Ruth Rodley’s master class for homebirth advocates on lying to themselves and others

32871756_s

Ruth Rodley feels sorry for herself.

In Saturday’s piece I quoted her brutal dismissal of the 7 babies who died at homebirth last week as “hickups.”

image

…she is so anti homebirth, that she will find ANY story about homebirth that may have had a little hickup [sic] and totally throw it out of proportion. There may have been a few deaths, BUT please be aware that we know even in the hospital that wouldn’t have been avoided. it was out of anyones control …

Ruth contacted me privately. I offered her the opportunity to write whatever she wanted in response and promised to post it unedited and in its entirety. Ruth declined, declaring that I would find her response in her Facebook group.

Here it is:

Ruth Rodley 8-2-15

There is a lot of stuff going on about me right now so let me clear something up… I didn’t say that dead baby’s were hiccups, I meant that some of the home births just had a hiccup, everything was fine in the end. I also didn’t know this was for the whole country, I didn’t even know about these stories. Of course I don’t want babies dying, I also don’t force mums to have homebirths, I can’t make someone go to the hospital if they don’t want to.

Just get out of the hospital… go for a walk hand in hand with your man… have a little kissy time.

There are a few obvious discrepancies between the two posts:

  • Ruth acknowledges that she didn’t know about the deaths; despite that she assured women that they were unavoidable.
  • Ruth acknowledges that she didn’t know about the 7 deaths; despite that she assured women that there were only “a few.”
  • I’ll let you decide for yourselves whether she referred to dead babies as “hickups.”

I want to draw your attention to this phrase:

I also don’t force mums to have homebirths, I can’t make someone go to the hospital if they don’t want to.

It is the all purpose excuse wielded by those who encourage women to risk their babies’ lives … and it’s a lie.

As a commentor on my Facebook page pointed out in regard to homebirth advocates:

Every time they’re cornered on the safety issue they immediately switch over to “it was their choice…”. Yeah, it was their choice – because you told them it was safe, dummy!”

Exactly!

For example, we can see how both Ruth Rodley and Meg Heket attempted to manipulate Rachel, a young woman at term planning a hospital VBAC, less than two weeks ago.

Heket Rodley 7-22-15

Rachel has been having contractions on and off for days. Heket instructs her:

So say it with me now “when I go to the dr tomorrow I will NOT NOT NOT have any VEs [vaginal exams].”

But Rachel wants to have a vaginal exam to determine her progress. No matter.

Ruth tells her:

well just remember… that even if you had one done and were told you were say 3-4cm… that could totally change by tomorrow. so my thoughts would be, why get one if it might make you feel self doubt, when BOOM you could suddenly be in full blown labour tomorrow of the next day

Rachel details her concerns over the next few days, but is repeatedly assured by members of the group that she should wait for labor to start.

Ultimately she goes to the hospital because of regular contractions and is told that she is 2 cm dilated, whereupon the group members tell her to leave the hospital.

But she doesn’t want to leave the hospital. She feels comfortable there and thinks that the staff is treating her wonderfully. She also loves her OB. No matter.

A fight breaks out in the group with some women insisting that Rachel should leave the hospital because she is increasing the risk of another C-section merely by being there and others saying that Rachel should do what she prefers.

Ruth weighs in with this gem:

Heket Rodley 3

ok, istead of going home, just get out of the hospital… go for a walk to help things along, just on’t stay there and keep their fingers OUT of your vagina. it’s only going to increase the chances of infection.. go for a walk hand in hand with your man… have a little kissy time xx

Fortunately Rachel ignored Rodley and stayed. The baby had a deep heart rate deceleration that eventually recovered, followed by no variability on the tracing and decreased fetal movement. Rachel’s doctor recommended a repeat C-section; she trusted him and agreed.

Fortunately.

Heket Rodley 4

She could have died. I listened to my heart and my gut and said yes to the section. And she was coated, plastered in meconium. Her lungs, her eyes, her mouth…

Had Rachel listened to Ruth and left the hospital, her baby may very well have died.

What would have happened then? Ruth would have whined that she “can’t make someone go to the hospital,” despite doing everything in her power to keep Rachel from going to the hospital in the first place and then encouraging her to leave when she got there.

