Homebirth death watch


Another month, another sad round up of homebirth deaths.

It’s only the 23rd of the month, but I’ve already been informed of 2 separate homebirth deaths.

One took place in Michigan. It was the “standard” homebirth death: 42 weeks gestation, careless monitoring, followed by inability to locate the fetal heart rate, followed by the frantic trip to the hospital, followed by ultrasound confirmation of the death of the baby. The mother gave birth shortly thereafter, but the baby was already dead.

Almost certainly this baby would be alive today if the mother had chosen hospital birth instead of a homebirth midwife.

The second death took place after a labor followed avidly in the a HBAC support administered by Meg Heket who runs the website Whole Woman, among others.

In June 2011, Heket described herself thus:

I am an Australian woman who had an hba2c and a stillbirth, 10 months ago. I read a lot about what’s happening in the US and think it’s important for women and midwives there to realise that THIS IS A WORLD WIDE ISSUE. It’s not just women and midwives in the US that are being hounded.

At present my own private midwife is being investigated on the most absurd of charges. I won’t detail them here due to privacy issues, but believe me when I say they’re completely inane. From what I gather, many of the complaints against midwives stem from transferring to a hospital. This upsets me a great deal because what I see is that when a woman and her midwife decide that it is appropriate to use medical technology, and transfer in a timely fashion, the midwife is reported FOR DOING HER JOB WELL.

We must stand together, around the world, to bring about real and lasting change. Change that benefits, women, babies, midwives, and society as a whole. Heal birth, heal the earth.

Apparently having let her own baby die at homebirth, she wants to encourage other women to do create their own tragedies.

The mother in question was attempting a UBA3C (unassisted homebirth after 3 C-sections).

It’s not as though she didn’t understand that babies can die. She had already lost 1 infant to SIDS and had multiple miscarriages. Several years ago she posted this video on YouTube to raise awareness of infant and pregnancy loss.

TR infant loss

What happened?

Birth Story of Garlen **Trigger warning: Loss, trauma**

I went into labor late Wednesday (4/1/15) night… Thursday my water broke, and I had a small leak, not the huge gush. I stayed hydrated to help replenish fluids. Contractions continued, and we monitored movement and when baby wasn’t moving much, we’d use the doppler to find baby’s heartbeat.

She labored on and off with rupture membranes for FIVE DAYS!

Around 5 am on Tuesday, I had been in and out of sleep from hard contractions, and I realized I hadn’t felt the baby move for a few hours. I got the doppler…and we couldn’t find their heartbeat. We came into the hospital. They confirmed with an ultrasound baby had passed… The attending said he would let me attempt a vaginal birth…

…They called another ultrasound, and found he was breech and the new attending doctor was not comfortable with me continuing …

They couldn’t give me any pain relief, so they started prepping me for a c-section under general. While the doctor was out, she came up with an idea of attempting vaginal delivery under the general and if it didn’t work, then they would go ahead with the c-section. Before the gases knocked me out, they were still trying to have me push in the OR.

She had labored on and off with ruptured membranes and a breech baby for FIVE DAYS!

I was in recovery when I woke up and they told me I had avoided the c-section. I had mostly superficial tearing. Nothing seemed terribly amiss until I got back to my room. They noticed a lot more blood than they expected. They started looking for bleeding tears, but none seemed to be enough to cause such significant bleeding. They soon realized it was coming from my uterus. Although my placenta had detached and they’d done a curettage after he was born, I had four small pieces of retained placenta. They had to perform another curettage without my having pain meds, otherwise they were going to have to perform a hysterectomy. Luckily they got the retained placental pieces out, and the bleeding resolved.

After they monitored me a little longer, I got to meet my son. (We hadn’t done any ultrasounds, so we were team green.) Garlen … was born sleeping at 3:43 pm on April 7, 2015. He was 9 lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long. He has a full head of black hair and daddy’s olive complexion.

Initially the mother insisted that the homebirth had nothing to do with the baby’s death; she believed that it was related to a blood clotting issue that she learned about at the hospital. However, the pathology report showed the baby had died of infection, not surprising considering that she had ruptured membranes for 5 days.

Almost certainly this baby would be alive today if the mother had chosen hospital birth. Instead she was so desperate to have a baby transit her vagina that she put his life on the line and lost it.

That’s two entirely preventable homebirth deaths this month SO FAR.

There is another potential tragedy unfolding in the HBAC support group. A woman attempting an HBA4C (yet, 4 previous C-sections!) has been laboring for the past 36 hours. She has ruptured membranes and noticed meconium. She went to the hospital, but left when they advised her to have a C-section.


Hopefully, she will ultimately go back to the hospital and everything will be fine.

I’ll keep you posted.

452 Responses to “Homebirth death watch”

  1. Daleth
    April 25, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    Ok, I’m reposting this up top so more people can offer their thoughts. Do we know what city these HB mothers were in (Ariel and the 5-day infection baby)? Let’s write to the district attorneys in those cities and let them know that the moderators gave medical advice, despite having no medical background or licenses, that ended in two dead babies.

    • Daleth
      April 25, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

      Search your memory banks, and keep eyes and ears open: what we need for a good shot at prosecution is a situation where–

      – The baby was born alive but then died (this makes it a manslaughter type of case rather than the more complicated/borderline “fetal homicide”);

      – Mom or a friend/attendant or a midwife (ideally one not licensed in the state where mom was delivering) sought advice re: mom’s troubled labor on social media;

      – People who either had no credentials, or had dubious credentials (CPM…) but were not licensed in the state where mom was delivering, provided advice; and

      – The advice was stupid and following it instead of going straight to the hospital led to the baby’s death.

      If the stupid advice was posted on social media it doesn’t even matter whether mom wants to cooperate with the prosecution, because the evidence is right there on Facebook or wherever.

      • SG1
        April 25, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

        Standard defence: Maternal choice and stillbirth = nolle prosequi

        • Daleth
          April 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

          I’m not talking about prosecuting the moms. I’m talking about prosecuting the irresponsible psychopaths who give the moms terrible medical advice via the internet.

          • SG1
            April 25, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

            Here is an example of where this was attempted unsuccessfully.

            This was obviously not a stillbirth, otherwise they would have cared even less.


          • SG1
            April 26, 2015 at 12:13 am #

            Sorry, try this one.

          • Daleth
            April 26, 2015 at 11:03 am #

            Appalling. But those appear to have been licensed midwives. What I’m saying we should target is (1) midwives who are not licensed at all or not licensed in the state where the mother is, and who provide medical advice to the mother; and (2) lay people (non-midwives, no medical credentials) who provide medical advice to the mother.

            I’m talking about situations like where a mother posts on Facebook that XYZ horrible problem is happening and people (lay people or midwives not licensed in the mother’s state) advise her to stay out of the hospital, rub castor oil on her belly, douche with hibiclens, or whatever other idiotic advice they give. I would think those people could be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license or something along those lines, and the death of the baby would be a motivator for the prosecutor.

          • Who?
            April 26, 2015 at 12:28 am #

            Many people would be in a lot of trouble if talking nonsense-even dangerous nonsense-on the internet was illegal.

            It does get on my nerves that we will cheerfully round up and lock up disaffected and usually middle-class young men cheering for ISIS via broadband from the comfort of their suburban bedrooms while this crowd of charlatans are free to parade their particular brand of death and mayhem without mainstream, let alone legal, scrutiny. I’m betting homebirth has killed more Americans on home soil in the last year than terrorism has. I’m not in the US, but I’ll bet terrorism buys way more online hits.

            When one of these women egging others on to put their birthing child in deadly peril is herself prepared to refuse all medical treatment and let herself die, I’ll call that commitment. Refuse to be treated for that dodgy appendix or twisted ovary. Let kindly nature do her thing.

            Until then, they are just like the boys dreaming of ISIS from the suburbs-a worrying menace with occasional capacity to do real damage.

          • Daleth
            April 26, 2015 at 10:59 am #

            Talking nonsense isn’t illegal. Giving medical advice without a license is (and so is providing support to terrorists, which is probably the hook that enables the arrests of ISIS cheerers that you mention).

  2. grumblemama
    April 24, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    Hey guys, I need a place to completely FREAK OUT about something and this probably isn’t the place for reassurance but I know you all will share in my UTTER DISMAY at this situation. I have a friend who is a midwife. She and I differ RADICALLY on a lot of things, but she’s a sweet person who I care about despite the way she lives her life. She was our doula during our daughter’s very difficult birth and because of the help she gave me then she will always have a place in my heart. ANYWAY, she and her husband are what I think of as ‘true believers’ when it comes to natural living. They recently moved to a tropical island, something they’ve dreamed about for a long time. She’s very, very pregnant. She’s planning to UC. She has had no prenatal care aside from what she’s given herself. She and her husband live (literally) in the jungle and they are an hour away from the nearest town, with no car or other transportation, and they don’t speak the local language. Her baby is due any day now, and I am sort of beside myself with worry. She has no backup plan for if something goes wrong. She’s posting positive things on her blog and her facebook and it doesn’t seem ilke anyone is questioning her decisions, at least not that I can see. I don’t know. How does a person get so totally into that ‘it can’t happen to me’ headspace?

    • Who?
      April 24, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      You can’t. She’s making a choice that will most probably wash up okay. Sounds mad to me, and to you, but that isn’t your problem or your fault. I’d be inclined to withdraw because who needs the drama, and it isn’t really a friendship if you can’t disagree and move on together, but that’s just me.

      I wonder what the locals think of her-if the place is as primitive as you are suggesting, they would probably find her attitude incomprehensible: most people who actually live cheek by jowl with nature, with no get out of jail free cards, would love access to high quality care if they need it.


      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        April 24, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

        It can’t be that primitive. She apparently has decent internet service.

        Once again, it’s the “all natural! All natural! All natural! Computer user/blogger.”

        Is she going to live tweet her “all natural birth,” too?

    • yugaya
      April 24, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

      Can you link the blog? Or give clues how to find it?

    • SG1
      April 24, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

      Her body, her birth, her choice.

      • KarenJJ
        April 24, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

        Her friend, her opinion, her freedom of speech.

        • KarenJJ
          April 24, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

          SG1, I’ve heard people use the “it’s her right” as an attempt to shut down dissent and disagreement. Just because it’s her right doesn’t mean she is free of anyone else’s critique of her decision.

          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

            Oh it’s just that tedious rights argument again.

            Conveniently without any responsibilities to go with it. ‘It’s my right to carry a loaded gun/drive drunk/give birth at home and There’s Nothing You Can Do To Stop Me.’ In the minds of those who run it they have just laid down a winning hand. My you if someone gets hurt it is never because of the exercise of that right, but rather due to the failure of others to dodge trouble.

            The rest of us think they have no grasp on responsibility or consequences and that it’s great they are sharing, so we know to avoid them.

          • SG1
            April 24, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

            But you support that right.

          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

            I can’t do anything about it. People are selfish and irresponsible all the time. Some own it, some dress it up as their ‘right’, some get cross when that’s pointed out, some shrug and agree.

            My preference is to support community and avoid those with an aggressive personal rights agenda, because in my experience that agenda is the antithesis of positive community behaviour.

            But if people who bleat about rights want to tell me all about how something bad that happened while they were exercising that right was not their fault, they should buckle up while I exercise my right to forcefully point out their shallowness and irresponsibility.

          • SG1
            April 25, 2015 at 4:11 am #

            Yep, her right to do what she likes and your right to criticize and the tiny coffins pile up.
            I do like your answer though.

          • Medwife
            April 25, 2015 at 7:12 am #

            I think SG1 is spoiling for an abortion fight. Sigh.

          • SG1
            April 25, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

            No one mentioned abortion. I support medical abortion fully.
            Do you support homebirth abortion?

        • SG1
          April 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm #


      • sdsures
        April 26, 2015 at 9:26 am #

        What about the father – doesn’t he get a say? His child.

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
          May 15, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

          They marry their own kind.

          • sdsures
            May 16, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

            Excuse me?

          • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
            May 20, 2016 at 12:36 am #

            Men and women into “all natural all the time” marry one another. It’s a religion at this point. They don’t marry outside their religion.

          • sdsures
            May 20, 2016 at 10:26 am #

            Ohhh, I see. Wouldn’t want “evil thoughts from the outside” contaminating them? ie Duggar family?

          • sdsures
            May 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

            Hope not.

    • sdsures
      April 26, 2015 at 9:12 am #

      Psychologically, very easily. Off the top of my head, I would guess that one of the things she did was isolate herself from those who criticized her plan, perhaps even cut them out of her life completely.

    • Bugsy
      April 27, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      Oh gosh, is she related to Crazy Lactivist? It’s a former friend of mine who could be almost identical to your friend, right down to the wanting to move to a tropical island without any thought to transportation, language, etc.

      I can’t answer your question, but what I found with CL was that she was so damn focused on proving to everyone she was right and needing constant validation that when I dared to disagree with her, she cut me out of her life entirely. I’m not saying that the same thing will happen with your friend, just that they get so caught up in the cult-like mentality that any other opinion or concern becomes heresy.

      I don’t have any good suggestions. If you do mention your concerns, be prepared that she may cut you out. If you don’t mention your concerns, how will you feel if something goes wrong? Hopefully she’s more mature than CL and can handle genuine concern and outside perspectives, but please be prepared for the alternative. The loss of a friendship always hurts, particularly when it’s to a grandiose cult-like way of thinking.

  3. Trixie
    April 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    The baby is alive. Thank god. Delivered by cesarean. The mother begins her post, “I did not get my VBA4C.”

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      April 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

      I’m feeling really stabby right about now. Sweetheart, IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      April 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

      I just sprained my eyes, I rolled them so hard.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      April 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

      Really? That’s excellent! I thought that the baby had died, but am glad to be wrong! Just hope she comes to her senses about the birth at some point.

      • Trixie
        April 24, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

        I know. I am so glad.

      • yugaya
        April 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

        The baby from a few weeks ago died. This one is ok thanks heavens. I don’t dare think how soon that group will go for their next round of birth roulette though. πŸ™

    • Cobalt
      April 24, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      But you got your baby! What, really did you want out of this pregnancy?!

      • yugaya
        April 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

        She wanted the vaginal birth that was robbed from her. She posted about it previously on the internet even before she got pregnant about conflicting feelings regarding not sure about more kids/I want my vaginal birth. She was even fundraising for a lay midwife who was willing to attend her homebirth. Because “that is the safest choice for her and her child”.

        So even before there was a baby on board there was already an established goal.

        • Realitybites100
          April 25, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

          i often wonder if some homebirthers get pregnant just for the birthing experience and not for the future person they will raise.
          Maybe that is why they can type “I DID NOT GET MY VBA4C” first instead of “I am fortunate to be holding a healthy baby.”
          Dead babies truly may lie second to healing births for some.

          • yugaya
            April 25, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

            I’ve met so many courageous, brave women who lost babies to homebirth and lay midwives. One of them made me fold crying with just one sentence when she shared how the emptiness that she feels is such that her arms sometimes hurt when she thinks of the baby she lost and not being able to hold her child.

            No woman will ever hurt like that over a lost birth experience.

          • Realitybites100
            April 25, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

            That breaks my heart. I cannot imagine losing a child at birth. I feel it is well beyond my capability of grasping the depth of emotion involved (and I find myself to be very sympathetic and empathetic to others.) I wish I could fill their arms with their children.

            Well answered my own question. Apparently some do conceive for the birth. Scrolling thru mothering website and read some stories of woman wanting to plan pregnancies for the healing birth experience, even if not ready for another child.

    • Amazed
      April 24, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      Thank God.

    • yugaya
      April 25, 2015 at 6:25 am #

      There are sobering insights in the comments over on the new post about just how close to dying that baby was when the mother agreed to a c-section.

      The most accurate way to begin that birth announcement would be with “My baby was inches away from death when I finally agreed to follow medical advice.”

  4. KeeperOfTheBooks
    April 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    You know, back when I was neck-deep in the woo and thinking of becoming a midwife myself, I read a very interesting book by Penny Armstrong, a midwife who’d trained, IIRC, as the equivalent of a nurse midwife in Scotland before coming to the US and practicing among the Amish in Pennsylvania.
    It was interesting on a number of levels, but a scene I’ve always remembered from it is one in which a young Amish woman has, I think (it’s been a while since I read the book) a cord prolapse during labor, requiring a rush to the nearest hospital while Armstrong held the baby up off the cord until they got there. As they transferred the woman onto the OR table, she looked at the doctor and said, “Don’t worry about me. Don’t stop to give me medication. Just cut the baby out. I won’t move, I promise.”
    Oddly enough, I don’t remember the outcome, though I assume they gave her pain medication or GA; all I remember is that the baby was okay at th end, so everyone was happy. My point is that this is a woman who, by the standards of her culture, very much values the ability to have a lot of children. C-sections can hamper that ability. She didn’t give a crap about that, she didn’t give a crap about pain, recovery, or being able to say she’d pushed the kid out. The only thing she cared about was that baby right then.
    That’s a normal attitude. This isn’t.

