From about 28 weeks in our first pregnancy the midwife suspected our baby was breech. Nothing got the little monkey to turn so at my 36 week check I was sent up to hospital for a scan. The scan confirmed that our baby was indeed breech and I then had to wait for the consultant to look at the scans to see if an ECV was possible. I was willing to try if they were as I was determined not to have a c-section. The consultant was busy so we left the hospital and 10minutes after we left we received a phone call saying if we wanted to try an ECV we could return the next morning.
That was 4 years ago today and here is what I wrote at the time on BabyCentre:-
“Since I had my ECV booked yesterday for this morning I had googled and searched on here and I read a few things and had tried to avoid horror stories but in back of my head I had it that it was going to be extrutiating but hand on heart it was hardly even painful.
We got to hospital at 8.30am and I was put into one of the delivery rooms which I wasn’t expecting. The lovely midwife – Irene (who we hope is there to deliver Bubs!) – hooked me up to the machine more or less straight away. I had one monitoring in case of contractions and one monitoring the baby’s heartbeat. She explained they needed to monitor that for an hour…….so me and my hubby just chilled and watched Animal 24:7 on BBC1!! LOL Although he did keep looking at the graph printing out and keeping an eye on the heartbeat.
The doctor came and saw me just before 10am. She checked the heart monitoring and said Bubs was happy and she explained what would happen, then I was given my pills – 3 capsules which were the muscle relaxants. Within minutes I felt really drowsy and went really cold!!
So half an hour later the doctor and midwife came in. The doctor scanned me and showed me where everything was. My placenta is more or less all the way down my right hand side. Bubs head was under my ribs on the right and they had their hands in front of their face. Then she showed me their bum in my pelvis and that their legs were extended.
Then she got to work. The bed was tilted so that my head was lower than rest of my body and she worked on lifting Bubs bum out of my pelvis. It took her a few minutes then I felt it almost glide along my pelvis up and over so it felt like it was over my hip. Then the only uncomfortable bit was as she tried to move Bubs’ head out from underneath my ribs. The pain was in my ribs and wasn’t a massive pain – it just was not pleasant in the slightest. Then I just felt it move!!! At this point she scanned again and sure enough there was my empty pelvis and our baby was transverse!!! She then just guided Bubs’ head and bum into the right positions. My husband said it was bizarre when they were transverse as he could almost see the whole baby being lifted almost around my tummy!!
Once she was satisfied Bubs’ head was placed in my pelvis she scanned again. So now Bubs head is down, their back is on my right and then their legs extended on left so their feet are down near my hip.
All in all it took her about 10minutes. Bubs’ heartbeat was regularly checked throughout and although their heartrate did increase he/she never showed any signs of distress.
I was then hooked back up to the machines again and monitored for just over an hour. Bubs heartbeat soon settled back down and was just steady away. I was brought tea and toast after 45minutes and I tell you – toast has never tasted so good!!!!!! I had to stay hooked up for a bit longer as they said baby was sleepy and they needed a few movements so I moved about a bit and Bubs was soon moving and it now feels so weird compared to the movements I have always felt!
We were at hospital for just under 4 hours in total. I have to go back tomorrow, Sunday and Monday and be hooked up for an hour to monitor Bubs heartbeat again, and now have to see my community midwife every week not every 2 weeks as planned.
I am so so pleased that I chose to try an ECV and didn’t just elect for the CSection without trying. I know that there is still a small chance Bubs could move back to breech again but with the effort it took the doctor to move Bubs I am hoping that it is unlikely they have room to easily move back to breech.
My bump has changed shape loads (about to upload photos in my profile!) and the movements I am now feeling feel so bizarre!!! I am also hoping it may provide a bit of relief in terms of the problems I am having in terms of eating/drinking/indigestion etc….
I am just keeping fingers crossed now for Bubs to stay head down and a vaginal delivery will follow!!!”
I did have a vaginal birth. Granted it wasn’t “easy” and involved 2 failed inductions, water broken by the doctor, drip to start contractions, epidural which wore off, spinal block, episiotomy and forceps……. and 17 days overdue!!!!! But I wouldn’t have had that birth if I hadn’t had the ECV
When it was suspected our second baby was breech I knew I’d try an ECV again. Didn’t even cross my mind that I wouldn’t, but fortunately with baby 2 they were wrong when I was sent up for a scan at 36weeks again!
I would tell anyone to at least try an ECV, yes some people find it painful, but equally, some don’t. I just hope that someone can take positives from my experience rather than the abundance of negatives on the internet