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ECV Success

Posted by on in Breech Babies
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i posted last week about my breech baby who refused to cooperate with my
conservative methods to flip him. i tried webster technique, acupuncture,
pelvic tilts, and knee chest positions. i even tried a little bit of pulsatilla
20c. this afternoon was my ecv. i had my husband and doula there with me. it
was a long afternoon.

i started off the day a little stressed out with some time-sensitive errands.
my ob canceled our appointment at the last minute (38w appointment), because she
had a conference (that's another frustrating story). then my husband picked me
up from our house to carpool to the hospital. i didn't feel like eating much,
because i read from one of the ecv stories on hypnobabies that i shouldn't eat
so much to give the baby more room to move. and my appetite wasn't quite there.
i just listened to the breech baby track and then deepening.

we were on-time to the perinatologist. the ultrasound tech mapped out the baby
and measured his weight. he was 1/2 frank and 1/2 complete. what a funny baby!
that would explain why his kicks were in such weird places, always making me
guess where he is. the measurement was surprising since i measured small. he's
estimated to be 39th percentile and 7 lbs. that really dumbfounded all of us in
the room since i didn't gain too much weight, and i really thought he'd be 4-5
lbs. i was ecstatic that he wasn't so small since that's why i've been worried
for the last few weeks.

then i had the non-stress test done. the baby tried his best to get the
electrodes off of his head. he was so cute! then he gave up after 15 mins of
struggle. his activities looked great, so we met up with the perinatologist who
looked at the baby on ultrasound again. she explained to me gently that i had
about 2/3 chance to having this little guy flip. she encouraged visualization,
and i told her that i had that covered with my ipod. she seemed pleased, and i
was happy that she was already telling me to relax with visualization.

now this was the tough part. i was listening to the breech track when they set
up the iv line for the terbutaline in my left hand. i realized that i had to
quickly change over to deepening, because i needed anesthesia now! i started to
relax, but my hands were so cold and the veins weren't cooperating. they spasmed
as soon as the needle when into the tiny vein. the nurse who was quite
experienced stuck me 3x including my radial vein (if you know where this is, you
know it's not the most comfortable place). the sticks felt like they were
jabbing into my bones. i had a difficult time focusing and started to jump
whenever she took the needle out to change course. she got the perinatologist
to try in different spots. (the perinatologist typically does the tough iv
cases.) even she missed 3x further up the radial vein towards my elbow. i
thought it'd be less painful, but the pain was quite intense. it kind of felt
like somebody was breaking my arm. but i have to admit... i would've cried at
about the 2nd stick. i've had phlebotomists miss my vein before in my median
cubital veins, which are much easier to puncture than these tiny ones. and the
staff were trying really hard. so this was the hang-up.

the perinatologist told me that i can try the intramuscular injection, which is
less effective at smooth muscle relaxation. or i can return to labor & delivery
to have the anesthesiologist try and then proceed with ecv. she told me that i
can return if today's efforts didn't work with the first option. since she was
gracious enough to let a first-time mom try 2x, i wanted to go for it. and we
did spend a lot of time here already... with my listening to deepening and
breech tracks multiple times.

so i got the intramuscular terb injection, which did make my heart race. but as
i listened to the deepening track, my heart rate came down again. however, the
staff didn't want to start until they saw that my heart rate was over 100, which
indicated that my body was seeing its effect. so i had to switch my ipod to a
fast song so that my heart rate can catch up. hypnobabies was so effective in
lowering my heart rate! i was fighting 2 forces here - relaxation vs. fast
heart rate.

i was finally ready at 100-102 bpm. after my very last restroom break and a
quick prayer on the toilet, i was finally ready. i laid down, and i think they
allowed me to relax listening to the deepening and breech tracks. i was going
back and forth between the two. the ultrasound tech and perinatologist got into
their positions and lowered the head piece of the bed. my knees were propped up
to relax the belly. i got another glob of warm ultrasound gel. then i was
ready to go. i took some deep breaths in and out while listening to the tracks.
i felt the doctor cup the baby's butt with her left hand as she pushed down his
head in counterclockwise fashion. i felt him starting to move a little. i was
getting a little excited, but i made sure that i remained calm and relaxed. the
doctor was very gentle in her touch and used broad contact rather than digging
with her fingers.

it was just as other moms have described here. the move was very intense. i
felt the baby get stuck at one point when my uterus tightened. then i took a
big breath and felt the uterus muscle relax and melt as i expired. it was
amazing, because he completely flipped afterward. i heard the excitement in the
staff's voice even through the scripts. when i heard the perinatologist say,
"good boy!" i knew we were done. after some cheers, congrats, and many thanks
from us, we were off to another session of monitoring. he was fine and still
kicking. he was getting used to his new position.

i pray that he will stay head down since he's one active baby. the
perinatologist believes that he probably won't since it was definitely a tight
turn. and i even had hard time turning him with other methods. but definitely
no more inversions and poor posture. i think the baby's finally at peace with
his new position. in fact, i feel more his back now. so he's occiput anterior
so far. i will try my best to keep him this way until he's ready to come out.
i'm currently at 38w2d.

thank you all for your support and advice. the stories were absolutely
encouraging as people around me kept telling me how c-section wasn't that bad.
my aunt said that i was lucky that had a breech baby so that i have to get
c-section. i had a difficult time keeping me bop during the last few weeks. i
was glad that i was able to get encouraging advice from the moms here. i
honestly believe that the breech baby script helped my baby prepare for today's
procedure. thank you.

kaela
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