Guess what the mother who attempted an HBA4C named her baby?

Gambit

You cannot make this stuff up!

Yesterday I promised that I would update you on the mother who was attempting an HBA4C (homebirth after 4 previous C-sections) and had been laboring for the previous 36 hours. She had ruptured membranes and noticed meconium. She went to the hospital, but left when they advised her to have a C-section.

AL HBA4C

This is what happened:

AL HBA4C 2

…I did not get my vba4c. I’m OK with it though because the reason for the CS was an actual emergency. I had gone in [again] because my contractions were about 3 minutes apart. Plus the meconium was really thick and dark now. Only made it to 2.5, 90%, -1. He had begun having a lot of decels that were taking 4-5 minutes to recover from. At one point they lost his heart beat and when they found it, it didn’t get above 57. So I was rushed to the OR and put to sleep for an emergency CS… [B]oth baby and I are doing great…. We named him Gambit …

What does the word “gambit” mean?

A gambit is a chess move where the player sacrifices a relatively unimportant piece in order to win.

Fitting, no? Perhaps she decided “Afterthought” was too long for a name.

What did this mother accomplish by risking her baby’s life attempting a homebirth after 4 C-sections? As far as I can tell, her only “accomplishment” was waiting until her baby was almost dead in order to convince herself that the C-section was necessary. She put her son through hours of pointless labor that never made any progress, allowed him to become so oxygen deprived that he expelled copious meconium and his heart rate dropped deeply, repeatedly and finally entered a death spiral.

Instead of having a C-section under regional anesthesia (much safer for her), she had one under general. Instead of being awake for her baby’s birth, she missed it. Instead of protecting her baby’s brain function, she risked it.

The comments on her post were inane as would be expected for a group that encourages women to risk their babies’ lives:

You made great decisions during your birth! Sorry it wasn’t as planned, love his name!
Like · 2 · More · 16 minutes ago

He is adorable! Congratulations!!! Good job listening to your body & baby, mama!
Like · 2 · More · 16 minutes ago

Sorry you didn’t get your dream birth but congratulations! Love his name!
Like · 1 · More · 15 minutes ago

Congrats on your baby! Sorry to hear it didn’t go as planned

Actually, she made hideously bad decisions. She did not listen to her body; had she listened she would have had an elective repeat C-section as her body and the baby’s body tried to tell her for hours upon hours. Instead, she came pretty close to killing her baby.

Way to go, Mama!

Gambit indeed.

  • a_m_o

    Un-freakin-REAL with these folks.

  • MaineJen

    …Gambit.

    I can only imagine the distress her HCPs must have been feeling as they pleaded with her (as I assume they did) to agree to a c section. Going in under general anesthesia for a true emergency is NOT ideal for anyone involved.

  • Emkay

    Guess what slowing this woman heart rate down to 30 with an overdose of beta blockers, trapping her on a sealed low oxygen environment and hitting her head repeatedly against a brick wall would be called?

    Torture.

    Torture.

    And she “chose” this for her baby. Because it was empowering.
    FOR FUCKS SAKE. Enough.

    • Ash

      I suppose this is grim, but there actually was a comment discussion whether a fetus would be able to feel hypoxia in the uterus. I believe that the conclusion was that it probably didn’t happen, as the oxygen tension is too low.

      I wonder–how long passed between the “decels that took 4-5 minutes to receover” and the fetal heart beat going into bradycardia. For the staff caring for her, it must have been crazy trying to convince her to have a c-section while seeing things continue to go downhill.

  • sdsures

    Poor kid.

  • Froggggggg

    Once again, I find myself wishing this was satire (knowing full well it’s not).

  • anon

    This just makes me want to cry. I’m so relieved that the mother went to the hospital and that the baby is okay. I really wish she had gone in sooner rather than letting her baby get so close to death. Now we just have to hope that he doesn’t suffer any long term damage for his mother’s decision.

  • Francesca Violi

    Amazing how, after her baby almost died and she had to undergo general anaesthesia surgery, still the first thing she thinks of writing is: “I did not get my vba4c”. And not, like, “My son and I are ok” or whatever. Sick sense of priorities some people have.

  • Not Steve

    If the child had been delivered with hypoxic encephalopathy and seizures from oxygen deprivation, who would she blame, the HBAC midwife or the physician who did the cesarean?

    • moto_librarian

      The hospital/doctor. NCBers expect their “safety net” to have a 100% success rate.

  • Guesty

    Holy shit this is horrific.

  • Bugsy

    I’m confused. In the first post, she says “The doctors didn’t think anything of the meconium,” immediately followed by “they wanted to do a C-section.” Ummm, the fact they wanted to do a C-section suggests to me they saw a problem (meconium or not!!)…

    Does she actually believe herself in what she writes?

    • Stacy48918

      In her mind they didn’t want to do the C-section because of the meconium but “just” because of her prior 4 C-sections…as if THAT’S not plenty reason enough.

      • sdsures

        It’s hard to interpret blog posts like hers because she has no medical training, and yet she is viewing and analyzing a medical event from the safe aftermath. Perhaps she’s trying to justify their decisions for herself (in whatever way makes sense to her, assuming they didn’t try and explain things to her later) and just going about it badly.

        • EllenL

          In order to justify a C-section in a community as extreme as
          hers, the mother has to convince them – and herself – that there was absolutely, positively no alternative to surgery.

          The problem is, you can’t get to that level of surety without first exposing the baby to significant risk of death or brain damage.
          That’s what happened, apparently, and I think she described it accurately, though it’s shocking to
          read.

          Storytelling isn’t the problem. It’s how far you have to go,
          in the home birth community, before a C section becomes a legitimate option. You
          have to be staring into the jaws of death.

      • araikwao

        And it would likely have been a tricky CS after 4 previous ones – hard to do quickly through all that scar tissue… Of course they would want to do it before the baby got severely distressed!

    • EllenL

      Except what she actually said is “they wanted to cut me open.” The language of the NCB cult is always accusatory and inflammatory when it comes to doctors’ advice.

