How to rationalize your baby’s near death at homebirth

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Cognitive dissonance is very uncomfortable. That’s why when a birth worker’s own child is nearly killed by homebirth, the mother desperately struggles to maintain her belief in the safety of homebirth. It’s hard to acknowledge that you were wrong; it’s so much easier to delude yourself into rationalizing the disaster.

And when it comes to the capacity for self-delusion, homebirth advocates have few rivals.

Consider doula Nacia Walsh’s story of the homebirth of her emaciated, compromised baby, How My Homebirth Saved My Daughter’s Life. Nacia is not merely ignoring the fact that her homebirth midwives nearly killed her baby, but is delusionally praising them for “saving” the baby. Be sure to check out the birth photo of the baby who looks like a 3rd world victim of starvation.

Over the course of the last two months of my pregnancy my midwives noticed my blood pressure was slowly creeping up, but considering I had no other symptoms of preeclampsia (severe headaches, vision changes, retaining water, rapid weight gain) they decided to just keep an eye on things.

But incipient pre-eclampsia was not the only danger that Nacia and her midwives ignored. At 37 weeks:

I was checked for dilation but nothing seemed to be happening except that my abdomen was measuring smaller than the previous week.

This could’ve meant she had “dropped” into my pelvis or that my fluid was low. So they decided it would be best if I had an ultrasound to determine the cause.

To my relief the technician said that the amount of amniotic fluid was well above range, but that the baby was measuring quite small for her gestational age. She predicted she was about 5.1 lbs at 37 weeks 2 days and suffering from IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction).

Intrauterine growth restriction occurs when the placenta begins to fail. The baby no longer is getting enough nutrients or oxygen. The baby stops growing because it is literally starving. Ultimately, the baby will die of suffocation in utero.

In short, the baby she is carrying seems very small to Nacia (her intuition!). The ultrasound shows that the baby is indeed very small, so small that she is suffering from intrauterine growth restriction, which means that the baby is at risk for stillbirth and the risk increases with every passing day. Moreover, Nacia’s blood pressure is increasing, providing the explanation for why the placenta is failing.

In the real world, this would be a reason to induce labor. In the delusional world of homebirth midwives and homebirth advocates:

I was somewhat nervous about her being so small, but figured ultrasounds are notoriously inaccurate so I wasn’t too concerned. Because of my blood pressure and her size, the midwives put me on modified bed-rest that evening so that I could lower it to a normal range and give the baby the time she needed to gain a little more weight.

So Nacia and her midwives ignored not only the objective signs that the baby was profoundly compromised, they ignored Nacia’s own intuition about the baby’s size. Anyone with two functioning brain cells could figure out that a baby who is currently starving to death is not going to gain any weight, especially when the baby is simultaneously being starved for oxygen. Those midwives weren’t waiting for the baby to gain weight; that was never going to happen. They just didn’t want to lose control over Nacia as a patient so they hoped that labor would start before the baby died.

Nacia did go into labor spontaneously, and not surprisingly, since baby Anica was slowly starving and suffocating, she was born seriously compromised.

As I wiped tears from my eyes and I looked down at her in my arms, I realized she was so tiny. Her body had very little fat and she had a blueish tint.

As the midwife swooped around to the front of the tub to check her vitals, the doppler read that her heart rate was only 100 beats per minute, which is a dangerously low two minutes after delivery.

What the midwife did then was only a momentary blur to me, but to my fearful husband must have felt like an eternity. She leaned over to my listless little girl and gave her 4 life-saving breaths. Her lungs inflated and pinkish color slowly began to creep into her doll-like body.

That’s like claiming that you owe your baby’s life to the person who threw her into the lake, watched her founder and sink, pulled her out when she was near death and resuscitated her. Sure pulling her out of the lake saved her life, but not throwing her in in the first place was what put her at risk.

How much did the baby weigh?

Then came the all important weigh-in. The midwife placed her in a sling scale and the number was read. 4.6lbs.

Our hearts sank.

Never would I have guessed my nearly full-term baby would be the size and weight of a preemie.

She didn’t have to guess; she had already been TOLD that her baby was emaciated, but she ignored that.

And how did the homebirth at the hands of the midwives who nearly killed the baby save the baby’s life?

Born in a hospital or birthing center she would have been whisked away to a NICU with limited interaction, skin-to-skin, and breastfeeding until she was at least 5lbs, which would have meant at least two weeks of stressful hell for her and our family.

Really, Nacia? And how exactly does any of that prevent stillbirth? It doesn’t, does it?

And how would any of that have saved Anica’s life if she had been slightly more compromised and required an expert resuscitation with intubation? It wouldn’t have, would it?

You would have buried your baby is a heartbreakingly tiny white box.

This story had a happy ending and everyone got what they wanted. Nacia got her homebirth. Her midwives got to keep her as a patient and pretend that they were heroes. The only one who suffered was the baby and no one cares about her.

Nacia dodged a bullet and not only is she in denial about that, she’s so deluded that she’s praising the very people who fired the gun.

  • sdsures

    Is there any way babies can recover from IUGR with aggressive (gasp!) medical treatment for the mother or the child?

    Is there any update on how the child is doing?

  • yugaya

    Update: she removed the story from her blog completely. She’s still working in homebirth industry: http://www.readytopopbirthacademy.com/shop/

  • HipsLikeCinderella

    This story is terrifying to me. It is a example of one of the many reasons I will always seek medical care from a doctor, and give birth in a hospital.

  • slandy09

    I have a good friend who went to hospital CNMs, and her son’s IUGR somehow went undetected. She was induced for preeclampsia at 38 weeks and her son came out at something like 4-5 pounds. Her placenta came out looking bad too. He spent a few weeks in the NICU, and he has never gained weight very well, despite their best efforts. Needless to say, she was very unhappy with how the midwives handled her pregnancy.

    • Medwife

      Well, I don’t blame her. Certainly I’m curious on details. So many questions…

    • Young CC Prof

      In my IUGR moms group, I’ve run into a few women whose diagnoses were missed until the end despite various signs, or, worse, who were diagnosed and then had providers play it down, even changing due dates as the baby fell behind in growth. Unfortunately, the non-interventionist mindset is affecting even hospital care.

  • MsKent

    As mother to a stillborn little girl, this makes me scream. We did everything ‘right’, attended every OB appointment, extra scans with leading doctors, extra tests above and beyond what the NHS provide (we are in the UK). We took nothing for granted. We were not high risk but her life was the most precious thing in the world to us and we wanted to ensure she was as healthy as could be.

    And then she died for no apparent reason. She was a healthy weight and died with no warning. I was checked over after a (negative) GTT just days before. She was kicking up a storm the night before she no longer had a heartbeat.

    I am glad her baby made it. But it was despite her choices, not because of them.

    • Bugsy

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

      • MsKent

        Thank you, all of you

    • EllenL

      I am so sorry for the loss of your precious little girl.

    • Samantha06

      I am so, so sorry about your daughter… ๐Ÿ™

    • attitude devant

      Oh. Oh. OH. I am so so sorry.

    • I cannot even begin to imagine how infuriating it must be for you to read stories like this. I am so, so, so sorry for the loss of your sweet little girl.

    • HipsLikeCinderella

      I am so sorry for your loss, I will say a prayer for you and your family.

    • Dr Kitty

      I’m only seeing this now.
      Deepest sympathy on the loss of your daughter.

    • sdsures

      I’m so sorry.

  • EllenL

    Her midwives make moms- to-be sign a bunch of documents before being accepted as patients. I love this wording from one of those documents:

    “We depend on you, our clients, to stand behind us in case of problems in the same way we place ourselves at personal and political risk so you may have your choice of care and birth-place.”

    Translation: When things go south (your baby dies, you’re injured by our incompetence), be on our side. Stand up for us! Don’t feel sorry for yourself or your baby. And don’t hold us accountable, as you would real medical professionals.

    • CrownedMedwife

      Personal and political risk? What does that mean? If they’re taking personal risks, maybe they should realize they shouldn’t be taking those risks? They ARE legitimate medical providers, CMs and Nurse Practitioners. That makes it all the more frightening.

    • lawyer jane

      Ugh, that is SO UNETHICAL!! Imagine if a criminal defense attorney tried to make his death row client sign a waiver of liability on the grounds that defense attorneys are “unpopular.” Not to mention the fact that deliberately entwining the feelings and goals of the practitioner with the patient/client goes against the basic principles of all professional ethics. You are supposed to maintain boundaries with your client; not make the client part of YOUR OWN personal or “political” needs. In fact, the inclusion of that phrase should be almost diagnostic of quackery/fauxpertery.

      The profession of homebirth midwifery is really no profession at all. I hope mothers in New York think long and hard about whether they want their babies delivered by people who see themselves as embattled political activists where the health of the mother & child may take second place, or whether they want them delivered by medical professionals.

      • lawyer jane

        Here we go. The Nursing Code of Ethics 2.4:

        2.4 Professional boundaries

        When acting within oneโ€™s role as a professional, the nurse recognizes and maintains
        boundaries that establish appropriate limits to relationships. While the nature of
        nursing work has an inherently personal component, nurse-patient relationships
        and nurse-colleague relationships have, as their foundation, the purpose of preventing
        illness, alleviating suffering, and protecting, promoting, and restoring the
        health of patients. In this way, nurse-patient and nurse-colleague relationships
        differ from those that are purely personal and unstructured, such as friendship.
        The intimate nature of nursing care, the involvement of nurses in important and
        sometimes highly stressful life events, and the mutual dependence of colleagues
        working in close concert all present the potential for blurring of limits to professional
        relationships. Maintaining authenticity and expressing oneself as an
        individual, while remaining within the bounds established by the purpose of the
        relationship can be especially difficult in prolonged or long-term relationships. In
        all encounters, nurses are responsible for retaining their professional boundaries.
        When those professional boundaries are jeopardized, the nurse should seek assistance
        from peers or supervisors or take appropriate steps to remove her/himself
        from the situation.”

        http://www.nursingworld.org/Mobile/Code-of-Ethics/provision-2.html

    • Medwife

      Oh my!!! Trying to imagine looking a patient in the eye and asking for that makes me… Well, I can’t picture it.

      • sdsures

        Vomit?

    • Who?

      ‘Political risk’? Does that mean someone might be unkind to them?

      • Young CC Prof

        It means they might be “persecuted” by the state if they, say, let a baby die, or go beyond their legal scope of practice.

        • Who?

          So yes then. So much worse than being dead or permanently damaged due to incompetent-what’s the word here, not ‘care’, not ‘support’, not ‘professional advice’. Guess it’ll just have to be ‘damaged due to incompetence’.

    • HipsLikeCinderella

      Reading that made my blood boil. Talk about a giant red flag. Could you ever imagine a doctor giving a form like that to a patient?

    • Amazed

      OMFG! They’re painting themselves as the heroes even in their damned documents before any type of care is provided! That should be a huge red flag!

      I want to believe that the only moms looking at this incredibly selfish, self-serving, arrogant document and not running away are the heavily brainwashed ones.

      And they claim that doctors are not gods. Instead, they want you to worship at the altar of midwifery.

      It’s all about the mom, riiiiiight. Pass over some tissues if you please. I need to cry, I’m so touched by those brave women’s sacrifice.

    • Deborah

      Imagine if a male obstetrician said that.
      He would be hung, drawn and quartered.

    • sdsures

      Is this a legally binding contract, like if they don’t stand behind their incompetent twits, the bereaved family will be sued or something?

      “Stand By Your Man” sounds much better when Tammy Wynette sings it.

  • lawyer jane

    I just can’t believe the mother is STILL in denial about the fact that her baby had IUGR and had no business being born at home. She also elides whether her midwives did any actual diagnostic tests for preeclampsia, like checking blood levels or doing a 24 hr urine test. For all intents and purposes it looks like these midwives convinced a probably preeclamptic mother have a homebirth of an IUGR baby, without offering any extra monitoring. Shocking. Really. I’m so glad her baby was born OK and is thriving, but I hope the mom does some additional “research” to realize the magnitude of the risks she actually took.

    • Ash

      I don’t think the author will change her mind.

      In all likelihood, the baby will be OK as she has passed some initial critical hurdles (like being alive after a brief and incorrectly done resuscitation).

      Her livelihood is based off NCB. “Coming out” about how midwives mismanaged her care, similar to what Ashley Martin did, is tremendously isolating.

      • EH

        I’m curious how her resuscitation was incorrect?

        • Bombshellrisa

          http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2172079-overview
          This is an outline of how to evaluate a neonate and how a resus should be done along with the drugs and equipment needed.

        • Guest

          A newborn that is blue with a heart rate at 100 needs warmth, stimulation, and positive pressure ventilation. That means on a warming table. Mom’s chest may be warm, but the room is cold! First eval is at 1 min, not 2. So either she did nothing for two minutes (likely), or her resus was inadequate as a bradycardic blue baby needs resus immediately with constant reevaluation.

          The umbilical cord’s pulsation are blood flow AWAY from the infant. And after birth, the uterus clamps down (or is supposed), so oxygenated blood is no longer flowing (passively) towards the infant. So the midwife gave “four breaths” (lord only knows how…BVM, her mouth, no idea). But wrongly believed that no more as necessary since the cord was still attached.

          So this mid wife’s resus skills are just as bad as her deplorable prenatal skills. And I’m speaking as someone who holds both NRP/NALS and PALS certification and stopped counting after attending 300 deliveries (as the person resuscitating the newborn).

          • EH

            Thank you for your reply. I was worried because I had a home birth with these same midwives 9 mo. ago and my baby needed resuscitated and transferred to NICU. I was worried that maybe they didn’t resuscitate her right either. But it sounds like she did. Thankfully my daughter survived without any long term complications. I do know that these midwives take neonatal resuscitation classes every year, actually they went to their yearly one just a few weeks after my daughter’s birth.

          • EH

            Do you have an email? I would love to be able to ask you more questions about this.

    • yugaya

      According to her most recent comments she is completely in denial that she WAS high risk on multiple accounts:

      – high blood pressure
      – IUGR suspected and confirmed via ultrasound as well as
      – polyhydramnios

      As in : “I didn’t “decide” to be low risk, I actually was.” kind of denial.

      Keeps on ‘spleinin’ how she was in perfect health at her 20 week examination and there was no sign of IUGR, how high blood pressure was only a symptom during late pregnancy and how any and all of it just popped up at week 35 and went away after birth… I don’t think she understands what ” late-onset” means at all, and I am sure she would after reading this find at least three sentences that prove her right: http://jogc.com/abstracts/full/201201_Obstetrics_3.pdf ๐Ÿ™

      • EllenL

        I’m always aware that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” when I read studies (the person with little knowledge being me!) but I find nothing in that article that supports the safety of homebirth for a mother with probable IUGR.

