Ruth Fowler Iorio shares the “beautiful, messy reality” of nearly bleeding to death at homebirth

Blood transfusion bag

Naricissm and stupidity, it’s a winning combination for homebirth advocates.

Only a homebirth advocate could be impressed with herself for surviving a life threatening homebirth disaster that didn’t have to happen, thank the midwife who nearly killed her, ignore the hospital staff who saved her life AND blare her stupidity and narcissism to the whole world on Twitter.

Of course, Huffington Post, a veritable sewer of alt health nonsense, venerates Ruth Fowler Iorio with a piece entitled New Mom’s Uncensored Photos Reveal The Beautiful, Messy Reality Of Home Birth.

What’s next HuffPo? Drunk Woman’s Uncensored Photos Reveal the Beautiful, Messy Reality of Accidents Cause By Intoxication?

Ruth shared her homebirth disaster in real time, because what’s the point of risking your baby’s life and brain function if you aren’t going to brag about it to the entire world?

This is her “beautiful” homebirth in her own words:

… Nye was occidental [sic] posterior. He flipped to come out but shoulder dystocia ripped me apart. Then the placenta wouldn’t come out – some medical termI don’t know – which basically mean, it tried to detach and ripped more of me out! So I lost over half my blood and got transferred by great emt’s [sic] after the birth.

Felt awful but now recovering in UCLA Santa Monica on a TON of fentany1 (it kicks ass!) and blood transfusions and will be back home with Jared and Nye Soledad Iorio tomorrow. This mad experience Just reiterated how goddamn crazy birth is…

I don’t want to be an ass but this experience has taught me birth is beautiful and primal and mysterious and painful as ****. Thanks to my amazing midwife Racha Tahani Lawler for getting me through that, and her assistant Tanya and my brilliant doula Allegra Hill.*

Birth is goddam crazy? No shit, Sherlock. Any obstetrician could have told Ruth that, but she, like all homebirth advocates, was too full of herself to listen.

So instead Ruth had a “beautiful” homebirth that included a shoulder dystocia, large perineal tear, retained placenta and massive postpartum hemorrhage that would have killed except for the …

intravenous access
blood products
removal of retained placenta
antibiotics for infection
loads of fentanyl (which will appear in her breast milk)
2 day hospitalization

See why it makes perfect sense to give birth at home without IV access, without blood products, without antibiotics, without obstetricians, nurses, anesthesiologists, operating rooms, etc. etc.? See why homebirth is beautiful?

No, I don’t see it, either.


* Extra crunchy bonus points for thanking by name the midwife, assistant, and doula who couldn’t have saved her life, and ignoring the names of the many people who actually did save her life.

241 Responses to “Ruth Fowler Iorio shares the “beautiful, messy reality” of nearly bleeding to death at homebirth”

  1. KerBearRN
    February 10, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Interesting how this was RUTHShomebirth (my emphasis), not the baby’s. Every picture is all about her–even the ones with the baby have him off center, out of focus– clearly she is the only star that matters in this show. I love Dr. Amy’s description, “birth performance art”. And Iorio’s whining about fb not letting her post pics–priceless.

    What self-absorbed drivel.

    • Young CC Prof
      January 15, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      “The way she framed it made it sound more like the hospital saved her life, rather than a timely and responsible transfer.”

      Say WHAT? So, it was the transfer process that saved her. Not the doctors, nurses and transfusions. Good to know that the mere act of calling 911 and getting in the ambulance can save someone, no actual treatment necessary.

      • Squillo
        January 15, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

        It wasn’t the parachute that saved my life, it was pulling the cord.

        (Squillo here, accessing internet on my phone ’cause my modem got broke.)

  2. FrumLadyLoveBabies
    January 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    I have to share here, my emotional rush. Dr. Amy’s articles never cease to produce this reation in me. She is an intense passionate doctor, whose blatant spelling out the truth about homebirth makes her a modern day revolutionist. Her love of medical science and for life itself, and babies, and the truth always brings forth my awe and respect from my heart to her. I get “a rush” just reading her stuff.

  3. Michelle
    January 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    I have to agree with you, it is a one-sided blinkered version of her birth. And all those complications were the reason I chose a hospital. I know that they don’t happen at every birth but I didn’t want to play the odds. If something went wrong I wanted to be in the best place possible, i.e. the hospital. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

  4. Dreah Louis
    January 11, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    wow she is lucky she survived to be able to even talk about it everybody isn’t so lucky.
    She was labor drunk when talking about the doulas and midwife.
    Believe me she snapped out of it later.

  5. R T
    January 11, 2014 at 3:34 am #

    Barf! Can you get more self-centered and self-righteous than this lady? How sad she doesn’t acknowledge the doctors and nurse who did all the really hard stuff and saved her life. I can’t imagine not acknowledging and feeling grateful for them too. Rita would have died without access to a hospital. How can anyone take away anything other than that from this story?

  6. emkay
    January 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    fucking hell. what a nutjob. I do NOT envy those poor doctors ahving to clean up such a mess.

    • emkay
      January 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

      And why on EARTH does she sound almost gleeful using the phrase “tore me apart”…. drama hound

  7. January 10, 2014 at 12:41 am #

    I had my babies fast. My second baby was born without me getting the epidural I wanted because another new mother developed Placenta Accreta, , and my OB/GYN and anesthesiologist were apparently the only doctors on the floor at the time. The anesthesiologist was literally swabbing my back when the nurse came in and got her. By the time they finished saving her life, my little guy was well on his way. My OB/GYN told me that other woman was just lucky I went into labor when I did.

  8. NursingRN
    January 9, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    That big medical term about how your placenta wouldn’t come out except by ripping more of you out? It’s called Placenta Accreta and we’ve sent women to the ICU following birth by emergency c/s with a total hysterectomy and TONS of blood products (sorry Gaia momma, you only got the Fentanyl). Hmmm, maybe we can show the UN-censored photos of the whole shindig from OR and Intubation to ICU- YAY! EXCITING!

  9. yentavegan
    January 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    Where is the live in real time photo of the bed covered in blood!? Where are the photos of the EMT’s? Her photo essay is so cleaned up as to make it a fairy-tale. I can not stand all those shout outs of “you rock mamma, you are so brave” kudos she is getting on the comments post over at huffington.

    • yentavegan
      January 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      and how did she manage to get her baby admitted to the hospital…is she really telling us the full story?

      • FormerPhysicist
        January 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

        When I went back into the hospital two weeks post-partum for post-partum pre-E, they did let me bring the baby to room in with me on the L&D ward. They couldn’t take her to the nursery, but they let me have her. I wasn’t in much danger though, just needed a mag drip and watching.

        • yentavegan
          January 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

          maybe each hospital has different policies.

          • FormerPhysicist
            January 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

            I’m not positive they weren’t bending the policies, either. The nurse certainly bent the policy went it was quiet in the middle of the night and walked the little one around with her to give me a break.

          • yentavegan
            January 9, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

            on second thought though. was your baby delivered in that hospital two weeks earlier?

          • FormerPhysicist
            January 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

            Yes. She was born there. The planned c/s got moved up two days, and then the OB was called in at 5 am when I went into labor. They are fairly busy (2000 per year), so I don’t know how much the nurses would recall.

          • yentavegan
            January 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

            your infant was a known entity. IT seems unlikely that a hospital would take on the added risk of a born at home newborn without actually admitting the infant.

          • Anne
            January 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

            If we get a PostPartum homebirth transfer, but the baby does not need to be admitted (and the family doesn’t want it to be), it can still stay in the room with the mom, as long as there is another family member there to take care of the baby. Granted that is just if the mom can be on post-partum – babies can’t stay with her if she needs to be in the ICU. In that case, sometimes the baby can be admitted to the newborn nursery for 24 hours, so at least is it in the same hospital as mom. Or if the family doesn’t want the baby admitted, and there are open rooms on the postpartum unit, sometimes the dad and baby can stay as guests (no nursing care, etc, just a room) while mom is in the ICU. It doesn’t happen that often, but my hospital does bend over backwards to accommodate these families. I think the idea is that if we do what we can to be accommodating, the LMs will transfer sooner rather than later, and also help the family members be less resistant to the necessary care that we provide.

          • Susan
            January 11, 2014 at 12:30 am #

            That’s great. So often I see these families absolutely flabbergasted that we aren’t monsters out to get them. They come in so scared and defensive but usually, not always, leave appearing to really be thinking twice about their notions of about hospitals.

          • thankfulmom
            January 9, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

            When I was readmitted with postpartum pre-eclampsia, we took our 10 day old baby to the ER with us and no one said I couldn’t keep him with me. I was admitted to a peds.unit…my dh said only I could manage turning 40 and getting admitted to a peds unit. I think they did that so I could keep him with me and the dr. told the nurses I would have family members coming in to help care for my son. I did not, but I didn’t need any help since I wasn’t a first time mom.

      • KAndrews
        January 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

        When Abel was in the NICU, they couldn’t even give me an over the counter medication for pain even though I had been in labor for days and had tears. I was not their patient. Only Abel. We could stay in his room but not all night. Seems like the policy would work in reverse?

      • January 11, 2014 at 2:12 am #

        The baby was never admitted. He was perfectly healthy.

  10. Megha
    January 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    Has anyone left her a twitter message with a link to this blog showing that she actually a laughing stock rather than a revered warrior woman? I would but I don’t have twitter account, don’t know how it works and I have no desire jumping into another social media platform lol.

    I’d love to tell her I delivered on my back, Epi in tow and didn’t have a single semblance of a tear. Now that’s birthing like a boss! None of this dystocia, ripping, fentanyl, transfusion bullshit.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
      January 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

      I’m sure she’s heard it all by now and gives exactly zero fucks. Someone will point her here soon enough, but she won’t take anything people here say seriously.

      • Susan
        January 12, 2014 at 1:28 am #

        But surely at least one c***

  11. Ann B
    January 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    The one thing that always catches my eye in these stories is this sentence, “I can’t imagine laboring in a hospital bed with an IV.” When I get to this sentence I just stop reading. I have seen it time and again. I’m afraid of needles so I am having a home birth. HUH, WHAT? So how can anyone reason with that logic? You can’t. Here’s what your get when something goes sideways… A dead or near dead baby. A dead or near dead mom. But by God she did not have to have an IV. Seriously infuriates me!

    • Dr Kitty
      January 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      A small plastic tube in your arm which doesn’t stop you moving about…because it isn’t connected to anything.

