Looking for Birth Center/Midwife-Friendly Options in Bucks County Area - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 03-12-2009, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all, I'm a first-time mama, just found out I'm pregnant a few weeks ago, now I'm going nutty trying to find a place to give birth! I definitely am looking for the "midwifery model" of care, either at a freestanding birth center (ideal) or a midwife-friendly hospital. This is what I have learned so far:

Valley Birthplace-my first choice, closest birth center, have been calling and leaving messages for 2 weeks, no response, I finally drove down only to see a sign that the office is closed due to water damage. Anyone know when/if they plan to reopen?

Chestnut Hill Maternity-a little far, but seemed the most midwife-friendly, only to find out they closed early last year!

Doylestown Hospital-closest hospital, I know there are local midwives that will deliver there, but personally speaking, my husband and I have not had good experiences with them and we do NOT want to go there! Also, a friend of ours just delivered there 2 weeks ago and was disappointed with the care she and her daughter recieved.


An hour travel is probably our limit (we live in Solebury), somewhat restricted by our health care (BCBS) so NJ is probably out. Any suggestions/recommendations are warmly welcomed!!!
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#2 of 31 Old 03-13-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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When did you drive by Valley Birthplace? I thought they were suppose to be opened back up by now.

There is also The Birth Center I think it's in Brn Mawr.

Kathy Hindle. She doesn't have a birth center but attends births at home and at Montgomery Hospital

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#3 of 31 Old 03-14-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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If you are looking for birth center than yes Valley Birthplace would be your best bet, or a further drive down to Bryn Mawr to the birth center there. There are also a few homebirth midwives in the area if you wanted to explore that option. I have not heard good things about Doylestown hospital/the midwives there, though I'm sure that there are mamas out there who loved them.

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#4 of 31 Old 03-14-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1054352 A thread about the water damage at the birth center.

Homebirth Midwifing mama to five blessings in Northeastern PA.
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#5 of 31 Old 03-14-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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Last I talked with them, the people from Valley Birthplace are taking patients at Norristown. There was a cell number posted on the notice that you can call to set up an appointment. If you need that #, pm me, I think I still have it somewhere.
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#6 of 31 Old 03-15-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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I went thru the Birth Center in Bryn Mawr Pa - they have 5 midwives that you see and they were all great. It's not quite as personal as a home birth when you are seeing 5 diff people and are not sure who will be on call for your birth. But it's a wonderful place never-the-less.

Congrats on your pregnancy!
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#7 of 31 Old 03-18-2009, 10:01 PM
 
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I am currently going to Valley Birthplace and have been very pleased. I have only had one appointment before the water leak, but it's my second pregnancy and I really like that they are not pressuring me to come in at every scheduled appointment. I am not able to leave work early to get to the temp office so some of my appts have been postponed a week or two. I'd give them a chance to get back to you. I do know that they do first appts around the 12 week mark. Good Luck!

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#8 of 31 Old 03-21-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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I would look into the birth center in Bryn Mawr.

If you are willing to travel about an hour there's a birth center in Reading. It depends on where you are in Bucks County how long the drive would be. My parents live in Warrington and I'm near Reading and it's a solid hour drive...but that to me isn't a big deal as I drove that with my other kids but I know for most an hour is a lot.
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#9 of 31 Old 03-22-2009, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all the replies! We live in Solebury/New Hope, so Bryn Mawr and Reading are both a little too far ... Fortunately, I asked a fellow co-worker who lives in NJ where she delivered and she said Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington. She loved having her baby there! She loved her midwife and doula, described the hospital as 'a hotel' and very supportive of natural births. (She used the Jacuzzi and birthing ball.) Since it's only a half hour away, we made an appointment with the OB/GYN/midwife practice attached to the hospital for next week, specifically with one of the midwives. I'll report back afterwards. Hopefully, my experiences can help someone else!
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#10 of 31 Old 03-23-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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I thought NJ was out for you otherwise I would have popped into suggest HMC. I know several women who birthed with the midwives there and loved it. The hospital really is like a hotel. The rooms are HUGE and gorgeous. They have awesome beds to birth in, beautiful bathrooms, a jacuzzi room that looks like spa room, and little fridges in the room so that you can bring food. They aren't particular about interventions likes IVs and continous monitoring so you should be able to have a beautiful low tech birth. I was talking with the nurse there who runs the HypnoBirthing course (which I HIGHLY recommend) and the nurses LOVE natural birth moms. They find it disappointing when a mom walks in demanding an epidural. I think you also get a nice dinner with your dh after your birth.

