Breech homebirth leads to genital amputation


Some days I feel like this blog writes itself. I don’t have to scout for examples of dangerous homebirths or ignorant, deluded homebirth advocates. They are everywhere I look.

Consider The Feminist Breeder’s take on Ruth Fowler’s homebirth that nearly ended in her death:

I love that Ruth’s birth is the textbook perfect example of a safe, planned homebirth wherein the midwives transferred to hospital care at the right time and helped this mother and baby finish out the job safely and happily. THIS is homebirth done right and this is the care that should be available to anyone who wants it.

Sure, just like a massive car accident that results in blood transfusions, surgery, anesthesia and a two day hospitalization is a perfect example of safe drunk driving!

No sooner had I caught my breath from laughing so hard at the entire concept that a homebirth that required blood products, removal of retained placenta, antibiotics for infection, “loads” of fentanyl and a 2 day hospitalization is safe, and before I even had time to wonder what these clowns think is an unsafe homebirth, I came across a perfect example. The comment comes from a homebirth advocate who is a nurse at St. Louis’ Barnes Jewish Hospital:

scrotal necrosis

Apparently, THIS is what passes for an unsafe homebirth:

It’s really hard to defend to my coworkers whose only frame of reference for home birth is (for one example) the patient who had been pushing for 5-6 hours on a not completely dilated cervix with a breech boy effectively in “scrotum” presentation. Thanks to her irresponsible and untrained “lay midwife” it Ended in genitalia amputation because they had necrotized.

I’ll bet it’s hard to defend homebirth when the end result is a necrotic scrotum and total genital amputation.

But you know what? It ought to be hard to defend homebirth even when nothing is amputated and no one dies and the end result is “merely” the near death of the mother.

What is wrong with homebirth advocates that their definition of “safety” includes near death experiences?

I can’t explain it, but this should serve as a cautionary tale to any woman contemplating homebirth:

When a “safe” homebirth includes blood transfusions, removal of retained placenta, antibiotics for infection, “loads” of fentanyl and a 2 day hospitalization, you know that homebirth is not and can never be safe.

124 Responses to “Breech homebirth leads to genital amputation”

    • fiftyfifty1
      August 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      But but but the NETHERLANDS! The mythical land where the women are strong and the society has not been brainwashed into fearing birth and homebirthing is a paradise! Where the windmills disperse magic sparkles that ensure every baby a healthy vaginal delivery. Where the rare complication at home is never an emergency because the midwife surely can call in Hans Brinker and he can stick in a finger and buy time until help arrives. Where pregnany women birth their breech babies down onto a carpet of tulips and then the whole family straps on skates for a vigorous turn up and down the dike with rosy cheeks!

      Nope, turns out that when you pressure women to birth vaginally even in high risk situations like breech, babies DIE. Even in Holland.

  1. Anonymous
    February 3, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    Pretty sure that nurse may be coming a little too close to a HIPAA violation for sharing the specifics.

    But in any case, I wonder if genital amputation is considered a “variation of normal”?

  2. ngozi
    January 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Sorry if this has already been discussed, but is there any type of plastic surgery that could help this child?

  3. An Actual Attorney
    January 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    I think the comment was removed. I was more disturbed how no one on that thread seemed to be disturbed.

  4. Lisa from NY
    January 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Here is a picture of male genitalia in danger of necrosis (but usually resolves itself). (GRAPHIC!)

    • An Actual Attorney
      January 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      Ah! Ah! Ah! Why did I click? Why?

  5. Guy DiMartino
    January 11, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    So if the parents of the child were to retain a lawyer to bring a medical malpractice claim on behalf of this child would that be appropriate or would a jury say to the parents “you decided on a home birth, it’s your problem”?

    • Karen in SC
      January 11, 2014 at 8:19 am #

      Homebirth midwives generally do not carry malpractice insurance, and when sued will declare bankruptcy and close up their current business. If you are interested in this topic, read the ebook “From Calling to Courtroom”, or check out the story about Magnus and his parents’ lawsuit on Safer Midwifery for Michigan. Another set of parents just lost their suit against the state of Oregon, see a recent blog here about Abel Andrews.