      No, Ariel, they didn’t want to cut you open. They wanted to save your baby’s life and protect your health. There’s a big difference.

      • sdsures

        Yep. It’s not like they’re performing major surgery for the hell of it.

  • DaisyGrrl

    Wow. That mother’s level of denial is stunning. I have to wonder if she’d have the same attitude for a living child.

    “Well, we thought about taking him to the doctor when he had a persistent high fever and chest congestion, but since he was able to tell us he was feeling terrible, we knew he wasn’t that bad. Now we can’t wake him up and he’s been barely breathing for the last few hours. I suppose we should bring him in to the hospital since he’s now really sick.” Seriously, what kind of parent would wait until their child was actively dying before accepting medical help? Especially when the child is radiating signs of distress for hours/days before the “emergency” event?

    And for the people that cheered her on? You share in the responsibility for that baby nearly dying. You disgust me.

    • Amy

      Do you really want the answer to that? A lot of these crunchy parents DO avoid taking their kids in for preventive care because they don’t want to be told to vaccinate their kids, or that feeding the kids anything is preferable to starving them into accepting breast milk. Some of them have a chiropractor as their primary care “doctor.” They view medical professionals as hired help; their message boards are filled with posts to the effect of “THEY work for YOU, mama!”

      • Bugsy

        Yes. I peruse the “Things Anti-Vaxxers Say” website for entertainment, and it’s amazing how many of them criticize all preventative care. Some of the latest ones have been outright attacks on ER doctors who give tetanus shots after the kids have stepped on rusty nails. Ummm…..

      • Liz Leyden

        Where I live, Crunchy Mamas have naturopaths as PCPs.

      • DaisyGrrl

        Damn. I was hoping that most of these parents would think to seek medical help before septic shock sets in, but I guess I’d be wrong.

    • Liz Leyden

      Maybe a parent without health insurance whose kid didn’t qualify for Medicaid. Hopefully they would go to the ER if they were really concerned.

  • Pappy

    “Gambit” For goodness sake, why do you hate the baby?
    What are her other kids named? Jubilee, Cyclops and Wolverine?

    • MegaMechaMeg

      You know, Rogue would not be a terrible baby name in the grand scheme.

      • Pappy

        Agree to disagree.

      • sdsures

        Marie is an acceptable substitute.

    • sdsures

      Don’t forget Professor X!

  • Wonder if it will bother her at all if her son has developmental problems later, even if they only become obvious when he begins school…but I bet that ,if delayed, she won’t connect the dots and realize that the manner of his birth might have had anything to do with Gambit’s learning disabilities.

    • Trixie

      She home schools, so the chances of this kid getting diagnosis and support are not high.

      • Pappy

        So a potential double whammy. Brain damage caused by mom followed by increased challenges throughout life due to lack of access to proper educational support. Caused by both parents, I’d assume.
        I’ve met a child like this. His dad had developmental delays that caused him to struggle his entire academic career with no help. When his son started showing the same challenges, they kept him home with his mother, who (with all due respect to her) is in no way qualified to address or ameliorate his problems. He’s now almost 10 and can’t read. He spends his days wandering around their rural property with his 2 younger siblings totally unsupervised, playing and trying to kill small animals for his “science experiments.”

        Parents like this are well-intentioned assholes. Unfortunately, it’s always the kids who pay the price of their assholiness.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          I grew up in homeschooling circles. Sadly, you’re entirely correct on your assessment here. Homeschooling can absolutely work very well for some people; we’re planning on doing it ourselves, in fact, thanks to the insanely expensive local private schools and poor-quality public ones. However, one of the most important things a teacher must be able to do is recognize his/her limitations. I saw SO many kids while I was growing up who would have benefited from the kind of therapies a good special ed program might have offered. I imagine that some of them might have been mainstreamed (or simply homeschooled in a more mainstream fashion) if they’d just had a year or two of early intervention. Instead, you hear over and over again that “he learns at his own pace.” Which is fine, to a point…but when you have a ten-year-old who’s illiterate, you have a serious problem.
          Needless to say, we’ll run any concerns about such problems past our pediatrician, and refer to our local school district for specialized help if we ever have a kid who needs that sort of thing. There’s NOTHING to be ashamed of in asking for help, but a lot of more…conservative…homeschoolers treat even getting learning difficulties assessed by the local school district as The First Step On The Road To Perdition. Because, y’know, first thing they’re checking to see why your three-year-old doesn’t talk, and the next thing you know they’re explaining the intricacies of bestiality to him. Or something. *headdesk*

          • Laura

            This was my experience to a tee. I did homeschool my older kids, but because I have a special ed teaching credential and wasn’t afraid of our local public schools (which, fortunately, are excellent) I got my kids the help they needed. I also saw the need for some of them to go to public school, as this seemed best for those particular children.(I really miss my homeschooling years at times.) However, during those years I saw kids who I knew needed evaluations and services from specialists, but the parents were too afraid to venture into the public school system. One girl I know will always talk “funny” because she has a serious speech issue that is very difficult to correct. As she gets older it will be almost impossible. Oh well.

          • Mac Sherbert

            And speech is free in the public schools! She might could even get services at home. 🙁

          • Pappy

            YES. That infuriates me too, that parents delay help until the developmental window for addressing these problems is long past. Now the challenge that would have been difficult but achievable obstacle to overcome has become the punishment of Sisyphus.

          • demodocus’ spouse

            Exactly. Homeschooling can work, if the parents know what they are doing. On of my student teaching schools is an urban one with lots of issues. One student my mentor pointed out had been homeschooled for a year or two and was actually behind her classmates. This is a school where all social studies teachers teach American History, Reconstruction-present, almost exclusively. Students take it until they pass.

        • Amy

          But public schools would stomp out all the kids’ sparkles!

          I have a former friend who unschools. None of her kids can do any math. The older two can read, but all they read is fanfic– no exposure to litarary analysis of any kind. The rest of their days are spent helping out in the yard (because nature) and playing video games.

          I’m all for kids pursuing their own interests, and teachers incorporating kids’ interests into creating meaningful lessons to access the curriculum. But at the end of the day, the key is accessing the curriculum. Denying such access is educational neglect.

