Giving birth in the hospital is an act of love; giving birth at home has become an act of selfishness.

Stop being selfish

How many babies have to die before homebirth advocates acknowledge that it has become an act of selfishness? How about two babies a day?

Last Sunday, the same day that doula Nirvana “Harley” Jennette was taking hideous risks with the life of a baby in Georgia, two other midwives (one in Texas, and one in Oregon) tooks hideous risks with the lives of two additional babies and both babies sustained fatal injuries as a result. It seems that “trusting birth” is just a euphemism for “letting babies die preventable deaths.”

Let’s be honest here. Homebirth midwives are under tremendous pressure to keep their clients at home. If they have to transfer to the hospital during labor, it’s because they misjudged the situation. They may be exposed to disciplinary or even legal action. And the longer they wait to transfer, the more likely it will be that the baby suffers a fatal injury, so the more likely they are to face dire consequences for themselves. Paradoxically, the more dangerous the situation becomes (and, therefore, the more likely that the homebirth midwife will face scrutiny), the more pressure she feels to stay at home and just hope against hope for a happy outcome.

That’s how babies in Portland and in Dallas-Fort Worth sustained their fatal injuries.

The mother in Portland was expecting her first baby. Membranes had been ruptured for more than 40 hours. Labor was protracted but not out of the bounds expected for a first labor and the baby was delivered and did not breathe.

The midwives waited 15 minutes to call for assistance, and the baby did not reach the hospital for over an hour after her birth.

On admission to the hospital, she was profoundly acidotic, a sign of long term lack of oxygen. Despite cooling therapy, she had suffered a catastrophic brain injury, so severe that baby has been taken home to die.

Yet again, another utterly clueless midwife is shocked to catch a nearly dead baby. The time required for transfer should give pause to any homebirth advocate who thinks they can get to the hospital fast enough in an emergency. The baby needed the immediate attention of a neonatologist when she was born. Instead, she didn’t arrive at the hospital until over an hour later. And all that time even more of her brain cells were dying. The baby did not have to sustain a catastrophic brain injury. She was not “meant” to sustain a catastrophic brain injury. It happened because her mother gambled the baby’s life in exchange for a birth “experience” and the baby lost.

Baby James sustained his fatal birth injury while his mother was attempting a home VBAC. She had had a C-section in her first pregnancy, and a successful hospital VBAC in her second. She was an excellent candidate for a hospital VBAC. No one is ever a candidate for a home VBAC.

James died of an abruption that his mother’s student midwife failed to recognize despite heavy vaginal bleeding. Where was the actual midwife? Reportedly she was home resting because the mother’s labor was so long. That, of course, was the first sign of imminent disaster. A woman who has had a successful VBAC should not be experiencing a prolonged labor subsequently. Indeed, the prolonged labor, with the accompanying possibility that the baby did not fit, dramatically raised the risk of uterine rupture. An abruption during an attempted VBAC is often the result of rupture of the uterus, but I have not been able to ascertain whether James’ mother experienced a ruptured uterus as well as an abruption.

I did receive information that was reportedly posted by the student in a student homebirth midwifery group. According to that information, the student midwife called her preceptor at home to tell her about the excessive bleeding, and was reassured that it was fine. I was told that it was ultimately the father who called 911 because the student wouldn’t. Unfortunately, it was too late. An emergency C-section was performed, but James had sustained catastrophic brain damage and was removed from life support 18 hours later. James was not “meant” to suffer a catastrophic brain injury. It happened because his mother chose homebirth.

The poor baby’s obituary is appalling. Indeed it appears as if the student midwife wrote it:

When the time came for him, his mama labored mightily to bring him into this world and his daddy was so proud of his mama. He lived for 18 wonderful hours…

Wonderful hours? I doubt those hours were wonderful for either James or his parents.

Survivors: Mama and daddy; sisters; grandparents … and midwife Kaitlyn Wages loved this boy and his family more than words can say.

A baby is dead and the obituary talks about his mother’s “performance” in labor and how much the student midwife loved him?

The midwives have written extensively about the baby:

image

An extremely rare complication? No, abruption is a common complication, occuring in 0.4-1% of all pregnancies.

No questions?

I asked the midwives on their Facebook page why this baby died. Their response? To delete the question and ban me. I wonder if that had anything to do with concealing potential culpability from their other clients.

Why shouldn’t ask questions of people who are grieving?

It may not be the time to ask questions of the parents, but it is most certainly the time to ask questions of the midwives. This is the time for a full investigation into a neonatal death that appears to have been entirely preventable.

The sad fact is that these deaths are not remotely surprising. Giving birth at home is equivalent to leaving your infant at home alone. In both cases, the mother is “trusting” that the chance of anything going wrong is small enough that it’s okay if she puts her own experience first. In fact, leaving your infant home alone while you got out and party is probably safer than choosing homebirth. The odds that the baby will experience a life threatening complication while sleeping (or screaming and crying) at home is vanishingly small. The odds that your infant will experience a life threatening complication at homebirth is thousands of times higher. So if going out partying and leaving your infant behind is grossly irresponsible, that makes choosing a homebirth more irresponsible still.

The bottom line is that giving birth in a hospital is an act of love. With the mounting evidence that American homebirth is far more dangerous than we ever imagined, giving birth at home has become an act of selfishness.

  • John

    Dr. Amy, I realize you are an impassioned individual and very intelligent. I wonder if you are aware that some of the things you have said here could be construed as HIPPA violations, not to mention how harsh and unkind your words are, whether you are right or not.

    http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/

  • Vanessa

    I so agree, Dr Amy. The birth experience is NOT more important than the baby being born alive and healthy. You do NOT ‘deserve’ your home birth, your baby deserves to be born alive. End of discussion.

  • Stacy21629

    That Facebook feed is horrific.
    “This birth announcement is absolutely perfect!” –> Um, except the baby is DEAD and should be ALIVE.

    Worse though – the father’s comment on 4/10/14:
    “Kaitlyn and Gina – Peyton and I are blessed to know such Godly women. Doubly blessed that you both have played such an important role in our lives and our children’s lives.”

    Doubly heartbreaking. :(

  • Jessica Atchison
  • Dr Kitty

    If the midwife learns NOTHING else, she needs to learn that vaginal bleeding in first stage of labour is never normal and necessitates immediate transfer.

    Vaginal bleeding before delivery means abruption, vasa praevia, uterine rupture or cervical tearing. It is never physiological and always requires investigation and resuscitation.
    Abruption is by far the most common cause of vaginal bleeding in first stage of labour.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placental_abruption

    Risk factors for abruption include:
    Multiparity
    PROM
    AMA
    Previous CS

    Intermittent auscultation is an inadequate way to monitor a suspected abruption, which requires CTG and ultrasound evaluation ASAP.

  • seriously

    I’m thinking they deleted your question because you are a vicious troll, not an actual concerned human being

    • Aly

      I completely agree

      • Amazed

        Yet vicious, trollish, heartless, money and ideology driven homebirth advocates like the two of you will not be deleted here. Isn’t Dr Amy wonderful, dear little trolls?

    • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

      My, what a coincidence! I think you are here because YOU are a vicious troll and not an actual concerned human being! Because you’re totally fine with these poor dead babies as long as everybody is sugar and spice and sweet and nice!

    • Jessica S.

      Seriously, “seriously”. Go away.

  • Rita Rippetoe

    I must share this ad I spotted in an Oakland alternative paper:

    “BECOME A DOULA!
    Qualified candidates will be receive the most comprehensive and culturally competent training in the Bay Area, while having the opportunity to serve low income and families of color. Please contact me if you would like to the the opportunity to change the statistics of Maternal and infant death in the Bay Area, as well as reduce or eliminate child abuse. Empower families.”

    Who knew that the magic of a woo filled birth would prevent child abuse? Checking the website I find that the course is $550 + cost of a fairly long book list. Without looking them all up I would estimate at least another $200-300 in books. Also $250 certificate for childbirth educator certificate. It is sad and telling that one of the required books is on soothing a father’s grief and another is on photographing stillborn infants. Look up theprofessionaldoula.com if you want more information, the certificate program is listed in the sidebar. I tried to find out what qualifications a candidate would need, but it doesn’t seem to be on the site.

    Deep, heavy sigh.

    • Guestll

      Practice on disadvantaged peoples…they’re taking a page out of the CPM Let’s Go Inflict Our Woeful Lack Of Competence On WOC In Developing Countries Handbook.

      • yugaya

        Now that type of cultural arrogance really makes me blind mad. I see a lot of NCB crap trying to claim it is rooted in free spirited customs of ethnic minority communities. There are tons of “gypsy momma” blogs,wraps and god knows what else out there, usually trying to convey some sort of free spirited, natural child rearing methodology with obligatory anti vaccination and anti modern medicine message .

        Aside from systematic abuse of their human rights which used to translate into deliberate government lack of concern for the Roma people not having ID cards and based on them state medical insurance coverage which ended decades ago, real “gypsy” parents are traditionally part of the community which will always take their kids to see a doctor when ill, have them fully vaccinated and try to use the full benefits of modern medicine whenever and wherever it is available to them.

    • yugaya

      “if you would like to the the opportunity to change the statistics of Maternal and infant death in the Bay Area,”

      A chillingly correct assumption but exactly the opposite of what they intended it to mean – more lay midwives and unqualified birth junkies means four to nine times more dead babies.

      • Young CC Prof

        If home birth becomes popular enough, eventually we may have enough data to show that it increases maternal mortality as well. This would probably have a greater impact than newborn deaths, since many people do still think of perinatal death as an unavoidable tragedy. (And sometimes it is unavoidable, but sometimes it absolutely isn’t.) I sincerely hope, however, that study can never be published, as home birth goes out of fashion first.

        You know, the anti-vaccinationists are now in a gradual disorderly retreat, with reasonable people quietly slipping away, sending their children for catch-up shots, or claiming that they never said people shouldn’t vaccinate, only that they had questions, or some such nonsense. The only ones still really holding the line are the true tinfoil-hat crowd and the ones making money off of it.

        I’d be delighted if it was happening because people had read up on the evidence and changed their minds, but no, it’s outbreaks of contagious disease throughout the first world, so I’m like, “Everyone with a brain saw this coming ten or fifteen years ago, WHY did you morons wait so long to listen?”

  • Ash

    I understand if the sources wish to remain anonymous. But I’m curious, how was this information obtained? Certainly the obituary is public, as is the info from Facebook. From my understanding, some information was obtained from an Internet student midwife group (Facebook, forum, etc) . Are these the main sources or did a family member or other person who knows the family come forward?

  • Guest

    It’s rare to have a lapse to put my thoughts to written words. I’ve read and reread this post a dozen times and still come away speechless with a heaviness in my chest and a wave of nausea. As I look out the window, the leaves bud and the flowers bloom and I try to make sense of all of this. While I realize there is no making sense of the actions and inactions which led to these deaths, I’m left to ponder the irony of Spring’s arrival to signify a season of new life while two babies are senselessly left to be laid to rest.