My only tip is that if you cannot birth with the midwives (or their back up doctors) for any reason (insurance, etc), do NOT use any other practice affiliated with the hospital (they are nightmares and the reason the hospitals c-section rate is about 40%).

The only potential thing to be aware of is that labor, delivery, recovery and post partum all take place in the same room. So a day after you have had your baby, a mom make be laboring next door or walking the halls. I don't think that's a big deal but just an fyi.

I personally birthed not far from you at Capital Health in Trenton which is a very midwife friendly hospital (I used Pam and Louise at Midwifery Care Associates in Pennington) but the hospital definitely doesn't have a hotel-like feel to it, especially compared to HMC. They are very crunchy-midwives though.

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#11 of 31 Old 02-04-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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I am a proud mother of 2, who during my first pregnancy had some complications. I was not happy with the care I was receiving so I transferred to the Doylestown Hospital Midwives.  I will not bad mouth or mention the name of the previous care takers, I feel that my personal experience should not reflect on their business as a whole.  I was extremely happy with the personalized care that I received from the Doylestown Hospital Midwives who work at Advanced Medical Solutions and Midwifery of Doylestown.  The staff was extremely helpful and went out of there way to make me feel comfortable, I was a person to them not just a chart.  I was a first time mother-to-be with many concerns and tons of questions.  I have to admit, I was a high maintenance patient calling every day, sometimes twice a day, but they answered every question and addressed every concern that I had.  My birth plan was 3 pages long, I was a bit of a control freak! The Midwives were so accommodating, they were patient and comforting.  My first pregnancy experience went from one of fear and panic(old Midwives) to a relaxing and joyfull experience with the DTH Midwives.  I am and will always be a loyal patient to the DTH Midwives for GYN and any future Pregnancies.

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#12 of 31 Old 02-04-2011, 09:52 PM
 
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I had DS at Doylestown hospital (C-sec) and DD at Norristown Hospital with Barbara D'Amato from Valley Birthplace.  I really enjoyed my stay at Doylestown, but I did not enjoy my surgery.  Is that the nice way to put it?  I wouldn't touch the hospital with a ten foot pole now because they don't allow VBACs.  I appreciate my old OB for being an excellent surgeon, but do not support the non VBAC policy for myself or others, so I switched and was SO happy with Valley Birthplace.  Everybody there is wonderful.  If you're not sure where to go after you have your apt in NJ, give them a try!

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#13 of 31 Old 03-03-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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I'm currently at Doylestown with Dinesen & Associates. I just started with them and so far I don't have a prob, but I'd prefer a more holistic approach to child birth and prenatal care. I've always considered using a midwife and when I found that Doylestown Midwifery was associated with the hospital I was torn. I read reviews on both practices and got mostly mixed reviews about Doylestown Midwifery. I would change practices if necessary. I'm in the early stages of the second trimester and decided to make appt to see the midwife. Any thoughts on either practices?

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#14 of 31 Old 03-04-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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I used Dr. Dinesen for baby #1.  Definitely not a holistic approach.  I had my c-section with him, which was necessary becuase of a huge fibroid blocking my baby's way out.  He is an excellent surgeon, but if you end up with a c-sec, he won't do a VBAC (and his c-sec rate is not low) because Doylestown won't do VBACs.  I left him for the combined reason of needing a VBAC and not liking the way that he handled a miscarriage that I had.

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#15 of 31 Old 03-05-2011, 11:59 AM
 
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Kizz--

 

That's funny because it sounds like we are in a similar boat.  I'm in the early part of my second trimester (19 wks today) and I'm switching out of the Dinesen's practice.  I didn't LOVE him to begin with but I read good things, and I'm a first timer so I have no idea what I'm doing.  I don't trust his C section rates, I don't like how rushed I feel at appts, and I don't like how cold he is.  I have no idea where I'm going to go next, but I know I'm done with Dinesen.