    • Cobalt
      April 24, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

      I actually know someone who had insufficient anesthesia on a “seconds count” emergency section 30 years ago. There wasn’t time to fuss about with the just placed epidural/spinal/whatever and save the baby, she was partially numbed, so they cut quick and hit her with a ton of morphine or whatever as they clamped the cord.

      She woke up to a live baby, and was nothing but joyful for it. Also went on to breastfeed for like 18 months, too.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        April 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

        *shudder* It still sounds horrifying (not being totally numbed, that is), but I’d take that over a worse outcome any day.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        April 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

        I had a partial anesthestic c-section. I’d like to claim that it proves how tough I am but the bit that wasn’t anesthetized yet was my proprioception, not my pain nerves so really all I can say is that being able to tell that someone is cutting on you is weird but not all that distressing. Actually, I thought it was kind of cool and rather wish that the lidocaine hadn’t kicked in fully, but that’s just because I’m a strange person.

        • mythsayer
          April 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

          No… you ARE freaking tough. I was fully numbed and I felt the pulling and it was creepy as all get out. Yours sounds like a step beyond that and just… no thank you.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

            My c-section had gone from “this labor isn’t going anywhere, we should just do the section” with everyone kind of prepping but not really rushed to “get the baby out NOW” in a heartbeat when my fever spiked to 105 (F). Your interest in little things like who is tugging what or cutting where really does go down when you’re scared that your baby’s going to die. And then when I heard the living, healthy baby cry, well, I could have cared less if they’d stitched the uterus to the outside of my abdomen at that point. That cry was all that mattered in the world.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

            Of course, the anesthesia hit its peak just after the surgery and started wearing off gradually in the recovery room, starting with the motor neurons. I remember thinking it was hilarious that I could move my legs, which at that point felt like something completely unconnected to my body, with MY MIND ALONE!!! I was, of course, higher than a kite from the new baby and the narrow escape. I think there must have been some opiates involved too, but as far as my brain was concerned, they could take a number and wait for an open receptor.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            April 26, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

            Yep, yep, and yeppity yep. My OB warned us that DD might not cry at first because CS babies don’t have the fluid pressed out of them and not to worry if she didn’t, but DD was shrieking the second her face hit air, and well before she was even out. (She always has had strong opinions…) Best sound EVER.

          • Nick Sanders
            April 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

            “CS babies don’t have the fluid pressed out of them”

            Now all I can think about is some kind of baby juicer for CS kids.

            Is that where baby oil comes from?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            April 26, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

            LOL! πŸ˜€

          • Pappy
            April 25, 2015 at 7:23 am #

            Reminds me of Octomom describing her c-section as feeling like a wildebeest having its intestines pulled out by hyenas. She’s an idiot, but that made me chuckle.

      • Haelmoon
        April 24, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

        My first was a c-section for cord prolapse. I had reasons why I was a poor candidate for a general anaesethic (previous complications, same anaesethsiologist, I totally trusted his judgement). Quick spinal, not fully effective, and then lots of ketamine once the baby was out. I know it hurt, but she was fine, and I got to hear her cry – wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

      • sdsures
        April 24, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

        Morphine is a wonderful drug for situations like that. Childbirth isn’t the only field in which it’s used in emergencies like that.

        When my husband was a teenager, he had surgery for testicular torsion – which, in case you do not know, is a medical emergency. All went well, and they stitched down both sides just to be on the safe side. The surgery was done under general, and also with a nerve block.

        When he woke up after surgery, there was a moment of non-awareness, and then suddenly, BAM! severe (normal) post-op pain. He screamed (as you do), and they immediately gave him the happy drugs (I’m assuming morphine).

        • Pappy
          April 25, 2015 at 7:20 am #

          I met a doctor once who’d been mauled by a grizzly bear (insert “Meanwhile, in Canada” meme here) who had been given morphine in the hospital during his recovery. I can’t help but giggle when I remember his cheerfully no-nonsense comment on it; “Oh, I totally get why people become heroin addicts. Morphine is awesome! It’s like floating on a cloud.”

          • sdsures
            April 26, 2015 at 9:09 am #

            I’m Canadian. I get it. ^_^

      • Mel
        April 24, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

        My mom had a total breech extraction of my twin sister after I was born with whatever the best inhaled anesthetic available was. She always said she was as high as she had ever been – and it still was 3 minutes of unmitigated hell – but Rachel was born alive, so it was worth it.

      • Medwife
        April 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

        I’d want Versed too. I don’t need to remember any of that!

        • Cobalt
          April 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

          She’s fine with it, and honestly, it was all a super fast blur in retrospect, and in the midst it was just “get my baby!”. The pain was bad but not really relevant to her experience.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            April 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

            Ugh. I can understand that intellectually (as you might imagine, I am perfectly happy *not* understanding it from personal experience) while still shuddering because, well, C-section+insufficient anesthesia.

          • Cobalt
            April 26, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

            I cringed hearing about it, and any time I think or talk about it. In my mind, that pain is very “loud”.

            When she tells it, though, the feeling you get from her is the sense of desperate urgency and fear and overwhelming relief when she finally got to know her baby lived. She remembers the pain, certainly, but her real suffering was tied to the fear for her baby.

    • Trixie
      April 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

      Amish will VBAC in the hospital, too.

  5. anon
    April 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    I know someone who had 3 successful home births. No complications
    whatsoever. That’s great! I’m happy for her. I also know someone who had
    no complications during her pregnancy. She delivered in a hospital, but
    she had a placental abruption. She had an emergency c section where she
    and her baby nearly lost their lives. In a hospital. Access to emergent
    care with a quick diagnosis and they still almost died. Had she been at

    home, it’d been a done deal and neither of them would have survived.

    complications, or lack thereof, can happen regardless of where you’re
    giving birth, the difference is the access to emergency care. People can
    be transferred to the hospital, but in the case of the placental
    abruption, it would have been too late. Nobody knows when their
    uncomplicated pregnancy could turn life threatening for the mother or
    baby (or both). Nobody can predict that.

    Add in the unassisted
    birth AFTER multiple c sections, not only do you not have access to
    emergent care if an emergency happened, you don’t even have a trained
    professional to recognize the signs to get you transferred.

    some babies die. It’s an unfortunate part of life, but when the mother,
    essentially, lets them die because they don’t want another c section?
    Because they feel ROBBED of the experience of a vaginal birth? There is
    absolutely NO reason the baby in the article should have died. I cannot
    begin to imagine what that mother is going through right now.

    all for trying to get the birth experience you want. I do fee that the
    mother’s feelings do matter, but what the hell is the point of your
    experience if your baby died because of it? I’ll be attempting a VBAC
    (in hospital). It’ll be hard if I have to have another c section, but I
    know what I can’t live without. I can’t live without my baby. I can live
    without that experience.

    Yes, there are some doctors who turn
    to c section unnecessarily. I don’t doubt that. It’s unfortunate that it
    happens, and I believe that that’s something that needs to change, but
    these women are so focused that experience that was taken away that they
    risk the life of their baby.

    The scary thing is that there are
    so many more women that cheer these women on. Especially when it’s clear
    that they need to give up on that dream and get their ass to the
    hospital, stay there, and do what they need to do to keep their baby
    safe. And what’s more is that a woman who lost her baby during a home
    birth is the one that’s the ring leader of all of this.

    It’s gut
    wrenching to know that there are babies out there needlessly dying for a
    birth experience. It’s gut wrenching to even try to imagine what those
    families are going through having lost their baby. I feel for these
    women that want to experience a vaginal birth. I want to. I’m that
    woman. But I’d give anything to have my baby here, safe, instead of
    getting that experience. It’s okay for a woman to grieve and be
    upset/sad/whatever over the experience they never had. But it doesn’t
    mean they should risk their baby’s life.

  6. Dr Kitty
    April 24, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    I saw a lady recently for a six week postnatal visit.
    She has just had her 4th baby in 5years.
    She was the most glamorous, put together looking new mum I’ve seen in a while, so I asked her the secret.

    She had a Vaginal birth with her first and breast fed for six months, then a forceps with her second and breast fed for 3months, then an emergency CS for her third and breast fed for six weeks. This time she had an ERCS and breast fed for 3 weeks.

    She said her secret was to stop feeling guilty about making choices that made her life easier, and just to fit the new baby into the family’s schedule, because with 4 kids you either run your household like a military operation or nothing happens!
    When she couldn’t look after the three other kids because the baby was cluster feeding for hours on end, she just called time on the breast feeding.

    So there you go.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      April 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      Wow, good on her!

    • peanutmama
      April 24, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

      that is a sensible way to things.

    • Cobalt
      April 24, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

      The secret of life is to live it like it’s yours? I like that.

      • Roadstergal
        April 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

        And children do learn to do as you do, not as you say. So to care for your loved ones while still making time for your own needs and wants is, IMO, a great object lesson.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          April 24, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

          Absolutely, and it’s a lesson that can be learned over time, too. πŸ˜‰
          I’m still working it out. DD and I were both miserable for quite a while before I figured out (for the moment, ha!) how to best balance both of our needs. One issue for me was the feeling that I could never sit down, eat my breakfast, drink my coffee, and spend ten minutes reading the news because she would go into hysterics if I didn’t pay attention to her for that long.
          About a month ago, I decided that at 13 months, she can play with her (multitude) of toys next to me while I eat breakfast. I’m a much nicer person when my blood sugar isn’t in the toilet. The fact that she doesn’t like it doesn’t mean it’s wrong to do so. She threw fit after fit the first couple of days…and then realized that Mama would come play with her after Mama ate, and that Mama would still chat with her and comment on what she was doing occasionally while Mama ate, and, well, that Noah’s Ark full of animals looked *awfully* interesting, way more so than screaming and flinging herself on the floor, and…next thing you know, I get to eat my breakfast, she gets to learn to entertain herself for a little while, and we’re both much happier people. Shocking, I’m sure, that that would be the case…

  7. peanutmama
    April 24, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    i don’t understand these extreme birth people. i have lived before in a country that babies and mothers die everyday, due to lack of resources. i have known women who would have given anything to get proper medical care. death in childbirth and stillborn infants is a reality of life there in the third world. they don’t want to accept death! they don’t want to be among the dead! they travel far and sell possessions in order to be able to ensure giving birth in a hospital! do you know how wonderful it would be for these people if they had the same accessibility to medical care that we americans have and take for granted???

    • Guest
      April 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

      It is similar to vaccines. They are a victim of their own success people who have seen what vaccine preventable illnesses can do are rabidly pro vaccine.

      • Sullivan ThePoop
        April 24, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

        I often see people who say that they lived through the epidemics and no one died and no one worried about them, but I have yet to meet an actual person who lived through them and feel that way. I think you are right. Birth seems really safe because it is pretty safe in the hospital.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          April 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

          Yep. I have a couple of relatives in their 80s whose heads pretty much explode any time anti-vaxxers are mentioned. They knew plenty of kids, for example, who were paralyzed by polio, or just plain died. If you suggested that the polio vaccine is a bad idea…heh. They’d probably about bite your head off. Tact might not be their strong suit, but honesty is. πŸ˜‰

  8. Michele
    April 24, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Every time I read something like this, I am so, so grateful that the woman I know who was hoping for a water birth HBA2C is going to birth #3 in the hospital with a Dr. after all.

  9. MrG
    April 24, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    It’s simple math. The neonatal mortality with homebirths is way higher than with hospital births. It’s in the range of 1.26/1,000.
    If you add the stillbirth rate then it’s likely 2-3/1,000. There are about 25,000 planned homebirths in the US per year, so you would expect about 4-6 baby deaths per month from homebirths.

  10. abby hogarth
    April 24, 2015 at 6:31 am #

    You are truly a sad and miserable woman Amy. I feel sad for someone who so clearly has such little compassion in her heart. It must be a sad and lonely life you lead.

    • mabelcruet
      April 24, 2015 at 6:33 am #

      Yes, an ad hominem attack is always the fallback position when you can’t challenge the validity or logic of the argument at hand. Well done.

      • Who?
        April 24, 2015 at 7:05 am #

        You can almost set your watch by the attacks, or time the perfect boiled egg.

        • KarenJJ
          April 24, 2015 at 8:38 am #

          So we can tick off the passive aggressive sadness, sometimes babies just die and hospitals kill people with all their unnecessary interventions. Now we’re just waiting on the misogynistic insults and women are designed to give birth, aren’t we? And then I can fill in my bingo card for the night and go to bed.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 8:39 am #

            Don’t forget the eugenics. If your baby died it’s all to the good because it strengthens the gene pool.

          • KarenJJ
            April 24, 2015 at 8:40 am #

            the greater good..

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 8:51 am #

            Don’t forget the “I’m sure your birth experience sucked and that is why you are so negative” projecting and “Big Pharma shills/sheeple” conspiracy theories too.

    • Stacy48918
      April 24, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      So you WANT these babies to die?

      • Linden
        April 24, 2015 at 9:26 am #

        What does it matter, as long as Dr Amy is not meeeeaaan to homebirth advocates?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          April 24, 2015 at 9:39 am #



    • Stacy48918
      April 24, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      FYI – Ms. Hogarth appears to be a Lisa Barrett supporter. I assume that, for her, dead babies ain’t no thang.

      • Amazed
        April 24, 2015 at 9:22 am #

        Hey, Stacy! Long time, no see. How is poisoning your kids going? Do they stir a little, or have they already been changed into inhuman robots?

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          April 24, 2015 at 9:26 am #

          I’m having problems in that regards. I’ve given the kiddo every vaccine anyone mentions and she’s still not autistic. Where did I go wrong?

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 9:31 am #

            Perhaps she got the shot injected straight into her bloodstream?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 11:15 am #

            Or maybe they don’t contain enough recombinant DNA. Yeah, that’s probably the problem.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            April 24, 2015 at 11:20 am #

            Was there enough aborted fetus material in them?

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 11:23 am #

            And bacteria corpses. :)))

            I learned so much when that wave on antivaxxos hit us here on the blog.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

            Especially in the MMR, hepatitis, and HPV vaccines. Lots of bacteria corpses in those, I’m sure.

          • Roadstergal
            April 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

            It’s a bit goofy to take one set of anti-vaccine nonsense out for particular umbrage, but the anti-HepB-vaccine attitude just gets every goat I might have. It’s just everything that’s wrapped up in the nose-in-the-air “Oh, my child doesn’t need that, only sexually promiscuous people and IV drug users are at risk for HepB.”
            -For one, that’s not true – HepB has an amazing ability to live on surfaces, to (IMO) a science fiction supervirus level. It’s very good at lurking for weeks and weeks on random surfaces a kid having a fun playing time might get exposed to.
            -Even if it were true (which it isn’t), suppose in the future your kid is sexually promiscuous, or uses IV drugs? The former is not an inherently bad thing*, the latter is something we hope to avoid, but if it does happen, isn’t a little protection better than “Oh, you made a bad choice in life, have some serious liver damage and cancer on top?”

            *Yes, safer sex is better, and isn’t being vaccinated against HepB and HPV + barrier methods better than barrier methods alone?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

            Yep. I’ve never understood the excitement about the hep B vaccine which, in my mind, is a very clever vaccine and one of the least dangerous ones out there. The liver cancer rate in countries which vaccinate for hep B universally is decreasing. No other obvious effects have been seen: no increase in autism, no increase in promiscuity, nothing. Just less liver failure and liver cancer. I’m going to call this a good thing and go with it, even if it does make Novartis or whoever a bunch of money.

          • Roadstergal
            April 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

            Merck, GSK, and I think a few others. I work in biotech, and one of my co-workers is on a program to treat chronic HepB. Every presentation she gives starts with a background slide on the virus that mentions that pre-exposure vaccination is the most effective strategy. We’d make more money treating it than the other companies make on the vaccines, I’d think, but we’d be very happy if the program didn’t exist due to universal vaccination, and we were working on something else. :p

            It just amuses me, in a dark way, that the anti-pharma anti-vaxxer Marin folk are making sure we’ll have a market for this treatment in the future. :

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

            I went to a talk by a specialist in small cell lung cancer, a disease that is almost completely caused by smoking. He is very discouraged that he hasn’t managed to convince enough people to stop smoking to put himself out of a job yet.

            Myself, I fantasize about the day when I can tell young medical students, “No, really, when I was your age cancer was a big problem. We had a whole specialty devoted to taking care of people with it.”

            “Why,” they’d ask. “Didn’t you just give them cancerBgone?”

            “Because we didn’t have it yet,” I’d answer.

            Sigh. Fantasies.