Ruth is lying to herself and lying to her followers when she insists that she has nothing to do with the deaths that occur as a result of heeding her advice.

Ruth Rodley knows nothing. Meg Heket knows nothing. They are cuckoo clocks that reliably sound, “Don’t do what your doctor recommends!” at regular intervals despite having no idea of the facts of each individual case. Then when women follow that deadly advice, they blame the women for listening to them.

They have a name for this type of behavior: emotional abuse.

This isn’t about homebirth and it certainly isn’t about babies. It’s about women like Ruth and Meg being “queen bees” in their domain and it doesn’t matter who died as long as they maintain that status.

Rodley and Heket are not alone. There are many others who engage in the same form of deadly emotional abuse because they love the power they have over other women, literally the power of life and death.

They are ignorant, they are self-absorbed and they are not your friends no matter how often they tell you they are.

These women encourage co dependent relationships, defined as:

a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

Rodley, Heket and their ilk support relationships that enable their followers’ immaturity, irresponsibility, and poor decision making.

They don’t support; they destroy babies and they destroy mothers’ lives.

And when disaster occurs, do they feel sorry for the women who listened to them?

Oh, no, they only feel sorry for themselves.

  • Rlbobg

    I was covering L&D for my local hospital a few weeks ago and in came a patient with her home midwife. The midwife brought her in because she had an expanding vaginal hematoma and “maybe a third or a fourth degree” laceration. ( she couldn’t tell which). I took her to the OR for the repair and during the entire thing her BP was elevated (“it was a little high after the delivery”, the midwife told me). Did labs– she was in florid HELLP syndrome and needed Magnesium and a 2-day hospital stay. So frustrating because no one seemed to grasp the seriousness of it all.

    • Anj Fabian

      Only a two day hospital stay? She was lucky.

      Also lucky that complications of HELLP didn’t cause damage before she came in.

      • Rlbobg

        And I got the distinct feeling that had I said “Your midwife really missed this”, then I would be saying exactly what she had been TOLD that “people in the hospital” would say.

  • Pixelgarage

    Sorry OT post here. My son’s preschool classmate has a raging case of herpes all over his lower face. We are talking upwards of 30 lesions. His family has just welcomed a baby sister to the family a few weeks ago. I bought the situation up to the school and the parents that he should not be allowed in school with weeping sores and they should be very careful to make sure they take preventative measures to protect the baby. The thing is the family claims they have visited a pediatrician and a dermatologist and have been advised that herpes is not contagious or a risk to the baby. They have provided a doctors report to the school that says the diagnosis is herpes and he has been prescribed Acyclovir. The report also says not contagious. Huh? Isn’t any virus contagious by the fact that it can’t replicate outside a host. No host hopping= no virus? I am keeping my son out of school until this gets sorted out. But I think this raises some interesting questions about the responsibility of the school in this instance. I am also wondering if I should reach out to this family again for the sake of their newborn.

    • Dr Kitty

      Official advice here is that children with herpetic gingivostomatitis DON’T need to be excluded from school or nurseries.

      Viral shedding can persist for up to 60hr from onset of symtoms, but not beyond that. Infection requires direct contact with saliva.

      Most people (56-85%) have serological evidence of HSV-1 infection by early adulthood.

      Primary HSV infecation may or may not be symptomatic- most infected people NEVER GET COLD SORE SYMPTOMS.

      I’m sorry to tell you, but the school, doctors and parents are following current best practice, and you’re the one who is overreacting.

      Obviously, the kid shouldn’t have been kissing the baby whilst infectious, but as he was most infectious 24hrs before the lesions developed, and is no longer infectious now (time+antiviral medications) it is rather a moot point.

      Cite:
      http://patient.info/doctor/herpes-simplex-oral

      • Dr Kitty

        Additionally:
        People who are infected with HSV-1 may shed virus at ANY time, lesions or not.
        That’s approximately 70% of the population.

        Maternal antibodies may offer some protection, but other than keeping a close eye on the baby, there is nothing that should be done now.

        https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/herpes/newborns/fact_sheet.htm

        • Laural

          Thanks for these posts, Dr. Kitty and OP… I learned something very useful and good to know!

