Lots of elements to the decision, from hearing Lynn and another friend's version story, to medical advice from a respected colleague of my sister's.
My friend Soniah wrote in that, "My daughter...was a breech and they tried to push her 'straight'. I was scheduled for two pushes -- none of which were successful. But [she] would hardly budge. Anyway I had to have a c-section, and we found out that the cord had been wrapped around her neck. Only it wasn't visible through an ultrasound and my doctor said that that had she tried to correct [the baby's] utero position any harder she might have been strangulated. I shudder at the number of times I tried to push her head down at home by myself..." Eep. And I know that's not common, but it is one of several listed risks with the version procedure. And the doctor colleague said:
"My advice would be to have a primary c-section. There are a couple reasons why I say that. First, a version involves manually placing a lot of pressure on the uterus (think of 2-4 hands trying to make the baby do a somersault). If she already has pain from a degerenating fibroid, this could be unbearable. Second, the baby may be breech for a reason. Breeches can happen b/c of a septum, or other uterine anomaly. Or, in your sister's case, the fibroids may have changed the shape of her uterine cavity, such that the only way the baby fits is in the breech presentation. I know that the quoted rate of success is 70%, but I've really only seen that be true for people who have had multiple babies. The success rate is much lower for people who are having their first. I know it's a hard choice...but in the end, once she holds her baby, she won't care how it came out. There are still some people who will do versions with an epidural...definitely don't let her do that. If she can't feel pain, they may end up exerting too much pressure on her uterus."Lots of good reasons there to not do the procedure in my case. And finally, lots of people have said, in various ways, that I'm getting too hung up on the whole idea of the birth, and that in the end, it's just one day, and the important part is getting baby out as safely as possible, so that we can have all the other days that come after. With all that in mind, I feel like for my particular situation, scheduled C-section is the right way to go. It makes my doctor dad feel better too, as it turns out, which is another good reason for it.
So, more on this on Monday, after I talk to my doctor again, including perhaps a date for the birth? (All of this assumes that I don't go into labor sometime before the scheduled C!) Thanks so much, everyone, for all the advice. It was really really really helpful. (What did we do before the internet? ;-)
Funny side note on birthdate: My mom is actually quite excited about the C-section, because it means that we can try to choose a date that is numerologically good. Kevin and I are both 8's, in numerology, which is a contentious and difficult number. (I believe both my sisters are 4's, which are notably easier to deal with.) My mother wasn't thrilled by the bits like this when she was raising me: 8's are "Independent, radical revolutionary, problems with authorities, stubborn, frustrated by limitations. Intimidating, daredevil....responsible to their own law only." My mom is advocating for a 5 or 6 for the baby, which would be much 'nicer'. 5's are "upbeat personality, gentle at heart...Make friends easily...vastly gifted and enterprising with resources." And 6's are "Loving and caring, everybody's friend, charming and charismatic, beauty oriented...Good ally and counselor, homemaker, nurturing, sympathetic"...etc. and so on along those lines. You can see why my mother might have wished for a 5 or 6 daughter instead of an 8!
To get a 5 or 6, we'd need to schedule the birth either for the 14th or 15th of May, or the 23rd or 24th. We'll see what my doctor says. :-)