        For example:
        “The importance of making a decision to transfer and/or
        admit a woman to hospital because of IUGR (especially
        with co-existent preeclampsia), and subsequently to be proactive with timing of delivery, must not be underestimated. Inpatient care solves geographic burdens
        of frequent hospital visits, especially to regional centres,
        and provides hypertension monitoring, daily non-stress
        testing, access to pediatric consultation, and immediate
        access to the appropriate level of anticipated neonatal
        pediatric care (most often in tertiary perinatal centres).”

  • Adjective

    I don’t understand the appeal of homebirth. I’ve had 2 natural (spontaneous labor, med-free except for pitocin post-birth to deliver the placenta) births, both in the hospital with an OB. These women don’t seem to realize they can have their natural birth someplace safe! I don’t understand why the hospital makes them uncomfortable and stressed. I personally was a lot more comfortable and less stressed knowing that if things went wrong, the “trip” for an emergency c-section was literally about 20 feet, just across the hallway. And the trip for baby to the nursery would be maybe 50 feet down the hall.

    • rational adult

      I saw on the news today that a “blizzard baby” was delivered at Nantucket Cottage Hospital where they have backup generator power. I’m sure they deliver many babies but even that freaked my pregnant self out, thinking about how if there was a complication there would be no way to get mom or baby to Boston today. Needless to say I’m no home birth candidate.

      • Stacy48918

        A friend of mine gave birth to a 9 pound baby girl at a birth center with CPMs in the middle of the blizzard yesterday. Gah!

        • Young CC Prof

          But the hospital is only 45 minutes away by alpaca, right?

        • rational adult

          Congrats to your friend! And eek!

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        Maybe a life flight help but probably not, the wind today is still pretty bad and I m on the coast on the mainland not one of the islands. Maybe a coast guard cutter…

  • Guest

    Anyone notice the narrative changed on her story, trying to make it appear shorter duration of hypertension to just TWO weeks, Ultrasound physician recommended TWO week followup and weight check at TWO days of age? When did that happen?

    • EllenL

      Good catch. It sounds like she is trying to cover herself. It also sounds made up.

      Interesting how the ultrasound “technician” has now become a “doctor”! And we’re supposed to believe that a physician looked at this situation and then sent the patient home for two more weeks – and a homebirth. I’m not buying it.

      Another reckless homebirth mother, and another sick baby. Sad, sad, sad.

      • Young CC Prof

        Nope. Near-term baby with IUGR, you’re going to be checking 2-3 times a week, or inducing. None of this two weeks foolishness.

        • CrownedMedwife

          Exactly, no radiologist (‘ultrasound doctor’ as she said) is going to diagnose IUGR and make any recommendations for management. That clinical decision is up to the midwife or obstetrician. In this case, midwife failed. Hypertension and IUGR below 1st%, nearly every consulting OB will tell you all bets off and it’s time to get the baby out, not go home on bedrest.

          • yugaya

            Christy Collins CPM, when she killed Gavin Michael, claimed that she was following OB protocols and acting on actual doctor’s advice. She was not, and no doctor was ever consulted because no doctor would have ever suggested being that reckless (in either of these cases). Nice try though, and the more they bend the truth, the more clearly it comes out.

      • Amazed

        Actiually, such an advise isn’t something unheard of… in these circles. Midwives specialize in doctor-shopping and finding the craziest ones only to be able to say, “See? A doctor approved of my client’s choice!”

        Dr Wonderful WAS an OB, after all.

        Not that I believe that Nacia’s case involved a physician at any given moment leadiung up to her inane decision to homebirth this starving baby.

    • yugaya

      She is digging the hole deeper and deeper. Soon the quacko lay midwife will be pulling out her online degree in natural neonatology in support of the claim that NICU is “only for those babies who need a high level of care. However that was not the case for my daughter. She had no health issues following the birth”.

      Sure no issues, except being born as a result of high risk pregnancy.
      Btw how did they establish that cord was “working properly”? Eye assessment can be so notoriously inaccurate, I’m sure such qualified birth attendants used better method than that. Baby’s well being depended on it, they must have.

      • CrownedMedwife

        It really doesn’t matter how ‘well’ they felt the cord was working, because the placenta it was attached to was not!

        Yet again, a birth story seems to be rewritten by the midwives, because it couldn’t possibly be the way the mother remembered it and finished off with a touch of cya.

        There you go Ashley, now aren’t you glad you told your own birth narrative instead of someone who didn’t necessarily have your best interest at heart? This just goes to show that despite the challenges you’ve faced over the last month, the words you shared were worth every bit of it to make the truth heard.

        • Young CC Prof

          A good cord attached to a dying placenta is about as useful as strapping your baby carefully into a carseat which you then toss into the trunk.

          • CrownedMedwife

            Perfect analogy. I wonder whether Nacia is reflecting on just how unsafe her care was after she was prompted to change some of the most important details?

          • yugaya

            Or toss the baby strapped like that into a lake. Subsequently dive into the said lake to “rescue” that poor baby, deliberately fail to call EMTs or notify the lifeguard, and most importantly do not take the baby to hospital for proper assessment that is minimum standard care after any baby goes through such catastrophic series of events. Because hospital = death, and you just saved her life.

            Nacia, your need to rewrite your story so that your lay midwives are somehow absolved of the fact that they advised you to risk your baby’s life, that is your conscience telling you something – that it is time to face the truth. I hope you find the courage to speak it out loud once you get there, you owe that much to women who might based on your story as it is now attempt to do the same thing and not be as lucky as you are.

            Btw the real reason why going to hospital is to be avoided at all costs? People who endanger babies like that get charged with attempted murder.

    • Ash

      Yes. First version of story I read

      http://i.imgur.com/ZLzaaKU.png

      Original “Over the course of the last two months of my pregnancy” became two prenatal visits. Her midwives’ website says “Routine prenatal visits are scheduled once monthly until the 32nd week
      of pregnancy and then every two weeks until the 36th week. From 36 weeks
      until you have your baby we see you weekly.” That doesn’t seem to line up with two prenatal visits.

      No mention of “ultrasound doctor” in original story, nor any recommendations for followup from a doctor.

      3 day weight check rather than 2 day weight check.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        You might want to transcribe some of that…

      • Did anyone,at any time,ever check her urine? The classic triad of pre-eclampsia signs are hypertension, proteinuria, and edema. She seems to suggest that because she didn’t have headache or visual disturbances it was no big deal. In my experience, quite a few pregnant women feel completely well even when the pre-eclampsia is fairly severe.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Did anyone,at any time,ever check her urine? The classic triad of pre-eclampsia signs are hypertension, proteinuria, and edema.

          Yeah, that is the medicalized version of it. However, peeing in a cup destroys glitter and sprinkles, so, not a good move.

      • sdsures

        Acupuncture to speed up labour, eh? Oy.

  • sdsures

    I know the photo for this post is just a doll, but it really gave me a jolt before my brain kicked in and told me it wasn’t a baby!

  • anh

    Back when I was a smug pregnant douchebag my friend’s wife had to be induced at 33 or so weeks because of IUGR. I remember feeling sorry for them because I was so sure they were just overreacting to an inaccurate sonogram and even if the baby was small they should just let it be and give her a chance to grow. I thought the docs were so stupid.
    I remain grateful I had at least the good sense to keep my stupid mouth shut and didn’t try to advise him.
    IUGR is so scary.

    • nomofear

      Love your comment. Been in that mindset. Isn’t it great to be back in reality?

    • anh

      I definitely sent a few cards to some close friends to apologise for being so damned insufferable when I was pregnant.
      I actually chatted with a lawyer friend, who was formula feeding, and asked if I could get a legal document drawn up so there could be consequences if anyone gave my baby formula in the hospital.
      My awesome friends quietly rolled their eyes and graciously accepted my apologies later. I’m lucky

  • Renee Martin

    TRAUMA BONDING
    This is what it is. Look it up.

    • yugaya

      Stockholm syndrome also.

  • Somewhereinthemiddle

    I actually have a question and am seeking opinions about my first pregnancy that I would prefer to ask in a private message/ email situation. Would any of the OBs here be willing to correspond privately and field a guess about something that has annoyed me for *years*?

    • Ashley Martin

      I run a support page for Homebirth Loss and Trauma Support on Facebook. We have a few CNM’s that actively comment and talk to moms. If you are interested, please message me there and I can get you in touch with them.

      http://Www.facebook.com/homebirthlossandtraumasupport

      • Somewhereinthemiddle

        Not to dismiss CNMs *at all* but this is most likely a question for an OB or possibly even a Maternal-Fetal specialist. It’s a little complicated and has to do with clotting disorders, complications, IUGR, etc. I’ve actually approached a CNM with my questions and her reply was “We specialize in low risk, so this is out of the scope of our normal focus”. I respected her for her candid answer and that she knew the scope of her care. I just don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Thank you so much for offering though. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Ashley Martin

          Oh, I understand! I wasn’t sure what your question was in reference too – so just thought I would offer! I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

        • Karen in SC

          You can email Dr. Amy, look up in the corner.

  • KeeperOfTheBooks

    When I saw that picture, I just wanted to scoop that baby up, snuggle her warmly, and feed her.

    That poor baby. That poor, sweet baby.

    I’ve got nothing beyond that.

    • sdsures

      Sweet Jesus. that baby is skinny! :'( Please tell me she weighs more now, somebody.

      • Young CC Prof

        It did say further down that the baby weighed nine pounds at 8 weeks, which is the normal and expected growth rate for a term IUGR baby. Sounds like she’s doing OK despite her parents and medical nonprofesionals doing everything wrong.

        • sdsures

          Phew! I didn’t have the heart to read through the post just now.

  • RKD314

    My daughter was born at 37 w 4 d, and was only 5.24 lbs (I spontaneously went early). This was a total surprise; at every ultrasound prior to that she had been measuring in the 50th percentile. Thankfully she was just fine, but I’m so glad we were in the hospital in case she hadn’t been. I remember we were all shocked at how tiny she was.

  • lawyer jane

    Not sure if this is appropriate, but I found the “informed consent” form for this woman’s home birth midwives (who are NOT CNMs, by the way – they are just LMs.)

    “We take every reasonable precaution to ensure your safety, comfort and satisfaction. The midwives bring emergency equipment such as oxygen, suction devices and medications to the home. However, this does not render the home equivalent to hospital facilities that have equipment for dealing with some serious problems that may occur. In any birth setting,
    emergencies can arise. Some unforeseen events may result in an unexpected outcome. The overwhelming belief in our country is that hospitals are the safest place to give birth. Despite the
    fact that the United States spends more money per capita on medical care than any other industrialized nation in the world, it ranks in the bottom quartile of a list of 29 industrialized nations in both life expectancy and infant mortality and its relative ranking in both these categories has been declining since 1960. Our ranking remains low in spite of a 98-99% hospital
    birth rate.

    In choosing homebirth, you are going against the predominant belief that hospitals are safer regardless of statistical data. When emergencies or poor outcomes occur in a hospital, the site of birth is seldom called into question. If a similar situation occurs at home, however, even if the
    outcome would have been the same in the hospital, the choice of homebirth is always called into question. The midwives cannot guarantee a normal birth or a healthy mother or baby and acceptance of a client for homebirth in no way constitutes any such guarantee.”

    And in an earlier section of the form, they state that “Statistically, fewer complications and unnecessary medical interventions occur in the home.”

    • Elizabeth A

      So…. Unforseen emergencies can occur, but you don’t want to go to the nasty old hospital anyway.

      I could scream.

    • Who?

      There’s some cunning wording in there. A bit of midwife-splaining, some dodgy statistics, and a dose of ‘we warned you’ there at the end.

    • InvisibleDragon

      Since those “unnecessary medical interventions” are generally things midwives can’t do, the whole thing is just “Really? Really?!” Run, do not walk, to the hospital, in other words.

    • StThomas

      Is there any reason why they call their patients “clients”

      • Young CC Prof

        Because “pregnancy is not a disease,” perhaps.

        • Lauren

          or because they aren’t medical professionals — if you’re not a doctor or a nurse, the people you ‘treat’ aren’t actually patients, just paying clients
          (or so I would assume)

          • StThomas

            It is an interesting one for me; I remember a consultant obstetrician rebuking a midwife “We’re not using the C-word for patients, are we?”. Some of them in the place I worked were trying to use “client It was an attempt to ignore the power balance in the professional patient relationship, political correctness rather than cynicism.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            I could see that being the case in a hospital setting with CNMs. I’m sure some people really do prefer that but to me, it sounds condescending. It would feel like we are pretending that the relationship is something that it isn’t. I am not friends with my midwives, I am their patient and expect to be treated and cared for as such. Do I expect to be spoken down to? Nope. Do I expect to have a voice in my care? Yep. Do I expec them to be approachable? Yep. Do I expect for the midwives to pretend that ours isn’t a care provider/ patient relationship? Nope. To me that is just dishonest and putting lipstick on a pig.

          • StThomas

            It certainly didn’t take off. I think this was a thing amongst psychiatric nurses in the UK for a while, but this was the only time I have seen this outside psychiatry. This was 20 years ago

          • Dr Kitty

            The current fad in psychiatry is to say “service user”.
            However, people use psychiatry service because they are unwell, not simply for the fun of it, so I’m not really sure that it is any better.

            My patients are patients.
            I am a GP, not a customer service representative, and if you want it your way, I think you have mistaken the clinic for Burger King.

            When there are options, I will lay them out for you. It will not be a limitless smorgasbord, and there may not be a perfect option.

            I will tell you what I can offer and you can tell me what you want to do. If I don’t offer it, it is either because it is not safe or not possible.
            By all means ask if you want to make sure I haven’t just forgotten it, but don’t expect me to make the impossible happen or to recommend an unsafe treatment plan.

          • moto_librarian

            Meh. I’ve been a mental health patient for about 18 years now. I don’t find anything stigmatizing about being called a patient – in fact, I think it drives home the point that mental illness IS an illness.

          • Kerlyssa

            I actually used to use client exactly because the term we were supposed to use was so terrible.

            Consumers. We were supposed to call them consumers.

            As I was NOT trained or equipped to give medical advice, didn’t want to imply that relationship with patient, either.

          • Medwife

            My hospital is pushing “consumer”, too. Thanks but no thanks.

      • anne

        Because its about money and not healthcare.

      • Somewhereinthemiddle

        Because if they called them patients people would actually expect them to provide adequate medical care which they have zero intentions of providing. Plus, that means that they would actually be responsible when things go horribly wrong. By wording it that way, it’s they can worm their way out of being held accountable by playing word games about how “women control their care.” It’s a manipluation on several fronts.

        • Amy M

          It might enable them to avoid suits for practicing medicine wo/a license too.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            Exactly. They spin it with the whole “pregnancy is not a disease” thing but that is BS. I would guess that it is more accurate to describe it as a CYA move.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yep. Call them “clients” and it absolves them from having to actually be responsible for anything. “Don’t blame me, I was just serving my client’s wishes”

    • SuperGDZ

      “Statistically, fewer complications and unnecessary medical interventions occur in the home.”

