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VBAC in Arkansas?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Anyone have a VBAC in Arkansas?  Just searching for more info and BTDT advice/support/suggestions. Also we are wanting a natural unmedicated birth with as little intervention as possible.  No vax, circ, eye drops, vit K and delayed cord clamping. 



post #2 of 12

I'm in the same boat as you. I'm planning a VBAC in May after twins. What part of AR are you in? I'm in the Little Rock area and have come up with some info for some dr. and hospitals around here.

post #3 of 12

ICAN of Central AR FB page


Birthworks for doula info and local natural childbirth info


Hope to see you guys at an ICAN meeting!


post #4 of 12

The ICAN meetings are awesome! 


Here is a copy of my birth plan (removed my important info). My OB signed off on it at my last appointment (36 weeks)





If you are planning to go the hospital route in Little Rock, I highly recommend Baptist hospital (NOT Springhill).

post #5 of 12

I moved this to Arkansas' tribal area so that you'll get responses from women who live there!

post #6 of 12

Hey! Just wanted to pop in and say that all the Northwest Hospitals in Northwest Arkansas have started doing VBACs! They changed their policies about a month ago to reflect some of the changes in the new ACOG guidelines. It's a really big step forward for this area where a year ago, homebirth (or driving to Missouri) were your only options for a VBAC.


Good luck and feel free to pm me if you want some specifics.

post #7 of 12

Hey Alyrie,

Who was your doctor and how did you make him agree to all on your birth plan? I was wondering do really doctor remember and follow the birth plan during and after the birth.

I am planning Vbac at Baptist. My EDD is 26th May and am seeing Dr. Henry.

post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by ohmyfirefly View Post

Hey Alyrie,

Who was your doctor and how did you make him agree to all on your birth plan? I was wondering do really doctor remember and follow the birth plan during and after the birth.

I am planning Vbac at Baptist. My EDD is 26th May and am seeing Dr. Henry.


Dr. Jones was my OB and Dr. Henry is her backup :-) They're fantastic! Dr. Jones and I had discussed bits and pieces of the plan since I started seeing her at 17 weeks. She is even more laid back and open-minded than Dr. Henry. The only issue she had was the pitocin for afterbirth, but other than that she was OK with everything on it. 


I ended up getting my VBAC on Monday (Valentine's day) at Baptist, and while Dr. Henry was the doc on call that day, he didn't make it to the room before I had her ;-) There were a few things listed on my birth plan that didn't end up happening, but I was OK with it. A few things happened at the end that required a change of plans, and really I was so relieved to have it over with that I didn't give a flying flip what was going on right after. Even though my doctor had signed off saying intermittent fetal monitoring was OK, the nurses said it was policy. I asked for a waiver, but I'm not exactly sure what happened during that. My nurse was fantastic...didn't even hook me up to the monitor for at least an hour...said she was "taking her time" and didn't push cervical checks at all. I really didn't mind the constant monitoring. I was sort of tethered to the bed, but I spent most of the time leaned over the back of the bed on my knees or standing beside the bed and the cords weren't in the way at all. 


So very happy with the way things turned out! I couldn't believe how different the hospital experience was this time. Once she had been suctioned and checked over, they handed her to me and I was left alone. No one pestering me or fussing with wires. They removed my heplock before I could get to the recovery room! It's so very strange to me that I've been home for 2 days now, my milk came in so quickly, and that *I* got to do everything this time. Changing diapers...dressing her, getting to hold her/bond with her before my husband. I'll stop now. :P Good luck with your VBAC! 

post #9 of 12

Congratulations to you dear:) Whenever I read a successful VBAC story I feel like that mom is won a battle:) Reading Your story gives me some more courage and assurance that VBAC is not an wishful thinking afterall.

Thank You Alyrie for sharing your story. You gave nice tips which a VBAC mom can use:)

post #10 of 12

I wanted to see how your pregnancy was going?  I am wanting a VBAC after my first c-section (failure to progress, the usual) and am seeing Dr. Henry, who I know is Dr. Jones' parnter (she was not in the office that day so I didn't get to meet her).


I heard Doc Henry was VBAC friendly, but he certainly laid out all the typical VBAC circus hurdles that I had to meet....go into spontaneous labor BEFORE due date, not have a large baby, etc.... what has your experience been like?

post #11 of 12


Originally Posted by BettyMac View Post


I heard Doc Henry was VBAC friendly, but he certainly laid out all the typical VBAC circus hurdles that I had to meet....go into spontaneous labor BEFORE due date, not have a large baby, etc.... what has your experience been like?

Really?!?  I used Dr Henry for my VBAC while he was working alone and I told him upfront I wouldn't consent to induction or CS, even if I was postdates.  He was 100% FINE with it and said we would discuss what to do after 42 weeks if I made it to that point.  I reached my EDD and not a single word about induction or "needing to have the baby soon" was EVER brought up.  We even talked about large babies and he told me that wouldn't be an issue- he never brought that up either.  And even when I told him no vaginal exams he just looked at me and said "Okay," like I was requesting a glass of water.  I have nothing negative to say about him after using him except that he likes to cut the cord right away, but he'll delay it if you ask. 


post #12 of 12

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! 


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