        • Pixelgarage

          Thank you for the reply. What I am worried about is that he has lesions on the outside of his mouth all along his cheeks. My son and this kid love wrestling. It’s so easy for them to get face to face contact. Should I still be worried? And what is this that I am reading about newborns needed to be treated with IV meds for 21 days if they become infected. https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/herpes/newborns/fact_sheet.htm

        • Pixelgarage

          Just want to post a follow up about this. The school did follow up with the doctor. The note was clarified to mean that yes, herpes is contagious but the child in question is no longer contagious because antiviral meds have been started and enough time has passed. I was reacting this way because based on my last conversation with the school was interpreting the Dr’s note to mean that herpes is not contagious. Now that this has been clarified, the school will ask students who are in the contagious period to stay home. We live in an area where Hand foot mouth disease is very common so they are already checking for fever and mouth sores at the entrance of the school.

  • they say “I can’t make someone go to the hospital” like they want them to go, what a joke. Its not like they begrudgingly take clients. they tell clients that its safer not to go to the hospital….

  • sdsures

    It chills me to the bone seeing laypeople offer medical advice to others (possibly very ill, or in this case, a patient preparing for a medically complicated event: the birth of their child) via the Internet. It’s the reverse of crowd-sourcing: telling people on the Internet that you have never met, to do medical things (or avod them), when you are NOT a medical professional.

    “Why get one ([a vaginal exam] if it might make you feel self doubt?”

    Seriously, I didn’t know a medical exam was capable of making you doubt yourself. Wow. (sarcasm)

    Usually, medical exams relieve a person’s anxiety (in the example of childbirth, a routine vaginal exam to see if the labour is progressing well): “Your baby’s doing great, and you’re 10 cm dilated!”

    Right?

    But wait! I’d rather follow the advice of some random looney tune on the Internet who thinks she has the authority to tell me what is best for my baby…even though she’s not a doctor or a nurse.

    Sidebar: I have chronic illnesses. I hve to take medication every day, to just be functioning at a basic level. It helps to have friends on the Internet who also have chronic illnesses: the one thing we have in common mostly is fatigue, so hving an in-person social life isn’t something many of us can do very often. We’re just too bloody tired for it, and one in-person visit can knock us out so that we need to recuperate for a week.

    There are online groups and forums for mutual support, humour, and always the discussion of various symptoms and treatments. Given the large number of us out there, there are always a few guaranteed to have either a similar condition, or to have tried the same medications as other people.

    But we are all hopefully smart enough not to take advice from anyone about what we should do medically (except in the case of suggesting a possible type of medication B when A hasn’t worked out). But we don’t just up and demand medication B. We take that suggestion to our doctor, and the doctor or nurse makes the final decision.

    THEY are the ones ultimately responsible for our medical care, not some high school hack on the Internet.

  • mostlyclueless

    OT — you can’t make this stuff up — on a reddit miscarriage forum, a post titled, “Positive and complete natural miscarriage.” Apparently you don’t even need to give birth to a live baby for your birth story to be positive, as long as you didn’t have any medical interventions.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Miscarriage/comments/3fnlvp/positive_and_complete_natural_miscarriage_my_story/

    Having just had a D&C for a miscarriage maybe I am too sensitive, and I truly am glad this person’s experience was “cathartic,” but I can’t believe there is now a right way and a wrong way to have a miscarriage.

    • Mishimoo

      The right way is with proper medical care and LOTS of kindness from those around you. The wrong way is to drag guilt in and top it off with sub-standard care. Still so sorry for your loss, its awful.

      • Who?

        You said it better than I was trying to. This is my upvote.

    • sdsures

      *pales noticeably* That title is extraordinarily cruel. 🙁

      I’m so sorry about your miscarriage.

      • mostlyclueless

        Thanks. It sucked.

    • FormerPhysicist

      I’m sorry about your miscarriage.

      When I miscarried, it was all natural at first, but then I was bleeding heavily enough with big enough clots that I had to go to the ER. After my OBGYN examined me, she said I could choose to go home and let it complete naturally (coming back to the ER if I over-bled again) or she could prep for a D&C. Well, I like modern medicine, and after having to go to the ER in the middle of the night, I wasn’t going home to (possibly) just have to come back again. I wanted active treatment, TYVM!

      tl;dr: Not all of us want “natural”.

