When Amandah Hesselbrock found out 37 weeks into her pregnancy that her fourth baby was in a breech position, she was overwhelmed with anxiety. Breech babies account for about 4% of all full-term pregnancies and often result in a Cesarean birth (C-section).
Amandah wanted to avoid a C-section at all cost. However, being new to the Georgetown area, she was uncertain who to trust to safely deliver her baby. After Amandah heard extensive praise for Dr. Coy Flowers of UK HealthCare-Georgetown, she felt confident she would be in good hands.
“I had never met Dr. Flowers before and realized he would probably be doing a Cesarean on me. He answered every question that I had and was very kind,” Amandah said. “We planned to attempt to flip my baby at 39 weeks and then immediately induce if it was successful. Otherwise, I would be having a Cesarean.”
Together, Dr. Flowers and Amandah decided to attempt an external cephalic version (ECV), a procedure used to maneuver a breech baby into a head-down position.
“I knew from the minute that I met Amandah that she had a clear vision for her birthing experience – and that did not include a C-section. I listened to every detail of what she hoped for – and then, together, we made a plan to make it all happen. She was incredibly smart with all of her questions – always wanting to make sure her baby was safe – and was open to listening to all of the important education I threw her way about turning the baby to have a healthy vaginal birth.” Dr. Flowers said.
"An absolutely amazing experience"
Despite having a comprehensive plan to avoid major surgery, the added stress of a complicated birth was nerve-wracking, even for an experienced mom like Amandah.
“I had a lot of people not want me to do an external cephalic version because most of the time, they are very painful and can be unsuccessful,” Amanda said.
At 39 weeks, Amandah went ahead with the ECV procedure. Following the advice of Dr. Flowers, she decided to get an epidural after learning that ECV is more successful with medication.
Amandah said the care of her nurses and anesthesiologist helped put her mind at ease.
“The nurses and anesthesiologists were so kind and treated me with nothing but respect,” she said. “My anesthesiologist managed to even make it where I could move my legs with my epidural, which was something I had been hoping for.”
After the epidural, Dr. Flowers began the ECV procedure and initially was able to successfully flip Amandah’s baby into the optimal birthing position. But, the baby went right back to the breech position – twice – before, finally, after 3 attempts, her baby remained “head down”. Much to her surprise, Amandah felt no pain or pressure during the procedure.
“Because he was able to flip the baby so easily, we could avoid major surgery, and he went ahead and started my induction,” Amandah said. “He was able to put a heart rate monitor on my baby’s head to help position her downward, and we were able to have her birth we had been dreaming of.”
Amandah was relieved when it was finally time to push. After an eventful afternoon filled with lots of anticipation, Amandah’s baby girl, Ivy, finally arrived.
With the help of Dr. Flowers and a medical student, Ivy’s birth was a total success, and she remains beautiful and healthy.
“Seeing mom, dad and baby all together – happy and smiling – grateful to be growing an amazing family - was the best reward I could wish for as an OBGYN.” Dr. Flowers said.
“I felt like even though Dr. Flowers was a new doctor to me, he has such a friendly demeanor that I felt like I was going through my birth with a doctor I had had for years,” Amandah said.
“Overall, it was just an absolutely amazing experience because of Dr. Flowers’ personality, professionalism, and how easily he was able to flip our little one. I’m sure if I had to have a C-section performed by him, it also would’ve been great, but I am so very thankful that I was able to avoid that because of his care.”
UK HealthCare is nationally ranked by US News and World Reports among the top 50 best hospitals for Obstetrics & Gynecology care.