Another unassisted birth, another brain damaged baby.

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Tragically, you cannot make this stuff up.

From a Facebook UC (unassisted childbirth) group:

UC NF 1

Baby girl got her MRI yesterday. There appears to be no damage to her cerebrum (higher learning) but there is damage to her Thalamus/Basal Ganglia area (deeper brain that handles body functions like blood pressure, temperature control, libido, etc… She is not swallowing spit or choking … Smetimes I feel remorseful when the what ifs come but it could have happened anywhere.

What happened?

UC NF 2

I free birthed her but she got stuck in the birth canal. I birthed her head but could not get her shoulders out (she was 11lbs 9.5oz with linebacker shoulders). After 4-5 minutes I called paramedics who took about 2 minutes to get there. I got her out before they got there but she was unresponsive. They cut the cord immediately against my wishes. We should have killed that guy. Anyways, she was recovering under cooling therapy for 3 days to limit organ damage and has been recovering since.

So let’s see if I get this straight. She tried to deliver a massively macrosomic baby without any medical assistance of any kind. The baby’s shoulders got stuck (shoulder dystocia). The baby went without oxygen for more than 5 minutes. And this women thinks the problem was that the paramedics cut the umbilical cord?

Unassisted birth: worrying about getting lion fur on your sweater when cuddling the lion instead of worrying about getting mauled.

How could anyone be so stupid?

It’s easy in the world of homebirth where every day is opposite day.

Since every day is Opposite Day, there are never any complications, only “variations of normal.”

Since every day is Opposite Day, labor isn’t agonizing, it’s orgasmic.

Since every day is Opposite Day, birth in water, although unheard of in any other primates, is “natural.”

And most importantly:

Since every day is Opposite Day, you should trust what is most dangerous and fear everything else.

If homebirth represents anything at all, it is childbirth WITH fear, just fear of the wrong things.

When homebirth advocates say “trust birth,” they don’t mean “trust pregnancy” and they certainly don’t mean “trust oxygen deprivation.” What they mean is trust anything that another homebirth advocate tells you and nothing that a medical professional tells you.

They fear not getting enough nutrients, but they don’t fear developing gestational diabetes.

They fear not getting enough exercise, but they don’t fear pre-eclampsia.

They fear for the baby’s microbiome in the advent of a C-section, but they don’t fear the baby dying in utero of fetal distress.

They fear cutting of the potential oxygen supply of the umbilical cord after birth when the baby can absorb oxygen through its lungs, but they don’t fear the cutting off the only oxygen supply of the umblical cord during birth while the baby suffocates.

And then they rationalize the tragedies by insisting it could have happened anywhere.

No! It wouldn’t have happened if she had a C-section for macrosomia.

No! It wouldn’t have been as bad if she hadn’t been outside the hospital with ZERO medical assistance.

No! It wouldn’t have been as bad if a doctor or nurse trained in neonatal resuscitation had been present.

She feared giving birth in the hospital, but apparently she didn’t fear her daughter’s NICU stay, the IVs and the prodding and the pain of that NICU stay, the cooling therapy necessitated by the profound oxygen deprivation of the birth, or the brain damage that resulted.

Now this mother thinks they should have killed the paramedic.

How dare she? She is the one responsible for the baby’s oxygen deprivation and brain damage and he was the one trying to save the baby’s life.

That’s right. It’s HER fault and only her fault.

I want to send a message to the members of the Unassisted/Freebirth All Are Welcome,Facebook group who encouraged this mother.

This is YOUR fault, too.

It’s your fault because you lack the critical thinking skills to make the most elemental decision that human beings need to make: telling the difference between what is dangerous and what is not.

Listen carefully to me and hopefully we can avoid more cases of death and brain damage to your own babies:

CHILDBIRTH IS DANGEROUS. IT KILLS AND INJURES BABIES.

You worry about the wrong things.

Unassisted homebirth is the equivalent of worrying about getting lion fur on your sweater when cuddling the lion instead of worrying about getting mauled.

The things you obsess over: nutrition, exercise, herbal supplements, delayed cord clamping and the microbiome among others are lion fur. Childbirth is putting your baby’s head in the mouth of the lion. It is entirely normal for the lion to bite it off.

And pretending that it could have happened anywhere is the equivalent of pretending that the folks at the hospital would have let you put the baby’s head in the lion’s mouth … and whining if they did not.

  • Hal

    You kno, a big part of the problem is mistrust of doctors. Women should have access to qualified midwives who deliver at home. A lot of UC do so bc they don’t have the option-it’s po dunk ob who uses forceps routinely or pay 5k for a lay midwife who lives 3 hours away. There needs to be a bridge between midwife and hospital-when lay midwives have a good relationship with an OB and hospital, women will have safer deliveries. I don’t like most of what you write Amy but you’re not wrong-you just don’t realize you add to the divide. Woman want and need choices. We want and need respect. It’s not just the safety of the baby that matters-pregnant, laboring women matter-our choices, our autonomy. We aren’t just bodies.
    I had a high risk delivery and risked out of my midwife group-had all the necessary interventions but I was an active participant. When I refused the pitocin it was respected-until it couldn’t be. I was told I needed it and was told why. I was informed and I consented. Taking the extra step of informing the patient why it’s being done or suggested is common courtesy-we are people. You may deliver babies every day but we only do this a few times in life-treat us like people who matter.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
    • Tomtrent

      She never should of had to defend herself. It was a money grab opportunity by the mother. Plain and simple. That didn’t work so she sued the school system the first chance she got…and…won. 290,000. Everyone (taxpayers) is paying for childs life she chose to destroy. Medicaid for both mother and child to boot and SSD for both.

  • Elisha Kayne

    There’s a lot of negative talk in these comments about women who choose to birth at home. I have to say that if this is how you feel (and many of you work in the obstetrics profession), if you truly want to have an effect on how women like me view hospital births, you should help fix the problem. I suffer from extreme, almost PTSD like symptoms because of the hospital birth of my son. My doctor (who I saw twice before the birth – other appointments I was seen by nurses), decided to unnecessarily induce me. I was young and naive at the time and had no idea what the process intailed. Just like these “freebirth” women are listening to midwives and other UC advocates, I listened to my doctor because I trusted in her. They broke my water, gave me pitocin and I had asked for a natural childbirth so I skipped the epidural. My cervix wouldn’t dilate fast enough for the intense contractions I had for hours on end. About thirteen hours into the birth my doctor left on VACATION! That was why she had me scheduled for an induction. After she bailed, they lowered my pitocin while they scrambled to figure out what to do. They forced me to get an epidural because they told me I would break my cervix if I pushed the baby out and I couldn’t not push. Soon they had me on oxygen because I was low on oxygen and my baby was showing signs of distress. I tried to push once I was dilated but could no longer feel my body enough to push. Finally after almost a full 24 hours of actively induced labor, they found a doctor to deliver my baby. He was obviously disgruntled (perhaps he was already supposed to be finished with his shift?). He gave me an immediate episiotomy without even telling me (a severe one). When my son was delivered he had meconium and was running a fever. Turns out he had gotten an infection because my water was broken so many hours before and I had countless tests to check my dilation. (That kept us in the hospital for over a week with an iv taped to my sons head. They didn’t want to have to keep sticking him with needles to get blood for the tests so they just made a permanent one on the top of his head).

    The doctor gave me a horrific look as he caught my baby, looked me right in the eyes with a look of contempt and disgust. They took my baby out of the room, and all the nurses and family members followed. I had no idea what was going on, I never saw the doctor again. I felt abandoned, alone, completely disconnected from my newborn son. The closest thing I can compare the emotion to is being cursed out by your pastor on your wedding day. What was supposed to be one of the most beautiful moments of my life was literally like spending 24 hours in the deepest depths of hell. So if you guys really want to make some improvements on how women birth their children, perhaps you should stop blaming traumatized women and start healing the horrible system that keeps torturing mothers like me.

    • Who?

      I’m so sorry you went through that, it sounds terrible. Did your son recover? Please get some help to find some peace and healing after that experience.

      You’ll hear many really positive birth stories from people who have their babies in hospital.

      Giving birth is a wild ride. There are no guarantees about outcomes. Please don’t be taken in by the home birth advocates who tell you they can promise you a low pain, safe, comfortable delivery in your home. They have no power over your pain, no ability to recognise safety issues, and their comfort is empty words. They can do nothing in the event of a baby being born with an infection, as your son was. They may not even realise as they often don’t take observations. They can’t do resuscitation adequately, they can’t always recognise problems with the mother, like infection or excessive bleeding. And if they do recognise them, all they can do is call an ambulance.

      The staff where you gave birth certainly seemed to lack any form of bedside manner. Homebirth advocates have only bedside manner, it is their entire stock in trade.

      • Elisha Kayne

        Thank you! I appreciate your comment. Yes, my son did recover. In fact he is a very healthy boy, he’s only been sick twice, once with croup for a few days when he was 18 months and a week long stomach bug last summer. I assure you that I have not been taken in by anyone. When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately went to my local Women’s Clinic (the same one I had used before – yes I’m still on medicaid. My husband and I are both full time college students working toward our PhD’s and having a low income is part of the trade off for pursuing a career in academia). The new CNM on staff was excellent and very sweet but we moved over the summer and by the time I started looking in my new city for an OBGYN I realized just how traumatized I am. I had anxiety attacks and full blown breakdowns just thinking about going through that again, and actively sought out local midwives. No one had to convince me, I wasn’t lured in by a facebook group or a blog post. I am so serious about needing a home birth that if midwifery had not yet been invented, I might have created it myself. Again, thank you for your sincere concern and for your kindness, it is appreciated.

        • fiftyfifty1

          Elisha, I hear you 100% that you feel you need this home birth.

          But what if what your child needs is real medical care?
          I say this as someone who watched her baby sister be born (a seemingly straightforward water birth, back before waterbirth was a thing), and then watched her baby sister almost die. It just isn’t worth it.

        • Who?

          Elisha it’s great your boy is so well and strong. I can’t imagine how traumatising your experience must have been.

          No one can truthfully promise you a risk-free delivery. No one. Not the finest hospital, staffed with the most experienced, compassionate and intelligent staff and with the most advanced technical and physical resources, and not a homebirth midwife, who has only herself and (perhaps) a student to rely on.

          One of the (many) great challenges homebirth loss parents face is that they didn’t understand the risks they were taking by birthing at home. Overwhelming, their ‘carers’ have lied about what was needed to keep mothes and babies as safe as possible. Tragedy is in the order of 4 times more likely to strike at home than it would be in hospital. There can never be an independent inquiry into what happened at a home birth, because there are no records, no notes, and any decisions were the parents’ not the midwife’s. There is no one to complain to when a homebirth goes wrong.

          From your post it is clear your driver is to find a safe alternative to the appalling experience you had last time. Something different needs to happen this time, of course it does. Can a good experience heal a bad one? I honestly don’t know. But please arm yourself with the numbers and use that information to find the safest place you can: you and your boy, your partner and the new baby all need many good years together and you all deserve a healthy, safe and positive start to the next chapter of your family life.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      I think there’s a big difference between women who choose to home birth because of previous hospital trauma and those that do it for the attention.

      Something awful and yes very traumatizing happened to you and it should have never happened. As much as we support hospital birth here if you’d told your story most of us, from what I’ve seen in previous discussions, would be asking how you were feeling and recovering. Immediately after we’d probably be out for blood regarding your OB.

      A lot of women here are former home birthers who did a home birth for the exact reasons you outlined. They felt out of control of their own bodies and the safety of their babies and wanted a way to prevent that from happening. I don’t blame them for that. Most of time, as they’ll say many times over, they weren’t adequately informed about the risks of home birth. Some only realized the bullets they dodged after everything went perfect but then did some additional research on home birth for preparation for their next child and realized the omissions. I imagine that’s probably a pretty intense set of feelings.

      Bad bed side manner is a big reason most people who choose home birth do so from what I’ve seen. It’s definitely an area that needs improvement if what the women who choose home birth are so often choosing that location because of previous doctors with bed side manner problems. A lot of hospitals are starting to offer incentives to doctors who cultivate a positive patient experience and getting rid of the doctors who choose not to improve bed side manner. You do deserve to be treated with respect and gentleness, especially when you’re in such a vulnerable position. If it were me in the situation, after I’d been able to process what happened I’d be writing a pretty strongly worded letter to hospital administration.

      It does seem futile since so little seems to change but doctors are held accountable and investigated for treating patients badly. This wasn’t for OB but my mom was ill with undiagnosed celiacs for most of her life and was in the ER quite often for liver issues and migraines that couldn’t be controlled. Most of the ER docs knew her and knew she wasn’t a drug seeker. Just a poor woman who had horrific pain and no answers. But one new ER doc thought he’d teach her a lesson by lecturing her, insulting her, and accusing her of being an addict in all but those exact words.

      We were freaking pissed. Mom wanted to let it be because she was so upset she didn’t want to deal with it but my dad wrote a very detailed letter about what had happened in that ER with witnesses they could consult. Believe me, some nurses are very loyal to certain doctors but most not enough to lose their jobs over if they’re caught lying for one. And from gossip I hear around the hospital, there’s a good chance that if a doctor treats you like crap he probably treats the nurses like crap too. They have no reason to defend someone like that.

      Next time Mom was in the ER this doc happened to be on call. He practically rolled out the red carpet for her. Someone had busted his chops over what happened and it was obvious since he was actually almost scared to say one word out of line.

      Now we’re not rich. We don’t donate to the local hospital. Not that we don’t want to, we just can’t afford to. We’re not anyone special in that community. We’re just regular patients. But hospital administration practically goes through the roof when letters like that cross their desk and they go on a witch hunt in my experience. I only work in hospital registration but a registrar in the ER wasn’t as attentive to a panicking patient’s family who believed the patient was possibly dying (he was actually very close, which is the scary part) as they should have been. Administration got a letter from the patient’s family. The patient didn’t suffer any permanent damage from these actions thank goodness but he certainly didn’t feel safe and well care for. The admin of the hospital came to our next team meeting himself and while he’s a very kind and gentle person, we knew we were in trouble. He also made it very clear that if something like that happened again, the guilty party would be looking for a new job and not welcome to reapply at the hospital.

      If you haven’t already I’d recommend writing them a letter about your experiences. Name names. This is about your health and safety, not their feelings. They couldn’t give you the courtesy of even assigning a doctor to cover while they took off on vacation so I wouldn’t lose sleep over name dropping.

      Even if you do choose to deliver any other children at home (and please consider otherwise, we do want you and your baby to be safe!) your letter could help other women who deliver at that hospital from experiencing what you did. I know it doesn’t take back what happened to you and nothing can, but you do appear to be a very passionate person from your writing and seem like someone who wouldn’t want another woman to suffer like you did.

      The women we get upset about are the ones who prioritize their experience of a vaginal birth over their baby’s safety. The kind that brag about natural, vaginal birth and crow from the mountains tops and then, almost as an after thought, mention that their baby was seriously injured in the process. Then immediately got back to how wonderful the experience was.

      Your concern for your son being delivered covered in meconium and the subsequent infection leads me to believe you’re not that kind of woman. And I do believe your experiences to be true and completely in the wrong on the doctor’s part. The good thing is that he can be held responsible and investigated then properly disciplined for his actions. Unfortunately midwives aren’t subject to the same disciplinary processes and this leaves a lot of families heart broken with little recourse. I’d definitely take advantage of the fact that he can be held responsible.

      • Elisha Kayne

        Thank you for your kind reply to my comment. I was afraid to post a comment on this article actually, because the article itself was so triggering to me, I thought peoples responses to my story might be hostile. I appreciate the suggestion to write to the hospital. I wish I had the insight to do so after my son was born. Honestly, I was a zombie through the months following. I had pretty severe postpartum depression and though I was unhappy with my experience thought that my complaining about it would go largely ignored. I was on medicaid at the time and had gone to a women’s clinic for my prenatal healthcare. I’m sure this is a big reason why I was treated the way that I was. My son is almost five years old, so the birth happened quite a while ago. The doctor who left me in labor for her vacation no longer works at the clinic or at the hospital (thank God for that!) and I never received the name of the male doctor on call that ended up delivering the baby and treating me so badly. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way he looked, but unsure of how I would find out who he was. I do regret being so young and naive and not standing up for myself, I think if I had fought back I might have felt less disempowered. I am planning a home water birth with a midwife this time around. I know that it is risky, but I honestly feel like going to the hospital is more so. I live very close to a hospital (it’s right down the street). I would never do anything to harm my children, honestly I have made this choice because I feel like what the hospital staff did to me created all of the health issues I and my son experienced during my birth. I do not want the same thing to happen again. I feel like I need this birth to recover, to help empower me as a mother and heal the emotional and psychological pain I have endured. I know if something does go wrong I won’t ever forgive myself. However, I also feel that if I simply go with the flow and base my decision on fear and I have the same birth experience, I will be shattered. I may only get a chance to have one more baby, and this time around I want a peaceful, joyful experience with my husband and son. I want to hold my baby the second he breathes, I want to bring him/her to my chest and bond right away. I don’t want someone ruining the first moments I have to develop a relationship with my child. I hope that you guys understand that it isn’t about bragging, or putting down women who choose traditional hospital births (I believe all women deserve the chance to be proud of their birth decisions and to feel loved and supported by their society) and it is because of this that I feel women who birth at home should also be treated with respect, rather than with such harsh and heartbreaking comments. When I read this article and some of the comments made I burst into tears and was stressed with anxiety for the rest of the day. Please consider the way women like me feel, and why we believe the way we do. I don’t believe a sane woman would make the choice to have a home birth if there wasn’t a very strong experience that led them to desire one. Again, thank you for being kind to me, it actually made me feel much better to see that someone with a different opinion than me can still empathize with my situation and respect me as a woman. Hopefully one day hospitals will be filled with women just like you and there would be no need for women to seek alternatives.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          After something like that, being in that Zombie state doesn’t surprise me. Your first thought isn’t going to be “I gotta write a nasty letter to those bastards!” You have a son to take care of, your own trauma to process, and the PPD possibility.

