External Version Day… Gulp!

I was pretty nervous last night, but today I had a strange calm. I woke up early to make sure we got to the hospital on time. Greg cooked a huge tasty breakfast and we were off.

Once we arrived the nurses showed me to my very own room which only increased my anxiety. I was expecting to be take in an examination room; having my own room was so “official”. I was given a gown and asked to strip down to my birthday suit (In case I needed to be rushed off for an emergency C-Section I’m assuming).

The triage nurse came in and hooked me up to the fetal monitor. After palpating my abdomen she said
“are you sure you’re here for an external version, it feels like baby is already head down.”
She got his heart tones below my navel and she felt really confident that he was vertex.

At this point DH and I were VERY happy! Our midwife was on her way so we sent a text with the exciting news.

Our triage nurse returned with the ultrasound machine and POPPED our happy bubble. Baby was NOT head down :/. Our midwife later told us that when using a doppler you can often find the heart tones in a broader range.

After being asked a few questions, and signing consent forms. Our triage nurse decided it was time to scare us to death. She explained the procedure by using words like extremely and painful … In that order, and telling me that most opt for an epidural.

Brenda (our midwife) arrived and we chatted for a while; DH wanted to pray before the doctor arrived, and we did ( it was very nice)

Our nurse came in and started an IV… In my hand! …big ouch! I immediately remember learning in our childbirth class that you should never let them put the IV in your hand during labor, because when you are gripping something during contractions etc it will HURT! (She was right… even though I wasn’t in labor I was in pain during the ECV and bracing myself).

Shortly after Dr. Bootstaylor arrived. Previous to this I had only met him once but now I can honestly say that he’s the Rock Star of bedside manner! He’s just so nice, welcoming and knowledgeable .

DH rattled off a few questions and Dr. B explained them thoroughly and put me at ease. He also said that he’s NEVER done a version that required an epidural, but has given oral pain meds to take the edge off.

The drug used during the ECV relaxes the uterus it’s called Tetrabuline. It was given to me sub-q with a tiny short needle in the back of my arm. Nothing like the IV needle! At the time I didn’t feel shaky or panicky which are side effects of the medication. They waited a few minutes then I was laid flat on my back, a quick ultrasound was done and Dr.B applied pressure to my lower abdomen to scoop LO’s tush up and away from my pelvis. This was uncomfortable because babies head was then pressed against my rib cage. During this process the nurse, my midwife and even DH assisted Dr. B. There where never more than 2 sets of hands on me at a time. It obviously takes a lot of muscle. The most progress occurred when DH was helping.

The Pain

Simply put…It hurt…it hurt a lot. It was painful and I don’t want to ever have to do it again. It’s weird but I felt most of my pain in my lower back. I believe, this is specific to me. I’ve notice extreme pain when I try to lay flat on my back these days. I honestly feel that if my back didn’t hurt so badly I’d describe the “pain” as being “uncomfortable”. It did sort of feel like I was getting an “Indian burn”at times, and I’m SURE I’ll bruise in some areas. During the procedure I became very HOT. I think it was because it was so hard to breathe, being flat on my back. When I get faint I usually get hot, weak, sweaty and short of breathe. I had DH fan me during, and my midwife applied a cool cloth to my forehead. I had my eyes closed and or clinched during most of it.

All this said to say LO is very comfy right where he is. That’s right, He. Didn’t. Turn 🙁 but at least we tried…4 times!!!

Now we are praying that he will turn on his own…but it is starting to become obvious that all we planned for over the past months may not happen. I’ve dreamed about and found much comfort in planning our home birth. To hear words like C-Section scares me. All the benefits of having a baby naturally, the release of bonding hormones etc may not be an option for me. I know a healthy baby at the end of this is what’s most important but I can’t help but feel down.

Please leave ANY questions in the comments below… I’m sure I’ve left some details out.

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4 Comments

  • bethany
    December 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I’m just so sorry, Raivon 🙁 There’s still room for a miracle. But then, your baby is already a miracle no matter how he comes out! Have they scheduled you for surgery yet?

    • Raivon
      December 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      That’s true he is already a miracle and we do believe there is still room for a miracle! My OB is ok with me having a breech vaginal delivery (at the hospital) if his bottom presents first. If his foot or cord comes first I would then have a C-Section.
      BUT we are staying focused on trusting in God 🙂

  • Wen Redmond
    April 24, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    what happened??- did you deliver breech?
    My daughter will go to Dr. Bootstaylor for both ECV & if that doesn’t work, a breech delivery. Her hospital doesn’t allow breech deliveries and she wants a shot at vaginal delivery. She is very nervous about both!

    • Raivon
      June 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      I’m so sorry I’m just seeing this comment its been a crazy couple of months. The ECV did not work and I ended up having a c section which went wonderfully. I actually only stayed in the hospital for 1 day. “my” pain was minimal. Dr. Bootstaylor was awesome! Did your daughter have her baby yet?