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Anchorage/ Mat-Su VBAC Advice

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Hi Ladies,
I was wondering if I could get some advice I live in Ketchikan and am now 18 weeks pregnant. I am looking into having a VBAC in Anchorage or the Valley. After looking online at the 2006 AK Birth Statistics. I came to the conclusion that Providence or Mat-Su Regional would be my best option.
Out of those two, Mat-Su has a higher VBAC rate (1.7% vs. 09%) and
lower C/S rate (10.8% vs. 29.5%).
http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/bvs/b...ity/frame.html
So, it looks like Mat-Su would be the best choice out of the two
hospitals.

Here are some questions:
1.) Has anybody had a VBAC at either of the hospitals. What was
your experience like?
2.) Is there any VBAC Doctors that you would recommend?
3.) Doula recommendation? Preferably, somebody who is familiar with
VBACs.
4.) Should I be concerned with the fact that conception occurred
exactly one year after my c/s? :-)

Thank you so much for reading this and any feedback would be great.
I also posted this on the Alaska ICAN Yahoo Group. There has not been any activity on there for a while.
~Alex
post #2 of 48
There is a current thread regarding your questions:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1044052

post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
Anybody else?
post #4 of 48
I'm sorry, I dont have any experience with those hospitals yet.
I would suggest you entertain the idea of finding a traveling homebirth midwife.
post #5 of 48
Hi Alex-

At Providence there's Dr. Richey, who was supposedly the crunchiest Dr. around but sure didn't seem to go out of his way to help me avoid my Cesarean birth (not a vbac, neither will I be attempting vbac with him). I guess the nurses were nice enough, but mostly the LCs sucked. I got out of there asap.

At Mat-Su there's Dr. Elrod, who I've heard alot of good about for vbac's specifically, though I haven't met him yet. I'll be meeting with him in a week, and you can be sure I'll be asking him alot of hard questions.

This said, I don't feel MY best chance for vbac is in the hospital setting. I know of a traveling midwife who loves to attend hbac's in Alaska, if you would like me to give you her info then PM me. This is what I plan to do, and hopefully have Dr. Elrod for a last ditch effort backup plan.

Lisa
post #6 of 48
I have a dear friend who was a doula at my VBAC. She's down in Soldotna, though. I'm not sure if she'd travel or not She's traveled for a client before, but she was getting induced so it was planned. I'll have to ask her.

I'm going to try to go to that thing at the Wasilla Alaska Club tomorrow night. I'll be sure to post my impression of Dr. Elrod if I make it.
post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies! I would rather have my birth at a hospital. Not that I am not open to the idea of a home birth. I would rather find a doctor that I can trust. If that doesn't work out then I will start looking into a traveling midwife.
Also, thank you for the doula recommendation. I will be making some calls next week. Wish me luck!
post #8 of 48
The most wonderful and helpful people are at The Mat-Su Midwifery Birth Center in Wasilla. They have an amazing birthing center and are also pretty close to the new Mat-Su Hospital (just in case). Even if you do not want to have your baby there, I'm sure they would be able to help you find the information you are looking for. Check them out.
http://www.matsumidwifery.com/index2.shtml
907-373-3420
I didn't have an vbac but I took a Bradley Method Class in Anchorage and in the class there were several woman that were going to have vbacs. The Doula who tought the class had lots of information about the area. You might also ask her for some advice. Her name is Cindy Earley.
http://www.bradleybirthalaska.com/

Hope that helps!!
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn.mama View Post
Hi Alex-

At Providence there's Dr. Richey, who was supposedly the crunchiest Dr. around but sure didn't seem to go out of his way to help me avoid my Cesarean birth (not a vbac, neither will I be attempting vbac with him). I guess the nurses were nice enough, but mostly the LCs sucked. I got out of there asap.

I birthed Abigail at Providence with Dr. Richey. She was born by c-section, but that was my midwife's fault for forcing the breaking of my water when Abigail was only one day late then insisting Abigail's head was pressing on my bladder during labor cause it hurt so much. I told her I was just very dehydrated and needed plain water, and she kept forcing the flavored/sport drink type of water on me.

While at Providence, under the circumstances my midwife forced me into, I found Dr. Richey to be kind, patient and sympathetic. One anasthesiologist brought me to angry tears and I insisted they replace his stupid ass. The lactation consultants there were varied. Some were know it all annoying perky people. Some were calm, helpful, instructive, and others were obviously uncomfortable being around me. One in particular, Helen, became a confidante of mine for two years. She was so kind, so calm, so helpful, understood my desires for natural everything, and understood how terribly disappointing my births were.
Overall, I like Providence much much better than EAFB where Sophia was born. The comparison is like night and day. However, EAFB is not a hospital you are choosing from and I have no experience with the Valley hospitals, personally.

