In the ongoing discussion about my tone, no one has picked up on what seems most noticeable to me, the dramatic difference between the way that laypeople talk about me and the way that professional homebirth advocates talk about me. Rarely does a week go by that some lay homebirth advocate does not refer to me as mean and explain why no one should listen to me.
What do professional homebirth advocates do? They don’t talk about me at all … which is pretty remarkable if you think about it. They fell all over the Wax study and will tell you in great detail what is wrong with it, but they don’t mention my posts because they CAN’T rebut them. There is nothing factually wrong with what I write and they know it. They don’t dare mention me because they know how very persuasive the truth can be.
Not a single one will publicly debate me because they know they will be eviscerated in short order. They ban me and delete me and they ban and delete anyone who has learned the truth from me, regardless of how nicely those other people tell the truth.
This, to me, is the ethical scandal at the heart of professional homebirth advocacy. Sure there are some professional homebirth advocates who are buffoons, like Jennifer Margulies or Judy Slome Cohain. They don’t understand science and they have toddler level reasoning abilities: if something makes them happy, they believe it. But people like Melissa Cheyney, Wendy Gordon, and Aviva Romm, KNOW that they are hiding hideous homebirth death rates and they simply don’t care. If they put half the energy they use to hide the truth into improving homebirth safety, there would be no need for this blog in the first place.
Professional homebirth advocacy has no safety standards of any kind, because it is not about caring for babies. It is about improving the employment opportunities and reimbursement rates for high school graduates who want to “play” midwife but find it too hard to get a real midwifery degree.
Am I “meen”? I wouldn’t call it that. I would say that I am very, very angry… and I let it show. I feel I have a responsibility to speak out against what I see as the moral corruption at the heart of homebirth advocacy, the willingness to bury dead babies twice. First to put them in little coffins in the ground because homebirth “midwives” can’t be bothered to care as much about safety as about reimbursement. Second, to bury them from the public conscience so as not to affect the economic bottom line of homebirth midwives.
That’s why I came down so hard on Aviva Romm. I deliberately maneuvered her into a position where she had to choose between lying or running away. She chose to run away, and leave those little dead bodies scattered wherever they may fall. It is more important for her to preserve her credibility within the crunchy community, and keep selling quack books about quack subjects, than to speak the truth. Frankly, that willingness to place profits over truth makes me nauseated.
I started this blog because I couldn’t abide the lies from homebirth and natural childbirth advocates, but I keep at it, because I feel I have a responsibility to babies and mothers. Who will speak for babies like Wren Jones, who died of group B strep sepsis on the day he was born, because his parents would hoodwinked by a “midwife” who told them to treat a dangerous bacterium with cloves of garlic in the vagina? Who will speak for Magnus Snyder, who died after a protracted struggle to live because the “midwives” who cared for his mother relished the thought of delivering a breech baby for the first time and were more concerned with their “opportunity” than a baby’s life. Who will speak for Abel Andrews, who cannot speak for himself because the “midwives” who cared for him didn’t know how to perform a resuscitation and left him with a severe brain injury?
I can tell you damn straight who won’t speak for them. Melissa Cheyney won’t speak for them. Wendy Gordon won’t speak for them. Aviva Romm won’t speak for them.
So I ask you, who will speak for Wren, Magnus, Abel and hundreds of others if I don’t? Who will open everyone’s eyes to the suffering and deaths of babies at homebirth if I can’t? Who will rhetorically grab everyone around the throat and force them to look at what they would prefer to ignore if not me?
Am I “meen”? Maybe, but if that’s what it takes to get mothers, homebirth advocates and legislators to look at the truth, I’m proud of it.