I apologize to Monica; her baby had multiple congenital anomalies.


I wrote yesterday that Monica’s friends insisted that her baby, the 7th baby who died at homebirth last week, died of multiple congenital anomalies. I promised to publicly apologize to Monica if there truly was an autopsy report detailing the anomalies.

Within the past hour, Monica’s friend Cassie Elizabeth forward the fetal death certificate that lists the cause of death as multiple congenital anomalies. It’s not an autopsy report, but it’s good enough for me. Of course it doesn’t tell us whether those anomalies were incompatible with life, but I didn’t stipulate that in my promise to apologize.

Therefore, I apologize to Monica for sharing her baby’s story in a way that implied that the baby’s death was a direct result of her decision to have a homebirth. Homebirth may have been a contributing factor, but the actual cause was the anomalies.

I still consider Monica’s story a cautionary tale.

Congenital anomalies occur in hospital, too, but unless the defect is known to be incompatible with life, doctors don’t throw up their hands and deprive the baby of their best effort to ensure every possible chance at survival. Doctors are as committed to the wellbeing of disabled babies every bit as much as unimpaired babies.

Of course, even if we remove the death of Monica’s baby, that still leaves 6 deaths, hardly a cause for rejoicing.

Nonetheless I hope my apology helps lessen any distress that I may have caused Monica, her family and her friends.