Hi Dr. Fischbein,
Woah, what a crazy 9 months it's been! Deacon was born, we sold our house, moved across the country, and lived through a complete remodel with 2 young kids. Before we moved, one of my goals was to write Deacon's birth story and send you a proper thank you for all you've done for our family. With all the chaos, I just finally sat down to write Deacon's birth story 9 months after he was born, and well, am finally sending you a thank you! Better late than never, right? ;)
I feel so fortunate to have received the very best care during both of my pregnancies and to have been given the option to deliver both of my breech babies on my terms. Ray and I both felt that our wishes were always honored and respected and that you always had mine and the baby’s best interest in mind. I was just looking back at pictures from Deacon’s birth. The first pictures after he was born reminded me of how fortunate I was to have you as my doctor. I showed Ray and said, “Look at my sweet doctor checking on ME after Deacon was born.” He agreed. You had your hand on my back and were visibly asking if I was OK- so different than the experience of most of my friends' where they deliver and everyone only focuses on the baby.
You will always hold such a special place in our family's story and I will forever be grateful for your help in writing two beautiful birth stories. THANK YOU for all you do. Please don't forget to look us up when you make it to Nashville!
All the best,
Meg (Ray, Eloise and Deacon too)
My wife Jeni gave birth to our son Jack on July 7, 2015 at 11.16am. We were in our home and he came into the world in as natural a way as can be done in today's "modern" world. A beautiful baby boy ready to join the world. How wonderful..
We were introduced to the concept of natural child birth before Jeni was pregnant. We watched "The Business Of Being Born," a documentary film produced by a family friend, and I have a close friend who lives in Europe who told me all about his and his wife's journey delivering their children "natural" way. I was inspired by both the film and my friends story, so I brought it up to Jeni and after dealing with some fear and apprehension and doing some research of her own, she decided this was the way she wanted to give birth. I'm so happy she made the choice she did. I write this note to express our gratitude to Dr. Stuart Fischbein, and midwives Beth Cannon and Juli Anderson. I also wanted to briefly share a fathers perspective, and of course to celebrate my lovely wife and our amazing little dude Jack.
Couples deciding to give birth outside the system face a number of obstacles and challenges; from judgement by their peers to all the literature and dialogue that suggest any birth outside of a hospital is "risky." It's the road less traveled; and anyone who has charted their own course against the tide of convention and protocol can appreciate just how hard that can be. But those same people, the ones who defy conformity, are that much more rewarded when they follow their instincts and do what feels right. This was the case with Jeni and I as it relates to the birthing option she chose and the man we chose to "godfather" our birth, Dr. Fischbein.
As a husband and now a father, watching my wife give birth in our bedroom was simply the most beautiful, inspiring, primal, epic, and graphic manifestation of humanity I have ever witnessed firsthand in a 3 dimensional way. Jeni overcame her fears and let her body take over; she was an absolute warrior, and handled her birthing day with grace and dignity. She rarely spoke, rarely complained, and never wavered despite the discomfort at certain points. She knew in her heart that her body was designed to give birth this way, and that nature and her biological makeup would be her guide; just like it has and will be for generations before and to come. In the end, I know she's so proud of her journey and grateful for all the love and support she received that day.
I have zero judgement as to how couples, and particularly women, decide to give birth. There's already enough forums, websites, magazines, television interviews, etc filled with the pundits on both sides of the natural child birthing debate; I see no benefit for me to weigh in here on a testimonial page for our friend and birthing ninja Dr Fischbein. I only share my perspective in the hopes it will get people thinking and be inspired to follow their hearts and not the static and noise we are all surrounded by in our everyday lives.
Thank you Dr Fischbein for keeping us calm in the months leading up to birth, and for being both professional and loving from day one. Thank you to my warrior wife Jeni for bringing Jack into the world in the most beautiful of ways and for the unconditional love you show him and me every day. And thank you to whoever is reading this for taking the time to read my short and wonderful story about birth and family.
