External Cephalic Version. What it’s like and how it ended for me.

My pregnancy was going great (minus the everyday morning sickness for 9 months and having to live off of phenergan and zofran).  My baby was head down at 28 weeks and stayed that way until our 34 week appointment. At that point we weren’t too concerned because sometimes they just don’t flip till 37 weeks.  Well, two weeks later at my 36 week appointment I was two days away from being 37 weeks and my baby was still breech! (Yes, I did spinning babies exercises and visited with a chiropractor twice a week). I am not opposed to a c-section or vaginal birth luckily. My options are pretty open as long as I have a healthy baby boy to hold at the end! Anyways, we schedule my ECV for that Monday.  I had talked with my best friend and aunts who had, had the procedure done so I went in knowing it was not going to be comfortable at all.

Here’s what is nice to know about the ECV with all the details!

Your doctor should have you at the Labor and Delivery triage for your ECV. There’s a small chance but still a chance that you could go into labor DURING the ECV!  The nurses will go through all your paper work, give you an IV, and go through all the surgical steps of ‘just in case’.  Also, hook you up to a contraction counter and heart rate monitor for the baby.  When your doctor comes in she’ll do an ultrasound first. To check your fluid levels and be sure babe is still breech.  That goop they use at your appointments to check the heart rate, they will layer it on like a second skin for the procedure.  I was lucky to only have one doctor do this procedure on me, sometimes there is two doctors though.  They do give you (or at least they gave me) a shot of terbutaline to help relax your uterus and decrease your chances of going into labor during the process. The doctor will literally put all their weight and effort into moving your baby based off of his position. My baby is literally in a circle in my belly, head in my right rib cage circling around to toes in my left rib cage.  She first tried to make him do a ‘backward’ roll in my belly, he wouldn’t budge.  Then attempted to go forwards, moved a TINY bit then put himself to a hault.

Now, the most painful part was when he would not move for anything.  When he would go with the pressure it was completely uncomfortable but the real pain came when he was choosing to be stubborn.  So, what felt like an hour, was actually only 15-20 minutes of pushing.  My husband and Mom were there in case I did go into labor and they were able to get front row seats to the whole procedure.  Unfortunately, after all of that my baby did not flip.  We now have ultrasounds to keep up with his positioning and my fluids AND have a scheduled c-section date just in case he chooses not to flip on his own. Please note, just because I did not have success with this I do know people who have! I think it is a great route to take if you want to do a vaginal birth

Now, as I said I am not opposed to vaginal birth or a c-section.  I won’t lie at first I just wanted a c-section.  There was no way I was pushing out a baby but then I got pregnant and just realized whatever is safest and best for baby is what I wanted! I think those two months of saying c-section only is why this all happened, it’s my karma. lol. I am glad I gave the ECV a try though, yes it was SO PAINFUL that I couldn’t work that day or do a whole day of work the next day AND was given some bruises on my belly, but worth a shot for him to come on his own instead of planning it all out!

NOTE: SUBSTANTIAL pain and HIGH levels of being uncomfortable will come with this. Take off work that day and the next day. Ice your belly with a towel between the belly and ice, heat your back, and take a relaxing bath to calm your belly down! I lived on my couch that day and the next dayafterwards, and I like to think my pain tolerance is pretty above average!