Denial: for homebirth advocates it’s not just a river in Egypt

#1 Sterling:

It felt like an eternity, but finally I was crowning… The head eventually was completely out, and there was a shift in everyone’s tone… They frantically moved me from position to position trying to get the baby free. The cord was wrapped around the neck, and his shoulders were stuck. They moved me to my back once more and Lisa got a good grip and pulled the baby from within me. I felt the baby slide out and I saw him lying there on the floor. it was 11 am May 28. He was blue. He was so beautiful. He was a boy…He was not breathing…

I won’t go into the details of our time in the hospital … But I’ll give a quick overview… Sterling was on the ECMO for 1 week, which essentially is a mechanical lung and heart. The doctors and nurses pumped oxygenated blood from the machine, into our baby’s heart through a tube in his jugular vein. The blood circulated through his body and back out into the machine. This allowed his lungs to heal from the infection. his heart had a chamber that collapsed and this treatment allowed his to recover from that. He was in a drug induced stupor for most of his stay. They kept him on a ventilator for a week, then switched it to a less traumatic ventilator. Then eventually to an oxygen tube. He was in the NICU for 1 and a half weeks, and in a recovery room for 5 days.. A total of 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital. He made tremendous leaps there in terms of healing and was a completely normal healthy baby boy when we brought him home. No brain damage no nothing. Except for a few small scars 🙂

Was it because of homebirth? No, that was just an incredible coincidence!

… [T]ake note that the trauma we experienced had nothing to do with our son being born at home. We still support home birth!

#2 Tina’s son:

… I wasn’t ready for homebirth with our daughter, which, unfortunately turned into an experience that was everything I didn’t want (many factors as to why this happened)…so for our next birth, we did all the research and preparation to have the kind of birth we wanted, at home. Sadly, this birth ended with our son being born dead. No amount of resuscitation worked…by the midwives or the paramedics that arrived within a few short minutes (and quickly whisked him away to the hospital)… nothing worked. He just couldn’t be resuscitated.

Was it because of homebirth? No, that was just an incredible coincidence!

I do not blame this on being home…we don’t know why he died. And regardless, death can happen at birth no matter where the baby is born. We were one of the unlucky to have this happen to us, at home. It could have also happened had we been at the hospital…we just don’t know what happened…Anyway I am still a strong supporter of homebirth and I know many many people who’ve had happy homebirth stories. Ours was our midwife’s first tragedy. In over 30yrs of hundreds and hundreds of homebirths, she’s only had this one death. Unfortunately it was us. But I don’t want anyone to be scared by our story…because every other story I know had a happy outcome…and I know A LOT of stories!

#3 Charlie’s story (webcache)

This page is for my daughter, Charlie. She suffered an HIE event in utero which damaged her brain significantly. She has cerebral palsy, seizures, a feeding tube, and many other medical issues…


… YOU were not there, so you cannot comment on what “really” happened. You don’t know! I’ve not lied, or exaggerated the details of her birth. She really was born with a heart rate of 130-140. My midwife really did use the doppler quite frequently in the last stages of the birth. We have the whole thing ON TAPE. We are not deluded into thinking that all was well when it really wasn’t. Charlie TRULY did not give us any signs of distress.

Was it because of homebirth? No, that was just an incredible coincidence!

Shit happens. Shit happens EVERYWHERE. Shit happened to my friend who is a doctor in the hospital she gave birth in…

Bottom line, if a woman loses a baby at home, she is no more at fault than the woman who loses a baby at the hospital.

Three homebirth disasters: a severely injured baby, a permanently brain injured baby and a dead baby. But, really, it had nothing to do with homebirth. It had nothing to do with the fact that each of these babies needed an expert neonatal resuscitation with intubation and homebirth midwives don’t know how to intubate. Absolutely not!! And babies die in the hospital, too!

It’s it all just an amazing coincidence.