    The obvious overriding issues at fault are the use of CPM’s and the ‘trust birth’ philosophy. Until the day comes for legislators and professional organizations to denounce the use of CPM’s, I don’t foresee a day when this will change.

    The risks taken at the hands of CPM’s are obvious. As the CPM community comes to the rescue and support of the student midwife, I wonder how James’ death will be remembered and rationalized in her mind. She can take a step forward and realize ‘trust birth’ doesn’t work or she can indoctrinate herself into the belief ‘some babies aren’t meant to live’.

    A final thought that wouldn’t have changed the outcome…CPM asleep at home? What is the purpose of an apprenticeship model and how was this student midwife being taught anything with exception of how to watch a baby die a preventable death?

    • Guest

      Edit: Meant to include in my attempt to comprehend these circumstances. I also try to understand how James’ mother posts her VBAC success and appreciation of resources for her second birth, but then went on to make the decision to labor with CPM’s?

  • Carey Ray

    “She had had a C-section in her first pregnancy, and a successful hospital VBAC in her second.”

    The above sentence is the only accurate statement made by Dr. Tuteur regarding the birth of my grandson. The rest of her comments are opinion and innuendo based on heresay. I was in attendance from the beginning of my daughter’s labor to James’ death. The gross misinformation provided by Dr. Tuteur explains most of the comments to this blog post. I urge those who have commented and formed opinions based on my grandson’s death to withhold any further assumptions without the benefit of accurate facts. This has been an excruciating and painful time for our family and I won’t be commenting further.

    • Elizabeth A

      I am so terribly sorry for your family’s loss.

      I don’t know what Dr. Tuteur’s sources are in this case, but I would add one more statement to the list of those that are likely accurate – I do not for a minute believe that your grandson was meant to die. In any situation involving a possibly preventable death, someone should be asking questions. Could things have been done differently, and led to a different result? From long observation, I know that homebirth midwives very seldom ask these questions. This is a second failure in most homebirth deaths, which leads, inevitably, to more loss.

      I hope that no family ever suffers as your has. We have to ask questions, or the systems that failed your grandson will go on to fail more families.

    • Guest

      If a real member of the family contacted dr. Tuteur in private like family members and people with information do all the time she would both allow them to speak through this blog and correct her post if she were presented with verifiable facts that contradict what she has written.

      That is what real family members have done in the past, and that is what dr. Tetuer has done in the past.

      My condolences to anyone personally involved in these tragedies. Except midwives, and anyone else who encouraged and cheered on choices in these births that were dangerous and killed babies.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        No, no family members contacted me, although many other people did.

    • bomb

      Wait, so he’s actually alive? Good news!

      • Deena Chamlee

        No computer:

        “I was in attendance from the beginning of my daughter’s labor to James’ death.”

        • Zornorph

          Well, I think the poster is pointing out that the fact that poor baby James died is also a fact that Dr. Tuteur was correct about.

        • bomb

          But a c section and vbac are the only accurate parts of the post…

          At any rate, she confirmed the most glaringly dangerous aspect of the birth, that it was an hbac. The Midwives were absolute fools to accommodate this birth choice and take her money.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Please share with me, either publicly or privately, the facts so I can correct any inaccuracies in my post.

    • Amazed

      I am very sorry for your family’s loss.

      What seems to be an accurate fact confirmed by yourself is that your daughter had a HVBAC – a practice that is endorsed by no professional but homebirth midwives. Please share some other accurate facts with us because this one alone is very damning against your daughter’s healthcare providers and the circumstances surrounding your grandson’s birth, thus making the statement that his death was due to a very rare complication highly suspicious.

      We do wish to help other families avoid the grief your family is now experiencing. But it won’t happen if we just withhold our very sound assumptions based on the fact that your daughter’s providers took a high risk pregnancy that ended in tragedy. Not without some more facts.

    • Dr Kitty

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Guest

      Carey Rey,

      I say this with my deepest sincerity, speaking for myself
      and possible many others here…I wish you weren’t here.

      I wish you were at home with your daughter and new grandson.
      I wish you were rocking James in your arms and inhaling the wonder of new baby smells. I wish you were at the park with your granddaughters so your daughter could nap with her newborn son. I wish you were falling asleep at night wondering who James would look like on his first day of kindergarten or whose personality he would have. I’ve never met you and never will, but still wish upon you all the happiness that is being a grandmother.

      Instead you’re here, a place I never wanted you to be and you
      wish you’d never known existed. You’re among strangers here. People you’ve never met whose hearts ache for the loss of James. People who have shed tears and fallen asleep with his death not far from their thoughts. People who have never come within a thousand miles of where James was born, but nonetheless come here to mourn his loss.

      None of us wanted to be ‘here’ and most of us wish ‘here’
      didn’t have to exist. We are here as mothers, fathers and families. We are here as doulas, nurses, CNM’s and physicians. We are here as attorneys, professors and psychologists. We are here because each of us has been touched in one manner or another, personally or professionally, by the death or damage done when unqualified providers get lost in their ideals or ‘trust birth’ at the expense of families.

      I wish you weren’t here, but your commonality with others
      here cannot be undone. Your life will forever be affected by what your family shares with too many others here. That is why we are here. We are here because the pain of a loss never stops and because the frustration with preventable deaths never end.

      My deepest condolences to you and your family. I’m so sorry you are here and so sorry for your loss.

    • Esme S

      I just don’t understand the concept of a woman’s labor as a spectator sport.

      • Medwife

        Having your mother present at your child’s birth does not a spectator sport make.

      • prolifefeminist

        Come on now, Esme – is this really the only thing you can find to say to this woman who’s just lost her grandbaby?

        Plenty of people have their moms in the delivery room. It’s hardly unusual.

    • Fertile Myrtle

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Sue

      My condolences to the family.

      One important source of ”good” that can come from this sort of tragedy is the insight and learning that helps other families avoid the same tragedy. I hope that other readers can benefit from the information shared here, so that further tragedies might be averted.

    • Poogles

      I am so sorry for your family’s loss, Carey.

    • Stacy21629

      I am so sorry for the loss of your grandchild. Unfortunately, however, that one accurate sentence is the only one needed to know that this baby did not have to die this way. NO ONE should have a home birth after a C-section, ever. That a “midwife” took this on is unconscionable. Other mothers need to know the risks they are taking so that more babies do not die needlessly.

  • Ash

    Oh, the hubris of HB midwives. Consider this statement from Midwifery today:
    “One recommendation—VBAC only with surgeons right there—has a tragic,
    unnecessary, negative impact on maternity care and maternity care
    providers in the United States. ” So horrible to have staff readily available to do a C-section or whatever else is necessary to save the life of a mother and child. So much better to have a student midwife attend who does not recognize possible symptoms of rupture; or even perhaps she recognized them but was reluctant to call 911.

    • Ash

      Some more midwifery today gems
      “Diseases, conditions, and syndromes (i.e. hepatitis, toxemia, HELLP,
      etc.) each have unique etiologies and interventions, all beyond the
      scope of this article. Suffice it to say that the more you have to offer
      by way of alternative therapies and skill in facilitating a
      multidisciplinary approach, the more likely it will be that you can turn
      a situation around and avoid surgical intervention.” It’s funny that the author says these conditions are out of the scope of practice, but the midwife can offer “alternative therapies” to change the situation.

      ” Heavy colonization with beta strep, HIV infection or HPV requiring
      treatment (conization, cryotherapy or laser therapy) are problems where
      education and prevention would have been your best bet” Pray tell, what education do HB midwives have in preventing HPV lesions or HIV infection? Especially since it seems that many HB midwives don’t believe in IV antibiotics for GBS (magical garlic!) or don’t bother recommending testing at all.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Pray tell, what education do HB midwives have in preventing HPV lesions or HIV infection?

        Moreover, saying “you should have been more careful” does not help if you already have it. In that case, you need to deal with it, not wax on about how it could have been prevented if you had done things better.

        Even if it were true, it is irrelevant to the situation.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        what education do HB midwives have in preventing HPV lesions or HIV infection?

        Know who you’re sleeping with, use condoms, and get vaccinated. Get tested to see if you’re infected. If you are, consult the relevant specialists to ensure you get the best possible care to have the longest and healthiest possible life. Well, ok, that may not be midwifery advice, but it’s the best way I know of to prevent HIV and HPV infection and treat them if they happen.

        • KarenJJ

          So it’s not, choose a partner with a good aura that eats healthy paleo foods because nobody caught STDs in cave man times.

      • Trixie

        They seem to think GBS is a sexually transmitted infection?

        • MaineJen

          As I understand it, GBS is a harmless infection with NO symptoms unless you are a. Immunocompromised, or b. A newborn infant. In both cases, it can be deadly. That’s why they…you know…test you for it before you have the baby. How they think ‘education’ about an infection with no symptoms that most women don’t know they have will be more useful than actual testing, I can’t begin to fathom.

  • Karen in SC

    Isn’t the Feminist Breeder’s maternal history c-section, vbac, hbac? What if James’ mother was following TFB’s example?

    • yugaya

      I do not think that she ever manages to asks herself that. There is not an ounce of honest self-doubt in her writings. Thoroughly incapable of the kind of pros and cons analysis that usually goes with any opinion we have, and the kind of self interrogation technique that provides the rest of us mere mortals with an objective perspective on things.

      Only brave people will question again and again the full impact of what they do because of the what they believe in, while cowards will just do it over and over again and preach and never doubt any of it .

  • Renee Martin

    This is just so horrible. Horrible. Those poor sweet babies.
    One was in my area, which is extra sad because there is NO REASON for any NCBer to HB here. None. No excuses of “I cannot do what I want in the hospital” here. No “I cannot get insurance” here.
    Ugh. I think I hit my limit for bad news.

  • prolifefeminist

    I rarely am moved to tears, but my cheeks are wet as I look at the picture above of that poor, sweet, perfect baby boy. There was no reason that he had to die – a child born in 2014 in one of the richest nations on earth. I can’t comprehend how these midwives and their supporters can invoke the name of God and ask for his blessing while simultaneously having so little regard for innocent human life that they allow a perfectly healthy baby die right before their eyes.

    One baby is too many. Little James was their only son. Those two little girls will grow up and go through life knowing that they had a little brother, but he died. The look on that father’s face in the photo as he looks upon his son, knowing that his little boy will never come home or laugh or give his mama kisses or play catch with his daddy…oh my God, it is like a punch in the gut to look at that photo.

    My heartfelt condolences go out to this family. I can only assume that (like I once was) they were fully immersed in the web of lies that is home birth midwifery. This should never have happened. That little boy was meant to live – he DESERVED to live. His life mattered!

    • anion

      This. I cannot bear to think of the pain those families must be in. God.

  • GuestRN

    What happened in the Portland case? Do you have any more info?