          • Pappy

            Yep, the kid I know is similar. He comes up to me all perky, telling he’s trying to cross-breed strawberries and blueberries, or that he’s digging up plants from the local (sensitive ecosystem) pond, or he and his friend are trying to kill endangered local small animals so they can collect samples for their “experiment.” I told them off for that one, parents be damned.

            I mean, the first two could be fun little things for a kid to do after school/ during the summer. But wandering around most of the day goofing off and wasting time (while messing with fragile ecosystems) is not real learning. And for his parents to be all “La-de-da, our kid can’t read but he’s having fuuuun” infuriates me. It’s going to take him YEARS to make up for the educational delays his parent’s have caused, if he ever does.

          • sdsures

            Wait, so my childhood (and continued into adulthood) love of reading was just a lucky fluke? 😛

          • Amy

            Mine too! Public schools K-12, raised by two public school teachers, now a public school teacher myself! I’m surprised I’m not an emotionless automaton.

        • Mac Sherbert

          Sadly, this is not uncommon. In special ed you often see parents pull their kids and homeschool them. They see it as a problem with the school their not their child. They often just do not understand how far behind their child is or how bad their behavior really is. Not that all schools do special ed the right way, but still…

          Of course, I also know people who homeschool and do it right. They want their kids to go to college, etc.

      • schnitzelbank

        The mother has no listed education and totes her last job at Papa John’s Pizza. Wonderfully qualified to be a pedagogue, wonderfully qualified as a self-OB, too.
        Herp, derp.

        • sdsures

          Strong with the Derp is this one.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      No. She’ll blame gluten, or her amalgam fillings, or some other bullshit.

      • Bugsy

        GMOs.

        • Mishimoo

          Second-generation vaccine damage.

      • Mac Sherbert

        If she even realizes the kid has problems…

        • She might, if the child is severely enough dyslexic or isn’t walking or talking by three or four.

      • Say hey! Stupidity is “just a variation of normal”!

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Vaccines. Especially if they gave him the hep B shot in the hospital. Or maybe vitamin K. Anything but herself.

  • Sue

    Apart from the silliness of the name, this is such an instructive case.

    In competent clinical practice, actions are taken to mitigate risk. Where it appears likely that harm will result without intervention, and where the intervention reduces risk in comparison to not intervening, the action needs to be taken before the harm actually occurs.

    Waiting until a baby is already hypoxic and then forcing the medical staff to work against time in a life-threating situation is both foolhardy and illogical. It says a lot about the mentality of these people.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I’ve been looking for the right place to say this. The goal of intervention is to AVOID emergencies like this. It’s a testament to our abilities that we can save the baby, but you never want to be in this situation in the first place.

      • anotheramy

        It makes me sick that NCB keeps promoting the myth of unnecessary c-sections… this is where that myth gets us: women who refuse c-sections until it is a “true emergency”, at which point the damage may be already done. Her attitude of accepting a section only in true emergencies is not that unusual in some NCB circles.

        • Liz Leyden

          A lot of C-sections turn out to be unnecessary in retrospect. Maybe the baby’s heart rate would’ve resolved, maybe they would have flipped from breech or transverse to vertex, but why risk a hypoxic brain injury to find out? Better to mourn your dreams of a vaginal birth than your child.

          • Amy

            I remember a few years ago there was a lot of discussion on this very blog (probably both posts and comments, but I don’t remember specifically) about that very issue, the difference between Type I and Type II error.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            A lot of C-sections turn out to be unnecessary in retrospect.

            At a population level, you can know that many c-sections are unnecessary. However, at an individual level, you cannot (as in, it is logically impossible) to determine which of those who had a c-section did not need it.

            You can’t know that they wouldn’t have had some issue with the delivery that would have required a c-section to resolve. And even if the baby didn’t survive, you can’t assert that it would have in a vaginal delivery.

            In contrast, you can determine when a c-section would have been necessary in a vaginal birth. For example, I have mentioned my sister’s first, who was stillborn at 41+. If she had had a c-section (or even been induced) at 41.0, that baby would still be alive.

          • Sarah

            How can we know on a population level?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            For example, we know that breech can be delivered successfully about 95% of the time. That means that 95% of the c-sections done for breech presentation are unnecessary.

            Seems like a lot. However, determining WHICH 95% could have been delivered successfully is impossible.

          • Sarah

            Right, I get that part. I assume we know the 95% because that’s how many survived pre CS? But isn’t there a higher risk of morbidity to mother with breech vaginal birth than ELCS?

          • Ash

            there’s a summary of breech delivery here with citations from the original publications. maternal morbidity is included.

            also here

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15467565

            I am surprised that the rates of incontinence was not higher in the planned vaginal delivery group. Breech delivery can require forceps to deliver the head, and we know that forcep delivery has a higher rate of incontinence (which is more apparent after menopause0

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Doesn’t matter. As long as it’s not 100%, that means that there are still successful breech deliveries. That means that c-sections are not necessary in all cases.

            The problem is, identifying which ones those are. We can’t do it.

  • Mandy Terhune

    Why only share the unfortunate stories? In addition to Ariel’s story, there are several other uneventful stories on the very same page.

    • SG1

      Because the uneventful stories were pure blind luck and the unfortunate stories were totally preventable?

    • Stacy48918

      Ok, let’s talk about the “uneventful” stories – like an 80 hour HBA3C born into a fetid pool of bloody water. Baby is alive…woo I guess.

      That’s only “uneventful” because they were amazingly lucky and the baby didn’t die and the mother didn’t bleed to death.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      And you only hear about the drunk driving deaths. No one ever talks about the people who drove drunk just fine.

    • Amy

      Because statistics matter. Ariel’s story represents a much higher percentage of HBAMC attempts than the odd hospital-birth horror story does of hospital births. Why do you NCB/homebirth advocates share only the unfortunate stories of “mean” hospital providers who advise interventions, while completely ignoring all the women who have wonderful, intervention-free births in the hospital? Or even women like me, who did end up having a c-section after hours of labor in which the CNMs and nurses went out of their way to accommodate my attempts at a natural birth, getting into horribly uncomfortable positions with the doppler instead of insisting I get on CEFM, making sure I got the room with the hot tub, digging out the exercise ball for me to labor on, and I don’t even remember what else.

