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VBAC OB in Hudson or Bergen County NJ

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 


Hubby and I are planning for another baby soon. LO is two now and we would like to get started on finding a new OB/MF asap. Our last experience was a horror. Basically bullied into getting a c-section because my OB failed to tell me he was going on vacation to the Hamptons the weekend of my due date. (Which he knew about in advance. I heard him plan my c-section with my "midwife" outside the exam room door. But I tried to have faith in nature.I should have confronted and changed OBs then.)


Long story short = PROM, overly invasive midwife (too many vaginal exams), bad hospital staff/policies that refused to let me walk around and had me tied down to monitors, labor almost 24 hours, 9cm dilated with his head down and showing, bullied into a c-section and found out weeks later that a natural vaginal birth would have been possible if everyone didn't want to go home on a Sunday night. 


SO... I am looking for any OB in the Bergen or Hudson county area that is truly VBAC friendly. My previous OB claimed to be VBAC friendly but it turns out that he only tries his hardest with his Orthodox patients since it is a religious issue. Anyone else and they are just put down the conveyor belt of "sections" as he called it.


I have heard some good things about Avalon Midwives and Lonnie Morris but am really skeptical about midwifery. It seems to be more of a business that has taken hold of the "fad" of natural birth. 


I also know that NJ has one of the worst vbac rates ever.


So, if you have had a VBAC.. please.. tell me your story and recommend an OB. PLEASE! 


After having such a traumatic experience.. I would really like to avoid having my son taken away from me for almost half a day right after giving birth, have him in my arms less than 30 minutes and then have him carted off the the nicu for "precautionary" reasons. When there isn't anything wrong with him in the end and I have ended up with an unnecessary c-section that would have been prevented if my MW wasn't so eager to check me every 45 minutes. 


If I sound bitter... it probably is because I still have really unresolved issues with my whole pregnancy and delivery. I feel tricked and have lost faith in health care as something to trust. Anyway... any help would be appreciated.


I do not know if I can go through such an ordeal again.

post #2 of 11

Although I don't have firsthand experience, I have heard many wonderful things about Dr. Winsome Parchment.  Is Florham Park/Morristown too far for you?  Dr. Judy Banks is WONDERFUL!  She has deep patience, and trust in the process of birth.  I have had clients have wonderful VBACs with her, and some that did not go particularly smoothly, and I believe would have been a c/s with most other practitioners. 

post #3 of 11

Don't know if my doc would be too far for you, but I had a wonderful, completely natural VBAC with Dr. Aristizabal in Montclair. She is really pro-natural birth and VBAC (only OB I know if who is) and was so supportive of me getting the birth I wanted this time aroun . She even had a VBAC herself. 

She is also just a really warm and caring. I felt really lucky to have found her.

post #4 of 11
Originally Posted by mssmith611 View Post

Don't know if my doc would be too far for you, but I had a wonderful, completely natural VBAC with Dr. Aristizabal in Montclair. She is really pro-natural birth and VBAC (only OB I know if who is) and was so supportive of me getting the birth I wanted this time aroun . She even had a VBAC herself. 

She is also just a really warm and caring. I felt really lucky to have found her.

Mssmith, Which hospital(s) does she work out of? 

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your replies. It's been really hard to find an OB who is really REALLY VBAC friendly. So much to the point that we are just thinking of going straight for a c-section and not even trying this next time. 


Trying to find an OB is actually putting our plans on the back burner. We wanted to have a little one in a year but it's been so hard finding a dr. that we are going to wait until we move more into the suburbs. (Which is where the VBAC OBs are.. as opposed to closer to the city where I live.) 


Montclair is actually a town we were considering moving to... any good things to say about the town to a relatively new mom? Private schools... public schools, atmosphere, community info would be great if you live there mssmith611. =)


which hospitals do these obs work in mssmith611 and budwana birth? 

post #6 of 11

I'm a patient of Dr. Parchment. She delivers at Overlook in Summit and Mountainside in Montclair. I love her, but I'm not thrilled with either hospital. I delivered my first at the birthing center at St. Luke's Roosevelt. 

post #7 of 11

Dr. Banks is out of Morristown.  She is the real deal. As a doula, she is my go-to OB for any clients seeking VBAC or anything the typical OB or midwifery group would consider higher risk.  I had my twin boys with her intervention-free is 2010.  I know that twins is a different story than VBAC, but I think it still illustrates her deep belief in our bodies' ability to birth our babies... a few of my favorite moments with her:  She very offhandedly mentions "you know, your body made these two babies, so I don't see why it would have a problem getting them out"  And when I asked about the power relationship between her and the perinatologist who I was seeing for ultrasounds "who has the most influence over the possibility of induction" she looked at me like I had 3 heads and said "you do."

