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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(x-posted from I'm Pregnant)<br><br>
I've tried everything else. The external version -- where they try to move the baby into head down position manually is scheduled for this week. What to expect?<br><br>
It isn't my first choice, but I'm running out of options.<br><br>
Tell me about yours -- did it hurt? Was the pain in waves, like contractions, or just intense? Did it hurt afterwards or just during the procedure?<br><br>
How long did it take?<br><br>
What medical interventions were used? Looks like they want to use a fetal monitor and a drug to prevent contractions on me. Any thoughts?<br><br>
Other side effects?<br><br>
And, of course... DID IT WORK!?!?!??!!?<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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My baby was in Frank breech (ie pike position) and it didn't work - she wouldn't bend her knees so she couldn't "get around the corner" so to speak. Frank breech has the lowest success rate for ECV.<br><br>
we tried 4 times. the first 2 were at a MW's house. I laid feet-up on a slant board so that gravity could assist, and we used hot cloths to relax my muscles. Doppler was used to monitor baby's heartrate frequently. Tocolytic drugs are not approved for use in Canada for ECV although some practitioners use them in the States... I was planning to refuse them if they were offered but it worked out it wasn't an option anyway. It was exceptionally uncomfortable, worse than labour, but I consider it worth it even though it didn't work.<br><br>
The 3rd attempt was the same MW but in a hospital setting. That was much more stressful - hospital staff all over the place having turf wars with the MW (the head nurse clearly felt she was supposed to "supervise" even though the MW has priviledges there and if I was in labour, no nursing staff would've been allowed in the room), and I was there for WAY longer because the standard of care for hospital ECV involved u/s to confirm position beforehand, then a baseline (20 min) NST, then doppler during the attempt, then another NST (it was an hour) afterwards. WAAAAAY too much u/s, and the hospital environment was very stressful.<br><br>
4th attempt was a different MW, in her office, much gentler, very little discomfort to speak of. again, doppler frequently to confirm baby not stressed.<br><br>
My baby never did turn. I'd do it all again in heartbeat if the alternative were surgery. But if I had a practitioner who would catch the baby, I probably wouldn't bother, or maybe I'd try once. With dd, I had a couple of OBs lined up who would've caught her if they'd been on call when I was birthing her, but I laboured on the wrong day, and the OB I encountered was't qualified to catch, so I ended up with surgery and all the long-term ramifications associated with a uterine scar. So in the same set of circumstances, I'd do my darndest to get her turned.
 

