I Got My VBAC When I Finally Switched Care Providers- VBA3C, A Guest Post By Caryn Westdyk
There is so much truth in this post, literally EVERYBODY who is pregnant or ever planning on being pregnant or has a friend who is pregnant should read it.
Do you know HOW important it is that your care provider be the right one for YOUR birth choices? Do you know it is OK to break up with them to get a good birth?
Then share it.
(This guest post was written by Caryn Westdyk, a natural birth (Birth Boot Camp) teacher in Carrollton Texas. Her story is incredible and you should take her class. Thank you Caryn-)
Finding the right care provider, not something to be taken lightly
I just celebrated a momentous occasion this past week. It was the first birthday of our precious Shelby who is our fourth child! So what’s the big deal? I have four kids and I’m fussing over a first birthday? Isn’t this old hat by now? Well it wasn’t just her first birthday it was the first anniversary of my first vaginal birth.
Not just any birth, a vaginal birth after THREE cesareans, something that is often unheard of!
It was a special day, because Shelby is special to us in so many ways. However, the flood of emotions just came back as I began to recall the wonderful moments of this amazing birth.
You can read my full birth story here.
The basic gist of the story is that I had three very unnecessary cesareans and then one victorious natural vaginal birth! All four of my children are amazing and beautiful and in the end how they got here doesn’t change how I feel about each of them. I do, however, feel differently about each birth, because I feel cheated in many ways. I can blame it on so many reasons: my lack of education, my impatience at the end of my first birth, an impatient OB.
It was my lack of education that led me to become a natural childbirth educator for Birth Boot Camp. After my VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I wanted to help other women make educated decisions about their birth and not feel blindsided by the process.
I see birth as a recipe. There are so many ingredients to make it a success. I believe education is a key component to success. There are many other ingredients such having a doula, eating a healthy diet and staying active, the list goes on. What is the most important ingredient? I believe it is the right care provider! That doesn’t mean that the other ingredients don’t matter. Just like any good recipe, you can’t just leave out an ingredient and expect it to be a success. Not having the right care provider is like leaving out salt from a recipe. You can have all the right ingredients and then skip that very small simple step like putting salt in, and everything is ruined! I believe it can be that way with birth! You can prepare yourself all you want, but in the end, your provider really has so much to say about the outcome of your birth.
I hear it so often from women. They love their OB and don’t want to leave him or her. They “think” or “hope” their OB will support them in their wishes to have a natural birth so they just cross their fingers that it will be the case. Unfortunately, all too often it isn’t the case. This isn’t a post about bashing OBs. My natural birth was with one amazingly competent OB who believes in the process of birth and supports women every day in having the birth they desire. I do not hate all OBs! However, I do believe that many OBs are not excited about supporting a woman in natural birth. Natural birth takes time. It takes patience. It shouldn’t be tampered with. A woman’s body knows how to give birth. It doesn’t need interventions, at least not in most instances.
If you want a natural birth, you need to have the right care provider, plain and simple! This means you have to carefully search for the right one. Be it an OB or Midwife, it doesn’t matter. You need to do your research! Ask around, but don’t just ask anyone. Ask someone who has had a natural birth! If you have had a cesarean and desire a VBAC, join your local ICAN group and ask for recommendations.
This is not something to be taken lightly! I wish I had known this after my first unnecessary cesarean! I wish someone had told me to hit the road and look for a new OB. I didn’t want to leave her, because I liked her. We had a good rapport. I felt guilty even considering leaving. I believed her with my second child when she said she would support me in a VBAC.
Unfortunately, I didn’t ask her the hard questions. I didn’t ask her how many VBACs she had attended or what her VBAC success rate was. I should’ve seen the red flags when she told me she would let me “attempt a trial of labor” if I went into labor spontaneously and not past 41 weeks. A truly supportive VBAC provider would not place those stipulations on you. As you can guess, my first VBAC attempt was not a success. I was never really given the chance. With my third I was told I no longer had a choice.
But you do have a choice! We all have choices in birth! Don’t let any care provider tell you otherwise. Not all OBs are created equal and not all Midwives are created equal. You have to be willing to put out the effort to find the right provider for you, one that will support your wishes in childbirth.
I can’t sing the praises enough of my amazing OB, Dr. C! This man gave me a new found hope in obstetrics! He is truly a godsend to women in the Dallas/Fort Worth area! VBAC? No problem. VBAC after many cesareans? No problem there either. Vaginal breech birth? He does them all the time! Vaginal breech twin birth? He does that too! Obviously there are complications that can arise in any of those situations, but he is truly skilled in each of these areas and I would trust him in any of these situations. I would trust this man with my life! I am so thankful I finally had the guts to “break up” with my OB!
Please don’t roll the dice with your birth. If you truly care about the process of birth, find the right care provider. Don’t skip this very important step, or you may regret it in the end.
Caryn Westdyk BBCI
Birth Boot Camp Instructor
Birth Boot Camp Instructor