Latest homebirth harvest of death

Homebirth reaper

Regular readers may have noticed that I haven’t provided an update of homebirth deaths since late April (Welcome to another edition of homebirth death watch).

It’s not because there haven’t been any deaths or disasters. I’ve been informed about quite a few. It’s because even I’m finding it depressing to reel off a never ending list of babies who died while their mothers were “empowering” themselves, while clueless physicians like Dr. Neel Shah are extolling homebirth without knowing anything about it, and while government entities don’t merely put an end to these tragedies, they keep licensing the faux “midwives” at whose hands these babies die.

But even though it depresses me, I still feel an obligation to publicize these preventable deaths of innocent babies in the apparently vain hope that someone, anyone, will give a damn.

Without further ado:

Just wanted to post quickly in here that I got my HBAC!!! We’ve been in the NICU due to our sweet son not breathing for some time after he came earth-side.

April 28:

A mother and her baby died after she collapsed during labor at a private clinic in Unity, Wisconsin. According to information on a community message board, she was transferred to the hospital where an emergency C-section was performed but it was too late to save either of them.

The community message board noted that there was a stillbirth at the same clinic in the previous week.

May 7:

The Village Midwife, Jennifer Rector, LM, CPM, DEM, shared this hideous update on Facebook:

If y’all are keeping count, that’s 5 sweet families that have been shaken to the core…since April 26th. Ten days. My heart is aching for them all. When we say that our jobs as midwives are full of great joy and deep sorrow THIS is what we mean.

Years ago I remember driving home from a stillbirth and screaming at God, “why why why? Why do I have to give this news to a family? Why? Why didn’t you just give me a chance to fight for this baby?? You didn’t even let me get my hands on him!” I was devastated for the family, for the siblings, for me. As I was praying and yelling in my car I clearly remember God saying, “anyone can do life”.

Some of these losses may have been miscarriages, but Rector does not elaborate. Apparently another disaster occurred on May 24, when Rector posted this:

Prayers and positive energy please for a mom and dad needed. Things have turned in a direction that none of us thought would happen for their birth.

On June 1, she noted:

Prayers for a sweet family whose baby grew Angel wings today.

Unclear whether this is a reference to the disaster on May 24 or yet another infant death.

Sure, an extraordinary number of babies appeared to have died in this practice, but don’t worry, to generate new business they offer discounts to those who carry guns.

The Village Midwife will cut 20 percent from its charges to people who carry a gun or provide a concealed-gun permit, co-owner Sean Rector said. Under the standard $3,000 fee for home birth and prenatal care, he said, gun owners would save $600.

May 28:

It was revealed that in addition to presiding over the entirely preventable death of mother Caroline Lowell, Gaye Demanuele presided over 2 neonatal deaths within the 18 month period that encompassed Ms. Lowell’s death. According to The Age:

Home birth advocate Gaye Demanuele was the senior of two registered midwives at Caroline Lovell’s fatal home birth in January 2012 that is the subject of a current coronial inquiry.

A directions hearing in the Melbourne Coroners Court heard on Wednesday that Ms Demanuele, and the more junior midwife Melody Bourne, were involved in a home birth where a baby boy died in his mother’s womb in July 2011 – six months before Ms Lovell’s death.

Fairfax Media has also learned that in March 2012, just two months after Ms Lovell’s death, Ms Demanuele was present at another home birth in western Victoria. The baby, also a boy, was born with severe brain damage as a result of a lack of oxygen and died seven months later.

The Age noted:

The revelations raises serious questions about how the midwife was able to attend further home births following the first death in 2011 and how midwives become deregistered and still involve themselves in home births.

That’s an understatement to say the least.

June 4:

Jury: Death of baby at Fort Mill birthing center was homicide:

The newborn’s cause of death was meconium aspiration, according to Dr. Craig Hart of York Pathology Associates. He told jurors that meconium, or the first stool from an infant, was around the fetus in the uterus and was also in the newborn’s stomach and airway…

The birthing center’s website indicates the last birth at the facility was Feb. 28. It had previously been shut down in 2013 after the death of another baby there.

Other news reports note a third death that also occurred at the birth center.

June 14:

From a Facebook HBAC group:

Just wanted to post quickly in here that I got my HBAC!!!

We’ve been in the NICU due to our sweet son not breathing for some time after he came earth-side. Please keep us in your prayers.

R brain damage

According to subsequent posts, it appears that the baby has sustained permanent brain damage.

June 16, from the ICAN Facebook page:

I’ve enjoyed following ICAN over the years and have been encouraged by the stories and support. My first baby was a c-section due to being breech, and my second baby was a perfect, successful, med-free VBAC at a free standing birth center. 2 weeks ago I was almost 39 weeks pregnant with my 3rd daughter. I went into labor after a few days of pre-labor… I suffered a catastrophic uterine rupture while we were still at home. We didn’t know at the time that it had happened- my body was already pushing and we were just trying to get to the birth center in time. When we arrived we found our baby had no heartbeat. We transferred to the hospital where the rupture was discovered. I had an emergency c-section turned hysterectomy when they discovered how bad the rupture was. I had 6 blood transfusions and was told that it’s a miracle I’m alive.

And that’s only the deaths and disasters I’ve heard about in less than 2 months. There were undoubtedly more.

Addendum: Someone reminded me that she had sent me information about this death. I don’t know how I forgot, because the picture was horrific. The baby was born on May 27. Apparently this was an unassisted homebirth.

Freebirth May 27 3

He seems to be having shallow/grunty breaths … when should I be concerned? His little face is quite bruised so I can’t tell if he’s purplish looking because of that, or the breathing?

This was the picture that the mother posted to show the “bruising.”

Freebirth May 27 2

 

She thought asking her Facebook friends was an appropriate response to the baby’s respiratory distress.

 

Freebirth May 27

The baby died:

Freebirth May 27 4

Another baby dead because his mother cared more about her bragging rights than about his life. Disgusting!

  • Adrienne

    The photo of the poor purple baby took my breath away. If my baby looked like that, I’d be on the phone with 911…I can’t for the life of me understand why she felt like this was something that could be crowd-sourced on a facebook group full of strangers.

  • dimux

    Your first choice skepticalob Find Here

  • Kathleen Trask Johnson

    Concerning your slander of Jennifer Rector, all the deaths she referred to were early miscarriages. You would know that if you did the tiniest bit of fact checking, but hey, what’s the fun in that? People can be sued for slander……watch your back.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Rector made that claim on my Facebook page. When I pointed out that in she was found to have lied to the Virginia Board of Medicine in her disciplinary proceeding for multiple infractions including substance abuse, she deleted her claim.

      • who should that information be forwarded to? I’m down to do a letter writing campaign if there is good evidence like a screen shot.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      On the original FB page in the comments she states that the deaths she referred to included fetuses and babies age 6 weeks GA to 1 month of age. So, if she was telling the truth at that time, some but not all were early miscarriages. She seems to have altered the story further.

  • Norba

    I just discovered your webpage. I am still catching up on the artcles featured. So far i have read mostly on homebirths and anti vaccination – 2 topics that are currently hotly debated here where I practise Medicine in Malaysia. I just wanted to comment on the phrase ‘Village Midwife’ that the homebirth advocates in the US seem to call them. In Malaysia we used to have the same phrase (Bidan kampung) which is literally a direct translation. They are totally legitimate at the time. But our Village Midwives are no longer available as our government has abolished these medical positions a while (about 40 years ago) back after our medical facilities became better. It looks to me as if some people in the US are going backwards, from my point of view. Having said that, this fad is slowly creeping into my country and there are already loud voices of Homebirth advocates here trying to get our mothers to follow them. Personally, I agree with your stance on both Homebirth and anti vaccination.

    • Marion DragonRabbit

      Going backwards – I’ll say. What about the MamaPride trousers to cover the mother’s aurat whilst giving birth…

  • GiddyUpGo123

    I was just reading the article about the baby’s death from meconium aspiration. This quote in particular struck me: “If a child has meconium aspiration, that’s a sign that child was not only in trouble but was near death,” he said. “In today’s world, we don’t see meconium aspiration hardly ever anymore.”

    That’s not true though, is it? My firstborn had meconium aspiration at birth–a team of pedis came in, suctioned him and he was fine. No one ever indicated to me that he was “near death.” He certainly didn’t seem that way to me. And I also did not get the impression that it was something that was uncommon. Just looking for someone to clarify … thanks!

    • Karen in SC

      I was at that inquest and listened to the pathologist’s testimony. He was referring to the fact that the baby had meconium in his trachea, his lungs and his abdomen (from low fluid) and that he, as a pathologist, didn’t see that “in today’s world.” He went on to clarify that he certainly examined a lot of meconium stained placentas sent for testing, but in the hospital, the babies that were inside those placentas lived.

      If you had been at home and suctioning was not performed correctly, your baby could have been near death. Gavin Michael suffered from the same situation, and also was lost.

  • Allie P

    Acquaintance just had a placental abruption (in hospital) and an emergency c-section. Baby was transferred to Hopkins where it received 72 hours of hypothermic cooling treatment. Keep the family in your thoughts. They are trying to stay positive but it’s so scary!

    • Daleth

      Thank god she was in the hospital and her baby got the cutting edge treatment it needed. My prayers are with them.

  • RMY

    I see birth as a marathon. A hospital birth is running a marathon that’s organized and has trained medical personnel around. Yes, there are a lot of other runners, it may not be on a beautiful trail, but the odds of dying are small. There are ambulances aware of the race, paramedics on staff, and all proper precautions will be taken.

    I see a midwife lead homebirth as running with a friend on a trail. The friend may have some idea how to do CPR, but an ambulance will take a while to arrive. Depending on the ethics, you may or may not have checked with your doctor before this endeavor.

    An unassisted homebirth is running a marathon in a state park by yourself. You’re on your own if anything goes bad and your body may take weeks to find.

    Except it’s not just your life. A first time mom doing an unassisted childbirth is like someone who’s never run a marathon deciding to run 26 miles by herself away from civilization. She may survive, but why take the risks?

    • yugaya

      This morning there are again comments in the fb groups where these mothers hung out to find *support* how their children are made up. How the death and injury and lifetime of loss and guilt of these mothers is not real. Again and again the women hurt by homebirth will be rejected by those they looked up to, and their babies when they die will be buried twice.

      I’m so sick of at this point that I wish the odds in giving birth were reversed somehow, and that the mothers were taking onto themselves the risks that they are so comfortable taking upon their babies. It would at least make the homebirth death and injury rates more visible.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I see birth as a marathon.

      I don’t like the marathon comparison. Yes, completing a marathon, in itself, is considered an achieving a goal, but it is also a competition.

      Neither of these really apply to childbirth. Childbirth is not a goal. Having a baby is a goal, but childbirth itself is not. In contrast, the goal of a marathon is not to get to a point 26.2 miles away, it is to run the marathon. And, obviously, it’s not a competition.

      In order to do a marathon, you have to train hard and do your body right. If you fail to accomplish your goal, you can train harder and do it better next time. That doesn’t work in childbirth. Despite all the kale, you don’t train yourself to do a NCB, and if you don’t get it, it’s not because you failed.

      Overall, a very bad analogy.

      In our discussions of it, we come up with the better analogy of wanting to get to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I hear the view from the bottom of the canyon is breathtaking, and it would be amazing to camp there. So many people want to get to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

      Childbirth is like the paths that you can take to get there. Some people like to hike. Others might prefer to use a cable car, if it is available. You could also ride a donkey. Shoot, you could parachute off the side if you wanted. Heck, you could fall down there if you went to the right place. These are possibilities, and some work better for some people than others. And some of them are objectively more risky than others.

      You might want to hike it, but discover the terrain is too tough. In that case, you catch a ride with the donkey coming by. Or you might call for help and get assistance getting down. In the end, when you get to the bottom, the view is just as breathtaking for the people who hiked as it is for the people who rode the helicopter.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        One other issue with the analogy is that childbirth isn’t the same for everyone. For some women it’s a walk in the park (literally for a friend of mine: she went for a walk around the park next to the hospital where she was not sure she yet needed to be admitted to for labor and came back 10 cm dilated having had only “rushes” and never any significant pain). For others it’s being trapped in an unexpected snowstorm on Mt Everest. Everyone is trying to get to the same place (healthy baby), but the route is harder for some than others. Or am I taking the analogy too far?

        • Dhanya Bramhall-Smith

          The national park has wovles and bears too.

      • Dr. Lee

        People die in the Grand Canyon every year because they don’t take appropriate precautions and they take unnecessary risks, such as going alone. Having an experienced guide, who has the proper gear and makes the appropriate preparations, take you down and back makes the risk considerably smaller. Your analogy is just as useful to talk about the risks of home birth and unassisted birth as the marathon analogy. The biggest issue is that people are being told that home birth is “at least as safe” as hospital birth by the only ones who have a stake in it, the unqualified midwives, even though their own numbers show otherwise.

        http://azdailysun.com/news/local/canyon-deaths-and-counting/article_ba588a05-e816-55be-87f6-80f15b76f744.html

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          People die in the Grand Canyon every year because they don’t take appropriate precautions and they take unnecessary risks, such as going alone.

          Yes. That is why it is a better analogy than a marathon.

  • Frum lady

    What needs to happen is on a legislature level of government, that the parents be criminally responsible for the preventable deaths of newborns, out of carelessness and ignorance.

    Just imagine the argument that would be if say some parents believed macrobiotic diet works because it is natural. If for 12 months their toddlers ate nothing except sprouts. If that baby’s heart stopped, or say he at best just became Anemic, wouldn’t that warrant an investigation by Child protective services?

    Minors have rights to be looked after!
    And if the parents “chose” to be in denial against medical science and research and facts, they are criminally responsible.

    • Mattie

      I do understand, but then you have the issue of a woman’s reproductive rights, you cannot make a law that women can be held criminally responsible for bad outcomes due to poor choices, or you basically outlaw abortion (the rights of the baby not to die) and criminalise women who are addicted to drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, or those with mental health conditions who voluntarily become pregnant despite their condition being potentially damaging to the baby, or those who pass on genetic disorders to their offspring…very very murky waters.

      • Daleth

        Well, to be fair, legislators are perfectly capable of writing a law that imposes criminal liability only where the parents decided on something totally unreasonable (freebirthing, home birth with an illegal unlicensed midwife, etc.), and not where the child’s death was due to any of the things you mention.

        I mention “illegal unlicensed midwives” because quite obviously, in a state where CPMs and other lay midwives are legal, you cannot hold parents criminally liable for choosing one as their birth attendant.

        • Busbus

          And then you would have people caught up in terrible legal struggles who simply didn’t make it to the hospital or who didn’t even know they were pregnant etc. Murky waters, indeed.

          No, as long as the child is still part of the mothers body, it is correct to treat that differently than the case of a child that is already born. Otherwise, we are saying that pregnant women (and by extension all women) have less rights as human beings than others. Now, parents who refuse to get their (already born) children medical help when they clearly need it, that’s something else, in my opinion. (But even that is NOT a slam dunk, legally speaking. Interestingly, the same people who see nothing wrong with promoting parental (fatherly?) authority over all other considerations, as in Christian scientist-like refusal of medical care for their kids, even if that means their child will die, these are the same people who suddenly see everything wrong with a woman’s (motherly) authority to make decisions over her unborn fetus.)

        • Mattie

          They can, I just don’t think they should…as much as I hate the slippery slope argument I think it is reasonable in situations of reproductive rights, especially as in certain parts of America those rights are already being chipped away at. I do think that mandatory, federal regulation on all midwives needs to be put in place, as well as standards for midwifery education and proper accountability for midwives (loss of registration, fines, jail time) for unsafe practice. Perhaps if the US starts there, then maybe women and babies will be safer…or more will freebirth but hopefully not.

      • Frum lady

        actually not only Can a Civil Society do this, but it is done in England. There is what is called RIgHTS OF THE UNBORN.

        It is criminal there.

        • Mattie

          Hate to break it to you but only does England not grant the unborn any rights, they don’t even class a foetus as a person. Not sure where you’re getting your information but you’re hugely mistaken.

          • Inmara

            Maybe she meant not England but Ireland? I don’t know for sure, but from some articles about abortion issues I understand that in Ireland there is such thing.

          • Mattie

            Yeh, Ireland is a nightmare for women’s reproductive rights…but it’s also not part of the UK =P The exception is Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK but not governed under the same laws as Britain with regard to many things (including abortion).

            Side note, I don’t think we want to emulate the republic of ireland in any way when it comes to abortion, women have died because of their abortion laws, or been kept artificially alive until the baby can be delivered which is all kinds of dystopian futures nonsense.

          • Inmara

            Actually, I really wonder how they voted for equal marriage rights when women’s rights are in such horrid situation there. Maybe referendum could improve them too?

          • Mattie

            It’s possible! In fact it’s highly likely, but it’s whether it will ever get to referendum in the first place 🙁

          • Frum lady

            Child destruction

            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            Child destruction is the name of a statutory offence in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Hong Kong. The offence of that name has been abolished and replaced inVictoria, Australia.

            Child destruction is the crime of killing an unborn but viable foetus; that is, a child “capable of being born alive”, before it has “a separate existence”.[1]

            People have been convicted of the offence for injuring a heavily pregnant woman in the abdomen, such that her foetus dies; for killing a foetus during childbirth; or for performing a late-term abortion.

            The purpose of the offence is to criminalise the killing of a child during its birth, because this is neither abortion[2] nor homicide[3] for the purposes of the criminal law. It can also be used to prosecute late abortions.[4]

            During the second reading of the Preservation of Infant Life Bill 1928 to 1929, Lord Atkin said:“As the noble and learned Lord has explained, the gap is that, whereas the mother of a child who kills it after it has a separate existence is guilty of what was the crime of murder and is now the lesser offence of infanticide, yet, if she kills the child in the actual course of delivery or within such a short time afterwards that it has not had and cannot be proved to have had a separate existence, it is not an offence.[5]

          • Mattie

            Aside from the fact that this Act is pretty much never used, it applies to wilfully killing a foetus after 28 weeks…The abortion limit in England is 24 weeks, except for medical reasons. At 28 weeks if the pregnancy is creating medical problems in the mother the baby will be delivered and medical staff will attempt to keep the baby alive, but the foetus has no rights ‘over’ the mother, and is not a person until birth.

  • Renee Martin

    The big grin and the “I got my HBAC” makes no sense when you are holding your possibly gravely brain damaged baby in the NICU.
    I.Just.Can’t.

    And that one considered a homicide? I hope they convict. I sure wish Eugene police would have charged Darby Partner (aka Kavita), as that was a murder and a kidnapping. And a death that need not have happened.

  • Who?

    I suppose we must call what follows the ‘thoughts’ of the author, but that does somewhat stretch credulity.

    http://www.dailylife.com.au/health-and-fitness/dl-wellbeing/stop-calling-women-who-choose-homebirth-selfish-20150621-ghsrbn

    • Amy M

      It seems like she’s asking for “support” (as in cheerleading her every decision.) While I agree with her, that women SHOULD have the right to make decisions about their bodies and medical care, I don’t have to agree that the decisions some make are totally brilliant and excellent. Since women DO have the “right” to have their babies at home, and calling women who take big risks selfish is NOT taking away their rights, she doesn’t really have a leg to stand on. Respecting the autonomy of women is not the same as condoning stupid decisions.

      • Stacy48918

        Exactly. Having the freedom to make a decision does not prevent others from criticizing that decision.

        • Amazed

          I do think that one of the functions of society is sanctioning a certain kind of behavior – or not. ‘What the neighbour would think!” is NOT bad always and under any circumstances.

          People don’t exist in a vacuum. Want the right to make your decision? You get it. Want the right to make me shut up about my thinking you’re a selfish bitch (I’ll say it, like the bitch from the Australian story who, after she lost a child in homebirth still wants another one)? Not so OK. But in turn, I don’t get the right to whine about you whining about Bitch Me.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Precisely.

    • Stacy48918

      “Women are the key stakeholders in birth but no one seems to be asking, What do women actually want?”

      What.about.the.baby.

      What the women wants is the key thing and there’s no mention of the baby at all. That is selfish.

      • Who?

        Quite so. It defies my understanding that it is anything but selfish to conjure up a human being then make choices to please yourself to the detriment of that person. Particularly when people who know all about it say that one choice is safer than another. I also couldn’t believe she read those coroners reports and this is what she got out of it.

      • Cobalt

        Most women want a healthy baby, first and foremost.

      • Stacy48918

        “It is the woman who has to live bodily with the consequences of that birth, for the rest of her life.”

        Again – what.about.the.baby! The baby might not even GET a life as a consequence of that birth. This article is just stupid. 😛

        • Who?

          And it keeps on giving, there’s a gem of equal lustre in almost every paragraph.

      • RMY

        If a woman doesn’t want a live baby, she shouldn’t be forced to gestate it for all 40 weeks, to go that route is inefficient and wasteful.

        I really doubt there are as many women who want brain damaged babies as do homebirths. I may be wrong…

        • Who?

          Forced pregnancy is outrageous, as would forcing women to birth in a particular way or at a particular place be.

          Calling people out for dangerous decisions is not the same as forcing them to do anything. You’d think someone prepared to allow a baby to suffocate in the birth canal, or be ravaged by treatable infection, could care less what Dr T or anyone else thinks.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Calling people out for dangerous decisions is not the same as forcing them to do anything.

            Exactly. If someone announced their intention of giving birth in the ocean off the coast of Australia, attended by no one but Lisa Barrett and some box jellyfish, we would have every right and arguably duty to tell her that we thought that decision was a bad one. She is free to go through with her decision anyway, but she has no right to not be criticized for it. (I hope that there is no one out there with this plan, but as I said elsewhere, there are 3-4 billion women in the world, one or two of them are probably going to think this is a good idea.)

          • MaineJen
          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Ew. Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew.

            I grew up next to the ocean. The Pacific Ocean. I’ve seen what that body of water has puked up into the beach.

            Japanese and Chinese garbage, and I mean literal garbage, dead crabs that smelled to high heaven, half a seal a great white shark must have gotten bored with, a dead ray that also stunk, sand fleas, more garbage, more dead assorted sea creatures that also stunk. Depending on the time of year also a crap ton of dead purple jellies. That also stink! Remnants of oil slicks, seagull feathers, kelp, old sea nets. Already mentioned the dead whales up thread that come beach themselves to die one a decade. You know what, you name it and I’ve probably seen it washed up on the beach.

            Same ocean that meets Hawaii. Just because it’s tropical doesn’t mean it’s cleaner. There’s probably more dead stuff floating around there because it’s tropical!

            No. That is like THE most unsterile environment I can think of. Just ugh! You forget to shower or don’t have access to one for a couple hours after just wading around at calf depth and you just feel all sorts of gross on your legs.

            Just Ew. I don’t even want to know what’s be getting into that baby’s lungs…

          • MaineJen

            My favorite part is when the baby “speaks” to them. From the womb. To tell them she wants to be born in the ocean, in Hawaii.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            That’s a good one.

            Maybe I’ll try that one. “Honey, baby wants a trip to Japan. And sushi. It’s okay, the baby told me everything will be fine!”

          • Who?

