Third Trimester + Breech Baby ECV

Can’t believe we are in the final stretch! Writing this at 39 weeks and 6 days and it feels like I will be pregnant FOR.EV.URRR. What they say is true, the last two weeks have been the slowest of my life. Everything hurts and getting out of bed or rolling over is now classified as an olympic sport. I just can’t wait for this baby to be here!

Karyssa Coasta Photography

Karyssa Coasta Photography

H O W A R E Y O U F E E L I N G - -

Writing this before 36 weeks: The third trimester FLEW by and honestly I thought it would. We were so busy with travel and work every week of May we were on a flight! I was relieved when I hit the 32-34 week mark which meant no more flying or long travel days and we could just chill. I honestly felt great and like I wasn’t even pregnant most days! I do work from home which I 100% am so thankful for and definitely think has contributed to a smooth and easy pregnancy. Still working out consistently, going to weddings and on work trips, feeling good…

Writing this after 36 weeks: After we found out baby boy was breech, it felt like time slowed wayyy down. Immediately following our 36 week doctors appointment, I started all the different exercises and positions to try and flip the baby: butt laying on the couch, head laying on the floor; down dog yoga pose; knees on the couch, head on the floor; acupuncture for breech babies; moxibustion both professionally and at home; flashlight at the bottom of my belly; music towards the vag - literally tried everything. We went back a week later and confirmed he was still breech (lil stinker) and went ahead and weighed our options:

  1. Wait and see if he flips naturally closer to birth - a lot of people told me they’ve felt their baby flip days or even hours before birth. Although this would be most ideal, it was obviously risky to wait and see if he would flip or not and since he was basically full term, he wouldn’t be getting any smaller which would mean it would be harder to flip around.

  2. Schedule a c-section - our doctor/hospital does not attempt to deliver breech babies so if he didn’t flip, I would 100% have to have a cesarian. Not the end of the world but definitely not our first choice.

  3. Try an ECV (External Cephalic Version) procedure - this is basically where my doctor would manually try to flip from the outside of my stomach. I’d seen mixed reviews on it being anywhere from painless and no problem to excruciating pain and unsuccessful.

We went with option 3 and scheduled an ECV when I around 38.5 weeks pregnant. Being my first baby, the doctor had already warned us my uterus and stomach muscles were tighter which meant there was not a huge amount of room for him to flip around with whatever option we decided.

E C V P R O C E D U R E --

Ryan and I showed up to the hospital at 6 AM on ECV day and got checked in. They started me on an IV and checked all the vitals of the baby and I. Both prior at our last appointment and the day of, we had an ultrasound to make sure the umbilical cord wasn’t wrapped around the baby or in the way and there was enough fluid, etc… Doctor showed up around 7:30 AM and soon enough we were going for attempt #1. I wanted to try to do it without any pain meds, thinking it should be a quick procedure and the baby would just flip as the doctor gently guided him.. lol no. First, the doctor had to push him OUT of my pelvis/birthing canal and up further into my ribs. From there he grabbed the baby’s butt as hard as he could and then pushed his head while using all his force to make sure the baby didn’t fall back into the pelvis. Our doctor was literally shaking from all the force he was using trying to maneuver the baby up and out and through the hardest part, which was when he is horizontal in my stomach. I was closing my eyes, couldn’t help but moan pretty loudly, and was squeezing Ryan’s hand as hard as I could. The doctor and nurse stopped at about 1/4 of the way through - not even to the horizontal part yet - and could see my face was flushed white and I felt like I was going to pass out. Feeling pretty discouraged on how much more I could take and how much I was worrying about the baby, our doctor recommended getting a spinal to numb and relax the area from tensing up. It was a tough decision because I had previously had my heart set on a natural unmedicated birth, but we opted for it and I was hooked up to the IV fluids. About an hr later, we went back to the operating room, which is where they had to do it for risks of emergency c-section, and I got a half dose of the spinal so I could still feel some things and move my legs up and down. The doctor then started on attempt #2 and I just remember closing my eyes, Ryan coaching me through by helping visualize our local beach aka “happy place” and in what seemed like no time, they showed us the ultrasound and we saw the baby had flipped!! I started crying I was so happy! From there, we stayed in the hospital for about 3-4 more hours to monitor the baby and make sure he was okay (he was such a champ and was doing so well on the stress tests) and letting the spinal wear off for me. We walked out of the hospital and made it home around 1 PM that day where I napped for like 4-5 hrs the rest of the afternoon haha.

The day(s) following the ECV were pretty brutal as well. At first I was like oh man this is great, baby is flipped, now we just wait for him to get here… no again. I had bruising on my stomach where the doctor pushed him up and out and at the top where he guided his head down and my back was supppper sore and stiff from the spinal needle. I started having these lightning pains down my groin and leg which kind of feels like right when you think your muscle is going to cramp or spasm - called round ligament pain and lightning crotch (lol). Basically now that the baby was flipped his (bigger) head was going down into my pelvis super quickly vs. regular babies who gradually grow that way, and stretching the ligaments thin. It would come out of no where so I honestly felt like I had Tourette’s from randomly yelling out and having a body spasm haha funny now but definitely not then..

Even though the ECV was extremely painful, I would 100% do it over again for the chance of flipping the baby and giving us a shot at a natural birth. I also know I could not have done it without my husband there helping make the decisions and being rock throughout the whole process.

Karyssa Coasta Photography

Karyssa Coasta Photography

Here I am writing this at 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant, impatiently waiting for baby boy to arrive and sooo ready to try labor! It sounds crazy but I’m very excited for the whole “going into labor” experience and trying to work through it with Ryan and my mom here. We are hoping for a natural birth, but I’m definitely not against pain meds after this last baby encounter. I opted to not have a birth plan after finding out little man was breech because it just confirmed you cannot predict anything and I honestly have no idea what to expect! I can read all the blogs and birth stories possible, but each baby and birth is completely different. Being a planner/scheduler/control freak, I’m seeing this is the first lesson having a baby is teaching me as a parent.. to go with the flow and take everything one step at a time. All I care about is leaving the hospital with a strong and healthy baby boy!

C R A V I N G S - -

  • Chocolate milk

  • Blueberry muffins + waffles

  • Ice cream sandwiches

  • Honey crisp apples

3 months - 6 months - 9 months

3 months - 6 months - 9 months

In the final stretch!!!! Literally cannot wait for baby to get here and to finally meet him! Any guesses on when he will show up??