Hey! Thanks so much for replying. I had my 2nd appointment with Dr. Henry today (still haven't met Jones who was at hospital today), and we discussed it again. He again reiterated that since my last baby was 9 lbs., if the ultrasound at 39 weeks showed my baby was over 8 lbs. (even though he readily admitted these were wrong all the time), that he would advise that I consider a c-section since my first labor ended with a failure to progress at 9cm and the baby never engaged (I had my first in Fort Lauderdale FL)....but he did also state that the decision would be up to me and he would support me either way.
I don't mean at all to say he isn't supportive of VBACs, but he certainly has opinions that differ from some of those in the natural birthing world about large babies and I think its important that folks considering him as their doctor understand that he is still an OB and still practices similar to many OBs and not to get too excited that you end up disappointed.
He may be VBAC supportive, but he made it clear that his advice, for the record, would be to section a large baby vs. a trial of labor for a VBAC. I think when folks are looking for a VBAC doctor, and they hear that a doctor is VBAC supportive, they assume that there will be no hurdles, and that is not what I am hearing from Dr. Henry. He has his reasons (and based on his solid reputation in the natural birthing world, I'm sure he believes his reasons to be well-founded, and I appreciate him being honest about his professional advice). I don't think he was trying to "scare" me away from a VBAC, but I did not find him to be a doctor that "encouraged" VBACs either. I have found him to be a doctor who will agree, up front, to support a woman in a trial of labor who has had a cesarean section. Whether that becomes a reality for me at the end of my term, I have to rely on your experience (and others that have succesffully VBACd with him) and see how the cards unfold for me.
He raised and covered all of the VBAC risks to me, which I believe is both professional and wise of him, (although as usual, no risks are ever mentioned about the increased maternal risks of an elective c-section so the liability concerns are clearly with a faulty VBAC not with a c-section) but if folks are looking for a doctor who argues in favor of VBACs over elective c-sections for women who have all the of the low-risk criteria listed by the ACOG as women who should VBAC...this has not been my experience. And maybe that doesn't exist in OB world....what exists is only doctors who will allow you a trial of labor with a previous C-section.
Perhaps he has real concerns about my pelvis....I am not that small of a woman, but he seemed to think I was petitie and mentioned cephalopelvic disproportion multiple times (aka, baby too big to fit)....(I am 5'4 and about 125 lbs when not pregnant and have always had some meat on my bones, size 6 usually, I'm not big, but I certainly am not small)....I just think regardless of what the midwives and the statistics support about the ridiculous over-diagnosis of CPD, OBs of all shapes and sizes do not like to vaginally deliver 9lb plus babies. He also seemed to support my last OB for sectioning me because, as he said, "well, you had been in labor 24 hours." Actually, it was only about 20, but I wasn't going to argue with him. I was only in the hospital for 8 of that, water not broken until 2 hours before section, and the previous 12 hours was extremely light labor, at home, putting together a puzzle and taking walks through my neighborhood waiting for the "real stuff" to begin. So, again, like most OBs, he may be "friendly" towards the natural birthers desires....but he still obviously views labors in terms of theoretical time tables, and by that statement, it is obvious that in his mind, my OB was right to have sectioned me since I had been in labor for 24 hours and stalled out at 9 cms for 3 hours. And perhaps when all the true evidence is weighed, that may be the prudent and wise decision to make...but it certainly isn't what is preached in the natural birthing world, so I just want to point out the disconnect still exists, even for this so-called "VBAC-friendly" doctor.
In summary, Doc Henry and his partner Doc Jones, may be my best chance at a VBAC in Little Rock. But, and there is always a but, they do not preach the "ICAN" party platform, so unless I have a textbook labor (ie, short labor, don't go over my due date, large baby not a concern, and pushing doesn't take too long), my gut tells me I will have to remain pretty vigilant and put up some resistance to end up with a vaginal delivery. And after getting to 9 cm with no epidural for my last birth, I know how defenseless I was laying on that bed when a nurse came in and started squeezing saline through my hep lock....my husband doula tried to ask (I was in some sort of la-la world, unable to have adult conversations, which I'm sure you natural birthers can totally relate)..."is this an emergency?"...."can she try to walk around/"....."is the baby in trouble?"....but the answers were given through clenched teeth by an unsympathetic birthing team who literally told my husband "she is the patient, not YOU!" and that "since the OR room was empty, we should go now instead of waiting for a real emergency." My doctor never even came in to talk to me about it....I heard him in the OR room when they were shaving me ask the guy putting morphine through my line..."why is she so upset?". I don't think I will have the same experience with Dr. Herny that I had in South Florida, he does seem to be truly compassionate with is patients, and so if he wants to section me, and its not a true emergency, I feel the transition will be much more sympathetic one, but at the end the day, he still seems to be a party-line OB to me and my gut tells me that although he performs VBACs, he would prefer that I elect for a 2nd section.
I certainly hope that I write back in early November (edd Oct 24th) with a glowing reference for Henry/Jones and a successful VBAC attempt (or at least, a birthing team that truly allowed me a real chance at one). For all those prayer warriors out there....I'd love to be included (along with this growing baby) if you have room for us!