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Mine was done by an OB in the hospital. Frank breech. We had an appointment, but when I got there no one seemed to know who I was, and we waited three or four hours before the OB got there. My midwives said he had a really high rate of success.<br><br>
"Tell me about yours -- did it hurt? Was the pain in waves, like contractions, or just intense? Did it hurt afterwards or just during the procedure?"<br><br>
It hurt. I would say it was as bad as my transition contractions, though it didn't last as long, of course. It was really hard to relax my muscles during each push by the doctor. The pain was like sharp gas pains, where the doctor was pushing. (My dh said the doctor was making big dents in my belly with his hand.) I think, if I'd had a midwife who would do it, she would have been gentler. I kept having gas pains for a few hours afterwards, not too terrible, but certainly uncomfortable. The people in the waiting room afterwards (where I waited about an hour or so for a Rhogam shot) pretty obviously thought I was in labor.<br><br>
"How long did it take?"<br><br>
I really don't have much of an idea. We were there ALL day long (and we actually left to get dinner between the version and getting the Rhogam, since by that time it was 9 PM), but most of that was just waiting for the people to pay attention to us. The nurse kept saying she was going to go get one little thing and then she'd be gone for an hour.<br><br>
"What medical interventions were used? Looks like they want to use a fetal monitor and a drug to prevent contractions on me. Any thoughts?"<br><br>
They gave me Breathin, to relax my uterine muscles. I told them I wanted to try without it first, then they could give it if it didn't work, but they wouldn't try without it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: It made me feel really shaky, and made my heart rate and the baby's heart rate go up. I think Breathin is terbutaline - I've heard vague things now about terbutaline being bad, but I knew nothing about it then. If I had to do it again I'd skip the drug, one way or another. They also put two straps on my belly and had me lie on my back in bed for a good bit of the time - one strap for the baby's heart rate and one for contractions. And they did a quick ultrasound beforehand to make sure he was still head down, and another ultrasound on and off during the procedure.<br><br>
"Other side effects?"<br><br>
I kind of wonder if it sped up when my labor actually started. I think it was a week, maybe a week and a half afterwards that labor really kicked in - I felt like all the stretching and stress might have gotten me started sooner.<br><br>
"And, of course... DID IT WORK!?!?!??!!?"<br><br>
Nope. My ds would turn about halfway, and then not budge. They don't know why. He was pretty big by that time, and I think he might already have been engaged. Not sure. He just wanted to be head-up. I had tried just about everything to turn him before resorting to the version, too. And on top of it all they charged us $600 after insurance - I wanted my money back!<br><br>
The doctor wanted to schedule me for a c-section that evening before we left. He was at least fairly honest with me - he said he used to deliver breech babies all the time without giving it a second thought, but now it was too risky for HIM. He was afraid he'd be sued - he said if something goes wrong with a natural birth, the doctor can easily be sued, but with a c-section (even if the c-section causes the problems), he has the excuse that he was doing "all he could", so a lawsuit is less likely to stick. He couldn't recommend any doctors who do breech births any more either, just c-sections. I turned him down and started researching! And I found out, in the end, that c-section doesn't improve the baby's risk. Natural breech birth isn't a horrible danger. And c-section increases the mother's risk A LOT - not to mention the risk to any future children of miscarriage, placental abruption, all kinds of bad things.<br><br>
My midwives, at a free-standing birth center, weren't allowed by their insurance rules to attend my breech birth. No OBs in the city would talk to me, and at the time I couldn't find any homebirth midwives at all. But, luckily for my and my ds, one of my midwives mentioned the Farm, and I ended up driving there (5 hours in labor, but it was no problem, very relaxing actually) to have a beautiful, safe, natural breech birth. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I wouldn't have it any other way.<br><br>
So even if your version doesn't work, don't give up and think that a c-section is your only option! Do your own research to reassure yourself, and look around - someone somewhere is experience with breech and can help you. Try looking on the Finding Your Tribe forums for your area - I just found a while back that there ARE homebirth midwives in my area, that I had no idea about back when I was pregnant. (I didn't know about mothering.com back then, which is a pity - it would have been nice to have some support in my no-c-section plan from someone other than my dh! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: )<br><br>
Sorry this is long! If my next baby is breech, I don't know if I will try another version or not. The first one was a big waste of time, pain, and money, and I loved the way things went in the end. But at the time, all the trouble would have seemed worth it if he'd just turned. Dunno, maybe I'd try it with a midwife instead of an OB - someone who would be gentler. *shrug*<br><br>
Good luck!<br>
hapersmion
 

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I've never had a version, but I attended one for a doula client of mine a few weeks ago. It was a good experience for her so I'd like to share it.<br><br>
Tell me about yours -- did it hurt? Was the pain in waves, like contractions, or just intense? Did it hurt afterwards or just during the procedure?<br><br>
She felt no pain, didn't even know what the doctor had done until it was over. She did have a strong contraction the first time, but not painful, she hardly noticed it, but they still gave her terbutaline so that her uterus wouldn be soft. No pain afterwards either.<br><br>
How long did it take?<br>
In and out of the ultrasound where it was performed in less than 20 minutes, including the time to check baby's position and try once, give injection of terbutaline, wait for that to take effect, then turn baby. The actual version took about 2 minutes.<br><br><br>
What medical interventions were used? Looks like they want to use a fetal monitor and a drug to prevent contractions on me. Any thoughts?<br>
Ultrasound before version to determine position, then she had terbutaline to relax uterus, then ultrasound during the procedure and immediately afterwards, non-stress test for 90 minutes after test.<br><br>
Other side effects?<br>
The shot of terbutaline make my client shaky<br><br>
And, of course... DID IT WORK!?!?!??!!?<br>
Yep, at 37 weeks they were able to turn baby head down into LOA positon and he has stayed in that position. FWIW, the doctor who performed it loves doing them and does all the versions in her practice.
 

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IMO the key to a safe and successful version is a practioner who does it a lot and likes doing it, and has a good success rate. The MWs I worked with both have done hundreds of versions (career-long) and neither EVER had a problem with premature labour or any of the other reputed risks of the procedure.
 

