2015: This year in homebirth deaths and disasters

Homebirth reaper

As the end of the year approaches, it is time for the grim task of recapping the deaths and disasters from 2015. The toll of homebirth deaths and disasters, most presided over by homebirth midwives, is, above all, a shocking indictment of the second, inferior class of counterfeit American midwives known as CPMs (certified professional midwives).

The list is, unfortunately, longer than ever.

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#000000″]4 maternal deaths; 21 infant deaths; 9 babies who sustained brain damage.[/pullquote]

She trusted birth … and it killed her. Now her children will pay the price. (December 31, 2014).

Maria Zain, a prominent Malaysian-British advocate for unassisted homebirth, left 6 children motherless, including her newborn, after her 4th unassisted homebirth.

How to rationalize your baby’s near death at homebirth

Nacia Walsh’s story of the homebirth of her emaciated, compromised baby, How My Homebirth Saved My Daughter’s Life. Nacia is not merely ignoring the fact that her homebirth midwives nearly killed her baby, but is delusionally praising them for “saving” the baby. Be sure to check out the birth photo of the baby who looks like a 3rd world victim of starvation.

So many homebirth deaths I can barely keep track

A baby who died at homebirth in Florida 12 weeks ago, unexpectedly born dead.

A baby who died in Texas 6 weeks ago, unexpectedly born pulseless.

A baby who died in Phoenix last week whose mother, a doula, had a previous HBAC. I have not been able to establish whether the caregiver knew that the baby was dead before birth or was not expecting it.

A baby who died in October after his mother labored at The Farm and was transferred to the hospital for failure to progress. On arrival at the hospital, fetal distress was noted and the mother had an emergency C-section. It was too late. The baby could not be resuscitated.

A mother who died in December in Texas after postpartum transfer from homebirth. The baby was born lifeless but surived after cooling therapy to mitigate brain damage from lack of oxygen at birth. The mother died despite days of heroic efforts to save her life at the hospital.

Yet another mother dies at homebirth

Another Texas mother died at homebirth after suffering an amniotic fluid embolus. Would she have survived had she been in a hospital? That’s hard to say because amniotic fluid embolus has a 50% mortality rate. But we can be sure that she would have had a better chance at survival and the baby would have had a much better chance with an immediate C-section.

Update on one March homebirth death and report of a second death

A Connecticut mother played Russian Roulette and her baby lost. She attempted a VBAC at home. Her uterus ruptured and the baby died. The mother survived.

Homebirth death watch

Two separate homebirth deaths.

One took place in Michigan. It was the “standard” homebirth death: 42 weeks gestation, careless monitoring, followed by inability to locate the fetal heart rate, followed by the frantic trip to the hospital, followed by ultrasound confirmation of the death of the baby. The mother gave birth shortly thereafter, but the baby was already dead. Almost certainly this baby would be alive today if the mother had chosen hospital birth instead of a homebirth midwife.

The second death took place after a labor followed avidly in the a HBAC support administered by Meg Heket who runs the website Whole Woman, among others. The mother was attempting a UBA3C (unassisted homebirth after 3 C-sections). It’s not as though she didn’t understand that babies can die. She had already lost 1 infant to SIDS and had multiple miscarriages.

The mother labored on and off with ruptured membranes and a breech baby for five days. After noticing that she hadn’t felt the baby move in hours, she went to the hospital where they confirmed that the baby was dead.

Jill Duggar Dillard risks her baby’s life at homebirth

What kind of mother claims she “rocked” a birth that nearly killed her baby?

Ashley reported:

…I totally rocked by HBAC with my cesarean baby by my side and then about an hour later, my new love began having breathing issues. He has meconium aspiration syndrome and we have been admitted to the nicu. We are likely to be here for a week or more so he can fully recover…

I will share the birth story once we’re home again. It was so amazing and empowering!

