November 1, 2013: This week in homebirth idiocy


You can’t make this stuff up!

1. Is anyone really so stupid that they could believe this?

From the festival of ignorance known as, comes this from Who the Heck First Thought Up the Cry it Out Approach?

Holt popularized Cry It Out in 1895, and it is my theory that the method caused both World Wars, twenty and forty years later, when these very pissed off babies became adults.

Because we all know that there were no wars before WWI.

2. The title says it all, The Freebirth of Apple Blossom Light Hawk Summer Willow Wind:

Before Peacy’s birth, Joey had told me of a Native American tradition where children’s names were constantly in motion – constantly changing based on their phase of life and their spirit. I tried this out with Peacy, but it didn’t feel right; I wanted her to have a name of her own. It felt like something she was entitled to, something sacred. I thought about it for a long time. I over-thought it. I came up with a name, Lynnea, and I shared it with Joey. He didn’t like it. He asked me why I had chosen it. I told him it reminded me of the forsythia – the first vibrant blossom of the spring.

“What about ‘Spring Blossom,’” he said.

I fell in love with this – I had never even considered a name so beautiful. Over the next few months, her name evolved. It became like a poem. It came to embody her soft, radiant beauty, her fiery spirit, and her deeply passionate soul. We gave her a nickname too, “Peacy,” because who can say “Apple Blossom Light Hawk Summer Willow Wind, come get your dinner!”?

Good point!

3. What’s up with the ridiculously long titles? Consider I Did Not Cut My Baby’s Umbilical Cord for Six Days So We Could Have a Natural “Lotus Birth” Just Like Chimpanzees.

Because, really, who doesn’t aspire to be just like a chimpanzee?

When we clamp and cut the cord too soon, we risk losing this precious fluid and gas exchange. Some wild animals such as our closest relatives, the chimpanzees must know this instinctively as most of them continue to carry around the placenta with the cord attached to their babies until it naturally drops off and is returned to the earth; what we otherwise refer to as a “lotus birth.” Other animals do chew the cord off shortly after birth, but as a vegan this option did not appeal to me.

4. Even though there is a whole lot of stupidity in the first three pieces, the winner this week, hands down, is this fourth effort, illustrating is what happens when your parents and their friends are narcissistic morons who think birth is a piece of performance art and the baby is a prop. No single quote could truly capture the narcissism of all the adult participants, so I urge you to read the whole post if you can stand it.

From the friend:

…[H]e was there, he was there, little floppy white boy was in her arms cradled close to her aching flesh, and he was out and real and so white and limp. For a brief instant we were flooded with relief so sharp it stung. Wendy announced, voice shaking, “It’s a boy!” and there was a flutter of excitement and happiness before Richelle seized the baby and sealed her mouth over his. “Come on baby, breathe,” she muttered between breaths. What? At first I thought Richelle was just taking precautions, just in case, but he’d cry any second now and we’d all laugh and say how freaky that was and how for a minute we were worried something was actually wrong. Right? I saw Dave Rush put his hand over his mouth and the smile slowly disappeared from Wendy’s face. He wasn’t breathing? …

“Turn the fan off!” Richelle snapped at the people behind her, laying Beckham on the floor, continuing filling his little chest with air. Turn pink turn pink, turn pink, this isn’t really happening is it? This is happening. Just cry just be okay, oh baby please please be okay!…

Richelle was still methodically giving the baby breaths. Dave was sobbing into his hands and Wendy was leaning over the edge of the tub staring fixedly at her baby, speaking clearly and forcefully. “I need you to breathe. I need you to breathe for your mommy. Breathe for your mommy. Breathe for your mommy!” … Dave kneeled on the floor above the little guy, begging him to breathe, holding the oxygen tube near that tiny nose, crying.

Fortunately the baby survived, though it is impossible to know the extent of the damage done by lack of oxygen both before and after the baby’s birth.

But wait! They didn’t nearly kill their own baby, they nearly killed the mother, too.:

Everyone in the room was focused on Beckham, and exploded into sobs of relief when he took that first breath. Nobody knew that I was still in peril. Upon Beckham’s birth, my placenta had abrupted and I was hemorrhaging badly into the tub. I felt large placenta-sized clots spilling out of me and the water in the tub was quickly filling with my blood. I began to see stars and felt like I was going to pass out.

The midwives turned their attention toward me and noticed the severity of my hemorrhage. They lifted me out of the tub, placed me on the couch, and administered pitocin in my leg and methergine in an IV. Katie held my uterus firmly between her hands and my doulas cut a piece of the placenta and put in under my tongue. I was pale and weak and I was struggling to stay conscious. I remember thinking that I had to stay awake, because if I closed my eyes, I wouldn’t wake up…

See, just like nature intended: a nearly asphyxiated baby and a mother nearly dying from hemorrhagic shock. But it was worth it because she could immediately snuggle with her baby in the comfort of her own home … No, couldn’t do that, either:

Once I was stable, Richelle began the work of repairing my labia and perenium that had been badly torn as Beckham was crowning. I endured 2 hours of careful stitching as my husband and mother drove Beckham to the hospital to be checked out.

The hospital confirmed that Beckham had some fluid in his lungs, and he was a bit anemic from some blood loss, but that he was really healthy besides that. They recommended that he be placed in the NICU for observation that night, but since that hospital did not have a proper NICU facility, they wrote orders to have him transferred to another hospital.

I did not want to be separated from Beckham, but my husband was worried and wanted to take him. My mom convinced my husband to bring Beckham home to me before they transferred Beckham over to the NICU. Dave explained that the baby was fine but needed to be in the hospital for observation. I told my husband that we would stay up with him all night in shifts and observe him ourselves. He very reluctantly agreed and dropped the conversation…

It took Beckham only a few days to recover. It took four weeks and a blood transfusion for me to fully recover.

Did the mother learn anything from this disaster? Are you kidding?

I am so grateful to my skilled midwife and the loving support of my birth team. Without them, the outcome of my birth would have been very different. I am so glad that I chose to have a homebirth, especially because I had complications. If I had been in the hospital, my baby would have been taken to the NICU and his entire introduction to life would have been different. Instead of being placed in a bright room hooked up to monitors, Beckham was in a dim room, in his mother’s arms, where he knew he was safe.

Yes, it would have been very different! The baby likely would not have risked loss of brain function from asphyxia, and the hemorrhage he experienced when the clueless midwife snapped his short umbilical cord, and the mother would not have nearly bled to death and needed a blood transfusion to function. Plus, she wouldn’t have experienced the two hours of suturing of her labia and perineum which had been torn to shreds.

Of course, had she given birth in the hospital, the mother would not be able to revel in her own narcissism, and what could possibly be more important than that?

275 Responses to “November 1, 2013: This week in homebirth idiocy”

  1. Tiff
    November 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    The fourth story was particularly disgusting. As a mother of three children who spent time in the NICU (one for a month and a half), I can tell you that it was pure torture being separated from my babies. I would cuss the doctors when I made it out to my car, I would bitch and moan about how much I wanted them out of their prison (AKA incubator) but it was my way of venting; I knew in my heart they were getting the care they needed and that I couldn’t provide. Would I have ever went against the advice of highly trained professionals who were only trying to bring my children to complete health so that when they got home, we’d be problem free? Absolutely not. I cannot fathom taking your baby home AMA, especially with the problems that baby had due to its traumatic birth experience. The mom and dad in this story both suck, big time. Poor baby…. at least their stupidity didn’t kill him.

  2. NursingRN
    November 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Oh yes, a calming dim room where you can SO CLEARLY see the boy’s color. Tell me, Gaia Goddess Mother, how many times per minute should your baby breathe? Hmm? How many times per minute should his heart beat? Oh, I’ll bet that’s all perfectly regulated by holding his little body next to your anemic and I’m guessing soon-to-be septic body. But hey, you had a HOME BIRTH! EXCITING! You’re so empowered, really it’s inspiring. Really. Really…..Hey Dave- take your baby and run don’t walk back to that NICU.

  3. sleuther
    November 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Wow. WOW. I can’t believe that moms are “okay” with these photos of themselves in labor being plastered all over the internet. To me, that is far more traumatic than my two c-sections. (On the other hand, my two C-sections weren’t really traumatic at all…)

  4. antigone23
    November 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Let me get this straight – a doctor strongly recommending medical intervention = “birth rape.” Your husband and midwife refusing your request to go to the hospital for pain relief, and both you and your baby experiencing severe distress and almost dying = “empowering”??

    • Lizzie Dee
      November 4, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      I can buy that coming through a difficult, gruelling experience can FEEL empowering, whether it is a marathon or a kamii-kaze birth – on the basis of “I did it – wasn’t sure I could” Of course, most of us would prefer to avoid the difficult experience in the first place, and it is obvious that most of these women expect the NCB lies to be true and never really accept the risks at all. Like you, I don’t really get why a difficult medicalised birth can’t also be transcended in that “I am a warrior, me” way.

      On the other hand, if you have bought the idea that it will be bliss, the shock of finding it isn’t really can be traumatic, – and bad things can and do happen in hospitals, so I can listen politely and I hope sympathetically to both the traumatised and the empowered. It is the smug who believe that an easy birth is something you “choose” that get up my nose.

      • Burgundy
        November 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

        A kamiikaze pilot believed that he honoring his country by doing the ultimate sacrifice. Why would a women attempt a kamiikaze birth? That made no sense to me.

      • Mishimoo
        November 5, 2013 at 6:21 am #

        For me; it was a case of “Oh wow. I can actually do something my mother convinced me was impossible.” That’s where my pride in my deliveries comes from – proving an abusive parent wrong. It paved the way for so many other positive changes. I was lucky though, my births were easier than they could have been and they were in a hospital with competent staff.