      Instead, she got to have several units of blood transfused over several hours…through an IV…which no doubt interfered with her ability to hold and nurse her son.

      • moto_librarian
        January 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

        Probably a large bore needle, too.

        • Dr Kitty
          January 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

          I have lovely big, non rolling veins, so I’m the world’s easiest stick. I have been known to let medical student put IVs in me and take my blood, because I want them to get some confidence (and a “patient” who won’t freak out if they miss on the first-or fourth-go) before they’re let loose on a real patient.

          I let my friend put a very big IV in my wrist for my CS, because he needed to get his numbers of large bores up to be signed off (I think it was a 14G- he used local, I still have the little scar).

          While I am sympathetic to those with genuine needle phobias, I’m afraid I think most of the NCB people making a big fuss about an 18G or 20G heplock are being a bit precious…especially since they are planning to endure 10 plus hours of excruciating pain without analgesia!

          Put all the needles you want in me, but no way would I want an unmedicated labour!

          • moto_librarian
            January 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

            I have tiny veins, and I have had them blown out for simple draws. I am not squeamish about needles at all, but I don’t enjoy being stuck. I have no memory of having the I.V. started after my first delivery since I had already passed out, but I feel for the nurse who had to run the line.

          • Anaesthetist
            January 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

            This sounds pretty bad, but I have really poor veins and am very good at taking blood and doing IV access. So much so that I normally let people who need to take blood from me have a look, and if they are not confident or seem nervous then I offer to do it for them. I have also done my own cannula a few times as often I would have to wait for a senior doctor to be available – that’s technically awkward to do to yourself but Ive always succeeded.

            Sometimes it freaks people out when I explain and offer but if it spares me bruises, failed attempts and time waiting, and leaves more of my crappy venous system untouched for later access then its worth it. In terms of pain and being freaked out – no, I don’t enjoy it, Im not interested in self harm but can make myself inflict the pain if its for a real benefit. I really have a greater problems with waxing or plucking my eyebrows!

          • Dr Kitty
            January 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

            I’ve taken my own blood, but I think inserting a venal on with one hand would be technically beyond me, advancing the cannula and withdrawing the needle singlehanded requires SKILL!

          • January 9, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

            My dad is a police officer, and back when he was working the jails (decades ago, so I’m sure things have changed) he said that every once in a while they would get an IV drug user whose veins were so messed up that they couldn’t get the blood draw they needed. More than once, they finally would just have the person do it themselves, because they were the only one capable of hitting their vein!

            Friend of mine is an ex heroin user, and I keep telling her she should think about being a lab tech. Came back from a hospital trip that took an hour and half and a dozen sticks before they could get an IV, and when I started complaining, she grabbed my arm and started rubbing my veins with a more practiced hand at 21 than many nurses I’ve had who’ve worked for years! She’s all, “Oh, I could get you there…and here…oh, this is a good one…”

            Best nurse I ever had worked the ER at my local hospital. Even if I wasn’t her patient, she would often come in to start my IV if she was working. It’s a small, suburban hospital, but she worked the main, general hospital in Oakland for 17 years before she moved to our hospital, and she was often the only person who could get my vein, after so many years working on longtime IV drug users! I was *devastated* when I found out at my last ER trip that she had died–and NOT because she was the only one who could get my veins!! She was a lovely woman, spent almost all of her more than 4 decades in nursing working the ER…the nursing profession lost one of their most talented, dedicated, and caring members. 🙁

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

            I have lovely big, non rolling veins, so I’m the world’s easiest stick.

            I’m in the running.

            I’ve actually had a blood return (giving platelets) in the vein that goes between your thumb and your first finger. That was the weirdest thing.

          • staceyjw
            January 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

            In order to get IV access, they need to break out the US, and/or use my neck. It use to take 10+ fruitless sticks (or as many as I would allow- once they went to 23 with 4 different people) just to convince them to go this route. It is really awful.

            And still, MUCH preferred to an unmedicated labor OR a HB.

          • January 9, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

            Lucky! I had bad veins already, and several years in the hospital plus a year of needing weekly blood draws when I was on Coumadin pretty much destroyed my veins. I usually have no problem letting student nurses use me for practice (after all the time and surgeries I’ve had at student hospitals–UCSF and Stanford–I feel like I’ve already donated my body to science, even before death!), but I draw the line at getting my blood drawn. I give the same speech to every nurse (I have tiny veins that blow easily, my wrists are useless, that one vein in my arm you like is all scar tissue, etc.) and I’ll give the nurse a few tries, but I’ve finally learned to stand up for myself and tell them to stop if they are just poking aimlessly, and *especially* if they don’t listen and go for veins that I’ve told them no longer work!

            It’s the main reason I avoid the hospitals, though, and I will do *everything* in my power to take care of myself at home before going to the ER. Before, if I was dehydrated, or I could tell i was low on potassium or something, I’d just go down to the ER for a nice shot of anti-nausea meds, maybe a little pain management, and couple bags of fluid or whatever electrolytes I’m missing. Easy, solves the problem quickly, and I get a good night’s sleep, But now, because I know it will take an hour or so AT BEST to get an iV started, I do everything possible to avoid going in! (Hell, two trips ago they finally had to put a PIC line in, because no one, even their top nurses they called in from other departments at the hospital, could get an IV started.)

            So I understand needle phobias, hating the struggle for an IV, doing whatever you can to avoid it. But if the life of my baby was at risk? Not even a question. Shit, even if they can’t get an IV, I just want to make sure my baby is safe. Jesus. How could someone put their needle phobia or their petty irritations with hospital procedure before the health of their child? That’s selfishness on a level I can’t understand (as so many of the stories and comments we read here are,,,). Unfortunately, I don’t think that grade of selfishness is limited to birth…even if the home birth goes totally perfectly, no problems, the baby is fine, I worry that some of these kids are going to have a rough time of it afterwards. I’ve had friends with narcissist moms…it’s rough.

          • Amy M
            January 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

            For my work, I have to do IV injections into the tail veins of mice. I’ve never been trained on humans, but I’m confident I could learn it if I had to, since most of the human veins commonly used are a lot easier to hit than a mouse tail vein, especially on a dark colored mouse! I do not have needle phobia myself, so I don’t care much about getting shots or blood draws.

            Probably helped that since I have asthma, as a child I was on medication that had to be monitored quarterly. My mom used to be a medical technologist, so rather than pulling me out of school a lot, she got permission to bring the needles and vials to school and would draw the blood herself and bring it to the lab. She wasn’t actually working as a lab tech at the time, but this was before AIDS, and HIPAA, so she got away with it.

          • realityycheque
            January 9, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

            Not sure if this is an option in the US, but when I was younger I had a lot of hospital stays and had to have numerous IVs (which always scared the crap out of me). To ease my anxiety, my parents would purchase little over the counter patches of Emla cream to put on my hand where they would insert the IV. Made it so that you didn’t feel a thing. If these women are REALLY terrified of the needle that much, this could be an option. I believe they cost something like $15-$20.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            January 10, 2014 at 2:25 am #

            No, Emla isn’t legal over the counter in the US.

          • Erin 'Corbin' Frank
            January 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

            Funny; during my last unmedicated labor, by far the most painful part was the hospital staff trying to get my Hep Lock in. My veins are not usually a hard stick, and my husband has EMT training and was an Army Ranger and he almost hit the floor passing out watching it. Way worse than any of my contractions! They eventually gave up and gave me shots in my thigh after birth for clotting fears…it was totally ridiculous, and I do not consider myself afraid of needles. It almost knocked me out of my relaxation zone (which is pretty necessary if you’re going unmedicated). I decided not to have drugs b/c my first birth they hit my spine 11 times to get my spinal meds in twice and I had back pain for well over a year. Give me 24 hours of labor pain over that any day!

          • Mishimoo
            January 10, 2014 at 1:38 am #

            I think the heplock for my last delivery (put in towards the end because I asked for an IV and pitocin, due to dehydration and feeling tired) was either a 16G or a 14G done with no local because it doesn’t work for me. I watched it being done and it barely hurt even though it looked like it took some muscle to place it. I now have a cute little scar that makes me smile when I catch sight of it and the 18G ones from one of his sisters.

      • Leslie
        January 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

        I think I have you guys beat. Before my first delivery, it took literally 37 sticks to get my IV in. (I still have scars from some of them.) They ended up have to take me down to the flouroscopy department at 11:00 pm, call in the radiologist from home, and put a central line in my neck. It was hell, but I HAD to be induced, so the IV was not optional.

        When I showed up to be induced with my second, the L&D charge nurse panicked, because she remember me and my 37 sticks. But, second time around, the IV went in on the first try. Go figure.

        • January 9, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

          37 sticks IN A ROW???!

          • Leslie
            January 9, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

            Yeah. It was about a 4.5 hour ordeal. The worst part was, they wouldn’t let my husband be in the room while all this was going on. The doctors and nurses were really, really trying, though, and were super nice. I’m a doctor’s kid — I know these things happen.

          • January 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm #


            It was a Clerks reference.

        • araikwao
          January 12, 2014 at 3:41 am #

          Uncool 🙁

    • January 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      I was so phobic of needles I was fired by two doctors in my rash youth. You know what? All the blood tests and shots and IVs and birth and all that? Cured my phobia. I still wince, maybe dread it a little, but it’s NOTHING. Now I just woman up and take the shot, or get the iv, or give up some blood.

      Somehow having a living, healthy child just gave me enough courage to face my fear. Imagine that!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

        I’ve had countless shots and blood draws, have donated many gallons of blood in my life, and have even donated platelets a dozen or so times where I had a needle in each arm, and in all that time, I have never once actually seen the needle go in. Moreover even in giving blood or platelets, I generally ask them to cover it up so I can’t see the needle sticking in my arm(s). The sight of the needle going in or in my arms gives me the willies.

        But it’s never stopped me from giving or from getting my vaccinations.

        • Ann B
          January 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

          I’m 54 year old mother of two boys and a grandma. I also suffer from Crohn’s disease. I have had countless blood draws, IV’s etc.. and I too have never watched or seen a needle sink in to my flesh. I just turn my head the other way. Why? Because I am a big CHICKEN when it comes to needles!

          However, it did not stop me from having an IV when I had my son 36 years ago. He came so fast there we no drugs, just a delivery and a nice perianal tear that required A LOT of stitches. During the night I coughed and popped a stitch and began bleeding profusely. By the time they got me fixed up my hemoglobin was 3. I had to have a blood transfusion and earned a few extra days in the hospital. If I had been at home I would have surely died. But for being in the hospital with medical people I am alive.

