Don’t be afraid; the worst thing that can happen is a dead baby

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Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. The possibility of his baby’s permanent brain injury or death at homebirth is just a big joke to this father.

Serge Bielanko wrote Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Just a Home Birth, and he apparently thinks its simply hilarious that people are warning him about the increased rate of death at homebirth.

The fact is, we aren’t really scared of anything.

Why not? She could die. Everyone could die. I could die. I’m not sure how, to be honest, but there’s got to be a way that I could perish during our home birth, right?

Oh well.

Oh well.

Why be afraid of harming your own baby when you could be afraid of something really important?

You want to know what I am scared of?

Snakes.

Freaking snakes and ferris wheels…

Fear is stupid, mostly. It’s really just an excuse to be excused.

Fear is stupid? Yeah, putting your baby is a car seat while driving to the grocery store is just plain stupid. Why fear a potentially fatal car accident? And it’s not like the risk of a baby dying at homebirth is greater than the risk of a baby dying in a car accident. Oh, wait, the risk of a baby dying at homebirth IS higher. Who cares, right?

Bielanko is inadvertently insightful about the homebirth industry:

People manipulate fear and overt scare tactics for financial gain and power. It isn’t exactly a new phenomenon on this planet, but here in America it is. People want you scared, because when you’re scared you’re jittery, and when you’re jittery, well, to be frank, you’re a damn fool.

And fools follow other fools. And fools spend money.

People foolishly believe that they should be afraid of doctors and hospitals, because homebirth midwives tell them they should be afraid. That makes them, in Bielanko’s own words, “damn fools” who spend money … on homebirth midwives.

The piece is filled with what passes for “reasoning” among the homebirth crowd:

In the beginning I was uncertain, as anyone would be. I needed to investigate it, to look into the whole phenomenon of midwives and the long, storied culture of home birthing and I needed to figure it all out on my own. Then, gradually, it dawned on me that this is how people have been having babies since the beginning of time.

No, really? Perhaps it will eventually dawn on Bielanko that women and babies were dying in droves at those homebirths, but that’s probably too much to hope for.

But don’t worry, like George W. Bush who famously evaluated Vladimir Putin and declared: “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy … I was able to get a sense of his soul,” Bielanko has evaluated the midwife:

Monica and I have looked hard into the eyes of a midwife, checking her out with our awkward leery Larry David stares and squints and looks. Now we trust her. Now we have collectively tuned out the white noise of trembling fear that’s always slashing away at the radio silence of your decisions gone public, forever threatening to try and torpedo any good and decent day.

Personally, when I evaluate a health care provider look at her education, her training, her professional credentials and the disciplinary actions (if any) against her. But, hey, that’s just me.

We have looked hard at having a baby in our home. How awesome is that? How awesome is it that we think it’s awesome?

It certainly could be awesome, as long as the baby and the mother don’t need immediate medical attention. In that case, it could be a nightmare, the baby slowly suffocating to death in the womb, or in the immediate aftermath of birth, all because his parents thought it would be “awesome” to give birth far away from the medical professionals who could perform an emergency C-section or an expert neonatal resuscitation.

Odds are high that there will be no problems. That’s would be awesome. But if something goes wrong, this father’s casual dismissal of the possibility of disaster will probably haunt him for the rest of his life.

That wouldn’t be awesome at all.

  • Megha

    Im a little late on this but….

    WHY IS KELLEY EAGER HANDS SOO GOD DAMN STUPID?!?!?

    I just went through a range of emotions reading through her comments. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, frustrated, sad, and laughed again.

    Some of my favorites –

    ‘site evidence’

    ‘a c section carries the risk of uterine rupture’ uhhh does the uterus sense the scalpel coming towards it and spontaneously rupture out of fear of a big scary sharp knife?

    ‘instead of just a 4th degree tear, an episiotomy may have caused her to rip through to her anus’

    I don’t know how most of u managed to argue with such idiocy. Big ups to you guys.

    Nothing else to say since most of you have already said it. I’ll go back to lurking…

  • jenny

    Ahaha! Another one!

    Tiffany ————- · University of Arkansas

    “Sorry for your loss doesn’t even come close. I am terribly sick reading your experience. It can happen to anyone!! That is exactly why everyone should be informed. Paramedics do NEED extensive training on emergency birth situations! Especially in the situation of A prolapsed cord! Just waiting it out ISN’T an option in the case of A prolapse!!! Some (midwives) would say that in that situation the mother nearly needs to be held upside down. Bottom on A couch..elbows on the ground if she is alone. or people physically holding her upside down. The cord can be slipped back inside behind the babies head. It is painful and possible. Midwives aren’t witch doctors and doulas are trained. You’re right it Isn’t about home vs hospital. It is about mothers and babies. Even in A hospital situation it is safer to have A person (doula) trained to detect early complications. So much love to you and your family Jennifer. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥”

    A doula could have detected complications! Someone could have replaced the cord behind your baby’s head! The paramedics should have had you go butt in the air and tried to push your baby back in when she was crowning! I have no words for the depths of stupidity in this comment and no one to share it with but you guys. Shaking my head. Shaking my head.

    • burgundy

      So the nuts trust a paramedic over a MD. What a surprised!

      • jenny

        She actually said a doula could detect early complications WTF? I don’t even know what planet she is on.

        • Bombshellrisa

          She was probably thinking of the monitrice type doulas, they do cervical exams and listen to fetal heart tones. And they aren’t qualified to do these things, but they make it sound like they are super trained and qualified.

          • jenny

            I would have thought that if she had said at home, but she specifically said in the hospital. I think she is very confused.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh, they always chime in that “it could happen in a hospital”. You are right, they are CONFUSED. It’s the job of a doula to give backrubs, do counter pressure, talk soothingly. For the detection part, it’s best left to trained professionals.

    • Bombshellrisa

      This is more than disgusting that these women are writing such stupid, stupid, answers to you. I am so sorry for what you went through.

      • jenny

        Thanks. I actually was surprised that I only got two comments like that, trying to explain why this could never happen to someone at a planned home birth. They don’t even understand why what they say is so offensive.

    • Dr Kitty

      Holding the presenting part off the cord and scooping and running to an OR is an option if the prolapse happens earlier in labour, but it is impossible if the baby is crowning, as you know.

      Jenny, you have the patience of a saint to deal with those nitwits.

      • jenny

        I don’t like them leaving the last, incorrect word for some vulnerable person to come read and then take as truthful.

  • anonymous

    Come on Kelley, where are your numbers?

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    I guess Kelley isn’t coming back to pay with us anymore. 🙁

    • Karen in SC

      Maybe we can go play on her blog… didn’t someone say she had a blog?

      • Bombshellrisa

        She does, Google Kelley “eager hands “. It’s linked to her Facebook (don’t these people understand how EASY it is to locate them?) and on that she mentions she is pregnant and due in January.

        • jenny

          Oh I get it now. She is whistling in the dark.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Yeah. It’s a little sad.

  • Annie

    GUYS, CALM DOWN, THEY CAN ALWAYS HAVE ANOTHER ONE.

    What irritates me most about these people is that it never sinks in that there’s a far greater risk of infant mortality in non-hospital births; they only seem to realize that there’s a chance period that the baby could die, in the same way that a baby can die in any birth.

    I really agree that it’s a sort of fear driving much of this, specifically a fear of losing control. By mystifying the birthing process, you’re doing the same thing that our rock-smashing ancestors did when they decided that earthquakes were caused by angry gods. It gives them some measure of control by deciding that they *have* no control, and hospital birth or not, there’s simply nothing that can be done about it, oh well, thems the breaks.

  • Burgundy

    I am just really amazed that this Kelly person can claim that she understands science when she can not tell the difference between rate and absolute numbers. Isn’t that is thought before/during middle school math? (I learned that in fifth grade).

    • anonymous

      Don’t you know? She’s got a 4.0 in pre-med/pre-nursing. She’s totally qualified to argue with an OB with a Harvard Medical degree.

      • Burgundy

        She said that she attended pre-med for 3 years right? Well, I happen to work in a community college so I pull out the catalog of pre-med required classes for the pre-med transfer students. (We have a 3-year program for Pre-med transferring to universities). All you would have are basic biology, lab, concept and human phy/body classes. (There are required English and Math classes too, both 101 to 105 level). No surgical classes, no hospital rotations and definitely not working on a real person. (We do have some state of the art dummies for the students to practice with CPR and stuff). Yet she thinks that she knows more than Dr. Amy or all the doctors in this blog. LOL……

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        To be fair, Dr. Amy went to Harvard *undergrad* and BU medical school. That’s probably why Kelley thinks she can win.

  • jenny

    KelleyWithEagerHands must be the same person that said in comments over there that paramedics on the scene of a precipitous birth w/ cord prolapse should have saved the baby (my baby) with forceps. And that they must “need more training in emergency birth.” Holy shit, I’m actually laughing over how ignorant and absurd that is. Kelley, honey, it’s people like you who “taint” home birth, not people like me talking about our dead babies.

    Here, full comment:

    Kelley H———
    “I am very sorry for your loss, but it is situations like these that taint homebirth in a poor way, even though this was not a planned homebirth…had it been forceps would have been on hand, and in any case the paremedics should have had some, and if not, should have tried to assist differently not just “waited for her to be born.” It sounds like the paremedics need more training in emergency birth as well. I am so so so sorry for your loss, and I completely agree with your statement about fear, and birth and the notion that “it can’t happen to you” because it certainly can. Thank you for sharing your story.”

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Oh my God.

      She thinks the paramedics should have whipped out forceps and that would have done…what, exactly? I don’t think she knows what a cord prolapse is.

      • jenny

        I’m kind of skeptical that she even knows what forceps are. Because what would have really made everything better would have been for paramedics to accidentally crush my baby’s skull.

      • jenny

        She also seemed to think that homebirth midwives carry forceps. I don’t know anything about that but the idea makes me feel a little like I am running around with my hair on fire.

      • Elizabeth A

        If forceps are going to be used, I, personally, would want them used by people with lots and lots of practice. Not by EMTs who see maybe a birth a month, and maybe one of those in a year where forceps could help.

        The difficulty of training doctors to use forceps, and the risks of forceps delivery, are one of the factors behind the rise of c-sections in the U.S. It’s much easier to teach c-sections!

        • jenny

          Exactly. I’ve been told that I would have had an emergency c-section as that’s the best, fastest way to ensure the baby comes out safely. But, if anyone is ever coming at me with forceps, I want to know they’ve done it well thousands of times. Otherwise, just knock me out and cut me open.

    • Young CC Prof

      “Help! I just tripped and my leg is tangled up in this climber’s rope. I can’t seem to untie it, and my foot is turning purple!”

      “Just yank harder, that should take care of it.”

    • I don’t have a creative name

      Does she not realize that forceps are deadly weapons in the hands of people who are not EXTREMELY well trained and EXTREMELY well practiced in this area? Not EMT’s who maybe see an unexpected birth like this a few times a year.

      Reading stuff like this just depresses me. Our schools just don’t teach critical thinking.

    • Dr. Kitty

      Wow.
      That was a rude and thoughtless thing to say to you Jenny. I’m sorry for her.

    • jenny

      .

  • Kelley_WithEagerHands

    You obviously have no real clue about home birth. I don’t know any home birth mama’s who don’t look at a midwifes credentials, transfer rate, and infant and maternal mortality rate, as well as ability to deal with many different emergency scenarios. The FACT is…more women DO die in hospital births (from things that could be prevented, or from unnecessary interventions) than in home births, and that women were NOT “dying in droves” from home births back in the day…death during birth was fairly uncommon until women were forced into dirty birth centers with doctors knocking them out and delivering their babies without being held to any sanitation standards because promiscuity was on the rise and we had to keep the “dirty women” separate from the rest of the hospital. Furthermore…people don’t turn into fools and trust midwives because midwives tell them they should fear the hospital…many of them acknowledge that there are plenty of valid reasons to birth in a hospital, and that only low risk women should birth at home. They TRUST home birth midwives because they tell them birth ISN’T something to be feared, but a natural process to be trusted that doesn’t need to be “managed” unless there are complications and then they leave you to decide what’s best…unlike most doctors who will tell you whats best and if you disagree, they tell you you’re an idiot, or uninformed. Yes, as homebirthers we do have to consider the possibility of baby or mom dying at home, but the risk is very low, and much lower than dying from a staph infection from a hospital. I’m sure you also tell all of your vbac candidates that they should get repeat c-sections because of the risk of uterine rupture, when really the risk of uterine rupture is HIGHER with a c-section, and even higher with a repeat c-section. But yeah, only midwives have an agenda…OB’s are innocents who only have the patients best interest in mind. Please….keep trying to scare people away from home births to ensure job security, because we know that’s what you’re really doing.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      The fact is? Really?

      Please present the data that supports that claim, and don’t forget your basic arithmetic: rate is what counts, not absolute numbers.

      And why do you insist on infantilizing grown women by referring to them as mamas?

      • Kelley_WithEagerHands

        I will share my sources when I get a free minute, and I’m not sure how “mama’s” “infantilizes” grown women, when a mama is a grown woman i.e. a MOTHER and the term infantilize means to make like an infant? I’m sorry for my birth community slang term though, obviously you had to address something outside of the medical side of my argument since you can’t argue that.

        I’m also not sure what you mean by saying that rate is what counts not absolute numbers…I mean, to me both should be important…but you are basically saying “Well it doesn’t matter if 10,000 mom’s died from c-sections last year because the rate is still 1 in 35,000” which is only the case because they average it over a number of years. I’ll try to be back with sources soon though…that takes more time and they are all saved on my other computer.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          When you get a free minute? I’m not holding my breath because there are no such sources in the scientific literature or in the national databases.

          I’m sorry you don’t understand rate. Let me try to explain.

          Let’s start with an example.

          Approximately 12 people die from poisonous snake bite in the US each year. Approximately 520 women die from pregnancy and childbirth related causes each year. Does that mean pregnancy is more than 40 TIMES more dangerous than poisonous snake bites?

          No. Comparing absolute numbers is inappropriate. The only valid comparison is that of rates. Rate, in this case, is the absolute number of people who died from the cause divided by the number of people who could have been exposed to the cause. Approximately 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year for a death rate of 1.5/1000.
          Approximately 4 million women are pregnant each year, for a death rate of 0.13/1000 (equivalent to 13/100,000). In other words, snake bite is
          12 times more dangerous than pregnancy.

          Understand now?

          • Kelley_WithEagerHands

            Yes, I completely understand that, I just never had it described to me as “rate” before, but rather statistics. And I agree with you, that it would be completely inappropriate to say that homebirth has lower risk of death if the rate is say,1/100 deaths, but 1/40,000 in a hospital (obviously those are fictitious numbers used for illustration purposes)…but then you also have to account for the rate among individual OB’s if you want a more accurate comparison, since there are multiple OBs typically in a hospital, being compared to only one midwife. I actually would say I understood rate quite well, as described by my question if that was what you were referring to. Not bad since I haven’t had statistics in 11 years, and don’t use it on a regular basis. Please don’t speak in a way that implies that I’m an idiot just because you used a term unfamiliar to me..ignorance is not a crime, ignoring fact is. And yes, there are several articles, SCIENTIFIC articles, from the ACOG, supporting my facts. I highly value scientific fact, not just opinion so I don’t site blog posts or data that I believe to be biased.

          • Poogles

            “you also have to account for the rate among individual OB’s if you want a more accurate comparison, since there are multiple OBs typically in a hospital, being compared to only one midwife.”