      • Lisa from NY
        January 12, 2014 at 5:35 am #

        But can the child sue the mother for endangering his life?

      • he
        January 12, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

        What about criminal charges. Perhaps assault?

        • Daleth
          February 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

          Assault means touching someone when they don’t want you to. These parents apparently requested the “treatment” that they received, and and in any case the midwife’s touch was not what caused the problem.

  6. R T
    January 11, 2014 at 3:14 am #

    I wish I could unread this…

  7. pendragon05
    January 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    That poor baby boy! And *&^% its demented homebirfing Moo

  8. hurricanewarningdc
    January 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    How does this not cause a police investigation?

  9. layman
    January 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    What is “necrotized?”

    • Amy M
      January 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      rotted,or the tissue died, gangrene

  10. Alexandra
    January 10, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    OT: There’s a new law passed in Oregon which allows new mothers to bring home their placentas from the hospitals. I can only imagine the recipes and weird art-burial projects we are about to be horrified by.

    • Trixie
      January 10, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      Honestly, I’m okay with the weird art burial projects if that what makes people happy. But I think it’s only a matter of time until someone gets a deadly case of food poisoning from fecally contaminated placenta pills that were dried on low heat with no preservatives.

  11. Elizabeth Neely
    January 9, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    the mother and the Midwife should be arrested for this horrific behavior!! This is a crime against humanity.

  12. Maci
    January 9, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    My heart breaks for this little boy. A C-section could have avoided all of this. But I find it really interesting how some of these comments are mocking anti-infant routine circumcision stances while ignoring the fact that in rare instances circumcision has also led to maimed and amputated infant genitalia for the very small benefits that it has.

    • Trixie
      January 10, 2014 at 6:00 am #

      I was the one who mocked the NCB stance on circumcision. For the record, we don’t circumcise in our family. But the rhetoric around this topic in NCB circles about the child’s bodily integrity being violated is ironic considering they seem to have no problem violating their child’s bodily right to oxygen.

      • itry2brational
        February 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

        NCB advocates falsely believe they are not violating their child’s right to oxygen in the same way circumcision apologists falsely believe it doesn’t violate a boys’ right to bodily integrity.

  13. citygal
    January 9, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Oh my god… that poor little boy.

    All the platitudes of “his body will be normal to him” may be true until about the age of 5 or so. All of those endearing, supportive words will mean even less as he ages. Because let’s face it–sex is pretty important to humans. Men (especially young men) are no exception. His life is pretty much destroyed. He will most likely be at a high risk for suicide. This poor boy has no idea what’s ahead of him. My heart goes out to him… and his parents.

  14. NursingRN
    January 9, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    “This is Homebirth done right”
    Well…no, I’m afraid this is “hospital birth” done in the nick of time. That baby was born in a hospital. The RN’s the OB’s and the CNM’s who took care of the patient after transfer. The “midwives” had nothing to do with it except to, good job, recognize that there was a problem. Good they could cast off their pride enough to bring her in.

    • Trixie
      January 10, 2014 at 5:51 am #

      Good job recognizing a problem after 5 hours of pushing at a breech birth?

      • Anj Fabian
        January 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

        On an incomplete cervix?

        This is a poster child for why breech deliveries shouldn’t be done at home. Or why doing a vaginal exam to check dilation is a good idea.

  15. prolifefeminists
    January 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    Very few things shock me, but this really does. That poor, poor little boy…what a horrific thing to have happen to you, and all for such a stupid, transient reason. It’s bad enough thinking about what this boy has lost, but can you also imagine the pain of having your genitals squeezed so hard that blood flow is cut off?? Horrible!!

    And TFB and this Ruth lady…oh lord, where to even start. How dumb do you have to be acknowledge that the best time to transfer is actually BEFORE mom starts to hemorrhage from a retained placenta, not when she’s already got one foot in the grave and needs a blood transfusion to pull her back to life. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…unless you’re a HB advocate. Idiots.