            But could/would you eat the raw fish? Though Japan, sushi in Japan, and sushi generally are all awesome and a baby who wanted that would be displaying excellent judgement.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Oh I eat sushi all the time lol. Just gotta get it from a good source. Like not catching and eating your own fish raw unless you want new friends in your guts.

            It’s just advised that pregnant women avoid the raw sushi because of mercury content in fish like tuna and yellowtail and the potential for bacteria.

          • Who?

            All good-I don’t know that it is possible to get bad sushi in Japan though I have had sushi there that I am as yet too unsophisticated to appreciate. Practice, practice, practice!

            Good luck with the baby and keep working on the trip!

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I’ve got another six months minimum before we start trying lol. But we will be trying! My husband is just terrified of the idea because his friends that have kids seemed to never be afraid to have children while he is. I call bullshit and they were just as terrified as him.

          • Who?

            Well in that case have fun trying. You may turn out to be better at it than you think…nothing like settling in for a six month wait and getting the positive test a couple of weeks later to concentrate the mind!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Did you try the sea urchins? I haven’t but my more adventurous partner did and said that they taste like ammonia. Gritty ammonia. The Japanese people with him admitted that it was an acquired taste.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Blech I hate sea urchin. Has this really, really weird metallic taste. I like most other seafood and sushi stuff but sea urchin is the line. The texture is awful too.

            When I worked at the sushi restaurant I worked at if the drunks got too touchy feely or kept “dropping” their utensils and asking me to pick them up, when they ask for the weirdest thing we have I suggested the “uni” or the “ama ebi”.

            Uni is the sea urchin. Ama ebi is sweet shrimp…with the deep fried heads.

            They quite literally asked for it so I didn’t feel bad. Especially after their fifth sake bomb I had to clean up.

          • Who?

            Yes those shrimps were tricky- I kept getting tiny deep fried ones as I think a garnish? Had no idea if they were for eating, but I mostly didn’t. The taste was okay but never wanted to chew and swallow the external skeletons and heads.

          • Who?

            Oh yes, that’s what I was thinking about. Taste, smell and texture all v challenging!

          • Roadstergal

            I have personally pissed in that water while diving. I’m far from alone. When we surface, I often ask my husband if he enjoyed the taste of fish poop.

            And yes, the endless stinking stretches of slippery dead velella velella.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Forgot about the fish poop! Oh and their gill waste. And don’t nearly all divers pee in their wetsuits, especially in cold water?

            And that picture sure brings back memories!

          • Roadstergal

            Oh, yeah, some combination of being surrounded by water and having the pressure of it around you tends to make a lot of people need to urinate.

            Fort Funston! I love it almost as much as my bitches. I guess you can add ‘poop from dogs with irresponsible owners’ to the list of Gifts To Your Born In The Ocean Baby.

          • Mattie

            So, random, but they did a study once on pregnant women who swim whilst pregnant, and it seems that not only do born humans pee while/after swimming, so do foetuses whose mothers are swimming lol

          • Who?

            I may have as well, different continent, same ocean. The beach is stunning, majestic and all that but clean? Not so much. And it doesn’t matter how isolated your bit of it is, it’s hooked up to all the rest.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Wow. Bad plan. They were lucky that (apparently) nothing unfortunate happened. Of course, we don’t know that the baby was really as “perfect” as the midwife claimed, that either baby or mother didn’t get an infection later on, that there was no hypoxia that’s going to show itself in subtle ways later in life (including, potentially, as autism), that orcas didn’t come onto the beach and eat them later that night…(Ok, that last one is unlikely. But the others are real risks.)

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Also, 42 weeks GA. Just…who thinks this is a good idea?

          • Cobalt

            Who thinks up this silliness? Is there a room with a hundred monkeys on a hundred typewriters churning out birth plans somewhere?

          • Angharad

            I want a volcano birth for my next child. And not a dormant volcano, an actively erupting volcano to symbolize my child’s life erupting into the world. /s

          • Megan

            I think I’ll try to emulate this birth for my next child.

            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/mar/02/mozambique1

            I mean, we descended from monkeys so a tree birth is only fitting right? It will be even better because it will be a TBAC (tree birth after cesarean) for me! Take that NCB’ers!!!

          • Megan

            Oh and I should add, I am totally in awe of this woman for managing to keep herself and her baby safe in horrible circumstances beyond her control. I mean no disrespect to her!

          • Roadstergal

            “I’m so happy”

            I’m assuming that’s something along the lines of “I’m so happy that we’re both alive after having my baby in a fecking tree in the middle of a flood,” but I’m sure the NCB crowd will take that as “I’m so happy I avoided a hospital and all those pesky interventions!”

          • Angharad

            I’m sure the mother would be thrilled to hear that privileged women with access to safe, clean environments are forgoing everything for bragging rights.

          • Sarah

            Hmm, there are trees in the grounds of our hospital. TBAC might actually be safer than HBAC.

          • Who?

            Monkeys are pretty smart, it’s not kind to slur their ability in such a way.

          • Who?

            Someone please tell me this is satire.

            Wonder what the extensive preparations for a not so good outcome were? Writing ‘HELP’ in the sand in volanic stones? For the helicopter?

            And if it is not, that isn’t very nice for anyone else who happens into their ‘secluded spot’.

          • momofone

            But don’t you see? The dolphins and mother moon would never have let anyone else come into the sacred birthing pool!

          • momofone

            I’m just glad my son told us he wanted to be born in the hospital, by CS. I knew he was a thinker.

          • demodocus

            Sounds like an interesting start to a story, but it’d be cooler with some Seelie Sidhe dancing nearby, to welcome the young Queen

          • MrsLady

            Did anyone click on the link for the birth affirmations colouring book in the sidebar of the Midwifery Today article? https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/225905625/soften-open-release-a-coloring-book-of

          • Who?

            I just bought my daughter a really beautiful colouring book for adults, she’s v excited to have time to start it, when her exams finish.

            That’s just plain creepy though. And I don’t like the cat.

          • Mattie

            ooh which one? I got the ‘secret garden’ book and it’s beautiful 🙂

          • Who?

            ‘Animal Kingdom’-I chose it because I liked it the best, turned out it was the very one she’d seen someone with on the internet.

          • Mattie

            They are beautiful 🙂 and lots of fun to colour, if she’s a pen person, I’d recommend a combo of super fine liners and slightly fatter but still fine liners, the super fine liners go a bit scratchy on bigger sections. What exams has she had (and good luck to her in them).

          • yugaya

            The advantage of having read, corrected and graded thousands of essays to date is that you can pretty much tell when people are writing from real experience and when they are making shit up.

            It’s scary to know that there is someone out there delivering human babies who is childish enough to resort to making up fairyfart stories like this one.

          • Who?

            So you think it isn’t real? That’s a relief.

          • yugaya

            Yeah, everything falls into place sooo perfectly. The flow of her recounting the actual birth is too *flawless*.
            Notice how all the obstacles are immediately taken care of ( usually people don’t have money for this kind of birth – but these two were adventure guides and had all the outdoor equipment, it would be a physical challenge – but they were both athletic, the area was sharp lava stones everywhere – but there was a small clearing exactly next to the tide pool etc etc…)

            She overdid it with sentences like this:

            “They had been busy during the waiting for babe discovering all the beach
            options for their birth and doing lots of prenatal swimming with
            dolphins.”

            ” We had a foam pad for Mama and Papa to sit on in the water and a
            hanging stick wedged between rocks that Mama liked to swing from while
            she had her surges. ”

            ” I’ll admit, checking for eels now and then with the flashlight.”

          • Who?

            Good to know. Now that you point it out, it does make sense.

            Would have shown the midwife in a more ‘positive’ light if her clients weren’t so self-contained, though, since the whole narrative is usually about how great mama is but how totally awesome and everything-fixing the midwife is: until of course it turns out there are no actual notes of what went wrong…

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I was wondering about that, but thought that it might be real or at least based on an actual event which the writer cleaned up to make sound like her fantasy of how an ocean birth would go.

      • Mattie

        The difficulty with this argument is that legally (and one could argue morally) what the woman wants does trump what the baby wants, until the baby is born. Even during birth the woman’s wishes are the only one’s that matter in a legal sense. However, for the most part women WANT a healthy baby, yet they don’t make decisions based on that outcome, rather they decide things based solely on what they want at the time. Now, I don’t believe it’s selfish (as they’re not ignoring the needs of another person) but it’s definitely short sighted as they refuse to see that their decisions NOW will effect the outcome later.

        • Who?

          Surely there’s more than one way to ignore: I’d suggest wilfully seeking non mainstream advice that is in line with your obsession of the day/month/hour to the cost of another is selfish. Is that bad?

          I have no problem personally with selfish decisions, but it irritates me when I’m expected to cheer them and pretend the horrible outcomes are some kind of unavoidable, unforeseeable accident rather than the likely outcomes of those decisions.

          • Mattie

            Yeh true, I think it’s sort of like ‘freedom of speech’. Free speech means you can’t be prosecuted for your speech, you are legally allowed to speak freely…it doesn’t mean you can’t be criticised or judged for your speech, so I guess with this it’s important (vital) that women are free to make choices but that doesn’t mean they’re not allowed to be criticised for those choices.

          • Gatita
          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            THANK YOU. This x a million.

          • Amy

            I adore XKCD!

        • Amazed

          The moment they decide they won’t get this cigarette or this bar of chocolate because it’s bad for the baby and then rush to homebirth with 148756 risk factors attending by a known murderous loon, I call them selfish. Homebirthers are generally women who are unselfish as they come while they’re pregnant, depriving themselves of a little joy after a little joy because of the baby – and then, they become the epitomy of selfish and throw it all to the wind because this glass of wine is hardly going to do the baby more lasting harm than a prolapsed cord or a shoulder dystocia 10 minutes long.

          I would never take away someone’s right to place themselves first – but I sure as hell won’t cheer them on, “You go, warrior mama! You didn’t even get ONE cup of coffee while pregnant, you’re so self-sacrificing! It was totally fine to birth your breech triplets at home, any other mama would have done the same! So sad for your little bundles of joy, no one could have known… And you didn’t even get a single pill to alleviate the labour pains! You go warrior mama, rah-rah!”

          • Who?

            Yup. It’s a messed up culture.

          • Amazed

            That much is clear. What is not clear to me is the exact way their heads are messed up. I mean, I get it if you think that the baby will just have to suck it because this bar of chocolate won’t kill them and you won’t abstain this time. I get it if you suffer all the chocolateless road y to hell for the baby’s sake. But suffer all the chocolateless road to hell and then, at the final few meters, say, “Damn it, Baby, suck it up because I’ll do it my way, because my wishes should absolutely take precedence to your safety, although this is the most dangerous section of the road?” I just don’t get how THAT works.

          • Mattie

            I actually hadn’t thought of that, you’re right it does seem that women, and homebirth/crunchy mothers especially, do everything they can to benefit the baby while pregnant, how do they then make it all about them during the birth. Yep…totally selfish.

        • Allie P

          I think the issue is also the wave of misinformation. Over and over you see this propaganda where real risks are downplayed (“just a variation on normal!”/”some babies take a while to pink up!”/”five minutes from the hospital”) and pretend risks are elevated out of all proportion and severity (“the likelihood of getting an epidural headache…”/”cascade of interventions!/”sleepy babies don’t breastfeed”) and even intelligent women don’t have the scientific literacy to know what to believe. They’ve been fed this steady stream of misinformation. I doubt as many women would want what they claim to want if they hadn’t been lied to. I see people come in with these birth plans they printed off the internet where they refuse all kinds of procedures and they don’t even know what they ARE or why they exist, just that they should refuse it.

      • DaisyGrrl

        “What do women actually want?” I suspect “dead baby” is not on the list. I think the problem is that these women want to be told their choice is the right one without having to acknowledge or admit that their choice carries an elevated risk for their child.

        I would have much more respect for those who push home birth if they would just admit that there are risks, not every complication can be caught early enough to transport, and that some babies will die as a result of birth location. The trade-off being lower c-section rates, etc.

        Of course they’ll never admit that because then they’d have no clients.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Wasn’t there a survey about what women want not too long ago? And it turned out that what women wanted was a safe place to give birth with pain control available? So, of course, it was ignored because that wasn’t what women were supposed to want.

        • AllieFoyle

          Exactly. The majority of women want access to pain relief, and one assumes that all women want their babies to be born living and healthy. Some women want to give birth without pain relief or other interventions; some want c-sections; some want to be delivered on a certain date to maximize their maternity leaves or to facilitate family help. Somehow though, we’re only supposed to care about “what women want” when it coincides with what these people are shilling.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Another issue that just occurred to me: What women want? As though all women were the same and had the same desires and needs? Maybe we should try to shift the discussion to include an acknowledgement that women are just as varied in their opinions, desires, and needs as men and that we will never be able to say what “women” want because there are a good 3-4 billion women out there and they don’t all want the same thing. Maybe we should ask individuals what they want and not assume that they want the same thing as another individuals just because of how their genetalia is shaped.

          • AllieFoyle

            Absolutely.

      • Allie P

        Yeah, what women want, as long as what they want is natural, vaginal childbirth. If they want inductions or epidurals or, god forbid, c sections, we’re told we’re wrong and misguided and “fearful”, etc.

    • KarenJJ

      One thing that I agree with the writer. The term “selfish” is a culturally loaded term when we use it against mothers. We’re meant to be all sacrificing when we become mothers, and a “selfish” mother cannot be a “good” mother. I don’t know what a better term would be to describe the behaviour. Maybe since it obviously hit a nerve, it might be the right one? But I’d rather level the criticism at the faulty and naive wishful thinking that leads to people having homebirths when they’ve been told that they are high risk by a medical practitioner. I’d also like to see much more criticism at the midwives that take on these cases and undermine medical advice in these cases.

      • Gatita

        I agree. It’s more like a weird cult where people chant incantations (“Birth is as safe as life gets!”) and perform rituals in the belief they’ll be perfectly protected from bad consequences. And if something bad does happen it’s because the ritual wasn’t performed correctly, not because the ritual is useless. Having known some people who were in cults and working for an organization that I would say operated like a cult, this mindset is familiar to me. And scary as hell.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        OK, I’m ready to acknowledge that I don’t know the motives and internal life of women that choose homebirth and therefore should not assume that the motives were selfish*. Now, when is the NCB movement going to do the same for women who choose to formula feed?

        *Which is not to say that I don’t still think that they made a dangerous decision and one that should be rethought.

      • Angharad

        I thought it was interesting that the article was ostensibly about calling mothers selfish, but later the author complains about “labeling certain pregnancy or birth choices reckless, irresponsible or self-centered.” Calling a choice reckless is very different than calling a person selfish. I think refusing to have a discussion about whether a given choice is reasonable or responsible shows a lack of good faith. I do agree that most homebirth mothers love their children and want to give them the best start in life and are just blinded about the relative risks at home vs in a hospital as well as the relative risks of complications vs interventions.

      • Who?

        Fair enough. But the use of the word ‘selfish’ I think is designed to close down the conversation.

        To be ‘selfish’ is to be self interested: the word is used from the perspective of someone who isn’t happy with the choice made in self interest. ‘Deluded’, ‘ill-informed’ and ‘arrogant’ are more likely my words of choice for women who choose to home birth against medical advice.

        Self interest is perfectly reasonable and healthy, all things being equal. Self-interested behaviour that causes someone else, particularly a someone who the actor has conjured up and is responsible for, and who can’t advocate for themselves, suffering-or death-is surely not a good thing.

  • the picture of that baby has been haunting me for days. That poor, poor baby.

  • namaste863

    Totally OT, but I became an auntie for the first time yesterday! His name is William Jackson. I haven’t met him yet, as I am in LA until tomorrow.

    • momofone

      How exciting! Congratulations!

    • Sue

      Congrats and welcome to the tiniy one!

    • Conga-rats!

    • Mishimoo

      Ooooh congratulations!!

    • Mazal tov!

    • Amazed

      Congrats! Welcome, little one!

  • Lancelot Gobbo

    “The Village Midwife will cut 20 percent from its charges to people who carry a gun or provide a concealed-gun permit, co-owner Sean Rector said. Under the standard $3,000 fee for home birth and prenatal care, he said, gun owners would save $600.”

    A perfect illustration of the confusion surrounding life and death in your culture (I say ‘your’ as concealed gun carrying is definitely not part of mine).

    No doubt evolution will slowly take care of this problem, whether the concealed-carry types, or the crunchy midwives, believe in it or not.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      Well with the way some men carry their “concealed” guns around here, they’re likely to shoot their balls off. You’re probably not far off on that self correcting problem assessment.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        In more trained/responsible gun circles, that particular carry location is known as the “Darwin carry” for a reason. 😉

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          I’m stealing this terminology.

          It helps that I’m generally a better shot than the gun fetishists. It knocks down the “You don’t understand what you’re talking about” argument. They carry the gun around and wave it around and show it off but the funniest thing about that is that they’re usually only average shooters at best. Compensating for a physical or mental lack in some cases I think.

          I say fetishists because seriously the way they go on about their guns is kind of crossing over to that. Maybe that’s why they need it so close to their nuts.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            *sigh* It’s a bit embarrassing to those of us who like our guns as tools, thanksverymuch, but don’t get aroused by their existence and are actually capable of following the four rules of gun safety. I enjoy gun shows in theory, but in practice the behavior of many of the participants (and we’ll just leave aside the Nazi memorabilia tables for the moment) leaves much to be desired.
            “Yes, buster, I know that ‘the gun should be unloaded, since it’s on a table.’ You know what? All it takes is one screw-up, one mental slip on the part of someone, one human error for it not to be. SO DO NOT POINT IT AT ME OR OTHER PEOPLE. Thank you. This is called ‘basic courtesy’ as well as ‘basic safety.'”
            (The four rules, for those curious: All guns are always loaded. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sites are in the target. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.)

          • Mattie

            I think for someone in a culture with much stricter gun legislation (and no mass shootings as a result) it is just immensely confusing that not only are guns legal to the extent that they are, but also automatic and semi-automatic weapons are freely available, as is mass amounts of ammunition. That is not a gun as a tool situation, that is a gun as a weapon for the mass murder of humans situation…I just don’t get how US society as a whole allows school shooting after school shooting, alongside mass shooting after mass shooting, and does basically nothing =/

            As someone who is mostly pro-guns to an extent, how do you feel the regulations should change? It seems the media focusses on the people who want no guns, and the NRA people who want an armoury for every home and armed teachers to combat school shooters. It’d be good to hear from someone in the middle 🙂

          • Daleth

            Automatic weapons are not freely available in the US. You need a federal license to own one and it’s very difficult to get.

            As for semi-automatic weapons, I have never really understood people’s particular opposition to them. A semi-automatic pistol can’t fire any faster than an old-fashioned revolver; it takes one full trigger pull per bullet fired, just like revolvers do. Semi-automatic rifles can use very large magazines, so it’s possible to fire more bullets before you have to reload, but I don’t know that that makes a huge difference in real-life situations (didn’t the Charleston shooter reload at least once? That unfortunately did not enable anyone to stop him).

            I actually think that many people oppose semi-automatic weapons just because it sounds so similar to “automatic weapons.” But semi-autos are completely ordinary guns–they’re what every cop in America carries.

            As for what should change, I am a strong supporter of:

            – Nobody being able to own a gun without safety training, a license (available only to people with a clean background check), registration of it, and liability insurance for it;

            – Nobody being able to get a license to own or carry if they have any history of committing domestic violence or other violent crime, or of getting in drunken fights at bars, making violent threats, road rage, etc., and if you already have a license and then commit one of these things, you lose the license and must forfeit the gun;

            – Mandatory background checks before every gun sale, public (in a store or at a gun show) or private (between private citizens).

            I would still be able to own my gun if all of the above were the law. And I think a lot of people here want that to be the general rule… when I went to get my concealed carry permit I was talking to the sheriff’s deputy as she processed my application and she said, “I wish I’d see more people like you getting these. Man, but the people I see…!” (shaking her head in disbelief at the craziness).

          • Mattie

            Yeh, I dunno, I just find it really hard to process. Charleston is a terrible situation, but tbh I’m still not over Sandy Hook…I think if you have a mentally unstable person who has easy access to your home/weapons then you just can’t have those weapons, it’s not safe. I get that someone ‘could’ break in and steal anybody’s guns, but there are plenty of ways of preventing that…but if someone lives with you, or is in your immediate family and is ‘kill a bunch of tiny children’ nuts, sorry nope, no guns.

            I do think that the legislature in the US needs to take a long look at why it is that America is basically the only large, modern, “civilised” country where this level of mass-murder still happens. There are many other countries where guns are legal, but where the restrictions are greater and mass-shootings, heck any significant number of deaths by shootings, just do not happen. Not just the UK but most of Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, China, it’s just unheard of. Step 1 (and the most difficult, hell probably impossible step) is prizing the NRA away from government…nothing will change with the old white NRA dudes complaining about their ‘rights’.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            As was stated earlier, automatics are actually extremely rare for your average American to own. It’s actually not difficult to mod an AR-15 to be automatic and basically turn it into an M16 from my understanding however you’d be prosecuted heavily for doing so if you’re not licensed to own an automatic. I haven’t know anyone personally that was licensed for automatic weapons.

            Semi-auto you still need to pull the trigger for each each shot, it just doesn’t need a reload after each one. If you’re target shooting that reload between every shot is a fun killer… If you’re hunting then you probably won’t be bringing home much bacon if you have to reload after every shot.

            This may just be my cynicism talking but the issue really isn’t about guns so much as culture. Compared to other industrialized nations, the US has an alarming tendency to glorify violence. If suddenly all guns were to disappear from the world, Americans would still find a way to kill each other violently at likely at a higher rate than other countries.

            Look at what we allow in movies compared to other nations. We completely recoil from a bare breast on TV but we allow shows like The Walking Dead and CSI (how many mangled dead bodies are just in the openings?) on channels easily accessible by children.

            We glorify dying in battle, you only need to look towards shows reenacting the Revolution, Civil, and World Wars. Because we didn’t achieve a curb stomp victory and it wasn’t so white washed by the media, the Korean and Vietnam wars don’t get the same treatment. We have his idealized view of violence but can’t take what real violence looks like.

            It’s weird. Even look at the video games that American studios put out compared to Canadian or Japanese studios. The American made ones tend to be bloodier and gorier and more available to children. Compare how violence is handled in Canadian studio Bioware’s Mass Effect series compared to Fallout series, made by American studio Bethesda.

            Both games are great sci-fi shooter/adventure, but as the series goes on, Mass Effect tends to be more up front about the cost if needlessly violent actions. If you act like a violent dick through the entire trilogy you actually can’t get the “good” ending for the final game. I haven’t played a lot of Fallout but from what I understand it’s quite a bit bloodier with less penalties for needless violence. It’s an interesting study on how American games differ in violence levels.

            We’re just kind of in love with the idea of violence. The real thing we don’t know how to deal with. We have this romanticized idea. We see bad guy dead = I’m a hero. But when you factor in the families of that person, the legal quandaries, the effect of killing another human on a person’s psychology, did you actually do the right thing by killing that person, we shove our heads in the sand and don’t want to hear it.

            If we want to fix our problem with guns we have to start with our problem with romanticized violence. It won’t matter what gun legislature we put into place if we don’t tackle the root of the issue which is our unhealthy fixation on violence as an answer to our problems.

