Thursday, November 15, 2007

Turn baby, turn!

Ok, so for some reason that silly disco song is now in my brain - and while there is no "disco inferno" at my house, at least it offers a good blog title!

Tomorrow morning at about 9am, Joe and I will be on our way to the hospital where I'll undergo an external cephalic version (ECV). Basically, that's a fancy way to say that my doctor will manually try (from the outside of my belly) to turn the baby.

At our appointment this past Monday, we had confirmed what both Joe and I already knew: Ava is still breech. Unfortunately, while most babies will turn to the birth-appropriate head-down position, Ava is not situated in a position where she will likely do that on her own. So, unless we want to pass Go, collect $200 and move straight to scheduled c-section, we both have decided that trying to turn her into is the best thing we can do at the moment.

Here's what'll happen:

After some fetal monitoring and giving me a muscle relaxant, the doctor will ultrasound my belly to confirm Ava's position before trying to move her. It can take a few minutes to half an hour (each case is so different). After moving her (if she moves willingly) they do another ultrasound and more monitoring to make sure that she has turned and that she is not in stress. If she doesn't move easily, they stop and call it quits. I've heard from three different people who have had this procedure. The rain in discomfort goes something like this:

* no big deal
* uncomfortable
* if I'd known what it would feel like, I would have requested an epidural

Yikes! Safety of Ava aside (as that's always a concern) I'm most afraid of what it will feel like. I don't know how I handle real pain. I've never had much real pain to deal with. I can imagine that this pain / discomfort is not like labor pain - different sensation altogether. I do know that when I accidentally bump into something with my belly, it hurts. I can only imagine what that would feel like magnified with someone pushing on my belly rather than a small bump.

There are risks involved with the ECV. If any of these risks occur, we'll skip Go and head directly towards an emergency c-section (forget collecting $200). If the version is unsuccessful (ie. Ava is fine but refuses to budge), we'll move onto Plan B and schedule a c-section for one or after December 1st. Of course the doctor will perform an ultrasound before any c-section begins in the slim chance that she turns on her own in the next few weeks. If the ECV is successful, we'll do a little jump for joy and continue with the game . . . the waiting game, that is, which is what we've wanted for this birth since the beginning.

Turn baby, turn! I keep telling Ava that she has only (now) a day left to turn on her own and avoid any unpleasantries, but so far she has been unresponsive to my suggestion.

To Ava: Don't make me come in there and turn you myself!

Good practice for what's to come, I suppose . . .

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