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I had a version just about 2 weeks ago. I was 38 weeks 3 days and had just found out my baby was breech, so there wasn't a lot of time to try natural stuff first. It's my 3rd baby, and I was concerned I'd go into labor before it turned. (I'm 41 weeks today and still pregnant, but I didn't know that would happen, and I would have still been concerned about the size.)<br><br>
Mine was done by my midwives' backup OB at the hospital. Being in the Labor and Delivery floor of the hospital was a big pain, but it went great. Answering all the admission questions took forever, and they had to insert a hep lock (which they used to give Terbetuline to stop contractions right before the procedure), and then I had to wait for the OB to finish up a c-section before she came to me, so I was there forever, but in the end, it worked, so we were excited.<br><br>
My baby was in a footling position before it started. It had been in a complete breech position, but I got the butt out of there with the knee to chest position in the proceeding days. They did a strip on the fetal monitors for a few minutes when I first got there, and they did an ultrasound to check on the baby. When it was time to start the procedure, the OB spread baby oil all over my tummy to make it slippery. She gave me the Terb, and when it made my heartrate start to get high, she started. A resident grabbed the butt, and the OB grabbed the head. They got the baby to transverse, at which point the OB did a really quick (like 15 second) ultrasound with the machine that was up and running by my bed. Then the OB yelled, "Switch!", and the resident took the head while the OB took the butt, and they got it head down. They did another ultrasound, this one a bit longer, and then I did a strip on the fetal monitor for 20 minutes, walked and squatted for 30 minutes, and then did another fetal monitor strip for 20 more minutes. The actual version, from the time they grabbed the baby until it was head down, was about 3 minutes, maybe a bit less. My baby was really cooperative about moving. They were concerned because all estimates were that the baby was over 9 lbs at the time, but I had a lot of fluid, so that helped.<br><br>
The OB my midwives use as a backup is great. She says she's known as the VBAC queen at the hospital, and she does everything she can to keep people out of c-sections. (She does do some vaginal breeches, but the fact that my baby was footling disqualified me.) She said that most doctors mess up by starting to turn the head before they get the butt out of the way. She also said that sometimes you just have to have an epidural to get it to work well, especially if the baby is big and you're having a lot of contractions. I wouldn't start the process with an epidural, but she had convincing reasons, so I may have tried it if the version hadn't worked without it.
 

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I had one 7 years ago.<br><br>
It hurt like hell. It was in the hospital, lots of people, 4 pairs of hands on me, pushing my baby. I made the appt in the morning so I could then go straight to work. HA! I was so traumatized I had to go home and cry and rest.<br><br>
And no, it didn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update:<br><br>
It didn't work.<br><br>
It only hurt when they were trying to get the baby's butt out of my pelvis -- it was lodged in there, but they managed to "pop" it out a few times. But the baby refused to roll. The popping out part was quite painful, but not nearly as bad as labor contractions.<br><br>
The rest was just uncomfortable.<br><br>
It was much harder on me emotionally than physically, though. This was my last chance. Now it's a c-section for sure. I've looked around and I can't get anybody to deliver a breech baby vaginally. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chinaKat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8217018"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Update:<br><br>
It didn't work.<br><br>
It only hurt when they were trying to get the baby's butt out of my pelvis -- it was lodged in there, but they managed to "pop" it out a few times. But the baby refused to roll. The popping out part was quite painful, but not nearly as bad as labor contractions.<br><br>
The rest was just uncomfortable.<br><br>
It was much harder on me emotionally than physically, though. This was my last chance. Now it's a c-section for sure. I've looked around and I can't get anybody to deliver a breech baby vaginally. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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Oh sweetie I'm sorry. I know exactly where you're at right now.<br><br>
If you have the energy (and I know how defeated you're feeling right now and that you may just be ready to throw in the towel, BUT...), what I wish I had done was gone to the nursing station in the hospitals and asked the nurses which doctors on their staff were senior enough to catch a breech safely (I don't much care if they'll "agree" to do it, I only care that they're qualified - because then I flat-out refuse consent for c/s and force them to watch me catch). I had found 2 OBs through referrals but after the fact, I found out about 3 more. If I hadn't taken my MW's word when she said "there's nobody at that hospital who will do it", and actually done the homework myself, then maybe I would've found them. Maybe not. But it would be one less regret.<br><br>
For the c/s plan. One decision you'll want to make is if you're willing to schedule the c/s (they will want to schedule for 38-39 weeks, based on the *false* idea that you're at substatially increased risk for cord prolapse if your water breaks with the baby still on the inside, and breech babies tend to come earlier than vertex babies... obviously there's more to this, let me know if you want to know a bunch of the if-thens about cord prolapse risk with different kinds of breeches), or if you're going to insist on going into labour first. The latter is what I did... babies can and do turn right into labour (they're going to emphasize how low the odds are to persuade you to schedule - easier for them - but it DOES happen) and I wasn't going to have a c/s unless the baby was ready to come out and nobody was qualified to catch her.<br><br>
Myself, I drew the line at "elective c/s" which will never be part of my world unless there's previa or some other danger to labour itself. So I had an emergency c/s for unqualified obstetrician. don't let anybody tell you you're having c/s for breech, because breech doesn't warrant a c/s. PLEASE PLEASE REMEMBER THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, AND NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR BABY. I know they're all running around with their heads exploding about this, your practitioners are scared, and it's so hard not to be scared too. Don't let the situation damage your faith in your body or in birth. Your body, the baby, birthing, is not the problem. the c/s is for unqualified doctors. And that wasn't something I was willing to make "more convenient" for them by scheduling it and compromising my chances and my baby's chances of a spontaneous flip.<br><br>
I'm sending you huge huge hugs. I felt as if the joy of my 3rd trimester was stolen from me. Please try to just be with your baby, don't forget the little person in there who is part of this equasion, please take "time out" to enjoy your last few weeks with your little one on the inside.<br><br>
One thing I can tell you first hand though... you'll be OK hon. The whole thing sucks. BADLY. And it may take some time. But it WILL BE OK one way or another, sooner or later. That's not to minimize what you're going through right now, or what you'll be going through if the baby doesn't turn and you have surgery. I'm still, a year later, working my way out the other side and dealing with so much anger and so many regrets - I am not one to minimize this, at all. but you WILL be OK, you will love your baby, you will nurse your baby, you will heal.<br><br>
much love<br>
Robin
 