          Unfortunately some doctors will treat you badly because you’re on state or federal aid. In fact the thing that really pissed off my parents was the doctor saying to my mom “I don’t know what you people on the Oregon Health Plan think you’re doing just shopping around for doctors!” We weren’t on the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon’s Medicaid program, at the time. He just assumed we were. Jackass.

          I don’t know if there’s anything in your area like this, but even if you have to travel a bit of may be worth it.
          http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/04/24/dixie-regional-hosts-open-house-for-simply-birth-suite/#.Vd0QMlDnaBY

          This is the one near me and I’m actually kind of miffed that I wasn’t able to go to the open house to see it.

          The area I live in has a lot of people that home birth so the hospitals in the area looked at the “Why?” instead of just calling the ones doing home birth stupid and tried to emulate the comfort measures from home but still have a doctor seconds away in case of an emergency. It seems rather successful so far. The OB stays out unless something starts going seriously wrong and intervention is needed for save life and limb. A lot of the women feel much more in control of the process but aren’t thrown into a “holy crap I/my baby is going to die!” panic due to the close proximity of a crash cart that can be brought in. If I remember right, I think there are hidden panels in the room with doctor’s equipment that can be quickly flipped around and accessed so no time is wasted. Not that I’ve heard of it actually having to be used yet but it’s nice to know it’s there.

          I can see why a water birth would be something you want after something so traumatizing. I’m not sure what area you’re in, but there may be a CNM similar to the one you described liking that may be willing to kind of meet in the middle. Or a hospital that may be a little bit farther away but has a birth suite like the one I linked to.

          I can say that women like you are being listened to when they speak up to the hospitals in quite a few areas. They wouldn’t make something like the birthing suite if they thought your line of thinking didn’t have merit. It’s not the same as a home birth but they are making an effort to meet in the middle as much as they can. It is intimidating to speak up when you expect to be brow beaten but I think a lot of the medical profession is discovering that it’s not very effective and further alienates people who would have benefitted from treatment.

          Either way, I hope that everything goes well for your delivery and all of you are safe mentally and physically.

          • Elisha Kayne

            This hospital is beautiful! Yes, there are two similar places in Texas, one in Austin and one in Houston. Unfortunately both of those places are about a 3 and a half hour drive away. I called them and seriously considered doing this, but the thought of giving birth stuck in traffic kept me from making the leap. I am very glad to see places like this popping up. Hopefully it will continue. I would love to see all American hospitals end up this way. In England, most hospitals have a natural birthing center attached to the regular medical facility. They encourage women to do go to the birthing center area of the hospital if they are having a healthy pregnancy. Keeping my fingers crossed that things will keep getting better!

        • Sarah

          Sorry to hear what happened to you Elisha. I too was very traumatised after my first birth, and was also not given an epidural. It fucking blows, is all I can say on the matter! Birth trauma is real. Your feelings are valid.

          I’m not going to discuss how you plan to give birth next time, that’s your call, but would encourage you to think about complaining about the way you were treated before. Only because when I did it, it was very cathartic and made me feel hugely better. You sound like at least part of your problem is you’ve not processed what happened, you’re not sure what went on and why. I felt the same. It might help to discuss it.

          Best of luck to you and your family whatever you decide to do.

          • Elisha Kayne

            Thank You!!!

        • Melanie Onions (Mummyplus7)

          I turned to homebirth after a horrible hospital birth. I suffered from
          PTSD from an unauthorised procedure I don’t even want to discuss here. I’m now in my seventh pregnancy. I have full prenatal care through the hospital system but opt to birth at home with a nurse midwife.
          ETA forgot to say that I’ve had one hospital birth– my eldest– and five births at home.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I am really sorry you have had such a bad experience. I am ashamed that other doctors behave like that with their patients. I see that other people have recommended you to report both doctors. I read that it was 5 years ago and I understand it might not be appropiate anymore since at least one of them does not work there anymore but I still want to make it clear that as someone belonging to the medical profession I have no interest whatsoever in sharing my occupation with someone that treats their patients like that. I am really happy when such a bad behaviour gets reported.

      I am glad your son is doing well and I hope you can get the help you might need in order to get over that experience.

    • Amazed

      Elisha, I am sorry you were treated this way. I am trying to say this in the kindest way possble and regular posters here know I am not very good at beating around the bush. I think women like you are at elevated risk at being taken in by the pretended professionals of the NCB. You do have a legitimate grievance and personal bad experience and that will make them look and sound convincing when they approach you, start praising you, showering you with attention and whip out misleading studies claiming that you and your baby will be equally safe with them.

      But your experience isn’t “the system”, horrible or not. American women are ovewhelmingly happy with the care they received. The majority of homebirthing mothers have no personal experience with hospitals. They are not traumatized women. They’re women misled.

      By all means, complain about yout treatment to those who have the power to change it. Demand that they do something. But don’t fall into the trap of “homebirth is the answer, it will heal me!” Yes, the chances are probably on your side. But the possibility of a bad outcome for you and the baby is much higher. Someone has to be the statistic. And midwives and other homebirth advocates will try to negate and deny this fact. If it’s you or your baby who end up need immediate help that can only be provided in a hospital, you won’t get it. That’s what they are covering.

      I encourage you to write to the hospital and complain. You might change thing. I also encourage you not to look at homebirth as the answer. It isn’t. Look at it for its own merits – what it can give you and what risks it poses. The second part particularly. Because homebirth providers and advocates will try to convince you that risks are negligible or downright nonexistent, just like the midwife in this story did http://www.honestmidwife.com/daxtons-father-testifies/, according to the dead baby’s father.

    • guest

      You can chose a birthing center next time.

    • Heidi

      That is absolutely awful, Elisha! I’m so sorry.

      • Azuran

        As much as I get her being traumatized and not wanting to give birth in the hospital again. There are a few things in this story that are just not really a cause for being outraged and are really feeding into the fake evil-doctor propaganda.
        The Doctor left after she laboured for 13 hours. Doctors can’t be expected to be there 24/7 for all their patients while they are in labour. Some people labour for over 24-48 hours. And when one Doctor left, another comes in, that’s all and that’s normal. My step sister laboured for 8 hours, she went through a doctor shift change, there’s nothing unusual about this.
        That Doctor left because her shift was done. What she did after she left is really irrelevant, doesn’t matter that she was on vacation or just going to sleep at home after.

        Beside. why would she induce without any medical indication on her last day before leaving on vacation? Her vacation was not in any way conditional to this woman giving birth. If she had not started labour, it would have made no difference to the doctor. Another doctor would have been there to handle the birth whenever it happened.
        And beside, the Doctor sill left before the birth was over. Meaning she had no reason to want to rush it since she was not obligated to stay until the end.

        The whole thing about the Doctor leaving after 13 hours and them only finding another doctor 11 hours later is extremely fishy. If that is true, she should sue. It’s impossible that the birth ward didn’t have a doctor for 11 hours.

    • I am sorry you went through such a horrible experience. I agree with you that negativity towards free birthers and natural child birthers is not going to help fix the problem. It is like talking negatively to those who don’t vaccinate in that it will not change their minds at all. We definitely need to understand why women chose to freebirth or natural childbirth, to the extent of putting themselves and their baby at risk, in order to fix the problems and prevent these injuries and deaths.

      My first birth was induced early (low water) and the epidural failed on me three times. I ended up pushing for three hours with one side of me numb and one side feeling every excrutiatingly painful contraction, as my tailbone broke and i tore four degrees. I chose to do natural childbirth with baby number two because, I figured, if epidurals were going to not work I should not even bother trying one.

  • ChristopherSSandberg

    Your first choice skepticalob Find Here

  • Lee McCain MD

    As an Obstetrician who has now passed the 7K mark on deliveries Dr Tuteur posts the stuff of my nightmares! If I performed a delivery like this I would be sued to oblivion.

    • Kelly

      7000 deliveries boogles my mind and these “midwives” think that 50 or 100 births under their belt means that they have experience.

      • Amazed

        But they pride themselves on being present for the enrire duration of births. Not like these vain OBs who only sweep in to catch the baby!

        No matter that with good monitoring, there’s no need for a single person to sit a day or two with a labouring mother. And that sweeping in to catch the baby is the part that gives you most experience cause them babies are tricky devils and often save the worst of their antics till the end.

        Now, midwives might learn more from being there for 3000 catchings than 150 entire births but you seem it’s not Mother-Natcherel. Not Supportive. Very Bad.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      And this is why I get a kick out of those who claim Dr Amy is a crackpot. No, what she saying is mainstream stuff.

    • there are these insufferable midwives in my area that have been doing it for decades and have delivered about 1500 babies. Most have a death under their belt (that I know of). They balk at the idea that most of the births going well had anything to do with luck. So eager to take credit for what statistically is going to happen with that number of deliveries over a lifetime.

  • yentavegan

    Show me a woman who plans and implements an unassisted childbirth and I will show you a woman suffering from an untreated/undertreated mental illness.

    • Mariana Baca

      You know? people are fully capable of doing bad, evil, stupid, dangerous, or selfish things without mental illness/completely treated mental illness. And there are plenty of people with mental illness who would never in a million years consider this. Stop blaming the evils of the world on mental illness without cause.

      • yentavegan

        No. People are not capable of ignoring the evidence before them regarding the birth of their baby and opt to instead “free birth” and not be SUFFERING from a disconnect from reality so obvious as to not be mentally ill. I am not smearing the mentally ill. I am advocating for more sympathy-empathy and less “how dare she” judgmentalism.

        • Mariana Baca

          Deep denial is super common after causing the death of your baby, sure. That is not indicative of a pre-existing mental condition making them make bad choices. Your original post only talked about planning an unnassisted childbirth — not about the remorse felt afterwards. I don’t think the majority of people planning an UC are mentally ill.

      • sdsures

        I have to agree with yentavegan. The distinction is subtle, but it’s there. There is a mental illness at work, and the aim is not to demonize the mentally ill as a whole, but to try and work out whether or not moms who put their wishes and “needs” ahead of a tiny baby, are ill in the sense of their psychology.

        The way we know this is to compare and contrast the behaviours of each side. Society and doctors (for the most part – exempting Odent et al) deem that it is good common sense to have your baby in a hospital. Why? Because the evidence we have shows what happens when babies are (deliberately or by accident) born outside of hospitals: they fare much worse. They have a 400%+ chance of death.

        Dangerous, bad, evil, stupid act = mental illness/psychopathology

        Example: Andrea Yates drowned her 5 children because she was very sick, not because she was evil.

        Susan Smith drowned her two sons because the man she was in love with didn’t want to have or be around kids.

        Andrea Yates has a mental illness. She heard voices in her head that told her drowning her kids would save them from going to hell.

        Susan Smith has clear psychopathology (i.e. premeditative, maladaptive, abberant behaviour that harmed others; she put her needs before those of her two defenseless kids).

        (Note: psychopathology and “psychopath” are not the same thing.)

        Therefore it makes good sense from an evolutionary standpoint to give your future offspring the best chance of survival.

        What should we call those who do not? Nature, who NCBers are so find of embracing, would mean their babies get eaten by the pride of lions just waiting for the wildebeest 100 yards away to plop out a calf. If that calf cannot run within 10 minutes, it’s good-bye Broadway.

        • Mariana Baca

          I think there is a huge difference between someone suffering of delusions killing a baby and someone just being grossly negligent because they choose to live in a echo chamber of bad ideas. For example, I don’t think people who drink and drive are insane or suffering from delusions, or even have a psychopathology. I think some people just get blinders on sometimes, putting their needs and enjoyments at the forefront and minimizing risk to others.

          • sdsures

            How often that happens is what differentiates the normal spectrum of such behaviour from it being pathological.

            Example: We all have moments of behaving selfishly, right? Usually, we get over it and it doesn’t happen often. Hopefully, it doesn’t harm people seriously in those instances.

            But when someone’s selfish behaviour has lasted without much interruption for more than six months, it *might* (not positive on this, but this is what I remember from my abnormal psych classes) be classed as a pathological behaviour, particularly when the person’s needs are put before others who are vulnerable (example, children, spouse, etc) such that their behaviour can harm the spouse or children physically or psychologically. Narcissists make terrible parents.

    • sdsures

      It’s hard to pin down in a single pathological diagnosis, but there are common facets that we see here, again and again (please correct me if I’m wrong):

      Inability to think clearly about consequences of actions.

      Low self-esteem: “I can make myself feel better/superior to other people by doing X” (breastfeeding, freebirthing, tightrope-walking without a net…) – which leads to the saying “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should”.

      Depression: “not getting the birth that Momma wanted” and “healing birth”

      Lack of empathy: Do we know if NCB advocates/freebirthers/UCers have ever outright said anything to the effect that children are more than the sum of their (the children’s) gestations and births? Do we EVER hear after the survival of a baby, how the child is faring? Or is the momma only ever communicative about those ZOMG ESSENTIAL 9 months before the kid ever comes out? Do they view their children as possessions, trophies of a “good birth experience”?

      • you are talking about freebirthers that want a freebirth regardless of if it is safest for everyone instead of ones that think that it IS the safest thing for everyone. I would say the former are a minority, seriously. I can’t blame the latter either because they are taking natural child birth principles to their logical conclusion instead of sitting with contradictions involving having a midwife. Like “birth is inherently safe” is one of the principles, but you’re still supposed to have a midwife to do all this medical stuff- that makes no sense at all. I see a damn lot of women going with a UP/UC because they literally can’t afford any health care and freebirth is an ideological way to deal with that, it would otherwise be terrifying.I also see a lot of extremely religious people who think whatever happens is ordained by god. Being religious isn’t a mental illness, even when it goes to that extreme extent.

        • Box of Salt

          “I see a damn lot of women going with a UP/UC because they literally can’t afford any health care”

          Good thing Supreme Court just upheld Obamacare.

          • Daleth

            Damn right. I also just do not understand the “I can’t afford it so I’ll just stay home” approach. Your first duty is to your children and yourself, not to your creditors. Go to the hospital, have the baby, and then ignore the bills when they come.

            And with hospitals, you can do that. Unlike with homebirth midwives, who insist on payment of at least a substantial part of their bill up front.

          • Becky05

            Unfortunately plenty of Obamacare insurances still have high deductibles, and the law’s notion of “affordable coverage” is laughable. There are plenty of people who now have coverage on paper who can’t easily afford medical care. Sadly, prenatal care is not one of the “preventive visits” required to be covered at 100%. Moreover, in the many states that didn’t expand Medicaid there are still swathes of uninsured working poor.

          • Poogles

            “Sadly, prenatal care is not one of the “preventive visits” required to be covered at 100%.”

            That’s not true, though; prenatal care visits are considered well-woman visits, and thus are fully covered:

            “The HRSA Guidelines recommend at least one annual well-woman preventive care visit for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services that are age- and developmentally-appropriate, including preconception and prenatal care. The HRSA Guidelines recommend that well-woman visits include preventive services listed in the HRSA Guidelines, as well as others referenced in section 2713 of the PHS Act. HHS understands that additional well-woman visits, provided without cost-sharing, may be needed to obtain all necessary recommended preventive services, depending on a woman’s health status, health needs, and other risk factors.”

            http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca12.html

          • Becky05

            Really? I haven’t seen prenatal care on the government lists of preventive care required without cost sharing, and they do explicitly list the gestational diabetes screening as being covered without cost sharing, and the insurance I’ve had still doesn’t always cover it without a copay. That’s good to know, though, but the delivery itself still can involve cost sharing and thus a significant amount of money.

          • Poogles

            “I haven’t seen prenatal care on the government lists of preventive care required without cost sharing, and they do explicitly list the gestational diabetes screening as being covered without cost sharing”

            They really do need to clarify it better, it is very confusing as it is now – they should simply add the words “prenatal care” to the “Well-woman visits” or make it it’s own category. At this point, you have to search and piece things together to verifiy that it is covered.

            I am also still a bit fuzzy on exactly what services considered part of “prenatal” care are totally covered. I think that’s why the GD screening is listed separately; that is to say, the office visits themselves should not have any cost-sharing (copay etc), but some of the screening tests and such don’t appear to be completely covered without cost-sharing.

            “the delivery itself still can involve cost sharing and thus a significant amount of money.”

            Yeah, and that is by far the most expensive part for most women, which really sucks.

        • sdsures

          “Being religious isn’t a mental illness, even when it goes to that extreme extent.”

          Until that extremity of belief harms people.

    • I lurk in these groups and while it may not always be mental illness there certainly does seem to be a pattern of extreme adversity among moms that choose to freebirth. I know most home birthers are white and upper class but a lot more freebirthers seem to be women of color and poor. Many have really horrible experiences in the medical establishment as a result of their race and class. When I still worked in hospitals patients who were minorities expressed that to me all the time, and statistically it seems to be true- the more marginalized you are, the worse you can expect your care to be. Organ transplant recommendations even seem to have a bias against women and racial minorities. I just watch these groups hoping they make it out okay because for them to be damaged by a lack of access to care just breaks my heart. I think a lot of them would rather lose something on their own terms than be victimized again.

      • Roadstergal

        “Organ transplant recommendations even seem to have a bias against women and racial minorities.”

        Can you elaborate?

        • jenny

          There is a racial/ethnic disparity in organ transplantation because of multiple systemic, cultural, historical and epidemiologic factors. I don’t think that it’s the product of biased transplantation policy per se, but the net result is that ethnic minorities do have increased adverse health outcomes and disporportionately decreased access to organ transplantation compared to people of European descent.

          But as for the long history of unfair and unethical treatment of, for instance, Black people, by the medical establishment and how slowly social change occurs, I can see why some people are very reluctant to get care.