In response, Selena explained:

This is what happened to me in Jan. My hbac went perfect, but little man had breathing issue because of meconium, so to the NICU we went for 5 days…

And Amanda chimed in with:

I had my second HBA2C in birth pool on March 24. He aspirated fluid when he was born and we spent his first 4 weeks in the NICU…

Another unassisted birth, another brain damaged baby

The mother reported:

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

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

Latest homebirth harvest of death

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 27.

Apparently this was an unassisted homebirth. The mother noted on Facebook:

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?

She took him to the hospital where he subsequently died due to brain damage and organ compromise.

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.

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

Homebirth hell: 5, no 6, no 7 dead babies in one WEEK!

July 23 Baby Boy C.

Born in a CPM attended birth center. Birth announcement removed from the birth center’s page. Cause of death unknown.

July 24 Baby Boy C.

Died of massive hypoxic brain injury.

July 25/26 Baby Boy

Unassisted pregnancy, unassisted birth after a previous premature birth at 30 weeks. Baby died during labor.

July 26 Baby Girl E.

Attempted unassisted homebirth. Stalled at 9 cm. Mother’s friend crowd sourced advice on Facebook. Ultimately transferred to the hospital with a live baby. Baby appears to have died during further labor.

July 27/28 Baby gender unknown

Grand multip attempting HBAC. She had had multiple previous successful VBACs. Transferred for abruption. Mother developed eclampsia with seizures. No fetal heartbeat on admission to the hospital. Emergency repeat C-section for a baby that appeared to have been dead for at least an hour.

July 26 Baby Girl A

Born at home before noon after what appears to have been an HBAC. Baby immediately transferred to the hospital “due to complications of labor.” Baby died before midnight.

The 7th homebirth death on July 30 was the result of major congenital anomalies.

He’s a spastic quadriplegic as a result, but she’s glad she had a homebirth

Mother #1 writes:

Had this brave little chickie at home 6/1 … And didn’t go quite as planned. She was born unresponsive. No oxygen to her brain for unknown amount of time. Straight to the hospital (I was still naked in the ambulance!) then transferred an hour and half away where my fought [for] her life… Collapsed lung, spiration, heart problems, seizures, brain damage, low blood sugar … Just to name a few! Today she’s doing better than anyone said she would. She’s perfect… Currently only on feeding tube. And guess what… She was 9lbs, 90z and I didn’t tear!!!! And still, i’m glad I had her at home!

Mother #2 responds:

Congrats! We too had unexpected complications with one of our births, a severe placenta abruption. He suffered lack of oxygen for an extended period or time and was life flighted in where they cooled him for 5 days. He is now 2 1/2 and has severe spastic quad cp (cognitively unaffected) but we are so glad we had him at home too…

The cult of homebirth kills babies; 5 deaths in the last few weeks

Baby Girl Penelope. The mother was planning a UBA2C (unassisted birth after 2 C-sections). She went past 40 weeks (by her own estimation) and ruptured membranes at 43 weeks. At 44 weeks she noticed decreased fetal movement. At the hospital the baby was found to be dead.

Baby Girl Miranda Ruby. She died during an attempted UBAC. Her mother had a history of 3 previous successful VBACs. This time her uterus ruptured and her baby died.

A baby died in UC attempt in Winston NC. Seen in a local homebirth group. No further details are available at this time.

Baby Girl. Her mother runs a Facebook group called Rewilding Mama. She had no prenatal care. Water broke at 37 weeks on 8/30, and the baby was born 2 or 3 days later. She died the next day.

Baby boy. Mother was planning HBA3C. She was 42.2 and the perinatologist had recommended to delivery weeks before; she stopped going to appointments. She was being encouraged by a small VBA3C Facebook group. The mother noticed decreased movement and went in; the baby was dead and the mother opted for repeat C-section.