            Who is doing that? Studies comparing the risks of homebirth versus the risks of hospital certainly don’t. Anyone who compared 1 person’s rate against a group’s rate obviously has no idea what they’re doing, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do that.

            “Not bad since I haven’t had statistics in 11 years, and don’t use it on a regular basis. ”

            LOL. I’ve actually never taken a statistics class and even I knew what a rate was.

            “And yes, there are several articles, SCIENTIFIC articles, from the ACOG, supporting my facts. I highly value scientific fact, not just opinion so I don’t site blog posts or data that I believe to be biased.”

            You didn’t even know the term “rate” but we’re really supposed to believe that you have been able to properly evaluate scientific articles and data??

          • Kerlyssa

            Oh my god. She respects science, and is giving medical opinions, and doesn’t understand the word ‘rate’. My god, she is giving advice on medical risk assessment.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Well, come on, her statistics course was 11 years ago.

          • anion

            I have a GED and not a single day of college, and I know what a rate is and why rates are more relevant than plain hard numbers.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’ll freely admit that my knowledge of statistics is basic and I read “How to Read a Paper” by Trisha Greenhalgh at least once a year, because that stuff doesn’t stay in my brain for long.

            But, knowing that I have gaps in my knowledge, I do try to plug them (or at least paper over the cracks a litte).

            Kelley took a statistics class 11 years ago, can’t remember basic maths and thinks that it is still OK to give MEDICAL ADVICE based on research she doesn’t have the ability to interpret or analyse in any way.

          • Young CC Prof

            Okay, I AM a statistician. Here’s the problem with comparing one OB to all OBs: The ones with the worst outcomes are sometimes the best doctors. Weird? It’s because the best doctors are getting the riskiest cases. (Now, if there’s a doctor who’s doing mostly normal deliveries and getting worse than average outcomes, that’s a matter for his colleagues, hospital, etc.)

            There’s one hospital out there with a c-section rate over 80%. It’s not a bad hospital, in fact it’s a great hospital. It’s Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the reason their c-section rate is so high is that they never take normal deliveries, only deliver babies who’ve been diagnosed prenatally with major problems.

            There’s a heck of a lot more to statistics than arithmetic. You have to be able to ask why, and keep asking why. You have to be able to synthesize information from multiple sources. Since all sources have some possible bias, you have to be able to identify bias and use it to “take information with a grain of salt” rather than simply discarding everything that might be biased.

            And no, no one should cite blog posts, they should cite reputable sources. (Only internet companies should site blogs, since most of us don’t have the server capacity at home.)

          • Teleute

            “The ones with the worst outcomes are sometimes the best doctors.”

            “There’s a heck of a lot more to statistics than arithmetic.”

            I am thrilled somebody pointed this out. *goes back to lurking*

          • ihateslugs

            I LOVE what you wrote. It is just so true and said it so well.

          • Danielle

            So true. When choosing my OB, I reviewed c-section rates. The practice I was interested in had one Ob and two CNM’s. The OB had a section rate almost 15% higher than other doctors at the hospital. Looking at the rate alone could have steered me away from her if I hadn’t realized that she is getting every high risk pregnancy, every RCS, and every breech birth in the practice. And then she’s getting many of the emergent c-sections because she is backing up her CNM’s half of the time. Of course her rates are going to be higher.

            That being said, my hospital and medical team were completely supportive of an unmediated hospital birth. I still don’t understand why the debate is hospital vs. home. You can have the best of both worlds. And staph? Please. I got MRSA from the gym. It’s probably in your house too.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            You don’t know what “rate” is. You don’t know the difference between cite and site.

            And we should listen to your “facts” why?

          • Clarisssa Darling

            You’ve never heard it described as rate before?!?!?! I’m sorry but, you can’t never have heard that term and have taken enough math to fully understand the data you say you have. No, ignorance is not a crime, I am ignorant of many subjects but, I don’t hold myself out to be an expert in those subjects.

        • Jocelyn

          Rate is incredibly important. Example (with completely made-up numbers): Let’s say 100 million people go to the library this year, and 3 die while they’re there. And 20 people hike Mt. Everest, but only 1 of them dies.

          If you’re just looking at absolute numbers, you would conclude that going to the library is more dangerous than hiking Mt. Everest, because 3 people died instead of 1.

          Now, if you’re looking at rate, you’ll see that going to the library has a death rate of 0.00000003, while hiking Mt. Everest has a death rate of 0.05. That means hiking Mt. Everest is 1,666,667 times more dangerous than going to the library. And you understand that by looking at the RATE.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Jocelyn!! I love that you used the Everest analogy! Can you crunch the Oregon homebirth death rate with the Everest climb attempt death rate (I think that it’s 1/61 for younger climbers, 1/20 for older climbers but we are still talking about people who are otherwise totally fit and healthy, a bit like home birth mothers).

          • Jocelyn

            Sure! According to this article (http://goo.gl/iHpW7A), the overall death rate (over 86 years) for climbers on Mt. Everest is 1.3%. (It also says that “Most climbers who die on Everest are generally physically fit and in the prime of their life.”)

            According to the Oregon data, the perinatal (baby) death rate for out-of-hospital births in 2012 was 0.45%. The perinatal death rate for hospital births in 2012 was 0.06%.

            So, having a baby at the hospital was 21.6 times safer than hiking Mt. Everest. Having a baby at home was only 2.8 times safer than hiking Mt. Everest. (And this isn’t even taking into account the living, brain-damaged babies from oxygen-deprivation during home birth.)

          • Bombshellrisa

            Thank you! When put that way, I hope it gives pause to all those women who “did their research” and “educated themselves”. It should be pointed out that if conditions are not favorable or the guides don’t feel that you are healthy enough to attempt the climb, they will not allow you to continue.

    • Poogles

      “I don’t know any home birth mama’s who don’t look at a midwifes credentials, transfer rate, and infant and maternal mortality rate, as well as ability to deal with many different emergency scenarios.”

      Well, just because you don’t personally know anyone who didn’t look carefully at their midwife doesn’t mean they don’t exist. More importantly, however, interviewing your midwife about her transfer rate, morbidity/mortality rates and ability does absolutely nothing if the midwife lies to you. There are readers here who have had just that happen – when they interviewed their midwife, the midwife answered that she had no previous deaths, only to find out later (after their own birth) that the midwife did indeed have a previous death. Since regulation is extremely lacking (for CPMs) or non-existent (for DEMs/ LMs), there is frequently no way to verify what the midwife tells you.

      “The FACT is…more women DO die in hospital births […] than in home births”

      Well, the vast majority of women give birth in the hospital, especially those at the highest risk for complications, so of course there is a larger absolute number dying in the hospital. What’s important is not the absolute number, but the *rate*. The mortality rate at home is higher, for the mother and especially the baby.

      “They TRUST home birth midwives because they tell them birth ISN’T something to be feared, but a natural process to be trusted that doesn’t need to be “managed” unless there are complications and then they leave you to decide what’s best…”

      So it can be trusted unless something goes wrong, and at that point it’s up to you. I’d much rather have an expert who can inform me of the possible complications and direct me to the best possible courses of action in any given situation than someone who just says “Trust the process! It’s Natural! We’ll just do whatever you want.”

      “Yes, as homebirthers we do have to consider the possibility of baby or mom dying at home, but the risk is very low, and much lower than dying from a staph infection from a hospital.”

      Oh, please! I’d love to see some actual evidence for that incredible claim.

      “really the risk of uterine rupture is HIGHER with a c-section, and even higher with a repeat c-section. ”

      Gonna need to see evidence for that one, too.

      “Please….keep trying to scare people away from home births to ensure job security, because we know that’s what you’re really doing.”

      Considering Dr. Amy no longer practices, how is she possibly ensuring her job security by informing people of the proven risks of homebirth? She even loses money running this blog, so you can’t even say it’s about that.

      • Kelley_WithEagerHands

        It is true midwives can lie, that’s why you need to seek referrals, and use your best judgement. Obviously there are exceptions to every situation. As I stated in a different comment, I do think there needs to be more regulation. You skewed my words regarding “managing” my birth…the whole point of the midwife is to alert the mother of the possibility of a problem, just like an OB so then a proper course of action can be taken…I was merely saying that they don’t think of birth as a medical emergency from the beginning, requiring things that are unnecessary, like constant monitoring because it’s easier than intermittent monitoring, or restricting maternal intake because the doctor could get puked on, or have fecal matter excreted during delivery is selfish (and yes, I know, the mother could aspirate, but the rate of that is low too…and I’m not saying they need to eat a steak dinner…but denying a drink of water, or a popsicle during a long labor is just ridiculous, as is rushing a natural process for convenience sake.) I think there are flaws in both sides of the system, I am just saddened when I see articles like this filled with fear mongering and ignorance instead of fact. This article is no better than the other that it was posted about. And, I’m not sure how she would be LOSING money on her blog since I know the income potential of blogs, unless she isn’t doing something she should be. Granted, I lose money on my blog, but if I had a large following I could easily make it profitable, unless of course I posted content that was undesirable.

        • Young CC Prof

          Um, women defecate during labor whether they eat or not. You’d have to restrict food for days before labor to prevent it! And most hospitals do now allow small amounts of liquid or hard candy.

        • Jocelyn

          They use constant monitoring rather than intermittent monitoring because constant monitoring is safer. How many stories have we heard of home births where the baby’s heart tones were all well and good for most of the delivery, until they checked at one point and suddenly just weren’t there any more? Intermittent monitoring doesn’t catch emergencies the way constant monitoring does. With constant monitoring, a distressed baby’s heart rate is noticed immediately. With intermittent monitoring, it can easily be missed until it’s too late.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I don’t put much stock in the “heart tones were all well and good” claims. Says who? The midwife that just lost the baby? Yeah, that’s a reliable source.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Probably the same ones that said the baby’s color was pink until the mother reached down and grabbed her.

        • anonymous

          Yes, steps can be taken but I think you’re missing the point here. If you have a situation like a cord around the baby’s neck, or a failure to eject the whole placenta the midwife can “alert” to the problem but the fact is that those are both life threatening situations that need to be dealt with immediately, not in 5 minutes, not in ten minutes but immediately.

          Referrals don’t count for much. You think that a midwife is going to provide you a reference that didn’t like the job she did?

          We’re still all waiting for your facts.

        • Jocelyn

          Also, they don’t restrict maternal intake “because the doctor could get puked on.” They restrict it because there could be an emergency situation in which the woman has go under general anesthesia, and if she vomits and aspirates the vomit (breathes it in), she could die. If she doesn’t die, there are other complications she could get, such as pneumonia. They restrict it for the mother’s safety.

          My brother had aspiration pneumonia (obviously not from labor). It’s nothing to mess around with.

          • jenny

            And even if she doesn’t die or get pneumonia, she can also get brain damage. Bonus!! Seizures! Hell yes it is for the protection of the mother.

          • auntbea

            I have a question, I understand why you don’t want to eat before GA, but
            at my hospital, you could eat up until you had an epidural, then no
            food for you. But isn’t GA more likely in an emergency if you don’t have
            an epidural? Why does having numb legs mean I can’t have some juice?

          • Jocelyn

            I’d have to hand your question over to theadequatemother (or another ob or anesthesiologist who knows). It’s a good question, and I don’t know. Would someone with knowledge on the subject like to jump in?

          • canadoc

            My humble understanding (not being an anaesthetist) is that it is because they might need to do more anaesthesia if you wind up in c-section. Sometimes epidurals have inadequate coverage for all nerves and thus cannot do section without more.

          • auntbea

            But the risk factor for an emergency c-section is being in labor, not having an epidural. (Right?) So I don’t know why they only ban food (and water) for women with epidurals.

        • Tim

          “Doctor could get puked on” – LOL

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimi_Hendrix#Death.2C_post-mortem.2C_and_burial

          This is why they don’t let you eat when there’s a chance you might need anesthesia. Not because they are afraid of getting vomit on them – OB’s get pooped on my laboring women ALL THE TIME, do you really think they are afraid of getting vomit on them?
          Also, as someone who did a lot of stupid experimenting with drugs when he was younger, including some anesthetics, there is no “could” – you WILL vomit, and you will do so violently and immediately.

        • anon

          Continuous fetal monitoring wasn’t unnecessary for my son, who was the product of an uncomplicated pregnancy, following two uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. When he became profoundly bradycardic after I reached 10cm, it alerted the nurse that I needed to change positions. When it happened again, it alerted my doctor that, rather than taking the time to slowly push him out, he needed to get out right away, tearing be damned. Nobody talked about a c-section or forcpes or any other so-called cascade of interventions. He came out the same way as my other two kids, and thank God, is completely healthy seven months later. CFM saved his brain and possibly his life. If I had been daft enough to attempt a home birth, I would be one of the stories on Dr. Amy’s Hurt by Homebirth blog.

        • Meerkat

          Continuous monitoring IS necessary to prevent problems. My son’s hear rate fell dramatically during SOME, not all contractions. I remember one contraction that I didn’t even feel, but he was in distress. It it would have been really easy to miss if I had intermittent monitoring. Continuos monitoring also provides a record, so doctors can see a pattern of contraction strength and its relationship to baby’s heartbeat. I am sure many doctors here can be more eloquent on exactly how helpful it is. It saved my son’s life.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I’m not sure about this either. My daughter’s labor was continuously monitored. During one contraction we were looking at the screen when her heart beat went from a steady Bah thump, bah thump to and very slow pace, sounding, to me a at least, like it was almost going to stop. It was scary and after the contraction was over her heart rate went back to normal. No, they didn’t freak out and give me a c-section, they just rolled me over on my side, which fixed the problem. Had I not been monitored, we’d have never known that something was bothering her at every contraction. I don’t know what. Maybe she was laying on her cord? Regardless, if I had stayed in that position for a very long time she very well may have gone into real distress after a while. That real distress could have led to a c-section. So I guess I could say that it could have saved me a section.

          • Meerkat

            I am saying that continuous monitoring is a very necessary precaution. Doctors take all the information it provides and decide on the best course of action. For some it might be as minor as changing positions. For us the situation warranted wheeling me full speed in the OR, with the whole fleet of nurses and doctors running alongside. They were running, not briskly walking. The decision to have the C-section was not based on just one episode of decels. I changed my position plenty of times. Frankly, if my doctor told me that there was even an iota of increased risk to my son, I would tell them to cut me open.

    • Karen in SC

      I’m pretty sure everything you said is contradicted by real data. Do you have a source for anything from a reputable site like the CDC? For example, how do you know more women die from hospital-acquired staph infections per 100 vs the chance of rupture of 1/100? What is the logic behind the statement of more ruptures from c-sections than VBAC? I think you might be mixing things up – if there is a rupture in a hospital then it follows there will be a c-section!!

      And again, the stupid comment about OBs losing money. OBs in areas where homebirth is popular probably make more money when the disasters arrive in the hospital. In reality OBs have plenty of patients.

      • Kelley_WithEagerHands

        I do have sources, from the ACOG…I will try to come link the later (when I can drag myself away from these comments! lol) I wasn’t stating you were more likely to aquire a staph infection than die in a homebirth, rather that you were more likely to die from a staph infection than a homebirth, and the staph would be aquired from the hospital, where it is rampant, which is why they don’t like people in hospitals longer than they need to be.

        No, I’m not confusing facts…a uterine rupture can occur DURING a c-section, and I never said that MORE occured, just that statistically the risk of rupture is higher (mainly because as you have more c-sections the scarred area and tissue surrounding it gets weaker) and even that fact aside, there are plenty of other risks with c-section that I know many moms who were never informed of them when considering a repeat c vs a vbac, but were certainly informed of the risks of the vbac…that has nothing to do with c-sections being more convenient and more costly though.