    • sdsures

      Fraid Bofa’s right.

    • KarenJJ

      One way forward might be to stop celebrating the extraordinary and celebrate the ordinary. Go right back to the crux of the matter, the truly important stuff. Has mum and baby made it through the birth process healthy? Is mum being supported into her role as a mum of a newborn baby? Is her mental health being supported, or are people helping her second guess herself and doubt her decisions and medical care? I’m sure Dr Amy and every other commenter on here would have a lot less to say if homebirths were uneventful and celebrated the things that matter, instead of risking lives and the infant’s long term health by celebrating extraordinary cases such as this one.

  • Cartman36

    I remember being so scared for my baby when the doctor told me he was having heart decels. I cannot imagine being so flippant about your baby’s life.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      My son started having serious prolonged decels and they rushed me into a section. I was not completely numb and they were waiting to start cutting. I was sobbing, saying “Just get him out ok. Please, just get him out!” I can’t imagine knowing your child is in distress and not wanting to to EVERYTHING and anything to bring him to safety.

      • Amazed

        A woman I know had an UNMEDICATED emergency c-section some 40 years ago. Seconds counted and I don’t remember whether they had no fucking anastaesia in the hospital (that was around the time basic things were starting to disappear from the market) or something but she did feel the first cuts. She still sings the doctor’s praises – oh he had such a good judgment, he was so BRAVE, he saved my baby…

        In contrast, we have a family anecdote of the team gathered to operate on my grandfather. “Is the patient ready?” someone asked. “Yes, he is.” “How am I ready?” my grandfather cried out from the operating table. “I am NOT ready!” They didn’t cut him right then. Guess what? They could wait and find out why the anastaesia hadn’t taken. No one’s life on the line.

      • Amy M

        I am guessing this woman DIDN’T know her child was in distress. She probably thought (or decided to think) that all was well until “thick dark meconium.” It sure is easy to be in denial when there’s no monitoring being done. Ignorance is bliss.

  • CanDoc

    Wow. A crash CS after four, FOUR prior cesarean sections.. what a nightmare. Getting into the uterus to retrieve a baby safely after 2 or 3 prior sections can be challenging WITHOUT it being an emergency… but with a baby who is almost dead… thick mec, fetal heart 50s… I feel nauseous just reading about it. Glad the baby is safe in spite of his mother’s choices.

    • Karen in SC

      In a case like this, I wonder why can’t the doctors sue the patients for being so reckless?

      • FormerPhysicist

        That’s an interesting concept. At least as a countersuit to if the doctors are sued or charged with malpractice.

  • Thankfulmom

    That poor little baby. Imagine if babies could tell us about their birth experiences. I suppose some of them would get “bragging rights” for having the most horrific and painful stories to tell. They’d need support groups to help them get over how awful it was.

    • Sue

      Yep – cos being squeezed hard for 36 hours until you are so hypoxic that your heart rate slows is so good for newborns…. Ugh.

  • comicnerd

    You sure she’s not an X-Men fan who picked an ironic name? Gambit is one of the coolest mutants in the Marvel Universe.

    • Who?

      I think an ironic name is never a kind thing to give a child.

      • I doubt she was being in the least ironic. Chances are the poor kid will choose to call himself “G. Emerson Whatever” at some point.

        • Pappy

          I’ve already heard of a Patches who became Peter at 10, an Odin who was Adrian by 12 and a Chardonnai (yes, that’s the real spelling) who finally got fed up with being treated like an idiot because her idiot parents couldn’t pick a decent name, who became Catherine at 25.
          Even I started out with a mildly yooneek name that I could never get anyone to spell or pronounce correctly. Finally picked a new one that’s utterly mundane. No one has pronounced it wrong yet. 😀
          Seriously, parents, you’re not doing your kid any favor with this childish foolishness. Pick a name that’s appropriate for a future adult living in North America and get over yourself.

          • Amy M

            There was a Kal-el in my children’s preschool. He must be about 4 or 5 at this point, so could be still clueless unless his comic-geek parents have already told him the origin of his name.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            Yep. There is a Kal-el and a Cersei in the preschool where my youngest goes. Because nothing says “I love you” like naming your kiddo after an incestuous, murderous, devious crazy woman. Lol! I actually do like the name and the show but the pop culture reference is too strong for me.

          • Amazed

            WTF? Cersei?
            What’s next, changing your last name to Baratheon/Lannister/Whatever? Name the next kid Aerys? *facepalm*

          • Dr Kitty

            I know of an Arya Autumn (which is nicer), but my husband has pointed out that it really should have been Arya Winter.
            They had the naming ceremony at one of the beaches here where they film GOT.

            If you’re going to pick the name of a literary or pop culture character, be familiar enough with the work that you don’t pick an unfortunate one (Cersei, Joffrey, Zod or similar) or a name which already means something else (Gambit).

            My friend is a big Joycean- her children are Leo and Molly. Which works.

          • Amazed

            Only because she never tried to translate Joyce, I’m sure. I had half a page of Ulysses at the university. It took me three hours to reach a text that did not send me running out of the room. Not good. Just not that awful. That was the Day of Woe for us.

            I still like Dubliners but that’s it.

            The naming ceremony sounds cute, although I do feel it’s a bit unfair to the children to burden them with such names. No one asked them and they’re the ones who will have to go under those names, right?

            But after Cersei, everything looks good. Arya Autumn sounds great, indeed!

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Since we’re talking baby names and fantasy novels, I might as well try and get some opinions. Me and hubby are considering Rohan for our baby – does it sound like we’re pathetic Lord of the Rings fans? (I am a pathetic LotR fan, but it’s not meant to be a tribute to the books. It’s just a name we like, and one of the few which happen to work with both our cultural backgrounds -I’m Irish, husband is Indian)

          • Cobalt

            LOTR is going to be what people think of first.