Maura and her no good, very bad, nearly deadly Bali homebirth

Without modern obstetrics, both Jessa and Jill Dugger would probably be dead

It all worked so perfectly … except for the part where the baby couldn’t breathe

The mother wrote:

Please keep my little daughter … in your thoughts and prayers. Two hours after an amazing homebirth this morning @42+1, my very bonnie 9.8 lb little girl suddenly developed breasthing problems and MW had to call an ambulance and we raced to the city hospital. She’s being well looked after in NICU (and looking like the most enormous baby surrounded by tiny prems), but we still don’t know what’s causing her very laboured breathing:-(

Followed by:

She’s doing OK, looks like she got fluid (may have been from her overly vigorous but slightly uncoordinated first breastfeed) on her lungs or possibly and infection. Just cuddled her and rocked her to sleep, and expressed her some colostrum…

Still in amazement that this lovely bonnie girl came out of my vagina! And I didn’t need stitches! It all worked so perfectly.

Nicola’s noxious narcissism: when the birth is more important than the baby

Nicola chose homebirth for her second baby because she wanted a “wonderful” birth. The birth was not wonderful for the baby, though.

But i was very unlucky, my baby was born not breathing 40 minutes away from hospital from which he has sustained serious brain injury and will live with serious life long disabilities.

Now I will spend the rest of my life wondering whether I should have gone against every instinct in my body and done as I was told by people I didn’t trust. If I had done that would my son have arrived safely??

Carmina also chose homebirth. According to the GoFundMe page:

T. was born on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at home by mid wife. At some point during his birth two things went drastically wrong. He inhaled meconium which filled his lungs and the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, cutting off his oxygen.

The midwife was able to rescusitate him after approximately 13 minutes, however, it is unknown how long T. had been cut off from oxygen intake, or at which point he inhaled the meconium. For the first 40 minutes of his life, he was not in Doctors’ hands as he was in route via helicopter to the Hospital.

He suffered severe brain damage.


I no longer write about every homebirth death or disaster of which I learn. There are simply too many.

I wrote posts about:

4 maternal deaths

21 perinatal deaths

9 babies who sustained brain damage

Think homebirth is safe? So did the mothers in these 34 accounts.

Think homebirth is safe? Read the 34 stories and think again.

200 Responses to “2015: This year in homebirth deaths and disasters”

  1. Francesca Violi
    February 9, 2016 at 5:43 am #

    In Italy we’ve just had the first homebirth death. A couple decided that their third baby would be born at home. The mother (36) had already homebirthed two babies without problems; they were sleeping next room while she laboured and delivered assisted only by her baby’s father. But the baby was born and not breathing. The father called emergency; they found the baby was dead; It is not clear whether the baby was stillborn or died soon after delivery (also in just one paper is mentioned that during delivery the father realised the baby was breech), and there is an investigation going on. When the police first questioned the father, he said he and his wife always followed Michel Odent’s philosophy of birth. This is even more tragic if you consider that in Italy every woman can delivery in a hospital totally free of charge, and these people live in a wealthy area of northern Italy, amidst the best public health facilities in the country; some of which are even pretty friendlly toward “natural” birth.

  2. N
    January 6, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    I don’t understand why these women are so focused on their childbirth experience being “natural” at the expense of heir child’s life. I would think that the trauma of losing a child because you ignored medical advice would be more traumitizing than any “birth trauma” experienced at a hospital.

  3. Lenke
    January 6, 2016 at 9:22 am #

    But oh my, these are all wonderful births! They didn’t even need stitches! Disgusting 🙁

  4. sdsures
    January 2, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    “How My Homebirth Saved My Daughter’s Life” by Nacia Walsh

    Erm, what? Unbelievable arrogance.

  5. LindaRosaRN
    January 1, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    I find it interesting to read state disciplinary actions, such as these in Oregon:


  6. Eater of Worlds
    December 31, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Even worse, Jessa Duggar had a completely untrained midwife. http://www.inquisitr.com/2576965/duggar-family-midwife-says-woman-attending-jessas-birth-had-no-license-or-training-jills-midwife-speaks-out/

    This article even states that Jessa wanted to go to the hospital but basically wasn’t allowed http://www.inquisitr.com/2558946/michelle-duggar-aided-jessas-midwife-in-botched-home-birth/

    Look at this homebirth midwife’s awesome credentials! Every time I see an Arizona homebirth problem I check to see specifically where the homebirth was done to see if it was her. Stephanie Soderblom AZCBE AZCD LCCE CLD CCCE CD(DONA) CBC CAAC. She’s got the kitchen sink but for all that effort to get those letters, not a damn one says RN, at the least, or CNM to add to the vomit of Cs. I would read her posts back nearly 20 years ago when she started to steep in the woo, not vaccinating her kids and things like that. All I can think of is if her kids are exposed to some sort of illness she could easily pass it on to a pregnant woman and endanger her and her unborn or newborn baby.

