I’ve got lots to talk about, if I didn’t split this in two you’d be sitting here reading forever! That being said, here’s my story.
I’ve always dreamed and eventually planned on having a natural home birth. The idea of being able to feel every moment of birth, and share it with only my husband and midwife, has always been my dream. That was the plan too, for most of the later half of my pregnancy. It’s true, that for the first twenty-odd weeks I was planning a natural hospital birth, but that was only because I thought if I tried a home birth people would invite themselves and think that since a homebirth is more “relaxed” that they could sit and watch. Thankfully I finally talked myself into meeting with a local midwife that I’ve known for pretty much my entire life (she was going to deliver me, but I came early and so I ended up being delivered by a different midwife) and she informed me I could give birth at her office where she had a waiting room that would keep the looky-loos away.
So, I spent the next few months leading up to my due date in her care, more relaxed than I ever was with my OB at the hospital. At every one of my visits, my midwife would do an ultrasound to check on my little one, who was nice and healthy, other than the fact he hadn’t flipped head down for birth; the only real “flipping” he did was going from lying transverse (sideways) to frank breach (with his head in my ribs and his butt ready to come through the birth canal.) My midwife pointed out his lack of cooperation during my seventh month, along with some concern for the levels of my amniotic fluid, so I began doing EVERYTHING I could to get him to turn. You name it, I did it. Despite my effort, my little man was nice and content with his head against my ribcage. My midwife doesn’t perform breech births, so she told me if I was serious about being able to deliver naturally and out of a hospital, I’d need to at least try to attempt a version.
If you’re like me and have never heard of a version before (also known as External cephalic version) which is basically when the doctor, after doing a 3D ultrasound to make sure that the baby isn’t stuck because of their umbilical cord or placenta placement, they will forcibly turn the baby by pressing on the mother’s stomach. Depending on the woman, some say it could be painful while others only experience a mild discomfort.
That being said, my midwife referred me to a hospital about an hour away from where I live, to have an ultrasound to see if it would be possible to turn my baby; I was a little over thirty-six weeks along when I went in to have my ultrasound done. The poor tech had to turn me so many differentangles just to get a good look at him, and a good estimate of the amount of fluid. It took almost an hour, about the amount of time it takes to do an anatomy scan, and then my husband and I were left in the room to wait. It took about fifteen minutes before one doctor came in, asked me how much I knew about what was going on. I told her, “Well, my midwife says he’s breech and my fluids are low.” The doctor smiled and told me she was glad I was on the same page and that we needed to go to another room. We waited what seemed like forever, with just a nurse popping her head in occasionally to ask us if we would like water or anything. At last, the door opened and a man in a long white coat approached us. I was a little unnerved, I’ve never really had a male doctor except for neurologists, especially never had one for an OB! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some great male OBGYNs, I’ve just never felt personally comfortable with it.
After spending a few moments looking at my ultrasound a few more times, he informed me that if I really wanted to have a version that he would do it, but because of how low my fluid was he didn’t personally think it would work and that it would end up causing more stress on both me and the baby. My fluid level wasn’t dangerously low, just low enough that it could make things difficult. If I had gone through with the version, there was a chance that my baby’s heartbeat could drop, which would lead to me needing an emergency c-section.
I ended up going with a scheduled c-section. It’s never been something I’ve wanted, but I didn’t want to but my baby and myself through more stress than need be.
Be on the lookout for my next post: “My cesarean and recovery”!