The story continues…. Part 1 can be found here.
I hired Betty Vella, an independent midwife from Gymea… a veteran midwife! She was one of the attending midwives to the twin homebirth of Justine Caines who was the president of the Maternity Coalition and also secretary of Homebirth Australia. She was perfect for me. She still worked in the hospital system part-time at Bankstown Hospital and only in the birthing unit while taking on 1-2 private clients/month for homebirths and the like. This meant that she had a lot of practice in “hospital politics”, a negotiation skill which I needed with me going into hospital for a VBAC or in my case especially as I was attempting a VBA2C. She was well experienced in VBACs, VBA2C and more, and in birth in general. From the first contact, she was more than happy to chat/email me all info and answer any and all my questions I had without trying to rope me in as one of her clients.
stalked researched Dr Andrew Bisits of John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, contacted him and asked if he would be supportive my future “hypothetical” VBA2C, which he said yes. In my mind, I was considering travelling to Newcastle when my time came just to be under an entirely supportive OB and in a supportive hospital.
The heavens aligned though, and just as I found out I was pregnant, I also heard through the mother’s forum grapevines that Dr Andrew Bisits was leaving John Hunter and taking on a Senior role here in Sydney at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick as the Head of Obstetrics aka HEAD HONCHO.
I could not believe it.
I rang him on his mobile which he willingly gave me via email from the first time I contacted him (seriously What the..?) and confirmed that he indeed was finishing up and would start at the ROW in Oct (2010). I asked him if he would still support me again at Randwick and he was unphased. I told him I was out of the area being from South West of Sydney with Liverpool being my district hospital, and he said that was no problem – he would arrange that I be directly under him since I would be classed as “high risk” patient (hospital terms not his!).
I rang the hospital, and I was given a referral to the VBAC clinic they have there. I was accepted in with no problems, even though I was out of the area, it seems I was lucky as they only took in out of area “walk-in” patients when they are not full.
I had all my antenatal care with Betty, and oh my, the service I got from her was second to none. She came to my house (pregnant Mama’s take a deep breath and read THAT sentence again!!). At an agreed time that suited us both! ALWAYS on time! (not like my private Ob I paid a packet to with Amaya’s birth at Sydney South West Private – overbooked, always late, and felt like he didn’t even remember who I was at each visit. I also really loved waiting around for 40+mins for a 10min appt and having to entertain a toddler at the same time.)
Betty and I connected, and the kids loved her, she often let them help her check the babies heartbeat with the doppler! She was fantastic, down to earth and fully supportive of everything I wanted and she and Jake got on great too! She was even acquainted with Dr Bisits, so that was helpful… She came with me to all my in hospital visits with him as well.
Meeting with Dr Bisits throughout the pregnancy was fantastic. He never let me feel like I was a freak for wanting to attempt a VBA2C. He never allowed me to feel as though what I wanted was ludicrous and endangering myself and my unborn child. Most of all he believed in me. I could tell from the start that he thought I could do it and that was the most important thing of all to me. I needed to know that the people around me really believed in me, believed that I could do it. Pregnancy is such a vulnerable time for a woman, and for me personally, it wasn’t enough that I knew I could do it. I needed those around me to support and believe in me. To keep up my morale.
My first meeting with him was quite informal. He had to give me the usual spiel on risks as a duty of care. We then arranged for our next appointment closer to the due date around 32 weeks to talk details, sign off on my birth “preferences” etc. The 32 weeks came around, and we met again. Pretty much EVERYTHING I wanted was not a problem!
- Happy for me to go “overdue” – CHECK – he was happy for me to go to 42 weeks then “we’ll talk options.”
- Intermittent monitoring – CHECK – “only continuous throughout active pushing” which I was fine with
- Happy for me to labour in water – CHECK
- Length of labour – CHECK – “happy as long as I am progressing and baby is happy.”
I even asked not to have a growth scan, and he asked “why would I do that?” and then told me that the size of the baby does not play a massive issue within the birthing process…this man knew his stuff!
