Sunday, November 10, 2013

ECV or no ECV?

On Friday, I had my 36 week check up at the hospital where I will be delivering this little one. As I knew that the baby was still breech (very obvious when there's a hard head sticking into your ribcage!), and since two doctors had previously advised me that it is not recommended to turn the baby manually, I was expected to come away with a C-section date which would be cancelled if and only if the baby turned naturally.

Instead, I came away with a "plan C" - the doctor who I saw (who is also a prenatal diagnostician who I saw in my pregnancy with Maddy) does not think that manually turning the baby (ECV) will hold any more risk than any other pregnancy, and it may be my best chance to avoid having a cesarean. 

So what is an ECV? If you are really interested, you can read in depth on Wikipedia. Basically, I would be admitted to the hospital early in the morning and they would carefully monitor the baby for 2-3 hours. Around lunch time, I would get some drugs to relax the uterus and a doctor would manually attempt to rotate the baby until she is head-down. After this, whether it is successful or not, I'd need to stay for another 2-3 hours in the hospital to monitor the baby in case of distress or other issues. 

And for the numbers: having an ECV holds a risk of 1-2% of immediate emergency cesarean due to complications such as damage to the placenta or cord, or fetal distress. There's around a 60% or so chance that it would work, in which case hopefully she'd STAY head-down and I'd go on to be able to deliver naturally without the need for a cesarean. And there's around a 40% chance that it would not work and I'd have to go ahead with the planned cesarean. 

(and yes, I realise that technically that all adds up to 101-102% - but I said "around 60%" and "around 40%"... ;) )

Currently, my ECV is booked for November 20 - only 10 days away. I'm still not 100% sure if it is the best course of action - mainly because I've now had two doctors tell me that it has additional risk to the baby due to the dwarfism and two doctors tell me that it does not. I've emailed Dr Mackenzie in the US and am hoping that he has an opinion one way or another. I also have another check up with my private doctor this week and will discuss it again with him as well. I can cancel the ECV at any time for any reason and go straight to the cesarean.

If we DON'T do the ECV (or if we try and it doesn't work), then we're looking at a cesarean the week of November 25 or so... just over 2 weeks away! On the other hand, if we DO try it and it works, this little one could be born as late as mid-December.

I'm finding that the closer that I get to the end, the more anxious/nervous I get about the delivery and hospitalisation. Please keep us in your prayers, particularly throughout the next month, as I'm sure it will hold many many ups and downs for us! Pray also that we will make a wise decision about the ECV - or better yet, that the baby will turn by herself and we won't have to even think about it any more ;)

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