  5. ihateslugs
    November 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    I just can’t keep reading these stories! It seems they become more and more ridiculous, and there is a part of me that keeps hoping they are just made up and fictitious. Then I come back to reality, and accept that these awful tales are likely not only real, but their writers are incredibly proud of their exploits!

    “Peacy’s” story seems the most fantastical to me–birthing in a cabin in the woods complete with outhouse and fireplace, no prenatal care, no back up or communication mentioned. (Even pioneer women usually had other experienced mothers and lay midwives available to help for a birth!) Good grief! What will they try next?
    More disturbing, however, was Beckham’s tale. It was awful on so many levels, but most striking was the mother’s absolute denial (or perhaps misunderstanding?) of just how ABNORMAL and wrong this birth was. It is not normal to have to manually tear yourself to deliver a baby, to have an umbilical cord break (thank you, water birth!), to have a limp, white, unresponsive baby, to hemorrhage to the point of requiring a transfusion. It’s ironic to me that she feels so traumatized after her previous two births, but can look at this one without feeling shocked and horrified at how close her other children came to losing their mother or new baby brother. Unbelievable!
    By the way, news flash: red blood cells cannot be “transfused” orally. Placenta under the tongue? Yeah…just yucky. This “team of midwives” is no better than a troupe of clowns. On second thought, the clowns might actually be safer–at least they would have the common sense to call 911 with an unresponsive baby and bleeding mother!!!

    • Susan
      November 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      yeah, I have thought many times that sometimes these unassisted births, as insane as the idea is, might be better than being fooled into the idea you had assistance by hiring bad midwives. I always think of the poor mom in Florida a decade ago who died while getting Gatorade enemas and prayer …..

      • Kumquatwriter
        November 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm #


      • ihateslugs
        November 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

        That Florida story was awful! I’m just beyond confused by our culture these days. We have people who call 911 because McDonald’s didn’t get their order right, but others leave a woman hemorrhaging at home to ultimately die of completely treatable causes. Sometimes I really feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone. Agree with comments that we need to scrub out our brains from all this madness!

  6. I don't have a creative name
    November 3, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Super super duper OT: I have found a group that is more nauseating and grotesque to talk to than NCB’ers: pedophiles. And yet so many of their arguments are the same: It’s natural, it used to always be done this way but now Big Government (instead of Big Medicine) want to take the choice away, if you disagree or get angry at my position that just means you’re hateful, education is needed to make everyone see that what we’re doing is good, it is is the only thing that is in the child’s best interests…. it’s there, all the stuff in NCB Bingo is there, just tweaked to make child rape ok. Honest to God, I don’t know why I’m talking to these freaks.

    What scares me is how well-organized they are, all with the same lies (I’ve been told on this thread that *I’m* guilty of child abuse for not wanting to let very young children explore their sexuality with these men, that by wanting children to be at sexual maturity before faced with these decisions is the same as “admitting” that I don’t care about their well-being, that all young kids enjoy sex, blah blah blah), all with the same cries of discrimination by society… as revolting as it all is, it worries me that some weak minded policy maker could buy into this crap.

    I need to plunge both my brain and my eyeballs into bleach to be cleaned from this filth. People like this have always existed, they’ve had advocacy groups since the 70’s, but with the internet, they are getting better organized. ugggggggggggggggggggggggh.

    Thanks for listening to me vent. I need to stop responding to these freaks as it does no good. You can read it here:

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
      November 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

      Knew I would regret clicking. Clicked anyway.

      • I don't have a creative name
        November 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

        Sorry, CHM. I’ll pass the bleach your way when I’m done with it. There truly is evil in the world, and the most insidious and harmful kind is that which tries to pass itself off as good. Nothing will change these freaks’ minds about the rightness of their actions, so all we can do is protect children the best we can.

        I think I actually got banned from the discussion, as it no longer shows up for me. My comments started getting moderated when I used terms like “asshole” and “bag of shit” to refer to those with whom I was speaking, and now I can’t see it at all. Oh well. Probably for the best.

        • Certified Hamster Midwife
          November 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

          It looks like they took the whole discussion down. This was wise.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            November 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

            No, I spoke too soon. It’s all still there, just not linked from the article.

        • Dr Kitty
          November 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

          I distinctly remember at about aged 14 going into a chat room (when there were such things) at the dawn of the internet ( hello, dial-up modem) and, when everyone was talking about which member of NSYNC they liked (hello, this was not yesterday-Lance Bass was still in the closet) there was a guy posting his “recollections” of having sex aged 10 and loving it.

          I was old enough and wise enough to know it was a perv trolling for vulnerable souls, and say so.
          I tell you, it put me off chat rooms for life.

          The internet has been a boon to those types.
          DO.NOT. LIKE.

          I may have inadvertently sabotaged the “stranger danger” thing my kid’s pre-school was doing (without telling me) by answering “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet” unthinkingly when kiddo asked me “what is a stranger?”
          Bad mummy.

          • I don't have a creative name
            November 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

            beings as how most of the pervs in the world abuse kids they know, the stranger thing doesn’t work anyway IMO. I talk to my kids about “tricky people” instead.

          • KarenJJ
            November 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

            Now that’s a good idea! I’ve been wondering how to broach this subject with my kids. I haven’t really gone into it before and I don’t want them to be overly anxious about strangers but I do want them to try and teach them some protective behaviours – whatever they might be…

          • I don't have a creative name
            November 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

            Some good pointers here:

          • Mishimoo
            November 4, 2013 at 2:03 am #

            100% this, we do too. We’ve also taught the kids that “Telling mum and dad doesn’t count as breaking a secret” and try to actively listen without judgement when they’re telling us about stuff. That way, they will hopefully always know that they can come to us.

            Edited to add: We also tell them that they don’t have to be around or interact with people that they don’t like. Our kids seem to like everyone, so it’s a big deal to us if they don’t like someone.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 4, 2013 at 7:21 am #

            Yeah, I think we’ll go with that.
            I don’t want my kid scared of everyone, just to know not to get in cars with people she doesn’t know and to tell me if anyone hurts her.

            Since her follow up to “what is a stranger?” was “have you ever met a stranger?” and “does that mean I’m a stranger to people who don’t know me? I’m not a naughty person- and my teacher said strangers might be naughty people”, I think she’s working it out OK for herself.

        • Susan
          November 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

          I would have been banned for wishing them a rapid departure from walking the earth.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

            Well, of course not, you aren’t supportive the “safe and supportive” environment.

  7. Esther
    November 3, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    Am I the only one who thinks naming your child after a soccer player is even more offensive than naming them a whole bunch of random common nouns?

    • Elizabeth A
      November 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

      It doesn’t bug me – parents pick names for all kinds of reasons. I think we can all agree that naming a baby after a loved family member, or inspiring public figure is okay, so objecting to the soccer player seems like quibbling over what it’s okay to find inspiring.

      I did know someone British who named her children after characters in Last of the Mohicans, in the belief that these were genuine Native American names. It was cringe inducing.

      • Young CC Prof
        November 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

        Personally, I don’t care what you name your kid, as long as it’s going to sound reasonable when he or she goes to school and applies for jobs. (It does NOT have to be Anglo.) Naming your child an English word which is not normally a name, however, is weird.

  8. Anonymous
    November 3, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    If I just read the title “The Freebirth of Apple Blossom Light Hawk Summer Willow Wind” with no context, I would be 100% certain it was from The Mama Tao. It’s almost hard to parody people who practically parody themselves!

    • fiftyfifty1
      November 3, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      I miss Mama Tao.

      • Karen in SC
        November 3, 2013 at 10:37 am #

        The “Feminist Bleater” post was classic!

  9. Lisa Cybergirl
    November 2, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    About “crying it out,” Portlandia had a lovely scene about the various approaches to baby going to sleep.

  10. Singularity
    November 2, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    was unbelievable and the tears are still flowing. You caught every
    moment. I love the end when she kisses her daughters hand. Perfect. I
    hope my next birth can be like that. – See more at:
    was unbelievable and the tears are still flowing. You caught every
    moment. I love the end when she kisses her daughters hand. Perfect. I
    hope my next birth can be like that. – See more at:

    • Singularity
      November 2, 2013 at 12:21 am #

      WHOOPS, screwed that up big time. Anyways, I MEANT to write that that is an actual comment on the post written by Wendy’s friend about Beckham’s birth. The child was born not breathing and needed to be resuscitated, Wendy WRENCHED APART HER OWN LABIA to get him out requiring hours of stitching to repair, and to top it all off she narrowly escaped hemorrhaging to death in the comfort of her own home. WHAT. A PERFECT. BIRTH. I can’t even with these people.

      • Antigonos CNM
        November 2, 2013 at 2:31 am #

        I have trouble believing the story is real, and not a fantasy, even though I have seen a lot of birth idiocy in my career.

        • Anj Fabian
          November 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

          There are three versions of it and the video shows the baby coming up with a white cord pinched between midwife’s fingers. It snapped – but when and where is unclear. Birth at 4:40 on the video.

          • Susan
            November 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

            It’s a little confusing but the first thing in Dr. Amy’s post, I think, is a joke. But the last one, that’s real and on video. Dr. Amy is spot on with the self centered performance art !

          • thepragmatist
            November 3, 2013 at 1:24 am #

            I can’t watch those anymore. I always end up crying. I can’t imagine. I would lose my mind. I lost my mind with my perfectly healthy, screaming baby boy was five feet away from me getting cleaned up (btw, at my request because I didn’t want baby juice on him to interfere with his creative development later 😉 ) and I was STILL yelling, “Bring me my baby! Is he healthy! Is he healthy!” All I wanted was a healthy baby.

        • Lisa the Raptor
          November 2, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

          I want to go for kid #4 so I can have the Self Labial Ripping. Awesome. I don’t even know how you do that. What is she, the hulk?

