Gracie’s Story: A Successful VBAC

by Monarch Women's Wellness on August 8, 2014

When it comes to having babies, my husband and I consider ourselves blessed beyond measure. We have 3 children all under 5 years old; two boys that are 4 and 3 years old and then our new baby girl Paisley, who is almost 7 months. Each labor was very different. Our first son was a vaginal delivery and our second son was an emergency c-section. When I found out I was pregnant with our third child, I immediately knew I was interested in a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean section). So I started researching my OBGYN options, since not all doctors perform VBACs. 

Paisley Bitgood

*Meet Paisley Bitgood

My mother, Debbie, is a Labor & Delivery nurse at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center; she had heard wonderful things from her patients about Monarch Women’s Wellness and their new provider, Dr. Susan Almquist. She has also always enjoyed working with Monarch’s providers. Upon her referral, I made an appointment with Dr. Almquist.

At our first appointment, I immediately connected with Dr. Almquist. We sat down in her office and talked at length about my desires for this 3rd pregnancy and delivery. She was very thorough, and we discussed my medical history in detail regarding both previous pregnancies and deliveries. I felt very reassured in my physician choice for this pregnancy. I was relieved that her professional experience and knowledge would help us discover whether a VBAC was a viable option for me.  She was completely supportive of our desires and truly listened to us. We also shared with her that we didn’t want to know the gender of the baby until delivery. We experienced this with both of our boys, and the surprise and excitement is unparalleled! Dr. Almquist was excited to find out with us at delivery, too.

When we came back for the 2nd appointment, it was very obvious that Dr. Almquist had done her homework. She had gone over all of my patient records, asked questions, and really learned more about my situation. This thrilled my husband and I. Talk about being heard and taken care of.  We were so pleased. We had decided a VBAC was a healthy, realistic option for us. I was ecstatic!

The rest of my pregnancy, I am lucky to say, was very peaceful and over all boring. No complaints here. I enjoyed getting to know Dr. Almquist at all my visits. She was always excellent. That consistency of care continued to put me at ease about the upcoming delivery.

When my labor started, to be honest, I was completely confused. My two previous labors with both of my sons moved FAST! I went from 2 to 9 centimeters in no time. They were both so fast, that I didn’t have time to think about the pain. To say this labor was different is an understatement. I was having terrible contractions and decided to head on to the hospital. I was only at 2 centimeters! I was starting to get scared and overwhelmed. Could I really do this?  When Dr. Almquist arrived at the hospital, I was relieved! She immediately took charge, calmed and reassured me. She helped me work through the pain. I was so grateful.

After 8 hours of labor, I am thankful to say, I was able to deliver my sweet baby girl, Paisley, through a successful VBAC! We were all ecstatic! Surprise, Surprise! 3rd time must have been a charm for adding a sister to the mix. After Paisley was born, Dr. Almquist announced to the nurses in the room that I had no tears and no rips, and everyone cheered. The support and love I felt all around me was wonderful and humbling.

Gracie & Paisley Bitgood

*Meet Gracie and Paisley Bitgood.

At my six week check-up, I asked Dr. Almquist if she got her VBAC “Super-Star Sticker”. My family and I were that impressed with the quality of care during my pregnancy and especially my delivery. I have decided to continue my OBGYN care with Dr. Almquist and Monarch Women’s Wellness. I am so thankful that she helped us achieve a dream and goal! I can’t even consider going to anyone else.

Gracie’s Advice:

In your health journey, if you have a desire for something as I did for having a VBAC, find a provider that will help you. Ask around. Do your research. Make an educated choice. I am thankful that is what I did to find Dr. Almquist and Monarch Women’s Wellness!

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