My mom got her HBAC and all I got was a fractured clavicle

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Another day, another example of the homebirth trifecta.

The homebirth trifecta is the ugly combination of ignorance, narcissism and contempt for the wellbeing of babies that characterizes many homebirth advocates.

This one is a classic of the genre: The Complicated Home Birth (HBAC) of Harlow Taylor…and Why I’m Glad I Wasn’t At A Hospital.

Harlow’s birth was wonderful (albeit very painful) and therapeutic and redemptive. It was everything I hoped it would be.

Was it therapeutic and redemptive for Harlow? Not so much.

Once Harlow’s head was born and her shoulders didn’t come with the next contraction, my midwife became very firm and serious with me. She instructed me to PUSH AS HARD AS YOU CAN AND GET THIS BABY OUT. She immediately had me turn over on all fours. I’d like for you to imagine trying to go from laying on your back to turning over on your hands and knees with a babies head hanging out of your body. It was interesting to say the least, but adrenaline kicked in and as my doula recounted to me, “You turned over like a cat! I’d never seen a pregnant woman turn over so fast!” Once I was on all fours I continued to push with all of my might, but Harlow still was not coming out. She then told me to turn back over, and once I did she was able to manipulate her just enough where she came down and out.

The result?

Thankfully, and by the sheer grace of God, Harlow was born healthy, albeit with some bruising and a small clavicle fracture. Also, I had no tearing whatsoever.

It is staggering to contemplate the immaturity, self-absorption and narcissism required to formulate a sentence like that, let alone publish it to the whole world.

But wait! Let’s not overlook the napalm grade stupidity required by this claim:

Now, some of you may be thinking to yourselves, “You should have been in a hospital.” or, “This could have been avoided had you been with a doctor.” To that I say, absolutely NOT. Heres why:

Because I was under the care of a midwife, I was under the care of someone who handles birth like the natural life process that it truly is instead of like something to be treated for. Because of this, she knows how to also handle all manner of complications during delivery as they may arise, and sometimes do…

[She] sprung into action with me when the need presented itself because THIS HAPPENS SOMETIMES. I’m so thankful that I was under the care of a skilled midwife who knew how to handle it in the least invasive way that was possible for my birth. At the end of the day, everyone was safe, healthy, and alive, and I didn’t have to add an additional 2 weeks recovery time. That I’m thankful for!

Earth to Lauren! Earthy to Lauren! Everyone was not safe and healthy. Since when is a fractured clavicle, with the attendant severe pain and possible associated nerve damage healthy? It isn’t, but who really cares since it is only the baby who has to suffer? Evidently Harlow’s agonizing pain is a small price to pay in exchange for Lauren’s pristine vagina.

Earth to Lauren! Your midwife did NOT handle the situation well. The baby is injured, and possibly permanently impaired, because she did not handle it well enough to keep the baby’s bones intact. The fractured clavicle might have been unavoidable but it might not. With an episiotomy, a competent provider and an assistant to apply supra-public pressure, Harlow might have been delivered without breaking any of her bones. After all, at 7 lb 9oz, she was hardly a large baby.

Of course the dangerous situation could have been avoided entirely by an elective repeat C-section, but that wouldn’t have involved Lauren’s redemption and what could possibly be more important than that?

Thanks, Lauren, for illustrating so clearly the self absorption and narcissism that leads awoman to value a pristine vagina above a baby’s pain and potential disability. Thanks for illustrating the stunning ignorance and massive denial that leads you to imagine that a fractured clavicle is a good outcome and to pretend that others with more skill wouldn’t have gotten a better result.

In other words, thanks for demonstrating the homebirth trifecta that leads so many homebirth advocates to feel proud of themselves for putting their dreams ahead of their babies’ health and wellbeing.

  • Oh my GOD! I have broken my clavicle and it was very painful, that poor baby.

  • Brix

    Oh my God. This is disgusting and infuriating. It is not a SUCCESS to get your storybook dream “natural” birth experience at the expense of your baby! Broken bones do not constitute “perfect health and safety”! What the hell is WRONG with these people?!?!!!

  • Kory Oransky

    Nearly 8 years ago, I was given the choice of breaking my baby boy’s clavicle (so I could have a “normal birth”), or having a c-section.

    Having that c-section was one of the best decisions I ever made. That baby boy is now whip-smart, and graceful as can be.

    A friend of mine’s father had his clavicle broken over 60 years ago at childbirth. The birth and its aftermath traumatized his mother so badly that it was five years before she felt ready to have a second child.

    How this woman could act like her child’s suffering is NBD is beyond me.

  • Alexis

    How on earth could you just take someone’s birth story and just entirely rip her apart like this? That is cruel. I feel like if you have a concern for her, you could have contacted her directly through her blog instead of sitting high up and looking down on her while you hurl insults at something so meaningful I’m her life. As such, you appear to be the narcissist here.

    • MLE

      You’re missing the point. This woman is beyond reasoning with. Dr. Amy is using her as an exampl of the extremes home Birchers will go to in order to be true to their ideology. They will even brush aside or minimize injury to their baby in order to gloat about their unmedicated vaginal births.

    • Bombshellrisa

      It is not HER birth, it’s the birth of her child, who seems merely a means to an end for the mother who is obsessed with birthing a baby out of her vagina and doesn’t care if the baby has to break a bone for her to achieve that goal. THAT is cruel.

    • Who?

      Perhaps this blog isn’t quite clear. No one has any sympathy for the mother, but lots for her needlessly and potentially grievously injured child.

      This mother knew what she was doing, and is happy with the outcome, which includes an injured chlld. It’s likely the child’s injury will take longer to heal than an episiotomy would have taken.

      With competent medical care its possible they would both be uninjured: she chose incompetent care and came out fine, and apparently unconcerned about the child.

      She should be ashamed of being proud to have injured the child for the sake of her experience. Name one other time when you would want to praise a parent whose ‘experience’ trumped a child’s injury.

    • Stacy48918

      The mother posted this for all the world to see, purposefully antagonizing her readers by declaring her experience to be better than she could have had in a hospital. She WANTED people to see it, read it, talk about it. Well we are. She got what she wanted. HER perfect birth AND people talking about her. To bad about the broken clavicle though…THAT is cruel.

  • Not Impressed

    Oh, yeah, she definitely should have had her baby in a hospital, because babies are never injured in hospital births. :eye roll:

    • Bombshellrisa

      Can you please share some specific stories and link to them? Nobody here will claim no baby or mother has been injured at a hospital. We will claim that in a hospital setting, any and all health care providers will be called in to give an account of what happened, charts will be read through and the situation will be investigated. Licenses can be suspended and hospital privileges taken away. There can also be settlements, since doctors and hospitals carry malpractice insurance. A homebirth midwife has no team to say one way or the other what happened, no accountability and no malpractice insurance.

    • Stacy48918

      Yes but in a hospital no one celebrates a broken clavicle as a success.

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      Nobody in this forum has ever suggested injuries are exclusive to home births. However, true hospital injuries are rare. As many have mentioned below, we clinicians are trained to value learning opportunities – to better our practice. We have never claimed hospital births are perfect. But when things do turn south, it’s nice to have a team readily available – happily springing into action to rectify the situation to progress towards a positive outcome.

      And at the end of the day, it’s never a “well, the baby took the hit, but the mom’s good-girl is still Hollywood.” That’s just horrific. Celebrating preserved lady parts and bragging that only a clavicle took a hit. Chances are good you’ve never experienced a broken clavicle. But perhaps you’ve suffered a broken bone somewhere in your body. It hurts, right? Imagine if that broken bone happened to exist at the point of all bodily movement. You’d be slightly miserable….right? Right.

      Oh, and by the way. Your little post? Not Impressed: Sarcasm is fun, I can’t deny you that. But we’re talking about lives here. So, if you’d like to intelligently participate in these discussions, may I suggest upping the maturity of your comments to above a 4th grade level?

      Break your clavicle, and report back.

  • Sleepy

    This story makes me sick. I had SD during delivery of both of my children. My Ob (different one each time) did use an episiotomy as well as McR and suprapubic pressure to get my boys out and they were both fine. I thank God everyday they are healthy and I don’t care about the current or future status of my perineum. My 3rd baby is due in Jan and this story is my worse nightmare. My Ob already knows to do what he needs to do. I will be happy as long as my baby is healthy. This woman is disturbed. Poor child.

