Vertex Vortex

Ridiculously giddy.

That’s what this baby makes me.

And I have no real explanation for it.

I mean, look, I am big and pregnant and entrenched a bit in everything that comes with that.  I am so worn out by the time by kids finally crash.  The bath calls, and I answer, but almost fall asleep in it every night.   And oh, that moment of pulling my pregnant belly out of the deep, warm water and feeling gravity engage.  OOF!  I still wake up a handful of times at night to heft my belly out of bed and go pee.  The maternity support belt wedged under my womb is tre sexy.  My patience wax and wanes and when it wanes it’s a tornado unleashed.  Seriously, why do I even mop the floors?

I’m hungry and just want chocolate.  My face is its usually full and fat pregnant self, my eyes seemingly sinking deeper into the chub.  The heartburn creeps up now and again and I’ve puked a little in my mouth more than once.   I feel cervical twinges here and there, the little pinching reminder that my body is preparing for this baby’s exit.  I could live without the nigh sweats and post-apocalyptic dreams.  The larger thighs and ass I can handle but the double chin.  OMG the double chin (yes, that’s me you’ve caught staring into a mirror, pulling back the skin under my chin and imagining just a little nip/tuck).

Grimace courtesy of 30 extra lbs

But the truth is (and few want to hear it, but OH WELL):  I love this point in pregnancy.  I am not ready to be done.  I don’t loathe it or wish it to be gone.

36 weeks feels magical, like I’m levitating just a wee bit.  It is a place of transition, of wanting to stay here forever and revel in it but also of wanting to smell my newborn’s head.  It’s the Mystery that also gets me off.   Not knowing a single detail.  When, where, why, how, who.

Ocean Beach, San Diego


I chose to have a quickie ultrasound on Monday just to double check baby’s position.  I did this in my last pregnancy too, except I had a super swell tech come to my house to perform it.   This time, I went to an Ultrasound school because they are free.  I’ll be honest:  I wasn’t looking forward to it.   I got less-than-warm reception when I made the appointment and let them know that “No, I don’t have a midwife or Doctor’s order.  I am birthing unassisted”. The thought of entering any environment that was remotely “medical” and sterile was causing me anxiety.    And, I feared that they’d “accidentally” reveal the gender to me.

On the drive there, I held my hand to my belly and talked to baby.

“Baby, mama is going to have a quick ultrasound.  Be prepared for the waves;  I hope they don’t bother you.   It will be fast and swift, I promise.  Thank you for allowing me to do this.”

I waltzed in with my friend in tow and was greeted by an instructor.   Three students quietly shuffled in and lined up against the wall to watch, their blue scrubs contrasting against the white walls.

I blurted out congenially:  “I’m gonna make this easy on ya’ll.   I just want to know position.  Head down or not.  If breech, what position breech.  Nothing else.  No measurements, no gender, and I don’t even want to see the screen“.

The instructor grinned – a bit wide-eyed –  and said “Well, OK then!” and squirted the blue blob of gel on my belly.  I didn’t like the feel of the unnecessary paper blanket thing covering my fully clothed lower half.

I was waiting to hear the obvious:  “Frank breech”.

The students had sweet, stiff smiles plastered on their faces.

One pass of the ultrasound wand and he proclaims: “Vertex! And in a great position”.


“The head is here, the butt is here, and the legs curl around here.  Baby is looking to the right (LOT position).”

In a matter of 3 minutes, it’s done and they were kind as can be and it was FREE and I’m left standing there with my friend, reeling.

“How do you feel?”, she asks.

“I don’t know!…I guess I’m processing the way someone would process if they found out their baby was breech.  This is new territory for me!”

On the drive home, I call Jason “Honey, how would you feel about a head down baby?!”.

“Wow! Really? Well…it would be something new! We are up for anything”, resounds his voice on what also happens to be the occasion of our 7th wedding anniversary.


I spend the rest of the evening with my hand on baby’s bum (!!!), trying to memorize the position.   This baby still moves a ton.  Feels like it shifts from my left side to my left side numerous times a day.

And now, I keep wondering:  Was it worth it?

Because, the skeptic in me (which usually hibernates deep in its cave) still thinks:  Well, sure, it’s vertex for the MOMENT.  But things can change.  It could be breech at birth.  Or not.

I guess the reality is I don’t nessasariliy feel any more “settled” like I’d anticiated I would if baby was revealed to be breech.

Vertex.  Unknown territory.  A wild hair.  Puzzling.   Mildly scary (posterior labor?! hard head pressing down on cervix! crowning FIRST! a cone head!).

But then…VERTEX!  A water birth!  A soft fuzzy head to feel first.  Easier to catch myself.  No one to see the gender before me.   Perhaps a smoother, swifter labor.   Crowning FIRST but…then sweet relief when the body slithers out.


My heart tells me the remaining time of my pregnancy, along with this labor and birth, are going to just be mysterious and fun.

My hearts says to settle down in my nest, with my two little birdies, and lap up the memories.   Get cozy.   Be free.  Let loose.   Let go. Get over myself.  Shake it up.  Love a lot.

And so I will follow, with both of my chins flapping in the wind.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. I love how you mentioned you talked to your baby to give it a head’s up or in this case LOL “Heads down” :0)
    Love your matter of fact tone with a dash of Universal wonderment!

  2. That is the most adorable picture on the scale. Not a double-chin to be seen. You’re fabulous. xo

  3. Rixa says:

    Oh yes, that feeling of leaving gravity–which you hardly notice–and then entering it again at the end of the bath. We only have showers in this house, and how I miss my jacuzzi tub!

    So, vertex babe…for now…well birth is always an adventure and I hope this will be a great one too!

  4. luannemacy says:

    Oof! So interesting… a vertex birth. I would imagine once I’d done breech that vertex would be a piece of cake, no? Mentally, I can handle vertex better. But of course, I’m not you, and I haven’t delivered only breech babies. Wow, what adventure lies before you, my dear?

  5. mb says:

    in this moment, i savor the newness with you. how exciting to have experienced all you have in birth….this baby teasing you with something “else”. indeed, a mysterious and lovely little one sharing such an adventure with you.

    your baby is so perfect. choosing every little detail of it’s life and it’s arrival. wiser than all of us. finding the most perfect route in it’s journey to Mama’s arms.

    I love you Leigh.


  6. You are totally beautiful. 30 lbs is nothing! FWIW I do all of my nipping and tucking in Photoshop, lol.

    Everything else, mb said it better than I ever could.

    Love, love, love …

  7. brooke says:

    What a ride! Oh wow. I imagine your head spinning over this news. And how different it must be. Get ready for #3, whoever this baby is plans to turn things upside down in your house. Fun, fun, fun.
    Hugging you from here.

  8. Rebekah says:

    Feeling the strength of gravity as I stood up from the tub is something that stands out in my mind from the last pregnancy for some reason. It’s such a different feeling than when you’re not pregnant!

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