            That’s my take anyways.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Oh, man, that’s a hard question.
            The short answer is that there isn’t a perfect solution that will guarantee that no one will die from violence. There just isn’t.
            Longer answer? (I give you fair warning, this will be *really* long.) I think that for school shootings, prevention is going to look different in various environments. For example, our local schools (think big suburb of a major city) have armed cops in every school. They could contain an active shooter situation pretty quickly. This works because this town has the resources for it. However, a lot of America won’t. You probably heard about the school district in Texas which voted to allow teachers who had concealed carry permits plus extra training carry guns in the high school. The thing is, it really was the only feasible option in less-than-ideal circumstances. The town had one police officer. One. He could be, at a given time, somewhere within forty-five minutes of the school. State police response time could be measured in hours. It’s a small, poor town. They don’t have the resources to hire several police officers to sit at the school in case of a shooting; they only have the resources for one guy who’s having to handle everything from domestic disturbances to “the neighbor’s cat ate my favorite blue jay.” In all seriousness, what other option had they, besides pray that no one ever decided to go on a shooting spree there? America also does *not* have the financial resources to pay on a federal level for armed police officers in every rural school. College campuses, however, sure as hell have the resources to pay some good cops to patrol, and all of them should.
            We could also take a lesson from Israel. Even if teachers don’t carry guns (and I would never, EVER want a teacher carrying who wasn’t comfortable with the idea), I think they should all be trained in basic self-defense. Likewise, I think that in active shooter scenarios, kids should be taught to fight back. Israeli kids are, and they do drills for this. They don’t cower under their desks and wait to be executed one by one. They’re taught to fight and to use any available weapons (furniture, chairs, books, teeth) against someone trying to kill them. By all means, teach kids to get away if they possibly can, but if there’s one way in and out of a room, and the shooter’s between you and it, you have two options: hope he doesn’t notice you’re still alive while he shoots your friends, or do your damnedest to get out. This increases the chances of the most people surviving.
            One more point, before I get to regulations. US shootings are, rightly, mentioned often in the media. However, on a strictly numeric level, they aren’t as common as you might think. Politifact is generally considered to be a fairly unbiased source; here’s an analysis they did on the subject a little while ago: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jun/13/everytown-gun-safety/have-there-been-74-school-shootings-sandy-hook-clo/
            Insofar as regulations…oof.
            I would not support banning semi-automatic weapons. I consider a rifle to be far preferable to a handgun in a home-defense situation (better accuracy, for starters), and think that making a defender reload after every shot would render a gun much, much less useful for that purpose. Although I am, as I said above, in a large suburb of a bigger city, I can expect a police response time measured in the double-digit minutes. That’s a very long time. It’s a lot longer when, as I have, you live in a highly rural area and the state cops will try to get there in an hour or so, while the local guy has two calls going on at once, mine and the drunk traffic stop across town.
            Automatic weapons? Not really an issue here anyway, but I’d be fine with continuing the current very tight restrictions on them.
            I think storage of weapons in a biometric (requires a fingerprint to access) safe is a very good start, in that it would keep a kid, for example, from getting a gun from his parents. There’s a local law with a very stiff felony-level penalty indeed for leaving a gun in an area where a minor can easily access it; seems reasonable to me. For the record, in the US a convicted felon can’t legally own a gun–not that that stops very many, just by the sheer volume that there are out there.
            I would support some sort of program restricting, as much as is reasonably possible, access by the seriously mentally ill to guns they or a household member owns, similar to the above law about minors. For the record, if my husband or a kid was diagnosed with serious depression or antisocial behavior, I’d get rid of any guns in the house in a heartbeat, or at least give them to a friend to lock up for me until the situation was resolved.
            Waiting periods? Frankly, I see them as pointless. There are just SO many guns here that someone who decided to go on a shooting spree at a certain time wouldn’t be stopped by a gun shop owner saying, “Sorry, come back in a week.” The shooter could buy one off another criminal quite easily, and someone who plans on shooting a half-dozen people isn’t especially going to be phased by the notion that he’ll also be in trouble for buying a gun illegally. (“Gun-free zones” also strike me as silly and ineffective for the same reason: someone who’s decided to kill as many people on a college campus as possible isn’t going to give a crap that he’s committing a Class Three Felony by bringing a gun on campus in the first place.)
            I may think of a couple of things later, but DD just woke up and I need to fetch her. TL,DR version: better-trained and armed officers in those schools that can afford it, and trained (and armed, if feasible) staff in those that can’t. Kids and teachers taught to run first, but go on the offense if that’s not an option. No one needs a machine gun. Semi-autos, sure, but that means that the owner is responsible for its proper storage and so forth, and is also legally responsible for not storing it appropriately. Encourage better treatment for the mentally-ill in the first place, and also support families who don’t want to lose their guns forever but want them somewhere safe while they deal with a mental-illness situation.
            Apologies for the length and if I missed anything; like I said, need to go get DD. 😉

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            The mental health one I’m always iffy on because being someone who is mentally ill, I am more careful with my guns than other “sane” people out there. Same with my uncles who are considered mentally ill. It’s hard enough being mentally ill so how would we be identified when we can just lie and say we’re not and get a gun anyways? Requiring us to carry a card that says we’re mentally ill and put in a database just compounds the issues already present with the mentally ill being swathed in stigma. It may also discourage people from seeking treatment for fear of being labled.

            Also where is the line?

            Do we restrict access to those that have dissociative episodes or all mental illness? Does anxiety fall under mental illness? What about Asperger’s Syndrome where they’re not known to be a danger to themselves or others? It’s another slippery slope issue.

            That’s one reason why I get upset that we go for the “they MUST be mentally ill!” excuse when a white person is the perpetrator of a mass killing. Especially since mentally ill people are more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than the perpetrator. It just continues the stigma that we will never be productive members of society and are dangerous and unpredictable.

            That’s the difficult part. You can’t look at someone and know that they’re shacked out and five minutes from snapping. Most of the time those individuals if they’re determined to act on their violent plans will find a way to get access to a way to kill one way or another.

            Which is why I agree that a gun safe should be a requirement before a gun can be owned. If the guns aren’t easily accessible then we have less of a problem of people already barred from getting a gun getting access to one anyways.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            That is a fair point, and I’m not sure, practically, what could be done on a legislative level that isn’t done already on the mental illness bit. I mean, sure, you can tell a gun store owner that if a guy comes in and explains that he needs a gun because the little green men are conspiring with the CIA to make his neighbors implant listening devices in his microwave, he shouldn’t sell him a gun, but I’m pretty sure there are laws already in place to that effect.
            The rest is more a common-sense/community-and-family-based issue. I had bad PPD with DD. I wasn’t to the point of being suicidal, but I did have a lot of suicidal thoughts. The next time we have a baby, I plan on asking DH to temporarily delete my fingerprints from the biometric safe’s log so that I don’t have access until we know I’m stable.
            I quite agree on the bit about someone who is determined to do something bad: they’ll probably figure out a way, but let’s not make it exceptionally easy. Like I said–I don’t think I’d ever kill myself, but I got pretty badly depressed before, and don’t want to increase my risk.
            Finally, some people are just plain evil, much though we don’t want to admit that. It’s nice and convenient to say someone’s sick, but it’s not always so. Evil exists, and it’s a much bigger question than a convenient “oh, they’re sick” label.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I think the biometrics safe is a good idea and having that kind of communication with family members to take your prints off until you feel safe again.

            Since we’re just target shooters and my dad did occasional hunting, back when we didn’t have a gun safe he had dismantled his guns and had half of a gun on one side of the house and the other half on the other in padlocked cases. They weren’t for home defense so he saw no reason to have them ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.

            Besides I pity anyone trying to rob my house. Depending on if my dad or sister gets to them first, neither of them need a gun to put the hurt on someone. Dad is a big guy that you don’t want to run into period. My sister does Brazilian Jujitsu and MMA. If she gets you to the ground, and she will, it’s game over for the poor sap in her grip. She regularly takes home golds and silvers in grappling tournaments and she hits like a freight train whether she means to or not.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Ha! Your last paragraph made me chuckle, much like my devout hope that anyone who robs our place might be dumb enough to hop the fence to the neighbors’ yard…you know, the nice folks with the hyper-protective pit bull they rescued from an abusive situaion. 😀 But I’m evil that way….

          • Mattie

            Thank you for taking so much time to write this, it’s very detailed. While I disagree with a lot of what you said (partly because I do believe that a lot of petty crime/petty criminals escalate their crimes due to easy access to guns, and if guns were got rid of then there wouldn’t be a huge rise in illegal guns). Other countries who had a lot more guns, now have stricter laws and almost zero/zero mass shootings as a result. Also it’s a lot easier to kill lots of people with a gun (any kind of gun) than say a knife or other close-contact weapon. I definitely don’t think the answer to the threat of guns in schools should be guns in schools, and I really wish that one day the US could get to a stage where active-shooter drills do not happen, children should not have to deal with that in their place of safety, not many other countries need to practice that. But yeh, even though we have wildly different views on this, and by the sounds of it very different life-experience feeding those views, I respect the way you expressed your opinions and the depth to which you explained it all. Thanks again 🙂

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Thanks for being willing to listen! DH and I were in Europe last year, and it was really interesting chatting about this same topic with a German couple we met. We came from such different backgrounds that we didn’t have much middle ground on the topic (they were politely shocked and horrified that we owned and shot guns, we just didn’t see it as that big a deal), but it was a thoroughly educational discussion nonetheless. I think all of us walked away from it with at least a different perspective and appreciation of the other person’s point of view.
            One last point, for background: IIRC, you’re in the UK, yes? I live in Texas, which is in the southernmost bit of the US. (Apologies if this sounds condescending–in my experience, European grasp of US geography varies wildly, and I want to make sure I give a clear picture; it’s not at all meant to sound snotty! :)) Texas is one of the states that borders Mexico. Even if we banned every gun in the US tomorrow–and believe me, they would *not* all be turned in, not by a long shot!–we’d still have thousands of guns coming across our very porous border with Mexico courtesy of the drug cartels, arming their associates and gangs up here. It’s a nasty situation, and one to which there isn’t really a perfect solution. The border is just too big to close effectively.
            Finally, you’ll find few people who agree with you as heartily as I that kids shouldn’t have to be in a situation in which they have to participate in active shooter drills.

          • Mattie

            Definitely, I don’t think either of us are entirely right, or entirely wrong, just coming from very different cultural, social and logistical backgrounds. The UK has no scary Mexican border, and a limited supply of drug cartels lol I’d imagine a similar level of problem occurs in southern parts of Italy where the Mafia has a strong hold…and they have huge issues with violence and murders (although not on the same targets as the US). I can totally see why a ban on guns would be impractical to say the least, although perhaps schools should have increased security measures to prevent a shooter getting in the building in the first place. Again, this would be very difficult if the shooter was a student at the school but it could probably be done, somehow.

          • Gatita

            I feel extremely ambivalent about guns–my husband is a gun owner but they aren’t stored in our home and won’t be as long as our son lives with us–but I do think the point about rural and semi-rural America is
            really well taken. The United States is frakkin HUGE and there are enormous swaths of the country that are, shall we say, lightly governed. For example, there’s a county in Eastern Oregon that’s so big that the children are sent to public boarding schools because there aren’t enough people to justify building more schools and the distances are too far to travel on a daily basis. So yeah, if you’re home alone and no police or neighbors for miles, having a gun becomes a reasonable option. I was thinking about that poor young woman in Oklahoma who was the victim of a home invasion right after her husband died of cancer on Christmas Day. It took more than 20 minutes for the cops to reach her and she was home alone with her infant son. She shot and killed the intruder: http://abcnews.go.com/US/okla-woman-shoots-kills-intruder911-operators-shoot/story?id=15285605

    • Wait wait wait. is this a pro-eugenics comment?

      • Kerlyssa

        do you not understand what eugenics is? it’s not the same thing as darwinism.

        • You are talking about being happy that people die for reasons of socialization rather than genes. I think that is pretty gross. That’s what the eugenics movement was about completely, they used to have eugenics “pageants” that declared one family more congenial than another based on social criteria. There are solutions to social problems that don’t involve letting people or their kids die.

          • Amazed

            No one is talking about being happy. You’re just overreacting and reading things that aren’t there.

            IIRC, Lancelot Gobbo is a physician, an OBgyn. Most certainly not someone who’s going to let someone die. But since they aren’t going to go to the doctor but run to the gun-holder midwives instead, someone WILL die.

          • Helen

            Eugenics — people determined which genes would be passed on by controlling the ability of the parents to have children. Husbandry of livestock involves eugenics. Also known as selective breeding.

            Natural Selection — (a part of Darwin’s theory of Evolution, and the part usually referred to when people say that “Evolution will take care of the problem.) Both the ability to have children and the subsequent success of those children, i.e, living to produce children of their own, is determined by factors inherent to the environment in which the parents and children live. As loaded guns tend to result in a greater chance of death by accidental discharge, one could very well argue that keeping loaded guns around is a detriment to the passing of the parents’ genes.

            However, this chance of death from accidental discharge must be balanced against the chance of death from something that the loaded gun could actually prevent. For example, if the birthing center is infested with venomous snakes, then it would make perfect sense to offer a discount to parents who bring a loaded gun to the birth, as the parents can then relieve the attendants of the need to protect the mother and baby from the swarms of venomous snakes. Or bears. Maybe the birthing center is infested with bears. Otherwise, this discount for carrying weaponry is only a financial inducement for the parents to obtain and carry something they don’t need.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I don’t think a desire to carry a concealed handgun is a trait passed genetically.

  • Froggggggg

    When I first looked at the picture of the baby, I honestly thought it was just a bad, too-dark picture. Then came the double-take, and the realisation that the rest of the picture was perfectly fine in terms of light, and it was actually the baby that was completely the wrong colour, and OMG. Just… no. How could anyone calmly take a picture of that and ask the internet?

    • Gozi

      At first I blamed the lighting in my room, my forty dollar phone, or that my eyes are getting old. There is no way around it;they should have been calling/driving to medical professionals first.

    • It is what everyone does on the anti-western medicine side of facebook. I’ve seen very serious edema, scary rashes, abscesses, etc. Crowd-sourcing is the new normal.

      • demodocus

        Crowd-sourcing about your overgrown garden (when you know you have 4 avid gardeners among your friends) is one thing. Medical care, though? *Shiver* And I have 2 nurses and an ex-emt/respiratory therapist among my family on FB.

  • Amazed

    Kudos to safer midwifery utah. That’s a great and very informative post. And it has the added bonus to let the moms recognize themselves as either rational human beings or breeders who care more about the process and their idea of themselves than remnants like safety and having a live baby, as opposed to Vaginal one.

    Really, after reading this, who can say, “I believed her when she told me it was safe?” It would take a special kind of delusional to trust people like THESE to be experts.

    https://exhomebirthers.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/does-your-midwife-have-blood-on-her-hands/

    • Mattie

      You know what’s chilling, one of the doulas involved has a tumblr, and in her list of ‘resources’ it’s the usual facebook “support” groups and right at the end is a bereavement photography service, because of course homebirth deaths are rare and unexpected. http://jenniferholshoe.tumblr.com/Resources

      • I would encourage people from here to get tumblr accounts. You can’t censor other people on tumblr as easily as most social media sites, and there is no balance to pro-home birth pages. It is filled with young mothers who could use a hand.

    • thank you, I am glad you appreciated the post. I do want to caution you though, you can believe things out of personally necessity despite all evidence, in fact I am sure most people have a few irrational beliefs in their mind regardless of their level of intellect or education. Fortunately most peoples irrational beliefs are not so horribly consequential for other people.

      • Box of Salt

        safer midwifery utah,

        By the way,

        homeopathic Nat. Mur.?

        Not herbal.

        To read up on homeopathy search the Science Based Medicine blog: https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/

        or read Trick or Treatment by Ernst and Singh: http://www.amazon.com/Trick-Treatment-Undeniable-Alternative-Medicine/dp/0393337782/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434940400&sr=8-1&keywords=trick+or+treatment

        Nat. Mur.?

        Nat: Natrium, latin for sodium, Na, element 11
        Mur: Muriatic acid, aka hydrochloric acid (element 17)

        Nat. Mur. = sodium chloride, NaCl

        Trust me. See my screen name,

        • OH MAN -_- thanks for the info I will edit and add commentary as needed

        • Sue

          Nat. mur. is my fave homeopathic “remedy”. Salt water, without the salt.

      • Amazed

        Oh, I do hold a few irrational beliefs in myself. Just yesterday, I refused AGAIN to sit in a stony throne in a rock city from 4 000 years ago because I believe that if it wasn’t meant for the royal butts from that time (only the god could sit there and God knows it’s damn hard to reach it if you want to sit down), it certainly wasn’t meant for mine. (Thankfully, now they explain that every pair of feet climbing up there and any butt parked harm the stone, so very few people do it.)

        It has nothing to do with the fact that when I’ve been approached by people with terrible past record in a field, I usually run the other way. Especially when trusting them means very lives involved and as you say, it isn’t simply an irrational belief, a quirk if I may.

  • Nick Sanders

    OT: Something is up with the site’s formatting. It’s pushing the article and comments into a much thinner column suddenly, making anything longer than a sentence annoyingly skinny and tall.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      It’s just you

      • Nick Sanders

        Great…

    • Froggggggg

      The site looks wonky for me every now and then, but usually goes back to normal after a while. I think in my case it might be a browser issue… could be the same for you?

      • Nick Sanders

        Yeah, shortly after I said that, it cleared up.

  • AdelaideGP

    Terrifying ! Sorry if it’s been said before ( I haven’t yet read all the comments) but does any one else find the whole “earth side” thing extremely annoying. It’s as if the baby has been on mars while it is in utero and now suddenly transported to earth. It seems to symbolise the magical thinking of the home birth movement though. And a discount for gun holders? What the? Such a bizarre non sequitur. And the colour of that baby, omg. This post is just too much. I don’t know how you keep soldiering on Dr Amy, against such criminal stupidity and ignorance but Thankyou again.

    • Stacy48918

      I think the “earthside” thing is another way to absolve them from guilt over babies that die. After all, they weren’t really HERE in the first place. They were “elsewhere” and just didn’t manage to make it “earthside”. Rather than having tremendous responsibility and taking care for the baby in utero or otherwise.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Is that why vaginal birth is so important to them? Somehow the vagina is what imparts the soul to a baby if you trust birth enough?

        • Sara Lucy

          Yes! I took a Women’s Studies class where Whapio was invited to guest lecture and talk about sacred spirals in birth. The baby spirals while it grows in the womb, spirals out of the vagina, etc. All of this spinning is extremely important if you want the baby to come with a soul.

          • Mattie

            is the inevitable spiral out of control due to helicopter parenting in the teen years also critical?

          • Sara Lucy

            Maybe that’s just momentum from all of the earlier spiraling.

          • DaisyGrrl

            I would have spiraled right out of that lecture.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            My husband wants to know if this is the case, are all children born via c-section redheads?

          • Amy M

            Like this kid?

          • Gozi

            Was this affiliated with a school or hospital? Who let this coo coo bird have a mic?

          • Sara Lucy

            A small liberal arts college in Asheville. They were very tolerant of all kinds of things. As for me, I thought the whole lecture was cool at the time. I’ve been around homebirth woo since I was young.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Wut.

            This is childbirth! Not a Fibbonacci sequence!

        • Melissa

          Sadly, I’ve heard people argue that if you use any birth intervention or have a c-section you are ruining your child’s life by forcing them into an astrological position they did not choose.

          But this was the same person who told me that he could tell from my aura that I would have a child within the year. That was 10 years ago and unless we are counting cats, I’m childless.

          • yugaya

            “if you use any birth intervention or have a c-section you are ruining your child’s life by forcing them into an astrological position they did not choose.”

            Being born dead or brain damaged is so much more preferable, astrologically speaking. 100% natural too.

          • Dr Kitty

            These would be the people who think that the orbits of planets and stars affect our moods, temperaments and actions.

            They don’t seem to have taken into account that in our expanding universe, in the 5000 years since the start of the Chinese and Indian astrological systems, the 3000-odd years since the Greeks started with the Western astrological systems and the 2000 since the Romans continued it, none of the stars that make up the “ruling” constellations are where they used to be.

            I’m not sure they can complain about a few days here or there, and yet at the same time claim that thousands of years (and the fact that we see the stars, not how they are, but how they were a very long time ago because of how long it takes for their light to reach us) make no difference to their predictions.

            Dearie, dearie me.
            Now I am in such a pickle….
            My due date is September 1.
            Shall I book my ERCS based on safety data for week 39, giving me a late August baby who is a Virgo, or should I push for a 38w ERCS to get a Leo, or should I wait it out and hope I go overdue because I prefer Sapphires to Peridots?
            Decisions, decisions…

            Not really, we’ll be having this baby in week 39, all being well.

          • Nick Sanders

            As the Pythons put it, “Pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space, ’cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.”

          • Amy M

            Every sperm is sacred, but some babies weren’t meant to live?

          • Nick Sanders

            Well, that’s certainly a stance some places take, “No contraception, no abortion, but once you’re out of the womb, you’re own own”.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            And you have to be able to get out on your own because if not you “weren’t meant to live”.

            Basically, it all boils down to “women must not be given agency over their bodies”: no contraception or abortion (i.e. no preventing pregnancy or choosing your own time and place to become pregnant), but also no pain relief or interventions that might make delivery easier (or survivable). The babies are just collatoral damage.

          • Sara Lucy

            Don’t forget the rising sign. If you have a preference for a specific rising sign you have to put it in the birth plan so they’ll know precisely when to deliver- minutes count!

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            They only count if you’re a Leo? Lol

    • Gozi

      Well, I am good for providing dumb questions. If a baby is not earth side, then where are they? Please forgive my confusion.

      • Mattie

        Well I believe that if it’s a boy, Mars and if it’s a girl then Venus. This gets a little confusing when you realise that gender is a social construct. I think it is safe to say that most unborn babies are somewhat close to Uranus 😉

        • Limbo.

        • Sue

          That is BRILLIANT – Mattie wins the thread!

          • Mattie

            haha thank you 🙂

    • mabelcruet

      I think the earthside thing is a way of dissociating from the baby just in case. Its along the same lines of ‘some babies aren’t meant to live’, so until you know if your babe is the one that’s going to die or not, you refer to them as though they are some sort of mystical angelic being. If they die because of the unholy selfishness of these mothers, then it wasn’t really their baby that died, it was an angel not meant to live, so they didn’t kill it.

      • There are a LOT of euphemisms for death, regardless of the age of the person who dies. Humans seem to want to evade the issue whenever possible, and, up to a point, I can’t blame them. Birth and death are the two biggest events in life, after all.
        But this “earth-side” rubbish makes the mother sound like she’s a Star Trek addict.

        • demodocus

          Feh. I’m a trekkie and this phrase has never been on my radar. On the other hand, I can explain why Bajorans and Cardassians don’t like each other.

          • Same here. In detail. I must be overtired as I just realized that you can’t do a CS on a Founder.

    • Sara Lucy

      Not just a way to absolve guilt, but to put the emphasis on the sacred journey of birth. If you tamper with the birth of the baby by, say, trying to save its life, then you have interfered with its journey. So the mom and the midwife who defends “normal birth” is guarding this sacred path for the child. It’s all for the child. Not selfish at all. Then like the others say, if the infant in its infinite wisdom doesn’t show up earthside, it is no one’s fault because it was the baby’s choice.