  • julie

    Is it possible in such a case that the baby suffered brain damage that will only become apparent as she gets older? Can this kind of delivery be associated with learning disabilities later?

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Of course!

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      Yup. Shoulder dystocia is a “drop everything and run” call in my NICU. When a baby’s head is out, but nothing else, that’s just basically asphyxiation…second by second. Many of these babies must undergo full-body cooling to take the pressure of their swelling brains. 72 hours cold….and the rewarming is actually the dangerous part. Only time will tell if sweet Harlow escaped the numerous neurological set-backs many of her SD cohorts did not…

  • fiftyfifty1

    So homebirth advocates always say that “Complications are rare and your midwife will have plenty of time to recognize one and will transfer you if there is one”. But in this case the midwife knew there was a complication (repeated turtle sign = impending shoulder dystocia) but kept her at home. This woman is very lucky that she has a living baby with only a broken clavicle.

    • Anj Fabian

      Except when they don’t see the signs in time for transfer – but you see, midwives are trained to handle these situation solo!

      Without any trained assistance.
      Without any Plan B in place.

    • lawyer jane

      Could she really have transfered her quickly enough to matter at that point?

      • fiftyfifty1

        Well the hospital is only 10 minutes away isn’t it?

      • Young CC Prof

        Well, if the baby came out blue, the ambulance would arrive a couple minutes earlier. Might be a big enough difference to matter, under some circumstances.

        Or the first responder might turn out to be that cop who apparently resuscitated a baby without equipment or experience.

      • Sally RNC-NIC

        Nope.

  • Dawn Stone

    I am interested why the Skeptical OB thinks an episiotomy would have been useful? I only ask as it does nothing to relieve the bone-on-bone obstruction, it may provide more room for internal manoeuvres. But mcroberts and supapubic pressure would have likely worked due to the mcroberts widening the pelvis & straightening the maternal lordosis & the supapubic pressure reducing the bisocromial diameter & rotating the shoulders from the AP into the oblique – yet you didn’t suggest that? Too evidence based for you?

    • Who?

      I think Dr T was responding to the mum’s enthusiasm for not having had one, not necessarity proposing it as a first line resolution.

      Other obstetricians on the post suggested that had the midwife had the knowledge, skill and extra hands required, it is likely the baby could have been delivered uninjured and mum uncut.

      • Anj Fabian

        I think the next big thing will be a waterbirth with an octopus midwife. Eight arms! No need for vacuum extraction! Tentacles can get into the tightest spaces without a need for an episiotomy!

        • Young CC Prof

          How about a colossal squid? I mean, with a brain that big, they’ve got to be able to read all the latest research. Just laminate some copies of Midwifery Today and drop them off a ship…

          • Belle

            Put the squid and the octopus together.. that should make for an interesting scenario..

        • MLE

          I like YCCPs squid idea. The midwife can disappear in a cloud of ink if things go south.

          • Young CC Prof

            And most reports of giant squid and other sea monsters are discounted by serious media, so no one would ever follow up on a complaint. Squidwife is in the clear, man. Especially once it dives out of reach of our submersibles.

            (I really think giant squid are fascinating.)

          • Belle

            “Squidwife”.. love it! lol! Skidwife could be appropriate too..

          • MLE

            Relocating to a different ocean and changing her skin color/texture are also options.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Well Dawn, you tell us. There is a whole protocol for SD. Why don’t you study it to find out where along the line episiotomy is located? Of course McRoberts and SPP will resolve the majority of cases, and that’s why OBs put this at the top of the flowsheet (right after calling for HELP so that the whole team can assist). But if you get to the place in the algorithm where you are resorting to internal maneuvers, then before you do these you assess for need for episiotomy. A multip with a stretchy/roomy perineum may not need one, but a woman who hasn’t given birth vaginally before likely will. Reason? So you can do the internal maneuvers properly *with less risk to fetus*. Only someone with no medical training would think an epis could relieve bone-on-bone obstruction. Likewise only an idiot would think that sticking you hand into a tight perineum and randomly thrashing around and pulling on what you could manage to get your fingers on would be a good idea.

      • OBPI Mama

        Oh, this brings back painful memories! Even with an episiotomy, the midwife still ripped me pretty severely!

    • Medwife

      Since Gaskin is basically McRoberts flipped upside down, I think it’s more likely that internal maneuvers would have been required anyway. What happened instead was the midwife just took longer to resolve the dystocia, I’m thinking at least 1-2 min longer than if she had followed the mainstream protocol instead of the Ina May Special. SDs need to be resolved FAST. If an episiotomy helps you to do internal maneuvers more efficiently, and as a primip I bet this woman did not have a lot of room to spare, you cut the episiotomy.

      I’d love to know how long the dystocia lasted. Probably no one knows, because it’s not like she would have had an assistant watching the clock, considering there was no one to even do supra public pressure.

    • Stacy48918

      “Too evidence based for you?”
      Care to share your evidence with us?

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      Ummmm, she did suggest that. Just not in a word-vomit-talk-over-everyone’s-heads sort of way. Take a little peeksie again, and you’ll see “Supa-pubic pressure” as a suggestion.

  • C T

    I’m no fan of homebirth, but the case against it isn’t particularly helped by waxing condemnatory about small clavicle fractures in newborns. There are different kinds of fractures, and small, esp. greenstick, ones are not a big deal; they often go undiagnosed for a week or more. Such fractures can happen during an otherwise easy delivery and heal quickly, and the pain is alleviated by immobilizing the arm, which is how babies spend most of the first few weeks anyway between being swaddled and held. Clavicle fractures occur quite frequently in childbirth. (“Birth fracture of the clavicle occurs in approximately 0.4% to 10% of vaginal births.”–http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22123402)
    Granted, we don’t have a very professional diagnosis of this baby’s fracture. The fact that a midwife was able to tell there was a fracture right after birth, instead of a week later when the knot of the healing bone forms, makes me suspect that it might have been a worse fracture than the mom realizes. I hope the mom takes the baby to a pediatrician; midwives might claim to be “experts in natural birth,” but they aren’t remotely experts in neonatal medicine. A doctor should be consulted where there has been an injury, no matter how “natural” the birth was.

    To give a personal anecdote, my second baby (born in the hospital) was 9.5 lbs (after a first baby of only 7.5 lbs) and just whooshed out after the doctor cut an episiotomy (in an Ecuadorean hospital where episiotomies were “protocol” and it was done over our objections with no medical reason given). It wasn’t until a well-baby checkup visit a week or two later that we found out from the pediatrician that the baby had experienced a “greenstick” fracture of her clavicle at birth. No one seems to have noticed it while we were in the hospital, and she has no ill effects from it.

    • AmyP

      Ai yai yai.

      That kind of possibility of broken clavicle is another black mark against vaginal birth.

      • fiftyfifty1

        I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “black mark”. It’s true that one of the advantages to CS is that it is easier on baby and there is less risk of trauma. But CT is right, babies generally do very well with broken clavicle and typically recover completely.

        • Sue

          Sure fractured clavicles recover quickly (not within minutes or hours, though), but remember some radical-NCBers bemoan the harm of BRIGHT LIGHTS to emerging neborns….I suspect a broken bone might cause greater discomfort.

    • Young CC Prof

      Yes, minor clavicle fractures are a common birth injury that usually resolves quite well. But, like you said, if a midwife saw the fracture, it could have been more serious. There might even be a nerve injury. If the baby isn’t examined, there’s just no way to know.

  • Amazed

    Completely OT: juist coming from NGM’s page. It’s true. Dr Biter IS opening a birth center, she claims. WTF?

    How wonderful. Now, many more moms will have the chance to get their homebirth in someone else’s home and more babies will have the chance to get their clavicles broken.

    Not so OP, after all.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Yeah, many more babies will be hurt or die but hey-he put a lot of work on the Pinterest board for that birth center, so at least it will be “pretty” and”cozy”

      • Belle

        And.. there’s a picture of him with Oprah! Celebrity endorsement! (Snark)

    • Box of Salt
    • Bombshellrisa

      http://www.pinterest.com/drrobertbiter/babies-by-the-sea/
      There is a pin with details about the open house, seems they are going to have, among other things, “Rasta pony rides”. Young Living essential oils is named as a sponsor

      • Belle

        Check out this gem from the link…

        “Gary then said he immediately put Trauma Life under his nose and on his chest and Highest Potential Oil blend on his crown and feet and he immediately took a deep breath and let out a big sigh and stopped crying right away and has not cried at all since. Gary said he is a VERY peaceful baby! He made mention that by doing this he cleared a lot of the baby’s DNA encoding”

        • MLE

          What the….

