The 36 Week Scan – The news I didn’t want to hear…

May 11, 2016

Today (at time of writing; yesterday at time of publishing) we had our scan to see if the baby was still breech. We’ve spent most of the past two weeks since our last scan thinking positively and assuming that, while increasingly less likely, the baby would turn in time and we’d be able to plan a natural birth. We’ve done a hypnobirthing course (which was great; lots of visualisation about the baby being in the right position) and nearly every night we’ve been trying moxibustion (Google it!) in the hope that the baby would turn.

On Monday I saw the midwife who, while refusing to put anything other than a question mark next to the presentation of the baby on my notes, told me she thought the baby might be head down, and 3/5 engaged at that. All very encouraging.

Then we had the scan. Still breech. I wasn’t overly worried about this; we’ve obviously discussed it before as it was becoming increasingly likely that this would happen and we’d decided on a c-section in the event that it did.

The news that we weren’t expecting was that the baby was measuring small. At our growth scan two weeks ago, we were reassured that the baby was measuring fine and the previous scan which showed the baby was small, was an anomaly. However the doctors now reckon that the ‘normal’ size scan was the anomaly, and the baby has been pretty small all the way along.

It’s our hospital’s policy to induce early (at 37 weeks) with babies that measure below the 10th centile. However, our baby is measuring on the 10th centile. Normally with breech babies they wait until 39th week to perform a caesarean section. So with me they have decided to split the difference and deliver at 38 +1.

Less than two weeks’ time. Eeek!

I must admit I have had a bit of a cry to mourn the natural birth that I was hoping for, but to be honest I just want to do whatever is safest for the baby, and in this instance it would seem that a c-section is the right way to go. I’m sure I’ll be feeling more philosophical and hopefully more positive once I’ve had a chance to digest the news. At the moment my mind is just swimming with the possibility of NICU and me being stuck on a ward with other women and their babies while mine is in difficulty elsewhere.

But that’s just one option. It could all be fine. The 15% margin of error with sizing the baby could mean that ours is actually perfectly fine weight-wise, just in an awkward position, and she’ll be absolutely fine. Time to try some hypnobirthing positive visualisation to swish those negative thoughts away!

Have you had a positive c-section experience? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. If you had a negative one, to be honest, I’d rather not know about it just now! Thanks lovelies xx

36 week scan, pregnancy scan, caesarean, c-section, breech baby, breech, 36 week scan, sonography, 36 week pregnancy scan

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

46 responses to “The 36 Week Scan – The news I didn’t want to hear…”

  1. I had a planned c section with my second and it was a really positive experience. Try not to worry about it, I don’t know what your hospital is like but I was able to listen to the music of my choice and the staff were brilliant at talking me through everything. The most important thing is that you and bubba are safe, best wishes for 2 weeks time x

  2. Becky Lyons says:

    I had an emergency c-section due to Ivy being stuck and in distress so I was put to sleep to speed up the process. As she was only 29 weeks she was rushed straight off to NICU so I didn’t see her for about 7-8 hours after birth, but hubby got to see her. Once I could get out of bed and in to a wheelchair without too much pain the my wheeled me down. I’m not going to lie the first couple of days are hard and coughing and sneezing are not pleasant but it gets easier and I actually healed quicker than others who had tears/cuts through vaginal deliveries!
    Mentally it is difficult as like you say it’s almost a mourning of a natural delivery, but if it’s the safest way for baby to be born it doesn’t matter how it happens.

    Good luck with it all. Very exciting that baby will soon be here 🙂

    • Jules says:

      Thank you. I’m feeling better today after a good cry and a night’s sleep! Just got to think positive and get excited x

  3. Lucy says:

    Mine ended up being an emergency C-sec as baby was in an awkward position and “undeliverable” (wish I had known that before the 30hr labour!) and although it was classed as emergency it all felt pretty calm. My anaesthetist was lovely and very reassuring and all the staff when I was recovering were so helpful. I ended up staying in about 5 days due to is us both needing antibiotics which was a bit tough (it’s not easy to get sleep on the ward eapecially when your stomach is kaput) but as soon as we got home it was fine x

    • Jules says:

      Yes it’s the ward bit that I think I’m most anxious about! Aside from baby having difficulties, obviously.

  4. Fi - Beauty Baby and Me says:

    I had an emergency C Section which at the time was terrifying but I got so well looked after. Take all the advice and rest lots – get lots of looking after xx

  5. Don’t worry lovely!! I had a similar thing happen at my 36 week scan. The twins hadn’t grown since their 34 week scan and I was admitted that evening (a Monday), with a c-section booked in for the Wednesday. All a bit scary and not at all what I was expecting!! I hated staying in hospital in the run up to it, but I guess it was necessary.

    My section was the most amazing, amazing experience. I requested that they put the monitors on my arm and not on my chest, so I could have skin to skin contact straight away, I also asked that my husband could be present when they did the spinal block.

    They weren’t too happy about this initially — in case he freaked out or fainted — but he has a pretty strong constitution and they agreed. He was there to hold my hand the whole time and that made the world of difference to me.