        • statistically women and racial minorities do not get organs at the rate that they should. When the cases are examined there are biases involved that are rooted in historical oppression. Like say thinking older women are fragile when statistically they do as well as older men when it comes to transplants, or thinking that non-white patients are unruly and going to ignore doctor’s orders post transplant. That sort of thing.

          • Roadstergal

            Gotcha. It’s an area of interest to me, but I’m only involved in sensitized patients – since pregnancy is a sensitizing event, it hits women pretty hard. I know some folk in the FDA are interested in making it more standardized and less up to clinicians’ discretion, but it’s an uphill battle.

            In general, since there are few centers that are willing to transplant sensitized patients, it’s sadly true that you get a better shot if you’re rich and/or have really good insurance.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Out of curiosity, I wonder if part of it also has to do with blood-based subtypes? From what I understand (NOT a medical professional here, just someone who likes to read), there are a lot more blood subtypes than just Rh factor, and they can all affect whether or not an organ will be accepted/rejected. If a given minority group is more likely to have a certain blood type, and is also more likely to have physical conditions that could prevent them from donating organs, then that could be a self-selecting factor there. Not, you understand, that biases aren’t also the case–just wonder if there are some other factors at play, too.

          • Dr Kitty

            HLA subtypes definitely have an impact.

            In the UK where cadaveric transplant lists are national and needs-based, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic patients, on average, wait a year longer for a suitable kidney.

            NOT because of institutional racism, but because there is a smaller pool of compatible donors, organ donation is less common in BAME communities AND BAME patients are more likely to suffer from certain disease that either increase the likelihood they will need a transplant themselves or make their organs unsuitable for donation.

            http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Donation/Pages/Donationethnic.aspx

            http://www.kidney.org.uk/home/news-2/black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-communities-wait-longer-for-kidney-transplants/

          • Roadstergal

            When it comes to sensitized patients (patients with pre-existing reactivities to HLAs) and kidney transplant, at least (the only part I know much about), that’s definitely the case. You enter any ‘unacceptable’ reactivities to HLAs that exist in the donor pool into the UNOS database to find organs that do not have any of the ‘unacceptable’ reacitivies. The UNOS database is updated regularly to reflect changes in the donor pool (last done in 2013), and IIRC the last presentation I saw, minorities are indeed increasing in the donor pool.

            That’s only for cadaveric donors. For living donors, it’s a different (but related) set of considerations.

            ETA: UNOS is for the US. As Dr Kitty notes, the UK has its own organ allocation system.

          • MaineJen

            Transplant lab tech here! For solid organ transplant, once you are on the waiting list, ethnicity does not come into play in organ distribution; the match list for each available organ is determined by computer algorithm. (I can’t speak to the recommendation-for-transplant side of it, though.) They do not worry about HLA matching unless the person has a lot of antibody…

            The people who hang out on the waiting list for years are those who have become sensitized from a) a previous transplant, b) multiple pregnancies or c) transfusion. Patients are assigned a PRA value (panel reactive antibody) based on the number and type of antibodies they have; 0% is unsensitized, 100% is…well, you have antibody to basically everyone who is not a perfect or near-perfect HLA match. People with high PRA are prioritized on the waiting list; they get first crack at an organ that is an HLA match.

            So for solid organs, distribution is based on waiting time and antibody level. But for bone marrow, HLA matching is a must, and that is where we really need more minorities in the donor pool.

            It’s true that you can transplant across ABOs for bone marrow, but for solid organ it’s riskier and it’s rarely done. Solid organs are only offered to those within the same blood group as a general rule (O goes to O, B goes to B, A goes to A or AB).

          • Roadstergal

            Kewl. 🙂 I’m a biomarker scientist, so my focus (on the transplant project) is on the calculated PRA (cPRA) and the assays (particularly solid-state, mostly SAB) that feed it. The tricksy thing – aside from the SAB assay itself – is that the determination of ‘unacceptable’ antigens to put into the calculator to generate the cPRA is entirely up to the practices of the given clinical site, and they can vary a lot… and that’s not even bringing desensitization protocols into it. It’s a great program (IMO) and I’m really hoping we can bring something to it in improving access to organs.

          • MaineJen

            Oh tell me about it. Every lab has a different “unacceptable” cutoff for the SABs. Each program has different ways of dealing with sensitized patients (some do desensitization, some don’t). Each program has their own tolerable risk level. cPRA has made things simpler in some ways, but the calculation often misses those low-level antibodies that don’t register as unacceptable, but may still come into play when we get an organ offer. It’s a complicated business.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Tissue (including bone marrow) has multiple antigens besides just the ABO of blood typing that can affect whether an organ is rejected or not. In fact, with bone marrow, you can transplant across ABO relatively easily but not against tissue (HLA) type. Not sure if that is true for solid organs.

            And yes it has an effect, for at least two possible reasons. First, fewer minorities are donors, either because of lack of awareness or because of (unfortuatenly justifed) paranoia about the medical system. Second, at least some minorities are genetically more diverse than ethnic non-Hispanic whites, so have a wider variety of HLA types and therefore are harder to match.

            That being said, I’d be astonished if there weren’t a component of prejudice as well. Also a component of bloody minded practicality that works almost the same: If a person can’t afford the antirejection drugs that keep the organ functional then the organ will die and the transplant is futile. Thus, if the hospital is unable to get that person coverage for their meds, it is a waste of an organ to transplant into that person. Minorities are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured and so may be rejected as candidates because of systematic prejudice rather than the specific prejudice of the transplanters.

      • Busbus

        I wonder if part of it is that middle and (especially) upper middle class women can expect to be treated quite well in a hospital, birthing center or by their midwife (at least that’s the hope). I agree with you – it’s a little crazy to opt for no help at all, but maybe it becomes a bit less crazy if your experiences with authority or “the system” have been pretty bad throughout your life.

  • ladyloki

    I am an anthropologist. I have studied many a society both current and now defunct. There are NO societies with unassisted birth now or in the past! THAT is natural, unassisted birth is UNNATURAL. There is always at least one, usually female, person, but usually at least 2-4 others to assist. These women are complete freaking morons, even worse than the homebirth crowd.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      I admit that it’s extremely rare, but wasn’t there an article in, IIRC, the NYT about a tribe in South America which expects its women to go alone to a hut and birth there? Can’t find the link now, of course (can someone help me?), but the writer was explicit in saying that neither the woman or baby had any help, that she screamed all day for help but no one would assist, and by the next day, both mother and baby were dead because the baby was breech. Horrifying. And this is supposed to be how we aspire to birth? No. Thank. You.
      ETA: here you go. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/books/review/the-world-until-yesterday-by-jared-diamond.html?_r=0

      • Mariana Baca

        Just because a tribe does something, however, doesn’t mean a behavior is “natural”. Isolated tribes can be just as unnatural as the rest of us.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          I quite agree. The question, though, was whether there was ever a society in which unattended birth was the norm–and the answer is “yes, technically, though it’s statistically insanely rare, and who the hell wants to birth like that, anyway?”
          (If I misinterpreted your post, I apologize. Tone of voice and the Internet rarely play well together. ;))

      • Becky05

        Such societies are in an extremely small minority, if they are even being accurately reported.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          *shrug* What can I say? I’m a nerd. Tell me that something “never” happens and I’m likely to see if it ever did, while being perfectly happy to admit that even if it did, a single tribe in the middle of bloody nowhere isn’t even a statistical blip.

  • Lottie Lou

    OT: this sweet and naive blogger is around 42 weeks and waiting for what will be her 4th home birth (5th baby). I check in on her every day to see if baby has come. I live in fear for the outcome, especially as her dear husband has been recently diagnosed with a stage 4 melanoma with a poor prognosis….they went to Mexico for alternative treatment of course. SMH.

    • Lottie Lou
      • Mattie

        what a beautiful family, and that poor lady, I really hope she’s ok and the baby, and her husband… 🙁

        • Who?

          ‘really neat alternative therapies’ made me nearly lose my breakfast.

          So sad for them, and hope she and the baby are alright-will she ‘homebirth’ in the Mexico hotel?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      her dear husband has been recently diagnosed with a stage 4 melanoma
      with a poor prognosis….they went to Mexico for alternative treatment
      of course,

      Crap, crap, crap! You don’t have to do that any more! We’ve got drugs for melanoma now! Good drugs that prolong life and not at the cost of quality either. Drugs that really do strengthen your immune system to fight the cancer. Oh, crap, that poor family!

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        One point that strikes me: They have a 4 year old daughter. My first memories are from about age 4 and I think many people’s are. The husband’s getting treatment for his melanoma instead of “alternative” snakeoil could make the difference between that daughter having memories of her father and having no memory of him at all.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      The last post was in May. I wonder if that means that something bad happened with the pregnancy that she can’t stand to write about or if it’s just that she’s too busy with 5 kids and a sick husband to write any more. I hope it’s the latter. Heck, while I’m hoping maybe I can hope that this “alternative therapy” in Mexico is really ipi and he’s responding well and they’re too busy partying on the Mexican beaches to bother with writing the blog.

      • jenny

        She posts on instagram more frequently. Last one two days ago at 42 weeks https://instagram.com/thefreckledfox/

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          The baby seems to have been born and at least in the picture looks pink and alert so I think she got away with it.

  • D/

    Just came across this on-going, 5 day old professional forum conversation that has left me feeling sick …

    (Florida hospital/ homebirth practice) CNM question:
    Experience with pregnancy past 44 weeks (9 weeks US agreed with LMP by 4 days)? Mom is “super healthy, super committed to her vision of birth, does not want any intervention.”

    At least 7 separate responses posted with experience of dates beyond 44 weeks (more than half were MW personal deliveries, record was _46 weeks_, and of course all were just fine)

    Follow up response from OP:
    “What I’m hearing and reading about and my intuition tells me is that if they are still hanging out in there, then they’re not ready. If the baby needed to come for whatever reason, then I believe it would trigger the labor” …

    Fours days into conversation before any comment was made acknowledging increased stillbirth risk.

    Most recent update yesterday:
    “She had an US at MFM yesterday but neglected to eat before going in. BPP 4/8. Called me from the parking lot that baby started moving again as soon as she left and wanted another scan. Went to hospital for NST/BPP. Scored 8/8 but had to involve my back up since the nurses would be talking to him. He advised her to have an immediate csection (baby weighed in at MFM at 10#13, at hospital 11#1oz). She declined his offer. Needless to say he was offended and asked to be removed from responsibility. So if we do end up transporting it will be to a different hospital where I don’t have privileges… I believe they are fully informed of risks and I am praying for a happy outcome also. I will be sure to let you know!”

    Baby is now 44+5 weeks …

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      If these are CNMs replying, is there anyone you can report this nonsense to, assuming they’re identified in the posts? This is sickening.

      • D/

        From what I can tell the only CNMs are the OP and the one commenter bringing up an increased risk of still birth. The rest appear to be CPMs (or doulas) responding to the OP’s request for others’ experiences/ outcomes.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          I suppose that’s a good thing…sort of? Though I still wonder why they’re crowdsourcing rather than, oh, looking at the numbers (which aren’t at all nice in that picture) and at the patient? Grrrrr.

          • Roadstergal

            Good point – this is a CNM who is going to a crowd with _less_ training and experience than her for their opinions?

        • Daleth

          Well, let’s report the goddamn OP. At least there are RULES that CNM’s are supposed to follow, and someone to report them to.

    • Angharad

      “If the baby needed to come for whatever reason, then I believe it would trigger the labor.”
      So I guess those of us with preeclampsia, prolonged rupture of membranes, macrosomic babies, etc. just didn’t actually need the babies to come?

      • Who?

        It’s like it is up to the baby whether/when it comes. I suppose they’ll let it wash down chocolate biscuits with coca-cola when it’s a bit older since babies know what’s right for themselves

        • Angharad

          My daughter still hasn’t figured out that she shouldn’t crawl face-first off the couch, or that she shouldn’t lick the bottoms of our shoes. I wouldn’t trust her to make any medical decisions for herself or for me.

          • Who?

            Or any decision really. It does take a while for the whole cause/effect thing to kick in. Looking at some of the decisions described here I wonder if it ever kicks in for some people.

          • Cobalt

            I keep saying it when it comes to this “all natural, no interventions until someone flatlines” mentality:

            THAT’S WHAT PARENTS ARE FOR. To intervene on your child’s behalf, because babies aren’t able to make informed decisions about anything. You have to teach them how, and it takes DECADES.

          • Angharad

            Frankly I wouldn’t trust myself to make important medical decisions independently. That’s the entire reason I have doctors – so they can consult and advise me about my health.

          • OMG – that is just perfect!

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        And I suppose that those babies who “decided” to be born at 24 weeks just didn’t need that extra gestational time.
        What. The. Hell. You “believe” that? Lady, this is science, not religion. *snarl*

        • Angharad

          I’m not even a midwife or a medical professional, and I still know multiple women whose babies either needed to be induced or were premature and needed to be in the NICU for a while. Did she even think about her “belief” in a real-world context for five seconds?

          • Roadstergal

            But those women with preemies didn’t eat the magic natural foods and do all the affirmations. And the others didn’t ‘need’ to be induced – they were scared into it by docs who just wanted to get to their golf game. After all, I know of a friend who met someone on Facebook who went to 44 weeks and had a totally natural, healthy delivery. Those ultrasounds are always inaccurate anyway. #NCB

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          And I suppose that those babies who “decided” to be born at 24 weeks just didn’t need that extra gestational time.

          Thanks for mentioning this. That whole “babies know when to be born” crap is REALLY insulting to those who have had premies, or lost babies.

          My sister’s first was still born at > 40 wks (41+, even). A couple days before he was born, he was alive. I don’t know what caused his death, but I’d like to hear them explain how he knew when to be born?

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yeah I really have a difficult time believing that a being that doesn’t even have an understanding of the concept of object permanence is going to know how to not kill itself in deciding when to be born.

          • MegaMechaMeg

            Seriously! People ascribe so much ancient wisdom to babies and fetuses, it just feels like mass insanity! Your average two year old will gladly eat cat poop while sticking a fork in an electrical outlet, what makes anybody think their baby is more intellegent than that?

          • luckymama75

            Oh, you know my daughter?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I am so sorry about your nephew; that’s terrible. Stories like his are what make me so angry about that line. Guess your nephew was either a) just not meant to live or b) wasn’t smart enough to know he should be born sooner, right? What the hell is wrong with these people?

        • Sarah

          Micropremies are apparently not a thing.

          • MaineJen

            They’re really not, in the homebirth world. A baby that early will not survive at home. Therefore they are “just not meant to live.”

          • Micropreemies are caused by interventions.

        • Gozi

          I don’t know what religion that would be…

      • Mac Sherbert

        During my csection my doctor commented that she saw why I hadn’t gone into labor. The baby was big and had been stuck and couldn’t drop down any further thus even though I had every prelabor symptom labor was never triggered. This logic of the baby not being ready is ridiculous. My MIL claims to have gone a month over her due date way back when. She said she doesn’t doubt that baby was that over due because he didn’t look nor act like a newborn!

        • Amy

          Almost EXACTLY what happened with my first, except she was tiny! She had an asynclitic presentation and never dropped. Ergo, no labor.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “Needless to say he was offended and asked to be removed from responsibility. ”

      Oh I’m pretty sure it wasn’t offense that the backup doc was feeling but rather “Oh holy shit, why did I ever think it was a good idea to act as backup for homebirths, get me out of here!”

    • DaisyGrrl

      So mother accepted 2 different NST/BPP tests but “declined” the advice to have a c-section and is aware of the risks. Right. So she went and had the tests to make sure baby is okay, ignored the results and refused further intervention? Bull excrement. CNM probably fed her a line about the evils of intervention and that baby would be fine. Otherwise, the CNM would have us believe that she told the mother about the very high risk of stillbirth, the low likelihood that baby would tolerate labour and the mother’s response was basically “screw the baby, I want my homebirth.”

      I didn’t believe that story in Gavin Michael’s case and I have extreme difficulty believing it here. The care provider’s job is to advocate for the safest treatment plan. If that were truly the case here, the CNM would have asked the board 2 weeks ago how to convince a mother at 42 weeks that it was time to go to the hospital and get the baby born already.

      • Amazed

        I love how the back up got all huffy, according to her. It couldn’t be that he saw a disaster in progress. No, his fragile ego was offended.

        If he remains her back up, I’ll say I won’t give him the benefit of doubt when she finally kills someone.

        • DaisyGrrl

          I love the line, “she declined his offer.” Because the doctor was totally just casually mentioning a c-section as a favour he could do for the woman instead of his likely reaction which was probably, “How am I only hearing about a woman at 44 weeks!? Holy crap, let’s get that baby out now and pray there’s nothing wrong with it because otherwise I’ll have a loser of a lawsuit on my hands.”

          I’m hoping that working relationship is at an end.

          • Amazed

            Amen to that!

          • Cobalt

            And if this goes downhill, it’ll be that OB who ends up being sued. Because he didn’t fear monger enough.

          • Amazed

            As I always said, it strikes me as extremely stupid of women to go place their trust with someone who can go away scotch-free after a disaster. For myself, I prefer people who are quite invested in the outcome because in the case of a bad one, it won’t be just my life that they basically shat on but their own as well. At least I won’t be the only one suffering.

            That’s a strong incentive for them to perform adequately to the best of their ability.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Hear, hear! DH has sometimes had to go to some not-so-safe areas of the world for work. Sadly, I take a great deal more comfort from the fact that his company is terrified of lawsuits than I do from the hope in the basic decency of his superiors. Sure, they’re probably nice people, and all that, but I suspect that the prospect of a massive wrongful death lawsuit and the associated firings and bad press are as much or far more reliable to ensure they won’t skimp on his security. And you know what? I’m cool with that.