      Human infants are not weak chicks struggling to hatch and best left undisturbed. They are humans. It’s ok to help them if they need it. They are also not interstellar aliens making calculated decisions about whether or not to stop by our planet for awhile.

      • mabelcruet

        Maybe these mothers see themselves as tiger mothers-give the child the most dangerous start to life and if it survives that, then it can do anything. The weak get winnowed out early-a bit like Sparta really.

        • Sara Lucy

          You can see this is some of the antivax discussions, too. Babies who die from vaccine preventable diseases are always weak in some way, not healthy, well-nourished breastfed children. Healthy breastfed babies do not die from simple things like disease.

          Also, more disturbing is the belief that with vaccines we are keeping weaker, inferior individuals alive. Those that would have been culled by disease.

          • Nick Sanders

            Speaking of antivax, another one has shown up on the Vote Yes on SB277 article.

          • Mishimoo

            Speaking of vaccines, my youngest is caught up on his which means that he had the dreaded MMRV and a flu shot at the same time. There’s definitely a change in him – he won’t stop talking! His imaginative play has taken right off, his fine motor skills have improved, and he blew kisses to our childhealth nurse. Better report these side effect to Vaers 😉

          • Amazed

            You mean you still haven’t done this?!

          • Who?

            Maybe (seriously-ish) it isn’t a terrible idea. Who says all side-effects are negative? Or is negative in the nature of a side-effect?

          • Roadstergal

            I wonder about that language. We don’t say ‘side effects’ in trials, we say ‘adverse events,’ and there is controlled language to describe them, and the difference between AEs and SAEs.

            Also, this remains one of my favorite bits.
            http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/s5vr7a/on-topic—colbert-case-files—side-effects-may-include—

          • Mishimoo

            I was waiting to see if he displayed any Hulk-like attributes, or whether he’d stick to being like Tony Stark.

          • Who?

            Must be an outlier! That’s all great news though.

          • Gozi

            My child actually GIGGLED while taking her shots. Her little sister, who was not getting shots and was only watching started screaming at the nurse that she was going to call the cops and her daddy. Surprised WE weren’t reported …

          • I sometimes wonder whether the objections of the antivaxxers are based in a real fear of the vaccine causing horrible side effects, or whether it’s “needlephobia by proxy”. No one likes to see screaming babies, and I bet a lot of these mothers are themselves afraid of needles. If all vaccines could be administered orally, or by some as-yet-undiscovered painless modality, I think a substantial amount of resistance would evaporate. Not all, but a good deal.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I had an idea yesterday actually. If PETA can make their ridiculous “Sea Kittens” campaign, I can make a vaccination based game!

            See I’d set it up like a war room saying that we’ve intercepted partial training records from an underground guerrilla tactics terrorist group. We don’t know when or where they’ll strike but if we study their training materials we’d be able to recognize them before they cause any damage.

            Still working out the details and I’ll be talking to my friend who runs pathology at the hospital I work at to make it accurate enough. Don’t want to use lies, we don’t need them.

            My husband is learning programming languages and I have a decent knowledge of Flash. We could totally do this!

          • Roadstergal

            A friend of mine with a newborn was telling me about holding his baby for the first shots – about the facial changes from startlement/shock to screaming. He’s fully pro-vax, but described that as a difficult moment for sure.

          • Sue

            I saw changes like that too, Mishimoo. My daughter could only gurgle and cry when she had her first few shots. By the time she had her pre-school boosters, she was reading simple books. Now that she’s had her HPV shots, she’s excelling in Latin. SHould I report these as side-effects? The progress did seem to mirror the vaxes.

          • Who?

            When you put it like that it is obvious. You should definitely report it.

          • Gozi

            I think I need to check if I missed a few or need boosters. Maybe that is why I couldn’t learn anything in my French classes.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Mine now wants to “read” to himself before bed (he is 17 months) from his Elmo chubby board books. This only happened after his last round of shots. He is also talking and has taken to trying to jump off everything. Again, only since his last shots. I guess I should report these changes to the vaccine injury hotline.

          • Gatita

            I see you battling in there and admire your persistence. After my Facebook encounter I have no stomach for arguing with those people.

          • Angharad

            I like my weak, food-allergic, born-instrumentally-after-being-distressed-in-labor baby. I’d rather keep her than try for another after facing unspeakable tragedy.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Yep. It’s extremely eugenistic (if that’s even a word): only the strong should survive.

          • Maya Markova

            What they overlook is that some of the young survivors of homebirth and infections are disabled rather than “strong”.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Or just ignore. It’s a belief system: things can’t go wrong at homebirth unless it’s YOUR FAULT, so they’re infected/disabled because they or their parents weren’t healthy enough in the first place. Ugh.

      • demodocus

        I dunno, my kid might be an alien. 😉

        • Sara Lucy

          Well I hope you gave him the perfect transition earthside. I’ve heard that the cost of a failed birth journey is the complete annihilation of humanity (when dealing with extraterrestrials).

          • demodocus

            No worries. I’m Empress of the Iguana People. We have treaties with many intelligent, non-human life forms.

      • It was a transporter malfunction. {disgust}

    • Bombshellrisa

      The earth side thing never made sense to me either. If my baby wasn’t earth sided yet, then who was bouncing and somersaulting on my bladder day and night, poking at my ribs and giving me heartburn?

      • Gozi

        Uterus-side maybe? Gaaah! If only I still drank!

      • Daleth

        Chill about the “earthside” comments, people. It just recognizes the transition from not being born to being born. If you will, it refers to the baby being on the “earth side” of their mom. I’ve used it many times myself (as in, “when I was in hemorrhagic shock with doctors working to save me, I was so happy I’d had a c-section and brought my babies safely earthside so quickly, so the only person still in danger was me”).

  • Stacy48918

    How “educational” can ICAN be if the mother had no idea that UR was still possible, even after a successful VBAC?

    • Trixie

      I worked so hard.

  • Stacy48918

    A comment on the ICAN thread…so nonchalant…”Oh yea, I know 2 other women with dead babies.” How do people not think that this shouldn’t be happening???

    • N

      “How do people not think that this shouldn’t be happening???”

      That’s what I think too. Babies dying around birth is not normal in our western society. I know no baby that died. I am the mother closest to death in all my relationships. As home birth is not common where I live, all these mothers with previous complications as C-sections… would never have been allowed to try anything else than hospital birth around here.
      How can this be allowed and made possible?
      I know only very few home birth or birth-center mothers, and none would have tried anything without a gyn giving his ok.

    • momofone

      “So don’t think it was the insistence on VBAC that caused your baby’s death–it happens in hospitals too!” (can substitute whatever works best–in hospitals/with OBs/in other situations Big Medicine’s shills have told you were safe)

    • Who?

      ‘…who this happened to.’ The baby died, so a fair bit ‘happened to’ the baby.

      Perhaps ‘…whose choices led to a similar outcome.’ might be closer to the mark.

  • Stacy48918

    A comment on the ICAN thread:

  • KarenJJ

    “Two out of three babies who die at homebirth could have be saved in a hospital.”

    Exactly what the WA Coroner has found while investigating three homebirth deaths in Western Australia in 2010-2011.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-17/home-birth-deaths-could-probably-have-been-prevented2c-inquest/6554490

    • Sue

      The inquest report makes interesting reading:
      http://www.coronerscourt.wa.gov.au/_files/BABY%20B%20Finding.pdf

      • Megan

        Interesting indeed…

      • Wombat

        The third baby (Baby P) with Lisa Barrett (yuck I know) is in some ways, worse. http://www.coronerscourt.wa.gov.au/_files/BABY%20P%20Finding.pdf

        I’m having twins, one of whom is breach? That’s real risky? But Rikki Lake said…

        Baby B’s mom had strong preferences, but was ultimately misled (I gotta agree with the coroner there… Andrews lied through her teeth, imo). Baby P’s mom’s preferences evolved into something more like a death wish. Yucko.

        • Mattie

          Heartbreaking 🙁 I am especially angry by the Baby P situation, the hospital was actually more than willing to compromise but that still wasn’t good enough. There’s no guarantee that given her requests her baby would have survived even in the hospital but at least give your children the best chance within your choice 🙁

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      The corners’ reports make it sound like all 3 would have had a better chance in the hospital. Not a guaranteed survival for all 3, but a better chance in every case.

  • Who?

    Horrifying.

    ‘Earthside’ and ‘grew wings’ make me want to rage. And I really can’t talk at all about the blueberry scenario.

    Like there isn’t already enough suffering in the world.

    The companion product to the nose Freda is the Windi, there is a report about them over at Science Based Medicine. This subculture just defies understanding.

    • peanutmama

      the blueberry comment floors me.

    • Mattie

      I just googled the nosefrida and windi…sorry but the windi is basically ‘your baby has gas, stick a tube up their ass’ maybe stick it up yours first and then give your baby some proper relief. Maybe it works, but I’m pretty sure the nosefrida isn’t marketed to suction a newborn who isn’t breathing 🙁

      • Angharad

        Our pediatrician recommended the nose frida, but just as an alternative to those little blue bulbs for routine infant congestion, not in place of care for medical emergencies.

        • Sullivan ThePoop

          The nose frida works a lot better than the bulbs

          • Megan

            It really does. We love ours.

        • Mattie

          Yeh I figured it was fine for infant congestion, potentially unnecessary but fine. I don’t think I’d use it because sucking snot out of someone else’s nose, even my own baby, is nasty lol

          • Angharad

            Haha, I liked it better than the bulb because I feel like the bulb will always have snot in it and the nose frida can be disassembled and rinsed clean, but my husband could never stomach it.

  • That poor, purple little baby. I’ve never seen a living person turn that color before, he looks like someone who had died and been left lying face down.

    I hope that those commenters learned something after all this, but we all know that they haven’t.

    Meanwhile, those of us who know better are going to see that baby in our minds forever. It’s like they don’t have that knee-jerk reaction to seeing an obviously dangerous situation that the rest of us do.

  • Kerlyssa

    ‘Bruised face’, my ass. The poor thing’s fingers, and rpesumably the rest of their body, are the same color.

    • Anj Fabian

      Check the picture – the hands are visible.

      • Cobalt

        The fingers look the same (or at least very similar) as the face to me.

        • Amazed

          Me as well.

          • yugaya

            Agreed.

      • Kerlyssa

        …yes? That’s why I said they are the same color as the face.

  • Amazed

    Meanwhile Lorri Carr gives her advice on which babies die at homebirth at NGM’s Facebook page. My, my, the expert that she is! The best year in her birthing centre yielded 61 babies! She had 35 babies delivered in 2014! That’s A LOT of births!

    In all honesty to the woman, her centre might have had a few more births a year but they’d be of the “didn’t happen here, we don’t know this mother, the baby would have died in the hospital anyway and their heart rate was great until they tumbled dead/brain damaged in out arms, so we won’t talk about them!” variety.

    • TsuDhoNimh

      “The best year in her birthing centre yielded 61 babies! ”

      Any OB resident can top that in a month … 10-20 babies a shift is possible for a large OB unit.

  • MidtownParent

    When I lost my last baby, I got to make all the choices about what I wanted. The doctors and nurses were as compassionate and kind as they could be. It prevented a bad situation from being worse. But that “empowerment” is no comfort now, when there’s an empty chair at our dinner table. I wish more people understood that.

    • Cobalt

      I’m sorry for your loss.

    • momofone

      I’m so sorry.

    • Amazed

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • OttawaAlison

      I’m sorry, I have an empty chair too. My hospital had an ecumenical service this past Wednesday and tree-planting for those of us who have lost babies this past year. My treatment from the staff during and after my loss was phenomenal.

      My vbac with my stillborn daughter is an afterthought. I feel no sense of pride. I miss my baby girl.

      • Trixie

        I’m so sorry. I’m glad you got good care.

      • Mel

        I’m so sorry for your loss.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        I am so very sorry, and also very happy that you had supportive staff.

      • My condolences. I’m glad you had good support.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I’m sorry. Nothing ever makes up for that loss.

    • Trixie

      I’m so sorry.

    • Mel

      I’m so sorry.

    • Brix

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • My condolences.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I am so sorry for your loss.

  • MichLaw

    I can’t believe the photo of that poor baby. When my now 8-year-old daughter was 6 months old she had her first head cold. While eating one morning, she became listless and turned blue around her mouth and nose. My husband and I called 911. When the paramedics arrived, they gave her oxygen and suctioned the mucus out of the back of her throat. She never stopped breathing but she wasn’t getting enough oxygen due to bad congestion. I can’t imagine asking for advice via Facebook during a medical EMERGENCY! What were those parents thinking? That boy is not “bruised”; he’s starved for oxygen.

  • I have to put down the Internet after seeing that photo. I just cannot imagine.

    • Fallow

      Right there with you. My husband is having a conniption about that picture right now. He is so angry, he’s sputtering.

      • Amazed

        I am one of the commenters here who is known to be harsher on homebirth loss mothers than many of the others. It isn’t that I don’t feel sympathy; I do. I just hold them more responsible for making their horrible decisions than many others do.

        Reading about your husband gave me a flashback of something that happened about 24 years ago. I was visiting my very ill brother in the hospital and I saw a child who was wrapped in bandages from head to toe. He had sustained very hard burns and instead of rushing him to the ER, or calling an ambulance, ANYTHING, his mother waited all the day for her husband to come back because, you see, she had no one to leave the baby to.

        Now, I gather that she didn’t mean to withhold treatment for her son for a freaking day. I gather that she freaked out. I gather that sometimes people make bad decisions. But a day? And it turned out that this day mattered. I STILL hold her responsible.

        A few years ago, my brother and I talked about his time in the hospital and I mentioned this woman. All I needed to say was, “the boy with those burnings…” and he cut me off. “This bitch!”

        After all those years. We’re adults now. We know people panic. We know sometimes people make bad decisions and suffer the aftermath. We know, we know, we know… and our instinctive reaction is still THIS BITCH!

        I hope and pray that this child recovered.

        • Mattie

          like…take the baby with you??? what?? I can’t understand that kind of neglect

          • Amazed

            In all honesty, I have to say it was during the years when we lacked… well, everything. Perhaps an ambulance wasn’t an option. Many people didn’t drive their cars because they couldn’t pay for gas. Perhaps she didn’t think an ambulance would come. But this is still no reason to not call the nearest neighbour who could afford the gas. That was what we did at the time. No one would have refused. In fact, I ended up in the dental ER in the middle of a snowstormy night just like this – my parents woke the neighbour at 2 a.m. to drive me. At the time, I was throwing up blood (still don’t know just how the dentist fucked up to achieve this effect. Some of my old fairytake books are still discoloured from the blood I kept throwing up that day) and in hysterics because I didn’t want another dentist. My dad had to carry me to the car while I raised such a protest that half the neighbours peeked out to see who was being killed.

            I guess they could have waited for another day ot so and then wonder whether they should start being concerned. Perhaps when my mouth got paralyzed or something, they would have thought of taking me to the dentist. Or when I choked on all that blood that wouldn’t stop flowing.

            Some people are… I can’t even.

          • Angharad

            There were other options. Maybe call the husband at work and have him come home. Or ask literally anyone with the means for a ride, or to borrow their car. I’m sure nobody would refuse when a child was badly burned. And if they did, keep asking until she found someone with a heart.

        • TsuDhoNimh

          Like … send the child with the ambulance and ride with them.

          It happens a LOT

  • Tiffany Aching

    Oh my God that poor, poor little baby. This mother has learned (or has she ?) the hard way that you can’t crowdsource everything, and that sometimes you should stick with people who know better, because, well, they know better.

  • Megan

    Oh my God. There is someone on that page trying for an unassisted birth of TWINS!! There is no end to the craziness!!!! I hope Dr. Amy isn’t posting about those babies in the future…

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153264027141210&id=226462721209&refid=17&_ft_=top_level_post_id.10153264027141210&__tn__=%2As

    • yugaya

      Tara Falcon in replies. I’m still not sure whether that woman is just plain plonkers or insane.

      • Mattie

        “I’ve heard of healthy twins born hours or days apart, just be patient” I’ve heard of someone seeing Jesus in a slice of toast, doesn’t mean I pray to my toaster…

        • Roadstergal

          I’ve heard a lot of shit I don’t necessarily believe in, and sure don’t base decisions for my loved ones on.

        • Gozi

          Pray to the toaster. ..I’m dying here…

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          I’ve heard of healthy twins born days apart, too. I heard it from Lisa Barrett. So clearly it’s true.

          • MLE

            Weren’t they born 72 days apart?

        • Kq

          I READ IT ON THE INTERNET IT MUST BE TRUE. THE ONLY LIES ON THE WHOLE INTERNET ARE THE THINGS I DISAGREE WITH.

      • Mattie

        From Tara Falcon (who is this person????) “are you doing your own prenatal care?” fabulous, is she gonna do her own c-section, suture her own tears and resuscitate her babies at the same time?

        • yugaya

          Tara is a legendary UC-er in Fed up groups. She had unassisted birth herself and there were problems with the baby so she ended up in a hospital. Claims she was totally able to perform a full newborn assessment.
          Her posts are so incoherent that it is hard to follow what exactly happened or what she is saying.

          • peanutmama

            i am sick of tara. and her grammar drives me crazy.

      • Megan

        “…nothing really different other than increased risk of complications.”

        Um yeah, so maybe you should think about a hospital?!? I love how she mentions breech birth, prolapsed cord, inefficient contractions and malpositioning like they’re no big deal and easy to treat at home.

        I really hope these aren’t mono/mono twins. Otherwise one of them will most certainly die.

        • superhappycamper

          She’s so blasé about it, there has to be something wrong with her. There’s a big difference between reading clinical descriptions of the complications and the terrifying reality of the complications themselves.

          • Megan

            No kidding! As someone who used to do OB, I can tell you when those things happen it is terrifying! I would never be so blase and I actually know how to manage these things (usually involving the help of the obstetrician on the floor at the time since I’m only a family doc)! To me, the fact that she’s so blase about them speaks to her ignorance on the real danger present.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Death is also called a complication. So increased risk of death? Great advertising!

  • Kelly

    Also, one of my twin brothers had a lot of bruising on his face due to being stuck in my mom’s rib and the doctors having to get him out. His face looked nothing like this. I have not even seen people who are beat up that look like that. She was in complete denial.

    • attitude devant

      I just don’t get the whole unassisted birth thing. I had two labors, one long and one very short. But after both I was totally whupped. I could not have taken care of or even properly assessed a newborn if his or her life depended on it…..and unfortunately it does.

      • Mattie

        I have met one lady in the past who was choosing to have an unassisted birth due to severe social anxiety stemming from a previous birth experience where she felt she had totally lost control of the situation and nobody was listening to her (she already had anxiety problems prior to this). That is an extreme situation I know, but it’s important to note that sometimes it’s not as simple as it may appear to outsiders. The midwife (in the UK) caring for her antenatally was trying to work with her to at least consent to an attended homebirth, not sure how it ended up, likely everything was fine, hopefully.

        • Anj Fabian

          I’m not surprised. Some home birthers show apparent signs of anxiety disorders. Hospitals are stressful places and for people who handle stress very poorly….it should be expected that they view the experience as something like torture.

          The odd thing to me is that some women who admit to having anxiety disorders don’t seem to connect their antipathy towards hospitals with their mental health issue. They seem to think that those two things are separate.

          • superhappycamper

            I am a naturally anxious person and I feel much more relaxed giving birth in a hospital than I believe I would if I were alone and trying to figure things out for myself. Then again, my anxiety is more of the worrywart “what if?” variety and not social anxiety.

          • Cobalt

            Me too. I have anxiety issues (with a specific terror of painkillers, especially narcotics) and I wanted medical care. There was nothing more reassuring than that fetal heart monitor. I delivered without painkillers, as the pain was by far less stressful than the idea of drugging it away, but I wanted doctors for my baby.

          • Mattie

            Yeh, there’s definitely no ‘right’ way to cope with anxiety. although unassisted birth is terrible and dangerous if you can’t deal with a hospital or even a birth attendant then there’s not many other options. I do have a lot of respect for the way the midwife handled the situation, she spent a lot of time getting to know the lady to build the trust and break down some walls, and was really encouraging her to allow the midwife at the birth, or as a compromise to be in the car right outside.

            Far from an ideal situation, but doing the best for that woman at the time.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I’m glad someone took the time to at least try to coax her to a safer place. I can’t imagine what her anxiety would be like if something went wrong and she was alone…or if her baby died as a result. Every time a baby cried would probably be unbearable…

          • Mattie

            Yeh, this was while I was doing some shadowing with this midwife to get some experience to apply to university. The lady wouldn’t even let me in the house she trusted so few HCPs, it took the midwife a long long time to get enough trust to be able to carry out antenatal assessments, and she attended most of the her scans and additional appointments to maintain that trust and reduce the woman’s anxiety.

            The midwife in question was an independent midwife, which is why the lady hired her, she wished to avoid a hospital birth and the hospital midwives. Perhaps the IM wasn’t pushing hospital as much as she ‘should’ have, but she did get to the stage where the lady was considering an attended birth at home, and accepted the possibility of needing to transfer.

            Free birthing is a lot more common I think than many people realise, but the way some women are treated when they indicate their desire to free birth is IMO not especially helpful. If HCPs attempt to build trust and use that to come to a compromise with these women where possible…more mums and babies will survive, and be healthy.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I have both social and GAD with the added awfulness of panic disorder.

            I own my opinion is just that, my own, but this anxiety ridden nutjob would rather be in the hospital surrounded by people who do this every day, multiple times a day.

        • T.

          If you have such a crippling social anxiety, you need to deal with it BEFORE you have a(nother) baby.

          What is she going to do if the child needs hospital care? Ignore the situation until it is very dire? Have a panic attack in the ER, when your child needs you to be strong for them?

          What if -and I really, really, REALLY hope it never never happens but it can- the child needs long, assidous care for some reason? What if -God’s forbids…- the child gets cancer or has some condition that requires intensive hospital care?

          No… I am sorry but no. Problems of this kind needs to be addressed before trying to conceive another baby.

          • Sara Lucy

            My hypochondriac friend is the exact opposite with her kid. The kid was born with a birth defect (kidney duct issue) and she *will not* take him for regular checkups and monitoring, not even routine WBV. Um hello? I’m pretty sure it’s an anxiety thing though. Out of sight, out of mind, until it becomes a dire medical emergency and then… I just don’t know what she plans to do.

          • Who?

            She has no plan, she doesn’t think about it. The anxious people in my world are also quite fatalistic-thinking that somehow they can’t influence events. Not all the time, or on all subjects, but certainly it’s quite easy to spot once you’re looking for it.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            This is why antixyolitics are the most wonderful thing in the world for being a functional member of society. Thank you big pharma!

          • Who?

            I agree completely. Quite apart from that, fear and anxiety is a bad place from which to be parenting-not healthy for the child or the parents.