          • Montserrat Blanco
            April 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

            Yes, stop looking after patients and go to plant tomatoes in the Med really sounds great!!!!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            April 26, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

            I think it’s partly instinctive. My mom instinct, when they wanted to give DD her first Hep B vax in the hospital a few hours after she was born, was to scream, “Hell, no!” and not let them inject Something Germy into my precious, perfect, brand-new newborn. There seems, to the irrational hind-brain, something really, really wrong about sticking a baby with a needle. My intellect won out over my mom instinct, though, and instead I said “Okay, can I keep nursing her while you do that? And what kind of adverse reactions are possible/should I let you know about?”

          • Mariana Baca
            April 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

            Not to mention, kid or family might travel to countries where Hep B is common on vacation, and “it only being common among certain people in the US” will mean nothing to the virus.

          • Mishimoo
            April 24, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

            This is exactly how my husband’s stepmum picked it up as a kid. The liver damage lurked unknown for years until BOOM! 2 or so years of going downhill, 2 weeks of home hospice care with sedation because she was dying rather painfully. Thank science for vaccines!!

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

            I wish I live to see the day when viruses learn some manners. Like, this is a boundary, Diphtheria. You don’t get to get in. Stay at your side of the big divide.

          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

            Like the anti-gardasil people, hate to think of their kid having sex. So don’t think about it!

            And not all sex is consensual, so even a person not planning to have sex may not have much choice.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            April 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

            This and what Roadstergal said are points I bring up periodically in my own circles–primarily Catholic.
            Due to my beliefs, I don’t want DD (or any future kids of either sex) having premarital sex. You know what, though? She might. For that matter, let’s say that she doesn’t. I can’t guarantee, should she decide to get married, that her future husband won’t have had sex, and that’s not a conversation that’s any of my business, anyway. I *can* protect her if he did and is a carrier. I can also protect her if, God forbid, she’s ever raped by a carrier. For that matter, if the latter scenario happens, I could theoretically be protecting her future husband from HPV, too. What’s not to like about this, again?
            I mean, if the chance of getting cervical cancer is the sole thing that’s keeping her from having sex with someone, I’m doing something wrong.
            I’d do the same thing with an HIV vaccine, for the record. I might not want my kids engaging in the sort of high-risk activities that can lead to transmission, but I can’t guarantee they won’t, and there are also cases of non-consensual sex or, say, a dirty needle stick when one is working in a healthcare profession. It seems phenomenally stupid not to vaccinate against something that nasty on the grounds that Teh Gayz Druggies can carry it, too.

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

            Yeah. Now, I’m trying to unlearn because today, I started translating a book about human body and each time I see the word bacterium or worse, cell, my mind jumps back to the amazing revelations I got here since they hit the site and I desperately fight not to enlighten the future (very young) readers of the truth. I just wanna!

            *hangs head in shame for helping bringing young impressive minds straight into the Big Pharma’s greedy hands*

        • Stacy48918
          April 24, 2015 at 9:29 am #

          Haha, they’re doing great. Next boosters at the end of May. πŸ™‚

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 9:31 am #

            Happy to know this!

          • Sarah
            April 24, 2015 at 10:26 am #

            Excellent, I bet you’re looking forward to getting them under their belts. Mine will be having her next round at the start of May. It will be a big immunisation month for SOB parents.

          • Cobalt
            April 24, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

            I missed the memo and got mine too soon!

            (I had an unknown vax status due to having unreliable records and unreliable parents, and a few titer tests showed some major gaps, so I’m catching up on everything!)

          • Sarah
            April 25, 2015 at 3:54 am #

            Nothing wrong with getting jabs early! You can be with us in spirit.

          • Mishimoo
            April 24, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

            Hopefully we’ll be joining in!

            We’re waiting on our Ross River Virus status before wrangling vaccines. Our eldest picked up RRV a few weeks ago (she’s coping pretty well), myself and my husband are being tested because we had some symptoms. The middle munchkin seems to be fine, and if we test positive, then the youngest has to be tested before he can finally get his chickenpox shot (which has been a pain to organise because he keeps catching things his sisters bring home from school).

            Thanks to the flu shot being a inactivated vaccine, we should be fine to get that as long as we don’t have fevers. Also, I’m annoyed that the vaccine for RRV isn’t classed as financially viable.

          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

            Sorry to hear that it seems like a miserable illness.

            There was a program on the radio (Background Briefing) about it last weekend, it is way further south than it used to be.

            We’re waiting on our fluvax, for some reason it is late this year. And courtesy of a piercing splinter on the grubby verandah wall I was washing, leading to an infected pus-filled finger, I just had a dpt booster, sore arm for a week, but at least it is done.

          • Mishimoo
            April 24, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

            Our doctor said that it was up to around 5000 people with a confirmed infection. I hope it doesn’t come down your way! I think that a vaccination program would be much better than spraying in the long run, because spraying seems to be creating resistant mosquitoes and killing off the fry/fingerlings that use the mangroves as a nursery. I’m also hoping, as weird as it sounds, that we do get a positive result because that would explain the muscle tremors that my husband has been having for the last few weeks and at least RRV’s nothing dangerous, just painful and annoying.

            Our eldest seems to be coping much better than most people, she’s only needed a few days off school, and is still feeling well enough to swim and play tennis. It’s probably because she’s young and healthy, but I’m tempted to be silly and tell the antivaxxers I know that it’s thanks to her upgraded immune system from the “too many, too soon” vaccine schedule πŸ˜‰

            Edited to add: Hope your finger is better! Glad you got it seen to and got your booster, because that could have made you awfully sick.

          • KarenJJ
            April 24, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

            I’ve wondered about getting checked for RRV immunity. I sometimes wonder whether I’ve had it on top of other issues and not noticed the extra problems. RRV is common where I grew up.

          • Mishimoo
            April 25, 2015 at 7:32 am #

            It might be worth finding out, even if it is just for curiosity’s sake . I also grew up in an area where it’s common – it was the first thing I was tested for every time we went to a new doctor to try and find out why I had joint pain. I’m going to be surprised and relieved if it is just RRV instead of my body messing with me again.

          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

            Oh it is south of us already, which shocked me. There was a nurse on the program who said she was glad it was RRV as she was convinced she had rheumatoid arthritis and thought she was in for a life of pain and disability. All crossed for your husband and you as well. Treatment is waiting it out, I gather?

            My son thought he had in earlier in the year-exhausted, achy all over, random temperatures. Turned out he didn’t, and was fully recovered after a month’s holiday-his first break after two years of shift work.

            Finger thing was lucky really, as both my kids informed me I was a wimp and then had a crack at opening the wound and couldn’t-lucky we don’t have scalpels around only pins, which aren’t sharp enough. Nearly fell off the chair when the doc mentioned tetanus, but she was quite right.

          • Mishimoo
            April 25, 2015 at 7:28 am #

            It’s amazing how it’s spreading! Yeah, I can imagine how relieved she was, it’s the lesser of the various joint pain ‘evils’ since most people fully recover from it. The treatment is to wait it out, but also rest on your sore days, light exercise, and take anti-inflammatories as needed. Basically just common sense.

            Shiftwork is really hard on the body, I’m glad he recovered after a holiday. It’s good that you did go! My aunt once ended up in hospital with septicaemia from a rosethorn breaking off in her finger. You’re lucky AND you’re now covered for whooping cough too.

          • KarenJJ
            April 24, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

            We’re all booked in for fluvax early May. It’s later this year because the flu virus mutated during last year’s flu season in the Northern Hemisphere and they wanted to cover the new strain in this season’s flu vaccine in the southern hemisphere. Last season’s Northern Hemisphere flu vax only had very limited protection against the flu due to the mutation.

          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

            Makes sense. We’re heading to the Northern Hemisphere for a couple of weeks in mid-May, hope we have it before then!

        • Stacy48918
          April 24, 2015 at 9:32 am #

          “Long time, no see”…yes well unfortunately someone else has been. My ex and/or his PI have been reading here…

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 9:34 am #

            Oh my. You aren’t experiencing any problems because of this, are you?

          • Stacy48918
            April 24, 2015 at 9:36 am #

            He’s trying, but my lawyer says it’s ridiculous.

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 9:37 am #

            I thought it was but it’s good to have it confirmed!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            April 24, 2015 at 9:37 am #

            Ugh. πŸ™ Sorry you’re having to deal with that as well. I’d worried about that possibility when I started following your posts. I like the sound of your lawyer, however. πŸ˜‰

          • Stacy48918
            April 24, 2015 at 9:39 am #

            I love her. πŸ™‚
            Being followed online (behind a screen name in the comments feed of a blog….) bothers me less than being followed in real life…

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            April 24, 2015 at 11:52 am #

            I helped a friend escape a similar situation once, and it made me very grateful to not have to deal with such nonsense on a daily basis. In her case, it was a religious fundamentalist hyper-controlling father who did cute things like install tracking software on her phone without her knowledge/permission and ditto the GPS tracker in her car. Said friend had been a legal adult for a decade when this was going on. I’d heard about that sort of thing, but never realized how crazy it could be until I helped her get out. I hope you find peace soon!

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 9:38 am #

            I wish I could upvote this ten times!

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 9:39 am #

            He must be enjoying all the feedback from the real world.

            You’re an amazing woman. And I wouldn’t worry about disclosing any of the postings, they document a woman’s struggle and liberation and the depths of his abusive mistreatment. That’s not something he will want discussed in detail.

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 9:41 am #

            I agree. You’re amazing, Stacy, and if you’re reading this, crazy ex, I want you to know that you can go pound sand.

          • Stacy48918
            April 24, 2015 at 9:44 am #

            Exactly. I refuse to let him continue to isolate me. There is nothing wrong with seeking a support network – online or in real life. If he doesn’t like reading this stuff, he can stop reading it. I will not let him drive everyone that cares for me from my life. I will not let him make me afraid.

          • Elizabeth A
            April 24, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

            I liked this supportively, not because I’m pleased your ex has hired people to stalk you.

            I understand the limited info, but if there’s a quadrant we should be looking at in case you send up a flare, let us know.

          • Mishimoo
            April 24, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

            You’re strong, brave, and doing the best that you can for your kids and for yourself (which is important!). You’re a lovely mum and I hope that everything works out in your favour.

          • guest
            April 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

            As far as I am concerned, they can look all they like. Stacy has consistently made very intelligent and insightful comments.

        • Willow Schwartz
          April 24, 2015 at 11:08 am #

          Wow, Amazed. That was a mean-spirited little personal attack. Do you identify as a Christian by any chance?

          • Amy M
            April 24, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

            She was joking.

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

            Atheist. A vaccine supporter. And definitely not insulting Stacy.

            It was a joke, Professor, it was a joke!

          • Cobalt
            April 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

            It was a joke (which the regular readers all caught), and why is their religion relevant? Are you going to chastise them for being a bad Christian? Or having the “wrong religion”?

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

            It’s an insider joke, I’m sorry you misunderstood, has to do with vaccinating your kids and what people who do not vaccinate say happens to children because of vaccines. Some of it is …like really out there stuff about government inserting secret chips and a secret plan to turn us all into robots.

            I hope I cleared that up, it’s sometimes really really difficult to catch up with a conversation that has been going on for years between some people present on this board ( been there, done that). Stick around and you’ll probably have a few moment like that again but do not be afraid to ask. πŸ™‚

          • Willow Schwartz
            May 13, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

            OH. Oops! LOL!

          • Stacy48918
            April 24, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

            Thanks for coming to my defense, but Amazed was being sarcastic.

      • sdsures
        April 24, 2015 at 11:25 am #

        “Just a flesh wound!”
        “Your arm’s gone! What are you gonna do, BLEED on me?”

    • Cobalt
      April 24, 2015 at 9:26 am #

      Her compassion for those dead or injured babies, and dead or injured mothers, drives this blog and it’s dedication to promoting safety in pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      April 24, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      How is it compassionate to ignore the fact that this baby’s death was entirely preventable?

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      April 24, 2015 at 11:24 am #

      So, being the only outspoken person to care about babies lost to women who want to perform stunts at the expense of their innocent babies lives makes her sad and miserable. Yeah, maybe on opposite day.

    • peanutmama
      April 24, 2015 at 11:26 am #

      Dr. Amy is NOT heartless. She is doing something important. She has nothing but compassion for those poor babies and mothers who are blinded by an unrealistic ideal. If it weren’t for her I would have probably lost a child or have an injured one. She has a lot of guts to do this sort of work but someone has to do it. I support her fully.

  11. G L
    April 24, 2015 at 5:25 am #

    Sorry, I can’t leave it there. If anybody is encouraging women to “let” their babies die, it is the medical profession itself. Women suffer all manner of unecessary procedures to which they did not consent on a daily basis, and the knowledge of this does have a lot of people running scared, with good reason.

    Supportive, respectful medical care is the answer, which women can trust. Monitoring was inadequate in the case you reported according to you, yet no mention of why. If she did not attend appointments, maybe it’s because of the fear of being forced into a further section against her wishes (and unecessarily – vaginal birth after section is far safer than repeat section).

    You are laying the blame at the feet of entirely the wrong people.

    • Dr Kitty
      April 24, 2015 at 5:44 am #

      Vaginal birth after CS is safer for the woman, but not necessarily the baby, and that only refers to an successful uncomplicated VBAc after trial of labour after caesarean (TOLAC). It isn’t a universal truth that VBAC is safer than ERCS.

      TOLAC carries the possible consequences of emergency CS, which is more dangerous for both the mother and baby than either a planned pre-labour CS or successful VBAC.

      TOLAC again has the 0.5-2% risk (depending on uterine incision) of uterine rupture, which, again is more dangerous for mother and baby than a planned CS, and almost certainly fatal for the baby if it happens at home.

      You can’t compare ideal outcome of TOLAC (succesful uncomplicated VBAC) with the risk of alternatives (elective CS) unless you are willing to discuss the risks of less than ideal outcomes (uterine rupture, emergency CS, instrumental delivery, shoulder dystocia, meconium aspiration, GBS sepsis, pelvic floor injury, cord prolapse) which can occur much more often with TOLAC than with ERCS.

      • toni
        April 24, 2015 at 8:04 am #

        ugh, exactly.. they always compare the most perfect VBAC to the worst possible outcomes of a repeat CS to conclude that VBACs are superior.

    • yugaya
      April 24, 2015 at 5:54 am #

      “f anybody is encouraging women to “let” their babies die, it is the medical profession itself. You are laying the blame at the feet of entirely the wrong people.”

      Medical profession’s globally universal standard of care is to actively try and prevent risk of infection associated with prolonged membranes rupture. It prevents deaths. Scientific census of qualified medical care providers that works in real time.

      Gloria Lemay Meg Heket Jan Tritten MANA standard of care on that matter is sit and wait and do nothing and some babies are meant to die anyway. Narcissistic pseudoscience in hands of lay quacks that kills in real time.

      There is no mistake about who has the blood of these babies that died needlessly on their hands, and your attempt at distraction is repulsive.

    • SG1
      April 24, 2015 at 6:46 am #

      Bullshit. Pure and simple.

      • Who?
        April 24, 2015 at 7:01 am #

        Any particular part? I think Fellow has hit the nail on the head-deflect, insult, ignore, weep crocodile tears, bleat about trust-so predictable.

        Exactly like the gun lobby-what’s a few dead kids so long as all your rights are protected. Pathetic.

        • SG1
          April 24, 2015 at 7:28 am #

          My comment wasn’t directed at Fallow, with whom I happen to agree 1000%.

          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

            My bad.

    • Fallow
      April 24, 2015 at 6:47 am #

      Hey, you know what? You homebirth people need to starting owning these deaths. Just say it: These kids wouldn’t have died if they’d been in a hospital. Don’t try to deflect about how hospitals are full of Mean Mean People, so that you can blame even these deaths on doctors who weren’t even there. Admit to yourselves that it’s actually a bad thing if a baby dies, and that it’s actually a result of all this “research” and “agency” and all these “birth choices” you think are so sacrosanct. Admit to yourself that the price of homebirth is dead babies.

      At least you DO admit that the priority is the mother’s feelings over the baby’s life – no matter how dangerous, idiotic, uninformed, narcissistic, and selfish those feelings are. As long as the mother’s feelings are intact, what does it matter if you lose babies here and there, right?

      Live with the consequences of your philosophy, fully. Don’t point fingers at literally anyone else but yourselves when those consequences end up looking like this.

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      April 24, 2015 at 7:52 am #

      Unnecessary procedures? You mean like procedures that would have prevented this baby from suffocating in pus-filled amniotic fluid?

      • G L
        April 24, 2015 at 8:04 am #

        No, I mean like being cut to “make room” for birth, even though it has not yet proven necessary (episiotomy); forceps, ventouse, and cesearean section done with more regard for the doctor’s schedule than the health of mum and baby.

        • toni
          April 24, 2015 at 8:09 am #

          It’s necessary sometimes. Even home birth midwives do them occasionally.