    • Dr Kitty

      I’m sorry. Miscarriages are horrible things to go through.

      Mostly, you have three options.
      1) Expectant management: letting nature take its course.
      Pros: “natural”, you can stay home.
      Cons: you can bleed, heavily, for a prolonged period. Not ideal if you were trying to minimise time off work or the number of people aware of the situation.

      2) Medical management: using misoprostol and similar drugs.
      Pros: Often over more quickly than natural management, with less bleeding. You can usually go home after taking the medication.
      Cons: can be more painful than natural management (take whatever painkillers you are offered).

      3) Surgical management: a D&C or similar procedure.
      Pros: over and done with most quickly.
      Cons: it is surgery, with attendant risks and requires spending some time in hospital.

      If medical or expectant management don’t result in a complete miscarriage or cause very heavy bleeding, surgical management is usually recommended.

      There isn’t a one size fits all approach. Women with recurrent miscarriages quite often choose to manage them differently each time.

      A woman with small kids at home might want to be home with them, or she might prefer to spend a night away from them rather than have them see her bleeding or in pain for an unpredictable period of time.

      Maybe it is important to someone to have a memorial ceremony with remains.
      Maybe the very idea of memorialising an early pregnancy loss makes the woman uncomfortable.

      There is no “right way”. There is just your way, and you work it out as you go through it.

      For me, at the time, my priorities were privacy, good pain relief and having it all over with as quickly as possible. I wasn’t trying to use the experiences as opportunities for personal growth, so much as surviving them and trying to put them behind me.

      Of course, that’s just me.
      You do you.
      Chocolate, ice cream, funny movies and hugs help though.

    • Amazed

      I am sorry. It must be very hard.

  • Trixie

    I’m sure it will shock — just SHOCK — you to learn that someone is going through all the groups Ruth admins and deleting any stories that could be damaging to their reputations or get them in another SOB blog post.
    Ruth runs a computer program where she cross checks membership in her groups against membership in any group she perceives to be affiliated with Dr. Amy. Anyone in both gets a message from her asking them to quit one or the other. It’s obviously a huge waste of her time because there are literally dozens of people in those groups, normal people, who get fed up with what they see, and want to tell someone about it.

    • Roadstergal

      Maybe we’re wrong – midwives _do_ engage in root-cause analysis to prevent negative outcomes. It’s just that their primary negative outcome is ‘midwives and/or home births looking bad,’ and the root cause is the documentation of what the rest of us consider to be the _actual_ negative outcomes.

      • MLE

        Nailed it.

      • sdsures

        Of course! Because the only results that matter are the midwives’ reputation. Dead babies are irrelevant.

    • yugaya

      She’s pathetic at this point and she no longer has any admin authority in any of these groups. People are either mad that she takes them for fools when she claims how babies they know died are “made up”, repulsed by how she called eight deaths in a week ” a few hiccups”, or laughing at her for making a spectacle of herself in multiple groups while trying to figure out using her clearly limited cognitive skills who leaked the info to dr Tuteur.

      • mostlyclueless

        8? Has there been another?

        • yugaya

          Yes there is one more I’ve heard of, but not same week, I think it was a day or two before.

          • sdsures

            🙁 Another tiny coffin.

    • sdsures

      Does Ruth actually think she can tell people what to do?

      • yugaya

        I think she does. It’s obvious that she is Heket’s lapdog ( she literally repeats Heket’s phrases word for word), so in the sociopath hierarchy of their online birth underworld that position, although inferior, still comes with a degree of power over others.

        Like a kapo in a gulag.

        • sdsures

          I’ve read about serial killers with better ethics than those two.

          (Ted Bundy only stole cars from people he figured could well afford to replace them. He once stole an older car that was so obviously scrimped and saved for (perhaps owned by a college coed) that all he did was park it a few blocks away, instead of taking it to another city and abandoning it.)

  • Mel

    Where exactly is the line of practicing medicine without a license? This is as much a thought experiment as anything else, but if you routinely give out medical advice like “Avoid vaginal exams; leave the hospital to because you’ll get a hospital-caused infection”, when do you actually stray into legal jeopardy?

