I had planned a hospital birth with a midwife and was disappointed and surprised to find myself in the operating room after many months of envisioning a normal labor and delivery. I had a very painful recovery and knew I didn’t want to just schedule a cesarean for my next baby.
When I mentioned this to my OB/GYN, he was very supportive, and assured me that I was an excellent VBAC candidate since I had my cesarean for breech. But when I went out into the world, many friends and family members could not believe that I would consider a VBAC.
Wasn’t it really risky? So risky that hospitals banned them? Why take that risk just for the experience of a vaginal birth? Didn’t I want a healthy baby?
With my professional history as a commercial real estate research manager performing demographic and geographic analysis for international, national, and local companies, I was accustomed to gathering information, analyzing it, and presenting my findings in everyday terms.
So, my journey began. I directed my skill-set to post-cesarean birth options and got to work.
It quickly became clear how difficult it was for consumers to find high-quality and reliable information on vaginal birth after cesarean and elective repeat cesarean section. And once I found it, I didn’t understand why VBAC was so hard to access even though the evidence supported it.
I noted the opposition that VBAC supportive practitioners and professionals faced from colleagues, hospital administrators, and malpractice insurance companies. I discovered that sometimes financial and legal factors, that have nothing to do with the health and safety of mothers and children, determined hospital policy and provider preference.
In short, I witnessed the huge disconnect between what the evidence on post-cesarean birth options concluded and what people believed. Upon my VBAC in 2007, I looked at the information I had acquired in light of all the misinformation and confusion that dominated many exchanges on the internet. I wanted to provide clarity to those caring for pregnant people, and parents themselves, on the bigger picture: non-medical factors impact medical decision making and even inhibit the options presented to parents. VBAC Facts® was born.
Since then, I have developed a 6-hour program approved for nursing contact hours, “The Truth About VBAC: History, Politics, & Stats.” After traveling throughout the United States presenting this program to professionals, providers, and highly motivated parents, I produced it so people around the world could attend online!
I have been invited to speak at various regional and national conferences, including Human Rights in Childbirth, DONA International, and the Indiana Midwives Association, as well as webinars sponsored by organizations like Lamaze and ICAN International.