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Need helping finding a vbac-friendly provider in Lancaster, PA:)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
1. Sorry that this is really one of my first posts on here. I'm on some other forums and heard some rave reviews that you ladies might be helpful and I'm trying my hardest to find what I need and struggling

2. So - I need some help finding a new midwife. We're from Lancaster, but currently living in Denver, CO. I'm seeing a great midwife here that I feel is very supportive of my wishes for birth, but we're moving back to Lancaster the first week of November and I need to find someone new. I'm not opposed to seeing an ob, it would just need to be someone with a REALLY high success rate with vbacs and someone that I feel 100% respects and supports my decisions and wants for the birth of this baby.

Some more info:
-DD was a c-section and I'm planning a vbac with this baby. I was induced because of high bp, even though DD and I were both 100% fine and it was a textbook case of induction~no progress~c-section and I've since learned a ton that has made me very strong in my opinions of the things I will NOT consent to this time around.
-a home birth isn't really an option - I'm just not there yet and DH really isn't there at all, plus there's a possibility that we'll be at my parent's house when this baby is born and that would just exponentially complicate a home birth since I know my parents would NOT be supportive.

The issue:
-There's a birth center that sounds AMAZING that would do a hospital vbac with their midwives, but they're not accepting new hospital patients right now because of the number of birth center patients they have. I've been trying to stay in touch with them in case they do open up for new hospital birth patients, but they don't do vbacs at the birth center, so that's not an option. If they open I would LOVE to go with them, but I'm trying to plan based on that not being an option so that I have the support around me no matter what.
-The birth center suggested an ob/gyn practice that does deliveries at the same hospital and I called to make an appointment with them because they have 3 midwives that all get rave reviews. The practice can get me in, but they can't guarantee who I see because it's a practice where you rotate among all of the doctors for different visits. Plus, the receptionist said she's not even sure if I can see a midwife at all since I'm "high risk" because of the c-section and that just bothered me from the start.
-One of their midwives in the above practice used to work at the birth center where I wanted to go and someone on diaperswappers who also lives in the area suggested seeing her and I've read other rave reviews, but they can't guarantee who I see and are saying I might not be able to see her at all because of the vbac. I am NOT high risk. At all. But because I'm a vbac, I'm "high risk." I'm healthy and neither DD or I were ever at risk in the slightest because of my bp - it just got elevated beyond my normal levels at the end of my pregnancy, which I know is something that we need to watch carefully, but we can monitor and deal with it again if it comes to that again.
-So now I'm not sure what to do in my hunt. I can call lots of other practices and try to find someone who would be supportive of natural birth, but I HATE that I keep feeling like I'm "that" abnormal patient. It's so stupid and I really want to find a midwife or ob who will be supportive of natural birth and not make me feel like I have to fight and I'm not really sure how to do that short of calling tons and tons of practices and going to a million consults with different doctors that may or may not act like I'm nuts? I'm not sure what to do. I've asked people I know and no one has any real suggestions because they all think I'm out of my mind that I wouldn't want every medical intervention possible and can't grasp that I don't want meds/interventions.

I know that there are a lot of you who know how I feel and I would truly appreciate any input or suggestions. I respect everyone's choice for how they want a birth to be and I wish that more people were like that. I just want to find a provider who will be supportive of what my wishes are and I feel like it's next to impossible right now.

That was a ton of rambling, but I really just wanted to know if anyone has suggestions for things I might not be aware of that would help in my search? Specific experience with midwives or obs in the area? Questions to ask? Things to say? Resources for finding a midwife or ob who is supportive of natural birth? I don't want to feel like I just keep fighting for all of this, but I know now from experience that if I don't stand up for what I want and find the right person that I am going to keep feeling that way and I want to set myself up for a comfortable and enjoyable and supportive experience and environment for the rest of my pregnancy and labor and delivery!

Thanks if you've read this far My project this weekend is to get some more books on vbacs and to find some more info from ICAN, so I'm hoping that will help me with planning some questions, etc. I think all of this just frustrates me so much because I don't understand why it's such a seemingly uncommon concept that I want as little medical intervention as possible and I just really want to find someone who supports that fully that I can get to know and feel comfortable with during my pregnancy!
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
Just adding:
I just did a search on the forums and found lots of replies about Birth Care and Birth Care is the birth center I was talking about that we're accepting new patients.

Does anyone know if the birth center in Reading does vbacs at the birth center??