  16. KarenJJ
    January 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Actually, as much as it pains me to agree with the “Feminist” Breeder, she is right. It is homebirth at its best. And at its best (ie timely transfer to hospital, well-trained midwives) it is still messy, potentially life-threatening to mum and baby and can require further intervention/hospitalisation.

    • Karen in SC
      January 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

      But would an earlier transfer have avoided the complications?

      • KarenJJ
        January 9, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

        I don’t know in this particular case, I’ve been on holidays and didn’t really read the original story (and have no medical knowledge to assess that) and so I was taking the comment at face value.

        • Susan
          January 9, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

          I think it is important to always take the stories discussed on this site and any site like it at face value. I have a couple times had insider knowledge of things discussed like this and the facts may vary vastly from what the patient says. And health care providers are obligated not to comment or correct any facts the patient may post wrong, which can make you crazy if you read something you know about.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        January 9, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

        Of course it would have avoided some of the complications. At a minimum, a retained placenta with postpartum hemorrhage could have been handled on the spot, likely avoiding the need for transfusions.

        Had the transfer taken any longer, the mother might have suffered a cardiac arrest and died before getting to the hospital.

        • prolifefeminist
          January 9, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

          “Had the transfer taken any longer, the mother might have suffered a cardiac arrest and died before getting to the hospital.”

          …but at least she would’ve gotten her breech home birth!! ugh :/

        • Karen in SC
          January 9, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

          Agreed. I meant to type “wouldn’t.” 🙂

  17. Kat
    January 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Sharing a story like that is a violation of privacy rights, right? I would be so violated if a healthcare provider casually conversed on the internet about my intimate medical details,

    The worst part is that the details of the case are TOTALLY unnecessary to her point, which is almost fair. She could have just said: “It’s really hard to defend homebirth to my colleagues when their only frame of reference is the failed homebirths with untrained midwives that often become medical emergencies.”

    I actually can’t even figure out why she included the story at all. It seems to completely refute her point about homebirths and supporting them.

    • Susan
      January 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      Here’s a link to the hospital she says she works at. Looks like a nice place but darn I don’t like the video with all the newborns lying together no matter how adorable it is. I am always so careful about handwashing and then you go laying a bunch of newborns together for a cute photo?

      • Are you nuts
        January 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

        I looked her up earlier to make sure that, by some one in a million chance, she’s not at the hospital where I plan to deliver. You would like to think that by going to a hospital, you would avoid crazies like her.

        • Susan
          January 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

          On second thought, maybe that place is just a little off…

          this doctor is just shy of saying real women don’t need epidurals.

          Dr. Rosanna Gray-Swain

          check out her video on their site.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

            Yeah, she does not come across real well in that video. Lots of scolding about labor pain being much ado about nothing due to cultural factors.

            She basically asserts that women are concerned about labor pain because to them pain indicates something going wrong and the silly little things have never previously considered the idea that the pain of labor is “normal” unlike other pains. Um no, I think most women are concerned about labor pain because they have heard the truth (or previously experienced) that it is often an extremely severe pain worse than any pain they will ever experience.

            She also says that women in America want epidurals because “they don’t want to feel anything”. No, once again I think that the main driver is that they don’t want to experience hours of extremely severe pain. Women have actually been happy about the newer, lighter epidurals that allow you to feel *more* while still controlling the pain.

            She says the pain is predictable and that we can tell you that the surge will last a minute or a minute and a half and then the pain will stop. That was not my experience at all. Granted my baby was malpositioned, but I would describe the experience as being in constant severe pain, with contractions superimposed on top of that. And what about pushing? Is that pain a predictable minute and a half and then over? No.

            Then she goes on to pooh-pooh family members who might express concern or advocate about their loved one moaning in pain. Pain in childbirth is natural don’t ya know!

            I wish she had just said “Pain in labor is unpredictable. It can range from minimal to severe depending on a myriad of factors which are mostly due to luck. But whatever comes your way we will help you. We can offer everything from repositioning to emotional support to IV medications to an epidural or any combo thereof.” What would be so wrong with a message like that?

