We discovered in our first ultrasound that the umbilical cord was to the side of the placenta, so our doctor wanted to monitor baby with more ultrasounds than usual. She was comfortable with us basically doing one more than usual towards the end of our pregnancy to make sure everything was okay before birth. We went for that ultrasound at 36 weeks, 2 days and baby was healthy…. however the ultrasound tech had some other news. What everyone had told me felt like the “bony butt” was actually the head! Our baby was breech… something I had heard a lot about from my pregnancy books, podcasts, etc. Because of having this knowledge, I knew exactly what that meant and also what our options were.
Our doctor is very factual and to the point, yet open and non-judgmental. She presented us with numbers about breech babies, what she usually recommends and details about the ECV- then told us to take our time making a decision. I already knew that I definitely wanted to attempt at ECV. Andrew was on board and we left the office with one scheduled in the hospital for the following week.
Immediately after, I proceeded to do all of the things that I detailed above until the procedure was scheduled. The odds of spontaneous flip at this point were low, but I felt it was worth trying everything even just to know I had done everything I could. Sometimes I think that can be enough of a benefit in and of itself with alternative treatments…. it can help with peace of mind, which should never be underestimated when it comes to full mind/body/spirit wellness.
As I mentioned, I felt like baby was in a different position beginning the afternoon before we were scheduled to go to the hospital. If anything, I thought he/she was transverse, but kept trying to visualize a head down baby and the picture I had conjured during my hypnosis session of the doctor saying- “baby is head down, you can go home now! see you when you go into labor!” In my vision, we would leave and go to lunch at one of our favorite cafes, looking forward to a later, spontaneous vaginal birth.
I also continued to be realistic, which helped the anxious side of me cope. We had our back up birth plan with our doula and my hospital bags packed (though we left them at home out of superstition!). We got to the hospital at 10 and checked into labor and delivery. Around 10:30 they brought me back and hooked me up to an IV, monitors to listen to baby’s heartbeat, my pulse, monitor for contractions, etc. As much as I hate IVs, I was happy to have one because I felt super dehydrated from not being able to eat or drink even water since the night before. The nurse said that based on where the heartbeat was coming from, baby was still head up. I was disappointed, but still really hopefully that the procedure would work.
An anesthesiologist was also present and came to speak to me about getting an epidural. I knew my doctor did not plan to use one for this procedure and told him that I would wait for my doctor to arrive. I also tried to keep an open mind and shift my perspective since I had never imagined getting one, but would have needed one if it turned into a C-section.
Our doula arrived at 11 and was a breath of fresh air in that tiny, silent hospital room. She distracted us by chatting about light topics like when we met and got married and massaged my feet with essential oils. I had already misted the room with a reiki healing herbal spray, and had my crystals and dried lavender next to my pillow. Let’s just say I wasn’t surprised when she told me she was shocked by how calm my pulse was on the monitor!
Finally, 2 hours after waiting hooked up to everything and trying to remain calm, my doctor, another physician and 2 nurses rushed into the room, running late from a previous surgery and ready to get started! It was a whirlwind to say the least and reminded me why it is important to practice breathing/remaining calm. They had the uterus numbing drugs ready to inject into me literally inches from my abdomen when they quickly checked baby’s position on an ultrasound to see where to begin the procedure. I felt the device on my pubic bone and head them say “there’s the head,” but couldn’t believe what was happening. How could that be the head? The nurse just said baby was still head up! “Are you sure?? “I asked! “Are you joking? “I couldn’t imagine doctors would joke about something like that but was in shock.
Sure enough, they were serious and my vision slowly came true. As fast as they rushed in, they pulled everything off me and rushed out, telling me they would see me when my water breaks in a few weeks. I felt the most intense rush of emotions and could barely move. I quickly dressed and we left and went to that cafe I had pictured us going to in my vision. As we walked in the door, I asked Andrew to pull of my hospital bracelets, the only physical evidence I now had that this dream like situation was actual reality.
Have you had a breech baby? What did you do? Share in the comments!
If you are reading this and have a breech baby currently, trust that your body and baby know what is best for you, it will all be okay no matter what happens and you will meet your beautiful baby before you know it! <3