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-   -   So frustrated I could cry - VBAC Midwives in/near Seattle (

CalaRei 09-12-2011 10:59 AM

We just relocated across the country to Seattle's Eastside.  With my twins, I went to a midwifery clinic operated out of Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh.  It gave us the combination of security and comfort in care providers that we loved, but unfortunately due to stress on baby B and position of baby A, we ended with an "emergency" C section at 37 weeks.  The OB did a double suture and as I understand it, these circumstances make me a good prospect.


I'm currently 11 weeks pregnant and feel like I've got leprosy because I can't find a similar midwife clinic who'll take me on as a patient.  In Seattle!!  I thought for sure that it would be easier here!  Even if the end game is that I have to have another c-section, I really just want the care I got from a midwife.


We're in Bellevue and Overlake doesn't do vbacs period.  UW midwives won't take me as a patient.  MidwifeSeattle is full for the month of April.  I've been on hold with Neighborcare for over an hour.  Any words of wisdom, guys?

capretta 09-12-2011 11:06 AM

I really don't know their policy on VBACs (this is my first), but have you tried the Puget Sound Midwives and Birth Center in Kirkland?

CalaRei 09-12-2011 11:43 AM

I think since they'd have to do a transfer, my husband wouldn't be comfortable there.  I don't see mention of VBAC on their site, though, so I'm assuming they can't.  We don't have group health insurance, but "Family Beginnings Birth Center" seems like exactly what we want.  I got an appt (finally) with neighborcare midwives, so hopefully we jive with them so we can deliver at Family Beginnings.  Fingers crossed.

Smithie 09-12-2011 11:57 AM

Fingers crossed indeed!

Valerie of Lake Washington Midwives, who does home births and also uses Puget Sound Birth Center, delivered my first two children, and I have nothing but good to say of her. Plus she operates out of a facility about two feet away from a very good hospital (Evergreen). If I were you, and no midwife emerged who worked in a hospital setting and was willing to do a VBAC, I'd at least ASK the midwives operating out of PSBC if any of them would be willing to work with you, and if not, who on the home birth scene might.

Transfer is no picnic, but it's not the worst thing either, particularly if you can find a way to birth very close to a hospital, under the watchful gaze of somebody who will know if you need another section and won't hesitate to wisk you into the ER.

LaBruja 09-12-2011 12:04 PM

Dr. Marie Wakefield is a midwife based in Puyallup that does VBACs (she's my midwife, and she is wonderful). I'm sure that's not doable for you distance-wise, but the midwife that she apprenticed under works in Seattle...I can't remember her name, but if you give Marie a call I'm sure she could give you her contact info or give you some other recommendations for VBAC-friendly midwives. Good luck! 

pumpkin&bean 09-12-2011 01:08 PM

There are only a handful of home birth midwives that attend VBAC's.  Send me a private message if you want contact info. 


VBAC's are not allowed in free standing birth centers but are at home.  None of the midwives at Puget Sound Birth Center attend vbac's. 


"Family Beginnings Birth Center" is really a hospital--Group Health.  Great hospital but still a hospital will a fancy name for the labor a delivery ward.


Evergreen Hospital also does VBAC's but Group Health is a better option if you don't mind the drive.


Good luck!

Smithie 09-13-2011 09:40 AM

Allison, do you have any particular favorites among the doctors and midwives that practice at Group Health and Evergreen? I get some version of this question quite a lot, and often it's from somebody who does not mind working with an OB/GYN, as long as the practice genuinely supports VBAC. 

pumpkin&bean 09-13-2011 12:13 PM

I don't have any favorites at the hospitals.  I'm in the homebirth world and only occasionally need to transfer someone to a hospital provider during pregnancy. 


Here are some interesting statistics compiled by Kim James (it is a few years old):

DahliaRW 09-13-2011 01:30 PM

I don't know for sure she does vbacs, but I have heard very good things about Angela Chien (who is an OB) at Evergreen.  I've had a couple of friends who with many other OBs would have just been sectioned who have had vaginal births with her and been really happy with their care.

LiLStar 09-13-2011 01:45 PM

Wish I would have seen your post sooner so I could have invited you to the ICAN meeting that was last night! Maybe you can make it next month? Meetings are the 2nd monday of every month from 7-9 at the Interbay Whole Foods in Seattle. Evergreen has one of the highest, if not the highest, c-section rate in WA state. I wouldn't recommend them for a VBAC. I've heard great things about Cynthia Brown ( who I believe catches babies at Group Health. 

Smithie 09-15-2011 06:03 AM

(waves) Hi Dahlia! 

hikergirl13 09-21-2011 08:42 AM

I'd look into what your current insurance will cover at Group Health.  I have GH, and from what I've read, they do VBAC.  I was seeing a midwife in Bellevue but am now seeing an OB as I'm high risk.  It took me a while but I found one I really like, and I've good things about many of the other practictioners.

CookAMH 09-21-2011 10:51 PM

Come over and join the ICAN yahoo group. You are not without hope!


Cynthia Brown as LilStar is in the practice you said is full (Midwife Seattle). From my research, Group Health is your best hospital option for achieving a VBAC. It is correct what a pp said that all free standing birth centers do NOT do VBACs.


I am from Pittsburgh too! Have been here in Seattle for two years.I  had my son in Pgh via c/s at AGH after laboring at The Midwife Center, and this past April, I had a great home VBAC.  I would have been at GH though otherwise, and would be comfortable birthing there if for some reason homebirth is not an option for future births.

VBAC 10-02-2011 09:59 PM

Welcome to Seattle! It is frustrating that there aren't more midwife hospital VBAC options and that VBACs can't be done in birth centers.  If you want a hospital birth, your best bet is probably Group Health Seattle with the Neighbor care midwives or Sally Avenson or Cindie Brown.  The UW midwives are moving up to Northwest hospital where VBAC is allowed but they can't do them as there isn't 24 hour in house OB.  If you want to try for home VBAC there are some good providers but this is less out in the open.  There is no VBAC at Swedish Ballard.

Veronica Kulev 03-27-2012 06:39 PM

I just had a VBAC with the midwives at Valley Medical Center and they were amazing.

mommyjudy 04-05-2012 08:46 PM

I believe Suzanne Thomson in Seattle will do VBACs and she is amazing!

thehappydeer 04-10-2012 12:06 PM

I had a great VBAC experience with Sally Avenson delivering at Group Health!
She has a private practice w/ VBAC privileges @ Group Health, give her a call!

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