I’ve had a very trouble-free pregnancy up until now, but just in the last week the baby turned back head-up and refused to go back down again. So I had a scan on Tuesday which confirmed it was in the frank breech position (in a nice little V-shape with the bum down and the heels up by the head). This is apparently the hardest position for babies to get out of once they’ve got into it. So yesterday I went to the big hospital in Dundee to try and get it turned round. The procedure basically involves giving me a muscle relaxant and then pushing and shoving on my belly to try and encourage the baby to unstick itself. It’s a rather violent procedure, and I’m quite tender today. But no, the child was firmly jammed in, with the head pressed up against my ribs and the bum sinking ever lower into the pelvis.
The recommended procedure in such cases, particularly for first-time mothers, is an elective Caesarian. I really don’t like the idea of being cut open, but having discussed it with the consultant this morning I now think it is the least worst option. This partly because the way they’re trained to do breech deliveries round here is the assisted delivery method, which means stirrups and forceps and a 50% chance of having to have a Caesarian anyway. And given that stirrups and forceps usually means a big episiotomy, it looks like I’d be cut open somewhere whichever option I chose. If they offered a hands-off natural delivery with manual manipulation of the head I’d be more likely to choose that, as I’ve seen some evidence that the risks (to both mother and baby) are lower that way, but they don’t have anyone who knows how to do that. Plus the mention of interruption of oxygen flow causing cerebral palsy as the main risk for breech births, and I’m coming round to the idea of having a couple of months of service interruption to my belly muscles.
So the date for the Caesarian is set for the 21st December, which is nicely before Christmas. Of course things could still change – it could still turn, though that’s unlikely, or I could go into labour early – but it looks likely that that’s when the child will be born.