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Posts Tagged ‘breech’

When I was 37 weeks, 5 days, my midwife discovered my baby was in the breech position.  For me, this was especially disappointing, as I am desperately hoping for a VBAC.  I was really upset to think my chances for a VBAC were flying out the window because of a breech baby.

For a week I tried everything:

•Moxibustion (did everyday for 6 days)
•Chiropractic – Webster technique
•Knees to chest position multiple times per day
•Headstand, shoulderstand, down dog
•Laying on ironing board at 45 degree angle
•Hypnosis daily – Turn Your Breech Baby script
•Visualizing and talking to baby
•Using flashlights, music, talking and having 2-yr old sing through TP tube at belly
•Pulsitilla homeopathy
•Swimming – handstands, somersaults, deep dives
•and some good emotional releases (I think I cried a box of tissues)

None of the above worked (although I think it was all helpful to send baby a message and give her more room), so at 38 weeks 5 days, I went in to have an external version done and it was successful!

In the morning, I did one more moxibustion treatment at home, then on the way to the hospital, I listened to the Fear Release.  When it came to the part about creating my bubble of peace, I was thinking about all the comments I received from friends/family in response to an email I sent out the day prior requesting their good thoughts, good vibes, and prayers for this baby to turn.  I took those comments and visualized them typed on strips of paper and I pasted them to the outside of my bubble.

When we arrived at the hospital at 7:30 AM, we luckily got a very nice nurse who got us settled into the triage room.  They hooked up the fetal heart rate and contraction monitors and baby was very active, which was good for establishing a baseline.  I listened to the beginning of the Turn Your Breech Baby script and tried to get relaxed into the setting.  My doula arrived around 8 AM.  I listened to more HB while we waited for the doctors.  Just before 9 AM, the perinatologist I consulted with arrived with one of her colleagues, who the nurse later informed me was the `one to have for this procedure’.   I had explained to the doctor during the consult that I was planning on using my hypnosis practice for the external and she was very excited and supportive.  So, they asked me what I needed and I asked them to just give me 5-10 minutes, if possible, to get relaxed.  The nurse gave me a shot of Terbutaline, a smooth muscle relaxer, to relax the uterus.

About 10 minutes later, the doctors came back.  I made sure that I was listening to the part of the Turn Your Baby script where you visualize your hands reaching into the uterus and gently stretching it open, making more room for your baby, and then reaching your hands around your baby and nudging her around when they did the procedure.  I wouldn’t say that I was in a hypnotic state, because it was difficult with all the interruptions, but I was staying relaxed and focused on the script.  I kept my headphones on the whole time, and my eyes closed and I didn’t listen to what they were saying, or watch what they were doing.

It was SO intense, but I stayed totally relaxed and calm the entire time, even though I swear my diaphragm was in my ears and I could barely get any breath into my lungs, and I was sure my xiphoid process (little bone attached where your ribs come together) was going to pop off!  I did want to scream out “STOP!” but I just focused on the script and was talking to my baby the whole time.  I finally opened my eyes after about 2 minutes when I felt the hands come off and looked at one of the doctors and she was smiling, so I removed my headphones. It was good news!

I was really surprised at how forceful it was and I never felt the baby turn on her own.  I guess I thought they’d give her a little nudge and she’d turn herself around.  The doctors said they couldn’t believe how relaxed I seemed and they said, “We need to find out what that is you are listening to!”  [Of course, I told them all about HB.]  They also said that a big part of her getting to turn was because I was so relaxed. I figure if it took four hands to move her, she doesn’t have room now to flip back on her own. I’ll be 39 weeks tomorrow.

They kept me for 3 hours to monitor my contractions and baby’s heart rate. She was just fine – never wavered outside a normal range. I was having some pretty strong contractions (according to the monitor) although I never felt any sensation beyond strong tightening of my uterus. I also had some mild cramping, but after about 90 minutes it all normalized, although I was still crampy, which I’ve been feeling for a few days anyway. The nurse called the doc to see if she could release me, and the doc wanted her to do a cervix check before they sent me home.  I politely declined and assured the nurse I was not in labor, as I have labored before. She was okay with that, just smiled and said, “Okay”.

