Rebuilding Trust

After the painful experience of the External Cephalic Version (ECV) last Monday, we met with the midwife again on Thursday to follow up.

I was grateful that she already knew that the experience had been really negative, so we didn’t have to start from scratch when we sat down with her.

The Birth Center has a policy that patients meet with all the midwives at some point because there’s no guarantee who will be on call when you go into labor. This makes perfect sense, but at the same time, it means it’d been two months since we’d seen THIS midwife, with whom we’d started this whole journey months ago.

On Thursday, she sat with us for two hours, listening to our experience at the hospital, our concerns, our feelings about the experience and the events that led up to it. She talked us through options (the birth center cannot do breech deliveries, so we’ve lost that part of our plan). She connected us with the only doctor in the area who DOES do breech deliveries, so he could talk us through the details of that option. She talked us through the process of cesarian section, what to expect–in detail–for the procedure.
She was extraordinarily patient.
She made it clear she is going to be sure she is available to be with us and help protect us from having repeat negative experiences as best she is able.

The next day we made the trip to Lincoln once again to meet the new doctor. (All this driving back and forth is really rough on my Macy’s Parade Balloon feet and really hard on Matt’s back, but we know we’re short on time and want as much as we can get to consider options).

This doctor was aware we’d had a traumatic ECV experience.
He patiently sat with us and explained in great detail what a breech birth looks like, the criteria that need to be met to attempt it, and answered our many questions, including: What should we be asking that we don’t know to ask?

He has performed hundreds of breech deliveries and has taught other practitioners around the world to do so. He says that the “myths” (his word) about breech delivery being harder and more dangerous come from a lack of patience in the OBs delivering babies. The top risk sited is that the baby’s head can get stuck after the body is delivered (horrifying), but this doctors says, “NO–only true if the doctor is pulling on the baby and not letting the mom deliver the baby.” He said his main job is to “slap the hand of anyone trying to get in there and ‘move things along’ too quickly.”

He was very patient and kind.
He understood our wariness of the system at the moment.
His wife is a midwife and much of what he said aligns with everything we’d been preparing for over the last months.

We did an ultrasound to confirm Baby Girl’s position (frank breech–head up, butt down, back along the left side of my belly, feet up toward the right side of my belly). He used the ultrasound algorithm to determine her weight–currently at 6.5 pounds. He did an exam to determine the size/spacing of my pelvis. (Pelvimetry has particular requirements for breech delivery. Also, ‘pelvimetry’ is a word.)
He said I’m currently 3 cm dilated. (I hadn’t really expected that, since she’s been breech this entire time.)
He recommended I walk two miles a day, go into labor this week, and we deliver baby.
He also said it’s possible I could walk around at 3 cm for two more weeks and not progress yet.
He said, “if you decide you want the epidural, then get the epidural. You can do this. Your body is made for it, but if you want the epidural, then get it. I need to you be relaxed. It’ll take a lot of focus.”

It’s all terrifying, honestly.
Though not really any more terrifying than “regular” head-down delivery.

Everything up until this week has been a bit on the side of “academic exercise”. I mean, Baby Girl is there and growing and I experience her moving around a lot–which is the WEIRDEST, but otherwise it’s a bit academic. I can read and learn about labor and delivery; I can study the options and research the side effects of interventions; we can participate in the classes (which ARE helpful); but it’s all getting very real. There is a massive difference in reading about pain and experiencing pain.

How much pain CAN I handle?
Will I be able to stay calm, relaxed, and focused when experiencing sharp pain over extended periods of time?

I don’t know.
Matt believes I can handle any and all of it.
I think there’s a difference between emotional/psychological strength and ability to endure physical pain.

I am a strong person.
But I do not know what I can handle.
I DO know that I don’t have to decide in this moment.

I am going for walks (my poor, poor balloon feet).
We return to the doctor Tuesday and then again to the midwife.

I am desperately working on my to-do list in case the doctor is correct about this week being the week.

Fun side note: Doc will be out of the state from July 3-13th.
If labor happens in there, it’ll be a cesarian because there is no other doctor who will give the option.

I am really grateful for the many words and shows of support over the past week.
It’s been a rough one.
We’re working on rebuilding trust as we prepare for Baby Girl to completely rock our world.

She’s been ready to rock since her very first photo.

One thought on “Rebuilding Trust

  1. Aside from a report of baby flip, this is all GREAT news. This doctor sounds wonderful. You can do this. (sez another helpful husband from the sidelines). My amazing Jana did five. It is wonderful astonishing. -Keith


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