          • Susan
            January 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

            I agree with everything you said. Pain is absolutely a normal part of labor and a sign actually that labor is progressing. But, it’s what you said, the most painful experience, normally, that most young healthy adult women have ever had, and getting pain relied is FAR more than our “culture”. The reason women in most of the world do have pain relief is they can’t GET pain relief. She may as well have said, in most of the world you don’t get treatment for pneumonia. She’s definitely implying that women in the US get epidurals because they don’t have the “right” attitude toward labor pain. I find it offensive and quite odd that the hospital would use that to promote itself. And again, I had three unmedicated births, I get that you can choose to go through labor without pain relief for lots of reasons, but labor pain is real and usually severe pain, and normal or not there should not even be a hint of judgment that women who choose pain relief are doing something unnecessary.

          • Lisa Murakami
            January 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

            Whatever. She definitely didn’t have my labor. Not all labors are equal on the pain front. I wish on her a few like my first.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 10, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

            “and a sign actually that labor is progressing.”

            Unless it’s a sign that your baby is malpositioned or hung up on something and thus that labor is not progressing. Or a sign of something bad happening like an abruption or a uterine rupture or an infection. So I would say more that pain in labor can indicate something good (labor progressing) or something bad. The only thing we can be sure of is that it indicates that your pain nerves are getting seriously whamed on one way or another!!

            Besides that, I agree heartily with everything you say!

          • Susan
            January 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

            Absolutely true. Pain can mean something is wrong too! Great points. Reminds me of my first year nursing instructor. “Pain is what the patient says it is.” Thanks for shaking a woo remnant out of my brain!

          • Maria
            January 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

            The pain of labor is predictable? That is laughable! That was one of my main complaints about our birth class. My contractions most decidedly did not follow the pattern that the instructor said they would. One on top of the next with no “relief” in between. And you would think a doctor would know that every woman and every labor is different and would have a bit more sympathy for the individual.

          • Squillo
            January 9, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

            And even if a woman “[doesn’t] want to feel anything,” so what? Why does she care so much?

            Could it be that she needs to find some way to feel superior to other women and has latched onto this totally arbitrary and inane measure?

          • rh1985
            January 9, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

            I’m pretty sure it’s normal to feel pain if I bump my head or fall and break my leg or any other accident, that’s all perfectly natural and no one will care if I take something for it, only labor pain seems to be singled out this way.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2014 at 2:26 am #

            I wonder how she deals with her primary dysmenorrhea patients?

            Do they have to suck it up too, or is she prepared to acknowledge that even in the absence of pathology period pain is on a spectrum from non existent to severe?

          • stacey
            January 10, 2014 at 11:24 am #

            F that so called care taker. I hope her beliefs are all over so people know not to hire her. Hope she gets all the difficult NCBers and HB messes.

      • Kat
        January 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

        I actually think the hospital looks pretty legit, so I didn’t say anything yesterday, but I’m in a bad mood today. Anyway, the way everything is worded on the site and the horrible, gleeful, joyful, wide-eyed expression on the faces of everyone in the pictures makes me think this place would grate on me. I can practically hear the nurses cooing at me for being a strong woman and telling me my baby is being born into an environment of laughter and sunlight. It would turn me off hardcore if I was a patient, and I’d have to go see the hospital before I could distill my feelings of annoyance.

    • fiftyfifty1
      January 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

      “It seems to completely refute her point about homebirths and supporting them.”

      That’s why I thought she was a poe. A parody of an NCB L&D nurse.

      • Kat
        January 9, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

        I wasn’t aware of that term, but I had the same thought. But I think she’s serious.

  18. staceyjw
    January 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    They continue to change the meanings of common words. Safe to them means = you got your HB and didn’t die (maybe baby did, but thats irrelevant)!
    They deserve an Orwell award, for taking their language FAR past black is white and 1+2 =4.

    And a GENITAL AMPUTATION of a little boy? I am sorry, but many men I know would say death or brain damage is an improvement over this. Not even kidding. I bet she is anti circ too- but HB is just fine, even if the whole penis needs cut off!

    (I hope she gets a HIPAA violation too. She is an actual RN, so she should know to STFU.)

