34 Weeks – Breech Presentation

After 2 weeks in Dubai, the doc wanted to see us again to check on my Amniotic Fluid levels, everything at the appointment was very positive, my weight gain was according to plan, baby’s heart rate was clear and strong, my blood pressure was normal and from palpating my tummy the doctor suggested that baby was now head down and doing well. Ahh, relief.

Doctor had asked us to get another scan done so that a colour doppler test could be done. Colour Doppler tests allow you to see how much blood is flowing to and from certain parts of the body. It’s a good indication that everything is working properly internally and can advise of any clots or issues that need to be addressed. I was asked to have one of these because of my low amniotic fluid; the doctor wanted to make sure there was no constriction around the cord affecting blood flow to the baby.

The good news is that all blood flow is normal, strong and regular. Phew. I am still on the low side where amniotic fluid is concerned. This time the sonographer did an AFI reading (Amniotic Fluid Index – measuring 4 pockets of amniotic fluid depth in 4 quarters of the womb). Our reading was 7cm, which is within range. Slightly on the low side, but still within the 5cm-25cm range.

The bad news is that baby is breech. I got so angry with the sonographer who, within 5 seconds of putting his transducer on my tummy, nonchalantly said “baby is breech”. We had just come from the doctor who had confirmed it was head down, so this was a shock. Mr Maternal asked him to check again and explained what the doctor had said, his quick response “nope, definitely breech”. Offering no more information or advise. I was beginning to get upset, both with being breech but also with the sonographers bedside manner, or lack thereof. Mr Maternal, seeing my anger rising, asked him “so what can be done?” His rash response “nothing now, probably have to have a C-section”. Does he not realise he’s dealing with emotional, hormonal women? He can’t just band about statements like that without wondering how it might impact his patient. Especially when I know it’s not true. My sister had her breech baby successfully turned by External Cephalic Version at 36 weeks. In addition, many breech babies can turn on their own right up until the 40th week. Still, at the time, I was shocked and upset and tears started to flow down my cheeks. The sonographer, apparently unaware of my emotional state continued on his crusade and said “oh, baby is small”. Again, Mr Materanl had to encourage more information from him…”too small, or just on the small side?”. “Well, the growth rate is fine, the baby is just a bit smaller than average”. Again, being ‘a bit smaller than average’ is not the end of the world or anything to worry to about so why is he saying such dramatic statements like “baby is small”. Ugh. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing.

Finally the scan ended, me red faced and in tears, Mr Maternal desperately concerned and the sonographer? Oh, he just handed me tissues (for the gel on my tummy, not the tears) and walked out. Great bedside manner. Thanks for seeing to my needs and asking me what I was upset about!!

Anyway, rant over. I am now getting myself in the Breech Tilt every day! I haven’t tried the cold peas but we do play music to the bottom of my uterus every night… enticing baby to turn head down! Who knows.

Watch this space…

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30 Week Scan

In India the doctor will send you for another scan at 30 weeks. I’m not exactly sure what they are looking for or checking on but it’s something they like to do. In the UK a pregnant lady would not be sent for a scan after their 20 week one, unless something was amiss or needed checking.

We had a different sonographer to usual, a man this time. He seemed friendly enough. That was until he said “mmm, you have slightly low amniotic fluid”. OK, so what does this mean, I asked. “Ask your doctor” was the response. I asked if it had anything to do with high sugar levels since I had had my glucose test recently. He said no and that I should just eat more protein.

When we left the hospital we called our midwife to mention it to her. Relaxed as ever she said that amniotic fluid fluctuates throughout pregnancy and unless it was desperately low there was nothing to worry about. She agreed that I should eat more protein and take rest, but so long as I could feel the baby moving as regularly as s/he had been there was no cause for concern.

Two weeks later we went to the doctor and she checked over our results from the scan. He eyes widened and she said “why didn’t you come to me earlier with this? Your amniotic fluid is REALLY low”. Of course I panicked. To give you some background, in the UK/US/Europe they mostly determine amniotic fluid levels by measuring the pockets of fluid in four areas around the baby, they add together these measurements, in cm and this gives an AFI (amniotic fluid index) which should be somewhere between 5cm-25cm. Mine was reading 2.8cm.

Low amniotic fluid can be a cause for concern for a few reasons; it can indicate there might be a problem with baby’s kidney function, it can lead to physical deformities like club foot as baby doesn’t have enough room to manoeuvre and it can cause complications during labour as the cord can become compressed depriving baby of much needed blood and oxygen.

The doctor questioned how I was feeling and weather or not baby had changed their moving pattern. On both counts I had positive responses. She prescribed me with amino acids to take in the form or a capsule twice a day and a sachet 3 times day. Advised that I lay out every 2 hours to ensure maximum blood flow to the baby and said I need to eat a high protein diet with lots and lots of fluids. I left the hospital feeling a little worried!

Once again we called the midwife and she was also pretty shocked by how low our AFI was, this of course worried us further! Luckily she was coming over the next day for ante-natal classes so we were able to chat in more detail. Lina measured my fundal heigh (the distance from pubic bone to the top of my uterus when lying on my back) and informed me that I was not too small for my gestation (as I had been told) but that I was on the small side. She also palpated my tummy and said that baby felt fine with plenty of room. Finally she sent my report to her colleague to see if there was something we were missing on the reading of 2.8cm. It turns out that many places in India measure a single pocket of fluid and if this is their means then the reading should be between 2cm and 5cm. Our report actually stated “Single Pocket Measuring 2.8cm”! Ahhh, we finally cracked it. Yes, I was mildly on the low side, but nothing so drastic as we had thought. Phew.

