Special Scars – Katie Perez

Katie Perez is a wife and mom to 4, a birth doula, apprentice midwife, and had a vba3c with an inverted T incision in August of 2009. She now sits on the board of directors for the non-profit organization Special Scars~Special Women.

In 2009 I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with our 4th child. We hadn't planned to have any more children because since my first child was born by inverted T cesarean, I was always told I'd always have to have very unwanted cesareans to deliver any future babies. The second and third cesareans were awful enough to make that decision pretty final in my mind. But here is was, pregnant and desperate to find other options, and as crazy as it sounds, I believed I could VBAC successfully. I prayed and researched, knowing full well there were considerable risks to a fourth cesarean, and destiny led me to my doctor and to the yahoo support group which is now called Special Scars~Special Women, which is just for women like me. I found women who had incisions just like mine and had gone on to have successful VBACs anyway. Long story short, I had a perfect VBA3C with a less than 6 hour labor on a warm Sunday morning in August.

Not long after I had a burning desire to help other women safely VBAC, and to avoid unnecessary cesareans in the first place, and I began feeling the call to go into midwifery. But with an infant at home, we were not ready for that commitment of training yet, so I got my doula certificate and doula'd for close to 2 years before starting my midwifery apprenticeship. In this time, the yahoo support group grew and we added a facebook group. In June of 2011 we became an official non-profit organization, for which I now sit as a board member.

Special Scars~Special Women is an organization dedicated to supporting women with unusual cesarean or myomectomy scars and helps them make informed consent decisions regarding their future pregnancies by educating and research.

What exactly is a Special Scar? Special Scars are incisions (or sometimes tears) in the uterus other than the typical low transverse incision. They can include classical incisions, inverted or upright T incisions, low verticals, plus sign scars, scars from a previous myomectomy (a procedure to remove fibroids from the uterus), or tears or extensions of the low transverse which can be lateral or vertical. Special Scars from cesareans are performed most often due to prematurity or malposition of the baby.

Amongst our members we have had close to 50 special scar VBACs in the history of the group. Our bodies truly are amazing! Yes, the risks of choosing a VBAC after a special scar are higher than after a low transverse, but many choose to plan a VBAC anyway for various individual reasons, including the significant risks involved with multiple cesareans. The group does not encourage or discourage any particular way to birth, but encourages the mothers to examine the research available and make the best educated, informed decision they can for themselves and their families, and they are supported in that decision. Long term goals for the organization include conferences and studies in the coming years.

To learn more, visit the website SpecialScars.org, and our public facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/specialscars
We are also on pinterst: http://m.pinterest.com/specialscarsinc/
and our support group links for moms who have special scars here:
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/394689410782/?notif_t=group_activity
and yahoo: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Special_Scars-Special_Women/?yguid=347970953

I met Katie through our mutual doula and through our membership in ICAN of North Texas. She's a wonderful source of information and inspiration and I've been honored to learn from her on my doula journey!

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