      • Phantomess
        November 6, 2013 at 11:43 am #

        I was crying and nearly threw up watching that video. Not because of how beautiful it was (talk about performance art), but because of how horribly, horribly wrong it went and how much worse it could have been. How could anyone consider that a success??

    • Something From Nothing
      November 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      The person writing the blog sure thinks highly of herself.

  11. not impressed.
    November 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    You are so judgemental. I don’t mean about safety, but just you judgemental attitude towards how people name their babies. You call others narcissistic. Who are you? God?

    • Guestll
      November 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

      This is your take-away? The names? I don’t care for the names, but they don’t bother me, either. That said, when you publish a piece on the internet entitled “The Freebirth of Apple Blossom Light Hawk Summer Willow Wind” I’m thinking the whole idea is to flaunt convention.

      • Antigonos CNM
        November 2, 2013 at 2:32 am #

        I wonder what her parents will call her on a daily basis.

        • Jennifer2
          November 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

          They said they nicknamed her “Peacy.” I don’t know whether that is like P.C. as in politically correct or like peace-ey as in “having the qualities of peace.” I’m sure it’s the latter.

          • Antigonos CNM
            November 3, 2013 at 1:54 am #

            Oh. Maybe you are right. I thought it was a misspelling of “Peachy” as in “peachy-keen”.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        November 2, 2013 at 9:48 am #

        No, it’s not to flaunt convention, it’s to show off how cool and hip you are.

    • Nashira
      November 2, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      I’m pretty cool with being judgmental of someone who talks about “Native Americans” like a single freaking monolithic culture and decides to appropriate the most poetic parts of that imagined culture. But maybe that’s because my husband doesn’t know half his family history and I don’t know a quarter of mine, because our grandparents’ respective tribes were victims of literal and cultural genocide.

      • Josephine
        November 2, 2013 at 10:02 am #

        This made me want to scream! I swear, it’s like NCB nuts sit around saying, “Hrm, how can I be more of an appropriative white a-hole?” Ladies, ladies. It’s not a contest. You can ALL be racist, clueless jerks together!

        As someone who’s studied some American Indian tribes pretty extensively, (Like 3! Because guess what, even in the same region they all had different cultural practices, different lifestyles, different foods, different religious beliefs, etc and each required their own research…who’d have thought?) this line of thinking seriously makes me nauseous. Native American tradition my ass. Citation needed.

        Obviously it’s not out of the realm of possibility, and as I’m not arrogant enough to think that I know all the traditions of Native Americans from an absolutely huge number of original tribes, I won’t say that it didn’t happen. But give me a break. Also they likely had sociological/cultural or even practical reasons for such a practice (if one existed), but that doesn’t mean the author does.

        I’m just going to bang my head somewhere until my brain is a bloody pulp. I go slightly mad when I hear what “Native Americans did”.

        • Kumquatwriter
          November 2, 2013 at 11:59 am #

          I’ve noticed that, when a tribe is mentioned, it is almost always Cherokee or Iroquois. These are two recognizable names…that happen to be NATIONS made up of tribes – see also the Blackfoot Confederacy!

          They like to pretend to be enlightened because they think darker skinned races are special snowflakes instead of potential terrorists. But its just as frigging racist! A “positive” stereotype isn’t any less racist – just more palatable. How about we white folk let the indigenous people of this land KEEP their own traditions – do we have to snatch EVERYTHING for Whitey? (I say this as someone as white as mayonnaise, wonder bread and Sandy Duncan.)

          P.S. – Every time I see this shit I think of Cherokee Hair Tampons from South Park.

          • Josephine
            November 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

            Yes. It’s horribly reductive. And that sort of mystifying American Indian people really actively harms living people today. I cannot tell you how many people were shocked that I did after-school tutoring at a Native American youth program/center, because how could there possibly be that many native kids in our community? Which of course means that people don’t know about the program, which means it could be getting more community support/funds, potentially. But people couldn’t grasp that there are lots of people living right now who identify as NA. Clueless white people, I swear. SIGH. NAs are not some magical once-upon-a-time tragically beautiful noble savage story for your personal satisfaction and coolness.

          • Young CC Prof
            November 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

            There’s a Seminole reservation practically in Miami. There’s a small reservation without national recognition right next door to my grandmother’s place, which is only a couple hours from New York City. There are definitely Native Americans still living among us, with significant variations in their experiences, the degree to which they remain in touch with their past, and enormous differences in their cultures.

            Matter of fact, somebody did a genetic study of a bunch of “white” Americans. Quite a few of them had Native American or African genetic markers that they didn’t know about.

          • Anonymous
            November 4, 2013 at 11:48 am #

            Where my folks live in FL there’s a large number of Miccosukee. Dad always gets a laugh from the tourists that are shocked, shocked that they have their own police force, who speak English, and dress exactly like most other LEOs.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            November 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

            When I worked in a convenience store, an out-of-town traveler once came up to the counter and asked me if there were any reservations nearby. Over the course of our conversation, it became apparent that he thought “reservation” meant something between Colonial Williamsburg and a zoo. I think the word “teepee” came up, despite this being in Iroquois territory.

          • Josephine
            November 3, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

            Oh my GOD. What did he think, it was like one of those horrible human zoos from the 1800s or what? My gosh. I’m impressed with your restraint. I would have had trouble choosing between guffawing and simply cuffing him on the ear.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            November 3, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

            I have a gift for gently setting people straight without making them feel stupid or laughing at them. The nearest reservation to where we were is really just a poor rural town with a lot of cigarette stores.

          • Josephine
            November 3, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

            I’ll have to learn that talent someday. Good on you, seriously.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      November 2, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      But when names are just another piece of vanity, then I see nothing wrong with criticizing them for doing it.

      I tend not to judge anyone’s choices of names, but when names are given for the purpose of grandstanding and showing off, then I can certainly laugh.

      Although I have to admit that Nevaeh pretty much makes me puke. It’s beyond cutesy and trite, to nauseating.

    • Kumquatwriter
      November 2, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Well, I’m “not impressed” with your username. Nyah nyah nyah.

  12. Susan
    November 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Is that one for real?

    • Young CC Prof
      November 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      Which? They ALL sound unreal.

  13. Karen in SC
    November 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    I thought nothing would ever top the naked birth in the rainforest stream not far from tourists! There’s a video on Youtube.

    • Young CC Prof
      November 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      I’m sorry, did you say a rainforest stream? With the parasites and whatnot?

      Great, now I’m not going to sleep tonight, thinking about endoparasites in the reproductive organs.

      • Karen in SC
        November 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

        Here’s the video. It’s everything you fear, and you didn’t even mention polluting the stream! Note that she lays down in the DREADED on-her-back position.

        • Trixie
          November 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

          Note that she and everyone else are drinking bottled water, but she has NO problem dunking her baby’s head in god knows what parasites in that stream. And of course in nature, the whole family jets off to a friend’s luxury rainforest house for a destination birth to be put on YouTube.

          • Susan
            November 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

            I was eating and I clicked on that. Mistake. Flies, birth and stool in the creekwater….. mistake.

          • Lisa the Raptor
            November 2, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

            Parasites and whatever toxins are allowed to be dumped or are dumped illegally into the river!

        • Guestll
          November 2, 2013 at 12:03 am #

          “Meanwhile, about fifty feet down the river, Jim encounters a coastal taipan. The coastal taipan is a snake capable of — Jim? JIM??!”

      • Mishimoo
        November 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

        Don’t forget about the crocodiles in that area! Though, I guess that would make cleaning up easier.

        • Young CC Prof
          November 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

          Hey, you could feed the placenta to the crocodile. That would be totally natural.

          • Mishimoo
            November 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

            “Mother nature took on the form of a crocodile and accepted the placenta into her safekeeping. Returning it to the earth in a beautiful ritual that did not in anyway resemble me flinging the placenta to distract the croc while scrambling away as fast as I could with my baby tucked under one arm.”

          • Lisa the Raptor
            November 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

            O…M….G. LOL. With the baby tucked under your arm while you uterus hits the ground and you nearly black out form lack of blood!

          • Susan
            November 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

            Crocodiles are just a variation of nomal.

    • Karen in SC
      November 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      Dr. Amy discussed the rainforest birth in this post:

  14. PrimaryCareDoc
    November 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    “My greatest wish for labor was to birth over an intact perineum.”

    Um, what? What kind of person has this as their greatest wish for their birth? How about a healthy baby?

    • Lisa the Raptor
      November 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      First world privileged. The safety of baby and mom are a given. Bad outcomes don’t happen to real people.

    • Are you nuts
      November 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

      And is there even anything you can do (other than a c-section) to achieve that? Honest question.

      • Lisa the Raptor
        November 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

        I’d imagine there are some ways to reduce the odds, like not letting baby come flying out the vagina. My midwives always stopped me after the head was delivered. They suctioned and then eased the shoulders out as careful and slow as possible. I’m sure it’s possible, like with a hands off midwife, for the baby to come out too fast and cause more rips? But I have no experience other than my own. (My third child started crying before his shoulders were even delivered. I wanted to get to him so bad that I automatically started pushing but my midwife told be to stop and to just bear down a bit and out he popped.)

        • Eddie Sparks
          November 3, 2013 at 2:09 am #

          My anecdata N=5 supports this.
          Deliver baby completely in one wild push with MW not even in the room = third degree tear.
          Delivery baby in a controlled fashion over 2-3 pushes = intact perineum.
          (NB: not controlled for confounding factors!)

          • MichelleJo
            November 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

            Probably, But I have an easier bit of anecdata. First birth, episiotomy, second birth, tear, third birth, intact. Simple enough to understand and nothing to brag about. Fact of life – the more often something gets stretched, the easier it will stretch.. Positions, candle blowing and whatever else is ‘essential’ to avoid tearing, probably useless.

