My Very Own VBAC Whopper(s)

My Very Own VBAC Whopper(s)

39

Anyone who has read my VBAC story might remember that my VBAC itself occurred after I switched care providers at nearly 37 weeks into my pregnancy.

Obviously, this is not something that one does “on a whim.”

It’s hard to do anything on a whim when you have an eight-pound person tucked inside your midsection!

And so my decision to seek a new care provider in the last four weeks of my pregnancy was not a “whim” decision but was instead a decision informed by my own careful (yet harried) reflection and research.

And it was a decision I made in reponse to the blatant misinformation about VBAC and repeat cesarean that my original OB/GYN had given me in an attempt to “talk me into” an (unnecessary) repeat cesarean.

So in the the spirit of my request for your stories about the lies, misinformation, and/or miscommunication you’ve experienced when it comes to VBAC, I’m going to share my own story of “Very Bad At Communication” here:

It all started when my obstetrician informed me that he “needed” to do an ultrasound at my 36 week appointment so that he could measure my lower uterine segment.  As he told me, if my lower uterine segment (LUS) was “too thin,” we would need to schedule a repeat cesarean.  If it was not “too thin,” then I could “attempt a trial of labor.”

(For what it’s worth, I’ve found that care providers who use phrases like “attempting a trial of labor” tend not to demonstrate much confidence in vaginal birth after cesarean.)

The warning bells started blaring in my head when he told me that, “You know, just last week, a mom came in here, and we measured her LUS, and it was too thin for a VBAC.  She’s gonna have to do a c-section.”

Why did he share that information with me?

I’m guessing it was his own way of telling me not to get my hopes up (because he was going to shatter them no matter what the ultrasound showed?).

And then I had the ultrasound.

The sonographer determined that my LUS was measuring approximately 3.7 mm thick.

And I, I who had done myVBAC research–I who had scoured PubMed for articles on VBAC, including the then-published articles on using LUS measurements to predict uterine rupture–celebrated for a brief moment, because most studies on this topic recommended anywhere from 1.5 mm – 3.5 mm as a “safe cut off point” for attempting a VBAC.

Even if those studies were flawed in some ways, 3.7 mm still made me safe in their eyes!

Except then my OB/GYN told me that my LUS needed to be 5 mm thick in order to safely attempt a vaginal birth.

The devastation started creeping in.  Those “warning bells” were trying to tell me something after all.  (And they had probably been ringing all throughout my pregnancy, but that’s another issue entirely.)

The sonographer noted the immediate change in my expression and attempted once more to measure my LUS, just to see if there was any one point that was 5 mm thick.

And there wasn’t.

I immediately tried to ask about the other studies I had read, but my OB/GYN interrupted me mid-question and said, “Kristen, I’m sorry, we need to schedule a repeat cesarean.”

I tried again.  “Well, what is the risk of uterine rupture with a LUS measuring less than 5 mm?”

His response?  “The risk of uterine rupture during all VBACs is 2%.”  (By the way, that’s not true.  And it didn’t answer my question.)

I tried again.  “Hmm, that seems pretty high!  And doesn’t pitocin…”

He interrupted me.  “The risk of uterine rupture during all VBACs is 2%.  Period.  And anyway, you never know if you’ll need pitocin!

(I was trying to ask him about how pitocin affects the risk of uterine rupture.  For what it’s worth, pitocin augmentation and induction have been shown to increase the uterine rupture rate from approximately .4% to .9% and 1.1%, respectively.)

I tried again.  “Well, what are the risks of repeat cesarean as compared to VBAC?  Will having this c-section have any negative effect on my future pregnancies or births?”

His response?  “No, repeat c-sections are no big deal!  You can have as many of them as you want!  And hey!  Now you don’t have to worry about incontinence issues in the future!”

(Note: just six months prior, he had informed me about how he only recommends VBACs to women who want more than two children since third, fourth, etc. cesareans can carry so many extra risks and complications.)

