Doctor drama, or, VBACing it

I’ve written here on a couple of occasions about my wish for a vaginal birth this time around (VBAC to be specific, vaginal birth after c-section). First, more subduded at around 9 weeks and then I started picking up some steam a bit in a more recent post of trust. I’ve discussed the dramas on twitter, but I thought I should record it all here as there’s only so much you get across in 160 character increments. I also think it’s important to document it here for my own sake and if someone else happens across it and is having the same struggles as I did in trying to find a care provider supportive of a VBAC.

My old OB, who I had for Leopold’s delivery has been fairly un-supportive and I wasn’t thrilled with how everything turned out with Leopold’s birth. She says she supports a VBAC, but if you delve a little deeper and question her a bit on it, she will quickly admit she would prefer I do a repeat c-section, but will allow me to do a VBAC before 40 weeks if I go into labor on my own. Oh, and by the way, she doesn’t see a vaginal birth happening because I won’t be having any small babies and obviously the last one didn’t make it out. I knew that I would have to fight every step of the way with this doctor, so I decided to leave the practice. I should have told her at an appointment that I was leaving and seeking care elsewhere, but I’m a pansy and had my records transferred and just cancelled my appointment without rescheduling.

I didn’t think they would catch me – or so quickly. The day after I cancelled, I got a call from the office admin asking if I was leaving the practice. I said I was. She then asked why and who I was seeing now. I told her because I wanted a doctor who was more supportive of a VBAC and Dr. R, down the hall. I hung up the phone, and thought that was that. I was shocked when I received a call from my doctor a couple of hours later that lasted about 8 minutes. She was shocked and upset I was leaving and gave me an earful about my bad decisions for the entire time. She told me she was worried for my safety and my baby’s safety, she thought I wouldn’t not be happy at the new practice for reasons she can’t discuss, and she was suddenly more supportive of a VBAC and with me going to 41 weeks. She asked me to reconsider. I briefly reconsidered, mostly because I felt bad, but then I decided I was sick of being bullied and I knew I’d be fighting one hell of an uphill battle if I were to attempt a VBAC with her. I didn’t like the way things were handled last time, why would it be any different this time?

With that, the decision definitely made on leaving old OB, but still not 100% sure I love the new Doc.We started interviewing doulas last week too, I feel having a doula present with their knowledge and support can only make this a more positive experience. Even if I do end up with a c-section, I’ll have peace of mind knowing I did all I could and the support from another person. In interviewing doulas, nearly every single one suggest I see a different doctor at a different hospital along with two nurses. I have a consultation scheduled with him for June 18th, so I may be switching doctors again if I think he’s incredible as everyone is telling me he is.

In the meantime, I’m still seeing second doc, Dr. R.Dr. R’s practice is him and 3 midwives, it’s smaller, maybe a bit more low-tech, but he came highly recommended by an L&D nurse. I wrote a bit about my first meeting with him here. I had my 20 week check-up with him today and I like him a bit more than I did last time and think he’s definitely a good choice. Level-headed, up-front, knowledgable. I talked about IVF again, there were no ugly faces or grimaces (I’m banking on it just being a look of shock last time). He sat down and chatted with me about VBAC risks again and what ups them or lowers the chance of uterine rupture. Pitocin is okay, as long as you are dilated, big no-nos are cervidil and using a vacuum and forceps to deliver, quadruples the chance of uterine rupture (from 1% to 4%). I asked what happens if he’s unavailable for my delivery, if one of the other midwives in the practice would deliver, and he said no, a doctor at this hospital has to deliver a VBAC, a midwife is not allowed so he will be there for my delivery. This makes me feel good that I know I’ll have him, but also a little nervous if something crazy were to happen and he was unavailable for some reason.

We also made a decision on who to hire for a doula! Her name is Michelle and she’s attended over 80 births and multiple VBACs (all been successful). I feel great about having her as a sounding board and having her support through labor (I hope…I hope I actually go into labor…), and I felt at ease with her. I’m really glad I got my husband on board with this.

All in all, I feel that we’re well on our way to setting ourselves up for a VBAC and we have the right team in place. Now it’s time for me to build my confidence up a bit – I have hypnobabies CDs and their VBAC success CDs, a few books on childbirth in general, and a book on VBAC success. I’m also trying to get/stay physically strong by running and yoga a few times a week. So, I’m going for a VBAC, I’m putting it all out there. It’s exciting and a little bit scary.

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7 thoughts on “Doctor drama, or, VBACing it

  1. Good for you, giving a VBAC a shot and going with a doc you like since that’s what you want. I don’t think there are many doulas in my area who have done that many births! I hope it’s a great experience, whether you wind up with a nice VBAC or not.

  2. Very exciting! I hope the birth goes just as you hope, but no matter how it turns out, you can know that you went in with absolutely the best preparation for the birth of your dreams. And of course you will have your little girl at the end of it!

  3. I’m glad you found a good team that is supportive of how you want to try to deliver. It’s very important to be on the same page as your doctors and care givers!

  4. I think it’s awesome that you are doing all you can to have the birth experience you always hoped for. And I really hope you get to have that positive experience this time around.

  5. So crazy how quickly your first doc realized you were leaving and tried to suck you back in. Seems a bit much to me and if she couldn’t go with your wishes from the start, why would she now?! Don’t like what she is up to!

    I am so excited for you and your path towards the birth YOU want. I truly hope you get the birth you dream of!! 🙂

  6. Al, I’m so glad that you’re finding your way towards getting the birth you want, both for you and for your daughter. It really sounds like you’re getting there and like you’re setting yourself in every way possible. No regrets, right? You’re doing wonderfully!!

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