          • Mattie

            In an ideal world yes, however I don’t know enough to judge that. Perhaps her religion limits contraception or her partner was pressuring for another child, perhaps she didn’t realise how bad her anxiety was until she became pregnant again, perhaps the pregnancy hormones made it all worse. Maybe her contraception failed and the pregnancy was unplanned. Mental illness is not always black and white and anxiety isn’t always easy to fix. It’s entirely possible that a positive outcome for that pregnancy, with continuity of care and a trusting relationship with her midwife helped the anxiety, or it didn’t. I don’t know but I simply wanted to show that things aren’t always as clear cut in real life.

          • T.

            I know that, I suffer from mental illness myself. But now she is pregnant, and she needs to deal with her fears of hospital in a way that doesn’t put her child in danger.
            Which UC does.
            And even if the UC is 100% alright, she still needs to deal with her social anxiety in a way that is not “not going to the hospital never again” because her children may need hospital care one day.
            So… UC is not the answer to this case, neither.

          • Mattie

            I never said UC was the answer, I don’t think it is the answer, not ever. However I also think that the way HCPs respond to women who are choosing to freebirth needs to reflect the reasons that woman is presenting. In cases where there’s a mental health condition, whether that is long term such as anxiety, or following an event (PTSD) perhaps it would be in the woman’s best interest to have a healthcare provider willing to work with her to reduce the anxiety and past trauma, be honest about risk, but not abandon her because she’s making a dumb choice.

            If you read my comments you will note that I said that the midwife in question was an independent midwife, here in England that means a midwife who only does homebirths as they have no practice rights in hospitals. Because of this, the midwife probably did not push a hospital birth as much as an NHS midwife may have, or if she did it would have been in the context of ‘if you go to hospital I cannot act as your midwife, only as your support person’. Now, putting aside the issue of the dangers of homebirth, any birth with a skilled attendant is safer than an unassisted birth. Had the midwife refused to care for this woman, or had she not gained this woman’s trust then it is almost a given that the lady would have free birthed, as it was she had come to a point where she was willing to allow the midwife to be present/close (I can’t remember exactly, it was a few years ago now) and accepted the possibility of transfer which she had previously been adamant she would not allow.

            I repeat again, this was not an ideal situation, but it was progress for this lady.

            Also, you may have mental health issues yourself, but your comment reads as if your way of dealing with things is the only way, not everyone has the same experience with mental health problems. Likely your mental illness presents very differently from mine, and maybe from the lady in question, what is challenging for one person is easy for another and almost impossible for someone else…not one of those people is ‘right’, we all just do our best to navigate our lives and deal with each obstacle the best way we can.

          • AllieFoyle

            I’m sure you mean well, but I don’t think it’s as simple as you’re describing it. Social anxiety is very common, and people often function fairly well with it. Not always, but it’s certainly not a psychosis or dangerous depression, and it doesn’t preclude someone from being an excellent parent. It’s often specific to a situation, like public speaking or eating in public or parties or group projects — so it makes sense that childbirth could be a fear, particularly after a previous bad experience. There’s no reason to assume that her fear surrounding childbirth would mean that she wouldn’t care for her child’s medical needs. I really find that assumption overreaching and unnecessarily stigmatizing.

            There are effective therapies for social anxiety, but they aren’t always easy to find, and if the anxiety is severe, medication is probably indicated, which is, of course, problematic in pregnancy (I’m not saying it’s 100% contraindicated, but there are pros and cons). This woman is probably never going to be completely free of social anxiety, but there’s no reason she couldn’t be supported within a caring and compassionate framework so that her anxiety could be minimized.

            One wonders what happened with her previous birth, for which she was willing and able to seek medical care. Would it have made a difference if her caregivers had been more sensitive to her experience (not in the “ideal birth experience” sense, but insofar as ensuring that she had as much control and dignity as possible), or if they had recognized afterward that she might have had a difficult time so that it could have been dealt with straightaway?

            Women are individuals, and they come into pregnancy with all sorts of variations of vulnerabilities. Maternity care systems should recognize this and work to provide comprehensive care and not just write people off because they suffer from anxiety or anything else.

          • T.

            I know very well about social anxiety and depression. I am one of the unlucky bearer of both.
            And this is why I think that putting a child you cannot provide for is not a responsible act.
            One of the thing about mental illness is that, in as much as it is possible, you have to take responsibility for it.
            An example? I am able to deal with hospitals, but I am not able to deal with driving a car, because things like a pedestrian jumping out of the sideway makes me go into complete panic.
            So I don’t drive cars. Because I know I am not safe, for myself and for other, in the driver seat.
            And I am aware of it.
            She is putting a child in a situation that is not safe for them. Again, what if the child needs hospital care? Has she thought about it? About what she would do in such a situation?
            If the answer is either No, she hasn’t or Yes, and she knows that she wouldn’t be able to cope, then the child is not safe in case they would need hospital care.
            Putting your fingers in your ears and going “lalalala my child is going to be perfectly fine and never ever ever need to go to the bad hospital with the bad doctors” is not responsible. With or without mental illness.

            As a side note: it is not the maternity system that is writing her off, she is writing the whole hospital system off because of being unable to cope with it.

            I am not negating that she has had bad, perhaps horrid experiences. The point is, she has had them and needs to deal with them in a way that is safe for her and the child. Which is NOT going UC and writing off hospital forevermore.

          • T.

            I’ll try to explain better because I fear I may appear dimissive.

            A key point of mental illness is not putting yourself or others in danger. It is the very basic of “function”.
            If you don’t do that, either because you are not able to realize you are putting yourself/others in danger, or because your mental illness if preventing you from noticing, or because some other reasons, then you have a BIG problem.

            She is putting her baby in danger by doing UC. And this is bad enough as it is, but if she doesn’t treat the problem (her anxiety about hospital) she is putting in potential dangers all her children.

            And this is not ok.

            Mental Illness is not an excuse to hurt people. It can make you unable to see what you are doing is hurting people, but if you are at that point you need some BIG outside help… from a competent psychiatrist.

            This hopefully before something happens to your children that needs a hospital (because seriously, something always happen even just as stupid as needing stitches).

            The midwife in the story is doing little but control damage. Everybody here knows that, if shit really hits the fan during the birth, the woman would need a hospital.

            And what would happen then? There is NO good ends of this.

          • AllieFoyle

            But is she anxious about the hospital in general or just childbirth specifically, after an upsetting previous experience? It sounds like she was able and willing to go to the hospital the first time. I agree that it would have been ideal for her anxiety to have been addressed earlier (and we have no evidence that she didn’t seek help beforehand, or that the severity of the anxiety became apparent before the second pregnancy), but if her anxiety is specific to childbirth, and a previous bad experience, there needs to be some sort of apparatus in place for recognizing and addressing those problems within the maternity care system. Maybe better care during or after her first birth would have prevented the whole situation in the first place.

            There’s no question that UC is the least safe choice, but there’s also no reason to assume that her childbirth anxiety would make her a poor parent in any other sense, or even that generic psychiatric care would have fixed her specific anxiety.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Mattie specified that this woman’s anxiety was NOT specific to childbirth. She had a preexisting anxiety disorder. Now she is not just unwilling to give birth at the hospital, she is unwilling to have any medical provider present at her birth, even in her own home, even one that she has known for months. So no, this does not seem to be just a simple isolated phobia. This woman seems to have severe crippling anxiety. And this sort of severe generalized anxiety in a parent is horrible for a child in multiple ways. This parent owes it to her children to get her anxiety treated. This woman did not ask to have a serious mental health disorder. It is not her fault. But it is her responsibility. Untreated severe mental health disorders do adversely affect a person’s ability to parent safely and effectively. And there are many effective treatments.

          • AllieFoyle

            Huh? She said it stemmed from her previous birth. It sounds like she was probably predisposed to anxiety, like lots of people.

            And, like most people suffering severe anxiety, I’m sure she would have welcomed relief. We don’t have any evidence that she didn’t want it or seek it. For all we know, she might have sought it and still had problems or been advised against medication because of her pregnancy.

            It’s in her best interest to be treated, but there’s no reason to make suppositions about her ability to parent in general, or to suggest that people with anxiety disorders are bad parents as a group.

          • fiftyfifty1

            There is a big difference between someone who gets a little stage fright with public speaking vs. someone disabled by anxiety so severely that she cannot even bring herself to have a homebirth with a midwife she knows well and instead must UC. The fist example, I agree with you is not a problem and will not stand in the way of parenting. But parents with anxiety as severe as the second example do a real disservice to their children if they do not get treatment and get it under control. At best their children become highly parentalized at an early age, at worst they can put their kids in real danger or be neglectful because of their avoidant behaviors. It’s not pretty.

            Disabling mental health conditions are not a person’s fault, but they are that person’s responsibility to treat if they don’t want to damage their kids.

          • AllieFoyle

            But this was a person who was initially willing to have a hospital birth, and whose anxiety was presumably restricted to childbirth. I wonder if she wasn’t suffering PTSD more than social anxiety, or maybe some combination, as the events of the first birth seem to have led directly to the heightened anxiety the second time.

            It’s very easy to say that someone should get herself together and “deal with” all her issues before having a baby. In an ideal world, this would be the case, but in the real world people are imperfect. You can get treatment but still be anxious or depressed, or pregnancy can exacerbate an otherwise stable situation. We don’t know that this woman hadn’t had treatment. We don’t know what she was advised about medication risks during pregnancy or if there was some way in which her care providers could have better served her needs, especially during or shortly after the first pregnancy.

            There are many, many people with depression and anxiety disorders walking around. They could use support and understanding more than judgmental assumptions about their parenting.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            It’s hard to tell who has anxiety too until they tell you or they’re put in an especially triggering environment.

            Most people that don’t know me well think I’d be too laid back to have anxiety. I’m just extremely good at hiding it. I was having a constant anxiety attack for about three months straight until we found a med combination that worked. Most people never noticed.

            My highschool used to be a triggering environment. I would end up having a complete break down just going inside even after graduating because of the memories and bullying I endured. I can waltz around there just fine now but people were shocked that I’d have such a dramatic meltdown of hyperventilation and crying. I went there two and a half years before transferring schools managing to tough it out but it was too much.

            The rest of my life was fine for the most part. I could work, go to college, drive around, go to church, take care of our pets with no problem. Just that school did it.

            You never know who has anxiety or panic disorder and what’s going to trigger that complete panic meltdown. You honestly feel like you’re going to die. Or that you’d rather pass out or die than deal with what a panic attack like that does to your body and mind.

            In my case antidepressants with antixyolitics effects keep mine under control. Not everyone is as lucky as I am. Most other antixyolitics are bezos or other potentially addicting medications that also tend to dull your senses and reaction times. Therapy also doesn’t help panic disorder much. It can help with smaller anxiety attacks but panic attack disorder is a whole ‘nother beast. Those are completely detached from logic.

            You can be sitting there just fine and next thing you know your body goes, “Hey you know what’s be awful right now? If suddenly you started having waves of panic with no discernable cause crashing over you. And it’s happening right now!” That’s just a normal day without medication. Put yourself in an environment that triggers the mother of all panic attacks? You want to be as far away from that crap as possible.

          • Cobalt

            I found Toprol to be helpful for my anxiety. It’s a beta blocker typically prescribed for high blood pressure (and that’s why I started it initially), but it’s stabilization of my heart rate reduced my anxiety symptoms.

            Weird maybe, but it worked.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I’ll have to check that one out. I wonder if it would work or if it would be too dangerous for me to take it because I have very low blood pressure.

            I just use Klonopin for emergencies now. A combination of Effexor and Welbutrin works now, which is weird because Welbutrin can make anxiety worse. I also have manor depression along with it so hmmm…

            Definitely have to take a look at the Toprol though. If I can’t take it because of my blood pressure it might be a better choice for my mom since her anxiety is worse than mine.

            I think I turned out alright despite her anxiety and there not being very good treatments for it when I was a child. 😉

      • Mel

        Shit, I spend a lot of time running into my husband’s office to ask if a calf’s nose is the right color or if a newborn calf looks sick to him.

        90% of the time the answer is “Oh, it’s fine”, but he always comes out to check because time and experience is so important to keep little cows alive.

        • Yeah. Bloat can kill too quickly in calves.

      • Allie P

        They are the same people who will get gangrene rather than go to see the doctor regarding a wound. We just don’t hear about it. I find the whole thing baffling, that anyone can be more scared of having a doctor help them than dying or killing their baby, but people come in all varieties.

      • Sarah

        Yes, if ever there was a time when it’s reasonable to expect someone else to step up and take care of things, it’s WHEN A HUMAN HAS JUST EXITED YOUR BODY.

    • Medwife

      The face presentation I delivered looked much better. At first glance I thought this was a post mortem picture.

  • Kelly

    My daughter was purple when she was born but a much much lighter shade than that and I kept asking if it was normal. She pinked up right away and the only problem she had was throwing up clear liquid from a fast birth. It was nice for me to be comforted by both the doctor and many nurses on her condition. They were non-nonchalant about her color and it made me calm down. This color is ridiculous. I thought the baby was already dead in the picture.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    when should I be concerned?

    One of the advantages of a hospital birth is that after one there are qualified people who have seen you and the baby right there to ask questions like, “When should I be concerned?” You don’t have to rely on facebook friends who haven’t seen or assessed the baby and likely have no qualifications to answer the question anyway.

    • Trixie

      At least half the commenters were not concerned.

      • attitude devant

        apparently cyanosis is a variation of normal.
        That poor kid. Good thing that stupidity is not a criminal offense. Otherwise that woman would be in jail. She may still wind up charged with neglect if there is any justice….

        • Trixie

          Pretty sure someone referred to him as a cute little blueberry or something to that effect.

          • attitude devant

            Jeebus tapdancing Christ on a cracker. Fools.

          • momofone

            Oh FFS. I can’t imagine the parents’ grief, and I truly do want to be compassionate, but who the FUCK thinks their newborn should be the color of “a cute little blueberry”?!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I do feel sorry for the parents because it seems clear that they simply had no idea at all how bad this was. They had no clue about what was going on and were getting false reassurance from various “friends” with equally little idea what was happening but no qualms at all about giving out deadly advice on a subject about which they knew nothing.

            I’m sure that they thought that they had “done their research” and knew what they were doing, but they had just no clue at all. It makes me upset at all the bad information that is out there and how dangerously it leads people astray. This, the whole vaccine thing, people who try to treat cancer with random “natural” cures…how did we get this crazy as a society?

          • yugaya

            She though she was invincible and that she knew all that is needed. She believed that she would know if something was wrong because “the mother knows best”. This was not her first homebirth.

            You just need to talk gently to the baby if they are not breathing.

            If they are born breathing everything will be fine as long as you breastfeed.

            Her momma instincts and her birth hormones that guided her superior wisdom were unhindered by any fluorescent lights or fear induced by hospital and doctors. She was using what those idiots are calling “her primal brain” which is supposed to be enough to do newborn assessment.

            In reality, she had no fucking idea what she was doing and her baby died as consequence.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            If there’s anything I’ve learned as a mom it’s that my primal brain, especially when I’m in that horrible postpartum hormone storm, ain’t worth crap.

          • superhappycamper

            My primal brain would be going “AAAAHHHH!” if my baby were that color. And it’s not like this is her first baby and she has no idea what a newborn is supposed to look like. I feel.like these folks are in some alternate universe where you can treat every illness or complication with positive thoughts.

          • yugaya

            She pulled all the miracle cures – that poor baby was left attached to the placenta that was still inside of her for two hours ( points for delayed cord clamping ), he supposedly “nursed like a champ” ( breastfeeding ), she had an unmedicated birth ( natural hormones only ) he exited into this world through a vagina that was not poisoned with hospitla bacteria during cervical checks ( gut flora, microbiome, natural immunity).

            She did all the right things according to the natural childbirth is the best manual.

          • Amazed

            I do feel sorry for the parents but sorry, my sympathy has limits. All I can see is the picture of this “cute little blueberry” and think, hell, this isn’t some hidden problem that can only be detected in the hospital. It’s staring everyone in the face, screaming. “I’m dying here, please help!” And the morons who were obliged to help took to Google instead. Some people are so stupid that they should never be allowed to breathe. Just how dumb should one be to ask their equally clueless “friends” for such a thing and actually BELIEVE them?

            Here, the balance of my sympathy is very unbalanced. The huge percent goes to the cute little blueberry and a very tiny one – for his poor murdering parents.

          • Ding!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I agree, but the ones who really make me most crazy are the Ina May Gaskins, the Michael Odents, the Lisa Barretts, the Bob Sears, in short, the people who make money off of encouraging parents to make these sorts of dangerous decisions and feed them a bunch of BS about empowerment and how it’s perfectly safe.

          • Amazed

            That’s right. But this explanation cannot hold water forever as to excuse the poor dears who were so sadly misled. I’ll give you Michel Odent but the rest of them? Everyone knows that Ina May let her own premature baby die and how she sings paeans to sexual violence during birth. Everyone knows that it was Dr Sears’ own patient who started the measles outbreak in 2008. Everyone knows about the trail of dead babies following Lisa Barrett. And they still choose to excuse them, believe them and then bawl, “I didn’t know my baby could die?”

            While the brunt of my anger is reserved for the “providers” you mentioned, I have a liberal share left for the parents who chose to follow them despite the fact that the most basic “research” would have told and DID tell them about the past of the people they choose to place their trust with.

            If I decide to hire a known sex offender as a nanny and he ends up raping my kid, will you feel sorry for me? Because of course, I believed it was safe but hey, it turned out not to be and my kid paind the price? I repeat, a known sex offender. Someone I know had this past stain.

            That’s what the mothers hiring Lisa Barrett do.

          • AllieFoyle

            Cute? You cannot be serious. His color is absolutely shocking.

          • Mel

            I was about that color at birth. I had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and was the recipient twin. I looked like a beet. Of course, I was in a hospital and rushed to NICU and so am alive and well today.

          • Sarah

            That is just horrifying. I do understand that women are sometimes not in their right mind post birth, I certainly wasn’t, and I know from personal experience how easy it is to minimise what’s happening to protect yourself. I didn’t realise until a few days post EMCS how very close we were to disaster, so far be it from me to criticise another woman for similar.

            But, her facebook friends had not just given birth. If one of mine posted something like that, I might use the word blueberry but it would be accompanied by the words looks, like, a, fucking, go, to, hospital, immediately. What the hell possessed them?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I was hyper aware of the risk to my son – I remember watching the CTG while pushing and praying everytime it dropped that it would come back up. But it didn’t sink in how serious things were for me until a day or two later – I remember telling my husband that the uncontrollable shivering I had was probably just from adrenaline and the epidural when in retrospect it was likely a sign of haemorrhagic shock.

          • Empliau

            Yes, because it worked out so well for Violet Beauregard! /sarcasm

      • yugaya

        Mother originally posted the photo as part of birth announcement on her own fb profile.

        Not a single word of concern was expressed.

        • peanutmama

          none? what is wrong with people

          • Who?

            They don’t want to be negative. And they are kicked off the board or are ‘unfriended’ or whatever it is if they mention sad things.

          • DaisyGrrl

            Good point about the “support only” culture of these boards. The obvious problem being that it’s not supportive to see a dying baby and not express concern for his well being.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Oh I’d be kicked off in record speed then. Propriety isn’t exactly my strong suit.

            “Um, why is he purple? Why aren’t you at the hospital?! If youre not out the door in three seconds I’m busting over there!”

            BANNED!

          • yugaya

            Birth announcement:
            “So, as of 4:35 this afternoon I am no longer pregnant! Today was my due date and I’m so thankful I didn’t go over this time! I’ll post pics later, but (he) was born at home into the hands of Mommy& Daddy and of course (siblings) helped.”

            Photo was posted as a follow up status giving his name, time of birth and weight. This is all the comments in response to it, mom even gloating over his cute colour ( her replies are in red):

          • yugaya

          • yugaya

            more

          • yugaya

            and

          • yugaya

            and more

          • yugaya

            and not a single word of concern was uttered over that photo.

          • SuperGDZ

            “I am no longer pregnant”

            What a strange choice of words when announcing the birth of your child.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      I worked in ER registration and we weren’t even allowed to tell patients if they should come in or not! Nurses couldn’t either. The usually response was , “Without being able to physically see and assess your symptoms, I can’t make, nor I feel comfortable, giving you a diagnosis over the phone. The ER is open 24/7 so if you feel like you need to be seen, please be seen.”

      And then Midwives think they can crowd sources on Facebook.

      Which standard of care would you go for?

      • Stacy48918

        That’s what we do for DOGS, for crying out loud. People call us all.the.time to ask if they need to come in. “I can’t tell over the phone. If you are concerned, you should come in.”

        To crowd source babies? Unconscionable.

        • Who?

          Hey you. Hope things are going well. Don’t know if I haven’t seen you because I’ve been busy-holidays, work, flu-or because you haven’t been here. Glad to see you either way.

          • Stacy48918

            Thanks Who?

            Been busy with work and kids. I read and comment a lot more over on the Facebook groups (now that I’m “allowed” to be on Facebook…) and I see Dr. Amy’s posts there first now.

            This place was a great outlet and source of support when I needed to stay anonymous and I guess now I’m just not reading and commenting here as much. Silly maybe, I don’t know. So many changes in my life.

            Kiddos are doing great. Got their vaccine boosters. Two more trips and my daughter is completely caught up (yay!). Think my son will have a couple more visits. I’m awaiting a court order (for the last 4 weeks now…) that will decide on public school for my son for the fall. For now they’re in camps and sports and making local friends and really thriving.

            Oh yea, and I went and saw Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett last week. 😀

            Summer’s here and life is good, it really is. Just gotta hang in there until all the legal stuff works itself out.

            -“Stacy”

          • Amazed

            Thrilled to hear it!

            Still, no hulking around the corner?

          • Stacy48918

            No idea. I don’t think so. He’s resorting to more insidious stuff (is that possible??) like bad-mouthing me to my son. Exploring my options for dealing with that now…

          • Amazed

            Totally possible, alas.
            I wish you good luck and nerves as thick as ropes. I hate when parents do what he’s doing. It’s beyond insidious.

          • Who?

            So happy to hear all that, I don’t use FB. Enjoy the summer, and hang in there-the legal stuff is just a process, it will play out.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            I am really glad you are doing that well.

  • Angharad

    This breaks my heart. I don’t understand how you can see a newborn in that state and not get them to a doctor immediately.
    One of my greatest fears is that I’ll miss something medically significant that’s going wrong with my daughter because she can’t talk yet and seems to have a high pain tolerance (hasn’t even cried during any of her blood draws), but I feel like there’s a point where it’s clearly obvious that things aren’t ok.

    • KarenJJ

      I remember the panic I had when I checked my sleeping newborn in a bassinet at the hospital and she had a blue shade and blue lips. I raced and grabbed a nurse who came quickly and wheeled her to better light to assess her. And she was fine. The hospital had dark blue curtains in the room that had given a blue hue to everything… I felt a bit foolish but very relieved 🙂 and the nurse was lovely about it.

  • no longer drinking the koolaid

    Although not a death, there was the twin home birth where one of the babies had copious amounts of frothy mucus. For those with any kind of OB or neonatology experience the first thing that came to mind was a tracheal-esophageal fistula. Several people told the mom to take the baby in, but there were also several who told her the baby was fine and to stay home.
    That should be considered a near miss, and I’m glad the mother listened to those giving the correct advice. Never did see an apology from those telling her to stay home.