And - the ob/gyn practice that I was referring to is Ephrata Community Ob/Gyn. Someone on there told me that Jane H with them used to be at Birth Care and I REALLY wanted to try to see her if I could, but the receptionist basically told me it was next to impossible because of the "high risk" of me being a vbac and having to rotate amongst all of the doctors

If nothing else, from all that I've read I just really really really want to at least be at Ephrata since I'll have to deliver in a hospital, especially between Ephrata and Women and Babies.

If anyone has any specific info or suggestions on any of these - I'd :: you forever!!!
And can I please add that I feel like I can actually breathe about this all right now?? Just from going and searching through some old posts and seeing all of your wonderful experiences in Lancaster and with a variety of birth centers, midwives, doctors, etc if doing me a world of good. I've been freaking out feeling so alone and like I'm "fighting" with all of this, so it's totally making my week to find so many other people who understand WHY I want a birth like I do and don't think I'm a nutjob for it
post #3 of 16
Welcome to PA. I made that move back in 9/03. We lived in Denver by Colfax and Federal. Boy do we miss Colorado!

I used May-Grant. I LOVED the midwives there. As for Dr's, Wyse and Krespen are great. I did not see Krespen during my pregnancy but I have met with him for other reasons. I see/saw Dr Wyse for my care, prenatals/yearly's and she is great. If I had to have a Dr present at birth I would choose her. I delivered at Women and Babies and I will tell you that the labor and delevery team that I had was outstanding. Couplet care left some things to be desired. If I birthed at the hospital next time I will do the same and attempt to leave as soon as we can. Women and Babies has a top notch NICU and surgery center (if you need it.)
I have not heard a lot about Ephrata so I am not much help there. Good Luck. PM me if you have any other questions
post #4 of 16
I had mine with Birth Care. I believe in PA, if you want a VBAC, you have to be in-hospital. I know that's how Birth Care does it. I can recommend all of the midwives there. Love them.

Welcome back to Lancaster! Nice to see more crunchies moving out here!

ETA: My Emergency C-section was done with Ephrata Community. OMG - can't say enough positive about them. We're no vax, no intervention, breastfeeding, super-crunchies, and they were wonderful and honored all our requests. We had Toby in our room from the moment he was born until we left the hospital.

I've heard (though I'm thrilled Sarah had such a great experience) that Women & Babies is the slice-and-dice hospital, and decidedly UNFRIENDLY to vbacs. They wouldn't let my friend go over 6 hours in labor. They c-sectioned her when she was at 9cm. :

Don't know if that's policy or just one doctor, but :. Feel free to PM me if you have any ?s about Birth Care.
post #5 of 16
i am a doula, and one of my vbac clients used Dr. Cindy Kilbourne, who is a family doctor.

She was good to work with, but she'd only deliver at Women and Babies. I'm sorry Birthcare isn't taking new clients. Could you perhaps call and plead your case to them? I know Ephrata is your first choice, which i totally get. From what i know, the reading b. center would also be a hospital birth. I don't think there are any birth centers around here that would do vbacs out of hospital. Maybe a lay midwife and homebirth, but i don't know of anyone personally. Maybe try contacting this group? http://www.birthwithoutboundaries.com/
post #6 of 16
Of course, everyone's first choice is Birth Care. Unfortunately that's why they are so busy! (I had my 3rd VBAC with them. ) So...

As a fellow VBAC mom I would second Reading Birth and Women's Center. They will only do hospital VBAC, but at least you are still getting good women-centered care. (I had my 1st and 2nd VBAC with them)

As a doula, I can also recommend a few ob's/family docs who are pretty women-centered and who in or around Lancaster.

Dr. Jackie Goldberg is at Heart of Lancaster. She is a wonderful woman and occasionally is backup for Birth Care. I had a mom from Birth Care who arrived at the Birth Center at 7 cm....with a surprise breech. The backup doc at Ephrata was NOT a women that was well liked so Valerie called Jackie and we transferred there. Had a c/s, but the experience for this couple was exactly what they had hoped for, while not having the outcome they had hoped for. Dr. Goldberg was SOO comforting and understanding that they want a birth center birth and their plans didn't go the way they wanted. She also came up to be on our panel for the Business of Being Born film, which totally promotes midwifery care, and esp. out of hospital birth. She believes very strongly that women NEED choices. I also had another client who used her and was legitimately high risk--placental abruption. I felt that Dr. G kept a pretty good balance between facilitating the birth the mom wanted with keeping everyone well-monitored.