    I wonder in part because as a teacher I wasn’t allowed to give any kind of medical advice. The rationale was that some parents were being pressured (or felt like they were being pressured) into having their kids medicated for AD(H)D on the advice of a teacher. The problem, though, is that technically my hands were tied if I thought a student really did have something wrong. Examples include, but are not limited to, “That growing lump on the kid’s wrist should probably be checked out by a medical professional.” and “So-and-so has seemed more depressed recently than s/he has been in a while.”

    I found myself using the words “I’m not a medical professional” and “should be checked out by a medical professional” as a hopeful work around.

    • Amy

      Fellow teacher here. If you think a student needs medical attention, talk to your principal and the school nurse. At the high school level, a guidance counselor or school adjustment counselor can also be a good sounding board. They’ll either get in touch with the parent and maintain the appropriate boundary, or know whom to contact.

      • Mel

        I usually called the district nurse who was awesome. The harder bit was when a parent directly asked me about something like “Has C seemed off to you recently?” In that case, I’d give my opinion sandwiched in between the “not a med professional” lines like “I’m not a medical professional, but C has seemed more down recently than I remember at the beginning of the semester so this might be worth checking out with a doctor.”

        Once that was out of the way, I had a reasonable number of local health / general family support options if the family needed help.

    • RMY

      I’m grateful to the teacher(s) who brought my ADD to my parents’ attention. Seriously, as a kid I kept on missing out on fun stuff because my parents were busy punishing me for being bad at school. Medication helped me be able to actually focus on what was going on the classroom, which made it possible for me to keep up.

      • Mel

        We’ve been working really hard with the school district who got my practice nephew E. E was exposed prenatally to drugs and thankfully his only side-effect is ADHD that was obvious by about 18 months. (The first time I met him he was acting like a perfectly normal toddler – trying to catch kittens, putting sticks in the grille of a car. OFC, he was running a 103 degree F fever which apparently slowed him down noticeably. The following times I saw him he was like an amazing ball of friendly kinetic energy. He lives entirely in the moment – which is wonderfully Zen and occasionally terrifyingly dangerous especially before he learned some basic safety rules.) His parents decided to start him later in school which was a great choice since he really needed an extra year’s maturity. At school, he has a circle of his own space that he can do whatever he needs to stay on task and not bother other students. So far, it’s working well enough without medications. He may need some medication in a year or two as the academic demands get stronger – or maybe he just needs a Dalmatian he can run 5-6 miles every day before school. Probably meds.

        I saw so many teens who had internalized that they were bad students – or bad kids because they were walking poster-children for AD(H)D when I taught. Most of the time, we could manage by adapting the classroom structure – standing work areas, low distraction areas. I’d also tell the students that I’m a classic ADD case – but mine wasn’t diagnosed until college because my strong short-term auditory recall allowed me to hide it.

  • wookie130

    It’s only a matter of time before some impressionable expectant mother is misled down the path of quackery by Ruth, and she either loses her baby, or her own life. Perhaps she’ll lose both. And then all of the homebirth nimrods will form a protective layer around her, and “destroy the evidence”. Same shit, different day for these dangerous people. And I’m even more saddened by the possibility that it may have already happened, but we just haven’t heard of it yet.

    • Trixie

      Matter of time? It’s already happened!

  • yugaya

    Ruth Rodley is not only dangerous death enabler and peddler of unlicensed anti-medical advice online, she’s completely dumb too. There isn’t a large enough internet rock for her to crawl under after being exposed like this as a perfect fool/tool/idiot.

    Surprise surprise – she has plans to become a homebirth midwife. I’d say with this level of stupidity and callousness that she is more than qualified.

    • Trixie

      She’s in a country where they require midwives to have real educations — she probably can’t hack it.

      • yugaya

        I guess the online birth junkie killer high is not doing it for her any more.

  • Somewhereinthemiddle

    HOW can someone in good conscience continue to advise people to do things that have been demonstrated to be really, really dangerous?? You really would think that after seeing things go south a couple of times they would realize their mistake but it just seems to egg them on more. How many dead or compromised babies are they looking to rack up?? Their need to be “right” and stay attached to their dogma is psychotic.

