Based on the fact that our baby is breech (facing up, not head down), and that we were in the 37th week of pregnancy, I decided that the best route to take was to try the turning procedure that our doctor recommended called the External Cephalic Version (ECV). She told me that it might be uncomfortable, or even painful, but the goal was to get the baby to flip so that his head was engaged in my pelvis; the optimal positioning for a natural birth. The consensus between our doctor, a good friend of ours that’s in the medical field, and my own wishes was that it was worth trying to get the baby to turn in order to avoid a Cesarean section in the event that the baby doesn’t turn on his own.
Matt and I talked over our options quite a bit; basically, here they were:
1. We skip the ECV, hope that he turns on his own and schedule a Cesarean section in the meantime. If he’s turned when we show up for the C-section we go back home and wait for labor to start normally.
2. We try the ECV and if successful, go home and wait to go into labor (hoping the baby doesn’t turn back to breech)
3. We try the ECV and if not successful, schedule the C-section (now see #1)
**Keep in mind that the ECV procedure carries the risk that the baby could go into distress and a C-section could have to be performed right then, so the procedure is performed in the hospital with me all rigged up just in case.
While I’ve not been opposed to the idea of a C-section all along, I have operated on the assumption that a vaginal birth was the optimal way to go with all this. Why? Well…because that’s how this whole deal was designed to work, right? So using that mindset, I told Matt that I wanted to go ahead with the ECV, assuring him that my pain tolerance would take care of the pain and discomfort that I might feel, and the constant monitoring of the baby would take care of the risk of anything happening to our little dude. Sounds reasonable, right? Yeah, I thought so too.
So, I’m not regretting my decision to do the procedure based on all of the information I’ve given you so far. What I do regret; however, is the fact that I forgot to take some other things into consideration when gathering my facts, thoughts, and opinions and presenting my side of the story to Matt. I forgot to consider that there may be a reason that our baby is still head up…maybe he’s more comfortable that way, maybe he feels like being that way, maybe it’s dark and scary down there, who knows??? But the fact is that it’s okay for him to hang out with his head facing up. I also forgot to put myself in Matt’s shoes when I tried to organize my thoughts and make the most “logical” decision about this. Matt doesn’t like doctors, procedures, hospitals, or seeing me or our baby go through anything that might be construed as uncomfortable or worse, especially if it’s avoidable.
So, I won’t lie and say that the procedure wasn’t pretty damn painful and that I would have rather been doing almost anything other than lay there with an IV saline lock, a fancy hospital gown snapped around me, and a silly daytime television show on in the background of the hospital room. I will say that it was all bearable and I was never worried about the baby’s safety, or my pain levels. What I do regret, and what I came to be extremely concerned about was Matt. He hated seeing us like that…he hated seeing pain on my face and my belly being manipulated in a very intrusive way. He hated even being there in the first place.
What would I do differently??? Well, I would put my logic on the back burner for a minute and consider our family. I would spend more time looking at the situation from Matt’s point of view, instead of my idea of what was “best” according to our doctor. Yeah, she’s a doctor, but she doesn’t know US the way that we know us. She’s been to school and performed tons of births, assessments, procedures, etc. but she hasn’t walked in our shoes, nor should she. It’s OUR job to make these kinds of decisions for US, not anybody else. It’s not just about me and my supposed high pain tolerance, comfort with medical procedures or desire for a vaginal birth. It’s about all three of us and what we all need and feel comfortable with.
I thought I was doing what was best for the baby…but looking back through my hindsight goggles (20/20, of course) I would have let our boy turn on his own…or not, and I would have scheduled that C-section and been happy to have his birthday and time marked on our calendar with hearts and stars! As it stands right now, he didn’t turn and our C-section is scheduled for 10-12-12 and we can’t wait!!!