I lost my mom to a complication resulting from her C-section when my twin sister and I were born. The moment my husband and I discovered that we ourselves were expecting twins (yes, twins having twins) I certainly didn't want to repeat her experience and a home birth is something that I’ve wanted for myself and my own family, but unfortunately, if twins are involved, the traditional midwifery practice is no longer legally supported in California. So my husband and I began the tedious interview process with numerous OB’s, hoping that one of them would support a natural hospital birth. Again we were met with constant disappointment, as most OBs treated and made me feel like my pregnancy was a disease that needed management instead of the natural process that it was. I knew it was going to be a fight to the finish for a natural birth experience at the hospital.
That’s where Dr. Fischbein comes in. It wasn’t until my 3rd trimester that we stumbled upon him, and we both knew from our initial consultation that he was the perfect OB for us!!! No other doctor believed that I could possibly go full term (OB’s laughed at such a prospect), if even beyond 36 weeks, and they’d certainly never let me go so long without intervention. But Dr. Fischbein trusted the natural birth process, particularly labor itself, and waited patiently until it started on its own. And it did, 3 long days after my due date!! I just wish I had found him earlier, but then again I now know that I wouldn't have appreciated him and his wonderful midwifery team nearly so much if I did! The staff and atmosphere of the place was calming and Dr. Fischbein spent so much time with us at each appointment, talking in his office, listening, and respecting our decisions concerning labor.
Labor itself was an amazing experience. I mean, it’s one of the pinnacles of the human existence. Dr. Fischbein and his team showed up in a timely, respectful manner, yet I hardly knew they were present in our home. He left me alone to labor (as a mother should, without unnecessary intervention) except to check the heart beats once in a while. After 12 hours of active labor I gave birth to Eric, our first twin, who was 7.8 lbs. and then a short 48 minutes later, Ira, our second twin, was born at 6.11 lbs. I appreciated how Dr. Fischbein let our second baby arrive on his own timing. And even though I hemorrhaged, Dr. Fischbein took care of it professionally and gracefully. He had everything that I could possibly need on hand. I was able to get the birth experience that I wanted, it really was a beautiful and joyful day, which I'll have and share for the rest of my life, but only because Dr. Fischbein made it happen. And it cost us less than a hospital birth since our insurance accepted the in-network exception for a home birth. Yes, the insurance paid for it and it was CHEAPER than the bills we would have received from the hospital.
I am so thankful for the mutual trust we had for each other. My twin sons were born naturally – at home, in Mommy and Daddy’s bed. To be able to do so helped give me the confidence on becoming a great mother.
"Two times I have found myself pregnant and desperately lacking competent support for my birth choices. My second child, a VBAC, was born at home, but not before I learned (the hard way) of stringent regulations placed on out of hospital birth workers in our country by doubtful doctors. Thankfully, physicians like Dr. Fischbein, who believe in a woman’s right to informed consent and refusal, in the process of birth, and in the safety of home birth exist. It was not until he agreed to back my selected midwives that I was 'allowed’ to birth in the way I desired. My son was born beautifully and without incident in my home, and I went on to have another home birth nearly two years later.
When I became pregnant again a year later, my family naturally planned another home birth. Upon the discovery that I was carrying twins, we were once more cast into the fray of medical limitation under the assumption that all twin pregnancies are high risk and my chance for a vaginal birth was slim at best. With the understanding that this was definitely a situation needing special attention, I received concurrent care with my insurance OBs and a different team of midwives who had recently begun to attend births with none other than the good Dr. Fischbein. And when, at the end of my pregnancy, it became certain that both of our girls were presenting breech, the Big Decision was made to follow through with our home birth plans. With the gentle care of able midwives and the Dr.’s vast expertise with twin and breech deliveries, our little ones were born triumphantly and safely in the peace of our home.
I am forever grateful that these opportunities were possible, and I fully believe they might not have been if not for Dr. Fischbein’s confidence in my ability to birth naturally, normally, and without restriction. He is truly a pioneer of the obstetric world and I sincerely hope his efforts revolutionize the way birth, and especially VBAC, is viewed by the medical population."
- Becky D.