    • attitude devant

      I was part of an interesting discussion on that one. All the CNMs immediately thought “TE fistula” (which is what it turned out to be) and the CPMs had never even heard of a TE fistula.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I’ve even heard of a TE fistula. But that’s because I watched the movie MASH.

        (Hawkeye and Duke fixed a TE fistula on a baby at Dr Yamachi’s New Era Hospital and Whorehouse where Me Lay Marsden moonlights; Hawkeye diagnosed it based on a description of the symptoms, kind of like the CNMs here which is what reminded me of that)

        • attitude devant

          Well there you go, Bofa! You know more than a random sample of CPMs

          • Angharad

            Hey, they’re experts in normal birth, not in movies.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            It’s the advantage of a PCM education.

      • That doesn’t surprise me in the least. Midwives don’t need to know anything about Pediatrics, doncha know!

        Another reason, if one were needed, why no one without AT LEAST an RN should be anywhere near a pregnant woman.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    The Village Midwife will cut 20 percent from its charges to people who
    carry a gun or provide a concealed-gun permit, co-owner Sean Rector
    said.

    WTF? Why? I do not get this in the least.

    • Mattie

      because carrying a gun means you’re less likely to suffer birth complications…obviously

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        They’re killing just fine without a gun, I don’t see why they need to add guns to the mix.

        • Mattie

          if anything I wouldn’t want guns at a birth if I was an unqualified lunatic…too easy for an angry family member to get a little trigger happy in my direction

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Quite.
            I’m pretty much pro-gun ownership and carrying, but while I’m not at a firm conclusion on the issue yet, I think I’d be more likely to come down on the side of not carrying in hospitals. Even the best healthcare team can’t save everyone, and even people who are ordinarily quite level-headed can react badly/unexpectedly in times of strong grief. (I, for example, am not in the habit of walking up to people and punching them, but if I heard a midwife say one of the quotes above to a loss mom in my presence, I’d probably be quite cheerful in accepting the subsequent assault charges.)
            I would suggest, however, that more hospitals ought to have better-qualified and better-equipped security staff to deal with potentially violent people. I spent a stint volunteering in an ER for a couple of years. That has subsequently influenced my idea that hospitals are probably a bad place to carry guns, while also making me sympathetic to someone who might want to carry one rather than rely on Doris, the 65-year-old unarmed “security” officer with a bad hip and no previous law enforcement/security experience, to protect her from someone who decided that the medical team that didn’t save Grandma needs to die.

          • Liz Leyden

            Back in January, a cardiac surgeon was shot to death at the Brigham by a man who blamed him for his mother’s death.

            http://www.wcvb.com/news/-hospital-staff-mourns-surgeon-fatally-wounded-by-gunman/30841586

        • Glad the thread drift has slowed down a bit; not that I don’t enjoy reading about venomous wildlife..

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      At a guess, neither does any sane person on either side of the gun debate.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I am not wholy anti-gun. I think guns can add a lot to Mythbusters episodes and be quite useful for people living in rural areas where they really might need protection from large predators, including human ones. But I am uneasy with guns in cities and especially in places where there are vulnerable people in high risk situations around. Like, say, women in labor. The idea of a parent mourning the loss of their just lost child–even if nothing was done wrong by anyone–does not sit well with me. Too easy for suicide or homicide to happen.

        • Mattie

          Part of me is like nope, guns bad, but then I remember that I live in the UK and our largest rural predator is probably a badger…or an angry cow (not a mad cow, no CJD jokes please). But gun regulations meaning one gun per household on farms or rural properties is vastly different from ‘do you want a gun with this bank account’.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I have family in rural Texas. I don’t think there is a single part of England that is as isolated as rural Texas. Plus rattle snakes. Though you’re really better off with a club if you’re confronting a rattle snake. They tend to weave, making them hard targets for projectiles, whereas a nice big blunt instrument can get them. Cars are even better. Some of the cows can be pretty nasty too.

            I thought the CJD thing was under control. Aren’t we on to new food safety paranoias yet?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Personally, I prefer a small tactical thermonuclear device from a nice, safe distance measured in miles when dealing with a rattlesnake (or copperhead, or cottonmouth, or coral snake), but *sigh* clearly my second-amendment rights are being violated, since I’m not allowed to own, much less use one. (/mandatory wry self-deprecating humor/sarcasm tag)
            I really hate snakes…

          • Angharad

            I actually know one extremely literal reader of the constitution who thinks the fact that ordinary citizens aren’t allowed to own tanks and nuclear warheads is a violation of the second amendment.

            Edited for spelling.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            That I’m not exactly surprised by. *sigh*

          • attitude devant

            They aren’t allowed to own tanks? Didn’t that DuPont (John, I think) who killed the Olympic wrestling coach have a tank?

          • Angharad

            You learn something everyday! Apparently you are allowed to own a tank but the guns and firing controls must be disabled.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Day. Made.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Hey you can own a nuclear device in Utah!

            …you just can’t transport it into the state or detonate it. I don’t know, don’t ask.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Erm…
            Well…
            I…
            I got nothin’. Except to wonder if Utah is the state where that kid built a functional nuclear reactor in his parents’ shed?

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Probably has to do with all the uranium in Moab!

            And Utah is an odd place. Not as odd as Oregon though. It’s illegal to blow up whale carcasses there. And for good reason.

          • Mattie

            Blowing up whale carcasses seems very messy, and also kinda disrespectful…I know it’s ‘just’ an animal, but it upsets me when dead things aren’t treated nicely.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Don’t worry. Oregon learned their lesson. They’ll never do it again.

            The reason they did it was because it was so big they couldn’t think of another way to piecemeal it up so the beach scavengers could take care of it naturally. Being humans we went “Of course! Explosions!”

            Yeah, it didn’t go as planned.

          • Mattie

            is that the one that had rotted and gotten HUUUGE with all the decomp gasses, and then it went kablooom and scattered rotting whale pieces all over everything?

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            See that one was before and so Oregon was like, “Not gonna pull that one on us again!” so they loaded this one up with TNT hoping to vaporize it and then the birds would take care of the bits. Whale is gone and sea life fed! Circle of life and all that!

            It did not go as planned.

          • Mattie

            I’m gonna youtube it…

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            The newscaster has way too much fun with it I swear. But I guess you have to do something to rid yourself of the memory of being rained on by rotting whale bits.

          • Mattie

            it was, certainly something, and that something was not good

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Nope! We went back to burying them after that and then donating the skeletons to museumsmuseums and schools after everything decayed. My hometown has a grey whale skeleton in the aquarium from one that washed up on our beach.

            …I probably know more about whale skeletons than I do horses now that I think about it.

          • Mattie

            I love horses, and whales, but the living and breathing and not decaying on a beach kind 😀

          • In CA we bury them.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I read a book as a kid that had a storyline of a whale washing up on a beach–maybe in Washington state? The description of the resulting smell from the necessary rendering process (have to get rid of it somehow) was…epic.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            YouTube “Oregon Exploding Whale.”

            You may or may not regret it.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I feel my life is rather more complete now than it was. 😀
            I also feel deeply grateful that it didn’t happen when I was working in insurance, because I’m pretty sure any appraiser I sent out to evaluate a car coated in exploded whale would want my head on a pike for giving him that assignment.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            But for be worth it to hear him chew you out first, wouldn’t it? 😀

          • Mattie

            it definitely is, now that people have stopped feeding ground up cow brain to cows, yeh England is a bad example, perhaps Australia could be better? They have pretty strict gun laws, and some very rural areas.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Out of curiosity, are you allowed to own guns for varmints/whatever in rural Australia? Since from what I understand, Australia’s wildlife’s official motto is “We’re Out To Kill You,” I’d think most people would find varmint-gun ownership reasonable, but I may just be coming from an American perspective on that one.

          • Mattie

            I believe so yes, there are far too many rules and regs to detail here, but if you’re at all interested this site seems to have the details:

            General link, including executive summary of 1996 firearms regulations (after Port Arthur): http://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/australia.php

            Specific Regulations by Territory:

            http://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/australia.php#Appendix

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I admit I did a very perfunctory read-over, but it sounds like the answer may be “yes,” unless dealing with *insert very nasty snake/other animal here* falls under “self-defense,” which is apparently not a legal reason to own a gun. Interesting.

          • Mattie

            I believe it would come under vermin/pest/animal control, I imagine that you’re fine if you’re in a rural area, own a farm/ranch kinda set up or have animals to keep safe from pests and want to shoot snakes/kangaroos/sharks =P but can’t just have a gun for wandering around sydney and coming across a funnel web spider. Which is sad, spiders are hella scarier than snakes *shudder*.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I dunno–from what I hear about Aussie sharks, I probably wouldn’t be especially surprised to hear about a rural farmer needing to shoot one in his backyard when it decided to have his stock animals for dinner. :p

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Not sure how much a gun would help with a funnel spider anway. You’d probably want something more along the lines of a good thick soled boot for dealing with one. At least, that works for tarantulas, although I really recommend just letting the tarantula alone because they don’t really menace humans much and also, ick, squishy.

          • Roadstergal

            They’re furry! Who doesn’t love cute little furry things?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Those who come across them unexpectedly in the bedroom?

          • Roadstergal

            Ha, I was out camping with friends once, and there was something on the ground as we were getting in bed that I was asked to investigate. I didn’t have my glasses on at the time, so had to get good and close to see that it was, in fact, a tarantula. I am generally the one tasked with getting random critters out of the vicinity, as I’m generally cool with snakes, tarantulas, millipedes, etc. Cockroaches – no, I am not cool with them.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I moved to Texas as a college student, having until then lived in much more northern areas. The first time I saw a roach here, I about lost my mind. In the northeast/Midwest, you just do NOT see roaches unless you live in a really disgusting slum of a neighborhood. Here…well, you spray, and you don’t leave food out, and you set out baits, but every once in a while, you’ll see one in perfectly nice houses. I didn’t realize that at the time. Still think they’re about the most disgusting thing I know of. *shudders*

          • Sara Lucy

            After I started studying entomology, I’m just kind of like.. meh. We have a pet tarantula that happily eats roaches when offered. There are attractive green cockroaches in my area that fly up to the outdoor lights and they’re not as repulsive as the brown ones. We still give them to the T though.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            My husband when he accidentally ran one over on the highway because he thought it was dead plant matter. The resulting bump and “crunch!” sound alerted him to what it really was.

            I think he said he screamed all the way home.

          • Mattie

            I think if I found a tarantula in my bedroom I’d leave the house and never come back, thank you England for your lack of scary big spiders.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            The tarantula wasn’t nearly as scary as the scorpion. I still check the bed before getting in.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            (Despite now living in the northeastern part of the US where scorpions are rare.)

          • Mishimoo

            A good thick soled boot is how I usually deal with spiders, they seem to be resistant to sprays and I don’t want the dogs eating them.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            If you’re feeling creative you can turn a can of compressed air or similarly packed aerosol with a propellant upside down and freeze them.

            Then maybe try to recreate that scene in Alien 3 if you have a butane torch lying around.

            I just catch them and put them back outside for the most part, especially if it’s a wolf spider. They eat other spiders and we have black widows around here. Otherwise I either just smack them with a shoe or convince the dog to eat it.

          • Mishimoo

            I adore wolf spiders BUT so do my dogs, and they have an interesting allergic reaction to them (apart from the standard swollen face: bright green poop all up the wall.) Apparently wolf spider bites can kill dogs, so I tend to be careful with them.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            The ones in the area I live are on the lower end of the venomous scale so I’m lucky. Still wouldn’t let my dog eat one just because she could be allergic. She can eat the daddy Long legs and the other weavers that the wolf spiders miss.

            And flies. She hates flies and all flies must die.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I’d ask my Australian friend but last time I asked him for advice about Australian animals I got “Koala bears are vicious, high as balls motherfuckers. Don’t trust them!” and “Never drunkenly piss on an ant hill in the outback.”

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I’m guessing the ants take it personally?

          • Mattie

            they’re probably man eating ants…it is Australia

          • Mishimoo

            We have meat-eating ants, do those count?

          • After all this Australian input, you have no idea how safe Israel feels…I’ve been here since 1976 And still don’t know how to fire a gun. (Not about to learn, either)

          • Cobalt

            Australian wildlife takes everything personally.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Isn’t Australia the place with the killer plants too? I mean, North America has some plants that will make you regret coming near them, but relatively few that actually kill so I think Australia wins that one too.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            If by personally you mean practically the whole ant hill swarmed up and chased him and his buddies for a few kilometers, I’d say yes.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            0_o
            Well, that’ll teach ’em…

          • Mattie

            I think the easiest thing to remember about Australian animals is that 90% of them can and will kill you lol

          • Seriously. There is one venomous species of crab in the world, recently discovered. Guess where? And why the hell do crabs need to have poison, anyways?

          • Mattie

            because in Australia the fish are venomous too, gotta get in there first

          • KarenJJ

            Yes – just not semi-automatic guns. My relatives are all farmers in regional Australia. They all have guns, mainly for putting down injured animals. They used to have semi-automatic rifles but after the Part Arthur massacre, the government banned semi-automatic guns and initiated a “buy back” scheme. It didn’t cover the full cost of the semi-automatic rifles and the replacement guns, but helped a lot.

            Of the uncles that have talked a bit about this (and this was years ago) basically they were all very shocked about what happened. “We don’t want to become like America”, “we have kids and don’t want to see this sort of thing happen in Australia again” and “although it’s a pain to reload I really don’t need a semi-automatic gun to put down a half-dead sheep – and if I do then I need to become a better shot”.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            *nods in understanding*
            Humans aside, are there any larger predators there? Ones where you could anticipate needing more than one shot, and faster than you could reload, especially when hyped up on adrenaline?
            Reason I’m asking is that I’ve had friends who’ve lived in various types of Middle Of Bloody Nowhere here in the US, and who’ve had semiautos because, well, if you have a bear that’s decided that you’re dinner, you don’t want to have to stop to reload after the first shot. Ditto coyotes who’ve decided that a nice rare steak from your prize heifer would make a toothsome dinner. Of course, conditions there may be quite different. I seem to remember you have dingoes that are somewhat like our coyotes, but do they mess with humans/stock animals?
            It’s rather interesting, as a gun-owning American, chatting with people from various non-US locations about them, and I mean that seriously. 🙂 Helps me re-evaluate why I think what I do on the subject.

          • KarenJJ

            As much as Australia has poisonous snakes and spiders, we don’t really have large predators like bears. Dingos and saltwater crocodiles are probably the closest, but saltwater crocodiles and dingos aren’t generally near farms. We get loads of redback spiders here for example, but you don’t shoot them 🙂 They don’t run, they’re generally easy to spot (they have a distinctive nest – but they can sometimes hangout in outside shoes/toys) and they’re easy to squash with a shoe.

            For my relatives on farms, they don’t even get a lot of kangaroos eating the grain. My uncle jokes that my cousin killed the last one in the area when she hit it with her car. Loads of rabbits, foxes and sometimes mouse-plague, but they use other methods for them.

          • Cobalt

            I’ve had small predators wipe out my chicken flock, and the easiest death I can provide them is with a firearm.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Heh, crossposting! 😀 I posted a similar comment to your last few sentences below, albeit in a much less pithy comment. 😉

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Weird thing is I don’t mind rifles and other long guns. My whole family is full of rifle crack shots. We usually just target shoot and my dad modded his AR-15 to have an interchangeable chamber and so on to switch to .22s because they’re cheaper.

          Dad has an M1-Garand he inherited from his dad with a restored stock. Very unique piece actually. His dad took a piece of wood from old trees that were being cleared out in Northern Utah from pioneer days. Back then they wanted shade but oak root systems just didn’t do well in the soil. Lemon trees did though. So they’d graft oak saplings to lemon tree roots. My grandfather got a good piece of wood right where the graft was and you can see the wood color and grain shift from one to the other with some very lovely woodwork carvings added in. We don’t really shoot it, it’s more like owning a piece of art and it’s an heirloom at this point.

          Handguns, though? I don’t even like to touch them. They don’t have the stability of a rifle, they’re powerful without looking like they are, and you can seriously hurt yourself if you shoot it wrong. Those slides can rip your hands right open or if you have a bad grip you can clock yourself in the face. Worst can you do with a rifle is bruise up.your shoulder a little.

          Rifles you can at least say you keep for hunting reasons. Handguns are people killers though. They’re not great for hunting and they’re meant to be small enough to hide. You’d have a hard time hiding an AR-15.

          Hand guns just make me really nervous…

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            That Garand sounds absolutely beautiful! I’d love to see a picture of it.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I know he has a picture somewhere but it’s buried in the show boxes of photos mom’s been scanning as fast as she can. I’ll see if one pops up on her next uploading spree or ill take a picture next time I’m at my parents’ house.

            These days Dad makes rubber band guns. He made me a sniper rifle for a Riza Hawkeye cosplay. Has a working bolt action and everything. Shot a fly off the wall with it. Attached a pic. We actually keep it in a gun case just because it looks so real despite the orange tip. I’d never walk off convention space with it out.

            He made a snake charmer style sawed off shot gun for my husband. You can actually get a scatter shot by loading three rubber bands on a shot.

            We keep telling him to start selling his stuff on Pinterest but he’s not interested right now. He makes beautiful knotted hemp jewelry too. One necklace I had as a teenager was black twine that was knotted in a way that looked like lace. Paracord bracelets, monkey fists, all sorts of stuff. He’d make a killing.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Oh my gosh. That is SO cool! He is really talented. (And I quite agree, I wouldn’t carry that thing around in public, either.)

        • Sara Lucy

          Feral hogs and Russian Boar hybrids are a problem for landowners in the south and TX. They aren’t predators but run in packs and can kill humans. That’s one thing that keeps me in supports of rural gun rights, although being inexperienced with both hogs and firearms, gun rights won’t do me any good, and I am sure there is someone who could suggest a better method of control than mass slaughter.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      Obviously it’s for the demon babies that are being produced by all the GMO food that snuck into their diet. Can’t be too careful!

    • mabelcruet

      Maybe its to stop the gun-toting parents from opening fire on the midwives when they kill either baby or mum?

  • Kim

    So sad and hard to read. The first thing that lady did in the first pic did was pat herself on the back for having a HBAC. Putting the birth experience ahead of the well being of the baby and mother – I just don’t get it 🙁

  • peanutmama

    omg dr. amy, that picture of that poor baby! omg….i am so sickened. PEOPLE, BRAGGING RIGHTS ARE NOT WORTH THE LIFE OF YOUR CHILD!!!!

    • superhappycamper

      “they took one look at him and ran him down the hall” – probably cursing his idiot parents the entire way.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        “When should I be concerned?”

        Uh…right fucking now? I don’t even have kids and if I heard the grunting or saw mucus and blood, I’d be flying down the road to the ER.

        • momofone

          Yeah, about three days ago would have been good.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          I was an overprotective new mom, I admit, but I can’t count the times I snuck into a room in which DD was sleeping in order to put one finger very, verrrrry lightly on her chest to make sure she was still breathing and okay. Grunting? Mucus? Blood? This doesn’t concern you enough to be screaming for a doctor? What the hell?

          • momofone

            My son is eight, and I still check to make sure he’s breathing.

          • Cobalt

            I check mine, too, after 12 years. I think the elementary schoolers are beyond SIDS risk, but it still feels better to check.

          • Kelly

            I do that with my second. It is not a new mom thing. SIDS scares me just as much each time I have a child. I am not looking forward to feeling it again with my third.

          • Allie P

            I carried a little pocket mirror and put it under her nose. Had an uncle died of SIDS.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I am so sorry.

          • I lost a cousin to SIDS.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Yep. At this point, I feel considerably more sorry for the ER staff than I do the parents.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    I had to add another dead. I had been informed of it, but forgot to include it. I don’t know how I forgot since I was terribly sickened by the picture of the baby.

    • Megan

      Oh that is a horrible picture. That poor baby.

    • peanutmama

      this breaks my heart. that baby i am sure did not want to die. what is the point of UC??? then they will say “babies die in hospital too:. no, not like this!!

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      That poor baby. That poor, sweet baby. I can’t decide if I’m going to cry or vomit. How could they?

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        I think both would be appropriate in this situation…

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Usually, I enjoy every second of my toddler’s naptimes (Yay peace! Yay quiet! Yay, uninterrupted cup of coffee!) but when I hear her start squeaking on the monitor this afternoon, I’ll be up there in a flash to snuggle her within an inch of her life.
          Which will probably confuse her little independent self to no end, but there’ll be a ticklefest afterwards, and baby giggles make everything better.

          • Are you nuts

            My thoughts exactly. It’s 10:15 here and my babe has been asleep for hours. After seeing that picture, every cell in my body wants to go in and snuggle her warm little body. I will have to settle for a cat until morning!

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’ve been reading this while nursing my son, and I’m just so thankful to have him here and whole. I’m just so thankful for the hospital right now, and I’m thankful for every single intervention I had. And it makes me so conscious of the fact that despite my perfect low risk pregnancy, if I had had a homebirth there’s a very real chance that one or both of us wouldn’t be here now.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I’ve said it before, these people and I apparently live in different realities.

        When I saw the comment about the face being “quite bruised” I have to say, that is NOT what I had in mind. I am thinking maybe trauma that happened during childbirth, in a SD or something. You know, a contusion. That baby is NOT “quite bruised” his head is friggin purple!!!!! That’s not from blunt-force trauma, that is a systematic problem!

        Call me an overprotective parent, but I’m not describing that as a bruise. And I certainly am not waiting around to see if it gets better!

        • Amy M

          Yeah, the pic is slightly blurry, but I see a purple baby. Was this baby ever pink? If not, maybe the mom assumed his color was normal? How low does the blood O2 level have to be, for a baby (who was pink let’s say) to turn purple? I mean, she said he was grunting and rasping, but also crying, so he must have gotten some oxygen at some point—if it was never enough, could he have been that color from the moment of birth, with no change?

          • Mattie

            I don’t know, and this a wild assumption, but it’s entirely possible that she decided to not have scans during the pregnancy and the baby had an undiagnosed heart condition. Some babies with heart problems are born looking fairly ok, and then they deteriorate FAST after a short time, another reason that good prenatal care and a qualified birth attendant, ideally in a hospital, is just common sense.

          • Mac Sherbert

            I know a family who had prenatal, but they missed a heart problem. Luckily the mom sent the baby to the nursery so she could rest and a nurse noticed something was not right. Thankfully after treatment/surgery the baby is a typical happy kid.

        • Amazed

          I am not overprotective, I am not even a parent and I am also seeing a purple baby. I guess you may call me a heartless bitch who only wants to interfere with nature.

          When I see an adult this colour, I immediately ask, “Are you OK?” And since this baby could not really answer, you can bet your ass I won’t ask people who are as ignorant as me to provide it.

          I see a criminal and her victim. Everyone here, feel free to point out what a horrible person I am.

          • peanutmama

            no i agree with you

          • Amazed

            Thanks. Perhaps we can be horrible together like this. Because I won’t croon, “Poor mama, you were a good girl and any other mama would have done the same thing and he died in the hospital and not as a result of your homebirth, You’re a good girl.”

        • demodocus

          If my toddler, nevermind a newborn, has a bruise over his entire head, he’s off to the nearest emergency department. Heck, if my husband has a bruise like that, he’s going too!