        “In reality OBs have plenty of patients.” Where are your statistics for that fact? And while that may still be true now, homebirths are on the rise, and that means less patients (except in the cases of those like myself who seek concurrent care so that we know if we have any risk factors and if, in fact, baby is healthy.) Most ob’s don’t want to do concurrent care though because they make the most money off the delivery.

        • Expat

          Uh, when they cut the uterus during a cesarean, I guess that is a rupture, strictly speaking, but in the traditional sense of a contraction ripping a hole in the uterus, you are way off. They stop the contractions before they start to do a cesarean, I think.

          • Young CC Prof

            Again, struggling with the cut vs tear dichotomy.

            Cut during a section: Modest blood loss. Baby is fine. There is a scar on the womb. Mother is able to have more children, though the next delivery might have to be RCS.

            Rupture during labor: Baby is suffocating inside the abdominal cavity, as the placenta has been disrupted. Mother is bleeding to death internally. Immediate c-section and hysterectomy can save them both, delay of minutes will kill both. Mother will never have more children, however.

          • Anj Fabian

            Eh, Jeevan has pieced together the uterus of more than one woman who has suffered a rupture. So the assertion that suffering a rupture means losing reproductive ability is going too far.

            The rest is quite accurate.

          • canadoc

            It isn’t, really. Yes some uterine ruptures can absolutely be repaired. . some not so much. So the assertion that it absolutely always means losing reproductive capability is perhaps too much, but that isn’t what was said.

          • Squillo

            It’s like saying that landing a plane is just controlled crashing. Maybe, but the outcomes are generally superior with the latter.

        • Squillo

          . . . homebirths are on the rise, and that means less patients. . .

          A midwife makes close to 100% of her income from providing birth services. How many clients does the average midwife have per month? Let’s be generous and say four. That comes to 48 births a year. Each patient she loses to hospital birth is a fraction more than 2% of her annual income. If she averages fewer births, that percentage rises quickly.

          How many patients (OB and gyn) does the average OB have in a year? A 2012 Medscape survey suggests between 2500 and 3750 (if we assume a yearly two-week vacation.) A 2003 ACOG-sponsored survey (the most recent I could find) says OB/gyns averaged 186 deliveries per year. So, using the most conservative estimates of OB patient load, each patient lost to homebirth would represent 0.53 percent of the doc’s DELIVERY income. It would not, of course, affect gyn income, so in reality, the total percentage of income lost is orders of magnitude smaller.

          So, no, I don’t think most OBs are feeling financially threatened by homebirth. They might, however, fear being caught up in liability related a homebirth gone wrong if they provide the concurrent care you mention or if they happen to be the unlucky (s)OB on call when a disastrous transfer rolls through the doors.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Or look at this way:
            an increase in the rate of homebirth from 0.5% to 1% would constitute a doubling of the number of patients for HB midwives (a 100% increase), and a drop of 1 patient for every 190 for OBs (a 0.5% decrease). Considering that OBs are in many places so overbooked that they are turning away patients, I don’t see them complaining about a .5% drop in their caseload.

          • Squillo

            Numbers are our friends. 🙂

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            well, you know taking statistics 11 years ago made me lose all my basic math skills so …

          • amazonmom

            Ding ding ding! My OB does hospitalist work. When she cleans up the out of hospital birth disasters she gets sued by about half and the other half decide to hire her for any future OB needs. None of the lawsuits have even settled , let alone made it to court. Still a giant source of stress. When you spend 8 hours stitching together a uterus that looks like hamburger meat you don’t need to be worrying if that woman will later sue you because the fetus died.

      • Antigonos CNM

        As a matter of fact, Dr. Amy discussed, here, the latest figures released by the CDC, which show unequivocably that homebirth is substantially more dangerous than hospital birth. Anyone out there who can dig up the relevant thread?

    • Poogles

      “as homebirthers we do have to consider the possibility of baby or mom dying at home, but the risk is very low”

      As a former HB advocate, I understand that there is a lot of talk among HBers that the possibility of death has been considered, even accepted. I used to say the very same thing.

      After reading about actual babies and mothers that have died at homebirth and the raw grief and absolute heartbreak that follows, after reading about babies profoundly injured and the struggles they and their families will encounter for the rest of their lives – I have to respectfully say, you have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s not just some abstract thing, it’s the LIVES of women, babies and their families. No matter how low you think the risk is, when it happens to you the risk is 100%. When a mother has to bury her baby in a tiny coffin, it doesn’t matter one wit how low they thought the risk was.

      • Kelley_WithEagerHands

        Yes, and I have known several as well. I’ve also known several mother’s who’s infants who have died during hospital births. It DOES happen, and their grief is just as real. So, yes, I do have an idea, my one nephew was still born, in a hospital at 38 weeks (not the hospitals fault, it was ob negligence, he died 2 weeks earlier) and their next child was delivered by c-section which was considered “emergency” even though she was made to wait 45 minutes before they could operate, and baby was born not breathing, with an apgar of 2 and has cerebral palsy. Obviously these are isolated occurances and will not in any way happen to every person who gives birth in a hospital, much in the same way that infant death will not happen to everyone who homebirths. I think, like anyone, the risks need to be assessed, and I in no way meant that death was “accepted” but that it was considered and then we have to weigh our comfort level with the risk. If I have a healthy, low risk pregnancy, with a history of successful, complication free, vaginal births, then my risk should be even lower than the statistical risk because the statistical risk includes women who are at a higher risk than myself, if that makes sense. I in no way think it is a decision to be taken lightly though, and the guy who wrote the article that this article is about, is a joke, and a disgrace to informed homebirthers.

        • Poogles

          “Obviously these are isolated occurances and will not in any way happen to every person who gives birth in a hospital, much in the same way that infant death will not happen to everyone who homebirths.”

          Good thing no one is making either of those claims, then. The fact remains, however, that scientific data to date on Homebirth (especially in the US) shows an INCREASED rate of death and injury. So, yes, babies die in hospital too – but they die at a much higher rate at home. If someone if truly informed of this increased risk of their baby or themselves dying and they feel it is worth it, that is their choice to make. Too many, however, believe that home is just as safe or safer than hospital and that’s just not true. You cannot make an informed choice when you don’t have all the facts.

          • Karen in SC

            Exactly. Dr. Amy supports the right to homebirth when the mother is fully informed and is attended by a qualified midwife (CNM here in the US). A midwife who furthermore has at least one assistant, who monitors the baby, who is able to recognize and not delay the need to transfer and who carries all the necessary equipment. Including full oxygen tanks, etc. Sadly, this is not the case for all homebirths in the US.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Ideally there should be either two CNMs or one CNM and a ped nurse. Also an ambulance on call outside…but then that gets harrrrrrrrd wah wah wah.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          their next child was delivered by c-section which was considered
          “emergency” even though she was made to wait 45 minutes before they
          could operate, and baby was born not breathing, with an apgar of 2 and
          has cerebral palsy

          So their child was hypoxic and had damage from waiting for the c-section. I agree, that’s bad. It’s quite likely that they should have been able to get to the OR sooner. But how would things have been better if this had been an attempted home birth? Most likely the fetal distress would have been picked up much later due to infrequent and less accurate monitoring and there would definitely have been a delay getting to the OR as they would have had to get to the hospital (even if it’s “just 10 minutes away”…see “Hurt by Homebirth” for examples of how far that “10 minutes” can be), the patient would have had to be assessed and the OR made ready. That would only add time and there is virtually no chance that they would have gotten the c-section in 45 minutes. In short, I see no way that your anecdote is in favor of a home birth.

    • Bombshellrisa

      You used the phrase “home birth mama’s”-that is as far as I could read.

      • Meerkat

        Ме too! I also enjoyed her name Kelly with eager hands… Sounds either like a mad knitter or a sexual predator…

        • Bombshellrisa

          Well, both descriptions there sound like some homebirth midwives!

          • Meerkat

            Oh yes, I forgot all those stories of CPMs knitting while their patients were in labor… How true!

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      women were NOT “dying in droves” from home births back in the day

      Actually, they were. See…well, the internet. Here’s one reference: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/childbirth.cfm

      Women in colonial America (where there were no hospitals to kill women with cross contamination of bacteria) had a 1 in 8 chance of dying in childbirth.

      • Antigonos CNM

        Prior to antibiotics, maternal mortality was quoted as a whole number in 1000 births; after 1946, when penicillin became available, maternal mortality dropped to a fraction of 1% in 10,000 births. You don’t have to go back even 100 years.

    • Squillo

      Can you provide the rates of parturients dying from hospital-acquired staph and the rates of homebirth parturients dying intrapartum/post-partum?

      Thanks.

      • Karen in SC

        She must be researching and compiling all of her scientific sources so she can show us morons what’s what! Looking forward to that post!

    • ihateslugs

      Oh, Kelley…your hands may be very eager, and I suspect your heart is actually in the right place. But, sadly, your brain is the problem here. In reading all of your posts and responses, you spout rhetoric and statements that are clearly untrue and unfounded as though they are scientific fact. It’s clear in your weak defenses of your claims and attempts to explain yourself that you really have no true deeper understanding of the physiology of the human body, the process of birth, and the use of statistics and evidence in medicine.
      If you are just a passionate advocate of homebirth and your role is limited to blogging or online posting, I’m less concerned. But, I caution you this: if, in any way, you serve in a professional or consulting role to expecting mothers and parents, (midwife, doula, childbirth educator, LLL leader, etc.), you have the responsibility to be fully informed on all these issues to which you refer. Parents trust “professionals” in this field, and take their advice and counsel as truth. Therefore, if a mother makes a choice based on faulty information provided by you and has a poor outcome, you have a direct role in that result. Think about this very carefully…
      And, though I didn’t want to get into specifics, might be time you look into the changing epidemiology of staphyloccal infections. You are now much more likely to get a community acquired strain of MRSA (perhaps from a loving family member or helpful midwife who refuses to wear gloves) than in the hospital.

    • canadoc

      Ahem. Dear Kelly. I’m afraid you are grossly misinformed. In fact, maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity pre-1900’s was in the range of 50%.

      I agree that there were some completely horrific unacceptable and disgusting practices when women first were brought to hospitals to deliver. Interestingly though, being trained observers and people who change practice based on evidence, doctors learned from their mistakes and changed how we manage labor and delivery. Interestingly, we’re still observing carefully and changing our practices based on new evidence and best practices. That is notably NOT the practice of undertrained, underintelligent, holier-than-thou birth junkies who kill babies and blame the mom for not believing enough in the birth process and then carry on recruiting new victims by spreading fear mongering nonsense about hospital birth.

    • theNormalDistribution

      I bet you think the moon landing was faked.

  • inventedoatmeal

    Someone wrote: “I wonder if he has smoke alarms in his house? Airbags in his car? Will he be willing to leave his young children unattended in the bath? Does he wear a seatbelt? Would he be comfortable with his adolescent child getting into a car with a drink driver? Fear isn’t just some unnecessary, irrational feeling for which humans have no real need.”

    Funny you should mention smoke alarms. These are the Einsteins who overloaded their 100 year old rental home with Christmas lights and burned it down. If they did have smoke alarms, they were not working because they didn’t know the house was on fire until someone knocked on their door and told them. They also didn’t have rental insurance. So really, I can’t imagine anything possibly going wrong for them. http://getoffmyinternets.net/woman-live-tweets-as-her-home-burns/

  • jenny

    They took it down. A bunch of their Babble parenting posts are gone. Huh.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Didn’t quite get the reaction expected? We see that all the time…”I didn’t post this to hear everyone criticize”

      No, you posted it because you thought you were cool, and that everyone would tell you how cool you were. When it didn’t work out that way, you took your ball and went home.

    • Jocelyn

      I can still access it – maybe it’s back?

      • jenny

        weird. it was definitely gone earlier. server error? idk

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    What an asshole. Love the “dilated vagina exploding” crap. Sure, that’s such a laugh. A friend of mine had her first child at a local birth center with a CPM. She capped off her birth experience with a such a massive 4th degree tear that it was unbelievable. Her CPM did not see the need to transfer her for repair.

    She’s undergone several painful reconstructive surgeries at this point. Her child is now six years old.

    Her child is an only child, because she has been unable to have intercourse since her delivery at the birth center.

    But ha, ha, ha! It’s all just a joke to this guy.

    • jenny

      Oh my god. Her CPM did not see the need to transfer??? I’m so sorry for your friend, what a nightmare.

    • Lisa the Raptor

      That’s just terrible. Freaking tragic and cruel but mostly preventable.

      • Kelley_WithEagerHands

        Not preventable. For you morons, tears heal faster than a cut, the problem may have been that she wasn’t stitched correctly, or ignorantly denied stitches…neither of which negates the medical FACT (that I learned long before ever even giving a crap at birth one way or another) that a tear heals faster than a cut because it’s easier for the “pieces” to “grab” eachother. A cut wouldn’t have prevented it, and possibly could have made it worse, and even caused her to tear through to her anus, but yeah that would have been better. She didn’t need to be transferred if she could stitch her properly, but if the mom denied stitches, that should be her right (but I’m sure a doctor would have forced that on her against her wishes, which is what I’m sure you all think is right.)

        • Dacia

          “tears heal faster than a cut”…Paging Dr. Bear! Paging Dr. Bear! Dr. Bear please scrub and head to OR 3…

          • Kelley_WithEagerHands

            Must be some moronic joke that I haven’t been privy to. Try taking an anatomy class and see that I’m correct.

          • Karen in SC

            It is from a comic routine that ridicules the statement that tears heal faster than a cut. If that was so, why don’t surgeons have claw tools to tear apart an abdomen for appendectomy. Hence “Paging Dr. Bear.”

          • Kelley_WithEagerHands

            Because a tear cannot be controlled/predictable in the same way a cut can. It’s ignorant to compare a surgical cut to a vaginal delivery tear.

          • Karen in SC

            But that is EXACTLY what you are doing – saying a vaginal tear is better than a surgical cut (episiotomy)!!!!!

          • Poogles

            “Because a tear cannot be controlled/predictable in the same way a cut can.”

            Which is why I would prefer the cut, if it looked like I was going to tear.

          • Kerlyssa

            This has got to be a troll. Noone has such a short memory as this.

          • anonymous

            No, we know that you’re wrong because we have taken anatomy classes. Sometimes large numbers of anatomy classes.

          • Kerlyssa

            Dara O’Brian?

        • Young CC Prof

          So you’re saying that an episiotomy wouldn’t have prevented her tear? Maybe not, but that’s not the point, since doctors rarely do those nowadays. Because they were shown not to help.

          The point is that, after the tear happened, the mother had no way of knowing that she’d suffered a serious birth injury. All postpartum women are sore, after all. The person who delivered her baby, the one who could actually see the tear and know how bad it was, should have made it clear that immediate stitches were necessary to prevent serious complications and encouraged hospital transfer. If the tear had been repaired immediately, before the tissues retracted, the mother probably would have made a rapid recovery.

          If the mother flatly refused stitches after the situation was made clear to her, that would be another issue. But the mother apparently was not told she needed treatment, possibly because the midwife didn’t recognize the problem.

          • Kelley_WithEagerHands

            Ok, well, first, it was not made clear that the midwife didn’t recognize the problem, and I don’t know if the woman refused stitches, and I’m not saying that it could not have been healed properly if she was transferred, I was saying that basically there are many unknowns so this is a poor example to “prove midwives ineptness.” And you are completely incorrect in stating that OB’s don’t routinely give episiotomies anymore…they absolutely do.

