Want to get money from homebirth advocates? Just let a baby die!

Dollars and blood

People accuse me of being insensitive for writing about homebirth deaths, but I can’t hold a candle to homebirth advocates. They are giving new meaning to the term “blood money.”

We already know that they don’t give a damn about the growing pile of tiny dead bodies. Their credentialing organizations have no safety standards; they crowd source life and death decisions among their Facebook friends, and there isn’t a death that they can’t justify (to themselves). But do they have to grind their hideous lack of sympathy right into the weeping faces of the parents of those dead babies?

Apparently they do.

If there ever were a case where the homebirth midwife deserved to be disavowed by her colleagues, the latest homebirth death to hit the news in Utah would seem to be it.

Police say a lay midwife in Cedar City refused to take a laboring mother of premature twins to a hospital, falsified emergency medical information, and tried to stop the hemorrhaging mother from leaving the midwife’s in-home birth center in an ambulance as her infant son died.

But police documents connected with the investigation go farther, indicating that other babies died under the care of Vicki Dawn Sorensen and her daughter, Camille Wilcox, and reporting allegations that the midwives were burying infants’ remains in clandestine graves…

The mother began laboring in December 2012, at 32 to 33 weeks of pregnancy. The mother and the twins’ father “became greatly concerned” that the twins would be born premature outside of a hospital — Sorensen allegedly told them she would not try to deliver the babies before 36 weeks — but Sorensen allegedly told the parents not to worry because they could go to a hospital if problems were to arise, police wrote.

I hadn’t written about this yet because the existing details make the midwife sound mentally deranged and I wasn’t sure whether this was an example of the pitiful education and training of self-proclaimed “midwives” or an example of psychiatric illness. Homebirth advocates apparently don’t care what the proximate cause is, whether it is the ignorance of homebirth midwives or deranged behavior. If she calls herself a midwife, they are on her side.

Check this out:

Gober1

Yes, you read that right. Families for Birth Freedom would like to start a fundraising campaign for Vicki Sorenson. So let me see if I get this straight: Sorensen has allegedly presided over the death of a very premature baby after insisting that homebirth would be fine, interfered with an ambulance crew trying to rescue a hemorrhaging mother, lied on medical records, and MAY HAVE MULTIPLE DEAD BABIES BURIED ON HER PROPERTY, and homebirth advocates want to send her money? Really?

What would it take for homebirth advocates to disavow a midwife. Would she have to shoot the baby in cold blood?

How about the grieving parents. Surely homebirth advocates are raising money for them, right? Not so far as I can tell.

So there you have it folks, the homebirth midwifery trifecta: ignorant, negligent AND heartless.

Don’t let them get away with it this time.

Please share this post on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else you can think of, and include the hashtag #notburiedtwice.

Women need to know that when they choose homebirth, they are choosing practitioners who not merely abandon them after presiding over their babies’ deaths, but will actually give money to the midwives responsible.

And for any woman thinking about homebirth, you ought to think again:

This could be you, left with empty arms, a broken heart and midwives raising blood money to protect one of their own. Apparently homebirth midwives are more interested in their “birth freedom” than whether your baby, ANY baby, or MANY babies live or die.

  • MLE

    Was just clicking around and Vickie’s Facebook page, Homebirth with Vickie Sorensen, indicates that she’s still attending births, doesn’t believe in induction for *any* reason, and her about blurb says she will do VBAC and breach. Lovely!

    • MLlE

      *breech. Or in her case, once more unto the breach.

  • L LeBaron

    Going into a frenzy because some one died is not helpful. I’ve lost personal family members and currently have a decapacitating health condiction. The American medical has saved people and life more than its has killed. Go to the medical people and system with a problem and they will most likely save your life, give you time, etc. But it has issues and is lacking. In my experiance health, people life and dealth the medical side is definently lacking and in my experiance people like Vickie and Vickie have a hugh part of what’s lacking in and with the medical. Time and time again I have seen BOTH SIDES save and give life and quality of life the other side couldn’t give.

  • L LeBaron

    According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical treatment is the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States. So when it comes to medical YOU’RE OK WITH MEDICAL KILLING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY’RE YOUR PEOPLE AND WAY. And the story about her having another dead babies that were buried is so stupid. And your ignorance is impressive. There was a fundraising for the perants and they’re twins and Vickie and her people were a big part of it. And on the case I’ve HEARD From friends of the parents that the parents have no interest in prosecuting Vickie Sorensen. I’ve dealt with Vickie Sorensen on multiple things and Vickie said ” you need to be near a hospital” and I’ve seen her work, she would not refused medical transfer or going to the hospital to a parent in any sircumstance.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Really? Medical mistakes are the 3rd leading cause of death for mothers and babies? Please provide some documentation or we will have to assume you are making it up.

      • L LeBaron

        Google leading causes of dealth in America.

        • L LeBaron

          And google the journal of the american medical journal leading causes of dealth in america

      • L LeBaron

        I love the medical world but if they are going to act like they have it all going, with ignorance and arrigance. America is the only developing county in world that has a RISING maternal mortality rate because of medical practices. Medical will continue to advance but sometimes scientist don’t relize that that controling dosen’t make it safer and sometimes natural and less is more and better just because it has a few bugs dosen’t mean otherwise. 25 years ago so many doctors sneared at health food and diet for health managment and now its all the rage for getting America healthy.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          You didn’t answer the question? Is it the 3rd leading cause of death of mothers and babies? Of course not, so it is entirely irrelevant.

          • L LeBaron

            the satistic dose cover all medical. On mothers and babies specifically America has a dealth rate twices as high as and most of Europes counties and Canada and it is rising unlike those other countries. And Doctors are still happy to induce labor and induced labor heart problems on a global satistic is the 3rd biggest thing that causes maternal dealth and doctors are doing unnessary and are happy to do unessery oparations and saserians. So yes doctors are doing and choosing to do things that put mothers and babies and baby at risk and cause dealth. And they should know better but thats not the medical aproach so often. A lot of those prosedures are unnessary and dageriouse to mothers and babies. Google counties maternial mortality rates and why.

            We don’t know the facts concerning Vickie Sorensen and this baby not living, yet.

            Homebirth is a quality of life choice just like driving today. Driving is a risk but quality of life for a lot of people means we drive. I agree that most of the risk can be managed and not nessary and yes I belive the same for home birth. And I definantly think that if people would pull there heads out of thier — both side would make a leap of progression.

  • Brandi G

    This sickens me, how can someone not even try to ensure the safety of mother & child. I know of low risk full term pregnancies that ended up having horrible problems during. Luckily they were in the hospital, & were helped or saved as much as possible. At a birthing center both mother & baby would have died. Complications can’t be known ahead of time. I’m not entirely against licensed midwives, when they work in a hospital. Here in Utah, you can deliver your baby in the maternity ward of a hospital, w/a midwife who works w/Drs, & they are on the same floor, next door to the delivery rooms. After which all babies are treated by Drs. That way emergency surgery is immediate, babies in distress have appropriate help, & there is no emergency ride from the birth center. I know at the very least there should have been a requirement & someone ensuring that they had the basic needs, like CPR cert, the state obviously needs to be protecting these babies. they require that of care facilities of other types. The worst is that some are trying to fund her defense. I wouldn’t automatically defend my colleagues that I know, & wouldn’t want them to do that for me.

  • Mad Hatter

    Vickie Sorenson is a name that sounds extremely familiar. I’m guessing I heard it as a kid in UT when the moms were discussing homebirths and midwives. Really scary to think that people I know may have used her as a midwife…. even if my mom never did for her homebirths.

    What I just don’t get is why would anyone think a premature twin delivery would be a good idea anywhere outside of a hospital? I would have thought that was just common sense and any other choices would be total negligence and stupidity… and then I remember the FEAR of drs the adults I used to know seemed to have…

  • Guest

    This article by Tracie Sullivan appeared in a St. George, Utah newspaper. Instead of being a straightforward account of events, the emphasis was that Vickie Sorensen was receiving support from women everywhere:
    http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/2014/06/05/midwife-accused-manslaughter-gets-support-moms-everywhere/9998403/

    Ms. Sullivan then followed up with an opinion piece on how we shouldn’t rush to judgment about the case: http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/2014/06/07/facebook-juries-ready-convict/10188233/

    Funny thing is, Tracie Sullivan likes “Homebirth with Vickie Sorensen” on her FB page. Do you think she might be a bit biased?