      Statistically, fewer necessary medical interventions occur in the home too.

    • sdsures

      “Some unforeseen events may result in an unexpected outcome.”

      NCB-speak for DEATH.

    • sdsures

      How does “informed consent” apply in a non-medical setting?

      • mythsayer

        Midwives are providing medical care at home… unfortunately. They have to use informed consent to cover themselves legally. It doesn’t work, for obvious reasons illustrated by the informed consent lawyer jane posted above. That’s not informed consent. That’s an argument.

    • lawyer jane

      What really bothers me about this is that it is far from “informed consent.” Not only does it have incorrect factual data and omit the most recent data on safety, but it also includes argumentative CONCLUSIONS about the data. Eg, that the high infant mortality rates in hospitals means that hospitals are not as safe as we think they are for labor & delivery. And then that whole paragraph about “blame” is also totally inappropriate for an informed consent document. It sets the patient up to believe that homebirth is being unfairly discriminated against even though it is safe. Totally inappropriate for a legal informed consent document!

      Informed consent DOES NOT mean pushing a specific point of view or interpretation of data on a patient. In fact that is the opposite of informed consent.

      If we’re asking how this mother came to rationalize her view — well it may very well be that she simply believed what the midwives told her. She believes home birth is safer because that it was they told her, in documents such as this one that purport to be neutral or part of “shared decisionmaking.”

    • Anonymous

      What a load of sh*t. So much CYA it’s disgusting. That last line “”Statistically, fewer complications and unnecessary medical interventions occur in the home.” pretty much means that by the time there is an issue, it’s happening in the hospital since someone has regained their sanity long enough to know that the midwife is an idiot.

  • Montserrat Blanco

    My baby was born early and with IUGR. He was tiny (less than 1 kg), he was born at 28 weeks.

    I would not have accepted a vaginal delivery. My son was having trouble tolerating BH contractions… No way!

    When I was at the OR I only asked for the NICU team. I did not mind anything else. I
    remember the names of the neonatologists that were there but not the OBs…

    I also had preeclampsia, mine was severe, and most of the problems would never ever have been picked up with a physical exam. I had liver failure, increased urinary protein, low platelets and low haemoglobin. It is impossible to diagnose those things without a blood test.

    At the NICU we could stay as much as we wanted, 24/7. And they encouraged us to have our baby skin-to-skin with kangaroo care. They helped me a lot with breastfeeding.
    She was extremely lucky. And she has got absolutely no idea what a NICU is.

    By the way, my very tiny and born early son is hitting milestones as expected. There is no reason a tiny baby is delayed for being small.

    • Siri

      Crikey, you had it all, didn’t you, Montserrat?! Why is it that doctors have the most complicated pregnancies and deliveries? I’m so glad your boy is doing well, and I hope you recovered quickly too.

      • Montserrat Blanco

        The worst was knowing what was going on. By far. I guess it is part of the problem, normal people would have heard “oh, your LFTs are increased” and that stops there. I was asking: “really? How much? ” And when they went up 250 I got slightly nervous. I knew I was going to be OK though. My son, it was not that clear…

        Yes, my son is doing great right now. Thanks to the great team that looked after him. I am doing well too. Normal blood pressure (120/75 last time I checked) and feeling great.

    • T.

      Wow, what a story. Amazing!
      The problem of the child is not being small, is the fact she hadn’t -likely- had good enough resuscitation, which can be a true problem.

    • guest
      • demodocus’ spouse

        Not a scientist, but that sounds improbable to me

        • Young CC Prof

          Especially since the repaired organ would now have baby’s DNA rather than Mom’s, and hence be rejected once the pregnancy was over. Parent and child are not necessarily mutually compatible organ or tissue donors, ask anyone whose relative needs a kidney transplant.

        • Daleth

          I did read somewhere that this phenomenon was seen in a study of lab rats. Not sure how it would work but this isn’t necessarily untrue.

      • Who?

        What’s the punchline?

      • sdsures

        Erm, say again?

    • sdsures

      Great to hear he’s doing OK now! He’s the same gestation I was, but he was a wee bit smaller.

  • Dr Kitty

    OT: pity party at my house.
    Vomited four times today despite Cyclizine and Zofran, and all I feel like eating is fast food cheeseburgers and vanilla shakes which are not normally things I like, and which do not taste good on the way back up.
    Thankfully all sickness is worse in the evenings, so I’m still ok at work.

    I’ve eaten and drunk so many ginger flavoured things that the smell is now triggering nausea, so that’s no good.

    My husband is having to cook dinner for himself and kiddo… I foresee several meals of beans on toast, canned soup and fish fingers in their future, as he is someone who is happier heating things up than cooking from scratch.

    Anyone got any helpful ideas?
    Or if you just want to commiserate or share your own pregnancy sickness tale of woe, that’s fine too.

    • moto_librarian

      Ginger didn’t do squat for my nausea during my second pregnancy. I did not vomit, but felt miserable from the moment I woke up until I fell asleep at night. Zofran helped, but not all the time. I am so sorry you are going through this.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Usually cold things are better. And eating small amounts and very frequently. If I was slightly hungry and waited to eat it was hell. If I had something I felt like eating as soon as I started to feel a little bit hungry it was OK.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        That helped me, too. Ditto cold fountain Cokes, something which I ordinarily have about twice a year as a special treat. I think the combination of the carbonation and the sugar helped settle my stomach, and I’d take a tiny sip very, very frequently. Seeing as I lost ten pounds in the first trimester (though believe me, I was hardly underweight after that), I must not have overdone them. :p

        (Strangely enough, Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwiches were the only meat protein I could stand for the first three months. No, I have no idea.)

        • Medwife

          It was beef jerkey for me. Teriyaki flavored.

    • rational adult

      Oh dear. How many weeks are you now? It just sucks so much. This is disgusting advice but I sometimes eat some jelly beans or sour candies so there will be an ok taste when I throw up. Your husband and kid will be no worse for wear after a few heat and eat meals so don’t worry about that.

      • rational adult

        Oh and sometimes I like the smell of a freshly cut lemon when I’m nauseated.

      • Dr Kitty

        9weeks, and I’ve been sick for the last 3 and a half, which was stupidly early, but reassuring, because the pregnancies when I haven’t been sick have ended pretty quickly in miscarriage.

        I was worst around week 11 last time, and pretty much fine by week 16… But my mother has helpfully reminded me that her sickness started earlier, finished later and got worse with each pregnancy… So we’ll see.

        I’m sucking rhubarb and custard hard candy when I can, and constantly eating carrot sticks, pretzels and fresh orange juice, but it is…. Not good.

        I’m pretty sure husband can manage a stir fry with rice and sauce from a jar, or pork chops and baked potatoes or something…

        • moto_librarian

          Maybe lemon popsicles?

        • rational adult

          It really isn’t good and you are right in the thick of it. I would tell myself every day, ok, today is the peak. It helped me to get through each day one at a time. Incidentally I wish it wasn’t called morning sickness at all because some of my male coworkers could not wrap their mind around me being incapacitated by nausea in the afternoon.

          • Elizabeth A

            “Morning sickness” is a cruel misnomer. I hear a rumor that the German word for pregnancy-related nausea is “pregnancy sickness,” which, if true, is far more accurate.

        • Elizabeth A

          I have no advice – I got through my last pregnancy on saltines and mint gum – but I wanted to offer congratulations and sympathy.

        • auntbea

          Fresh-cut lemon? Lavender? Salty food?

        • just me

          Sea bands ginger and vit b6/doxy succ did zero for me. Zofran helped only a little. I found that going against the “always keep a little something in your stomach” advice worked. Mine got worse thru the day. I found going to bed on an essentially empty stomach was best rather than forcing myself to eat.

    • Guestagain

      I never had sickness that severe. However , when I was ill, ice on the back of my neck helped before the army was willing to give me zofran. I have no idea if that is an option for you, as I worked a desk job. And get your husband a pinterest account, if for no other reason the look on his face should be entertaining for a few minutes. Perhaps some of those packets of premade sauces and bags of mixed frozen veggies can help him make healthier quick meals. Some of that semi pre made food stuff can be expensive but helpful for those who dont enjoy cooking. I hope you feel better soon! It seems unlikely, but I will hold out hope for you!

    • Cobalt

      IV nutrition? I hate puking almost as much as that queasy feeling. I’m sorry your having this experience.

      I do good with soda when nauseous, like root beer or cherry coke. Completely not nutritious, but it’s calories and they stayed down.

    • anne

      Regular IV’s, reglan, zofran, prilosec, and phenergine (think I got that list right) really is what worked for me. Frozen lemonade that I could chip out with a spoon. Sugary (Lorna Doone) crackers. Plain eggo waffles and milk. Fast food because I swear my body didn’t realize it was real food to vomit up.

      CNM told me beige foods – anything that has a lot of fiber would be too rough to process. Also, popsicles or anything that will get fluid in you.

      I’m so sorry and hope this is over soon. Have you looked into a personal chef service? They’ll come to your home cook meals, clean, and freeze so you can defrost and reheat as needed.

      • Dr Kitty

        Oh I have one of those ๐Ÿ™‚
        My mother filled our freezer with lasagnes, moussakas, Irish stew, chicken soup, shepherd’s pie and babotje when I was sick with the kiddo (basically all my favourite childhood comfort food).
        Most of it was eaten by my husband.

        • Medwife

          Promethazine suppository? And are you throwing up the zofran- tried the sublingual version?

          I’m so sorry, morning sickness sucks!

      • rational adult

        Ohhh phenergan. That takes me back to last pregnancy. It did work (that along with regular iv got me through) but suppositories are basically no fun.

    • junebug

      Zofran didn’t help my nausea but doxylamine succinate did. Maybe try that nightly at bedtime? In the US it is sold OTC as a sleep aid. Don’t know about your area.

    • Liz Leyden

      I ended up drinking a lot of chocolate Ensure plus. I’ve heard that jam sandwiches taste just as good coming back up.

    • RKD314

      I don’t know why, but when I had “morning” sickness, just about the only thing I could stand to eat was cereal and milk. It’s not something you’d think anyone would want to eat when they’re throwing up all day, but it worked for me.

      • Mac Sherbert

        Same for me. That and chips and dip. I know not the healthiest, but you got to eat something right. I loved the nurse telling I really needed to eat salad. Now I normally eat salad everyday, but not when pregnant just can’t.

    • Kesiana

      SEA BANDS. I don’t know how much good they do against severe nausea, but at least one mom I know of has called them a lifesaver. And because they’re just acupressure bracelets, it’s a one-time buy with no worries about drug interactions!

      …I know, this sounds awfully woo-y, but considering phantom limb pain can sometimes be cured with a mirror, I think it’s fair to say that bodies are just really weird sometimes.

      • Lauren

        Careful with that though — I have super low blood pressure, and get really bad motion sickness (can’t even watch a train go by) so someone suggested Sea Bands.
        Passed out every time I tried to wear them – people just kept saying ‘oh you’ll get used to it! they work!”
        Passed out, cracked my head on the floor, threw them away.
        ๐Ÿ™‚

        • S

          Wow! Why would that happen?

          And people were not at all concerned about a pregnant woman (or really, anyone) passing out? What?

          • Lauren

            oh no I didn’t use them when I was pregnant, thank goodness!
            Just when I was trying to keep my motion sickness down (using public transit was hit-and-miss..sometimes I’d be vomiting after a few blocks, other days, nothing)
            The band actually presses directly onto your vein in your wrist – where you’d take your pulse. I guess if you have low enough blood pressure, it can affect your blood flow, or just induce fainting.
            I don’t think it said anything on the package about that… then, it may not say anything about usage for pregnant women either.

      • Bugsy

        I loved the Sea Bands, too…but never had the experience that Lauren had below. Yikes!

    • Who?

      Sorry to hear it. No suggestions for relief, unfortunately, but be kind to yourself.

    • theadequatemother

      vit B6. In Canada we give a lot of diclectin which is just a small dose of gravol mixed with B6. That might help on top of all the other stuff you are using. And just be gentle with yourself and yeah, it sucks. And I’m sorry it sucks.

    • Mer

      pregnancy sickness is wretched, I was miserable with my last one. the smell of anything chicken would set me off, and that included eggs so my kids couldn’t eat eggs for months. Ginger didn’t do much for me but oddly enough a light natural rose scent helped. I used smiths rosebud salve under my nose to cover up smells from the work microwave and drank what felt like gallons of Republic of Tea rosebud tea. To this day I can’t drink that tea because it makes me remember the nausea and I still can’t eat scrambled eggs!

    • Amy M

      I was lucky, I didn’t have debilitating pregnancy sickness, but I certainly had my queasy days and puked a few times.
      I found that eating (snacking) every 3-4hours helped keep nausea at bay most of the time. Sour candies worked well for me too.

      Pre-pregnancy, I had a huge sweet tooth and loved chocolate, cookies, cake, etc. During pregnancy, that got totally turned around (and hasn’t turned back) and I craved salty things. Stupidly, one night, I decided eating 3/4 bag of Baked Lays was a good idea and threw that up. And there’s a specific pizza place that I still cannot bring myself to eat at (6+yrs later) because I had a very queasy day when I had that pizza for lunch. Outside of that specific pizza, pizza is my FAVORITE food.

      Good luck, I hope the sickness passes soon!

    • MLE

      Nothing helped me either, so I would eat bland things that weren’t so bad the second time around, and then give in to the cravings and eat a small amount of exciting food when I absolutely had to. Then I would play a game of “what part of the meal was that?” while puking. It sounds demented but it actually helped me detach from the wretchedness of the situation. Probably not recommended for most, but if you know there’s nothing you can do, well then why not. I hope the time passes quickly for you.

    • S

      Second pregnancy i took pyridoxine/doxylamine, later Zofran on top of that, and enema every five days or so (no fun but i do think they helped). Still nauseous all the time, but it brought the puking down to about once a day. My main nemesis was food aversions — i could only eat most things once or twice before they started to disgust me. The ginger aversion from the first pregnancy spontaneously resurfaced the second time even though i didn’t touch ginger. I even somehow managed to develop an aversion to Indian food despite not having eaten any, from planning fantasy vacations to Goa and the Maharaja Express to pass the time. And sorry to say i had an aversion to this site for awhile (Sorry! but hey, i came back).

      I carefully avoided Ensure (nutritional supplement drink) so that i could have it later on in pregnancy. We built up a giant stash, figuring i’d go through it while nursing… and the baby’s allergic to milk, so i haven’t been able to drink any of it. I wait for it to expire, then give it to my mom and point out that it’s expired, hoping this will encourage her to drink it right away (because ordinarily she would save it forever. She probably still is).

      Anyway, you have my sympathy and i hope this phase passes quickly for you!