There is another VBAC mom I had as a client last December who went to a family doc in Lancaster. I'll have to check his name, but he was Indian. He was totally hands off and really just stayed out the way for the whole birth. He let us do our doula thing and had a great working relationship with the nurse who was also a doula. I was quite impressed with him as well. I'll check his name in the next few days.

I have another client who is enjoying the midwives at May Grant. She has only good things to say so far. I believe that May Grant has in the past agreed to do VBA2C for Birth Care clients. Previous to that, Dr. Stafford did their VBA2C, but he is not longer in the area.

I also have a client now who is a family doc in Lancaster who does births, but is pregnant with her first one, due in the next few months. I can find out the name of where she is (i can't remember), but I am not sure that they are very naturally minded. She is more naturally minded, but she is still quite new and even had some reservations about policies that she would have to adhere to herself. So, on second thought, never mind that!

I'll get the name of the Indian guy and follow up with that if you want.

Oh, FWIW--Jane H. at Ephrata is fantastic. Just love her and Jane Z. is good too. Though my own c/s was with her when she was at Lancaster OB/GYN 12 years ago. I don't hold it against her personally. Had a doula client birth with her a few months ago and she was really good. So, in my book, she redeemed herself!
post #7 of 16

Let me know!

Hi LClaire

Hoping everything turns out well for you. I too am from CO, born and raised, then somehow coaxed to PA by my husband . We both would love to go back!

I really want to know how everything turns out for you because I too am looking around in that area for someone who allows VBA2C and would support me the whole way. I attempted a VBAC for my second child and my Dr./Midwife team ended up totally unsupportive at the end and it was heartbreaking. I won't share the details because I'm hoping for much better for you! keep a positive mind, your body was made for this!!
post #8 of 16
Is homebirth an option for you?
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by amymaew View Post
Is homebirth an option for you?
I don't believe midwives are allowed to attend VBAC HBs at this point.
post #10 of 16
Reading Birth and Women's Center is open to doing a VBAC at the birth center provided the mom fits the strict criteria and at this point, it is only open to secondary VBAC moms. That won't help anyone who is a VBA2C, but it might help some moms.

Birth Care has had VBA2C moms who then just transfer their care to the back up docs at Ephrata at the very end of their pregnancy. It isn't ideal, but it has worked well for some moms. We had a Birth Care client who did a VBA2C with Dr. Stafford at Women's and Babies. For her next birth she went back to Birth Care and was approved to have the midwives birth with her at Ephrata. The great thing is that the midwives are very on board with VBAC and don't get overly paranoid. They aren't going to tell you to come in as soon as labor starts for monitoring. We arrived at the hospital with this mom and she as already 9 cm, and had the baby an hour later. She wasn't even admitted before she had the baby.
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
I don't believe midwives are allowed to attend VBAC HBs at this point.
In PA I believe it depends on the midwife - I know some who will attend them.
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by amymaew View Post
In PA I believe it depends on the midwife - I know some who will attend them.
Really? That's very heartening. Where in PA are you?
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
Really? That's very heartening. Where in PA are you?

Outside of Philly - Delaware Co/Chester Co area
post #14 of 16
There are definitely homebirth midwives in the South Central/Eastern PA who are great options for a VBAC provided mom is comfortable with an out of hospital (home) birth. Unfortunately some moms (esp. VBAC) just aren't there yet.

The problem for a lot of women is finding a CNM (if that is what you are comfortable with), and then finding one who can effectively balance hospital protocol with "birth is normal." A lot of midwives are on board personally, but have a hard time with the politics in the hospital when the time comes.

It's a tough situation when the midwives who really want to provide the option of an out of hospital birth for VBAC moms KNOW that IF there is one bad outcome it could shut down the whole operation and then the rest of the "low risk" women would be out of options as well. These are troubling times! and I hope that the trend slowly goes back to what it was 6 years ago when I had my HBAC and NO ONE batted an eye.
post #15 of 16
I would PM Maggi315 and see if she knows of who will attend homebirth VBAC. She is in Mechanicsburg.
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
I don't believe midwives are allowed to attend VBAC HBs at this point.
There's no regulation of cpm's currently, so it's up to the individual. And hopefully if legislation does happen, that will be one of the stipulations. I think it's ludicrous, esp with the hospital culture much of pa has, to ban hbac, breeches and multiples, etc. /soapbox
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