  7. Cara
    December 31, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    Thank you for continuing to be blunt and honest in the face of home birth advocates attacking you. I never planned a home birth, my plan was an unmedicated birth at a hospital with a certified nurse-midwife (backed by an OB). My son was in such distress from active labor, he needed an emergency c-section when I had been in labor for maybe a couple of hours, and was at 2cm. Thankfully I had only labored at home long enough to determine it wasn’t a false alarm before coming in! Yes – my birth experience was terrifying and emotionally traumatizing – but who gives a sh*t, my son is alive and healthy. I will never understand those who place their experience over their child’s safety.

  8. Tosca
    December 31, 2015 at 7:09 am #

    I know a family who had a child with spastic quadriplegia. They adored him and gave him the best life they could, but of course it was difficult for them, and for him. They had availed themselves of the best medical care available during the pregnancy and birth. The mother often said that it was a great comfort to her that they had done everything possible.

    I can see how homebirth advocates with injured babies HAVE to delude themselves. To admit that YOU caused this, that YOU are responsible for your baby’s lifelong disability, that it’s YOUR fault…it must be a crushing burden. So much better to do the rational thing at the start of your child’s life.

    • Eater of Worlds
      December 31, 2015 at 11:24 am #

      I was friends with a guy who had spastic cerebral palsy, which is the most common type. His was so severe he was in a wheelchair and he had an implant that constantly dosed his spinal cord with muscle relaxers (intrathecal baclofen) and he barely has a life. Spasticity is goddamned painful. People just think about it being difficult to move, they don’t think about how much pain it creates even in someone with quadriplegia. I think he’s actually dead now, he was planning on killing himself when we lost contact. Why would you risk that for your child?

      I made it sound awful like I abandoned him but this was an online group of people who had disabilities and many of the group were just sitting around trying to figure out the best way out of life due to uncontrollable pain. Again, why risk that for your child?

    • AgentOrange5
      January 2, 2016 at 6:29 am #

      Yes, but it is still incredibly selfish. By denying, the mother is still thinking of me, me, me–which is why she had a homebirth against all the evidence of its safety. The better thing would be for the mother to warn others, to not want her baby’s suffering/death to be in vain, to let others know they made a terrible mistake.

  9. Sue
    December 30, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

    I’ll never forget the tragic funeral of a twin who died of twin-twin transfusion at birth. Nature.

  10. Elizabeth Neely
    December 30, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    so so sad. all of those babies.

  11. Amazed
    December 30, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    No. Not safe. Just incredibly arrogant. Oh Nature loves us! Surprise, surprise, girlie: Nature is a bitch. And one prone to whims. That’s why we’re here and T-rex isn’t. And things can change in the blink of an eye. For everyone. No one likes to think it’ll happen to her, of course, but no reason to assume it won’t be her either. So why not sacrifice a few days of your comfort if hospital is indeed so uncomfortable? Parenthood lasts a lifetime!

    The wife of someone I knew recently delivered. Her due date was in the middle of March. The baby is in the NICU, of course, but they’re hopeful. A woman in my SIL’s online group lost her twins to preeclampsia last month. It can happen to everyone. Everyone. Why tempt Nature?

    On a brighter note: today, my fortune slip in the cafe told me I’d meet someone. A few hours later, I “met” my niece, due in February. As her father played the guitar, she started dancing, or perhaps hitting the ceiling with her bum in happiness because that definitely didn’t feel like a foot! Anyway, she kept exercizing for a while after he stopped, so I like to think she was happy to meet me. She’s always been shy with everyone but her father before. Even when SIL panics and starts poking her to make her move a little and show it’s all fine, she isn’t at all impressed. But when the Intruder places a hand on the belly, she always finds it. He even has to push her aside when she takes residence over an organ or something…

    • momofone
      December 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

      Congratulations on “meeting” your niece!