    • Susan
      January 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

      Yeah that. It’s just crazy in this day and age to talk about a patient online period end of story. Hospitals have us sign things saying we won’t discuss patients on social media but common sense dictates it. Then, to have your real name and workplace and talk specifics about a patient? What an incredible lack of judgment. Of course it’s the same woman who says that that horror story is an example of a good midwife and wants to have an HBAC, so judgment isn’t her strong suit.

      • Amy M
        January 10, 2014 at 6:49 am #

        Yeah, it wouldn’t have been difficult to be generic: I am a nurse, I have seen some homebirth horrors. She might even have been able to say something like: breech birth can lead to necrosis of body parts that have been delivered/partially delivered/are being squished if the baby is trapped and pushing goes on too long.

  19. slandy09
    January 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    There are no words for the shock I experienced reading about that poor little boy. 🙁

  20. January 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    HOW HOW HOW can they claim this is a beautiful, perfect home birth????!?! Hemorrhage? Transfusions? Retained placenta?

    What. The. Fuck. Is. Wrong. With. These. People.

  21. Meerkat
    January 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    Just when I think homebirth stories can’t get any more awful, they do. That poor poor boy.

  22. Houston Mom
    January 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    I googled breech birth and scrotum and found this from 1973 & this from 2010

    I don’t have access but the article titles/abstracts sound pretty bad.

    Seems like this is not an unheard of danger in this situation. Not unheard of among doctors that is. I doubt the lay midwife knew or ever mentioned this. I cannot comprehend the lifetime of misery that butcher has caused.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      I’ve found a case study of labial and clitoral necrosis (which thankfully resolved fully) in a preterm baby.

      The link contains graphic photos of infant genitalia, so probably NSFW.

      • Houston Mom
        January 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

        Why would anyone risk an injury like that, even if it resolves?

        • Busbus
          January 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

          In that case, the mother actually had a c-section following preterm labor. But I agree – reading about these injuries has only solidified my personal resolve to have a c-section (and no TOL) if I should ever be in the position to be pregnant with a breech baby.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

            That’s pretty much all they do these days. If you are breech and go into labor before your scheduled section, they still operate right away. The advantages of c-section for breech are just so clear.

      • Lisa from NY
        January 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

        “Neonatal genital trauma is quite rare, especially in female newborns. The neonatal male genitalia are more prone to injury than are the female genitalia. Reported neonatal male genital injuries secondary to breech deliveries include scrotal hematoma, scrotal rupture, and anorchia.4,5 Genital trauma is more common in infants with a birth of 2,500 g or greater.”

        It seems it’s not uncommon in male infant breech births.

        Footnotes 4 & 5:

        “4. Negrine R, Easter W, Fraser I, Ellis S. Neonatal testicular trauma: scrotal rupture. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2010;95(3):F193.
        5. Tiwary CM. Testicular injury in breech delivery: possible implications. Urology. 1989;34(4):210-212.”

    • Busbus
      January 9, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

      There is a response to the 2010 article (see:, which reads:

      “[Testicular] trauma following breech delivery is not
      extremely rare as they suggest. In 1975 I reported 11 cases of scrotal
      bruising and significant testicular enlargement among 114 consecutively breech-born male infants over a two year period(2). Those affected tended to be large, first-born, singleton and term or post-term infants. […] It would be of interest to study the prior incidence of breech delivery in a large series of sterile adult males.”

      I haven’t looked up the original report that is mentioned here. The author of the response is Peter M. Dunn, Emeritus Professor of Perinatal Medicine and Child Health University of Bristol.

  23. Alicia
    January 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m at a loss…I’m just shaking my head in shock…

  24. fiftyfifty1
    January 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    Could Nicole Arciniega be a poe?

  25. January 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I can’t be the only one who is aware that circumcisions have ended this way before.

    • Alicia
      January 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

      You’re not. That’s why I don’t support non-medically needed circumcisions.

    • staceyjw
      January 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      The irony of course is that HB that makes you lose your entire penis is A-Ok.