          • Paying for kidnapping and ransom insurance, probably makes you more safety-conscious. Though people who have it aren’t allowed to talk about it. CRAP I MENTIONED IT

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Ugh. That’s a whole ‘nother thing. DH has always been adamant that if he were to get kidnapped, he’d want people to try to rescue him, but he’d be furious if we paid terrorists so much as a dime to get him back because then we’d be funding other peoples’ deaths and kidnappings by doing so. I can see his point, but I am grateful beyond measure that I never had to make that decision.

          • Staceyjw

            But this is a CNM, with a hospital practice too. She won’t be Scot free like a LM would.
            Realistically, what else do you want the CNM to do? She cannot force this mom into anything and she’s obviously trying by using the MFM. I don’t see that she’s unconcerned, or pushing to ignore intervention, at all.

            Those other replies though, just horrendous.

          • yugaya

            this is a rogue CNM practicing dangerously and recklessly. She is already planning to transport the client to a hospital other than the one she works in and accompany her as a doula.

            When she kills this baby, she is making sure it is not on her.

          • Amazed

            My post was more about women who turned to CPM but in this case, the CNM sounds horrendous to me. Her very wording dubs her as wooish and dangerous. Gods, the doctor was offended! She was more concerned with making snide remarks about her back up than she was about her client.

            She’s a walking danger and I totally believe that instead of trying to guide the mother towards safety is encouraging her into the woo. “Mom is super healthy?” That’s what you say about a woman who’s OVER post date?

            I don’t believe at all she explained the risks to the mother. In fact, I don’t believe she realizes them herself.

            ETA: God, I forgot that she involved her back up not because the woman was 44 weeks but because the nurses would be talking to him. Yeah, totally reliable. Trustworthy to the boot, this CNM.

          • Roadstergal

            Yeah – “had to involve my back up since the nurses would be talking to him.” She obviously didn’t want to.

            “I believe they are fully informed of risks.” Not ‘I have done my best to make sure that they understand the risks.’

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            I want her to say, “What you are doing is so dangerous that I can no longer in good conscience be a part of your care.”

          • Prudentplanner

            That’s partially the reasoning behind my move @34 weeks from a home birth cnm to an in hospital obgyn/Cnm practice. If the baby developed any number of terribly sad conditions… I could sue the hospital (and others) to cover the cost of life-long care. My home birth midwife made a point to tell me she had no insurance and no assets with using over!

            I’m not a litigious person, but birth injury lawsuits are almost the only way to provide the necessary care (in some cases) in the American health system.

          • Amazed

            No one should need to be a litigious person to have a necessary care for an injury sustained as a result of medical failings. That’s why I went fuming mad when I read Ina May’s oh so calming and peaceful story about the shoulder dystocia baby whose parents saw no reason to be “punishing”. It isn’t a matter of punishment, nitwit! You break it, you buy it. Where was she when this valuable lesson was taught to toddlers?

            I hate, hate, hate people refusing to accept responsibility and claiming, It wasn’t my fault. Yes, moron, it was.

          • Inmara

            Or if she ends up with delivery in hospital and baby will be not okay, then the hospital staff will be to blame for sure. Just like people with cancer who rely on quack treatments until it’s in stage III or IV, then go to real doctor, receive chemo/radiation in desperate attempt to save their health/life, and then blame these treatments or doctors if outcome is still bad (and good if they are still alive to blame someone, often they’re not!)

          • Medwife

            She’ll have a shoulder dystocia with a brachial plexus injury and blame it on not delivering in all fours. Stupid hospital!

          • Medwife

            I hope he reports this to the Florida board of midwifery or nursing or whatever board she reports to. That will also help him when the lawsuit comes knocking.

          • Gozi

            And document, document, document!

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          If he remains her back up, I’ll say I won’t give him the benefit of doubt when she finally kills someone.

          Yep. At this point he has had ample warning that her practice is dangerous and needs to get out of his contract with her as quickly as possible.

      • Gozi

        I am so glad I didn’t ignore the results of my NST test. It made me literally sick when my baby was born blue. I still feel guilty that I didn’t do everything possible to go on bedrest when my OB suggested it. I have a healthy, spoiled, almost toddler who ate all my pancakes this morning.

        • Megan

          I too am so glad I got an induction after my BPP showed an AFI of 3. At the time I was crushed and upset to be induced but now I feel so so grateful to have my healthy daughter here, even if my induction failed and I had the dreaded CS. It’s amazing how you can be so intelligent and rational with other people’s pregnancies/babies and still fall for the woo to a certain extent when it comes to your own care. I’m embarrassed about it now but at least I never let it cause me to actually make bad decisions. Then again my doc wouldn’t have let me! Thank god for her!

          • Gozi

            One thing I hate about the vilification of cesarean is the unnecessary fear and dread I had of them while pregnant. I truly believed they were nothing but terrible. I actually was up at night worried, crying and sometimes vomiting. Now I am so grateful. The only problem with my recovery was that I got constipated and the hospital staff did nothing about it. I am sure my son would have died without the surgery.

          • Megan

            Totally agree. Even though I’ve assisted on many csections and never thought we did any “unnecesareans” I still felt like I’d failed when I needed one. I even tried every induction method imaginable before “giving up” after 5 days and having the CS. I’m sure that’s why I had a severe PPH. Thsnkfully my daughter looked great on CFM the entire time and was very healthy despite my craziness! I think it just goes to show that even intelligent, educated women can fall for the woo when under the influence of pregnancy hormones! That’s why the woo-peddlers are so dangerous; they get you when you are vulnerable. Anyway, I’m glad things turned out well for both of us! My daughter isn’t old enough to eat all of my pancakes yet but she tries and soon enough, I’m sure she will too!

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        You;d think it would be a wakeup call to the CNM that the OB backup feels it’s so risky that he wants nothing more to do with it.

      • Busbus

        I think one of the problems is that most CPMs see it as their duty to get the mother “the birth she wants,” risks be damned. That coupled with the generaln bragging rights for midwives and mothers who “stuck it to the man” of they did something risky but got away with it is a terrible and sometimes deadly recipe.

    • attitude devant

      Notice the ‘but neglected to eat first.’ Yep, her score was low not because the placenta is failing but because she neglected that magickal all-mighty nutrition that fixes absolutely everything. Someone introduce this midwife to Christy Collins; they can share a page on Sisters in Chains.

      • D/

        Went back looking for an update on the baby and noticed this CPM comment specifically pointing that out.

        “I think many of these situations should be intestigated when it involves home births to see the differnces in outcomes of these types of births. more investigation should be done on diet affect the outcomes. I feel a a big difference in health of mother in the outcomes of late term preg. however, I am not talking about a MD’s led study.”

        Perhaps it’s proximity to MDs that neutralizes the nutritional magick … and I bet a CPM-led study would prove it.

        • Angharad

          Just like they “proved” homebirth is save even though it leads to a higher death rate.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          She should probably learn to spell before she starts writing that paper.

        • Gozi

          Diet? How about we throw in a few rain dances too?!?!

        • Roadstergal

          “I feel a a big difference in health of mother in the outcomes of late term preg”

          And if she feels it, it’s true.

    • MegaMechaMeg

      An article was posted by the leaky boob about the baby’s lungs signaling that it was time for labor to start. The first dozen comments or so were all women talking about their severely post dates pregnancies and how the doctors tried to scare them into an induction but they perservered and I just felt so nauseous for those poor babies. One was practically crowing about going to 46 weeks but it was fine because the baby still had vernix.

      • Jessica

        …and yet my mother and her sister both had 43 week stillbirths.

        The risk is real and the loss is immeasurable. Just to avoid an induction! Unbelievable.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          We could say

          “99% of stillbirths occur before 44 weeks”

          Or something like that (I suspect it’s not far off from the truth)

        • MegaMechaMeg

          And seriously, who wants to be pregnant that long? everyone I know started getting that permanent pissed off look at about 36 weeks. Why add time, discomfort, and risk to the process when you can just get it taken care of?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And seriously, who wants to be pregnant that long?

            There’s that, too. I agree, everyone I know is begging to have it done with by the time 41 wks comes along.

          • Roadstergal

            “Let’s wait longer so I can have a bigger baby. If I go to 44, maybe it will have a Stewie-head.”
            My privates ache in sympathy from me just typing that out. And that’s not counting backaches and bladder and sore feet and… all of it. Plus, don’t most women get pregnant in order to… have a baby? Have it already!

            After all, every week it’s inside of you is one more week it’s not getting that magic EBF gold that will crank its IQ up to 11. #Snark

          • Spamamander

            I was at 41.5 weeks with my second and almost screaming “GET OUTTTTTT”.

          • That was the start of the suffering I endured in the name of “natural” birth. I think I was 41+ 3 or something like that. I was so, so done but was encouraged to keep going despite being terribly uncomfortable and sick with heart burn and insomnia. NCB’s motto should be “screw your feelings, be a martyr”. ugh

    • MaineJen

      “I believe they are fully informed of risks…” Yes. I am so sure that you fully explained the real risks to this mother. We learned the CPM’s version of ‘informed consent’ from Gavin Michael’s mom.

    • Amy

      If you’re doing your job you shouldn’t need to “pray.” That would be the LAST thing I’d want to hear a medical provider say to or about my case.

      • Gozi

        Actually I have no problem with my medical provider praying, but Jesus didn’t require anyone to be stupid either.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      If they were fulling informed of the risks, mom would be in surgery at this very minute getting a section, or being induced at the very least.

    • eeep

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      What kind of “professional” transports a patient to a hospital where they don’t have privileges? This is so insane!

      • Gozi

        An unprofessional?

    • Daleth

      Do you have a link to that conversation, so we can either intervene or go watch the horrifying trainwreck?

    • D/

      Finally able to make it back to check on this baby today:

      Traditional MW wisdom:
      “No vaginal exams, NO AROM. Respect her body, respect her baby. I would be comfortable waiting that long. I’ve had several 43 and 44 week babies. Hands off.”

      Empowering support from a parenting/ life coach:
      “Wow, this is just fascinating. I am wishing the best for mama and baby and family. I am wishing you ease, peace and continued support as you move through this mystery of 45 WEEKS!!!”

      CNM’s update today on ***45 WEEK*** baby:
      Seen by CNM today
      Intermittent contractions/ no labor
      3cm- 50%- ballotable
      Baby very active.
      No mention of repeat NST or BPP (last done 3 days ago)

      Both parents were born at home, “her first was a beautiful home birth”, mom “not very much interested in a hospital birth”… “at this point we feel that the baby probably would not tolerate an induction and would end up a section anyway”, soooo … the CNM “thinks mom has decided if baby isn’t here by next Friday she will ask for a section” … That’s 46 weeks!!

      CNM is nervous, but trying to not let negative thoughts rule. Oh and she would not artificially rupture membranes on this lady at home.

      There are multiple MWs/ doulas on the thread the last 24 hours now expressing worry …

      • DaisyGrrl

        Thanks for the update. You know if the other MWs are starting to worry that you’ve passed into crazy town.

        I have a horrible sick feeling about this one. I hope everything turns out okay for the family.

      • D/

        Update posted this evening:

        > CNM no longer has (official) hospital privileges/ MD sent notice he is no longer providing coverage effective immediately. She no longer believes EVERY woman’s body will go into labor on it’s own and does not believe a home delivery is possible for this mother without ending in some sort of tragedy.

        > CNM has recommended C/S. Patient has signed refusal of treatment. She has removed herself from the patient’s delivery care, but remains on good terms with the family. She will update on their condition after delivery.

        >This case has led her to decide to draw a line in the future at 42 completed weeks. She hopes to find another MD for hospital coverage and to be back in good standing at some point.

        This mom and baby have been my last thoughts before going to sleep and first on waking ever since reading about them. I really wish she’d have this baby … like right now!

        • Who?

          This is horrifying. You can see the mother would have needed very careful handling to accept the CS recommendation from the midwife, who was probably speaking very confidently about a vaginal delivery right up until she wasn’t.

          Having spent the whole pregnancy in mum’s ear the midwife was probably the only one who could have convinced her to accept the cs. I hope the midwife took some proper advice on how best to talk to this woman to help her make a safe decision for herself and the baby. Who am I kidding? Shameful.

          • D/

            Shameful indeed.

            I have always been aware of having that same sort of influence when working with vulnerable patients who are desperately wanting to exclusively breastfeed. I have no doubt that I could convince a startling number to try something scary to reach that vision of perfect motherhood that they are “super committed” to.

            In fact, I’ve been known to make claims that I could probably convince some mothers to give their kid Pinesol if I were of a mind to … “No large amounts of course, and never as a feeding quantity … just a tiny bit, a taste or two to make the bottle become less preferred … it’s really just about creating options that make the breast the best choice.”
            Sad thing is, recently it feels like I may need more persuasive skills to get formula into some of the half-starved kids whose mothers have inadequate production than it would take for the Pinesol.

            I find it impossible to believe that a CNM would be any less aware of her influence on patients or the need in an instance like this to exercise that influence like a professional!

          • Roadstergal

            Vulnerable women with non-neurotypical children are being convinced to give their kids bleach, orally and rectally. Your Pine-Sol hypothetical sounds, sadly, way too believable.

        • Medwife

          The odds of things ending well for this family are rapidly dropping down the crapper. I am SO GLAD though that at least there have already been serious repercussions for this negligent midwife. However even if she has legally CHA she still bears ethical responsibility for not stepping up much earlier on and informing the mother of the risks of postterm pregnancies. The family likely thinks she’s just had her arm twisted by the OB and hospital (which she did) and that she’s been forced to toe the party line (which she was).

          I don’t think for a minute that this midwife’s practice will be changed by anything less than the death of a baby.

          • D/

            This morning from CNM:
            “No appointments available at MFM, so she was planning to go and wait in the office for an opening to get squeezed in. I had suggested this for yesterday, but she was tired and having contractions here and there so didn’t go. It’s been a week since the last US. She is now 45+4. Mostly doing BPP/AFI, which according to my friendly MFM has better predictive value than NST. I was trying to keep her away from the hospital because I knew her situation would cause an uproar, and the peri was doing testing. I had no idea the uproar would have the fallout that it is happening.”

        • Amazed

          How far an offended OB can go, tsk, tsk! Refusing to provide coverage just because she was still cheering a 44 weeker to stay inside until he or she was ready to go!

          I hope all ends well for mother and baby.

          • Azuran

            And what is the OB supposed to do? It has nothing to do about being offended, this woman is refusing every single one of his medical advices. She clearly needs to have this baby ASAP but she doesn’t listen. He is under no obligation to take responsibility for her stupid choices. You can’t expect him to have all his life saving advices ignored and expect him to stick around for the fallout.

        • D/

          Well, baby delivered this morning … “beautiful blessed home birth” and no problems with CNM in attendance and so relieved she cried. She referred to it being a huge learning experience for her, but later mentioned being a bit different from most CNMs because she knows how normal birth is after her 6 home births (2 unassisted because of no help) … and she “believes in that normalcy in a visceral way.”

          Ugh, so glad this baby is OK but … Dodging bullets will come to feel normal if you do it enough … and I believe that in a visceral way … You know the sort of visceral way that makes you feel like you need to lay down before you get sick!

      • Roadstergal

        “Baby very active.”

        I’m picturing it squirming around and yelling “Get me the **** out of here!!” Poor baby. I hope it makes it, but dizam that’s not good.

  • Amy

    I shouldn’t have looked, but I found her. She’s a fan of the Pearls. You know, the fundamentalists who advocate beating your infant with PVC tubing if they crawl off a blanket? Someone needs to call CPS on this family.

    • People who buy that book need to be on a watch list.

    • Trixie

      You know, it’s also possible if she’s in some sort of fundy situation, that she actually doesn’t have much choice in how she gives birth.

      • Amy

        I would say that’s likely, except that while the natural, out-of-hospital, no-drugs birth is very much an invention of racist, retrograde white men, the “freebirth” thing comes from crunchy women’s culture.

        • Cobalt

          Religious fundamentalists do it too, leaving birth “in God’s hands”. There some original sin punishment in there too.

          • Amy

            Absolutely with regard to the labor pain. And the distrust of doctors. But I read and follow a LOT of fundy blogs, their “college” (if you can call it that) websites, and the ex-homeschoolers and ex-quiverfull blogs. The mother used the term “freebirth,” which I’ve never heard from the ATI folks, the BJU/PCC/Hyles-Anderson crowd, or in any sermons at IFB churches. Compared to their vocal support of the anti-vaccination movement, their promotion of herbs and essential oils to replace conventional medicine, and their emphasis on nutrition (just another way, of course, to keep women in the kitchen)…..there’s really nothing that I’ve found in that world promoting “freebirth.” There’s a LOT promoting homebirth, but with DEMs, preferably the radical libertarian fundamentalist Christian types who give those discounts to gun owners.

        • Trixie

          Not always.

  • God, I’m so angry right now.

    My aunt had an unassisted homebirth of a GD baby weighing 13 pounds. It was during a blizzard and the paramedics weren’t able to get there in time despite the fact that it was only a few blocks away – lines were down, someone had to walk there to alert them.

    That’s what I think of when I think of giving birth at home; an out-of-control, primitive experience we left behind when we stopped having to fight off bears and yellow fever.

    Want to live like a pioneer and eschew modern lifesaving interventions? Fine, enjoy your home heart attacks and home appendicitis as well. Or are we only practicing home medical emergencies that affect others as well?

  • MJ

    “It could have happened anywhere”

    No. It couldn’t.
    Because this could have been one of my family members. But she was in a hospital with her macrosomic baby when the shoulder dystocia occurred.
    And when it did that room filled up with a team of people (including hospital midwives) who knew exactly what their role was, because they actually drill this stuff.
    They did some pretty brutal manoeuvres that caused my unmedicated family member considerable pain, but they got that baby out fast. Then they whisked the baby to the in-room resus table (yes, they cut the cord) and the neonatologist went to work.
    Except he had nothing to do. Because the baby was fine. Absolutely, perfectly fine. She didn’t even need to go to Special Care, let alone NICU.
    And her mum was fine too. Not traumatised, just grateful and relieved that it was over and her baby was safe. Even so, the hospital later offered her a debriefing, which she declined as unnecessary.
    And that’s how shoulder dystocia of a macrosomic infant takes place in medical environment, with trained professionals.

