Baby flipped to transverse at 39 weeks and now OB wants to schedule c-section without trying ECV

@cathyhlikesflowers Also FYI — check with your ultrasound measurements and learn to what degree your amniotic fluid is high. There’s a lot of information out there, look at the numbers. Having high amniotic fluid increases the risk for cord issues (entanglement, prolapse, wrapped around baby) because everything is more free-floating. Know as much as you can about your situation and decide based on what you learn.

This is a granola subreddit but I know many of us agree on being fully informed and going by the numbers, too.

And if you do the ECV insist on fetal monitoring for a good span of time after the fact. After they discharge you, be sure to monitor fetal movement on your own.

Good luck, you are going to be a great mom! Don’t get discouraged.
@gust Yes, I agree-trying to make the best decision based on all of the info- per my OB, prolapse cord is the biggest risk while baby is transverse since there is nothing down there (head or butt) to prevent cord from coming out first if my water breaks. Thank you for well wishes, it’s crazy to know the baby will be here one way or another in just a few days!
@cathyhlikesflowers It’s going to be overwhelming and amazing. I’m so excited for you, baby’s almost here!

Whatever happens don’t allow your labor experience to overshadow those first days / weeks with baby. I’ve seen a lot of women say they regret that, and I had a really tough labor that ended in an unplanned c Section, so I was very unhappy. But making a conscious choice to separate the labor from the joy of motherhood does help. And get your partner to help you too as you plan. Mine took photos and made memories when I was in no state to do so, and I’m so thankful for it now.
@cathyhlikesflowers I really wanted a vaginal birth. I was terrified of being cut open. But after reading about the process and success rate of ECV, I decided against it. I wasted time and money doing “Spinning Babies” and going to a highly rated chiropractor. Didn’t work. I knew my belly was tight and didn’t have room for my baby to turn around. It turned out the umbilical cord was wrapped around her body and head three times. So glad I didn’t try to force an ECV. My OB did a fantastic job with my c-section. Everyone is different.
@cathyhlikesflowers Scheduling a C-section doesn't necessarily mean that they've "given up" on a vaginal delivery. It just means that you're on the hospital's schedule, so that you can let the pregnancy continue as long as you're comfortable and then have a peaceful birth (whether the baby flips back and is born vaginally, or stays transverse and comes out the sunroof).
@cathyhlikesflowers All I've got is my own experience. My baby was discovered breech at 32 weeks. I discussed an ECV with my OB and she told me if I wanted to do one she'd want to do it at 36 weeks but not much later. There's a fairly short window where it has the best chance for being effective, you want baby to large enough that they have a good chance to stay put but not so large that they go into distress. In the reading I did about the procedure it has only about a 50% success rate, she said in her experience it's even lower. I opted not to try and scheduled a c-section for 39 weeks, 10/10 would do it again. I still got brief skin to skin time in the OR and dad got to cut the cord, then he got to hold on to baby in recovery while they closed me up (this was pre-COVID so things may be different now). I also got a good amount of time in recovery to attempt breastfeeding before they moved me into my room.

My recovery was honestly pretty good. C-sections get a bad rap for having worse recovery but it really can vary a lot. I do still have some minor issues three years later, but that's because I developed a keloid (large, thick scar tissue), which can be helped with scar tissue therapy. I know other women irl that had vaginal births and they have much more issues than I do. I think mine went so well because it was planned, the other women I know that had bad experiences with c-sections all had emergencies after already going into labor.

Feel free to ask me anything, I know a c-section can seem daunting but I really did have a good experience. Knowledge is power after all! :)
@athaddeus I think having issues three years later is a terrible takeaway from giving birth, (regardless of delivery method). That’s not ok! The fact that our society deems that ok is incredibly unfair to women.

I hope you’re able to continue your recovery.
@gust I...don't disagree with you? I can see where it might sound like I said that OP should just expect to have issues postpartum no matter what, and that was totally not my intention. The reality is, at least in the US, availability and access to postpartum services is abysmal, so it is the unfortunate norm for now. I agree that's not okay and completely unfair, and also the fact that services are often only available to those that have the privilege to have good insurance and live in an area where services are even available or are able to travel to get services is a fucking racket.