      • Amazed
        December 30, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

        Thanks! I’m very excited! I updated my flu shot because of her. And I may even let her have that lovely pink unicorn that I bought her. Edna the Ednorog (in my language, that means Uni the Unicorn) is sooo lovely that we (that’s the Intruder, SIL, and yours truly) are already fighting over her. After all, it’ll be a while before the baby can use her anyway!

  12. Amy Tuteur, MD
    December 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

    I’m quoted in this piece about the new NEJM study on out of hospital birth: http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2015/12/home_births_hospital_births.html

  13. Megan
    December 30, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

    Kinda OT: Did anyone just hear the drivel that NPR just had on about home birthing? They have really fallen under the woo-spell. I really need to check out the NEJM study they’re talking about after DD goes to bed tonight. They didn’t interview anyone who disagreed with home birth. Would love to hear what Dr. Amy thinks about it. Here’s a link to the NPR transcript:


    Off to make dinner…

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      December 30, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

      I’ll be writing about it tomorrow. It shows that out of hospital birth (birth centers and home births with CNMs and CPMs doubles the risk of death. The risk of homebirth itself, particularly homebirth with a CPM is undoubtedly much higher.

    • Angharad
      December 30, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

      I heard that! My (least) favorite part was the quote about how some mothers choose to avoid a higher chance of c-sections and inductions, and others choose to minimize the risk of going home without a baby. As if those could be in any way comparable.

      • Megan
        December 30, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

        Yes!!! I even filled in the blank aloud in my car when they said that and I said, “or a dead baby?” Seemed like such craziness to me to equate the two! And no mention at all at the ridiculousness of the CPM “credential.” Ugh, next time I donate to my local NPR station it will be only towards the children’s programming on TV, which I still love. I’ve had it with the radio and the woo stories.

      • Roadstergal
        January 1, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

        And it’s like they can’t link the two together, that inductions and C-sections are done solely and specifically for the health of mum and baby!

        Especially inductions. Even if C-sections are not your cup of tea, how can you be against an induction? When you read the accounts of ‘natural’ folk, they talk about induction all the time – sex, walking, bouncing on a ball, nipple stimulation, etc – so they’re clearly not opposed to inductions! Just… inductions that work. I don’t get it.

  14. guest
    December 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    I am extremely thankful all over again for my CNMs who actually did everything right and did all the tests and caught all the problems. I hated all the extra monitoring at the end (who wouldn’t hate forty minute public transportation commutes to the hospital in the dead of winter three times a week?) but that’s how you *prevent* problems. It doesn’t make for a good story because no one came out blue and there wasn’t blood everywhere, and sometimes I feel like I should stop telling it, because who cares about the boring good outcomes? But the boring stories matter too – the ones where basic interventions were used and everyone came out fine.

    • demodocus
      December 30, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

      I take public transit. That is rarely life-threatening, but it can be quite interesting.

      • guest
        December 30, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

        Ha ha. Yeah, not usually life-threatening (unless someone pushes you onto the tracks, which seems to happen about once a year, and then there was the time a passenger stabbed a bus driver with a syringe with unknown contents and fled, taking the needle with him), but really sucky during a big winter storm.

        • SporkParade
          December 31, 2015 at 5:38 am #

          And now I have the song about riding on the subway from Sesame Street stuck in my head. “You can lose your purse or you might lose something worse on the subway (SUBWAY!).”

    • Roadstergal
      December 30, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

      The boring stories, IMO, are the most representative and important ones. Screening and monitoring is done, and early interventions prevent ‘blood everywhere’ disasters.