          I gave birth in a US hospital and no one cut me an epi because there was no indication for one

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 8:45 am #

            Episiotomies aren’t performed routinely in hospitals in the US because the best current evidence suggests that they are not necessary on a routine basis, but only when there are specific indications. They used to be performed routinely on the basis of an older belief that they were necessary in most or all cases. In short, medical care changed when new evidence became available. When is the last time homebirth midwives changed their care due to evidence that their current practice was not the best?

          • nomofear
            April 24, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

            I just delivered my second in a hospital, in an amazing elective induction, and I told the nurses and my doctor not to hesitate to cut an episiotomy – my mother suffered a massive tear with my little brother, and I’d much rather heal from an episiotomy than deal with everything she did! They still didn’t, though. Even with my go for it, don’t hesitate attitude, they still held off, because there wasn’t an indication in my case. They were right – I only had a couple of small tears. But this shows that this doc, at least, is not in it just to cut on women!

            However, during the birth of my first five years ago – with a cpm, in a freestanding birth center in Florida, the midwife manually stretched me between pushes. That was absolute hell, and I didn’t consent – she never explained what she was doing, and I was too out of it from labor pain to object to anything. after, she said something really weird to my husband, something about the next baby will be easy after what she did. Furthermore, she either didn’t notice, or just neglected to repair, some tearing. I had to go in to the hospital for mastitis six days later, and they did catch it and were able to fix it – but goodness, if they were still able to stitch it six days in, holy mess. Also, as I was delivering the second baby a few weeks ago, the ob asked if I’d had an episiotomy before – apparently, as baby was emerging, scar tissue became evident. Thanks, Florida midwife. A scalpel and stitches would have been a blessing instead of what she did. But, you know, modern medicine is so barbaric and scary… (I’m making fun of myself as much as anyone else)

          • toni
            April 24, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

            The obstetrician did the manual stretching on me so it’s not just midwives. i agree it’s awful. https://www.wsha.org/files/177/Second%20Stage%20Labor%20WA%20-%20KSimpson%20Handout.pdf according to this it isn’t recommended as it can cause more trauma. He’ll probably be delivering my next one.. I don’t know if I should ask him about it beforehand. Also interesting is it says that turning down the epidural for pushing doesn’t do any good… I think that is fairly common practice though.

          • nomofear
            April 24, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

            Hey, I’m actually glad to hear that. At least it’s not something the midwife just invented!

            The epidural I just had took perfectly – they gave it on my request, not at a certain dilation, and I could feel the pressure of contractions and delivery, but not the pain. I feel very fortunate that it went so well. They didn’t ever hint at turning it down – in fact, they asked “but no pain?” many times, too make sure that they didn’t need to turn it up! Hopefully those practices are universal!

          • Medwife
            April 24, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

            I have turned down an epidural for pushing a bare handful of times and I am never going to do it again. It does nothing but increase pain and if anything the moms have become LESS able to push because they are blown away by the sudden intense pain.

          • Cobalt
            April 25, 2015 at 12:07 am #

            I wonder, and maybe one of the OBs can explain, about internal perineal damage vs. obvious tearing. Can you tear the muscles/ligaments/supporting fibrous tissue WITHOUT tearing the skin, or without the internal damage occurring in the same location as torn skin?

            Are women who deliver over an intact perenium less likely to have pelvic floor issues later?

          • Amy M
            April 25, 2015 at 8:47 am #

            I can’t really answer your questions, but I do know that’s its possible to have the cervix torn/damaged, which wouldn’t be obvious from outside, except for the massive blood loss that would ensue. I am wondering if cervical damage during one birth could lead to IC in future pregnancies?

        • yugaya
          April 24, 2015 at 8:12 am #

          But quack midwives use interventions like vacuums and much, much worse, they just do it illegally and without any consent: http://www.honestmidwife.com/more-justification-part-19/

          I’m confused, are things like illegally administered cytotec “necessary” when lay homebirth midwives do it and interventions are only ‘unnecessary” if actual medical care providers are doing them?

          Lo and behold, these motherfuckers WILL be performing illegal homebirth c-sections next but “only if it’s necessary”.

        • Cobalt
          April 24, 2015 at 9:22 am #

          Better an unnecesarian than an unnecessacrib.

        • Linden
          April 24, 2015 at 9:23 am #

          My “doctor’s schedule” for my episiotomy+forceps delivery was based on the fact that my waters had broken 36+ hours ago, and I’d been pushing for more than an hour to no good effect.

          After the episiotomy, I pushed once, baby’s head came out, pushed once more and he was fully out! That was about 1 minute. I was cuddling and cooing over him and getting patched up.

          I really prefer that schedule to one that would have me push for hours on end, and probably tear badly, or put him at risk.

        • NoLongerCrunching
          April 24, 2015 at 10:49 am #

          Ok, so there are some unethical doctors who put their convenience ahead of patient care. No one here is saying this never happens. Medical malpractice is a frequent topic here.

          However, does this mean ALL doctors who recommend a procedure are doing it for convenience? If a c-section is done, it can be assumed to have been unnecessary unless the baby was literally dying seconds before the incision?

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          April 24, 2015 at 11:30 am #

          Prove it

        • moto_librarian
          April 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

          As stated above, the rate of episiotomy is 12%. It hasn’t been a routine procedure for years.

      • G L
        April 24, 2015 at 8:32 am #

        Like episiotomy, forceps, ventouse, section….sometimes medically necessary, but nowhere near as often as they are performed.

        • KarenJJ
          April 24, 2015 at 8:33 am #

          How do you tell the difference between “necessary” and “unnecessary”?

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 8:36 am #

            She has teh internetz! She soaks the collective wisdom of Meg Heket, Janet Fraser, and what was her name who decided to keep homebirthing her footling breech and after his death, gobbled money by becoming the psychological guru of people like GL.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          April 24, 2015 at 8:35 am #

          Oh? How do you know? When is the use of, say, an episiotomy medically necessary and when is it not? How do you determine which ones were medically necessary? What evidence would you accept for medical necessity?

        • PrimaryCareDoc
          April 24, 2015 at 8:52 am #

          Forecps are used at 1% of US births. Vacuum assist is used at 4% of births. Tell me again how these are being overused? Last stats for episiotomy from 2012 is a 12% rate. Again, overused?

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 8:55 am #

            Let me check the MANA stats on the lay midwives’ use of vacuum so that we can compare the numbers accurately like apples and apples.

            Erm hold on, apparently they don’t report that at all because it’s illegal.

        • Cobalt
          April 24, 2015 at 9:30 am #

          It is impossible to achieve the perfect rate of interventions (defined as no missed or unneeded procedures), our technology is good but not perfect.

          Which way should we err? On the side of live, healthy, mothers and babies? Or on the side of letting nature take its blind, uncaring course?

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          April 24, 2015 at 11:29 am #

          I have never had any of those procedures and do you know why? Because they weren’t necessary

          • Amy M
            April 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

            The doctor used a ventouse to help me push my Baby A out. What should he have done instead? I think there were two other options: 1)do nothing, and hope I could have pushed him out before he suffered brain damage or died or 2)do a Csection instead. Which of those should it have been?

            PS–I was asked to give (verbal) consent before they used the vacuum, and they explained exactly what was going on

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            April 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            Of course they are going to use them when they are the best option. I was at a friend’s daughter’s birth where they used to forceps because no matter how much she pushed the baby kept going back up after the contraction. So, she was making no headway at all after 2 hours. I also had a friend whose baby got into distress when she had already started pushing so they used vacuum extraction. I am just saying, I never needed any of these things and no one suggested them. Well, except a nurse did try to get me to consent to an episiotomy with my second and I refused. The doctor said it wasn’t necessary and started delivering the baby. That was in 91 though.

          • Amy M
            April 24, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

            No, sorry! I was trying to back you up. You didn’t get interventions because they weren’t necessary. I got said intervention because it WAS necessary.

            I was directing my comment at GL—maybe she has special powers that allow her to determine when its necessary to intervene, so she knows that X% of interventions were unneeded. The way I see it, there were 3 options for the doctor to choose from, and since GL knows everything about birth, I was hoping she could determine which the best option for me was.

          • Amy M
            April 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

            Again, sorry for the confusion, I meant my comment for GL.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          April 24, 2015 at 11:32 am #

          Like episiotomy, forceps, ventouse, section….sometimes medically necessary, but nowhere near as often as they are performed.

          How do you determine which ones were unnecessary?

      • Cobalt
        April 24, 2015 at 9:19 am #

        “Unnecessary procedures? You mean like procedures that would have prevented this baby from suffocating in pus-filled amniotic fluid?”

        This, exactly. We’re not talking about getting the right snacks in labor, or whether the monitor belts could be made of more comfortable material.

        We’re talking about whether or not a baby gets to live.

      • mabelcruet
        April 24, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

        After 5 days of ruptured membranes there was probably no fluid left in the pus and meconium. When I do an autopsy on a stillbirth I always take a section of stomach to look at microscopically. I can physically see the pus in the stomach, clusters of neutrophils, white blood cells that have collected in the fluid and that the baby has subsequently swallowed. I can physically seethe pus in the lungs where the baby has aspirated pus cells, because babies practice breathing in utero , and so suck all this pus into their lungs. And you know what? The pus is mixed with squames, skin cells that the baby has shed, and in its last desparate frantic panic it starts to gasp and draws these deep into its lungs.

        These babies are literally swimming in a bag full of pus, in a giant bacterial laden boil. They are swimming in it, swallowing it, breathing it, and I see the end result. And you know what else? It makes me despair that there are midwives out there who write this off as normal. Membranes ruptured for 5 days? Not a problem….

        And when the baby is born dead, not sleeping, and covered in meconium, and he stinks of bacterial poisons, and I see the pus, I want whoever delivered that baby in front of me, so that they can see this is not a game. This is not a game of ‘ooh, doctors are horrible, they just want to cut you, so let’s pretend there’s nothing wrong’.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          April 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

          That’s horrible, and brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry you have to see those things. I’m so sorry.

          • mabelcruet
            April 24, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

            Gosh, no, it’s my job and I really do love it. We look for the causes of miscarriage, and look at babies with genetic problems and any information I find will help the families-once we have an accurate diagnosis the obstetricians and midwives and parents can get a plan of action for the next pregnancy. Knowing why their baby died is important, partly for the future but also for helping with grief and answering their questions. The majority of my cases have been consented to by the parents although its a difficult decision for them to make at the time.

            I’m very lucky to work with some superb midwives (and obstetricians of course), and I know we all get frustrated by the mis-information out there.

            There is still a persistent belief that there is no point doing an autopsy on a normally formed still birth, but actually we get the cause of death in about 50% of cases, and find something significant that may have been a factor in a further 40%, so really only 1 in 10 stillbirths are unexplained (when the autopsy is performed by a perinatal pathologist and the placenta is examined as well).

            At the moment my bug bear is fundal height measurements and IUGR. About 70% of our stillbirths are either IUGR or sub-optimal growth with significant placental disease. My impression is that these babies were just about coping, with a placenta tottering along at the limit of its reserve and the last few weeks of pregnancy when the baby is trying to chub up, and then the stress of labour is just too much.

          • Cobalt
            April 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

            “At the moment my bug bear is fundal height measurements and IUGR. About 70% of our stillbirths are either IUGR or sub-optimal growth with significant placental disease. My impression is that these babies were just about coping, with a placenta tottering along at the limit of its reserve and the last few weeks of pregnancy when the baby is trying to chub up, and then the stress of labour is just too much.”

            Given another week or so in utero, this very easily could have been my last baby. His placenta had many infarctions, a pile of clots behind it, and extensive calcifications. Thankfully, my OB was able to nudge him out early, and he’s doing just fine. We got lucky.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      April 24, 2015 at 8:38 am #

      So you think that encouraging a woman who has had 4 prior c-sections, rupture of membranes 36 hours ago, and meconium to go home and wait for vaginal birth or death is “supportive” and “respectful”? It sure isn’t “medical care” in any meaningful sense of the word. It sounds like the baby died. That is unsurprising.

      • yugaya
        April 24, 2015 at 8:45 am #

        TCAMN she explains the dead baby further down in the comments: “Babies die during labour & birth, sometimes avoidable and sometimes not.”

        Shit happens, babies die.

        If you are a mother contemplating a homebirth, let that sentence sink in. Look at what she is saying and know that the the deadly price attached to “support” that she and those like her are offering is ultimately going to be paid by you.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          April 24, 2015 at 8:50 am #

          Except that it wasn’t unavoidable. It was nearly 100% avoidable. If she’d had the c-section that was recommended when she went to the hospital the baby would have been alive. If her “supporters” had said, “Hey, this is one of those rare situations we were talking about where a c-section is necessary. Go back and get it. Bummer, but you’ve got to think of the baby,” she probably would have gone. The poisonous milieu she was in and her own unwillingness to think for herself put her and her baby at risk. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. I wish her the best and hope she recovers with as little damage as possible, but the one thing I DO NOT want is for her or anyone else to think that they should do this again. Or at least that they should know the risks that they are taking.

          • Amy M
            April 24, 2015 at 9:05 am #

            Are you talking about that woman who went to the hospital after 36hrs and refused a Csection? Did the baby not make it? I was so hoping to come on here in the morning, and see that he/she survived.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 9:10 am #

            Me too, but it seems that it was not so. At least there is a facebook post by someone with the same story that says that the baby died. I can’t say I’m surprised given the amount of time since rupture of membranes and the meconium, but yeah, you always hope that this person will be the one that gets away with it.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

            Apparently this was a mix up with the other home birth death discussed earlier in the post and the baby that was mentioned as still alive was born successfully via c-section. Whew!

        • G L
          April 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

          It’s a truth that babies die, and that sometimes it’s avoidable and sometimes isn’t. (Nice cherry picking btw, just use that bit of my comment!)

          Homebirth is not any more dangerous than hospital birth. The outcome was not caused by homebirth, but by “inadequate monitoring” following SRoM.

          • Amy M
            April 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

            Which babies die in the hospital? Full term babies where the mother and baby were healthy when labor started?

            You yourself said that sometimes those interventions are necessary. However, if you are one of the (apparently vanishingly rare) women who needs said intervention, and you are at home, how long will it take you to get to a hospital, where the intervention can be administered? This is the main reason why homebirth is not as safe: you have no idea, going into it, if something disastrous will occur, and if it does, you can’t get to emergency services in time.

            And don’t say “oh the hospital is only 10 minutes away”–even if a heavily laboring woman could get to the hospital in 10 minutes, that’s still 10 minutes with no O2 for baby, or for mom to bleed out.

            So yeah, if you insist on giving birth at home, some babies will die and it would be unpreventable, because there were no resources in your home to prevent that death. But if you were in a hospital, the chances of preventing that death are significantly greater.

          • LibrarianSarah
            April 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

            It’s cute how you think you can just make claims without providing any evidence to support them and expect to not get called out on it.

            Homebirth is not any more dangerous than hospital birth? That is a pretty extraordinary claim. Show us your extraordinary evidence.

          • Guestll
            April 24, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

            Homebirth is not any more dangerous than hospital birth provided that all goes well. Anyone can catch a healthy baby in a completely uncomplicated delivery. Unfortunately, we have not yet invented a retrospectoscope to identify these dyads.

            My husband arrived via emergency section after an unexpected cord prolapse. He was lying across his cord and he was born blue. He lived because his birth mother was able to access a C-section – a procedure that can’t be done at home.

            I see this every day in my work in MNCH in developing countries – babies and mothers who die because they lack access to quality care. It’s a shame that people like you can’t get out and meet them. The first question I am often asked in the field, upon learning that I am a mother, is some variation of “was your child born in a hospital?”

          • Roadstergal
            April 24, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

            “Homebirth is not any more dangerous than hospital birth provided that all goes well”

            Again, it’s a lot like drunk driving. I teach the MSF course, and one thing we note during the section on riding after drinking is that doing just one thing is still usually fine when you’ve had some drinks – most people can get on a bike and ride it, and if that’s all that’s required, you might get home okay. But if something unexpected happens – if a car pulls out on you, if there’s debris or oil in the road, if there’s an animal, etc etc – your ability to deal with the changing situation is severely compromised. IMO, it’s a good parallel.

            I do know someone who regularly rides after a few drinks, and has never been in an accident. He’s like the homebirth support group’s dream.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

            Monitoring itself doesn’t do anything. Monitoring only tells you when to intervene. So she had inadequate monitoring, all too true, but suppose she’d had adequate monitoring and it had shown that the baby was in trouble. What could have been done at home? Nothing. She needed to be in the hospital where monitoring would be adequate AND immediate intervention could be provided when the monitoring demonstrated issues.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            April 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

            Homebirth is not any more dangerous than hospital birth.

            Sure it is. Babies (and mothers) are more likely to die in a homebirth than they are in homebirth. That’s an empirical reality. Just like drunk drivers are more likely to die in car accidents than sober drivers.