          I’m all about the natural birth process. I did it twice without so much as the benefit of a tylenol. Not because I chose it but because me labors and deliveries were extremely short and there was not time for the luxury of some pain meds of which I surely would have taken had I had that option.

          P.S. I will never watch a needle go into my flesh. I can watch others but not mine… lol go figure

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

            There is a scene in Rocky IV where Ivan Drago gets a steroid shot. I remember it caught me off guard. I had a sever wince just seeing that!

          • Sue
            January 9, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

            An aside – radio news in Sydney Australia today: the most frequently injected illicit drug here is now steroid.

      • January 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

        When I was a kid, I was *terrified* of needles and blood draws, I could handle my shots, but getting blood drawn was an ordeal. When I was seven and had to have my school check-up (they had just changed the regulations in CA…my brothers all had to get the same check-up before they could even enter school) it literally took three nurses and my mom to hold me down so they could draw my blood. I was absolutely hysterical.

        Then I got a blood clot. Oh, I can not tell you how much I loved the IV when I *finally* got some pain relief after hours and hours of suffering with a DVT that ran from my knee to my groin, complete blockage. And after I got out of the hospital, I had to get a blood draw once a week for over a year because I was on blood thinners.

        Pretty much cured my phobia, although I still won’t look at the needle going in! I actually made my friend leave the room when I was getting a PIC line put in a few months ago, because she kept commenting on the size of the needle! I never look. A couple years back, when I had central line put in (thank goodness I was unconscious when they did it–I’m not sure I could have held still for that if I was awake!!) someone offered me a mirror so I could see what it looked like. UH-UH NO THANK YOU. I was freaked out enough just knowing it was there!!

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        January 10, 2014 at 9:32 am #

        When I was about 7 or 8, I had an antibiotic shot. Hurt like heck and I was afraid of needles for a couple of years after that. Then it was time for my DTP booster. I dreaded it for days before hand. But when I actually got it, it wasn’t painful. I’d been expecting an IM antibiotic shot (which hurts quite a lot) and so my response to getting a (not very painful) DTP booster was something like “You mean that’s IT? I got all excited for THAT?” I felt vaguely cheated because I’d wasted all that anxiety on nothing. Haven’t been afraid of needles since then.

    • Danielle
      January 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      It has nothing to do with being afraid of needles and everything to do with the fact that the routine use of intravenous fluids during labor has been proven to not improve outcomes for mothers and babies. If you are not using medical pain relief, they are unnecessary and hinder movement during labor.

      • Dr Kitty
        January 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

        And…you can decline the fluids while accepting the heplock.

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

        Routine use of IV fluids does not improve outcomes for mothers and babies? I used to spout that line too. But you know what, it’s not my judgement call as to how much pain a laboring mother should be able to tolerate. There is no shame in pain relief.

      • fiftyfifty1
        January 9, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

        Just get a saline lock/hep lock. Then you can hook up the IV if you want (like if you are dehydrated from vomiting or if you are GBS positive and need antibiotics) or not hook it up and roam all around if you want. And then you’ll have emergency access if you have a huge post-partum bleed like this woman did. Sounds very reasonable, no?

        • Mishimoo
          January 9, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

          That’s exactly what I did with our second baby, because I was advised ahead of time that if I lost more than 500mL I’d need a transfusion. It meant that I received the fluids that I needed as well as the ‘whiff’ of pitocin to help reach completion. It wasn’t really a big deal, my veins are difficult at the best of times and so I’d prefer to make things easier in case of emergency.

          I was still active and showering with the line in, it didn’t hinder my mobility.

          • KarenJJ
            January 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

            Same as what I had. I didn’t receive anything until we decided to move on to a c-section and even then they put in a larger one for the anaesthetics.

          • Josephine
            January 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

            Yep! Agreeing with all of that. I have difficult veins so having the IV in was great and gave me peace of mind. I was hooked up to fluids for awhile since my induction went long and my c-section got bumped FOUR TIMES (apparently that never happens…except for me, of course. 😉 and they didn’t want me filling up my stomach with water when I was about to go into surgery. I managed to shower and move around as necessary no problem.

        • Trixie
          January 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

          This is what I did and it worked out great.

      • Sue
        January 9, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

        An IV will ”hinder movement during labor.”?

        How, then, do we see all those hospital patients pacing the corridors, trailing their IV stand-on-wheels?

        Maybe it’s actually labor pain that hinders movement during labor.

        • NursingRN
          January 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

          That’s why we don’t do an IV on anyone unless they’re planning and epidural or will be augmented with pit, and they’re not a hindrance at all. Most of the time they’re Saline Locked so they really just have a little 4-6 inch tube taped to their wrist.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        January 10, 2014 at 9:28 am #

        Why not compromise on a saline lock? Then you can put tape over it and forget it–unless you start to have hemorrhaging in which case fluids and blood can be started through it quickly.

      • C T
        January 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

        I’ve had four unmedicated hospital births, and at #1 and #3 I had heplocks instead of an IV. I’m not positive whether I had an IV for #2, but I think I did and I don’t recall it making it all that harder to move around.
        After #3, I bled some, and the heplock didn’t work when they tried to give me intravenous pitocin, which takes effect faster than an injection. That was scary.
        With #4, I got to the hospital about to deliver. I hemorrhaged worse than I had done before, and they were not able to get an IV in me quickly due to it taking multiple attempts.
        I have no intention of bleeding to death just because of an overhyped fear of loss of mobility from the IV. I think most mobility is lost from the monitoring belt (I sure hope the hospital has remote monitoring available for #5), not the IV.

  12. lucy logan
    January 9, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    well minor victory: on facebook someone posted the huffpo piece and a expressed astonishment that they could view the near-miss as “awesome” and i got into it with someone who explained to me that “risk factors” were primarily the result of young women’s “fear” of childbirth. when i explained the obstetric dilemma in human evolution she asked for evidence and i sent her a bazillion bio anthro references.

  13. Bethany Barry
    January 9, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    This fool’s delivery was almost identical to mine: Shoulder dystocia, perineal tear, retained placenta. However, I gave birth in a hospital, and the competent handling of these complications resulted in my being up and around within 2 hours of delivery. No need to rip out a chunk of my uterus trying to yank my placenta out (like a moron). No need for transfusion, no need for fentanyl (or anything other than ibuprofin). And no bumpy ride to the hospital with a perineal tear and massive bleeding. And best of all, no horrific, bloody clean up at home :).

  14. AllieFoyle
    January 9, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    I imagine (and hope) that more people will be turned off by this article than will find it at all appealing. Shoulder dystocia that “ripped [her] apart”; pain; hospital transfer; hemorrhage; blood transfusions; copious painkilling drugs; being separated from baby and husband; a nearly $30K price-tag… sounds slightly less than ideal to me.

    Judging by the comments though, I’m probably wrong.

  15. Are you nuts
    January 9, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Reading comments on HuffPo makes me question the theory of evolution. Shouldn’t these people be out of the gene pool by now?!?

    • KAndrews
      January 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Have you seen Idiocracy? haha

  16. Anonymous
    January 9, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Not really on topic, but did anyone notice the Big Bang Theory knocked homebirth a little?

    Any news on the Lawsuit Amy?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      Not really on topic, but did anyone notice the Big Bang Theory knocked homebirth a little?

      I didn’t see it. How did Amy Farrah Fowler respond?

  17. sleuther
    January 9, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Ruth Fowler Iorio strikes me as an idiotic, narcissistic attention-whore. She and her baby were extremely lucky to have survived this nonsense intact.

  18. The Computer Ate My Nym
    January 9, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    This story brings out a couple of reasons I didn’t want a home birth, not even counting the risk:

    1. The mess. In the hospital, I could vomit on someone else’s bed, have explosive diarrhea in someone else’s bathroom, and bleed on someone else’s towels. And have someone else clean up after me. Who wants to do a ton of laundry after just giving birth? Or even do a ton of laundry after watching their partner give birth?

    2. The pain. I had, originally, hoped for a non-medicated birth (though always held open the possibility of using pain meds). But even if the pain is manageable with non-pharmacologic methods, it’s going to be nasty. Why have the trauma of 17 (on average) hours of pain be associated with your home instead of a hospital that you don’t have to spend all your time in.

    A couple of years after I gave birth, I went back to the hospital where my daughter was born to discuss a possible job there. I wasn’t who they wanted, the job wasn’t what I wanted, we agreed that I wasn’t the right person for it. It was only when I was walking out that I realized that I was incredibly relieved that I DIDN’T get that job and therefore didn’t have to keep coming back to that hospital. I would not want to feel that way about my home.

    Yeah, I know these reasons are trivial compared to bleeding to death and hypoxic birth injury, but they’re relevant to just about everyone who gives birth and I wish women considering home birth would think through the little things like this as well as, obviously, the big issues of safety.

    • Are you nuts
      January 9, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Yeah! I don’t even like cleaning up after a dinner party, so I would have to burn the house down if I gave birth at home.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

        I repeatedly had the experience, in the UK, of women declining a second homebirth because they “got no rest” afterward, and often cited cleaning up after the delivery as contributing to their exhaustion.

    • Medwife
      January 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      I’m embarrassed to say this, but I started out in my pregnancy thinking wistfully about home birth (when they are smooth they can be pretty wonderful, if they are bad they are horrid, of course). I couldn’t imagine actually appreciating being in the hospital if everything was normal. I always thought I would be one of those moms trying to leave after a few hours. Much to my surprise, after what was really a pretty easy birth for a primip- healthy me, healthy baby, au natural- I was incredibly grateful for the help from the nurses. They knew just what we needed. A very conscientious homebirth midwife is only going to stay a few hours, then you’re on your own. Not my ideal.

      • Josephine
        January 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

        I was surprised as well that up until the day before leaving (I had a c-section after a long failedish induction so I’d been there for awhile), I was perfectly content to be in the hospital. Hello, someone else to clean up after me, help me and my husband with the new baby stuff, bring me food, etc? Yes please. I’m actually looking forward to my second c-section and hospital stay this spring…my toddler will be with his grandparents and I will get to enjoy my new babies and be taken care of for a few days. It’s not exactly a weekend spa resort trip, but hey. I’ll take it.