    • Commander30
      December 31, 2015 at 9:29 am #

      Mine was boring too. I had biweekly NSTs once I hit 37 weeks because of my GD, along with some extra ultrasounds, and one day past my due date my OB determined my amniotic fluid levels were too low and had me induced that night. (She actually gave me the option of that night or the next morning, but I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore.) My daughter was born healthy and well the next day after a fairly straightforward labor and delivery, was never in fetal distress, no emergency complications arose, etc. For all I know, she would have been fine if I hadn’t induced, or even birthed her at home. But why the heck would I take that chance with her life? I’m very happy with the outcome, and if I have another one, I’d totally be up for induction at the hospital again.

  15. prudentplaner
    December 30, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

    I had an amazing, wonderful, maternal-requested induced hospital birth this summer. And now I have a healthy son. Somehow these stories feel more real to me now. I read the about these tragedies and I can’t help but imagine how much happier these families would have been if they had followed the advice of a real doctor. (it sounds like concern-trolling) but their holidays must have sucked this year,

    It’s hard for me to put into words… but if they are willing to endure the ‘agony’ of unmediated labor ‘for their children’, then why cant’ they endure the ‘difficulty’ of hospital policies for a living baby?

    But hospital birth doesn’t have to be difficult. I loved every minute of my hospital birth. The OB-GYN/CNM practice I use was caring; even flexible about eating between doses of induction drugs. Heck, I looked at the induction like a vacation: family was watching baby #1, I had meals in bed, and I read 4 novels in 16 hours while waiting for labor to start. In the end I knew that I had done everything possible to keep my boy safe.

    HOMEBIRTH…. it’s just not worth it.

    • Daleth
      December 31, 2015 at 10:06 am #

      4 novels in 16 hours! I love it! You must be my soul sister. 🙂

  16. Commander30
    December 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

    These are just so heartbreaking. 🙁 Count me amongst the ones who can’t imagine why people would put their “birth experience” over the well-being of their own children. It just boggles the mind.

    • DelphiniumFalcon
      December 31, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      And aren’t most women a bit overwhelmed during birth so the memories can get a little fuzzy? All of that for some fuzzy, I think I felt good but I can’t remember feelings?

      I just remember what my mom told me when my sister was having a freak out about getting pregnant and going through labor:

      “It’s a good thing you’re so addled during and after childbirth by hormones that even a few weeks later you start thinking ‘that wasn’t so bad! Let’s do it again!’ Nature has some mercy when it helps you forget what the hell was going on during that time.”

      Mom is generally a positive person but she sure doesn’t sugar coat things. It was awkward at first that she could be so blunt about sex issues but it makes talking to her about sensitive stuff a lot easier now!

      • Mac Sherbert
        January 4, 2016 at 11:28 am #

        Yeah, but not for everyone. I have a friend that can’t decide if she wants another baby because labor is “so painful.” And by all accounts there was no drama about her delivery.

        • Daleth
          January 4, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

          Has she heard of epidurals?!

          • Mac Sherbert
            January 4, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

            They wouldn’t give her one until she was dilated a certain amount. It was a small hospital. I’ve referred Her to the larger hospital farther away that has dedicated 24/7
            Anesthesiologist. Where I had a nurse ready to give me one at 3cm.

  17. Jessica
    December 30, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    Recently a woman on my birth month board asked about home birth, wanting to know other low risk mothers who were contemplating home birth as she was. I mostly stay out of those threads, but had to respond after a nurse posted favorably about the skills of midwives, the equipment they have, and their willingness to immediately transfer when things start to look wonky. I pointed out that one cannot absolutely assume anything about the skills, education, or training of a midwife, as the regulations are not uniform state to state, and shared some of what has happened in Oregon, where I live. Of course the nurse posting lives in Canada, and of course the original poster is from Oregon. But of course she trusts that her midwives have very strict transfer protocols and birth is not a medical emergency for low risk women, and in essence told me to go away and quit harshing her mellow. WHATEVER.

    Now, it sounds like many of the mothers in this post should NEVER have been home birth candidates, which only undermines the reassurances from home birth advocates that it’s safe because high risk women are risked out. Apparently, they’re not, and there’s a body count as proof. I’ve sometimes wondered if I should call around the homebirth midwives here in Eugene to see how many would be willing to take me on as a patient – an obese, 35 year old with chronic hypertension. (For the record, I have no desire to deliver anywhere other than the hospital with my wonderful OB and an epidural in place.)