  • Montserrat Blanco

    Rachel, if you happen to read this: i am really happy that you and your baby are fine. You are a courageous woman and a great mother. You did the right thing for your baby even if that meant having surgery yourself. Be proud of that.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    I didn’t say that dead baby’s were hiccups, I meant that some of the home births just had a hiccup,

    Actually, what she said was that Dr. Tuteur reported on “every little hickup” that happened at a home birth. Since I’ve never seen Dr. Tuteur report on anything less than a case of severe HIE morbidity, I can only conclude that she meant that those were “hiccups”.

    • Cobalt

      Yup. Not once I’ve I seen her report on a leaking birth tub, or the cord clamps being the wrong color, or the pizza ring delivered late, or mom puking on the floor instead of the trash can. Those are “little hiccups”.

      Dr. A reports on the outcomes that actually matter…life, health, and safety. If those are “little hiccups”, what does Rodley think actual problems are? Asteroids hitting the birth center? Or midwives and “birth advocates” being held responsible for their actions?

      • Who?

        A hiccup is something that is funny in retrospect, surely-a bit inconvenient, or messy: the kind of thing that brings a story to life.

        Major medical emergencies are not hiccups, though I guess if you can’t recognise a major medical emergency when it hits you between the eyes…

      • sdsures

        Oh my gosh! We forgot the CD Birth Mix!

  • 2boyz

    This is OT, but somewhat relevant: I failed my 1 hour GTT, so I have to go in tomorrow for the 3 hour. I’m actually only 14 weeks, but the doctor tested me initially because I had mentioned a particular symptom that seemed worrisome to her, and while nothing is confirmed till I take the second test, it seems that she wasn’t wrong to worry…Anyway, I have some friends who don’t believe the GTT is a necessary test (because we should all be downing our kale and chia seed smoothing to guarantee perfect health), and would probably try to tell me my doctor is putting me through unnecessary and invasive testing, especially given my history: I’m not overweight, I have had two uncomplicated pregnancies and two uncomplicated vaginal deliveries (the second was precipitous and unmedicated, as I delivered 5 minutes after arriving at the hospital. I made it to the maternity ward but not the delivery room). I eat very healthily, and honestly haven’t eaten much at all in the last 6 weeks because I was too nauseous (finally starting to subside). I don’t appear to be someone at risk for GD, and yet I’m being checked for it 3 months before most people would be checked all because my doctor was savvy enough to pick up on something that I never would have guessed would indicate a serious problem. I thought it was a minor pregnancy annoyance, albeit one I had never experienced in prior pregnancies. This is why these NCB people are so dangerous. They don’t have the scientific knowledge, only go by what
    “should” be- i.e. OK, you may need a GTT if you’re a slovenly fatty who eats cinnabons all day, but nobody else needs it- and then don’t know how to handle things that do come up, or minimize or deny the issue entirely. Anyway, wish me luck, I am nervous and rather upset that I may have to deal with GD, especially if it’s coming up so early 🙁 Any advice on that, or similar experiences?

    • Taysha

      Diabetes doesn’t care if you’re overweight or you’re the healthiest woman in the world. The placenta makes hormones that make your body resistant to insulin in order to make sure you have enough sugar in your blood for your baby.
      Get the 3hr test. Please. I have heard several people suggest GD testing in the early 2nd tri instead of later on as by that point it’s pretty well established for some people.

      It’s 100g of sugar. If you want to feel better about it, eat salads the rest of the day and you’ll even out, but finding out if you have GD is vastly more important that putting your pancreas through its paces once.

      • 2boyz

        Oh don’t worry. I’m going in 9 AM tomorrow 🙂 Of course I want the test, because if I have it, it must be treated. I was pointing out the rhetoric I’ve heard against the test. I, for one, am glad that if I do have GD, it’s being caught early. I’m also scared though. I know it’s not the worst complication to have (honestly, it’s probably the best, as we KNOW what to do about it), but it’s still upsetting and scary 🙁

        • Taysha

          I have T1, carried out a pregnancy on insulin. It IS scary. And it IS upsetting. But you can do it if it comes to that =) And we have a lot more tools now than we did years ago, so it won’t be as difficult
          Bonus – you’ll get extra ultrasounds 😉