I kind of struggled with the fact that this was a bit of an invasive procedure, but I figured it’s a LOT less invasive than another cesarean and I truly did try everything else I could to get her to turn on her own.  I’m glad we tried it and now I am confident that it will be smooth sailing from now until the birth…

~Karen
39 weeks, VBAC

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I wanted to share my story about our external version attempt on Monday. We weren’t successful in the traditional sense, but I personally consider it a success…I’ll explain.

Our little one has been breech since at least 31 weeks, though I’m pretty sure he’d been in that position for at least two weeks before. We found at our growth ultrasound that he was breech (and big and healthy! Daddy is 6’5″ so no surprise!)

I immediately began breech tilts, acupressure on my little toes, some swimming, and the Webster technique with the chiropractor. The Webster definitely made him more active, but he just couldn’t seem to turn on his own. By 36 weeks, he seemed to begin settling into my pelvis, making it even harder for him to flip. He was, however, able to flip side to side (he’d face my right side, then my left), so we had hope.

At my 36 week appt, I asked the OB to check placement. He was still frank breech. I asked about an external version then. The OB was really relunctant to do one for the following reasons: 1. this was my first birthing (tighter uterus than someone who’s blessed with 6!), 2. I had ‘OK’ fluid, but not plentiful, and 3. I had an anterior placenta. He gave me a chance of success of 10-15 percent, and said that if I hadn’t suggested it, he wouldn’t have because he didn’t want to put me through the pain of one. I told him I felt that 10-15 percent chance was better than nothing, and I was willing to try. We scheduled the version at the hospital for the following Monday.

Sunday night I did a fear release and listened to the turn your breech baby track. Hubby and I also talked to our baby, telling him that the doctor was going to try to help him turn and not to be afraid. We also told him, like we had before, that if for some reason he couldn’t turn, that would be ok.

Monday morning I did another fear release and listened to some of Deepening on the way (shorter ride than I expected!). The doctor’s office told me to be at the hospital at 10am, so we pulled into the lot around 9:30 just in case. As we pulled in, labor and delivery called wondering where I was! They had been expecting me at 8am for monitoring. Thanks for letting me know ;).

Once I got in the room, I got dressed in a gown and had the monitors placed. IV wasn’t too bad, but I have terrible veins from being stuck a lot in past years. When the doctor came in after I had been monitored for awhile, he had to bring in the buzzer to startle the baby – he was just too relaxed as well! My OB asked if I had been having contractions or anything, and I told him I hadn’t. Apparently I was while I was there on the monitor! The OB even commented that I was “as peaceful as a spring morning.” Once we confirmed we had good heart tones for everybody, and the whole group of nurses was there (4 nurses, the OB, and a resident, plus hubby), I got the shot of terb and we were ready.

My husband pulled close to me, and everyone gathered around. I didn’t have a lot of time to relax (I was I had done a finger drop before the doctor got in, but I wasn’t expecting him then), but my husband was able to reach over, put his hand on my shoulder, and say “relax.” That was enough to get me in hypnosis, and I felt myself just release. There was a lot of pressure and I was uncomfortable (I think I would have been more comfortable if I’d been more prepared), but overall it wasn’t painful. The baby was facing my right side, so they tried to turn him that way first. They got him to almost halfway, but couldn’t get any farther. I could feel that it felt like he got stuck there.

They regrouped and tried to backflip him to the left. This didn’t work either, and they couldn’t get him as far as they had to the right. Sometime during this, the nurse asked my husband how I was taking it so well, and he told her I’d been preparing for this all along. The OB commented that he was amazed that I wasn’t “cussing him out,” and joked that he was a little dissappointed.