          • G L
            April 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm #


          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            April 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

            Read the paper referenced in this post here


            or MANA’s report on homebirth safety. They both come to the same conclusion

            (btw, before you say it, I am not telling you to read Dr Amy’s blog post, I am telling you to read the paper cited within it)

          • SG1
            April 24, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

            Consistent international stats indicate 3-7 times increased risk of your baby dying at homebirth.
            These are freely and widely published.
            Your ignorance is embarrassing.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            April 25, 2015 at 9:10 am #

            So G L I’ve given you a reference below. You haven’t responded, of course.

            But aside from that, to your comment, “Homebirth is not any more dangerous than hospital birth.” if you stop and think for a half a second, you realize that there is NO WAY this can be true. There are obviously things that happen in childbirth that need a hospital to handle that can’t be done at home, including time-sensitive emergencies. There is almost nothing that can be done at home that can’t be done at a hospital.

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

            “The outcome was not caused by homebirth, but by “inadequate monitoring” following SRoM.”

            Ah yes, go grab some technicalities to help wash the blood off of your hands.

            Katie McCall is not a convicted felon because she had her conviction vacated.

            Christy Collins was not an illegal midwife because she was practicing alegally.

            Jan Tritten was not morally responsible because she only posted the question she did not know it was real time situation.

            And so on and so on.

            Would she have had received that same “inadequate monitoring” in a hospital as a standard of care? No, she would have not.

          • fiftyfifty1
            April 24, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

            “The outcome was not caused by homebirth, but by “inadequate monitoring” following SRoM”
            Inadequate monitoring. As opposed to real and proper monitoring. You know the kind you get in a hospital. That kind that becomes conitinuous monitoring if the strip shows any warning signs. You know, the kind of monitoring that was provided to you during your own labor, that detected your daughter’s severe distress and that allowed her to be saved with a CS.
            ….and yet somehow you rail against that real and proper monitoring. And insist it shouldn’t have been provided to you and that since your daughter’s heart recovered during your trip to the loo, that that should have been good enough, and that the doctors should have ignored the previous and subsequent signs of distress. Got it.

          • Guestll
            April 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

            I would like to upvote this a thousand times.

          • Nick Sanders
            April 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

            If it’s not any more dangerous, then why are the death rates higher?

          • Box of Salt
            April 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

            The “inadequate monitoring” was caused by homebirth.

      • G L
        April 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

        That isn’t what I said.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          April 24, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

          No? Well, that’s what happened: This poor woman was encouraged to not go to the hospital and to leave against medical advice when she did go because they might “cut” her, i.e. do the operation that could have saved her baby’s life.

    • Stacy48918
      April 24, 2015 at 9:05 am #

      I hate this argument almost as much as “it was God’s will” because it completely absolves these women of all responsibility.

      No, it’s not the doctors’ fault. They make a recommendation – “doing this might kill your baby” and the mothers turn to lay people that egg them on.

      The real fearmongers here are people like YOU – that convince mothers that the only people truly able to save their life and their baby’s life are actually out to harm them.

    • Mac Sherbert
      April 24, 2015 at 11:00 am #

      Maybe the fault lies in the fact that women have been made to fear these “terrible” doctors. You make it sound like every doctor out there is some kind of monster. That hospital haven’t changed in 30-40 years. In my life I have had contact with at least 4 OBs in relation to my health. Not a single one fits this mold you have put forth.

      Maybe it’s the lie of telling women that VBAC is the better choice.

      Maybe it’s the lie that vaginal birth is better.

      Maybe it’s the lie that women should fear C-sections.

      Maybe you think OBs should support women in their choices even when those choices are risky and dangerous.

      Then you say maybe she was afraid of a forced C-section? Maybe she should have been afraid her baby would die without one!!

      How does she know the monitoring was inadequate? The baby died!

      The baby died! The baby died! The baby died from poor care and you want blame doctors that have never even attended this woman. No. No. I do not accept your premise.

      • G L
        April 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

        Vbac is, on the whole, the better choice.

        • LibrarianSarah
          April 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

          Better choice for who? And are we are just supposed to take your word that is true?

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          April 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

          Why? And for whom? Vbac is certainly not a better choice by any sensible definition of “better” when the fetus is breech or the indication for c-section is something that’s not going to change over time. Or when the risk of rupture is high for any reason. It is a reasonable alternative when desired by the mother in a pregnancy without any contraindications, but it’s by no means always the better choice.

        • Mac Sherbert
          April 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

          No it’s not. It completely depends on the woman. VBAC would have been a terrible choice for me. My baby would have paid a terrible price. You are wrong and you need to stop telling women the VBAC is best when its not always the case. Encouraging women to something when you don’t have a clue their circumstances and history is just wrong.

          The risk for rupture is low, but the results can be life ending or permanent disability for the baby. Rupture at home can kill the mother. I personally, did not the benefits of VBAC worth waiting past my due date to go into to labor. Nor after working with children with severe disabilities do I take the risk of disability to my baby lightly. There is a slight increased risk to the mom with C-section, but less risk to the babies with C-section.

        • Guestll
          April 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

          Point blank, full stop?

          No. VBAC is an acceptable to good to excellent choice for some dyads. It’s a marginal to bad to catastrophic choice for others.

          Is there no nuance in your world? Do you ever stop and wonder, “am I being fed a crock of shit?” or do you just keep spouting the party line?

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

            She’s the one doing the feeding now so morally she’s way past asking those kind of questions.

        • Dr Kitty
          April 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

          TOLAC, for even the best candidate, has a 20-30% risk of emergency CS, 1% risk of forceps, 4% risk of ventouse delivery, 0.5-2% risk of uterine rupture, plus risks of foetal distress, cord prolapse, shoulder dystocia, severe perineal laceration and pelvic floor damage.

          The trade off is that you have a 50-60% chance of a straightforward, uncomplicated VB with a quicker maternal recovery.

          However, if you, like me, plan on a small family, have good maternity leave and family support, and found the recovery from your first elective CS to be very easy, then it is an entirely reasonable choice to decide that you would prefer the certainty of an ERCS over the crapshoot of a TOLAC.

          If you are NOT a good VBAC candidate, then choosing TOLAC becomes even more of a crapshoot, and the risks of what might go wrong can begin to outweigh the benefits.

          So, in other words, GL, ERCS is the better choice for me. Surgery doesn’t scare me, I found the recovery from my last CS very easy, I’m going to have plenty of help from my family, and I am very risk averse.
          Absolutely NOTHING about a TOLAC appeals to me.

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      April 24, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      So, you think these women are adult enough to have children but are afraid of normal medical care? I think you are a little lost.

      • G L
        April 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

        There is a big difference between normal medical care and forcing unecessary procedures on women.

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          April 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

          No, you are talking about normal medical care and pretending that it is someone forced and unecessary

        • Medwife
          April 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

          Well, in these cases none of those interventions were used and there were dead babies. Not the best time to talk about how evil and dangerous and OVERUSED they are, don’t you think?

        • Daleth
          April 24, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

          GL, you said if anyone is encouraging women to let their babies die it’s the medical profession. Excuse my bluntness, but WTF? I hear your objection to unnecessary procedures… but am not seeing any connection, whatsoever, to babies dying.

  12. G L
    April 24, 2015 at 5:13 am #

    “Apparently having let her own baby die at her homebirth she wants to encourage other mothers to do the same.”

    Get your facts straight, instead of writing sensationalist and ultimately defamatory statements.

    • yugaya
      April 24, 2015 at 6:04 am #

      You people are your own worst indictment. How many times now have you screamed on this blog about “not knowing all the details” just to go and do a complete wall of silence once all the details of these horrific homebirth deaths have been confirmed? Midwifery Today and MANA and Jan Tritten all said to give them time to “get their facts straight” in case of the killer by lack of ethics and crowdsourced negligence Christy Collins, CPM.

      A year has passed and all of the facts of that case are “straight”. In fact, they are as straight now as they were when dr Tuteur first wrote about that case. The silence of natural childbirth activists and lay midwifery apologist speaks volumes.

      • G L
        April 24, 2015 at 8:05 am #

        Actually, this is the first time I’ve commented πŸ˜‰

        • yugaya
          April 24, 2015 at 8:20 am #

          You think this is the only place I read comments on?

          • G L
            April 24, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

            You said “on this blog”.
            And seeing as I haven’t used my full name I’d like to know how you know where else I’ve been commenting…

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

            Like I said I read around a lot, and you may want to read up on things like idiolect…

    • Amazed
      April 24, 2015 at 7:13 am #

      Are you one of the internet advisors who told her to wait and trust her body? Give us the straight facts, oh wise one.

      Of course, that’s after you regain control over your clattering teeth. You’re pissing yourself with fear that your lovely bubble of dangerous beliefs or perhaps your very livelihood based on “let’s take her money and hope this baby won’t die” is in peril? Just like Christy Collins in the wake of Gavin Michael’s death.

      • G L
        April 24, 2015 at 8:16 am #

        It is neither my “lovely bubble of beliefs” or my livelihood. And I was referring to the birth of Meg Heket’s stillborn son; who most definitely was not “allowed to die”.
        Babies die during labour & birth, sometimes avoidable and sometimes not. Sometimes being hospital could have avoided it; sometimes the cascade of intervention in hospital is the actual cause.

        • SG1
          April 24, 2015 at 8:17 am #

          Name one example (factual).

        • Amazed
          April 24, 2015 at 8:34 am #

          Explain to us how Meg Heket’s son was “not allowed to die”.

          Given Meg Heket’s dubious family connections, I believe there’s something wrong with their family’s mindset.

          And given the rush of new commenters who are so well acquainted with the cases we discuss, I gather that the deadly internet advising board has found us.

          Go ahead. Enlighten us. And don’t forget to include all the cases of low-risk babies being killed by your beloved cascades of intervention.

          • G L
            April 24, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

            “Dubious family connections” ??

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

            Janet Fraser.

          • G L
            April 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

            My own daughter and I suffered under a cascade of interventions, resulting in an unecessary section. Thankfully I survived the 3.1 litre PPH and she was unharmed. But the fact remains that had I been allowed to labour instinctively I would most likely not have needed any of it.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

            What “cascade of interventions” led to the PPH? Why do you think that you would not have had problems if the intervention in question had not been performed?

          • Montserrat Blanco
            April 24, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

            I knew you had no idea what it is like to have your baby in real danger. Yes, I am sorry you went through a bad experience. And no, you have absolutely no idea how it is like to fear for your baby’s life. That is why you can stomach to write “babies die in hospitals too”. I sincerely hope that having gone to the hospital is your worst experience about childbirth, but please do not write something like that.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle
            April 24, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

            And you hope to prevent other women suffering the same fate by speading lies about the safety of homebirth? If you feel that your injuries were caused by the cascade of interventions, confront your care provider. Gather the evidence and present it to the administration of the hospital where you gave birth. Choose to do things differently the next time. Encouraging women to give birth at home, especially after a CS, is encouraging them to do something that could easily KILL them or their babies. Yeah, way to go to bat for your fellow woman. Give me a break.


            Fellow VBAC mom who thinks you are giving dangerous, full of shit advice that could kill someone

          • Mac Sherbert
            April 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            I’m afraid they are going to need specifics to accept your claim that the interventions cause the C-section.

          • G L
            April 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

            Fine. Back to back labour, which “stalled”. This, I have since learned, is a very normal thing in a back to back labour; as the baby gradually gets into a better position.
            At this point I was put onto continuous monitoring and made to lie down for various checks, furthering hindering progress. She started to get into distress which eased when I was upright to go to the loo, but started again when I laid back down. Despite this I was taken to theatre and given a general anasthetic, and during the section lost over 3/4 of my body’s blood supply.

          • Guestll
            April 24, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

            Posterior presentation is not a variation of normal. Most OP babies will turn during labour, some won’t, mine didn’t and was born face up. My labour stalled, it was not augmented, but my daughter and I were tolerating the situation well. It sounds like your daughter wasn’t. I am not seeing where interventions caused your section. I’m sorry you suffered from a PPH.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

            What is “back to back labor”? Posterior position? What evidence is there that lying down slows labor or increases the risk for fetal distress? Why were you given general anesthetic rather than epidural? That sounds like either the distress was significant (i.e. they thought the baby was going to die within minutes if they didn’t get you to the OR now) or you have a coagulation or platelet problem that was a contraindication to an epidural. If you have a coag or platelet problem that was more likely responsible for the blood loss than the c-section per se.

          • fiftyfifty1
            April 24, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

            Your baby had fetal distress so severe that she needed a crash CS under GA and we are supposed to believe that the outcome would have been better if you had labored “instinctively” and unmonitored?! That your crash CS was caused by a Cascade of Interventions that consisted of nothing more than having you lie down to get a cervical check? That all would have been well if those evil OBs hadn’t checked your cervix?! Seriously?

          • Amy M
            April 25, 2015 at 8:52 am #

            Well, you know, that monitoring—if there hadn’t been continuous monitoring, they never would have noticed those pesky decels, and baby would have been born vaginally! Not necessarily breathing, but vaginally. Damn continuous monitoring—so many unnecessary Csections!

            Btw, I had continuous monitoring, pitocin and an epidural, yet somehow avoided a Csection. Merely an anecdote I know, but an interesting case study, because I probably should have had TWO Csections with all that intervention. ‘Cause interventions cause Csections. Always.

          • fiftyfifty1
            April 25, 2015 at 10:00 am #

            Exactly. These women always whine about how they wouldn’t have had a CS if only those meddling OBs hadn’t [insert intervention here]. It’s always the OB’s fault no matter how totally abnormal and doomed their labor was. Their desperate finger pointing always reminds me of Dr. Tuteur’s Birth Goddess posts. Here’s the way to avoid having a CS: have your body function normally. If your labor is so screwed up that you can’t even lie on your back for the 60 seconds it takes to do a cervix check, then your body is doing an extremely crappy job of trying to keep your baby alive. And yes, your baby needs to get out of your malfunctioning body NOW. That is the plain unvarnished truth of it.

            And NCB philosophy will hold that against you. It will. To them, you are Broken. That’s why NCB indoctrinated women are so desperate to prove they can birth vaginally and go to ridiculous lengths to blame failed labors on somebody, anybody, other than themselves. OBs, in contrast, never hold it against you. If your body is indeed badly malfunctioning, they are sympathetic for your bad luck and do everything in their power to get you and your baby through alive and well.

          • Amazed
            April 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

            And you know they were unnecessary… how? Because Meg Heket and her sis told you so?

            You survived, she was unharmed… you do realize that the women you cheer on to keep with their dangerous decision are not so lucky sometimes, right?

            I take that back, you don’t. Meg Heket won’t tell you just how dangerous homebirth is and you won’t take any information from any other sourse, right?

          • Daleth
            April 25, 2015 at 9:49 am #

            I’m sorry you had a PPH. Caroline Lovell also had a PPH, after (as you put it) “labouring instinctively” at home, accompanied by two midwives and her husband. Her lovely newborn daughter survived. Caroline didn’t.


            What is it that convinced you that “most likely” nothing bad would have happened to you and your daughter if you had been at home?

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          April 24, 2015 at 8:43 am #

          Heket’s baby was most certainly allowed to die. It was alive when her membranes ruptured. If she had been under the care of an even mildly competent CNM or OB and had accepted her or his suggestions, she would have had the baby by c-section and been snuggling the baby right now. Frankly, she’s lucky that she isn’t dying of sepsis after walking around for 5 days with a petri dish inside her body like that. I feel sorry for Heket, but pretending that she didn’t let this baby die is only going to put her next baby, if she chooses to have one, in danger.

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          April 24, 2015 at 11:32 am #

          That is a machination of home birth midwives to make money off of people’s fears. Stop letting they lie to you to line their pockets.

        • Montserrat Blanco
          April 24, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

          Please show us one example of a medical intervention that caused the death of a baby. In fact, show us two. I concede you that doctor that killed the baby with a badly applied forceps. Please show us another. And no, a woman upset because she had a C-Section is not the same as a dead baby.

          As the mother of a baby that was not meant to live and risked her own life in order to give that baby the best chances possible… Let me tell you, I am really glad you live in that happy world where babies “die sometimes”. Nobody that has gone through the experience of nearly loosing or loosing a baby could write something so callous. I am really glad you have not walked in my shoes. I do not wish what I had to go through to anybody, not to my worst enemy.

          But let me tell you something, once you fear your baby is in danger , your beautiful, perfect, much desired baby, you would give ANYTHING in order to make it live. Yes, most women would give their own lifes happily if that meant saving that baby. So next time you write something like that, try to imagine what it is like to fear for your baby’s life, and know that almost everybody that has lost a baby would happily have had that CS if that meant the baby would live. Which is different from thinking “that would have happened at the hospital too”. No, it would not, but most women need to think about it like that in order to do not commit suicide, because my worst nightmare, even worst than my baby dying would have been that it was my fault.