          • Belle

            That’s what I said…

          • Amazed

            OMFG…

        • araikwao

          So the baby is no longer producing proteins…..?

          • Belle

            The whole thing is just beyond bizarre…

        • Sue

          Not cried at all since? Is that baby conscious?

      • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

        I couldn’t even read this, that poor baby probably smelled like a head shop. And I can guarantee that doctor was not amazed, but horrified that people actually put that stuff on a newborn. What a bunch of weirdos

  • Lena

    I’m probably the least maternal woman on earth and just the idea of my hypothetical baby having a fracture makes me want to cry. This woman sounds completely heartless.

  • Alicia

    But I have read about fractures happening in hospitals too, so isn’t a risk possible during shoulder dystocia? Is the risk lower in hospitals?

    • Mishimoo

      As Dr Kitty said below, it’s one of the last resort manoeuvres. Everything else that hospital teams are trained to do would have had to fail before reaching that point. I would presume that it’s less likely to happen in hospitals as they have enough people and training to do things that homebirth midwives just aren’t able to do effectively.

      • Alicia

        That’s true, there are a lot more nurses and such around to help than just one person. After I posted I was thinking about a birth show I watched not long ago where a woman was giving birth in the hospital, and suddenly her baby had shoulder dystocia. It took a few nurses and the doctor a few minutes to get the baby out, but the baby was fine afterwards.

    • AmyH

      A friend of mine had SD with her first.

      With her second – that natural childbirth loving mother listened to her CNM and induced while the baby was smaller and had a healthy baby. No word on whether she found it therapeutic or redemptive; apparently she still has her priorities in the right place.

      • araikwao

        Interesting, as early induction has been shown to not be an effective intervention for preventing shoulder dystocia. I thought NCBers were all about evidence-based birth and whatnot

        • Mishimoo

          Oh, that’s interesting. I thought it was, so was going to insist on it if we have a surprise baby due to the mild SD with the last bub.

  • I’m annoyed – in part because there’s a real push towards lowering cesarean rates and the demonization of cesareans means that more babies with broken clavicles are a real outcome that is to be expected. “At least it wasn’t a cesarean” needs to stop.

    • Sad lady

      To be fair, cesarean brings about other issues. Makes breast feeding harder.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        No, it doesn’t.

      • An Actual Attorney

        I really don’t understand this argument. I had a CS. I BF. I hear people say that the sutures make it hurt, but it’s not like the kiddo sat on my pubes, which is where the scar is.

        • fiftyfifty1

          What, you didn’t lay your baby down on your pubes and lean and curl your trunk over to stretch your nipple into your baby’s mouth? But all the best moms do it that way!

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          And it’s not like my wife wasn’t taking a lot of pain meds, too.

          The initial attempts were at the time when she still had the effects of the spinal block, so it didn’t get in the way of initiation. And after that she was taking the good pain meds, so it wasn’t a problem then.

          And the babies weren’t lying on her scar, either.

          I’m reminded of an old Eddie Murphy comedy album, where he asked the audience if anyone was ever hit by a car. One guy was, and he asks, “Where did you get hit.” The guy says, “In the ass.” Eddie’s response…

          “How the f**k do you cross the street?”

        • Sally RNC-NIC

          No shit. And besides, for us c-sections mamas, it’s all about the football hold!

      • fiftyfifty1

        Cesarean incision? Boppy Nursing Pillow. Problem solved.

      • Found breastfeeding my second (MRCS) just as easy as breastfeeding my first – probably easier because I wasn’t in shock at having my bodily autonomy violated.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        Where did you learn that?

      • Sue

        Funny – I’d heard that having a broken clavicle makes breastfeeding harder.

      • TS

        It doesn’t. It was actually easier for me to breastfeed after CS than after VB with tear. I would prefer to FF if BF doesn’t work than to possibly harm the baby.

      • Sally RNC-NIC

        Source?

      • Sally RNC-NIC

        Sad lady, are you just making things up? Do you realize that statements as bold and general as the one you make above require back-up? I’m a NICU nurse who helps mama’s breastfeed EVERY DAY. The baby’s exit route plays ZERO percent factor in mom’s success with breastfeeding. Oh, and I had a c-section and nursed my baby beautifully for 13 months. She was a pro…and on my boob within 30 minutes of life!

  • Cobalt

    “I loved my birth. It wasn’t perfect. It’s not exactly what I thought it would be like, but ultimately the scary part lasted about 90 seconds. When I think back on the birth of my baby girl, that part isn’t what I think about at all. Sometimes I even forget that happened, to be completely honest. What I think about is that I freaking had a baby at home. I did what was, in my mind, the impossible. I did it! I’m so proud of that accomplishment.”

    When she thinks back about her daughter’s birth, she forgets the part about the dystocia (the part with the baby suffering broken bones). How is that even possible?

  • OBPI Mama

    How aggravating. I’m pregnant with our 5th baby and this will be our 4th c-section because I never wanted another baby of mine to go through what my first son goes through everyday because of my homebirth shoulder dystocia. I’m nervous because it’s my 4th c/s, but no way on this earth am I risking my baby again. I have a feeling because a broken clavicle heals, this mom will go on to have another homebirth and risk her baby again vs. if her baby had lasting damage (like a brachial plexus injury) and she would have to watch him go through years of surgeries/therapies/pain/hardships, she might not be so quick to homebirth again. Instead of a “smaller” scare to scare her straight, it’s only made her more in awe of homebirth. Sigh.

    • Dr Kitty

      Congratulations on baby #5!
      I’ll be thinking of you and hoping everything goes to plan.

    • Karen in SC

      Great news! I was wondering what you would say about this post.

      I’m not sure an OBPI has been ruled out for this baby yet.

      • OBPI Mama

        I feel like trying a vbac in a hospital would be understandable for this woman if she wanted for her second baby. If it were me (first baby as a c/s), I would have wanted to try a vbac if I was a good candidate. Never an hbac and I feel like I would have felt it was a “close call” with the broken clavicle (like a “hold your horses and thank your lucky stars because it could have been much worse” feeling) instead of an “awesome” birth or however she describes it.

    • Trixie

      Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    • Siri

      Congratulations! 5 is a great number…

    • Amazed

      Congratulations. I wish you a happy pregnancy and all the luck in the world.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Congratulations!

  • I don’t know that I’ve ever commented here before, so this may be far more information than anyone really wants, but my very competent OB managed to get a 10 lb 8.9 oz baby out of my relatively small frame with no tearing and no broken bones on my son’s part whatsoever. I mean, yeah, I fully consider my OB to be a sorceress and all, but…I’m just sayin’. She got the job done amazingly.

    • Stacy48918

      External frame and pelvic diameter are not the same though. It appears this woman’s pelvic opening is probably not all that great as she had difficulty giving birth to her first child at just 7# 13 oz, needing a C-section, and her second had shoulder dystocia and was only 7# 9oz.

      But NCB types can’t individualize medical care. Every woman’s body and birth every baby, end of story. They can’t acknowledge that everyone is built differently and a “bigger” woman may have more difficulty than a ‘smaller” one.

      Glad your little one made it out OK. 🙂

      • I didn’t think they were. But considering that both of my children managed to lodge themselves–my older son was just 7 lbs 8.8 oz–I think it was probably my OB (who attended both births) that made the difference for me. The importance of having really skilled support seems self-explanatory and that people can just shake it off…well, it’s crazy to me.

  • NatashaO

    Arghhh! It makes me batshit crazy when they go on about obs being surgeons and not knowing how to deal w vaginal birth. most obs deliver 10 times the number of babies vaginally in one month than most hb dimwives deliver in a year (or two+). and that is with and without epidurals.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I don’t understand the argument either. Being educated and trained to be a specialist in all kinds of birth is better than being an “expert in normal birth”. And that isn’t even counting those evil OB hospitalists! All they do when they come to work is attend laboring women and deliver babies. Pure evil, they must apply for that job so they can push interventions and do c-sections! (My son was delivered by an older, male OB hospitalist. He told me he has lost count of how many babies he has welcomed into the world, but it’s still exciting every time. Coming from a doctor who worked at a hospital where there are 10,000 babies born a year, that was heartwarming)

      • Roadstergal

        Is her baby’s clavicle being addressed by an expert in normal bones?