    I’m sorry for this poor little one who so easily could have had a different outcome.

    • Sure it could’ve happened anywhere! …Two centuries ago.

  • Tori

    Looking over some of the posts to the unassisted birth/freebirth page and found this gem.

    “My husband thinks the pool will be a hassle to set up and how will we drain it afterwards? He also thinks the baby will choke on the water while coming out, which I never thought of!”

    No words. “I can’t figure out how to drain a birth pool and I haven’t done the slightest research on ‘safe’ water birth procedures. But I can totally birth this baby ‘free style!'” The next death on the page will be an in the caul delivery where she says she didn’t know the bag needed to be off the kid’s face in order for it to breathe (it has its placenta, after all!) or they don’t know how to resolve a cord prolapse or stuck shoulder or identify beta strep infection…

    Amazing

    • Who?

      Aagh I wish you hadn’t written that bit about the caul, I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts someone will have an example of just that.

      • Tori

        I know. It’s actually a story I heard from a midwife during a seminar a few years ago. Tragic, tragic, tragic. I don’t remember if it was Ina May or Vicki Penwell. But it was a case of parents just not knowing something as basic as “remove membranes from the face and clear the airway.” 🙁

        • Sarah

          To be fair, I wouldn’t know to do that. Which is why I give birth IN A HOSPITAL WITH CLINICIANS.

  • EllenL

    When I was pregnant with our first, the baby was overdue by a few days. It was the time of the State Fair. I remember thinking “Wouldn’t it be funny if the baby was born at the Fair?! That would be a story to tell.”

    I was 19 years old and ignorant. I thought childbirth was simple, straightforward and perhaps a bit uncomfortable. I had no idea! Once I had been through birth, I knew better.

    More importantly, once I had a child whom I loved **beyond imagining**, doing anything that would add one iota of risk to the life or health of a baby of mine became unthinkable!

    I feel sorry for first time mothers who get sucked into the home birth movement. They are operating out of ignorance. But when experienced mothers engage in this insanity, it’s so hard for me to understand.

  • Amazed

    I wonder how these attention whores gave birth before they could have the internet to announce it. I gather only the huge advances in both computer and medical techonology saved us from witnessing births in the most attended places in public parks or something, so they could have their fill of attention.

    A hundred years ago, women had the reality to look at and they feared birth so they weren’t eager to demonstrate how goddesslike they gave birth – they were trying not to die. Twenty years ago, medicine had already taken a good deal of the fear away. Now, we have the internet and the fearless warrior mommies to look at and watch them being coddled, fawned at and encouraged. And from time to time, someone pays in life or brain function.

    Poor little baby.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      My husband’s grandmother, one of the sweetest women I ever had the privilege of knowing, was born in the 1920s. She still saw birth as something to be respected and feared; she always wanted to know as soon as someone in the family went into labor so that she could pray for them until they and the baby were safely through it. I should add that she thought that hospital birth and epidurals were about the best thing since, well, anything.
      She died a few months ago, but I still like to think that she’ll still be doing the same thing whenever her granddaughters (or granddaughters-in-law) are having babies.

      • T9e

        My grandmother, who was born in 1913, also thought modern medicine for labor and delivery was a miracle. Although, she also thought it was crazy to want your husband in the room with you. 🙂

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          I never asked DH’s grandmother, but I imagine she’d feel the same way. This was a woman who was never seen without her hair perfectly coiffed, without her clothing just so, and without a hint of Chanel No. 5 about her person. Though I’d like DH with me, I admired that woman’s style to no end.

      • nomofear

        My grandmother was born in 1920, and is still with us. She had four babies under the twilight regimen, and thought it was the best. Take that, NCBers!

        • MaineJen

          My grandma is the same age…her labors were so fast, they never had time for twilight sleep. Natural childbirth before it was “cool.”

      • KarenJJ

        My grandmother was born in 1927 and was Rh negative, so you can imagine how her pregnancies and childbirth went 🙁

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          That poor woman. Living as I do in the 21st century, you’re right: I can only imagine.

        • MaineJen

          My great grandma lost 4 babies that way. Rh- with an Rh+ husband.

  • Bombshellrisa

    OT: someone posted this on Facebook today. Anyone else know this?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Wikipedia says that Raggedy Ann was made as a toy for Marcella and makes no mention of small pox. For what that’s worth.

    • Beatrix S.L

      “Is it true that the Raggedy Ann doll was used to represent the anti-vaccination movement?
      Raggedy Ann has been historically associated with the anti-vaccination movement, and there is some truth and some fiction associated with this belief. The tragic truth that still wrenches our hearts to this day is that Johnny Gruelle’s little daughter died after being given a mandatory smallpox vaccination at school. The child was just 13 years old, and her loss was devastating to Johnny Gruelle, who then became a proponent of the anti-vaccination movement. However, there is an absurd school of thought that asserts that the Raggedy Ann doll was created as a limp and lifeless-looking creature to symbolize Gruelle’s dead child. This is certainly not the case, and Gruelle’s registered patent of the Raggedy Ann character occurred right around the time of Marcella’s death. Evidence indicates that he had been working on perfecting Raggedy Ann prior to this tragedy in his family.

      I have never seen any documentary evidence that Johnny Gruelle, himself, used the image of Raggedy Ann to protest mandatory vaccinations. However, he did make his stance quite well known to the publishers of Physical Culture magazine, who asked him to illustrate an article about vaccinations. He responded to the request with a grim, political-style cartoon showing a small child hanging in the balance of a scale held by an ape-like figure.

      Modern anti-vaccination proponents have, indeed, used Raggedy Ann dolls to illustrate their position, but this was certainly not the original idea behind the doll.”

      http://www.dollkind.com/raggedy-ann-doll.shtml

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        Apparently her death certificate says that she died of valvular heart disease of several years duration complicated by edema. In other words, she died of congestive heart failure secondary to long standing valvular disease.

        • Bombshellrisa

          I am sharing that with the friend who posted the pic. This is the same friend who posts the “Nature’s flu shot” remedy (garlic, ginger, pineapple juice, lemon juice) every year and encourages people to avoid “toxins”.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            “Garlic, ginger, pineapple juice, lemon juice”
            Well, at the risk of being rude, I suppose that that combo could work. I mean, if you drink enough of that stuff your BO and *ahem* other emissions will be sufficiently vile that no one will come within 6 feet of you, thereby significantly reducing the likelihood of droplet transmission…

          • Amy

            Shades of “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” (which is also a huge proponent of hospital birth– one of the aunts has 10 stillborn babies, and insists on having the 11th in a hospital with a doctor; the first thing she hears after delivery is the doctor yelling “Quick, oxygen!” and saving the baby’s life). The mom coats the daughter’s hair in kerosene to avoid head lice and makes the kids wear cloves of garlic in little pouches around their necks. All the other kids avoid them, and they never catch anything.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            That is one of my all-time favorite books!!!!!
            I still remember Sissy kissing the doctor’s hands after he saved her baby.

          • Gozi

            God, don’t put a match near her hair!

          • Angharad

            That sounds like a delicious marinade for chicken, especially if you add in some teriyaki sauce. It doesn’t sound like effective preventive medicine.

          • Sarah

            Absolutely. I’d totally consume that, maybe with some noodles. I’d just be fairly surprised if it stopped me getting the flu.

          • An Actual Attorney

            I was thinking it might not be bad as a mixer with vodka.

          • Sarah

            That might work too.

          • Bombshellrisa

            With chicken and noodles, I think it would be amazing!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I have a recipe for spicy chicken that involves lemon juice, garlic, and ginger, as well as cumin, tumeric, and a few other spices. I’ve eaten it several times and didn’t get the flu last year*.

            *Yeah, so I also got my flu shot, but I’m totally sure it was the lemon juice, not the flu shot or the fact that everyone in my house and workplace also got the shot (thereby providing good herd immunity) that did it.

          • deafgimp

            My husband heats up garlic in some water and adds honey and lemon when he has a cold and drinks it down.

            He’s disgusting.

            He likes how it tastes and it makes him feel emotionally better. If there’s a real physical benefit, that’s a bonus.

            If only more people approached natural medicine that way.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Sounds like complications of rheumatic fever then. A disease that is the sequel of strep, an infectious disease currently without a vaccine but which can be successfully treated with antibiotics. If it is not treated with antibiotics, “natural” immunity forms and the antibodies against strep can cross react with the tissue of the heart valves resulting in rheumatic fever. Several of my grandfather’s sisters died of this disease. I did not because I got antibiotics when I got strep and therefore don’t have natural and naturally dangerous antibodies to it.

          • namaste863

            Good to know. I get strep pretty often. For a while, I decided to wait for my own immune system to lick it. In retrospect, that was incredibly, unbelievably stupid. Rheumatic fever is the leading cause of acquired Aortic Valve Stenosis, something I know all about because I was born with congenital aortic valve stenosis (bicuspid valve). I obviously need rheumatic fever like a hole in the head. I was lucky enough to dodge the bullet, and I learned to no longer dick around with strep.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Whew! Apparently only a minority of people will make the antibody that causes the cross reaction, but I don’t know of any way to know whether you’re that person or whether the strep you have is that strep so, yeah, don’t dick around with it.

          • KarenJJ

            My eldest had Scarlet Fever last year. Once diagnosed she was put on anti-biotics and picked up within days and was fine after a week (in spite of another underlying immune system condition which often complicates these things) once her skin had flaked off and stopped being so itchy.

            I found an article on what to do back in the early 1900s – isolation for the patient in a bare room with a bare bed for weeks, siblings sent away for weeks, one person to care for the patient which involved lots of washing and removal of the skin flakes. After recovery or death (it actually said that) the room and bed were to be scrubbed. I think clothes were to be boiled or burnt.

          • Kesiana

            YIKES. Personally, I got chicken pox before a vaccine was available… so now I have to worry about getting shingles. My main concern is that I hear it’s REALLY PAINFUL, but for some reason docs don’t like vaccinating people under 60 or so against it. I know I’m low-risk for it, but still…

      • Azuran

        Wikipedia says she dies of diphtheria. Still, that happened in 1915, so it’s practically impossible to know exactly why she died.
        Nevertheless, even if she did die of complication from a vaccine, that was a vaccine from 100 years ago. That makes it totally meaningless.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          The smallpox vaccine was relatively dangerous and probably wouldn’t be approved unaltered in the modern era. However, the reason it is no longer given is that mandatory vaccination was so effective that smallpox no longer exists in the wild so that the risk of dying or being harmed by the vaccine (1 in several thousand, I think) is truly greater than the risk of being harmed by smallpox (0 unless someone’s fool enough to release it from the lab again). Prior to the eradication of smallpox, it had a mortality of (I think) about 1 in 3.

          • Roadstergal

            The Panic Virus does a wonderful job of going over the history of the anti-vaccination movement – and how it actually predated vaccination, starting as an anti-variolation movement. Smallpox was bad enough that variolation was a fair tradeoff for a lot of people, but many objected to it, some on religious grounds – echoes of ‘some babies are not meant to live.’

        • Gozi

          I don’t think children now receive vaccines without parental consent, even if it happened then.

  • Who?

    I wonder if she needed stitching or any other medical care, and if she did I wonder if she agreed to it?

    My interest in how these women care for themselves after these terrible events borders on the unwell.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I have had a couple friends transfer to hospital during labor or just after delivery. Their home birth midwives stayed and would advise them about whether or not to get tears stitched. One had terrible tearing and now is dealing with incontinence–if only the midwife had advised her to transfer before pushing for 8 hours at home . They did tell her to accept the doctor’s conclusion about the severity of the tear but they also told her that they were going to prescribe herbal sits baths and other things for when she got home, as if that was the real remedy

      • Amazed

        Oh. My. Freaking. God.

      • Who?

        Nice they stayed, makes a change from the drop, flip the bird and run scenario we’ve heard so much about.

        Interesting-at least the refusing care is consistent. Hope that was the worst injury out of the whole messy situation.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Oh, they didn’t stay for free, they charged her $1000 extra (she had already paid up for the home birth by that time, when she was 42 weeks).

          • Who?

            Tell you what they are bold, I’ll give them that.

          • Roadstergal

            Bold is one word for it.

    • yugaya

      Modern Alternative Mama blogger Kate Tietje who just had a gloriously successful unassisted birth is currently busy self-diagnosing and self-treating what sounds like a very nasty third degree tear. I’m already looking forward to her “DIY pelvic floor damage repair kit” and posts.

      And no, you cannot make this shit up.

      • Who?

        You’ll never hear another thing about it, or she’ll start on it then go quiet, since whatever nonsense she’s up to won’t work.

        • yugaya

          Internet never forgets. 😀

      • Cobalt

        I’ll go ahead and be the cold hearted bitch that calls that refreshing. Because really, it’s nice to see the person who made the decision be the one to have the negative consequences, and not the baby who was totally at the mercy of its mother.

      • Daleth

        I looked on her blog and didn’t see anything about that. Where’d you find it?

        • yugaya

          Oh she hasn’t shared that *tiny* bit of info with her public followers yet. Probably because her modern alternative birth advice would not be selling too well if people reading her blog knew that she has a third degree (almost all the way to fourth degree) tear that is still split open more than a week after birth, and that it has not even been seen by anyone qualified, let alone repaired.

          • Roadstergal

            Hmm, my immediate reaction to that is AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

            That part of me that the poop comes out of? I do not want to screw around with that part not working properly!

          • yugaya

            She is shopping around for…alternative solutions. I understand that she makes a nice living off of her immature natural-cures-for-all-ills scribblings, but still, no woman should suffer like that in 21st century. Swallow your big mama blogger pride and go ask a surgeon for some non-alternative remedies. Please.

          • The longer she waits, the harder it is to fix properly. That’s not something to mess with unless you are masochistic in the extreme and/or stupid.

  • Freebirthing can cost the most in a currency people shouldn’t pay: with their lives.

  • Ellen Mary

    Just so tragic. ‘Freebirth’ is not a thing. If you want freedom in birth, the hospital is your spot. Freedom from pain, freedom from sorrow, freedom from guilt & injury, and in most cases, freedom from upfront cash payments.

    • Gozi

      Oh but you are tethered to a machine! They force I Vs in you! Muuuuuwaaaaah!

      Mind you, I have had some bad hospital experiences, none worth risking the life of my child.

      • Tiffany Aching

        The “I don’t want to have an IV!” thing maddens mind. I really don’t see what’s so horrible about IV’s, I’ve had some, you should just avoid sleeping on it like I tend to :). But those little babies in the NICU, with so many tubes coming out of them, when they should be kissed and cuddled most of the time, this IS a hard sight, and I cannot imagine what it must be for the parents.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          First off, I love the name. I was miserable when I heard of Sir Terry’s death several months ago; what a loss to the book-loving community!
          Second, I feel a certain (minor) amount of sympathy on the IV thing. I have historically crappy veins. I used to give blood, and gave from the same elbow vein so often I actually have a scar over the “good” spot for that vein. I also have had someone successfully draw blood from me on the first try exactly twice in my life; every other time has involved 3+ attempts, bruising, and generalized unpleasantness. That having been said, I warned the OB nurse of this when she came in to get my IV going. She smiled, said “No problem, I’m the best at this,” hit a back-of-the-hand vein on the first freaking try, and didn’t blow it. I had never had someone hit that vein successfully before; whenever someone tried, I’d look like someone smacked my hand with a baseball bat for a week afterwards. I told her I was totally going to her for blood draws from now on. 😀 And all of that having been said–a few blown sticks vs having them try to get an IV into my crappy veins while I’m crashing? Yeah, I’ll take some bruising over the whole increased-risk-of-death thing, thanks.

          • Cobalt

            I have fantastic but hard to see beforehand arm veins and big, bulgy, rolly, very painful hand veins. I heap blessings upon any nurse who will take the time to stick my arms instead of my hands. The pain from a hand stick, for me, is felt way over and above contractions and actually makes it almost impossible for me to hold my baby because my hand won’t bend without a severe ripping feeling.

            I wouldn’t refuse an IV, because life matters more than a few hours of pain, but I understand how an IV could be painful even in the context of labor. And a nurse taking 2 minutes to listen and not ignore your experience can make a huge difference.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            No kidding! I was used to having a nurse/phlebotomist kind of roll their eyes about how my veins weren’t really bad…until they blew the first, and second, and perhaps the third stick. This one took my concerns seriously, and was just damn good at what she did.

          • Tiffany Aching

            I was very sad when Terry Pratchett died too. I found comfort though in thinking that he had the peaceful death he wanted, surrounded by his loved ones and his car. I wish that this possibility were available for anybody with a terminal illness.

          • Tiffany Aching

            I meant his cat, obviously. I don’t think that Terry Pratchett was terribly interested in cars, plus it would really have crowded the room :).

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Haha! 😀

        • Allie

          “I really don’t see what’s so horrible about IV’s”

          Me neither! I told them I was fine with a precautionary IV (the kind they put with nothing attached to it just in case), but they said it wasn’t standard procedure any longer and they only put it as needed. As it turned out, I needed it like gangbusters after my daughter finally came out along with a liter and a half of my blood. The OB/GYN was practically elbow deep in my cooter stitching up my clitoral artery by the time the drugs finally kicked in. The nurse put the IV in as quickly as she could, and luckily I have lovely, fat veins, but it was NOT pleasant. NB: laughing gas is completely useless.

          • Linden

            Nitrous oxide did nothing for me either, except make me simultaneously barely conscious *and* in agony.
            And I have veins that are very difficult to get to, so if I have another one, I definitely want an IV in before anything happens. Especially if I can’t even keep any water down.