  • araikwao

    IT DOESN’T WORK! What will it take for them to understand that doing nothing, that trusting birth doesn’t work! Cinnamon breath, and calling the mother back to herself and telling the baby to breathe, and all their implausible, ineffective rituals and variations of doing nothing – they don’t work! But every time the lay midwives dodge a bullet (because most of the time, birth *does* turn out a live mother and baby), they just get their superstitions and beliefs reinforced even further.

    How many more deaths and neurological injuries will it take for them to start to question their beliefs, and open an eye to the cognitive dissonance that looms? When will the neat explanations that “some babies aren’t meant to live”, or “you didn’t trust birth enough” stop placating families? How is any of this okay?
    *truncate rant* I’m really upset by this.

  • BMJ Events

    interesting but if the midwives wouldn’t answer your questions then I do not see how you have obtained some of these things you are listing as facts. It seems to me they would be assumptions. I do not know these things either but it is clear that you have not talked to the midwives or the family or anyone present at the birth. I think you could have “made your case” without posing the names and pictures of the family, including their children, no doubt without permission. I will share with you the one fact I do know that you got wrong all together. The obit was written by the baby’s father and he had every right to express his love of his wife and family and express his pride in her strength.

    • Christina Channell

      Are you likewise disturbed by the “birth services” page which posted the names, photo, and other details? How about the obituary?

    • areawomanpdx

      She didn’t say the midwife wrote the obit. She said it sounded like she did. You’ll also note she says exactly where she got her information. She says what information she has been given as fact and what else she thinks could have happened based on the facts. It’s all very clear unless you’re purposely “misunderstanding” it. She posted a screencap of a publically posted picture.

      It’s too bad that Dr. Amy has to be the one to bring attention to these tragedies, but it has to be done. Women are being lied to and babies are dying because of it. When homebirth advocates get their act together and call for change, maybe she won’t have to go about shining light on these sad stories in a way you dislike.

    • T.

      If that father was proud of what his wife had done, he was either abusive or willfully clueless or both. Period.
      There is nothing to be proud in that mess. Nothing. I would not be proud if my partner would bang his head on a wall for hours. I would not praise his “strength” or coach him to go on.

    • Captain Obvious

      Grieving. They are a family, of course he is going to support his wife. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance are the stages of grief. Playing events over in their minds later may make them wish they had done things a little different. Hope they can overcome this preventable tragedy without breaking up the family.

    • yugaya

      “The obit was written by the baby’s father”

      A father who had to fight with student midwife who would not call 911 as part of his baby’s ” magnificent birth experience” then goes and writes obituary on his own in which he mentions midwives first of all and secondly mentions them in such thankful, positive manner? I find that hard to believe.

      You should look up the self-serving praise Christy Collins put out on the internet after she killed Gavin Michael. Her comments about the “…midwife who was on top of it and everyone should shut up because we do not know all the facts” are eerily similar in terms of language, style and content.

    • Esme S

      For one thing, the family put the obit out there; it’s in the public domain. Linking to it is not posting names and pictures “without permission.”

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Proud?

    • T.

      Dafuq I just read?

    • http://momofmanyfeet.wordpress.com Bambi

      Gag me!! More proud of her?? She screwed up! Are you kidding me??

    • Captain Obvious

      Hopefully orchestrating the closure of their services.

    • anion

      “He is orchestrating [her] every step?” In other words, “God wanted that baby to die and just made sure you were there to kill it through negligence.” Because if there is a God, and that God wanted a baby to die, there would be no other way to accomplish that, apparently. Also, God especially loves ignorant homebirth midwives who refuse to listen to reason, and chooses them as his special vessels of death, because that’s the kind of thing God is into. It’s not at all that you’re an irresponsible moron–it’s that God loves you and you alone so much that you get to wear the Sammael cap on earth.

      Hey, you know who else thinks God is behind their deadly actions and gives them the ability and the RIGHT to choose/deliver life or death, or uses them as His instruments of death here on earth? Psychotic killers, that’s who.

      Disgusting.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I don’t know if this is the time for a pop culture reference, but I am reminded of the movie MASH, where the doctors complain about Frank Burns

        Duke Forrest: Dammit, Henry, Frank Burns is a menace! Every time a patient croaks on him he says it’s “God’s will” or somebody else’s fault.

        Hawkeye Pierce: Yeah, and this time he blamed it on some kid who was stupid enough to belive him.

        That’s exactly what midwives are doing. The problem is, instead of recognizing that it makes them a menace, they seem to think it is a badge of honor.

        • Jocelyn

          Wow, that describes exactly what we see these midwives do every time. That’s disturbing.

        • Hannah

          That’s spot on.

          As an unrelated aside, I love Hawkeye.

  • Zornorph

    Goodnight you moon light ladies, rock-a-bye sweet baby James.

    Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won’t you let me go down in my dreams?

    And rock-a-bye sweet baby James.

    • Guestll

      Yes.

  • Jessica S.

    Rare complication – what an insult to that poor family. The complication was the ineptitude of both midwives and sadly, it’s anything but a rare occurrence. My thoughts are with these families and the enormous grief they must be experiencing.

  • Deena Chamlee

    I find it all very sad Sad for the family, sad for the poor little baby, and sad for the profession of midwifery. In the United States of America, THE USA, we are still educating our future midwives via apprenticeship. I must commend the ACNM for taking the loudest stand against this type of education to date.

    Principles for Licensing and Regulating Midwives in the United States in Accordance with the Global Standards of the International Confederation of Midwives

    http://www.midwife.org/ACNM/files/ACNMLibraryData/UPLOADFILENAME/000000000287/Principles-for-Licensing-and-Regulating-Midwives-in-US-According-to-ICM-Global-Standards-March-2014.pdf

    Now it is up to the states!

    • Christina Channell

      ACNM ain’t doing squat to prevent homebirth tragedies.

      • Deena Chamlee

        I said to date and I rebutted the policy but to date it is the strongest stance they have taken.

  • Christina Channell

    Dr. Amy, one small note on this wonderfully written post – the doula “Nirvana” may be misspelled in your opening remarks. I only point this out so that google searches of her name may lead her to your site. Thanks! Keep up the great work you do.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thanks.

  • Concerned DFW Lawyer

    It may take litigation (against you) to work this one out. Of this “story”, only approximately 20% of the facts are correct (yes the woman was pregnant and yes the baby died). But the way he died, the handling of it by the midwives present, etc. couldn’t be further from the truth. is this what you really are all about Dr Amy? I mean really, just to make “your case” why not make up facts? And about such a personal experience for a family? How can anyone have any respect for you.

    • Amazed

      Yawn.

      Would you care to explain what “the true facts” were? If not, I’m afraid we’ll just have to take you as the next one in the line of 91285385 parachuting trolls who land here desperately making lies in order to make Dr Amy shut up about some very inconvenient truths but when called out on their lies, backed up because well, they were just liars with either no or very little knowledge of the cases we’re discussing here.

      So, what are “the true facts”?

    • yugaya

      ” the handling of it by the midwives present,”

      the STUDENT midwife.

      “about such a personal experience for a family”

      a PREVENTABLE tragedy.

      P.S. A possibly involved “lawyer” using quotation marks, parenthesis, word like ‘approximately’ and ‘etc.’ in regard to facts while commenting publicly on an open blog? Riiiight.

      • Captain Obvious

        A lay lawyer, barely a HS degree and apprenticed by watching Law and Order.

    • Renee Martin

      No one has to make anything up to prove that HB is deadly, and HB MWs are fools. You only have to look at the stats- their OWN stats- and read their own words, in order to see the truth.

      LOL at litigation against Dr Amy. The only litigation ought to be against the so called MW murderers out there.

      Dr. Amy would correct anything that was found to be inaccurate.

    • http://safermidwiferyutah.wordpress.com/ Safer Midwifery Utah

      yeah because real attorneys give out legal advice on the internet without disclaimers (and for free). Haha, no. I don’t think you practice law.

    • areawomanpdx

      LOL. If you’re a lawyer, I’m a dinosaur.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Boom boom acka lacka boom
        Boom boom acka lacka boom boom

        Open the door, get on the floor
        Everybody walk the dinosaur – Was Not Was

        • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

          DAMN YOUR EARWORM! :)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Sadly enough, my kids like the song, because it is in the third Ice Age movie.

          • Jessica S.

            I can’t believe it was ever a popular song back in the day, but it was. Ugh.

    • Jessica S.

      So, why don’t you correct the story?

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps you can provide corrections “lawyer.” Speaking as someone with a little legal background, take your barratry and stick it. If you were a lawyer you’d know that making these kind of statements is tantamount to a threat of unauthorized litigation which can lead to disbarment, fines and jail time under Texas law.

    • Sue

      The fake lawyer sock appears to be about as educated in the law as the ”midwife” involved was educated in obstetric emergencies.

    • Stacy21629

      I have more respect for Dr. Amy than these quack midwives that killed this precious baby. How’s that for respect?

  • Maria

    This is heartbreaking. Regardless of how their choices affected the outcomes, my heart goes out to these parents.

    As for the midwives, I have nothing but contempt. The human body isn’t perfect, birth isn’t perfect, and to think all you have to do is trust birth enough to ensure a good outcome is asinine. To not risk out a VBAC and to let a woman labor for 40 hours (40!!) after her water breaks is criminally negligent in my view.

    • Amazed

      This.

      I am so sorry for the babies and families. I have no doubt that they were brainwashed into trusting their midwives. I mean, the very fact that the midwife was listed in the.. oh no. Can you imagine what real professional would let such appalling lack of professional boundaries? I don’t want to imagine just how much she sneaked around them to form an extremely unprofessional friendship that alas, now seems to serve her all too well.

  • R T

    From the looks of it these deaths, or at least Baby James’s, had even more to do with religious extremism than NCB extremism.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife

      Saying that someone “passed…into the arms of Jesus” isn’t religious extremism. It’s pretty mainstream Christianity, and common imagery in obituaries in the US. I think people are more even likely to use this kind of language when an 18-hour-old infant dies than when an 81-year-old great-grandfather dies.

      • Karma Kidney Stone

        When my father died, I wrote the obit, and put in that he was called to God. We’re not overly religious as a family, and he got everything that modern medicine had to offer. I think that citing religion in an obit is very mainstream, and not extremist or indicative of medical neglect.

        • anion

          Yeah, even for people who aren’t very religious at all, the idea of being “called home” or “called to God” can be comforting.