After they were done, my OB explained that he just couldn’t get a good grip underneath the baby’s head because of my placental placement in the front. He actually seemed surprised that he couldn’t do it, despite what he had said before. Also, at previous appointments, whenever I made the comment that the baby still had time to turn, my OB would say “well, I’ll cross my fingers” and get a look that seemed to say “there’s no way.” However, after the version attempt, he told me that the baby still had time to turn and we’d talk more about everything at my next appointment.

I only had a little bit of pain the whole time – when they tried to turn him to the left, a buzzer started going off and worried me. I don’t know if they lost him on the monitor that way or what, but I lost concentration for a bit and had pain then.

The nurses asked me afterward if I had a “really high pain tolerance.” I told them that no, I didn’t, but I had been using self-hypnosis to prepare for birthing. One nurse almost jumped forward to ask what it was! They were really impressed. One of the nurses also commented that it was really good to see someone who didn’t just want to schedule a section, who understood that vaginal birth was best for baby and mommy.

It took awhile to get released, lots of monitoring and busy nurses. I’m sore now and I’m going to try to go to the pool and see if the bouyancy will help my soreness. We even laughed afterward while I was getting dressed that I had a big scratch at the top of my stomach where they had really been digging into me.

I feel that it was all successful for a few reasons. First, I had a peace going into the procedure, and a peace afterward. I had been afraid that I would be devastated if it didn’t work, but I wasn’t and I’m not now. I also feel that it went really well after seeing my OB’s reaction. Overall, he’s a pretty permissive OB – you can talk to him like an adult (!) and make a case for doing or not doing something and he’s usually good about it. However, he seemed more hopeful, and I think seeing me give it a go showed him that some women are willing to go for the difficult things in order to have a healthy birthing. I’m hoping he’ll be more willing with other women in the future to try. Also, I think it was really great for the nurses. One of the nurses in particular (all of the are surgical, so they only see c-sections) told me that she had two sections herself and didn’t want either one. She really coached me throughout the procedure, and I think it was a big encouragement for her.

My husband told me that it was amazing to see the procedure and see how I did with it. I could tell beforehand that he was nervous. He told me that you could really see the baby’s back and everything as they tried. He thinks now that there’s a chance this little guy will end up bigger than he is, and like I said hubby is 6’5″. Maybe I should start saving money for shoes now. I’m just glad the little one is good and healthy. :-D

sorry it’s so long!
-Amber
almost 38 weeks with a big boy!

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I posted a couple of days ago about scheduling the an external version after all sorts of crazy attempts to get my baby girl to turn on her own.  Short version is successful hypnosis and successful external version.  The long story is below:

We were scheduled for the procedure at 12:30 pm, but had to be there at 11.  Before I realized which day I would be heading in, I had scheduled an appointment with the chiropractor.  She was still hopeful for having success through her methods, but the doctor was going on vacation and then it would be too late.  I followed the doctor’s advice to go ahead with the procedure because he really thought it would be successful.  The chiropractor stretched out the ligaments in the front of my uterus and worked more on my sacral joint.

We arrived to the hospital and did all the paperwork.  My doctor was of course late.  He always is, but we love him anyway.  My husband and I were starving by 11:30 am and he showed up after 1:00 pm.  At noon, I did the deepening track and then talked with my husband until the nurses wheeled in the ultrasound machine and told me the doctor was on his way.  I then listened to turn baby turn.  My husband was great at talking to them all and describing what I was doing.  The doctor was excellent at waiting until I was ready and then introduced me to a student midwife and student nurse that he asked to come along.  (It is part of my birth plan to allow student nurses… I aim to impress everyone with the success of hypnosis).

I think that actual procedure took about 20 minutes, but it was hard to tell.  I was able to stay under hypnosis the whole time, but would have to constantly tell myself “peace.”  The experience was very intense.  There were only a couple of situations were there was pain, but again when I remembered to say “peace” to myself or “relax” it moved from painful to merely intense and uncomfortable quickly.  At one point, my husband could tell that I was having difficulty returning to a relaxed state so he supplied the external cue which was very successful.

