a lil’ BCT and moxa

December 4, 2008

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At our previous doctor appointment, the week before Thanksgiving, the doppler found Baby’s heartbeat loud and clear—way above the bellybutton, almost near my mole. Our doctor leaned over and spoke to my belly: “Come on little guy, we don’t want to hear that up there! Please flip around for us, soon!”

Ever since, we’ve been thinking about the possibility of a Caesarean, which is scary, although there are several wonderful, strong woman in my life who have handled C-sections just fine. In the meantime, we are doing what we can to make Baby unbreech himself. We call it “Baby Coaxing Time,” or BCT.

My pelvic area has thus been receiving a lot of attention lately. We shine a soft flashlight on the target, we nestle little speakers playing Christmas at Luther against my pajama pants, Marshall reads board books and makes animal noises at my pubic line. (Which makes me belly-laugh like Santa Claus, which I’m not sure helps or harms the process.) All in the name of getting Baby to flip head-down. I admit, we’ve only had a couple official BCTs, but I try to play music down there as often as I can.

I also heard via my mom about acupuncture treatments for breech babies. I went to an acupuncturist a couple of days ago. She tapped two itty bitty needles in my pinky toes, and then performed moxabustion—holding an incense stick that reminded me of a smokeless cigar, which is actually burning mugwort, held an inch or two away from the needle (bladder point 67) in my toe. Baby started wiggling around almost immediately! According to my acupuncturist, Western medical research admits that moxa does affect fetal activity, but they don’t know why. Chinese medicine offers the reason that moxa stimulates blood-flow and energy to the uterus. Hearts are biologically warm organs, so that could be why breech babies prefer to nestle their heads up there. The idea is to warm up the uterus so that they don’t have to get so cozy under mama’s ribs.

Now, I am not a complete embracer of Chinese and alternative medicine, but neither am I completely trusting of Western medicine. Their approaches are so different—preventive and holistic versus prescriptive and diagnostic. As I learn more about my body in my 20s, I am coming to understand how both approaches are important and valid.

So, the next day, we had a doctor’s appointment, and the heartbeat was found a little under the bellybutton this time, and both the doctor and I felt less lumps under my ribs and more firmness below. She is a family practitioner, and didn’t want to claim that “this is the head, this is the butt,” so we’re going in for an ultrasound on Monday to see where this babe is. In the meantime I’m going to schedule another moxa appointment on Tuesday in case he hasn’t flipped. (It can take five to seven days for a baby to flip from treatment like that, and especially as I approach full-term, there’s less room for him to move. There’s no guarantee this will work, but I am willing to try anything, and there’s no harm in any of this. If he’s still breech, I might have to schedule an external version, where an OB literally pushes around on my belly to scoot the butt up and the head down. It doesn’t sound very comfortable, and has a wild, wide percentage rate of effectiveness!!)

Please send thoughts and prayers our way, as I know many of you are already doing. We are excited and hopeful no matter what delivery method we end up with.

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2 Responses to “a lil’ BCT and moxa”

  1. Brenna said

    Every single one of my nephews has been breech. Of course, it’s not that they wouldn’t turn, but that they COULDN’T, because of how Kari is shaped inside. Hope the little guy turns right side down!

  2. Angie said

    It is so good to hear how you are doing. I’m sorry it’s not better news. Hopefully the little guy will flip himself around and you’ll have an easy labor and delivery! I’ll be praying for you! Miss you tons!

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