      • itry2brational
        January 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

        No, that’s hyperbole on your part, not hypocrisy on theirs. No HB wackjob thinks total genital amputation is A-OK and you know it.

  26. January 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    wow isn’t she worried about getting fired? that was some really specific stuff she mentioned there.

  27. GiddyUpGo123
    January 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Oh my god, that is gut wrenching. How horrible. That poor little boy.

    I honestly don’t get her point. It’s hard to defend her co-workers because they keep thinking about this awful thing that happened to an innocent little boy because of homebirth stupidity. Why the hell *shouldn’t* they think about that terrible incident and use it as a reason not to support homebirth?

  28. January 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    How…. HOW will they explain this to their son when he is older.

    • January 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      You’re assuming they’ve decided to raise him as a son – but either way there’s going to be some ‘splaining’ to do…I’m betting they lie and say “congenital defect” – you were born this way, now take your hormones.

      • January 9, 2014 at 3:06 pm #


      • realityycheque
        January 9, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

        “You’re assuming they’ve decided to raise him as a son”, having read David Reimer’s story (man whose genitals were lost following a botched circumcision and whose parents tried to raise him as a female) I sincerely hope his parents choose a different path.

        Hopefully by the time this little boy has grown up, penis transplant surgery (either by donor or artificially grown) may have advanced and be a viable option, and one that he feels comfortable with.

        All this for a birth experience… there are no words for how utterly tragic this is.

        • toni
          January 10, 2014 at 1:40 am #

          I really really hope they’ll be able to fashion a new one from his own tissues or something. That could be possible in the near future, couldn’t it? They can do incredible things in plastic surgery these days..

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            January 10, 2014 at 2:00 am #

            By then, they might be able to do something with stem cells.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2014 at 2:34 am #

            It is possible to fashion a penis, often from skin on the inner arm or buttocks. The results aren’t perfect, which is why many FtM transmen choose not to have such surgery, but it does exist.

            Again-NSFW, graphic images.


        • KarenJJ
          January 10, 2014 at 8:34 am #

          That’s who I was thinking of. Very tragic story.

    • Zornorph
      January 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      Perhaps that was the mother’s ‘healing’ homebirth after having a C-section?

    • January 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      They can get some help from the intersex community I’m sure.

  29. Zornorph
    January 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Jesus, I just have no words. I hope when that kid grows up and realizes what his mother’s desire to have a stunt birth cost him, he never talks to her again. That just makes me so angry.

    • January 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      It won’t even be that long down the road – that kid will need hormone therapy at a fairly young age…

    • Trixie
      January 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      For all we know, she already feels incredibly remorseful.

      • ilia
        January 9, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

        That’ll do that kid a whole lot of good. She castrated her son just because she wanted to stick it to the man and get her breech home birth badge to wear. If she feels anything but remorseful that would be a shocker.

        • Trixie
          January 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

          Okay, but remember, we are hearing this third hand, have no confirmation that it’s true, and if it is true, the woman who posted it is breaching patient confidentiality. Hoping that the mother is punished by her child hating her forever seems rather over the top, however horrifying the situation is.

        • January 9, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

          Its weird, I was reading the intersex society of north america page this morning and there are all kinds of parallels here.

          According to them, the problem isn’t have an abnormal body, its people deciding there is something wrong with your body and the shame that surrounds those judgments. His body will be normal to him.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

            “His body will be normal to him.”

            Maybe, maybe not. I know a lot of people who have had total genital amputation. Some are ok with it, others really mourn what they lost, even though they may not remember a time before the procedure.

          • Houston Mom
            January 9, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

            But the vagina and ovaries are not removed during female circumcision. This boy will be unable to have sex or father a child of his own.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

            Yes, all the more reason to be wary of Shameon’s assertion that “His body will be normal to him.”

          • Siri
            January 10, 2014 at 10:36 am #

            And it won’t be normal to his parents, who presumably will be grieving on his behalf for a very long time, if not forever. Let’s not forget, the midwives may have been reassuring them during labour that everything was ok, in which case the parents will be feeling tricked, lied to etc. There will be so much grief, pain and bitterness in that family, nothing will be ‘normal’.

