Late-term breech baby, Part 2

Maybe not the most flattering shot ever taken of me — prepping for the OR

Before we left the hospital after the first (unsuccessful) version, the clinic’s surgeon came in to talk to us and schedule attempted version number 2 for this Monday. He explained to us that this time, were I to want to go through with it, they’d give me an epidural to loosen up my uterine muscles and basically do what they did last week… try to physically move that baby into place. The major difference being that if it didn’t work, because I’d already be shot up with the epidural, they’d want to wheel me right into the OR for a c-section. He used the words “medically convenient.” Yikes!

We listened to the schpiel, then told him that if it didn’t work, and the baby was still strong and healthy, that I’d prefer to recover from the epidural and go home, try some other methods of turning that baby around, and when the baby was ready to make its grand entrance, if we were still breech, we’d come back in for the c-section. Medical convenience isn’t a good enough reason for me to cut short my baby’s growing time, and if the kid’s healthy, it seems unnecessary. He rubbed his eyes (better than rolling them) and said “Okay.” He said the chances of such a big baby (really, just so close to the due date) flipping on its own were very slim, but if that’s what we wanted to do, that’s what would happen.

We came home, did some research, and over the next six days, we tried everything we could to encourage Peanut to turn, baby, turn. We tried making an appointment with a highly recommended acupuncturist (she was on vacation, naturally), the flashlight on my lower belly, headphone with music on the lower belly, knees on the couch with head on the floor followed by butt planted on the couch and head on the floor (usually with music on my lower belly). Come Sunday, we tracked down the only herbal store that was open and bought some Moxa sticks, a Chinese remedy, and my sweetie burned one of the sticks next to the first knuckle on the outside of my pinky toe. I swear we tried everything to get that baby to turn, and to no avail.

So Monday came and we dropped off the girls with my sister, then headed once again to the birth center. They talked us once again through our options, hooked me up to a fetal monitor, then started prepping me for the procedure, which would actually be done in the OR this time. I tried to keep my sense of humor, as I was filled with anxiety like never before.

Once I was in the OR, the anesthesiologist started hooking up my epidural through a spinal block, just in case I needed an emergency c-section, and I laid down on the table. My entire body felt like your foot feels when it’s just starting to wake back up, before the pins and needles start. Then as the surgeon started talking to me about what would be happening, I told him I was nauseous. The next thing I remember is him really close to my face, calling my name and asking if I hear him. Apparently I fainted for a good 15-20 seconds, at which point my blood pressure dropped and Peanut’s heart rate went from the usually 130-ish down to 50 bpm. Scary.

At that point, they told me what happened and told me they needed to wait for both the baby and I to recover before they could attempt the second version, if I still wanted it. Um, yeah… for the love of goddess, I already feel like crap, let’s not stop now and have this all be for naught!

Heart rates went back up to normal, Gabe was finally brought in to hold my hand (and work on getting some color back in my face) and the version was started. I felt nothing except for being shaken (which I couldn’t so much feel as I could see the ceiling moving above me), and then Gabe saw a smile on the surgeon’s face. The version was successful! Thank. Goodness.

Off I was wheeled into recovery, where I sat for 6 hours on fetal and contraction monitors, and we finally left the hospital about 9 1/2 hours after we got there. The saving grace to the whole day was that Peanut was facing the right way and the home birth that we’ve been planning on for the last number of months was back on track. Hallelujah!

Gabe was fantastic and supportive. It’s really easy to forget that this whole process has been really hard on him, too… it’s not just me or my baby, it’s ours. He’s been right there next to me to hold me hand when he’s been allowed, and even fasted with me, when needed. He laid on the floor with me, while I was upside down, when we were still trying to get the baby to turn. He definitely gets the Daddy of the Year award, as far as I’m concerned.

We hit 40 weeks today and Peanut is still headed south. I’m spending a lot of time on a birthing ball and going for long walks, between making cloth wipes and receiving blankets out of old flannel sheets. Hello, Martha Stewart! Gabe and I are about out the door to our Due Date Date, a recommendation from one of our home birth midwives… probably our last chance to do this for a while, and I’m going to count my blessings that I have such an amazing partner as well as awesome support from both our midwives and our clinic.

Now, it’s up to Peanut to tell us when he or she is done baking. In the wise words of Tom Petty, waiting is the hardest part.


About rokchike

I'm Monica Topping: Mom, artist (Rock Chick Designs), event promoter (North Coast Open Studios), '09 HSU journalism grad, photographer, writer...etc.
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2 Responses to Late-term breech baby, Part 2

  1. Stacy Mather says:

    Thank you for sharing that story. God bless you guy’s. Prayers to you and yours. Have fun on your date. Peanut will come when he or she is ready. ❤ love ya!!

  2. Susan says:

    What a wonderful account of your travels!! Thinking about you guys constantly and praying for the best! Gabe definitely gets father of the year!

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