Pregnancy is such a roller-coaster ride! Each experience is different from the others, and no two will ever be alike. Having 4 littles, I can certainly attest to how different they can actually be with my last being the most surprising and unpredictable.
My last pregnancy had been pretty uneventful as far as pregnancies go. I had the regular morning sickness for 12 weeks or so, normal weight gain, some pelvic girdle pain, but no real issues……until the 3rd trimester.
During the last trimester of my last pregnancy, my midwife discovered that my little bean was breech, meaning her head was not down in the birth canal where it was suppose to be, but, instead it was under my left ribcage. Having had 3 previous vaginal births, the idea of having a C-section terrified me. I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent having one unless, of course, the safety of the baby made it necessary. We discussed my options, but since I still had several weeks to go, we decided to see if she would flip herself. She gave me several techniques to try at home to give her a little nudge.
So I came home and asked my dear friend, Google, for advice on turning a breech baby. I did everything. I’m sure my husband thought I had lost my mind when he came home to me lying in the living room floor with my very large 35 week pregnant belly stuck inside a swimming tube. You know, the ones that look like a big doughnut. I also tried to let gravity help by putting my head down on the floor and my legs on the couch. Not comfortable, but like I said, I was willing to try anything. I also read that if you shine a flashlight on your lower abdomen and play music, the baby will turn toward it out of curiosity. No such luck. Actually, it sounds kind of ridiculous when I say it out loud….Haha!
I went to the chiropractor who had already helped me with a few other issues such as pelvic girdle pain so I thought, “Why not?” He tried a technique called the Webster technique that I believe ended up helping in the end.
I went in for my next visit, and she was still very much breech. No change. No indication of change. Since all of my previous babies were born at 37 or 38 weeks, we knew time was not on our side. I asked about “flipping” the baby. The doctor came in and explained the procedure, thought I was a good candidate, and we scheduled a date. Simple enough.
So, the day came for my ECV. I had read up on it and watched some YouTube videos, so I thought I was prepared. I was expecting a quick in-and-out visit, but we ended up spending most of the day at the hospital.
We got checked in through admissions and were put in a room on the OB floor. The doctor came in and explained the procedure again, making sure he included the fact that these only worked about half of the time. We signed the consents, and then the real action got started.
I had changed into a gown, and the nurse came in, hooked me up on all of the monitors used to keep a check on me and baby. After a while went by, she came back in, started an IV, and we waited a while longer. The next time she came in, she started a series of injections called Terbutaline. This medication was to relax my uterus and make it easier to turn her around.
What I was not prepared for was the side effects of this medication! Woah! Talking about feeling like your skin is crawling. After the first injection, I started to tremor. I felt super nervous and hot. My heart was beating ninety to nothing. I felt sick at my stomach and my husband got me a basin to throw up in. Then, the nurse came back with the next injection, and it just increased the side effects. My heart rate had gotten up to about 185, so they decided not to do a third injection, but to start the procedure.
When the doctor came in, he literally felt of my big pregnant belly, placed his hands on her butt and her head/shoulder area, gave a little push, and there she went. A little gymnast, just like her big sisters. It was so easy. I never expected it to be that simple after how the rest of the day had gone, but I was amazed at the ease of it all. Nothing to it!
We had to stick around for a few more hours for monitoring, but we left, went and ate hamburgers (I hadn’t been able to eat all day) and headed home.
I went to work the next day just like normal, and went into labor that night. She stayed head-down (well, for the most part) and I was able to have her vaginally. I was so grateful!
That medication was the absolute worst part, no question. Would I do it again? Heck yea! Well, I won’t have to because I’m not having anymore babies, but I would definitely do it if faced with that decision again. I guess it’s just the fear of not knowing, but the thought of a C-section just scared me so much.
If you are reading this because your baby is breech, ask your provider if this is an option for you (if you are interested). Don’t let them tell you that a C-section is the only way. If a section is your thing, go for it! Just know that you have options.
Love & peace,