    • JJ

      I hate pregnancy sickness! (Congrats on the baby part though!). I had the doxy/b6 work pretty well for me last time. I get all day nausea (I only throw up occasionally) but it is worse in the morning and evening usually and a lot worse if I am tired. I like lemon ginger things and generally just eat whatever sounds good. I will even I go to a drive through to just get a sausage patty or walk into the store and just buy whatever looks edible.

      I will be joining you in 2 weeks. I just found out I am pregnant and all 4 of my past pregnancies (I had one m/c) I get sick at exactly 6 weeks. I feel like I have 2 weeks left to cook, eat, and be productive until about week 13.

      My dh cannot cook well but I am loading the house up with semi-healthy food. Plus there is always cut up fruit and vegetable, cans of chili, sandwiches..

    • JJ

      On a related note. I have always wondered how moms can get so sick, not keep down food or even vitamins and the babies have no birth defects? Does anyone have an answer?

      • An extremely simplified answer is that the baby takes what it needs, at the mother’s expense. There was a saying, before the era of supplements, That a mother would lose a tooth for every child–I.e. The baby needs calcium, and will draw it from the mother’s bones and teeth if the mother isn’t getting enough calcium. Healthy babies are born even during famines, but there is a limit, of course.

        • Young CC Prof

          My mother always told me that’s why our bodies want to carry more fat than men’s. To sustain pregnancy and lactation even when the food supply is irregular.

        • sdsures

          The fetus is kind of like a parasite, right?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      A friend of mine here in the States had HG with both of her previous pregnancies. She just found out she was pregnant again, and got put on a new med–it just came out in the last year or so–by her doctor. Apparently, the new med is working so well that she has had only one incident of very mild nausea after several weeks.

      I know this isn’t much help without the name of the med…I’ll try to remember to get the name when I next talk to her. Or perhaps you could ask around at work about some brand-new drug that is awesome for puking moms-to-be?

      • S

        Is it Diclegis? I read about one study that suggested it MAY be most helpful if started before the onset of morning sickness in moms with a history. However, the study was seriously flawed in that there was no control.

    • RationalOB

      Eat whatever appeals to you. I think I lived on cheese nips and cola for a while when pregnant….my kids are fine! There are all sorts of suggestions for women with HG. For each individual woman some work and some don’t. Use what works for you. And it is a bit of mind over matter…..if I eat/drink this small amount of food I will feel better!

    • Margo

      Margowoozealand. some women find fresh pear, thinly sliced helps with the nausea. Good luck.

    • Mishimoo

      I ate a lot of dry crackers and orange juice. I also found that avocado with a sharp cheddar on peppery crackers was edible and stayed down, same with D’Agen plums. Peanut butter on celery sticks were lovely, so was porridge with honey. None of them were fun to bring back up again, but they came up less than anything else, unless I smelled cooking onions, garlic, or meat. Then everything came up despite the maxolon.

      • Dr Kitty

        Avocado with oilve oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar was my dinner last night. It didn’t stay down, but it was nice to eat.

        My weight dropped to 39kg due to vomiting in my first pregnancy (because my baseline weight is 45kg I don’t have a lot of reserve) and was only 50kg at term, so weight gain is really not a concern for me.

        Today I’ve managed a cup of miso soup and some raw fruit bar things, and they haven’t returned …yet.

        • Mishimoo

          Ooh hope the miso soup and fruit bars stayed down!

          With my last baby (and worst sickness) I weighed ~56kg at conception and went down to 50-51kg by the end of the first trimester, I hated it. I was mainly trying to get food in and staying down, because I truly loathe vomiting.

          I tend to pack the weight on as soon as the vomiting stops, but each time I’ve gained less. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m chasing the older kids or because it got worse/longer each time.

      • Empliau

        Pruneaux d’Agen! I loved these in France – can’t find them in the U.S.

        • Mishimoo

          We get them for a short period of time over here (Australia) and they’ve been rebranded as ‘sugarplums’ to make them more interesting. They’re sooo yummy!

    • Lauren

      I had severe enough nausea and vomiting that my OB prescribed diclectin. I’m not sure if you can get that in your area, or if you even want meds, but it did work for me (you just have to take it religiously, even when you feel fine, to keep the nausea from coming back).
      My OB also recommended B12 capsules/tablets as an inexpensive alternative (the Rx was pricey), just probably check with your Dr about dosage (assuming you are interesting in trying meds at all).

      Other than that… I feel your pain. All I had to do was smell something even remotely food-like and bleeerk. It was at the point where I had nothing to vomit, so up comes bile and stomach acid. Yuck (and painful!) I just ended up eating whatever didn’t turn me away – so essentially Root Beer and Salt ‘n Vinegar Chips.
      So I did gain a bit more weight in the beginning than the OB and I had aimed for, but she said it was no problem at all – it evens out in the end when you get your nausea under control. At 23 weeks now and she says my weight is just fine, and baby is just fine.

      It’s a horror show right now..but it WILL pass, I swear. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank goodness you have a good hubby who will at least do a passing attempt at cooking ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Ode to Cheez-Its
      (written in 2008)

      Cheez-It, oh Cheez-It, tasty lil square,
      You fill mommyโ€™s tummy when foodstuffโ€™s not there.
      Hunger pains come, but with you time she will bide
      Until the next full meal she can get inside.

      Although I do not enjoy you myself,
      I still gather your boxes I see on the shelf.
      So many she eats, you will not go stale
      That I can buy you in bulk, when you are on sale.

      Saltines and Triskets will sometimes supplant
      Her cravings for sustenance, I grant.
      But nothing assuages that yearning, itโ€™s true
      Like the Cheezy goodness she finds in you

      One of the best things about you is that
      She can eat as she likes, you come in Lo-Fat.
      So munch as she will of the Cheezy small bite
      To satiate her belly at night.

      Blessed Cheez-It, please always be near
      To rid the dyspepsia tear
      With that yummy wafer of cheez,
      Her sickness of the morning will ease.

      Morning, day, and evening, I aver,
      Is surely the right time for her
      I trust you will be by our side
      When we to the delivery room will ride

      Many thanks to you, my Cheezy friend
      For being such a great Godsend
      To mommy and me while baby is growing
      And to keep her continually glowing

      • sdsures

        I can’t find Triscuits in the UK!

        • mythsayer

          Whaaaaat??????

          • sdsures

            I’ll keep looking!

        • Spamamander

          No!! I lived on Triscuits with cream cheese and chicken broth when I had all-day sickness with my son.

          • sdsures

            Mmm, that sounds yummy. Seriously, we live near a Tesco Extra and I haven’t been able to find them.

      • carr528

        I lived on SweeTarts with my last pregnancy. So not healthy, but the sugar burst helped calm the nausea. I was to the point where anything other than mashed potatoes made me ill. (And even drinking water gave me heartburn.)

    • Guestll

      Dramamine (Gravol) 100 mg suppositories were wonderful when the oral meds didn’t quite cut the mustard.

      I hope you feel better soon, Dr. Kitty. I hurled for 20 weeks, it is no fun at all.

      • sdsures

        Amen to the Gravol, though check with your doctor to make sure it’s fetus-friendly.

        Meals: crock-pot!

        • CrownedMedwife

          …double batches so everyone learn to eat leftovers the next day and plug the crockpot into an outlet in the garage so you don’t come home to food smells.

          • sdsures

            Pro tip: get some of those ziploc freezer bags, and freeze portions of the crockpot meals. I make portions for 2 people since it’s just me and hubby at the moment. Especially with stewed meats and soups, the bags can be flattened and rolled up with the air squeezed out, so they take up less room in the freezer.

          • Guestll

            That is an AMAZING idea, in the garage!! Ugh, where were you four years ago?! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Guestll

          Gravol (dimenhydrinate) is safe. http://www.motherisk.org/documents/Revised_NVP_Algorithm.pdf

          The crockpot is a great idea.

          • sdsures

            Phew! I’ll probably be on something else here anyway because they don’t have Gravol in the UK. I use it for my migraines, and my mom sends it to me.

    • sdsures

      Ginger beer is my saving grace for nausea (from my migraines). There is also ginger ale, but the UK type tastes very different from the Canadian type. Ginger beer (not the fiery type) in the UK has the closest flavour to Canada Dry ginger ale.

    • mythsayer

      You know, those “preggie pops” at Babies R Us actually really helped. They were ginger, lavender, etc. I only really liked the ginger ones. I wasn’t as sick as some people but I had a fair amount of nausea early on and I never threw up… I swear that’s worse than the people who do throw up. I just had nausea with no end. I ate a lot of soda crackers, too. I was willing to try nearly anything and so I gave the preggie pops a try and found they really did help. I found that anything with real ginger helped, actually.

    • OBPI Mama

      Magnesium oil lotion helped me… I still felt bad, but could function. I applied it 2x a day to my thighs and upper arms. It’s awful to deal with that and I’m sorry you are feeling so poorly. We hit survival mode during 1st trimester with this 5th baby… disposal eating utensils/plates, etc. Hang in there…

  • rh1985

    That poor baby looks like a third world famine victim.

  • rational adult

    My son was in the special care nursery (a level 2 NICU) for three nights. He received wonderful care there. I am so glad he had IV nutrition and a warming bed and oxygen and all that awesome monitoring of vital signs. Certainly it was very hard to see him all hooked up like that. For a long time I cried every time I thought about it. But he was getting appropriate care in an appropriate facility and that’s what mattered. I can’t tell for sure but it seems like this baby didn’t even see a pediatrician for the first few days of life! This is a very scary story.

    Side note, did anyone else notice that the baby girl’s name is an anagram of her mother’s name? That is new to me. I just found out baby #2 is a girl. Perhaps we will name her Elchar.

    • Liz Leyden

      How about LaCher (pronounced la-SHARE)?

      BTW- Congratulations!

      • rational adult

        Oh wow LaCher. If my husband doesn’t go for plain old Rachel Jr. I’ll push for that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We are thrilled she’s a girl AND this means I avoid round 2 of circumcision drama. Last time my grandmother sent her rabbi after me and things got a little tense. I still have no strong opinion about circ’ing, it’s my husband who does, but no one likes a surprise visit from an angry rabbi!

        • “Rabbi” with an exclamation point looked to me, at first glance, like “rabbit” (note to self — get glasses checked) and I was wondering what connection there was between a rabbit and a brit milah

      • Cobalt

        Charle, pronounced Char-LEE. So you have to spell it five times to get people to believe you.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Charolais?

  • Mad Hatter

    I would have FREAKED to think there was something wrong like that with my baby! But then my goal was a healthy baby, not a sparkly homebirth that made me feel like some homebirth goddess. I had my son a few weeks ago in a hospital and still had a great experience with none of the horrible stuff HB’ers say happens in a hospital, loved my dr and nurses, and most importantly, I KNEW the whole time that my baby was doing just fine, and IF something went wrong, would have the BEST chance of having the outcome I wanted – a safe delivery and a HEALTHY baby!

    • Liz Leyden

      Congratulations!

  • Dr Kitty

    Re-reading the account of labour, I’m a bit concerned that no-one appears to have been at all worried that with a small baby and a lots of amniotic fluid there was an increased risk of cord prolapse after SROM.
    I mean, even if she’s not reporting contractions, she’s a multip with SROM, IUGR and HTN at 37w.
    Were two visits, four hours apart,and the first three hours after reported ROM really good care in early labour?

    • Ash

      Was ANY of this good care?

      • yugaya

        Nope, because according to current practice guidelines in developed world, as soon as IUGR was detected on top of blood pressure problems, good care would have been only immediate referral to at least an OB.

        • KarenJJ

          The risking out of cases that become high risk (in this case IUGR) is why homebirth statistics look so much better in other parts of the developed world.

          • yugaya

            I looked at UK and Dutch homebirth midwifery care risking out guidelines last night, they identify pretty much the same factors as high risk as ACOG. So no, high risk is not a matter of personal opinion, there really is a census what it constitutes and she was high risk and her quack midwives chose to ignore it.

        • Elaine

          They hear “IUGR” and they just go “Oh, it’s a variant of normal!” and “Some babies are just small” and “Ultrasounds can be inaccurate” and whatever. Because deny every complication until you absolutely can’t ignore it.

          I admit I didn’t really “get” IUGR until my friend had an IUGR baby. It was detected around 32 weeks and she was monitored closely and ultimately induced at 37 weeks. He weighed a little over 3 1/2 lbs at birth and spent a week in the NICU during which he did not have any particular problems. Now at almost 2 months old, he is closing on 7 1/2 lbs, about what my kids both weighed when they were born. He is totally healthy, just tiny, but the thought of having a baby that tiny at home with no safety net, yikes.

      • CrownedMedwife

        Quoting you from http://www.skepticalob.com/2015/01/is-contemporary-midwifery-losing-touch-with-reality.html

        “JMO, I theorize that the main problem with the rogue group of CNMs and LMs is that they perceive themselves as an inherently morally superior group.”

        As we discussed on the prior thread, none of this was good care. This was abhorrent care and falls outside the scope of low risk or independent midwifery care. We’ve discussed it before on various posts. Your statement above sums it up perfectly. Their belief in themselves being ‘”inherently morally superior” is the only way to explain a clearly high risk case that was not risked out. There were so many failures to screen, diagnose, evaluate and refer in this case that the only rational/irrational conclusion is that they truly believed this of themselves. These are CM’s, similar training and identical scope of practice as CNMs (without a nursing background). There is no excuse for their actions and lack thereof.

        You also previously mentioned “division between these groups breeds insulated models of practice” which can be spot on between midwives and physicians or homebirth and hospital. As a CNM, I can only be as good as my resources and colleagues, knowing when to refer, where to refer and how to refer. Midwives have gone too far in their pursuit of independence if practicing in isolation from these resources is their goal. In home birth, all too often there is a knowledge deficit on behalf of inadequately prepare providers and/or their insulated models of practice. A chiropractor, naturopath, accupuncturist, massage therapist and doula really aren’t worth a penny in terms of what this pregnancy required as resources, but this model surely insulated the echo chamber well for the midwives.

        Clear violation of standards of care. This baby escaped death in the care of homebirth midwives, she wasn’t saved by it.

    • Cobalt

      I can’t answer from a medical view, but when my OB broke my water at 8cm, with my small (less than 6 pound) baby, she kept her hand up around my cervix and his head until his head came down to wherever it’s supposed to be. I gushed a surprising (even to the nurse) amount of fluid before it slowed. The OB said the whole point of that was to prevent a cord prolapse emergency, which I appreciated immensely because that was one of my pet fears in my third trimester.

      • Who?

        Knees crossed, eyes watering, thanks!!!

        Glad the little one was fine.

    • lawyer jane

      More to the point, shouldn’t they have transferred care to an OB as soon as the baby was diagnosed with possible IUGR?