    • Mishimoo

      Not biased at all! /sarcasm

    • Young CC Prof

      I saw that second one, and yes, I do believe in “innocent until proven guilty.” But I’d be more moved by an article complaining about Facebook lynch mobs if it hadn’t been written about a case that apparently had multiple neutral eyewitnesses to the key facts, which were that she attempted to deliver preterm twins. Leaving out all the he-said she-said, ignoring all testimony from anyone except paramedics and hospital personnel… Her innocence still requires incredible mental gymnastics.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        I have heard cries of how the newspaper article was “biased” but no one has actually corrected any supposed factual errors.

        I keep wondering, what part of the story that has been provided is not true. Here’s your chance, supporters, to straighten the record.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        I would also add, “innocent until proven guilty” is a legal concept, and refers to the law.

        I don’t know, maybe she will get off of her criminal charges. That depends on what the law says.

        However, that doesn’t change the fact her actions are deplorable.

        • Young CC Prof

          Yes. Absolutely, like everyone, should get due process to determine whether she has committed a crime and, if so, what the appropriate penalties will be. I want the story shared NOT to shame her but to illustrate two key points about home birth.

          - First, they took on a client with known serious risk factors. I believe even laypeople realize that premature labor with twins is not good! As a result, a baby died.

          - Because the midwife was alegal, the authorities could not take action in any way other than arresting her. No licensing or malpractice actions were possible due to the legal status of Sorensen and the birthing center.

          The second point is hopefully the most interesting to potential future clients, since it also means that if there is a bad outcome, unless there is enough evidence of recklessness or deliberate harm to bring actual criminal charges, the midwife is free to walk away like nothing happened and do the same thing again.

      • Guest

        I don’t have as much of a problem with the second one. It seems to be more of an op-ed piece. The first link, however, is the newspaper’s only “report” of Sorensen’s charges. Unlike every other news source I’ve read, Sullivan fails to quote the police detective, the EMT, the hospital personnel, and the mother herself, who gave a statement to the police. Instead, Sullivan quotes Sorensen’s patients and supporters. Is that supposed to be journalism?

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          I don’t have as much of a problem with the second one.

          I do. I don’t care if it’s op-ed, it’s still nonsense. “What she did might not be against the law, so let’s not jump to judgement” is a complete strawman.

          No one is criticizing Sorenson because what she did is illegal, it is because what she did is horrible. If it’s not illegal, that is a problem with the law, and doesn’t make it acceptable.

          But the only reason Sullivan is selling that straw is in her desperate attempt to defend the actions of the midwife.

  • Susan
    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      Linked below

    • Gene

      “Over 30 years…she has seen over 1,000 babies enter safely into this world…”

      Only 1000??? 30-35 babies a year??? In what version of reality is that an expert?

      And how could they have no NRP equipment? Even a simple BVM? It’d just criminal (obviously).

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

        I would say that is about average for an HB midwife. One, the demand is low, compared to the total number of births. Two, the investment in time per labor and birth is huge, especially if the mother is a primip, or has a long prodromal stage — a midwife can easily be tied up with a woman for a day or more, since, unlike a private doctor who works with L&D staff and only arrives close to delivery, a midwife traditionally is present throughout labor.

        The Israeli midwives I know who do home deliveries have told me that two per month is tiring; more than one a week is virtually impossible, not only exhausting but you can find yourself with two women in labor simultaneously

  • MLE

    Darby Partner! Shameless!

    • moto_librarian

      Just another “sister in chains.” Now I have to go vomit.

    • Renee

      This makes perfect sense, she is a KILLER.

      • Karen in SC

        And a measly twenty bucks? What miniscule percentage of one homebirth free is that?

  • Tara
    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      “She is competent provider”

      Who lies to the EMTs about a patient…

      This article gives more information about the role of the backup midwife, and it doesn’t help.

      “Go to the hospital”
      “Can’t get there; too much snow”
      “Go to the closer one”
      “They’re meeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!”

      This is just the low of the low.

    • Ash

      They identified the Naturopathic Doctor: Dr. Joe Holcomb. We will see if the board regulating NDs in Utah will take any action on this.

      • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

        I am in complete shock that he would try to administer I.V mag. Who wants to bet it was crushed up vitamins and where the hell are they getting their rx drugs from? Somebody is writing for them or a pharmacy is giving them to Vicki & Co without a legitimate RX. Can naturopaths write for I.V mag and pitocin?

      • Stacy48918

        “We can’t deliver a transverse baby. If we have late decels in baby and birth is not eminent than that is definitely cause for alarm and we transport for that.”
        Good grief. I’m not a human doctor but I feel like those are things that would be covered in Obstetrics 101. Those aren’t nuanced reasons for transfer they’re like red-lights-flashing-alarm-bells-ringing reasons. Gah!

      • Anj Fabian

        It took her THIRTY YEARS to figure this out on her own?

        If she had been properly educated, she would have learned this twenty some years ago and the women she served would have been better off for it.

  • mel

    Just found this and thought I’d share. COPIED DIRECTLY FROM THE SALT LAKE CITY TRIBUNE

    The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1jOs9Au) one of the twin babies born at the birth center died. Emergency workers rushed the mother to a hospital where the second baby was born.

    Police say Sorensen was not a licensed midwife.

    Licensed midwifes in Utah are barred from delivering twins.

  • mel

    This is just effed up….i don’t think I’ve heard about medical negligence like this before. What kind of person would let a baby die because they were afraid of getting in trouble. That’s the reason I think she didn’t want an ambulance called- they would surely look into her credentials/operation & the patients prenatal care history.
    and its total possible to have a “natural” childbirth is hospital-even with twins. I was a high risk pregnancy when I had my twins last year. I had a section because they were both breech but when both babies are vertex , my OB delivers them vaginally. Lets mothers walk during labor and go unmediated. IF THEY SO CHOOSE. There is also a NICU and a helicopter ready to airlift to a children’s hospital if needed. I can’t think of a better place to give birth. Unless its our cities’ new hospital that offers, in addition to standard birthing practices, waterbirth with CERTIFIED nurse midwifes , with OBs standing by in an actual hospital with a nicu.

  • Beth S

    This poor mother actually tried to do what was right and go to the hospital when things were going wrong, then this…thing as I hesitate to call her a woman pretty much kidnapped her and tried to force her to give birth in her so-called birth center? Why are there not kidnapping charges to top it all off.

    • Renee

      DARBY PARTNER, CPM and LAURA TANNER should have been jailed for kidnapping/hostage taking too. They held Margarita hostage by refusing transfer, taking her phone away, turning her friends away when they came to check on her, then lying about them ever visiting. They called for a welfare check, and the cops said no.
      They kept her there FOR A WEEK.
      There was bright green mec earlier in the week, and they said this was NORMAL. They were shocked when Shahzad came out dead.
      The cops bungled this too, the 911 call is used as training now.
      She ought to have been put in prison for reckless endangerment and manslaughter. I would call it murder 2, to be honest.

  • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

    Perhaps the oddest thing about the picture below (sorry, I’m not going to comment below it because I don’t want to look at that thing again) is that the mom is actually wearing a top.

    I thought you were supposed to have boobs hanging out so you could start breastfeeding right away?

  • Cold Steel

    This is absolutely the worst case I’ve ever heard of. It’s like BINGO for the talking points of the homebirth debate, and the raison d’etre of this blog.

  • MaineJen

    Shared. And shaking with anger for this poor mother. And her son, who should have lived.

  • Anna T

    I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I remember not long ago you told us about a hideous botched breech birth in a birthing center. Now, premature twins??.. Do these “health care givers” make no distinction between high-risk and low-risk cases????

    • Rabbit

      Nope. Just normal and variation-of-normal.

      One of the comments on the SL Trib’s site was basically that they do indeed have national standards, but it is up to each midwife to choose which she will follow. Which basically means they have no standards.

      • Bombshellrisa

        They get to “choose”? And they wonder why we question their ethics.

        • Rabbit

          According to Tara Workman Tulley: “And I think it is important for people to know that midwives have a national standard of practice, and it is up to the individual provider if they are going to choose to adhere to them.”

          Absurd, isn’t it?

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            Wow….

    • Young CC Prof

      Birthing centers are reasonably safe for low-risk women
      Low risk is a relative term
      Some mothers are more fearful, others know that their bodies are able to birth safely.

      Therefore, logically, any woman can go to a birthing center if she “feels” it is safe for her. If she doubts it’s safe, she should be reassured so her doubts don’t sabotage the birthing process.