        • I had a patient who had the full series of abdominal rabies shots as a child (in the 70s I believe). It traumatized him wrt needles for the rest of his life. It was completely understandable to me. Some people have their reasons for avoiding certain things. its hard to know unless you ask each person and they are self-aware enough to make the connection and feel comfortable enough to tell you about it.

    • that’s not entirely true either though, there are autonomy violations regularly in all hospital units. Its because the legal consequences are few and far between, while the consequences for failing to treat something (even if you document the hell out of it) are common. That needs fixing. I don’t think pretending the hospital is a perfect place helps anyone.

  • Tori

    We have had 3 unassisted births, because we’re 2.5-3 hours from a hospital. We have been VERY fortunate to all be okay. If we get pregnant again in the future, I am insisting on an induction instead of “see if we can make it.” It’s just not something to play around with for bragging rights. My heart hurts so much for this child.

    • yugaya

      I am so glad that you are here, and that you know exactly how lucky you were. Most of all, I am thankful that you will make a safer choice in the future.

      • Laural

        Glad you are here, too, Tori. Just swooping in to say that it is not always a ‘choice’ for precipitous labor Mothers to be able to have an induction- especially if they deliver before 39 weeks. In our experience (my husband and myself) even with a history of precipitous delivery, OB’s do not really have the discretion in the current climate to allow inductions before 39 weeks- it can be a very anxious scenario. Sorry… that one is kind of one of my peeves. When I read stories like Tori’s I get so angry at her doctors failures to implement a plan that assures she would be able to have a safe, worry-free, monitored delivery in the hospital instead of a harrowing delivery at home or en-route. I realize that may be all my own angst and she may have planned to just be unassisted … but I nevertheless maintain that a history of precipitous birth should be a solid reason to induce if a doctor and patient agree it is the safest route. I believe it is the relative rarity of precipitous birth combined with the outcomes being generally positive that has not led to this condition being better anticipated and managed in the medical community. You can’t really sue your OB because you labored too fast to make it to the hospital, and anyways, your baby turned out fine so what is the problem? Well, the biggest risk factor for precipitous birth is a history of precipitous birth, so, it actually IS possible to forsee and take some preventative measures to avoid it happening. rant over… sorry…

        • As a matter of fact, precipitous labors carry with them an increased risk of hemorrhage, so a history of such labor should be an indication to manage the birth by induction in hospital, especially if the woman is far from the nearest hospital.

        • Kelly

          That is what is stressing me out about my third. My first took forever but I had her at 38 weeks but my second was born under three hours barely at 39 weeks on the dot. Unless I get progressively longer with my pregnancies, I will not make it again. Plus with an induction, I could get the epidural before I get induced and not feel much. I will be talking about this with my doctor and will see what she says. I just hope I go into labor at night again so that my husband is there to help get me to the hospital and with the kids.

    • nomofear

      My labors are fast – luckily, not that fast – but with my last, I requested the induction, and it was great! If you have another, don’t be afraid of it.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      So glad for you that everything worked out. Yeah the precipitous labor thing seems to be at least in part genetic (from my very small sample) My mom gave birth 3 times and the first 2 were 4hours and 1 1/2 hours of labor respectively. My older sister gave birth 4 times and the first one was 5 hours, with her labors getting shorter with each delivery. We joke with the last one that she should probably go live at the hospital in her ninth month. My only labor was 6 1/2 hours so when I hear someone say they were in labor for 30 hours, I’m just nope, nope, nope!

      • Who?

        Yes 6 hours from ‘that feels weird’ to ‘hey you’ both times. And like you I have no idea how someone labours for 30 hours-in fact for 5 minutes more than I did.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          And me being silly thought at first it was Braxton Hicks again so we went to the mall to walk for an hour..and I had a baked potato..which sucked coming back up 3 hers later during transitikn. I knew better I was just so hungry

      • Amy

        31 hours here. Epidural contraindicated due to very low platelets. I had two doulas, the labor room with the hot tub and the most AMAZING nurse imaginable– she monitored me with a handheld doppler, worked around my contractions, and got into weird positions in order to keep me as comfortable as possible. But, you know, the hospitals are a bunch of unfeeling male OBs impatient to get to their golf games, right?

  • lilin

    Well, what is she going to post? “I’m a bad mother.” (She is.) “I hurt my baby and gave her a lifelong injury.” (She did.)

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      One of the worst things about homebirth is not merely that no one learns from these disasters, but that no one is ALLOWED to learn from deaths and injuries. Only “support” is allowed. Any attempt to analyze what went wrong and how the disaster could have been prevented will be deleted immediately … So the same deadly choices are made over and over again.

      • Megan

        Lay midwives don’t hold M&M rounds, it would seem. Too depressing, I guess… Easier to sweep it under the rug than actually learn from your mistakes.

      • yugaya

        One of the admins of the killer HBAC group that you wrote about ( the group that encouraged a HBA3C attempting mom earlier this year to go on labouring for four days after her membranes ruptured and her baby died : http://www.skepticalob.com/2015/04/women-who-run-homebirth-support-groups-face-a-terrible-dilemma.html) just became the admin of this Unassisted/Freebirth group too.

        She is already claiming that all of these babies are “untrue stories” and is busy purging the ranks from anyone suspected of not trusting birth enough, so things are only going to get worse in the future.

        • Trixie

          She actually ran a computer program to purge the ranks of anyone who is also a member of a group she disapproves of.

          • yugaya

            When I first heard of them having some programs/algorithms for weeding out fake accounts I loled because that shit does not work in a meaningful way even for a sample as large as facebook at this point. Later, when I figured out what these clowns were doing like EMERGENCY SCANNING the posts for likes ( sic!) and crosschecking lists of members, I knew that they were as completely clueless about online communication as they are about birth. Many people will end up on their crazybirthers’ shitlist through guilt by association.

      • superhappycamper

        Real professionals are willing to admit that they made mistakes and learn from them. It’s painful and difficult. These groups all seem to use other tactics when something goes wrong. It could damage their faith in their cult beliefs if they looked at things with a critical eye. I kind of imagine them all with their fingers in their ears singing “LA LA LA” like seven year olds.

    • Guestll

      Perhaps inadvertently, you’ve pointed out a problem. Nobody wants to admit responsibility when a stuntbirth goes wrong. You’re right, what is she going to post?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      How about “I feel so guilty that I took this risk and my child was injured as a result. I’m going to tell everyone I can not to make the same mistake and no future child of mine will ever face this risk again”?

      • Cobalt

        That would get deleted SO fast.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          And her community would have shunned her. I’d feel sorry for her if it wasn’t for her attachment to the Pearl philosophy which is unspeakably evil.

          • Mishimoo

            My breakfast nearly came back up. The Pearl philosophy is disgusting. Add in brain damage/comprehension issues from this disasterous freebirth…what kind of life is this poor baby going to have if she gets to go home?

          • N

            May I ask what the Pearl philosophy is?

          • N

            Ok, I found Mr Oearl and his book with Google and Wikipedia. … “The book advises parents to use objects like a quarter-inch plumbing tube to spank children and “break their will”. It also mentions withholding food and putting children under a cold garden hose.” ???

            Sorry. I have no words for this.

          • Mishimoo

            I have one: Abuse.
            That’s what it is and their books should be banned. They should be held accountable for every single child that has been damaged, broken, and/or killed thanks to that book.

          • N

            My sister told me about a story she heard. A mother used to put her 2 years old under a cold shower (like the cold garden hose?) when she had a tantrum. One day mother was not carefull enough and didn’t see that she actually turned hot water on. 60°C hot water! Of course the child screamed, but it screamed also with cold water. End of the story: child burned to death.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Yuck. I don’t believe in the death penalty and I don’t make an exception for this case, but if I were evil dictator of the world I’d put her in prison for life and every day when she woke up have someone tell her, “Your daughter is dead because you’re an evil hunk of shit.”

          • Mishimoo

            I do believe in the death penalty, but I prefer your solution because death is too neat and easy for someone like that. (I have strong feelings about this subject, sorry)

          • Who?

            I don’t know. It doesn’t seem right to allow the jailer’s outrage to be the measure of the penalty. For the system to work at all, penalties should be transparent and more or less equivalent-this much for a life taken, this much for a rape, an assault, a bank robbery. Our not by any means perfect system works this way now.

            Nothing brings back the dead, nothing fixes the broken, nothing rights the wrong. Punish the guilty, protect the vulnerable, make an example for the tempted, by all means. But we shouldn’t demean ourselves by trying to get ‘even’, whatever that would look like, if we claim to be the good guys.

        • yugaya

          She would get banned from the group too.

  • Tara Mendola

    Her FB page lists “To Train Up A Child” as a favorite book, so there’s your answer about the larger utility of children in her worldview. But I looked at her groups and I don’t see an UC group on there, so I don’t know where the story is coming from…

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Oh, crap. That poor kid never had a chance, did she? If she’d been born undamaged she would have been psycholgically traumatized before she was 2.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        You know I’ve considered using what I’ve learned in dog training on any children I have. And I felt bad about that.

        But I mean the stuff like positive reward and positive word marker based training when they’re at the cognitive level of a dog to guide them away from dangerous things like highways and stoves so they’ll lose interest in them, not putting a collar on my kid and beating them with a pipe. I don’t feel so bad now.

        • Who?

          Look, it’s not a good feeling, but…even things like responding positively to the behaviour you want to encourage, and ignoring the behaviour you don’t, can be really powerful. I’ve learnt what little I know about patience from my children so maybe it goes both ways.

          We did do the harness thing with the boy for a while until we hit on tying a helium balloon to his clothes so we could see him in a crowd.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I’m stealing that balloon idea.

            And honestly people should have to do a dog obedience class that doesn’t use rough correction and negativity before they have kids. With a stubborn dog. It teaches you soooo much patience.

            Kids will probably still give challenges but it helps!

          • Mishimoo

            I agree! I worked in a vet surgery before my eldest and I learned so much. If I hadn’t, I might have bought into the woo around pitocin/syntocinon, but seeing regularly and having it explained meant that it became one of my favourite interventions. Also helped get rid of any lingering squemishness, which is helpful too.

        • Mishimoo

          Don’t feel bad, there is a remarkable amount of overlap between the two areas. When you’re thinking of looking for parenting books, I highly recommend Steve Biddulph’s “The Secret of Happy Children”. I haven’t read any of his other books, but this one has made parenting so much easier and less stressful for us. Our kids are amazing sweet people, and so much easier to get along with than we were expecting. Hopefully it lasts through the teenage years (not holding my breath though).

          • Daleth

            So glad I saw your post. I’d never heard of Biddulph. Now I’ve read parts of several books on Amazon and ordered some. Yay!

          • Mishimoo

            I’m glad you found it helpful! My dear late granddad sent me a copy of the happy children one and it was absolutely amazing to me. I can treat my kids like people and that’s okay? Wait, it’s not okay that my parents treated me like they did? I can have a loving and respectful relationship with my kids while they’re kids and I don’t have to “break their wilful spirit”, and they will be awesome adults?! It seemed a bit too good to be true (coming from a fundamental Christian upbringing) but it is working for us so far. My only concern is that they are too nice and too forgiving, and I don’t want people taking advantage of that.

        • Mac Sherbert

          Probably not funny, but a teacher friend and I once discussed how the dog whisper’s techniques were very similar to the behavior modification techniques we used in our classrooms.

        • Tiffany Aching

          Don’t feel bad ! I’ve tried positive training with my very messy husband regarding housecleaning 🙂 (and it kinda works too !).

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Hey, I kind of wish someone would try to train me with positive rewards and positive word markers rather than the random punishments for random acts that they seem to be going with now.

        • Roadstergal

          I would never beat my dogs, with a pipe or leash or any other object. Not only is it cruel, it just plain doesn’t _work_, long-term.

          I did joke with a new-mom friend about how much easier it would be if you were allowed to crate-train babies, but fully tongue in cheek. :p

        • Anne

          You shouldn’t feel bad about that! The principles of reinforcement and punishment are universal to all organisms (Karen Pryor trained a hermit crab to open its claw on command using tweezers and some krill shrimp). Humans are more complex in some ways than dogs and other non-human animals (with our verbal behavior and all that) but we are all subject to the laws of behavior. It’s a beautiful thing.

    • LibrarianSarah

      You know as a librarian I am supposed to be against book burning but in this particular case…

    • Squillo

      She may get a rude shock trying to “train up” a significantly disabled child. I hope the child doesn’t pay an even larger price for her delusions.

  • LizzieSt

    I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I was a Maternity and NICU social worker for a year. That’s not a long time, but I still witnessed many tragedies in there. I’ll never forget my first neonatal death: An extremely premature little boy, born at 24 weeks, who weighed less than 2 lbs at birth. He lived only two days. I was sitting with the parents in the NICU Family Room when the nurses brought in the tiny boy, wrapped in knit blankets, his little face bruised from resuscitation efforts. The sight of the parents holding and weeping over their dead child is something that will stay with me until the day I die.

    Wouldn’t those parents have given anything in the world to have a healthy, living baby? Of course they would have! So: I don’t get it. How can anyone deem a “birth experience” more important than a baby’s life? And indeed, over a mother’s life? A birth experience lasts a few hours or days. A child is there for a lifetime. Or the pain of a loss is there for a lifetime.

    I’m not a NICU social worker anymore. I had to give it up because I’m just not cut out for that kind of work, but I am forever grateful for the experience. No one will ever convince me that there is anything more important in childbirth than the life and health of the mother and baby.

    • yugaya

      Often these mothers have been brainwashed into believing that they are literally saving their lives by giving birth away from hospitals and qualified birth attendants.

      • superhappycamper

        Indeed. A significant tenet of the “cult” is that most complications are caused by those evil interventions in the hospital, as if we don’t have thousands of years of history behind us where something like 1 out of 10 women died in childbirth.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I would have given ANYTHING to keep my son alive. I am fortunate enough that he is growing and developing normally. I did everything within my power to get him alive and the best I could. And I am not extraordinary or great or anything. I am just normal.

      • Tiffany Aching

        I’m so glad your little one is doing fine. And it lifted up my spirits after reading that horrible story.

  • Chrisp

    I was thinking of something else. If she really and truly believes in having a freebirth and letting things happen naturally, then why does she call the paramedics and allow the health care providers to support her daughter in the NICU? You cannot spout the crap about childbirth being natural unless you are willing to suffer the consequences of natural childbirth. And if she really did this before – horrific homebirth with transfer to a hospital – then it shows a pattern of neglect. More reason to begin legal intervention.

    • AllieFoyle

      Where is the info on her previous hb? Is this from fb? There are links to another woman with a similar story in the comments below. Did they both have previous difficult births or are the stories getting mixed up?

      • Chrisp

        The featured comment by yugaya talks about her fourth birth. I have no idea with the information came from.

        • yugaya

          It’s from the posts this mom wrote online describing her previous birth experiences.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Fear preventive obstetric care; trust catastrophic neonatal care!

      • Chrisp

        It just shows how flawed her thinking is. And when does a “belief” become a “delusion”?

        • yugaya

          I’ve asked so many women now to try and pinpoint that turning point for them when they either fell completely for all these lies and stopped being able to process any new information presented to them in an objective manner, or the point at which they just looked at all that birth nonsense being shared in the name of natural childbirth that appealed to them and realised how potentially deadly and dangerous it is. There is no definite recipe, but having someone close to you who loves you and who you trust implicitly is often that one thing that makes a difference. That is why a lot of manipulation and lies revolves around “cleaning your birth circle from any negative thoughts or individuals”.

          • Megan

            ” That is why a lot of manipulation and lies revolves around “cleaning your birth circle from any negative thoughts or individuals”.

            Sounds a lot like a cult…

          • Busbus

            I think it is a lot like a cult, at least for those who go all out.

          • Karen in SC

            It is most definitely a cult.

          • Chrisp

            I agree. I personally know a few women who drink the koolaid, so to speak. It’s like there is a void they are trying to fill. I had my daughter as an “older” mom (I was 35 years old) – at my first prenatal visit, my physician said my diagnosis was “advanced maternal age” – ouch. But I was not ready to have a baby until then – until I felt like a whole person. And yes, my husband helped me, but I was also a whole person before I met him. A lot of these women have babies to fill their voids, but the secret is – it doesn’t work that way. As such, they are vulnerable and extremely malleable.

    • Squillo

      I don’t make any assumptions about the motivations of women who choose homebirth/freebirth in general, but I suspect the ones who blog about it tend to narcissism and like all the drama. How much more dramatic if you can involve emergency services and blog your baby’s NICU stay and keep the page-views and the “so sorry/you go mama”s coming.

    • Tori

      I call BS on the 2 minute response time. It would have taken her that long to explain the situation to the dispatcher. Talk about a poor attempt at feigning a fast response to her child’s dire situation in an effort to look like she was still maintaining some kind of control and to minimize the weight of the real risk to her child’s life.

  • Kim

    Horrific. Just goes to show how dangerous child birth can be. The outcome of this baby makes me feel very sad but also grateful for myself as both my babies, although not big, got stuck and distressed but I was already at the hospital where they could get them out quickly. Two teams of people showed up, one for me and one for the baby. I was well aware that the day of birth is very dangerous for both mother and baby, I’ve never thought any differently. What are these people thinking??? I actually made a thank you card for the hospital staff that attended us and dropped it off by hand to one of the staff midwives I found. She was very touched, she told me all they ever get usually is complaints. And that stupid woman is moaning about the paramedic cutting the cord? Makes me so mad!

  • T.

    And this is why I believe that, no matter what kind of mental illness you have, if it precludes you the possibility of giving birth in a frigging hospital you have to treat it BEFORE the birth.

    UC is not the answer.
    The end.

    • AllieFoyle

      Mental illness? Am I missing something here? She made a terrible decision, but I don’t see any indication that she had a mental illness. If anything, it appears her decision was related to her religious beliefs and social community. Every day people with mental illnesses make good decisions in spite of their struggles, and people with no mental illness sometimes make terrible decisions. Let’s not conflate the issues here.