            I would avoid any first name that comes with specific, widely held connotations, good or bad. That’s what middle names are for, though, and you can nickname a kid anything (and it’s likely a nickname will pop up eventually anyway).

            It’s just easier in life to have a straightforward, easy to use, easy to spell, non-prejudicial legal name. It’s fun to have an awesome nickname.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Definitely want something that’s easy to spell and easy to pronounce. I think that’s why we’re having so much difficulty with names – Indian names just seem to sound better with my husbands surname, but we need to find something that will work for the Irish side of the family, and that won’t seem out of place in Australia where we live. So an Indian name that’s not too Indian if that makes sense, which is hopefully 2 syllables or less, and spelled the same way it sounds.

            The funny thing is that when we’ve asked my husbands family about the name Rohan, the response we get is always “It’s a nice name, but it’s very common nowadays”. If we lived in India, there’d be no problem with the name I guess 🙂

          • Mishimoo

            There’s a Rohan in my daughter’s grade: he works hard, has a wicked sense of humour, and is remarkably thoughtful of others. I personally like it as a name, not just because I’m a LOTR fan, but because it’s a nice name and it reminds me of a great kid. If you like it, go for it!

            Edited to add – I’m in Australia too, so it won’t really be out of place.

          • Medwife

            Rowan is really close to Rohan…

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            Arya is pretty and at least the character isn’t completely nuts… yet.

          • Amy

            Aww, see those are cute stories!

            One of my daughters is named a (totally normal, mainstream, classic) girls’ name that happens to be the surname of one of my favorite mathematicians. She has a cool name story to share at the beginning of the school year, but NOBODY looks at her name and thinks anything other than it’s a fairly typical girl’s name.

          • guestatron

            Aria has actually been my secret baby name for about fifteen years now. I am hella pissed that it is now in the top twenty.

          • Wombat

            Yepp. I like Arianna before it was cool darnit c: :p

          • Wombat

            My fiance’s mom is Katherine Elizabeth (I believe, not 100% on the middle name) and hated having such a long name. So all her kids have normal three letter names (Zak is the furthest afield, but still phonetical and fairly normal imo).

            The only super ‘clever/kitschy’ names I’ve liked were a pair of twins I went to high school with, Ben and Dan, Nlastnamehere. But they were Benjamin Ethan Nlastname, and Daniel Allen Nlastname. Cute, used family names, without screaming YOUNI’QUE from the mountains. And then they got an ‘oops’ much younger little brother but he was still Jon iirc. Same type of pattern for sure. Works extra well since all boys – though nothing wrong with taking your wife’s name if that’s what you decide, they are more likely to keep theirs, realistically speaking.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Cersei? CERSEI?! Good gad.

          • Wombat

            And I thought I was toeing the line for considering Chandler (boy) because I so grew up with Friends! Hopefully he’ll be saved by me having kids later than some, so he’ll only have a few Harrys, Rachels, and a Severus and way more Katniss, Jeoffry, and Iggys c:

          • Pappy

            The joke in our house when we hear these yooneek names is always “Why do you hate the baby?!” Because, really, how much navel-gazing do you have to do to think you’re not screwing over your kid for years? I want to Hot Karl these idiots for trying to be trendy and not seriously considering what the impact of their cutsey choices will be.

            There’s actually been more than one study that links Yooneek names (particularly in boys) to higher rates of social isolation, substance abuse and incarceration. You think you’re helping them by making them stand out but you’re really, really not.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I always figure that IF you want to use a unique name, at least choose a rational spelling. See the Danisea above. She is going to go through life being called dan-is-ea, because, you know, that’s how it’s spelled. You want Dani-shay? Spell it Danishay.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Yes–Jayson or Jasen or Jason–variations but ultimately you are not going to get someone scratching their head about how to pronounce. And yes, Danisea has been called every other pronunciation but the correct one.

          • Dr Kitty

            Like the recent study that showed there were more FTSE 100 companies run by men called John than by women…

          • Bombshellrisa

            Some kids names I have had to call out when they come for a play date: Fyness (fin-S), Bodhi, Gentry, Danisea (Dany-shay). After reading the section about baby naming in Freakonomics, I wonder if any of them will change their name later on.

          • Medwife

            How about Sativa? I have met quite a few little Sativas. No Indicas yet, though.

          • kristina

            I had a cat named Indica 🙂

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I used to work with an Indika, but he was Sri Lankan so probably not a drug reference 🙂

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            In general, I tend to not care about what people name their kids. The only ones I roll my eyes at are the cheesy ones. For example, Nevaeh almost makes me puke. How lame. Fortunately, it didn’t catch on near to the extent I expected it to.

            I also laugh at the “Aiden/Brayden/Cayden/Caitlyn…” series. But I’m not the only one, it was a punchline of a commercial even. And it’s not that I think there is anything wrong with the names, they are just so overused. Just like half of the girls in college were named Michelle.

            But my biggest problem with names is how everyone is always like, “Ooooo, I love the name.” My response? I don’t care. I realize you are just trying to be nice, but we didn’t choose the name for your benefit. And even for those names I find silly, my response is “whatever.”

            I used to get in trouble on the WTE boards in the “We are having troubles coming up with names, does anyone have any suggestions?” threads. Everyone else is like, “Here are names I like…blah blah blah,” and I’m like, and? Why would anyone think that someone else would be interested in the name you like? I, OTOH, would say, “Go to babynames.com and look through all the names there.” Such a buzzkill.

          • Amazed

            I used to think like you do. And then I met the kid whose name totally stunned me. She was named… well, Whore. Not in English, of course. In local language. Turned out, the mother was so uneducated that she heard the word and liked it.

            I often pass under the sign of a notary, who, in local language, would be called Gull Note (Note is the last name). She obviously isn’t bothered since she could have changed it. But it’s weird.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            I knew a very nice lady named Shithead, pronounced Sha-teed. It made it *very* difficult for her to obtain employment.