      • Montserrat Blanco

        Yes, inmediately. Small babies are usually getting less blood than they should. That usually makes them suffer during a vaginal delivery. With fetal suffering you are at an increased risk of brain damage and in order to avoid it you are more likely to need a C-section or instrumental delivery. Bottom line: if the baby is not growing properly, get an OB.

        But those are people that did not perform any test in order to detect a HELLP syndrome once preeclampsia was diagnosed…

        • Anne

          To paraphrase-“You can’t diagnose a fever if you don’t take a temperature” (Rule Number something-or-other from the House of God, Samuel Shem)

          • birthbuddy

            No VE = No obstructed labour.
            No CTG = No foetal distress.
            No BP = No PET.
            No USS = No IUGR.
            No worries
            etc. etc.

    • No. But it WAS natural.

  • A

    Poor baby, I hope she doesn’t have any problems in the future because of this birth… It’s beyond me how can anyone give birth to a baby that looks so horribly sick and then want to keep her home instead of getting her the best care available.

  • Are you nuts

    So leaving the cord attached was what saved her? But it was the “inept placenta” that caused the problem? Did the placenta become less inept once delivered?

    I also like how it said the placenta “unknowingly” led to her lack of growth. No – it sounds like it was CRYSTAL CLEAR by all measures: ultrasound, belly size, intuition.

    • Young CC Prof

      Don’t you know? Umbilical cords transmit magic birth sparkles. Even when they are pinched flat, even when the placenta is failing, disintegrating or detached.

      • Are you nuts

        I want to say to these people, “Explain to me, in your own words, what you think happens when you deliver a baby.” I think it would sound a lot like what you just described.

        • T.

          I think unicorns would be mentioned.
          And glitter.

  • Paloma

    Wow. I am amazed at how ignorant these people can be. They really are so ignorant about hospitals and the way they work.
    The NICU at my hospital is incredibly good. They actually have a kind of hotel for parents where they can stay with their child (when they aren’t critical), in their own room (the case for most IUGR babies). Those that are a lot sicker do stay in the bigger ward, but parents have no limit to visiting hours AND we tend to keep moms in the hospital a couple of days longer in the maternity ward so they don’t have to go back and forth from home the first 2-3 days, sometimes longer.
    Really, homebirth is something I could never understand, because my priority would be the health of the child if I was pregnant. But I am just infuriated that these people like to believe that doctors (specially OBs) are monsters with no heart and a very large scalpel.

  • Bazzethound

    Did anyone else notice the banner at the very bottom of the page? It reads: “BECOME A HOME BIRTHING ROCK STAR! ” “Want to know how? I can show you!” Then you give your contact information. Was her whole internet identity wrapped up in being a home birther? Does she make money from this site?

    If this is how “ROCK STARS” give birth. I’m glad I grew up to be a Social Worker.

    • RNMomma

      She does. She’s a doula and offers a variety of services ranging from $60 to $1500.

    • Paloma

      Read the about section, it just goes on… “I’m Nacia (sounds like “Maria”), Birth Doula, Dance Theater of Harlem trained dancer, mom of 3, and creator of Ready to Pop Dance Fitness, put on this planet to help women, like YOU, embrace your birthing super powers!”

      • Kq

        The hell is that pronounced like Maria? Naria? Then why the special snowflake spelling? Reminds me of an old Denis Leary routine. “Oh my name is Sade but I pronounce it shah-day…” If anyone remembers that one. ..

        • Young CC Prof

          I’m guessing Na-SEE-ya.

          • Kq

            Then the correct phrasing would be “rhymes with Maria,” not “sounds like”

  • RNMomma

    She also charges $1500 for “birth support” in which part of it is covering the risks and benefits of certain procedures. *shakes head*

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      How is a doula qualified to discuss the risks and benefits of procedures?

      • RNMomma

        My thoughts exactly. Can we say, “Outside scope of practice?”

      • Paloma

        How is a lay midwife qualified to be the primary care provider to a pregnant woman? Since she believes it is valid, why not give her (very biased) opinion on risks and benefits of procedures?

      • Bugsy

        The one doula we interviewed told us that the antibiotic creme they put in the child’s eyes after birth is just vaseline, and that it’s not necessary at all.

        We were pretty amazed by her statement, and promptly decided to not hire her.

      • Cobalt

        I had a doula for one of my deliveries, and part of what she did was explain the routine procedures. She was factual and non-judgemental, and I really appreciated her as a resource. She told me a lot about the protocols and options while I was waiting, so I was better prepared for when the doctor came by.

        The key bit is the factual and non-judgemental, and she didn’t pretend she was a medical provider.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          That sounds fine, but there’s a big difference between explaining a procedure and discussing the risks and benefits of a procedure. The risks and benefits are individualized to each patient based on their medical history, and there is no way in hell a doula is qualified to do that.

          • Cobalt

            She talked about risks in a very general sense, but the point was for me to have a baseline understanding of what was going on and getting good questions to ask the doctor. She wasn’t making a medical management plan, and was clear about not recommending any particular thing. I got a lot of information on how doctors use interventions to reduce the inherent risks of birth, and about side effects and the experience of interventions. Like: After the baby is born you’ll usually get a shot of Pitocin to help prevent hemorrhage. It will go in your IV. Don’t be alarmed when it clamps your uterus down, it’ll hurt but it’s supposed to do that.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Wow, sounds more helpful than 99% of CPMs.

          • Cobalt

            She was great for me. My first birth was a really terrible experience: I had a nurse with a major attitude problem, an aloof doctor, a useless partner, and was terrified senseless of taking any medication (grew up in the hood with semi-present addict parents- the specter of addiction haunted me). I was blind without my glasses and no one told me anything useful or reassuring. I was scared, vulnerable, and totally unprepared.

            When NCBers talk about feeling assembly-lined and not seen as people, I get it. If they had approached me after that experience, I might well have gone for midwife care for my next baby. Instead we lived in rural nowheresville and I had a GP for prenatal care, and he had a doula in his practice. She was great. Changed my life and experience of hospitals. A CPM wouldn’t have done any of that.

            A CPM would have exploited my anxieties instead of addressing them realistically and with mine and my baby’s well-being in mind.

          • Kelly

            I think one of the reasons your doula was awesome was because she actually worked with a doctor and not against him. She worked within the system and in turn, she was a great help instead of a hindrance.

        • RNMomma

          I definitely think doulas can be helpful in explaining routine procedures…. however, risks and benefits should be left to the doctor or midwife. Something gives me the impression that this doula would not be giving the most accurate information.

          • Cobalt

            Considering how her assessment of her pregnancy ends with deciding against basic medical care for an obviously very sick baby, I think you’re absolutely right.

    • Young CC Prof

      Doesn’t she mean covering UP the risks and benefits of certain procedures?

  • Kira

    Is she just making stuff up about the NICU to support her point or is she really this ignorant? In my NICU (where my 26-weeker spent 3 months and where I currently volunteer), they sent babies home when they’re above 4 pounds (and meet the other criteria), not 5. Also, we greatly encourage skin-to-skin care – we have a campaign to *promote* it, for crying out loud. As long as the baby is stable, you can hold her as much as you want. Our NICU has its own nurse lactation specialist to help moms breastfeed, because our population tends to have greater difficulty. There are also no visiting hours in the NICU, so you can literally spend every second of every day with your baby. We also offer family support

    As someone who has worked with neonatologists and NICU nurses to make sure parents have exceptional support while their baby is with us, this personally offends me.

    • moto_librarian

      She’s like every other die hard homebirther in that she has absolutely no clue as to what hospitals, NICUs, etc. are actually like. If you read the typical NCB narrative, they are still giving routine enemas and episiotomies while strapping you flat on your back to push.

      • anne

        I have a friend that ended up in the hospital for the first time after a homebirth gone wrong. She was amazed at how nice the staff was and the good care they took of her and her baby. For most women of child bearing age pregnancy is your first serious encounter with the medical profession and all the things that can go wrong with your body.

        • moto_librarian

          And I do understand that hospital-anxiety is a real thing. My brother was in the hospital for a brain injury for two months. I used to feel queasy just driving by that hospital.

          • anne

            The home birth industry makes its money off inducing that anxiety in parents which is just awful.

          • yentavegan

            Truer words have yet to be spoken. Anne. Homebirth promotes itself by creating anxiety in their target demographic.

          • anne

            I had a bad hospital experience as a child. Not the hospitals fault, it was just scary to be there. I also experienced sexual abuse. Between those two things homebirth as it is promoted really appealed to me. I could stay out of the hospital and no one could touch me without my say so.

            I think it’s exploitation to take fearful women, teach them more fear and then put them in a position where the odds of psychological and physical harm are greater than they would be in a hospital.

          • JJ

            Yes! They made me afraid of the things that would make me/baby more safe.

          • OBPI Mama

            I remember being amazed at how nice hospitals can be (and hospital staff) when my sisters and sister-in-laws had their babies. It wasn’t the evil place I had read about in homebirth books?! I was shocked! My first was homebirth, but my last 3 (and soon 4) have been in a hospital… I always invite my homebirth friends to come visit me so they can actually see it’s not horrible in there! Only 1 has braved it…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I guess I just don’t get it. Do these people not know ANYONE who works in a hospital? Maybe it’s just me, but my sister and brother and two nieces are nurses and have worked in hospitals and my SIL is a doctor who does hospital duty. If I were to think that hospitals were evil, what would it be saying about them?

            Even without that, in our old neighborhood, one of the neighbors was an L&D nurse and two others were pediatricians. Did I think they were evil? In our new neighborhood, the couple across the street both work in the hospital in some respect. Are they evil, too?

            I just know way too many people who work in hospitals to be able think they are evil.

          • JJ

            Yes! I am a naturally anxious person so I was easy to sway.

          • Dr Kitty

            I have one patient who has a hospital phobia.
            This is because he is over 70years old and was unlucky enough to suffer from a limb abnormality in the days when treatment involved painful surgeries and months of traction.

            And this was in a time before people realised that kids could feel pain
            the same as adults, or that lying in traction for months with limited human contact is basically torture for a small child.

            And he still sucks it up and goes to the hospital when he needs to, even though he has full blown panic attacks and faints just going to a routine check up.

            “My heplock was traumatic” or “they put a hat on my baby” are not legitimate reasons to avoid hospitals.

          • Lena

            “And this was in a time before people realised that kids could feel pain”

            I had no idea. Could that be why, when I fractured my wrist at age 7, they reset it without any anesthesia? I’m only 34, though. (My mom still tears up when she remembers how I screamed.)

          • Paloma

            My boyfriend has hospital-anxiety too. Not surprising given that he has only visited one to see very very sick people (his granfather, who died of heart failure, his father who has seriously injured but is now doing great, and most recently me, a pulmonary embolism).
            It is absolutely understandable, yet he agrees that homebirth is beyond crazy. If a patient tells you they are uncomfortable in the hospital, most of the staff will go out of their way to help them ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ashley Martin

      She’s probably going off of what her midwife and “local homebirth” community is telling her. Oh, and Improving Birth.

    • mollyb

      My daughter was borderline IUGR. The hospital did require supplementing with formula for under 6 pounders but the rest of what she is saying doesn’t ring true. They had me nursing round the clock with baby in my room.

  • just me

    Ah as an IUGR mom who was induced at 38w2d after my 38wd1 appt and gave birth to a small (6lb 1oz) but healthy (other than a few days in nicu for high bilirubin) baby I am just appalled.

    • Kelly

      My baby was just under six pounds at 38 weeks. How do they define IUGR compared to just small? She had no problems besides an extra day for jaundice. She is still tiny for her age but she takes after her father’s side of the family.

      • Young CC Prof

        Smaller than genetics prescribe, due to a pregnancy complication. Some use 10th percentile as a cutoff for possible IUGR, some use the 5th.

        • Kelly

          Ok, so more problems than she is just small.

      • just me

        I had some placenta issues–vci and vasa previa but those weren’t discovered til birth. I was high risk (42, m/cs, used IVF) and maybe my doc was just being cautious and cya to induce early, but it was her call.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I was going to say that, if they baby is 6 lbs at 38 weeks and is really IUGR, then they caught it early. I can see it possible, and just presume they had something other than small in the diagnosis. Note that the median at 38 weeks is 6.5 lbs, so 6.1 isn’t all that undersized.

        • Cobalt

          I think the measurement ratios matter too. The overall growth pattern is different. If I’m remembering right, IUGR or malnourished babies have big heads compared to abdominal circumference and are light for length. The bones grow but not muscle or fat.

          • Young CC Prof

            There are a whole bunch of signs beyond estimated fetal weight.

            One is asymmetry in growth, abdominal circumference lagging behind head size. In a fetus, the long bones may also lag in size as all nutrients go to the head.

            Another sign is close ultrasound examination of the placenta and cord, and doppler measurements of the blood flow. If the blood isn’t flowing right, or the placenta is too small or appears to have some sort of damage, that could be the problem.

            Dropping size percentiles in the second half of the pregnancy is also a sign of IUGR. So are slightly abnormal readings on certain blood tests.

            Then you’ve got medical risk factors, like diabetes, high blood pressure or history of smoking during pregnancy.

            It’s a complicated question, whether a baby who’s measuring small really has IUGR. My son was still in the 22nd percentile when he was identified as possibly IUGR! A lot of the time, they do the NSTs and whatnot just in case, and don’t decide for sure until the baby is actually born.

      • Francesca Violi

        Question: if ultrasound finds that a baby is small for gestational age, aren’t they suposed to do also a doppler exam to check if blood flow from placenta has issues? I remember they did it for my 2nd, who appeared to be SGA, but then as the doppler exam proved fine they concluded that she was just small. Actually she was born full term weighting 6 lbs x 49 cm, but with no issues ( she was the smallest baby in the nursery, but also the loudest and since we were abroad and she was italian, the nurses called her Pavarotti).

  • RNMomma

    How are people so ignorant? Even some of the commenters on that page just have no clue how the body works. It’s awful.

    • anne

      Well, I know very little about how the placenta works or what the signs of IUGR are other than what I’ve read here. OTOH – I listen to my doctor, who does!

      • RNMomma

        I honestly don’t know that much about maternity care either (because I’m not a doctor). It just makes me so sick thinking about all of these people spouting out falsehoods to support their position. It’s insulting that a doula is talking about things she doesn’t know, like she does know them. Even worse, that these “midwives” are doing the same thing. I would never do that. If anything, my education as an RN has taught me that I don’t know much… even when it comes to my area of specialty.

        • Bugsy

          …but that’s the key word. Education. I prefer to trust the experts and their education, but it seems to me that a lot of people nowadays assume that internet research is preferable to trusting experts.

  • Mac Sherbert

    Do NOT go read the comments…I have a headache now. Those women are so delusional.

    • Guesteleh

      So far she hasn’t deleted Amy’s comment or the comments from SOB regulars, so give her credit for that.