      • Kelly

        I think this stems from comments on another post about how some people UC because of anxiety, etc.

        • T.

          Yes, exactly. I was commenting about a post on the other thread, where people said that a woman wanted to have an UC because she has extreme anxiety and can’t handle hospital care.

          As a person with anxiety and depression myself, I know very well that it has nothing to do with bad decision, nor with inability to understand and -if possible- treat your illness.

      • Busbus

        Allie, I agree with you. I don’t see signs of mental illness here, and you are right that mental illness is not the same as making bad decisions. However, I do think that it would be good to treat overarching fears of hospitals (maybe resulting from a bad experience) as something that can and should be managed and overcome rather than as an “indication” for homebirth. And that is something that has to be addressed before the birth. Maybe that would be an area where hospitals could offer valuable services? Such as a social worker or nurse who will sit down with you and take the time to discuss all your fears and talk about ways to address them or work around them when the time comes. I think just knowing that they will be taken seriously could make women who have such fears much more comfortable and likely to consider a hospital birth.

        • Cobalt

          That’s a really good idea, and would take a lot of pressure off of doctors who don’t have the time, training, and purview for handholding.

          Like a modified childbirth education class.

          • Megan

            This is a really good idea. I could easily see this being part of my hospital’s childbirth education class and anyone who would like to discuss a negative past hospital birth experience could be referred to one of the hospital social workers as a way to prevent home births with lay midwives. It’s a natural place for casual screening and subsequent referral if needed.

        • T.

          Mental health training pre and during pregnancy is an area that needs a lot of work indeed. I agree with you if would be a very, very good idea. (For the record I was thinking about a past thread were there was the case of a woman who wanted to UC because of anxiety. Which… no, is not a good enough reason to UC. It is an indication of treating your illness, not to UC).

          There is SO MUCH misinformation about mental health and pregnancy-post pregnancy around… It would be essential to counteract it.

          • Mattie

            “Which… no, is not a good enough reason to UC. It is an indication of treating your illness, not to UC.”

            No it is not a good reason to UC, there is no good reason to UC. It is however a valid issue that needs more understanding by a HCP than just ‘well you should get your illness treated then’.

            Unsurprisingly, women who wish to UC already do not trust HCPs, acting like their reasoning is repugnant rather than trying to HELP them is not gonna make them go to the hospital, it’s gonna make them UC.

          • T.

            Unless somebody is holding a gun to your head or suchlike, nobody is “making you UC”.

            They can pressure you, they can tell you that it is a bad choice, but they cannot “make you” UC.

            A key fact of mental illness is realizing this: you are doing things. Sometimes, you have trouble realizing this (depersonalization can make you feel like you aren’t here or you are a robot or you live in a dream) which is why, if you have mental illness of that kind, you need to be treated.

            It is a valid issue, on that I agree with you. But if a woman choses to UC, she is doing the choosing. Not the docs, not the HCP, nobody else but her.

            There are few things as lonely as mental illness, and few things are as hard to explain as “I can’t do X, because my brain doesn’t allow me that. Yeah I am physically able but I just CAN’T”. (My bigger limitation of that kind, which I already mentioned, is with driving cars. I can’t. I just CAN’T.)

            And there are things that can be treated and things that you have to learn to live with.

            But if you, personally, can live without going to a hospital (it is your life, you are an adult, do as you wish) you cannot do the same with a child.

            Bad therapists are another thing you find A LOT in mental health. You can chose not to treat yourself if you can manage (as above: your life, your choices). But if you are in a situation where other lives are at stakes… then you keep gritting your teeth and go around until you find one who is sympathetic enough to understand and treat you.
            Which is what I did once I realized that no, jumping 100 meters off the tower would take away my pain, but would leave other people -my family- in considerable more pain, so I searched for a therapist and it took weeks but I found one.

            I do not like to talk about these weeks. But I am alive, you see, and my mother, father and sister haven’t cried on my grave which was what would have happened had I not done gritted my teeth past three idiotic therapists until I found a good one.

            So I reiterate my claim:

            IF you have a mental illness that doesn’t allow you to go to a hospital, either you get it treated so that you can, or you don’t have children. You take all possible precaution because of it.
            IF you aren’t able, because of your mental illness, to make these decisions, either temporarily or permanently (and, sadly, it DOES happen) then twice you don’t have a business having children in that moment.

          • AllieFoyle

            I’m very sorry you’ve had such struggles, and it’s great that you had the wherewithal and persistence to seek out effective treatment. I really mean that.

            But what does any of it have to do with this post? Was this woman UCing because she had a mental illness or was it that she’d been brainwashed to believe that UC was wonderful and safe and the hospital was dangerous and unhealthy? Having stupid beliefs is not the same as having a mental illness.

            And if you want to go back to the woman Mattie mentioned, well, we don’t really know the whole story. It’s ridiculous to say that people who have struggled with depression or anxiety shouldn’t have kids until their illness has been “treated”. First of all, that’s an enormous subset of the population. Second, having been treated doesn’t mean that you’re cured and will never deal with depression or anxiety again. You’ll probably always be prone to anxiety or depression, and it can’t always be predicted in advance, though a stressor like pregnancy can bring it on. Third, the treatment for serious anxiety usually includes medication, and the decision to take such meds during pregnancy is controversial. Fourth, is there actually effective treatment available? As noted above, there’s a real need for pregnancy-related mental health care. Fifth, how do you know her anxiety was apparent before she conceived? I had terrible anxiety while pregnant the last time, but no inkling beforehand that it would happen or that it would be as bad as it ended up being.

            I think it’s so much more helpful to focus on what can be done to help women get good care, whether that means giving them access to good information about risks, holding midwives responsible for their actions, or providing comprehensive perinatal care, including mental health.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            The biggest thing that helped me with my mental illness is to realize there is no cure. It’s not going away and that doesn’t mean I did something wrong. There’s no cure for diabetes either, just interventions. If diabetics can manage their condition their entire lives then I can do the same.

            Maybe it seems fatalistic but if you don’t accept it you can’t move forward with it. If you keep holding out for a cure that currently doesn’t exist before you take control of your illness you will never be functional.

            The continuing stigma surrounding the mentally ill doesn’t help. When I was born my mom had horrific PPD along with her regular depression. In the mid 80s in Utah, no one talked about it. Period. It was baby blues and you get over it. But my mom knew it was something worse, she was close to having psychotic episodes, and yet was afraid if she told a doctor that i would be taken away from her because she was “crazy”. Her PPD already focused on losing me to death or something else. I’m lucky she had the presence of mind when things got really bad to drop me off at her mom’s house until she felt safe to be around. My dad didn’t know what to do. I don’t think he’d ever heard of PPD.

            After finding out what it was, my mom refused to be quiet. She made sure her friends and family knew about it and even was on a local TV talk show to talk about the dangers of not talking about PPD. I think she was very brave to do that when it was still a rather taboo subject. To say that mothers could be depressed and have psychotic breaks where they have thoughts of killing their child? Monstrous!

            But thanks to women like my mom who took the risk of being called defective mothers we don’t think of women with PPD as these unloving monsters but as women with a real, treatable illness that has invaded their minds.

            It takes a special kind of person to open themselves up to that kind of hate and fear. I don’t know very many people like my mom that in the midst of struggling with depression, anxiety, and PPD still felt so strongly about helping others suffering in silence that she risked making her symptoms worse so others could someday have acceptance.

            My mother is mentally ill and in the 80s she was very under treated with medications that didn’t work but were the only ones available. She was effectively untreated. I wouldn’t trade her for any other mother in the world. I credit my ability to function relatively normally in society as an autistic individual to her patience, guidance, and kindness in the face of a child that was definitely not normal. I’m almost positive that without her and my dad, I’d likely have regressed to being non-verbal. My mother is well treated now, but wasn’t always in my childhood. She’s still the best mother I know.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Good for your mother! She sounds like a wonderful mother and role model.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            She really is. She has a lot of doubts in herself and her choices in raising me but I think she did the best she could in the circumstances of the time. I wasn’t raised perfectly but she tried with every bit of strength she had. Sometimes I have to remind her of this.

            It also doesn’t help that her mother is likely a full blown narcissist and my mom is her favorite victim. in the “did I raise my daughters right?” questioning her mom’s answer will always be “No.” I seriously don’t know how my mom hasn’t completely lost it some days!

          • FormerPhysicist

            Thank you for posting.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Thank you for reading. 🙂

          • Tiffany Aching

            Thank you for that. I’ve struggled with depression for many years and now that I am thinking of trying to have a child I often wonder if it is a reasonable decision. It is very comforting to read the experience of someone who has a loving, caring AND very depressed mother.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            She’s really an amazing person. She was mom to a lot of kids that had rather absent parents too. Kids from church, my sister’s friends, neighbor kids, all sorts. I called them the strays lol. They always knew our house was a safe place and Mom would listen to them and not yell or call them stupid or laugh at their worries.

            A lot of kids besides myself benefited from my mom being a mom despite her mental illness.

            A lot of people struggle with mental illness but I don’t think they should be discouraged from having children unless they’re currently struggling with something like self harm or delusions. If they realistically feel they can properly care for a child then they shouldn’t be discouraged.

          • Kelly

            She probably understood them better because of her struggles.

          • Glittercrush

            Thank you for this. As I have an appointment to see my doctor to discuss depression next week, this is a wonderfully timed comment. You and your mother are wonderful role models. Thank you for sharing.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Thank you. I’m glad it helped. People don’t talk enough about mental illness I think. It’s easy to feel alone when no one talks about it. Then when you admit it suddenly all these people with mental illness come out of the woodwork! They’re just scared of being judged.

            I’m just one of the lucky ones where my mom taught me to never be ashamed. She always got me books as a kid after I was diagnosed about successful people who were mentally ill. It helped a lot. I think it helped my dad too because he came from a family that didn’t really believe in depression. He’s learned a lot since I was a little kid and realizes when it’s the depression talking when my mom has a particularly hard time. We’ve all taught each other how to be more accepting people I think.

          • Who?

            Your mum must be so proud of you. Sounds like you’re making a great life for yourself and your future family.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            What a testimony. She sounds like a wonderful mother indeed.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Thank you. I think she is but I’m biased lol. She’s a very talented lady with a lot to give and I’m glad she never let her mental illness keep her down because she was a good example to me and others.

          • Beth

            Good reasons to UC:
            You are trapped in an elevator alone and the baby starts coming out. You are stuck on a deserted island with no way to contact other humans. Aliens or zombies have decimated the planet and there is no one else left.
            That’s….about it.

          • AllieFoyle

            Perinatal mental health services could definitely be improved and made more accessible. I think a lot of women and babies would benefit.

            That said, I really don’t see the point of insisting on making a point about mental illness when there isn’t necessarily a connection. This woman made a terrible decision, but what does that have to do with mental illness? I think you’re just perpetuating harmful negative stereotypes when you act as though there is some kind of necessary connection.

        • Mattie

          Some hospitals in the UK provide a ‘debriefing service’ for women who had traumatic or confusing experiences in childbirth, I think it’s an awesome service because it gives a woman/couple the chance to sit down, calmly, after the dust has settled and go back over their notes with a professional (usually a midwife) who can explain exactly what happened and why. It’s not unusual for people to have fuzzy memories of an emergency situation, and that confusion can lead to fear or anxiety especially around loss of control. Definitely something that US hospitals could introduce, either run by CNMs or another professional familiar with childbirth procedures/notes.

          • superhappycamper

            I saw a counselor after a traumatic childbirth experience (nearly fatal for me) and it was helpful. It was hard to make all of the appointments with newborn twins. It would be helpful to have someone specific doing this before you left the hospital.

          • Tiffany Aching

            French hospitals also usually offer counseling after a traumatic birth. One woman I know whose baby suffered from meconium inhalation (he’s doing absolutely fine now) told me she found it really very useful and that it was probably the reason she felt able to have another baby after that. Interestingly, she was very crunchy and interested in homebirth : she still is crunchy in some aspects, but she is now repeats every time she get the chance that hospital birth ROCKS !

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            That’s a really awesome idea, and like you say, I wish US hospitals would introduce that.

        • AllieFoyle

          Good suggestion. I think something like that could be really useful, and not just for people who are considering dangerous options. But again, I’m not sure that this has anything to do with this woman’s decision.

          • Medwife

            A personality disorder, though. I bet she’s got a touch of one of those!

          • Mac Sherbert

            There has got to be something. How else does one explain an UC after a train wreck homebirth?

        • Gozi

          I am going to have to look up her card, but with my last pregnancy there was a nurse whose function was to answer any questions you had about your pregnancy, hospital policies-including the ones during labor, etc., and any other fears or concerns. I thought it was great. But if you already have your mind made up against hospitals and hospital staff, then I don’t know if that service would help. Plus, smaller hospitals may not have someone like that.

          • jenny

            I think I want this to be my job.

  • Zoey

    I truly hope that continuing to document and publicize adverse events, like the tragic outcome suffered by this baby, help to show that “free birth” is actually an extremely dangerous and terrible idea – instead of the last stop on the road to ultimate childbirth enlightenment.

    But I’m sure that “free birth” advocates will continue to find some way to blame the mother, as they inevitably do when something goes wrong.

    • Krystle Dolbow

      We can only hope that those who believe in freebirth will start to realize that is not safe at all but most likely, Dr Amy will be accused of fear mongering instead of telling the truth and not burying these babies twice.

  • Krystle Dolbow

    It blows my mind that she really believes that it would’ve happened anywhere and her baby still would’ve had the same injuries. Oh and the fact that out of everything, the poor paramedic is the “evil” one who ruined her whole birth experience. Not the fact that her baby has a serious brain injury due to her stupidity, but the fact that the paramedic cut the cord. Never mind that he was the only one trying to save her baby.

  • Chrisp

    In my opinion, I do not see how this is different from other parents neglecting to provide medical care (insulin for diabetes, antibiotics for infection) to their children. She failed to get appropriate intrapartum care. To think that baby could have been born healthy. She didn’t give her daughter a chance. It makes me want to cry; my heart aches for the baby. She should be formally charged with manslaughter if that baby dies. And, I do not want to start a firestorm here, but how is this different from abortion (which I am sure she is adamantly opposed to)? No, she did not walk into an abortion clinic to terminate her pregnancy, but waited until she attempted to “freebirth” her child. She can swear up and down she had no “intention” of this happening – but any mother will tell you otherwise. She freebirthed her baby at the expense of her baby’s life. And the scary thing is, that is a price she was willing to pay.

    • Mattie

      It’s different because up until the baby is born is has zero rights, no right to medical treatment, no right to life, no right to anything…unless the mother chooses to give it those things. It is terribly sad, but it’s the law that protects women who abort, or who smoke while pregnant, or who attempt suicide and lose the baby in the process. It’s the right law, it just sucks in situations where women make bad choices and then complain about the outcome. If someone else removes that choice from you (they assault you and cause a miscarriage, or they mislead you and cause the death of the baby during childbirth) then they can sometimes be held accountable, but other than that the mother’s wants, choices, needs always trump those of the foetus. It’s why a woman can’t be prosecuted for a baby that dies from an injury that occurred prior to/during the birth, but can if she doesn’t attempt to save the baby or get medical help if something happens later (I think).

      • Daleth

        **up until the baby is born is has zero rights, no right to medical treatment, no right to life, no right to anything…unless the mother chooses to give it those things**

        That is actually not a given. In the US the law is to the contrary. Roe v. Wade held that in effect what you wrote there is true prior to viability–so states can’t ban abortions at that stage–but once the fetus is viable the analysis changes. That is why states can ban abortion after viability. They can’t just blanket ban them, but they can ban them after viability for any reason, as long as the ban includes exceptions for abortions needed to save the mother’s life or spare her health.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      If she’d had an abortion it probably would have been in the first 8-12 weeks of pregnancy before the embryo/fetus has enough neurons to suffer and it simply never would have been a conscious being*. As it is, the baby may have been aware* that it was smothering and suffered fear and distress before the oxygen deprivation overtook it.

      *If there is such a thing as a soul and it is present in an embryo at such an early stage, I feel confident that god would say to an aborted fetus’ soul “well, that didn’t go well…would you like another go at life or to just go straight to heaven?” Because what else could a just god say in that situation?

      **Or maybe not. The uterus is a pretty low oxygen environment at the best of times and it may be that it is too low oxygen for the fetus to ever have consciousness or feel distress, pain, or fear. I hope.

    • Fallow

      It’s different than the staggering majority of abortions, because it is far worse. It was a fully-developed baby who suffered on the altar of her narcissism – not a fetus that was aborted before it had a working brain. She wasn’t terminating an unwanted pregnancy before it became an issue, or having a mercy termination for a fetus with a terminal condition. She was sacrificing a full-term child’s brain function for all the attention it would get her from her fellow cult members.

      • Who?

        The issue I think is how her intention was scaled. Her primary intention was to have a ‘normal/natural’ delivery. The irritating factoid that she ignored in giving primacy to this intention was that, given her history, it was most unlikely that this would be achieved.

        Whether she likes it, would ever admit it or even has the capacity to process the thought, given her circumstances, having a well baby was a secondary intention. That baby’s delivery was a means to give effect to her primary intention.

        It isn’t clear whether she thinks she failed at both-her anger at the paramedic might be rooted in the fact that at the last moment he deprived her of this. On that basis, her anger makes sense-she’s not unhappy about the effect on the baby, but the effect on her experience.

        I’ve got money that says she’ll do the same thing again.

  • Montserrat Blanco

    As the mother of a baby that spent more than two months in a NICU I do not wish that experience to anyone.

    As the mother of a baby that survived thanks to great medical care I think this woman should have her custody rights taken away and not be allowed to see that baby again. Yes, I know it is awful to be told what to do by doctors. I know what it is to have a CS and it was not really funny, I know how it feels to get admitted at a hospital and have a lot of tests and needles and IV magnessium. I know. But I also know what it feels like for your baby to sleep alone at night and be with nurses and not you and have a lot of needles and pain and tests. So, yes, you should lose your rights over that baby and give that baby to someone that really cares for him.