      Or something.

      • Anna T

        I’m very sorry, but some situations are automatically higher risk. Twins is one of them.

        Perhaps I’m especially sensitive on this issue because my mother was part of a set of twins, and her brother died at birth. My grandmother always had tears in her eyes when she spoke about that baby, always, until the end of her life… and she lived to be 97. The scars never fully heal.

        Now, in my Grandma’s case perhaps nobody could be blamed. It was 1949, in the USSR. There were no ultrasounds or any of the things we take for granted today. But you can bet she had done EVERYTHING in her power to have her babies safely delivered. If there had been anything more, she would have done it too.

        That’s why I don’t get it when people who have every option to be safe, scorn this gift and go and do something foolish and dangerous.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          I’m very sorry, but some situations are automatically higher risk. Twins is one of them.

          You would think so, but no, there is no depths to which they won’t sink.

        • Young CC Prof

          Yeah, I was being sarcastic. I see midwives do this a lot, quote data that shows decent outcomes for carefully screened low-risk women with careful providers, like the UK Birthplace study, and then try to apply it to situations with clear glaring risk factors.

          • Anna T

            This makes me really mad too. In my opinion it should be crystal clear that any high-risk situation is Endgame: the woman goes to hospital.

            It doesn’t mean she necessarily has to have all the interventions and medications. She can still have a natural birth (unless a C-section or an induction is medically required). The risks might all come to nothing after all. It happened for me, when I was misdiagnosed with IUGR and ended up having a baby that was actually bigger than average. It was a really happy anecdote among all the staff on duty. “What, THIS baby was supposed to be IUGR? She’s huge!”

            So it’s really nice to exhale in relief. There was a false alarm, and we were all glad it proved to be false. But there was monitoring, and emergency help was close at hand.

            What do you risk when you go to the hospital? Only your comfort? It is important to be comfortable when you are in labor. But can this compare to the peace of mind of knowing you had given your baby the safest option of being born?

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Out of morbid curiosity, I checked CDC Wonder on the issue of survival for twins born at 32-33 weeks (no other limitations at all). For in hospital births, the neonatal mortality for twins born at 32-33 weeks delivered by an MD was 6.77 per 1000. Not the greatest, but still less than 1% would be expected to die. For births outside the hospital, there were only 50 births in 2007-10. Two of them resulted in neonatal deaths.

    • Amy M

      My understanding is that the greatest number of neonatal deaths in the US, result from prematurity. But, then we’d have to look at why the baby/ies were premature. Twins born at 32/33 wk, but healthy (normal gestational weight, no congenital defects, mother not pre-e/eclamptic or GD) have an excellent chance of surviving and growing up totally normal. They’ll do NICU time for sure, and they are at greater risk for various neurological issues, and other health issues related to prematurity, but generally, they’ll survive and do quite well. If the baby was early for some reason relating to its own health (IUGR for example) or the mother’s health (HELLP syndrome), I would guess it’s likelihood of survival decreases some, and the risks for long term health issues increase.

      I read the story here, but I don’t remember it mentioning anything more than that the babies were twins, implying that was the most likely cause for their prematurity and they were otherwise healthy.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        The article mentions that the mother was told that they were about 5 pounds apiece but that they were actually considerably smaller, so IUGR is a possibility from the article, but by no means certain (I think the average weight for a fetus that age is more like 3# so they may have been completely normal in size). The hospital certainly thought that they had an extremely good chance if born in a hospital with immediate access to care–and indeed the twin born in the hospital by c-section did survive without any mention of long term issues. So, yeah, the chances for these particular twins should have been better than the 6-7 per 1000 risk I quoted. Instead they got the 4% or so risk of an out of hospital birth.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          The article mentions that the mother was told that they were about 5 pounds apiece but that they were actually considerably smaller,

          I saw that, and thought, “Let’s see, size by US is not reliable, but we can rely on a MWs WAG”?

          BTW, by Pablo’s Rule of Thumb, normal size at 34 weeks would be 4.5 lbs, but a) that is a singleton, and b) it’s outside the range of calibration so I wouldn’t trust it

          • Renee

            #5 at 32-33 weeks would be big. Way big for twins. My 33.5 weaker was 4# and about 5oz, and that was considered normal.

          • Young CC Prof

            5# is the average size of a 33-34 week singleton. (Or my little full-termer.) But gestational age is a lot more important than size. When my son was in the NICU, there was a preemie almost his size in the next cot. While my son was in an open bassinet getting light treatment, the other baby was in a full incubator, on specially warmed and moistened oxygen. When my son screamed, it filled the room. When the preemie cried, it was hardly more than a peep. It really illustrated for me the difference between small and premature.

          • Jessica S.

            Goodness, it just dawned on me that at 33wks gestation, my baby girl is perhaps a pound or so larger than your son was at birth. ;) You had him at 37 weeks, right?

            And that’s a great depiction of small vs. premature. When I tell people the baby is “measuring ahead of date”, most of them ask if that means she’ll be born early. Maybe they think I’m saying – or that the medical lingo means – that the initial dating was off, which it couldn’t be by that degree. So now I say “she’s big like her brother”. But my point is that it wouldn’t even cross my mind to want her to come earlier than “full term” (ok, the great discomfort makes it cross my mind, but not sincerely), whatever “full term” actually is currently – isn’t 37 weeks now called “early term”? Size matters less than maturity, I guess is the point I’m trying (poorly!) to make. :)

          • Young CC Prof

            It’s like Yoda says. Size matters not.

            Or rather, it does matter, but far less than age. Growth-restricted babies have a bit more trouble than average-sized ones at the same gestational age, but are far healthier than most babies their size.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Your little girl is bigger than my 35 weeker was, he was 5 pounds 13 ounces. They consider 35-37 weeks “late preterm”.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            We were all (full-term) little babies. One sister was 5 lb 14 ounces, I was 6 lb 5 ounces, and my other sister was 6 lb 13 ounces or so. We’re just small people, even still. I’m the “tall one” at a whole 5’3″!

          • Mishimoo

            My husband was a tiny 5lb,0.5oz, and reached the incredible height of 5’5″, which is exactly my height and I love that. I’m the shortest in my family even though I was the biggest baby (9lb,15oz).

          • Jessica S.

            Ha! It’s possible they could be wrong, but both of the recent scans show a stable growth pattern, so my hunch is that it’s probably close. Her brother was big, so it’s a prediction of things to come, perhaps. I’ll know more this Tuesday when I meet with one of the OBs down at the UW Medical Center but it sounds like the might do the CS as early as 39 wks. I told her I didn’t want to go past 40 wks and she said don’t worry, they won’t make you. :)

          • Amy M

            Yeah, my twins were 4.5 and 5# at 36wk. They were considered normal size for gestation. The smaller end of the curve to be sure, but my husband and I are tiny.

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            My little brother and sister are twins, born at 35 weeks both weighed 7 lbs 2oz. My sister is 6’2″ and my brother 6’4 now, so pretty much giants. It is all genetics for sure and I’m 5’9″ & the family shorty

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            #5 at 32-33 weeks would be big. Way big for twins. My 33.5 weaker was 4# and about 5oz, and that was considered normal.

            Yep, that’s what I said. Normal at 34 wks (singleton) is 4.5 lbs. At 33 wks, it would be 4 lbs. So 33.5, normal would be 4.25 lbs, which is exactly what your baby was.

            Normal size at 32-33 weeks would be more like 3.5 – 4 lbs for a singleton, according to Pablo’s Rule of Thumb.

            I think twins would generally be smaller, but I’ve never looked it up. With Amy’s twins, normal weight at 36 wks would be 5.5 lbs, but since they were twins, would think that a little smaller makes sense. The 5# for sure is normal, the 4.5# might be on the small side (or the 5# could be big, even)

    • Therese

      That’s amazing that an out of hospital 32-33 week birth has a 96% survival rate. I don’t think anyone would have guessed it was that high (of course, most of those were transferred to the hospital immediately, I would assume). So perhaps the midwife had delivered previous babies that early with no ill results, giving her the idea it was no problem?

      • Thankfulmom

        My 36 week twins required no nicu time. My 33 week singleton was in nicu for 10 days (and I got the steroid shots for her lung development a few weeks prior). I cannot imagine having a 33 weeker outside of a hospital where a nicu team attends the birth! Grandma was a pediatric nurse?