        (I mean, I was pleased to have mine addressed by someone who is an expert with bones broken every way to Sunday, and gave me the most magical surgery. Pre-surgery – I’ve broken too many bones, and the collarbone was the most strange, creepy, enduringly painful one… it’s bearable if you can _not move that side of the torso at all_, but if you do, especially if you move your arm, you can feel the broken pieces of the bone grinding against each other, the muscle, the skin.. it just doesn’t seem the hallmark of a Wonderful Birth Outcome to me.)

        • NatashaO.

          Oh you silly people. Dontcha know that a broken clavicle can easily be magically fixed with a little arnica ointment! (snark)

          • Cobalt

            Comfrey is the herbal remedy for broken bones. It also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can be absorbed through the skin and build up to dangerous levels and cause liver failure. Worse if taken internally.

            Is actually a mild anti-inflammatory. If it doesn’t kill you.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Don’t you guys know that Young Living essentials oil are the latest thing-my friend has a whole Pinterest board devoted to that particular brand of woo. There are all kinds of testimonies about how these oils cure everything from pms to broken bones. This is one of the things she sent me “Blend for Broken Bones – to help speed the bone mending process use 10 drops
            Wintergreen/Birch, 3 drops Helichrysum, 2 drops Lemongrass, 3 drops Pine, 4
            drops Ginger and 4 drops Vetiver

            For bone -Idaho Balsam Fir, Vetiver, Peppermint and Juniper topically”
            So the solution is have your homebirth and rub some essential oils on your newborn baby.

          • Mishimoo

            Every time someone mentions Wintergreen, it reminds me of the ‘Things I Learn From My Patients’ thread. (Specifically, the dude who decided that drinking Oil of Wintergreen was a great idea)

          • Stacy48918

            Gah! I LOVE that thread!

            There’s a similar one on a private veterinary board for the crazy animal cases we see. 🙂

          • Mishimoo

            Here’s one for you – our weimaraner is addicted to cane toads and has tried to store them inside for easy access, including ‘stealthily’ putting them on a shelf in a bookcase and darting the opposite way to distract us.

          • Who?

            Our little dog has a stealthy walk, you just know he’s smuggling contraband of some description when he slinks in with an oh so casual air; if he could talk he’d be saying ‘nothing to see here’.

            Hope your dog misses the bad bit of the cane toads. The crows flip them onto their backs, clever crows.

          • Mishimoo

            He doesn’t hurt them, just carries them around gently and scares them a little. Then I get the fun of washing his mouth out thoroughly and he walks around sadly because I stole most of his high. Damn stoner dog!

          • Siri

            Perhaps he is planning to treat cases of prostate cancer at some future point in time? Are you sure you’re not sabotaging a valuable mission here?

            P.s. I’m intrigued now as to where you live. Mormors and cane toads do emphatically not originate from remotely the same place! Can you give me a clue? I’m from Norway and live in the UK.

          • Mishimoo

            Ah ha! Now all of it makes sense, he’s doing science!!

            I live in Australia – my Mormor and Morfar emigrated from Denmark in the ’50s, the cane toads arrived some time before them. They kept a fair chunk of their culture, so I’ve grown up with it.

          • Siri

            I was born in Denmark! Best country in the world. Sømods bolsjer? Rødgrød med fløde? Is med guf? Tivoli? Rundetaarn? Strøget? Ah, makes me feel so nostalgic… (cane toads? Nej tak!).

          • Mishimoo

            I will never be able to say “Rødgrød med fløde” properly (I know, that’s the point lol) but it certainly tastes good. Licorice, æblekage, risalamande, ALL the yummy things. Nisse and trolls, dancing around the flag-bedecked tree, lagekage for birthdays. I want to go to see Roskilde Domkirke one day as well as to meet all of my awesome cousins in person, instead of just hanging out on facebook with them.

          • Anj Fabian

            Did he survive?

          • Mishimoo

            Nope, according to the doc that saw him: “He had the lowest pH I’d seen of any patient who had a pulse (or at least had one until just before they hit the ER).”

          • lucy logan

            i was so excited to read it i wish half the posts werent racist garbage

          • Smoochagator

            How did I not know this existed?

          • RNMomma

            I actually believe that some essential oils could possibly be helpful for some ailments. What drives me crazy is how much people use, that they use them internally like it ain’t no thang, and that it’s some how better because it’s natural, when really all they are doing is self medicating with drugs they know nothing about.

          • AmyP

            I like the fact that you need 10 different essential oils to pursue this treatment.

          • C T

            I met Gary Young down in Ecuador. VERY, VERY unimpressed. He has them call him “doctor” down there (although he is no such thing) and treats people dying of cancer, who then die anyway but not until they have given him money out of desperate hope.

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            Sounds like a recipe for an allergic reaction, breathing problems or.respiratory distress. I can believe people put crap on a newborn.

          • Bombshellrisa

            This is the same friend who believes mixing a bulb of garlic with ginger, pineapple juice, cayenne and lemon juice is “nature’s flu shot”. Also tells people that they should “do due diligence about vaccines” (a variation of the do your research line) and believes essential oils can cure anything. I find myself becoming more and more irritated with her, simply because I can’t use essential oils on my son. I can’t give him “nature’s flu shot”-he is eight months old.

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            I wouldn’t want to give that shit to my kid! Who knows what it really does or can do and giving babies and kids cayenne is just plain stoooopid!

          • Young CC Prof

            At least they aren’t using the cayenne to try to resuscitate newborns?

            And yeah. Pediatrician’s flu shot is a whole lot cheaper. And made my baby cry for about three and a half seconds before getting distracted by the cartoon character on the wall.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I am sick of people thinking since garlic is so pungent that it can cure something. It does amazing, wonderful things for the food I make (sesame wasabi chili pepper green beans for one) but it does nothing to fight the flu!

          • Amy M

            Well, if you eat enough, people might avoid you and you wouldn’t be exposed to flu? (j/k)

          • Medwife

            Amen! Undiluted essential oils, especially the wintergreen, pine, ginger? Yowch.

          • Mishimoo

            It’s not just that it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids and can screw up your liver, it can cause overgrowth/callousing of the bone due to promoting rapid healing, which could turn a simple break into a hellish mess. I’d also worry about what it’s doing to the growth plates and skull sutures. The only way that I’m willing to use comfrey is as an addition to my compost.

  • Stacy48918

    Here’s the mother’s blog post of the birth story of her previous baby’s “unplanned, unwanted and unnecessary surgical birth.”

    http://loveletterstomyhadley.blogspot.com/2011/06/letter-2-your-birth-story.html

    Maternal fever
    Slow progression
    Concern for shoulder dystocia (baby only 7 pounds 13 ounces)
    Conehead baby on delivery
    Chorioamnioitis
    NICU stay plus apnea and projectile vomiting

    Obviously things would have been SOOOOO much better if she’d been at home the first time too. And clearly THIS shoulder dystocia was 100% UNpredictable.

    This woman lives in la-la land and is willing to risk her baby’s health and life just to make herself feel better. What a self-absorbed narcissist.

    That poor baby. To enter this world in pain from a broken bone that was 100% preventable. Hardly a “peaceful journey earthside”.

    • Stacy48918

      Also reminds me of that hokey Christian parable thing about the guy trapped on a house roof in a flood. He turns down a man in a boat, a man in a helicoptor and one other escape route because “God will save me”. Then he dies, goes to heaven and asks God “What gives?” God tells him I sent you 3 different escape routes – what else were you looking for?!

      This woman claims to be a Christian, trusting God to take care of her and her babies and she can’t even be grateful to God for the C-section that very likely saved her baby’s life.

      (Not saying that God did or did not actually have anything to do with these circumstances, but good grief, have a little gratitude! “In everything give thanks.”)

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      Chorio? ‘Nuff said.