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It doesn't look like you need any more answers, but I had one, too.<br>
It wasn't successfull, and I went into labour and had a c-sec. that night.<br><br>
I'd do it again in a heartbeat, though, to avoid the c-section (the only option where I live other than UC).<br><br>
Have you tried spinning babies.com?? I've heard great things about it.<br><br>
good luck.<br>
g.
 

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I'm so sorry it didn't work. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I know how I felt after mine failed - I was about ready to give up, especially after a week or so of calling hospitals looking for doctors who'd do breech. It's really stressful and sad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
You have some really difficult decisions in front of you now, but remember that they're YOUR decisions, not the OBs'! Don't let them scare you into anything or make you feel like you have no alternatives. It's pretty obvious what I think is safest (since that's what I did) - staying far away from the hospital and finding an experienced midwife. But you have to make up your own mind, of course.<br><br>
If after research you do decide that a c-section isn't your safest option, I would suggest going to the Finding Your Tribe forum for your area and asking there for midwives to contact, if you haven't already (they might even know some OBs who'll do breech - that seems more risky to me, but YMMV). I recently found out there are homebirth midwives in my area by asking there, when even my birth center midwives didn't know about them when I was searching.<br><br>
And I don't know where you live, but I really recommend the Farm to anyone, especially if you can't find anyone in your area. They took me as a patient at the very, very end of my pregnancy (we ended up going for our first visit on the weekend and I had the baby there on Wednesday). We were five hours away, as the laboring woman drives. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But you don't have to drive down there in labor, of course - they have really nice little houses where you can stay while you wait for things to get started. There was a woman there from Florida when I was there. It's difficult to change all your plans and do research and make up your mind, especially when it seems like the entire medical community (and possibly family members too) is against you, but I wouldn't trade my natural breech birth for the world. My advice to you is: listen to the birth stories of women who've been where you are, like Robinna, look at the research that's out there (which indicates that c-section is NOT safer than natural breech birth, especially for you and any future children you may want to have), and do what YOU believe is best for you and your baby.<br><br>
Sorry if this sounds like a lecture - I'm actually trying to be encouraging, but I'm not the best with words...<br><br>
Lots of good luck and strength, whatever you decide!<br><br>
hapersmion<br><br>
(P.S. I agree with Robinna about not scheduling a c/s early. Especially if your baby's was engaged in the pelvis when they were trying the version, the risks of cord prolapse are not panic-worthy. And there are lots of studies showing that labor improves the baby's health, even if there is a c/s in the end. If we hadn't found the Farm, our tentative plan was to wait until labor, maybe even until pushing, to go to the hospital, then try to say NO to everything. That would have been really stressful, of course, and odds of avoiding a c/s would not have been good, but it was the best we could think of at the time.)
 
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