Needless to say, I never did have a VBAC, just another c-section and have never had the birth I envisioned. Yeah, I'm still angry at the world for that.
post #10 of 48
Well, I have birthed my ds at Mat-Su Regional but not a VBAC. I had a good overall experience with the hospital, good nurses, not much support for bfing but then again I didn't ask for it or need it so it may be there and I just don't know. But I am doing a HB this time around.
That said I have just heard of Dr Elrod, he is new and wasn't around when I birthed. But so far what I'm hearing is good. I used Center for Women's Healthcare and a CNM there named Ellen Palmer. I do know the docs(OB and DO) there will do a VBAC(at least they would when i worked there and had prenatal care thru them) and they are good docs, I just don't jive with them. Would I trust them in a true emergency situation yes. Would I trust them to not push inductions and other things...I don't know. My CNM was with me for both of my births and never pushed anything but I can't say the same for the docs. And don't know how long they would let you labor...unless you did most of that at home before going in to the hospital. The only other doc that I know of out here is Dr Fitzgerald...and whatever you do DON'T use him...I haven't heard many good things about him.

It would definitely be a good idea to call Mat-Su Midwifery and ask them for recommendations. I'm not a client of theirs but know of many women who have birthed with them and worked with them and they are highly recommended. I don't think that legally in the state of AK they can "attend" VBACS though.

So I don't know if any of that helps but I hope you can find a good ob for your VBAC.

ETA: I only know of one doula...she's my MW's sister, I'll have to get her name. I never used one so I don't know of many, though I could ask around for you:-)
post #11 of 48
Well, I for one am getting more excited about Dr. Elrod by the day- based on other's opinions that is. I get to meet him at his office on Wednesday, so I'll come back then and post my findings. Sam at Alaska Acupuncture is pretty impressed by Dr. Elrod- she said he's actually been to the Acupuncture clinic... that he seems REALLY interested in learning everything he can.
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn.mama View Post
Well, I for one am getting more excited about Dr. Elrod by the day- based on other's opinions that is. I get to meet him at his office on Wednesday, so I'll come back then and post my findings. Sam at Alaska Acupuncture is pretty impressed by Dr. Elrod- she said he's actually been to the Acupuncture clinic... that he seems REALLY interested in learning everything he can.
Wow! That sounds so promising! I love Sam; she attended my last birth and was profoundly instrumental in its progress.

I do look forward to hearing what you think.

Good luck!
post #13 of 48
I met the mystery man Dr. Elrod at his office today...

Let me just say, wow! I can't believe he's a hospital OB. I'm so psyched that he came to the Valley and is interested in working with midwives. It seems his true and forthright goal is to give womyn their choice in getting the birth they want... no matter how or where.

He was TOTALLY supportive of my desire to HBAC far from the hospital.

He wants to work with us not against us. He is enamored with water birth. He broke the hospital policy last week and attended a hospital water birth- using the pool that had no hospital policy to make its use legal. Someone tried to have him fired him over it.

He raved that the woman was midwife attended and that they used shepherds purse and arnica and it was all wonderful and surreal.

I'm excited. I even like him well enough to use him for prenatal care, if I feel like I want someone overseeing us.

When I asked him if he had any recommendations to help me get my HBAC, he initially said no... that it would likely all be fine and I didn't need him. But then he followed up with "get acupuncture and chiropractic care" and try to get that baby in the best position possible.

I think I love him.
post #14 of 48
he sounds too good to be true!
What a wonderful asset to all Alaskans!
post #15 of 48
I am soooo happy for you mtn. mama! Totally smiling here!:::
post #16 of 48
He sounds awesome!
post #17 of 48
Thread Starter 
This is so awesome! It is hard to believe that there is actually a doctor that is an advocate for YOU! :: Honestly, I have never heard of a doctor being supportive of a HBAC. Good for you!
Did you happen to ask about the epidural and VBAC? Is it standard practice? I am hoping to call his office on Friday but I might have to wait until Monday. We are still in boxes and have yet to find my phonecard! I am so excited!
post #18 of 48
I didn't really talk with Dr. Elrod about specifics of hospital VBACs or policy.
But I think he'll help you get anything you want. You should call him.

I am opposed to hospital birth for ME... but I'll go there if necessary.
And should I find myself in that place... I'm thrilled to have found this man
who I believe will give me every chance to do things my way. Call him!
post #19 of 48
Thread Starter 
First and foremost...I want to apologize for not writing back to all the great advise that everybody has given me! It has been really hectic but things are starting to settle down. So thank you everybody!
Secondly, I thought I would give a quick update as to what is going on with my plans. I called Dr. Elrod's office and he called me right back that afternoon. We had a great conversation and I was really impressed with what he had to say. He definitely seemed interested in what I want and willing to work with it. The only problem was that at the time of our conversation he was planning a trip during the time but wasn't sure about it yet.
Sooooo, I called back today to check in and he is going to be gone during the time my baby is due. There is another doctor in the office Dr. Fitzgarld. Has anybody heard of him? I am waiting to hear back.
This is crazy...I find the perfect doctor and he is going to be gone! I am also going to call up at the hospital and the midwifery. Oh goodness...why do things have to be so difficult!
The good news is that I am going to be Anchorage from April 14-24 so I am going to be able to meet up with whom ever I choose!
post #20 of 48
I'm sorry your first pick OB will be gone. Hopefully this other one is good too.

Maybe we can have a Anchortown GTG when you are here??
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