        • Jen
          November 4, 2013 at 4:58 am #

          I think it also comes down to sheer luck. My first birth – semi – reclined – baby shot out screaming in one push. Small tear requiring two stitches. My second – on all fours – baby’s head came out and then I was asked to wait, and then his shoulders were eased out. No tear.
          Like Lisa said, it was so hard to not push, I just wanted him there so badly, but I trusted that my midwives and Ob knew what they were doing.
          I can’t imagine what the mother above went through, tearing herself.

      • fiftyfifty1
        November 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

        One study showed that birthing in an upright position *increased* tearing. unlike what NCB dogma says.

        • Amy M
          November 3, 2013 at 8:32 am #

          Well, I am thinking about this…gravity would help increase the downward pressure, no? If the woman is lying on her back or even side, there would be some resistance, she’d have to push against gravity/upwards a bit, you know? (I may not be phrasing this correctly, physics was not my strong suit, but am I getting the picture across?)

      • Becky05
        November 2, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

        Support with warm compresses may help reduce tearing. Using a side lying position to deliver also decreases tearing, in my understanding. A controlled slow delivery is supposed to help avoid tearing, but I don’t know about the research on that. I only tore with one of my four vaginal deliveries.

    • Guestll
      November 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      It was her greatest wish…yet she hands the midwife the scissors, and asks for an episiotomy. An unmedicated episiotomy, at that.
      Then she reaches down during delivery and performs some kind of self-tear.
      Remember, her greatest wish for labor…intact perineum. Gives some indication of how much agony the poor woman felt.

      • Kumquatwriter
        November 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

        I had actual nightmares about the self-tearing.

        And zombies.

      • Renee Martin
        November 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

        I cannot imagine the pain and horror. It wouldn’t surprise me if she got PTSD from this event. Self tearing and a episiotomy w kitchen scissors? Horrible. With no pain relief? I cannot fathom this. I had a small 1st deg repaired with pain relief and local and it still stung a bit!

        I know a mom that got an epistiotomy just like that, from a unskilled HB MW, and needed hours of repair. In the end, she ended up needing full reconstructive surgery as well.

        I really want to hug this mom, and give her some of those underwear fitted icepacks you get in the hospital. (I never needed mine, so I saved them, and give them away to moms that want them.)

  15. Cold Steel
    November 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Curious why you decided to excerpt the way the freebirth child was named, rather than the general horror show of refusing prenatal care, consulting Ina May’s book midway through the active stage for management tips, and the unrepaired “pee hole” [hopefully not actually including the urethra] tear. Those seem like greater crimes than picking a silly name based on a misguided, culturally appropriated/fabricated philosophy.

    • Dr Kitty
      November 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      Not to mention the birth was in a log cabin without electricity or running water, surrounded by deep snow, and they put the placenta in a cupboard and forgot about it for a few days.

      Nothing says “blissful” to me like the thought of washing meconium covered cloth nappies by hand with water I have walk up a hill to fetch, in a cabin that smells of rotting placenta. Lovely.

      • Kumquatwriter
        November 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

        I want to say “uphill, both ways!” but I’m so horrified I’m tempted to wait for zomorph to do it…

        • Lisa the Raptor
          November 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

          I just keep thinking about the rubber glove filled with ice that the hospital placed on my perineum after my first to bring the swelling down and how in this case she’d end up with a dirty snow ball.

      • Amy M
        November 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

        Yeah, I don’t even understand why anyone wants to go camping overnight let alone voluntarily give up electricity and running water for good if they don’t have to, but ok, but maybe they don’t have a lot of money. Of course they CAN live w/o those things, it just isn’t very nice. But to go so far as to claim “blissful” when you live in a dark cold shack in the middle of nowhere, ON PURPOSE, and deliberately eschewed medical care for your newborn….I just don’t believe you.

        • Guesteleh
          November 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

          Eh, I can believe there are people who really do think living off the grid is blissful. Check out this article:

          • Young CC Prof
            November 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

            I do enjoy camping, time without technology, and making things with my hands. I think, prior to the invention of the Internet, I could have lived pretty happily off the grid. (Now, I’ve got to be wired or I get twitchy.)

            However, I also like being safe from serious medical harm. Even the Amish go to the hospital when necessary.

          • Kumquatwriter
            November 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

            They can also ride in cars, convey messages via telephone (thru a proxy…) similar to, if I understand correctly, Orthodox Jews having a Shabbat Goy.

          • Kumquatwriter
            November 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

            It seems like something that sounds better than it is. Our eventual goal is to be semi-off grid; we tend towards doing things ourselves rather than not, but you better believe there will be at least a T1 running into our hand-built bale house…

          • Renee Martin
            November 2, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

            Many have gone this route out of poverty. Its better to be off grid as an eco minded person, than as a dead end situation. You get more community love and support as well. It’s very big here in the PNW to be “natural” as code for “totally destitute”.

          • Young CC Prof
            November 2, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

            That’s a good point. Perhaps the climate there, both literal and political, makes it easier to do that sort of thing.

            Around here, plenty of dispossessed families have spent a summer camping out or living in a little cabin, trying to put their lives back together, but that lifestyle tends to go out of fashion in October. I’ve spent nights out when it was below freezing, and no amount of blankets or even shared body heat makes it much easier. (And yes, people do freeze to death in the streets, when the shelters fill up, or if they’re too afraid of the police to go in.)

          • Dr Kitty
            November 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

            When people are faced with a choice between saving face and being “Eco warriors, living off the grid” and “dirt poor and living in a shack” it says, to me, that the Welfare system isn’t working.

            But I’m a European pinko liberal Socialist, who believes universal healthcare and state provision of minimum standards of living are basic human rights, so what do I know.*

            * I work in some of the most deprived areas of Belfast, and while baths and meat and a bedroom of your own might be luxuries, no one is living in a shack and pretending to love it.

          • KarenJJ
            November 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

            As someone from the outside of the US it does strike me as an interesting cultural phenomena how often circumstances are described as being “someone’s choice” when it seems fairly clear that a lot of choices are mostly due to resources or lack thereof and random chance.

      • PJ
        November 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

        Peeing post-birth isn’t my most favourite thing in the world, but it could be made SO MUCH BETTER by having to trek through the snow to use an outhouse!

      • nomorequestionscatherine
        November 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

        I have to wonder if the “amazing soups” Joey made were done in a different pot than the one the diapers were washed in? Or are they a one pot family?

      • GiddyUpGo123
        November 1, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

        Wait she lives in a house with no running water or electricity and yet somehow manages to blog her freebirth? I just don’t get how you can shun technology and also blog about it.

        • Renee Martin
          November 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

          I think the story is fake.
          I have seen all too often dire poverty being claimed as “natural living”, as this confers superiority instead of disdain from others. If they really could not afford better, that is a tragedy, and sadly, is all to common.

          Here in Eugene, the homeless situation (for families too) is so bad, the community is building these tiny huts for the homeless. They are literally 2×4’s, and sheeting, built to a solid shelter from the weather.

          There was a big deal made over getting a pregnant mom and her partner into one of these, so they can have a “home” for the baby when it comes. They get an outdoor port a potty as well, but no utilities.

          So, if these people really lived in such conditions, I would bet you 100$ that they were forced into it, and embraced the Eco lifestyle as a defense. Out here you can get instant community and cool points being off grid, and in a shack, or you can be looked at as a destitute bum. what would YOU choose?

          • Kumquatwriter
            November 3, 2013 at 11:28 am #

            Very insightful point, Stacey. Important to remember too, especially in this town. I wonder if anyone has looked at all at the off-grid/all natural vs poverty in this area – there could be more “those grapes are sour anyway”

    • mollyb
      November 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      I was pretty sickened by her husband tearing open her bag of waters with his fingernails (note: no running water in this house, so no washed hands). This woman is living out some ridiculous Little House in the Big Woods fantasy at the risk of her child’s life. Grow up.

      • nomorequestionscatherine
        November 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

        What the WHAT now!?

        I am constantly disgusted by the way HB midwives will put on gloves then stick their arm, up to the elbow, into a fecal, blood and amniotic fluid contaminated water birth tub. Why even bother with the show gloves? Save yourself the 10 cents! I mean, I’d need straight up arm waders to even consider doing that.

        But ripping open the sac with your dirty fingernails!? Why not just chew a hole in the d@mn thing?


    • Box of Salt
      November 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      I thought that whole post was written as farce to pull one over on the Birth Without Fear blog, until I found “Krystal Cleaver” in their “About” page.

      I’m still not sure. The story is dated a year and a half ago. I guess they’ve gotten electricity and internet into the cabin in the meantime, or moved.

      • Jennifer2
        November 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

        See, I’m feeling less sure about this story now. I mean, it seemed pretty darn far-fetched anyway, but Krystal Cleaver has another story posted earlier this month about the healing hospital birth of her son after her daughter Kayla was born in December 2011. If this story about her unassisted birth in a log cabin in New Hampshire happened in March 2011, then either Kayla was very premature or the dates don’t match up.

        • AmyP
          November 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

          Or maybe she’s just a huge over-achiever.

        • Box of Salt
          November 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

          I’m going with “Krystal Cleaver” being fictional (perhaps being used as a pen name), or she’s a ghost writer for those who wish share stories anonymously. Besides the fact that timing is pretty much biologically impossible, the location and the husband’s name are different in the two stories (Jimmy in Wyoming, Joey in ME/NH) posted under by that author.

          I’m still not sure that the ABLHSWW aka Peacy story is not a farce.

          • Box of Salt
            November 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

            Ooops. Ignore the word “under” up above.

          • Susan
            November 3, 2013 at 1:24 am #

            Yeah, I vote Peacy farce too.