      • Life Tip

        I wonder if a good portion of those were accidental out of hospital births (since the babies are small and came so much earlier than expected) and immediately transferred to a hospital.

    • the wingless one

      My MFM told me from my first preconception visit that his first goal for me in pregnancy would be to get to 28 weeks because that is generally when survival rates and long term prognosis starts to approach that of FT babies. Not the same of course, but a whole lot better than babies who have only recently made it to viability. While my son was in the NICU there were several sets of twins and triplets there who were born in the 29-33w range, some went home in a few weeks, some needed longer but every single one of them went home, including the twins that had TTTS (there’s no such thing as HIPAA in a NICU – everyone can hear everything!).

      Not sure what I’m rambling about, I guess this story is just so baffling and I can totally understand why the doctors are so sure this poor little baby would have lived in the hospital – they really are quite good at taking care of preemies nowadays and I don’t blame them for being angry that they didn’t have a chance to save this one too.

  • Jacob Wrestled (Danielle G.)

    Perhaps it is just an allegation, but how do you come to have premature babies buried on your property? Wouldn’t the parents who lost the babies keep them? Why would you even agree to bury them? I don’t understand why the losses would be handled in such a clandestine manner.

    • Renee

      Who knows? Nothing they do surprises me anymore.

    • Therese

      I read somewhere she had a lot of clients that were polygamous or immigrants and they didn’t want to deal with the government by reporting the losses, so I imagine they saw just letting the midwife bury them as the easy solution.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Sorensen has been arrested. But what about the others at the birth center? Are they still practicing? I haven’t found any documentation that they’ve been shut down.

    • Trixie

      Especially that naturopath.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        And the assistant midwife in the case.

    • Bombshellrisa

      http://birthandhealth.com/healthproviders.php
      Here is the link to the birth center and the bios of the people practicing there. Notice that Vicki Sorensen “picked up a Prevention magazine at the grocery store” and that is how she became an herbalist

      • Trixie

        Reading Prevention in the checkout line = going to medical school.

        • Renee

          Its probably more than some of them have done.

      • Trixie

        Also, what is the certifying body for a Certified Traditional Midwife?

        • Renee

          Maybe AAMI? Sounds like their shtick.

      • Amy M

        Well, they’ve got “Horton” on hand, to provide grief counseling for when Vicki kills someone. And Susie Young, who does this:Certified Energy Medicine Practitioner. Anyone have a clue what that means? I’ll look it up in a minute.

        Oh hey look where they direct the clients!: http://www.mana.org/about-midwives/midwifery-model. No wonder those poor families think they are getting actual medical care.

        • Irène Delse

          Energy medicine covers reflexology, reiki, and all forms of woo that presuppose the existence of a “life energy”. Manipulation of this mystical magical energy is supposed to effect the cure.

          • Amy M

            yeah, and some of them can actually SEE the energy. Uh huh.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            This is what I have said. Did she do anything here that was unusual? No, it’s SOP for crank midwives. That’s why they are lining up behind her in support.

        • Bombshellrisa

          They also link to Mercola.
          Anyone else take a look at their Pinterest page? Shows pics of babies born there, and it looks like there were twins born there last month

          • Guest
          • manabanana

            This is ****proof**** that OOH twin deliveries with midwives (licensed or not) are safe! If a baby died, it’s the baby’s fault. This midwife has scads of successful high-risk births under her belt. Surely it wasn’t her doing or undoing.

          • manabanana
          • Trixie

            http://johnheatherryan.blogspot.com/2014/06/alex-and-megan-ryan-our-fraternal-twins.html?m=1
            That would be these twins. 41 year old mother, GD, footling breech baby stopped moving in the birth canal.

          • Bombshellrisa

            “YOU are the star of your birth scenario and YOU get to decide what kind of birth you will have” this is the slogan that inspired her to have her twins at the birth center. Dr Amy really knows what she is saying when she writes about birth as performance art

          • Renee

            OMG, I hope baby made it.

          • Young CC Prof

            Apparently both babies are OK, although one needed “help” to breathe.

            The entire story is horrifying.

          • Trixie

            She made it, but at what cost? Who knows.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            The mother is happy about the experience! She’s happy with the birth that included a fused placenta that her midwives missed which nearly killed her daughter! What the fucking hell?

          • Mishimoo

            And cayenne solution on newborn skin! I have heard of adults ending up with 1st degree chemical burns from not dealing with chillies properly, what sort of person would put that on a baby? (Oh look, Vickie Sorensen sells it.)

          • Trixie

            I once had chopped some chilis, thought I cleaned my hands properly but hadn’t, then changed a diaper. He howled for an hour. It was awful and I felt horrible.

          • Mishimoo

            Aww poor kiddo! (And poor you!)

          • Irène Delse

            “John and the midwives continued to stimulate her, give her mouth-to-mouth breaths and also used some cayenne solution on her chest to get her respiratory system jump started. After about 4 minutes, Megan was breathing successfully on her own.”

            So basically the baby was born not breathing and instead of calling 911 and doing proper CPR, these dangerous, clueless people went for movie-style dramatics and shocks to the system… They obviously don’t realize that the ‘jump-start’ you see in films and on TV when the paddles are applied to someone whose heart stops is NOT how things work in the real world. Electric shock to the heart is meant to stop irregular heart rhythm, as in rebooting a buggy computer. I know a lot of non-professional people don’t know that but then what’s the point of even hiring a midwife if she’s no better?
            Here, that poor baby just had a pain-inducing chemical applied to her chest… A solution that is normally meant as a counter-irritant for arthritic joints in adults. They are lucky they didn’t kill her in all the chaos. She wasn’t so lucky with the draw of parents though. :-(

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            I just read the above referenced blog post and that little girl is beyond lucky to be alive! She was born white and limp, meaning she was born oxygen deprived and needed real medical attention and by real medical professionals. They claim she only was lacking oxygen for 1 minute, but it was way longer than that and they deserve to be reported to CPS for putting cayenne pepper solution on that poor baby. It doesn’t stimulate the respiratory system, it causes pain making the baby cry. These “midwives” use it in lieu of real medical attention so they don’t have to transfer. I’m so pissed off right now that if i knew where these people lived and their last name i would call CPS on them!

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            Funny that u mention the cayenne pepper solution. I spent the better part of last week working on an intubated 4 day old who was treated with this type of solution to “stimulate” the baby after an unassited home birth and had a severe reaction. The hospital got CPS involved and she is still on a vent & of course the parents won’t tell us what exactly they did to the baby.

          • Karen in SC

            wow, just wow

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            Yup, it is unbelievable, she has burns on her chest, face and in her esophagus. We tried to ween her off the vent twice last week and she just can’t breathe on her own right now. And check this, the parents waited almost 24 hours after burning her and until she stopped breathing before seeking medical treatment because they didn’t want her exposed to unnecessary medical treatment and medications!

          • Mishimoo

            Oh wow! I can’t even imagine, that is just so unfair. Praying for the poor darling, I hope that she’ll end up being placed with a decent family that loves her and cares for her.

          • Maria

            That is seriously fucked up (pardon my language)! Who does that to their baby? I hope CPS keeps close tabs on them, but I bet their friends are all bemoaning the fact that these parents are being “persecuted” for wanting to live an alternative life from the mainstream.

          • Young CC Prof

            Terrifying. That poor child!

          • Mishimoo

            Oh no, that is awful! Poor bubby, I hope they come through okay. I’m so sorry that the parents are being obstructive and that you’re all having to clean up the fallout of their bad choices (and that the dear baby will have to live with it).

          • Anj Fabian

            That’s anecdata that I could have done without.

            I’ve seen at least one blog post about someone “preparing” for a UC that included a tincture including hot peppers. I’m not sure how it was meant to be used, but If they administered it orally and the baby aspirated….

            Not that these people understand what it means to “aspirate” something or could conceive of the consequences of inhaling a serious irritant.

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            The above mentioned baby is the consequences of that solution. I had never heard of it until I went to work last week.

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            I think she knew the placentas were fused and that is why she went to these “midwives” because her doctors told her and suggested a c-section and she didn’t like or believe what the doctors said. She obviously had ultra-sounds because she knew the genders of the babies and it would be hard to miss fused placentas.

          • Siri

            The midwives got everything wrong, nearly caused the death of the little girl, and applied torture in place of proper newborn resuscitation. What’s not to be happy about?

            Check out also the post on Zytoscan; a fool and her money are soon parted…

      • Amy M

        http://innersource.net/em/curriculum-dp1.html

        Well, it’s just an amazing bonanza of quackery. I am impressed. Here’s the best part: there’s an ethics portion to each class.