        • OBPI Mama
          January 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

          Haha! I can relate! I stayed a day longer with each of my c-sections because the hospital was so quiet and people were around to help me. By the last baby, I stayed the maximum amount I could. It was my special time before going home with 4 kids, 4 and under. 🙂

        • Lynnie
          January 12, 2014 at 1:10 am #

          I know what you mean. When my son was born, he needed to stay in the hospital for a few days longer than usual. Since that hospital was rather small, it didn’t have a NICU or even a nursery. I had no choice but to room in with him and stay at the hospital with him and take care of him. His condition wasn’t bad enough to be transferred by helicopter the 230 miles to the nearest NICU, but he wasn’t ready to go home either. But I had a couple extra days of someone else taking care of the laundry and the cleaning and the cooking. It was a stressful time because he was obviously having problems and I was worried that he was going to be transferred (there was also some issues with some of the nurses being, well for lack of a better word, idiots, but what did you expect in a town of 5500?), It was just nice to have the extra help right after the birth. I have a couple friends who have had home births, and I never asked who took care of the mess for them. Maybe I should.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 12, 2014 at 10:20 am #

          Our oldest went jaundiced about day 3, and ended up having to stay in the hospital for an extra day after the c-section. My wife got discharged normal, but they let her stay in the room (“boarding”) while the baby was in the nursery under the lamp (I got to stay, too, because dads room in)

          That extra 24 hrs made a world of a difference.

  19. January 9, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    SO I had my entire belief in NCB crash and burn in front of me, and I am really glad that you all weren’t around to call me stupid for not instantly changing my mind about everything. When you really invest in something emotionally you have to take a lot of time to process what went wrong. I don’t know what conclusion this lady will draw ultimately, but I know that its likely to be different than the one she live tweeted as everything went wrong.

    My spouse left a very controlling religion, and we have had a lot of conversations about what it is like to change your mind about your beliefs. Its a slow process. People beat themselves up about it a lot too (“how could I be so stupid”, “I should have quit right then”, etc). In my experience, harsh judgment makes people dig their heels in more because we all feel defensive when criticized.

    • OBPI Mama
      January 9, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      How long did it take you to de-program yourself and come to terms with the reality of your decision? I am just curious. It took me a long time… I wrote a blog post about how long (linking rather than retype)! Curious if this was similar to you.

      I still wrestle with guilt at times. Maybe it’s just part of the journey. Last year, when my son was doing a very intense round of constraint therapy, was probably one of the all time lows of feeling guilty.

      I am glad for this website though and for people’s comments. Even though it might not help the mama right now, I think it helps reiterate the dangers of homebirth for those considering it for themselves. And I think it’s much easier being the raked over the coals by strangers than by people you love (in my opinion). I think it’s the ones close to you that should maybe be your support and not say “I told you so”.

      • attitude devant
        January 9, 2014 at 10:44 am #

        Oh, your post is terrific. Thank you!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 9, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      I am really glad that you all weren’t around to call me stupid

      What do you mean? Is anyone “around” this person calling her stupid? You came here to read this discussion. If she is reading this discussion, then she has come HERE – not anyone here chasing her down.

      Now, there could be comments on the original article, but if that is the case, she put herself out there.

      I have to say, if I had MY entire belief crash and burn, I wouldn’t go around looking for what others are saying about me. I’d focus on myself.

      If you just had your entire belief in NCB crash and burn, why would you come read Dr Amy’s blog instead of taking the time to process it?

      • OBPI Mama
        January 9, 2014 at 10:41 am #

        That is all very true. Good points.

    • Guestll
      January 9, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Live by the sword, die by the sword.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 9, 2014 at 10:52 am #

        This, too. Why does she put her story out there if she doesn’t want people to talk about it? And if people are going to talk about it, they are going to talk about it how they want to.

        Jeez, unlike those who don’t understand how the internet works and therefore are surprised to learn that their Facebook page and MDC posts are available to the whole world, this woman made a point of making it public, by putting it on twitter and in the HuffPo.

        And then we aren’t supposed to talk about it? Nonsense.

        • Guestll
          January 9, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

          She’s like my two year old. She’ll take any and all attention, good or bad. She wants to be validated but she’ll enjoy being reviled. She’s getting exactly what she wants.

          For the record, as I’ve posted here before, my come to Jesus moment about NCB came as a result of harsh judgment from the senior RM at my clinic, who minced no words in the end. Everyone else was pussyfooting; it wasn’t until she said some pretty harsh things that I woke up.

          • Guestll
            January 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

            …and as I have also posted here before, I stumbled across this blog as a new mother, feeling a whole lot of guilt for what could have been and what was. I wrote to Dr. Amy and told her my story. Guess whose graceful and compassionate reply helped me to forgive myself? Yeah.

        • Are you nuts
          January 9, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

          Yep. This is very different than a close friend seeking counsel in private. I don’t see any problem with calling out someone who publicly touts their bad decision, in hopes that someone else can avoid making the same mistake.

        • Box of Salt
          January 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

          “Why does she put her story out there if she doesn’t want people to talk about it?”

          According to the Telegraph article Dr Amy linked below, Ruth Fowler Iorio decided at the last minute to live tweet to make a political statement.

          • Sue
            January 9, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

            ”Ruth Fowler Iorio decided at the last minute to live tweet to make a political statement.”

            Yep – she made it. We are responding to it. Isn’t that what public political statements are for?

      • araikwao
        January 12, 2014 at 4:03 am #

        And the pen is mightier than the sword. Ugh. Head hurting from mixed metaphors 😛

    • almostfearless
      January 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      I had my beliefs crash and burn too and afterwards I took a long time to process it. I am a blogger, I had Twitter, Facebook and all those things at that time — but no I didn’t write about it except to announce the birth (I wrote a little about having a c-section but that it was okay) and leading up to the birth I didn’t post anything about my decision to attempt a homebirth. A lot of people have bad things happen to them, have major life changing moments, but they don’t go on Twitter and post photos about it. Like Amy’s example in the post, what if she got drunk and live tweeted crashing her car! Look at the blood people! My car! Omg! Thank god for EMTS! But really, I love you VODKA! You have to admit all this is a bit much, no? We’re not picking on a someone who is privately going through this, she’s getting press coverage for her performance. It makes it fair game.

    • stacey
      January 9, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      You are 100% correct. BUT, you are missing one important factor-
      Dr Amy doesn’t write this blog for the person featured in this type of HB mess. She writes it for the fence sitters, and other moms who need to see the truth unvarnished. If the mom in the story sees it she may be mad, but thats not the point.

    • January 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      This is what SOBs blog is about. It is no-nonsense, harsh reality.

      I sometimes wonder why you are always criticizing this blog and yet continuing to read it? You seem to think other people need to write posts on a normal basis on this blog, only posts where *you* agree with the message are helpful to *everyone*, if the message doesn’t mesh with you personally and your own journey then it’s incorrect, etc

      SOB is a persona. Skepital OB, yes. But also, *SOB.* It gets attention. Yes, it’s harsh at times. No, not all regulars always agree with the message or whatever. But it seems to be an ongoing complaint from you about this blog of what could be done better. And I just think it’s kinda rude.

    • Guest
      January 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      I understand your points, and some people might react in this way to harsh judgement. I know Dr Amy’s posts can be harsh, and I do wince at the personal attacks. However, her voice is a very important one in helping people out of the NCB belief system. It is a very helpful dose of reality for me, which I prefer over the faux support from the NCB crowd which changes if you do anything ‘wrong’.

    • Mom2Many
      January 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Seriously, you too with the Dr. Amy is so meeen? Your experience does not make you the authority on all things birth, nor does it give you the right to expect others to react in the identical way you do/did. I say this not based on this one comment, but for the plethora of feedback you have been giving both here and on the FB ‘Fed up with Natural Childbirth’ page. I really do empathise with what you have gone through, but have to agree with all of the feedback given below, as to why your comment (and some others) is/have been out of line.
      One last thing. When a couple is grieving the loss of a child due to homebirth, in almost every case, the doctor/nurses take the time to reassure them that there was nothing they as parents could have done differently. Not necessarily because they believe that, but because they have compassion and in the moment it simply is not the time or place to add more pain. As someone states below, family too generally ‘needs’ to steer clear of the blaming.
      This woman is glorying in her death-defying act, potentially risking future mother/baby lives, yet Dr. Amy needs to feel shame for reacting to it?

      • AlisonCummins
        January 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

        I think it was violinwidow who was being unnecessarily judgemental rather than trying to understand the point of view of the woman who almost died.
        Shameon Betterbirth wasn’t complaining that Amy Tuteur, MD wrote a blog post. I think she was commenting that some people are taking the opportunity to gather around and take potshots instead of trying to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent it happening again.

    • Staceyjw
      January 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      Shame on-
      Here is a blog post that supports your point of being kind to the mom, especially IRL, because being judgmental makes them stay quiet longer.

      My point below still stands (that this blog is for others, not her), but I thought this was worth posting to show the evolution of coming to terms with a HB disaster, and how long it can take to speak out (if ever). And why it takes so long.

    • KAndrews
      January 9, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      It is a long process. I think she will regret this later on. She has been through a very traumatic thing, she is trying to make what happen “fit” into the NCB beliefs that she has been holding on to. It is difficult to critically think in the moment and have perspective. Shame on her midwives for not recognizing that the child was malposition and that she should be transferred & shame on Huffpost for helping glorify a traumatize woman’s delusion.

      I went through a brief period after Abel was born, where I dressed like a potato farmer. It was COMPLETELY out of character. A midwife implied that drink milk from a grocery store might have caused Abel’s injuries and my reaction was to dress like an poor German woman from 1842. . . Your mind is a fragile thing.

  20. yentavegan
    January 9, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    She is suffering from post traumatic stress and she has been hypnotized by the midwives. If in a year or two, when she gets some distance from these witch-doctors/ snake oil salesmen she will find herself in need of a rational science-based mental health professional to extricate her self from this horror show. I hope she gets the real help needed to forgive herself for being hoodwinked.

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      January 9, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      From this article: “She also had a cervical lip, an occiput posterior (back to back) presentation and meconium (baby poo) – all of which would have resulted in a C-section had she been in hospital.”

      Wrong. So wrong. None of those would have resulted in an automatic section in the hospital.

      “The blood transfusions she received cost $23,000 which the health-care insurance she took out only two weeks before she became pregnant will fortunately cover.”

      Great. So she took out health insurance just before her delivery. Her midwife gets to pocket $4500. The rest of the policy holders get to foot the bill for $23,000 that would likely not have been necessary had she given birth in the hospital in the first place.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 9, 2014 at 11:54 am #

        Wrong. So wrong. None of those would have resulted in an automatic section in the hospital.