            ( of course I thought Ellie was farce and now think she was real too )

  16. PJ
    November 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    I’m baffled by the laudatory intro, because this reads like a stellar argument against homebirth! Ripping your labia apart with your own hands (and seemingly getting stitched up afterwards for two hours with no anaesthetic)?! Suffering intolerable pain with no relief available beyond a singing session?! Not to mention almost killing yourself and the baby and denying your suffering newborn any pain relief.

    • Are you nuts
      November 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      That story makes me want to schedule c-sections for as-of-yet unconceived children NOW.

      • Pappy
        November 1, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

        FSM, yes. Nothing has ever made me want to put on a chastity belt and cross my legs more than that story.

      • rh1985
        November 2, 2013 at 2:24 am #

        I want a c-section now and I’m pregnant… yikes! coming from someone who is terrified of being awake during surgery.

        • Kumquatwriter
          November 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

          I was also terrified of being awake – but in retrospect I desperately wish I’d faced that fear and had a MRCS. Its not better to face that fear exhausted and panicky after a day of laboring and baby and I both having problems!

        • Clarissa Darling
          November 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

          I talked to my Dr. about an MRCS. Being awake for it was one of my concerns as well. She recommended against GA but, she said the anesthetist would be standing by and could give me a sedative if I started panicking. She also said that getting the baby out only takes about 5 minutes and after that point, I could be sedated for the rest of the procedure without it affecting the baby. As things turned out, I decided not to go with the CS (not suggesting you should do the same) Hopefully your doctor will be open to discussing all the options with you.

    • PJ
      November 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Oh, and is it wrong of me to cringe for the poor couch when it was chosen as the appropriate spot for her haemorrhaging body?!

  17. guest
    November 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Dear Dr. Amy,

    As I’ve mentioned previously, I dislike the attacking, belittling tone your posts sometimes take. But then again, GAH, these stories are so out there…so….well, basically I am speechless. It is hard, perhaps nearly impossible, not to poke fun at them.

  18. Dr Kitty
    November 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    The ONLY positive about Beckham’s disastrous birth, as far as I can see, is that his older siblings didn’t have to witness their brother and mother almost die.

    • Lisa the Raptor
      November 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      I thought I saw a pre-schooler in one of the pictures? I’m hoping maybe she mentioned that the kid went to Grandma’s or something.

      • Box of Salt
        November 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

        They were there at the beginning – the caterer/photographer mentions she was impressed they chose to eat healthy food before BBQ chips. Granted, the “healthy food” was all of one nut and one grape, and that was eaten by only one of the two children.

  19. Captain Obvious
    November 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    She protected her baby from the horrible hospital NICU, but she went there for a transfusion to make herself better. Ugh

    • attitude devant
      November 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      You gotta love that the baby is howling in pain and completely unconsolable and she doesn’t take him for help. Poor bug, he’s got idiots for parents

  20. Lisa the Raptor
    November 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    I just keep thinking that as incompetent as her midwives were, she is lucky they knew infant resuscitation, because it just became a requirement for CPMs. Midwives know what to do in a emergency? Maybe if you are a REAL midwife (CNM), if not, I’m sure I could have botched this delivery as well as she did. Maybe not because I would have transferred.

    • attitude devant
      November 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Yeah but they botched it, because the first step should have been to call 911 WHILE she started the mouth-to-mouth.

      • Lisa the Raptor
        November 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

        So they even botched that. Nice. I found to story to be to horrible to read. The stupid makes my eyes burn.

    • Lisa Cybergirl
      November 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      At least they lay the baby on the floor to do it, rather than a soft bed.

  21. Maria
    November 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    My jaw dropped when she said she was glad she had a home birth because she had complications. What? I understand that she felt out of control at her hospital births, but it takes a special kind of denial to believe she was in control at all at this near tragic event. And then she denied her son a stay in the NICU? My brother-in-law is a pediatrician and he has had the “joy” of taking care of post-home birth babies when he is on call. They make him so angry, but he works his butt off to make sure that baby gets the best care possible.

  22. GiddyUpGo123
    November 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    The title “with gorgeous pictures” made me chuckle. No matter how many of those vividly illustrated birth stories I read, no one ever, ever looks good in them, let alone “gorgeous.” I scrapbook, so I totally get wanting to chronicle milestones. But I never ever dreamed of having someone take my photo during the worst part of my labor. I seriously would have taken possession of those images just so I could delete them. Sure, I have a shot or two of me holding my babies just after they were born, but me shrieking with sweat pouring down my face? No thank you.

    • Mishimoo
      November 1, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      I have labour + delivery photos thanks to my best friend’s mum, who came in with us for the birth of our eldest. I was rather surprised at the composition. When I said that I wanted photos, I meant “Take some of us with the baby” not “Take as many photos of delivery as possible and show them to your kids so they can see the ‘beauty’ of vaginal birth.”
      With the other two, I had my husband and my sister with me + explicitly stated no photos until its all over.

    • Renee Martin
      November 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      I think her pics and story are awesome- to show kids for sex Ed, so they use birth control….
      What a horror show.

  23. Captain Obvious
    November 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    The only good thing that I can see that came of her Homebirth experience is that a whole team of hospital personal was spared her presence and antics that could have been, had she delivered on a hospital.

    • sdsures
      November 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      I get the feeling she might have tried to sue the hospital had they rushed the baby to the NICU for proper care.

  24. Guestll
    November 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    It’s apparent from the mother’s narrative that she’s reframed this experience to meet her needs. She really needs to believe (and wants the reader to believe) that she had a great experience. So much riding on her big day, the weight of expectation is so heavy, there couldn’t possibly be a negative outcome.
    I wanted to feel badly for her, because no one deserves that kind of agony…until I got to the end, where she refuses her screaming-in-pain son the NICU. She’s so arrogant that she believes her “observe him ourselves” is superior to spending a night in the NICU. Yet she accepts treatment for her own self. I was blown away reading this; her selfishness is staggering.
    Her friend’s story of the day (the first blog post) is in some ways even worse. You sat. You watched. You witnessed. You saw your friend and her baby almost die due to bad decisions. You heard your friend’s husband say “No” when your friend begged for a spinal. Did it occur to you to say, “wait a minute, we should listen to her and respect her words?”
    You saw your friend experience heartbreaking agony and stalled labour. Did you speak? Did you know that this is a sign that something could be very wrong? Something, like, say, a short cord and an abrupted placenta?? Did ANYONE in the room know this??
    You were frozen as he was born not breathing, paralyzed as your friend bled out, immobile as the incompetent midwife violated NRP protocol. Did any of you think to call 911? Did you know that newborns are not supposed to be white, with grey extremities? Surely you must, you have two of your own. And what was your take-away? Praise, validation, and a whole lot of really bad writing. Disgusting.

    • jenny
      November 2, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      The NICU thing makes me furious. A NICU is a great place to be if it keeps your baby from dying or getting brain damage or other kinds of issues. No one loves being separated for their newborn, and no one loves all the wires and tubes, but it’s for damn sure a good place when it’s necessary. I also felt bad for her, and still do, but I am completely disgusted by their refusal to let the baby be cared for an monitored for the sake of an experience.

      “If I had been in the hospital, my baby would have been taken to the NICU and his entire introduction to life would have been different. Instead of being placed in a bright room hooked up to monitors, Beckham was in a dim room, in his mother’s arms, where he knew he was safe.”

      Fuck fuckity fuck, inarticulate with rage right now. You can come to the NICU and sing to your baby. They dim the lights for the babies if need be, and sometimes they cover their eyes. They keep the babies warm and they help them feel better. If they are in pain and can have pain meds, they get them. If the baby needs extra help, he can get it. This is so myopic and selfish.

      This birth happened only a month and a half ago. I wonder if she will change her feelings about it as time goes by.

  25. Isis-sama
    November 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Would someone mind leaving a link to the story where the NICU recommendation for the baby was ignored? I can’t find it.

  26. November 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    What is with the intense fear of hospitals??? Does anyone else find it really bizarre that when mothers ask for c-sections, the first response is that she should have counselling – but when mothers go for home births – it’s just “away you go!” – even though the consequences of the latter are likely far worse than the former????

    • DaisyGrrl
      November 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      but, but, but – people DIE in hospitals!!1! Nobody ever dies at home and birth is as safe as life gets! /sarcasm

  27. Trixie
    November 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    Peacy’s mom, crunchy as she is, doesn’t know the difference between “chard” and “charred?” Or maybe she charred her chard on the woodstove….

    • Young CC Prof
      November 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      Hmmm. The other week I made some really good sauteed chard with fresh rosemary and raisins. Guests ate it up, and this was a very meat-loving crowd. And I’ve had chard in a soup. I’ve even had oven-baked chard. Never tried charred chard, but I bet my brother would eat it if you poured hot sauce on it.

      Of course, to be properly crunchy, I thought you needed to eat your greens raw in smoothie form?

      • Trixie
        November 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

        Yeah, but they’d have needed a solar powered blender!

        • prolifefeminist
          November 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

          Oh COME ON. “Real” crunchsters don’t use blenders – they chew everything really well with their teeth and spit it – I mean lovingly deposit it in – a handmade pottery vessel. Only frauds who are under the spell of Big Appliance and don’t believe in our bodies’ ability to pulverize resort to the use of blenders. I feel sad for them. Eating is a normal physiological function – it doesn’t need to be interfered with! It’s horrible to be chained to an electrical outlet and reliant on technology just because you’re hungry.

  28. batmom
    November 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I can’t imagine no one cried it out before 1895. Large families with many young siblings? Yeah, sometimes the baby has to cry because his older siblings are toddlers being toddlers. As one of my friends with four children jokes, “With the first you jump at every sound. With the second, you say, ‘Give him a minute.’ With the third, you say, ‘Did you hear something?'”

    I hope her baby is okay.