            As far as my credentials, I actually have given stitches on more than one occasion, and while I am far from an expert I’m pretty sure my knowledge from 3 years as a pre-med/pre-nursing student qualifies a little. I know I don’t have a degree, but that doesn’t make everything I learned (with a 4.0 average) and everything written in the medical books I studied incorrect.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            It is rare to find an OB that does routine episiotomies anymore.

          • Durango

            Oh my. Next you’ll be using your high SAT score to prove your intelligence.

            And I’m shocked, truly, that you have placed stitches in someone.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            What is it with these people and telling us all about their education and grades? Also, perhaps 4.0 is the new average because they all seem to achieve it.

          • moto_librarian

            If you’re so damned smart, why didn’t you actually become a nurse or a doctor? Yes, I know it’s harsh, but you pretend that your outdated and extremely limited educational background somehow makes you qualified to comment on these issues.

          • Jocelyn

            It was made perfectly clear that the midwife didn’t recognize the problem. If there was a 4th degree tear, and midwife did not transfer the woman to the hospital, she did not recognize the problem. A 4th degree tear is a SERIOUS problem that needs immediate medical attention, and no midwife is qualified to stitch a 4th degree tear.

            Perhaps you didn’t see this as “clear” because, prior to this conversation, you didn’t understand what a 4th degree tear was.

          • anonymous

            No. It means that you can sew. Do you realize how many sutures that a medical student will have done by the time that they finished their residency? Claiming that Pre-med/Pre-nursing qualifies you to comment on cutting versus tearing is like saying that taking a cabinetry class qualifies you to draw up architectural blueprints.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            The midwife did not recognize the problem and did not recommend stitched (although this would have taken more than stiches. It’s an extensive repair).

            You have no credentials. Failing to complete a degree means that you have no credentials.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I trained with the busiest home birth practice in my state. I sew beautiful by hand and I couldn’t suture after 5 years of being around those morons. Sewing fabric and suturing a human are two totally different experiences.

          • Dr Kitty

            Really? Who did you sew up?
            I’ve sewn up drunks who were victims of tears, and patients who were cut. I’ll take a cut over a tear any day.

          • Lisa Cybergirl

            Is it even legal to give stitches when you don’t have any certification at all?

          • Dr Kitty

            Kelly- major reading comprehension fail:
            “She capped off her birth experience with a such a massive 4th degree tear that it was unbelievable. Her CPM did not see the need to transfer her for repair.”

            4th degree tears require immediate repair, usually under regional or general anaesthetic, in an OR, by a Dr. The OP made it totally clear the CPM did not recognise the problem or manage it appropriately.

            Kelley still didn’t tell us who she sewed up- her kids, pets, a “home birth mama”, we have no idea. I can’t imagine it was actual patients under the supervision of a doctor.

            I’ve sewn up plenty of drunks in A&E who’ve put their hands or heads through windows, and I found recognising the anatomical layers of a perineal tear or episiotomy an entirely different challenge because the three dimensional anatomy is not immediately obvious.

            However- if you can put a finger through from the rectum into the vagina (which you can in a 4th degree tear), you know the anatomy is seriously messed up. ALL women are supposed to have a vaginal and a PR examination as soon as possible after the birth to rule out 3rd and 4th degree tears. It is basic, basic stuff.

          • Ngozi

            Well said.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Excuse me? Where did you get your advanced medical training? How many tears and cuts have you repaired? I’m going to guess ZERO. That would explain why you spewing forth utter nonsense.

          • Kelley_WithEagerHands

            And it scares me that people with your level of intelligence are doctors. I guess you don’t have to major in English to get a medical degree though. Maybe you could site why my argument is “utter nonsense” and then you would seem more credible…oh, I forgot, that MD next to your name means you automatically know everything.

          • Karen in SC

            An OB definitely knows more than a non OB about obstetrics. d’uh.

            Also, there are many many many blog posts here repudiating all your claims here, with citations and links to the scientific sources. NOT other homebirth or midwifery or lactation blogs.

          • Kelley_WithEagerHands

            I don’t think that’s a d’uh statement at all, I know of plenty of ignorant doctors.

            And I don’t site homebirth, midwifery, or lactation blogs, just like I don’t site sources backed by the government because I believe both to be biased for their own reasons.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            So far you haven’t cited anything!

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Yes, the government is biased for the good of public health because they don’t want to spend unnecessary money.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Well, she has taken courses and practiced obstetrics whereas you have done neither and it shows. So, perhaps you should work on your own education level and worry less about other people’s.

          • anonymous

            Your argument is utter nonsense because it is factually wrong. The Mayo clinic provides some examples on their site, which Dr. Tuteur referenced awhile back.

            http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-tears/PR00143

            Please show us your evidence that tears are better than cuts.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Oh come on. Are you questioning the assessment of a college dropout? I mean, she had a 4.0 as a pre-med/pre-nursing degree (although I am not sure which it is – pre-med and pre-nursing requirements are very different; moreover, there is a lot of stuff that constitutes a pre-med degree. My SIL, a GP, was an animal science major for her pre-med degree)

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Pro Tip- when slamming the English Skills of others, it is best to proofread and know the difference between “site” and “cite.”

          • Captain Obvious

            Kelley, you brought this idea to the blog about tears healing better than cuts. You should be the one ready with a reference to defend that statement.

        • Box of Salt

          Kelly, “a tear heals faster than a cut because it’s easier for the “pieces” to “grab” eachother”

          Could you explain to me how this is true? And if it is true, why anyone would need stitches for any injury at all?

          • Kelley_WithEagerHands

            The stitches help hold either together so that it heals properly (in proper position,) and often, a tear will have a more noticeable, and less desirable scar (i.e. larger) but it heals more quickly because the tissue can more easily re-attach because of the shape of the wound. I’m trying to find a good illustration to explain it.

          • Poogles

            “a tear will have a more noticeable, and less desirable scar”

            That alone would make me opt for the cut, personally.

          • S

            No kidding. From my own experience — larger scars will be inflexible, with little or no sensation, and more likely to catch or rub on things. Why would you want that in your perineal area?

          • S

            ^^ Speaking in general terms, and not about leaving anal sphincters unrepaired — good Lord! — because i know nothing about that. Is there a window of time where it can be repaired? Does the muscle atrophy if it’s just left there?

          • Box of Salt

            Kelly, I see the problem here, and honestly I can see how someone who didn’t think this through would fall for your stressing “heals faster.”

            What if the tissues are too far apart to “grab” each other? What if the edges are misaligned? What if it’s difficult for the injured areas in question to maintain good contact with each other during the healing process, because of movement?

            Kelly, could you please ask yourself this:

            why is your emphasis on “heals faster” instead of on “heals better”?

          • I don’t have a creative name

            Do you realize that you are trying to explain cutting and tearing to DOCTORS? Many of the posters here are doctors, surgeons, and nurses. What makes you think you know more than they do?

            Sometimes I wonder if some of the least knowledgable posts here are actually some of the regulars here just playing with us, because nobody can be this uneducated yet think this highly of their lack of knowledge, can they?

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Well, you can check out her blog. She’s got God and Jesus in her corner, and that trumps MD and RN.

            The sad part is, she’s homeschooling her children.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Pablo’s First Law of Internet Discussion strikes again.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            (a day late, but speaking of Pablo, and in honor of yesterday’s Talk Like a Pirate Day)

          • anion

            I for one would love to know how the fact that skin is torn as opposed to cut magically speeds the process of cell renewal. Does the broken skin just “know” what injured it, and therefore begin manufacturing new platelets etc. much faster?

          • Captain Obvious

            “I’m trying to find a good illustration to explain it” Thus no experience and no good examples. Some lacerations are so jagged, I need to trim away some vaginal or hymenal remnants because the remnants are so narrow and now decascularized that trying to repair it would lead to a decascularized wound that would risk necrosis and sloughing.

          • Karen in SC

            Did you mean de-vascularized? 🙂

          • Schnitzelbank

            Can you use your Eager Hands to illustrate it for us? I’m fascinated…

        • Karen in SC

          A fourth degree tear is ALREADY a tear through to her anus, you ignoramus!

          From the mayoclinic.com (and also explained here, that’s how I learned):

          Fourth-degree vaginal tears are the most severe. They involve the perineal muscles and anal sphincter as well as the tissue lining the rectum. Fourth-degree tears usually require repair in an operating room —rather than the delivery room — and might take months to heal.
          Complications such as fecal incontinence and painful intercourse are possible.

          • Kelley_WithEagerHands

            Wow, ignoramus? Really. Ok, again, NOT a birth professional, so I didn’t know that a 4th degree tear was through her anus…my point, again, was that it’s hardly a good representation of all midwives since we don’t even know all the specifics, and could have been due to any number of things…I specifically asked to tear rather than have an episiotomy with my first, my OB ignored my wishes and cut me anyways… I would have rather had any tear and known that what I wanted done with MY body was respected. Would it have sucked possibly, absolutely, but there is a problem when things are being done against patients wishes even if it’s their best interest…this is where consent, and educating the patient is important, instead of the attitude that so many doctors have of “don’t question me, I’m the doctor and I know what’s best.” Excuse me for wanting a say in what happens to my body, and wanting to be aware of it. And just for the sake of stating it, I haven’t torn with any of my 3 subsequent children, and my first was 6 lbs 1 ounce, so I highly doubt i needed to be cut.

          • FormerPhysicist

            You’re on the internet. If you don’t know, look up basic details before commenting. I.e. Type “4th degree tear” into a search box before saying that she might have torn through to her anus if she had an episiotomy.

          • Box of Salt

            Kelley (with apologies for leaving out your second E earlier) “Ok, again, NOT a birth professional, so I didn’t know”

            Then why are you passing yourself off as someone who does know more than actual birth professionals, such as the retired OB writing this blog?

          • Karen in SC

            Subsequent children have an easier time through the birth canal. So you may be wrong about that,. no one has a crystal ball. And you say you would have said “let me tear” and accepted the consequences. Really? An aversion to intercouse? Fecal incontinence?

          • Poogles

            ” And just for the sake of stating it, I haven’t torn with any of my 3 subsequent children, and my first was 6 lbs 1 ounce, so I highly doubt i needed to be cut.”

            There is, of course, no way to know that for sure. Not only was it the first time a newborn passed through your vagina, but the position of the baby also makes a big difference, not just size.

            To be clear, though, I don’t think the doctor should’ve cut an episiotomy if you specifically requested not to have one even in the event of an impending tear.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            I had three babies during the height of routine episiotomies and never got one. Do you know why? Because I am not a child (even though I was 17 with the first) and I can advocate for myself.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            What would you call someone with no medical training, no medical experience, and no idea what a 4th degree tear is parachuting into a blog to “explain” things to an obstetrician? I wouldn’t use the term ignoramus, personally. I prefer ignorant fool.

          • Poogles

            “What would you call someone with no medical training”

            Oh, but she was a pre-med/pre-nursing student for 3 whole years! So she’s totally qualified to explain to us how tears are better then cuts, and babies die in the hospital too, and not all midwives are inept. Sure, she got tripped up by the difference between absolute numbers and rates (cause “rate” is just another word for “statistics”, right?), but it’s been 11 years since she took that class, so no biggie.

          • Squillo

            I think we can all guess why that nursing/med school thing didn’t work out for her.

          • Kerlyssa

            No need to reinvent the wheel, I’m good with just Kelley.

          • KarenJJ

            Puffed-up blowhard?
            Farts higher then her own arse?
            There’s got to be some good descriptive ones out there (the last one was a translation of a french phrase my friend gave me).

          • anonymous

            I think you’re missing something here. When a woman in labor is brought in, you have to address the needs of both patients. If an episiotomy is going save the child you’re darn right the OB is going to do it, especially in favor of a tear, which could take much longer to heal and be much more painful.

          • Bombshellrisa

            You wouldn’t want ANY tear, especially a fourth degree one. Fecal incontinence is not fun.
            Tearing with a first birth is not unique. Not tearing with subsequent births is also not unique.

          • PJ

            HER MIDWIFE THOUGHT A TEAR THROUGH HER ANUS DIDN’T REQUIRE REPAIR BY A DOCTOR! Don’t you get that this is the fact you should be hung up on?

          • KarenJJ

            You come in here, call us “morons” and then when you get called an “ignoramus” for saying ignorant ideas you’re now offended.

            A tip: Don’t shovel it out if you can’t take it back.

          • Mishimoo

            Call me an idiot, but did you try to discuss with your doctor WHY the cut was made? I know I would, but then I like to know what is happening or has happened and for what reason, so that I have that information for future reference.

          • rh1985

            If they could predict a higher risk of that type of tearing, I’d take a c-section any day over a 4th degree tear. I’m actually wondering if I may be at higher risk for some TMI reasons I won’t get into here, I am definitely going to be talking to my OB about it since I think she’d be willing to do an elective c-section if that was what I really wanted.

        • Poogles

          “A cut wouldn’t have prevented it, and possibly could have made it worse, and even caused her to tear through to her anus, but yeah that would have been better.”

          She suffered a 4th degree tear – that means the tear went THROUGH her anal sphincter into her rectum. You don’t even know that, but we’re supposed to believe you that you have the superior knowledge regarding tears and cuts? We’re the morons, really?

          • KarenJJ

            Dr Amy had a fantastic post about different tears and repairing them and how it is not just about stitching the skin together but also stitching together the different layers of muscle and tissue and how the muscle can actually retract and disappear from view making it difficult to find and repair correctly.

            I recommend Kelley looks at the post before her hands get too eager. It’s the sort of thing that homebirth midwives have no idea about. Certainly I had no idea until I read it.

            Edit to add link:
            http://www.skepticalob.com/2012/02/vaginal-tears.html

        • Sullivan ThePoop

          Really? I hate to be nit picky, but you write like a child. Your thoughts are all over the place and make very little sense.

        • anonymous

          “Tears heal faster than a cut.” Wow. Just wow. You just showed how completely ignorant you are of how the human body works. The pieces don’t “grab” because a tear is a traumatic injury. A cut can be planned and executed in a proper place as opposed to a weaker area of tissue.

          If tears are better, then please, by all means, explain why, whenever there is surgery, they don’t “tear” the skin.

          Again. Please show us facts.

        • Jocelyn

          “Even caused her to tear through to her anus.” Do you even know what a 4th degree tear IS? Obviously not.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          Jesus. Just stop. You clearly have no clue what you are talking about. A fourth degree tear does not heal faster than an episiotomy. A fourth degree tear IS A TEAR THROUGH HER ANUS! Midwives do not know how to stitch fourth degree tears.

          God. You just completely confirmed your ignorance.

        • moto_librarian

          Good thing you weren’t my midwife when I was bleeding out from a torn cervix…

          You are out of your league here. Either try to learn something, or go away. We have heard all of your ignorant claims repeatedly. We all know you don’t have a shred of evidence to back any of them up. It is tiresome.

        • auntbea

          “For you morons, tears heal faster than a cut,” Fortunately, for those of us who are not morons, cuts heal faster than tears.

        • PJ

          You think a homebirth midwife can repair fourth degree tears–at home to boot?!?

        • Captain Obvious

          I remember being told that in medical school, a tear heals faster than a cut. Well, I looked for a reference to that statement and could find one. Do you have the study that proved that? In my 21 years of anecdotal experience, I would have to say the opposite. Jagged tears are more likely to end up with ends not meeting perfectly and becoming granulation tissue which then needs silver nitrate. And I usually end using more suture on spontaneous lacerations because I have to get all the irregular ends to meet. More suture risks compromising the necessary vascularity to allow it to heal. “Approximation without strangulation” is a quote that does mean something. And I usually need less suture to approximate cuts than lacerations.