        How do these people live with themselves?

      • Renee

        THEY ARE BRAGGING ABOUT DOING BREECH, VBAC and TWINS.
        Ugh.
        The Massage therapist has more education and accountability than the MWs do!!!

  • Are you nuts

    HB advocates: This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you care about bad apples in your rank. You say you are a safe alternative to hospitals for low-risk births, and that you have strict guidelines for when to risk out of your practice. PROVE IT. Denounce this woman, raise money for the familes of babies she has killed, and testify for the prosecution that this birth was out of the acceptable scope of practice. I’m not holding my breath.

  • baileylamb

    The allegations reminds me of days gone by. Prolific women serial killers would pose as midwives (or actually be midwives). Google baby farming.

    • Renee

      Maybe those days AREN’T so gone by?
      Deena, didn’t you allude to this happening in Portland?

      • Deena Chamlee

        See above post

    • Deena Chamlee

      Ina May and “The Farm”. I said on Amys most recent post I need a serious break from all this. It is too dark for me. Going to jump on my vespa take a long ride then go for a swim.

    • Deena Chamlee
      • Mac Sherbert

        Made me think of the girl in Les Mis that lived with the Inn Keeper’s family. They were paid to keep her, but used the money for themselves. It’s horrible to think about how those children suffered.

  • Smeather

    I felt sick reading this. Did anyone else read the article? I won’t justify her actions, but most of the babies buried were from polygamists, and so that explains why they were kept secret. What is really disturbing, is that it also hints towards how even more wreck less she is. If there are several dead babies, is she killing 1 in 100? Or more? Is she aborting babies at an illegal gestation age? Stillborns are really rare; I can’t imagine too many buried were actually stillborn(unless she caused it). Is she like the Amish people? If they had a midwife who was not using medical interventions, cause of religion reasons, and babies were dying could we really be mad? I’m trying to understand, and I can’t help but think this is more of a religion thing. Maybe we can’t hate her. Maybe she is just doing the job of delivering babies in a culture where medicine is not accepted? I don’t know, but I can’t wrap my mind around being this insane. I cannot and will never understand delivering preterm babies at home. This poor mom will hate herself forever. I hope this lady goes to jail and loses everything.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      If they had a midwife who was not using medical interventions, cause of religion reasons, and babies were dying could we really be mad? I’m trying to understand, and I can’t help but think this is more of a religion thing. Maybe we can’t hate her.

      No, I can certainly hate her.

      • Renee

        Hate is the right emotion.
        There is NO EXCUSE.

    • LibrarianSarah

      I don’t give people a pass on immoral behavior because of “a religion thing.” Especially if it involves the death of babies and children. Evil is evil. I don’t give two shits if you think your god told you to do it. Would you give the same pass to a religious group that straight up sacrificed their children?

    • baileylamb

      I read that the Warren Jeff’s cult wanted to build an incinerator for their compound…to deal with the stillborns (or excess male children). Supposedly their level of imbreading leads to more deaths, but I’m not an expert.

      • Mariana Baca

        Yeah, i heard they killed deformed/disabled babies. Even if religious people are doing it, it is not a “religious thing” — it is not sacrifices to God, just shame at their irresponsible marriage and breeding practices.

        • Karen in SC

          In a fictional book set in this culture, disabled babies were welcomed, cared for by a team of sister-wives and promptly taken to social services to get a monthly disability check.

          Note it was a fictional account but it made me wonder.

          • Anj Fabian

            Special needs children are often high needs children and that disability check comes with a higher likelihood of scrutiny from social welfare organizations.

            I doubt that they would make a practice out of inviting attention, even for money.

          • Karen in SC

            What you said makes sense, but I’ve also read in various places that those compounds are pretty much left alone. Maybe that is changing now that the “patriarch” has been arrested and jailed.

        • Irène Delse

          I’ve read the same kind of things on websites written by ext members of those cults: babies not necessarily killed outright, but deprived of medical care because contact with hospitals meant a risk of exposure to the wider world. In addition to consanguinity and its associated high risk of genetic conditions, the practice of early marriage in these groups means more teen pregnancies and more risk of prematurity. Another reason for wanting to hide the dead babies.

          • Mariana Baca

            Also a baby is tangible evidence of statutory rape. You can’t just say it was a “spiritual marriage” or engagement if there is a sick baby of incriminating age.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Did what they initially thought were graves turn out to be graves or something else? One of the articles said that that part of the investigation was dropped. Of course, there are all sorts of reasons that it might be dropped besides lack of evidence.

    • Renee

      Hell YES we can really be mad! Babies count, MWs don’t get to provide negligent care under the rubric of faith. Even if their parents are a religion that doesn’t use modern medicine (and these are pretty few and far between, even Amish are using hospitals in big numbers now), it’s not OK to do this! It sure doesn’t sound like the parents were OK with this.

      Just because they are polygamists does NOT mean they are anti medicine! Just because a few big compounds are like this does not mean that it is the norm for all. HB had been a tradition among this religion, but it is not mandatory, nor is shunning of medical care, or refusal to transfer.

      Just being a polygamist is no reason to hide from modern medicine anymore. Most aren’t true polygamists in the way that is actually illegal anyway, which is when one man legally marries multiple woman. These marriages are generally celestial- the first wife is a legal spouse, but the rest are married in religious ceremonies only. This is totally legal as one as all are consenting adults.

      The groups that do hide because of other practices, like marrying of children, forced marriages, sex abuse, cult practices, and possibly past harassment from the legal system (for the issues just mentioned.)

      • UsernameError

        Except, that in Utah it is illegal for people to even live together or consider themselves husband and wife if they are married to someone else. So while there are few legal plural marriages, there are many that are still illegal just because they are celestial.

        • FormerPhysicist

          So what. It’s not right to treat ANYONE like this. The woman and babies deserved decent care, no matter WHAT else is or was true about the family.

        • Renee

          Really? I cannot see how that is legal at all.

          • Rabbit

            It was the law in Utah until 2013. Utah Code 76-7-101(a) prohibited a married person from purporting to marry another person, or cohabit with another person. The family on “Sister Wives” sued, and the federal court agreed that the prohibition on cohabitation was not constitutional. Brown v. Bunham, 974 F. Supp. 2d 1170. The Brown v. Bunham decision left the state’s prohibition on actually seeking to legally marry more than one person at a time, but people in Utah are now free to consider themselves married to as many people as they’d like.

  • Ellen Mary

    This is very powerful. #TRUTH

  • Amy Tuteur, MD
    • Gene

      You have GOT to be shitting me! OK, that just pisses me off! What on God’s green earth are they thinking???

      • Bombshellrisa

        The same thing those idiots were thinking when they concocted a cookbook to benefit the midwife in Oregon and help her pay for her legal fees-cause she is being PERSECUTED!

  • Rebecca

    I am beyond disgusted at the commenters on these news articles, suggesting that the parents are to blame for not having the sense to go to the hospital in the first place.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      Has anyone pointed out that the parents wanted to go to the hospital, and she discouraged it?

    • Mariana Baca

      Why would one hire a midwife if *not* to help the parents decide when to go to the hospital? If that is the complaint, it is more evidence the midwife failed. Some midwives think their job is to prevent transfer, not to assist it when needed. (e.g. advertizing low transfer rates, huge warning sign).

  • Ash

    Where’s the court order for Sorensen to immediately cease attending homebirths or providing prenatal “care”? I think the county needs to get on this ASAP.

    • wookie130

      Yes, the county SHOULD get on this ASAP, but I’m thinking that a court order would never be enough to stop the likes of this charlatan from attending homebirths or providing “care.”

  • Sue

    Families for Birth Freedom:

    “We are equally committed to supporting and protecting birth professionals of all kinds who face similar legal and political struggles.”

    Hmmm – wonder how many obstetricians they’ve supported who were sued for not doing cesarean fast enough.

    • Renee

      They are full of shit. They would NEVER support an MCRS, or punish a OB that refused to do them. Someone ought to see if they would, LOL.

  • Theoneandonly

    OT: Can anyone please link some articles/papers refuting a link between ultrasounds and autism? I am on a facebook due date group and someone has been warning everyone about how dangerous ultrasounds are and I want to tell her she’s wrong and have good info to back it up. I know it’s been mentioned somewhere on here in the past, but I wouldn’t know where to start looking as it’s most likely in comments somewhere. TIA :-)

    • Sue

      Abramowicz in Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine March 2012 “Ultrasound and Autism Association, Link, or Coincidence?”:
      There is no independently confirmed peer-reviewed published evidence that a cause-effect relationship exists between in utero exposure to clinical ultrasound and development of ASDs in childhood.