        Then again, so what if it had? She would have been spared multiple blood transfusions and a life threatening situation. How is that a BAD thing?

        I mean, demonizing “unnecessary” c-sections is one thing, but here is a case where a c-section clearly would have been a better outcome.

        • PrimaryCareDoc
          January 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

          True. I had an OP presentation for my first and pushed for 4 hours. I ended up with a 4th degree tear. I had a section for my second baby, and I really wish I had had one for my first. The recovery from my section was 10x easier than my recovery from a 4th degree tear.

          • Trixie
            January 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

            I’m glad I ended up with a cesarean for my OP baby.

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 5:50 am #

            OT CC Prof, how is your little mannie doing? Are you getting some sleep? Has he said his first word yet? (Nothing surprises me these days). Please give him a cuddle from all his aunts and uncles on SOB.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 12, 2014 at 8:56 am #

            He’s wonderful, starting to put on a little baby fat finally, which is great to see. Actually am getting some sleep most days.

            He also rolls over. He’s 10 days old, and he rolls over. We’re doomed. 🙂

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 9:07 am #

            That is impressive! Of course you’re not doomed; just the lucky parents of a highly gifted child. When he crawls at five months and walks at ten, THEN you’ll be doomed… better start saving up for stairgates! 🙂

          • Amazed
            January 12, 2014 at 9:33 am #

            Oh CC Prof, I feel for you. Poor, poor you. Have you already piled up the funds for college? You’ll need them in a few years… you know, when those unintelligent, drugged up, poisoned by ebil vaccines, soulless babies start kindergarten.

      • Guestll
        January 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

        Not only do none of those things automatically result in a section, it’s not as if you can’t say “I do not consent to a section” if they did. More misinformation about the big bad doctors at the big bad hospital.

        Unfortunately, that article is not open for comments. The bullshit gets to go unchallenged.

      • Young CC Prof
        January 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

        Yeah, those do not sound like reasons for a section. (Meconium maybe, if labor had stalled, depending on what the fetal monitor showed.) Those sound like complications that a qualified attendant would probably have been able to manage in the hospital without provoking the kind of hemorrhage that required transfusions.

    • Box of Salt
      January 9, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      Also from the Telegraph “Ruth’s husband Jared accidentally sent the tweet
      announcing the safe arrival of their son from his own account – rather than
      hers – leaving Ruth’s family anxiously awaiting news for several hours.”


    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      There will be women-of-a-certain-age (say, over 60) who would read that quote with utter bemusement…The difference between ‘our’ generation and theirs is that they probably laboured at home: mums, aunts and neighbours squatting in the lounge and letting out the odd, noisy grunt before getting up to put the tea on.

      Maybe this is a UK/US issue, but…what? My mother (70) labored and delivered in the hospital. My grandmothers labored and delivered in the hospital 70 and 78 years ago, respectively. And they both lived in rural, poorly served parts of the US. They were both very, very clear that they preferred that to laboring at home (and losing at least one baby apiece if they had). Where are these women who labored at home in the 1960s and 1970s? Or is this simply an example of a young woman to whom everyone over 30 is so old that they must have ridden to school on dinosaurs and a woman over 60 must have delivered at home, probably by candlelight during the Blitz?

      • Dr Kitty
        January 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

        My paternal grandmother had all four of her babies at home.
        The middle two died from Rhesus incompatibility.
        My father was born on Christmas Day. She went upstairs, had him and came back down for her Christmas pudding, fully expecting to be burying another baby by morning. Waking up to a live baby was her Christmas present.
        Ah the old days, so much BETTER than now!

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          January 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

          Yep. I’m Rh negative. Can’t imagine going 9 months knowing that the baby’s got, at best, a 50/50 chance of dying a day after birth. Well, actually I can imagine it, but I’d rather not. Glad your father was ok!

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        January 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

        Wait what? My mother is 84 and gave birth to three of her kids back in the late 50’s and early 60’s in the hospital. The first 2 with as far as I know no pain killers(her labors are really fast) 3rd kid was an emergent C/S.

        But that was in the US which did not have the UK hospital/midwife system. But still that article seems very poorly researched.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

          Jeebus, I’m doing some research into my dad when he was little, and it’s not even obvious to me whether he was born at home or in the hospital, although I’m thinking it was at home.

          But my dad is 82 years old and lived on a farm in rural Iowa. The nearest hospital (where I was born 35 years later, in fact) was about 15 miles away.

          His folks did have a car, but I don’t think they went to the hospital.

          Again, that was more than 80 years ago in rural Iowa, and even then, it isn’t obvious.

          My mom is 76 years old, and had all 6 of her kids in the hospital. Not even close to HB.

      • Young CC Prof
        January 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

        My great-grandmother grew up in rural England, first two babies born at home in the 1920s. (Died, but not an obstetric issue, they both died of infectious disease at a few months old.) Then she came to the USA and was delighted that there was a hospital where she could give birth to her next four kids, through the 1930s. Kid #6 was especially scary for her, since she was past 40 by then. (All lived.)

        Both my grandmothers had their kids in hospitals.

        Speaking of candlelight in the Blitz, my Chinese friend has an uncle called Bombshell, because he actually was born during a bombing raid in Shanghai.

    • Josephine
      January 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      This story is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read in my life, short of celebrity gossip.

      “‘In the US. The natural homebirthers are divided into the
      crunchy-granola-munchers and then there are the epidural lot who don’t
      question going to hospital. I don’t fit either of those stereotypes. I’m
      somewhere in the middle,’ she explains.”

      Yes, you are the most special of all of us, Ruth. There’s literally no one else in the middle ground except probably the majority of women giving birth in the US these days.

  21. Amy Tuteur, MD
    January 9, 2014 at 9:37 am #

  22. January 9, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    It really, really irritates me when people don’t thank their medical team. I’m not even saying she had to name the doctors and nurses. Sometimes–especially in the middle of a trauma, when you’re in pain, losing blood, on drugs–it’s hard to catch the names of all the people treating you. (She had a long relationship with her midwives and doula, so of course she knew their names.) Just mention your medical team. Personally, this just pisses me off so much, and you see it ALL the time, not just with homebirth. It’s like people think doctors and nurses are furniture, or servants, like “Why should we thank them for doing their JOB?”

    I went through a traumatic medical situation a couple years back–the surgeon had told my folks there was a good chance I was going to die, didn’t even give them *hope* until after two days and three surgeries. It took 12 more surgeries and over a year in the hospital for me to recover, though I’ll never be back to “normal”, The only reason I’m alive is: 1) A surgeon who was not only skilled and dedicated, working nearly 36 hours straight from the time they caught my intestinal rupture, but was also humble enough to know he was WAY out of his depth, and called the top experts in the state, even Skypeing with one during the surgery, until I was stable enough to be transferred to a larger hospital, and 2) A dedicated, talented support staff, including the ICU nurse who brought down my dangerously high fever (I had Sepsis on top of everything else) by chilling my room and constantly wiping me down with cool cloths–instead of doing the “easy” thing and putting me in an ice pack, because, as she told my mom (I was unconscious at the time), “She’s in so much pain already, it would just be cruel to do that to her. If this stops working, we can try another option, but I don’t want to cause her any more suffering than we have to.” And the infectious disease doctor who was in my room three or fourtimes a day, constantly adjusting the enormous load of antibiotics,
    antifungals, other meds to fight the numerous infections. Plus 3) Medical technology, including the wound vac the hospital had gotten only three years prior, without which, the surgeon was very frank, they wouldn’t have even attempted all the surgeries to save my life, because there would have been zero chance.

    And it made me SO MAD when I would have visitors, and my parents would say, “Thank GOD for saving her life! GOD saved our baby girl!” (etc.) Sometimes in front of the nurses or doctors! As soon as I was able to talk, I would always add, “Thank the DOCTORS and NURSES,” and maybe Mom or Dad would mumble, “Oh yeah, they were great, too–but GOD obviously has something amazing planned for your life, because HE saved you!!”

    UGH. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the doctors and nurses are used to that.

    • theadequatemother
      January 9, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      Erin, not only are we used to it but it doesn’t even bother most of us. Seeing people like you recover enough to go home is reward enough. As an Ane no one ever remembers my name (darn good drugs!) let alone sends cards or chocolates but I don’t care. Doing good work is what matters and cheating death to give someone a second chance at life matters.

      • January 9, 2014 at 10:03 am #

        Heh, I TOTALLY remember my anesthesiologist at the main hospital I was at, and I request him by name. (Yes, I’ve scheduled surgeries and procedures around the guy.) Not because the other people weren’t totally competent, but because I trust him, and he was absolutely amazing when I really needed him.

        I metabolize medication quickly. I always have, even before going through all the surgeries and medications (which I’m sure haven’t helped the problem). Like, I’ve woken up more than once in the middle of extensive surgeries. And I was *completely* awake and aware for my colonoscopy, even though they gave me the maximum amount of those “twilight drugs”. So anyway, one day at the hospital, they scheduled me for an unexpected endoscopy, and my folks weren’t around; I was alone that day. The nurse had told me that they don’t put you out for an endoscopy, just give you the same type of twilight drugs you get for a colonoscopy. Of course there is all this time in the waiting room before the procedure, and I’d worked myself into a bit of a lather, so when the anesthesiologist walked in, I was pretty teary. He asked me why I was upset, and when I stumbled out my fears, he got this fake-indignant look and said, “Hey, it’s me! Would I let that happen to you?” (At that point, I had no memory of ever seeing him before, but it still made me feel better.) And you know what? I have ZERO memory of any of the procedures I’ve undergone with him!!

        Even the one emergency procedure that he just couldn’t do with me, he STILL took the time to come into the waiting room (even though I wasn’t his patient!) and told me that he was gong to talk to my anesthesiologist to make sure he understood my issues. Just an amazing guy. And yeah, he gets a card at Christmas, and a fruit basket (I felt a little weird about sending chocolates to a hospital, so I sent edible bouquets).

        • Dr Kitty
          January 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

          Don’t feel weird about sending chocolates.
          Seriously, in more hectic shifts the chocolates at the nurses’ station were the only thing I got a chance to eat!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

            I love this study!

      • Siri
        January 9, 2014 at 10:10 am #

        See? There’s a very good reason why I love anaesthetists! Never met one I didn’t love. They are my favourite people.

