Flipping the Baby (ECV)

Our Baby has been breech the entire pregnancy (stubborn bloody baby), so we went to the hospital to try rectify this on Friday.

The procedure is called ECV (external cephalic version) and it has about a 40% success rate. There are a few risks associated with ECV such as the baby becoming distressed, getting tangled in the umbilical cord or, as she flips  and drops down bringing on labour. I must stress that these are extremely low risks (we’re talking under 1%)  but as a precaution the procedure is carried out in a delivery suit with the surgery theatre across the hall.

We were taken in and the wife was hooked up to a heart rate monitor (they monitor the baby before, during and after the procedure to ensure there are no issues). A drug to relax the womb is then administered via injection to the arm (I was half expecting a giant needle for the womb) and then we wait 5 minutes for it to do it’s work.

For the procedure we had two doctors and a nurse. They scanned the womb to work out baby’s position and then went to work. It was a hard thing for me to watch, seeing them push and pull not only at my wife but at my child, and more aggressively than I thought it would be. I could practically see her outline as they attempted to turn her and my wife appeared in some discomfort. She later described it as slightly painful but very very uncomfortable.

The procedure lasted about 5 minutes at which point the doctor’s gave up. They theorised that my wife’s womb is most likely heart shaped, and they couldn’t get the baby past the dip in the middle. The head doctor was very apologetic but we understand it’s not a guarantee and thanked them all for their efforts.

And so we’re booked in for a C section on the 29th of June. My wife was slightly upset, she’d always wanted as natural a birth as possible and now she’s going to miss out on it. But the important thing is that we have a healthy baby girl, and now we have an exact date.

We can’t wait to meet her.




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