Wednesday, October 8, 2008

External Version

The Short Story:

External Version sucks. But in my case it worked (YEA!), and given what I know now, I would still choose it over an inevitable/planned c-section due to breech.

The Whole Story:

I was pretty stressed out this morning going into the hospital. I had to go to a teaching hospital in town to have them perform the procedure just in case anything went wrong. My doctor doesn't do External Versions, so I met a new doctor today who would try to turn baby. And since it was a teaching hospital, the place was crawling with residents and med students who kept coming in and asking the same questions and doing much of the prep work. It was very Grey's Anatomy.

I was instructed to arrive at the hospital 2 hours prior to the actual turning, and as I found out, this was so they had time to fully prep me in the case of emergency surgery. Not so good for my stress levels. Being on a gurney, in a triage room, in a hospital gown while you are continuously being monitored and poked for blood while they insert the i.v. made me understand why some women prefer to give birth at home. It all felt very invasive and I didn't like it one bit. I told Scott that my new labor plan will be to stay at home as long as possible before going into the hospital so I can just deal with the majority of my contractions on my own at home. We'll see how well that plan works out when the time actually comes....
Prior to going in, I had a dream that they got baby turned 1/4 of the way and then he/she finished off the job easily on his/her own. I told doc this as we were talking prior to starting and she said that's how they like it to go too. So my visions were right on.

Anyway, right before starting they gave me a shot of terbutaline, which is that horrible drug that stops contractions but makes me feel all jittery with an out of control heart rate. It was fully necessary though because the doc pressed so hard into my abdomen that without it, my uterus would have hardened up like a rock I'm sure. She had the ultrasound machine right there so she could keep checking the position of the baby, but basically it entailed the doctor and the resident working together to grab baby's butt and rotate it counter clockwise while simultaneously moving baby's head toward my pelvis. It was really painful. They didn't get it the first time, but after letting me rest (and breathe) for a few seconds they tried again. The second try hurt way worse than the first, and I had a major full body hot flash as my blood pressure dropped, but I could hear the docs talking to each other and it sounded like they had baby right where they wanted, so I endured. Sure enough, once baby was 1/4 turned, it did the rest on its own!

I didn't even feel relieved right away because my body just felt so weird... they gave me an oxygen mask due to my low blood pressure which I didn't like because it made me feel even more like a critical care patient, but after a few minutes, all the medical people in the room left and I could take the mask off and just talk to Scott.

So the turning itself was over in only about 5 minutes. It took me another 15 to regain my composure and get over what felt like massive trauma to my abdomen (I'm sure I'll have a bruise where baby's head used to be), but then I was fine. They kept me on the monitors for another 2 hours just to make sure baby was doing ok and didn't flip itself back over right away. Apparently 4% of babies decide they like their head up position better and return to it. So far mine hasn't done that and I would think the longer it stays head down they more likely it is to stay that way until the end. :)

Several hours later now I'm feeling major relief. #1 because I've hit 36 weeks so I can deliver at my local hospital when I do actually go into labor (which is a way more laid back and quiet place), and #2 because the planned c-section should be able to be avoided now. I know I may still end up with one due to unforeseen complications or whatever, but at least now there's a decent chance I'll be able to deliver normally. Phew!

So now we just wait. Hurry up and wait. And wonder. When will baby come? I'm going to guess it'll be several more weeks... I guess we'll see!


Anonymous said...

YIPPEEE!! i am so glad to hear that will do great in labor...after all of that..hope all is well. surviving in kuwait.

IVF Running Mama said...

Yeah! Glad to hear that it worked! My neighbor said they tried external version on her and it was EXTREMELY painful and it didn't work. Your observation about intervention is interesting...I am delivering with a mid-wife at a hospital and hoping for a natural birth, but have heard that is very hard to do.

Alicia Parr said...

Way to go for both you and the baby!

Clare said...

glad it worked! thanks for explaining how...guess the one good thing is that the actual painful part is quick (minus the extra hours in the hospital...ugh).

TrainingtoTri said...

Yipee! I'm so glad to hear they got the baby turned, but oh my that sounds awful!

Baby and Me said...

That is great news! I have not read that far in my book (I am chicken) so I didnt know they may have to turn a baby. Glad it all went well!

Angela and David Kidd said...

I got terbutaline as well when I was just having contraction after contraction and Zach's heart rate was dropping and agree the feelings it creates suck. Glad they got the baby turned. Hopefully your labor will seem easy compared to that ordeal.

N.D. said...

I started having stomach issues and had to stop reading - I was scared! I hope it went ok! I hate hospitals, needles, the whole bit. Good luck!