        • Squillo

          What was preventable, Kelly, was the delay in having it repaired, which may or may not have affected her outcome.

          Her CPM either didn’t recognize the severity of her tear, which makes her a moron (to borrow your word), or she didn’t think a 3rd or 4th-degree tear needed more expertise than she had, which makes her arrogant. Or she just thought a severe tear should be left alone, which makes her a sadist.

          Hey, know what would inarguably have prevented the tear? A c-section.

        • Lisa the Raptor

          Paging Dr. BEAR!! Rawr!

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Mildly off topic, but…it seems that women in the Republic of Congo can now get free c-sections and, as a result are dying in childbirth less often. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/18/in-republic-of-congoarevolutioninmaternalhealth.html
    Once again demonstrating that the happy, unafraid “tribes” the NCB reference are a myth and in fact women in less developed countries would be thrilled to get some OB tech that could save their lives.
    Caution: link to al Jazeera. Don’t go there if you’re working some place that looking at it will get you labeled a terrorist. I also must admit that I haven’t verified the accuracy with a second source.

    • CanDoc

      LOVE al Jazeera news. Some excellent journalism, have been an avid al Jazeera English reader for a while, hope al Jazeera America continues with the same tradition.

  • EllenL

    Oh great, more home birth amateur practitioners let loose on
    women: Jana Duggar (CPM in the making) and Jill Duggar (home birth
    assistant/doula):

    http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/family-matters/jill-jana-duggar-midwifery.html

    Jana and Jill hope to share their ineptitude in the mission
    field around the world. For now, they are practicing on Americans.

    • Mishimoo

      I hate starting a sentence with these words – “I’m a Christian, but…” – however, I’m going to do it anyway. I’m a Christian, but the comment on that article about a ‘faith-based’ accredited birth center sent chills down my spine and made me feel ill.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I’m not actually a Christian, but grew up in the US and so had Christianity kind of around…Anyway, it also strikes me as bad theology. Isn’t claiming to know what God will or will not do directly forbidden in the Bible? Presuming to know God’s mind or something like that? Or maybe I have this completely garbled.

        • Tim

          The bible is contradictory enough that you can pretty much read it however you want sometimes is what I think. Some people choose to focus on striving towards some kind of greater good and fellowship with mankind, some choose to focus on the 900 things you’re supposed to stone people for doing.

        • Mishimoo

          I agree that it’s bad theology.

          The belief regarding “knowing God’s will” seems to vary from person to person and appears to be dependent on denomination, sect, and pastor/minister. I’ve heard quite a few pastors and laypersons (‘prophets’, ‘intercessors’, ‘revivalists’ etc) use Jeremiah 29:11-13 as a part of their spiel to infer that they have insider knowledge. When challenged, they tend to fall back on the circular reasoning of “If God didn’t like what I was doing, I wouldn’t be here. He would have removed me, and He hasn’t, therefore everything I am doing is okay even if the Bible says otherwise.”

    • wookie130

      I actually watched the episode (I think yesterday morning) where Josh’s wife was driven to that weird farmhouse thing (perhaps it was a birth center?) to deliver their 3rd child with a doula or midwife (or whatever she was). And the only thing I thought, was “Here we go…” I was disappointed that this family hopped on the NCB/HB bandwagon. It was annoying, to say the least. Thank goodness the little baby was delivered uneventfully, and the mother is fine.

      • Bombshellrisa

        That is an improvement over the UC they had with the first ( albeit in front of the cameras). Josh had called his father and said they were “thinking about staying home” for the birth and his dad old him to “pray about it”

    • mydoppleganger

      They seem so young and inexperienced. They sounds like cheerleaders *no offense to cheerleaders.* Hope she gets a sound mind for when things do go wrong.

    • JC

      To add another layer to the unqualified CPMs delivering babies, can the Duggar women do anything in their lives that doesn’t revolve around the home and having babies? I am a SAHM by choice. I have a bachelor’s and a master’s and I chose to stay home while my children are young. It seems as if these women have no choice. Birthing babies is women’s work so here they go on their new “careers.” Having said that, if they chose to be a doctor or CNM … great, go to school and become an educated professional. But, of course, they are taking the easy route. And the poor wife of Josh. They married when she was 17, 18? That was just a few years ago and she already has 3 children. I am almost 37 and just now contemplating number 3. That poor girl (child) got to experience nothing in life before being thrust in to marriage and motherhood. How sad.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        It seems as if these women have no choice. Birthing babies is women’s work so here they go on their new “careers.”

        To be fair, they’ve had a lot of practice…

      • mydoppleganger

        I will never forget how terrified Josh’s wife looked on her wedding day. The next day they let the cameras into the place they spent their first night. He looked very satisfied and frisky but she looked a little dizzy in the eyes, like she needed some serious rest. Hopefully Jim Bob told his son about warm up and everything, seriously. I got cramps just looking at her. To be fair, I like the Duggars from their own little place in pop culture. Sure I would not fit in very well.:)

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          My wife grew up in a town where one of the families had like 18 kids. It just wasn’t reality tv at the time. Moreover, they weren’t batshit nutty.

          • mydoppleganger

            TLC cameras will make anyone nutty. How’s your lil guy?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Which one? Kids are healthy and happy…

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I can’t think of the Duggars without thinking of the story attributed to Groucho Marx (but probably not true). He has a woman on “What’s My Line” who has something like 11 children.

        Groucho: “Eleven children?! Why so many?”
        Lady: “Well, Groucho, I love my husband.”
        Groucho: “I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while.”

      • EllenL

        Jill considered going to nursing school, but discarded the idea. I wonder if it was because she’d have to leave home and go out into the big, scary, evil world to attend a real nursing school. Or, the fact that you can actually flunk out of nursing school.

      • Kelley_WithEagerHands

        Being a midwifery apprentice is hardly “the easy way” if you are doing it the right way, and as someone educated who also considered being a nurse and a CNM I can completely understand changing your mind, because I did, because I didn’t want to go to school for a career where I would be some mindless worker who was told everything I had to do, even if it wasn’t what I believed was the best thing medically. I knew I could never tell a woman she needed a c-section when she might not have, or assisted with birth methods I didn’t agree with, or sabotage breastfeeding relationships because it was hospital protocol. I stay home with my kids right now, and I homeschool, but when they are grown I will probably go back to school, and obstetrics is a field I’ve considered just so that maybe I can make a bit of a good difference, and give women the best of both worlds (like a water birth, in a hospital with a doula or midwife with an OB on staff or back up in case something went wrong.) I know that’s a long time coming though…and I might not ever see it in my lifetime even.

        • Poogles

          ” I knew I could never tell a woman she needed a c-section when she might not have”

          The problem with waiting until it is absolutely, 100% clear that a women/baby NEEDS a CS in every situation is that the wait can result in a CS not done quickly enough and a dead or injured baby as the result. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer a few perhaps-not-entirely-necessary-in-retrospect CS than even one dead or injured baby that would’ve been saved by having a CS.

          • Dr Kitty

            You know what Kelley, I’m glad you didn’t become a CNM too.
            You don’t understand medical ethics, for a start.

            Primula non nocere doesn’t mean “doing nothing is always better than doing something”.

          • Dr Kitty

            Damn auto correct.
            Primum non nocere. Obviously.

          • KarenJJ

            Primroses do no harm.

            Also very true.

        • Poogles

          “give women the best of both worlds (like a water birth, in a hospital with a doula or midwife with an OB on staff or back up in case something went wrong.) I know that’s a long time coming though…and I might not ever see it in my lifetime even.”

          This sort of set-up already exists, though, in birth centers that are attached to hospitals (though, not many of them do water births AFAIK – labor in water, yes, but not birth, due to the risks).

        • moto_librarian

          In-hospital CNMS delivered both of my kids. They and their colleagues in obstetrics, neonatology, and anesthesia saved my life once, and gave much needed aid to both of my children at birth. If you think that CNMs are “mindless drones,” you are an idiot. CPMs who label CNMs as “medwives” are the true mindless drones with their unfailing adherence to natural childbirth ideology. Pregnant women don’t need any more crapy practitioners.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Exactly, in the world of midwives CPMs are definitely the mindless drones adhering to NBC philosophy no matter who it kills.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I knew I could never tell a woman she needed a c-section when she might not have,

          Why? Do you have similar problems with seatbelts, which are almost never needed? Or smoke alarms? I’ve been in my own house for more than 15 years now, and the smoke alarm has NEVER gone off. Why am I bothering to have them and change their batteries if they aren’t needed?

          You need to understand something: the point of interventions is to PREVENT problems, not solve them. If am waiting until I am in an accident to put on my seatbelt, it isn’t going to work. That means I am going to wear my seatbelt when it is unnecessary.

          If I knew better when I needed the seatbelt and when I didn’t, I could modify my usage. If I am only backing out of the garage into the driveway, I may not wear it.

          Similarly, we don’t do c-sections for every birth because there are times we know they are less likely to be necessary.

        • anonymous

          “I knew I could never tell a woman she needed a c-section when she might not have, or assisted with birth methods I didn’t agree with”

          This.

          So basically you’re saying you wouldn’t perform a life saving procedure because you didn’t agree with it then? Guess what? You’ve just disqualified yourself from being a doctor. My dad has been practicing medicine for almost 40 years. Has he done procedures he didn’t agree with? Yes. Doctors tend to defer to other, more educated doctors. When a patient comes in you do what is best for the patient regardless of your personal beliefs. If the attending surgeon who has treated 1000+ patients presenting like the person you’re working on tells you to do something you disagree with you tend to do it, since they’re probably much, much more experienced than you are. Standard practices are in place to cover issues that ensure a baseline of care. If you didn’t agree with wearing gloves in surgery would you just disregard that?

        • Bombshellrisa

          No, it’s ALWAYS the easy way. I AM a nurse and I went about things backwards, doing the midwifery apprenticeship part first. I learned that you have to have a lot more than a kind heart and belief that birth is a natural process of life. Because I started asking questions about why things were done a certain way, why things were let to carry on when it seemed clear (to me at least) that an intervention was needed, ect, I was deemed not a good candidate to become a CPM. Becoming a midwife by observing, then assisting, then being primary at a birth does very little make someone a health care professional.

          You might be able to tell someone they needed a C-section if you had stayed in school and seen what happens to women (and their babies) when they believe that a C-section “might not” be needed. Because you can’t say for sure until it’s all over and then it’s too late. It’s also crucial to be able to utilize critical thinking skills, absolutes are rare in medicine or nursing.

    • mydoppleganger

      How did Jana have a 14 year old single Mom friend? I just don’t imagine her getting out that much. *Puzzled*

      I’m surprised Jim Bob cleared the girls to have some career. With how young Josh was when he got married, I thought they may take the same course. Guess I better go do something productive.

      • Mishimoo

        Met through mission work perhaps? I know that I met quite a few interesting people when I was being dragged along as a kid to do good works with various outreach ministries.

      • Foqus

        Because if they got married, they’d go have their own babies and stop taking care of his. At least this way they’re trained to take care of the wives of him and his son as well.

  • Bombshellrisa

    “People want you scared, because when you’re scared you’re jittery, and when you’re jittery, well, to be frank, you’re a damn fool.”
    Guess that is why the local fire department has those disaster prep classes, to keep me aware I should be scared of certain disasters likely to happen in this area. Same with the Red Cross, with the weekly disaster prep calendar to keep me thinking about what things I can grab on my weekly jaunts to the grocery store and keep me “scared” and “jittery”. After all, in the unlikely event of disaster, FEMA and the Red Cross are going to come to my rescue.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      “People want you scared, because when you’re scared you’re jittery, and
      when you’re jittery, well, to be frank, you’re a damn fool.”

      Anyone else have the urge to go up to him and whisper in his ear, “Psst, ‘they’ want you to take foolish risks with your health so that no one will take you seriously any more”?

      • Lizzie Dee

        I wouldn’t disagree that fear is a useful political tool. Frightened people can be more easily manipulated. But the trick is to deal with fear through courage, not denial. This man isn’t brave, he is dim. In the days when homebirth wasn’t a choice but the only option and families knew very well that a healthy baby wasn’t a given then this kind of fatalism was necessary and admirable. This is just posing – so that when it goes well – and the odds are that it will go well given present ante-natal care and knowledge – he can preen and sneer at the more sensible women. Who will hope for a good outcome, because the thought of someone that smug finding out through the avoidable death of an infant just how wrong he is is unbearable.

  • Sue

    ”The thing is, we have been through the hospital thing twice and although it was fine and dandy, we have never been the kind of people who want to do every single thing in our lives according to what everyone else up and down the road are doing.”

    Well, that about sums it up. It’s nothing about the hospital, nothing about the welfare of the baby, just the parents wanting to do something different to ”everyone else up and down the road”.

    Except, they’re not. They’re doing exactly what EVERYONE used to do before better ways were worked out.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I think that he desperately doesn’t want to be just “ordinary”. His bio describes him as having “spent nearly 15 years living in a van and cheap motel rooms as a guitarist/songwriter in a rock-n-roll band called Marah”. Now, after that, would you want to be just someone else who went to the hospital like everyone else? (What is up with people who used to be in rock bands taking up the home birth cause?)

      • AmyP

        Why not get another home piercing instead?

        • jenny

          These people are like a parody of themselves.

        • Bombshellrisa

          I was thinking a home tattoo-just stare down the person to make sure they are trustworthy first

          • KarenJJ

            Totally the way to make sure someone will keep you clear of hepatitis. People with hepatitis will blink or look away.

          • jenny

            Nah, do it your self. Don’t autoclave the needles you bought off the internet, just wipe them with alcohol. Stare down the needle to make sure it’s trustworthy first.

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, just the other day my friend was telling me about another friend’s horribly botched tattoo. They had to cut out some muscle to stop the sepsis…

          • Sue

            Nah – tattooing is so passe’. NOT getting a tattoo is much more rebellious these days.

      • gtrslinger

        I sing/play in my rock band and have also toured and stayed in some cheap motels and fabulous hotels along the way. I just had my first child in a hospital with induction, an epidural, and ultimately a c/section which I LOVED!!!!!! We are not all total idiots but I have met my fair share out there. This guys sounds like your typical douchebag narcissistic musician who cares more about his rep than about doing the right thing for others wellbeing… Could be why I wised up and married an engineer instead ;).

        • gtrslingr

          BTW…I had a LOT of women (some of them musicians) try to talk me into a brithcenter birth or home birth where I live. One of them actually tried to give me a copy of “business of being born” and was floored when I told her that I had no birth plan and did not care whether or not I had a c/s. My favorite was my guitarist’s girlfriend who A-has never had a baby and B-never witnessed a hospital delivery who tried to convince me that my OBGYN would ultimately control all aspects of my labor and I would have zero but if I went with a midwife I would be in control… Um yeah like how you know you can control how /when/where you go into labor and for how long and you can ultimately control whether anything goes wrong??? Ugh!!!

          • jenny

            I am laughing through your posts. Bacons for you. Have I mentioned here the young hippie/hipster friend I have who is totally convinced all woman can have and should try to have birth orgasms? She has no kids. Those of us who have are all, “Hahahahaha uh no.” I mean, it’s not inconceivable that sometimes the wires get crossed but really. And so we roll our thousand eyes.

