Snader men have a long history of doing things backwards. My brother Matt would be a good example. He writes books about his family’s adventures while living in Alaska (see here) and often times does things in a counter cultural way, like most Alaskans. Another example would be my great-grandpa Hahn who got drunk and drove his Model T through the Bollman Hat factory in Adamstown, PA because, well, who knows why? He got arrested and thrown in jail and soon found that he enjoyed jail more than living at home with his contentious wife. I don’t really consider him a role model. Little Baby Snader has found himself a little backwards as well. Now we’re not actually planning on calling him “Little Baby Snader” but his name is still top secret (If you want that info I need large sums of cash in small denominations). Little Baby Snader is in the womb upside down as we speak. And when I say upside down, I mean he’s backwards from where he’s supposed to be. So he’s right side up, which is actually upside down. I know this is confusing so I think the official midwifery term is “breech.” Breech is also what you call the chamber of a gun where the bullet is fired. So let’s think of it like putting a bullet in a gun backwards, it’s just not going to work very well. You want to get that thing turned around before you pull the trigger! So understandably the midwifes gave Janice some exercises and tricks to try to convince the little guy to change his ways before he tries to slide out feet first.
Now, I’m all for natural remedies and stuff. Penicillin is a natural remedy. In fact, aspirin comes from the bark of a tree, did you know that? Of course aspirin isn’t just ground up tree bark compressed into pills, I’m sure that they also pump the pills full of GMO’s and old tires. Regardless, my point is that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that since God designed the world, he also designed herbs and plants and things to help humans out. He gave us food, surely he gave us medicine too, right? So natural stuff is fine but sometimes some solutions are a little too supernatural for me. Like water witching; where you hold two sticks and when you’re over water, some mysterious force pulls the sticks together. I watched people do it and it works, even for water pipes, but it scientifically shouldn’t – and therein lies my problem with it. Along those lines, one of the official recommendations from the midwife to help turn the baby was some incense sticks.
“Have your husband hold these incense sticks under your big toe,” the midwife told Janice. “They stimulate a nerve that helps loosen muscles and help turn the baby around.” It seems that they got this “science” from some acupuncture philosophy and Eastern medicine. What the h…. No thank you!
It wasn’t all poppycock though. She also had some exercises for Janice. One of them requires Janice to lay on her back with her butt higher than her head for a certain period of time. We usually accomplish this by using the sofa and sofa cushions in the living room as props. The idea is that pressure’s taken off of the baby so it can slide out of the hip and has a chance to turn around. This whole process turns out to be a complicated routine. I don’t know how much experience you have with pregnant women but pregnant women in their third trimester are not that agile. It’s a little bit like performing an ice skating routine while twirling a manatee over your head. It’s involves a lot of arms and legs, cartwheeling, grunting, yelling, and laughing (the laughter comes mostly from the onlookers).
We also started sending Janice to the chiropractor to try and get some of the muscles around the hip loosened up. I was raised to believe that chiropractors are “quack doctors” (not literal duck doctors but rather practitioners of hocus-pocus) and are less qualified to work on people than horse doctors. I’m not sure where my family picked up all the cynicism from but I’m still slightly suspicious of people who claim to be able to solve your cold by sticking their elbow into your back and squishing your organs around. Of course, not all chiropractors are the same. There’s definitely some dubious characters out there. Janice, however, has a preferred local chiropractor she learned to know well while growing up. This particular chiropractor is a pilot and loves Alaska so I immediately began relaxing, noting the obvious signs of good character. Janice had got caught in a PTO shaft when she was 14 and it had ripped muscles in her shoulder and dislocated her arm. She visited the chiropractor quite often to help keep all those tendons, muscles, and squishy doodads where they should be and it helped her quite a bit. You can’t argue with success, I guess. Anyway, to me it makes logical sense that manipulating muscles around the womb may help the baby settle into place, so I’m game to try it. Plus, it’s cheaper than a horse doctor!
Janice had another ultrasound today to see if any progress was made. Despite performing our upside down routine several times day, and a visit to the quack doctor, Little Baby Snader is still backwards. The plan is to continue trying some of these exercises and in one week we’ll go to the hospital to have a consult with the physician to see if it’s even an option to manually turn the little guy. They have to check the umbilical cord length, the location of the placenta, the quantity of amniotic fluid, etc to make sure Little Baby Snader has the right clearances to do a flip. I’m glad somebody paid attention in school! It’s certainly a blessing to live in a time and place that has the technology to diagnose all these things.
The worst case scenario is that Janice will have to have a C-section. We obviously don’t prefer that so can you pray for us that this little guy flips around on his own? It could be worse than this. It’s not the end of the world but obviously it stresses us out a little bit, especially since shortly after our kiddo’s birth we’re planning on moving to Ohio and beginning our apprenticeship at MMS Aviation. Your prayers would be appreciated!