The whole time I was pregnant with Carter he was either breech or transverse. By the time we got to 34 weeks, the midwives started to get concerned. We tried everything to get him to turn. I mean everything! Chiropractic care, moxibustion, spinning babies techniques, Turn Your Breech Baby CD, acupuncture and acupressure. My midwife even tried a gentle version of an external cephalic version two or three times. Nothing worked. So we scheduled an external cephalic version for 37 weeks.
I was nervous about it since I had heard from many people that it was so painful. But I’d read a story from one woman who was studying hypnobabies who didn’t have such a hard time with it. So I decided to go into it with the expectation that it would be all right. The morning of the version I did a Fear Release session and I listened to the Turn Your Breech Baby CD.
We got to the hospital and checked into a room on the labor and delivery ward. The nurses were super nice. They hooked me up to monitor the baby. They use elastic straps that stretch across your belly and one measures contractions, the other measures the baby’s heart rate. I was having contractions that lasted 1 minute every 3 minutes! But I didn’t even feel most of them.
They took an ultrasound to confirm the position of Carter. They said he was transverse, which was better than the frank breech he had been lately. I was so hopeful!
They took my blood pressure and it was quite high. I asked them if I could do some relaxation and have them take it again. They just left the cuff on anyway and said it would automatically take it periodically. I laid back and listened to a Deepening track. The next time the cuff took my blood pressure it was down to a normal range. (I don’t recall the numbers now.)
Nurses kept coming in while I was doing Deepening to check the baby’s heart rate. I just used center switch if they had questions. I felt nice and relaxed and confident. After about an hour of monitoring, then started an IV. Now, that was a touch painful, but not too bad. I just stayed relaxed and focused on the Deepening track that I was listening to again. They gave me terbutaline to prevent contractions. I had been told that this drug made you feel really jittery. That worried me since even one cup of coffee leaves me feeling terrible. But again, I just concentrated on the feeling of confidence that I entered with. And I ended up not feeling all that bad after all. It wasn’t as bad as a big cup of coffee, though the jitteryness lasted for a couple of hours, until I got something to eat.
So then the doc came in. He didn’t get started until about a half hour or so later than scheduled since he had to attend a birth just down the hall. By the time he got there, Carter had flipped back around and was a complete breech. The doc wasted no time and got going. He tried to push him in one direction and it didn’t work, so he tried the other. The whole time he was doing it I was concentrating on relaxing all my abdominal muscles, like the Breech Baby CD directs you to do. The sensation was not painful at all. It wasn’t comfortable – I wouldn’t have wanted this done for half an hour – but it really didn’t hurt at all. After trying in the second direction, the doc said it wasn’t happening. I think he had tried about 3 or 4 minutes, tops, but time is funny in theses situations, so I’m not sure. I asked him if he would try one more time. This was my last hope to avoid a c-section! He was surprised I asked, but did try again. No luck. Carter wouldn’t budge from my pelvis.
As he was washing up, he told me that he was impressed with how well I’d handled it, he said most people don’t do so well. I told him that I thought perhaps he was just being gentle and he said he wasn’t. I think, from his tone of voice that he was implying that he was anything but gentle. After that they monitored me for about another hour, longer than usual because of the contractions I’d been having. I just lay there and talked to my husband planning what we were going to eat (I was starving!). They finally let us go and we went for some Asian food. For about three days afterwards I was a bit bruised where he’d been pushing. I guess he wasn’t gentle after all!
I chalk up my ability to be relaxed and confident going into the version to Hypnobabies and credit it with my ability to stay relaxed through the procedure. It gave me confidence that it would work for during my birthing time. Unfortunately, we ended up with a c-section, but it wasn’t all bad. The results – a happy, healthy, beautiful baby boy – were what mattered. I was happy to be able to say that I tried everything to get him to turn but that he just wasn’t supposed to.