"Dr. Fischbein delivered my first child, a 10 lb. 5 oz. boy, in 2007 at St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital. Although that birthing ended with a successful vaginal delivery, thanks to Dr. Fischbein’s patience and expertise, the overall hospital experience wasn’t positive, and I wanted something different for the birth of my second child (October 2010). When he suggested I might be a good candidate for an out-of-hospital birth, I gave it serious consideration. I don’t consider myself “crunchy,” and would never have considered a home birth if it weren’t for the confidence my husband and I have in Dr. Fischbein, which he has earned during the past five years. He visited my home to be sure the setting would work well for a home birth, he was easily accessible via text and phone during my labor, and he was an excellent guide during the birthing process. Dr. Fischbein, midwife Karni and doula Melodie respected the techniques of my Hypnobabies birth method, and the result was a beautiful and relaxing birthing experience. I can’t say enough good things about my experience, and in the event I decide to have a third child, I’ll be planning a repeat of the second. We wouldn’t want to change a thing. "
- Alicia A. and family
"On Saturday, April 23, 2011, at 4:56am, I gave birth at home to our second beautiful baby boy, Matias. I had a VBAC! Actually, I had an HBAC!! (Home Birth After Cesarean) It took only 4 ½ hours from when my water broke to holding our new baby boy on my chest. Home birth was the best option for me and I believe that it was the most natural setting in which I could give birth. I was completely safe and comfortable in my surroundings, the only people I wanted by my side were there, I had complete freedom to labor in the way that was best for me, and I was immediately able to bond with my baby. I am so grateful to Dr. Fischbein and Karni Seymour-Brown for providing me with an option to have the natural birth experience that I desired, given that the doctors and the only hospital in my local area are unsupportive of VBACs. Dr. Fischbein has a common-sense philosophy about birth and a practice that supports and trusts in the individual choices of his patients. He has a profound understanding and respect for women and the birthing process, and he truly values a mother’s ability and right to investigate and choose the birth experience she wants based on true informed consent and refusal. Dr. Fischbein’s collaboration with Karni is a perfect partnership. He is leading the way in obstetrics by providing an ideal model of care that combines traditional medical training and knowledge with the expertise and wisdom of midwifery. I truly believe that support for his practice will continue to grow and that he will revolutionize the obstetrics profession so that he and others like him can help so many more women have the birth experience that they desire and deserve.”
" When we were pregnant with our first daughter, I started my prenatal care with the midwives at The Women’s Place and we planned a natural hospital birth. However, when our daughter decided to arrive on Thanksgiving, the on-call doctor had other ideas when it didn’t go the way she wanted it to, and we ended up with a c-section. For me, it was pretty devastating because I knew I hadn’t been given the chance to do what my body was designed to do - - give birth naturally.
When we found out we were expecting our second child, we were frustrated at how limited our options seemed. I guess I was na?ve because I had no idea that hospitals could make the decision for me whether or not to have a repeat c-section! We had an appointment with Dr. Fischbein when I was about 20 weeks pregnant and for the first time we were actually presented with options. My husband and I came to the conclusion that we felt safest having a birth in our own home, attended by Dr. Fischbein. We liked the fact that we were the ones choosing how I would give birth, not a hospital policy choosing for us.
My prenatal care with Dr. Fischbein was always encouraging and enjoyable. I appreciated that he took the time to get to know my husband, our two-year-old daughter and me during those visits. I knew without a doubt that this was going to be the supportive environment that I needed in order to give birth successfully. When I went past 40 weeks and we were approaching 42 weeks (and Dr. Fischbein’s family reunion), he even talked about not going - - which helped me relax and actually go into labor the day before he needed to leave.
Our labor and delivery was absolutely amazing. My husband called Dr. Fischbein around 6am to let him know that I had been having contractions since midnight although they weren’t extremely painful. Dr. Fischbein and Karni Seymour-Brown (the midwife that he works with that is also amazing) came around 8am I believe, set everything up and then left for an hour or so, encouraging me to take a walk and hopefully speed up contractions. There was no timeline, no “blue print” and no stress. I didn’t have a nurse checking my progress every hour, which in my opinion can be pretty discouraging!