      • Stacey
        January 9, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

        I always bring chocolate and other assorted small gifts, to pass out to everyone involved in my care. I figure its the least I can do, other than thank you’s, for people having to deal with me.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 9, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

          And doctors definitely get thank you cards.

    • Sarah
      January 9, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      Yes. Thank you. As narcissistic and duh as the rest of it is, I can’t help but think about the longsuffering nurses who cared for her during her two days in the hospital– changed her linens, helped her perineal aftercare, all that– about whom she would basically spit upon because they’re part of the medical establishment. My second birth was induced, but progressed very quickly. My nurse was very young and largely inexperienced. I had a two contraction transition and screamed, “I have to push. I need help!” She yelled back, “No, you don’t!” And then there was baby. I remember her name and always will because the two of us had to work together, with my husband, had to do all of the immediate stabilization. I remember Stephanie and I’m grateful that, once there was a baby on the bed, all her training kicked in and we had that babe suctioned, clamped and wrapped in about 20 seconds. She deserves that, at the least. All medical professionals do.

      • Siri
        January 10, 2014 at 6:26 am #

        2 things that, as a midwife, I NEVER said: 1) You’re not in labour 2) You’re not ready to push. Not worth it. They invariably prove you wrong…

        • araikwao
          January 12, 2014 at 4:14 am #

          I have wondered often about 1). Also, I wonder why there are seemingly so many awful stories of mothers
          concerns re decreased fetal movement being dismissed, only to later end in stillbirth. Surely it isn’t that hard to check that the baby is actually ok?

    • araikwao
      January 12, 2014 at 4:09 am #

      Wow, you have been through a LOT..

  23. OBPI Mama
    January 9, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    Did she mention having a partner/husband? If she did, I wonder how this scarred him and if he thinks this birth was beautiful? I feel SO sorry for husbands of homebirth trauma mamas…. My husband won’t even talk about the day his son was born… even 6 years later. Worst day of his life and won’t utter a word about it. Can’t imagine it’s easy for them to be helpless and feeling vulnerable.

    It shouldn’t surprise me that she doesn’t thank him, but it does!

    • January 9, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      My dad is the same way. My birth was very traumatic for my mom, and she unexpectedly began to hemmorrage after I was born. According to my mom, the doctor kind of thrust me into my dad’s arms as they all started working to save my Mom’s life, my dad just kind of standing there watching, holding me and feeling helpless. Mom says it was almost an hour later (though, considering the situation, I’m not sure her judgement of the time that passed could be considered accurate) when the doctor looked around ,saw my Dad, and yelled, “Get that baby out of here!” and someone finally took me off to be cleaned up, etc.

      I’ve tried to ask my dad a couple times about it, wanting to hear the story from his side. He won’t talk about it. Most he’ll mumble is “I don’t really remember,” or “your mom can tell you about it.” And he’s a police officer! He’s got over 30 years of traumatic, horrible experiences that he has no trouble talking about (after hearing graphic stories of dead teenagers, I can promise you that not one of us kids EVER drove drunk!). But 27 years later, he still can’t talk about my birth. Poor guy. (And my poor mom! I still feel kinda guilty that I put her through so much…)

  24. OBPI Mama
    January 9, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    I have no clue how she was able to tweet during labor… I had a 30 hour back labor with a severe shoulder dystocia and I was in a different world just trying to get through the contx that stayed on top of each other… not to mention I was just focused on my son’s well-being when he did come out.

    I do have to admit though… I thanked my midwife for saving my son’s life too (and cringe: said he probably would have died in the hospital… something my midwife implanted in my brain). Never mind that I had the risk factors: suspected large birthweight baby, prolonged transition (13 hours), baby’s head turtling throughout labor, 4-1/2 hours of pushing… but ya know, she saved his life and gave him his birth injury, after she put him in danger.

    I tell you, it’s like a cult! And once you are out of it and process what really happened, you are like, “What the heck!?!?!?” So messed up.

  25. PrimaryCareDoc
    January 9, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    I read stuff like this and just want to weep for the future. What has happened that people feel the need to broadcast every part of their life, from the most precious to the most mundane, with the entire world? I’m not sure how old Ruth Fowler Iorio is, but she strikes me as being quite immature and self-centered. Hopefully motherhood will cure her of that before she does any permanent damage to her child.

    • Meerkat
      January 9, 2014 at 10:06 am #

      This reminds me of dystopian novel, “Super sad true love story” by Gary Shteyngart. It takes place in not-so-distant future where people are literally projecting all their personal information, like credit score and “fuckability” in a cloud around them, and their lives are totally dominated by social media… It was scary to read how bad our love for social media could potentially get. I have to say though, tweeting birth and gory pictures is crazier than any book.

  26. Dr Kitty
    January 9, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    For some reason the pic in the hospital- baby in foreground in a crib- her in the background, pouting, and pulling up her hospital gown to show off the large sanitary towel she is wearing (and her belly and the underside of her breasts) is the last straw for me…I mean why was that necessary?

    It really was ALL ABOUT HER.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 9, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      The nickname for Nye (“Beast”) and the comment that “this beast ripping my back apart” reads as a little odd.

      But really, the only advantage of HB seems to be that you can get your own bath, shower, sofa and bed covered in blood and faeces and drink a whiskey sour in the tub…not getting the appeal.

      • January 9, 2014 at 9:39 am #

        I hope they put a lot of sheets and plastic down before the birth. Before I went into the hospital when my intestines ruptured, I had been puking blood for several hours in my room. Attempted to make it to the trash can, but I didn’t always. When I was finally able to come home, several months later, my parents had worked hard to clean my room (also put in a hospital bed, bedside commode, other adaptive stuff) but there were still blood stains on the carpet and a couple pieces of furniture. I couldn’t even look at them–I just wanted to rip out the carpet and burn it! It was triggering! (Finally ended up tossing the stained furniture–it was cheap plastic WalMart crap, anyway–and got a throw rug to put over my carpet so I wouldn’t have to look at it.) Can’t imagine going back to a house after a homebirth that traumatic–I’d probably be, like, “Okay, we’re moving!” (And the security deposit is a total loss.)

        • Mel
          January 9, 2014 at 11:00 am #

          My first and most guttural dislike of home birth comes from the idea of having to clean up the aftermath off of mostly porous surfaces in our house. Or making my husband drag a pool full of assorted potentially infectious materials out of our house and…burn it? Chemically sanitize it then dump it in a hole and cover it with rocks so the coyotes and dogs don’t dig it up? I have no freaking idea how to responsibly deal with blood and other crap…..

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            January 9, 2014 at 11:08 am #

            Apparently you put a liner inside the waterbirth tub and only have to dispose of that.

          • January 9, 2014 at 11:26 am #

            Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

            The first homebirth I attended (I grew up in a community where most folks had a homebirth…I wasn’t even a teenager when I attended my first, a friend’s mom), before she started heavy labor, her mom was joking about making sure you were behind the “splash zone” if you didn’t want to get hit. At least, I *thought* she was joking, until things got started and I realized OMGNOTAJOKEOMGOMGI’MGONNAHURLNOW.

          • Haelmoon
            January 9, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

            I had an abruption at home, and then rushed to the hospital. i was lucky to be in the bathroom when it started. My poor husband cleaned it up later that night when he knew baby and I were fine. He described it as a “blood bath”. And it wasnt even that much blood by my booked, compared to cases I have cared for. I would not want to see the results of a PPH at home!!

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
            January 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

            Well, I would say in a bio-hazard bag that then goes to the incinerator..but I work in a pathology lab and we’re pretty funny about the biological wastes disposal.

            And people get all kinds of insulted if you mention they might have an undetected communicable disease…

          • January 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

            “And people get all kinds of insulted if you mention they might have an undetected communicable disease…”

            I really hate that.

            I wish I was more assertive…it always wigs me out when nurses (almost always the older nurses) go to do procedures like blood draws or wound care without putting their gloves on. And, hey, a big reason is because I already have MRSA, tested positive for VRE, I don’t want to pass on any more nasties. I’ve tried to mention that a couple times, and usually the response is something along the lines of, “Anyone who spends more than 3 months in a hospital is going to have MRSA.” My auntie (who is also a nurse) is assertive enough to say, “You need to put gloves on,” when she sees that happen, but I just don’t have the balls (ovaries?) to do that.

      • AmyP
        January 9, 2014 at 10:28 am #

        You’re obviously not an alcoholic.

    • Trixie
      January 9, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      She’s created a hashtag for her baby. Because that’s totally normal.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife
        January 9, 2014 at 11:07 am #

        But remember, the hashtag for her birth photos was #ruthshomebirth. Because birth is all about the mom.

    • Meerkat
      January 9, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      Yes, I found this picture really disturbing, too. I don’t think she realizes that her son will someday see his birth story, complete with graphic pictures of his mother, profanity, vulgarity, gory graphic details, and charming “beast” references. It’s not a good thing for a boy to see his mother this way. Unfortunately this story would be easy to find, heck, she created a hashtag for him.
      Kids become interested in their birth story pretty early on, and I think it’s a really nice chance for a parent to spin in into a magical legend. I will tell my son that his birth was magical and filled with love, and his mama was beautiful like a princess and papa—strong and courageous. He doesn’t need to know about huge sanitary pads and terrible pain.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        January 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

        She may win the prize for most embarrassing mother ever.

        • Trixie
          January 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

          I’m going to apologize to my mom for being embarrassed that she used to go out in public wearing a fanny pack. That was nothing, in retrospect.

        • Meerkat
          January 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

          Yes, I can just picture his buddies telling him that they saw his mother’s vagina on the internet.

        • January 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

          I dunno, the lady on the cover of Time nursing her preschooler is still in the running…

  27. Antigonos CNM
    January 9, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    Well, at least she admits she doesn’t have a clue what happened to her:
    … Nye was occidental [sic] posterior. He flipped to come out but
    shoulder dystocia ripped me apart. Then the placenta wouldn’t come out –
    some medical termI don’t know – which basically mean, it tried to
    detach and ripped more of me out!
    Most women in her situation will tell you how they “researched” the internet and now are experts in obstetrics.

    I DO like that “occidental posterior”, though — although I’m not sure if she meant “accidental” or “occipito”

    • areawomanpdx
      January 9, 2014 at 2:33 am #

      yes, I had quite the giggle about occidental posterior. I wonder if she came up with that herself, or if that’s what the “midwife” told her was the problem. LOL

      • stacey
        January 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

        Isn’t occidental the term for far East Asian?
        I am sure the MW was as ignorant as she is.

