Tag Archives: external cephalic version

The Good and The Bad

I have started to write this post a number of times and then deleted what I’ve written or just plain clicked off the tab in frustration.

Firstly, I suppose I should report that the ECV was successful. It wasn’t terribly painful and it didn’t take too long. I went home feeling quite positive, if a little spaced-out from the muscle relaxant. The husband and I were chatting about ways to start encouraging the baby out (before it decides to flip around again) when the phone rang. It was my GP with the very bad news that the swab they had taken in the hospital last week had come back positive for group b strep.

Goodbye home birth.

Goodbye birth in the midwife led unit.

Goodbye water birth.

Goodbye staying at home for as long as possible.

Goodbye six hour discharge.

Goodbye to the possibility of getting a membrane sweep to help moves things along.

Goodbye any modicum of control I had over this process.

I am absolutely gutted. I can just see this birth turning into everything that I don’t want it to be. I’m tired from days and days of erratic pains. I’m frustrated, I’m fed up and I just want it over and done with. I had a midwife appointment today and I asked if she would do a sweep and she said no. I keep thinking the longer this goes on the longer I have to get worked and annoyed about it. The one hospital birth I had was awful, I don’t want to go there again. Plus I feel like I’m getting a whole heap of guilt piled on top of me because my mother has been present at all my previous births but the hospital has a 1 birth companion policy so I have to choose between her and my husband. I love my husband but I’m not sure how great he’s going to be at supporting me through this on his own, but I can’t deny him being there at the birth of his child.

I had a feeling from the start that I just wasn’t going to get a home birth but I didn’t anticipate it turning out this way.

No Change

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to make up my mind about whether or not to go for the external cephalic version. I’ve googled endlessly, I’ve posted on countless forums asking people for their experience, I’ve tried all the positions on spinning babies (including lying upside down on an ironing board, that was…. fun) but finally I made up my mind and decided that if ¬†baby was still breech I would give ECV a go.

Yesterday we were due back at the hospital for the repeat scan. The husband booked the day off work, we arranged a babysitter to look after the two little ones and I felt sick with nerves at the thought of it. I slept really badly on Thursday night and had endless stress dreams (including one where I was Sansa Stark and I was desperately trying to find someone that I could borrow ¬£5 from to buy some chicken soup from Marks & Spencer for King Joffrey or he’d kill me).

We arrived at the clinic and didn’t have to wait too long before we were ushered into the examination room. The doctor did a quick palpation of my stomach and couldn’t determine the position from that so they did an ultrasound. As expected baby was still breech, but the unexpected thing was that they weren’t going to perform the ECV yesterday, instead they want me to come back on the 18th because they won’t do the ECV before 37 weeks (I was 36+2 yesterday) and they want to do it on a day when my consultant is on duty on the labour ward. So I have to wait till 37+5.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I had psyched myself up for getting the procedure done yesterday, I had scheduled my next midwife appointment around it, hoping that I would have an answer about the baby’s position and whether or not we’d proceed with the home birth plans. But it’s all still up in the air. I suppose on the one hand it gives the baby more time to turn on its own, but it’s also a pain that I don’t have any answers yet, the husband has to book another day off work and the baby has time to get bigger, maybe too big to turn.

In the meantime I’ll just have to keep this up

‘Bustion some moves

I ended up making a little trip to the Fetal Assessment Unit yesterday. My back was aching and my abdomen was aching. It wasn’t like contractions, it was like period pain, sort of continuous but it just didn’t feel right so I thought it was best to get checked out.

They put the baby on CTG monitor, did a VE and finally did an ultrasound scan. The conclusion? I was not in early labour (phew) but I was the proud of owner of one still stubbornly breech baby who decided to notch the excitement up a bit by lying on a nerve, thereby causing the back pain.

I got to have a nice chat with the same junior doctor I had seen at the last antenatal clinic (lovely, lovely woman, with a fantastic bedside manner even though, alarmingly, she looks all of about 15 years old). I told her that I was due back to the consultant clinic next Friday for a presentation scan, and she told me that if the baby continued to be breech they’d probably attempt external cephalic version there and then. She didn’t seem very optimistic about it though.

I started to panic a little. I’m not scared of having a c-section as such, the operation itself doesn’t frighten me. It’s the recovery that worries me, because I have two very demanding little ones as it is and I can’t imagine them suddenly deciding to cut me some slack because I’ve had major abdominal surgery.

I talked to a few people and did a bit of reading online and decided that I’d give moxibustion a go. I made an appointment at my local Chinese medical centre and set off this afternoon to have some mugwort burnt near my toes. The acupuncturist was very nice. She reckons my energy is low and I should be eating more meat (I’ll admit I’m not a vegetarian but I don’t actually eat much meat at all, and tend to eat a lot more fish than red meat). She told me to expect the baby to be very active during and after the procedure.

I had a few nudges but other than that, zip, zilch, nada. There were no dramatic flippings-over. I think this little one is too comfy where it is.

I’m supposed to go back tomorrow for a repeat treatment but I’m kind of hoping that overnight, maybe when I’m fast asleep, it’ll decide to make the turn. I’m not feeling hugely optimistic about it though.


Sorry I didn’t update after the appointment on Friday. I was having a bit of a bad day.

So… the appointment went well, insofar as there are no reasons to that they would advise against me having a homebirth except BABY HAS TURNED BREECH AGAIN!!!!!

Gah!!! I sort of suspected as much as I sat in the waiting room, but I really hoped I was wrong and all those kicks I was feeling on my cervix were actually punches as the baby practised its kung fu moves. No such luck.

At least the consultant was nice and positive about it (I like her, she’s very friendly and very approachable). She believes there is still loads of time for the baby to turn, and if it doesn’t turn by the time they see me again (in 3 weeks) she will try and do external cephalic version. I found out at the weekend from my mum that apparently I had to be turned at 37 weeks, so maybe it’s a fourth baby thing? Maybe the other three have just stretched out my uterus like an old duffle bag so there’s loads of room to just keep spinning.

I hope the baby turns on its own before it reaches the point of ECV though, it just looks ODD (obviously this isn’t me in the video, it’s just a random one I found on youtube).

So in the meantime I have to go back and see the midwives at 36 weeks and ask them ever so nicely to get the ball rolling over organising a care rota and the delivery of equipment to my house, under the assumption that the baby WILL turn.

If it has room. Right now I think my bump is in danger of exploding.

I’m just going to take a moment to explain the presence of a bottle of cola in my bathroom. Someone told me that cola is excellent for cleaning toilets in place of harsh chemicals. I’d like to state that is not true, come back Toilet Duck, all is forgiven.