My strep-b test was positive so Dr. Fischbein gave me a dose of antibiotics in my own living room. It was early afternoon and they encouraged me to go for another walk then we decided to break my water when I got home. At that point my contractions sped up and became more intense and I was finally to the place where I struggled with my first labor so I got in the birth tub that Dr. Fischbein had brought. I am not sure exactly how long I was in the birth tub but I think it was about two hours. The first hour in the tub was the final part of my labor and in my opinion I was feeling like maybe I couldn’t do it. I remember at one point looking over and seeing Dr. Fischbein sitting calmly on the sofa, watching me with a reassuring look and realizing that I was surrounded by people that knew I could do it and that were there to help me do it.
At some point Dr. Fischbein told me I could push when I felt like I needed to. He explained how but let me get into my own “pushing groove.” I had my sister behind me, holding me under the arms for extra support. I had my husband and mom on either side, supporting my legs and feet. I had Dr. Fischbein bent over the tub helping me maneuver and get the baby out yet not telling me when to push or anything. I pushed for about 30 minutes and started to feel like giving up. I think I said to Dr. Fischbein, “I can’t do this anymore!” I remember at that point, he took my hand and had me reach down and I felt my baby’s hair peeking out. He said to me, “do you feel that? That is your baby and you can do this.” Thirty minutes later the head was out, Dr. Fischbein rotated the shoulders to come out one at a time and then had me reach down and pull my baby out. I was the one that announced to everyone, “it’s a girl!” She just stared at me without even crying while she lay on my chest. My two-year-old was able to reach over and caress her baby sister’s head and bond with her also.
We moved to the bedroom and after I delivered the placenta, I was able to lay there with my new baby girl (Mercy Adoniyah) and be surrounded by my family in peace and quiet. Dr. Fischbein and Karni were cleaning up and taking care of everything while we were able to bond as a new family. We all laid there for about an hour and a half before Dr. Fischbein came in and did Mercy’s newborn check and then Karni helped me get up and shower and take care of everything else. They thoroughly explained everything about the next few days and then Dr. Fischbein said he would come by on Monday to check on me.
Now that I have two very different births to compare, I believe that recovery is closely linked to the birth experience. With my first, I had a doctor who was high-strung, impatient and didn’t really believe that I could do it. The more agitated she became, the more agitated and nervous I felt. Even though I had a relatively easy c-section recovery, I was emotionally “beat up” for weeks and months afterward. With this birth experience, I was in the comfort of my own home and I was supported by a doctor and midwife that truly believed in me. Everything was calm and joyful and I found myself relying on that. After Mercy was born in the evening, we fell asleep around 10pm and when I woke up the next morning I felt like a new person. During my first two weeks, I spent more time enjoying my new family than anything else. My recovery has been relaxed and peaceful.
We are very grateful to Dr. Fischbein for helping us achieve our desire to have a peaceful and safe VBAC and homebirth. Both my husband and I know that Dr. Fischbein was vital to our success. He provided the confidence, encouragement and knowledge that I needed to help me deliver naturally this time around. We are blessed to live near such a unique and gifted doctor!
The last 4 weeks of our pregnancy were mentally and physically tough. Finding out the baby was breech was initially unsettling, but as time went by the odds of him turning over seemed to fade away and that unsettling feeling turned to severe worry and fear. Then in stepped Dr. Fischbein.
Dr. Fischbein was referred to us by the birthing center we were using, and slowly became our last ray of hope in having a home birth. He informed us about breech delivery and what things to look out for. He had a, much appreciated, confident yet professional demeanor that helped ease the worries of both my husband and I. His respect for homebirth and midwifery was obvious and knowing that he was willing to work alongside our midwife was nothing short of awesome. In every appointment he was patient and took the time to explain to us where things were and what direction we wanted them to head. Throughout the entire labor and delivery he was mindful of the experience we set out to have. At one point during the labor it appeared that things were not progressing enough and plans to transport for a C-section might need to be considered. Even though he knew our desires for a home birth he still put our safety first. Fortunately things started to progress again and a home delivery occurred. A delivery that couldn’t of happened without Dr. Fischbein.
Throughout our entire dealings with Dr. Fischbein he acted as a man of great character. He gave us the knowledge and confidence needed to move forth with a breech home delivery. He was honest, caring, respectful, and generous. He is an expert in his field we have no doubt that I was in the care of the best person possible regarding my situation. We are forever grateful for what Dr. Fischbein did for us and recommend him in the highest regards.
