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Seeking tales of successful VBACs!

Gina has just found out that she is moving to Portland. Yay! Turns out that Gina is also due soon with her second child and hopes for a VBAC. Do you have experiences to share with her?

We just learned that my husband is being relocated to the beautiful city of Portland! Great news for us, but the timing is a little difficult. We will arrive this July, when I am 30 weeks pregnant with my 2nd baby. Have any of the UrbanMama's out there had a successful VBAC? Is so with who? Can you offer any advice to me? I'm starting all over and preparing my labor team, so I'd love to hear any birth stories from VBAC mamas - I find strength through you! Many Thanks!


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A friend had a successful VBAC with Dr. Michael Davis at Northwest Women's Clinic this Spring. Maybe she'll post about her experience directly, but from what she says he's got quite a lot of experience with VBACs and was very supportive of her decision to try for one. I'm currently seeing another doc in his office, Robin Barrett and like her very much but dont thing she's accepting new patients now. They deliver at Good Sam and St. Vincent's. Good luck with your move and your delivery, welcome to Portland!

At Emanuel Hospital in Portland (and Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver) we have started a new service which makes it much easier for Obstetricians, family practice physicians and nurse midwives to offer VBACs, and almost all of the physicians and midwives on staff now do. The service is an "OB Hospitalist" program where we provide an on-site Obstetrician 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week to support the community providers. The Hospitalist can assist with the care for any problems or emergencies even if the patient's own physician or midwife is temporarily away from the unit. This additional support provides a level of safety that makes most OB providers comfortable again to offer VBAC to their patients. The Hospitalist does not replace the primary provider--but is always there in the background for support and assistance if needed. We expect VBAC to become much easier to obtain in Portland than it has been!

I wanted to also recommend Dr. Davis, I cannot comment on the VBAC experience, but he delivered my first child vaginally in January and he is an incredibly mellow and open-minded doctor. He was wonderful and I never could have pushed for 3 hours without him!

There is a local vbac support group - ICAN of Portland - that is a wonderful support and resource. They have a yahoo group and regular meetings. Good Luck!

I know that my midwife, Madrona Bordeau, is open to delivering VBAC at home when others might shy away from it. She has total trust in the natural birthing potential of women's bodies. I have bithed with her twice, in 2 totally different situations, and I can not recommend her highly enough. Her practice is called A Woman's Point of View.


I've written a lot about Brenda Kehoe at Everywoman's Health, who's so supportive of VBACs i think she almost cried when I had to have a c-section with Truman (my second) and is supporting me in my desire to go into labor with my third despite overwhelming odds that he/she will be a c-section too!

I had a successful VBAC (first baby was breech) with the help of the OHSU nurse/midwifery practice and a doula named Sara Ohgushi. She's a midwife who also will provide Doula services.

The OHSU midwives and Sara were completely supportive of my desire to have a VBAC and to have a natural delivery to help accomplish that goal.

Good luck.

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I am pleased to report that during our quick 5 day visit to Portland, I managed to visit with 3 providers, 3 different hospitals (St. V's, Good Sam & Emanual) and found each of them to be supportive of my VBAC goals. In the end it's going to come down to my health insurance plan. I'm so encouraged by the health community in Portland though and feel like it's a wonderful place to have a VBAC (where I live currently, I have to travel an hour to an OB who will support my wishes and there aren't any CNM options). I'd still love to hear from anyone who has had a successful vaginal birth after c-section, or from anyone who tried their hardest and had a repeat c-s. I'll be sure to look up ICAN once we move. Thanks again for the good wishes and support.

Hi, my name is Amy. I recently discovered the UM website and love it, I only wish I knew about it with my first pregnancy. I am due on December second,(my second pregnancy), and have been trying to get as much information as I can concerning VBAC's. I have Kaiser insurance, so I can only deliver at St. Vincent's--preferred because its closer to home--or at Kaiser Sunnyside. I am currently seeing a CNM at Kaiser Beaverton. She has been asking me about my birth plan, and I think she is open to VBAC's. I have been uncertain about what to do up until she told me to go ahead and schedule a c/s just in case so I get a "good time and date." At that moment, I knew...there is no way I can treat this baby's coming like a tooth cleaning appointment or something. I want the baby to come when he is ready.

All that being said, I am wondering if any of you have any good recommendations about midwives/doulas/possible chiropractors for proper pelvic allignment, etc. that can help me and my baby have the natural childbirth experience that I want so badly. My first ended in an emergency c-section at Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City 2.5 years ago (I was 9cm for an hour, and then was told a "lip" of my cervix was swelling closed because of pressure from the baby, I waited another 45 mins and they told me I had to have a c-section because baby was getting stressed). In retrospect, I would have done things differently, of course, like first of all, no pitocin-which was fervently pushed on me after being in hospital for only 4 hours. My daughter was a large baby 9lbs, 9oz. I am kind of petite and 5'3" tall. Unfortunately the midwife on call did not think I was capable of vaginal delivery at all, as she told me this before she ever examined me (I had never seen this particular midwife until I was in labor.)

Her negative attitude towards me was unfortunately quite contagious and had me doubting everything I had placed in my birthing plan from the start. I only saw the midwife every few hours, and the nurses came in and out, but no one was very encouraging. I felt forgotten and that I was taking too much time. I desperately do not want to go through a similar experience with this second birth, so I am trying to be more proactive and not let others tell me how its going to be. I also would like to be in a place where I can get some words of encouragement/other ways to get baby moving besides being told to sit in bed from the people working at the time. Any good suggestions? I would love to hear from anyone, and although I know that despite all efforts c-sections sometimes are necessary, I would just like to know that I did everything in my power to have this child naturally. I think I won't feel like such a failure if I know I researched and tried every possible option this time. I am definitely more prepared for negative attitudes from medical staff, but want to feel that my ideals and birth plan is supported.

I would love to hear from anyone concerning VBAC stories, I find them to be very encouraging. I would also love to hear of your opinions about St.Vincents Hospital.

Thank You!


Would welcome any input on the OHSU midwifes. Am considering going to them for a VBAC birth (first birth emergency c-section, no labor, placental abruption). Curious to hear from any other women who used them with VBAC good or bad . .


I would recommend Whole mama whole child for prenatal chiropractic care.

Hi Amy,

Have you heard of ICAN?
"ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) is a all volunteer non-profit advocacy & support group. Our mission is to improve maternal & child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery & promoting VBAC’s (vaginal birth after cesarean)."
Here's a link to their site: http://www.icanofportland.com/

I don't have any personal experience w/ St. Vincent's. The one thing I will add though, is if you go to a hospital, no matter the hospital, the staff are governed by the hospitals rules. They push time limits. And their VBAC rules can always change. Many midwifery practices accept insurance that covers your prenatal and postnatal care. Just the birth isn't covered, many take payments and will even barter for that. The midwifery and out of hospital birth community is very supportive in Portland. I run an org called Portland Home Birth Families. www.facebook.com/portlandhomebirthfamilies & www.meetup.com/portlandhomebirthfamilies
Please let me know if there's any directions I can point you in or what I can help you with!!

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