          • kt

            I worked with a guy named Dikshit before. No kidding

          • Bombshellrisa

            Funny you mention Nevaeh–Danisea’s cousin is Nevaeh!
            I can’t talk because my mother named me after a cousin with grey eyes and who was strikingly beautiful (she really thought naming a child after someone would make them good looking and I disappoint her that way), named one brother after something she heard on Tarzan and another brother after a soap opera character she was obsessed with. Nobody ever pronounced my name right because of the spelling, my younger brother has the same problem and the youngest one rocks his name because there is no way to mess it up!

        • Liz Leyden

          Back in 1997, the Boston Globe ran a series of stories on poverty in Western MA. One family profiled was the Pickup family; Dad was dead, Mom was on welfare, 5 kids. The middle kid, and 11 year-old who was in jail for some reason, was named Chevy Van.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            Named after place of conception I would guess.

          • Bugsy

            Ha, if named after the place of conception, my son would be “Memorial Hospital Jacksonville.” Good ole’ IVF…

  • Guestll

    Waving to all of the lurkers here who cheered Ariel on. It’s like a race to the bottom with you people. Here’s a tip, try having some standards that don’t include “near terminal event” before agreeing to let the people who know what they’re doing do what they do.

  • Dr Kitty

    Thought exercise.
    Normal Foetal heart rate is 120-160, 57 is less than half of a normal heart rate at the slower end of normal.

    Normal adult resting heart rate is 60-80.
    I wonder how she thinks she would feel if her heart rate was 27?

    57 means the baby was dying and had suffered hypoxia and distress for hours.

    I’m so glad that the medical team were able to get him out in time.

    Also….do people not check the meanings of names any more?
    Or are the other four kids Rogue, Storm, Phoenix and Mystique?

    • Who?

      My best self thinks she just likes the sound of it.

      I refuse to even type what Bad Who? is thinking they would have chosen for names had the baby died despite the cs.

    • Mishimoo

      I said nearly exactly the same thing to my husband when explaining why I gasped at the computer. 57bpm is BAD. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nurse, I just like to read and even I know that’s not a good heartrate for a foetus. To me, this really illustrates the lack of informed consent, lack of anything even beginning to approach research, and the severity of the echochamber in the NCB movement.

      I’m not sure if people do check the meanings of names. I know I did, because I’m weird, but most of my friends just picked things that sound good. Being a bit of a nerd, I would think it’s awesome to have the rest named after characters from the X-Men universe, except that Gambit isn’t all that great for a first name. (And that’s saying something, because I have a daughter named for a Star Trek character).

    • KarenJJ

      And I doubt this baby was “resting”.

      • Sue

        No – being jammed hard into a bony cavity for 36 hours doesn’t sound like “rest”to me.

    • Cobalt

      I’ve had a heart rate in the mid-30s. I *knew* I was dying, it felt like my chest was full of sand, and I wasn’t truly lucid.

      The nurses and doctor, however, were really fast at responding to the alarms and doing whatever they did to fix it.

    • Mel

      I’ve had some…uniquely…. named students before. Let’s put it this way:

      In my experience, teenagers don’t mind different names if the story behind it is nice, sweet, or based in limited English proficiency.

      Give your kid a strange name just “because” and you will get one pissed-off teen who goes by a completely different name.

    • Hey, I think those names are cool…for pets

      • demodocus’ spouse

        I had a cat named Galadriel. My son is *NOT* named Elrond. He got a weird enough Kerry, but he is named after an uncle.

        • Bombshellrisa

          I knew a girl named Galadriel and her brother was Cirdan. He used to cringe at the way his name would get butchered, although it was worse when either of them would get called out in class by a new or substitute teacher who thought they put down fake name. Explaining that no, it’s really my name, here is my student ID got very old.

      • Wombat

        Yep. My cats get the fun fan names c: Though one of my dearly special and loved cats was Hudson, and I just like that as a name too… but I think I would feel too guilty for equating the kid with the cat, lol (dearly, dearly would love them both, but still different).

    • Pappy

      I made the same joke! X-Men fans 4 life!

    • Amy

      There’s a woman in the crunchy homeschooling online circles who’s got kids named Kainan, Sprite, and Abyni.

  • Staceyjw

    GAMBIT??
    Does she even realize how accurate that is?
    LOVE how she is “OK” with the CS, only because she almost killed the baby.
    She was only minutes from losing him, and I am sure she thinks she is wonderful. I generally don’t shame moms, but this one deserves it for being ridiculously selfish and totally reckless.

  • peanutmama

    i am sorry, but holding out till the very very last minutes to do something about it is not impressive. it isn’t about a birth experience, they are gambling with lives here. i am very relieved they came through but hopefully she does not do this again if she decides to have more kids.

  • TsuDhoNimh

    “He had begun having a lot of decels that were taking 4-5 minutes to recover from.”

    So intermittent suffocation …

    • staceyjw

      I wonder if she even realizes this? Hope there is no damage.

      SELFISH, waiting just so she could get a VBAC.
      Hint- if you had to have 4 CS, maybe, just maybe, you need to birth by CS!

      • Amy M

        Let’s hope she doesn’t try for VBA5C.

        • momofone

          But she needs to HEAL!!!

  • Maria

    Do these women understand that the Mom is not the only one whose body is working very hard during birth? The baby isn’t just chilling in the birth canal waiting for Mom to push him/her out. That baby is working hard too and when labor gets hard and Mom can’t get baby out in a timely manner, that baby is going through physical trauma. So holding out until the meconium is thick and the heart rate is getting critically low means your baby is suffering. Suffering!

  • fiftyfifty1

    Here’s a great big Thank You to the medical team who saved baby Gambit. Nice work on what certainly must have been one of the most terrifying and difficult situations of your careers.

    • anotheramy

      I can only imagine what they said/ thought when she left the hospital AMA, knowing a train wreck was about to happen.

      • Who?

        Probably hoped she’d get back before a total disaster; then informed their lawyers to warm up as there could be a train wreck, that they would get the blame for; then went back to treating people who actually cared about the outcome not the process.