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      Projectile vomiting? We usually only see neonates truly projectile when they are going through some sort of withdrawal…

  • Squillo

    How easy is it to break a baby’s clavicle without an episiotomy?

    • Anj Fabian

      From suprapubic pressure alone?

      • Dr Kitty

        No.
        To break a clavicle accidentally you are trying to deliver the posterior arm, which is way down the algorithm.

        To break a clavicle on purpose, you’ve failed at Rubin I&II, you’ve failed at Woodscrew and Reverse Woodscrew, you’ve failed at delivering the posterior arm, so you break the clavicle deliberately and try again. It’s literally your final option at home, because there is nothing else you can do.

        If you don’t know the SD manoeuvres, I found this great slide show, which is obviously used for as teaching for L&D SD drills.

        https://www.umassmed.edu/uploadedFiles/fmch/Faculty_Resources/Fall11_KaplanShoulder.pdf

        • Young CC Prof

          Somebody should show that at one of those home birth midwife conferences.

          • Belle

            They wouldn’t understand it..

      • Deborah

        I’ve broken a clavicle doing the Wood’s screw. Pushed the anterior shoulder forwards and down, and it moved very well, with a little pop . . . anyway, unintentional fractured clavicle.

        • Dr Kitty

          It ismore likely to break during arm movement, though, right?
          I’m not sure the MW was sure of what she was doing. At least you are.

          Hell, I’m only indemnified to attend a delivery as a Good Samaritan act, and I still read the SD protocols regularly. I’m basically praying nobody ever goes into labour in front of me, but I’m damn well not going to do a Butterfly McQueen if they do.

          • AmyP

            Funny!

    • birthbuddy

      In unattended shoulder dystocia labours, the babies end up with fractured clavicles or humerus or both (and other minor issues like death, HIE and sometimes maternal fistula).
      So, nature caters for dystocia by fracturing the babies bones. Sometimes doctors will deliberately fracture the clavicle to deliver the baby (rare in developed world).

    • rachel

      It’s difficult. I’ve intentionally done it once and found it very much more difficult than I expected. It was my last maneuver and was successful. Baby had no long-term injuries and mom was just grateful. I’ve also done one zavenelli maneuver as well. Hands-down worst night of my professional life. I’ll never forget it and at least statistically speaking it should never happen again.

      • Dr Kitty

        Oh I’m so sorry that must’ve been awful.

      • Siri

        Just out of curiosity, descriptions of the Zavanelli manoeuvre always say that the fetal head can be reinserted ‘with surprising ease’; was that your experience? Not that I want to cause you to dwell on that horrific event unduly!

        • rachel

          Actually, the maneuver was rather easy to perform. It was just a perfect storm of multiple events that had they been isolated would have had no real ill effects. The head reinserted easily but labored out twice (mom was an unmedicated multip and couldn’t stop pushing) during the short transfer from the labor room to the OR.

  • Squillo

    She also recognizes what interventions do not effectively solve the complications at hand that are typically used in todays labor and delivery rooms in hospitals.

    Yeah, those stupid OBs. They’re always doing things that don’t resolve SD. If only they knew how to take the time to flip a patient over, wait a minute or two to figure out that it isn’t working, then reflip her to break the baby’s clavicle, they’d have the great outcomes that hombirth midwives have.

    • auntbea

      Doctors are trained to treat birth as a crisis, which means, naturally, that they have no training in how to handle birth crises.

  • Jessica

    My husband was an 8.5 lb baby, I’m very overweight, and I was so worried about having a large baby. I had regular ultrasounds for other reasons, and the doctor said if the estimated fetal weight was starting to approach ten pounds he would get very, very nervous about shoulder dystocia – “It’s my worst nightmare when delivering a baby.” I gathered at that point he would recommend a C-section or prepare me for the likelihood of one.

    I thought pushing was the worst thing I’ve ever done. Horrible, absolutely horrible, and exhausting beyond all measure. At point I requested a vacuum extraction because I did not think I could do it. My OB tried to talk me out of it, saying the baby’s position in the birth canal meant it would not work, but I insisted. He was right. In any event, I eventually pushed him out without any other intervention. He was 7lbs, 14oz. I was embarrassed to learn afterward I had only pushed for 40 minutes. He had a very rough looking abrasion on the side of his head that either came from the passage through my pelvis or the vacuum, but either way I felt terrible about it.

    My point: One, I can’t imagine pushing for three hours. That’s a sign things are not going well, right? Two, I cannot imagine the guilt I would have felt had my child ended up with an injury more severe than an abrasion or bruise. A broken clavicle? I would have been beside myself. The author of that blog is absolutely freaking insane and selfish. UGH.

  • slandy09

    My friend had shoulder dystocia happen in her first child’s birth. He was nearly nine pounds and she was over a week past her due date. The OB had to use forceps to get him out, and she tore horribly! She probably wouldn’t have had such damage had she been induced at 39 weeks. First babies shouldn’t be allowed to be huge. Giving birth the first time is hard enough when the kids are normal sized!

    The little guy had a broken clavicle too and then broke it again when he was four. He’s in elementary school now and is a great kid.

  • AmyP

    My second baby was 10+ pounds and he had huge shoulders. The only damage that happened to us was that my bladder has never been the same, but knowing what I know now about shoulder dystocias, broken clavicles, permanent nerve damage, etc., I think my medical practice was taking a huge risk in not even mentioning the option of a c-section to me.

  • PinkandOrange

    When my kid has an upset tummy in the middle of the night or when she has a painful ear infection or even just when she has a little boo-boo, her tears make me wish with every little bit of my being that I was the one hurting instead of her. I don’t understand being okay with your baby’s broken bone.

    • Dinolindor

      Last summer I was carrying my then 2-year-old son down stairs and I slipped and fell. I got a couple bruises. He broke his index finger and had to go under general anesthesia to set it with a pin and wore a cast for a few weeks. I would have given anything and everything to get injured like that in his place.

      To think a newborn’s broken bone is better than some vaginal tearing is heartless and shows a disregard for the humanity of the baby.

      • Zornorph

        It’s the words she uses. How any birth that resulted in an injury to your baby could be ‘everything I hoped it would be’ just sounds psychopathic. As for it being ‘redemptive’, I’m sure her first child will one day be thrilled to know that his entry into the world was so painful for his mother that she later had to arrange a semi-religious experience to get over the trauma of it.

      • Naima Van Swol

        Just goes to show how important it is that these women “get” the birth they want.

      • Belle

        If they are heartless enough to risk an HBAC, then what’s a newborn’s teensy fractured clavicle? That’s just “collateral damage”…

    • DiomedesV

      Well aren’t you just the perfect mother? Agonizing over a boo-boo? An upset tummy?

      She’s not upset about it because she doesn’t see it as being preventable.

      She’s apparently wrong, and I’m certainly not defending an HBAC. And I agree with Zonorph, that her wording is very troubling.

      But if I can’t prevent an injury to my child, then I’m not going to be sorry that I didn’t get injured as well. That’s just illlogical. The problem is that she doesn’t connect the two, not that she’s happy she didn’t get injured.

      Honestly, there’s plenty of santimommy crap to go around on this blog.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        Nonsense. It’s not that she’s “not upset about it.” It’s that she thinks “Harlow’s birth was wonderful”

        Her baby’s clavicle broke, and she STILL thinks it was a “wonderful birth” – because she didn’t have any tearing.

        Calling her out is not “sanctimommy” it’s “anti-asshole”

        • DiomedesV

          I agree that Harlow’s mother is an asshole. But this:
          “When my kid has an upset tummy in the middle of the night or when she
          has a painful ear infection or even just when she has a little boo-boo,
          her tears make me wish with every little bit of my being that I was the
          one hurting instead of her.” Is santimommy crap.

          • auntbea

            You keep quoting this but I still don’t see the sanctimony. The definition of sanctimony is not “someone publicly claiming to parent differently than you.”

          • Stacy48918

            I repeat – EMPATHY.

            Good grief. You’re just looking for a fight here.

          • Belle

            What is your problem? BTW, it’s “sanctimommy”… at least spell it correctly..

          • GiddyUpGo123

            Wait, what? I don’t get how that’s sanctimommy. You’re not supposed to feel for your children when they’re hurt or sick?

          • araikwao

            Yeah,no. Didn’t get the “I am far superior to you” vibe from PinkandOrange at all. Can the claws be put away now?