      • R T

        No I disagree! It may be mentioned, but not in the zealous way in which this was. I’m from the Bible Belt and although my parents both became atheists or at least agnostic before I was born, their families are still very religious. I know what is said and in what tone. The way this was said, the homebirth, the home birth with a clearly religious midwife, the very close proximity of pregnancies…there’s more going on here. There are two types of homebirthers, the extreme religious zealots or the extreme liberal types. I guess there’s also a tiny new group of average women who just happen to get their hands on a copy of “The Business of Being Born”, but they represent a very small percentage of the already small percentage of homebirthers. The religious midwives are especially dangerous. In my hometown, a popular lay midwife, who is cultishly religious, helped deliver twins and when the second twin was clearing struggling to breath she, the parents and other members of their church prayed over the baby for three hours until he died. After he died they called 911 “to come collect the body” they said it was God’s will. Then they lied and said the midwife, Theresa Fletcher wasn’t there so she couldn’t get in trouble. Unfortunely, she doesn’t just attend the deliveries of members of her church. My cousins wife, who is atheist, almost hired her for a homebirth until I uncovered this information on her. She attends the births of many women who are not religious because she’s one of the few lay midwives willing to work in the area where they live. It’s illegal for her to do so, but it doesn’t stop her. I’m sure the decisions she makes are always clouded by her religious beliefs! However, my cousin had no idea of her extreme religious affiliations until I uncovered them. http://www.abqjournal.com/news/metro/1222196metro07-12-09.htm

        • Zornorph

          The midwife posted a picture of her and her husband drinking beers on her Facebook page a few days after this poor little boy died; I don’t think she’s very religious. Or if she is, it’s birth she worships, not Jesus.

        • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

          This may be true in the bible belt, but not at all the case in the Pacific NW. Here, you’re a lot more likely to see nonreligious “normal” moms wrapped up in the BOBBInaMay.

      • Sue

        “passed…into the arms of Jesus” isn’t religious extremism. It’s pretty mainstream”

        True. But I’ll never forget the words of the very wise Rabbi who officiated at a friend’s baby’s funeral following a cot death – he said simply and plainly ”this is an incomprehensible tragedy”. I will never forget that funeral – now many years ago.

  • Deena Chamlee

    I think I have finally become numb. That is sad, terribly sad. So many repeated offenses over the years, so many. And I along with everyone else keeps trying but we can’t get through. Today I am numb with it all.

  • yugaya

    ” the student midwife called her preceptor at home to tell her about the
    excessive bleeding, and was reassured that it was fine…it was ultimately the father who called 911 because the student wouldn’t”

    With each new account like that one I believe stronger that homebirth would be safer if lay midwives were banned from attending homebirths – anyone other than a lay midwife or her student are more likely to stop trusting birth at some point if it looks like it cannot be trusted and call 911 in time to transfer and save lives.

    I am not sad, I am mad beyond words how that idiot student midwife wouldn’t call 911. If she refused to do so after transfer being requested by the parents can she be prosecuted for creating a delay that contributed to this death?

    • LMS1953

      Obstetricians are required to be IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE when they are attending to TOLAC/VBAC. Preparations need to be such that the decision to incision time does not exceed 20 minutes. And even with that measure satisfied, it will only serve to maybe diminish the award by a power of 10 should the baby be diagnosed with brain damage. Please note – shortly after he was first elected, Obama convened the AMA and informed them that he would NOT consider tort reform in any way, shape or form.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        A centrist politician did a centrist thing? O woe!

        • LMS1953

          That statement is a non sequitur. Besides, a contention that Obama is a “centrist” falls two or three standard deviations from any plausible analysis of the political leanings of Barack Hussein Obama – out there in left field at Delusional Park with the ball player in the tin foil hat picking dandelions, blowing the feathered seeds to the wind.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            He’s an infuriating centrist for people who are honest-to-dog socialists.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Actually, for many democrats, he is far too conservative. And that doesn’t mean socialists, it means regular old democrats.

            You don’t have to be far left to see Obama to the right.

          • Renee Martin

            We need an actual progressive. But that won’t happen until people like LMS have utterly destroyed the nation, leaving the rest of us to fix the mess.

          • Jessica S.

            Absolutely. I belly laugh whenever I see republicans criticize this administration. What more could they possibly want, especially from a supposed democrat. Of course, when it comes to Washington, there’s little difference – when push comes to shove – between the parties. The real distinction in DC is whether you stand by the establishment, regardless. That extends to the major news channels and anyone who makes a living off the establishment-minded.

          • prolifefeminist

            “Of course, when it comes to Washington, there’s little difference – when push comes to shove – between the parties.”

            ^ THIS ^

            I hold some pretty strong views on social/political issues that don’t all fit neatly into either major party. I have never understood the blind allegiance to any one party. It’s a bit like belonging to a high school clique where groupthink prevails and individual thought and common sense are frowned upon.

          • Ennis Demeter

            He’s a centrist to any reasonable person. “Tort reform” isn’t as attractive as people assume. Almost all of the horror stories told in favor of tort reform aren’t extreme examples if litigation happy plaintiffs at all once you find out a little more about the case. The hot coffee case is the classic example.

          • Ducky

            Exactly, tort reform is doublespeak for “protect corporations from any liability to their consumers or the general public.” McDonalds spun the life out of the woman in that coffee case. She was horrendously maimed by the coffee (skin melted to the bone in her inner thighs) and to this day people still think she was whining about spilling some normal temperature coffee.

          • Deena Chamlee

            lmao

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I have never heard any sensical proposal for “tort reform” sans one (from Dr Amy). No politician has ever come close to anything reasonable.

            Certainly not a republican politician, who’s concept of tort reform is to protect those found negligent (aka capping awards)

          • Deena Chamlee

            lmao

          • Renee Martin

            They love to cap rewards because it hurts the majority, and helps the wealthiest.
            Lawsuits are really the only remedy the average American has left when it comes to harm committed against them. Big corporations are able to do what they please (thanks to our government), and are often only reined in by lawsuits. Other professionals are also more cautious because of lawsuits and I think this is a GOOD thing. I like defensive medicine.

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, one reason people sue so much in the USA is because we have such a weak safety net. Health insurance is linked to employment, as is short-term disability, and SS disability takes years to get even if you obviously qualify. So, if you’re injured in an accident, sometimes suing the person responsible is the only way to get proper treatment and avoid financial ruin.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            a contention that Obama is a “centrist” falls two or three standard deviations from any plausible analysis of the political leanings of Barack Hussein Obama

            Once again I must agree with (part of) an LMS political statement: By any reasonable standard Obama’s way to the right of center. Not really centrist at all.

          • Wren

            Hahahaha.

            Oh, wait, was that statement serious? I took it for a joke, it is so far from reality.

          • T.

            People we should really stop feeding LMS when he starts being sidetracked into politic. Redirecting him into some political blog may be more helpful.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            No. Mocking him is better.

            Just note, he has NO credibility in his political statements. I mean, I’m not talking about “we agree to disagree,” this is straight out in loony land.

            Seriously, this moron won’t accept the affirmations from the state officials of Hawaii that the information on the birth certificate on the White House website is all correct, and the AGs of all the states who accepted that information as legit, BUT does believe the completely unsourced and undocumented claim that Obama is “spending millions to prevent the release of his college records,” which, anyone who takes 5 minutes of time to see what he is talking about, will discover is complete bullshit (1) he is not doing anything “to prevent the release of his records” and 2) what is doing (getting frivolous lawsuits dismissed upon summary judgement), he isn’t spending millions of dollars to do)

            Honestly, it makes me question everything he says, even not in politics, because you can see how he shuts his brain completely off when it comes to things he doesn’t like.

            And he accuses others to be “at Delusional Park.” He’s obviously a permanent resident.

            OBTW, he went on about “tort reform” below. Maybe it should start by having more severe penalties against people who file lawsuits that get laughed out of court without even seeing the light of day. Like 95% of those lawsuits challenging Obama’s qualifications for president (seriously, there have been something like 70 lawsuits filed against him; Obama actually only responded to 3 of them; the rest were so idiotic that they didn’t even bother; in one case (I think it was an appeal), the judge sent Obama’s lawyers a note saying, “Don’t even bother.”

            Frivolous lawsuits with no merit – there’s a good place for tort reform.

          • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

            Yes. It is clear that when he gets on his political agenda he simply cannot be reasoned with and will not stop posting. It’s spamming up the board and really annoying. Which is a shame, because his non political posts are generally very good or informative.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            But he can’t even do a “non political post” any more. He ends up using a non-political topic to rant about Obama. As noted above, he went from TOLAC to Obamacare within a single sentence!

            He’s so far gone that he’s not worth reading for anything.

          • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

            Fair enough – so let’s stop egging him on? Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of mocking and snark. But he is making us all look bad, and again, he replies to all of it and spams the boards. I wish Dr. Amy would block him instead of rising to his bait.

      • Trixie

        Did you just go straight from TOLAC to Obama in one sentence?

        • Renee Martin

          Because LMS cannot help himself. I sure wish he would stick to comments that are relevant.

          And tort reform? Horrible idea- tort reform doesn’t lower malpractice costs, and only hurts those who actually need a large judgement. There are a few better ways to lower the cost of malpractice insurance, but that isn’t one of them.
          But I would expect nothing less than a bad idea from him.

        • Siri

          Lol Trixie, you crack me up! :-)

          • Trixie

            He accelerates like a luxury German automobile.

          • Siri

            Lolol. So not a Renault 4 then? ‘From 0 to 40mph in 5 minutes’.

        • MaineJen

          Homebirth is bad BECAUSE OBAMA.

  • Deena Chamlee

    National Guidelines would solve this! Yes indeed it would.

    • LMS1953

      Deena, they would be a good start. In countries that have such guidelines, the moms seem to be on board with the exclusionary criteria. Here in the US, such moms seem to exhibit extraordinary defiance. Hence, in the US, there needs to be a reinterpretation of the scope of maternal autonomy such that mom can be held liable for criminal conduct should her negligent defiance of legally codified standards and exclusionary criteria result in morbidity/mortality of her offspring.

      • Deena Chamlee

        And “do no harm” by midwives. Midwives have ethical responsibilities to “do no harm.”

      • fiftyfifty1

        ” in the US, there needs to be a reinterpretation of the scope of maternal autonomy such that mom can be held liable for criminal conduct should her negligent defiance of legally codified standards and exclusionary criteria result in morbidity/mortality of her offspring.”

        Nah, just require that any attendant charging money hold liability insurance. That will be enough.

        • Renee Martin

          I think if ONE thing could be changed, this one would be the most effective as a stand alone rule. No other single rule would have such power, except maybe banning any HCP from attending HBs.

          • Young CC Prof

            I agree. If insurance were required, the insurance companies themselves would mandate basically every other rule we are asking for, like risk-out and transfer criteria. The cost would be prohibitive for “hobbyist” midwives.

          • prolifefeminist

            Which is the real reason why HB midwives whine that malpractice insurance is “too expensive.”

          • Christina Channell

            I understand that in Arkansas, CPMs work legally by practicing under the supervision of a CNM. The CNM’s liability insurance covers both. The patient must see a physician two times to be “approved” for a home birth.

            Thoughts on this? I think it sounds stupid. Maybe its just me, but I want the best provider I can get, not the “B” squad. To me, that means OB in a hospital, not a birth junkie under the guidance of a CNM who reports to an OB who is all the way the hell over there at the hospital.