" I am honored to spread the word about the incredible prenatal care and birthing experience my family and I had with Dr. Fischbein, midwife Aleks, midwife Molly and their lovely birth assistants.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child I started researching my birthing options, as I knew they would be limited because I had a c-section with my first child, which resulted in an unusual incision. I became consumed by this research; the more I learned the more determined I became to find a birth team that was respectful of my right to informed consent and competent to scaffold the risk I brought to my birthing. I needed a team that believed in birth and could join me in my belief that I could birth my baby naturally. My research quickly led me to Dr. Fischbein. He was my beacon of hope when I was in the darkest days of searching for the birth experience I knew my baby and I deserved. From the moment I emailed him to introduce myself and share my story, he was candid and kind. After too many experiences that left me feeling hopeless, he was respectful and listened deeply to my individual story. He shared his professional opinion and time without question. After he thoroughly reviewed of my medical records, he took my request for care to the team of midwives at The Sanctuary.
Before making our final decision, my family and I traveled from Central Oregon (where we live) to visit Dr. Fischbein and The Sanctuary team in Southern California. We were instantly welcomed, nurtured and felt at home with the team and in the birth suite. We remained in contact via email and phone for the last trimester of my pregnancy and made our way down to LA again at 37 weeks.
I peacefully birthed my sweet baby boy, Myles James, vaginally after 13 hours of natural labor. Together as an incredibly cohesive, collaborative team, Dr. Fischbein, Aleks and Jacqueline supported me through the dance of labor. They were our dream team! They worked seamlessly, each member present at the most perfect time for my baby and I. At crucial crossroads in my labor, they problem solved together as providers, respecting each other's expertise and experience. I felt completely safe wrapped in their leadership. With their skill and guidance I surrendered, I allowed, and I finally opened up to the sweet vulnerability of birth. With their support I was able to rewrite my relationship with birth. My weak spots faced their strong counterparts, and became one. I walked away from Myles' birth wiser, empowered, more in love with my husband and with myself. Birth, for me, wasn't about proving that I had the physical strength or stamina. Birth, for me, was about being real with myself in a way that didn't lie. It was about finding the courage to witness my most authentic self and cherish it for all that it is. I will be forever grateful for our birth team and The Sanctuary. "
" When my husband and I became pregnant we planned to have a natural birth at home with midwives in Orange County, and my pregnancy proceeded normally and healthfully. However, at a routine appointment at 37 weeks, my midwife discovered that my baby's head was no longer down-- he was frank breech! We were referred to a doctor for a manual version, but after assessing the baby's position, he concluded that I was a poor candidate and my only option was to have a c-section the following week (due to the fact I was a first time mom). My husband and I were devastated. We had been working so hard to have our baby naturally and we were so close. After the meeting with the doctor, we met with our midwife who gave us hope. That's when we heard about Dr. Fischbein. My husband contacted Dr. Fischbein, who personally returned his call and provided the confidence we needed to explore a natural breech delivery. We were also comforted by the genuine compassion he had for our situation, even though he had never met us. At 38 weeks, we met with Dr. Fischbein to discuss our options. He was so patient in answering our many questions and didn't make us feel rushed at all. After a thorough assessment, he concluded that I was a great candidate for a breech vaginal birth at home! Our time with Dr. Fischbein was so encouraging, and after considering his vast experience with breech deliveries, we concluded that having him as our doctor for a natural breech delivery was the safest option available to us.
Dr. Fischbein has 7 criteria he looks at when determining if someone is a good candidate for a breech delivery, and one of those criteria is making sure the couple is mentally and emotionally confident to face the trials of natural breech childbirth. Dr. Fischbein knew that my husband and I were confident, but he also knew that it was important to us for our parents to be fully supportive and confident in our decision as well. Knowing this, Dr. Fischbein suggested to meet with both of our parents over Skype, so that he could introduce himself and answer any of their questions. He talked with them for over an hour and a half! We had never heard of such a caring and passionate doctor. We were so impressed, as were our parents. After that conversation, I felt fully confident and ready to have our baby. By the next morning, one week after we met Dr. Fischbein, my labor began!