      • auntbea

        What’s got up your butt? She’s just articulating that she finds it very odd that this mother seems not the least concerned about her baby’s pain. MOST people don’t like to see their children in pain, and most people try to do what they can to make it go away, even when it can’t be helped.

        • DiomedesV

          This: “When my kid has an upset tummy in the middle of the night or when she
          has a painful ear infection or even just when she has a little boo-boo,
          her tears make me wish with every little bit of my being that I was the
          one hurting instead of her.”

          I’m sorry, but the definition of a good mother is not one that wishes that every last ailment and boo-boo could be taken upon by the mother instead of the child. That is just mommy-martyr bullshit. Plain and simple.

          • Staceyjw

            You don’t have to be a martyr to wish you could take your kids pain away.

          • Siri

            You do have to be a martyr to want to take every pain and illness on yourself; that’s not the same as wishing it away. Empathy works both ways; you needn’t be quite so quick to break out the judgement and snide comments. I think Diomedes has plenty of empathy.

          • MLE

            I think what you’re missing is that there’s an element of fate involved in the way some people think about this, if the injury HAD to happen in the balance of the universe, why couldn’t it happen to me, instead of my innocent child who I love so much? It’s not a question of meaninglessly taking on injuries that may or may not have happened in the first place.

          • Siri

            I’m not missing that; however, I feel very differently. I love all my children and want only good things for them, but I still maintain that if all their ills and bumps were to happen to me instead, my ability to care for them and keep this household going would be greatly diminished. I’d rather wash my child’s pukey sheets than be sick and incapacitated myself. I also don’t get why it’s necessary to break out all the snide remarks (not you, MLE) the minute someone voices a different opinion; Diomedes is a regular contributor, and I see nothing terrible in these recent comments.

          • Stacy48918

            Wow.

          • auntbea

            Or…it could just be a description of how she feels? I personally don’t get that worked up about a scraped elbow, but people are sensitive about different things. As far as I can tell, you are the only one who thinks that Pink is claiming to better mother than you.

          • Stacy48918

            No, it’s not. It’s called EMPATHY. Try it.

          • Trixie

            Yeah, you’re just wrong about this.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            “There is no greater love then to give your life for a friend”

            Said by someone with a mommy-martyr bullshit complex, I’m sure.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Bofa, you’ve been on a real Bible streak lately. Who knew that you had such great bible trivia skills!? (Although I wish you would stick with the KJV).

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Because, you know, King James English was the language of Jesus.

      • Bombshellrisa

        I don’t know. As a mother, I tend to try and plan ahead for any contingency and for different outcomes. If there is any way in my mind that my child didn’t have to go through x, y or z if I would have done something differently, I tend to beat myself up about it. My son’s first cold-bad me! I let him be babysat by a friend whose child sniffled a little! My daughter’s summer spent with her leg in a cast-stupid me for letting her play on the slip and slide. I blame myself because I don’t want my children to suffer for me not being able to reasonably think ahead. In my mind, I know babies get colds and I can’t wrap my kids in bubble wrap in an attempt to make sure they don’t break bones. It’s just my heart that tells me I would much rather be the one with the thigh high cast or the cold, instead of watching my kids be the ones with them. The HBAC mother is monumentally selfish, her experience and her body is all she can focus on.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Naw, some people just get upset when their loved ones suffer medical stuff. I don’t personally, but my husband does. He doesn’t bat an eye at his own illnesses or broken bones, but he gets upset and squicked out when it’s the kids. He would have written the same thing as PinkandOrange.

        • Mishimoo

          My dude is the same, he’s awesome but he just can’t deal with other people’s medical stuff (or poop). I do all the gross/scary stuff, he does all the laundry. We both make sure that each other gets some sleep and some timeout when the munchkins are sick, it works out pretty well.

      • Siri

        I agree with you. When my kids puke in the night, I regret my own loss if sleep. When my kids hurt themselves, I comfort them and kiss them better; I do NOT wish I’d hurt myself instead. I am the captain of the ship on which my kids travel, and my health and wellbeing are crucial to the survival of HMS Adequate and her passengers and crew. When my kids are ill, I’m still in charge; when I’m ill, no one is and the good ship Adequate no longer lives up to her illustrious name. Colour me horrible, but them’s my sentiments.

        • Siri

          Loss OF sleep. Sheesh.

          • Cobalt

            With babies in the house “if sleep” is totally accurate.

          • Siri

            Lol! 🙂

      • Sally RNC-NIC

        Let’s be honest. This really isn’t about her desire to praise her midwife for keeping her out of harms way. Tears are common, and for the most-part, no big deal. She’s not shouting to the world that she avoided injury….she’s shouting to the world that her lady parts are still Hollywood thank you very much. Lame.

  • Bombshellrisa

    She was pushing on her back? I thought that was one of the reasons these types avoid the hospital, they believe pushing laying back is what causes c-sections

    • Zornorph

      Why wasn’t she in a birthing pool? That’s how nature intended for her to give birth, after all.

      • Belle

        Or standing by a babbling brook, flies and all?

        • Bombshellrisa

          And don’t forget, that was AFTER flying to her ideal birth location and lounging neck deep in a tub-and even SHE ended up laying back to push.

          • Belle

            Ah, yes, I forgot about that! And, she ASKED the husband/partner/FOB/whatever for help and he ended up actually ended up delivering the baby..(and didn’t bother to brush the large black fly from the baby’s head!).. so much for her “unassisted childbirth”.. what a freak..

      • Amy

        Well, clearly, the REAL issue is that she wasn’t doing UBAC. We all know that any attendant, skilled or otherwise (in this case very much otherwise), hinders truly natural birth.

        • Bombshellrisa

          You have a point, midwives are in and of themselves interventions!

          • Stacy48918

            Exactly right! Why hire a midwife if birth is a natural, wonderful, restorative process that every woman’s body just KNOWS how to do? The midwife is there BECAUSE even they don’t trust birth, even though they say they do.

  • thesouthway

    This just makes me sick to my stomach. What a selfish, narrasistic woman.

    My “magical” vaginal delivery landed my son in the NICU for a week. His caput was so severe that he was subjected to just about every test under the sun because the doctors were worried that there was more damage than just fluid buildup. His head hurt so bad that they gave him morphine. Seven months later and he’s doing great (and hitting every developmental milestone) but I still have moments where I feel intensely guilty. I wish my doctor had given me the option of a c-section, instead of tossing it out as an afterthought while assuring me I’d be able to deliver vaginally. I would have done anything if it would have meant my son not going through all that trauma.

    But, apparently, my priorities are messed up because I’d rather go for a MRCS with my second than risk putting another baby through all of that. There is something seriously wrong with the vaginal-birth-at-all-costs mentality.

    • Deborah

      As long as the next baby is smaller or even same-ish, you’re probably ok. But if it’s bigger, I’d say yes to the c/s too!!! “Horrible, barely successful, traumatic first birth” is a perfectly good medical indication for a cesarean.

      • thesouthway

        As of right now, that’s pretty much the plan. With the added caveat that, if I go past 40 weeks, I’m not going to mess around with induction and just go ahead with a c-section. I’m forever grateful that everything turned out okay. I couldn’t imagine purposefully risking injury or death for your “dream birth.” How is that more important than a healthy baby?

        • Amy M

          I think they just take the healthy baby for granted, until a disaster happens. Since it doesn’t happen, most of the time, they can go on believing that no matter what they do, the baby will be fine.

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      Honey, you have got to let that guilt GO. Birth is insane, and it’s sometimes fast and scary even for our trusted docs. What you need to focus on is the right now. He’s awesome, he’s killin’ it, he’s a stud. You did nothing wrong, you love that kiddo so much. Let it go. You’ll be a happier mom if you let it go. You did great. Be happy. <3

  • Mel

    Because I was under the care of a midwife, I was under the care of someone who handles birth like the natural life process that it truly is instead of like something to be treated for. Because of this, she knows how to also handle all manner of complications during delivery as they may arise, and sometimes do…

    That’s some real denial going on there – the midwife is totes able to handle anything – even emergencies – because she sees it as a natural life process.

    Crap. My cows (in so far as they think of anything) think of birth as a natural life process. That doesn’t mean they should deliver a human baby.