    • Bombshellrisa
      December 30, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

      Speaking of Eugene midwives, a former midwife from Eugene moved to my area and she is advertising to be a nanny/babysitter. I can’t find anything about her anywhere but I wonder what her story is and why she moved here and now wants to be a nanny.

      • attitude devant
        December 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

        oooooh! Bombshell! I might know…..

        • Bombshellrisa
          December 30, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

          Something tells me you do, I can’t get anything out of the person who posted her ad on Facebook.

          • attitude devant
            December 30, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

            can you tell me a name or tell me where the ad is?

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 30, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

            Susan or Susie Musolino.

          • yugaya
            December 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

            Can you contact me please? (my email is in my disqus profile)

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

            Check your email

  18. Christy
    December 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    What a tragic list. My first baby died in utero, despite seeing both an OB and a maternal fetal specialist. She had a cluster of congenital issues and most likely her fate was sealed as soon as she was conceived. Being without her has left me damaged in mind, heart, body and soul for the rest of my life. Now, I’m almost 34 weeks pregnant with her little brother. I can not fathom the thought of willingly placing him at any greater risk than those already inherent in the birth process.

    • Megan
      December 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Hope everything is going well with this pregnancy.

    • moto_librarian
      December 30, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

      I am very sorry, Christy. I hope that the next few weeks pass uneventfully and result in a healthy baby boy.

    • Christy
      December 30, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      Thank you. I wasn’t posting for sympathy, though now that I read it again it sure looks like it. 🙂 I just wish there was a way to get through to families considering home birth with a CPM or even unassisted just what exactly they are risking.

      • attitude devant
        December 30, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

        Please post here when he’s born. We’d all love to hear about it. Oddly, I have seen people with very bad obstetrical histories, i.e., people who should KNOW better, choosing home birth. Just blows me away.

    • Montserrat Blanco
      December 30, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

      I am so sorry for your loss.

      I really hope this current pregnancy goes well and you will be helding a healthy little boy in some weeks.

      Hugs and best wishes.

    • momofone
      December 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I hope for the safe, healthy arrival of your son.

    • Mishimoo
      December 30, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

      So sorry for your loss!

      Really hope that the rest of this pregnancy is completely boring and that you get to hold a happy and healthy baby when he arrives.

    • Sarah
      December 31, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

      I’m glad you told us about your girl. She deserves to be remembered. Best of luck for the next few weeks. My fingers are firmly crossed for you.

    • Amazed
      January 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope things get as boring and safe as possible this time.

  19. Roadstergal
    December 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    I was watching Warriors vs Cavs the other night (since Kerr, we can’t afford to see them in person anymore), and one of the announcers was talking about how Shumpert of the Cavs helped his wife deliver their baby at home. I was surprised and pleased by the co-announcer’s rant of a response, about how we can only say afterwards that it was safe, they were lucky, and ending with “Those OBs go to school for a reason!”

    • demodocus
      December 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

      The local news didn’t go on a rant, but did go into some detail. Apparently Mrs. Shumpert didn’t realize she was in labor until the last minute. They called 911, but little Imam Jr. showed up before the paramedics.

      • BeatriceC
        December 30, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

        The articles I read all made clear that this was an unplanned home birth. Sometimes life just happens in spite of our plans. I didn’t read anywhere that they were planning on a home birth at term, just that she didn’t realize she was in early labor and the guy did what he could to help while they waited for EMS.

        • Eater of Worlds
          December 31, 2015 at 11:39 am #

          He tied the umbilical cord with the cord to his headphones or earbuds, one of the two. That cracks me up, it’s the modern form of “use a shoelace.”

      • Roadstergal
        December 30, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

        Ah, those details didn’t come through here. Just blurbs about “Basketball player + OB!” stuff. It’s good to know they had help on the way.