          • staceyjw
            January 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

            I don’t believe that he will feel normal even for a second. He doesn’t live in a box, he lives in the real world where “real men” = their cocks and as much sex as you can get. Its gross, but at the current time, it is true. Please do not think this won’t effete him, when it effects men w normal genitals everyday.

          • Trixie
            January 9, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

            There’s a huge, huge difference between being born intersex, or with genitalia that isn’t typical, or a gender identity that isn’t typical vs.being the victim of an incredibly irresponsible medical error. They really aren’t the same thing at all.

      • Busbus
        January 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

        I agree with Trixie – if this horrible story is true, I am sure this boy’s parents would do everything in their power to turn the clock back if they could. Yes, for their son, the outcome was especially gruesome, but that doesn’t mean that the parents are more “guilty” than others who made the same choices but happened to be luckier. All they needed to do was to buy the “variation of normal” propaganda like so many others who choose risky home births.

        I cannot imagine the horror of such an accident for the boy, and the horrible, heart-rending guilt that the parents must feel. For all we know, these parents would even speak out against home birth if it weren’t for their son’s privacy. In fact, I hope for the boy’s sake that this nurse’s unethical behavior and breech of HIPAA etc. doesn’t lead to him being identified and becoming the subject of an internet or media frenzy.

  30. January 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    My mind is blown – there’s something absurd when the drive to avoid a cesarean is so strong, that it doesn’t matter if it results in death or disability. That poor child, I can’t begin to imagine the hard road ahead – how do you forgive your mother for imposing such an unneccessary fate?

    • pendragon05
      January 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

      You can’t. All it shows is that Moomy is the most selfish, selfish, SELFISH bitch in the world. Doesn’t care about the baby’s welfare at all. And home birthing is NOT about making sacrifices, either.

  31. Trixie
    January 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Total genital amputation at botched homebirth: empowering!
    Circumcision: abuse!

    • itry2brational
      January 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Total genital amputation: bad!
      Partial genital amputation: “normal”?*

      *boys only

      There, fixed it.

      • Guestll
        January 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

        Oh goody, it was only a matter of time before the hyperbolic wingnuts showed up.

        • itry2brational
          January 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

          I don’t think you know what hyperbolic actually means.
          “Total genital amputation at botched homebirth: empowering!”
          That is hyperbole, that is “deliberate exaggeration”. No HB lunatic thinks that or even views what happened in that way.
          My comment contained no exaggeration at all, it reflects a contradictory and hypocritical reality regarding circumcision, which amputates(cuts off a projecting body part) the prepuce, a part of the male genitalia. No hyperbole is necessary when discussing circumcision…it just seems that way, particularly to its apologists, when you describe it accurately.

      • Trixie
        January 9, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

        I was poking fun at the rhetoric of the natural childbirth movement, which is quick to label circumcision as abuse/mutilation, but which rallies around idiots who put their children’s lives at risk through unsafe birth choices. This wasn’t a value judgement on whether individual families make the choice to circumcise or not circumcise based on their individual beliefs and weighing of the risks and benefits.

        • itry2brational
          February 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

          Uh, thats complete BS. Poking fun requires/is a judgement. You think your judgement/assessment of circumcision is superior and you’re making fun of a straw man of theirs. I was pointing out the absurdity of your hyperbolic rhetoric.
          Wake up call: most of the world, the modern first-world especially, call it what it is. The location(hospital), sharpness of the knife and gender of the baby doesn’t change or alter the definition of genital mutilation.

          • Trixie
            February 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

            I never stated my personal opinion or choices regarding circumcision.

          • itry2brational
            February 16, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

            You stated your opinion both implicitly(with mockery/ridicule) and later explicitly(“HB advocates are -quick to label-“). Quick meaning hasty, “Done or made too quickly to be accurate or wise; rash foolhardy.” You mocked them for -both- their HB advocacy -and- intactivism.
            Your opinion is obvious and clear, despite your evasiveness: circumcision is not abuse or mutilation. Your mockery and explicit opinion are dependent upon that presupposition. Neither works without it!

