Both of my children have so far been born with nuchal hands, a type of compound presentation (head + other part, such as arm, hand, or elbow). When it occurred the first time, at the birth of my son, I really didn’t think much about it. I luckily avoided tearing, which seems to be more common during a compound presentation.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, we ended up having several ultrasounds after the screening scan due to a possible heart problem. During several of the scans, I noticed that she was holding one of her hands up by her head. During those scans, I was silently wondering to myself whether my daughter would come out with hand-on-head, just like her brother. But I pushed it out of my head, and I never verbally brought it up to my midwife or husband.
At J’s birth, dilation in the later stages of labor was very slow. I was surprised that this birth wasn’t really going much faster than my first. (First was about 24 hours, second was about 19 hours. I was sort of expecting things to move more quickly the second time around.) Transition lasted quite some time. SROM happened sometime close to transition. When J finally joined us, she came out in one furious push or two, very quickly at the end. No tears this time either, despite the presentation. The first thing the midwife said was something like, “Oh! No wonder she was taking so long! She’s coming out with her hand along her head!” Then Arp says, in a voice of comical chastisement, “Oh! M did that too!” (Luckily, no tearing again, despite the compound presentation!)
What is the chance that baby #3 will be compound too? As a pregnant woman, I like to obsess a lot, and this question has been on my mind a lot. I’m not planning to have any ultrasounds this pregnancy, so I’ll have no clues like I did with J. Although I am reading that some women feel the fingers tickling down below in late pregnancy (I noticed this a lot with J, though I didn’t think anything of it at the time). I asked my current midwife about this, and she sort of laughed it off. But part of me wonders if I am just destined to have children with hands-on-head.