          • Medwife

            That’s hilarious. A CPM and I have one thing in common, that’s the inability to perform a c/s. If a CPM thinks something is wrong, I want her to go straight to someone with an OR and a scalpel.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            There is a reason that midwives howl at the suggestion of insurance. Every time it is mentioned, we hear cries of, “It is just an attempt to get rid of midwives.” They know damn well they couldn’t survive if they had to work within an insurance system.

        • prolifefeminist

          This would be a HUGE step. I think the regulations need to be on the provider who’s charging for their services.

          Also, what are the chances all of these midwives are reporting all of their (mostly cash) income to the IRS? Hmmm…

        • LMS1953

          So how exactly are those regulations going to come about? Answer: By state LAWS. How do laws come about? Politicians make them in legislative bodies. I am excoriated for bringing politics here but this is PRECISELY why I do. We can commisurate about dead homebirth babies until the cows come home, but nothing will change without appropriate legislation with effective enforcement and penalties. So, do you think such legislation will be sponsored by Libtard Democrats. I have made prior posts from the MANA site that reveals all the legislation sponsored by the Libtards to expand the scope of CPM practice.

          I am very supportive of Libertarian Rand Paul. He is a physician (ophthalmologist) from Kentucky. His father, Ron Paul was an OB/GYN from the Texas Gulf Coast. I would be interested to hear the Libertarian position (especially of a Libertarian physician) concerning alternative practitioners and the scope/restriction of the deadly CPM.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Ron Paul’s positition is PRO-homebirth and ANTI-licensing of anyone, including physicians.

          • Deena Chamlee

            Well that is liberal….

          • MaineJen

            …game, set and match.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Why stop at “tard” to slur your political opponents LMS? Why not call them fags, dykes, niggers, spicks, mics, kykes, cunts, etc. as well? Slurs are sooo fun! Let denigrate an entire group of people in order to mock a completely different group that we don’t like. Weeeee so fun!

            Yeah fuck you.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            As I noted yesterday, he actually doesn’t have a coherent argument against, so he resorts to ad hominem.

          • S

            I’m pretty sure he’s used “names like Rodriguez” to mean Teh Illegalz, so… not sure he is capable of understanding your line of reasoning, sorry. But i do second that “fuck you.”

          • Guestll

            Ron Paul and vaccines.

            Your move, Doc.

      • Renee Martin

        (Please, for the love of whatever God you believe in, or none, stick to these type of comments)

      • http://www.antigonos.blogspot.com/ Antigonos CNM

        There is a very basic disconnect between the way Americans think and Europeans do. The latter tend to think that their nationalized health services are there to bring them BETTER care, and that regulation is a good thing, in the main, while Americans think that any attempt at a national health service is to TAKE AWAY their “choices”. These “choices” are often based on hearsay ["Dr. Jones is such a good doctor"] or even advertisement ["Ask your doctor if Medication X is for you"] and sometimes simple paranoia ["I don't want the government in MY medicine chest!"]

        The sad fact is that Americans want to have their cake and eat it. They WANT to have the freedom of choice to choose quacks or incompetent health providers, and at the same time, get quite upset when these sorts of people cause tragedies which the “government” should have prevented. Until Americans stop being paranoid about the concept that “government is usually trying to interfere in my life for no good purpose”, nothing will change, basically.

        • LMS1953

          The British are getting pretty shitty intrapartum care these days at both home and hospital births. Dr Amy has blogged about it in the recent past. Americans are afraid of getting stuck with that.

          • http://www.antigonos.blogspot.com/ Antigonos CNM

            And rightly so. There’s nothing wrong with the concept of the NHS — and back in the 70s, it functioned pretty well. I was very impressed with the level of services in the Cambridge region, coming from an NY hospital [Beth Israel] which had a clinic population which generally had virtually no antenatal care beyond a visit to register to deliver at the hospital [afraid of means testing, most Hispanic women only came in the 9th month] The problems of the NHS are over-politicization, over-administration, and a fundamental lack of money that goes back to the initial post-war years when Britain was bankrupt. Each successive government “reformed” the NHS, adding at least one additional layer of management, which drained off huge sums to people who were bureaucrats, not medical/nursing professionals. I remember doctors lamenting, in 1975, that it took 14 signatures to get new scalpels ordered.

            Moreover, ANY system which is effectively “free” [you don't feel the pinch when the deduction from salary is at source] uncovers vast amounts of previously undetected illness [and quite a bit of spurious illness as well]. No cost estimate can really assess what will be the ultimate expenditure, and the NHS was always underfunded. I await–and I expect it might take up to 5 years–for much the same thing to happen with Obamacare in the US.

          • T.

            I am Italian and, on the whole, with all its problems, I am profondly grateful I’ll likely not become bankrupt over a cancer or some sort of illness. I have a MRI scheduled for the 24 for migraines. Would they discover something very bad, at least I know that I’ll not have to fret about “OMG HOW WILL I PAY FOR IT?” aside from freeting about the actual mass.
            No system is perfect, that is the Nirvana fallancy. But I love my NHS.

      • Playing Possum

        I prefer your term ‘legally codified standards’ … Guidelines are just that… guidance. No leeway! No ‘variations of normal’!

  • LMS1953

    There is a woman in Utah who was recently arrested. She had three living children at home and in the intervening 10 years she got pregnant 7 times – resulting in one stillbirth and 6 neonatal deaths. I presume that these were unassisted homebirths since she bagged all 7 remains and scattered them about the in-laws’ house she lived in until about 4 to 5 years ago. Hubby got out of jail recently and he came home to pack. Alerted by fetid smells, the mummified/putrefied remains of the deceased neonates were discovered. In terms of autonomy and whatnot, what is the difference between what the Utah mom did and what the cases above from Portland and DFW did? Moms delivered at home and their babies died. I don’t know, maybe the Utah mom confessed, but presume she did not. She could have said “I delivered at home – I am afraid of hospitals – and all 7 of my babies died.” Why does she get booked into the jail and the other 2 and their accomplices remain free?

    • http://www.pcosra.com/ PCOSRa

      You can read more about the story here: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=29478064&nid=148&title=bail-set-at-6m-for-woman-accused-of-killing-newborn-infants&fm=home_page&s_cid=topstory
      “According to investigators, Huntsman admitted to police that she either suffocated or strangled the babies immediately after they were born.”

      So, so sad.

      • LMS1953

        There are progressive, liberal professors in Ivy League institutions with $50,000 per year tuitions who vociferously argue that such post natal abortions be considered both ethical and legal. I wonder how legitimately her Miranda rights were given. Still, the baby in Oregon was suffocated by 30 minutes of abject negligence by the CPM.

        • Certified Hamster Midwife

          I thought it was pretty much just Singer.

          • LMS1953

            http://static.publico.pt/docs/sociedade/JMed%20Ethics-medethics100411.pdf

            From the Journal of Medical Ethics. See the conclusion section in the image below: the authors deigned to consider the time limit after birth when it was still OK to exterminate the newborn pest

            ETA – published March 2012. Singer started beating the drum at least as far back as 1985 according to a referenced paper.

          • Renee Martin

            I have seen this used as an argument AGAINST abortion, but so far never as a justification for killing babies.

            I have no doubt there are lunatics out there that really think this. I am staunchly pro choice, but have never met anyone that thought this stuff.

            (NICE DERAIL THOUGH, you got me again!)

          • T.

            Just ignore him when he goes off into his political lalaland. I admit that as far as troll go LSM has sometime good point in OB care, but more often than not he is just your avarage conspirancy troll bent on making everything about his own belief and ideas, even when they have nothing to do with the point at all. I have seen some anti-vax like him. Talk about everything from your work to your uncle’s roses and they will make it about vaccines. Really. It is uncanny.
            LMS is like that, but about Obama.

          • Spamamander

            Again, just Singer.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Even so, I haven’t seen the counter argument. Of course, that would require understanding the argument in the first place. Instead, all he has is an ad hominem (you know, that liberal professor in an expensive Ivy league school)

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Typical cluelessness.

        • PJ

          I would think that is an extremely isolated and fringe belief.

        • Guestll

          I knew the day would come when you’d take a run at Peter Singer. IT IS FINALLY HERE! And sadly, I have to go to bed.

        • T.

          Don’t feed the troll :)

  • A disgusted guest

    Criminal negligence causing death. Medical malpractice. These people get away with these things and they shouldn’t.

    • LadyLuck777

      That’s what I don’t understand. Why wouldn’t a DA bring this up with criminally negligent homicide? There is no major insurance payout, but isn’t that part of a DA’s job to handle criminal cases?

  • AnotherGuest

    I’m so sorry for those babies and families. I agree with the title of the post, but also understand that some people choose homebirth because they have been traumatised by a previous experience (PTSD after childbirth is very real, but can also happen at homebirth) or are frightened of the hospital for some other reason, but also some people chose it because they believe that they are doing the best for their babies. Some people worry so much about forceps etc that they choose homebirth as what they think will give their baby the most gentle birth. I understand that. It works out for some and they spread the word. But somewhere along the line it won’t work out, and a poor baby and family will pay the price. So so sad.

  • MaineJen

    OMG…those siblings’ faces. The older one, who looks like she’s been crying…the younger one, who is fascinated by the baby and clearly doesn’t understand that he’s dying. I’m seeing my kids’ faces, picturing them having to go through something like this, and tearing up as I sit here. So, so unnecessary and sad.

    • Guest

      It’s so sad, the poor family. I’m not that keen that Dr Amy re-used the photo in this article to be honest. I understand the reason, but I’m not keen.

  • Hannah

    My heart breaks for those babies. I really don’t know what else to say other than that this madness has to stop.

  • Rabbit

    The DFW one is especially tragic to me, because there is an awesome hospital in Dallas (Baylor Medical Center) that seems to go out of its way to accomodate the things home birthers want. Labor and delivery is in a segregated part of the hospital, with its own entrace, so you can avoid hospital germs. You can labor in the tub. You can deliver in any position you want. The rooms are beautiful, they have i-pod docking stations for your music. You can adjust the lights and temperature in your room. I told my nurses that my plan was to go without an epidural, and that was fine by them – no pressure to change my mind, and plenty of offers of other things that might help. They brought me an exercise ball to sit on when I asked, allow/encourage you to eat and drink during labor. They encourage you to be up and moving (walking the halls if you need only intermittent monitoring, walking around the room if you are on constant monitoring). Delayed cord clamping, delayed first bath, immediate skin-to-skin time if you want it, breastfeeding support, etc.
    So you can have all that, and there are a few handy OR rooms right down the hall for if the shit hits the fan.

    • anne

      I think a lot of people who decide on home birth never even see the hospital. Everything they learn is from sites that promote fear, ignorance and avoidance of hospitals.

      Some of my friends who chose the NCB route also skipped the hospital education classes in favor of Bradley or similar even if they gave birth in a hospital, which really was not good when they ended up needing an epidural or c-section. It’s one thing to learn about how it’s done while you are pregnant and sitting in a conference room. It’s another to learn in the middle of a labor that didn’t go the way you expected.

