Mothering.com: Another day, another dead homebirth baby

I finally read something on Mothering.com with which I agree. Unfortunately, it was written in the wake of yet another one of the dozens of homebirth deaths I’ve read about on MDC in the past few years.

This is from Loocy:

A beautiful, perfect baby girl is dead. A previously joyful mother and father are grieving.

Read this thread again. If those of you who told the OP that the first midwife was a fearmonger and should be ditched ASAP, that the OP needed to disregard professional assessments and ‘trust her body’ can read your words now and still hold your sniffy, holier-than-thou, sanctimonious opinions – you are odious. Vile. And dangerous.

What got Loocy so upset? She was upset by the fact that a mother with newly elevated blood pressure (130/100), was encouraged to dismiss her midwife and find another who would ignore the possibility of pre-eclampsia.

On 4/17, the mother wrote:

… After a last minute rescheduling to a much more stressful time of day, I came up with a higher than normal BP reading at my regular visit with my midwife, and she immediately changed gears into “worry mode” – she felt like a totally different person than the woman we hired, and it seemed like a lot of freaking out for a difference of 10 diastolic points.

She ORDERED me to take 3 days off of work and RELAX…

Then she sent an e-mail saying that we needed to take her care much more seriously

The story veers off into personal drama. Evidently the midwife did not feel safe in the presence of the mother’s partner and insisted that henceforth the mother must come to her office. Getting back to the medical issues, at a subsequent appointment:

She took my BP again, decided she didn’t like the number, and that she needed to refer me to high-risk OB in a hospital – she told me they’d most likely put me on medication and possibly induce me, but that I could always refuse the induction…

I went AMA and didn’t go to the hospital

Needless to say, she was encouraged in her defiance by most of the commentors. Interestingly, it was another midwife, Nashville Midwife, who interrupted the rah, rah, you go mama cheering to point out:

… Elevated blood pressure in pregnancy is serious, whether or not the liver is involved. The main risks of PIH are stillbirth, placental abruption, kidney damage, and stroke.

And sure enough, the baby died this past weekend, apparently during a 4 day labor. The mother can’t figure out how this happened:

I went through 4.5 days of labor, the last day very intense with painful contractions one on top of the other. Labor was progressing, and we were hoping for a mother’s day baby, but we (and our midwives) were starting to get worried that labor was lasting so long. It seemed like the head was presenting in a non-flex position and I still had a cervical lip (but was soft and fully effaced) – those factors were making labor slightly difficult, but other than that, the baby was still positioned well and had a healthy heartbeat around 2pm.

We decided to transfer to the hospital … the senior-most OB staff were unable to find any indication of fetal heartbeat and informed us that there was no way to resuscitate or otherwise fix the situation.

Defiant, even though her actions led to the preventable death of her baby, the mother boasts:

I gave birth to a beautiful little stillborn girl later that night – pushed her out in about 25 minutes even though the medical staff insisted it would take no less than two hours.

And, inevitably:

I checked myself out of the hospital AMA this morning (they wanted an extra 24 hours of observation beyond any treatment) …

Because what could those medical people know? No doubt if she had followed her original midwife’s advice to see an obstetrician, he would have played the dead baby card …

… and, tragically, he would have been right.

Here’s the original comment thread.

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