    • Ennis Demeter
      January 9, 2014 at 8:03 am #

      I myself have an occidental posterior.

      • AllieFoyle
        January 9, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

        There’s a good joke here involving the phrase “oriental posterior” but I’m going to restrain myself.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 9, 2014 at 10:18 am #

      I’d assume that she meant occiptio posterior*. If so, can a fetus that is that far along even “flip” the way she says or is that a back justification for labor being painful but the baby coming out in a normal position?

      *Jargon is hard if you don’t know it and I find the word substitution not particularly unusual: she probably substituted in a familiar, similar word for one she didn’t know.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

        Breech presentations can “flip” to vertex; OP is said to “rotate” to OA, which is a more accurate way of describing what happens. Btw, a lot of shoulder dystocia is caused by not having enough patience to let the shoulders rotate from the transverse. Only sfter the head turns (from “looking” at the floor, so to speak, to looking at the interior of the mother’s thigh–this is prpoerly called “restitution”,) should the delivering person begin the maneuver which will bring the anterior shoulder under the pubic arch.

        Sorry about typos–writing on iPad.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          January 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

          So it is possible for an OP to rotate. Home birth babies seem to like to change positions an awful lot, though. Maybe because midwives are not supposed to start a birth with a known breech but one that just “flips during labor” is presumably not her fault…

    • staceyjw
      January 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

      I am sure she claimed to be so educated, more educated than a doctor, prior to the HB.

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      January 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

      I figured “occidental” was probably an autocorrect.

  28. Monica
    January 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Hey, guess what I had 2 day hospital stays WITH MY BABY. I thought part of the glory of homebirth was you got all that time to bond with your baby. She gave birth and completely left her baby for 2 days to be at the hospital. Had she birthed there she could have avoided so much of that and had her baby with her.

    Is it a shocker to anyone that TFB is taking credit for being Ruth’s virtual Doula? And you know telling people that this was a beautiful experience that anyone who wants to homebirth can have. First of all, for me reading stories like this actually would scare me right off to the hospital with pain medication and interventions. Second of all no matter how much someone wants to homebirth, that doesn’t mean she should because not everyone falls into a truly low risk category.

    • Young CC Prof
      January 8, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

      Well put! The 3 days my baby and I spent in the hospital together were a very special time. My husband was there almost the whole time as well, sleeping on the pullout chair. It wasn’t all roses, obviously I felt like hell for some of it, but we got to hold him as much as we wanted.

    • Amy M
      January 9, 2014 at 6:42 am #

      While I totally agree with you, it does appear in the pics that they brought the baby with her to the hospital.

      • Monica
        January 9, 2014 at 7:51 am #

        “Felt awful but now recovering in UCLA Santa Monica on a TON of fentany1
        (it kicks ass!) and blood transfusions and will be back home with Jared
        and Nye Soledad Iorio tomorrow.” Sounds like baby stayed home, maybe they were there visiting frequently? Or maybe she meant they would all be going back home? But none the less I was on ibuprofen after my vaginal births. I did not spend my stay in the hospital on powerful narcotics. This certainly doesn’t sound like the blissful, beautiful, drug free homebirth which allows women to bond with their baby. Perhaps she would have tore just as bad with all of that in the hospital and still needed narcotics, but I don’t see anything perfect and ideal about this situation and it sounds pretty damn traumatic to me.

        • LovleAnjel
          January 9, 2014 at 9:59 am #

          This at least clears something up: narcotics are totally fine AFTER the birth, just not before or during!

          • Monica
            January 9, 2014 at 10:24 am #

            But whiskey during is completely A-OK. Oh and gas should be offered too @@.

  29. Zornorph
    January 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    As I was looking at the pictures all I could think was, ‘How raunchy!’ Why didn’t she just do a live, streaming broadcast of the thing. Extra bonus; she could have gotten the viewers to select the musical playlist. What music do you play for a birth, anyway? Michael Bolton because it sounds like he’s straining? Perhaps some death metal?

    • Mishimoo
      January 8, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      I had Rev Theory and Ill Nino for the last one; they’re both pretty bouncy.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 9, 2014 at 6:42 am #

      I think if I knew I was having a boy I’d want Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man playing at the delivery (and at a planned CS, it is SO much easier to have a playlist!).

      Love that song.

      Expresses so much what I as a parent would want for my child.

      • OBPI Mama
        January 9, 2014 at 8:39 am #

        I LOVED my playlists during my c-sections!!! So relaxing and really helped me. All the nurses asked if they could burn a copy afterward… I had James Taylor’s “Close Your Eyes” playing while one of my boys were born. My dad’s version of “Baby Island” for another of the boys’ birth, and an mandolin instrumental during my girl’s birth. Love that I can pinpoint what song was played as they were being born! I love listening to my c/s playlists even now, but funny enough, it took me 5 years to get the nerve up to listen to the cd that played during my homebirth. I still don’t like it like I used to… totally ruined Alan Jackson’s Hymn cd. 🙁 Music is so powerful!

  30. Sally RNC-NIC
    January 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    Eeeegads! I just skimmed through that “article” and I almost threw up in my mouth at that gal’s clear addiction to social media! I’m actually thrilled Huff threw this little train-wreck together. Hopefully, some cyberpsychologist will casually stumble upon it and hustle the research on pathological narcissism and social media. I mean, Lady: too.many.selfies. It’s clear that you are performing for someone outside your home. Your audeince is very important to you. When maybe, I mean, I know this is CRAZY…..but maybe, you should focus on yourself and your unborn baby. You have to know that, right?

    And gross, Jesus God you posted a picture of yourself drinking a whiskey sour (stay classy) in a bloody tub? She is truly a NICU nurses worst nightmare. Poor, sweet baby.

  31. Meerkat
    January 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    Every time I hear of yet another homebirth live broadcast, I fear that the baby or the mother might end up dead, and the whole world will see it.

    • Antigonos CNM
      January 9, 2014 at 12:44 am #

      I’m cynical, but that might be the best thing that could happen. Not for the mother and baby, but it might wake up some others.

      I’ve been present at three deaths from amniotic fluid embolus, but the birth that can still give me nightmares was a sudden, unanticipated, total abruption at the homebirth of a woman who was the lowest of low risk patients. Within minutes the bedroom looked like an abattoir [due to the fast arrival of the Flying Squad, she was saved, and so was the baby]

      • Birthbuddy
        January 9, 2014 at 2:07 am #

        Ah, those bloody interventions.

      • Siri
        January 9, 2014 at 3:40 am #

        THREE AFEs?! Bloody hell, Antigonos, how many births have you attended? Or was it extra bad luck? You poor lady!

        • Antigonos CNM
          January 9, 2014 at 5:21 am #

          Well, I began to work in L&D in 1967, and left hospital midwifery in 2001 for work in a Women’s Health Center. After about 3000 births, I stopped counting, but you can do some rough math. Mid-sized hospital which does between 300 to 350 deliveries a month, does approximately 10 a day, or three and a bit per 8 hour shift. For most of my working life [not the first 10 years, which were full time], I worked half-time, so, since we were usually two midwives per shift, say I delivered between 3 and 5 women a week. [times 50, times 30 — I took 4 years off when I was having my own babies]. Rough estimate: something between 4500 and 7500 births.

          Of course, in reality, it doesn’t work out like that. Once upon a time I had no deliveries for 2 weeks — not a single woman came through the labor ward door — and then there were 14 births one night between midnight and 8 a.m.!

          The frequency of AFE is approx. 1/5000, so yes, I’ve had more than my fair share. But then, we all know families where there are only girls, or only boys in spite of the fact that every conception is really 50/50 for gender. The other point worth noting is the number of births a hospital-based midwife does compared with a homebirth one. It is impossible to compare the level of experience. And, of course, in the European system, midwives, with OB supervision, care for ALL pregnant women, not just low risk. Without bragging, I really don’t think there is anything I haven’t seen.

          • Siri
            January 10, 2014 at 6:39 am #

            It certainly doesn’t sound as if there’s much, if anything, you haven’t seen!

  32. January 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    Introspection doesn’t happen in an instant, especially about things that are really traumatic. It takes time to draw any real conclusions about something like almost dying. I wouldn’t rule out a change in her mindset in the future.

  33. violinwidow
    January 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    Marie. That’s the name of the nurse who caught my youngest son’s dangerously low blood sugar and fed him glucose drop by drop until he stabilized. I’ll never forget her name, her face and the scrub top she wore. It had ice cream cones on it. How do you forget someone who saved your life, or your baby?

    • January 8, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      because you were bleeding to death and then on tons of pain medication? because you don’t want to name someone online without their permission? There are lots of possibilities here.

      • Alicia
        January 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

        There are names in records, and she could’ve gotten hold of the nurses and doctors to use their names. I thought writers typically do research.

      • January 9, 2014 at 3:12 am #

        Shameon, you’re a good person. Your compassion is really amazing. Thanks for also bring a voice for people who haven’t shaken this faith system.

      • fiftyfifty1
        January 9, 2014 at 9:26 am #

        That makes sense to me about the names, especially being a person who doesn’t remember names easily myself. But I still think it is telling that she didn’t even give a generic or un-named thanks to the hospital team who saved her life. She briefly praises the EMTs but the others don’t seem to merit even a tiny mention.

      • January 9, 2014 at 9:45 am #

        Agree that it’s totally not her fault if she doesn’t know their names. (And of course she remembers the names of her midwives and doula–she has a long relationship with them!) I wish I remembered the names of the various doctors and nurses who saved my life, but I was in too much pain, and on way too much medication. Even my parents don’t remember the names of nurses they appreciated so much, because the situation was so stressful and traumatic.

        HOWEVER. I still think it’s messed up that she didn’t thank the medical staff at the hospital. You don’t have to remember their names, but an acknowledgment for the people who saved your life–ESPECIALLY when every other aspect of the birth is being documented!–is only right.

    • Anj Fabian
      January 9, 2014 at 5:14 am #

      Thanks to social media, I discovered there is a congenital pathology where a baby is born with a pancreas switched in the ON position permanently.

      It’s very rare, but the result is that baby’s blood glucose levels are dangerously depressed. If not detected, the baby will die. In this case, the medical team tried everything and resorted to surgery to remove the pancreas.

      Another reason I would want the hospital experience, not a home birth.