      • Busbus

        I agree with this. I had two homebirths and hadn’t seen the inside of our local hospital’s L&D unit until I did a NST after having gone overdue with my second pregnancy. It surprised me how nice the L&D unit was and how friendly the nurses were, and seeing it was certainly a factor that influenced me when I slowly started to change my mind about homebirth after I had had my baby. Against my expectations, the hospital was a place I could imagine giving birth at and looked nothing like what I had expected from NCB propaganda.

      • Hannah

        Yeah. I am in a pregnancy group at the moment and it’s all 8 week Bradley classes and reading Ina May to ‘prepare’ for birth. I really worry that they will not know how to cope if it doesn’t go as Ina promises.

        Not only that, I have a few friends whose husbands became so indoctrinated by Bradley that they didn’t really listen to their wives during birth and it was cause for a lot of resentment afterwards. In one case in particular, it was a major issue, because she endured a third degree tear with no pain medication because her husband was so dedicated ‘coaching her’ and she was so sure beforehand that it would work, that there’s wasn’t a ‘safe word’ in place for when she really, really needed to just be listened to.

        • MaineJen

          I think that would be grounds for divorce. Seriously.

          • Hannah

            Yeah. My husband point-blank refused to read anything about Bradley. It’s not that he is disinterested in my pregnancy or the birth, he’s happily read ACOG’s book about pregnancy as well as a couple of other ‘advanced texts’ as my OB put it, but he simply does not agree that it is his place to ‘coach’ me not to take painkillers when I am in pain.

            Some of my friends who are into Bradley and for whom it worked okay were horrified that he ‘doesn’t want to support me’. He’s perfectly happy to support me, hold my hand, rub my back but I am an adult and save for a situation where he needs to act on my behalf when I am incapacitated, I can think for myself, and if I want a damn epidural he’s not interested in trying to convince me otherwise so ‘we’ can get some imaginary medal.

          • MaineJen

            The only time my husband got seriously upset during either of my labors was when I had to wait 2 hours for anesthesia to come give me my epidural, by which point I was 9cm and no longer speaking coherently. :) He was of the “Your body, your decision” mentality, for which I’m profoundly grateful. I shied away from doulas and labor coaches (and even childbirth classes) precisely because I knew that the *last* thing I’d ever possibly want would be for someone to talk me out of having pain relief. The very idea is terrifying to me.

          • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

            During my first birth my husband was my epidural hero. I had one but it wasn’t effective – they kept topping it off with no relief. It was my husband who checked and noticed that the damn catheter had come out and the drugs were running out onto the bed. He bolted into the hallway and physically dragged a nurse in to see, and demanded they fix it immediately. He was miserable during my second birth because he couldn’t help that the labor nurse was too rough with my urinary catheter so all my labor pain was in my bladder. The idea of him ENFORCING me being in pain instead of doing everything he could to help is horrifying.

          • Hannah

            Yeah, he simply said he was not going to be a party to telling me that pain is transient or that choosing pain relief is the ‘weaker’ choice. He literally said ‘fuck that’.

            @kumquatwriter:disqus, that’s what is important to me as a birth support person. Someone who will hear what I am saying and then make sure that what I am asking for happens. I cannot imagine how powerless I would feel if my husband was pushing an agenda (even one I prescribed to him) and wouldn’t listen to my wishes in that moment.

          • Dr Kitty

            My plan with the ovarian cyst/appendix thing was to stick it out at home until 8am, have my DH take kiddo to daycare and then have him drive me to A&E.

            At 6am he told me he couldn’t bear seeing me in pain, didn’t want kiddo to see me in pain, and called me a taxi to the hospital (because we agreed it was better kiddo had her normal routine).

            That’s my husband, who knows when to call time on my nonsense and tell me to get myself sorted out.
            He’s EXACTLY the type of support I would want in labour.

          • Hannah

            Good point. My husband has snapped me into action with my asthma a few times when I have said ‘I’m all good’ when in reality I had peak flow readings in the 200s or lower despite attempts with ventolin etc.

            I probably didn’t articulate myself that well above with ‘make sure what I am asking for happens’ as I suppose that’s what home birth dads/partners do. I guess what I mean is apply reason to the situation without having an agenda such as NCB driving that reasoning.

          • Dr Kitty

            I should say by the time I turned up at A&E at 615am, I was tachycardic pyrexic, hypotensive and it took almost 30mg of IV morphine to get the pain controlled.*
            By the time my husband arrived we were just waiting for the surgeons to finish rounds so I could go to the OR.
            Waiting until 8 would have been a bad idea.

            * I don’t metabolise morphine well, so I need more than a normal person would. They don’t keep IV fentanyl in the ER, so it was morphine or nothing…and they were quite happy to keep giving me it, as long as I was on a monitor and still breathing and coherent.Thankfully the anaesthetists sorted me out with better drugs after surgery.

          • Maria

            “I am an adult and save for a situation where he needs to act on my behalf when I am incapacitated, I can think for myself”

            Amen sister!!

          • Siri

            ‘But darling, we weren’t going to HAVE an epidural, remember?’

        • DaisyGrrl

          I find the idea that a woman would need a “safe word” to convince her husband to “listen” to her request for pharmaceutical relief profoundly disturbing and disempowering. It just makes my skin crawl.
          Can someone explain it to me? Am I missing something?

          • Hannah

            In my friend’s case, I don’t think that her husband was being an asshole. She had spent the previous 40 weeks indoctrinating him that he was not to give in, that he had to coach her through it, *no matter what she said while in labour*. She wasn’t prepared for a birth that was remotely complicated, for the fact that Hypnobirth and Bradley techniques do not make pain disappear, or for the fact that she might feel very differently about being ‘coached’ when it came to actually doing it. On the flipside, he should have had the good sense to see how hellish the experience was for her and support her whatever she said. I guess, really, he was damned whatever he did.

            That’s exactly why I think Bradley and ‘husband (or anyone) coached birth’ is terrible. It is basically training someone to tell you that pain isn’t a big deal and that all you need to do is breathe, or whatever. Literally the only solution I can think of is to have a ‘safe word’ and I, personally, cannot think of anything remotely empowering about that.

          • DaisyGrrl

            I don’t think he was necessarily being an asshole, either. I know a woman who had set up a safe word with her husband for her labour and her husband is a nice guy who could have otherwise been set up to fail like your friend’s husband.
            Labour and childbirth is such a profoundly vulnerable time for women. Why would you set yourself up so that your support group will fail you? Even with a safe word, you still have the idea that your wishes will be ignored unless you can invoke a magic word. Why do that to yourself? Isn’t pushing the baby out enough? Safe words might make sense in a bdsm scene, but not during labour.

        • Jessica S.

          Good lord. Isn’t it astonishing the amount of thought and effort and agony is put into an event that is but a blip on the screen of life? (Well, just a blip if all goes well. A bad blip will have lasting effects.) What I’m trying to say is, for Pete’s sake, the delivery method of the baby shouldn’t be the end, but the means to the actual end – the BABY!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I think a lot of people who decide on home birth never even see the hospital. Everything they learn is from sites that promote fear, ignorance and avoidance of hospitals.

        One thing we always mentioned with new dads in Boot Camp is L&D is NOTHING like you see in TV shows.

        • AmyP

          Exactly.

          For one, TV is edited down to drama-drama-drama, and having a hospital delivery is normally nothing like that, at least not until the very end. It’s pretty slow and peaceful, as long as appropriated anesthesia is on tap.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Did you ever notice that the “sex determining US” always takes place with mom showing about 8 mos? Mom is usually huge. As opposed to a real 20 wk scan, where mom is maybe showing a little, maybe not.

          • Dinolindor

            Or when she’s just starting to tell people, at about 12 weeks along, and somehow also knows the sex by then too.

          • Wren

            We were told at 12 weeks that my second was most probably a girl, and she was. A 12 week scan is routine here in the UK. It was confirmed at the 20 week anatomy scan.

          • Dinolindor

            Yes, scans around 12 weeks are common here too, but in my experience and based on what I’ve read it’s difficult to get an accurate sex at scans that early so techs don’t typically say either way in case they’re wrong.

        • Hannah

          My husband has totally done the ‘how fast can we get to the hospital’ test a couple of times. In my case, my mother progressed pretty quickly with both of us, and nearly had my brother in the car so it might be useful but I did tell him that it’s not like TV and there’s no need to run red lights, haha.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I have a colleague who ended up doing that at 11:30 on a Sunday night with their 2nd.

            That’s the only example I know, though. Never heard of it with the first.

          • Hannah

            Yeah, I am sure if I am a quick labourer, it will still be more relevant with a second or third baby.

      • OBPI Mama

        So true.

      • Renee Martin

        They have no clue.
        They have in their minds a pic of a maternity ward from 1950.

        I was talking to a group of AP moms, one was planning a HBAC. So I shared my VBAC experience, including how the hospital staff insisted on pushing me into VBAC. Of course they all thought that pushing a VBAC on someone who didn’t want one was great, best thing ever (but ask if you want an epidural? Fire that evil doer!)

        I then told them all of the things that hospital offered, almost all of which the local ones offer too. They had NO IDEA, none, about any of it. Labor in a private jaccuzzi tub? Squat bars? Rooming in? FREE doulas? LC always available? VBAC offered? Even organic, local food!

        No, they could not believe it! These are not new things either. This is the same old, same old.

        My main frustration is that while the hospitals kiss crunchy mama butt, they are antagonizing the rest of use. Adding crunchy staff that is nasty about pain relief just doesn’t fly when 90% of the moms want it. I personally think the more options the better, but if you have to focus on anything, more anesthesiologists would beat all the NCB clap trap (but they cost money, so now we see w

        • Christina Channell

          I’ve just learned that my local hospital system (where all three of my kids were born) is going “Baby Friendly.” We expect to have more children and I am literally going to go to another hospital over this. I’m pissed.

          • Dinolindor

            Wait and see or ask for a tour once the switch is made. My hospital is “Baby Friendly” and they have not lost their minds. Rooming in is encouraged, but there is a well-baby nursery still, breastfeeding encouraged, but nurses are practical about considering supplementation (not pushing either way, they seemed to just look at how the baby is doing and go from there). Although I don’t know what would have happened if I wanted to formula feed right off the bat, but based on other interactions I bet there would be no guilt trips or anything.

    • Jessica

      As far as I know, all of the Portland hospitals that offer OB services have similar options. OHSU even offers waterbirth, as I recall. Hospitals in Salem and Eugene and even some of the smaller communities have similar practices and protocols. And still homebirth persists.

      • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

        This is stupid and OT but I got a badly needed chuckle seeing Jessica reply to Rabbit.

        • Siri

          So did I, Kumquat; so did I. :-)

        • Hannah

          I had a good laugh, too.

        • LMS1953

          Roger that.

          • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

            Well played.

      • areawomanpdx

        OHSU even offers vaginal breech birth, in spite of a huge lawsuit due to a poor outcome. They *encourage* VBAC. And they are not even the crunchiest hospital. Hell, Emmanuel takes homebirth transfers and won’t report your midwife. Kaiser Sunnyside has a c-section rate of just over 20% and a huge proportion of deliveries are attended by CNMs. In fact, all of the big hospitals in Portland have large CNM practices delivering there. There is no excuse in Portland.

        • Renee Martin

          Encourage isn’t even the right word for how they push VBAC at OHSU. Areawoman knows this (in part) because she heard them play the “dead mama” card, and the other constant barrage of CS terror. While omitting even the basic risks of VBAC! Not a mention of rupture.…

          For this reason, “bully” might be more appropriate than encourage. They use the very scare tactics to push VBAC as the NCBers claim docs use to force CS.

          • Hannah

            Sounds like the NHS.

      • LMS1953

        For a hospital to offer waterbirth is NOTHING to be proud of. A couple of weeks ago Dr Amy blogged about ACOG and AAP issuing an expert opinion that with waterbirth the risks exceed the benefit(s) and that they were EXPERIMENTAL and should ONLY be done in controlled clinical trials with well defined protocols that detail sterilization procedures, infection control and exclusionary criteria. If a woman wanted to exercise her autonomy and schedule an elective repeat C/S at 38w3d because she is aware that “emergency” C/S at 0200 necessitated by the onset of labor is substantially riskier for her and that deliveries in the 38th have a lower rate of IUFD than in the 39th week – Crunchy General would adamantly deny her request as they draw the water for Mr & Ms Granola-Woo as they prepare to birth baby girl Primose in a veritable toilet bowl of sewage. Cognitive dissonance anyone?

        We should not be cow-towed into compromising our standards to allow for such unfettered bullshit.

        • Siri

          It’s kow-tow, and it’s not a transitive verb. Nuffink to do with cows either.

          • Siri

            Although I suppose the cow bit goes with the bullshit bit, so I can see how the confusion would arise…

        • Sue

          Setting aside the detail (and the cows), there is certainly a big heap of cognitive dissonance in hospital risk management at the moment.

          Where I work, if you accidentally order a simple xray for the wrong patient, it is treated as a wrong-patient procedure (like operating on the wrong person), but, if you intentionally order a CT scan for no good reason, nobody bats an eyelid.

    • Kimber

      I’m in the DFW area and you are absolutely correct about Baylor Medical Center. The thing is, IF these home birth wackos gave birth in a hospital, regardless of whether the hospital accommodated their every desire, it still would not be good enough for them. By giving birth in a hospital, any hospital, they’d automatically have to forfeit all home birth bragging rights, and we all know that the bragging rights are worth their weight in gold. Sick, really sick.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Hospitals don’t drive women away. The false promises of NCB lure them away. It’s the pied piper.

    • Renee Martin

      Just like the hospital in my area, they go all the way for NCBers, and its never enough. Goal posts are always moved.
      OHSU even offered breech VB- and got sued when a baby died last year…..

  • Trixie

    If they ever read this, my sincere condolences to both families.

    It’s striking that of these two deaths, only one would count as a homebirth death, because James’ delivery, like Gavin Michael’s, ultimately happened in the hospital. It’s clear that homebirth death statistics can’t capture the whole picture of the harm these midwives are causing.

  • Box of Salt

    To the whole Lauderdale family: I am sorry for your loss.

    Lauderdale

  • CanDoc

    WTF, the arrogant addition of “and midwife Kaitlyn Wages…” at the end of the obituary seems to equate her own personal sense of loss with the immediate family’s.

    • MLE

      If they ever change their mind about HB, that will be in their child’s obituary forever. I have no idea thankfully, but I would assume that I would keep a clipping of my child’s obituary, and that’s the last place I would want to see the name of the person who contributed to their death.

  • Zornorph

    Oh, lovely. I just want to the Midwife’s Facebook page – yesterday she posted a picture of her and her husband with beers in their hands, partying. Seems like she’s really broken up over the whole thing, doesn’t it? That’s what these midwives do – they just move on and leave death and destruction in their wake. I’ll bet none of the real family members are kicking back with a beer right about now.

    • Young CC Prof

      You know, if a doctor screwed up that badly, he’d be sitting in front of an inquiry right now. But no, it’s “No questions now, out of respect for the family’s grief.” And later it’ll be, “But that was months ago! Why are you harassing us about it now?”

    • Trixie

      Disgusting.

    • Hannah

      Seems she has made such images private, not, as I can’t see it. Either way, that is sickening.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I gotta say, if I had just gone through that, I might be drinking heavily, too. However, it would be pretty much alone (not at a party) and I’m not posting pictures of it for everyone to see.

    • Amy

      It’s actually worse than that. She’s changed her cover picture to one of James. I’m appalled and disgusted– how DARE she?

      • wookie130

        Oh, now THAT is vile.

      • LadyLuck777

        That’s another reason why midwives should not be allowed to be considered health care providers. Under NO circumstances would a physician, nurse, etc. be allowed to take a photo of a patient and publish it on a social media site, even with permission. We are only allowed to take photos for the chart and that is with family permission. I can’t imagine the lawsuit that would result from this if this were an actual caregiver.

  • Dr Kitty

    Poor families.
    Poor babies.

    I find the tone of the Origins Birth Services post and obituary to be off…but it might be a cultural thing.
    They read very oddly to me, but I’m perfectly willing to accept it might not in the USA.

    • LovleAnjel

      I’m in the USA. The obituary does sound off. Daddy was so proud of mama’s effort? Wtf? The midwife mentioned by name, but not the other family members?

      • Zornorph

        The names of the other family members are mentioned, Dr. Am has just condensed it. Some of it does seem off – not the talking about Jesus part, that’s quite typical of the South where this poor baby was born, but clearly some woo language has been slipped in there. I doubt Daddy asked for that wording, myself.

        • LibrarianSarah

          It was probably a wise decision not to include the names of the children. You never can be too careful about these things.

      • Young CC Prof

        It’s entirely possible that the midwife or someone else wrote the obit, because the family couldn’t handle it.

        • MaineJen

          It reads VERY MUCH as though the midwife or doula wrote it. If I was a member of that family, reading that, I would be horrified. I hope it’s a comfort to them, I truly do. But I’m with you guys: it’s decidedly odd to mention “mama’s effort” and mention the midwife by name…in the freakin baby’s obituary.

      • Box of Salt

        LovleAnjel: read the link. They are all in there. I want to cry for that baby’s poor big sisters.

    • Trixie

      No, it’s odd here, too.

    • Lombardi

      It is odd by US standards. I read it as we “didn’t make the wrong choice” reinforcement.

  • moto_librarian

    Can MANA be prosecuted for consumer fraud? Their own data shows just how dangerous home birth is, but they continue to lie about it to the public. If we can’t do something to stop individual midwives, maybe it’s time to go after their “professional” organization…

    • Busbus

      I don’t know if that is possible, but it would be great.

      I was also thinking about what can be done on a national scale. Requiring insurance might be the easiest way to ensure standards for all homebirth midwives (which is why they all oppose it). Obviously, abolishing the CPM/direct-entry etc. path would be great, but as I understand it, that would have to be done state by state, correct?

      • moto_librarian

        I think it would take a state AG opening an investigation to get things moving. I just wish that SOMEONE would start paying attention and hold these midwives to some standard of accountability! They are modern day snake oil sales(wo)men.

        • Karen in SC

          I would urge all readers here from Texas and Oregon to contact their State AG and also the state head of the department of health (or whatever state office regulates midwives). I sent a letter of support when our state DHEC closed birthing centers after two preventable losses. It was a temporary action, BUT I believe it made all of those midwives review protocols and realize the state meant business.

      • anonymous

        Real midwives, IE CNMs carry insurance. These nutters couldn’t get insurance any more than I could get insurance as a pilot because I’ve ridden on an airplane.

        • Busbus

          anonymous – if the insurance companies declined to insure CPM’s and it would, therefore, become illegal for any non-CNM midwife to attend clients, that would be fine by me. That’s how it is in any other developed country I know of – becoming a midwife requires a multi-year university education and clinical practice. Or, maybe some insurance companies would simply require some real safety standards. Also fine by me, as it would be far better than what is happening now. Either way, there would be an outside determination about what constitutes safe midwifery practice instead of lay midwives making the rules up as they go.

  • Mallory

    I have a friend who is a doula. She told me that the home birth midwives she works with always say “the worst thing that can happen is a transfer.” That says it all.

    • Hannah

      Does you friend have any thoughts on this?

    • CognitiveDissonaceHurts

      I think this shows a change in the mentality of home birth midwives. They used to say, “If the worst things happen, then transfer”.

    • Christina Channell

      I can only hope that what they mean is that a transfer is “worse case scenario,” not “a transfer would be the worst outcome possible.” It could go either way.

    • Medwife

      She should get away from attending births with midwives who say such things unless she has a wish to witness a death, it’s only a matter of time.

  • Zornorph

    Ugh, that picture just tears me up, particularly the children who lost their little brother for no good reason. That midwife going home to sleep – why couldn’t she have taken a nap at the home where the mother was laboring? With two other children, they must have had a spare bed or at least a couch. Is she too royal to lay her precious head down on a couch? And the fact that she had infiltrated the family so much that she was listed on the obit – who does that? And she didn’t love them more than words can say – she put her ego and desire to worship birth above the safety of this baby. And she didn’t even love them enough to stay there with them in their hour of need – preferring to go home and catch 40 winks. It just make me angry.

    • Guest

      Don’t women choose home birth because they want the attendant of their choice to be present for the entire birth? Isn’t that one of the big criticisms of doctors? That they aren’t there for the labor?

      • Zornorph

        Perhaps the midwife actually went out for a round of golf?

        • bomb

          I was a first time mom that had been throwing up for hours, 5cm dilated with a bulging bag (which soon broke), with baby not engaged in pelvis, and my cpm left me alone so she could go play soccer.

          • Siri

            SOCCER?! Who was your midwife, flippin David Beckham?! What about the risk of cord prolapse? Please tell us you found a better midwife after that….

          • bomb

            I transferred to the hospital, all of my kids were then attended by OBs. I saw a cnm throughout my entire pregnancy in case I had to transfer to the hospital. She was happy to take my money and not mention that if I transferred I’d need an ob. When I arrived at the hospital she refused to come in, telling the nurses that I’d transferred care. I had seen her 2 days prior.

            That was the end of my relationship with midwives.

          • Siri

            I’m not surprised. How horrid; I’m so sorry.

      • Trixie

        I’m reminded of the thread the other day where the Facebook posters urged the doula to do something nice for herself because the mother’s labor was so long.