I tried again, people! “But didn’t you say…”

And here’s where he threw down the gauntlet.

Well, first he turned to my husband and chuckled, “I’m really making her angry, aren’t I?”

And then he said, “Look, Kristen, we need to schedule your repeat.  Period.  There’s no more discussion.  Now, let’s see, you’re due on May 27th, I’m going to Italy at the beginning of May…how does May 20th look?”

I was stunned.  (And pisssssed!  Seriously, that patronizing crap he pulled with my husband was totally uncalled for.  And it’s what infuriated Tim the most throughout the entire “conversation.”)

But I was also searing with the hormonal rush that is the last few weeks of pregnancy.  I was on the absolute precipice of tears.  And I held myself together just long enough to mutter, “Well, we’ve got a two-year-old, so we’re gonna have to find a babysitter before we schedule anything.”

And Tim and I left that office so fast that we forgot our jackets in the waiting room.

The rest is history.

With the help of our doula, we found a new care provider.

I went on to have not only a successful VBAC but also my hospital’s first waterbirth.

And I was eternally grateful that I had made the terrifying yet empowering decision to switch to a more supportive care provider at such a late stage in my pregnancy.

(And, to his partial credit, my original OB/GYN even called me at home–and my husband on his personal cell phone–to tell me that he had “gone and done his research” and “discovered” that my LUS measurements were “alright for a trial of labor afterall.”)

But what if I hadn’t done all that research?

What if I had allowed myself to fall prey to my original OB/GYN’s non-evidence-based claims about VBAC and uterine rupture?

Should I have even been expected to have read those relatively obscure studies on LUS measurements anyway?

Thinking about the potential answers to those questions make me realize just how exceedingly important the issue of VBAC-related patient counseling is.



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39 Comments

  1. TheFeministBreeder
    TheFeministBreeder02-23-2010

    So this is it – This is where our two stories, so similar in so many details, even occurring on a parallel timeline, diverge to create two very different VBAC stories.

    My sOB threw all that same crap at me (right down the the “Trial of Labor” language – which I also detest.) I got scared and tried to change my providers at exactly the same point you did. However, insurance refused to allow me to change. They told me my only “option” to deliver with anyone else was to go to the nearest hospital when I was in labor and it would be treated as an “emergency” – which they’d pay for. But to purposefully change providers? Yeah, that they would NOT pay for.

    The only thing that saved my chance for VBAC was the doula I hired at 37 weeks pregnant, and the nonstop reading and research that followed. I knew enough to battle them down, and I had read enough triumphant birth stories in Ina May’s Guide to know I didn’t want that experience taken from me yet again.

    Mother Effing Bait & Switch doctors. They make my blood boil.
    .-= TheFeministBreeder´s last blog ..Family Update: December 6th, 2009 =-.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas02-23-2010

      @TFB – You should write a letter to your insurance company saying, “Hey assholes, I saved you thousands of dollars by having that vaginal birth, despite having to battle with your stupid, autonomy-undermining policies. Now lower my premiums, dammit.” ;-)

      Seriously, though, the bait and switch doctors infuriate me to no end too. I like them even less than the doctors who come right out at the first prenatal appointment and state that they don’t attend VBACs. It actually gives a woman time to pursue other options!

      @Mrs. Spit – I know. I was so mad at the fact that I was on the verge of tears because I wanted to give him a piece of my mind. But I also didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry.

      @Jenny – You crack me up! I think you might very well have the best responses to sexist comments EVER.

      @Ren – I know. I know. One of the particular things he did to a friend of yours was unspeakable. Just horrifying.

      And you know what’s even worse? I’ve been told by numerous doulas and L&D nurses there that he’s not even one of the “worst” OBs at that hospital. *shiver*

  2. Mrs. Spit
    Mrs. Spit02-23-2010

    Holy cow. The fact he was talking to your husband and not you would have made me come off the examining room table.
    .-= Mrs. Spit ´s last blog ..Just a Friendly Reminder =-.