  34. amazonmom
    January 8, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Admitting that birth can be fickle, cruel, and lethal would require too much mental effort. So her birth story continues to place homebirth on a pedestal. Hopefully the hospital staff won’t have to try and save her from another homebirth hell. Do homebirthers realize that no matter how perfect the performance of a hospital staff some patients will be lost? The idea that they just don’t care is worse…

  35. Kory Oransky
    January 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    I can’t remember the names of anyone who saved mine and my daughter’s lives nearly four years ago. I lost two liters of blood after a uterine rupture (failed VBAC attempt). The doctor who attended us was a very kind Indian lady, one of the faculty members at the University of Iowa’s medical school.

    I will, however, be eternally grateful for what she and the other doctors, nurses, techs, and everyone else in that operating room (along with the others supporting their efforts outside of that room) did for the two of us that March day in 2010 at UIHC. We wouldn’t have pulled through without them.

    • Amy M
      January 9, 2014 at 6:50 am #

      Yeah, I still wish I could remember the name of the nurse who held my hand when I was hemorrhaging, while a billion other people were doing painful (but necessary) life-saving things to me. She was the only familiar face and she was being kind to me in a scary moment and I”ll never forget that. I believe I’d recognize her, if I saw her (in scrubs anyway), but I don’t remember her name. 🙁 Nor the name of the nurse that happened to be in the room to catch me and pull that cord when it started. She wasn’t as friendly, but she saved my life, for sure.

      • Staceyjw
        January 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

        I will always remember the nurse during my CS. As I was puking and panicking, she talked me through the whole thing.

    • Mel
      January 9, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      My mom has a list of all of the NICU nurses who cared for my sister and I. Mom said those women and men let her sleep at night knowing that they were keeping us safe.

  36. KAndrews
    January 8, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    I am going to say she is in a huge amount of shock and a good friend would remove access to social media during this difficult time. It is to bad that her son has to spend so much of his crucial early moments in life away from his mother. I thought that was a huge selling point for homebirth.

    P.S. Didn’t they try the Gaskin Manuever? I thought it was foul proof?

    • KarenJJ
      January 9, 2014 at 1:43 am #

      “Foul proof”
      love the typo.

  37. moto_librarian
    January 8, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    I cannot even begin to express my rage towards her. Regular readers here know that I had a cervical laceration and pph that would have killed me had I given birth at home. Every single time that I think about it, I am beyond grateful to my CNM (who quickly realized that there was a serious problem and got help), the L&D nurses (administered medications, ran an I.V., assisted with the examination of my uterus), the anesthesiologist (who tookawau the excruciating pain), and the attending OB (who stitched my cervix back together), and the postpartum nurses who made sure that I was stable and comfortable. This idiot can’t spare a line of thanks for anyone other than the hacks who allowed this to turn into a crisis, and she seems completely ignorant about just how close to death she came. And we’re supposed to be impressed with her why?

    • moto_librarian
      January 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      And I should note that no, I do not remember the names of most of these people, but I still give thanks for them to this day. That she does not even acknowledge what the hospital staff did for her is what bother me.

  38. Trixie
    January 8, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

    Obviously this woman is an idiot, but just to clarify, I thought fentanyl’s transfer rate into breast milk was pretty low and it was generally safe for short term use while breastfeeding? That’s what a friend was told by InfantRisk, anyway.

    Although, her blood loss can’t make establishing a milk supply easier.

    • Trixie
      January 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      Also, whiskey sour? WTF?

      • fiftyfifty1
        January 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

        I don’t care if she has a whisky sour for the baby’s sake. A single drink won’t hurt the baby. But 3 observations come to mind.
        1. It’s not a drug free labor if you are using alcohol. But then again, NCB types don’t seem to mind the hypocrisy as long as they can be viewed as “sticking it to the man”. In this case “the man” being a hospital birth with regulated medications.
        2. If you can manage to get down and keep down a whiskey sour during labor, be thankful–you are having an easy labor.
        3. If your easy labor turns bad all of a sudden and you happen to need general anesthesia, you might wish your stomach was not all full with a sugary drink.

        • Trixie
          January 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

          I agree — and for the record, I don’t care that she had a single drink, but, like you said, the fact that she’s trying to be unmedicated while drinking alcohol makes no sense.

        • realityycheque
          January 9, 2014 at 3:18 am #

          I know people who smoked joints and drank G&T’s during their births (and suggested that I should, too)… but hey, steer clear of those evil epidurals!

          • Trixie
            January 9, 2014 at 9:06 am #

            Wasn’t there a thing in the middle ages where they’d brew a strong beer and save it for when a woman went into labor, and then get her drunk to help get her through the pain?

      • LovleAnjel
        January 9, 2014 at 10:03 am #

        I would have loved to have an amaretto sour during labor. Stoopid hospital policies interfering with my good time.

    • fiftyfifty1
      January 8, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

      I think Dr. Amy’s point is not that she needs to be so worried about the fentanyl, but rather the hypocrisy of expecting praise for a unmedicated birth (supposedly because you refuse to expose your precious baby to even a molecule of drugs, unlike those other SELFISH mothers) but then turning around and gladly accepting fentanyl once you have secured your unmedicated birth bragging rights. The amount of medicine she will expose her child to through breastfeeding, even though it is still relatively safe, is orders of magnitude higher than the amount from an epidural.

      • Trixie
        January 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

        True — clearly this birth was never actually about the baby.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 9, 2014 at 12:52 am #

        There is a rating system for homebirth. The “I had two contractions that I felt and pushed Junior out on the living room rug before the birthing pool was even filled” ranks lowest — sort of like making a cake using a mix that only requires adding water.* Top of the scale is total martyrdom, of course. In between is “how I suffered, and nearly died! But of course, in spite of considerable reconstructive surgery and Junior’s NICU stay and probable brain damage, it was totally worth it because it established my credentials as Warrior Woman!”

        *The Betty Crocker people initially found their cake mixes didn’t sell well, and commissioned a study which found that women felt guilty at presenting their families with something which didn’t really require any work, and therefore seemed of little value. That’s why you’ve got to add an egg or two, or mix several packets together…to make you feel you’ve WORKED at that cake. Ditto homebirth. You gotta SUFFER!

        • R T
          January 11, 2014 at 3:42 am #

          Speaking of the guiltful ease of cake mixes, The Cake Mix Doctor has recipes that turn boxed cake mixes into complicated, time consuming projects again, if anyone is interested, lol! I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just make it completely from scratch if you’re going to go to so much trouble, but maybe it makes people feel like its easier because the recipes call for a cake mix.

    • yentavegan
      January 9, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      true that! her blood loss will be a factor in lack of sustainable milk supply.I have been trained to alert mothers that breastmilk supply is irreparably hindered by massive blood loss , baby will require supplemental feeds.

      • staceyjw
        January 9, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

        Hope baby get those supplemental feeds. I don’t have a lot of hope for that, as she seems like the type to starve her baby because “formula is poison.”

      • Trixie
        January 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

        She’s going to ignore anyone who tells her that.

  39. January 8, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    I wonder how much that inexpensive Homebirth just cost?

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
      January 9, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      $28,000. $5,000 midwife bill ($2K covered by insurance) and then $23,000 for emergency placenta removal and hospital stay.

      • moto_librarian
        January 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

        Instead of bitching about the cost, maybe she should be grateful that she lives in a developed country where she had access to modern obstetric care, antibiotics, and blood products on demand. Imagine what she would be tweeting if she had delivered in Uganda. Oh wait…

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

          The next time she is bleeding to death, she should shop around and find someplace cheaper.

        • Certified Hamster Midwife
          January 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

          She’s from the UK, so that tweet might be for the benefit of her friends there for whom all of this would be free. She also appears to be a leftist/Social Justice Warrior, so any opportunity to bash the US system is good!

          • Dr Kitty
            January 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

            If she’d been having her HB in the UK with NHS midwives she would most likely have had an intrapartum transfer for either meconium or malpresentation, and quite possibly for maternal pyrexia or delayed second stage.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            January 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

            Gasp! MEDWIVES!

        • Anaesthetist
          January 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

          She should try it in India- Jeevan’s stories on the Learner blog describes the difficulties and delays in transfusion, with relatives trying to work out who is compatible to donate blood, or personally negotiate and buy minimally regulated blood with no guarantees of BBV or safe storage, (and certainly not available or affordable in the 4 unit quantity she required) In some cases the blog describes the staff within the hospital donating the blood themselves – directly for that named patient – hows that for dedication!

          Yay America indeed….

      • Burgundy
        January 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

        if she would just stay home and let the mother nature worked the way it suppose to, then she won’t need to pay any hospital bill (her family will foot the funeral bill, but why would she care).

  40. kittb
    January 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    Hearing the words “Don’t worry honey, the doctor has a good three minutes to get your baby out” from a wonderful nurse, comforting me when a serious problem occurred during the birth of my first child. At a hospital. With everything necessary on hand. I can’t imagine the horror of hearing these words and being across town.

  41. Squillo
    January 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    So the midwife and doula “got [her] through this”. By getting her to the people who could actually get her through it.

    Oh, wait… that was the “great emt’s”. The midwife just dialed 911. (Or did someone else do that too?)

  42. AmyP
    January 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    Amy Tuteur wrote:

    “Extra crunchy bonus points for thanking by name the midwife, assistant, and doula who couldn’t have saved her life, and ignoring the names of the many people who actually did save her life.”

    Now that you mention it, that is pretty terrible.

  43. Mangulo
    January 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    Surprising how these women cannot be humbled.

    • Antigonos CNM
      January 9, 2014 at 12:55 am #

      A Warrior Woman has no need to be humble! She ROCKS! Of course, that it is all so unnecessary doesn’t enter her brain. “Anything you can do I can do better…”

      • Siri
        January 9, 2014 at 3:33 am #

        All these warrior women – whom or what are they battling? The baby? The forces of nature? (Thought those were uniformly benign). Society? Their husbands? The pain of labour? (Again, I thought if you did it right there wouldn’t be any?).

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 9, 2014 at 9:45 am #

          They are battling The Man. They are courageously resisting the evil forces of Conformity. If they gave in to The Man and Conformity they would be no more special than anyone else. The horrors! They are so brave to do what they do!

          • Siri
            January 10, 2014 at 6:48 am #

            Thank you fiftyfifty1, I see my error now. Of course they are brave.

    • OBPI Mama
      January 9, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      Hopefully time and distance from the birth will do that? It took 1-1/2 years of realizing my son’s life was forever changed because of my stupid choice to homebirth, to humble me. So maybe a bit more time for her.

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