post #8 of 11

Dr. Aristizabal delivers out of St. Barnabas, which I was at first pretty nervous about because they didn't have a good rap in terms of natural birth. Dr. A was pretty open about that and talked openly about the pros and cons of the hospital. In the end, my worries were unnecessary. I had a great experience and had everything I wanted. Natural labor, no interventions except occational monitoring and I opted to have a hep lock iv just cause I was a VBAC. Dr. A sounds a lot like the doctor budwana birth describes. Whenever I came to her with worries she would always calm me down by helping me have confidence in my own ability to grow my baby and birth my baby. "Your body is perfectly designed to do this!" she would always tell me. Love her! Her practice name is Essex Women's. They have a website with some good info.

As for Montclair, I think it is a great place to raise kids. Wonderful parks, huge community, great schools. We are planning to stay forever :)

Don't give up on your VBAC hopes, it is worth it! I just remember heading to the store one week after I had my baby, amazed that I already felt like a normal human. Took me a month to get to that place after my section.

post #9 of 11

I had to giggle at the idea of midwifery as a sort of fad since the profession of midwifery is about as old as the human race.  ;)  However, I understand your concern.  My first c-section was with a terrible, terrible midwife who gave me just 9 hours before sending me off for an awful c-section with her back up doctor. She kept going vaginal exams on me which were so painful I cried.  She insisted I get an epidural so that she could check me more easily.  My 2nd birth was an awesome unmedicated VBAC with Midwifery Care Associates down in Pennington.  Those women have been midwives for a long time -  long before the Business of Being Born which seemed to bring midwifery more into the public eye.  Lonnie Morris and most of the Avalon midwives have been practicing for a long time as well.  Interestingly enough, only 7.5% of births in NJ are attended by midwives.  Like OBs though, you still need to find one that is a good fit for you.  Some are very patient women who truly believe in natural birth and some are very medically minded.  I am truly a fan and advocate of midwifery care but there are advantages of using an OB too.  Midwives practicing in NJ have to adhere to any restrictions placed on them by their back up doctors.  Obviously the OB makes all her own decisions. 


I just saw Dr Banks today.  We were discussing my obstetrical history which is c-section, VBAC and c-section.  She smiled and said next time maybe you'll go back to vaginal.  I asked her if she had any restrictions on VBACs and she said no.  To clarify, I asked about going to 42 weeks and she said that was fine.  I also asked her about monitoring and she said in my case (2 c-sections) I would have to have monitoring but the hospital offers wireless so it won't be a problem (that's fine with me; I just don't want to be confined to a bed).  She was very laid back about everything.  Its nice to know that I'm not without options for future pregnancies! 


FWIW, Dr Banks did my 2nd c-section (I had a breech baby with a nuchal cord - I went into labor and tried for a vaginal birth but it wasn't happening).  I was completely terrified of another c-section since my 1st one was so awful.  But she was great. She told the nurses to keep the screen low so I could see most of what was going on. They didn't strap my arms down. The OR was huge and I could see the baby the whole time. She held the baby over the curtain so I could announce the sex. She gave me a double layer suture.  She also told the nurses to get the baby back to me in recovery so I could start breastfeeding.  With my first c-section, I couldn't even see the doctor and all he cared about was the surgery.  Somehow Dr Banks kept me included in the procedure so it felt more like a birth.  My son never went to the NICU. He got a quick exam in the nursery and came right back. The nurses were a bit pushy about the nursery at night but my dh couldn't stay with me and I think they were worried about my ability to recover from surgery and take care of a baby at night by myself. 


I think your feelings are pretty normal. In fact, I think that's why most women have RCS.  It's not even worth trying for a VBAC with most OBs in this state. 

post #10 of 11

Wow - I love that quote from Dr. Banks about who has control over whether to do an induction!  I think women forget that it is THEIR body and they can and do have a right to make thoughtful decisions for themselves.  I'm a doula and I can tell you that I've had women who've been told (for absolutely no reason) that they can't get out of bed, even to go to the bathroom!  I will definitely recommend Dr. Banks to my doula clients.  I've heard excellent things about Dr. Parchment as well.  It really does matter who your dr. or midwife is, so do your research, ask your provider lots of questions up front, and then trust in your body to give birth to your baby!  

post #11 of 11

LOL, you're right, women do forget.  I'm a doula, and she had to remind me!  chanadoula, what is your service area? 

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