Our birth team consisted of Dr. Fischbein, midwife Beth, midwifery student Jaqueline, and doula Robin. Everything progressed very well. The team worked together so well, and I never felt nervous or afraid. Dr. Fischbein was very calm and sweet throughout everything. He gave me the confidence I needed in order to have my breech baby naturally!. In fact, throughout the labor I kept thinking how grateful I was that my baby turned breech so that I could have Dr. Fischbein as my doctor. After about 7 hours of labor, my little one came out, bottom first! His name is Michael Leo, and he is beautiful and healthy. I am so thankful to Dr. Fischbein for giving me the option to have my baby naturally, the way he was meant to come. Dr. Fischbein is a treasure, and we would whole-heartedly refer anyone to him!
" The Beauty of the Midwifery Model: I accidentally stumbled upon 'the Sanctuary' through Dr Fischbein who
agreed upon taking me under his pre-natal care after becoming pregnant again. After meeting the midwives and despite our insurance not covering their care, my husband and I decided it was worth every saved penny we had, to 'invest'in the hope for a natural birth or the so called VBAC ( vaginal birth after c section). Much credit is usually given to the mom when she accomplishes the birth of her baby and rightly so; but what about the persons who make it possible?
From the very first prenatal care at The Sanctuary, I was given wings. Dr. Fischbein reassured me from the very beginning that the risks of a homebirth are no different than those of a hospital one. My chances were
in fact the same, but he always urged me to choose the environment that would make me feel the safest. Through the words and encouragement of my midwives Aleks, Molly, Heather, Sheila, Katie and Marina I started to envision the birth I desired and every time a doubt or a fear came knocking at my door, they gave me the tools to defeat them. From childbirth classes to siblings' preparation to the most amazing spiritual healing chiropractor, Maura. These women read my mind and my soul; they took my hand and guided me to the final battle against my deepest fears. They are so deeply involved and passionate about their mission that they made my success their personal victory.
These wonderful women understand and love the human body so much to trust that it can birth another human body. I mean, that's what they do everyday. They witness the miracle of life. The awesomeness of a body creating another body. A tiny little person who asks and needs just the right amount of time to be perfect and complete to come out.
Lately, I find myself fantasizing to be pregnant again just so that I can keep on seeing my midwives every week. I miss them and I fell in love with each of them. As soon as Mathis was born, Heather Ann told me that this is the hardest and most empowering experience I will ever have and that I won't ever have to repeat it if I don't want to. Well, I would. Every single moment of it. I would not change a contraction or a breath, I would not change a stitch. I would not change a thing, as long as my loving midwives were there with me."
All my love and blessings,
Dear Dr. Fischbein, What an absolute gift it was to have your help with the delivery of our precious Keoni. You gave us the confidence and peace that made the birthing experience absolutely magical and, in fact, quite romantic. We will forever remember this special time with a deep satisfying JOY in our hearts. Thanks again for everything!
Renee, Michael, Jonah & Keoni Taylor
My first pregnancy was anything but a pleasant experience. I had initially planned a home birth, but at 28 weeks plans changed. After measuring 7 weeks ahead of schedule, an ultrasound revealed my son had a complete intestinal blockage and I was in preterm labor as a result of the fluid buildup. Further testing revealed my son had Down syndrome. The next 2.5 months were full of almost daily hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, non-stress testing, ultrasounds, specialists, and stress! At 38 weeks, my baby was still breech and due to the high risk nature of my pregnancy, I ended up with a C-section.
Three months later, I found myself pregnant again with baby #2. After moving from VBAC friendly Portland, OR to Santa Barbara, CA, I was shocked to find out that VBACs are banned at every hospital for about 100 miles. I called many midwives and birth centers in Ventura and Santa Barbara, and each highly recommended I call Dr. Fischbein.
From our first appointment with Dr. Fischbein, my husband and I instantly felt at ease. He thoroughly explained the risks of a home VBAC and patiently answered all of our questions. My husband and I instantly knew going with Dr. Fischbein was the right decision.
The remainder of my pregnancy, I received excellent care and support during my prenatal appointments. Appointments focused on maintaining a healthy pregnancy, which is a stark difference from the usual OB model, which tends to look for pathology only. Topics included managing stress levels, maintaining good nutrition, maintaining a healthy level of exercise, and preparation for my home TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean).
