The details of my experience at the acupuncture clinic will be kept to a minimum to honor privacy and spirit.
By way of general information, my acupuncturist is also a Sangoma in training (if not a Sangoma by now). He had just returned from time in Swaziland and was in full effect. He is already a remarkably talented healer (remember that I almost passed out from the thrill of his treatment trying to induce my labor), and is in the process of expanding his realm of skills. Infinitely.
When I appeared at the clinic, still trembling and greasy from the unsuccessful version attempt, I was a slow boat on my way to Port Cesaria. Moving slowly, reluctantly, but too big and with too much momentum to stop short. I floated forward.
I was already wearing my blue and white to summon Yemaya. He brought me into a room to set me up for treatment. He called out both to Yemaya and Ochun. They did what they could, what was right for me. I am grateful to all of them.
The rest of the treatment consisted of burning moxa on my little toes. Moxa is a mugwort-based herb that is used for many different purposes in acupuncture, with specifically documented and scientifically proven cases of being able to turn breech babies when used in this way. We were optimistic. Anything could happen (though the chances of success would have been much higher had we attempted these manipulations earlier, before Selah was so "beefy" as the doctor had put it).
I left with blisters on my toes where he had burned the shit out of them (again, this pain and the pain of the version are nothing, of absolutely no consequence), and smelling vaguely of a college dorm room. I called the hospital to confirm the scheduling of my Cesarean delivery of Selah the following morning at 10:00 am. A miracle could happen overnight, it could.
Ayano and I had lunch at the Tibetan spot in Central Square, the last quiet time for just the two of us. My hands were still shaky, from both the terbutaline and the fact that I hadn't eaten all day, so we savored the meal together in kind of a thick and exhausted yet satisfied silence.
Once I got home Ayano set up a door that we had taken off the hinges and I lay on a decline, feet high in the air, as he burned moxa by my throbbing pinkie toes. In preparation for not eating hospital food I cooked myself a giant pot of seaweed soup with brown rice, and baked a cake from scratch made with oat flour and cocoa. I compiled a list of groceries/amenities that I anticipated needing (real cranberry juice to avoid urinary tract infections from the catheter, coconut water to rehydrate and replenish, some Guinness to help with milk production) and sent an email asking our dear friends to light their candles and offer thoughts and energy for the next twenty-four hours.
My mindstate was to Do What Needs To Be Done. While this was necessary on one hand, on the other hand it is the area where I feel like I failed. People say to me, "yeah, this didn't go the way you wanted it to go, did it." That's pretty insulting and patronizing, even though whoever said it I'm sure thought that they were being understanding. Makes me feel like an egomaniac. It's not so much that it didn't go "how I wanted" that felt bad. It was more that I probably could have waited another day, or through the weekend. I could have made a choice to be more patient, less swayed by Urgent Medical Nature of the situation projected upon me. I could have trusted my body more. I could have trusted my baby more. She may have turned. I may have been able to give birth in a way that was empowering and transformative. But I didn't feel like I could wait, lest "something happen to the baby." So I didn't wait. And something happened to me.