    The whole thing was incredible. Calm, peaceful and — given the fact I was being cut open — really magical. It was awesome!! Particularly when I heard my babies crying for the first time.

    Don’t worry. Just make sure you’re clear to your anaesthetist or midwife about what you want and I’m sure you’ll have an amazing experience too xx

  6. Lisa says:

    As you know, both Ben & Luke breech, both elective c-sections and I only have positive things to say about it! Thinking of you xxx

  7. louise says:

    Hi just wanted to reassure you that c sections can be ok! My first was an emergency section so all a bit of a blur and a panic but I recovered really well and as long as you don’t try to do too much too soon and keep on top of your pain meds,you’ll be fine!
    I went for a vbac with my second but after 16 hours hadnt progressed so was offered a section
    Completely different experience to my first…calm and peaceful,chatty surgeons and midwives,radio on and my husband taking selfies with the anaesthesist!! My baby girl cried before she was even lifted out of me which was so surreal! The curtain was dropped immediately and she was put straight on my chest for skin to skin. It was magic!
    Things to note,
    the epidural may make you shake a little,my teeth kept chattering so the midwife told me to take nice deep breaths throughout the op.
    You’ll feel a little tugging and pulling but no pain.
    Having a catheter in means you have to ‘learn’ to pee again after its removed ha!
    It won’t decrease your bond or make it anymore difficult to breastfeed I promise. I felt emotional after my first and had a few feelings of inadequacy or that I was a failure for not doing it ‘naturally’ but we all just want to ask what’s safest for our precious babies and having a major operation is the bravest thing for a mama to do!
    I love hearing my son tell people that he was born through the sun roof 😉
    Good luck to you,I hope you have a positive experience. Let yourself have a cry about it not being what you chose,you’re entitled to that. You still have lots of choices if you do end up with a section though. Also Google natural cesearians and see what you think 🙂 xx

    • Jules says:

      Thank you! I have asked if the baby can be passed directly to me but have been told she’ll need to go via three other people. I will be asking about this again next week at the pre op and seeing if I can have a more natural caesarean. Hoping for a positive experience xx

      • louise says:

        Fingers crossed for you. Is such a nerve wracking time and so hard when so much is out of your control. Get as many answers as you can and stand your ground if there’s something you’re not too sure about. Xx

  8. Jaime says:

    Hi Julie, I had an emergency c-section after a very long labour due to failure to progress and fetal distress. The labour itself wasn’t pleasant as I was exhausted by the end of it but my experience of having a c-section wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. My son was born at 4am and I was up and walking to the bathroom by 3pm. I made sure that I took analgesia at regular intervals and didnt find it that painful. Laughing and sneezing is an odd experience in the first few days, not painful just very strange! My advice would be to pack some really big pants (the ones you would never normally dream of buying in M&S) so that you don’t have any rubbing on the scar line and pack some leggings or stretchy bottoms so that you feel comfortable. Hypnobirthing techniques will still come in handy to keep you calm and relaxed during the birth. Good luck xxx

    • Jules says:

      Thank you. I was thinking about getting a nursing nightie as our hospital is notoriously hot and I thought it wouldn’t rub. Large pants already purchased! Will send hubby out for more if they end up rubbing in all the wrong places! x

  9. I can’t offer any words of wisdom lovely, but I think the hypbobirthing skills will help you and I’m sure there are some #BlogBumpClub ladies who can help too. Big hugs, sending loads of love and positive growing vibes xxx

  10. Hi hunny, sorry to have missed this just getting back into the land of the living. There is a great group on FB about csection and a video of the most amazing csection calm birth I have seen. I’ll check my NCT notes and pop it over when I’m back at home. Totally the right decision, and although I obsessed about a natural birth too. Within a couple of weeks of holding your precious bundle the birth becomes a distant memory. Sending hugs xx

    • Jules says:

      Thanks lovely. I’m already feeling better about it. Just hoping it goes smoothly! But I suppose anyone would feel that about any type of birth! Would love to see the video when you’ve found it, thank you x

  11. Good luck and I am sure you are in safe hands. As long as the baby is healthy that is all that matters. So be kind to yourself X #kcacols

  12. Mrs t says:

    Hi I didn’t have sections but i did have inductions so never went into Labour naturally it was medically managed which was tough. No birthing pool or tend machine for me just straight for the epidural. Not the same as a c section but i did feel like I missed out on something. Wishing you all the best for a safe delivery. The hospital will have you and babies best interests at heart xx #kcacols

  13. Hope everything works out well! I’m sure it will! I had a c-section with my son and it took a bit longer to recover but in the end everything was great and we had a wonderful new baby to love. All the best to you #KCACOLS

    • Jules says:

      Thank you! I’m hoping it will go as smoothly as it can and must be strict with myself about lifting etc x

  14. The Speed Bump says:

    Wishing you all the best and a lovely birth experience. I’m sure everything will be absolutely fine and before you know it you’ll be having wonderful snuggles! #KCACOLS

