36 week checkup

… and still working with a breech baby. What can I say? He must just be comfy like that.

I am very happy to report though that Little Dumpling is gaining weight with textbook precision. He gained exactly a pound over two weeks, which is perfect. At my 34 week checkup, my doctor was slightly concerned over his weight as he was estimated on the small end of the scale (very close to or on, depending on which chart you go with, the dreaded 10% cutoff for an intrauterine growth restriction diagnosis). Thus, part of yesterday’s visit was to check on his growth. Little Dumpling passed with flying colors (yay!) and there was no more talk of IUGR (double yay!!).

There was, however, more talk over his position. Our efforts to turn him so far have not been successful. I will admit that I stopped some of what I was doing (the breech tilt from Spinning Babies, to be specific) last week because I thought he might have turned. I’ll probably be returning to that position over the weekend. I also cleared chiropractic care with my doctor, so I’ll be trying that tomorrow! (They have a specific technique that’s supposed to align the pelvis optimally for the baby.)

My doctor also brought up an external cephalic version – version or ECV for short – and gave me the option to try it. When I mentioned my concerns (that the success rate is about half; that of the half that are successful, some babies will turn back to breech; and that although there’s a very small chance of risk, all of those risks are to the baby), my doctor told me he actually has a higher success rate than average (about 70%) and that he thought I’d be a good candidate for it. Luffy and I talked it over and I think we’re going to try it. The procedure would be done at the hospital (from what I understand), so that if there are any problems, they can be taken care of efficiently (although it might mean an emergency c-section at 37 weeks since the procedure will need to be done next week). I have a call out to my doctor regarding our decision, so we’ll see about that.

I had a hard time weighing the pros/cons of the version, to be honest. Everything’s just so uncertain that it’s hard to make a decision. For instance, given my doctor’s success rate, there’s a 30% chance or so that the version won’t work and I’ll have put myself and my baby through an uncomfortable (for me) and stressful (for him) procedure for no reason. Another scenario is that I go in for the version next week and complications arise which lead to an immediate c-section. In that scenario, the very thing I was trying to avoid (an early c-section) still gets done, but even earlier! Will I be ok with the outcome then – knowing that if I had not interfered, Little Dumpling would most likely have had two more weeks in the womb? In yet another scenario, my doctor performs the version successfully (about 70% chance), but Little Dumpling decides to flip back into breech position. Probably not the worst outcome, but again, we went through all the sturm and drang for no reason. And in yet another scenario, my doctor performs the version successfully, Little Dumpling cooperates and remains head down, I go into labor on my own and get to have the vaginal delivery I had hoped for. OR. My doctor performs the version successfully, Little Dumpling cooperates and remains head down, I go into labor on my own, but complications come up and I end up having a c-section anyway. LIFE. WHY YOU SO COMPLICATED???

The decision tree has numerous branches, some of which lead exactly back to the place I was hoping to avoid, which leads to a challenging decision to make. Luffy seems optimistic, so I’m going with his gut. In the meantime, I’ll be visiting the chiropractor and having a chat with my little guy re: his position.

UPDATE – My version has been scheduled for next Tuesday. Everyone keep your fingers crossed!

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