Friday, December 21, 2007

External cephalic version.... in reverse

Yeah, yeah, yeah - I know. What???!?! To any of you who haven't experienced it, this probably sounds really strange. I knew what it was, because my mum had it done with my sister - 3x - and it didn't work.
We spoke with the OB in the hospital I'll ACTUALLY deliver at today. They wanted to see what I was thinking and where I was at before I showed up on their doorstep in labor. Turned out, we found (what seems to be) a Christian doctor, who said he'd waive the fees for his services if it were up to him (it's not) and that he wants us to call him in if I go into labor and he's not at the hospital (he gave my midwife his home phone number!).
It was a difficult day. He was extremely frank with us (though extremely caring) and we heard some things that made my hair stand on end and at one point, start crying and shut. Anyone who knows me - knows that it takes a LOT to get me speechless. I'll just say this - they were talking about the possibility that Joshua could get "stuck" during labor and he said something that I wouldn't have been able to watch in a horror movie - let alone know about happening to my son. My sister (who is a nursing student) said, he'd be DRAGGED before the ethics committee if he ever did that though (whether or not it was the last resort).
So anyways, all that to say: What is External Cephalic Version in Reverse? It's External Breech Version. Here's a picture of ECV.
In some instances, doctors will try to "flip" baby from bottom-down (potentially problematic in labor, harder labor, oxygen problems for baby in the case of a prolapsed [born before baby] cord, etc) to head down. It involves using their hands on the baby bump, finding the appropriate parts, and slowly turning baby. Sometimes it works, sometimes baby flings right back around.

So if you have a External BREECH Version, it means they're doing something that the medical community says, "HUH?" about. You guessed it - we flipped him from head down to breech - on purpose!

The reasoning is this - my cervix may not dilate properly because Joshua's head isn't shaped right. Also, as the OB put it, "The presenting (first part out) part gets the beating." So for him to be born headfirst could cause a stillbirth. So he suggested turning him to breech and letting him birth naturally. This highly unusual. But it's the best non-C-section option.

Let me just say - not to scare those who may need a ECV in a pregnancy - it's not fun. It was probably (next to labor) the most pain I've ever been in. The first one failed - DANG! And the 2nd one took. Thank you LORD!

If you're one of our prayer warriors:
Please pray I'll go into labor before Jan 7th (they induce me that day, and I hate inductions!)
Please pray he STAYS put and doesn't flip back around.
Please pray that he won't get :stuck: in labor. This could get really hairy!
Please pray that God continues to uphold us and sustain us in our family, our marriage, our spirits, our hearts, and our bodies.

Thank you so much.


  1. I have heard that having an ECV is very painful. It seems to make sense in your case - but OW!!! I'm glad the second one took.

    I'm praying!!!


  2. I'm sorry the doctor has less than the best tact... but... as a doula who sat with a very scared mama during a 'run down' from the neonatal neurologist... I think that they sometimes have to give you all the horrible stuff... because in the momement, there may not be time to explain what is happening. And yes, I know that 'in the moment' you may also not remember all that you were told. But... there it is.
    I'm sorry that it was so hard. I can't even begin to find the right words.
    I wish for you a peaceful and gentle birth.

  3. I'm glad it worked and I'm sorry you had to go through that twice! I'll be praying for you and your family. (I'm a nursing student too!)

  4. Hello Susie, I just wanted you to know that I am praying for you. I found your blog through Tarah's and I am friends with Andrea here in Vermont. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    Your daughter is just beautiful and I love her name. It's unusual like my daughters :)

  5. Hope the soreness is gone now. I've heard that hurts really bad (my mom had to have it done twice with me) I hope it works and your delivery is goes very smoothly!