  15. Sorry to hear that your little one hasn’t turned But I’m sure the hypnobirthing techniques will help with the c-section too. For what it’s worth, I’ve known lots of people who have been induced following scans that said the baby was measuring big / small, and the 15% margin of error seems to come into play a lot, so hopefully this will be the case for you and all is actually absolutely fine. Wishing you all the best for the big day – I bet you can’t wait to meet your little one now it’s all going to be happening that much sooner! #KCACOLS

    • Jules says:

      Thank you. I’m not quite there mentally yet – hopefully after my pre-op I’ll feel more ready for the op and can then think about the fact that we’re actually going to meet our baby! x

  16. Laura @ Mama, Eden and Me says:

    I hope everything goes brilliantly with your delivery! We almost ended up with a c section for a breech baby, but she flipped at the 11th hour. I’m hoping the sizing issues is just the inaccuracies of the machine too. Hopeful for an easy, complication free c section for you with a speedy recovery. I dreaded ward time too, but my ward and ward-mates were lovely xxx

  17. Kat says:

    Sorry it wasn’t news you wanted! I had an emergency c-section, still awake but wasn’t planned and was due to baby heartbeat not accelerating enough, not moving far enough down and me catching a fever in labour. That being said, I managed to breastfeed in recovery for 25 minutes and have skin to skin contact with her quite quickly. I found getting in and out the bath difficult so I was glad I had a shower, car journeys were hard for a couple of weeks, but I think they are for everyone after birth really…recovery was pretty positive though, the surgeons were great during the emergency section and I am 75% sure I’ll go for an elective next time around. if that helps any! #kcacols

    • Jules says:

      Thank you, it’s good to know you found it a positive enough experience to want to do it again! x

  18. Sorry to hear things haven’t gone as you’d like but you seem to have a good positive attitude around doing what’s best for you and baby. No matter how they’re born it will still be an amazing, life changing event as long as you keep your positive outlook and take each thing as it comes. good luck, I hope everything goes well for you!

  19. Madeline says:

    I’ve not got any personal experience with c-sections, but the people I know who’ve had elective sections have been really happy with the experience. Reading some of the other comments on here, it sounds like it can be a really positive birth experience. I’m sorry it’s not the birth you’d hoped for though. x #KCACOLS

    • Jules says:

      I hope it is a positive experience, and as you say I’ve heard good things from other people who’ve had them too. I just feel like a bit less of a mum for not going through labour x

  20. Davina says:

    I can’t help you with the C-section, but I can with the measurements. I was told from 26 weeks with my second baby that he was measuring small. I was always behind on my fundal height measurements and he was borderline on the growth scans. When he was born, he weighed 7lb 14oz, which I am sure you will agree is not small! I am quite small myself at only 5 feet tall, so I don’t know if they were expecting a 10lb baby from me or what, but it was the same with my first pregnancy and he was 8lb. I’m not saying this is the case for you because it might not be, but just bear in mind that growth scans can be grossly misleading. I really hope everything is okay and that you have a good delivery and speedy recovery. X #KCACOLS

    • Jules says:

      Thanks, they have said there is a 15% margin of error but that could go either way (I.e. The baby could be 15% smaller than they estimate, as well as bigger). The growth chart is tailored to your ethnicity, weight and height at booking so if a baby is small, then it’s small for you. I’m 5foot5 and very narrow, so wasn’t expecting a big baby anyway, but she’s still measuring small for my chart xx

  21. Savannah says:

    My sister-in-law was told something very similar, so she had several growth scans at the end of her pregnancy, before being induced. Turns out, baby was a perfectly healthy weight, and everything turned out fine! As you said, there is an error margin, so try not to worry too much. I’m sure hypnobirthing can come in handy when you’re trying to keep yourself calm during your C-Section. Wishing you the very best <3 #KCACOLS

    • Jules says:

      Thank you very much. I think it’s just all the unknowns that make it such a worry. Hopefully it will all turn out fine. Yep, I’m hoping the hypnobirthing does the trick!

  22. I had 2 c-section. The first one was an emergency one and didn’t like the experience of being in labour for 24hrs and then having to do a c-section because the baby was in distress. But the surgery lasted 48 minutes and I met my baby after 15 minutes of starting the operation. With my second pregnancy they gave me the option and I decided to have a c-section. My experience this time was amazing. I was able to organise my week. Arrange who will be with Bella at home. Prepare myself for the day. I knew what to expect!! I like this. The uncertainty can kill me so knowing every single step made my day easier. Every thing was super fast. I only stayed one night. The next day I was discharged and back home. So in short my programmed c-section was a great experience. Hope this helps. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. Hope to see you again this week, 🙂 x

  23. The hippy christian mum says:

    Hi Jules my baby was breech…had I known I definitely would have had a planned c-sec. As it was no-one picked up on it, I wasn’t offered a 36wk scan even though it was a planned homebirth and my baby had to go to NICU. I’m posting my story on my new blog tomorrow. I 100% think you’ve made the right decision and definitely go through those emotions that it wasn’t what you expected but know that it’s the best thing. C-secs can be just as positive a birth experience if you feel empowered in your choices. Best wishes with everything & looking forward to reading your birth post if you do one. 🙂

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