      • Mac Sherbert

        Very True! I feel for her. The fact that you nearly killed your baby must be a very difficult thing and in a way I understand her comments. It’s the other women that I don’t get.

        • XLhz

          Feel for her? Why is it about *her* again?

          As time goes by I have less and less patience or forgiveness when it comes to self-deluded fools. Especially when they’re fools who hurt others with their foolishness.

          • yugaya

            She is trying to rationalise what happened to her but has limited tools at her disposal – she is not allowed to wander outside the borders of the fairytale that insists how homebirth is safer, so she comes up with ways in which her much more dangerous than average homebirth is portrayed as the opposite or what it truly was. The magnitude of the lie is directly proportional to how bad she KNOWS it was. There is also the fact that she is income dependant as a doula/ dance birth preparation instructor and part of the hb business circle and the local sisterhood of lay medicine fake providers from her area, so she must be under extreme peer pressure.

            In that sense I do feel for her too, and I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that we should give her time to process in light of people saying out loud what I think deep down she already knows – how flimsy the NCB excuses and explanations for what and why happened to her are. She does not strike me as someone who wrote that deliberately while being fully aware of how wrong it is just so that she could protect her income.

          • Mac Sherbert

            I feel for her because obviously she is so brainwashed by the NCB community she can’t even recognize or acknowledge the truth.
            I also didn’t even realize all the things about my first birth that could have turned out really bad until years later. Also, right the birth I was in some hormone crazy, sleep deprived place where I couldn’t think straight and depended on my doctors to tell me if the baby was ok and growing as newborn…All this woman has are midwives that clearly do not give good advice.
            I’ll give her sometime to come around.

          • Francesca Violi

            Well, I don’t see it this way. She is not just a “patient” , a mother brainwashed into HB: if I get it right, she is a brainwasher too. She actively promotes HB, and offers her services as a consultant, and doula for HB (while obviously being very ill informed about birth, safety etc.). I think this is a very irresponsible thing.

    • Guestagain

      That comment about the baby not breathing for ten minutes made me shiver and hug my daughter. And her nonsense about shoulder dystocia being an automatic CS was messed up. I had to go web md that to see what actual suggested processes were. I wanted to comment on it, but I realized that my needing to google it meant I wasnt in a position to “educate” someone. I am very glad actual experts were willing to go straighten that out.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I’m not an expert, but IIRC, McRoberts is the usual step one.

        And “push the baby back in and do a c-section” is pretty far down on the list of things to do.

        • Psychae

          VERY far down on the list of things to do. I don’t know anyone who’s actually tried it ๐Ÿ˜› Neither C-section nor episiotomy is a routine treatment for shoulder dystocia (though the latter might be considered) – the problem is the baby’s shoulder is impacted against the mother’s pelvis, so the maneuvers aim to rotate the shoulders and/or compress them to a smaller diameter. But why would anyone want to talk about that, when they could threaten women that they’ll have a C-section instead!

    • Kelly

      There are thankfully, people on there who are calling BS on the whole thing and so far, she has not deleted them. This is better than other blogs.

  • JJ

    Less medical care helped a baby that had serious complications?

    Negligent midwifery is NOT saving anyone. Now this story can be used as an encouragement (instead of a dire warning) for more stupid decisions. I wish the title was “How I Almost Lost My Baby at a Homebirth Due to Negligent Midwives”.

    • Mac Sherbert

      I’m afraid that women will read this and think their baby will be ok. How many babies will this story kill??

      • JJ

        I afraid of the same.

        I can just picture a support circle of CNMs hanging out together. One midwife talks about a client whose baby may be too small for a homebirth and she is conflicted about risking her out. The CNM across the table romantically recounts the story she read online of IUGR baby whose life was SAVED by having a homebirth. Then they wrap up their support session by sharing all their stories that went well in (spite of their foolishness). The CNM confidently agrees to give her high risk client the peaceful birth of her dreams. The client is encouraged to drink a special herbal tea blend and keep affirming, “My baby is growing bigger and stronger everyday”. The baby with IUGR is born tiny and dies on the scene. At the next CNM support session they discuss how “some babies just aren’t meant to live” and put the the CNM in touch with Sisters In Chains to protect her from her undeserved persecution.

      • MWguest

        I don’t think it’s the story that puts babies at risk, it’s midwives who refuse to abide by safety standards. A story is a story is a story. Why can professional, licensed midwives get away with providing this type of care? It will be midwives who ignore and minimize clinical signs of problems that will kill or jeopardize babies – not blog stories on the internet.

        • JJ

          I do think stories like this matter because they can affirm false beliefs for those types of midwives and make them confident about things they should be afraid of. Especially if all these bad stories are re- framed to where nothing was their fault or that they saved the day. Then they train more LMs under their false beliefs, gain more clients, and the poor practices carry on.

  • lawyer jane

    Yikes, so reading between the lines, the baby was never seen by a pediatrician in the first days after birth, DESPITE being clearly IUGR?

    • Elizabeth A

      Yeah. They waited three days to do a second weigh-in on an IUGR baby, and if they ever checked the poor dear’s blood sugars, it’s not clear to me when that happened.

      Whereas, just by contrast, a NICU would have weighed her a few times a day, monitored her blood sugar, and been right on top of it if her weight took a dip.

  • Bugsy

    I do really like this comment on the original article:

    “It wasn’t until my mom showed me the hundreds of pictures she took during my labor and postpartum that I realized how scary the scene really was. It made me sad to think my little girl was in such danger, while I was so blissfully unaware those first moments.”

    Unfortunately, I think she and I view the danger her daughter was in quite differently…

    • Cobalt

      I also don’t think the “unaware” phase has ended.

    • XLhz

      Rather than “blissfully unaware,” I think “inexcusably irresponsible” might be a more accurate description.

  • Bugsy

    “which would have meant at least two weeks of stressful hell for her and our family.”

    Is she referring to hell for the baby or for her?

    I’m thinking that for the baby, the weeks spent nutrient-deprived and suffocating in utero would be much worse of an experience than a NICU stay…but I have a sneaking suspicion she’s not the one to whom her mother is referring when she mentions a “stressful hell.”

    • Samantha06

      Well, it is all about them and who really cares about the baby anyway… that seems to be the common mindset with that crowd..

    • anne

      “which would have meant at least two weeks of stressful hell for her and our family.”

      I think she really meant that the stressful hell part would be admitting to yourself and your family that your actions directly put your baby in danger. Of course, being a good parent means admitting you are wrong and moving forward with the best thing for your children.

      • Therese

        No, being in the hospital for two weeks with a sick baby is really and truly “stressful hell” even if you are in no way to blame for your baby being there. Worth it though to ensure your baby is unharmed and ALIVE.

        • Young CC Prof

          Definitely. Of course, there’s no reason that baby would have been in NICU for two weeks!

        • Elizabeth A

          I definitely experienced our NICU time as stressful hell. Our daughter was gravely ill, so it was pretty much going to be that.

          It is my experience that illness is always inconvenient, stressful, and unpleasant in proportion to the severity of the illness. Getting care is frequently a major disruption in the lives and schedules of the patient and the patient’s family. WE DO IT ANYWAY. Survival is worth some temporary unpleasantness.

          • Amy M

            When I was on hospital bed rest for pre-term labor (30-34wk gestation), someone from the NICU came to talk to me and explain how things worked there, because if my babies came at any point in those 4 weeks, they would have gone to the NICU. I truly appreciated the NICU staff member taking the time to come and see me, even though we were lucky, and it turned out my boys didn’t need it. Had they gone there, at least I had some basic idea of how things worked.

            I suppose someone with an NCB mindset would see that as fear-mongering or negative thoughts, and wouldn’t even want to consider the possibility that her child might need NICU time. No one WANTS to imagine their child in the NICU, but burying your head in the sand isn’t going to make IUGR, or pre-e or PTL go away, so better to have some understanding of the situation and familiarity with the doctors/nurses. Ugh, these people….

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I would never want to be in that situation, but if I were, I’d want a talk EXACTLY like that: approximately what I can expect, what some of the rules and procedures are, would they help me with X, and so on. More information is a good thing, no?

          • Elizabeth A

            The night my daughter was born (at 32w gestation) was our THIRD trip to a hospital with the potential for a baby tonight that we had taken during that pregnancy. I had placenta previa, and every time something weird cropped up, I was shuttled immediately to an L&D ward just in case I had to deliver the baby right away. Every time we made this trip, a doctor from the NICU would come by.

            When other women are having complicated pregnancies, I recommend picking a hospital with a good NICU and arranging a sit-down with some of the staff from that department. I wish I’d been able to put that together for myself – it would really have helped.

            My feelings about the NICU are in no way a reflection of the staff, or of hospital policy, or of any particular or general procedure. They are feelings about my child being severely ill. The staff could not have been sweeter or more respectful of the emotional connections within our family, and the importance of including the baby in those emotional connections.

    • Liz Leyden

      My son was n the NICU for 2 days. My daughter was in a cardiac ICU for 3 weeks, followed by another 3 weeks on a regular cardiac floor. I wasn’t crazy about having a baby in the hospital, but she needed a lot more care than I could’ve provided at home.

      • Bugsy

        Hugs, Liz. I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been for you, for either of your situations. I hope they’re both doing okay now?

        • Liz Leyden

          They’re 10 months old now. Son is itching to walk. Daughter has HLHS, and after 2 rounds of open-heart surgery in 6 months she is doing beautifully.

          • Dr Kitty

            Twins, one of whom has HLHS?
            Do you have a medal?
            Because you should totally have a medal.

            Glad the babies are doing well.

          • Bugsy

            It’s great to hear that they’re doing well. Enjoy both of your treasures. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ellen Mary

    Wow.

  • MS

    My daughter was IUGR, her condition was discovered somewhere around 29/31weeks (it was quite a process to investigate exactly what was going on, and details are quite blurry to me now). I was told that her restriction was so severe that we would be lucky if she weighed 3 lbs at 37 weeks (which was as far as the perinatologist would let me go). After a few weeks of very careful monitoring her placenta began to fail. After 36 hours of CEFM and steroids in the hospital, she was delivered via c-section at 33 weeks at only 2.5 lbs.

    In contrast to this home birth story, my daughter was born bright pink and her little scream immediately after she was born was the best sound I had ever heard. She never needed resuscitation, or supportive air or oxygen. She was much more emaciated than the baby in this story. Yes, she spent over a month in the NICU. Yes, our physical interaction was very limited (any stimulation burned calories that she desperately needed). Yes, she had a feeding tube. No, it was not a fun experience. But it was what I had to sacrifice in the interest of her wellbeing. It is clear to me and my family that any other course of action would have severely compromised my daughter’s life.

    The support and care we received from my OB, the neonatology team and NICU nurses was incredible. THEY saved my child’s life. While it was the scariest experience of my life, knowing that everything humanly possible was being done to ensure her wellbeing was a comfort.

  • Ummm…the bullet hasn’t been dodged fully yet. Wait until it comes to learning, things like walking, talking, the alphabet. There might still be an echo that is yet to be experienced in the form of developmental delays.

    • T.

      Thinking the same here. I hope not.

    • Samantha06

      I was thinking that too. It’s truly hard to believe she didn’t take that baby to the hospital. And the poor thing is laying there not even wrapped! There is just so much wrong with the whole situation it’s hard to know where to begin..

    • Mac Sherbert

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I hope that you are wrong but I am pretty sure you will be right. Not being properly resuscitated can have a lot of problems in the long term.

      • Young CC Prof

        It’s not just the birth, it’s the entire last few weeks of the pregnancy. The baby’s brain may have been deprived even before birth. I sincerely hope not, but if the child does have delays, I hope her mother is able to get to a good mental state to get help.

        Even if the brain is perfect, that baby has no muscle mass to speak of, which may lead to motor delays (hypotonia.) Physical therapy can help those babies and toddlers a lot.

  • anne

    *head banging against desk* Why get an ultrasound if you are going to ignore the findings anyway? How do you have a small baby, IUGR, not breathing at birth, and not go to a hospital?

    It goes against all my parental instincts.

    • Mac Sherbert

      Well, the ultra-sound reassured her because her fluid wasn’t low. The IUGR was more like a side note. This mother had no idea what IUGR was. I would have at least googled it…then I would have questioned my midwives and probably gone to a doctor.

      • anne

        I had an ultrasound for IUGR around 34 weeks. The feeling of relief when they told me my son was the right size was immense.

        This does remind me how Ricki Lake’s co-producer was pregnant with a baby with IUGR when they filmed BOB.

      • Young CC Prof

        Even if you Google it, it’s tough to get at the truth on the first pass. It’s not because there’s disinformation out there, but because the real information is so technical, and it’s mixed up with other conditions.

        Short version: The problem with IUGR isn’t that the baby is small, it’s what’s making the baby small. And if it’s the placenta, you’ve got a baby who is at elevated risk of antepartum or intrapartum stillbirth or brain injury.

    • Dr Kitty

      Why are midwives allowed to order US if they don’t refer for an expert opinion when it is clearly indicated?

      Did anyone do any investigations for this baby to ensure that it was just a placental IUGR and not a chromosomal or metabolic abnormality?

      • moto_librarian

        So according to Ash, these are LMs, which makes your question even more apt. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sent her to one of those boutique ultrasound shops.

        • JJ

          When I went to an LM they went to an ultrasound place that just did gender but they knew the people so the technician would help them more. I just need a due date estimation though.

        • Dr Kitty

          I sort of figured that, because I can’t see a radiographer in a hospital going “fluid high, baby small…enjoy your Homebirth!”
          It would almost certainly be an “excuse me while I go find the MFM on call to have a quick look at this”.

          I don’t know about American boutique US shops, but I’m guessing they are not staffed by people who have done 4 year radiography degrees…

          • Cobalt

            The boutique shops typically want your doctor’s information beforehand so they can send a report if anything looks amiss. They also don’t tell you anything other than gender and basic measurements, they just send it to the doctor.

          • Young CC Prof

            That’s what happened with me. The technician made some measurements, said nothing special to me, then came back with the doctor who said, “You’re a mathematician, right? Well, there are some numbers here I need to show you…”

          • Amazed

            I did like his approach. At the same time, I almost giggled imagining what your doctor would sat to someone like me. “You word with books, right? Well, let’s have a little chat about Jane Austen and Anne of Green Gables…” Different strokes for different folks, eh?

            As lonh as he veers away from offering me Ina May’s works (she does have a degree in English something, right?), it’s fine, though.

  • Guesteleh

    The picture of the baby is shocking. You can see every rib and the outline of her skull. Christ. That poor baby. I just hope she doesn’t suffer long term consequences.

    Also important to note: the midwives were licensed. In New York you have to be a CNM our LM to be licensed. They knew better or should’ve known better, which almost makes it worse.

    • Young CC Prof

      The few CNMs who do home birth in the USA are every bit as reckless as home birth CPMs, and have outcomes just as poor.