            What’s more, your ridicule isn’t limited to HB advocates. Anyone who labels circumcision as abuse or mutilation is included. Most of the people opposed to circumcision are not HB advocates but the majority of HB advocates happen to oppose circumcision. HB advocacy reasonings are not related to intactivism, despite their rhetoric which may claim they are. (Shame on you for believing a HB advocate’s own “natural” rhetoric.)

            Your position is forced to assume: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, all the doctors and parents who oppose it and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (most of the world) are being hasty to label circumcision abuse or mutilation, despite their careful considerations and deliberations. We have had a couple thousand years to consider it and most of the world doesnt do it anymore. Hasty?

            34 others “like” your mockery, they agree with you but you’re working hard to distance yourself from just the circumcision part. You’ve got the support, why hide?

  32. Amy M
    January 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    This is homebirth done right? I guess they really do think someone has to be maimed or killed for it to be wrong? Or is that just another variation of normal? Guess what, TFB–IS available to anyone who wants it because anyone can be dopey enough to stay home and risk her life and her baby’s life and pay some charlatan for the privilege. No one was stopping Ruth here, and no one is stopping any of the other NCBers.

    Even the nurse who left the comment about that poor genital-less baby said she chose to give birth in a hospital, despite her homebirth advocacy. That tells me she’s seen enough horrible things to recognize the risks and put the value on the life of her child over her NCB street cred.

  33. Elle
    January 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Reason #8547295638 to not have a homebirth: not having to explain to my son why he had to be amputated.

  34. itry2brational
    January 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    “…transferred to hospital care at the right time and helped this mother and baby finish out the job safely and happily.”

    So the hospital is where you go for a -safe- birth because homebirth, not so safe. Got it.

    • staceyjw
      January 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

      Of course! They always get to clean up the mess.

  35. DaisyGrrl
    January 9, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    Wow. Just wow. That poor baby. Does the nurse not get that this uneducated lay midwife is the one that’s also “responsible” for the good outcomes as well? The lack of insight into what happened is disturbing. Also, I hope that this is a rare as f*ck complication. My mind still boggles.

    • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
      January 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      That alleged nurse has got to be fake. I can’t imagine a real high-risk OB nurse saying this, not to mention the HIPAA violation posting such potentially identifying patient information on FB.

      • almostfearless
        January 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

        Googled her… here’s something else she posted about a month ago…

        • FormerPhysicist
          January 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

          That one actually sounds fairly reasonable.

          • Ceridwen
            January 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

            Mostly. But when she says “I find myself standing up for my patients rights when they won’t for some reason” it makes me think she’s “standing up for their rights” by deciding for them what they want or assuming they want the same thing she would.

            To my mind, if your patient doesn’t argue with a treatment course you are free to inform them about other available options that haven’t been mentioned but you should not be “advocating” for them without them stating explicitly that it’s what they want. That’s being just as much of a paternalistic asshole as the doctors you don’t like (or more).

          • Susan
            January 9, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

            excellent point! And she sure isn’t standing up for the patient’s right to privacy.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 10, 2014 at 4:40 am #

            Agitating on her own behalf vs. advocating on the patients behalf. Sometimes it isn’t clear at all.

      • Lena
        January 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

        That’s what I’m thinking. She’s posting under her real name, and her place of employment is known? That’s a whole lot of stupid if it’s true.

        Remember those student nurses who were kicked out school for posting pictured of placentas (with no patient info at all) on facebook? Hospitals do not mess around with potential HIPAA violations.

      • Susan
        January 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

        I wish it weren’t true but I tend to think it’s real. I hate to say it but there are some real dingbats in nursing!

  36. amazonmom
    January 9, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    My stomach churns. Poor child isn’t enough but my mind is in shock.

  37. LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
    January 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Dr Amy, I don’t know how you do this work and remain sane. I really don’t. That poor baby.

  38. attitude devant
    January 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    Oh Amy, you fearmongerer you. Playing the ‘total genital amputation’ card! Seriously? That poor poor kid. Absolutely horrified. Res ipsa loquitor.

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