    • Stacy48918
      April 24, 2015 at 9:06 am #

      Care to correct any of the facts?

  13. hatersgonnahate
    April 24, 2015 at 5:12 am #

    Laughable. The most inaccurate reporting. At least get your facts right about whose birth you are actually reporting on.

    • Amazed
      April 24, 2015 at 7:14 am #

      Give us the fact, then. We’d love to hear them straight from the mouth of one of the deadly advisors.

    • Stacy48918
      April 24, 2015 at 9:06 am #

      Correct the facts then please, oh “educated” one.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      April 24, 2015 at 9:50 am #

      Is that you, Meg?

      Tell us about Ariel’s baby: time of birth, weight, length, alive or dead?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      April 24, 2015 at 10:54 am #

      Virtually all of the reporting consisted of quotes from the mother’s blog, at least for the Heket case. How can that be “inaccurate reporting”, at least on Dr. Tuteur’s part?

  14. katsu_bean
    April 24, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    From the Whole Woman website. Wow. Speechless.

    “If you want a service other than what hospitals provide, the most effective way to access that service is to seek a care provider who practices without standard protocol in the first place. – See more at: http://wholewoman.hubgarden.com/cognitive-dissonance-what-do-you-really-want-for-birth/#sthash.xIyamgBj.dpuf

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      April 24, 2015 at 7:50 am #

      “At the end of the day, hospitals are service providers, and it is their job to facilitate the sort of birth that individual women want for themselves and their babies. – See more at: http://wholewoman.hubgarden.com/cognitive-dissonance-what-do-you-really-want-for-birth/#sthash.xIyamgBj.yILHNJow.dpuf

      See, this is where they get it wrong. Doctors and nurses are not “service providers.” We’re healers. It’s not our job to facilitate a patient’s wants and needs. It’s our job to diagnose, heal, and bring people through illness, trauma and childbirth safely.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        April 24, 2015 at 9:02 am #

        Unfortunately, some administrators and insurance providers are taking up this claim that medical personnel are “service providers” and making customer satisfaction a major metric in deciding how good a practice is. I won’t bore you with all the ways this can go wrong, but will point out that the one study comparing outcomes versus “customer satisfaction” found an inverse correlation. I hope this fad goes away before it kills too many people.

        • PrimaryCareDoc
          April 24, 2015 at 9:38 am #

          Oh, I’m well aware of this bullshit. To my way of thinking, if all of my patients are “satisfied,” then I’m doing a shitty job because I’m giving everyone antibiotics for colds and narcotics for fibromyalgia.

        • Liz Leyden
          April 24, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

          I’ve worked in the service industry, and there’s something to be said for treating patients well. I once had to fast, starting at midnight, for a procedure that was finally cancelled at 2pm. However, some people just can’t be pleased, and unlike Disneyland, people generally don’t go to the hospital for fun.

          The Atlantic recently ran an article about this. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/the-problem-with-satisfied-patients/390684/?google_editors_picks=true

        • nomofear
          April 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

          A family member works for a large health insurer, and I’m happy to report that their metrics, at least, don’t pay heed to “customer satisfaction” – just patient outcome and costs, with outcomes being the most important factor. I’ll never understand why people want to love their doctors. I don’t want a cult of personality – I want a good, efficient, knowledgeable provider.

  15. namaste863
    April 23, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    Jesus H Christ, what is WRONG WITH THESE FUCKING PEOPLE?!!!!

    • peanutmama
      April 23, 2015 at 11:53 pm #


    • Who?
      April 24, 2015 at 1:45 am #

      No one knows.

    • SG1
      April 24, 2015 at 3:38 am #

      Maternal autonomy – her body, her birth, her choice.

      • KarenJJ
        April 24, 2015 at 3:44 am #

        Well of course it is. That doesn’t mean that we can’t criticise her decision and get angry.

        • SG1
          April 24, 2015 at 3:46 am #


          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 3:57 am #

            Not at all. Imagine if one woman, just one, thinking of taking this path comes here, sees the comments and screenshots and realises that she is putting herself and her baby in danger, and decides to rethink.

            That’s a win.

            And it does happen-there are posters here who were homebirthing parents who changed their mind and behaviour when given the facts, or after learning the truth of a difficult or even fatal birth they had been led to believe by their ‘carers’ was inevitable.

          • KarenJJ
            April 24, 2015 at 4:48 am #

            If my time and energy is being wasted than that’s my issue.

          • SG1
            April 24, 2015 at 6:50 am #

            Good for you.

          • Who?
            April 24, 2015 at 7:02 am #

            Just keep talking. I think I heard another person planning home birth jumping towards the medical profession and safety and away from your shallow cruelty.

          • SG1
            April 24, 2015 at 7:35 am #

            Don’t be angry with me.
            It’s her right.
            You support that.
            Wear it.

          • KarenJJ
            April 24, 2015 at 9:02 am #

            Who said she was angry? Projecting are we?

          • SG1
            April 24, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

            Are you?

          • Stacy48918
            April 24, 2015 at 9:08 am #

            Nope. There are several women here, myself included, that are former homebirthers, having truly been educated on the dangers of out of hospital birth. Just because YOU are too closed-minded to critically evaluate what’s going on doesn’t mean others aren’t.

          • April 24, 2015 at 11:58 am #

            And at least one midwife who has actually delivered babies in the home — me. Under the best conditions possible. I wouldn’t do it again for any reason. All it took was one completely unanticipated abruption.

      • yugaya
        April 24, 2015 at 3:46 am #

        After the point where she clearly expressed her fears and admins and people from that group deliberately pushed for this vulnerable woman in labour to ignore her own feelings it’s “her body, their choice”.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        April 24, 2015 at 8:55 am #

        Her body, her choice. I agree. But I don’t think it is the right of anyone else to encourage her to do something insanely dangerous. Especially not for their own profit. Woman wants to give birth at home with no one in attendance but her pet fish in the birthing pool? That’s her decision. Woman sets herself up as a “psychic fish midwife” and encourages women to give birth in a pool of water with no one around but specially trained “psychic fish” who, she assures clients, will make sure that nothing goes wrong (which the “midwife” will rent to the client for a hefty fee)? Not ethical and shouldn’t be legal.

        People can make bad decisions. That’s their right and privilege. But no one has the right to lie to others and encourage them to do dangerous things so that the person lying to them can make a profit.

      • Stacy48918
        April 24, 2015 at 9:07 am #

        Doesn’t made it a BAD choice and doesn’t protect her from criticism.

  16. Karen in SC
    April 23, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    I remember reading a mothering dot com thread a couple of years ago. Same cheerleading and when the mother reported the baby passed, there was just dozens of candle icons posted. Sickening. Captain Obvious used to complain about a particular heinous one on bwf I think. I hope karma gets these bitches some day.

    • peanutmama
      April 23, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

      that happened many times on that website. it sickened me so much i quit going there.

    • Stacy48918
      April 23, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

      They kept a UC list at one point with links to birth stories and little candles next to the dead babies.

    • Phire
      April 23, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

      How exactly does Karma go after a person who celebrates their birth experience even when their baby has died?

      The only thing you could ever do to really hurt one of these women…is for everyone to ignore them completely.

      But so long as there is more than one of them, that will never happen.

      • Who?
        April 23, 2015 at 11:51 pm #

        I wonder. For most of us, our kids being hurt would hurt us more than anything that could happen to us. Most of us would take their pain and suffering on in a moment if we could.

        I don’t know how this behaviour fits into that reality.

      • wookie130
        April 24, 2015 at 7:28 am #

        Well, this comment here more than teeters on the edge of psychotic. Why celebrate birth when it was an epic disaster, meaning, the baby died? What is there to celebrate? I know that if my baby died a highly preventable death due to my valuing the process of birth over my baby’s life itself, I would not be in a celebratory mood. But hey, that’s just me. And honestly, no one here is trying to “hurt anyone”. The home birth movement has done a fine enough job of hurting women and babies itself. Personally, I wouldn’t wish the loss of a child, or wish the death of a mother on anyone, but when women blindly drink the Kool-Aid that these charlatan midwives and laypeople are peddling, women have the right to know what they are signing up for, which is a potential tragedy.

  17. Guest
    April 23, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

    Well, one more child doesn’t have to grow up with an extreme narcissist for a mother. The real tragedy here is that it had to suffer first.

  18. SS
    April 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    Well, one more child doesn’t have to grow up with an extreme narcissist for a mother. The real tragedy here is that it had to suffer first.

  19. Trixie
    April 23, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    Set your clocks because this lady is so determined to UBA4C she set up her own Facebook page about it: https://www.facebook.com/CHRISTINEUBA4C

    • Somewhereinthemiddle
      April 23, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

      Her most recent post from the last couple of hours says that her pregnancy isn’t viable. πŸ™ As much as I disagree with UBACs, pregnancy losses are terribly sad.

      • Trixie
        April 23, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

        I had the page open in my browser a few hours ago and didn’t refresh before getting the chance to post. It is very sad that she miscarried and I am sorry for her loss.

    • peanutmama
      April 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

      seems her baby’s heartbeat has stopped?

    • Guest
      April 23, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

      The baby didn’t make it πŸ™ so sad

    • yugaya
      April 24, 2015 at 2:12 am #

      LOL. For a moment there I thought that the vag badge she is going after is acronymed UBAHC in her profile pic = unassisted birth after home cesarean.

  20. Somewhereinthemiddle
    April 23, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    There is a piece of me that wonders if there isn’t some sort of deep, dark, hidden part of the personalities drawn to these huge risk takers relish about coming that close to the edge of loss. Like the whole idea of not just doing something “against the man” but coming that close to losing it all and triumphing that is exciting and provides a thrill. And if the mom gambles and loses, as long as she sticks to the party line, she gets even *more* attention which adds to the appeal of these types of communities. Kinda like groups that do extreme versions of cliff diving, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, etc, you know? Only way more sick and twisted since they are using their babies lives as pawns. I find it really hard to believe that that many women are blind to the risks they are taking. It’s kinda this weird collective hive mind that completely disregards reality in the hormone fueled frenzy of feeding off of one anothers increasingly extreme risk taking. It’s bizarre and terrifying.

    • peanutmama
      April 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

      i have thought of that too.

      • KarenJJ
        April 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

        Yep. Almost like a Munchausen’s mentality? I don’t know how to describe it. So many homebirth mothers are not like this and are in denial about the risks or have their fears and instincts “managed” by their midwives. But for a few there seems to be this really dark mentality seeking attention for something dangerous.

        • Dr Kitty
          April 23, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

          Trauma bonding.
          They are like this because they have been damaged.

          To my mind, most of these extreme cases are very vulnerable people who have had horrible things happen to them, and those past events have left them with maladaptive coping strategies and mean that they are much more likely to make unwise decisions.

          There are people who are truly lost because someone stole their compass and gave them so many wrong directions that they can’t even trust Satnav or their friends with a map, never mind a well meaning stranger offering directions.

          They’re perpetually stumbling in the dark, following the voices of other lost souls, telling themselves that “all who wander are not lost” and desperately wanting it to be true.

          I can be angry that they are lost, I can be angry at myself that I can’t convince them to follow me back to the path, I can be angry with the person who took away their compass and maps and their ability to trust.
          I just think it s very hard to be angry with them. Their internal logic is so convoluted and wrong, but their choices all appear to be the best available ones…to them.

          Sorry for the waffle.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle
            April 23, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

            Damaged by what though? Sexual assault? Abuse? Tragic life circumstance?

          • DiomedesV
            April 23, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

            Yes. Damaged by one or all three.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle
            April 23, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

            I certainly have compassion for people who experienced such trauma. I just… don’t understand how the human mind can justify gambling with the life of a child. But I guess people do that kind of stuff everyday. Ugh, I cannot deal with the realities of the world and how human beings hurt one another some days.

          • Willow Schwartz
            April 23, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

            If she is successful, she will be a ‘hero;’ a ’cause celebre’ to the UHBA4C advocates.
            I’m so sorry to hear that the baby may be lost. Such an avoidable tragedy.
            It reminds me of a book I read once, maybe “Damages” by Barry Worth, that said a (paraphrased) “A dead baby has no value. You need a damaged kid in a wheelchair for the lawsuit.”
            I hate to sound so cynical, but there is truth in that statement.

          • Who?
            April 23, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

            There is no one to sue, no one to discipline, no one to re-train.

            The emptiness of this gesture-attempting an unassisted birth in this situation is, ultimately, a gensture-and the horror of the outcome are indescribable.

          • schnitzelbank
            April 23, 2015 at 10:03 pm #

            Dude, I don’t like the armchair psychologist. I’ve been through all 3 of these things. Would never risk my kids’ lives. Hospital-born, hands’ down.

          • Dr Kitty
            April 24, 2015 at 8:35 am #

            Which means you’re resilient, with better coping skills than some people who have survived significant trauma and that you never developed their maladaptive coping strategies.

            It doesn’t mean that their life experiences don’t explain their choices, just because you had similar life experiences and made different ones.

            I can think of at one large family of patients in my practice.
            All of the adult siblings suffered the same emotional, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their parents.
            Some have come through almost completely unscathed, some have substance abuse issues, some are in abusive relationships, some have personality disorders, some have severe PTSD, depression and anxiety.
            Same early life experiences, similar genetics, but very different outcomes.

            The ones who came through OK are excellent parents, the ones who didn’t…not so much.

            It would be desperately unfair to say “hey, how come your sister went through all that and managed to hold down a job, be in a very happy relationship, have no mental illness and no substance abuse problem and you didn’t. Obviously none of your issues can be caused by your childhood, because SHE’S JUST FINE.”

            Doesn’t work like that.

          • KarenJJ
            April 23, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

            Where can you draw the line between someone that is lost and damaged by life and circumstances and someone that is just being an asshole? We seem to be very used to men just being garden-variety assholes but what about women too?

          • Who?
            April 23, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

            Some mentally ill people are really unpleasant, and not all are much improved even when they recover. But then lots of sane people are unpleasant as well, so no help there.

            Maybe we try too hard to find excuses for women, since attacking another woman feels like breaking the bonds of sisterhood?

            I find the whole ‘born sleeping’ story so disturbing, and the narrative about the primacy of the birth experience so wrong-headed, I struggle to think clearly about any of it. I’d like to think if they could see the future and their dead baby, they would change their behaviour, but with this subset I’m not so sure.

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 2:39 am #

            “and the narrative about the primacy of the birth experience so wrong-headed”

            I call it vaginal supremacy and it’s clearly a case of biodeterminism spin off show.

        • Somewhereinthemiddle
          April 23, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

          Yes, similar to Munchausen’s but with the added thrill seeking aspect. I’m sure it doesn’t apply to the vast majority of women who chose to homebirth. But, there does seem to be a small minority that pushes the risk taking *so far* that you wonder if they really care if their babies make it.

          • Realitybites100
            April 25, 2015 at 8:19 am #

            I know. It leaves you with the feeling it doesnt matter as long as it was VAGINAL delivery. Born awake..great. Bron sleeping, sad..but always with the glowing disclaimer of “how healing it was to deliver vaginally.”

            As some who had a C-section and an unmedicated vbac (not by choice really, circumstances) I really do not see the hype. Both were a means to an end. A healthy, live baby.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle
            April 25, 2015 at 9:48 am #

            That’s how I feel about it too. I had a CS and two VBACs and if I have another, the mode of delivery will be unimportant. If I have a choice, vaginal would be my first choicebecause for me the recovery is easier. But it’s nothing I’m going to get tied up in, you know?

        • yugaya
          April 24, 2015 at 2:34 am #

          I think that there are often many underlying issues that enable a woman’s fall into the hellpits of such birth choices. I wish there was someone out there who is working on figuring out that mechanism in a scientific manner and identifying the trigger points and catalysts. That way the reach out and help messages would be more effective and maybe prevent more of them losing their babies.

    • Amy M
      April 23, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

      I was wondering if the ones taking these extreme risks maybe hadn’t intended the pregnancy in the first place. Not they are trying to kill the baby on a conscious level, but maybe feel more free to take risks?

      • Cobalt
        April 24, 2015 at 7:32 am #

        An awful lot of them took a lot of trouble to get pregnant though.

        • Amy M
          April 24, 2015 at 9:02 am #

          In that case, my hypothesis is crap. πŸ™‚

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 9:15 am #

            Amy you’re not completely off base though – Ina May invited women who had unwanted pregnancies to come over to The Farm all expenses paid and hang around and let them deliver the baby for free instead of having an abortion. This account by former members, two of them lay midwives there even, states that the kids often ended up being dumped there completely: http://kk.org/mt-files/writings/why_we_left_the_farm.pdf

            She and her cult procured that way a lot of women who were not emotionally interested in their unborn child’s well being to practice on. Given all that, on top of the fact that we are talking about an actual way-out-there cult, I don’t buy their bullshit statistics at all. One day that place will be a crime scene I’m sure.