  • fiftyfifty1

    Wow. This baby had what’s known as a terminal bradycardia. He was in the final couple of minutes of dying before mom was willing to allow a CS. Wow.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    We can celebrate that this baby didn’t die, but we have no idea if his brain function made it through intact. She won’t know for months or even years. And those will never make it into any sort of birth stats.

    • Lizzie Dee

      And it is really time it did! As the mother of a brain damaged daughter, I find these “But everything is great now!” comments disconcerting. It does seem that the skill of neonatologists has improved since my daughter was born, but people might be a bit less keen on kamikaze births if they actually realised the risks. Being suffocated for hours on end surely has to do some damage? Of course no-one wants to enquire too closely just how much – but I am pretty sure it cancels out the 4 IQ points that (may) come from bf.

      My daughter was “fine” until 11 months – and she was an adult before the full extent was obvious.

      • Amazed

        I always think about you even when I say, Thank God the baby is fine, in such occasions. And I think yours was one of the most worthy cases of suing for malpractice I’ve ever seen on this site.

  • Julia

    So she basically flat out admits that the baby was just the pawn in some f*ed up game.

    Disgusting.

    • KarenJJ

      Or that she researches names in the same way she researches birth choices..

  • Stacy48918

    This baby needed an emergency C-section at 0.5cm and passing meconium. She waits until it’s “really thick” and NOW it’s an emergency? That poor poor baby.

    Why do NCB folks place more value on their vagina than their baby’s brain?

    • Realitybites100

      Strange. they go bananas for breastfeeding and doing it “right” because it is best for baby..yet take the riskiest chances with the actual birth. Birthing is a game and they are in it to win it.
      Breech, 11 lbs, post date, VBAC..bring it! I need to be able to brag to faceless strangers on the internet.

  • Trixie

    Thanks for this post, Dr. Amy. I really feel like the attention you drew to this over the last couple days may have made the difference in this lady ultimately going to a hospital. Or at least made it harder for Meg Heket to find new recruits.

    By the way, this is the birth story of the lady whose post they were bumping while trying to bury Ariel’s this morning: http://www.onetoonemidwives.org/_stories/home-birth-after-three-c-sections

    “Thursday night came round and Becky, the midwife, standing in for my appointed midwife came to the house (my midwife was in Paris!)”

    “My husband ran around to catch our son but the water was so red with blood he couldn’t find him,”

    “So many people told me I was crazy or stupid or mad for attempting a home birth after three caesareans and no previous vaginal births, but I took no notice and stuck to my guns. With the support of my amazing husband and gorgeous midwives, I am proud to say, I did it!”

    • Faye Robinson

      Nothing like paraphrasing and missing out details!

      Two midwives in attendance and mum caught the baby who was well & fine & latched on immediately

      • Stacy48918

        Two midwives…so when baby’s not breathing and mom passes out from bloodloss in a pool of fetid water… how exactly do they manage to provide adequate care for TWO patients?

        Just because they didn’t die doesn’t mean it was well and fine. You have a very low bar for success.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        Are we supposed to be impressed that she didn’t kill the baby?

        What’s the big deal about a vaginal birth? I’ve had four and I know that it’s not an achievement at all.

        How can you live with yourselves knowing you cheer on women whose babies ultimately die?

      • Stacy48918

        Also – “Two midwives in attendance and mum caught the baby”

        What a WASTE of money. She should ask for a refund.

        • Who?

          Good to see you back. Sorry about the crazy your soon to be ex is putting you through-I saw your comments on one of the other posts.

          • Stacy48918

            Thank you. 🙂

      • Who?

        Well as long as he latched on! I guess all the suffocation will be made up for by the breastmilk!

        And you do see that the poor child as well as having a narcissistic mother is going to be called ‘Gammy’ forever.

      • nomofear

        Also, so much blood that her husband couldn’t find the baby in the pool, and she was white as a sheet afterward. But it’s okay, they gave her sugar water.

        • Amy M

          I’m pretty sure hemorrhaging can lead to issues with milk supply. HOpefully the mother is an experienced breastfeeder, would recognize if supplementation was necessary and do it wo/hesitation. (I know, she might have no problems, but if she did, how would she handle it?)

        • Amy

          As long as they didn’t give any sugar water to the baby, right?

      • Guestll

        Jesus wept. You people have no sense of proportion. Scratch that, of REALITY.

        The baby was DYING. DYING!!! And that’s what you care about?

      • Cobalt

        Interesting to see the details you found important. No concerns about risk of hemorrhage or not being able to find the baby under water (what, exactly, were TWO midwives doing while the baby was laying in the bottom of the pool alone?), but, hey, the breastfeeding scorecard looks good.

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        You’re pathetic. Honestly. Check out your priorities, please.

    • TsuDhoNimh

      “the water was so red with blood he couldn’t find him,””

      You know … if you birth on DRY LAND like our ancestors did, it’s not an issue.

      Even seals come out of the water to deliver their pups.

    • Anj Fabian

      That one? I posted that on Fed Up a week or two ago.

      A bit late to the party, eh?

      I was relieved to see that the baby seemed to be okay, but when there are three adults present for the birth (not counting mother) and NONE of them are attending to the birth closely enough to catch the baby – I have to wonder if there was a wild party going on at the same time.

  • EllenL

    That is so painful to read. That poor baby, struggling to survive while his mother holds out for her “perfect birth” experience.

    Why oh why does a baby have to be at death’s door a before a NCB junkie agrees to a C-section?

    Another thing that’s puzzling is the comment that the baby is “only 7 lbs. 4 oz.'” That sounds like healthy, average weight to me. But that’s yet another area where the birth junkies are in a competition. They glorify having huge babies, the bigger the better. To them, there are no bragging rights in having a normal weight baby.

    • Dr Kitty

      They’re so used to hearing 10lb, and 11lb 42week babies in women who haven’t been screened for GDM that anything under 8lbs sounds tiny to them.
      8lbs is average at term.
      7lbs 4oz is perfectly within normal range.