  3. Jenny
    Jenny02-23-2010

    Well I mean really can you fault the man? He was GOING TO ITALY after all! Clearly that trumps your unrealistic desire to have a VBAC. Now if you could do the men folk a favor and pipe down they can discuss your options and work out a nice plan for you….could you be a dear and fetch them some coffee and possibly some freshly baked donuts?

    Uhm yeah – so glad that you avoided the repeat c-section and were able to fight for yourself!! That doctor is RIDICULOUS! And you handled it much better than I would have – there would definetely have been lots of F-bombs and other unpleasantries coming from me!

  4. Ren
    Ren02-23-2010

    Reading this made me just as upset as when it happened in real life. And makes me think of all the other awful things that same doctor did to my other close friends. I am so glad you were able to switch so late in the game and have the amazing birth you did.

  5. Aly Carpenter
    Aly Carpenter02-23-2010

    Wow, I would have reacted the same way- I am amazed and so happy for you that you got to experience a water birth… For our next child, whenever that happens, I’m sure my current OB will try to force a VBAC… I am going to do everything in my power- hiring a good Doula, and getting late 4D scans (we had A lOT of cord wrapping around our Son’s neck, arm and leg- thus why he wouldn’t engage) to have a natural birth- your story brought me happy tears- thanks for sharing it- so inspiring!!

  6. Paul R
    Paul R02-23-2010

    To me, this is a symptom of a much greater ailment (massive puns intended). In our modern society, we trust the “subject matter experts” (SME’s) to guide us in our lives and make decisions based on what is best for us, their commissioners. On occasion, sadly, we are forced to see that they cannot be the altruistic knowledge sponges we hope they are. There is simply too much information and too many interpretations of this information for ANYONE to know what is “best” for everyone and yet we continue to hold unreasonably high expectations. This is why being an informed consumer (or informed patient in this matter) is so important. It is ultimately your body, your child, your car, your house, your life, etc. and these things do not come with an owner’s manual and while we should (and want to) make every effort to write our own, we simply cannot because… well.. we have lives to live. It sucks that it is usually this kind of horrifying wake-up call that finally forces us to realize the fact that even in our modern, civilized lives we are sometimes safer taking on the same “I only trust myself” mentality we often loathe in “less civilized” societies but there is simply too much at stake to blindly trust those we hold to higher standards. In conclusion, a very upsetting story, don’t just accept that which is being presented to you and we must take responsibility (at least some) for ourselves and our health care. Oh, and get you a Doula next time you get knocked up ; )

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas02-23-2010

      @Paul R – I think that it’s hard to walk that fine line between trusting the authorities on x, y, or z and trusting one’s own beliefs about x, y, or z. In this case, I do think that women and their partners have a responsibility to educate themselves about the birth of their baby. But I also think that doctors have the responsibility to offer options, resources, information, etc. that are as transparent and accurate as possible. And obviously, Dr. Douchebag wasn’t doing that with me. :-)

      Oh, and I appreciate the doula shout-out, bro. I don’t know what we would have done without our doula in this case!

  7. Paul R
    Paul R02-23-2010

    Okay, so cars come with owner’s manuals. But they too are sometimes poorly written, confusing, or inadequate in the face of all the crazy things life or a teenager can throw at them.

  8. emandink
    emandink02-23-2010

    Wow. That scares the living hell out of me. Hoping for my own VBAC in 12 weeks or so. So far things with my provider have been great. We’ll see.

  9. Leilani
    Leilani02-23-2010

    I was told that I have a think LUS, but never told how thin. The doc said, during (my 2nd) c-section “If I had known it was this thin, I would’ve had you consent to having your tubes tied!” WHAT?!?! He would have HAD me consent?

    Congrats on your VBAC, I hope to have at least one some day :)

  10. Bri-WonderfullyMadeMommy
    Bri-WonderfullyMadeMommy02-23-2010

    Wow,good for you for switching providers and getting your VBAC!!! This story made me angry as your doctor was literally REFUSING to allow your right to informed consent and refusal. I faced VBAC scare tactics early on in my pregnancy and switched around 3 months to a homebirth midwife.