          • Mac Sherbert
            April 24, 2015 at 9:41 am #

            Flipping Channels a few weeks ago I came across a documentary on Al Jazeer America about the farm and they had interviewed the daughters. I didn’t have time to watch it. Has anyone else seen the whole video?

          • lawyer jane
            April 24, 2015 at 10:02 am #

            I knew someone growing up who had been born on the Farm and lived there until late elementary school. OK kid but a totally, spacey stoner by the age of only 13. He seemed much older than 13 too, which is probably a consequence of growing up on a commune with very little adult supervision.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 9:18 am #

            I’m not sure. I’ve heard some women say that they love being pregnant but find having a small baby hard and not much fun. Maybe the point is the pregnancy, not the baby, sometimes? I do think most women who go for home births do so because they erroneously believe that it is best for their babies, but when we get to this sort of extreme behavior something has got to be wrong.

          • Cobalt
            April 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

            The whole point is pregnancy, not a baby…hmmm.

            Can’t handle going from being the center of attention to being a servant to a small, screaming, completely self-centered and uncaring master?

            I’m reminded of that line from Overboard:
            “Dahling, if you HAVE a baby, you can’t BE the baby”.

    • lawyer jane
      April 24, 2015 at 10:00 am #

      I do think there’s some truth to this. But the problem is that they also tell outright lies (like that hospital birth is unsafe) that end up pulling in naive or uniformed or otherwise vulnerable mothers who actually do sincerely want healthy babies.

      • Somewhereinthemiddle
        April 24, 2015 at 10:41 am #

        Oh definitely. Lots of lies and misinformation being spread. I mean, if you tell a story often enough and with enough conviction, people get sucked in even if the story isn’t true. I know not everyone shares this opinion, but I personally think hospital birth has it’s problems. Often times, there are opportunities to make the experience more pleasant, warm and fuzzy or whatnot, safety can always be improved upon, providers/ hospitals could always stand to examine their practice to make sure it is supported by evidence, etc. But, the people who are so far in the extreme when it comes to risk taking often times make their choices sound justified and reasonable to the “middle of the road” folks who then swing over to thinking homebirth is a good idea. The scenario that comes to mind is something along the lines of your average, somewhat crunchy mom reads something about a UBA4C and thinks “Well, things turned out well for her” and she thinks she is erring on the side of caution by at least hiring a midwife, you know?

        I have a decent sized group of aquaintances who have planned homebirths and a good 60-70% of them have ended up transfering for one reason or another. I don’t have the nerve to do it, but I would be interested in having some candid conversations about the reasons they thought homebirth was a reasonable choice to begin with and if they would make the same decision again.

  21. demodocus' spouse
    April 23, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    How can you fix the Earth by fixing birth? Seems to me most of the planet’s human related problems are caused by people who are 1) adults and 2) not actively in labor.

    • peanutmama
      April 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

      i am pretty sure hitler and other awful people back in the day were birthed naturally and breastfed and look how they turned out

      • Cobalt
        April 23, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

        There is an SOB post that makes that exact point.

    • Medwife
      April 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

      Maybe by having fewer births? Contraception? That would make sense.

  22. Maria
    April 23, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    I just can’t. It is heartbreaking to think about and the sorrow and guilt these women will live with is overwhelming to even think about. I cannot fathom encouraging a woman to labor, with waters broken, for five days!!! The women who did that need to take a good, long look in the mirror, but they won’t. I just watched “Going Clear” about Scientology and the parallels between that religion and the hardcore home birth movement were pretty striking.

    • schnitzelbank
      April 23, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

      Yes, which makes me wonder about the link between Tonya Brooks, Scientology, and NCB. She’s a wacky woo-lay midwife & Scientologist in So Cal.

      • yugaya
        April 24, 2015 at 2:18 am #

        But but but I was told to show respect for Tonya Brooks because she is one of the good guys, you know, she says she has dedicated a lifetime and her career to preventing brain injury and making homebirth safer!

        ( Tonya’s idea of preventing childbirth related brain injuries including autism which she claims is a birth brain injury too is selling you childbirth classes on how to birth better.)

        I’m pretty sure that her “work on safer homebirth legislation” was in her own personal interest as well and only served to get lay midwives more access to insurance money and creating their own useless peer review as oversight.

        • Schnitzelbank
          April 24, 2015 at 2:47 am #

          Yes, we were all very unaware of all of her “research.” My children conduct similar research with their fingers in their noses.

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 2:53 am #

            Yes but your kids are ethical and reasonable folks who don’t “consider themselves to be a scientist” like Tonya Brooks describes herself while she charges 300$ for their snakeoil class on how you should birth in her birth center to avoid your baby suffering Autism = hospital birth brain injury.

            She’s a complete fraud.

      • Bombshellrisa
        April 24, 2015 at 3:00 am #

        She is a Sister in Chains if that is an indication of anything. She was also one of the cheerleaders on Dr Fischbein’s thread on the deliveries of 2 breech births at home (also cheering: Katie McCall, Carla Hartley, Lorri Carr).

  23. yugaya
    April 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Who else is an admin in that facebook group? They are all equally guilty even if Meg Heket is the ringleader.

    • Concerned
      April 23, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

      They are all equally guilty!

    • Willow Schwartz
      April 23, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

      This lady was deliberately misled.

  24. Ellen Mary
    April 23, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    And can we note that the hospital honored her desire for a vaginal birth to a bizarre extent? A Vaginal birth under general? 2 D&Cs afterwards? So bizarre. Any uterine harm or mental trauma or maternal risk you were scared of can’t compare to 2 D&Cs, a vaginal birth under general & grief for the rest of your days.

    • Dr Kitty
      April 23, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

      Well, it was probably a manual breech extraction of a dead baby with a uterus which had been relaxed by a GA. Not quite the same as a VBAC.
      I can totally understand why the medical staff went with that option over another CS.
      The baby had already died, a breech delivery was safer for her than a CS.

      • yugaya
        April 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

        You recounting what medically took place vs her narrative makes her story even more tragic. I can’t blame her in any way after reading this, not even for holding onto the warped idea that there was a vaginal victory worth mentioning in it. I hope she has access to proper therapeutic support and qualified counselors instead of that wretched, deadly online pack of birth addicts.

        • Dr Kitty
          April 23, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

          Also, I imagine that was a horrible day for all the staff involved.
          That OR must have been awful, and things must have been terrible to do two post partum D&Cs on someone with a scarred uterus, a history of very prolonged labour with ROM and possible chorioamnionitis.

          I wonder if she knows how close she came to dying as well.

      • theadequatemother
        April 23, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

        Does she say anywhere why she couldn’t have a regional anesthetic? Some thoughts – sepsis, thrombocytopenia from sepsis, elevated coags from prolonged iuFD associated coagulopathy or a pre-existing condition. Any of the former mean she was quite sick

        • Mel
          April 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

          That was the part that confused/scared me – going straight for GA isn’t a good sign for the health of the mom…

    • Stacy48918
      April 23, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

      But she “proved” them wrong – her pelvis is NOT too small! So there!

      So sad. πŸ™

  25. yentavegan
    April 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    I Just. Can’t. Take . the willful ignoring of blazing red flags! Who in their right minds let 5 days lapse between breaking waters and birth? This is mind boggling stupidity. Has history taught us nothing?

    • Amy M
      April 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

      Yeah, I don’t get this either. Were these women going unassisted? If not, where are their midwives? Even the staunchest NCB homebirth midwife must have a point where she recommends transfer. Either that or bails which should give the parents the idea that maybe things are going south.

      • mabelcruet
        April 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

        Its obviously a variant of normal. Meconium is natural, so its bound to be full of healing properties. Baby will come when he’s ready, and mum’s body knows what to do…

        I understand patient autonomy and patient choice, and that a capacitant individual can make decisions that their doctor may not agree with, but if their choice is based on false information and no understanding, and if the midwife is actively colluding with them, leading them into making this decision, how on earth can this be anything other than unprofessional and negligent? It scares me to think that there are women out there who act like this, who knowingly and purposefully are putting maternal lives and infant lives at risk. If a doctor deliberately misled a patient into this sort of reckless choice it would be manslaughter-if they deliberately suggested a course of action knowing that the risk of harm was so great they would deserve to be struck off.

        • SS
          April 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

          The baby comes when it’s ready all right.

          Ready to be buried.

      • April 23, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

        The 5-day mother was unassisted, yes.

        • yugaya
          April 24, 2015 at 10:18 am #

          Not sure about Ariel – she is clear about embracing HBA4C and not UBA4C as her goal. Someone that invested in obtaining a vaginal birth badge does not accidentally make the mistake of going for the smaller prize. She spoke multiple times about consulting lay midwives who were more than willing to take her on as a client for homebirth. If there is a lay birth attendant in the background like I suspect there is involved in this potential disaster, the mother has been coached to keep quiet about it. Attending this homebirth in any capacity breeches even that parody of ethical scope of practice standards that MANA claims to uphold.

          Lana Muniz has a great blog on that over on babymed: http://www.babymed.com/blogs/lana-muniz/how-i-know-cpms-are-not-real-midwives

  26. attitude devant
    April 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

    I’m hearing rumors that the second baby died. Anyone know?

    • yugaya
      April 23, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

      A lot of people are confusing the two stories, let’s hope it’s that.

    • Trixie
      April 23, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

      I haven’t heard any updates at all on that one.

  27. Dr Kitty
    April 23, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    Can I just say that a 1 in 200 risk of uterine rupture no longer seems that rare when you are waiting to hear if one of your patients has a vanishingly rare and fatal disease?

    I lit a candle for my patient, because there is nothing else I can do.
    It has been a pretty awful day.

    • moto_librarian
      April 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

      I’m so sorry, Dr Kitty. I hope that your patient will be well.

    • yentavegan
      April 23, 2015 at 5:15 pm #


    • araikwao
      April 23, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

      Sorry to hear that πŸ™ hope you can manage to switch off a bit..

      • Dr Kitty
        April 23, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

        Going to watch Masterchef and drink chamomile tea in lieu of listening to Nina Simone and drinking red wine, which is my non-pregnant decompression strategy!

    • demodocus' spouse
      April 23, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Sorry for her and her family and for you and your colleagues.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      April 23, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

      I’m sorry; that must be so rough on everyone involved. I’ve sent a prayer out in her direction.

  28. Amy M
    April 23, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    It is amazing to me that a mother who already lost a child would take that kind of chance with her baby. Did she not believe that babies die of infection? Or was it something like: “Well, there were no vaginal exams, so I couldn’t possibly get an infection.”? Was she ever tested for GBS? She said there were no ultrasounds, which explains why they didn’t know he was breech–but even if they did know, would she have changed her plans? I don’t understand this mentality at all. I’ve been reading here for probably 5yrs now, and I should know better, but every time we hear another story like this, its heartbreaking and I’m incredulous.

    • Mac Sherbert
      April 23, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      When I read stories like this I wonder about what kind of people these women have in their lives. Have they isolated themselves to themselves to the point that no one will tell them they are wrong? Have they created such an echo chamber that there is no one who they trust to tell them the truth? When my water broke for some unknown reason I had it in my head (denial) I didn’t need to go the hospital right then. My DH called my Mom and she ordered me to go the hospital! And you know what my Mom was so right!

      • Amy M
        April 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

        I think they DO isolate themselves, and only agree to hear what they want to hear. If someone is saying something else, that person is “deleted.”

      • Roadstergal
        April 23, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

        “Have they created such an echo chamber that there is no one who they trust to tell them the truth?”

        I have seen that in practice – no negativity allowed. Only ‘supportive’ people. In this internet age, it’s quite easy to hook up with people who think the way you do, in real life and online, and exclude gently (or not-so-gently) those who don’t.

      • Amy
        April 23, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

        Having been de-friended by a few crunchier-than-thou “mamas,” (when I’m fairly crunchy myself!) the answer is yes, they have isolated themselves. Many times to the point that the only non-crunchy people in their lives are relatives, who can be dismissed as being behind the times, too mainstream, uneducated, what have you.

      • Amy M
        April 23, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

        I think this is their philosophy

        • KarenJJ
          April 23, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

          I can’t even decide if that’s real or a pisstake?

          • Amy M
            April 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

            It’s a joke–satire facebook page called Inspirational Cosmic Crystal Woo Energy and Healing Vibrations. It’s weird how many apply on a given day, to the story that Dr. Amy writes about.

        • April 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

          That is the stupidest, shallowest, most cowardly thing I’ve ever seen.

          • Amy M
            April 24, 2015 at 6:34 am #

            It’s satire, I don’t espouse those views. Are you saying the idea is the stupidest, shallowest, most cowardly thing, or that by putting it up there, I’ve done the stupidest, shallowest, most cowardly thing? If the latter, I saw it on my feed last evening, when the discussion of these women locking themselves in echo chambers came up, and it seemed to fit well with that mindset (of surround yourself with likeminded people and distance from naysayers.)

          • April 24, 2015 at 9:35 am #

            I meant the former – the idea of shutting yourself away from anything “negagive” or that “causes discomfort”. I didn’t think it was your personal belief.

          • Amy M
            April 24, 2015 at 11:03 am #

            thanks! Sorry, I was confused!

        • Cobalt
          April 23, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

          That’s hilarious, or would be if it wasn’t taken as true and used to justify outrageously risky behaviors.

    • Realitybites100
      April 25, 2015 at 12:55 am #

      yet first concern when entering hospital is still “can I try to birth vaginally?”

  29. Are you nuts
    April 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    There’s something pathologically wrong with this second lady. To know the pain of losing a child then not take even tiny reasonable steps to avoid it happening again is really f-ed up.

  30. Trixie
    April 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

    By the way, for anyone who would like a Facebook group about giving birth by VBAC or RCS after a previous cesarean, that isn’t full of woo, and where any medical advice other than “talk to your doctor” or “go to the hospital” is deleted, you’re welcome to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/289408731231663/414465905392611/?notif_t=group_comment

  31. Trixie
    April 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    For those who aren’t aware, Meg Heket, who runs this absolutely insane HBAC/UBAC Facebook group, is also Janet Fraser’s sister. Just to put that into context for you.

    • peanutmama
      April 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

      i had no idea wow

    • Dr Kitty
      April 23, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

      So they’ve both lost their own child, and a niece or nephew during HB, and yet they both STILL believe it is a better option than hospital?

      I’m wondering about their upbringing and early lives.
      I mean, I love my sisters, but I doubt I’d get involved in any crazy schemes they came up with.

      Maybe trauma bonding explains it, where traumatised people respond positively to dangerous or traumatic situations because it makes them feel something familiar.

  32. peanutmama
    April 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

    omg we are waiting for news right now

  33. April 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    I think there was actually a third death this month….. the friend of the mother messaged me about the death. I don’t know any details at this point except that the mother referred to her attendant as a “midwife.” It is heartbreaking and a damn shame that mothers only find out after the fact that CPMs really are “midwives.” Not *real* midwives.

    • Cobalt
      April 23, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

      Someone here in the comments mentioned another a few days ago.

      It’s just so sad.

  34. Allie P
    April 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    OT: My friend had her baby. (VBAC in hospital with midwives, just as she wanted). Everyone doing great.

    • Cobalt
      April 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

      Excellent and congratulations to the family! I think we all needed a little good news. I know I did.

  35. Ellen Mary
    April 23, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    How do you walk out of a hospital like that? I swear this is pathology. There are some definite pathologies around infant loss & they are dark.

  36. JNSB
    April 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    There was a mom due a couple months before me last year on the VBAC board on Babycenter that played the same game as Garlen’s mom. In fact, this could be her story, but her baby was a girl and fortunately lived. Her water broke six or seven days before delivery and she had intermittent hard contractions during that time, “cared for” by a homebirth MW, and the VBAC diehards were cheering her on as she described the train wreck in real time. She eventually delivered by c-section in the hospital at well past 42 weeks.

    Then there’s another expectant mom in one of the car seat safety groups I’m in who’s asking questions all the time about recommended seats, what’s safest, what will work best for her car, etc., but she’s planning an unassisted homebirth. WTF, over? You’re concerned enough about car seat safety to join a group and ask all the right questions, yet plan to deliver your baby at home yourself? I just can’t wrap my mind around that dichotomy.

    • araikwao
      April 23, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

      Our minds are not as rational, objective or “educated” as we like to think. It is really quite staggering.

    • mabelcruet
      April 23, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

      Well past 42 weeks?? When the last vessel had turned to stone?

  37. Liz Leyden
    April 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    OT- My state is one step closer to eliminating philisophical objections to vaccination. http://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2015/04/22/senate-votes-to-nix-philosophical-exemption-to-vaccine-mandate

    • Who?
      April 24, 2015 at 2:21 am #

      We’ll take that.

      Our Federal government has made a rare popular step by removing conscientious and religious exemptions from vaccinations from families who want to claim tax benefits and child care rebates for the kids.