On a Sunday evening at 41 weeks I went into labor. Dr. Fischbein kept in contact with me every 1-2 hours through the early labor process. Once active labor began, Dr. Fischbein and his midwife Karni showed up. Throughout the labor process I felt completely supported and comfortable with my birthing team. When it came time to push, Dr. Fischbein’s gentle and confident coaching helped me navigate what felt like an impossible task. In the end, I had a successful VBAC of a 8 lb 15 ounce healthy baby girl in the comfort of my own bed.
I cannot express how thankful I am for Dr. Fischbein and his midwife Karni. Having a home vbac is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. It would have never been possible without their support. I highly recommend Dr. Fischbein to anyone looking for a positive home birth experience. Additionally, his willingness to take on cases such as VBACs, breech deliveries, and twin births makes him a valuable asset to the birthing community. You can read Allison's entire birth story here
My first child was born via C-section. The doctor claimed my baby was breech and so he had to perform a C section because my baby’s life and mine were in danger. That, to this day, is still questionable to me.
When I moved to California, I got pregnant with my second child. I really wanted to have him naturally but my doctor told me that it was "illegal" in the United States to have a vaginal birth after C-section. Once again, I was na?ve and believed my doctor. I had a C-section at 37 weeks and my baby had a heart murmur and so he was in the NICU for about a week.
Pregnancy number 3 came and gave birth to my little girl through repeat C-section again. I was very disappointed because my little girl was ready to come out and my doctor said, “If it had been outside the United State he would have made me deliver naturally.”
I found out that was not true after my third C-Section and I refused to go under the knife again when I got pregnant with baby number four. Most hospitals in the United States have banned the procedure without scientific justification. I had already had a C-Section before moving to California. I was misinformed by my previous obstetrician that all my subsequent deliveries would have to be by C-Section.
Through perseverance I found a doctor, Dr Fischbein, who was willing to give me a chance to have my baby naturally, since in my culture, it was very important that a woman delivers naturally. Some even consider the woman cursed if she is not able to deliver naturally. Dr Fischbein was willing to help me have a VBAC after 3 straight c sections. He welcomed my husband and I with open arms. All my prenatal visits didn’t last less than 45 minutes. He was very patient and kind throughout the whole nine months journey he took with us.
August 22, 2012 which was my due date came with no baby. Dr. Fischbein didn’t discourage me from waiting; he was actually patient with me. Dr Fischbein recommended for me to see an acupuncturist to help induce labor, since I was overdue for about a week, which I did for three days.
False labor started on Thursday night, but when my husband called Dr. Fischbein he suggested I wait till my contraction are more regular before we head out to the birthing center. I went to see him (Dr. Fischbein) in his office Friday morning, he examined me and assured me that my baby was fine but he is just not ready. The next day was Saturday, Dr. Fischbein came to my house in Oxnard with one of his support team, Robin, and she was a midwife to see how I was doing.
Active labor started Sunday evening through early hours of Monday. On that special day my husband and I drove from Oxnard to West Los Angeles. Calling an emergency vehicle to transport me to the Birth center was not an option because emergency vehicles will only transport me to the nearest hospitals; where we knew I did not stand a chance of being allowed to deliver vaginally.
Suddenly on early Monday, Labor Day September 3rd, 2012, in the morning between 1:00am and 2:00am my contractions became only two minutes apart. We took the Pacific Coast Highway and an inhumane police officer stopped us and gave my husband a speeding ticket even though I was moaning in the back seat. (We fought the ticket in court and the judge dismissed the case.)
We arrived at the Santuary Birthing Center at 5:10am. Dr. Fischbein and his team, Robin and Angela, were already waiting for us. Baby Luke was born at exactly 6:28am, shortly after an hour when my husband and I arrived at the “Santuary birthing Center” in Santa Monica. He weighed 9 pounds and he was my biggest baby. I had a little tear and so there was no need for any stitches.
We researched and found out those Hospitals and Insurance Companies made the decision solely for economic reasons without any scientific data as evidence. My decision not to go under the knife again broke the myth that vaginal delivery after three c-sections cannot be achieved and showed women that it can be done with minimum risk to both mother and newborn.