    You and only you, an adult, decided to birth alone. If you would have been at a hospital your baby would not have ended up in the NICU. If you beat your baby until it ends up in the NICU you lose your custody so, yes, you should lose your custody here.

    • wookie130

      I contemplated this for a while, and decided that I agree with you. I wish that someone would hold these mothers accountable in some way. What is so sad to me, is how this mom apparently learned nothing from it, and she dismisses the “what-if” voices in her head [her conscience, no doubt] as “it could have happened anywhere.” If mothers use this type of reasoning and poor judgement for their child’s birth, I shudder to think what types of decisions they make as parents of a growing child, particularly one who may have to live w/a lifelong disability… What other forms of woo will they practice on their kids, and how the heck do these kids thrive in the midst of all of this hair-brainery?

      • Montserrat Blanco

        I think that giving birth to someone does not give you unlimited power over that person. If you want to carry your baby instead of using a pram, fine. If you want to name your baby something not so nice, fine, if you want to dress your baby awfully, fine, if you want to play Mozart all day long, fine, if you think Bruce Springsteen is a nice lullaby, fine. Those are your choices as a parent and that is absolutely fine. Your baby ends up in the NICU because of your “choices” no, that is not fine.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Are there any neurologists here? Does anyone know if this description of the cortex being fine but the brainstem being damaged is likely to be accurate and, if so, what the implications are? Could the baby end up with something like a locked in syndrome?

    • yugaya

      I looked at outcomes of birth brain injuries that she describes and they are not good at all: “”This pattern of hypoxic-ischemic cerebral injury corresponds closely to experimental animal models of “acute total” perinatal asphyxia.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9708537

      • Mel

        Pulled the article from my institution’s library. The reading is grim.

        Picked a group of 20 babies with injuries to the thalamus without damage to other parts of the brain.

        – 7 (35%) of babies died within the neonatal period – 6 of those babies died within 4 days of birth.

        – 2 babies (10%) could not be found for follow-up at 1.5 years of age.

        – Of the 11 that survived the neonatal period:
        – 11 (100%) developed spastic/hypertonic CP affecting all limbs
        -11 (100%) of infants had feeding difficulties
        -9 (82%) needed prolonged nasogastric feeding due to swallowing issues
        -4 (36%) developed microencephaly
        – 3(27%) developed epilepsy

        • Krystle Dolbow

          Wow they are horrible outcomes. My heart breaks for this baby. Such an innocent victim of these stunt births.

        • Allie P

          This is what I’m so so so afraid of with the baby in my circle who as the victim of a placental abruption in hospital and received cooling.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Grim.

    • Beth

      (neurologist raises hand) Not exactly. If the basal ganglia and thalamus are too damaged, the cortex won’t get any input from the body (visual, auditory, tactile, etc). The brain develops and learns by hearing, seeing, feeling – and if the connection at the basal ganglia is cut, the baby’s brain wouldn’t be able to do any of those things and the cortex would stay very primitive. I would expect severe developmental disabilities with the cognitive function staying on an infant level permanently. if the poor child survives.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I think that’s actually a good thing compared to what I was imagining. Sad as that may be to say.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Forgot to say earlier, but thanks for answering my question!

  • Gozi

    Sorry for yet another of my dumb questions, but does this mean she received no prenatal care either? I had my own experience with gestational diabetes, and it makes me literally sick to think what my blood sugar would have shot up to if it had gone undiagnosed. It was bad enough with treatment.

    • Mattie

      I don’t think we know for certain whether she had prenatal care, or if she did of what quality it was. Macrosomia is not always a result of GD (although it’s a huge risk of undiagnosed/poorly managed GD). I guess she either had some prenatal care, chose to ignore the recommendations and decided to free birth, considering she had no birth attendant it may be that she either could not find a loony tunes CPM or there wasn’t one close enough to help, she may have had all her prenatal care up to macrosomia being diagnosed then refused the c-section and gone her own way. She may also have given birth vaginally to large babies before and felt like ‘of course I can do it’ 🙁

    • yugaya

      Her previous (fourth) birth was a disaster homebirth transfer with 11 lbs baby too. I doubt that there was any real prenatal care, or that she was screened for GD at during with this pregnancy.

      • Krystle Dolbow

        Wow so she already had a horrible HB experience and still decided to birth at home, except this time alone? Wow.

        • MegaMechaMeg

          This is a lady who thought that cutting the cord caused her baby’s brain damage. We are not exactly coming from a scientifically rigorous fact based place, it feels like her train of thought is more “bad outcomes come from intervention. I had a bad outcome therefore I need less intervention” which is why you see her racheting up from hospital c-section to home birth to unattended homebirth.

          • Krystle Dolbow

            Lol you have a very very good point there.

    • Trixie

      Likely no prenatal care other than “doing it herself”

  • AllieFoyle

    Dr. Amy, it might be a good idea to obscure the name on the post more. It’s a little blurry but still easy enough to read.

    • sdsures

      But anyone can go to the freebirth FB page and see the name there unobscured. :-/

      • AllieFoyle

        I just thought I’d mention it in case it was Dr. Amy’s intent to not include the name.

        • sdsures

          Oh, OK. Understood.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    Wait until she tries to sue the poor paramedic. This reminds me of Kelly Moscarello, who homebirthed a macrosomic baby under the guidance of Brenda Scarpino, whom we all know and love. She tried dozens of lawyers to try to find one to sue the ambulance crew for cutting the baby’s cord. None of them would take the case, but instead they sued her family doc, who had nothing to do with the delivery (doctor won).

    http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/midwife-crisis/Content?oid=1495304

    http://jbontherocks.blogspot.com/2008/01/not-good-for-healthcare-costs.html

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Excuse my language, but what an asshole. She sued the doctor for “letting” her have the home birth she insisted on, despite the doctor’s counseling her against it?

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Though, to be fair, they kind of had to sue someone: they had a badly damaged child who will require lifelong and very expensive care. How else were they going to get the money to care for her?

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          And this is the doctor’s problem why, exactly?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Because she was the only one available to sue. It wasn’t her fault, but it is her problem because she is the only available target.

          • Cobalt

            Wrong, but true. The doctor really shouldn’t have to be involved at all, but the US doesn’t always have a great system for supporting the majorly disabled and the money has to come from somewhere.

            It’s just not right the the doctor and the baby, who were in no way responsible for this mess, have to pay for this woman’s idiotic choices.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I agree with you and Azuran. It’s not right and the wrong people are paying for the parents’ and the midwife’s stupidity. But there it is: that’s the system as it currently stands.

          • Azuran

            that’s still doesn’t make it right.
            Doctor have to pay always increasing malpractice insurance to cover for law suits for things they are absolutely not responsible for. And that’s not taking into consideration all the stress those lawsuits are causing to them.

          • Krystle Dolbow

            I agree. I was told that the doctor won, though, so the doctor didn’t have to pay anything

          • AllieFoyle

            Well, except lawyer fees and whatever the personal toll of having a lawsuit like this hanging over your head is.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Except for the hundreds of thousands of dollars for defense, time lost from work, higher malpractice insurance rates, and the toll of stress. Other than that, she totally didn’t have to pay anything.

          • Krystle Dolbow

            Very true, i didn’t think of that. I feel so bad for the doctor

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Not to mention having to say “yes” to the question “have you ever been sued” every time she applies for or reapplies for a license anywhere for the rest of her life. It doesn’t matter that the suit was totally unfounded, it still has to be reported and explained. Forever.

        • Kazia

          “It goes back to the beginning of time,” says Abby Kinne, president of the Ohio Midwives Alliance. “Who caught Eve’s baby?”

          Erm…Please tell me I’m not the only one who finds a healthcare professional saying this rather disturbing, on multiple levels.

      • Tomtrent

        Someone was going to pay sooner or later. She won 290,000 dollars from the school system for not meeting her demands for a child she destroyed.

    • Azuran

      That’s woman’s logic is just ridiculous
      She has a macrosomic baby that had shoulder dystocia in a hospital, needing a crash c-section to safe it’s life.
      (I do get that the c-section was painful and traumatizing)
      Yet, instead of learning from her experience, understanding the risks of birth and take appropriate measure to prevent it from happening again (like elective repeat c-section, or hospital vaginal birth with a good epidural in case another emergency c-section is needed) She decided to birth at home, without any access to medical assistance… Where she had another macrosomic baby with shoulder dystocia.

      *Slow clapping*

      • MaineJen

        Wait…so she had already had this happen once before??

        • Azuran

          That’s what it said in the article linked. she vowed she would never again feel the pain caused by her crash c-section…

          • Daleth

            The solution to that problem is to schedule a pre-labor c-section. Much less stressful and less painful than a crash c-section.

            On the one hand I’m thinking, she’s learning this lesson the hardest possible way. She’s suffering enough to probably learn it.

            On the other I’m thinking, what about the baby?! The perfectly healthy baby she destroyed? Someone who *already had this happen* and had all the warning signs of it happening again, and nevertheless CHOSE to give birth by herself at home, knowing (I’m sure she was warned) what the risks were… she deserves to go to jail.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Exactly. I know of woman who had that kind of experience with her first birth. Then with her second birth all discussion was based on getting the C-section before it came to that again.

          • Amazed

            The Australian case comes to mind. The mother who lost her baby because midwives let her believe that the OB had changed his mind and okayed her homebirth. Her third birth? An elective c-section.

          • Kelly

            She will feel the pain of trying to get a child out with stuck shoulders. From all accounts I have read, it hurts a lot.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          Yes, her first birth in the hospital was a shoulder dystocia with a crash section.

        • AllieFoyle

          And she was also fixated on the cord being clamped. I guess it’s a thing. Your baby gets stuck and oxygen deprived for several minutes and the thing that really upsets you is that the people you called to rescue her clamped the cord.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            It’s because of this pervasive misconception that home birthers have that the umbilical cord is something like scuba gear, with an indefinite supply of oxygen.

          • Daleth

            Well, it is, except when it’s compressed against your pelvic bone by an 11-pound baby experiencing shoulder dystocia.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            or once the baby is already out. They seem to forget that the placenta detaches.

          • jenny

            because of this uh…. guy

            http://www.cordclamp.org/

  • somethingobscure

    I have to wonder, having noticed a trend between free birth and social conservatives/Evangelicals, are these the same people who are fiercely pro life? Does a baby’s life stop mattering as soon as it’s on its way out? Why do a woman’s choices suddenly start mattering more than the welfare of the child only during childbirth, and then after that they don’t matter (you have to breastfeed, you can’t vaccinate, no circumcision, etc) anymore?

    • Cobalt

      There really is no integrity in it. It’s a major difference between philosophy and ideology.

    • Mattie

      Unsurprisingly it’s because it’s not about anybody’s life it’s about control, and the easiest way to exercise total control over a person is to claim the opposite of what society says as truth, because then the person you’re controlling has nobody to turn to for support. I used to be ‘pro-life’ during my early teens, back when I was being brain washed by some charming people in my church lol then I realised what pro-life actually meant, and it’s nothing to do with saving babies. If it was to do with saving babies they would advocate for free birth control, comprehensive sex education and welfare for after the baby is born.

    • Who?

      They are also often the same people who encourage all the ‘good guys’ as identified by them carry guns, and who will cheerfully execute anyone, including a child, for various criminal offences.

      So yeah, the ‘pro-life’ line is a little more shabby than you might at first think.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      There’s an ongoing idea in a lot of those circles that “natural”=God’s will, that God designed women’s bodies to birth babies, and so on. In some circles, though far from all, there’s an undercurrent of “having lots of people see you mostly naked is immodest.” There is a lot of reliance on essential oils and the like in these circles as well. Apparently, God created essential oils but had nothing to do with antibiotics, or something.

  • Mel

    What a horrific situation.

    I don’t know how much comfort knowing that the baby’s higher reasoning is working when the brain and body can’t connect should be.

    It sounds like the baby’s basic operating systems aren’t doing very well if she’s not swallowing OR choking on spit.

    That sounds like a recipe for aspiration pneumonia.

    Shit.

    • Hannah

      Denial to the nth degree. Like blaming the paramedic for cutting the cord (wtf? No baby has ever become brain damaged from having the cord cut, at any point past delivery), she’s now trying to convince herself that even if baby has physical problems, she will still be *smart*.

      Well, maybe she could be if you had gone to the hospital and had your verynecessarian instead of going ‘psh, it’ll be fine’.

      • Kelly

        I have a friend whose mom drank and smoked her entire pregnancy with him. He has cerebral palsy and while he is very smart, he is in a motorized wheelchair and has a dog to help him out. I met him through school to type his papers. He is still angry about how his mom’s lifestyle contributed to his disability. I feel like this girl will be the same if she will even have the brain function to have those kind of thoughts.

      • Wait. I bet she claims the baby was “fine” when the paramedics arrived, and any brain damage was due to (1)the cord being clamped and (2)things that were done to her in the NICU.

        • Roadstergal

          When I read this comment of yours, I went back and re-read her comment about how the baby is ‘finally’ getting breast milk through a tube. Now I’m thinking she’ll blame the delay in the kid getting the ‘liquid gold’ that fixes everything, including hypoxia. This site has made me so dizam cynical.

      • Poogles

        “wtf? No baby has ever become brain damaged from having the cord cut, at any point past delivery”

        All of this is depressingly reminding me of Miss Charlie, who also was born without being able to swallow/suck/choke due to HIE from a “picture perfect pregnancy and a wonderful homebirth” where, as we hear so many times, “Charlie never showed signs
        of distress, so we were shocked when she came out limp, blue, and not breathing” and “it is NOT NORMAL for a baby with a HR of 140 to not breathe after birth”.

        Her mom also believes that delaying the cord-cutting saved Charlie from further damage – that if she had been in the hospital, her child would be dead because they would have cut the cord immediately.

        Dr. Amy mentioned Miss Charlie here:

        http://www.skepticalob.com/2012/07/denial-for-homebirth-advocates-its-not.html

        Since then, her mom has removed the birth story from the internet.

  • Roadstergal

    “They cut the cord immediately against my wishes. We should have killed that guy.”

    Well, you almost killed your baby instead, so close enough.

    • Mel

      She may have killed the baby. Baby Girl just hadn’t died yet.

      The absence of swallowing/choking is not a good start. How long will the baby survive if her saliva is dripping down her trachea?

      How is the baby’s body going to respond to BP changes? Thermoregulation? How is she going to eat?

    • Mac Sherbert

      I’m still trying to figure out how the paramedic got there in 2 minutes?

      I can just imagine this poor guy looking at this baby, which he probably thought was dead still attached to the mother. Then trying to do his job with her arguing with him and him praying the baby wasn’t dead. Sad.

      • Roadstergal

        Yeah, if that 2 minutes is accurate, that is _the_ fastest paramedic response time ever. I would be hard-pressed to answer a phone call, put my shoes on, and run to the house across the street in two minutes.

      • Mel

        We’ve had two minute paramedic response times, but only because paramedics are our local volunteer EMT/Firefighters near neighbors so they were already dressed, carrying the right equipment in their car and knew exactly how to get to our farm. Plus, traffic is (literally) non-existent.

        The downside is that if an air ambulance isn’t available or the weather is bad the drive to the nearest ER is 30 minutes.

        If the paramedic did make it in two minutes, that was still over 7 minutes that the baby didn’t have oxygen.

        Oh, and that mom was medically stable. It could have been a whole lot worse if the baby was born and mom started PPH.

  • Riverside

    Wow. I had no medical care and was shocked to have an 11 and a half pound baby. I can’t believe nature would let me get Gestational Diabetes that my warrior mommy intuition couldn’t diagnose. My magical thinking had a failure rate equal to the background bloodbath that is childbirth. Apparently the problem with the paramedic is he cheated her out of a born with wings post. It’s a truck load easier to ignore a tiny grave than an infant that needs 24/7 round the clock nursing. And won’t be invited to crunchy events, because its mom didn’t trust birth enough…

    • Fallow

      “Apparently the problem with the paramedic is he cheated her out of a born with wings post”

      BINGO

  • Daleth

    God that is so sad. Did anyone support her freebirth plans? Who? Why?? How could anyone support that?

  • Sarah

    I’m never one to advocate for someone’s kids to be taken away but how is this not a CPS issue?

    • somethingobscure

      Totally agree. How does cps get called when someone lets their school aged child walk down the street alone, but not when a mother endangers her life by deliberately not getting proper medical care?

  • Anj Fabian

    I’d forgotten her anger at the paramedic.

    Since I’ve read more of the story, I feel I should add that unlike other women who birth outside of a hospital and end up in the NICU, this mother hasn’t had a single unkind thing to say about the NICU staff.

    She seems very reality based when it comes to her daughter’s condition. Even the comment about the brain’s plasticity is tempered with caution. None of this “Babies are so resilient, so adaptable! Their brains are plastic – so no one can really say what her future holds! Doctors don’t know anything.”.

    She’s still clinging to that stupid echo chamber rhetoric of “Bad things happen in hospitals too. It was luck. It wasn’t anything you did.”.

  • peanutmama

    wow. she performs this stuntbirth then the paramedic is the real reason she is in the NICU???? are you serious? the paramedic was trying to save your daughter’s life, lady! you are the reason she is in the NICU in the first place! SMDH

    • TsuDhoNimh

      “stuntbirth”

      Yes! I like that name.

      • peanutmama

        dr. amy coined that term 😀

    • Fallow

      I feel really bad for that paramedic. That’s the kind of thing that haunts a person.

  • MaineJen

    Words cannot express my rage on that baby’s behalf. What SHOULD the paramedic have done, lady? Leave your oxygen-deprived baby attached to you by a compressed cord while they try to maneuver around enough to resuscitate her?

    And cue the parachuters who will call you “meen” for sharing this *very public* posting in 3…2…1…