You know, I'm at the point now where I either give in and accept the fact that HBACs in Alaska are damn near impossible to get and just go to the hospital and settle for a hospital VBAC  

~   OR    ~

I fight. I fight all the way.

While Alaska has a LOT of choices and a lot of good, safe, choices, we are also very restricted if we are VBAC moms.

The regulations state that Midwives cannot attend an out of hospital birth of any mom that has had prior uterine surgery. In essence a c-section.  

With 1 in 3 mom's having c-sections that is a TON of women that are now basically being forced back into the hospital for any future births.  Personally, I don't think it's fair. While I have had reasonably good births none of my hospital births were what I truly wanted.

I'm pissed and sick to my stomach that just because we have a scar on our body, we are denied the same choices, same freedoms as other women. I feel that we should have the right to make the choice for ourselves.
Not every single VBAC mom is going to choose a Homebirth but we should at least have the option.

For us here in Alaska the choices are especially hard. Alaska is freaking HUGE! And there are many rural and not so rural (but hard to get to) communities that have VBAC bans at their local hospitals or have no hospital at all. Again, forcing us to make some really hard choices.  We either agree to a repeat c-section or we travel to a major city (ie: Anchorage  or  Fairbanks) to delivery in a hospital that does allow VBACs.  Or we travel out of state, out of country (Canada), we can always hire a traveling midwife to come up there. (Whether or not that is legal for them is yet to be determined.)  Or we have a planned Unassisted Childbirth. 

Most of those choices are well beyond the reach of most Families. So, we are back to square one, a planned repeat c-section.  :(

The more I think about it the more frustrated I get.  There are a small handful of VBAC friendly OBs in our community of 350,000 and most of those only appear to be truly supportive. Once you look closely, there is really only one. One lone man that believes in VBAC and in Natural Birth. And because of AGOC's rules about the OB having to be at the hospital the entire time a VBAC mom is in labor, he must limit his practice to just two VBAC mom's per month.  How cruel is that?
Women come from all over the state to use this OB for their VBACs and becuase of some silly 'good ol boys club' he must limit the number of clients he can take. 

The other so-called VBAC friendly providers put a lot of rules and restrictions on their VBAC moms making it difficult to have a nice, natural, peaceful labor and birth. 

My own personal wants and desires are also compounded by the fact I have a rather long history of precipitous births. How can I choose this OB that practices nearly 1 hour from my home as my primary care provider? If I were to hop in the car at first contraction, I MIGHT make it to the hospital. I'm sure most of you can imagine laboring in the care for an hour but how about going through Transition and having the very real possibility of delivering a baby in the car along side the rode?? My last Vaginal birth was an accidental unassisted homebirth because labor was just 1 hour long and my husband and 13 year old daughter helped with the delivery. There is no way on earth I want to do that in a CAR! 

So now my choices are narrowed down even farther. I should look for a care provider closer to my home. None of them set very well with me. I am a Doula and I have worked with a variety of OBs and CNM's over the past 2 years. I have seen from the outside what they do to women in the hospital and quite frankly, I don't want to go through that again. 

At this point, if the baby I get pregnant with was mine own (I'm a surrogate) I'd choose Unassisted Birth in  a heartbeat. All of the options I have at this time leave me with a bad taste in my mouth and a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. However, the baby would not be mine and therefore I feel a bit more obligated to choose a more accepted means of Childbirth. Thank god that my Intended Parents are comfortable with a midwife and that does leave one group of midwives available to me. They use a birth center and do all prenatal there but do delivery of VBAC moms at one of our local hospitals. It's not ideal but I can do it.

Here I go again, slipping into acceptance.  And as soon as I come to a place of resignation, I turn back around and get immediately upset. What can we do? How can we fight the system?

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Apr. 15, 2011 at 3:11 PM

This is truly unfair and until the midwives take a stand it won't change, and I don't understand why they won't take a stand, I would think they would like less restriction.  I think that is terrible that Dr. E only takes 2 a month a new rule I am sure.  I really hate the system up here it is sooo gross and not mother friendly.  Hmpf I dunno.  Do what you think is best.  Have a consult with all your options maybe he can give you thoughts on the precipitous labor and such.  I dunno.  This sucks and I feel awful for you. 

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Apr. 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Good Luck!

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