          • 2boyz

            Thanks. And I suppose it’ll make it easier to schedule an early induction, which is something I’ve wanted because I don’t want to go through another precipitous labor. It sounds like a blessing because it’s fast, but it’s painful and scary as hell and I found it deeply traumatizing. With an induction, I have some semblance of control…

          • Taysha

            I’ve known a few people with precipitous labor and it doesn’t sound like fun AT ALL. I loved my c-section. Especially the bit where the med student passed out =D

        • Inmara

          Good luck to you, and may it be either false alarm or easily treatable kind of GD! Good news is that in most cases it lasts only throughout pregnancy and such early detection will arm you with knowledge how to deal with it and to protect you and your baby.
          I have seen similar rhetoric in my local pregnancy forums too, still wondering why such simple test which can detect serious problems gets dismissed by people with zero medical knowledge.

        • Medwife

          Phew, negative here on the 2 hr GTT! How’d it go?

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I had a wrong reading on the short test and the 3 hours one was perfectly fine. I am afraid I do not have a personal experience with GD but some friends did and it was OK. Not nice, but only some weeks of your life (that is what one of my friends said). Good luck with the test.

    • Megan

      I also failed my one hour but passed my three hour with flying colors. Its not uncommon for that to happen. But even if that happens at least you’ll have peace of mind. Good luck and bring a good book!

    • Medwife

      I kind of look like a poster child for people not at risk for GDM. Some of the crunchier types have asked me why I bothered to get screened and I’ve said, well, I DO have a risk factor- I’m 33. Eye rolling commences. Yeah, it’s a risk factor for GDM, it does count! Good for you and your doctor for taking it seriously even without obesity etc being present.

      At this point, it’s so early in your pregnancy that if you fail the 3hr GTT it would be diagnostic for type II diabetes. It will be a really really good thing for your health to discover that now, before DM has had years to do damage. But I hope you pass with flying colors 🙂

    • Cobalt

      I had GD in 2 out of 4 pregnancies, no risk factors other than prior GD the second time I had it. You never know. It’s manageable, if annoying.

      Even if you pass the three hour, you’ll likely have to test again in a few months. The risk of getting increases over the duration of the pregnancy.

      On a positive note, new research shows that GD is likely positively related to placenta function in a good way (just like morning sickness). The research is new and not near complete, but it’s a bright spot in a sea of high fiber, low sugar crackers.

      • sarah

        ooh that IS interesting! As someone who has absolutely no risk factors for GD (eats healthily, slim, exercises well before pregnancy anyway), I was shocked to discover that I had GD last pregnancy. I also however had mild HG and was on zofran until the end. I’d be interested to read more to see if the research support any connection between GD & Hg (i.e. if they have the same root cause).

    • Shawna Mathieu

      Right after I got diagnosed with GD, I was looking up advice online, and ran into a site that informed women:

      1. GD doesn’t really exist. It’s “fat-shaming.” Or racist. Possibly both. Anyway, it’s just a ploy “to further medicalize the birth experience.” Refuse to leave midwifery care. If midwife tries to transfer you to a doctor’s care, try to find a CPM or unlicensed midwife instead.
      2. Don’t do glucose testing because it’ll undermine your confidence that “your body knows what to do.”.
      3. You’re not sick so don’t take medication or insulin (then gave a list of herbs to take.).
      4. The diet’s more “fat-shaming.” Just eat lots of organic, non-GMO foods and you’ll be fine.
      5. Absolutely refuse hospitalization, early induction, monitoring, NSTs, and, of course, C-section. There’s no such thing as a baby that’s “too big” for any woman to give birth to.
      6. If baby has hypoglycemia, absolutely refuse formula or glucose drip. Breast milk will fix everything.
      BTW, just about every single breastfeeding site repeated #6. I drank the Kool-Aid on that one with my son. We had nursing problems, and his blood sugar plummeted to the point he nearly had to go to the NICU. Scared hell out of me.

      • Azuran

        GD doesn’t exist, here, take those natural herbs to treat your GD.

    • Are you nuts

      Good luck. It sounds like you have a really healthy perspective on the whole thing. I had it despite not having any risk factors (maybe being 30 is a risk factor… I don’t know). It is a frustrating process but I guess one way to look at it is that it’s a manageable complication. I actually found a group on What To Expect that was really helpful with meal and snack suggestions.

