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Breech No More (courtesy of an ECV)

February 26, 2014

Yesterday morning I checked into Cedar’s for an ECV (external cephalic version), more commonly called a “version”. If you’re not familiar, it means a doctor or doctors manually rotate the baby from the outside. I wasn’t going to do it initially, but the risks are lower than a c-section and everyone thought I was a good candidate so I decided to go for it.
I was pretty okay until we got into the hospital room and I was told to put on a gown. The room was huge, meant for labor and delivery, but it scared me. I looked at Cyrus, “I change my mind. I don’t want to do this anymore. Who thought babies in the hospital was a good idea? They were wrong. It’s a terrible idea. Get Scotty to beam this baby out of me.”
Cyrus, ever helpful, said, “Scotty’s dead.”
Just then nurses came in to prep me, check me in, etc. I had to sit on the bed. Blech. Then I had to LAY on the bed. There were issues that slowed everything up- a broken computer, a broken blood pressure cuff, no orders from the doctor to start my i.v., all of which required 2 or 3 additional nurses and an administrator to come in and talk about it all. Did I mention that while all this was going on they were attaching me to the fetal monitor, leaving my gown up around my chest? No? It was.
We ended up switching to a “triage” room. It was the size of our bathroom, but at least everything worked.
There were a few more hiccups that weren’t so funny at the time but that make me chuckle now. The nursing student who told me that if you’d ever seen a c-section you’d never have one? Keep in mind that if the version didn’t work I’d need one. That was helpful.
Once the doctors came in things moved pretty fast. They gave me a shot of something to relax my uterus. Even though they’d warned me that it would make my heart pound, I wasn’t prepared for the sensation that I might die, pass out, or throw up at any second. Luckily it was over in about 1 minute. Then they drizzled warm mineral oil over my exposed stomach- that actually felt pretty nice- and went to work. First they tried to take him to the left. He wasn’t into it. So they went right. I looked once and saw how hard they were pushing. I decided to look at Cyrus instead and then BLAM! I felt what can only be described as something locking into place, shouted “woah!”, and everyone started clapping. It had worked! He was head down. I was shocked. The whole thing  took less than 5 minutes and was painless. I’d heard horror stories of how awful it would be, but that wasn’t my experience at all. His heart rate dipped for a second so they gave me some oxygen, which made it shoot back up. Everyone was happy, the baby and I were doing well and that was that. They watched me for a couple hours, everything was stable and stayed that way, so they sent us home.
I can’t believe I almost didn’t do it, it was so easy and quick and totally worth it. It’s not a guarantee, he could always turn back breech, but my chances of a cesarean are significantly lower.
A little note- I have a ton of amniotic fluid and we did it the day I became 36 weeks pregnant to raise the likelihood that it would work. Also, my doctor called today and said it was so successful because of my ability to tolerate discomfort. I disagree. It really wasn’t that bad.
*If this is something you are considering, talk to your doctor. It was the right choice for me, but may not be for everyone. I wanted to add my experience to what’s out there already because there seems to be a lot of fear mongering on the internet (shocking, I know). It wasn’t scary and I’d do it again if I had to.

I also wrote a little bit about my breech baby here.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2014 5:02 pm

    Wow! Good for you! May it all be smooth sailing from here on….

  2. February 26, 2014 7:29 pm

    You sound happy and relieved. Its contagious!

  3. Marcy permalink
    February 26, 2014 8:14 pm

    You’re beautiful, Clementine! Almost time to go! Best wishes…


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