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#16 of 31 Old 03-07-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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Have you been to see the Doylestown Midwives? They accept VBAC's.  If you are still looking to transfer, I would definitely give them a call.  I LOVE the Midwives there.  Hope you find a perfect fit like I did.  Good Luck!

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#17 of 31 Old 03-08-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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Yell -

Sorry to hear things didn't work out well for you with Dr. Dinesen. I've only been there twice so far and it's been good. What is his c-section rate? I know the hospital's. I spoke to them about my birth plan and asked when c-sections become an option. His answers seem like typical responses why they'd be used and said that he is fine with my plan.
I have no choice but to deliver at doylestown so it's either with him or the midwifery group. I'll see how my second trimester appt goes then decide if I will switch. I'm just torn between making a move now or not, I already did so in the beginning since my original OB changed practices.
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#18 of 31 Old 03-08-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5xmomma View Post

Have you been to see the Doylestown Midwives? They accept VBAC's.  If you are still looking to transfer, I would definitely give them a call.  I LOVE the Midwives there.  Hope you find a perfect fit like I did.  Good Luck!


I've heard both good and bad about doylestowm midwifery. If I do switch my only option is really them but I haven't gotten enough positive reaction as yet. What did you enjoy about going to them the most? I kna they only do births at the hospital which is okay with me.
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#19 of 31 Old 03-09-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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Kizz--

 

 

Dinesen told me that there was a 30% chance of me ending up a C section (normal, healthy pregnancy).  Then I felt like every woman I talked to who used him really liked him, but they all had c sections.  I've been bothered by my feeling like just another patient or number to him and not a person.  It just feels cold.


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Quote:
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I spoke to them about my birth plan and asked when c-sections become an option. His answers seem like typical responses why they'd be used and said that he is fine with my plan.


As another poster said, Dinesen's c-section rate is around 30%, which is normal only in the United States and those "typical responses" are only typical here, as well.  The rate is so high if you look at worldwide statistics.  C-sections are WAY overused here and Dinesen goes with the flow, unfortunately.  Please, please, please research this before you let yourself be conned into believing that you'll only have to have a c-section if you really need it.  Most of the reasons given for "needing" a c-section can be overcome (and they are in areas where c-sections are not so normalized).  Once you have that first c-section, you'll often be told that you'll have to have one for all of your other babies, as well (also not true!).  I'm hoping that I'm not coming across too mean, here, but I wish I knew before I had my son with Dinesen what I do now and I'm just hoping that I can help somebody else avoid the pain (physical and emotional) that I had as a result of having my c-section.  Last I checked, Dinesen is the emergency surgeon for Doylestown Midwifery, so he's still there in that capacity, if you were to switch. 

 

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#21 of 31 Old 03-10-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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Great post, although I'm sorry that it seems like you had a bad experience.  I think it's also important to point out that while c sections are common in the US, it really depends on the Dr.  My gut told me, by the way he talked about it, that Dinesen would be quick to perform a c section.  And I know he doesn't perform VBACs while other Drs do.  My mom delivered my twin brothers at Abingotn and everyone was worried at one point because one of them hadn't turned to face the way he needed to for delivery, and her Dr said "don't you worry, if I have to go up there and turn him around myself I will".  This was one of the scenarios that Dinesen pointed out we would need a C section for - all depends on the Dr.

 

Also, I did meet with the Midwives at Doylestown and they do use Dinesen as their back up. 

 

Quote:
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As another poster said, Dinesen's c-section rate is around 30%, which is normal only in the United States and those "typical responses" are only typical here, as well.  The rate is so high if you look at worldwide statistics.  C-sections are WAY overused here and Dinesen goes with the flow, unfortunately.  Please, please, please research this before you let yourself be conned into believing that you'll only have to have a c-section if you really need it.  Most of the reasons given for "needing" a c-section can be overcome (and they are in areas where c-sections are not so normalized).  Once you have that first c-section, you'll often be told that you'll have to have one for all of your other babies, as well (also not true!).  I'm hoping that I'm not coming across too mean, here, but I wish I knew before I had my son with Dinesen what I do now and I'm just hoping that I can help somebody else avoid the pain (physical and emotional) that I had as a result of having my c-section.  Last I checked, Dinesen is the emergency surgeon for Doylestown Midwifery, so he's still there in that capacity, if you were to switch. 