      • wookie130

        So basically, this guy is an attention-seeker. He’s artsy-fartsy, so to speak, and wants to make sure that the whole friggin’ universe takes notice. Stands to reason then that he’d allow his wife and unborn child to engage in the performance art that is homebirth. We can only hope the whole ghastly affair makes it to YouTube, so we can all be spectators. Yuck.

        • wookie130

          He’s essentially a walking stereotype for the artsy-fartsy, emo, musician/rocker, march-to-the-beat-of-a-“different”-drum variety. Eats a lot of sushi. Frequents eating/drinking establishments that are quaint, along with coffeehouses, and whatnot. Doesn’t bow down to “the man.” What a moron. Forgive me if any of my comments are offending anyone…this guy just REALLY infuriated me. Ugh.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Yeah, you said it. He wants to live a “life less ordinary”-the same “less ordinary” everyone else like him chooses. He sounds so Seattle (I know he isn’t in Seattle, but I AM and he sounds like every other person here).

          • theadequatemother

            Or a portlandia character….

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I don’t understand it, does this guy have kids? Because I have to say, that, since I have had kids myself, life is anything but ordinary. It is pretty much extraordinary, every day. It’s not a stretch to say that every day is an adventure. If you are seeking beyond that, you have some major thrill issues.

            Extraordinary such as this: my 4 yo is currently in the stage of inventing new words. Words such as

            mappy – yucky, esp with food. As in, “Dad thinks McDonald’s is mappy”
            trappy – when there’s too many cars in your way; “the gas station was trappy”
            stippy – when you are eating too much; “If I eat more mashed potatoes, I’ll get stippy”

            And everyone’s favorite

            lerd – the stuff that comes out of your mouth when you burp too hard

            Ne’er an ordinary day with guys like that.

          • Bombshellrisa

            He has two older children.
            Your life DOES sound like an adventure. “Lerd” may be my new favorite word.

          • Clarissa Darling

            “He’s essentially a walking stereotype for the artsy-fartsy, emo, musician/rocker, march-to-the-beat-of-a-“different”-drum variety.” Yeah, these people are so unique they have their own type! Ironic that they don’t seem to understand that their brand of “individuality” simply involves belonging to another clique. And when I say ironic I don’t mean in a way douche bags like this would find totally awesome.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Maybe they will set up a Brio Birth campaign for cameras so it can be broadcast live.

      • Sue

        If he “spent nearly 15 years living in a van and cheap motel rooms as a guitarist/songwriter in a rock-n-roll band called Marah”, he must not have been very good at music, either.

    • Squillo

      In other words, they’re doing it because it’s not what everyone is doing.

      He’s so not influenced by culture.

      • KarenJJ

        Where the definition of “independent thinker” is to find out what everyone else thinks and then do the opposite…

        • jenny

          Contrarian. But he is totally following a trend even though he wants to pretend he’s so countercultural. Boring, dude. He sounds like he’s a fifteen year old on reddit.

          • Lisa Cybergirl

            He wants to be different, like all the other different people! He’s saving up for his different uniform!

  • realityycheque

    I wonder if he has smoke alarms in his house? Airbags in his car? Will he be willing to leave his young children unattended in the bath? Does he wear a seatbelt? Would he be comfortable with his adolescent child getting into a car with a drink driver?

    Fear isn’t just some unnecessary, irrational feeling for which humans have no real need.

  • Karen in SC

    But I know something he’s afraid of. He’s afraid of showing up here to defend his asshole self. Certainly by now he knows of the interest from SOB readers clicking on his blog post.

  • Sue

    If this guy is unlucky enough to be bitten by a feared snake, will he gaze into the eyes of a trusted snake charmer or will he rush to the ER?

    • rblazo

      My guess is that he’ll gaze into the eyes of the snake itself.

      • KarenJJ

        Trust snakes.

        • jenny

          snakes have been around for millions of years.

          • Sue

            And is he happens to die from snake bite? Well….”Why not? He could die. Everyone could die.” Right?

  • soggy granola

    I shared on here a while back about how last year I experienced a PPH severe enough to necessitate a hysterectomy. There were a few moments while this was going on that I didn’t think I was going to make it, and later spent about 9 months in counseling trying to deal with what was likely PTSD, because (surprise!) actually staring your own mortality in the face is terrifying. I’m disgusted and somewhat envious of this man’s casual dismissal of the death of his wife and child.

    • Antigonos CNM

      Well, you see, HE’S not going to die if anything goes wrong, is he? It’s easy for him to make life/death decisions for OTHERS…

      Not an uncommon phenomenon, I fear. I’ve noticed before what seems to be a callous disregard for the wellbeing of one of the “players” in this drama — the baby — whenever I read how parents, or potential parents, make decisions regarding pregnancy, birth, and some forms of child-rearing. “I”, or “me” trumps “what’s best for the ‘silent partner’ even if it’s not particularly what I want to do”.

    • rblazo

      I am so sorry. I had a fairly severe PPH but it, just barely, did not necessitate a hysterectomy. I still get chills thinking of that day, and how very fortunate I was to be in an excellent hospital surrounded by incredibly competent health professionals. I’m happy to hear you got help and that you made it out alive.

    • moto_librarian

      I am so sorry that you went through this. I had a severe pph caused by a cervical laceration, and I was therefore able to keep my uterus. It scared the hell out of me though. I hope that you are recovering both physically and mentally.

  • wookie130

    Honestly, this has got to be one of the more infuriating “pieces” I’ve read…this guy’s attempt at literary greatness, combined with a complete disregard for his wife and unborn child, just about makes me want to hunt this dude down, and let him have it. And to top all of that off, his analysis on fear makes me afraid FOR him. If his child and wife are fortunate enough to live through their “awesome” home birth, I hope something dawns upon him about the value of fear, and how that actually could ENHANCE his parenting skills. If he cares. Because oh well, we could all just DIE. No biggie.

    • Amy M

      I wonder if snakes actually scare him. And I wonder if he really knows what fear is? It was pretty scary when we thought my twins were going to be born at 30wk. And again at 32wk. Once, we lost one of them in a hardware store (for all of 3min) but it was the scariest 3 minutes. Another time, one hid in the house because he was mad, and we couldn’t find him and that was pretty scary too.

      And none of those things even come close to what it must feel like if you are home with your laboring wife, and an incompetent midwife and suddenly the midwife starts cursing and freaking out, and you can see from where you are standing something is wrong, the baby’s feet are coming first, and too much blood, and your wife is screaming in agony and you can’t remember how to dial 911…..

      I wonder what it would take to really scare him and shock him into realizing how precious his wife and children are and much he would regret risking them for no good reason.

      • Bombshellrisa

        And I wonder if he has actually seen a snake that isn’t behind glass. I am terrified of snakes too. It’s one thing to be scared at the reptile house at the zoo (the same one that was evacuated during a fourth grade field trip because a snake was “unaccounted for”) and quite another to actually deal with the outcome of being bitten.

        • Mishimoo

          I love snakes, but I still wouldn’t go and pick a wild one up expecting everything to be fine. There’s probably an analogy in that.

        • KarenJJ

          Now I’m wondering whether more kids were killed by snakes over the past 5 years or by Lisa Barrett’s “supporting mothers”.

      • auntbea

        I actually wonder if he is a sociopath. And not in an “Ugh, he is such a sociopath” way, but as in an actual sociopath. He would seem to have both the lessened fear response and the complete disregard for others.

        • Clarissa Darling

          I’ve often wondered the same thing about the midwives who continue to practice and take no responsibility for deaths or accidents of women/babies in their care. It seems some of them truly feel no shame at all. I’m sure there are those that would rank high on the sociopath scale as they appear to love risk, have no fear and no empathy for the parents of dead children or guilt for their own actions. All I have backing me up is my PhD in Armchair psychology from Google U. I wonder though if someone actually trained in the field were to profile these midwives (they way people have profiled other criminals) what they would find. I just can’t see how anyone who experiences normal emotions, even one who has been brainwashed by woo, would have the stomach to continually to preside over home births gone wrong.

          • auntbea

            I only have an armchair BA. But I have other ways of knowing.

          • Karen in SC

            A killer midwife would be a very chilling episode of Law & Order SVU or Criminal Minds or even Bones. I should write it and make lots of money…

          • araikwao

            We’ve seen some actual quotes on here that would be ideal in the script – one that springs to mind: “at least she had a really lovely, spontaneous vaginal birth”

          • Rochester mama

            OT I was so pissed that on Bones they made her all NCB no drugs and she even fought with Booth about how unsafe hospitals are. She ended up with an unplanned precipitous birth in barn, granted it was the Christmas episode.

          • theadequatemother

            Emily Deschenel is one of the producers on that show. I am willing to bet doughnuts that she was responsible for that little story line. Probably met Ricki Lake at a promotional event somewhere and got to chatting…

          • Karen in SC

            If it was a Bones episode, she could reach the conclusion that out of hospital birth isn’t worth the risks, that she was just lucky, and any further progeny will be born …in her lab with a OB or two. 🙂

      • Squillo

        The only people who can say of their child, “she could die . . . oh well” are people who have never had a child die even an expected death.

        • Elaine

          Basically he could only say that if he can’t even fathom it and just thinks it will NOT happen. I don’t get that since it seems like he already has at least one kid… doesn’t the thought of anything happening to her break his heart? I could never, ever say “She could die, oh well” about my daughter. Never.

    • Lisa Cybergirl

      Maybe a home appendectomy would be a nice learning experience for him.

  • batmom

    Such a tough, tough guy. You’d think someone like him would be able to stare down some L&D nurses if his wife doesn’t want an epidural….

    I’m fascinated by this. I can see how his reasoning happens, though. I never wanted to give birth anywhere but a hospital, because although 99% of the time birth is fine, that 1% is a doozy. (And fortunately, I did deliver at a hospital, because it turns out you can drink your kale smoothies and work out and do prenatal yoga and have a pregnancy and still have a kid who doesn’t want to come out without forceps and some cord prolapse drama.) But… my medical history is basically a string of sports injuries treated with PT. No idea of my body letting me down.

    So Bradley and natural methods were appealing to me and I looked into them. I think some of the breathing and focusing techniques were helpful for early labor.

    Yet when I read them, they were so obviously full of shit regarding many things. “Noble savage” women don’t feel pain. Castor oil is a good idea. A hospital’s section rate is indicative of greedy doctors (and not, say, the presence of a level III NICU.) And so forth. But absent critical thinking — well, I’m healthy, and it’s a nice story, isn’t it?

  • Courtney84

    OT: I don’t do the baby center type thing, so I thought I’d let you all know my baby is due in 100 days! From the internets I’ve read, thanks to modern medicine, the little booger has a better than 50% chance at survival if deliver today. Woo!

    This guy is an ignorant ass. I’d do just about anything to make sure the baby lived.

    • AmyP

      Every day, the chances get better and better!

      Best wishes!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      This guy is an ignorant ass. I’d do just about anything to make sure the baby lived.

      And you aren’t alone. I have said it many times before, attitudes like this moron’s are absolutely rare. Most expecting parents are exactly like you, completely on the edge and always worried. That’s the usual approach.

      • Courtney84

        I know the majority of people think like me, and that this guy is out in right field. Still, I think in the Internet the wackaloons tend to be a vocal majority. It’s nice to know there’s place on the interweb where people won’t rail against me for my mainstream view of pregnancy and birth.

    • rh1985

      I love modern medicine! I am expecting a baby girl thanks to modern medicine (IVF). I can’t imagine NOT wanting modern medical care for the birth after going through that!

  • I don’t have a creative name

    I couldn’t finish it. I found his smug, arrogant writing style to be unreadable. Makes you wonder how he talks to his wife if he talks to the world at large that way.

    Hope it all turns out fine. Every homebirth that turns out fine just confirms these nuts in their nuttery, and every one that ends up in an injury or death leaves the families in shambles, either holding on to their ideology more tightly than ever, unable to face the reality of what they’ve done, or else facing that reality full in the face every day and trying to go on, knowing that your choices led to your child’s needless death.

  • theadequatemother

    Why do homebirthers seem to have this idea that those of us who want hospitals and physicians are afraid? I guess it makes them feel enlightened and superior.

    It is possible to understand the risks of pregnancy and childbirth, weigh the options to mitigate them based on actual cost, opportunity cost, ease and convenience and end deciding a hospital with a physician or a CNM or RM is the way to go without being “afraid”. I am not afraid. I am simply pragmatic and risk adverse.

    • Squillo

      We’re just afraid of different things. Homebirthers are afraid of having unnecessary interventions;hospital birthers are afraid of not having necessary ones.

      • Sarah

        Squillo that’s brilliantly put

      • jenny

        I hate the whole unnecessarean narrative. Hate it. By the time you are 100% sure YOU OR YOUR BABY PERSONALLY needed that c-section, you are in the middle of a god damned emergency. Preventative medicine, people, Ben Franklin had it right!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          An ounce of prevention, yep. As I have said, the purpose of intervention is to prevent problems, not solve them.

        • Young CC Prof

          See, this is what I was trying to explain to my mother the other night. Yes, there are a lot of c-sections. Yes, some of those mothers would have delivered healthy babies had they continued to labor naturally. BUT, we don’t know which ones! At the time the choice was made, the doctors had no possible way to know.

          My pregnancy is low-risk, women in my family bear easily, and my husband has these lovely short and skinny genes, which might mean a smaller baby. I’m a pretty good candidate for natural birth. However, if things started to go a little wrong during labor, and let’s say I knew there was a 20% chance of a bad outcome if labor continued, I’d be all over the immediate c-section.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You’d wait until it was 20%?

            Jeez, I didn’t want there to be a 1% chance of a bad outcome. When it comes to my baby, 1/100 is not the kind of odds I like.

          • Young CC Prof

            No, I wouldn’t wait until 20%. However, what you said made me think, and made me realize something profound:

            The #1 reason primary c-sections are going up is that they are getting safer.

            It’s all about risk-benefit analysis. When there’s a real chance that the mother will die or suffer serious complications from the c-section, a good OB will wait until it’s clear that the baby can’t be born alive naturally. Even a generation ago, c-sections were more dangerous than they are now. But better infection control, epidurals instead of general anesthesia except in dire emergencies, new incisions sites, and the million and one little tricks surgeons have picked up to make all surgeries safer, all add up.

            Now, it doesn’t take much risk to the baby to make a c-section “worth it.” If fetal monitoring starts picking up drops in heart rates, the very low risk of section means there’s more reason to cut immediately and less reason to wait and see.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I was going to mention the example of breech. On the whole, breech can be delivered safely 95% of the time. However, that 5% is so unacceptable, that the standard of care is to do a c-section with every breech.

            And you are right, it is about the safety of the c-section. Someone mentioned this the other day, that highlighted it. Why have c-sections gone up? Because they are safer than the alternatives, such as forceps. Therefore, c-sections come up while other types of interventions that used to be done go down. Because, as you said, they are so safe and easy now, that it is worth it.

      • theadequatemother

        no…my point is I’m not afraid. Respecting the process and choosing a course of action to mitigate risk, or making cautious decisions, doesn’t mean one is “afraid.” I’ve been afraid now and again. It’s not nice and usually accompanied by a burst of adrenaline.

        • jenny

          Making choices to mitigate risk as best as possible, remaining flexible, respecting the process, like you say, means we can soften and let things unfold. If the worst happens we can know that we did our best. Yes, I understand what you mean, it is the opposite of fear.

        • jenny

          Also, this is a bit off the topic, but I am expecting my third baby in April. Your blogs about how epidurals work convinced me that if I have the kind of labor pains I had with my first (posterior, nuchal hand, we both ended up fine but it really sucked), I am just going straight for the epidural. The only hitch is I have low platelets and if they get too low I will be risked out for an epidural. I’ll be bummed if this happens, but now I know that I can ask for a consult with the anesthesiologist and I am going to!