I was in looooove! I rang Jake as soon as I got out of that meeting and told him outright.
I’m in love with this Doctor!
He was just amazing…. he listened, I mean REALLY listened. He believed that I could achieve a VBA2C. He was quietly spoken and not your average “high-rolling” Ob. He dressed simply and had such a calming demeanour. Betty informed me that he did not have his own private practice (like nearly all Senior hospital Obstetricians) and believed that every woman should have access to high-quality pregnancy and birth care no matter what!
WHAT. A. MAN!
I’m rsearching VBAC for my high risk preg for which I’ve been scheduled in for 2nd Csec.
I would love to speak with Dr Bisits.
How did you contact him – just call RHW direct?
Hi Marisa – he is such a wonderful man…if you go under him you will not be disappointed. I have emailed you directly as i do have the co-ordinator of the VBAC clinic’s personal mobile number. You can contact her (ANNE) directly and you might find that you will get through to him faster etc! . You can contact the hospital but im not sure if you will get the run around…. hope this helps and if you have any other questions let me know!
Hay liza love you vba2c story and love the sound of Dr Bisits was still in sydney? I’m not currently pregnant but I would love his support for my vba2c
Great story! I’m hoping for a vba3c next time and would love to ask Dr Bisits a few questions before conceiving. Would you mind sending me his email address?
I know he could/would support a VBA3C – my midwifes due straight after me was a VBA3C that was also under DR Bisits the Royal Womens…she did achieve her VBAC too! I don’t have his current email address but i will email you directly some other means that can hopefully get hold of him directly!
I’m sooo loving your inspiring Vba2c story as its happenIng to me right now and ihave been looking everywhere for help and I have finally found it.
I’m sooo looking forward to a Vba2c with my pregnancy now where I’m due March 2013, I’m so going to do all this and get more support!!
Thank you soooo much for having this website up and please keep it
I am also interested in getting in contact with Dr Bistis, of you could email me se contact details to get a hold of him, thanks heaps 🙂
Hi Susie – great to hear from you i will privately email you a way to get in contact with him. I was just thinking this morning how id love to get back into blogging!! i really do love it, just life is so busy!!! I must finish off the VBAC tips – all of my traffic is due to vbac and vba2c searches etc…. i know exactly how you feel as i would trawl the net for some sort of info especially in australia/sydney. That’s why i started this because i knew it was needed – that people needed to hear and read about positive experiences and that it could be achieved! take care… Liza xo
Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story. I’m just beginning my VBAC journey and would also love Dr Bisits details if you’d be kind enough to message me?
Thanks so much!
Hi Val – thanks for the encouragement!!! I will email you directly…
Your story is very inspiring to me. I am currently pregnant and am going through my first birth situation for my second child, my first child was adopted. My baby is due in February. I had a myomecfomy for the removal of what turned out to be 10 fibroids, some large some small. This was over two years ago. I always thought I would have a water birth with my pregnancies and purposely began going to a new ob who has a midwife in that office. This office location also coordinates with the one hospital in my area that provides water births. My baby has a slight abnormality that will be corrected through surgery after birth and at my last perinatal appt, the doctor told me it is no longer an issue for a natural birth. Although I have fibroids now, once again, he also said that as long as the fibroid that’s blocking my cervix moves out of the way for the baby, having a natural birth should not be a problem. When I shared this news with my ob–I have not seen the midwife at all due to my medical history–she was insistent that I still needed a c-section due to my history of a previous myomectomy and the amount of fibroids that were removed. She said that she’s not comfortable doing a trial of labor with me at all, due to the possibility of uterine rupture, and if I could find someone who is then I should go to that person because it will not happen with her. She even said that the perinatologist should have never told me I could because he doesn’t deliver babies.
I wouldn’t be writing if I didn’t still have hope. Is there anyway you can help me out? I’m in the US, specifically Aflanta, Georgia.
Hi Rhasheda – i am so sorry to only reply to you now and probably too late! but i am based is Sydney Australia so i wouldn’t even know any contact over there in the USA, I wish you all the best and hope to hear some wonderful news of your arrival!