    • Daleth
      April 25, 2015 at 10:06 am #


  38. Cobalt
    April 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    Please go back to the hospital, to the place where your baby’s life matters more than the scorecard, to where they can save you both before it’s too late.

    Please, think of your baby, of what actually makes you a mother.

    Please, don’t just let this baby die inside you.

  39. Mel
    April 23, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    When I taught in the city, I often felt helpless at watching my students struggle because of issues outside of school – poverty, drugs, parental issues, their own children.

    I now have some comfort. My students had their babies at hospitals.
    They cherished their children enough to spend weeks in the hospital trying to delay labor.

    They comforted each other when still-births happened – those heartbreaking moments of chance that we can’t predict and can’t prevent. If a girl was having signs a pregnancy was in trouble, her friends would make her go to the hospital – because babies are precious. If a OB said you needed a CS, you got the damn CS and sure as hell didn’t complain after (unless your stomach hurt; that was ok.).

    One girl had two planned CS because of a uterus problem that made vaginal delivery unlikely. She’s a great mom to two adorable, growing kids.
    I’ve watched moms and dads fight give their kids better lives than they had. I’ve seen them bring their kids to school with their heads held high and sit the kids down to do homework every night starting in kindergarten. They would make books for their kids to read when they were done with their classwork. The students would put their grades on the refrigerator next to their kids artwork so the kids would see that good grades were expected.
    To my kids, being a mom was about how you raised your kids not how you birthed them. For that, I am so proud of them. So damn proud.

    • Amazed
      April 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

      That was a lovely post!

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      April 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      Hell, I’m proud of them after reading your post. Good on them, and good on you.

  40. April 23, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    “born sleeping”, no you idiot, the baby was born DEAD. Denial, thy name is natural childbirth!

    • Amy
      April 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

      I hate hate HATE when they say born sleeping.

      • April 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

        “Born still” is a euphemism, but a less infuriating one.

        • Cobalt
          April 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

          Born still is sensitive but honest, IMO.

        • Amy M
          April 24, 2015 at 7:25 am #

          I guess, but what’s the difference between “born still” and “stillborn.” Is it easier to say it backwards?

    • Realitybites100
      April 25, 2015 at 12:52 am #

      Poor baby tried and tried for 5 days to be born. Imagine the stress. It died fighting to come out. No sleeping to it.

  41. moto_librarian
    April 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    Why bother going to the hospital if you aren’t going to listen! Does she really think that the recommendation to proceed to c-section is because the doctor just wants to cut her open? Maybe it’s because they ARE concerned about the mec!

  42. The Bofa on the Sofa
    April 23, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    This is just a world I can’t understand.

    • Ashley Martin
      April 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

      Even the people in that “world” don’t truly understand anything.

      Tiny, precious lives hang in the balance and these women just don’t see it that way.

  43. Amazed
    April 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    Fingers crossed. Come on, baby, hold on! Come on, Mom, go back!

    • yugaya
      April 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      You know what moderators of that stunt birth group did when they figured out people are watching them right now cheer on another mother into tragedy and calling them out and appealing for sanity and to please direct her into hospital at least now when it has been a day and a half since her waters broke? They took communicating with her into an even more secret group. So that they can cheer her on undisturbed. So that their hold on her is complete. So that there are no traces of their culpability if this ends in another tragedy.

      And all of this after that woman whom they cheered for five days who lost her child gave them feedback that it was infection that killed her baby. I wish someone reports this and some prosecutor out there says enough is enough and goes after them the same way they prosecute those cheering and watching people online commit suicide.

      • Amazed
        April 23, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

        That makes two of us wishing.

        God, that goes beyond cultish. Those are sick minds. Fingers crossed that fear kicks in and the mother goes back. When it’s all over – fingers crossed – I’ll have many choice words to say about her but for now… good luck lady!

        • yugaya
          April 23, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

          The mother is a victim, Amazed. She is a volatile, vulnerable woman in the grip of predatory team of sociopaths who have done this many times before.

          There is no greater punishment to women who lose their babies in homebirth than the lifetime of fully conscious guilt that comes when they wake up one day from their “NCB sleep” and realise what really happened.

          • Amazed
            April 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

            Oh yes, she is a victim… but it isn’t this simple. One of the problems I have with cults is the way society absolves members of ANY responsibility for their decisions.

            I am not saying that she bears all the blame or even a bigger portion of the blame… but I feel uncomfortable with absolving the mothers of ANY responsibility and tell them that they were good girls and didn’t do anything bad. That sounds to me as patronizing as the midwives helping them “not to cave in”.

            I am not even touching on the subject of punishment. It isn’t about who’s punished and who isn’t. It’s about luck. I wish she and her baby have that. It’s sheer chance.

          • Roadstergal
            April 23, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

            “It isn’t about who’s punished and who isn’t. It’s about luck.”
            That’s a good point. Because women who win the coin toss and have a good outcome despite a risky birth plan become part of the narrative that pulls in other women.

            I see that happening with my friend. One of her friends had a ‘wonderful, healing’ HBAC, and now evangelizes for it, and my friend is taking that as support against all the ‘negative naysayers’. Is she blameless for spreading that ‘good news’?

          • Amazed
            April 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

            Absolutely not. Not blameless at all. That’s just helping create the cult around, “It’s safe!” Helping another woman, sometime, somewhere, to find out the hard way that “It isn’t safe!”, after which that ill-fated woman will be silenced.

          • Who?
            April 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

            The silencing is the issue, or has been, which is why this trend for acknowledging death as an acceptable part of childbirth is so disturbing.

            Many mothers have said that they never knew it could happen to them and their babies; that narrative seems now to be moving to ‘it might happen, but that’s okay it is natural’.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            April 23, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

            Many mothers have said that they never knew it could happen to them and
            their babies; that narrative seems now to be moving to ‘it might happen,
            but that’s okay it is natural’.

            This is why I don’t buy the claims that “I never knew it could happen to me.” It is a convenient excuse, but the instant it crumbles, they just move right on to the next excuse. Tells me that their first excuse wasn’t all that significant. They started with the premise of “this is what I am going to do” and just used the excuse to justify it.

          • Who?
            April 23, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

            I think that women who choose homebirth, like most communities, isn’t as homogeneous as it might appear from the outside.

            We’ve seen people walk away from that community despite good outcomes at homebirth when they come to understand the risks, and at the other extreme repeated homebirths despite either the mother or an immediate contact having a baby die previously.

            My son’s friend is training to be a doula, and is on facebook complaining about how insurers won’t insure midwives for homebirth, making it ‘illegal’. Interestingly most of her friends are putting nothing on facebook though the ones through my house are appalled by what she is posting. She’s apparently thick and stubborn-what an attractive combination-and In between the eyerolls I think I’ll get him to send her a link to Doula Dani.

          • sdsures
            April 24, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

            I know that it’s not exactly the same, but could the cavalier attitude to death be transplanted in NCBers’ minds from what they experienced earlier in their lives, the deaths of grandparents? It is considered “part of ife” that we will all at some point grow old and die.

            It upsets us (non-NCBers) when babies die (as it should) because there’s always the question of the loss of plurapotentiality in the life of a child, what could have been done to save it, etc.

            When grandparents die, yes, it is painful and sad, but there isn’t an “Oh this was unexpected” component as much. There’s not much anyone could have done to prevent it. But what we can do is provide them care, love and dignity in their last days.

            It still hurts like hell to lose an adult loved one (my dad died of SLE when I was 2, and I have no memories of him. He was about 35 years old at the time).

            But in some ways, death in old age is treated as expected.

            So, has this acceptance mantra now been wrongly applied? Is it a coping mechanism? If so, form whom? The parents? The midwives pushing an ideology? Both?

          • Cobalt
            April 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

            It’s not like there’s room for only one contributing factor. The woman has the ultimate responsibility for herself and her choices, being the one who has to make them. That does not absolve the surrounding voices calling for, encouraging, and glorifying bad decisions, though.

          • Roadstergal
            April 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

            That’s what I was dancing around, I suppose. There are bad ideas out there – sort of a Rule 34 of the real world, I guess – if you can think of something, anything, to do, at least one person out there is a big fan of doing it. But you only get beyond Just A Bad Idea by signal-boosting, and everyone who participates in the signal-boosting is, IMO, complicit to some extent.

          • Cobalt
            April 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

            She’s a victim, sure, but a willing one. Adults have the ultimate responsibility to control their actions, to protect their children. To THINK about the choices they make and not blindly follow impulse or dogma.

            To put a little spin on an old saying:
            If all of your friends pushed their kids off a bridge, does that mean you should, too?

          • LibrarianSarah
            April 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm #



          • Cobalt
            April 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

            But the flames aren’t real, they’re in her cheerleader’s head, and she knows that.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

            Maybe. I’d assess the situation first. Mostly because I have seen a situation where everyone “jumped off the bridge”: I was in NYC on 9/11/01 and saw a bunch of my friends go from being extreme skeptics of Bush and his mumbling about how dangerous the world was to suddenly supporting Bush and his plans to invade anywhere vaguely Islamic. It worked out poorly, IMHO. I understand why they jumped off the bridge (supported the invasion of not only Afghanistan but also Iraq)–that was one fricking scary event–but I think they would have been better off not jumping (maintaining skepticism towards Bush’s plans.) My conclusion: Yes, it is possible that your friends all went insane at once and you’d better check that possibility before making your own decision.

          • Cobalt
            April 23, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

            “Yes, it is possible that your friends all went insane at once and you’d better check that possibility before making your own decision.”

            Or maybe your friends have been insane the whole time, and this is just the incontrovertible proof. Mobs are dangerous, because they’re stupid, even if the individuals that make up the mob aren’t.

          • LibrarianSarah
            April 23, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

            Mobs get a bad rep but crowd-sourcing has proven that sufficiently large groups of people are more brilliant than any individual. We like to see large groups of people (specifically groups we are not apart of) as mindless hoards but humanity has only survived this long because we are a social species that works together. Mobs are dangerous because they are, by definition, angry and each individuals anger feeds of each other. But you could also have a group of people whose brilliance feeds off each other and when that occurs awesome happens.

            TLDR: People are awesome, people working together is awesome-er and I am not sure yet what is awesomist

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

            Working in groups is strange. It’s clear that you can accomplish things working together that no individual could by him or herself. OTOH, crowds can get into very strange and destructive behaviors that very few individuals would do by themselves either. My feeling is that we don’t really know how to cooperate most effectively yet. It’d be an interesting thing to study.

          • LibrarianSarah
            April 23, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

            But you could say that about individuals as well. The existence of Ted Bundy doesn’t make all or most individuals dangerous. In the same vien, the existence of The Peoples Temple make crowds dangerous. (Also to be fair to the victims of Jonestown most of them only “drunk the kool aid” because they had a gun to their back)

          • Cobalt
            April 23, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

            There’s a big difference between collaborative crowdsourcing and a mob. Mobs are driven by unanalysed emotion, and are stupid because of it. Blind adherence to whatever ideology fuels the emotion of the mob (and it’s not always anger- fear and passion are some other options) is the glue. Mass collaboration specifically includes large numbers to get more analysis, more viewpoints, more ideas, smarter results. The cohesion of the collaborative group comes from dedication to finding the best answer.

          • Bombshellrisa
            April 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

            Unless the “crowd” includes Jan Triten, Christie Collins and anyone quoting Gloria Lemay. We all saw how that one ended.

          • LibrarianSarah
            April 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

            To be fair if I saw all my friends jumping of a bridge I probably look around for fire or something before jumping. If i didn’t see anything I probably wouldn’t jump but I wouldn’t stay on the bridge for much longer either. Would standing on the bridge dispite everyone jumping be 9/11 Truthism? The whole metaphor really doesn’t work tbh. Which brings me back to my original thesis that metaphors are stupid.

          • yugaya
            April 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

            I think it’s more like this: if you saw a bunch of your friends each first throw their newborn baby off of a bridge then dive after them and they and their babies each time ended up not drowning, and after encountering more such babythrowing women online who all say it was the best, most empowering thing ever that they did, would you not be tempted to think that there must be something to it?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            April 23, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

            “If all your friends drove home drunk from the bar, would you do it, too?”

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

            Not jumping off the bridge would be not saying, “Thank god we have Bush and not Gore in the White House. I voted for Gore but he’d be too much of a wimp to strike back and then the terrorists wouldn’t respect us.” It’s not quite a quote, but it’s pretty close to what someone I’d previously thought reasonably sensible said after 9/11. In that case, even though the bridge was burning (the terrorist threat was all too real), jumping off still wasn’t the best bet.

          • Bugsy
            April 23, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

            That’s the interesting thing – this crowd has convinced itself that *they* are the thinking ones going against the grain, and that the rest of us are simply the unthinking “sheeples” drinking the kool-aid of Big Pharma. All based on internet echo chambers, feel-good medicine and a distrust of the modern world.

          • moto_librarian
            April 23, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

            I feel really conflicted about this. I do believe that the echo chamber of NCB can lead women to believe that home birth really is the safest thing they can do for their babies, but this woman KNOWS that meconium is a bad sign. Rather than accept that it’s probably time to have another section, she claims that the doctors aren’t worried about her baby but just want to “cut” her. She will have to bear some responsibility if her child dies because she didn’t take the advice of medical professionals.

          • Amazed
            April 23, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

            I cannot believe they weren’t really worried about that meconium. My guess is that she just heard the word c-section and her mind closed there.

            It’s an interesting mentality. Suddenly, meconium is no longer a big deal cause doctors didn’t say it was but a c-section is just doctors want to cut me open? Selective listening and comprehending to the max.

            Come on, come on, go back there… Hold on kiddo!

          • DiomedesV
            April 23, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

            “There is no greater punishment to women who lose their babies in homebirth…”

            Sure there is. It’s death.

            The mothers, by and large, have the luxury of living to tell the tale, and even to “wake up.” If they play it right, they can be on the receiving end of sympathy and pity for the rest of their lives. If they stick to the party line, they get to be martyrs for the cause. If not, they may become avengers, blazing with righteous ire at their former compatriots.

            Face it. These women love all aspects of this process. Going against “the man.” Braving the concern of their family and friends. And if the “worst” should happen, then the outpouring of sympathy and the opportunity to either be righteously indignant should anyone dare to hold them to account, or to be come the very angel of vengeance.

            In other words, they fit the profile of narcissists.

          • yugaya
            April 24, 2015 at 2:27 am #

            I see where you’re going with that and agree to an extent that there is a narcissist component to what they are doing but there is a clear hierarchy of egos and these mothers are subordinates in social relationship with sociopaths like Meg. I’ve gone through the story of Ariel last night and you can literally timeline how her indoctrination took place and how those killers are the ones pulling the strings – even when she tried to voice her concerns now when in labour they dismissed her and told her to “trust her intuition” but only the kind that plays out the scenario that they want to see. Her intuition had her scared and she expressed her concerns and they told her to forget it and trust her “other” intuition which says stay focused on that vaginal birth no matter what.

            Really, really sad.

      • Daleth
        April 25, 2015 at 10:08 am #

        What town/city are they in? Shall we write to the prosecutor?

    • Tiffany Aching
      April 24, 2015 at 6:03 am #

      I hope the baby makes it, but he / she will still have to deal with an incredibly narcissist mother who puts her need for validation before his/hers. Sometimes you just don’t win at the birth lottery :(.

  44. Ashley Martin
    April 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    I have been SICK just watching this unfold. I hope the silence from this new mother is because she went to the hospital and is snuggling her new baby …. Oh …. I’m just worried SICK.

    • Amy M
      April 23, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

      Where are you seeing it? Facebook? I found an HBAC group on FB, with Ms. Heket as the admin, but its a closed group. Are you all members of it or is there more than one group and you guys can see an open group? What are her friends telling her?

      • Ashley Martin
        April 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

        It’s in the closed hbac group and concerned members are messaging people with screen shots. If you disagree or speak up in that group, you will be banned and deleted.

        • Cobalt
          April 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

          Any updates? I really want this baby to be ok.

          • Ashley Martin
            April 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

            I haven’t seen anything posted from her all day… And the admins in that
            Group are busy locking it down and are more concerned with who the “rat” is versus the health and outcome of this
            Mother and baby.

            I’m hoping no news is good news but….. I have a bad feeling about this.

          • Cobalt
            April 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

            Since we’ve gotten conflicting reports on whether or not the baby made it, I wonder which one is true, and why the conflict.

  45. Guest
    April 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    These are the posts where I look at my kids and think how lucky I am. Lucky to live in a country with decent (albeit imperfect) access to competent medical care. Lucky that I didn’t fall for the woo. Lucky that I don’t believe pregnancy and childbirth are competitions. And how I feel like I’m doing the best I can for myself and my family. And these women felt like they were doing the best thing for their family. And they were so tragically wrong.

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