  • fiftyfifty1

    On Rachel’s first post I would suggest blurring out the name starting with “M” as it appears to possibly be a child’s name.

  • Dr Kitty

    You know what, maybe if Rachel had let her OB do a membrane sweep the day of the date night visit she’s have gone into active labour sooner, and delivered her baby safely vaginally.

    Maybe if she’d allowed AROM in hospital either labour would have gone quicker and resulted in a VB or the meconium would have been seen sooner and they wouldn’t have had to wait for the CTG to become so ominous.

    Rachel did the right thing, by going to hospital, staying in hospital and agreeing to a CS when it was necessary.

    The only people who don’t seem to be respectful of her choices were the ones repeatedly telling her off for not sticking to their agreed script, or insisting that she modify her behaviour, counter to the actual medical advice she had received.

    You can’t say “we don’t provide medical advice, our advice should not be construed as replacing the advice of medical professionals” and then actually advise people to ignore the actual advice of medical professionals involved in their cases, who are privy to much more of the story and replace it with the uneducated, ill informed advice on offer from their “support” groups.

  • Amy M

    It’s like the old bridge saying: If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too? And in this case, if you jump off the bridge, and splatter on the rocks below, your “friends” will be denying there ever was a bridge, and who was that idiot who jumped off anyway?

  • Guest

    “…everything was fine in the end.”

    Yes, the flowers at the seven funerals were lovely, weren’t they?

  • Megan

    This piece so glaringly shows the hypocrisy of Ruth Rodley and Megan Heket (and their kind) that perhaps a few on the fence will see through their lies and just how dangerous they are. Very well written, Dr. A!

    Also, I’m so glad that Rachel stayed in the hospital and her baby is safe. Funny how homebirth advocates extol the virtue of “listening to your mommy instincts” unless those instincts go against their agenda, like for instance, when Rachel’s gut told her that her baby needed to be in the hospital. To Rachel, if she stumbles across this post, you did the right thing and your baby thanks you!

    • Daleth

      My mommy instincts said “get a c-section.” Turns out my twins’ umbilical cords were so short that if I hadn’t, Baby A’s delivery would have caused a placental abruption that would have been potentially devastating to Baby B and in the BEST-case scenario would have required me to undergo a crash c-section for B right after A’s vaginal birth. Wonder what Ruth and Megan would think of that?

      • Who?

        That you didn’t believe in birth enough; that the doctors were panicking for no reason; that twins are a variation of normal and if you hadn’t been poked and prodded by doctors everything probably would have been fine; that they have a long and proud history of delivering twins and doctors just like to make women anxious; etc, etc.

        Likely it would be one of those cases where reality wouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of a midwife-promoting story. And if they could find a way to take credit for the great outcome they’d be doing it.

        • Daleth

          Yep. Except that my doctors were the ones pushing for vaginal birth (or I should say, attempted vaginal birth, since it wouldn’t have worked), while I was the one repeatedly insisting on a c-section.

          I bet that would really blow a fuse in their brains.

  • moto_librarian

    If Rachel ever happens upon this post, know this: you did the right thing. Never doubt that you did the right thing, no matter what Ruth, Meg, or any of their other moronic cronies try to tell you. I am so very glad that your daughter is alive and unscathed. Had you not trusted in your doctor, you could be mourning your child (your story reminds me far too much of Gavin Michael, who died of meconium aspiration because the “midwife” providing care chose to crowd-source the dire conditions rather than transferring care immediately). I can also guarantee that had your daughter died, these monsters would disavow themselves of any responsibility for her death, despite the fact that they routinely downplay the risks of complications that lead to death and disability. They cannot be charged in a court of law, but they are morally culpable in this. I suspect that they know it, deep down.

  • Cartman36

    This is why I left baby center. There are a lot of nice people on there but also a LOT of crazies. I didn’t even know home birth existed outside of the Amish until I joined BBC.

    Dr. Amy – I literally laughed out loud when I read this…. “They are cuckoo clocks that reliably sound, “Don’t do what your doctor recommends!”

    • gennie

      I agree

  • Daleth

    I have no words. Except for maybe “psychopath.”

  • Michele

    I am so glad that Rachel did not listen to them and her baby is ok.