    • Zornorph

      I glanced at the facebook page of the Trust Birth woman this morning for some reason. She had up this post saying that Midwives were not like lifeguards, but like lighthouses. That lighthouses don’t run all over the island trying to save people, they are just this bright, guiding light. There are 100 things wrong with that analogy, but to follow it, to me they are like the false lights sometimes put up by wreckers to lure unsuspecting ships onto the reef so they could get the loot.
      I was seriously tempted to become a facebook friend of hers just so I could wind her up with a post about what lighthouses are really shaped like and thus they are male symbols not female, but at the end of the day it wouldn’t be worth it. Would have been funny to see the outrage, though.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        Is there a link?

        • Zornorph
          • Sara

            What does that even mean? How is standing there and shining going to help anything?

          • Zornorph

            Well, it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what a Lighthouse really is. I think in her mind, a lighthouse is supposed to guide the way. The boat (woman) knows where they want to go and the lighthouse illuminates the path. In fact, for the most part lighthouses are warning signs of danger and were placed where there were hidden reefs and generally meant ‘stay away!’ not ‘come this way’. As such, she’s right in that a midwife assisted homebirth does have lots of hidden shoals that can suddenly rip the bottom out of your ship and sink all on board.
            Growing up in an archipelago and going to school literally right next door to a lighthouse, I have rather a fondness for them, but they are sentinels of danger and are meant to illustrate that the sea is not to be trusted. Real lighthouse keepers know this and I don’t think any of them (and there are few of them left) would want to go back to the days when navigation was only done by lighthouses. GPS and such modern things have made it a lot safer to be out on the water. I guess you could ‘trust lighthouses’ and sail at night without a GPS, but you’d be an idiot.

          • Sara

            Thanks for the rather poetic response. I grew up near the Outer Banks and (defunct) lighthouses were a big tourist thing. Naturally, since all or most were retired, we weren’t well schooled in their meaningful functions. So in the world of lighthouses-as-an-historical-attraction, I can see where the feel-good lighthouse nostalgia is somehow appealing. But yeah, the logical flaws are tremendous.

            It’s kind of like saying you don’t need a skilled pilot to fly your airplane as long as the runway is lit.
            I mean, that’s if we’re keeping with the implicit metaphor that pregnant women are cargo vessels.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            All the lighthouses around Lake Superior didn’t help the Edmund Fitzgerald when the winds of November came early.

            Personally, I’d prefer a Coast Guard cruiser equipped with GPS as an escort.

            If that’s her analogy, it is a good reason to avoid midwives.

          • Zornorph

            Well, that’s it. The captain knew where Whitefish Bay was, but just knowing that didn’t help him when a big wave came and flooded the boat. A lighthouse on the shore isn’t going to do you any good at that point – you need somebody to rescue you. In that sense, she’s right in comparing midwives to a static lighthouse that can’t help you if you get into trouble.

          • Roadstergal

            “The searchers all say they’d have made Whitefish Bay if they’d put fifteen more miles behind her…” I now have that stuck in my head.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            My work her is complete

          • auntbea

            Actually, the analogy is apt. If you are in sight of a midwife, you are in trouble, and you should steer the other way.

          • Roadstergal

            I have a mental image of mothers-to-be staring into the shining midwife-generated headlights of preventable complications, paralyzed…

          • araikwao

            The MWs described in these stories tend to cover up or deny the dangerous aspects of childbirth, so aren’t they more like the opposite of lighthouses?

      • Liz Leyden

        Maybe they’re like the Massachusetts lifeguards who ignored a child’s report of a drowning in a public pool (in 2011). They didn’t see it, so they assumed things must be okay. The woman’s body floated to the pool’s surface 2 days later. http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/06/30/massachusetts.pool.woman.body/

  • Trixie

    Of course, nothing would have kept her vagina more pristine that a c-section.

    • Deborah

      Thinking the exact same thing.

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      Well, maybe not. Some poor tech would have had the pleasure of basically fisting her in order to get Harlow back up in position for cesarean delivery. It’s not a slip-n-slide!

      • Trixie

        I meant, before she went into labor.

  • Zornorph

    Wow. Considering some of these kooks don’t even want the baby to have a vitamin K shot because the needle might cause them pain, to poo-poo a broken bone like that…I just can’t imagine.

    • Roadstergal

      Maybe the midwife held the baby’s hand and was really supportive, which made it all good pain, just like exercising?

      • yugaya

        If they let the cord pulsate for long enough baby was high on momma’s superb birth hormones cocktail and probably did not feel any pain at all. It was just like an extra surge or something, I’m sure there is an explanation somewhere on some birth blog why a perfect midwife-attended homebirth that costs your baby a fracture will never ruin your baby’s emotional well being like the prick tests in hospital do.

    • Young CC Prof

      It’s simple. Natural pain = good, unnatural pain = bad.

      • auntbea

        Pain to prevent harm to mom = good; pain to prevent harm to baby = meh.

        • Staceyjw

          At least that would make sense.
          This is not about avoiding pain at all, its about chasing the fantasy of NCB. The kid is a mere prop.

    • They probably have no idea of what a “small fracture” to the clavicle might turn out to be. Someone ought to tell her the story of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Most of the time, it’s true, it heals OK, but the potential for serious injury is not to be laughed at.

  • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

    Wait a minute. She is relieved that SHE didn’t have to deal with a 2 week recovery from an episiotomy? I have to ask, how long does it take a broken clavicle to heal in a baby?

    • mythsayer

      RIGHT?? It’s like the baby isn’t a person.

      • yugaya

        The ultimate hypocrisy is that in natural birth there is only one person whose experience counts. The way medicine sees it, during human birth, there are always two individual patients and their well being to consider.

    • auntbea

      C’mon, Bofa. It’s only SLIGHTLY broken.

    • Pappy

      My entirely scientific google search puts the recovery time at 3-4 weeks. So, she’ll potentially be suffering and impaired for as much a double the time her mother would have been. What a genuinely terrible person. I don’t that much but… Wow. What a genuinely terrible person.

    • GiddyUpGo123

      I honestly think that because babies can’t verbalize their pain (in English anyway) a lot of these people don’t think that their pain is real, or they just think it doesn’t matter. Otherwise I just can’t get my mind around that dismissive attitude. It’s like babies don’t actually become people until they can form the word “ouch,” so a little broken clavicle doesn’t matter. They can’t say the word “hungry!” so you can let them starve in the name of breastfeeding. It’s all OK because they won’t remember any of it, and they can’t make you feel guilty by explaining how your behavior hurts them.

      • Stacy48918

        It’s like we used to treat animals. They’re not human so they can’t feel pain.

        Except of course they can and I treat it pre-emptively whenever possible. Most of my clients would want me to treat/prevent their DOG’s pain better than this woman cares to treat/prevent her BABY’s pain.

        • Erica

          Didn’t we also used to treat babies this way? Including performing surgery without anesthesia? (I mean, not that it was right, indeed it’s horrifying, but it happened)

      • yugaya

        Jan Tritten and her bunch say that newborns actually tell them what to do ( or more often what not to do) both before and immediately after being born. There is a screenshot of that babywhispering pearl of wisdom, that is such a great blanket excuse for not applying standard monitoring and examination that usually tell the same to the stupid doctors who don’t speak wombish at all.

      • lilin

        Horrific fact of the day – they used to do surgery on babies without anesthetic. And when I say “used to,” I mean they did it as late as the early 1980s. The kids can’t talk, so their pain doesn’t matter.

        You see the same with birth junkies. If they saw someone laying on the street, blue, unresponsive, not breathing, they’d be horrified. If someone were trapped in a small space for days, confused, squeezed, barely able to breathe, they recognize it as a terrifying situation. But it’s a baby so a limp, blue body, or three days of agony and uncertainty, or strangulation by cord, are “part of the process.”

        • Young CC Prof

          In the 80’s, I had a knocked-out tooth reinserted. It then became abscessed, so it was ripped out again and the abscess drained. Everyone involved apparently thought that holding down a 1-year-old for this entire process made more sense than anesthesia or sedation. It was what they did.

          They still occasionally do perform surgery on babies with very little anesthesia: When babies need birth defects repaired urgently, and the babies are just too small to dose reliably.