I’m glad that we decided to try it this week because she has moved from tushie on my left side to tushie in the center.  I think she was close to being wedged.  The doctor had to push her tushy out, though she fought him the whole time.  After the successful turning, the doctor and nurses praised me quite a lot.  My husband told me that they were seriously impressed with my relaxation throughout the procedure.  I didn’t even hear them.

We were able to go home a couple of hours after the procedure.  We would have been able to leave sooner, but my uterus did a little bit of practicing for my birthing time.  Bonus: we already took care of most of registration for when the baby comes!

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I am very happy to report that after our baby being breech since they’d started checking at about 33 weeks, that we finally decided to try for the version at 39 weeks and it worked! We have ourselves a head down baby and are ready to await her arrival! So it CAN be done even this late in the game. Yesterday’s ultrasound showed nothing was blocking her way, butt was not wedged in the pelvis, etc. She was really sort of transverse but because her butt was down on my left side they called her a true breech.

Normally they don’t wait this long to try it (about 36 or 37 weeks is optimal), but we just kept thinking she’d turn on her own and so we didn’t push the issue.

My OB was willing to try it even though different midwives had already mentioned a couple of times scheduling me for a c-section at 39 weeks, but we just politely held our ground and let anyone who mentioned this know that we were not interested. Our doctor was thankfully never pushy in the least! I have really gained a respect for her, especially after today.

She was extremely gentle and here comes the good part with Hypnobabies! The whole process from check-in, to celebrate baby head-down, took under two hours. They put me in a gown and put the hep lock in and chastised me gently for having eaten and drank that morning. I knew I was not supposed to but also knew it would be harder to relax if I was hungry and thirsty! They asked me 20 (more like 50) questions while I had my Deepening track on and husband tried to answer some but I ended up just using my Center switch so I could answer. It was easier. They took heart rate and blood pressure and hooked up the fetal monitor. My blood pressure was a little high and my heart rate was elevated although I assured them my heart rate is always fast. That’s normal for me. But I was in fact having trouble relaxing to Deepening, which is weird because it always puts me out like a light when I’m at home. (This experience turned out to be excellent practice for my birthing time!)

So I listened to Deepening again while we waited for the doctor. In between the beeping and people coming in and out, it was still hard to relax. My wonderful Hypnobabies-doula arrived and it was so comforting to have her there with my husband as he held my hand, and they chatted and laughed quietly and that was really comforting. She is a licensed massage therapist! Boy that was a God-send. I decided to lie on my side and was instantly able to become more relaxed, and she worked wonders on my back and shoulders. Then my heart rate and blood pressure were back down for sure! I was definitely much deeper then, and went in Center as they had me flip back on my back to do the ultrasound.

When she was performing the version, I put on the Turn Your Breech Baby track and it was perfect, helping me remember to relax all the muscles around the baby. And I just kept talking to baby and telling her that she was a good girl and we could do this together! And my doula was encouraging me and telling me how great I was doing, and my husband was holding my hand, and it was all so comforting. And 2 minutes later they confirmed with ultrasound that she was head down! What an amazing feeling of relief! My doula had not yet seen a successful version before, but also said that she had not seen a mom this relaxed! I am so proud of us and Hypnobabies.

Just goes to show that it CAN work, even at 39 weeks! Here are some things about the situation that would make many people doubtful, and that Hypnobabies helped me overcome:

-I am a first-time mom (45% success rate when tried at 36-37 weeks for first-time moms. Not sure how far this drops when tried later. 65% for subsequent pregnancies)
-Told by negative midwife that “we don’t recommend them for first-time moms because they don’t work”
-Told by another negative midwife, just before the procedure this morning, that she’s thought all along that the baby was “stuck” and she didn’t think this would work, and told my husband later that she’d probably flip right back! Gee, thanks!

I hope this story encourages other moms who may be going through something similar. Mamas with breech babies do not have to rush to schedule a c-section!