    • Daleth

      Oh gods. How long was that poor baby in that state? How long did they wait before taking him to the hospital? She was seeking medical advice on Facebook at almost 11PM the day he was born, and then the next evening he died.

      • yugaya

        Six full hours between the birth and the post in which she was asking what to do on fb.

        Six full hours that newborn baby boy looked like that and had breathing difficulties.

        She was “gonna keep a close eye for the next hour and decide…”

        That is seven.

        Seven or more full hours before they took him to the hospital and before it was too late.

        • Daleth

          That’s so sad. That’s so horrible.

          Does anyone know if she has posted updates, if she has started to realize that this was caused by the homebirth and the decision not to go to the hospital afterward?

          • yugaya

            Not that I know of.

    • peanutmama

      i wonder what advice her friends in that group were giving her? to just do skin to skin or breastfeed the baby? what?

      • Trixie

        The mother talked about the lovely quiet time they had after birth, breastfeeding together. I’m very skeptical that this baby was actually able to breastfeed.

        • peanutmama

          i don’t think he did, looking like that

        • Amazed

          That’s what she was expected to say to please the advisors she tried to curry favour with. If she was sufficiently brainwashed, she might have even believed it.

          To place currying favour with strangers on the internet over your child’s life… Grrr!

    • peanutmama

      oh and i would not be surprised if people came over here and say dr. amy is so mean to share this on her blog. no, it is not mean, it is to spread awareness, and to let people see that no, UC/HBAC is SO NOT WORTH IT. they’d be all “respect the family’s privacy! you have no right to share this!” hey, if you put it on the internet, it is fair game. if you want to keep it private, then don’t post it out for the world to see!

      • Fallow

        Yeah, they’re going to complain that Dr. Amy is so mean to share the picture. But none of them are going to cop to being ignorant pieces of shit who were complicit in this kid’s death, and who participate in a culture that prioritizes a baby’s life absolutely last during the process of birth. THAT’S what’s really mean.

        It’s also mean to bury what REALLY happened to this kid. It dishonors his little lost life.

        • Roadstergal

          They hire professional photographers to give glossy, high-quality, cherry-picked pictures of how luuurvely homebirth is, to feed their publicity machine. The world at large deserves a few images of what it looks like when things don’t go so well.

        • Karen in SC

          #notburiedtwice

        • yugaya

          I expect a public rebuttal – mom is a homebirth veteran and this one was all her doing, completely unassisted.

          She already created an alternative narrative in which all troubles began in the parking lot, even though her posts clearly show that the baby was having difficulties all along. She did not just ignore “the bruising”, she ignored that plus breathing difficulties for longer than she claims. That 10:43 PM fb post paints an accusatory timeline :

          – He had some blood/mucus in his nose that I just wiped off INITIALLY. (some time after he was born at 4: 53 PM)

          – BUT HE KEPT ON SOUNDING RASPY (after that)

          – so I used nose Freda…( some time in between because he was obviously still not breathing ok)

          – He seems to be having shallow/grunty breaths (now at 10:50 PM).

          • momofone

            She’s going to have a hard time selling that, since clearly she wouldn’t have been in the parking lot in the first place if she hadn’t realized something was wrong.

          • Amazed

            In their homebirth world, she won’t have a hard time at all. She just went to make sure her cute little blueberry was OK, as her competent advisors said, and they murdered him!

            I’ll keep the expletives I’d like to use about women like this one because well, her baby did die in less than a month. Although I won’t coo over her poor heart’s grief and say, “So sorry, mama, that you lost your precious boy.” Because she didn’t LOSE him.

      • Allie P

        I personally am glad to know what signs of bad baby breaths sound and look like.

    • TsuDhoNimh

      That “grunting” sound when breathing is a sign of SERIOUS respiratory problems. And that is one of the worst cases of cyanosis I’ve ever seen … babies should NOT be purple all over.

      Increased work to breathe. Signs of this include

      Grunting. The baby makes a little grunting noise at the end of respiration. This serves to try to open up blocked airways.

      Flaring. The baby’s nostrils flare during breathing, showing increased effort.

      Retractions. The muscles in the baby’s chest (under the ribs) and neck are visibly seen going in and out much more deeply than usual.

      • Anj Fabian

        The four color references in the picture:

        The maroon cushion the baby is resting on. The darkest color.
        The baby’s face which is burgundy.
        The baby’s hands are visible and appear a normal color.
        The mother’s feet are visible at the top of the picture, beyond the cushion and appear pale.

        In case anyone is thinking “That’s just a trick of the lighting/etc.”, those things should be enough to persuade you that those colors are close to real life.

        • Amazed

          I don’t really care about tricks of lighting. If I see a child this colour, I’ll advise an immediate visit to the ER and ponder over lightning only when they’re back and confirmed to be totes fine.

          This colour is too freaking frightening to look around for explanations why it might not be too freaking frightening instead of acting NOW.

  • Chrisp

    This is the first time I am posting, even though I read your
    posts every day. You know, these stories are hard for me to learn about. I am a
    nurse and recently gave birth to my daughter (she is 6 months old now). I
    worked in large teaching hospitals for 7 years and saw all the amazing things
    physicians and nurses do to make people’s lives better (I worked in
    medical-surgical and surgery-oncology units, so obstetrics and gynecology is
    not my forte). I guess you can say I am overprotective of these providers,
    people like me, who are in the trenches every day. I had a vaginal delivery
    without any complications. My daughter had perfect Apgar scores when she was
    born. I am so grateful for all the nurses and physicians who provided care to
    me. To think, it was once a common occurrence that a woman would die during
    childbirth. Now, babies are born every day, every minute, every second and are
    healthy. I am not sure why women feel the need to have vaginal deliveries after
    prior cesarean sections despite the risks. Or to have homebirths. As if having
    her in my living room with lit candles and incense would have made the day more
    special. I am not sure why that is for some women. I wanted to be where she
    would get the best care – in a hospital. You can say these women are insecure
    or read the internet too much or are ignorant. But, for me, it is way beyond
    any of that. Because once I was pregnant, my decisions became my daughter’s
    decisions. I am her advocate – just as I advocated for all my patients
    throughout the years. And, as my daughter’s advocate, it only matters that she
    is safe. The funny thing is, I do not consider myself maternal – during
    pregnancy, and even now! I am not a marsupial mom carrying her wherever I go. I
    breastfed for 3 months (pumped and bottle fed) – a lot less than the
    recommended 12 months. She is in daycare so that I can provide for her. And yet…my
    needs are still second to hers. And that means that I would rather cut off my
    right leg than put her in harm’s way. So, are some of these women being deceived?
    No doubt. And it stinks because they really believe they are doing the right
    thing. And for that, shame on all the pseudo-providers. Are some of these women
    narcissistic? No doubt. And that stinks even more, because having a baby and
    being a mother are just labels to them – even though they claim their children
    are their whole lives. So what can we do? Keep educating and try to dispel the
    fear mongering.

  • PickAUserNameForDisqus

    From the Village Midwife:

    • Daleth

      As long as mom completely understands what? That her baby runs a high risk of death?

      • momofone

        “….as long as mom completely understands that I am likely to kill her and/or her baby because I am taking on something for which I am completely unqualified, and that those who ARE qualified don’t do FOR A REASON.”

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Yep, it’s a complete admission that it is a high-risk procedure.

    • Kelly

      Agh. This is my area. Norfolk General is tied to CHKD which is the children’s hospital with a level III NICU. I had a friend work in there. She just told me that 30% of their babies were the result of homebirth and they were very sick. Many of them died. This is sickening. I did not think that this area had a lot of woo. I guess I am wrong. The nice thing is that my dr. and hospital don’t deal with this crap.

    • IKnowThisLady

      She already has a record with the Virginia Medical Board (but still has an active license!)

      https://dhp.virginiainteractive.org/Lookup/Detail/0129000031
      Look at docs under “additional public information”

      Check out the records, where she was investigated for falsifying records, abandoning clients, shouting at women in labor, being under the influence of narcotics while attending births… Ugh. I don’t want to shame anyone for a problem with drug abuse, but please do not try to deliver babies while also using!

      • IKnowThisLady

        Her mental history should also have some significance when it comes to her ownership of firearms… but maybe the state of Virginia thinks differently.

      • Wombat

        I.V. Morphine, Demerol, AND Toradol. In the course of only 3.5 hours for a migraine!? I can’t point to an E.R. in the state that would do that. I can almost fucking promise that she told them something else, pulled strings, something. Opioids are like… 4th line for migraines, even severe. Even the Toradol is not preferred. I know I wasn’t there (and I am not a doctor) but I really wonder how much the inquiry was allowed to dig on that front vs. just taking her word for it. And to then go (mostly likely via driving!!) to a birth??? Ludicrous. This is not shame for addiction or abuse, this is shame for stupid. Stupid that clearly exists outside of any possible drug issues.

        Also really ironic considering her website FAQ:
        “How do you handle pain/discomfort during labor?
        Prayer, change of positions, massage, sitting on the birth ball, walking, showers and laboring in the birth tub.”

        Just not, you know, if you have a migraine. Why in the world would anyone suffer then, are you daft?? /eyeroll to heaven

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          She had to pull some strings.

          My mom used to get migraines from Hell that would emerge even after prophylactic meds like Imitrex. Part of it was hormonal and part of it was from her undetected celiacs. I think she’s tried every migraine drug that’s even been on the market to prevent them.

          Only thing that would knock it out was starting from the lowest dose possible of Demerol and adjusting as needed and a dose of Phenergan to stop the vomitting before she dehydrated herself further. Her vitals actually showed she was in pretty awful pain via blood pressure and pulse and what not.

          It was a few years before the ER figured out the Demerol and Phenergan combo and even longer before they finally just put it in her chart. She always came in with the meds she’d already used to try and stop it, Imitrex, Excedrin, whatever new migraine drug she’d been prescribed that didn’t work. Every time we got a new ER doc who was sure they had the magic bullet she prayed they knew something she didn’t. No one ever did. MRIs, CT scans, checking for heart defects, all clear. She hated it. She really, really hates demorol because it really wigs her out. But pain wigs Her out worse. Sometimes she could go thereof four months without an attack but usually it was once a month lined up with her cycle.

          She absolutely never drove herself home afterwards. Dad or I when I got my permit would have to drive her home and she was out for the next four hours minimum. When she finally would give up after suffering all day I’d just grab a book, homework, and my gameboy because the afternoon was now shot and having only a permit I couldn’t drive myself home. Before that I’d have to take care of my sister until mom and dad got home.

          They didn’t go away until after Mom had a total hysterectomy and her Celiac’s was finally uncovered when she was near 50. It was a cycle of hell.

          I have no idea how this woman could get morphine, Demerol, and toridol and still be lucidish. Mom never got morphine and she was still in no condition to do anything. She was actually in pain though so maybe that’s the difference. And now for other women like my mom this woman makes it harder to get relief from the pain. Yay…

          It’s also ridiculously irresponsible. I went to school with dozens of pot heads that were more responsible with their drug use! The seventeen year old pot head had more sense not to drive after a few good hits! And some people are functional to drive with weed in their system! They still didn’t do it!

          Less responsible than a teenage pothead. She should think about that a minute. I’ve know more responsible tweakers!

          • Medwife

            She had some significant tolerance built up (Ms Reston that is) to be anywhere near coherent after those meds.

            I’m floored by the lack of judgment shown by so, so many of the people involved in those complaints. Obviously the “midwife” tops all. But her two apprentices enabled her even when they apparently knew she was all sorts of doped up, kept doing things outside of their scope (and a student needs to know where her independence begins and ends, not blindly obey an instructor), and patient wise, who gets dumped at 17 weeks after one visit and decides to just go unassisted through pregnancy and birth? WHERE WERE ALL THESE PEOPLES’ MINDS?!

            Not excusing this “midwife” in any way. Just saying. How was she allowed to do so much damage for so long? Someone should have called 911 when she arrived at that house, after a 45 minute drive stuffed full of opiates and trying to deliver a baby! Off in cuffs she would have gone, probably to hospital mom would have gone, end of story. Everybody stays safe.

  • AllieFoyle

    This is just so sad. All these people think they’re doing the right thing, they go to all this trouble to have a natural birth or VBAC, and then it ends up being a tragic nightmare.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      I guess I am a horrible person, but I don’t see how they think avoiding a C-section is the “right” thing or that its SO great they “put one over ” on the medical establishment. a second C section is not great to recover from, but a VBAC is almost always riskier for the baby. And a home birth after a C section just seems beyond nuts.
      But I am speaking from the perspective of someone who saw their mother start hemmorraging and being half carried , half running to the car, to try to get to the hospital (placenta previa). I was 4. It was 1966 and by the grace of some great doctors my mom and my brother are both alive and fine. Thanks to an emergency CS and a hysterectomy (they could not stop the bleeding, her uterus ruptured) My mom had 2 textbook easy deliveries. The 3rd was a train wreck.

  • Tiffany Aching

    I really don’t want to seem harsh about what must be a real tragedy but I really don’t get how you can post a photo of you holding your non-breathing baby with a big smile on your face on facebook while your baby is in NICU. It seems to me that those women really have no idea how sick their babies are when they need to go to NICU. It’s like when they say “he needs a little help breathing” or euphemisms like that. They clearly aren’t properly informed of what the consequences of their choice might be.

    • AllieFoyle

      I think you’re right. They’re primed to think of the VBAC or whatever as the golden endpoint and they just don’t seem to be able to take in that it isn’t this great victory they thought it would be. They will though. It must be hell to wrestle with the knowledge that you could have prevented your child’s brain injury or death. And they’ll have to somehow live with that guilt and pain for so many years to come. Ugh, awful.

    • MHAM

      I don’t think this is entirely unique to the homebirth, crunchy set. Having a baby in the NICU is emotionally pretty complicated. There are photos of me in the NICU with my oldest, smiling, even in the beginning when her prognosis seemed very grim. My doctors were very blunt and direct about what was happening and I understood it, but I was still overjoyed to see her face and touch her after nine months. And I was operating on a fair amount of stubborn insistence/denial that she would be totally fine. I had just been through a pretty terrifying ordeal and could have died myself, so I was all over the place. People confront insurmountable fear in a variety of different ways. (And she was/is completely fine when it was all over, thanks to the excellent care we received and the OB recognizing her significant distress and recommending a C-section.)

      • Tiffany Aching

        Thank you for your answer. You’re right, we can have very surprising ways to cope with fear and grief. I remember having an uncontrollable fit of laughter during the funeral of a very dear friend of mine whose death at 28 devastated me. I am sure some people found me very silly and disrespectful, when I’ve never been sadder in my life.
        I’m so glad your daughter is doing fine now !

        • Cobalt

          And if you know your time with your child is possibly going to be cut short, you might aim for some happy memories, too. It’s jarring, and complicated.

        • MHAM

          My husband later confessed how angry he was at me at the time for what he viewed as willful denial of the gravity of the situation and baseless optimism. And then he would feel guilty for feeling so angry. Just a miserable spiral of mess. We all deal differently.

      • Mattie

        Also, as an adult who spent a significant time in the NICU as a newborn, I wish I had photos…I know I am lucky in that I made it out fine with only very minor issues from being prem, but my parents didn’t take any pictures and I’m often left wondering if it’s because they thought I’d die… I know that if I am ever in a similar situation with my own future babies I want to record as much as I can, not just for me but for them.

        I also second what was said below about unusual responses to grief, when my nana died I was so upset but I remember getting really sad that I hadn’t learnt how to make this one recipe from her, that seemed to get to me more than anything else. Emotion is a terrible and wonderful thing, and it makes people do surprising or confusing things.

        • Mel

          We have picture of my sister and I in NICU – but only after we were off the ventilators. My mom felt that if she took pictures of us while we were on the ventilators we would die. She knew that that feeling/belief made no sense what so ever – but she still wouldn’t let anyone take pictures until we were breathing without the ventilators.

          My mom was born and raised in the USA, too and had never been exposed to an anti-camera bias before.

          My twin’s NICU baby book has a bunch more pictures than mine. I was angry about that when I was young. Then I found the diary my mom wrote while we were both in the hospital. Rachel has more pictures because she spent 3.5 months on the verge of a shunt operation that the doctors thought had a 50% shot of killing her. The level of stress and anguish my parents were under….. Well, I’m glad we have the pics, but I’d get it if they didn’t want to take them either.

          • Mattie

            Yeh, I understand my parents not taking photos, it is just sort of weird, I was in the hospital for almost 2 months (I was 7 weeks prem) and don’t have anything really from them, except my hospital id bracelets..so small lol

      • Liz Leyden

        My daughter spent the first month of her life in the cardiac ICU. I have pictures of me smiling, and pictures of her with tubes and wires. I managed to hide some tubes with blankets and other props, but the oxygen and pacer wires were hard to hide. I wasn’t entirely sure she would come home, and if photos were all I had of her, I wanted a lot of them. It was still a nerve-wracking time.

    • yugaya

      Mom is young and very naive. I believe that the group brainwashing ( in there the successful or not vaginal birth is the key piece of info in every birth announcement) contributed to her wording it like that.

      And the fucking sociopaths kept on congratulating her first, and sending prayers later. Another day in killer HBAC facebook group, another victory to them. Oh and prayers that the baby recovers soon too.

      I think that the full force of what happened hit her only days later. And she is still a long way from understanding how she was lied to by the NCB ideology, by her midwives who took on a HBAC mom and probably did not know shit about what they were doing because it is the usual “baby’s heart rate was fine, and then he came out not breathing”. And once she realises how the birth vampires in that group groomed her with copious amounts of unlicensed medical advice – I hope she seeks justice and shuts them down for good.

      I have nothing but heartache for the mom and dad and their beautiful boy, they are the victims. She was speaking from shock, and under pressure to tell these deranged women exactly what they want to hear.

    • “He needs a little help breathing” is rather like calling an H-bomb an improved firecracker.

  • Liz Leyden

    A free-standing birth center giving a discount to gun owners? Are they expecting the baby to come out carrying? Considering how emotional the birthing process can get, and how often things can go wrong in birth, a birth center is the last place I’d want a gun.

  • TsuDhoNimh

    If y’all are keeping count, that’s 5 sweet families that have been
    shaken to the core…since April 26th. Ten days.

    Any obstetrics practice with low-risk patients that lost five babies in 10 days would be getting shaken to the core with a solid review of what they were doing wrong, not some spiritual crap about “great joy
    and deep sorrow.”

    Because it means you are doing something VERY, VERY wrong.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      No freaking kidding.

    • Wombat

      I really wanted to comment directly on the post, but it’s not worth it/would likely do no good. Seriously though, at what point do you at least -begin- to consider ‘Huh, what if it’s me?’. Apparently nevereverever and even suggesting such is harassment and negativity, if you’re a lay midwife.

      Pretty sure I’ve felt guiltier over a non-substantive typo on a prescription label.

    • Cobalt

      She’s updated the post, after Dr. A published this, to imply they were all miscarriages of pregnancies she knew of in other states. None were her clients.

      • yugaya

        Fuck that liar and fuck them all. Jan Tritten updated after hosting the murder of Gavin Michael on her fb page in real time how “questions posted on her page were case studies only and not real emergencies”.

        • sdsures

          I have no words. I’m feeling vengeful. Anyone else?

      • Sara Lucy

        Yet the agonizing over the previous stillbirth she had attended was relevant to all of these miscarriages, over this widely dispersed network of “our moms”? Her personal calling to be a midwife of death is relevant to births that she had no involvement in?

        One of the posts a week prior described a baby “born into heaven at 2am” in a ” very sudden and shocking” event of some sort. Who keeps such careful track of the time for an out of state birth that you’re not involved with? Or requested prayers for a miscarriage?

        • sdsures

          I feel sick reading this.

      • sdsures

        Hm, a miscarriage at 43+ weeks during birth. Right.

    • sdsures

      Yep – even if after that solid review, what turned out to be the problem was not (e.g.) doctor error, but an undetected rampant infection that had spread through the hospital.

  • Allie P

    I need to not read this stuff at week 36+. How terrible for all the families. I’m not going to sleep tonight and I’m already pre-registered at my hospital for my decidedly NON natural childbirth (please God, let there be time for an epidural). It’s my second birth, the first was a perfectly normal, relatively quick induction followed by a vaginal birth. I know everything should be fine. I’m still nervous.

    Srsly though, it’s the spontaneous rupture/cord prolapse that scares the crap out of me. (That and the amniotic fluid embolism…) Like that DIY house blogger who was laboring like a totally normal person in her hospital room when she had both rupture and prolapse happen at once.

    • Megan

      Bad things happen in rare instances but most likely you and baby will do great. At least you’ll know if something does go wrong that you’ve given yourself and baby the best chance possible by being in a hospital. Try not to worry too much; odds are strongly in your favor! Congrats!

    • MHAM

      OMG, Sherry’s story scared the ever-living crap out of me when I was pregnant. I had never really leaned towards homebirth anyway, but her story firmly convinced me that I would never deliver anywhere but a hospital.

    • Mattie

      I know this might not make you feel better, but it might. There are some terrible things that happen to women and babies in childbirth, but there is nothing you can do to stop it that you’re not already doing.

      You have had, and will continue having, regular high quality prenatal care.

      You have chosen a place of birth that gives both you and your baby the best chance at minimising risk.

      You have a qualified care provider who works with a team of highly qualified specialists.

      Your birth plan suggests that you’re more fussed about the end (healthy mum and baby) than the means.

      This does not mean you have no risk, bad things do happen, but you can only do what is possible and you’re doing it. I wish you luck with the birth, it’s very likely it will go fine 🙂

      • Allie P

        thank you. also, lol at “birth plan,” which is basically, “Can I please have an epidural?”

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          Mine was similar – “whatever gets me and baby through this safely and with as little suffering as possible (though not at the expense of the first point) please. Also I suspect I would really like an epidural.”

        • Liz Leyden

          My birth plan had 5 items. I got 2 of them: pain meds and photos.

  • Gozi

    Why would they provide discounts for people who carry weapons?

    • Roadstergal

      Subgroup identification.

      • KarenJJ

        If they’re anti-government (that’s my impression of concealed gun owners, but I’m not in the US) they’re probably happy to not to try and regulate dodgy midwives. Plus they have a bunch of potentially scary concealed gun owners on their side if a client does start to talk about negligence in a public way.

  • DelphiniumFalcon

    Every time I see a crunch natural whack job have something go wrong and they cry out to God, “Why?!” I remember a story/parable — I believe it was my Dad who told it to me — about seeing God’s hand, recognizing what it is, and taking it. I’m a religious person so I apologize if it seems like preaching. I just don’t understand some people.

    Once there was a man who lived in a seaside town. Like all seaside towns, the threat of tsunamis was ever present but no one thought much of it.

    One day that threat was blared into reality by the tsunami sirens. All of the town scrambled for the high ground assembly zones as they’d been taught all their lives. Except this man.

    He stood and watched as his neighbors collected their families and ran, cars having been discouraged to reduce congestion and subsequent deaths. One ran to him and grabbed his hand and said, “Can’t you hear the sirens? There’s a tsunami coming. We don’t have much time!”

    The man pulled his hand away and said with confidence, “I am not afraid. I have prayed and I have faith that God will save me!” His neighbor left with his family, not wanting to be separated.