      Grether et al in J Autism Dev Disord 2010:

      “We evaluated antenatal ultrasound (U/S) exposure as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), comparing affected singleton children and control children born 1995–1999 and enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente health care system. Among children with ASD (n = 362) and controls (n = 393), 13% had no antenatal exposure to U/S examinations; case–control differences in number of exposures during the entire gestation or by trimester were small and not statistically significant. In analyses adjusted for covariates, cases were generally similar to controls with regard to the number of U/S scans throughout gestation and during each trimester. This study indicates that antenatal U/S is unlikely to increase the risk of ASD, although studies examining ASD subgroups remain to be conducted.”

      • Theoneandonly

        That’s fantastic – thank you :-)

    • Captain Obvious

      First of all, are there any definitely linking ultrasound and autism?

      • Anj Fabian

        Are there any studies definitely linking autism and anything?

        If so, what has been linked to autism?
        (The list is very short.)

        • Young CC Prof

          - Genetics (family history, possibly de novo mutations linked to parents’ age)
          - Exposure in utero to things that very obviously cause brain damage, ie CRS.

          Given the elimination of congenital rubella syndrome, the treatable nature of PKU and other metabolic disorders, and the greatly reduced incidence of severe febrile illness early in life, I have to think that, if we could somehow really compare across generations, the true incidence of serious brain problems is going DOWN. (Of course, there is increased average parental age on the other side.)

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          A sibling (or parent) with autism is correlated with higher risk of autism for future babies, suggesting at least some genetic component. Exposure to pollution, prematurity, parental age, and brain damage are also potentially linked.

          The New York Times did a nice infographic on things that have been linked to autism risk.
          http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/opinion/sunday/how-to-think-about-the-risk-of-autism.html?_r=0

    • fiftyfifty1

      You don’t need to refute it, SHE needs to prove it.

      • Theoneandonly

        Good point – though I was trying not to engage her, so just wanted a quick ‘sound byte’ if you will. She has since left the group – which quite a few people are relieved about.

  • Ducky7

    wow.

  • RN who has seen too much

    I came over here to see if you had blogged about this after seeing it on fb. Disgusting. I can’t believe they tried to run MAG at a birth center!! I can’t believe the grandmother who is a pediatric RN didn’t put the kabash on the whole thing before they chose a lay midwife, or at least tried to change their mind. I can’t believe the parents fell for this buffoonnery and now have a dead baby because they were brainwashed by the anti establishment agenda. it really all just makes me ill. I know someone who lost a baby, and it changed her whole life, she will never be the same. Her case was unavoidable, but I cannot imagine the pain I would feel if my baby died and it was truly someone else’s fault. I would probably go to jail for assault.

  • UsernameError

    This is so horrifying I can’t even fathom it. This woman is a serial killer much like Bundy or Gacy. And yet, she will probably get off because…? Actually I can’t think of why, but it will probably happen. I don’t understand why lay midwifery is such a protected profession they can cold bloodedly murder BABIES and mothers and walk away scott free to do it again. Why does our justice system allow this?

    • Renee

      Call yourself a MW, and kill babies and you are fine. You even get a legs fund and supporters.

    • expat

      There was an anesthesiologist in the paper here a couple of years ago. She had accidentally given a child an IV with too much water in it and the child, within minutes, slipped into a coma and died. Water toxicity. The doctor checked herself into a psychiatric facility for a few weeks after it happened. Normal people don’t take mistakes that end in death lightly.

  • attitude devant

    Nothing surprises me any more. I mean really: an Epsom salts bath and a naturopath who doesn’t know how to dose Mag? A midwife who is burying tiny bodies at her property? Sure, why not do fundraising for her.

    JFC. There is none so blind as she who will not see.

  • Stacy48918

    She’s facing real charges – manslaughter. Good. ‘Bout time.

  • Deena Chamlee

    1735: The Witchcraft Act 1735

    in Britain said that witchcraft is impossible and changed the accusation
    from carrying out witchcraft to pretending or threatening or promising to
    carry out witchcraft, and the substance of the accusation was ordinary
    financial fraud for gain.

  • OldTimeRN

    Why not just have the local janitor deliver who happens to watch a lot of ER and Birth Stories on TLC deliver your baby? They seem just about as qualified as some of these “midwives” or “CPM” or whatever they are calling themselves.

    The ONLY reason there isn’t more death and traumatic injuries from these births is because MOST babies do deliver without needing much help. It’s the unlucky 10% who are even unluckier if their mother decides to deliver outside the hospital. Unfortunately crystal balls aren’t available.

    • Trixie

      No, the local janitor is a safer attendant, because he wouldn’t prevent EMS from trying to transport a dying mother and baby to the hospital.

      • Young CC Prof

        Personally, I favor taxi drivers. They know how to get to the hospital, and they generally charge a lot less.

        • Trixie

          Police officers are good that way, too.

        • LibrarianSarah

          Ironically enough, a lot of cab drivers refuse to pick up women in labor or who are heavily pregnant for just that reason.

          • FormerPhysicist

            Well, a precipitous birth in the car tends to pretty much wreck the seat and the rug. That’s a lot of expense and downtime if your car is your income.

          • LibrarianSarah

            I understand the logic behind it, I am just pointing out that the average pregnant New Yorker is more likely to give birth on the 6 train than in the back of a cab.

          • Young CC Prof

            Oh, yikes, not the 6 train. That’s so freaking crowded that you could give birth standing up, just from the pressure of the people standing next to you.

  • Young CC Prof

    On the Salt Lake Tribune comment thread, note that no one pulled out the “act of God” trope about how babies die in hospitals too, why blame the midwife, it was no one’s fault. The pro-midwife commenters all clearly stated that she’d been wrong to take the case and acknowledged that the baby probably would have lived if born in a hospital.

    So, if they admit that for a baby born 2 months early, why not for a full-term perfectly normal baby who only needed, say, some antibiotics, or a little help getting out in a timely fashion?

  • k_cayte

    I have grown to dread when you have two posts in one day. It means another innocent baby has died, and my heart breaks for the tragedy.

  • OBPI Mama

    Sickening. Just sickening.

  • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

    How can she justify supporting this awful, awful person?

    I mean, that she is a monster isn’t really debatable, is it?

    • Captain Obvious

      Katie McCall had a supportive comment on there too :-/

      • Susan

        Yeah can you believe that. Of course we can but still…. I really get the sense that if a midwife was accused of shooting a mother that the Sisters in Chains would be right there to defend her.

      • Amazed

        As well as Tara Tulley. And a lovely homebirthing bitch.

    • Lindsay Beyerstein

      If the midwife tried to prevent the mother from leaving for the hospital when the mom wanted to go, is that kidnapping?

  • Beth Presswood

    Is this related in any way to Fundamentalist, Polygamist Mormons? They’ve been known to cover up births and bury babies.

    • Anj Fabian

      That causes errors in the reported mortality rates – which may be part of why they do it. Spikes in mortality rates attract attention.

    • QZ_101214

      from the SL Tribune article “noting that witnesses reported many of Sorensen’s clients were undocumented immigrants and polygamous families wanting to avoid contact with government officials.”

  • Tired Momma

    Here is what I have never understood. I have seen these woman claim to do 40-50 births a year. From my understanding, they make $3000.00 per birth.

    $3,000.00 x 40=$120,000 .

    So, why do they need fund raisers to pay for thier lawyers? Or is this just another example of thier lies?

    • Elizabeth A

      You’ve calculated a theoretical gross income there, but the net is certainly not that much. First, subtract expenses – things like gas, licensure, continuing professional education (not like she had those two), maintenance of facilities for professional use, supplies and equipment, cell phone, gardening tools, backup staffing. I don’t know how much those come to, but they aren’t nothing. From the remainder, subtract about a third (very rough estimate) for taxes. And consider that lawyers can bill at upwards of $500/hour.

      I absolutely believe that Vicki Sorenson would have trouble paying for her own lawyer for the criminal and civil suits facing her. It doesn’t surprise me that she needs money.

      It surprises the hell out of me that anyone is willing to help her raise it.

      • Captain Obvious

        She is getting an unlicensed lay lawyer, isn’t she?

