Averly JoAnne Van Vleet was born on February 20th, 2011 at 3:56pm. She shares a birthday with her Great-Grandma Margaret. She weighed 6lbs, 14oz.

Averly JoAnne Van Vleet

I had a successful vaginal delivery after two cesareans. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t cheap. It took a lot of planning, and going the extra mile. I wanted it to happen, so I did everything I could to make sure it happened. And it did. My hard work paid off, and she came into the world without the use of scalpels, and without having to be gutted and turned inside out.

She was born on her own time, 100% naturally. No inductions. No pain medications. Just me, my baby, my body. If you want to read her birth story, you can find it here.

When I found out I was pregnant in June of 2010, I knew the birth wasn’t going to be typical. I knew right off the bat that I needed to start planning, and start researching. I had two prior cesareans, one in 2007 and one in 2009; both of which were not truly medically necessary …” READ MORE….

Ava’s birth was amazing. I don’t think I have ever felt so empowered, or so accomplished as when I gave birth to her. For the last few years, all I had had heard was “You can’t, ” “It’s too dangerous,” “You’re crazy,” “It will never happen,” “You’re wasting your time,” “Yeah right,” and “Just have another c-section.” There weren’t many people who believed in me, and there weren’t many people who supported me. My husband and a few close friends were the only cheerleaders on my team. My family took a neutral stance, and most everyone else had something negative to say.

But…

I did it.

I did something amazing. I achieved the “impossible” and I didn’t let them get to me. I’d be lying if I said their comments didn’t hurt, or if at times I didn’t wonder if maybe I really was crazy or if things would turn out horribly and it would be my fault… I had that paranoia. That fear.

But I kept on. I stuck with the facts and kept the statistics in mind. I wasn’t going to let them get to me. I read everything I could get my hands on, and I avoided people who had nothing but mean things to say to me. And it paid off.

I did it.

One thing that has been on my mind lately, is my inability to utilize the services of a midwife. Unfortunately, because I have had two cesareans, heck, even if I had only had one, I am not allowed to use a midwife for my pregnancy and birth in the state of Alaska. I know that I can do prenatal care through a midwife who has a backup, but they cannot do my actual labor and birth. They are subject to losing their license if they do accept me as a client.

I don’t know who is familiar with it, but if you look at the medical model of maternity care and the midwifery model, you’ll see that the outcomes of both models are drastically different, with the midwifery model being the more positve of the two.

And Alaska isn’t the only state that does this. A lot of them do, however, I don’t know which ones off the top of my head… Regardless, it’s ridiculous that women attempting VBACs are being denied access to midwifery care. The chance of rupturing is incredibly low… Heck, there’s probably a lot of other issues with pregnancy that could happen that are at a higher chance than that of rupturing! It’s ridiculous.

What are the laws in your state regarding midwives and VBACs?

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that most OB’s don’t like VBACs. It just seems that way to me… Especially in my community. I’ve heard of them being doine… But I’ve never really heard that any of the cargivers in this area support them. They might, they might not, but I don’t know if I’m comfortable going for a caregiver who dosen’t have a reputation for being pro-VBAC.

In my community, there’s only five OBs that I know of; Dr. Barton, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Deede, Dr. Behrens and Dr. Sheridan. One of them did my first cesarean and my prenatal care before I had my son… The other, I’m not very fond of his bedside manner, as one of my doula clients had him as a doctor. The other, I had for my daughters pediatrician for a bit, and just didn’t care for it… And the other I love, but her specialty isn’t obstetrics. And the other… I had her when I was hospitalized while pregnant with my son and I didn’t care for her…

I’ve heard of a couple other doctors that I am researching into… Dr. Elrod and Dr. Bell. I wrote Dr. Bell an email… We’ll see how it goes from there.

I’m really not sure where I want to have my baby. Because of my history of two cesareans, my options are limited as Alaska’s laws aren’t very lenient about VBAC’s and midwifes.

So, what are your thoughts and experiences on the issue?

I didn’t really understand what all of this talk about “rainbow babies” was… Turns out, a rainbow baby, is a baby you have after a pregnancy/infant loss.

So, this is my second rainbow baby… I lost a baby after I had my daughter and before I had my son… It was a really difficult time in my life, but I think it really moulded me as a person.

I went down to the lake to video tape a couple updates, and my husband asked me “Won’t you feel bad if you make all of these videos and end up with a csection anyways??” and it just got me to thinking about it all…

I don’t think it will be a waste. This entire project is a way for me to explore deeper, and learn more about everything to do with birth and VBACs and make the best possible decisions to optomize outcomes for myself and my baby.

So even if I do “end up” with another cesarean, this won’t be a waste.

I was trying to hide my pregnancy until my husband’s birthday so that I would have time to plan a special surprise to tell him with. My last two children, I just kind of blurted it out, but I worked really hard to keep my mouth shut, however, when I got home from the doctor for my “sinus infection” (I was really going for a pregnancy confirmation) I knew that he knew just because of the goofy grin he had on his face!

Turns out, he had been snooping on babycenter, and even made an account because he was going to respond to the thread I made asking for creative ideas on how to surprise my husband!

What a jokester. It was still fun and we had a blast. We were both laughing and smiling the whole time, and that’s what counts!

So, I haven’t told my husband that we’re expecting yet! I’ve been trying to come up with the perfect way to tell him and just haven’t come up with any ideas yet! Do you have an idea? His birthday is on the 18th and I think it would be awesome to surprise him on his birthday!

This is my fourth pregnancy and my third baby. We weren’t planning on trying for another baby until fall/winter of 2010, so we’re a few months early with a surprise rainbow baby, and we’re okay with that.

We had an “oops” and I was obsessively testing for a while, but gave up because they were all turning up negative. I found a couple unused tests in my car (I had hid them there because my husband thought I was crazy for taking so many) and figured “why not?” I honestly didn’t think it was going to show up positive, but it did…

I love pregnancy, and I love being pregnant, but there’s one thing that I’m hoping to do different with this pregnancy…. Not have a cesarean.

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