But I digress, I'm not going to solve any of that on the internet.
@cathyhlikesflowers If your OB is ok with trying an ECV and that’s what you want keep pushing. If your baby has the fluid to flip on their own they probably have the fluid to flip back. Your amniotic fluid levels being high is probably a good thing here and why your doctor is willing to try when most (like this other OB wouldn’t try after 38) I wouldn’t go against medical advice but it sounds like this is a scheduling issue of which doctor is on call and not a medical one.

I say this as someone who literally had to get an ECV mid-Induction because baby flipped while we were at the hospital. I am so glad I didn’t have to get a c-section as my recovery is much easier. I’d ask your doctor why not today or tomorrow if he’s on call them? I understand the hospital is booked but is this not an emergency? Ask if you can wait around the hospital and are willing to hop in whenever an OR is free. If I could get an ECV in 6 hours (they had to wait for my stomach to empty) I feel like they should be able to find a spot for you in the next 48.
@cathyhlikesflowers I had a successful ECV at 38 weeks and still had a planned csection at 41 weeks. After a crazy long labour and emergency C-section with my first, I was hoping for a VBAC but only if she came on her own — otherwise I wasn’t interested in a repeat. I had zero signs of labour at 41 weeks. My planned csection was a dream compared to the first with much better recovery.
@phil92 Thank you, I think that’s what I’m most concerned about- recovering from surgery, and my why for wanting a low intervention birth in the first place, but I’m happy to hear so many positive recovery stories.
@cathyhlikesflowers Getting a second opinion is always a valid option. Aside from the spinning babies and chiro I would also suggest moxibustion. There is some (limited) evidence that supports its use.
@cathyhlikesflowers I had a successful ECV but still had a not-so-great c section experience (after an otherwise positive labor experience). If my next is breech I’ll go for c section. All this to say, anything can happen.
@lceman Same - super easy and successful ECV, pretty chill labor for 40ish hours which ultimately ended in a c section. The c section was the worst part of all of it, for me. Maybe if it had been planned it wouldn’t have been so bad.
@yahwehornoway Yeah that’s what my OB seems to think too. The operation itself was ok.. but the recovery was tough for me. I also think if I had just went straight for a c section bc she was Breech it wouldn’t have felt like I “failed” (yes I know it isn’t a good mindset.. working on it)
@lceman Yeah. I think mine was so bad because they had been pushing pitocin so I was super shivery, and I also spiked a fever in the middle of the operation so that certainly didn’t help. They did take out a giant cyst while they were in there, so silver linings, I guess!
@yahwehornoway This was exactly me. Easy ECV, labor for 40 hours, then a c-section that I absolutely hated. I'd never choose another c-section. I was in a borderline panic attack to get started, then was throwing up on the table from the spinal block, then the nausea meds made me black out so I saw her for a split second and missed everything else for almost two hours.
@cathyhlikesflowers I was not in your situation but I also had my birth plan (nonmedicated low intervention birth) all blown to hell and I fought tooth and nail to give birth “naturally” which in the end was to the detriment of both me and my child. I’m sorry you’re facing this decision and I wish you good doctors, the ability to choose what feels safest to you, and a positive birth experience whichever way you meet your baby.

Personally, I think my attachment to the concept of a “natural birth” did me a lot of harm. I ended up with an emergency c section (during a power outage!) after 28 hours of labor and it was traumatic to say the least. I was in shock for 45 minutes afterwards and could not safely do skin to skin - my husband had to hold our wailing newborn while they waited to be allowed to see me. My friend who had a scheduled c section had a beautiful and peaceful experience with no pain, a healthy baby, immediate skin to skin contact, a doula in the room, pretty much the ideal experience all things considered. We both healed quickly and well, and I had much more guilt about my birth experience than she did because she had had time to make peace with it beforehand.

It wasn’t until later that I realized I put myself - and my child and my partner - through a lot of unnecessary suffering because I was so attached to the idea of doing it the natural way.

I wish I had had someone to tell me what you’re hearing here - that a c section can be a positive experience, that it does not make you any less of a mother or mean that you did not “give birth.” I am 36 weeks with my second now and well meaning friends have asked about my VBAC plans with language like “will you try to deliver this one or have you scheduled a c section?” and I wish they knew how small that makes a person feel. You are birthing your baby either way. Make the choice that feels safest and best for you, and try to make peace with the fact that nothing will ever go exactly to plan ever again; that’s motherhood for you.

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