I don’t think I’ve actually come out and said it here, but I’ve been ready to have this baby for several weeks now. Yes, it’s best for baby to stay put for the entire 40 weeks – or even longer – and I completely agree with that. In fact, from the beginning, I’ve known I would not accept any measures to induce labor before 42 weeks, unless medically necessary. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been wishing for her to come early on her own.
Well, apparently, the universe chose to ignore the on her own part. Because she is breech, baby has been served an eviction notice in the form of a cesarean birth scheduled for August 25. The plan is to do one final ultrasound that day. If by some miracle she is head down, I will be sent home to wait until she’s ready, as originally planned. Otherwise, we proceed with the surgery. (I’ve updated my birth plan page to include our plan for a cesarean birth.)
Emotionally, I’m at peace with it. I have to be, since there’s not another option. Frank breech babies can be and are delivered vaginally, but my OB doesn’t have experience with it, nor do any of the others in the practice. Furthermore, I’m not a good candidate for ECV or external cephalic version. This is a procedure where the doctor attempts to turn the baby by manipulating her from the outside, all the while monitoring the baby for signs of stress. It’s safe for mom and baby (provided there are no known contraindications), though it can be painful for the pregnant person. It’s not always successful, and babies can turn back to breech even after a successful version. It’s usually done later in pregnancy to a) give the baby time to turn on her own, and b) make sure the baby is close to full term in case an emergency c-section is needed, which can happen.
After reading about ECV – personal stories, as well as studies – I honestly didn’t know whether or not I should try it. I was leaning toward not. On the one hand, I had my heart set on a medication-free, vaginal birth, and this was a chance to make that happen. On the other hand were a lot of risks (low, but still risks) and no guarantees that it would work. In the end, I’m relieved that the decision wasn’t mine. My OB declared that I was a poor candidate for ECV due to slightly low amniotic fluid and an anterior placenta.
Even though I’m at peace with having a cesarean birth, I’m still a little anxious about recovering from major surgery while taking care of a newborn. I will have lots of help, but it’s still a daunting thought. I’m trying to focus more on the end result: Our baby finally arriving, safe and sound.
So, it looks like I will get my wish for baby to arrive sooner rather than later. Of course, I was hoping for much different circumstances. I suppose I should be careful what I wish for!