    • Amy M
      November 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      I’m pretty sure that the way children are treated has significantly improved since 1895. At least in the Western world at any rate, what with all those child labor laws and the creation of various CPS institutions to protect children from abusive and negligent parents. Whenever these people, who clearly have nothing better to do, start equating a letting a child cry for a few minutes with abuse and torture, I’d love to drop them off in some gulag for a few minutes so they could understand the true meaning of abuse and torture. My grandparents survived the Nazi concentration camps. They knew from abuse and torture. I’m sure they also let my mom and her brother CIO sometimes. Come on, melodrama much?

  29. DaisyGrrl
    November 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    There is so much wrong with this last story, but the thing that really gets me is this: “With my first baby, I had taken Hypnobirthing classes and had planned to have a natural birth…I ended up going in to the hospital too early in my labor and the cascade of interventions and various hospital procedures took over. I was no longer in charge of my birth. I walked away from that birth feeling like I had failed, like I didn’t know how to birth, and that my body was flawed.” (emphasis added)
    The solution to her two hospital births? A home water birth that placed both her and her baby in mortal danger. She ensured that she wouldn’t be weak and ask for an epidural by giving birth in a location where this wasn’t available. She described being in agony and wanting an epidural during her labour. She didn’t want an episiotomy so she tore. She lamented the artificially ruptured membranes, but got those in the HB anyway. Ditto for the pitocin (although it saved her life).
    I think it’s sad that she felt this was the only way to take charge of her birth. So much ended up being out of her control and she likely did significant damage to her baby and herself in the quest for this mythical “perfect birth.”

  30. The Bofa on the Sofa
    November 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    WW! started in what, 1914? That means those babies that were using CIO were less than 20 years old. At best, they would have been foot soldiers.

    Since when do soldiers “cause” war?

    Adolph Hitler was born in 1889, so not the result of CIO popularization.

    Then again, Holt was an american pediatrician. Given that both world wars started in Europe, it even begs the question of why Holt’s book would have had such an impact over there?

    Then again, it is certainly a fool’s errand to try to address rationally a position that originates in pure idiocy.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      November 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      I thought that the craziest assumption was that parents didn’t let infants cry it out prior to Holt. In many societies, people used to practice infanticide by leaving babies out on a hillside to cry themselves to death. Only a moron could think that parents didn’t let their babies cry themselves to sleep.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        November 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

        I was just trying to consider her actual claims.

        But yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

      • Antigonos CNM
        November 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

        In George Bird Grinnell’s primary source work on the Cheyenne Indians, he describes how very small children were deliberately taught NOT to cry by being taken outside the village and left alone on the prairie. A crying infant could give away the position of a village to enemies, so as soon as possible, a baby was taught that crying brought rejection, not attention.

    • Young CC Prof
      November 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      Definitely crazy. WWI was fought largely by men born in the 1890s, (who mostly died, leaving a measurable generational hole) but it was CAUSED by men much older than that, ones already in positions of power.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        November 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

        In fact, the average age of soldiers in WW1 was 29. Therefore, when the war ended in 1918, the majority of soldiers or so were born before 1890 even, much less after 1895.

        • Zornorph
          November 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

          In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26
          In Vietnam he was 19
          In-in-in Vietnam he was 19

          • Mishimoo
            November 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

            Thanks, now I have a really sad song stuck in my head! (Redgum’s ‘I was only 19’)

    • Sue
      November 1, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

      And not only that, but how does the theory work for the Battle of Marathon or the Battle of Hastings? Cos, you know, people never fought before the twentieth century.

      • Young CC Prof
        November 1, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

        The Ancient Greeks promoted the patriarchy and denied the essential wisdom of their mothers.

  31. The Computer Ate My Nym
    November 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Holt popularized Cry It Out in 1895, and it is my theory that the method caused both World Wars

    Ironically, there was an issue related to the NCB’s interests that was one cause of WWI: Kaiser Wilhelm had hypoxia at birth. If his mother had had a c-section (not available then, at least not if you wanted a living woman afterwards), he likely would have been much saner and less concerned about his manhood. The whole mess might have disappeared. Well, probably not, given the insanity of other royal houses, but at least it would have been a different war.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      November 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Kaiser Wilhelm was breech and suffered a brachial plexus injury and a withered arm as a result. His arm was always a source of shame and his parents tried all sorts of bizarre and painful methods to “fix it.” They meant well, but it basically amounted to torture. It’s hardly surprising that he had a fragile grasp on sanity. Had C-sections been available and routine, the history of the world might have been different.

      • Zornorph
        November 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

        Well, if there hadn’t been C-sections way back in the day, Macbeth would have been unable to have been killed, too.

  32. Squillo
    November 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    I just laid in the water, feeling completely helpless, and enduring excruciating amounts of pain. I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I could not escape the pain of my surges and I felt like a victim each time another surge would overtake me.

    Nothing says empowerment better than mind-blowing agony.

    • theadequatemother
      November 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      I just looked at the pictures that accompanied that post…and that was my first thought, “Look at the agony on her face.”

      • DaisyGrrl
        November 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

        I looked at the pictures and thought, “what the heck are all those women doing there just watching her?” and “no way in hell would I want anyone taking multiple photos of me during labour!”

    • Jessica
      November 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      I am so goddamn sick of women calling contractions “surges” or “rushes.”

      • Tara
        November 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

        Ditto! “Contraction” is NOT a “negative” word. If anything, it brings to mind saying “don’t” instead of “do not.” There was no reason for anyone to change it except to make themselves feel “special” by using “special” language. It drives me bonkers and I refuse to placate them by using the same words they do, even when they keep correcting me.

        • Squillo
          November 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

          It’s funny, given all the emphasis that many NCB advocates place on visualization. I would think that a word that describes what the muscles are actually doing to “bring that baby down” would be more helpful than a euphemism.

          • Busbus
            November 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

            I agree with all of you. Just hearing “rushes” or “surges” makes me feel kind of aggressive… I always get the impression that someone is trying to hoodwink me. It won’t change the reality that contractions hurt just because we refuse to acknowledge it.
            But then again, if I had ever been into hypnobirthing, I’m sure they would have told me that my pain was due to my “attitude”.

            November 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

            Hoodwinked! That is exactly it- they think they can hoodwink you out of the legitimate experience of pain by convincing you that your response is a manifestation of your attitude. Aggression toward that philosophy is a wiser response than submission.

        • Jessica
          November 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

          A woman I am friends with on FB gave birth recently, and her SIL and birth photographer posted photos of labor and delivery and one picture had the following caption: “Mama managed her rushes well on this ball for quite a while!” It made me irrationally stabby just reading it.

          • Young CC Prof
            November 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

            My husband is bringing a camera to delivery. To take pictures of the baby, once he’s clean and wrapped in an adorable little blanket. I might be in those pictures, holding him, once I’m cleaned up.

            If I even SEE a camera during the birth, I’m breaking it.

        • Amy M
          November 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

          ugh, I knew someone who didn’t like the phrase “water breaking” because it “implied something broken.” She preferred to say ” the waters released.” I think she’s nuts because the sac actually breaks, there IS something broken. Sigh.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        November 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

        Ignorant guy that I was, one of the most fascinating aspects I discovered when my wife went into labour was that, during her contractions, her uterus actually _contracted_! You could feel it, you could even see it. Sounds dumb, I know, but that connection never really hit. They really ARE contractions.

        • Antigonos CNM
          November 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

          That reminds me of a scene I witnessed:

          Husband, seeing his wife for the first time after she gave birth: “How were the contractions, honey?”

          “I dunno ’bout these here contractions, but them PAINS were turrible!!!”

        November 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

        Oh the “rushes”! I went into my first birth breathing through what I had heard Ina May call “rushes” during a natural childbirth seminar several years before I had children. Fortunately, despite indoctrination otherwise, I gave birth in a hospital (albeit with a CNM steeped in the mythology of the NCB movement, who waited far too long to identify several complications that required the assistance of a surgeon) . 16 hours into these rushes, when my baby’s head (in the ROT position) became stuck in my pelvis, I was in so much pain that I was literally hallucinating. Later this brought to mind another oft used “farm slang” for labor- “tripping”. That one seemed more apt, though I had been told to expect something psychedelic. I was thinking along the lines of a kaleidoscope (never having consumed hallucinogens in my youth), but instead was beset by a quasi-psychotic vision of angels and demons ripping apart my womb with their hands. And no orgasm. I couldn’t tell if my daughters aura was the purported violet or indigo, for she was covered in my blood from an emergency forceps delivery and uterine hemorrhage. And do I feel any desire whatsoever to “take my birth back” having my next baby at home? Absolutely not. I have been in pre-labor with periodic contractions with my second child for two days and will be on my way to triage as soon as they are regular. The only rushes of energy I want to experience during this labor are those transferred through an i.v. full of narcotics.

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      November 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Don’t forget that that she asked to be transferred to the hospital for pain relief, and her midwife and husband didn’t let her go.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        November 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

        But hey, she was giving birth “on her own terms,” right?

      • Squillo
        November 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

        It always reminds me of this scene from Young Frankenstein.

      • Dr Kitty
        November 1, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

        When the nasty Drs and medwives ignore your requests it is abusive, but when your husband and CPM ignore your requests it is A-OK.

        Nope I don’t get it.

      • Lisa the Raptor
        November 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

        But how else could she have been empowered if people didn’t force her to birth without pain relief? Clearly many women would not be able to do it on their own. Forget about the women who birth without meds in hospitals. No, every women needs the choice of having your choice be denied during the most painful thing that can happen.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife
        November 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

        That’s what safewords are for.

      • Zornorph
        November 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm #


      • Mac Sherbert
        November 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

        That’s why I love labor and delivery nurses. They will ignore the husband, friends, etc. and give the woman what she asks for! For one small moment my husband said something about me being fine…I gave him a look and my nurse said “I’ll be right back with XYZ.”