    Again, good for you=)! You Rock! And thank you for sharing this (even though it made me mad)
    .-= Bri-WonderfullyMadeMommy´s last blog ..What Came 1st? Chicken or Egg? Hospital or Laboring Mothers? =-.

  11. Amanda
    Amanda02-23-2010

    Appalling, but not surprising. Did you send him a birth announcement? :)

  12. Jill P.
    Jill P.02-23-2010

    WOW. I am just stunned at your story, as a fellow VBAC mom who had plenty of my own whoppers during pregnancy. THANK YOU for voting with your feet (and pocketbook) and getting the hell away frmo that OB. Too many women in this country just shrug and take the crap their CPs throw at them no matter how wrong or dangerous it is.
    .-= Jill P.´s last blog .."The Back-Up Plan" Super Bowl Spot =-.

  13. Audrey
    Audrey02-23-2010

    WOW. I’m sorry you got stuck with a jerk, but I’m glad you were able to change providers in the last few weeks! I was 27 weeks when I changed providers (from one 5 minutes away to one 45 minutes away) for my VBAC. I haven’t heard of the LUS thing (I never had an ultrasound or anything, my midwife just assumed that I could have a successful VBAC no matter what), but when I was 24 weeks I had an appointment with my OBGYN and she said “Did you decide if you wanted a repeat cesarean or a VBAC?” (proof that OBGYNs don’t get to know you…. we had been talking about VBACs at every appointment through my whole pregnancy) and I told her a VBAC, and she said that since my first daughter had turned sideways in the birth canal, it was likely that my pelvis was shaped funny, but then she said “Since you’re so set on it, I’ll let you attempt a trial of labor, but I don’t want you to get your hopes up and be disappointed.”
    So I switched providers and got a doula… and my midwife was so supportive it blew me away. I ended up having the most beautiful all-natural hospital VBAC on October 22, 2009, and both my midwife and my doula both told me they felt privileged to witness such a beautiful VBAC!
    Doesn’t it feel good to prove them wrong??

  14. Echo
    Echo02-23-2010

    You should have asked him what he does in his free time. There’s this mystique about doctors- they go to -med- -school-. They KNOW.

    Sure, formal education is wonderful- but it’s a lot of conveyour belting. What do doctors do in their free time AFTER med school? They go home, drink wine, play yachtzee and pictionary with their friends on weekends, attend movies… they are not studying constantly and reading and checking out new studies. They are practicing what they have learned. First from books based on experiences of others- then they get to have their own experiences, but their #1 job is to figure out what part of the book they need to practice in order to get the job done.

    Sure, anecdotally there are doctors who are passionate about their careers, but people go into medicine to help people- but, you know, for pay. Someone should let them know they get to keep more of that pay and are sued less frequently if they actually listen to and spend time with their patients.
    .-= Echo´s last blog ..Old-Timer =-.

    • Seckert
      Seckert03-23-2010

      Wow! I think you are really generalizing OB/GYN’s. Yes, we are people too who enjoy life like everyone else. But most physicians I know are always striving to learn more and take better care of their patients. I am also a mother as well as a compassionate physician. Unfortunately, the current state of medical practice makes me also consider the potential for malpractice claims when I am trying to take care and listen to my patients concerns. I went in to medicine to take care of my patients not to worry about my malpractice premiums increasing so much I can no longer practice. I do perform VBAC’s but only in patients with one prior c-section. Why? Because the hospital will not allow patients with tow or more c-sections to labor. Now I also need to follow their rules. There are plenty of other professions that would have allowed me to make a higher salary and also spend more time with my family. Please don’t be so judgemental of my profession. We are not the enemy.

      • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
        BirthingBeautifulIdeas03-24-2010

        @Seckert – You sound like someone who might be interested in collaborating with me on an alliance between birth advocates and OB/GYNs to work toward tort reform. :-) (I wrote about that here: http://birthingbeautifulideas.com/?p=1470.) We all need to consider the ways in which institutional forces work to severely limit access to VBAC in this country.

  15. Aeron
    Aeron02-23-2010

    Jenny, that was hilarious!

    I live in the Nashville area, and after much research, I’m renting a cabin at “The Farm” and delivering there. They were the only providers that weren’t afraid!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas02-23-2010

      @Aeron – If I had lived closer to Nashville (I was in Syracuse, NY at the time), I would have gone to The Farm in a HEARTBEAT! You are lucky to be so close!

      @Echo – I like your point about how careers do not necessarily equal passions, though people often treat all doctors as if practicing medicine and keeping up on their skills and information are their passions. What’s even sadder to me, however, is that I think we should reasonably expect our care providers to offer us accurate, transparent, and non-coercive information, at minimum. Especially in maternity care, this happens far too infrequently.

      @Audrey – That is AWESOME! And yes, it feels wonderful to prove the VBAC naysayers wrong. :-)

      @Sara – I just love stories like yours! In addition to filing the grievance (good for you!!), I hope you sent a birth announcement (weight and all) to your original OB. ;-)

      @Amanda – I didn’t send him a birth announcement, but I did see him in the hallway of the L&D unit as I was moving to the postpartum floor! I gave him a Miss America wave and pointed excitedly at my vaginally born baby. It was my own way of giving him the finger!

      @Leilani – I’ve heard of a few OBs saying that during a c-section. I’m never quite sure what their intentions are. Are they trying to make women “feel better” about the RCS? Do they really, truly have an idea of just what level of “thinness” would predispose someone to a uterine rupture? (Are they just talking out of their asses?)

      By the way, I hope for you too that you get to have a VBAC some day! :-)

  16. Dorene
    Dorene02-23-2010

    I have a really good VBAC story on my blog. A student of mine. I personally have had a HVBAC with my sixth child (and she was over 10 lbs.)
    .-= Dorene´s last blog .. =-.

  17. Hillary
    Hillary02-23-2010

    Wow-this is a amazing story that completely fulfills my current obsession with getting women informed dammit–not scared!

    Good for you! I love this story.

  18. missy.
    missy.02-23-2010

    Wow, what a story. The morning after my (preventable) c-section with my first child, the pediatrician said “Well, you’ll probably just want to schedule your next c-section as soon as you get pregnant with your next one. Looks like your babies will be too big to come naturally!” (She was 9 lbs. 15 oz.) For my second baby, I bypassed the hospital altogether and had an unmedicated waterbirth… and he was 10 lbs. 2 oz. It was the most empowering experience of my life. Hooray for VBACs!!

  19. lily
    lily02-24-2010

    same happened here… except not a vbac.

    When I told my original doc that I wanted a natural birth, free of drugs, he looked at my hubby, smiled, and said “she’ll change her mind”. My hubby at the time very new to the world of natural births, agreed with him, so I felt like I was nuts.

    At 6 months, baby was frank breech, and doc wanted to schedule a csection. But, I thought the baby had plenty of time to turn still!?! Doc didn’t think so.

    There was also the “rush” to get me in and out and not have time to answer all my questions. and always the talk of epidurals, despite me saying I wanted to try to go without drugs.

    It wasn’t until my 37th week that I realized that I was scared to have that doc attend the birth. I thought the hormones were making irrational, but it turned out to be the best thing.

    I had my baby boy, vaginally, no pain killers, free of drugs, free of interventions, free of unnecesary cuts, and almost 2 weeks past my due date. Had I not changed docs at 37 weeks, the first doc would have definitely induced or cut me open the moment I hit my due date. Had they done that, my boy would have been at a premature weight, since he was under 7 pounds (at 2 weeks “late”).

    follow your guts, even if the people around you say your nuts! I’m glad I did.

