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Oklahoma mom opts for traditional birth after C-sections

SUSAN SIMPSON Modified: September 7, 2009 at 8:30 am •  Published: September 7, 2009
When Michelle English became pregnant with her third child, she found a new obstetrician. She said her previous doctor refused to allow her to try a vaginal delivery because she’d already had two cesarean sections.

English felt her C-sections were unnecessary because her babies weren’t as large as predicted, and the greater recovery time made it harder to bond with the babies and care for her family.

"I had this profound sadness that I could be the mother of three children and never have had a contraction,” she said.

Many doctors don’t allow vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC, or can’t allow it because of malpractice insurance rules. But English found a physician that would talk to her about the risks. Her third son, Hudson, was born vaginally and without complications April 7 at St. Anthony Medical Center.

"I felt totally and completely empowered like I could do anything in the world,” English said.

English’s new obstetrician, Dr. Robert Ryan, said he changed liability insurance providers when the state’s largest insurer, PLICO, announced several years ago that it would not provide malpractice insurance for VBAC.

"A woman has a right to bear her children in the way she deems fit."

Michelle English

Free panel diccussion
The Oklahoma Birth Network and the local chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network will host a free panel discussion about vaginal birth after Cesarean section at 5 p.m. Saturday at Java Dave’s, 10 NE 10. The groups say they are concerned about the rising number of C-sections, which cost more and contribute to the higher cost of health care. For more information, go to or


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