    • PJ

      I have been thinking the same thing!

      Personally, I think it’s the very people who accuse everyone else of fear who are really afraid. They are afraid to face up to the reality that bad things can happen to them too. They’d rather believe they have control over the uncontrollable.

    • wookie130

      Excellent comments, theadequatemother.
      I suppose those of who prefer to have our babies in hospital settings aren’t hardened Earth Goddess Birth Warriors. Because apparently all of the excessive suffering, unnecessary risks, and un-Godly mess of the whole NB/HB experience just makes you some type of badass. And it’s better to be a badass, whether or not the baby (or you) actually live to tell the tale.

  • It is very easy to dismiss the risk, when we’ve been conditioned to think that a cesarean is a fate worse than death, and far more likely in a hospital. It’s also easy to dismiss when it’s a rodeo you haven’t been to as of yet – much harder after you have a real baby and really understand what that means. I’m guessing second timers are less likely to choose homebirth for that very reason – they know what is really at stake.

    • jenny

      When I went into labor with my younger child, the one who died, I was worried about having a c-section and of the “cascade of interventions.” My contractions weren’t regular and the nurse told me it was up to me whether I wanted to come in or not. I really think I would have gone in if someone had just told me to go, but I was already very disoriented and the decision was up to me. So I chose to stay home another hour and take a bath and have tea. Then things started to hurt REALLY bad and I decided it was time. I didn’t know it but I was in transition at that point. I didn’t do anything irrational or wrong in waiting, but the extra hour doomed my daughter. If I’d gone in when I called, there’s a good chance they may have detected something on the EFM or in a manual exam and I could have had a nice leisurely c-section and a living baby. I think this is what bothers me so much about the whole ncb narrative. The thing I feared was the thing that could have saved my child. I don’t blame myself for her death any longer because I understand that we were just profoundly unlucky. It was a chain of unlucky events and meaningless decisions which in hindsight coalesced into her death, but it’s a ghost in my consciousness.

      • FormerPhysicist

        I’m so sorry.

      • wookie130

        I am sorry for your loss.

      • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

        I’m so sorry Jenny.

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby, Jenny.

      • so sorry.

      • moto_librarian

        Jenny, I am so very sorry for the loss of your daughter.

  • jenny

    Like so many other families, ours has also lost a child. I’ve mentioned it here before, but I will keep talking about her. She had a cord prolapse during her precipitous, unplanned home birth. It happened in half an hour and she was probably already lost to hope by the time the paramedics arrived. We live almost in sight of the hospital, where, she might have still died, but they could have DONE SOMETHING. Anything at all.

    Instead, once they saw the cord, very shortly before she was born, the paramedics had to stand by helplessly waiting. I had felt her cord before it was visible to the paramedics and sensed something was wrong but I didn’t know if I was really feeling what I felt, and I couldn’t speak or think rationally. After she died, friends of mine who had previously had home births told me that they could never do it again knowing what they knew now. I had considered a home birth for both my kids but both times decided to have a hospital birth because it sounded more convenient and comfortable. Safety was not a huge concern for me because I took it for granted that babies lived. You know how NCB types say “trust birth” and “all babies come out”? Well, I don’t, and sometimes coming out kills them. This guy is a fool who, if he gets lucky, will just be confirmed in his foolishness.

    • Sue

      Thank you for your frankness and insight, Jenny. Nothing like reality.

    • An Actual Attorney

      I’m so sorry, Jenny.

  • Lisa the Raptor

    I stared at the mole upon my midwife’s left buttock cheek and divined that everything was going to be OK. Because by the time the baby is born I’ll have suffocated to death from my head being squeezed so tightly by my colon, So I won’t know the difference.

  • Mr.G

    He says: “It would take a million years for all of the doctors in the world to deliver as many little children into this life as the midwives of yesterday have already delivered.” Oh, well, how wrong he is. How about less than 100 years? First of all, humanity has existed maybe for no more than 50,000 years and really, really in small numbers for 48,000 years. 6.5% of all people who ever lived live today. So at the rate of today’s number of people living and their birth rate, it likely will take way less than 100 years for doctors to deliver the number of people as a sum of everyone who delivered previously. He got everything wrong but especially the math.

    • Dr Kitty

      And that’s why I like this blog.

      Peopled by nerds who look at throwaway hyperbole and decide to do the Maths.

      • Something From Nothing

        Because this blog is largely populated by thinking people…

    • Lisa the Raptor

      Mhh, I thought humanity had been around for close to 200,000 years? Perhaps I am wrong though.

      • Tim

        Wikipedia says anatomically 200,000 , mentally 50,000. With no real culture or learning, doubtful there was much in the way of assistance with birth (or at least anythign resembling useful assistance)

        • Young CC Prof

          Dr. Mark Sloan, in his book Birth Day, claims that the death rate for truly unassisted birth is so outrageously high that women MUST have been helping each other in some way ever since our ancestors started to produce big-headed babies, otherwise the species wouldn’t have survived.

          Not great help, but a wiggle for the babies that get stuck apparently saves a good number of them.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Interesting.

          • Kerlyssa

            Humans are not the only species that assists laboring females. If a cat can do it, pretty sure a pre verbal human can.

          • Tim

            I was thinking more along the lines of an oral tradition passed down and “taught” to others (a la proto-midwives) , which would have come later at the last 50k mark – but point well taken. Probably some instinctual cues to help in some way also before that.

          • Antigonos CNM

            “Oral tradition”, I’m sure, has been pretty worthless for all those millennia. Look how long it took just to convince people to wash their hands. Sure, there have probably been women who were designated by their societies as midwives since the earliest civilizations [4000 BC or thereabouts?], but to imply that they had ANY effective knowledge, let alone some kind of specialist, arcane knowledge which really worked is not based on any evidence at all.

            You don’t have to have a degree to understand that if a foot is protruding from the vagina, the baby isn’t coming head-first. But knowing how to EXTRACT the breech, how to deal with extended arms, etc. is an entirely different matter. See:

            http://www.meb.uni-bonn.de/dtc/primsurg/docbook/html/x6398.html

            I doubt the “midwife” practicing in ancient Babylonia or Egypt knew this stuff.

          • AmyP

            Plus, even if accurate information was handed down from midwife to apprentice in traditional societies with gradual increase of know-how, there would be no horizontal exchange of information between different traditional societies. There was no way to pool and share everybody’s knowledge before the internet. Each individual midwife would possess only a small fraction of the total knowledge base.

    • Antigonos CNM

      I’ve written this–or something similar–before, but a couple minutes of thought puts paid to this idea. Take a mid-sized L&D unit — approximately 350 deliveries per month. This means a bit more than 10 a day, on an average [of course there will be days when no one comes in, and days when it rains pregnant women]. Assuming three shifts a day that means that there are 3 deliveries per shift [I’m thinking in terms of nurses, now; on call doctors will be doing 24 or 36 hour shifts]. A nurse, or hospital midwife, working full time [5 days a week], will be involved in approximately 15 deliveries [not all of which she will actually deliver, obviously] per week. That’s 750 deliveries per YEAR, allowing for 2 weeks vacation. In-house doctors such as residents, see a lot more since they work longer hours than nurses.

      Now take your homebirth midwife. First of all, there is the matter of demand, which is small. Then, there is the matter of attending a patient for the entire duration of her labor. I can assert that, MAXIMUM, a midwife operating out of hospital cannot manage more than a delivery a week, and that’s really tough, physically. With a primip, it can easily mean 20 or more hours with the patient. It is more like 1 or 2 a month, at most, IF she has so many clients. It would not be unusual to have a hiatus of several months between births. So, maybe 25 to [at most] about 50 a year? Generally, less.

      Even if your homebirth midwife is a CNM, who is going to have more experience, the midwife in hospital, or out of it?

      • OBNurse

        Right. I inadvertently deliver a baby every month or so. I am usually a good judge on how quickly I need to get the doctor there, but sometimes a grand multip will come racing in with the baby’s head in her pant leg and I catch the baby. I have worked on L&D for 14 years give or take. We deliver just shy of 200 babies per month. In my estimate I have laboured thousands of women and have delivered, well, scores of them. The local “midwife”, if you can call her that, does ONE homebirth per month. I asked her once. Good lord, if I were delivering in the hospital I wouldn’t even want her providing nursing care, she is totally lacking in practice and experience.

        • moto_librarian

          I’d far rather have a good L&D nurse catching my baby than one of those amateur midwives!

        • Sue

          OBNurse – you are a professional, working in a busy, regulated system, held to account, and practising team-work. The once-a-month players are mere amateurs – playing.

  • Mr.G

    It is telling the picture he shows on top of his blog is from “divorcedwomenonline.com”. Is that predicting what his wife will do when the baby is in trouble?

  • Squillo

    Know what’s awesome? Being comfortable enough with your private decisions not to blog about how awesome they are.

  • Squillo

    we have collectively tuned out the white noise of trembling fear that’s always slashing away at the radio silence of your decisions gone public.

    ‘Course, it would be a lot harder for that trembling fear to slash away if you didn’t make your decisions public.

    • Lindsay Beyerstein

      I quit reading halfway through. Does he make it through the whole post without using the word “sheeple”?

      • Squillo

        No, but there are quite a few other literary gems.

        The second-to-last graph contains the phrase “lionish gales clawed.” But you really must read it in its entirety to experience in your eldritch soul the gut-churning emotional hurricane of his royal-clad prose.

        • auntbea

          Did you do that off the top of your head, or did you have to break out the thesaurus?

          • Squillo

            It is extempore, from my mother-wit.

            (Okay, that’s not mine.)

    • Lizzie Dee

      “trembling fear”? Is that what he thinks motivates people who feel more concern for his wife and child than he does? Or makes the huge majority of women believe that the inconveniences of a hospital are worth the massive reduction in mortality rates?

      Empty, meaningless boasting. He expects, like most people do, that bad things won’t happen to him. He has no clue at all about the level of fear he would feel if it turned out he was wrong. Not trembling timidity – blind panic, and bitter regret at even a hint of a crisis. I sincerely hope he doesn’t have to go there, because how awful to have to realise what empty nonsense this is.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I was thinking about this “fear” stuff tonight. My son was walking into his room and got his fingers near the door crease. I say, “Be careful, watch your fingers in the door”

        I am wondering, is he going to accuse me of being crippled by fear? Yes, I was afraid – afraid that he was going to get his fingers pinched in the door. I guess I shouldn’t have said anything, right?

    • Sue

      ”we have collectively tuned out the white noise of trembling fear that’s always slashing away at the radio silence of your decisions gone public.”

      Translation: Fingers in ears, sicking la la la

  • GiddyUpGo123

    “Now we have collectively tuned out the white noise of trembling fear
    that’s always slashing away at the radio silence of your decisions gone
    public, forever threatening to try and torpedo any good and decent day.”

    Let’s ignore for a second his pretentious and incomprehensible writing style. Here’s my other thought:

    If you don’t have a healthy sense of fear and the desire to protect your family against the things that cause those fears, you have no business being a parent. If your way of dealing with fear is to “tune it out,” you have no business being a parent.

    Evolution gave us fear for a reason. It’s what makes us run from predators. Animals who don’t fear predators get eaten by them.

    I feared SIDS. That’s why my babies all slept on their backs. I fear drowning. That’s why my kids all started swimming lessons at the age of three or younger. I fear car accidents. That’s why my kids sit in car seats and wear seat belts. I fear creepy strangers trying to lure my kids into their cars with stories of lost puppies. That’s why my kids understand “stranger danger.”

    Tuning out the fear you have as a parent is irresponsible. The reason you have those fears is because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t take steps to ensure the safety of your children. If this dad isn’t afraid of what might happen to his child at homebirth, I shudder to think about what kind of a parent he’s going to be.

    • Squillo

      I’m tempted to steal that top sentence and submit to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

    • Young CC Prof

      Sometimes, there are fears that you need to overcome. Parents are terrified the first time they leave their child with someone else, but assuming the babysitter is properly vetted, the risk is minimal, and it’s a necessary step in the family’s development.

      However, he’s talking about overcoming fears for NO REASON AT ALL. There are no benefits to home birth, other than possibly saving some money, if you get lucky.

    • Clarissa Darling

      “Evolution gave us fear for a reason. It’s what makes us run from predators. Animals who don’t fear predators get eaten by them.” My thoughts exactly! These NCB people are so fond of doing things the way “nature” intended, you’d think it would have crossed their mind that nature intended us to feel reasonable fear in order to keep us alive. I’m sure a there were a lot of prehistoric parents telling their kids “NO Son, DO NOT pet the sabre tooth kitty!”.

  • mom4474

    After I had an emergency c section with my first, I contemplated trying for a VBAC. The first experience was pretty traumatic, and I just didn’t want to do it again. After my doctor explained how it works, she said, “It rarely goes wrong. Everything typically goes well.” Then my husband asked her to explain what could happen, which she did. When we left, my husband looked at me and said, “I really don’t want you to do this”. He wasn’t even willing to take the slightest chance of losing me or the baby. I can’t understand this guys flippant attitude. It seems like he’s more interested in earning “cool points” than keeping his family out of harm’s way. I hope his wife really thinks about that.

    • Dr Kitty

      I know, the closer I got to my due date the more I considered trying for a VB, and the more anxious my husband got.

      At the appointment when my OB said he didn’t think the odds were in my favour and we agreed to book the prelabour CS my husband was visibly relieved ( as was my OB).

      His worst nightmare was seeing me in pain for hours and then something going wrong (and he’s squeamish and hated every minute of being the OR with me).

      I just don’t get the attitude of this guy.
      But hey, there’s nowt as queer as folk!

    • amazonmom

      My husband reviewed the info on VBAC I gave him and decided RCS is what he wanted to do. He also remembers my stories of responding to uterine ruptures and can’t imagine having to witness that. I don’t want to choose TOLAC and have him worried the whole time. I sure hope I don’t precip and barely make it to the hospital like my mom did with me.

    • mydoppleganger

      I’m listed as acceptable for a VBAC attempt this time around, but I find myself on the fence. Here is my only chance to try vaginal birth, but I find myself not really “holding on” to it like all the ICAN folks I know. My attitude is more focused on the baby either way. Most of my ICAN peers have to begin “fighting” off the doctors at 36 weeks. This does not sound very fun this time around. Honestly, putting a repeat c-section on the books may just give me more peace than all this “what if?” Still have time to iron out things before the birth.

      • mydoppleganger

        Err. *choose to begin fighting their docs at 36 weeks.* 🙂

      • FormerPhysicist

        I *loved* my RCS. It was so easy and scheduled and peaceful. No scrambling for sitters, no racing in the middle of the night, no pain, easy recovery – oh SO much easier than combo labor and cs. And just knowing I was in the right place at the right time. No second guessing whether I should go in or not.

  • ngozi

    Okay, I’ll take my stab at it. He says:

    “People manipulate fear and overt scare tactics for financial gain and power.”
    There aren’t any homebirth midwives doing that? Really?

    He is talking about fear, and saying to fear is silly, but people like him are trying to make people fear hospital births, I presume. If all fear is just silly, then why should I fear have the most natural birth medically possible in a hospital setting?

  • Mel

    This may have been the most painful read for me here yet.