    The town was nearly empty and police cars looked for the injured and the stragglers to bring to safety. A car stopped in front of the man’s home and a policeman yelled to him, “Can you walk? If you can’t please tell me so I can help you!”

    The man shook his head and said, “Leave me be. I am safe, my God will save me.” The policeman tried to talk the man into the vehicle but he would not move. Without time to spare arguing any longer the policeman left to complete his duty.

    The first waves crashed into the beaches houses and splintered the smaller ones. Most of the town had made it to safety. Most people don’t survive the first barrage of waves but the Coast Guard launch their helicopters to search for the few lucky ones who may be saved.

    The man had made it to the roof of his home, the house shaking with the torrents. It would not hold much longer. A helicopter appeared overhead and a voice yelled over the loud speaker, “Stay still! We’re coming to help you!” A rescuer slid down with the ladder to help the man to safety.

    Again the man refused the help. “I don’t need you,” he yelled. “My God will save me!” Before his rescuer could respond the house gave way and waves and debris crushed the man.

    In heaven the man was shaken. He had put his faith in God! He was supposed to be protected! How could his faith be so betrayed?

    “Why, God?!” the man yelled in anger. “I put my faith in you! Why didn’t you save me?!”

    God looked the man and shook his head. “I gave you high ground to safety, I sent your neighbor, I sent the policeman, I even sent the helicopter. What else were you waiting for?”

    God, if you believe in one, has shown the way to great advances in science and medicine. Lives that were lost in the past can now be saved. What does it say when we shun such wonderful progress? Faith without works is dead. A faithful servant of God has to act, not wait to be acted upon.

  • Trixie

    This was a tough post, but thanks for writing it, Dr. Amy.
    I want to add that the admins of that HBAC Facebook group were cheering her on, and congratulating her because a baby came out of her vagina. Then when she started talking about the brain damage, they messaged her to get her to stop talking, and buried the post. Others who posted their concerns over the safety of HBAC were chastened and silenced. Sadly, I’m sure it’s just a matter of weeks or months until the next tragedy in that group.

    • attitude devant

      But that’s what that group does. They bury every bad outcome. Ask the moms not to post any more. It wouldn’t do to scare the moms….

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      I don’t suppose you have SSs of any of this? Not that I don’t believe you–I do, 100%–but they could be quite helpful in exposing that mentality.

      • Trixie

        I do have them. It would require a lot of editing because of all the names.

        • You could send them to Dr. Amy, perhaps? I know she edits screen caps on a regular basis for posting on this site. It might still be tedious on her part, but she also might have a program or something to make it faster.

          • Trixie

            She has them.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Ah. Understandable.

  • momofone

    “As I was praying and yelling in my car I clearly remember God saying, ‘anyone can do life’.”

    WTF does this even MEAN? And can they just stop with the angel-wings thing? They romanticize birth and romanticize death, all while their heads are up their stupid asses. No, you dumbass, that baby did not “grow angel wings”; s/he died because you’re fucking incompetent.

    • sdsures

      Just what I was thinking.

    • Daleth

      I honestly think it means “you are so special and profound and in touch with the mysteries that I have chosen you to deal with death.” Subtext: “whereas any damn fool can do the easy stuff like celebrate the birth of a healthy child.”

      Yes. It really is that bad. That delusional. That blind.

      • sdsures

        That disgusting.

      • Tiffany Aching

        I don’t understand how nobody tells her that hearing God telling you you’ve been chosen can be a sign that something is very, very wrong with your mind, and that you should consult a psychiatrist. Maybe it’s because I live in a country where people often identify themselves as atheists, but here it would be interpreted as a sign of psychosis.

        • The definition of delusions in the DSM V actually excludes religion, specifically because otherwise people who are religious could easily fall into that diagnosis. This is not to say that all religious people are delusional, of course, because the vast majority of them (like all people) are not. But it does say something, doesn’t it, when the prevailing religious ideas would actually count as a serious symptom/mental illness if they weren’t the prevailing religious ideas?

          • Tiffany Aching

            Thank you, this is very interesting. I think it is also deeply dependent on the culture. In France saying or writing something like “God told me this or that” would mark you as batshit crazy. I think it is related to our views towards laicity, and also, more deeply, to the fact that catholicism still is the main religion and is strongly imprinted in our culture. In short, God doesn’t exist, and anyway you’re not supposed to have an unmediated relationship with Him.

      • anotheramy

        There was a trial here locally many years ago for a lay midwife who delivered triplets -triplets!!!!- at home, and that was her defense on the stand that she believed God called her, to care for these babies. One died, the other two had developmental delays, I’m not sure to what extent. So terrible.

        • Daleth

          Uh… wow, that’s just pretty much NOT a defense in any way, shape or form. Those poor babies. What could mom and dad have been thinking, trying to home birth triplets with a lay midwife?

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      I wonder if these people ever think, as they’re obviously religious, what they’ll say when they meet God and he asks why they didn’t do everything to save his and those parents’ precious children? Why didn’t they get the baby and mom to someone who could help?

      I don’t understand the amount of mental gymnastics they go through to think that God would condone their slaughter of his most defenseless children for an ego trip? What’s the most dangerous of the seven sins again?

      I don’t judge their worthiness before God because it’s definitely not my place. I just wonder if they ever think about how they’d answer for the dead children on their hands.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Thank you. Exactly.
        This is reason #497 (actually, more like Reason #1) I will–barring precipitous labor–have my babies in a hospital. Yes, things can still go wrong. Yes, I’ve had a C-section, so I could have a uterine rupture en route to the hospital. Etc. But if that happened, and I died, and I came face-to-face with God and He asked me, “Did you do everything in your power to take care of your babies?” I could at least look Him in the eyes and say, truthfully, that I did.
        Not everything is in our control, but we can make the best decisions we can with the information we have and then at least know we did what we could.

        • sdsures

          100% agreed.

    • Cobalt

      As sure as I am that she heard the words, I am sure it wasn’t anyone’s god saying them. It’s her own ego, justifying the expense of her hobby.

  • Daleth

    This is so telling:

    “I suffered a catastrophic uterine rupture while we were still at home. We didn’t know at the time that it had happened- my body was already pushing and we were just trying to get to the birth center in time. When we arrived we found our baby had no heartbeat. ****We transferred to the hospital where the rupture was discovered.***”

    The birthing center midwives did not even know the rupture had happened. THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT HAD HAPPENED. That was only discovered at the hospital.

    So… remind me, HBAC and birthing-center VBAC advocates… remind me again how a midwife at a birthing center or home birth is capable of detecting an impending uterine rupture and whisking you to the hospital in time to save your baby?

    • superhappycamper

      Amen, that’s all I have to say.

    • Megan

      Yes. This. If I decide to try for a VBAC with my next (and I’m not sure I will), I will at least be in a place with CFM so we’d know if a rupture happened and I could be delivered via emergency CS immediately.

    • Mac Sherbert

      And how much valuable time was wasted running off to this birth center that couldn’t help her!! How long had she been labor before this happened? You know an OB would have told her to come in a the first sign of labor.

  • Roadstergal

    “I was devastated for the family, for the siblings, for me.”

    For _you_. You narcissistic twatwaffle.

    • sdsures

      I admire your self-restraint with your insulting of the “midwife”. I probably would have roasted her alive.

      • Roadstergal

        If she really felt for the families, if her heart were really aching for them, she’d recommend they go to an actual goddam professional. It’s all about her – she was robbed of another ‘stick it to the OB’ birth where she could be the hero of the event. The families are collateral damage in her quest to boost her ego. Disgusting.

        • sdsures

          And they won’t tak her numbers because she’ll sweep that poor family under the rug. #notburiedtwice

    • Tiffany Aching

      Twatwaffle, I love that !

  • superhappycamper

    It must be devastating to go through an emergency hysterectomy, severe PPH, and the loss of an infant.

    • Daleth

      All the more so when you realize that if you had gone to the hospital, even for a VBAC much less a planned cesarean, none of that would have happened. You’d still have your baby and your womb.

    • sdsures

      Oh, but it’s all OK because Momma is alive.

      • Gozi

        And got her birth experience. ..

  • TsuDhoNimh

    “Just wanted to post quickly in here that I got my HBAC!!! We’ve been in
    the NICU due to our sweet son not breathing for some time after he came
    earth-side.”

    And where are the exclamation points after “I got my brain-damaged son!!!”

    • Daleth

      Omg omg omg omg omg omg omg. I cannot believe she posted “I got my HBAC” when her baby was in the NICU in perilous condition because of it. Omg omg omg.

      All I can think of to explain it is that she posted before she knew he was brain damaged, and she was still in a state of shock/denial/willfully blind optimism, making her unable/unwilling to contemplate both that he might really be hurt and that it was her decision to HBAC that hurt him.

      • MegaMechaMeg

        I read an article where a mother of a stillborn child talked about the post birth euphoria happening even as she processed what was happening. Sometimes hormones and emotions don’t play the game that you think that they should, so I am going to cut the woman a little slack on sounding like a sociopathic crazy person because she was probably in shock and riding the hormone wave.

        • sdsures

          But surely there is processing time before she gets home to breathlessly blog about it?

          • Daleth

            Maybe she’s an extrovert. They process by talking/posting, not by thinking.

          • sdsures

            Eugh.

          • MegaMechaMeg

            It is one line and a photo on a facebook group. I am guessing that she told the group when she went into labor so her phone could have been going off with notifications as she sat alone in recovery with no baby to care for. In the haze her brain told her to post an update for the people who were asking.
            I could be projecting, I do not deal well with shock and a lot of times my emotions do not match the situation and I will be joking and laughing while my brain tries to frantically catch up. I would really hate for people to judge me by those moments of cognitive dissonance and I am inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt, particularly as her later posts seem to grasp the beginnings of the gravity of the situation.

          • sdsures

            Price of the social media age?

          • MegaMechaMeg

            You take the bad with the good.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Am I the only one who started singing Facts of Life?

          • Roadstergal

            You’re the only one who will admit it, at least.

          • Daleth

            I think you’re right. It’s so fucking sad.

      • Trixie

        No, she already knew he was brain damaged.

      • Gozi

        Like Dr. Amy says, birth for those kind is performance art.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    What the fuck? A discount to people who carry guns? Is this the twilight zone? The Village Midwife. More like the village idiot.

    And the June 14th HBAC post. My God. Who the fuck crows about their HBAC and as an afterthought posts that their baby was not breathing and is in the NICU?

    I can’t even with this crap anymore.

    • Karen in SC

      They are really beyond the pale. Hbac to get the birth free of interventions — what about interventions in the NICU?

      • TsuDhoNimh

        As long as it’s not a vaccine, Vitamin K shot, or eye ointment they are apparently OK with intubation, IVs and the drugs needed to salvage a baby.

        Because the vagina WON!!!!!

        • Roadstergal

          Preventive measures bad. Emergency measures good.

          • TsuDhoNimh

            Ah … I forgot the rules for a moment.

            Prevention is evil, dramatic rescues or tragic endings are good.

          • Roadstergal

            Because having a baby is just like fanfiction.

    • MegaMechaMeg

      Seriously, how big is the overlap between birth nuts and gun nuts? I this a thing? This can’t be a thing.

      • indigosky

        Yes it is. The biggest home birth, anti-vax, essential oil crazies I know are also sure Obama is one step from breaking into their homes and stealing their guns.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          And forcibly vaccinating their babies and implanting microchips into them.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            While dusting them with aluminium from chem-trails.

          • MegaMechaMeg

            You forgot the mercury infused microchip the government uses to spy on their innocent families.

          • sdsures

            Hey! I like my microchip! 😛

          • Sarah

            If only.

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        I think it’s the libertarian mentality. We have a lot of it up here in New Hampshire.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Same in Utah. They call themselves Libertarians but I find myself quoting the Princess Bride at them quite often when they rattle off their opinions on how such and such needs to be controlled.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            I always have this funny picture in my head of what the NH-Vermont border looks like. On the Vermont side, you have the Birkenstock-wearing Socialists, and on NH side you have the gun-toting Libertarians.

            I think I might need to move to the Vermont side.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Kind of like people from the mitten part of Michigan and then the crazy that’s the Upper Peninsula?

            My husband says we’re not supposed to talk about the “U.P.”

          • Mel

            In defense of the Yoopers, my section of southwestern Michigan can align pretty darn close to the U.P. in crazy.

            I grew up Grand Rapids, then moved west into the Dutch Bible Belt after I married. It’s…..different.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            My husband moved to the Kalamazoo area when he was twelve so I guess that’s as close to “home” as he has.

            He is appropriately crazy. A little of the appropriate crazy is good.

            However he did mention the Bible Belt area as being one of the reasons he was put off religion for most of his teenage years. They’re not the fun crazy.

          • Mel

            So I seriously asked my husband if I was going to be a fish out of water since I was moving into Ottawa county as a life-long Democrat, union member and Catholic.

            He blurted out “No, we live NORTH of the Grand River. The crazy starts SOUTH of the Grand River.”

            That was not as comforting as he meant it to be, but he was right. My little section of Ottawa county is a weird mixture of life-long Democratic union members, life-long Republican business owners and a mixture of Catholics and about 12 Calvinist denominations.
            I made a coffee cake to thank a neighbor who helped us round up some escaped cows. When I introduced myself, he grunted “Well, I’d never thought I’d see the day an [my husband’s family name] married a Catholic.” My husband saw my shocked expression and looked at the neighbor and said “Yeah, Grandma Pearl – my husband’s grandma – was pretty vocal about how we shouldn’t marry Catholics, wasn’t she? *both guys laughed* Turns out the neighbor and his family were all Catholics and thought it was the funniest thing ever. He’s a neat guy – I just didn’t know how to read “rural stoic” facial expressions yet.

          • ersmom

            I’m originally from Fruitport! Escaped as soon as I could

          • Liz Leyden

            Vermont certainly has its share of gun-toting libertarians.

          • ArmyChick

            Hm no. I say this as someone who lives in NH and has lived in Vermont in the past. Vermont has ZERO gun laws. In NH we actually require a $10 permit in order to carry concealed. I have one. In VT there is no such thing. You can open carry without a license (like NH) but concealed carry doesn’t require one at all.

            I am a Massachusetts native and I feel much safer here in NH and even in VT than I did back in Mass.

          • Gatita
        • Liz Leyden

          I’m a home health nurse, and I had a client who lived in the middle of nowhere with her big, very religious, very conservative family. She was a baby with multiple disabilities. Mom and the nurse training me ranted about socialism and big government. It took everything I had not to say “You realize Medicaid pays for me, right?”

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            Sounds like my parents…:Socialism!” Big government” “Taxes” Ummm you realize everything you like and depend on is because of those three things, right Mom and Da? you know Medicare, Social Security, Medicare part D pharmacy help, Unemployment for dad and workmans comp for mom (and trust me my parents have gotten more out of medicare than they ever paid in) But they are all ” I need it, but those other people don’t!”
            Urgh..as my husband puts it, my parents attitude is “I’ve got mine screw you” Unless I need something, then gimme!

          • Mel

            I used to have students (in the public school I taught in) who would go off on a similar tangent.

            I pointed out our government pays for schooling, public transportation, road repair and sewers. I’d follow that up with asking the students how they felt about having to deal with their family’s output of human sewage without the government. The students thought about that one for a bit then decided ‘big government’ wasn’t entirely bad.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            We have people quoting Ayn Rand on the city facebook page right now.

            Hope the philosophy 101 students didn’t accept any Pell Grants to go to college here to spout their drivel.

        • Mel

          As do we in Michigan. I find it deeply humorous since the county I live in is SO rural and sparsely populated that we would be hard pressed to keep the roads intact let alone educate or give medicines to most families without the cash inflow from the more densely populated portions of the state.

          Doubly funny when our state mates in the Upper Peninsula start agitating to form their own state – the state that would be par none the poorest state in the USA….

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        A family who are friends of my DH are planning their next move based on a) where they can homebirth/not vax with least interference and b) where they can own guns/hunt a lot. It’s not unheard-of. A lot of right-wing religious types are heavily into both the natural and the gun subcultures.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I don’t understand. She had a great, unmedicated VBACS, she says, but that wasn’t enough? She had to do it as a HB?

      This is about “competitive birthing”, not about having a baby. It’s all about proving that SHE can do more. A marathon isn’t enough, so go to a triathalon. Then to an iron man triathalon. Except the difference is, with extreme athletes, babies aren’t props.

    • Gozi

      I thought I was the only one confused about the gun thing.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Hell, I own a gun, I have no problem with most people owning guns, and I am utterly, totally, and completely at a loss on that one. I mean, I like books, too, but when I ran my own business I didn’t give people a discount for reading X number of books/year…I give up.

      • Cobalt

        I actually give discounts on horseback riding lessons to kids that participate in our local library’s summer reading program.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          That’s awesome!

    • Amazed

      I am sure if I go through my grandma’s basement, I can find a gun. Lots of guns, actually. Does this make me eligible for their discount?

      Of course, those aren’t real guns. At least, my brother and I never managed to kill each other with them – and we tried for a good number of years.

      And of course again, they aren’t real midwives, so I guess I can have the account in their fake centre for my fake guns. Only, they couldn’t pay me to go there. Because death and damage are so horrifyingly non-fake.

    • Mel

      My husband and I own a rifle. I have no idea why a midwifery service would offer anyone 20% off for bringing one in – well, unless they thought the parents of the babies they killed might decide to take action.

      • Roadstergal

        Cord cutting? I’m thinking of that ep of the Simpsons where Homer got a handgun and used it for everything around the house…

  • demodocus

    If my husband and I both have guns during the exam, can we get a double discount? what the heck?

    • guest

      I would never want to give birth in a place that encourages people to bring their guns. NEVER. I’d about rather homebirth than that.

      • Dr Kitty

        Don’t like guns.
        I grew up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, when police checkpoints and bomb scares were just a part of life, and every night the news would be about another bomb, or kneecapping or tit-for-tat attack on a taxi driver or police officer.

        Funnily enough, when you have armed people who actually believe that they are living under the tyrannical rule of an occupying government, and that said government and their agents are legitimate targets, and armed people who think the exact opposite, it isn’t exactly fun for the rest of us.

        The “right to bear arms” in order to hypothetically defend yourself from a tyrannical government is nonsense. If that were the case the guns would be in locked storage, only to be broken out in the event of said governmental tyranny. But they aren’t, are they?
        They are in purses and holsters and glove boxes and gun racks. They are in the waistbands of drug dealers and the hands of children at gun ranges.

        They are being used to kill people accidentally.
        They are being used to kill people deliberately.

        They may be fun to shoot, they may give you a sense of power and control and safety, but those nice feelings don’t outweigh the damage that the USA’s gun culture causes.

        Anyway, TL;DR: guns are bad, I think the USA’s gun culture is wrong.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          The latest(that made the papers, I’m sure there have been more since) was some dumbass at the Waldorf Hotel in NYC with a gun in his pocket at a wedding. it “went off” and grazed a woman in the head. Then dumbass gave the gun to his brother who gave it to his wife to take home and hide…But the man has not been charged…
          http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/man-fired-gun-waldorf-astoria-wedding-charged-article-1.2257801
          “An old business acquaintance said Vladimir Gotlibovsky frequently brings a gun to social gatherings, and usually drinks too much.”
          guns and alcohol, awesome.

          • Roadstergal

            When I was at the dealership picking up my Duc a few weeks ago, a gal was there whose boy/husband/whatever was applying for financing, and her shirt said “I love guns and coffee.” I suppose I should feel good I share half her interests?

            CA has a mega turbo gun culture.

          • Medwife

            I like when they label themselves, the overly enthusiastic handgun people. Then I know who to give a wide berth.

        • Mel

          I agree with you and I’m an USA gun owner. The Second Amendment is pretty clear that the original intent was that militias could arm themselves in a time where guns were either single-shot rifles or hard to aim hand guns.

          I have no problem updating the 2nd amendment to deal with the change in firepower.

          Wanna own a gun? Fine. You should need:
          -Completion of a gun safety course.
          – A clean national background check without any previous violent crimes to be renewed yearly.
          – A clean GP visit for mental health problems to be renewed yearly.
          – A lock box and trigger lock for the gun and a separate locked container for ammo in a different location.
          – Two week waiting period.

          • Dr Kitty

            I live in a semi rural area.
            I have no issue with non automatic rifles and shot guns for pest control and hunting, if appropriately licensed and kept, with reasonable safeguards.

            IMO no-one except law enforcement needs to have a handgun for personal safety, and if you enjoy target shooting then your gun can stay at the range.

            The UK gun laws are perfectly reasonable.

            Even when I know that I live in close proximity to terrorists who actually HAVE illegal weapons and the desire to use them (hello New IRA), being armed myself has never seemed like a good idea!

        • guest

          I agree, but if there’s ONE place we shouldn’t allow guns, it’s gotta be medical treatment settings, including birthing centers.

        • demodocus

          Judging by some of the memes a couple more conservative members of my family post, I think some of the far right *do* think President Obama is a tyrant. Obviously, these are not folks who’ve lived under real tyrants or dictators.
          I’d only consider getting a rifle if I lived in grizzly country and/or needed to hunt to supplement our food supplies.

          • Mel

            Ours is for euthanizing cows. If we didn’t live on a farm, we wouldn’t have a gun.

            My sis-in-law and her husband moved from a rural area to a slightly less rural area. They wanted to buy a handgun for safety “now that they lived in the city.”

            I burst out laughing.

            I grew up in an actual city and we never had guns for safety. Mom did buy each of us a baseball bat to keep handy in case of an intruder when we each moved out.

            I offered to give them my ol’ Louisville Slugger bat if they didn’t buy the gun. They took me up on the offer – although they were concerned that I would be unprotected.

            I told them not to worry about it since my husband bought me a cricket bat after we had wondered if cricket bat would be easier to store in a corner. It is.

        • KarenJJ

          I visited Belfast after going throughout Western Europe in the late 90s (yet another young Aussie backpacker). Getting off the ferry and going past the military looking border police to get my backpack was pretty confronting. I’d never seen anything so open like that. And this was when Northern Ireland had been relatively peaceful for a while.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          The US gun culture is what I think is exactly wrong but for slightly different reasons.

          The issue is we have no respect for something that is meant for killing. I have seen people wave their guns around like it’s nothing at all. It freaks me out. Badly.

          I was taught you point it up, you point it down, or you don’t point it at all unless you’re intending for what you’re point it at to die. No exceptions. Most people aren’t taught that way. My dad has been a Boy Scout Master for the last 20+ years. He was also accidentally shot in the thigh by a friend when he was a kid. He still likes guns but his scouts are some of the most careful with them after he teaches them gun safety. If they even look like they’re about to break the rules, he takes it away and they can’t use it again until they prove they understand they’re wielding a weapon, not a toy.

          Most parents don’t even do that. Just hand over a gun and say have fun! It’s terrible.

          We also are too enamoured with the “Big Damn Heroes” trope. What if I save the church from the shooters?! Then I’m a hero and I did it with my trusty gun! Praise me! Not thought that they may have just killed someone. That they may have caused collateral damage or additional injuries. It’s all about them.

          Just yeah… Our gun culture is about as toxic as the MRA culture and both need to be reformed.