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ECV and potential c-section, experiences? Plus MW issues. Sort of long, sorry!

(7 Posts)
CBear6 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:42:59

I'm 40+1 with my second baby and went to the MW this morning for a sweep. The MW did her usual checks first - BP, etc - but when she came to feel my bump she couldn't tell which end was the head. She rang MAU and got me a presentation scan earlier this afternoon which showed that baby is definitely breech (bum is in my pelvis) and that she's also on the large side.

They've booked me for an EVC on Wednesday morning, provided I don't go into labour in the meantime (I had a show this morning and have had some niggling pains but nothing regular or increasing in strength). They want a growth scan before they decide anything on the EVC though because baby might be over 5kg, in which case they'd recommend a c-section anyway so the EVC would be pointless.

Has anyone had any experience with EVC? And any experience with having a c-section? It's the section that's scaring me the most, I'm not at all calm about the idea of a drip and an epidural, and I'm hypermobile so I have awful thoughts about the epidural not working properly (happened to my cousin and they/she didn't realise until the caesarean started). I know it's all just me worrying because it's happening so fast and the hospital have been brilliant, really understanding, I'd just like to hear some positive experiences of both scenarios smile

Also does anyone know how to complain about a community MW? I'm not going to do anything until after DD is delivered and everything has calmed down but the hospital raised a few issues. At 37 weeks the community MW thought DD was breech but didn't refer me for a scan because the MAU phone was engaged, instead she did a repeat check a few days later and said she was wrong and baby was head down and fully engaged (obviously not the case). The hospital said I should have been referred to make sure, regardless of the follow-up appointment the MW did. My fundal height was measuring in line with my weeks and I had been spot on, then at 37 weeks I suddenly jumped to 39cm and at 38 weeks was 41 cm, but at 39 weeks was 39cm. The hospital said I should have been sent for a growth scan when it suddenly jumped as I crossed from the 50th percentile to well over the 91st percentile and they're concerned that procedure hasn't been followed for either of these issues. I know that sending me a scan wouldn't have unbreeched my baby or made her any smaller but at least I would be far less stressed because I'd have time to get my head around the situation! I feel really let down by the community MW but no idea where to take my concerns.

Thanks in advance, sorry for the essay!

LittleOne76 Mon 12-Sep-11 15:12:41

Hi - I haven't had experience with a breech position / EVC but did have a c-section about two weeks ago with my first baby (little boy!). The plan wasn't originally to have a c-section but it turned out that a combination of factors meant it would be lower risk to go this route vs attempt a normal delivery and run into problems and then need an emergency c section when me/baby would be in distress. The combination of factors was largely driven by my latest scans showing the baby was on the larger side (very high 90s on those growth charts with a large head), my size, potential bleeding issues due to varicose veins if I were to tear/needed to be cut/needed a forceps birth (all more likely due to size). My blood pressure was also elevated (had been higher for a bit and increased in the last two weeks before delivery).

I delivered at 39 weeks and bub was just under 4kg with a big head. I was a bit anxious about the c section given the idea of surgery / spinal block / recovery but on balance, was glad that we were going this route vs normal delivery. The thought that I could labour for a long time and then have baby get stuck on the way out because of size and then be distressed was a real concern that I was glad to avoid. I would have also been stressed about bleeding badly and this looked likely given baby's size.

The whole c section process and recovery has been so much better than I expected. The c section prep beforehand and procedure itself was done very calmly and was quite quick. I think it was most anxious about the spinal block but it wasn't bad (I felt the prick but it wasn't painful and I got a local first) and it was done before I knew it. The procedure was nice and quick and while I didn't get baby lifted onto my chest instantly I could see them checking her and cleaning him up to my side with dad standing over and they brought him over within 5-10 min while I was still on the table. We then had skin to skin time the whole time I was in recovery (about 1.5 hours) and he breastfeed during this time and stayed latched on when we got wheeled back to the normal ward. I felt zero pain during the procedure but did feel sensations as they were working I could feel a certain amount of pressure at certain times but it wasn't like you could tell exactly what they must be doing at each was more just the feeling that something was going on down there but you weren't sure what exactly..

I was also a bit worried about recovery and how that would feel and it has been so much better than I expected. Think the main thing is to make sure you are taking your pain killers regularly and to def try and move around as per the midwives suggestions as early as possible. I stood and got out of bed to stand about 6-8ih hours after (with support /taking it slowly), had some tea and toast about 4 hours after the procedure and normal dinner that night. Each day has gotten easier and easier. You just have to make sure you take it easy and don't push yourself too early and any help you can get is great - be it from the midwvies during the hospital stay, your partner, family etc.

What else - IV stayed in my hand until the next morning as did the didn't have to worry about peeing for a little while. That was quite strange... you don't have the urge to go to the loo. It wasn't painful either...which was also something I was a bit anxious about. They put it in after the spinal block started to take effect and removal was very quick and not painful.

gallicgirl Mon 12-Sep-11 21:51:03

I'm so sorry your MW didn't send you for a scan! My DD was breech around that time and was successfully turned by ECV at 39 weeks. I'll try to find my thread rather than type it out again.

When you go for an ECV you go on the premise that you might need an EMCS so you are all prepped for surgery. It sounds a bit scary but the experience was ok and the risk of this is very low - around 1% IIRC. Personally, if the baby is measuring big, given the other issues you've mentioned, I might choose an elective c-section as you can be all calm and prepared. However, if the consultant thinks the ECV is worth a go, then I guess that's the more desirable option.

gallicgirl Mon 12-Sep-11 21:59:58

CBear6 Mon 12-Sep-11 22:29:28

Thanks for that gallicgirl, it's really informative! Did the muscle relaxant make your heart race? I noticed someone said it did theirs. My ECV is going to be done by a midwife sonographer, I asked about the stats and supposedly in 12 years of her doing these she's only had 3 result in an emergency caesarean there and then so the odds are good! And a 50/50 chance of avoiding - section is better than 0 chance smile

gallicgirl Tue 13-Sep-11 12:31:26

Not that I recall but was nervous anyway. Surprised midwife is doing it but she sounds experienced. The lead consultant did mine with lots of spectators.

diyqueen Tue 13-Sep-11 15:30:34

I had an ECV and an ELCS nearly 6 months ago, and like you was absolutely dreading it. I knew my baby was breech from about 30 weeks and almost would rather not have known as I wasted so much time stressing and trying to to turn her when I should have been preparing for her arrival. The ECV didn't work for me, as my baby just wouldn't turn - the consultant gave it a good go pushing her in both directions but she wouldn't shift. It was rather painful as they use a lot of pressure, but they would have stopped at any time if I said so, and I'm glad I tried at least. You'll find lots of positive ELCS stories on here so I won't ramble on about mine, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was expecting (I had nightmares for weeks beforehand and was in tears when we arrived at the hospital on the day) - the waiting around for it was by far the worst bit. Having the spinal done and the drip put in isn't fun but over very quickly and by that point you're just overwhelmed at the thought of meeting your baby in a few minutes. I am sometimes a little sad that I missed out on the whole experience of labour and giving birth but at the end of the day my baby arrived safe and well and as soon as she was here how she arrived became irrelevant. As for the recovery it was OK, on the ward there were people who were struggling more after forceps deliveries etc. It was frustrating not being able to lift much for a few weeks but the time goes in such a blur in the early days of having a baby that it didn't seem too long. I'd say I felt back to normal after about 10 weeks - again, that went fast. Try to take comfort in the fact that you're doing the best you can for your baby and that makes you brave and a good mum - you never know how any birth will turn out and can just feel very relieved when you have your new baby in your arms, however they arrive. Good luck!

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