    My little brother David died the week before his first birthday of a compromised immune system caused by a freakishly rare birth defect. I was four years old. I remember my parents curled up together on the couch crying when they came home from the hospital without their son. I remember them telling me that David was dead. I remember seeing my little brother in his favorite outfit in a tiny, white coffin. I remember blessing his coffin with holy water. I remember their many visits to geneticists to see if the baby my Mom was pregnant with have the same problem. I remember being terrified when Mike was born because I was sure he would die too. I remember the effects that a sudden, tragic loss has had on my entire family for 26 years.

    I am furious. How DARE these fools speak the death of a child so callously? Guess what? “We all die sometimes” means nothing when you are looking at a casket of a child. If you say that to someone who has lost a child, prepare to be chewed out or decked. If you gamble with a child’s life and justify it with shallow pop psychology, you are an ass.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Thanks for saying this. It really touched me.

    • Carolina

      I’m sorry for your loss and your family’s loss.
      I mentioned it on another thread, but I’ve had three friends lose viable (all 35 weeks+) babies in the last six weeks. The latest one happened last Friday – beautiful stillborn 40 weeks gestation boy. My friends were doing everything right re prenatal care.
      How can someone be so freaking cavalier about death?

      • KarenJJ

        I don’t get it either. I’d fallen into the woo-ish side of things during pregnancy (not very woo-ish – I was seeing an obgyn and booked into hospital). I asked about avoiding c-section and my obgyn said that it is a balance as he has to consider two patients when making recommendations.

        I was a bit dense up until that point and that was when the penny dropped that he was talking about the baby as having potential to life and that it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

        I didn’t really need much more then a gentle nudge of a ‘dead baby card’. I really suspect that you have to be somewhat indoctrinated into NCB for a ‘dead baby card’ to have such little effect on your decision making.

    • jenny

      Thank you for sharing about your brother. I am sitting here crying, so sorry for your loss even though it was so long ago. You write beautifully about you family, and the pain you all must have gone through losing him. My daughter turned four a month after we lost her baby sister to a birth accident. She lived four days. People who speak so callously about children dying have no direct experience with what it is like.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    He isn’t afraid of his wife dying or having brain damage from exsangination or ending up with a rectovaginal fistula. It’s not his butt on the line, after all. Just his wife and he seems to see her as infinitely replaceable. He isn’t afraid of the baby dying or having brain damage from hypoxia or ending up with paralysis from a prolonged and damaging labor and delivery. Same argument.

    I’d like to say I wish him all the best, but really I don’t. Actually, I hope that his wife decides half way through that pain isn’t really all that awesome, spits in his face, calls 911, and goes to the hospital where she has an uncomplicated birth with an epidural and someone else to clean up the mess afterwards. And he has to admit that he was full of it.

    • ngozi

      I’m sure he won’t admit that. I hate casinos, but I would be willing to bet money on it.

    • theadequatemother

      It would be more just for a few of his buddies to hold him down while one does an appendectomy on the kitchen table. After all, that’s how it was done 100 years ago.

      • auntbea

        Should we give him a stick to bite on? Or just let him vocalize?

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Just vocalize. The pain is completely natural and in fact good: it’s nature’s way of telling you that something is wrong in the appendix and it’s time to fix it. Why would anyone want to suppress their body’s natural ability to warn them of danger?

  • Antigonos CNM

    The unfortunate thing is that this guy and his partner will probably luck out — and have all their erroneous beliefs confirmed.

    I’m reminded of the couple who refused Rhogam, and after each of their first 4 births gloated to me that it was all “stuff and nonsense”. The woman’s antibody titers, in her 5th pregnancy, were sky-high.

    So it’s possible to go blithely along the yellow brick road…but if you crash, oh boy!

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      That’s like not wearing seat belts and not putting them on your kids. Then crashing your car and gloating that “See no one got seriously hurt! Seat belts aren’t necessary” No, you just got incredibly lucky and gambled your kids life ! Brilliant! /sarcasm
      What was that woman thinkin? I don’t even……

    • Squillo

      Actually, I think if they luck out, it’s by definition fortunate (and I suspect most people hope they are lucky.)

      But yes, their n of 1 will likely confirm the retrospective wisdom of their decision.

    • Happy Sheep

      I’m hoping they do luck out, I really am.

    • Lizzie Dee

      Yet another “Aren’t midwives wonderful?” series being shown on Brit TV. (Late, so it may be a repeat). I tend to (half) watch it because it annoys me – full of NCB wide eyed trust birthery as it is. Tonight it was three natural at any cost mothers, along with midwives insisting that epis slow down labour and increase the liklihood of instrumental deliveries. As the mothers screamed and whimpered and pleaded their way along, I didn’t look that blissful to me – and by the end, a couple of them didn’t seem that interested in their babies, either. Strong contrast with last nights – three women in the high risk unit. All three of them knew that their lives and/or their babies were at serious risk, all three of them were afraid, inevitably, and all three were admirably, amazingly, brave.(All went well. And the midwives were of a different calibre as well.)

      This man’s empty headed pretence that there is nothing to fear is nauseating by comparison.

  • mydoppleganger

    I’m reading a book by Christian women on having children. It’s stunning that literally every story turns into “by child X we began to leave the man (docs) and go the homebirth route.” I’m beginning to see a group of Christians who identify faith with homebirth and having kids “the way God intended”. That may be a nice ideal, but I think it’s careless to group More Faith =homebirth. You can have a faith while giving birth at the hospitals, taking advantage of modern science.

    Plus, each one details infant death/miscarriage/etc part of God’s plan, one even writing to explain to older chlldren” God is schooling us in suffering.” I have a hard time accepting that, that one would have two or three stillbirths to iron out their faith as the root cause. Hmm. Nothing like a little peer pressure to get more women homebirthing.

    • Amy M

      I really can’t stand this attitude. Whatever happened to “God gave us brains, so we could learn medicine and use it”? or “God helps those who help themselves”? Why are they so convinced that God wants them to stand around doing nothing to see what happens naturally? We KNOW what happens naturally, all we have to do is look at the history books and graveyards and developing nations that have no access to modern medicine. And if that’s how God really intended it, how were some humans allowed to progress so far scientifically? And why don’t people who want to live like they are in the 3rd world just go there? They could even trade places with a family in the 3rd world, some family that wants to experience life in the US. Though it would probably be REAL hard to find a family there who would want vaccines for their children and obstetrical care for the mother and so on.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Whatever happened to “God gave us brains, so we could learn medicine and use it”? or “God helps those who help themselves”?

        OT, but I’m guessing it went the way with “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.”

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Exactly. If God didn’t want us to fly, he wouldn’t allowed us to invent airplanes. And if he wanted us to die when we jump out of those planes, he wouldn’t have let us invent parachute.

        Oh, I know the whole “free will” stuff and all, but then again, if jumping out of an airplane with a parachute isn’t an affront to God, why should giving birth in a hospital be?

      • Clarissa Darling

        There was a couple in WI who let their daughter die of
        diabetes because they thought God would cure her and if he didn’t, it was his will. I’m a Christian too but, when I think of how this 11 year old girl suffered before she went into a coma and eventually breathed her last, I can’t help but think that if this is how some people are going to misuse their faith, maybe they’re better off not believing in God.

    • ngozi

      I am throroughly a Christian, and I can tell you that I don’t support that.

      • Lindsay Beyerstein

        Most Christians don’t. This book is about a very radical fringe movement.

      • Are you nuts

        Yep. And the people who I know who are into home births aren’t Christians. They are more likely to be of the mother-nature-is-god frame of mind.

        • Amy H

          I really don’t think it has too much to do with Christian, non-Christian, or any other easy categories. I know Christian people who are into it. Probably because I live in a more predominantly Christian state (KS). (And I’m Christian. And BTW I’m NOT into it!) I also have a professor, highly educated, with an agnostic husband, what have you, and she made my jaw drop when I was pg telling me how she had prepared for birth with IMG’s book and had considered a midwife, etc. After 24 hours of labor, she went for the epidural.

          Personally, I think it tends to be about street cred and the mommy wars – also more prevalent in people who are just not educated enough about How Stuff Works. Like the mom in my online pregnancy group who supported not rinsing her breast pump stuff after every use because “breastmilk has antibodies, right?” (I get not rinsing every single use if keeping in the fridge as she said, but nothing to do with its supposed antiseptic properties.)

      • Kerlyssa

        There are billions of christians on this planet. Chances are pretty damn high that millions of them espouse views you detest- billion is a big number.

      • mydoppleganger

        ngozi, Just to be clear I was not attacking Christians (I am one myself.) It just seemed discouraging me this advice book told me to “go off the grid.” Wanted to make sure you knew I was puzzled by this one small group publishing the information.:) Hopefully it did not come across the other way.

    • AmyP

      I think repeat mothers may get overconfident after 2 or 3 safe, successful hospital births.

    • Lindsay Beyerstein

      “Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement” is a terrific book by Kathryn Joyce that explores a lot of Christian home-birth nuttery and its roots in outright misogyny. At least the subjects of the book are honest about why they like unassisted childbirth: Women don’t deserve too much medical care, because women don’t deserve much of anything. If you start telling a woman that she gets to decide whether she lives or dies in childbirth (instead of God), she’ll get conceited and think that she’s a person worth saving who ought to decide other things about her life.

    • Young CC Prof

      On a vaguely related note: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1mwYwjel-Q

      Vaccines: And now my kids don’t die.

      • sick GP

        when you have a child die from a homebirth wouldn’t you want to do everything possible to try to keep your other children safe from getting polio, measles, tetanus, and other deadly or preventable diseases? I cannot understand why a parent would not vaccinate instead of risking the chance of loosing another child. It seems like being different at the price of loosing a life is foolishness.

  • auntbea

    Oh well!

  • HolyWowBatman

    There is a huge difference between accepting that a child could die, which is sadly true at some point, and choosing to risk killing them.

  • Bombshellrisa

    It’s easy to be this cavalier when you have been insulated from the harsh realities of childbirth.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      It’s easy to be this cavalier when you have been insulated from the harsh realities of childbirth.

      Not for me it isn’t. And, in fact, not for most people, I contend. Consider, most folks go way overboard in worrying about their pregnancies.

      • Bombshellrisa

        I guess what I mean is this is someone who thinks they have been around the block a couple times: they have two children already and have “stared down” their midwife. It’s quite possible that they don’t know anyone personally who has had a baby injured or die during a homebirth. It’s one thing to worry about all the what ifs of pregnancy, quite another to look at birth the same way. Women who refuse to take a sip of coffee because “what if” and worry every moment of their pregnancies can STILL be cavalier about home birth.

        • Yes, but surely they know some people who have been injured or badly scared by births in the hospital! It’s something women talk about when they get together, at least in my experience. The near-misses of acquaintances (or themselves) and how the hospital saved lives. The woman who had the massive infection and got IV abx immediately following labor and still nearly died. The woman who began hemorrhaging and her husband watched through the OR window as a nurse massaged her uterus to try to stop the bleeding (she succeeded, no hysterectomy needed, but it was apparently very close), thinking he was going to be a widower and a new father in the same day. If these things had happened at home, those women would have died.

      • Sue

        But Bofa – this person’s greatest embarrassment would be to be accused of being like ”most people”…

    • AmyP

      And when it’s not you that’s possibly going to be brain-damaged or killed and will almost certainly suffer excruciating unrelieved pain.

  • AL

    A little off topic but check out this crap. Leaving out information much?
    http://www.thestorkandthebeanstalk.com/support-a-womans-right-to-chose/

    • AL

      She fails to mention a baby died due to negligent care.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Why are NCB advocates the first to insist that everything a doctor does is money driven, but CPMs are always there with a tip jar, donate button or new Brio birth campaign?

      • Tired Momma

        Here is what I don’t understand. They claim to do 100s of births at $3000.00 (or more). But need money to pay for lawyers, birth centers and such. There is no overhead because for the most part, they work out of their homes and junker cars. The mother proves almost everything. So where does the money go? Or us this just another example of CPM lies?

        • Bombshellrisa

          Exactly-at the birth center here, you are charged extra for the cleaning fee for the room BUT you have to buy the birth kit and provide the chic pads and gloves. They also write a newsletter that has a “birth center wish list” and asks for things like baby blankets and sheets for the beds.

      • AL

        I know. And I actually usually like the person that writes this blog, and then she has this “guest poster” write this. I HATE that she is leaving out the biggest piece of info, the fact that a baby died and that’s why it’s being shut down. So misleading. But who knows, the woohoo group might gloss over that fact anyway and say “babies die, whatever, part of natural selection.”
        Funny I was watching the series “THE HUMAN BODY” the other day and watching the episode on childbirth. They had a woman in Rwanda who had to walk 2 hours to get to the maternity center. They should one part where the woman walked the 2 hours because a visiting medical team was coming to do ultrasounds. 3 hour wait for these ultrasounds. Then when she went into labor, she had to do the 2 hour walk in PAIN at dawn on a dirt path to get to the maternity center. So much for natural being awesome. It did not look awesome for this woman!
        Also, I think they said over and over, “Human birth is the most dangerous of all species due to the size of the human head.” Why do the natural birth junkies refuse to hear that?

    • Happy Sheep

      I commented about the other death that happened at the center, let’s see how long it stays up.

  • Captain Obvious

    Still can’t get that image out of my head of that previous story of a Homebirth gone bad and they drove to the hospital themselves, the car broke down and they starting running towards the hospital without shoes until a cop picked them up. That is not awesome.

    • AmyP

      Minimally, I want health care providers who wear shoes at all times while working.

      • Squillo

        F*ck the shoes, I’d settle for gloves.

        • ngozi

          I’d settle for being somewhat prepared for the birth of my child…

    • ngozi

      Where is this link? I want to read this story.

      • Amy M

        It was part of Dr. Amy’s post on Sept 10, I think the link is there.

    • Happy Sheep

      I’d settle with not having to run anywhere because I’m already in the hospital and interventions prevented a tragedy.

    • Mel

      What I never understand about half of these blog stories is the inability of anyone to perform infant CPR correctly. I’m certified for my teaching license and they make a few choice points every single time.
      1. Never do CPR on a soft surface like a bed. Move the victim to the floor or a hard surface like a table.
      2. Call 911 and do CPR in place until the ambulance gets there.

      And yet, in a lot of the stories where babies die, the mom talks about watching the midwife do CPR on the bed. You can’t do CPR in a moving car unless you’ve got enough space to perform it on the floor of the car and I don’t know of any style of car smaller than a van that would have that kind of space.

  • Kerlyssa

    Suppressing fear with unwarranted self assurance and/or fatalism is a reasonable coping mechanism in situations in which one lacks control over the outcome.

    In situations where one has control, but chooses to relinquish it, it’s willful negligence.

    • Young CC Prof

      Very well said, and kind of what I was trying to say. Yes, to sleep at night, you need to accept that some things are out of our control. Some dreadful things are unpreventable, others are rare and can be prevented only at absurd cost, like protecting your child from car crashes by never leaving the house.

      However, to ignore easily preventable risks is just dumb.

  • Monica

    Oh those Bielanko’s on Babble, always with the drama. Oddly enough his wife just wrote a post on Babble about how if those who choose not to vaccinate make her baby sick, then she’s going to sue them. How funny that they haven’t jumped onto the anti vax bandwagon yet. So it’s don’t you anti vaxxers kill my baby, but lets have a midwife we’ve looked into the eyes of and really soul searched deliver our baby. Yup, making lots of sense there. Just another blogger trying to stay relevant in the blog-o-sphere.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Oddly enough his wife just wrote a post on Babble about how if those who choose not to vaccinate make her baby sick, then she’s going to sue them.

      I wonder if her husband is going to rip her for being afraid?