 



 


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#22 of 31 Old 03-11-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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Yell


How was your meeting with Doylestown Midwifery ? Any first impressions and are you planning to switch over ?
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#23 of 31 Old 03-13-2011, 05:33 AM
 
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I'm not using them.  They have 2 midwives there and one of them has only been catching for a year, which makes me uneasy.  But they seemed fine if that's not a concern to you.


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#24 of 31 Old 03-16-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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The Midwives were very conforting.  It's hard to explain, but I'll do my best.  I never felt rushed with them, I felt that I was in good hands, they are extremely educated, Graduates of University of Pennsylvania.  The staff was friendly, it's kind of like "Cheers" where everyone knows your name, it was a nice, relaxing environment, not so clinical in the sense that it's all about the $, they listened to me, they got to know me and my family and also worked with my outrageous birthplan. Good luck!

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#25 of 31 Old 03-28-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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I'm currently at Dinesen and I'm not liking it. I have an appointment at Doylestown Midwifery on April 12 so hoping to get a better feeling from them. 

 

I am about 9 weeks along at the moment, and I'm trying to do all natural no meds/IV/constant fetal monitoring. I know they deliver at Doylestown Hospital so I have a lot of questions for them about that.

 

Thanks everyone for all the info on this board, it's been helpful for me. Any additional info would be great as well (some of it was a little dated).

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#26 of 31 Old 03-29-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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Manda, good luck with the midwives.  If you don't like Dinesen now, it's not going to get any better for you.  It's pretty much a show-up-at-the-hospital-and-let-the-nurses-tell-you-what-to-do kind of birth with him.  The nurses are pretty nice at D'town, but if that's not the birth you want, you're going to want the guidance of a midwife to prepare and empower you.

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#27 of 31 Old 07-22-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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I want to share the following review my husband wrote after our experience with The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr, PA. It's long, but we felt it necessary to share what happened to us!

 

 

It was all good until it wasn't.
 
Just like that. Everything seemed pretty much as described in the great reviews of their practice all over the internet, and following the procedures they explained to us in the two-hour orientation session. Perhaps the only bad note was the constant rotation of midwives, since they have quite a big practice. But I believed we liked everyone we met in the months we spent with them.
 
In week 18th we noticed a small protuberance (ping pong size) in Natasha's belly. We thought it was the baby but a midwife identified it as a fibroid. She also explain that fibroids are very common and normally don't represent a problem. We were advised to perform an (otherwise unwanted) ultrasound just for safety. The results were as expected; our baby was fine and the fibroid was small and out of the way of an eventual vaginal delivery. No other fibroids that may have been present were big enough to be detected in the ultrasound. We needed to keep an eye on it but as far as fibroids go they don't come much easier.
 
We kept going to our appointments, exams and controls, with TBC staff always reassuring us about the development of the pregnancy. Natasha was happy with the idea of having our first baby there, I was already acquainted with the idea of hanging the "it's a girl" flag from the window and even my mom visiting from Chile had toured TBC's facility. In week 28th Natasha received a phone call. One of the midwives told her that after a medical meeting where our case was discussed they didn't feel comfortable with receiving our baby at TBC, and that we should look for an alternative.
 
The shock was big. Seven months into our pregnancy we were not prepared for the stress of having to look for a new practice from the scratch, and we didn't know if would even be admitted in a different birth facility (I'm not sure if even TBC doesn't accept mothers so far into pregnancy). 
After a week of disconcert, we sent them an email requesting an explanation on the  whole situation and the procedure, asking why we were not included in the decision-making process, why they were not providing any help with a back-up plan, if we were technically considered now a high-risk pregnancy, and all the doubts that arose from this abrupt termination. We also requested a meeting to discuss what happened face to face and to have some kind of closure. Clinical director Peggy Stone apologized to my wife on the phone and helped us getting an appointment for another ultrasound. She left a long message on my voice mail saying she would be available to talk on the phone but didn't have time to meet with us. After that TBC staff was very diligent in helping us transfer our records to our new providers, and that was about it.
 
