Ask The Pros
Boy or Girl
Finding a Class
Week by Week
Who We Are
VBAC at Home
I really love to share my story with people who are interested in hearing
it, because a lot of people that I tell it to either think I'm crazy,
stupid, or radical. I am none of those things; I only wanted to be safe
and healthy, and protect my baby as much as possible during birth. I had
my vbac at home, with the HomeFirst Family Practice.
My first pregnancy 17 years ago ended as a c-section due to failure to
progress. I was dilated to 5cm when the nurse put me in bed and attached a
fetal monitor. Of course my labor was interrupted, I stopped dilating, and
the monitor showed my twins in distress. This was after about 18 hours of
laboring alone in the hospital, with no information or preparation or
support whatsoever. I was terrified, and my delivery was totally managed
So when I became pregnant in 1996, I began asking doctors for two simple
things: no automatic iv when labor started and no fetal monitoring unless
there was an absolute emergency. I felt these things had contributed to my
c-section the first time and definitely wanted to try to avoid surgery and
have at least a chance to deliver vaginally. The three doctors I talked to
all said that they could not guarantee an iv and fetal monitoring wouldn't
be used in the hospital. I was surprised, as I thought doctors were in
charge and could do what they wanted. But I was told that even if the
doctors agreed, the hospitals had standard procedures and policies that
limited doctors' orders. I was finally told that the only way to have the
kind of delivery I was asking about was to have a home birth, and that
HomeFirst was pretty much the only practice outside of midwives that would
do a home birth vbac.
When I contacted HomeFirst, they sent me an information packet right away
and offered me a free consultation with a doctor. What a difference from
the regular ob's I'd been talking to! I had one ob's receptionist tell me
I couldn't talk to the doctor unless I scheduled a first prenatal exam for
my maternity care. When I responded that I didn't even know if I would
choose that doctor until I had a chance to meet her and wanted a
consultation even if there was an office visit charge, I was told the
doctor doesn't do that, she's too busy. Well I'm busy too, but it doesn't
make me treat people like that. My final response on that call was that if
the doctor was like that before I even met her, and her staff was like that
on the phone, I already knew I didn't want her to be my doctor.
When I met with Dr. Rossi for my consultation, he was so friendly and
informative that I was surprised. He actually took the time to talk to me
like a real person, and not from an egomaniacal over-scheduled
doctor-to-patient standpoint. I told him about my first pregnancy and why
I had come to HomeFirst and we discussed things. I decided that I had
finally found the right healthcare, and began my prenatal care with Dr.
HomeFirst has a different attitude toward mothers, babies, and families
than other ob practices. They are very pro-family, pro-home-birth,
pro-breastfeeding, pro-patient-education. They are also very supportive.
I felt that I could trust the doctors and nurses there without a doubt,
something I hadn't experienced before.
When I went into labor, the nurse came to our home and stayed throughout my
whole labor, offering me advice and support while monitoring my progress.
She helped my manage my pain naturally, without pushing medications or
strong drugs on me. She had me taking warm baths, walking back and forth,
and rocking on hands and knees to dilate my cervix and progress my labor.
I never knew about any of those things before, and doubt I would have
learned about them in the hospital from a regular ob or nurse. I was also
allowed (encouraged) to eat and drink throughout my labor.
When my water broke and I felt like pushing, my doctor and nurse had my
husband help me push, watch as the baby's head emerged, cut the cord, help
clean the baby, and pretty much completely included him in everything that
was going on. Our baby was never taken from us for a moment, I was
instructed and encouraged to nurse my baby as soon as possible, and we were
celebrating even before I got out of bed to sit up! It was so different
from my hospital experience! And I am so proud to have had a baby with no
drugs whatsoever! My cousin was there with us the whole time also, and we
could have invited whoever we wanted to share in the happy birth of our
My doctor never warned me about trial of labor, uterine rupture, or scared
me with stories of losing the baby because of once a c-section always a
c-section philosophy. Instead he told me about the reasons vaginal
delivery is better than surgery, and how HomeFirst's experience with
hvbac's (home vaginal birth after cesarean) had taught them that women were
perfectly able to deliver normally and safely after c-sections. It was a
great relief, and I felt the best choice for me and my baby. My only
regret is that the information and support and quality healthcare I
received from HomeFirst is not available to other women through their ob's.
They are missing so much, and it's such a shame.
When people ask me about my current pregnancy, and ask what hospital I am
going to, and I tell them we are having the baby at home, I get the same
remarks that I did with my previous pregnancy: "Aren't you scared?" "What
happens if something goes wrong?" "Don't you care about the safety of your
baby?" "Are you crazy?" "Can't you afford to go to the hospital?"
All insensitive and uninformed comments, but opportunities for me to
educate people. Unfortunately, most people don't care though. But I'm so
happy there are people who do! And thank you for asking for vbac stories!
I am happy to tell people about my wonderful experience! If you have any
questions feel free to contact me.
Copyright © 1995 - 1999 by Childbirth.org All rights reserved.