Hi I would love to speak to Dr. Bisits about my situation I’m hoping to vba2c but no where in western Sydney will support me he is my last hope please if you can forward contact details would be very much appreciated thanks
Hi Anne – There is not much support for vba2c through hospitals (plenty via private midwives and homebirths) — I will email you directly with ways to contact him.
Wow… I’ve been reading up about Dr Bisits for a while now. I’ve had 2 c-sections.
Can you please email me? And I’m very interested in your midwifes details too
Hi Natalie – he is an amazing amazing man!! he is so lovely. And my midwife is amazing too…. if you email me privately at liza(at)themotherhoodtimes.com i can put you in touch with both of them. They will be an awesome support team for a vba2c
wow! I also would love to get Dr Bisits details… have heard so so many good things.
Can’t for the life of me find an email/way of getting in contact with Dr Bisits.. does anyone know if he only does Public or if he’s open to doing private as well?
Hi Amy – thanks so much for reading. If you email me privately – liza(at)themotherhoodtimes.com I can put you in touch with him. He is the head of the birthing unit at the Royal and does not practise privately. If you are seeing him as a patient due to previous cesareans you will be in his clinic but it doesnt ensure that he will actually be there during the birth. If he is rostered on or not away (i think he speaks alot advocating natural birth etc) – i have been blessed that he attended both my births! Which reminds me i need to finish off my birth story as bubs is now 6 months old! I have heard that he attends all the breech births if he is around and not away.
also wanted to add that it can be hard to get in as it is a public hospital and public patient if their quota is full for out of area patients. If you are working with a midwife such as Betty Vella whom i was with i think there a few loop holes you can by pass! looking forward to hearing from you privately.
Hi Liza, hope you still come on here!
Not currently pregnant, but am looking to have a VBA3C (first for fetal distress, 2nd was e/c after getting to the hospital in labor with a B of a midwife, & doctor saying he’s going on holidays!! 3rd because I was tired of fighting… We shouldn’t have to fight for our births!
Could I please get an email with information. I would love to go under Dr Bisits!!!!!
Thanks for your inspiring blog. I have just found out I am pregnant with baby number 3, and am desperate for a VBA2C. I did research before I fell pregnant and knew I wanted to choose Dr Andrew Bisits, but I cant find his contact details anywhere online. If you could please send them to me it would be greatly appreciated. I would also like Betty Vella’s details please, if she is still working?
Thanks so much!
Hi Thea – thanks for reading along. Can you send me an email privately – liza(at)themotherhoodtimes.com and i will gladly forward all the contact details i have. They are a fantastic team – i sure hope she is still working… Liza xo
Thank you for this article. I lived in the United States, I’m currently 35 weeks and looking for an expert to review my records from a previous myomectomy. I will email you and please if I could possibility get Dr Bisits contact info, I would be very grateful. Thank you.
Rachel – thanks for the contact. I hope you went well. Let me know how you went with contacting him…
Love, Liza xo
Hi Liza. You made me cry!
I have a 5mo and a 3yo. Both were cesarean (not by my choice). Im also a high risk pregnancy being a type 1 diabetic and spoke to the aus doula college who recommended Andrew… which is how i found your article. Im not pregnant yet (and wouldn’t be for quite a while IF i decide i can do this again) but would consider another pregnancy if i had some huge support for a vba2c. Im in the bankstown area. I was wondering how much your private midwife cost in total? I had my babies in westmead public. The last with a private ob. Waste of money really as i was pressured into the last cesarean cos bub was big. He was born 4.3kg (9.5lb) i dont want that again. I want support and an advocate!
I just came across this blog. My Husband and myself are about to start TTC for baby 3 soon therefore I am considering a VBA2C.
I have been researching and researching and came across your blog but for the life of me can not figure out how to contact this doctor. He sounds like the breath of fresh air I need. (I need my husband on board too). I just want to know whether to leave all the VBAC groups on FB and stop thinking about it or is this actually something I can try (as well as afford to have him as my OB). Thank you.