        • Young CC Prof

          Someone with many years’ experience working for a law firm. Cleaning the office.

        • Elizabeth A

          I’m sure she’s seen plenty of movies with defense lawyers in them. It looks easy in all of those.

          • KarenJJ

            She’s checking out great law defences on you tube right now.

        • Sue

          Surely she has ‘done her research” on what legal approach to take?

          • Captain Obvious

            From Calling to Courtroom. She is now in the second half of that book.

        • Who?

          It’s likely her attitude to qualifications might tone up a bit when what is at stake is her freedom.

      • Tired Momma

        This was a birth center, so yes, the net would be lower but gross should be higher than the 40 is used as an example.

        I have seen homebirth MW with no offices that work from thier cars, claim the same numbers, yet beg for money. (No overhead whatsoever. The parents buying the birthing kit.)

        Something is off here. My personal option is that they are broke from a lack of clients and lying about how many clients they do have.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          I’m pretty sure this “birth center” was just Sorensen’s home.

      • Trixie

        You’re assuming they pay all their taxes.

        • Therese

          I keep seeing this assertion that midwives don’t pay taxes and the best I can tell it is not based on anything other than, “Midwives are bad people, so therefore they must not pay taxes.” Am I crazy for thinking that we should have more solid of evidence than this before we make the assumption that midwives don’t pay taxes? Or is there something I am missing?

          • Who?

            Could it be around the assumption people who so blithely skirt around some rules are likely to be equally cavalier about others? Or that if someone isn’t bothered with ‘admin’-like training, record keeping etc they are unlikely to be keeping up with their tax?

            On either basis it could be a reasonable working assumption, though I grant not terribly helpful as part of the discussion. In some circles not paying tax is viewed dimly-it’s my own view in fact-but in others the less tax paid, particularly when incomes are high, the bigger and shinier the badge of honour.

          • Therese

            If it was a reasonable assumption to make, it seems like we should be able to find one example of a homebirth midwife busted for tax evasion. And maybe there is an example out there, but nothing is coming up for me when I google it. (Googling doctors and tax evasion on the other hand, brings up a lot of different examples. Apparently doctors are the 6th most likely people to commit tax evasion according to one source I saw.) A midwife who got caught not paying taxes would most certainly be looking at prison time. I would think for that reason alone many midwives would not want to risk it…they’re unlikely to be sent to prison for killing babies, after all, so not paying taxes ups the risk considerably.

          • Who?

            The doctors are likely to be big ticket tax avoiders, and defending themselves, so their cases will be comparatively high profile. Lower profile ones are hardly very newsy and might just end up being quietly sorted out with the tax office.

            I don’t have a view about whether the midwives Dr T is talking about do or don’t evade tax-as I said above, the evidence is they have an uneasy relationship with the rules the rest of us live by, and seem to be sloppy people in terms of record keeping in their ‘professional’ lives. As Bombshellrisa noted, they are taking payment in kind, which tends to be avoidance-y behaviour.

            Not that I think it matters-failing to render unto Caesar is a drop in the ocean when compared with meddling in life and death.

          • Therese

            I’m not really clear if people suspect midwives of not paying taxes at all or just under reporting but still paying some taxes. If we’re talking about the former, and these midwives are actually pulling in 120,000 a year and not paying any taxes on it year after year, how could that not be a high profile case if they get caught? The average criminal tax evasion case involves amounts over $70,000, which would only take a midwife a few years to rack up. Now if people are more suspecting that they’re just cutting a few corners but still paying most of their taxes, then yes, that would be unlikely to make news.

          • Who?

            You know what, Therese, you’re probably right. These sloppy and dishonest ‘midwives’ are probably meticulous billers and keepers of financial records, and faithfully fill out their tax returns every year, paying lots of money to the various governments who pay for the roads they drive on and who knows what else.

            If that happens to be true, it makes their activities in home birth even worse, because this would mean they can absorb and follow rules, fill out forms properly, and take responsibility, and they just choose not to in their ‘professional’ life.

            Assuming they do pay their taxes, answer me one question-does this make them a better person in your eyes? If not, why are you so keen to defend their honour in this most trivial of areas?

          • KarenJJ

            It was one of the things focussed on by people against the AVN where the AVN lost their charity license initially (I think they got it back and then lost it again). Basically the theory went that if someone is lying in one area, there’s a high chance that they are lying in another. It is also how they got Al Capone in the end.

          • Lion

            whoops, sorry, I hadn’t seen this when I made my comment, sorry, didn’t mean to repeat what you’d said.

          • Lion

            It is an interesting thought given that Al Capone was finally brought to book because of his tax evasion.

          • Trixie

            Doctors also have actual books to look at. Midwives don’t.

          • Karen in SC

            There’s usually no “busting.” The IRS will send a letter asking for bank records etc. At the end there will be a bill for back taxes, including penalties and interest. I’ve seen customers owing ten to fifteen grand and trying to pay it off monthly. Now maybe those customers plead “made a mistake” and that takes jail time off the table. Interesting to think about.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            I’ve seen customers owing ten to fifteen grand and trying to pay it off monthly

            My impression is that it is must be pretty common, in fact. That’s why we hear commercials for it all the time on the radio.

            “Do you owe more than $10 000 in back taxes?”

            Seriously, if you are owing tens of thousands in back taxes, then either you are making a lot of money and underpaying, or, if you aren’t making that much, you aren’t paying at all.

            My wife and I make a pretty good income combined, but we’d have to be pretty deliberate to end up owing tens of thousands (even assuming that I wasn’t in a position that withheld taxes)

          • Karen in SC

            Bofa, some high dollar amounts may be due to paying back fraudulently obtained credits, like the Earned Income credit and the Additional Child credit.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Could it be because they are willing to barter big tickets items for their services? This is just one example, but if you a scroll down and see things like “finishing a basement” and “IPod compatible speakers” these are things needed for the birth center the midwife is trying to make out of a house she is remodeling. I know you are supposed to claim bartered income, but, will she? There are plenty of midwives who will accept gold and silver as payment too. http://www.foothillsmidwife.com/#!billing/c1s05

          • Therese

            So should anyone who accepts bartered income be assumed to be guilty of tax evasion? It just seems like we need better evidence than speculation based on someone accepting bartered income. Besides, if they’re accepting large parts of their income as bartered income it would explain why they don’t have the money for their legal fees.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Of course not.
            I do wonder if some of the bartering is to avoid the question of malpractice insurance. One midwife states in her birth contract that the cost of insurance would be passed onto the client, therefore she doesn’t carry it. Since it’s about $7000 for your first 12 births a year and $198 per birth until birth 24 (where the price gets lower), and a midwife charges between 3500-4500 per client the “high cost” argument doesn’t fly. Unless you are accepting iPod speakers and Husqvarna riding lawn mowers and then yes, you don’t have actual money to pay for your insurance.

          • Karen in SC

            Bartered income is also subject to taxes. I work as a p/t tax preparer and statistically people who operate cash businesses either under-report or don’t report that cash at all. Think about it, when you do the math, it can be a big bite when paying the full social security and medicare amounts.

            On a final note, the IRS has a form to use to anonymously report a business or individual for fraud. Anyone who has a reasonable suspicion (especially if they hear payments are accepted in cold cash only since that is a red flag) should submit a form. It’s short! That is how the gangster Al Capone went to jail.

          • Anj Fabian

            There are multiple politicians who were convicted of accepting “favors”. Some of those favors have been remodeling and other improvements to their personal real estate.

            The law cares.

          • Trixie

            We’ve heard anecdotes about this from former midwives or midwives in training, for one. Two, in many states, these midwives are already operating outside of the law, so they may be trying to avoid attention by not paying taxes. Three, the bartering. Four, they seem not to feel constrained by other rules of society, and clearly operate according to their own childish self-interest. I’m sure there are midwives who are paying taxes, but I feel pretty sure a large percentage aren’t, or are underreporting.

          • lawyer jane

            If a midwife does not have malpractice insurance, that gives her a HUGE incentive to hide income in case she’s ever sued and somebody tries to collect a judgment.

        • Irène Delse

          And that the number of births they claim is true. How many inflate the numbers to make themselves appear more experienced to prospective clients?

      • Amy H

        Gardening tools… for digging the holes out back, or what? (Not trying to be crude, but it doesn’t sound like it should be on a midwife’s normal expense list).

        • Renee

          Yes, for the baby graves. and placentas?