    • CanDoc

      Angry beyond belief. If I have a VBAC in labour, I’m in hospital, never more than 75 yards from the labouring woman, anesthesia is aware and available, the OR is ready. Senseless, awful, excrutiating loss.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        For pete’s sake, our OB wouldn’t do a VBACs because an ANESTHESIOLOGIST was not available within 10 minutes, much less her.

        I thought that a criticism of OBs was that they were unwilling to do VBACS because they always had to stay with the patient, so they couldn’t go off and take care of others, so that is why they just scheduled a more convenient c-section? I guess the solution is, just don’t monitor them…

        • Hannah

          Yeah, there’s this huge disconnect when it comes to doctors not wanting to VBACs and NCBers saying that’s because OBs don’t care or want to spend time with their patients and yet going home to nap is really caring. I just do not understand it.

        • Jessica S.

          Good point, Bofa!

    • Mishimoo

      That makes me furious too. Though, to be perfectly honest, I’d be a bit leery of a midwife that naps instead of transferring care. I’d rather have a different midwife than one who was too tired to do her job properly and safely, same with any other medical professional.

    • CognitiveDissonaceHurts

      It’s pretty incomprehensible neglect, and I hope that one day those involved will see the truth, and act accordingly.

    • Christina Channell

      To love is to will the good of another. That’s the antithesis of homebirth midwifery, isn’t it?

  • http://Www.awaitingjuno.blogspot.com/ Mrs. W

    I really don’t get the hesitation to transfer – they expect payment upfront and in full before labour (non-refundable, I believe), so economically there’s nothing to lose in an early transfer and because most don’t carry malpractice insurance, they could (hypothetically) be held personally accountable for the negligence. Too bad most don’t have deep enough pockets to be worthy of suing…if only there was criminal culpability – at least then there might be motivation to prosecute.

    • http://Www.awaitingjuno.blogspot.com/ Mrs. W

      This said – it is worth noting that a dead baby is worth considerable less than a profoundly disabled one from a damages perspective. Which brings up the question, Are they being intentionally grossly negligent?

      • Karen in SC

        That is Lisa Barrett’s MO. She delays and delays and in fact, tried to argue in court against one death she caused that it was a stillbirth instead.

        • no longer drinking the koolaid

          Navelgazing midwife recently had a blog post about another midwife who tried to use the same defense, even quoting LB’s case.

      • Trulyunbelievable2020

        Judging from the Facebook page, I don’t think this is the case with the Origin Birth Services folks. They honestly believe that this baby is in the arms of Jesus and that all is fundamentally well in the world. It’s terrifying.

        • Zornorph

          I would love to see Jesus come down and tell those crazy women that this is NOT what he meant when he said ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me’. They got the ‘suffer’ part right, I suppose. Creeps.

        • anne

          In OR the authorities came down hard on a Christian sect that practices healing through prayer after several children died. They forced the parents to get medical care or lose custody of their children and were supervised. It’s strange to think of OR coming down so hard on that church while letting homebirth deaths slide.

          • Anj Fabian

            I believe that was after years of work by one or more journalists exposing that sect and others like it.

            It takes effort to bring these stories to the attention of the public.

    • Busbus

      I think it’s all about ego and about not wanting to put themselves in a situation where it’s immediately obvious how amateurish and uneducated the midwife is in comparison to the doctors.

      Educated health professionals have no problems referring patients to other doctors or specialists. Quacks, not so much. The whole quackery would come undone.

      • Amanda

        When my husband was on his OBGYN rotation, they had a baby die from shoulder dystocia because the midwife left the woman in labor dilated at 9 cm for 6 hours. The whole time the midwife was saying she had been doing this for 20 years and not to call the hospital. Sadly, the baby died.

        • Hannah

          I am convinced that many of these issues would not eventuate if midwives would just put their damn egos aside.

          Frankly, I apply that to a lot of what’s going on in the UK, AU and Canada, too. Especially the UK where you only see an OB if the midwife calls them, but they won’t because that’s admitting that they have limits, so babies die, or are delivered by forceps at the last minute, all the avoid admitting that OBs have a superior skill set and that c-sections are not evil.

        • OBPI Mama

          Reading this makes me feel very lucky. I was at 9cm for 13 hours with my shoulder dystocia baby. My former midwife said she was a nurse for 20 years and had never seen it… So why didn’t she call then? Ego, wanting the “perfect” birth too badly for me that it clouded her judgement, her trusting birth too much, etc… I am so lucky to have my injured son jumping on the trampoline right now.

          • CognitiveDissonaceHurts

            I think it must be a mixture of optimism and distrust of the hospitals that keeps them from recognizing and calling for help.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            It’s actually denial. “Oh, this isn’t that dangerous…”

    • Mariana Baca

      They can get more future clients for “low transfer rate” as that is seen as a plus, moreso than “low death rate”.

  • DaisyGrrl

    How terrible. Those babies were meant to live.

    As for the midwives in Portland, WTF?! Who waits FIFTEEN MINUTES to call an ambulance for a baby that’s not breathing? That’s mind blowing – and hopefully criminal (seriously, any attendants present at that birth should be charged).

    • areawomanpdx

      Do a google search for testimony regarding the Oregon mandatory licensing bill. You will find a story where the midwives refused to allow EMS into the birth center after the doula called 911. Baby was already dead, but mom was bleeding out. They didn’t call EMS back until the mother lost consciousness.

      • areawomanpdx

        No one involved was ever even disciplined by their licensing board.

        • Karen in SC

          Dislike!

  • http://Www.awaitingjuno.blogspot.com/ Mrs. W

    I repeat – James’ mother would have qualified for a HBAC with midwives in British Columbia.
    I had no idea the risk of abruption was that high in general – and if more women were aware of the risks of planned vaginal delivery, not only would they choose hospital birth, they might also choose planned cesarean.

    • Karen in SC

      That is scary, but one would hope Canadian midwives would monitor better and transfer at the slightest hint of a problem. Surely for heavy bleeding!

      • DaisyGrrl

        Don’t forget, Gloria LeMay is Canadian. We have our share of nuts.

    • Hannah

      That’s really scary.

  • Busbus

    I am so sorry for the two families’ loss. This is heartbreaking.

    And it makes me so angry… one of the midwives went HOME while the baby was dying. Oh my god.

  • http://www.pcosra.com/ PCOSRa

    These stories are so terribly sad. My heart breaks for the families and friends who were expecting the joyous arrival of a baby and are now faced with a funeral instead. Regardless of the cause, the death of a baby is always sad.
    There ARE interventions that could have saved these babies. The only reason that they died is that they were denied access to the highly-available and effective lifesaving treatments that are found in every hospital in the Portland/Ft. Worth area.

  • Guest

    Oh my God those monsters.

  • Young CC Prof

    Let’s review. Home birth is more dangerous than:

    - Leaving your baby home alone in a crib while you go out and enjoy yourself for a few hours.

    - Leaving your baby or toddler alone in the car while strapped in, except at extreme temperatures.

    - Letting someone you don’t know very well baby-sit.

    - Letting your baby sleep on his stomach through his entire infancy.

    - Not buying a car seat at all and just driving around with the baby on someone’s lap until he’s old enough to sit by himself.

    - Letting your school-aged kid walk around the neighborhood alone.

    And what do you think the media would say about the parents if a child died from any one of those things?

  • ArmyChick

    Seems like the parents are still brain washed and don’t know better. There is no way in hell I’d ever include my OBGYN’s name on my child’s obituary if she had been responsible for my child’s death due to her lack of education and proper training.

    • http://Www.awaitingjuno.blogspot.com/ Mrs. W

      You might if you were unaware of the negligence on their part. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until time allows you to look closer. That time isn’t in the days or even weeks that follow the birth – sometimes its months or years later.

      • ArmyChick

        I just find it inappropriate as heck. Not to mention talking about the labor itself is just… Weird.

        • http://Www.awaitingjuno.blogspot.com/ Mrs. W

          The time and space after a traumatic experience is not normal – do not expect normal things in its wake.

          • Hannah

            It’s true. People do really strange things in the immediate aftermath of a death of a loved one, especially an unexpected death. My friend’s mother just laughed constantly after my friend’s dad died suddenly. She was in shock, basically.

      • Young CC Prof

        Definitely. It’s always hard to admit you were wrong, and when your whole identity is tied up with your prior beliefs, and when being wrong produces terrible consequences, it’s even harder. It’s a long and painful journey, and I deeply admire the people here who’ve made it. I have NO blame for someone who’s just suffered a loss and hasn’t yet rebuilt her entire world as a result!

  • Mel

    My husband and I spent a week in Shenandoah hiking about and visiting some of the cemeteries in the park. My husband was shocked at the number of unmarked graves that had to be holding young children or infants because they were so heart-breakingly small.

    As we were hiking out of one cemetery, we wondered how many of those children died because the homesteads in the mountains were so very remote that a treatable illness in town – croup, pneumonia, a localized infection – was fatal when you had to hike/ride 15 miles or more down mountains to get medical help. My husband said – in a quieter voice than I had ever heard before – “Your child would never make it in the winter….There just no way to get down some of these passes in the winter. You’d have to watch your child die….”

    Women who chose home birth face the same outcome – watching a child die. Why chose that?

    Before you decide to give birth at home, call your local cemeteries. Many have an infant section. Go look at those graves – those tiny,tiny graves. The ones with teddy bears and pinwheels. My little brother is buried in one – and it never, ever feels right.

    Is a birth experience worth a new tiny grave?

    • Mishimoo

      There is a plaque in the remembrance wall, near the one for my husband’s grandfather, for a baby ‘born sleeping’ that shares my birthday. That could have been me if the worried Ob/Gyn hadn’t talked my parents into a caeserean. I wish more people would go and look in the old cemeteries and realise just how good we have it.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Yuck! Poor babies! I’m glad the mother in the second case at least is alive. It could have gone otherwise!

    • Young CC Prof

      She definitely could have died from abrupting and not getting medical attention promptly. You hear about these home birth disasters and it’s amazing how few mothers die from them.

      We really do have very effective emergency treatment in hospitals. If you’re bleeding to death, paramedics know how to buy you time, even if it’s not a type of bleeding that they’re trained to stop. And women of childbearing age really are just incredibly hard to kill sometimes.

      Unfortunately, paramedics are NOT terribly good at resuscitating newborns who are born the wrong color and can’t figure out how to breathe. Even if they were trained, they don’t have the practice.

      • http://Www.awaitingjuno.blogspot.com/ Mrs. W

        Which is why the UK used to have a “flying squad” specifically for home births, I believe. Sad though…all the resources are in one very convenient spot, waiting to be used – and also convenient, unlike heart attacks, birth usually gives quite the extended “heads up”.

        • http://www.antigonos.blogspot.com/ Antigonos CNM

          There also were extremely strict criteria for when the flying squad had to be summoned — as well as strict criteria for who could have a home birth. Neither of thse women would have been booked for an HB in the first place.

  • Mel

    What a heart-breaking weekend….

    My deepest condolences to the families of those babies.