two people that you swear you have never seen in your life. So all in all a pretty typical high school reunion.

Major milestones in our lives sometimes not only mark the next chapter but guide us to the small memories we have bookmarked back in the far reaches of our brain. Personally, I know when I saw that invitation and realized it had been 10 years since high school I was a little shocked. It seems like it was only yesterday that I walked in though the doors and like any teenager, probably started complaining about something.

I think what surprised me the most was that confronted with the past I was able to see my own personal growth. I am in some ways still the exact same person, painfully introverted, but now I know that is who I am. So in a way I am at peace with it and no longer have the teenage angst surrounding how I feel in a big group of people or during conversation. There is this idea when you are young that one day you will find yourself and who you really are, but now most of the way through my 20’s I know that everyone is just constantly evolving.

Sometimes in the slough through life we are just trying to get through the day (especially with kids) and we never take time to reflect on how far we have come, both professionally and with family. I’m not sure what my answer would have been at 18 if you would have asked, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”, but I think I would have been very pleased with the actual outcome.

 

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So here’s to 10 years 2006!

xoxo,

Kevlyn

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LONG TIME NO SEE

I almost don’t know how to start this blog. I feel embarrassed (even if it’s unwarranted). I keep asking myself why it is so hard to keep consistently producing content. My last post was literally 6 months ago and then only a link to my YouTube channel. The channel faired a little bit better as I was able to keep making videos until about 2 months ago (You can check out some of the more recent videos: Andromeda’s Totoro Themed Birthday party HERE or Karl’s attempt to do my make-up HERE). But even that has tapered down to nothing and it’s difficult to not be hard on myself.

And then I remember, I JUST HAD A F**KING BABY. Why do I keep comparing myself to all these people that do this for a living? They pitch their lifestyle in daily vlogs or perfectly posed pictures done with a $$$ camera or professional photographer. Why, oh why, do I keep comparing myself to them? I hate the current trend with obsession of personality which is why I deleted my Facebook. Your brand is a narcissistic reflection of you. I think I’m so annoyed by it because its so hard to avoid being drawn into it. Human nature is a bitch.

Big Sis meets Little Sis
Big Sis meets Little Sis

Let me give myself some real talk for a second…. You have a two year old whirlwind of a toddler. You have a new 8 week old baby girl. You are exclusively breastfeeding and it is HARD. You are only just starting to get into a routine and your husband just went back to work so you are all by yourself. In three short weeks you are going back to your full time job as an engineer who is the breadwinner of her family. So you can’t be the coolest blogger/youtuber/guru ever. GET OVER IT.

It’s ok to be average and not a special snowflake. In fact, more people should probably embrace it. They would be a lot happier.

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So honestly I don’t really know the point of this post or what the future of the blog is. I want to continue it I really do, but at the same time I have a life crammed completely full and I want to be present for all the ups and downs of that as well. I don’t really know if I have any goals, and I don’t know if I want to set any. I think my favorite thing about blogging or making youtube videos is the chance to look back on that fleeting moment in my life, and I have to remember that when I feel the pressure to conform or perform. But I think I like those memories so much that it’s so hard not to try and pick up the baton again.

I guess I just wanted to get my thoughts down on the page, or in the cloud, or whatever. It has been hard to find my niche when I am still trying to find myself. I hope to post my thoughts or glimpses of my life here. Maybe every other week. Maybe once a month. We’ll see.

xoxo,
Kevlyn

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