With a toddling 2-year-old to chase and another one on the way, Anne Allen Westbrook wanted a better experience with the birth of her second child.
“I had previously had a cesarean section and wanted to have a VBAC [vaginal birth after cesarean],” Westbrook said. “It was important to me because I wanted, for myself and for my baby, the experience of giving birth. Having a C-section had not felt like that for me. I was also concerned about the recovery time from a C-section, having both a newborn and a toddler.”
VBAC is an option for many C-section veterans today, but exercising that option can be a problem. Westbrook and her husband, Todd Baiad, learned that few Savannah-area obstetricians are willing to work toward a VBAC delivery, and one source even suggested spending the last month of the pregnancy in Atlanta to get access to a VBAC-friendly OB/GYN.
Westbrook essentially tracked down Savannah Perinatology Associates on her own, rather than through a referral.
VBAC is considered an option for most women who have had a C-section, but despite a mother’s wishes and a doctor’s openness to that, somewhere between 20 percent and 40 percent of the women who attempt a VBAC delivery end up undergoing a C-section anyway.
Westbrook was able to deliver little Paul (well, not so little, at 8 pounds, 12 ounces) vaginally and totally naturally, without pain medication. “I wanted to be fully there and present, and I was,” she said.
Mother and baby went home the next night, instead of the three days and two nights in the hospital after her C-section. Westbrook found she did, indeed, enjoy a much faster recovery without the burden of recovering from major surgery.