      My last baby was 6lbs 3oz, and even though I’m small and my siblings and I were all between 6lbs 5oz and 6lbs 8oz, I’m still being assertively monitored for IUGR in this pregnancy. My OB says he’s seen too many doctors having IUGR babies because we don’t rest properly or look after our stress levels, and given DH is above average height, he’d rather be cautious rather than just assume that all my babies are “supposed” to be smaller than average.
      His level of risk aversion and mine are very much on the same page, and frankly, why would I want to turn down the chance for some nice scan pics?

      • Kristie

        Sounds like his level of risk aversion is about where mine’s at too! It’s interesting to me too, because my babies born during med school were over a pound lighter than my last baby. I took it much easier with his pregnancy.

      • Sarah

        In case the ultrasounds make the baby catch autism, obviously.

      • Amy M

        Since “babies come when they are ready” and according to them, 42 weeks is full term even though many don’t know exactly when they got pregnant, of course around 10lbs is normal. How many do you think believe they have a preemie if baby is born at 38wks weighing 7.5lbs?

    • Bugsy

      Great point. Crazy Lactivist’s second kid was just shy of 9 lbs. Not one of these mega-babies, until you realize that CL herself was well under 100 lbs sopping weight, had done a midwife-approved alternative to the GTT despite having GD in a previous pregnancy, and had steel rods in her back due to scoliosis.

      I’m sure the kid’s size was a hallmark of achievement in her group. Having had a GD baby under 7 lbs myself, hearing her kid’s size just makes me cringe.

  • Kristie

    Glad the baby is here alive. It’s so sad that she had to be knocked out and miss her baby’s arrival because she just couldn’t help but push everything to the limit. What a waste.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Yeah, if she had just had the c-section when the doctors recommended it, this would have been a lot easier.

  • Faye Robinson

    Just when you think Dr Amy can’t go any lower, she does!

    • peanutmama

      oh hello faye, fancy seeing you here

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Are you one of the unethical clowns who cheered this woman on?

      • murrishmo

        She’s definitely cheering her on in the evidence-based VBAC group.

        • peanutmama

          she sure was in the VBAC group. we were all very happy they both survived and she was going on and on about us being this and that.

          • Amazed

            I guess you felt very honoured. After all, if a woman like this one who likes online games with tiny little lives on the stake thought you rocked, hell, it wouldn’t have been a glowing recommendation.

          • Who?

            I wonder if these people allow their kids to play violent-say war simulation-computer games? Because as we all know it is terribly damaging to play at killing pretend people in a gaming scenario.

            Whereas almost actually ending a real life during labour is, well, an exhilarating act of self determination, proving that one has rights and choices. And crowd sourcing and sharing on line is so empowering!

      • Faye Robinson

        Why not check your screenshots, you certainly seem to have a few!

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          How do you feel about the fact that everyone’s intuition proved to be worthless? Everyone encouraged her to believe that she could have a vaginal birth and they were wrong. Everyone encouraged her went she ignored the hospital’s recommendation for a C-section and they were wrong. Mom ignored real medical advice and she was wrong.

          So much for your vaunted intuition.

      • Trixie

        She doesn’t appear to be in the HBAC group.

    • luckymama75

      Yeah, you’d swear she was gambling infants lives or something…

    • Stacy48918

      What exactly is lower than encouraging this woman to risk her baby’s life?

      • Cobalt

        How far down are graves?

    • staceyjw

      Why yes, showing how a selfish idiot was minutes to killing her baby- needlessly- is just so awful! Kill the messenger.
      Forget about the negligent idiot mom. Nothing to see here…
      NCBers make me SICK anymore.

    • moto_librarian

      Funny, I was just thinking that every time I think NCB lunatics can’t stoop any lower, they somehow find a way to keep digging.

  • MLE

    Why is it only a great decision to have a c-section or formula feed AFTER the baby has risked brain damage or starvation? It’s like waiting for a small kitchen fire to consume half your house before calling the fire department. Bravo for your brinksmanship!

    • nomofear

      thanks to my readings here, I went into the hospital for my last birth telling them flat out that I was combo feeding and that I’d be using the nursery at night while there. My baby’s pediatrician was so happy that my baby only lost 4% of birth wrought and didn’t get jaundiced. She said it’s funny – if you come in saying you’re combo feeding, they pretty much leave you alone, but if you come in saying breast only and then want to add formula, it’s like you’re asking to kill a puppy or something. She also noted that babies who were given a little formula at first never got jaundiced.

      After reading things here, no way was I going to risk my baby not getting enough nutrition in the first couple days. I think this is an area where people are seriously misinformed, and flat out lied to, and why? I mean, even with my assertiveness, I still had a lac consultant come in and tell me that I needed to EBF or my milk wouldn’t come in, and then try to guilt me into keeping baby with me that night. I didn’t waste breath on telling her the first was a lie, and no to the second. Nod and smile…by the way, even with maybe five total breastfeeding seasons while at the hospital, my milk came in fast and furious the day I was released, two days post birth. anyhow, it bothers me so much that that bit of woo is allowed in medicine. Lactation should become its own specialty, with actual science and schooling behind it. It shouldn’t be allowed a space in the hospital, playing at medicine while telling lies.

      A long way to say amen, but I’m passionate about this.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    :blank stare:

    • Cobalt

      :double blink:

      “I…can’t…even…”

      • Amazed

        She’s joking, right? Dr Amy? Please tell me that you’re joking.

  • peanutmama

    i am very happy they both made it. but i do not see the point of risking baby’s life. does not sound very safe.

    • Lizzie Dee

      The risk the baby’s life because the risk of the loss of brain cells is SO underplayed. My baby was by far the healthiest in NICU, and progressed well. Too late.

      We have a lot of spare capacity in our brains, and it is fairly arbitrary what the effects of oxygen deprivation are. But would the mothers want to take the chance of being intermittently suffocated and coming out unscathed? I have said above that clearly the doctors can care well for these infants once they are out, but it makes me furious that people are so very badly informed about what it is they are risking.

  • Ashley Martin

    I’m so glad this baby is okay. I was really, really worried the past several days.

    I am so sad that she just didn’t follow the advice given to her during the first hospital visit … instead of just waiting it out and trying to impress a group full of catty and vile women. Women who do not care about tiny, precious lives.