      Training doesn’t do a lick of good if you decide to throw it all out the window.

  • Sarah

    Thank whatever deities you believe in that Anica came so soon. If ever there were an example of a child who genuinely did know when to be born, there it is. Had she hung on much longer, it would indeed be a tiny white coffin situation.

  • 2boyz

    I love the line about ultrasounds being “notoriously inaccurate” about weight. That is certainly true, but she fails to account for the fact that the inaccuracy can- and in her case, did- go in the other direction. Although I suppose if they were telling her her baby was too big, she would use the same line, expect the baby to be smaller than predicted, and then be shocked that the baby ended up being bigger. All good and well to note that ultrasound is not the best way to predict the baby’s weight, but be intellectually honest about the fact that it can be wrong in EITHER direction.

    • guest

      Even if it is not accurate there is a known margin of error. So yes it gives a good estimate which in her condition even if the baby weighs higher than the u/s prediction it may still be considered small to her gestational age.

    • Hannah

      I noticed this too. If they’re so inaccurate like you claim, what makes you think your kid will weigh MORE rather than LESS? Oh right. Wishful thinking. Assuming everything will be ok because apparently you’re special enough that everything always will be.

  • Deborah Rowan

    And I’ve certainly seen lots of tiny IUGR babies, healthy and tough as hell, NOT be taken away from momma. If they’re pink and screaming and hungry, they stay with mom. They don’t really have a “5 pound rule”.

    • Young CC Prof

      Mine wasn’t! He was a c-section, so they took him to get examined while I was stitched back up, but he was on my chest just a couple minutes after I reached the recovery room. And most of the IUGR mommies I know took home babies less than five pounds.

    • no longer drinking the koolaid

      Usually they have to meet milestones to go home: nipple or breast w/o need for feeding tube supplementation, able to maintain body heat, pass the car seat challenge, etc.
      Weight is no longer the deciding factor.

    • Amy M

      My babies weren’t IUGR, but they are ID twins, and were born at 36wk, so they were small. The smaller of the two was 4lb 9oz, which is still slightly bigger than this poor baby here. They didn’t go to the NICU, but they did lose the typical weight that newborns do in the hospital, so when we brought them home, they were 4lb 3oz and 4lb 11oz—both under 5lb, but stable, so we went home. They only gained weight from there–we had either pediatrician appts, or a visiting home nurse, checking on them every week until they were 7 or 8weeks old.

      I am outraged on behalf of baby Anica that her mom cared more about having a homebirth than about making sure the baby was healthy. My babies were healthy, but they were watched like hawks–throughout the pregnancy and when they were infants. How anyone could settle for less, I can’t even understand that.

    • MS

      My child went home at 4 lbs 4 oz, after having passed all her “requirements,” like no feeding tube, car seat test, body temp, etc.

      Being sent straight to the NICU probably depends on the birthweight or other conditions. Some babies need immediate care, or more extensive/urgent evaluation.

  • Ashley Martin

    I’m so glad I was honest with my homebirth experience. I stepped on some toes and made enemies and I’m being called a lot of mean names but at least I was honest with myself.

    This story made me cry.

    • moto_librarian

      The difference between your story and this one is that you had sense enough to know that your baby needed to be transferred to the hospital. You don’t make excuses for your midwives, nor do you credit them. If more women could truly be honest with themselves, they would recognize that they did not get competent care and that they are lucky that their babies survived.

      • Ashley Martin

        You are right.

        I knew from the get go that something was off, that something wasn’t right. The realization that I almost lost a full term healthy baby boy broke my heart. I can not give praise to anyone.

        • moto_librarian

          Thank you for speaking out! I am so very glad that you and your son are thriving!

          • Ashley Martin

            It’s not easy to question things like this – you have to question an entire community that you believed in. And then you lose friends. Get shunned. Banned. Deleted. The easier route is to just pretend that everything went okay and praise people who only risked your child’s life.

            Glad I took the hard route. My heart and mind is in a much better place.

            Thanks for the support.

        • Ash

          Ashley, you do not have responsibility for being misled by your home state, which licenses people that would not be allowed to call themselves “midwives” in any other 1st world country. States arrest people who call themselves “dentist” without meeting adequate standards for licensure, yet people can call themselves “midwives” with inadequate training and licensure.

          The CPM license is a joke. No one could call themselves a “Certified Professional Dentist”, do an apprenticeship, take a “North American Registry for Dentists” exam and be allowed to practice.

          The USA does a fairly adequate job of protecting people from using false credentials with the exception of “midwives” and the burden should not be on consumers to suffer from their ill training.

    • Samantha06

      Sometimes stepping on toes is necessary, but I don’t think you’ve done that. I think you’ve stood up for your rights and the rights of all childbearing women and their babies. That is very courageous and admirable. You’ve made lots of new friends too.. we’re glad you are here ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Ashley Martin

        Samantha,

        The comments on my blog, popsugar article, Facebook, etc would beg to differ – I have definitely stepped on some toes and ruffled some feathers.

        I know they would much rather view my story as the ‘midwife saving the day’ but no. Just no. So much no in that … Have I mentioned NO?!

        But thank you for the kind words. I’m glad I was honest with myself – and I owe it to my son to make sure no one else makes the same mistakes.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Oh, there are unhappy people, for sure, Ashley. However, I think Samantha’s comment is more to the point that it isn’t YOU who stepped on their toes, it is them who are on the attack. They are used to having their toes kissed, even when they stink and have ugly bunions, and you failed to do that. And that makes them unhappy.

          • Ashley Martin

            Who knew little ole me and my birth story would cause such an uproar with them? :-/

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            It’s not surprising that it made them upset. They devote considerable effort to deleting any stories of homebirth that aren’t perfect. They are incensed that your story was carried by an outlet where they couldn’t ban you or anyone else.

          • Ashley Martin

            You know, looking back on my first birth story PRIOR to getting my medical records and really being honest – my story read a lot like hers above – well, sort of. At the end I was ultimately thankful for such a caring and thoughtful midwife – someone who saved my son’s life – etc etc etc. It wasn’t until he was almost a year old that I decided to search for answers – requested my records – was ignored – given excuses (music concerts are far more important than giving records out, I guess) – more excuses. Took her quite a while to give me those records. Started in July and I got them in December.

            I’m just glad I ultimately became real with myself – women deserve to know the truth, even if it hurts. And if women like myself – truly dig – and demand – they might discover that their births were not perfect either- That lives were not SAVED – but rather – they were RISKED.

          • MWguest

            Ashley – I have heard the same sentiment from you as well as other homebirth loss moms – that there was a period of denial and of praise for the midwives’ actions. I think that makes sense – because professionals were hired to take care of you – and you trusted them – then there is an unraveling of the story over time – because it takes a while to see the level of deception. For these reasons, I do not jump to judge mothers who share their stories of homebirth loss and hurt – because they are trying to make sense of something terrible – and they were not the professionals in the situation. I hold the professional midwives (however professional that may be) accountable. Midwives are the ones who should no better and behave better. Too often, it’s midwives perpetuating these risky behaviors in OOH birth.

            When the author of the story writes “It’s taken me 9 weeks to write this” that tells me that she is doing some soul-searching.

            To people who would never, ever have a homebirth or hire a midwife, it’s obvious. To those who hire and trust midwives to be professional health care providers – this realization can take some time.

          • Ashley Martin

            I think there is a lot of uproar about my story because they see it as she saved his life… I should be thanking her. My story should revolve around her. It is a long journey – a process – a lot of soul searching. I’ve had a lot of women contact me since releasing my story – some who are terrified to “come out” with their true feelings… they lurk, telling lies about their stories, as they are afraid to be true to those who surround them. It’s very sad. I was in the same position once … and it took a lot of courage to stand up to it. Some days I really regret releasing my story but then I just reread some of the messages I’ve been getting… I guess in the long run, it was worth it.

          • CognitiveDissonaceHurts

            Where is your story located, Ashley? I’d like to read it.

          • Ashley Martin

            http://www.popsugar.com/moms/What-Home-Birth-Like-36487613

            There ya go. That’s my version. There is also a post a month before mine that featured about 30 of my birth photos with the photographers “perspective” which created a huge uproar. I released my version … and well, the rest was history. If you google ‘Ashley Martin homebirth’, you will get a lot of personal blogs dissecting my story word for word.

          • Dr Kitty

            I think you are very brave Ashley, and I’m really glad you are getting your truth out there.

            You’re doing the right thing and you should be proud of yourself.

          • rational adult

            Ashley you are awesome. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I think there is a lot of uproar about my story because they see it as she saved his life… I should be thanking her.

            This is exactly it. As I said above, you are supposed to kissing their feet, and failing to do that, you are being mean.

          • Mer

            Ashley, I just wanted to add that I think you’re brave for sharing your story and I’m pretty mad at those people for trying to hush you up or discredit you. Sharing a story about your birth shouldn’t be about bravery, it should be about sharing a story. Thanks to the moms like you that aren’t staying quiet hopefully someday it will just be about sharing a story about a birth however it happened. If you ever need any friendly words to cheer you up after hearing some nasties I’m hear to write em!

          • CrownedMedwife

            Ashley, I have been intently following your story as told by the photographer and then the reality as told by you. The contrast is frightening and I hope many readers will have the opportunity to learn how NCB portrays it, as told by your photographer, then the reality as written by you. I had been waiting to comment to you in the assumption your experience might be shared as a guest post. Now seems like it’s time say thank you for sharing what you experienced and I’m sure you will cause others considering CPM care to reflect on the dangers it can entail distanced from a medical facility and providers. Your comments and responses to a very personal situation shared across so many different internet venues has remained mature and thought provoking. I believe that will speak volumes to those who read your story. I find your experience, the ability to critically evaluate and reflect on it, then share it with millions to be a more powerful measure of strength than you will ever imagine. I’m so glad you and your son are well and so grateful you shared the journey to be where you are today.

          • Ashley Martin

            Oh my gosh, your comment just made my entire night. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It is interesting to see the photographers version and my version. I highly respect her as a photographer and friend, but she didn’t have to live through it. It was not her baby, it was mine. She didn’t have to sit down with the NICU doctor and have to have the talk about a poor outcome and wondering if her baby was going to die. She doesn’t have to worry each day about her baby and if he’s truly okay. It’s eye opening, for sure. I know some people favor her side and dismiss mine or call me a liar. It’s okay. They can have their opinion. I know what happened and so does my husband, as well as everyone present. Some people just like to sugarcoat it because we had a “happy” outcome. I guess I’m tired of all the sugar coating! Sugarcoating things doesn’t make it better in the long run and that’s my focus right now. It hasn’t been an easy road this past month – exposing a day of hell for the world to see – many days I’ve been sitting here – crying – from either the ugly comments – or from the messages flooding in from other hurt mothers – or just the fact that I actually came clean in a very public way. I was honest and truthful about a community and mentality of that crowd – most don’t understand it unless you have lived it. It’s frightening.

            Thanks again for the comment. You seriously made me cry a bit.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            It’s eye opening, for sure. I know some people favor her side and dismiss mine or call me a liar.

            Mother: “It was not a beautiful experience! We were terrified!”
            Others: “Liar. You weren’t really scared.”

            LOL!

          • Ashley Martin

            It’s true!

            I will never forget my screams when trying to birth him. I will never forget his limp and lifeless body. I will never forget having to talk to the NICU doctor about a poor outcome.

            Sorry, that was not a beautiful experience. And for all the other “bloggers” picking apart my story – you are part of the problem.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Oh, they are all about “being supportive” and stuff like that, but dare to step outside of their narrative and they attack. Big time attack. We’ve heard about it many, many times. Viciousness in the attacks.

            As I said for another recent story, you can try to pick apart the details all you want, and argue about what happened. However, no amount of quibble can refute the mother’s claim that she was scared, or otherwise did not consider it a wonderful experience. So when a mother comes and says, “It was NOT a beautiful experience for me” don’t even try to suggest otherwise.

          • CrownedMedwife

            Oh dear, did not mean to make you cry as I’m sure you’ve cried a thousand tears processing his birth and then again while having it dissected by strangers. I’m not much for internet affections, but I will send you a cyberhug and another thank you for sharing your message.

            I don’t discount your photographers abilities. Many of the photos are incredible and it isn’t difficulty to see how the photographer could design her own narrative to others unaware of the actual sequence of events. Contrary to the saying, sometimes a photo isn’t worth a thousand words, which is why I am glad others had the opportunity to hear your words instead.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            At some point, we really need to have a discussion with Ashley about what it took to get her to “look behind the curtain” as it were, and to (to mix metaphors) admit that the emperor had no clothes.

            Is the something that just reflects on the greatness of Ashley? Or is it something we can learn from? How do you deal with people who aren’t as wise as her?

          • Cobalt

            Guest post?

          • Ashley Martin

            I can promise you that I am nothing ‘great’. I’m probably the shyest person you will ever meet – you will often find me in the very back of a room, trying to hide. I am not confrontational at all.

            However, I knew from the get go that my birth was not right. It just wasn’t. I knew that from the moment he was born, I knew it was sitting in the NICU having the doctor tell me that my son may not make it because of his apgar scores, and I knew it when I was sitting at home with a newborn baby in my arms. However, trying to sift through those feelings without “stepping on toes” was difficult.

            I’ve said it numerous times but there is no patient/provider line. These midwives/doulas/other homebirth moms all come together to form this great big circle. They become a part of your day to day life – sometimes for YEARS. If you dare admit something was wrong, you risk being shunned – in your own TOWN – city – “circle” – etc. It’s scary.

            But I stand by my statement – traumatic births can happen in any setting. Why can’t we share traumatic homebirths? Why can we only share all those negative hospital birth stories? My birth WAS scary. It was terrifying. I didn’t understand what was going on and it took me months to process it. I know that the same thing could have happened in the hospital – that thought doesn’t take away the trauma of birth that sometimes happens.

            Back to the part of these midwives being a part of your day to day life … calling them out is hard because they are there – in your life. They know your kids, you know their kids. You know other mothers that have used her – and you are probably best friends with her. It’s hard. It’s difficult. It’s much easier to just ignore and pretend then be honest and come clean and face the backlash.

            I chose the hard path – I lost all of that “community” that I once had. I used to run the homebirth facebook page for my city. I would host play dates at my house for other mothers. I opened up my house to them. And now I no longer have that. I guess I understand why it’s easier to sugar coat it – make it look better – than to be honest. It’s even harder to be honest when you have a midwife in your ear constantly— brainwashing you – sugar coating it – pretending like it’s no big deal when it really is – telling you how awful the hospital and doctors and nicu staff is. Yeah, been there – done that.

            It’s hard. I’m nothing great. I released my story because it’s how I felt. It’s how I always felt – I just kept certain parts to myself to try and continue being apart of that community. Lucky for me – I realized that my son’s life was more important than some fake friendships – and that his story needed to be told to help other mothers.