I’m happy to report that 3 weeks on baby is still squirming and worming frequently and I am sure he/she is coming along fine.

To read more about Low Amniotic Fluid or Oligohydramnious – Click here for Baby Centre’s take on the matter.

25 Weeks – Glucose Test

The results from my first blood test had shown that I had slightly high sugar levels, so at 25 weeks our doctor decided to send me for the “Glucose Test”. This consisted of me arriving at the hospital at 9am on a Monday morning, having fasted for 12 hours previously (I managed to sneak that Sunday night pizza in just in time!). I had a blood test and had to give a urine sample on arrival, after which I was asked to drink a very sweet and syrupy concoction which did not taste great. I was sent away for an hour and upon my return had to give blood and do another urine sample. I repeated this process again another hour later. Pretty boring morning as far as I’m concerned.

My results were ready by 6pm as usual and I was able to download them from the L.H. Hiranandani website which is very useful. Turns out my sugar levels after fasting were a touch high (still within ‘safe’ parameters, but still a touch high), however after the syrupy drink my levels were normal. This, the doctor told me, meant that when I don’t get little amounts of food often enough my body’s sugar levels rise, but that my insulin levels are sufficient to combat any sugar I do consume.

The most important news was that I did not have pregnancy diabetes and was therefore not going to be put on a strict pregnancy diet. I am to watch my sugar intake and ensure that I eat little amounts regularly.

Watch this space.

Shopping for Baby

One of the most popular questions that friends and family ask me is “can you get baby stuff in India”, at first this is what I thought too. I guess I hadn’t opened my eyes to what was available. Yes is the answer. There are plenty of place to buy baby essentials, baby clothes, baby accessories, nursery items and much more. Check back here regularly as I will update it as and when I find new places:

1. MOM & ME
These shops are all over Mumbai, the nearest one to Bandra-ites is on Waterfield Road. This particular store houses everything from maternity wear to baby essentials (baby grows, towels, nappies, muslins etc), to mum essentials (creams, pads, pumps etc) to heavy duty baby goods like prams, cots & car seats. Spread across three floors with exceptionally helpful staff you should be able to find most of what you need.
http://www.momandme.in/

2. MOTHERCARE
Mothercare is mostly found inside Shoppers Stop department stores in Mumbai and these are situated all over. There is one on Linking Road in Bandra, in Juhu, Andheri, Powai and down South. Each Mothercare carries different items, for instance not all of them do maternity wear (best to go to Juhu for this). Linking Road is great for changing mats, pumps, basic clothes, baths etc. Juhu and R-City (Powai) are great for car seats, prams, cots etc. You can call them up and ask which store houses the particular items you are looking for.
http://www.shoppersstop.com/index.jsp.vr

3. GOOD EARTH
Everyone’s favourite shop, I’m sure. Believe it or not Good Earth near Palladium has an upstairs room dedicated to creating the most beautiful nursery. We bought a lovely white wooden chest of drawers with three wicker baskets from there. The items are not cheap, there’s no denying that, but it you want to splash out, this is the place to come.
http://www.goodearth.in/ // +91 22 2495 1954

4. HOPPING BUNNIES
Hopping Bunnies is an on-line network of mums in the city. You can pay Rs3,000 per annum to be a member and this grants you access to their facebook site and the ‘groups’ – Mum’s will send around items that they are looking to purchase or looking to sell and you can respond accordingly. This is a great way of getting some second hand cheaper items. Furthermore HB organise play dates and coffee mornings for different age groups in different areas of the city. They will also arrange events for kids and families around the main festivals throughout the year.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/mumbaihoppingbunnies/?fref=ts

5. THE SHOP
The Shop on Ambedkar Road in Pali (just opposite Pali Village Cafe) has some beautiful pieces for new parents. Their clothes are very Indian, so would make a great gift for overseas friends with children. They also have a few pieces of dark wooden furniture, perfect for nurseries and bedrooms. Their rocking cot is especially grand and beautiful. Perhaps not hugely practical and pretty expensive too, but very lovely!
http://www.theshopindia.com/our-stores/

6. ON-LINE SHOPPING
I’m sure you have already done a quick search of all the on-line shops available. I have not availed of any of their services so I can not comment on whether or not they are good value or not, but is a list that might be of interest to you:
6a) Babyoye.com (http://www.babyoye.com/)
Everything you could wish for – feeding, changing, bathing, clothing, maternity, toys, clothes. Cash on delivery and free shipping on orders over Rs500
6b) Hopscotch (http://www.hopscotch.in/boutique)
An online shop offering you access to many different boutique brands from across the world including Ralph Lauren, Juicy Couture etc. They do only maternity wear and children’s wear from 0-5+ Well worth a look for all you yummy mummies.
6c) OLX (http://www.olx.in/for-babies-infants-cat-365)
A second hand online shop, similar to eBay, OLX provides you with an opportunity to look for second hand or used items in your area. The only problem with this is that you are unable to know the quality of the product before buying. Perhaps arrange a visit first.

Keep checking back here regularly as I update the site. Also check out my Maternity section as there are many other place to buy maternity clothes.