I am not arguing the medical decision. I'm not trained for it and I would not want anybody taking any chances with my wife's or daughter's lives. Still is hard to understand how can a decision like that take 10 weeks to make with nothing changing in the patient. My frustration is about the breaking of the contract established at the beginning of the pregnancy. I am talking  about the spirit - and the actual wording - of the agreement between us and TBC. They are all against the alienation of modern medicine and about integrating the families into the decision, still they did everything without us. They emphasize the importance of the partner for the pregnancy (husband or otherwise) but they never communicated with us about this as a family. We never received any written report about what happened, how the decision was made, and what exactly meant for Natasha's and the baby's health. They didn't have any kind of back-up system in place even though in all their communications (written and verbal) the understanding is that you will be transfered into Bryn Mawr's Hospital if something goes beyond their parameters of safety. Finally, and from a human point of view, we were really hurt they would not make the time to receive us, to help us with the transition and the frustration of this abrupt decision way into our third trimester. Emails and phone messages are wonderful tools of the digital era but I believe they are not the proper ones to handle situations like the one I am describing. 
 
I believe that their delayed response to the fibroid is something that can happen. It may have been a difficult call discerning safety from risk, and in that matter better later than never. What is really disappointing is their reaction once we were informed even though we communicated with them very specifically about our needs and concerns. And I think their communication practices need deep examination.
 

 

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#28 of 31 Old 03-19-2013, 09:07 AM
 
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Im with Dr. Dinesen now and delivered at Doylestown hospital with my first.  She was breech and I didn't have many options.  My experience with Doylestown hospital was amazing and I would go back there in a heartbeat if I didn't want to try for a VBAC.  I have a consult appointment with Valley Birthplace but know nothing about the new Einstein Medical Hospital in Montgomery.  I know they are VBAC friendly, but if I have to have another C, I do not know any of the doctors there as a surgeon.  I don't really know what to do, pick comfort and safety of what you know, or try for the unknown and hope it goes well? Anyone know anywhere else that allows VBACs and have high success rates?  Also, is there a way they can tell if your a good candidate or not?  Thanks!

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#29 of 31 Old 03-19-2013, 11:53 AM
 
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The best way to know if you're a good candidate is to go and talk to alot of midwives (or a select few that you know are VBAC friendly).  Do you have a reason to suspect that you wouldn't be a good candidate?  It is a rare circumstance that would be prohibitive for a good midwife.  I had obstetrical opinions telling me that I was a bad candidate and that it was risky and dangerous, but had three great midwifery practices willing to give me a chance.  And now I've had two VBACs without incident.  My second was supposed to be with Valley Birthplace, but the baby came too quickly and we had to go to Grandview (where I conscientiously objected to answering the question about having previous surgery).

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#30 of 31 Old 03-21-2013, 07:52 AM
 
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Oh wow!!!  No, not particularly I guess.  My biggest fear is to labor for hours only to get a c-section anyway, in an unfamiliar hospital with an unfamiliar surgeon.  After laboring, it would be like an "emergency" and probably a double whammy as far as recovery goes.  I guess I was wondering if there were baby size restrictions, if someone could assess my pelvic opening to determine if it would "open" wide enough...

 

As much as I rejected the c-section with my first.  I had to surrender that with breech, I didn't really have a choice I was comfortable with.  The c-section was easy because it was scheduled and I could prepare.  So, I am looking for good information so I can make an informed decision.  Valley Birthplace delivers now at Einstein Medical in Montgomery.   I know nothing about that hospital, so I want to check them out.  Too bad Doylestown isn't so VBAC friendly.  I feel like if VBAC is my choice, choosing Doylestown Hospital is setting myself up for failure.

 

How come women stop dilating?  

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