Captain’s Log Week 36: Extreme Measures

This past week, with the arrival of the New Year, we can finally see Wish’s due date on our wall calendar. It’s getting close. Real close. With that realization, it’s finally hitting us that we really need to finish up our todo list before this kid is here. First up: Getting the nursery / office in shape.

When we bought our house, the idea of kids seemed so incredibly far down the road that we thought a two bedroom home would be fine. Three years later, we are both working from home where a dedicated home office is kind of mandatory. Strictly speaking, a nursery isn’t necessary right away, but we really want to have a place where we can keep Wish’s stuff — a place that can be her own as she gets older. Until we’re able to find a solution for an office outside of the house, we’re going to have to make the space work for the both things. That that means a lot of work getting things set up to best accomodate both uses. Here’s a slightly embarrassing look at the office / nursery, circa two weeks ago.

Apologies for the weirdness in the lower left corner of the photo. This was taken with a panoramic iPhone app that didn’t quite match everything up perfectly at that point. Regardless, you can see that up until a few weeks ago things were looking pretty bad. This past weekend January took an entire day, tore it all down, threw away a lot of unnecessary stuff, and with a little help from IKEA were able to utilize the space a little better for both work and baby nap time.

It’s a pretty big improvement. We’ve also emptied out the closet and built in some custom shelves along with a baby changing station. January has a few other things she wants to do to finish it off, like adding curtains, setting up little bookshelves, and hanging pictures, but it’s already looking a million times better.

The other major thing that we’ve been focusing on in preparation for Wish’s birth is getting this baby flipped out of her current breech position. We’ve tried everything — and I mean everything. It has started off with the obvious solutions suggested by our doula; Whenever we feel the baby moving at night, we will get an ice pack and a heating pad and place them strategically on January’s belly: cold at the top, and heat at the bottom. This usually does get her moving a bit, but so far she has always returned to her original position, head up, legs across the belly.

While we’ve continued to do that, January has also been going to a chiropractor several times a week who has been performing the Webster technique with the hope of encouraging the baby to flip over. While it hasn’t been successful so far, it has definitely helped increase Wish’s movement, and also helped ease some of January’s shoulder and back pain. Next week is the final week in January’s prescribed regimen of appointments, so we’re holding out hope that continued work in the area will help.

Now that we have a nice uncluttered space to sit in, January has started doing yoga in the evenings to both strengthen and get ready for the birth, as well as to loosen up and give the baby more room to turn around. This has also helped increase the movement January’s felt and yet, Wish remains unturned. This has caused us to resort to extreme measures. Extremely weird measures.

What you’re looking at are smokeless moxa sticks, used in the ancient Chinese art of moxibustion. Moxibustion has been known to have a 70% success rate in helping move babies out of a breech position and a 100% success rate in weirding me out. Our doula and hypnobirthing coach both recommended we contact a local acupuncturist about the procedure, and he was kind enough to give us the sticks and explain how the process works. Apparently there is an energy channel connecting the uterus and the pinkie toe, and by lighting these moxa sticks and holding them by the tip of the pinkie toe, you can increase the flow of energy to the uterus, encouraging the baby to move. I hope you’re reading this with one eyebrow raised in a skeptical fashion, because my face has been frozen in that position since first hearing about it. And yet, with only weeks left to turn this baby around, we’ll try just about anything. So, twice a day, January and I are sitting down with these black sticks, lighting them on fire, and holding them close to her toes.

The things we do for our kids, am I right?

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