At my 38 week appointment (May 12th) I had an internal exam. The doctor told me I was only dialated 1-2 cm, my cervix was still long, and the baby was pretty high up. Then the Dr. asked where I was feeling kicks, and after feeling around, confirmed that he thought she was breech. It was later confirmed by an ultrasound that afternoon ? she was measuring around 9lbs., fluid volume wasn't that great. My doctor said I could try an External Cephalic Version (attempting to manually turn the baby). We scheduled it for the following Monday (when I'd be 39 weeks).
The Friday before the procedure, I visited the hospital for a consultation with the Maternal Fetal Health specialists. After another ultrasound, they determined the fluid levels looked good. The only issues that could prevent a successful version were the baby?s size and the fact that her spine was anterior (facing out) so she wasn't in a position to do an easy somersault. Other than that, the other factors such as my small frame (the baby was easily felt) made me a good candidate, and they felt it was worth the try.
Monday morning (5/19) I arrived at the hospital at 7am to be admitted. The plan was to perform the scheduled external cephalic version. If that worked, I?d be induced, if it didn?t I?d have a c-section. Either way, I was getting a baby that day! I was admitted and put in a labor and delivery room, hooked up to the monitors, and had my IV put in. I got my epidural first before they did anything, so they were prepared for what would come next. After I was comfortable, three doctors came in for the version. They used an ultrasound machine to see what they were doing, and basically just started manipulating my abdomen to move the baby. It's actually pretty barbaric ? but because I had the epidural, I wasn?t in pain ? it was just hard to breathe because they were pushing so hard. It wasn?t working though, and after a couple attempts, they pretty much gave up. The doc in charge said that even though the baby was easily manipulated at the top of my abdomen, once she got to the side, she wasn?t turning face down to flip. They all stopped, and were packing up, when the doc in charge started gently manipulating my stomach and looking on the ultrasound to see where she had ended up, basically as a last ditch effort. He checked one last time w/ the ultrasound, and amazingly enough, she was head down!! Everyone cheered, and I was crying ? I was so relieved that it worked! I was really praying to avoid the c-section.
My doctor came in right away to check my cervix, and break my water so the baby didn?t have a chance to flip back into a breech position. By this time, it was 11am...I was still 2 cm., cervix still thick, baby still pretty high up, but definitely head down! He broke my water, and the nurse started the pitocin. They told me to try to rest, this could take a while. There was a wipe off board in my room, where DH wrote down all of our guesses on weight and birth time. Our moms were guessing later that evening, but I guessed 3:37pm. They all said I was crazy, and it was wishful thinking that I?d be done that fast. I also guessed that the baby would be 8lbs. 14oz.
The next time the nurse came in to check on me, I asked if there was something they could do for the itching ? I became extremely itchy all over my body ? a common reaction to the epidural. She came back shortly after and administered Benadryl through my IV. She said it was going to knock me out and she was right...within 15 minutes, I was totally gooned, and wanted to take a nap. DH, my mom, and MIL decided to go get some food while I took a nap. This was around 12:45ish. When they came back around 1:30, I was complaining of pressure, and pain. I could feel every contraction starting and finishing, and they were getting uncomfortable. I was also feeling pressure. My doc came in around 2pm, and checked my cervix. I was already at 5cm! He realized at this point that I was progressing quickly, so he said he?d be back in an hour to check me. The anesthesiologist came and adjusted my epidural, which then made me totally comfortable, but also totally numb, and unable to move my legs on my own.
The next 45 minutes flew by, and suddenly I was feeling the contractions again ? not so much pain, but very extremely intense pressure. I was literally hanging on the side of the bed, panting with every contraction. I called the nurse again to page the doctor; I felt like I had to push. They didn?t really take me seriously, being that I was only dialated 5, 45 minutes before. She finally paged the doctor, and he got there just before 3pm. He checked me and I was complete! By the time they finished setting up, and were ready for me to push, it only took 3 contractions of pushing, and Avery Jayne was born at 3:13pm! She was 8lbs. 14oz., 20 ? in. long. Overall, it was the easiest delivery ever (of all 3 of my kids), and it was actually an enjoyable experience, because it was so quick! Everyone thought I was nuts w/ the birth time, and I ended up delivering almost a half hour before! Not to mention I was exactly right about the birth weight...how's that for maternal instinct?!
Everything went as well as it possibly could have gone, and the recovery was a piece of cake! I was so thankful that I didn't have to have the c-section. My newest little girl is so unbelievably gorgeous, and we are so blessed!
Thanks for reading! sorry it's the longest birth story ever!