Jenny

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The whole time I was pregnant with Carter he was either breech or transverse.  By the time we got to 34 weeks, the midwives started to get concerned.  We tried everything to get him to turn.  I mean everything!  Chiropractic care, moxibustion, spinning babies techniques, Turn Your Breech Baby CD, acupuncture and acupressure.  My midwife even tried a gentle version of an external cephalic version two or three times.  Nothing worked.  So we scheduled an external cephalic version for 37 weeks.
       I was nervous about it since I had heard from many people that it was so painful.  But I’d read a story from one woman who was studying hypnobabies who didn’t have such a hard time with it.  So I decided to go into it with the expectation that it would be all right.  The morning of the version I did a Fear Release session and I listened to the Turn Your Breech Baby CD.
       We got to the hospital and checked into a room on the labor and delivery ward.  The nurses were super nice.  They hooked me up to monitor the baby.  They use elastic straps that stretch across your belly and one measures contractions, the other measures the baby’s heart rate.  I was having contractions that lasted 1 minute every 3 minutes!  But I didn’t even feel most of them.
       They took an ultrasound to confirm the position of Carter.  They said he was transverse, which was better than the frank breech he had been lately.  I was so hopeful!
       They took my blood pressure and it was quite high.  I asked them if I could do some relaxation and have them take it again.  They just left the cuff on anyway and said it would automatically take it periodically.  I laid back and listened to a Deepening track.  The next time the cuff took my blood pressure it was down to a normal range.  (I don’t recall the numbers now.)
       Nurses kept coming in while I was doing Deepening to check the baby’s heart rate.  I just used center switch if they had questions.  I felt nice and relaxed and confident.  After about an hour of monitoring, then started an IV.  Now, that was a touch painful, but not too bad.  I just stayed relaxed and focused on the Deepening track that I was listening to again.  They gave me terbutaline to prevent contractions.  I had been told that this drug made you feel really jittery.  That worried me since even one cup of coffee leaves me feeling terrible.  But again, I just concentrated on the feeling of confidence that I entered with.  And I ended up not feeling all that bad after all.  It wasn’t as bad as a big cup of coffee, though the jitteryness lasted for a couple of hours, until I got something to eat.
       So then the doc came in.  He didn’t get started until about a half hour or so later than scheduled since he had to attend a birth just down the hall.  By the time he got there, Carter had flipped back around and was a complete breech.  The doc wasted no time and got going.  He tried to push him in one direction and it didn’t work, so he tried the other.  The whole time he was doing it I was concentrating on relaxing all my abdominal muscles, like the Breech Baby CD directs you to do.  The sensation was not painful at all.  It wasn’t comfortable – I wouldn’t have wanted this done for half an hour – but it really didn’t hurt at all.  After trying in the second direction, the doc said it wasn’t happening.  I think he had tried about 3 or 4 minutes, tops, but time is funny in theses situations, so I’m not sure.  I asked him if he would try one more time.  This was my last hope to avoid a c-section!  He was surprised I asked, but did try again.  No luck.  Carter wouldn’t budge from my pelvis.
       As he was washing up, he told me that he was impressed with how well I’d handled it, he said most people don’t do so well.  I told him that I thought perhaps he was just being gentle and he said he wasn’t.  I think, from his tone of voice that he was implying that he was anything but gentle.  After that they monitored me for about another hour, longer than usual because of the contractions I’d been having.  I just lay there and talked to my husband planning what we were going to eat (I was starving!).  They finally let us go and we went for some Asian food.  For about three days afterwards I was a bit bruised where he’d been pushing.  I guess he wasn’t gentle after all!
       I chalk up my ability to be relaxed and confident going into the version to Hypnobabies and credit it with my ability to stay relaxed through the procedure.  It gave me confidence that it would work for during my birthing time.  Unfortunately, we ended up with a c-section, but it wasn’t all bad.  The results – a happy, healthy, beautiful baby boy – were what mattered.  I was happy to be able to say that I tried everything to get him to turn but that he just wasn’t supposed to.

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