    ———

    PS–> Oh my!!! I went back to your original blog about your vbac. I know who you’re story! You inspired me to get a doula! I wanted the opportunity to have a water birth too (I used the tub, but didn’t give birth in it). I found my doula by contacting Chris, your doula, after I read about your water birth at my hospital. I didn’t realize you had switched docs so late too! I did, however, choose my new doc, Dr. N, after someone said, “hey, remember that first water birth… it was Dr. N, try him, he’ll take you as a new patient late in the game!!”

    Isn’t Dr. N’s team great?? He wasn’t on duty when I gave birth, but I trusted his staff and associates completely.

    Small world!! :)

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas03-08-2010

      @Lily – That is SO WONDERFUL that you got to work not only with Chris but also with Dr. N! Congratulations on your VERY triumphant birth!!

  20. MomTFH
    MomTFH02-24-2010

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am continually amazed at the things people are told about VBAC by their doctors. One woman, who switched to a midwifery practice where I was a student, said her doctor told her he’d refer her to a psychiatrist before he’d let her attempt a VBAC. A friend of mine had a similar patriarchal moment as you, when her doctor said “Bring your husband in to your next visit, and we’ll both talk sense into you.”

    I understand the issue you have with the term “trial of labor”. I am using in my research study, because it is the accepted term in the literature for a VBAC attempt, and a VBAC is a completed or “successful” (I don’t like that term) trial of labor. In practice, when talking to lay people, I think “VBAC attempt” is more optimistic and appropriate.
    .-= MomTFH´s last blog ..Reply turned post, do I have a Kick me! sign style? =-.

  21. Casey
    Casey02-24-2010

    I CANNOT believe I’m reading this. I am currently 37wks+3days … At my last appt, 36wks+4days, my doc informed me that he “would not participate” in my VBAC. Why didn’t he tell me this at 7 or 10 wks when I first mentioned my intentions to him … or even at my 16 or 20 wk appts when I made it CLEAR that my intention was a VBAC? Or at wk 24, 28, 32 … Get the idea? I cannot believe you had to go thru this as well. Thank you so much for publishing this. Please, pray for me, as I have switched OBs and have a midwife who is COMPLETELY on board with a VBAC =)

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas02-24-2010

      @Casey – *standing ovation* GOOD FOR YOU!!! I know how difficult and stressful it can be not only to find out that your care provider has been stringing you along for nine months but also that you now need to find a new care provider. And how wonderful that you HAVE found a supportive midwife! That’s really, truly wonderful. If you’re up to it, please come back and let us know when you have your VBAC! :-)

  22. Paul R
    Paul R02-24-2010

    I guess to summarize my thoughts (slightly) more concisely, this story highlights the need for health care reform on another, much less tangible level; we need to shift our concept of health care to health collaboration. That means changes on both sides, however. Providers need to be open up to and encourage participation from their patient’s but patients need to take more responsibility in their own health and do their own research.

  23. Interesting links to read while waiting « Welcome to Birth a Miracle Services weblog!
    Interesting links to read while waiting « Welcome to Birth a Miracle Services weblog!02-28-2010

    [...] A doula’s personal experience of having a VBAC after switching care providers at 37 weeks [...]

  24. Best of the Birth Blogs – Week Ending February 28th | ICAN Blog
    Best of the Birth Blogs – Week Ending February 28th | ICAN Blog02-28-2010

    [...] The Feminist Breeder’s tips on how to have a better VBAC and Birthing Beautiful Ideas‘ cautionary tale on why knowing the facts about VBAC are essential. Filed under Uncategorized [...]

  25. Kelly
    Kelly03-01-2010

    Thank you for your support on my journey to a successful VBAC. I’ve found your blog so helpful! You helped plant the original seed of the idea to start a chapter in my area!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas03-01-2010

      @Kelly – First off, CONGRATULATIONS on your successful VBAC! Congratulations too on starting a new ICAN chapter! (You are one busy mama!) I cannot tell you how AMAZING it is for me to receive a comment like yours!!!