    • Busbus
      November 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Squillo, you just made me laugh out loud!

    • Clarissa Darling
      November 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      Ok is it just me or does this read a little “50 shades of Grey”? And, what’s with calling them surges instead of contractions? Can’t we use medical terms like a big girl?

        November 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

        I call my first labor and delivery “50 Shades of Childbirth.” It was the most ill informed sort of masochism.

        • Lisa the Raptor
          November 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

          I call mine “50 Shades of %$# this $hit, I Want Drugs”

      • areawomanpdx
        November 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

        They call them surges because contractions suggest that they’re painful. I can’t remember who came up with that bullshit. May have been Ina May.

        • GiddyUpGo123
          November 3, 2013 at 10:43 am #

          It isn’t even accurate. The dictionary definition of “surge” is “to rise and move in a billowing or swelling manner,” which is the exact opposite of a contraction. And if you want to get picky, “contraction” doesn’t imply pain, either. All muscles contract, and most of the time it’s not a painful process. Although anyone who tries to imply that labor contractions aren’t painful is an idiot.

      • attitude devant
        November 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

        Ahhh Clarissa dearest you must have missed the part where her friend describes her ‘using her vibrator like a boss!’ during her labor. I’m too old to be shocked, but…

        • Lisa the Raptor
          November 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

          Like,….in front of everyone?…..mercy sake.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

            Yeah, using a vibrator during labour, just like women have been doing since time immemorial…


          • Kumquatwriter
            November 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

            I’m sorry to repeat this, but WHAT THE WHAT?!

        • Nashira
          November 2, 2013 at 9:26 am #

          Oh god. Leaving aside the idea that if one wouldn’t normally masturbate in front of someone, birth is a poor time to discover one’s inner exhibitionist… if you’re in that much pain, why would you want to add even more stimulation? It isn’t going to transmute to happy-fun-kinky-pain no matter how many batteries you kill. BRB, gonna go burn DO NOT WANT into the face of the moon with a laser.

  33. Jocelyn
    November 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    “I am so glad that I chose to have a homebirth, especially because I had complications. If I had been in the hospital, my baby would have been taken to the NICU and his entire introduction to life would have been different. Instead of being placed in a bright room hooked up to monitors, Beckham was in a dim room, in his mother’s arms, where he knew he was safe.”

    This, to me, is one of the most unbelievable things about the whole freaking article. Her logic is so completely, 100% backwards. Her baby was born floppy, white, not breathing, and needed to be resuscitated, and she’s GLAD they didn’t have access to life-saving medical personnel and equipment because at home, her baby “knew he was safe?” HE WASN’T SAFE! He almost DIED!

    • amazonmom
      November 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      If babies have any clue where they are after birth, this kid was thinking “WHAT THE HELL? ARE THEY TRYING TO KILL ME? WHO ARE THESE IDIOTS I HAVE BEEN BORN TO?”

    • stacy
      November 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      She is reframing this, and it always looks great in retrospect. I mean, he didn’t die, so it must have been wonderful!

    • Young CC Prof
      November 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      I’m so glad he was born at home, where he could be rushed to the hospital and stay for days. If he’d been born in the hospital, he’d have been taken away to the resuscitation table and… probably given right back to me. Oh.

  34. ngozi
    November 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    I would have passed out after they put a piece of placenta under my tongue. Please tell me that I read that wrong. I think my blood sugar numbers will be very good today because I think I just totally lost my appetite.
    It is stories like this that make me okay with having a hospital birth. If you don’t like something that is going on there, speak up and ask questions.

    • Are you nuts
      November 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      I would love to hear their explanation of what placenta under the tongue actually DOES for the hemmorage. Ya know, like, physiologically. Magic fairy spirits emerge from the placenta and fix everything?
      I can tell you what it would do for me. Induce vomiting.

      • Playing Possum
        November 1, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

        It’s because the oral bioavailability of the placental hormones is so low – the best (only?) way to get any of its benefit is to get it as close as possible to blood vessels – hence under the tongue. I guess you could stick it up your bum too. That’s why I laugh like an evil scientist when crunchies blather on about placental hormones – they’re negligibly absorbed by any means. All that effort for placebo.

        But … Yuk. It’s fetal tissue. She’s eating part of her baby. And physiologically, she’d be better off eating some of her blood clots for the iron. Actually, I’m going to start suggesting that.

        • Kumquatwriter
          November 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

          Okay, its official. I finally actually gagged and almost vomited.

          • KarenJJ
            November 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

            Shouldn’t have read this one while eating breakfast..

  35. The Bofa on the Sofa
    November 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Hey, at least they did their resuscitation attempts on the floor, and not the bed. That’s a significant achievement!

    • Mel
      November 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      It really is….which is terrifying.

  36. moto_librarian
    November 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Why in the hell did they not transfer the mother as well? If she had a repair that required 2 HOURS and had lost enough blood that she was struggling to keep conscious, she surely should have been evaluated! I wonder how long it took for her to actually go in and get her blood transfusion? Stories like this just make me ill. She has no idea how lucky she was, and who knows if her baby was actually lucky. Only time will tell.

    • stacey
      November 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      Can you imagine the pain of needing 2 hours of stitches? Maybe she was so out of it she didn’t notice? (even scarier thought)
      I am assuming the MW was a CNM because she had an IV, but no matter, 2 hours of stitching and tons of blood loss? NOT taking her in is negligent. I sure hope the repair was done correctly.

      • Guestll
        November 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

        The midwife is Richelle Jolley, CPM.

        • Dr Kitty
          November 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

          So, vain hope that the suturing was learnt on a course run by doctors, rather than taught by another CPM.

        • Karen in SC
          November 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

          I’m only liking the fact that her name is now linked with this incompetence.

        • Renee Martin
          November 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

          I bet her poor perineum is a mess then.

      • S
        November 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

        Two hours — Would that be remotely possible with a competent provider?

        I had a third degree “natural” tear, plus an additional episiotomy (in the other direction) that also tore. My concept of time was probably off, but i had to guess, i’d say it took maybe 15 minutes.

        • S
          November 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

          …15 minutes for the repair, that is.

          And actually, the OB ran off and _delivered another baby_ before stitching me up, and i think i was still stitched within an hour of giving birth.

        • moto_librarian
          November 4, 2013 at 11:35 am #

          When I had the cervical laceration, I was in the O.R. for about an hour. They also stitched a second degree tear. I can only hope that this woman was unconscious, because I can’t imagine the pain. And I’m betting that she will be dealing with terrible pelvic floor problems because there’s no way a lay midwife could do the kind of skilled repair that she needs.

  37. Mel
    November 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    OMG… if your know someone like this, seek immediate psychological help.

    “I planned for my birth with as much enthusiasm as I would my wedding: I hired a photographer, a videographer, a caterer, and support staff. I invited my guests. I chose my perfect outfit. I chose my location. I even chose my birth colors and a birth song. I chose everything.”

    • Zornorph
      November 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      I haven’t read the article, but now I wonder what the ‘birth song’ was – do you play it while the baby is crowning? Put it on continuous loop during labor? What is appropriate for a ‘birth song’. I guess ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ would work if it was a girl. The only songs I can think of about boys being born are all about Jesus.

      • nomorequestionscatherine
        November 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

        Maybe “Whoop there it is” for crowning. And “Push It” just prior?

        • Kate B
          November 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

          Don’t appreciate irony? How very dare you! Apple Blossom Light Hawk Summer Willow Wind is a work of ironic GENIUS I tell ya

      • Kumquatwriter
        November 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

        You’d like this – we did a Bill Cosby routine while I was pushing.

        • Amy M
          November 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

          ? Puddddingggg….POP!

          • Kumquatwriter
            November 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

            From Bill Cosby: Himself… “PUSH him out! SHOVE him our! WAAAAAY OUT! *clap*

          • Dr Kitty
            November 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

            Do you think she chose nursing music?
            “Rufus is a Tit Man” would be the obvious choice (this song alone explains a lot about Rufus Wainwright’s childhood).

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
            November 2, 2013 at 11:15 am #

            Yup and in the same bit he says Carol Burnett once described childbirth as “Take your lower lip, now pull up over your head” and for me that was so true.
            I think it was Robin Williams who said “She is pushing something the size of a watermelon out something the size of a lemon”

        • Mishimoo
          November 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

          My dear husband bit his tongue during the last, because the midwife kept saying “Go hard! Go hard!” during the pushing phase and he wanted to yell out “Or go home!!”

      • Karen in SC
        November 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

        There’s always my re-write of the Monty Python classic – “I’m a CPM and I’m okay”. Lyrics in the files of the Fed Up Zealotry group…

        • Susan
          November 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

          Karen I downloaded that SNL skit and LOL LOL… I love Tina Fey anyway but that was awesome!

      • Allie P
        November 1, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

        “Push It” right? I mean, I definitely thought that while pushing. Total earworm. Also, when I gave birth was that month when Black Eyed Peas “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night” was on eternal loop on the radio, and I was so excited to be induced, and have my baby, that I was definitely singing that a little in my head. Then again, I had an epidural and a quick and relatively easy labor, so it fit. I think if anything had gone wrong, songs would not have been on my mind.

    • Are you nuts
      November 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      Rather than throwing the bouquet, throw the placenta! Oh wait, part of it’s under your tongue. Grossestthingever.

  38. amazonmom
    November 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    That mother is the most evil foul piece of garbage. Denying your child the best care possible while you gladly accept it for yourself. She should have been left to languish for however long it took to recover from her injuries. Denying her child transfer to an appropriate NICU while she accepts a transfusion! Did I read that wrong?

  39. Mel
    November 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Also, what part of Beckam’s Birth fills the “Touch of Life” slogan “Peaceful and stress-free births?