            I’m not alone. Trust me. Mothers in the same position as myself are lurking, are watching, and maybe one day will have the courage to speak up.

            My inbox is ALWAYS open if anyone needs to talk. I reply to each message.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I don’t have anything to say about what you’ve said, because i understand it. But the question I have is, what is it about you that was different that got you to accept it? You took the hard path, and saw path the sugar coating. That is monumental. And you’ve seen the backlash against you. Did you not foresee that? Or were you willing to accept it?

            My question is, what can we do to get others to take the hard path and at least admit that, no, it was not peaches and sunshine? Begun who’s responsible aside, we can’t even get that. A baby is born not breathing and completely underweight, and the response is, how wonderful!?

            No, that’s not wonderful. It’s terrible, and we are lucky that the baby is as good as she is. But that doesn’t mean everything is happy.

            But they won’t even admit that.

          • Amazed

            Maybe it’s just difference in temper? Or vastly different circumstances – maybe a supportive spouse or some non-woo friends? Because the most terrible part in Ashley’s story is that it is, sadly, far from unique. I can see the appeal of the community and friendships she describes. No wonder women fall for it.

            At the end of it, I think it’s a mix between those two. There are those who cannot stand the realization that they made a bad decision that almost cost their baby’s life and health, so they fight against it. There are those who won’t speak up but will head for the hospital for their next birth. And of course, there are those who are too blind to see, aka Janet-Hospital-Birth-Was-Traumatic-Stillbirth-Was-Not Fraser.

            Fortunately, there are those like Ashley, Bambi, and sadly, too many others who speak up.

            For now, I see only one option to make people see: keep talking, so they’d encounter the information over and over, no matter how much they dislike it. And do away with the CPM credential, of course! Many women make choice between two types of midwives. That’s what they see. Two types of licensed professionals. Not midwives and con artists. The state should do away with lending them legitimacy.

          • Ashley Martin

            Some homebirth spouses are so crazy pro-homebirth that it might be difficult for the mother to be true to her own feelings. Mine was very supportive from the get go. He obviously knew it was “messed up”, but it took me a few months of processing to get to that point too. I’m glad he was readily available to discuss and talk about my birth – as well as my doula. Can’t say the same for the rest of my “birth team”.

            I hated feeling alone and like an outcast – I would search online (Facebook) for “hurt by homebirth” groups and would come up with nothing. That left me with more feelings of isolation because I really thought I was the “only one that had a negative experience”. It’s even harder to experience a traumatic birth in your own damn house – I live here – and now the memory of my son’s birth is here.

            It’s really weird because I have had other homebirths speak privately with me – with issues about their own HB’s – whether caregiver conflicts, misdoings, mistakes, cleanup – but those little tidbits will never be in their birth stories. Ever. Those birth stories and pictures will be 110% positive, missing those little tidbits. I wish women could be honest.

            You’re right … keep talking. Gotta keep this conversation going. And be ready to embrace women when they do come forward. It’s NOT easy, especially if it’s in a public way like myself.

          • Ashley Martin

            I had a unique position. The first time people heard of my homebirth was a glamorized story featuring 25-30 of my photos with a blurb from the photographer. The title on that piece hurt, as well as what was said. I originally planned not to engage…. But I started reading the comments. I saw both sides bickering. I finally had the courage, on that original PopSugar story to say, “hey, I’m the mom in this story – this is not my perspective of my own birth – my birth sucked.”

            The comments from y’all gave me the courage to speak up. I felt less alone. PopSugar eventually agreed to release my story and the rest is history. Here I am today. I’m certain that what happened to me with my story will never happen again.

            So, your comments do reach people. People who are silent and afraid. They eventually will speak up. I’ve got a handful of women messaging me, working up the courage. Give them time. I knew full well the amount of backlash I would get by releasing my story. I was ready for it. I expected it. I already knew what would be said – I’ve been on that side before.

            I’m glad I have a wonderful husband who has been nothing but supportive from the get go. He’s been my only support throughout this entire thing. I’m glad I have him. I won’t lie… I didn’t leave my house for a week by myself once my story went public. It’s scary walking through stores and wondering who I will run into. This is personal and it isn’t easy. This is why it’s so hard for women to come forward… It’s personal. So very, very, very personal.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            That is all so great what you are doing, Ashley. Again, thanks.

            It’s interesting that there was a trigger (the fairy tale version) that set you off. Although I also have to say I am surprised that you checked out over here during the process.

          • Ashley Martin

            I think the issue is that sometimes mothers from a traumatic home birth (I can’t speak for a HB loss mother), is that they may not feel like they are against homebirth. Or that they can kind of see the bad in homebirth, but don’t associate with the “over medical/pro hospital” crowd either. So maybe it’s just easier to zip your lips and continue to tell yourself that your birth was okay (when it wasn’t). I’ve said before – I’m not anti- homebirth – bu we need safer homebirth – which we obviously don’t have right now. That being said, I’d never have another homebirth again and I would *hope* that any CPM/LM would risk me out if I even attempted – tho – I doubt they would.

            I think the issue with the first story is that my photographer knew my heart ache – I’ve been pretty “open” with my struggles to those closest to me – so it kind of hurt my feelings. I won’t even get into the fact that my medical records were withheld for a while – so just trying to figure out details for her story was impossible. Oh well. It’s done, it’s over.

          • CrownedMedwife

            One of many reasons your story is so powerful has been your ability to separate yourself from the appearance of a lifesaving home birth as it seemed to be portrayed by the photographer and the ability to come forward and share that your actual experience was traumatic and your reflection in the separation as so truly frightening. I have many women who have previously had home births who decide to use my practice for a hospital based birth. Being a Medwife it can take some time to establish trust with those mothers as hospitals and Medwives seem vilified by the HB communities. Most of the time they are eventually comfortable enough to share the real reason they chose a Medwife in a hospital and most of the time it isn’t their original statement of ‘insurance reasons’. There are many more mothers out there who have come away from CPM care and HB frightened and with near-misses upon reflection. The power in your story is that you were able to separate from the narrative NCB and the ability to share it with other mothers who have had difficulty coming out of their safety net of NCB.

          • Ashley Martin

            I agree. I’ve been in touch with a lot of homebirth mothers who won’t ever do it again – even some local mothers have come forward. It’s alarming. Most of them will never ‘spill the beans’, though. I hope they gain the courage to speak up so people can see the truth behind it. I’m embarrassed that I fell for it, that I fell for the lies and everything else, but that’s okay. We just need to keep speaking – there is no reason to fear the hospital, nicu, or ‘medwives’. They are there to ultimately help. The fear mongering needs to stop.

          • CrownedMedwife

            I’m glad you have become a resource to other home births mothers who have had the ability to come forward, forming a new sense of community.

            Embarrassed that you ‘fell for it’? We all want for an easy, safe and happy pregnancy and birth. NCB romanticizes pregnancy and birth, creating a false sense of security and control in the process. Pregnancy and birth have so many unknowns and can be such a vulnerable period for women who want to do what is best for themselves and their babies. It is not difficult to be lured into the romanticism NCB portrays through stories, photos and its sense of community. As you have experienced firsthand, it can be a very warped retelling and even more isolating in its reality.

            This is where home birth providers lure you into the unknown, isolated from the knowledge of the risks and insulated by the community of CPM, doulas, and alternative medicine far removed from the realities and all the more lethal. It may be difficult not to be embarrassed for being led down that path, but then again, but there is a reason it is called the ‘woo’ and wooed you they did. There is no shame in admitting you were drawn down that road and such redemption in sharing what it taught you.

          • OBPI Mama

            I know CNMs at hospitals have been called “wolves in sheep clothing” by many homebirthers. I just met a woman who hemorrhaged at her first homebirth, transferred, had to have blood transfusions, etc. When I told her of my traumatic homebirth (in a group of homebirthers… awkward!), she said she was going to the hospital because her insurance changed… later, privately, she explained she wanted to be where they can care for her in a timely manner…

          • Young CC Prof

            Good! A woman who hemorrhaged last time is a woman who could potentially DIE next time if she doesn’t get timely care.

          • Samantha06

            That’s what’s so insidious and inappropriate about midwives’ behavior in the home birth community.. they intertwine themselves into their clients’ lives and the community so boundaries are effectively blurred.. which is, of course, their goal. They want clients to overlook warning signs and accept substandard care because they are so “nice,” and “caring,” etc, etc, etc…

        • Cobalt

          Your voice and experience are important and I’m glad you shared them.

          • Ashley Martin

            Thank you for your kind words of support.

          • Cobalt

            I imagine your life is really hard right now, and not just because you have two little kids. You’ve publicly called out the emperor’s midwife for having no clothes, and you’re paying a social price for that. On the plus side, you now have at least one good litmus test for evaluating new additions to your life, and you’re helping to make a better path for those behind you.

        • Kq

          Ashley, I just want to add to the chorus of thank yous for telling your story -aand refusing to be shut down. It is not easy to say, “I was wrong,” but doing so is the only way to warn/help others. You rock!

          • Ashley Martin

            It is very hard to admit when you have a made a bad decision. But here I am – totally regret ever choosing a homebirth.

            And it’s OKAY to admit that!

        • Samantha06

          I did see some of the comments on Popsugar, very nasty and I am so sorry you have had to deal with that. I think you simply told the truth and if people feel like their toes are stepped on, too bad for them! I know it’s hurtful though to hear nastiness from people you thought you were aligned with. I’m happy for you that you were able to break out of the cult mentality and are now helping other women. I’ve noticed some other ladies who have “broken free” have commented here and I am so happy for them. Hang in there, you are making a huge difference!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • GiddyUpGo123

      Oh! I just recognized your name. I’m slow. I read your story on PopSugar and I thought it was really courageous (I left a comment saying so). I really believe your story will help others make good decisions, especially those who may falsely believe that CPMs have the same medical training and experience as OBs do (I think that’s sadly a very common misconception and a reason why a lot of mothers are lulled into a false sense of security about homebirth).

      I am really sorry that there are people out there making nasty comments. You don’t deserve to be called names just because you shared your story in an honest way.

      • Ashley Martin

        What needs to happen is for CPM’s to quit telling clients that they are “just like” CNM’s because it’s pretty obvious that they are not even close. They are smooth talkers – trying to make a “sale”. They will tell you anything to get your business.

  • Young CC Prof

    Once more for the peanut gallery: My son was born at a similar gestational age, with IUGR, after timely diagnosis and evidence-based care. He looked NOTHING like that. He was skinny, but his body resembled an active five-year-old, not like a famine victim. I’ve seen quite a few pictures of IUGR babies over the past couple years, and I have never seen a term or near-term one who was that terrifyingly emaciated.

    I can’t begin to imagine the risks this woman ran, and her inaccurate scaremongering about NICUs is just the icing on the cake.

    • anne

      I feel like we are almost programmed to be attracted to chubby babies and concerned about skinny ones.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked. From an evolutionary/survival aspect, chubby babies=good, skinny babies=worry.

  • moto_librarian

    “Born in a hospital or birthing center she would have been whisked away to a NICU with limited interaction, skin-to-skin, and breastfeeding until she was at least 5lbs, which would have meant at least two weeks of stressful hell for her and our family.”

    I had to pick my jaw up off of the floor after reading this part. Her baby is born emaciated and not breathing, but rather than transport her to the hospital, they keep her at home so it won’t be a “stressful hell?” I cannot wrap my head around this.

    I want to know who her idiot midwives were. They KNEW that her blood pressure was increasing, but they didn’t bother to check her urine for protein? They knew from the ultrasound that the baby had IUGR, but rather than refer her to MFM, they put her on bedrest? There is nothing triumphant or uplifting about this story. It’s simply another example of the gross negligence of American home birth midwives. I sure as hell wouldn’t be bragging about this – I would be ashamed of myself for putting my child at such ridiculous risk.

    • attitude devant

      Amen Moto! My 4 lb 11 oz IUGR baby stayed with me the whole time, but if she had to go to the nursery that would have been fine. Because if that’s where she needed to be I would’ve wanted her there

    • Samantha06

      Transferring her care would have meant a financial hit for them…

    • Cobalt

      The stressful part of the baby being in the NICU, for normal people, is that the baby needs it. If my baby was compromised, I would welcome all the interventions and inconveniences, because that means the baby is receiving treatment.

      Blaming the NICU for inconvenience of treating a life threatening illness is baffling.

      • moto_librarian

        My oldest son had a brief stay in the NICU for TTN. Is it scary to see your baby there? You bet (and we were lucky – he had an I.V., heart rate monitor, and pulse oximeter, but wasn’t intubated or on oxygen at all), but my overwhelming feeling was of gratitude. Gratitude that he was the NICU “rockstar” (according to his nurse), grateful that he was being cared for with such compassion, grateful that he was not a preemie.

        • Cobalt

          My youngest went very briefly to the NICU the night he was born, for exams and whatnot because he was 36 weeks. He was cleared and back in my room before they even got me a room in the postpartum unit, and I was allowed to stay with him the whole time (once they got that ignorant POS placenta out and made sure I wasn’t loosing blood and a dangerous rate).

          I was still nervous because he was early, and I had just laid eyes on said POS placenta. I was so glad the NICU was there for him and they were checking for anything troublesome. Not because they wanted to stress me out, but because they wanted him to be well. He went back for the car seat test on discharge day.

          At no point was anyone from the NICU anything other than kind, reassuring, and understanding of my anxieties. If he had needed to stay there, that’s exactly where I would have wanted him.

          I’m glad yours didn’t need to stay long.

          • Mer

            I up voted just for you calling your placenta an ignorant POS! Such a delightful change from the lotus crap we’ve been reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Cobalt

            Well, it had ONE job…

    • Ash

      River & Mountain Midwifery, operated by LMs.

      • MWguest

        Note – LMs in New York, who must be CNMs or CMs.
        All midwives in NY are LMs – and there is no licensing available for CPMs.

        In other states, LM usually means the midwife-lite version of midwifery. Not in NY. AMCB-certified midwives only. This is disturbing.

        Wasn’t one of these midwives recently bragging on their facebook page that she has hospital admitting privileges? OK, so why not use those?

    • Liz Leyden

      My son was 4 lbs. 9 oz. when he was released from the NICU. He was eating consistently, growing well, and negative for pneumonia (my strep test was pending when I went into labor). Once we got an appropriate car seat, there was no reason for him to stay there. He also had his first well-baby peds appointment when he was a week old.

    • Amy

      Yeah, that’s pretty horrifying. My second landed in the NICU when she was born a few weeks early with immature lungs. Yes, it was hell for me– not because she was *in* the NICU, but because she was dealing with medical issues that *required* the NICU. I was damn glad the NICU was there and that the professionals working there took such good care of her.

      But parenthood for these people isn’t about the kids, it’s about THEM.