      • Sally RNC-NIC

        The thing is….those of us who work with babies – sick and healthy alike – we understand that babies CAN tell us everything. The pitch of their cry, their heartbeat rate, their facial expressions, their tone, their BP, their respiration rate, and most importantly, the vibe they give off. They do talk. But moms who are gazing lovingly into their crotch mirrors, loving their intact junk, don’t really tune into that. It’s sad.

    • Joy

      Unless it is a circumcision. Then your baby will never get over it.

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      What troubles me, and I believe this has been adequately addressed already…but too bad!…is the diagnosis of fractured clavicle. I’m assuming the midwife doesn’t roll an X-ray machine with her to each birth. So….are they making assumptions? Maybe because there’s like a bone popping out of the kid’s neck or chest? Like someone mentioned above….if a midwife is willing to say, “Eh, looks like a little fracture of the clavicle (because I had to BREAK her clavicle to get her ass out and I heard that shit POP)…” I’m willing to bet that poor kid has slightly more going on….zoiks. I just will never understand who this is ok in out society. Why birth is not considered a serious medical procedure…..gaw!!!

  • DoulaGuest

    I work with a midwife (an OOH one at that), and we had a really long conversation the other day about the number of clients we have *both* seen where they found their RCS to be extremely healing. In the last week alone I have talked to at least three! I can understand if the first time around you didn’t feel respected or heard by the provider or nurses, as many women often do. At the same time, I think it can be so empowering and awesome to schedule your CS with a doctor you love and go in knowing what to expect rather a potential ECS. I can’t imagine giving birth and feeling ok that my child fractured their clavicle. So awful.

    • yugaya

      I can imagine giving birth and feeling after a while ok with that if I am certain that I had a properly trained and educated medical provider who assessed the situation and did that as a last resort option, after trying or recommending any and all interventions that would have had the same outcome but with my own bones or other body parts being broken, cut or possibly damaged for a lifetime instead of my baby’s.

  • Cobalt

    Requirements for good homebirth outcome:

    For the mother:
    No prescription medication. No restrictions on activities. No stitches. No deference to medical education. No doctor involvement. No monitoring or accurate medical records. No pain or discomfort, however minor, aside from contractions. No criticism. No compromise. A supportive audience. Incessant praise.

    For the baby:
    Not dead. Maybe.

    • Beth

      close. Actually, for the baby, the requirement is “came through a vagina, dead or alive.”

      • Belle

        That’s for sure!

      • Lena

        I’ll never forget that HBAC story where the baby was stillborn and the mom said something about how he doctors were wrong, her pelvis WAS big enough to deliver a baby.

    • Amy

      And not circumcised or vaccinated. Which, if they’re dead, they wouldn’t be. Hey, two out of three ain’t bad!

  • lawyer jane

    The weird thing about this story is that her previous birth (the one that was so awful that she needed “redemption” via home birth) involved the absolutely needed c-section and subsequent NICU stay due to chorio. There’s no doubt that some women get treated terribly in birth and may have avoidable interventions (see: that awful episiotomy video) but that is not at all what happened here. I wonder how she got convinced in her mind that a home birth would “heal” the complications in her first birth?

    • Amy M

      Especially because, if you read the original birth story post (someone here put it in one of the threads yesterday), she 1)readily consented to a Csection after her doctor explained all of her options, which included forceps and 2)specifically said she was very concerned with the baby’s health and would accept a discomfort to herself to spare him.

      By the 2nd child, she’s decided that the Csection wasn’t necessary, and hospitals are evil. I’m gonna guess she found an ICAN chapter in between and learned just how AWFUL the first birth actually was.

      • Young CC Prof

        But c-sections damage the baby’s natural soul or something, so a broken bone is totally better.

        • Amy M

          “As I pushed and pushed, my doctor informed me that you simply weren’t
          going to fit. I could try to push if that was what I wanted, but I ran
          the risk of needing forceps, a vacuum, and potentially having to break
          your shoulders to get you out. I said, “UH no, C-Section now!” So, my
          doctor went to get the OR and I was going to be prepared for surgery.”

          She even knew about the potential for broken clavicles, which were not ok for the first child, but evidently, just fine for the 2nd. I hope that 2nd kid doesn’t develop a complex because her mom was more careful with the older brother.

          “I know it probably seems like my experience was pretty terrible, and it
          pretty much was. Everything that I thought was going to happen went
          exactly the opposite, and I had a lot of guilt about it for several
          weeks. I felt like my body had failed you and I both. All of that said, I
          would do it all over again for you. You were more than worth all of it.
          You were the light at the end of the tunnel. More than anything else,
          I’m glad it happened the way it did. It taught me a lot. It prepared me
          to expect the unexpected, which is really what motherhood is all about
          anyway. :)”

          And there…she seems to have learned the lesson that birth is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Only a few years later, and that lesson is forgotten, in favor of : “OMG!Csections are evil and unnecessary! Who needs doctors anyhow?!”

          Then this: “Had I been in a hospital, I very likely would have had an epidural. This
          is one of the reasons that home birth was so appealing to me. I knew
          that if I was to deliver in a hospital, the lure of the epidural would
          have been too great, and interventions often lead to more interventions,
          which can often lead to c section…”

          She was totally down with epidurals the first time, and now seems to believe it was the EPIDURAL that caused her first to be stuck. I am not a doctor, but as a layperson, I would guess, from the info that both babies were only about average size, that her pelvis isn’t the best shape/size and NO baby would come out vaginally and unscathed. Surely a doctor mentioned something about this?

          I hate that “cascade of interventions” crap. If only those people would listen to themselves—If 30% of births are Csections (for whatever reason), but as many as 90% of women get epidurals (in America anyway), shouldn’t there be EVEN MORE Csection, if epidurals were directly responsible? No common sense at all. Even in this particular case—clearly the epidural did not cause the shoulder dystocia because she didn’t have one! How does she explain that one?

          • Belle

            I think it’s the brainwashing, cult phenomenon of the home birth crowd.. it’s very alluring to some women.. look at Jim Jones, he was powerful enough to convince people to kill themselves.. these women seem to completely lose any ability to think rationally and there is no reasoning with them once they are “indoctrinated”..

          • GiddyUpGo123

            Wait, epidurals cause shoulder dystocia? That’s a new one on me. Do they cause the baby’s shoulders to get bigger or something?

          • Amy M

            Well, we’ve seen people denounce epidurals because they “make it so the woman can’t move and/or push right” , which (in that worldview) could lead to SD. After all, its NEVER the size of the baby, its because the doctor is making the woman lie flat on her back and do directed pushing or something.

            Also the “cascade of interventions”—she thinks the epidural led to the Csection. If there’s no epidural, she couldn’t possibly need a Csection. She was dismissing the similarity between both births, which probably indicates some issue with her pelvis—if only those doctors hadn’t intervened the first time, she wouldn’t have had a section.

          • Medwife

            I read that story of the first birth and thought, hey! Except for that inappropriate guilt she’s feeling about her body having failed, she did such a good job rolling with a rough labor and making decisions in the best interest of her child. How the hell did she get from there to here?

        • Zornorph

          It’s worse than that. In a C-section, babies don’t get coated with magical vagina juice.

      • Ash

        “unplanned, unwanted and unnecessary surgical birth.”

        Such jerks, those physicians! Discussing the best options for safety for her baby, obtaining her consent, doing the procedure, and monitoring the baby for complications! They are so unsupportive!

    • Belle

      The same reason they think they need a so-called “healing birth”.. see Dr. Amy’s previous post on that..I’ve decided these folks are simply ungrateful people with a heightened sense of entitlement, and just “above” all the “common folk” who choose modern medicine and their baby’s welfare above their so-called “experience”..

  • Monica

    The baby is barely even an after thought in this whole thing it seems.

    • Cobalt

      Barely even that.

  • Jocelyn

    “I didn’t have to add an additional 2 weeks recovery time.” And who cares about the baby’s recovery time, right? I’m sure that clavicle will heal right up in a day or two.

  • I don’t want to make light of this.. but on the other hand, this is entirely relevant: http://www.gomerblog.com/2014/09/natural-birth/

    • Amy M

      Of course, some “natural birther” in the comments section is offended. What a doofus.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        Well, she is not a doofus in the fact that she apparently caught the message of the article.

        And the problem is, it hit way too close to home.

        She feels insulted. Because she knows full well that the message is spot on about her.

        And it is