  26. labortrials
    labortrials06-07-2011

    This is just as relevant and helpful today as it was a year ago. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    labortrials´s last blog post ..What Will This Home Birth Summit Look Like

  27. Sandra
    Sandra07-25-2011

    As I sit here 41 weeks pregnant waiting for my little girl to get the show on the road I am just doing some reading on the net to keep myself motivated. This post was just what I needed today.

    I had the amazing gift to support my best friend at her birth 5 weeks ago. Though things did not go as naturally as planned, she got her VBAC and that was an amazing thing to share with her family.

    However, sharing the experience of her hospital birth was pretty much a slap in the face for me – major wake up call. That is not what I want, no matter how much I tell myself we will manage to fight off the anti-VBACers at my local hospital. SHE was in a place with a dr and staff supportive of VBAC and still came fairly close to a C section… As much as I want to say FU to the anti VBACers at my hospital by having a VBAC there, I finally realized it’s not worth the risk of another surgical birth.

    So, like you, at about 37 weeks, I told my husband I had to call the midwife (from my first birth that ended in C section) and see if she would take me on so late in the game as a VBAC – and if not, I’d be contacting the other midwives in the area. It wasn’t an easy choice to make because of the financial repercussions ($5000 out of pocket, insurance won’t cover) that we weren’t prepared for this time around. But I just can’t imagine not at least trying for the birth we want. It’s been a bit hectic with appointments and last minute paperwork, etc. But I am so much calmer about things knowing we have a plan, with multiple contingency plans including a very supportive VBAC dr at a hospital near the birth center who will support my VBAC if I need to transfer to the hospital for pain relief.

    All the plans are in place. Now I just need to go into labor! LOL Anyways… long story there just to say thanks, really enjoyed reading this post today.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas07-25-2011

      Sandra, it warms my heart to know that this post met your needs today. It is no small feat to change plans so late in pregnancy, but there is no way to measure the immense level of calm and reassurance it can give you when you know that you’ve made the decision that fits you and your values and preferences best. Here’s wishing you a happy, peaceful, beautiful birth!!

  28. julia
    julia10-06-2012

    I’m 1 week away from my due date when my ob informs me the baby is too big over 4000g to attempt a vbac. I feel crushed and defested and my circle that are supposed to support me are saying I’m stupid for arguei.g with a doctor. I may stay at home with noone because the thouvht of another cesarean gives me a panic attack.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas10-08-2012

      Hi Julia–I’m so sorry to hear that the end of your pregnancy is turning out to be so stressful. Are you in the United States? The most recent practice bulletin on VBAC from ACOG states explicitly that *suspected macrosomia* (or a suspected big baby) ALL ON ITS OWN is not a counterindication to VBAC. (Other complications IN ADDITION TO a suspected big baby might preclude a VBAC attempt for some care providers.) The thing is, your baby might be over 4000g…but s/he might not too. Late-term ultrasounds are notoriously inaccurate.

      Please know that it is not too late to have a good discussion with your doctor about the risks and benefits of your options from here on out. You might ask, what are the risks of having a VBAC with a baby over 4000g? How much does the research show it to increase the rate of uterine rupture (if it does)? Since planning a vaginal birth is very important to you, what are the risks and benefits of waiting for labor to begin on its own? Of a repeat cesarean section? Of an induction, if it becomes necessary?

      Know too that there are lots of resources for EVERYONE recovering from a cesarean–whether it occurred just this morning or twenty years ago. ICAN (www.ican-online.org) has great peer-to-peer support. For traumatic births, solaceformothers.com is also a wonderful resource. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions! (birthingbeautifulideas (at) gmail (dot) com)

  29. An Unexpected Birth Advocate
    An Unexpected Birth Advocate05-06-2013

    [...] fact, they were with me during one of the key moments that ignited my birth advocacy.  And on that night when I vowed, at 36 weeks pregnant, to leave my [...]

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