We were very excited for our first pre-natal visit this pregnancy. I actually had a mixture of excitement and nervousness. I had researched area providers with the help of my local ICAN Chapter, so I knew that the midwife group I chose was not only VBAC Friendly but had a good success rate and reputation. My husband came to this appointment so that both of us could talk to them about our hopes for this pregnancy.
The appointment was actually broken into two parts, the first being a sit down with a nurse. We went over my medical history including going over my previous labor and cesarean section. Family medical history was also taken thoroughly. She gave us a welcome packet that included suggestions for safe medications for common pregnancy related maladies, a list of pre- and post-natal classes that they offer, a list of symptoms that they want me to call or come in if the occur, as well as some information about the labor and delivery department.
The nurse was very encouraging, and she put some of our other more general concerns to rest. Namely that the facility is across town from us- through a tunnel and two bridges away! So if we needed to go during rush hour it could potentially be a very uncomfortable 30-40 minute drive. She said our plan to have a doula or monitrice would help with knowing how urgently we would need to get to the hospital, and whether we could wait for traffic to ease.
The second portion of the appointment was an exam with one of the midwives. There are eight different midwives in the practice and they try to have patients see everyone throughout the pregnancy. In this way, no matter who is on duty they are a familiar face. During the exam the midwife went over my current medications and medical history again. We talked more about the reasons for my previous cesarean section and my plan to have a vaginal birth with this pregnancy. Because my CS was due mostly to malposition,and I had completely dilated and effaced, she said I am a good candidate for VBAC. As a VBAC patient I would also have one appointment with the OB at the hospital to go over the hospital VBAC policy and ensure that I have the information about the risks of both reoeat cesarean and VBAC.
The midwife also did a very brief vaginal exam and although I was only 9 weeks at the time she was able to find the heartbeat with a doppler! A strong 170 bpm! She said it was very normal to have such a quick rate this early.
I felt much more at ease at the end of our appointment. I felt that the nurse and the Midwife both listened to our concerns and were understanding of our want for a VBAC. There are a few questions that I did come uowith after the fact that I want to remember for my next appointment:
– Do they have the capability to offer gas and air as a pain management method during labor?
– Do they have tubs for laboring and birth, and do they restrict their use for any reasons?
– What treatment plan do they usually follow when a VBAC mom goes past their due date?
I am excited for this journey and hope to keep all of you updated along the way. Have you had a VBAC? Was your first prenatal visit during that pregnancy similar to mine? What other questions do you think I should add to the list?