    • Jessica
      November 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      Yeah, I noticed that too. Good lord.

  40. Tara
    November 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I was just skimming the birth story out of complete boredom and I know this woman is a narcissist for one very glaring reason- the “lullaby” that she is calling “Blue, Blue Sky” which she sings to her children at night. I am LDS and I know this song well as I also sing it to my children. The song is actually called, “My Heavenly Father Loves Me.” It was written in the 1960’s by an LDS woman named Clara W. McMaster and the correct words are NOT “I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world my mommy created for me” which should seem obvious seeing as no mommy anywhere created the world. Now whether or not you believe in a God, these lyrics are ridiculous! She’s actually ending her lullaby with, “For all her creations of which I’m a part, yes I know my mother loves me.” Um, what “creations” does this woman have exactly!?! I am horrified that someone has taken such a beautiful song that was meant to say, “I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me” and substituted HERSELF for each and every reference to God! I cannot even fathom that vanity!

    • Kumquatwriter
      November 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      You know, as an atheist I have adapted Christian songs for use in our home (and one of my bffs is LDS!) and it never occurred to me to put myself in place of god in the lyrics, unless it was something like “the Father loves you.” What freaking hubris! Also, if she’s the one who created the world? Not a chance it was”intelligently” designed…

    • Jocelyn
      November 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      That was my thought too…I think it mentioned somewhere else in the story that she was athiest, but to take a song about God and make it about how YOU created the whole world? Kind of hard to swallow.

      • Dr Kitty
        November 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

        I don’t love that.

        Personally, I make up silly songs for my kid
        her name is “kiddo”, “kiddo”
        her mummy loves her…
        her name is “kiddo”, “kiddo”
        her daddy loves her…

        her name is “kiddo”, “kiddo”
        her nana loves her …etc

        Sung to the theme tune of “Flipper”.
        Feel free to borrow it 🙂

        I do not attribute G-dlike powers to myself, even in song, even a made up song to my child, because that would be weird.

        • wookie130
          November 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

          I make up silly songs for my daughter as well.

          Such as…

          “Stinky winky tater tots!
          Stinky winky tater tots!
          Stinky winky tater tots!!!
          She’s my stinky winky TATER TOTS!!!”

          As far as I know, she has survived these ditties unaffected. Then again, she’s only 7 1/2 months old, so it’s a bit early to say.

          But subbing out “Heavenly Father” for herself…this is absolute narcissism at it’s finest.

          • Amy M
            November 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

            haha! I like to make up personalized lyrics for “Cadence Count” for my sons,but I don’t think that’s offensive to anyone. (I don’t know, but I’ve been told! N and G are 4 yrs old! I bet you will start to laugh! ‘Cuz now it’s time to take a bath! Sound off!…etc)

          • Dr Kitty
            November 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

            Oh good, it’s not just me!
            It’s actually one of my favourite things, singing silly little made up songs with my kiddo.
            We’ve got several which incorporate dance moves.
            (Put your feet in the air like you just don’t care,
            Wave them around kiddo, wave them around!
            One leg up and one leg down, all the way around the town,
            Wave them around kiddo, wave them around!)

            Amazing I went into medicine instead of song writing, isn’t it!

            That’s one of the best things about parenthood, the unconditional love of someone who hears a silly song you just made up for them and doesn’t care that you can’t sing in tune, or it doesn’t rhyme, just that you made up a song for THEM.

            But not songs about how awesome I am.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 2, 2013 at 9:38 am #

            We used to sing songs about things we did and saw. Same melody, just making up new verses. We used to have about 20 verses about going to a volleyball game together, and another 20 verses about going to the Wizard of Oz festival. However, we sang about things we did together, and especially not about me.

            When the kids were little, we sang everything.

            Now my kids do it. When we sing before bed at night, they just make up their own songs about who knows what.

          • Elizabeth A
            November 1, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

            I, uh, may have done something similar…

            (Baby baby baby blue, love my breast pump more then you…)

        • Tara
          November 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

          Oh don’t worry, I also make up songs. I have diaper changing songs and bath songs and the infamous teeth brushing song! “Brushin’ _____’s teeth, shiny and bright! Brushin’ _____’s teeth, pearly whites! Brushin’ ______’s teeth and havin’ so much fun! Brushin’ ______’s teeth and we’re almost doooooooonnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeee…………”

          • Kumquatwriter
            November 1, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

            We have the dry butt/clean peen song for diapers
            Everything’s better with a dry butt! DRY butt, dry butt. Everything’s better with a dry butt! DRY butt for you!
            (second verse substitutes “clean peen”

        • KarenJJ
          November 1, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

          Ours was the refrain “go to sleep” repeated ad nauseam to Brahm’s Lullaby.

        • Allie P
          November 1, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

          “Do a little dance, DO A LITTLE DANCE, Get down tonight, get down tonight…” We can’t sing the real words for her, but she loves to boogie to our G-rated version.

          • Guestll
            November 1, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

            Every night, right after the bath, she sits on my lap in a towel as we shake out the IKEA rubber mat — “Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your bath mat, shake your bath mat…” 🙂

          • drsquid
            November 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

            we have a bunch.

            “who’s my squishy, who’s my squishy, ishy goo, ishy goo. you’re my little squishy, ishy squishy lishy, that is you”
            and the bedtime song. “it is bedtime, it is bedtime, for L- and O-, L and O. Time to close your eyes up tight, time to go nightynight, for L and O, L and O”

    • Tara
      November 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Our children’s hymn book is filled with songs about parents loving their children. I like singing to my children and have Mary Poppins, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Kermit the Frog AND hymns in my repertoire. It’s not like there’s a shortage of songs out their that beautifully capture a mother’s love for her children. But this particular song is completely and totally about Heavenly Father creating the world and how grateful we are that he did that for each one of us. To substitute yourself for God in this particular song is most definitely a special kind of illusion of grandeur.

      • VeritasLiberat
        November 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

        I’m LDS too, and holy crap, that’s awful.
        I don’t even want to know if she has her own lyrics for “Do As I’m Doing.”

        • Awesomemom
          November 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

          My family does not stick with the traditional wording of Fun to Do but that song kind of begs for some funny lyrics.

      • Awesomemom
        November 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

        I was struck with the hubris of it too.

  41. Dr Kitty
    November 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Jill Filipovic in the guardian’s take on the xojane article.

    The last story is horrifying- from the snapped umbilical cord, to the pretty ineffective CPR, to the massive PPH, to the extended (and who knows how competent) laceration repair.

    It strikes me with de ja vu- but then all of these catalogue-of-HB-disasters-but I’d-do-it-again-tomorrow stories do sound alike, and I don’t think I remember the names Richelle and Beckham, so it is probably a new one and plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    • Guesteleh
      November 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      I’m most horrified that they didn’t take the baby to the NICU. I just hope that poor baby doesn’t pay for his mother’s stupidity.

      • amazonmom
        November 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

        He undoubtedly won’t be the same baby he would have been if he had been born in a hospital and gotten adequate treatment.

    • DaisyGrrl
      November 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      That Guardian story was great. When I read the xojane article, I was heartened by the sheer number of commenters calling bullshit and taking xojane to task for even publishing such tripe. With any luck they will publish a counter-story of “how medical science saved me and my baby” to show that there is tremendous value in not trusting nature.

    • Guestll
      November 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

      You forgot the placental abruption.

  42. Mel
    November 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    On #4, before you are allowed to give birth at home, you should be required to come out to a dairy farm and watch, oh, 100 births or so. (Our complication rates for newborns are much higher than humans.)

    While you watch a calf slowly smother because it’s trapped in the pelvis of the cow, I’ll stand beside you and say “Boy, I hope that doesn’t happen to your baby.”

    When you watch us make a calf comfortable since it is brain-dead due to hypoxia but still has a beating heart, I’ll say “Have you decided which coffin you’d like for your baby if this happens?”

    When we have to call the vet for a prolapsed uterus, I’ll ask “So, do you have an advanced directive in place? If this happened to you at home, you’d be dead by now.”

    • Are you nuts
      November 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Sounds like those cows don’t trust birth.

  43. Carolina
    November 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Ignoring a NICU recommendation?!!?! What in the heck are you and your husband going to do on your “shifts” if the baby needs help? How will you even know if he’s in distress? That whole L&D experience sounded like absolute hell on earth.
    Question for the medical people: when do you think this baby went into distress? How early in the labor?

    • Jocelyn
      November 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      I feel bad for the staff at the hospital. Can you imagine how bad they felt for the baby when his dad took him home?

      • moto_librarian
        November 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

        I hope they called CPS or at least made them talk to a social worker. No one thinks that NICU time is fun, but why would you take a chance like that?

        • Dr Kitty
          November 1, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

          Dad does NOT come out of this well.
          Buddy, really, you chose to ignore your wife’s request for pain relief when she was screaming in agony, but to acquiesce to her request that you take your infant home from hospital, despite the fact that he had suffered significant blood loss and your wife had suffered a haemorrhage and wasn’t in any condition to care for him.

          Those aren’t great decisions.
          You didn’t stick up for your wife when she needed you, and then you didn’t stick up for your son.

          • FormerPhysicist
            November 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

            VERY good points.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 2, 2013 at 9:43 am #

            The first lesson of Dad’s Boot Camp: “Being a Dad does NOT mean you just do everything mom says.”

      • Dr Kitty
        November 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

        C’mon, the NICU staff are EEEvil and just looking to make money by keeping perfectly healthy (because pulmonary oedema and anaemia and a gut full of air causing extreme pain are variations of normal) babies in hospital for no good reason!

  44. Kumquatwriter
    November 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm #


    • Carolina
      November 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      Off-topic, but I fell into a rabbit hole the other day reading your blogs and the other stories about your ex. Fascinating, horrifying read. You are an amazing strong person to have survived all of that.

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