      • Renee

        Overhead? LOL on that one.
        They make mom buy all the supplies. Other than gas, and a web site, they may have no other expenses. In some states they need a license, which can be $25-1000 a year. CHUMP CHANGE. Only BC’s have overhead, but those are the MWs that do the most births.

        The truth is, that the bulk of HB MWs do 1-4 births A YEAR. Oregon tracks this, and it was pretty surprising to see. There are a handful that do the bulk of the births, a few with about 1 a month, and then most with a few a year.

        Still, the ones here charge about 4k, and even ONE birth a month is good money, especially in this low wage area. There is nothing else one of these women can do, with no skill or education needed, that will earn them 4k in CASH every month. Even the ones that only do a few per year still get an extra 4-12l a year- and they have other jobs, or spouses with jobs too. Few are full time MWs. They play poor because they are irresponsible and awful with cash, not because none comes in.

        And no, not one I have ever met pays taxes (LOL ON THAT!) We have one MW here that was busted for medicaid fraud too, then got hired to work in another BC office…

        They get paid IN CASH up front, or they don’t do the birth. Of course they pocket the mopney- the few that pay anything only do it so they can buy a car or house, or something that requires income. Most stay off the radar, or claim nothing then abuse the system too.

        Its like saying strippers report their income, hahahaha. Yes, a few do, I have met these ones. But most? They pocket that cash and are happy to do it. I have never met more than a few people that work for cash that actually pay taxes, or pay what they really would owe. You don’t have to be a sleaze ball to do this, it is very common. You pay a lot more out when you are independent, so its more incentive to skip it altogether.

        HB MWs are anti authority, anyone that thinks they will pay taxes or insurance doesn’t know them too well.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Leaving out the criminal aspect of this particular case for the moment…Lawyers are expensive and malpractice settlements even moreso. That’s why doctors and hospitals have malpractice insurance: to protect themselves from bankruptcy and their patients from being unable to obtain compensation if they are harmed by their provider. The question is why don’t midwives carry malpractice insurance so they won’t have to hold fundraisers every time a baby dies in their care (whether through their own fault or not)? A gross income of $120K is probably not enough to pay for a lawyer in a prolonged suit, but it’s plenty to buy malpractice insurance.

  • fiftyfifty1

    “I hadn’t written about this yet because the existing details make the midwife sound mentally deranged and I wasn’t sure whether this was an example of the pitiful education and training of self-proclaimed “midwives” or an example of psychiatric illness.”

    But why does it matter? Mental illness happens to some people. So that’s why PROFESSIONAL organization such as state boards for physicians monitor for this, and insist that ill doctors get treatment, and make sure they are safe to practice. The fact that no such oversight of homebirth midwives occurs is not a reason to excuse them.

    • Captain Obvious

      Doesn’t TFB have mental illness? She blogs about it all the time.

    • Stacy48918

      There’s been a big push recently in the mental health department for veterinarians as well. Especially since a vet committed suicide earlier this year.

      • Young CC Prof

        Was that the incident where she refused to return a pet to someone who had repeatedly failed to care for it and was then subjected to a massive internet-based bullying campaign?

        • Stacy48918

          Yes. The online vet community (there’s a common posting area called VIN) was LIT UP over it. Sheryl was a frequent poster. We all knew of the legal difficulties she was facing, but she never talked about her mental state. It was a huge shocker for us. Still is. :(
          The people that bullied her showed absolutely no remorse. They seemed to celebrate the “liberation” of the cat rather than mourn the woman’s death. Disgusting.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          It wasn’t even that the person wasn’t caring for the cat. The cat was a stray, living in a park. The woman “claimed” it as hers because she fed it. It was truly awful.

      • Trixie

        Easy access to Euthasol…she’s not the first, unfortunately.

        • Stacy48918

          I’m not sure we’ve heard yet what she used (at least I haven’t), but yes, easy access to an array of options

          • nohika

            The one that was bullied? I think she hung herself. I’m friends with a lot of vet students and vets, and it was talked about a lot when it happened. Research shows vets are approximately 4 times as likely as other health professions to commit suicide. :/

          • Stacy48918

            “I think she hung herself.”
            Again, do you have a news article or something that says that? I’m a vet myself and I haven’t heard the specific mode of death. I’m not particularly interested in it knowing, just want to make sure that false information isn’t spread about a colleague of mine. Thanks.

          • nohika

            Sorry, that’s just what I remember hearing from my vet friends back when it happened. I wasn’t intentionally planning to spread false information, just working off of what I had heard from others. Apologies.

          • Trixie

            Sorry, I don’t know specifically what she used, but I do know of several other vets over the last several years who used it.

    • Deena Chamlee

      Do you think anyone that is blessed with sanity, would put up a sign call herself a midwife and kill babies without any remorse?
      Furthermore do you think anyone blessed with sanity would create a credential extremely similar to a graduate prepared midwife in order to deceive and defraud the public?
      Moreover, do you think any one blessed with sanity would support, lie, and protect a colleague who defrauded, exploited and deceived patients?

      • Trixie

        Wait, she didn’t even graduate high school?

      • fiftyfifty1

        “do you think anyone blesses with sanity would . . .?”
        Yes I do. I don’t think you have to be insane to do horrific things.

    • Therese

      Well, it would matter if this was the first time she had ever done anything to so publicly display her mental illness and there wasn’t any reasonable way a midwifery organization could have known she was having issues earlier. Then I could see why it wouldn’t be reasonable to blame home birth midwives in general.

  • amazonmom

    Oh my God. Beyond horrifying. Anyone else hiding dead bodies on their property like this would be a serial killer.

    • Lion

      It is like those baby farming people of the 1800s who would take in babies of unwed mothers or people in difficult circumstances, collect money from them for their care and then neglect the babies or kill and bury them. Accepting money to deliver babies and then hiding the baby when it dies. Quite sickening.

      • baileylamb

        The Canadian butter box babies stopped in the 1940′s…

  • realitycheque

    This is sick beyond words. Every time they stoop to a new low, I think I’ve seen the worst of it… yet somehow they continue to shock me.

  • Mishimoo

    That poor family and the poor families of the babies in those tiny graves. My heart goes out to them.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    Unbelievable. As a physician, I want bad doctors OUT of the profession. I would never fundraise to help them!

    • Montserrat Blanco

      EXACTLY!!!!!! I can understand somebody could have a genuine mistake, like miscalculating a drug dose or prescribing something the patient is allergic to. That is why insurance is necessary. I do carry insurance (big, expensive one) for that reason. I want to protect my patients of possible mistakes. As I am not driving a car without insurance I am not practicing medicine without one.

      But fundraising to pay for legal costs… NO WAY. I do not want to be with irresponsable people in the same professional field. I want to work with competent people. I want to work with people that cares about their patients and people that is better than I am in order to improve myself. I do not want to work with incompetent people nor with liars or with undertrained people. Whenever I need to refer a patient to another doctor I ALWAYS choose whoever I think is BEST. I do that for myself and that is what I want for my own patients.

      As you said, that is unbelievable with real health professionals.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      You make an unwarranted assumption: that others consider her to be a “bad” midwife.

      As I said in the other thread, what did she do that was actually outside of the normal activities of a normal homebirth midwife?

      Homebirth twins?
      Can’t do proper resus?
      Deny knowledge?

      None of that is uncommon in the HB MW world.

      The only thing that you could consider to be extreme is taking on 33 week labor, but even then, the justification is that the (friendly) hospital is nearby.

      How can the rank and file criticize her? They would have pretty much done the same thing. Criticizing her would have been an admission that they are just as bad.

    • Stacy48918

      I’m a vet and I would want bad vets out of the profession. That the same doesn’t apply to those delivering babies is absurd.

    • Dr Kitty

      Doctors can lose the right to practice for a lot of things.
      Criminal convictions
      Drug and alcohol misuse
      Non criminal sexual impropriety
      Plagiarism and falsifying research
      And the vague but useful “bringing the profession into disrepute”

      In addition, many of us sign contracts with our partners that have very strict non-compete clauses which essentially restrict practice if the other partners expel you from the partnership.

      Which means that even if your actions don’t warrant referral to the regulatory bodies, your colleagues have the option of imposing their own sanctions if they feel you are a complete liability.

      I’m fine with that.

      • Young CC Prof

        In many specialties, you can’t do much without hospital admitting privileges, and hospitals absolutely will take those away if you’re a loose cannon. There are a LOT of checks on doctors’ behavior.