  20. Brooke
    December 30, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    Maybe we should address the disparities in maternal/infant death rates between certain groups of women who give birth in the hospital before attacking the 1% of pregnant women who choose to give birth at home aware of the limitations of midwives or their own limitations in the case of unassisted births.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      December 30, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

      For Brooke:

      • demodocus
        December 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

        …i’ve watched too much Dr. Who when i should have been sleeping… That’s a weeping angel

        • Megan
          December 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

          That was my first thought too!! In my hunble opinion, they are the creepiest Dr. Who villain.

          • Mishimoo
            December 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

            They’re my eldest daughter’s favourite, she wants to cosplay one at some point.

          • Roadstergal
            December 30, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

            OT – do you listen to The Infinite Monkey Cage? The Christmas special this year was all about Doctor Who, and Ross Noble did some speculation about blind people and the Weeping Angels.

          • Mishimoo
            December 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

            I don’t, but that sounds interesting!!

          • Roadstergal
            December 31, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

            It’s my favorite podcast.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            December 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

            That would be amazing. I’ve seen some awesome Weeping Angel cosplays. The detailing of the costumes varied widely but the best ones were always the ones that would pick someone, usually a Dr. Who cosplayer, and stalk then around the convention only to cover their eyes and freeze when they turned around. Cosplayers are generally good sports about that kind of stuff so everyone had a good laugh.

          • Mishimoo
            January 1, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

            We took the kids to their first convention last year, and all the other cosplayers were so nice! I was hoping for general politeness, but I was not expecting how excited people were to see small cosplayers. A Lumpy Space Princess asked to have photos, a Finn cosplayer ran over to join in a photo, and when we found an Ice King, he played along with one of my daughters flaming him each time they saw each other.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 2, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

            I absolutely adore little cosplayers when I’m in costume!

            If you ever want to know what it’s like to be a princess at Disneyland, having a little convention goer run up to you and throw their arms around your legs is about as close as it gets.

            My favorite one was a girl probably about seven or eight, a bit young for the target demographic of the series I was cosplaying (Fullmetal Alchemist as Riza Hawkeye) but oh well, ran up to me then got all shy and mumbled, “Hawkeye, you’re my hero! Can I hug you?” How can you say no? Lol Not many little girls choose Hawkeye as their hero and I was specifically cosplaying her since I’m a bit wider in the shoulders than most women and fit the artist’s preference for drawing her as a woman with some muscle and curves. Also helps that I know how to actually handle a gun and stand up straight so I definitely looked the part. Th girl’s mom was so happy I was nice to her and let her get pictures. But how can you be a jerk to a kid, especially one looking at you like you’re Christmas, Halloween, and their birthday all wrapped into one?

            I didn’t get as much camera attention as the Hawkeye cosplayers in the miniskirks since I opted for the screen accurate uniform with long pants but that little girl’s reaction was absolutely worth it.

            I haven’t been able to go to a convention in years but this year is looking good for September. Might actually be able to go with my husband to his first con as Commander Shepard and Garrus Vakarian from Mass Effect. He’ll be getting all the attention but he’ll deserve it with the amount of crazy that’s going to go into wearing that costume.

            And tiny cosplayers that are being good sports for their parents or tiny cosplayers with understanding parents are the best! They could be wearing a paper sack with the character scribbled on it by them and most cosplayers probably wouldn’t be able to contain themselves. Gotta start somewhere and this kid is starting early!

          • demodocus
            January 3, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

            Its so hard to decide when is the best age to start a kid on your favorite fantasy/sci fi things. Lord of the Rings can be *scary* if you’re 2 and the book is so long. For that matter the later Potter books are a bit dark. Sigh, the trials and tribulations of a nerdy mother.

        • Michelle Singleton
          December 31, 2015 at 10:31 am #

          OT: Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a weeping angel for the yard? And not have to pay 3500$+ because tombstones are apparently the only way?
          I mean seriously. I can’t even find a yard angel at christmas that is budget friendly…
          Why do I want a weeping angel? Halloween and the creep factor.

          • demodocus
            December 31, 2015 at 11:11 am #

            no, but then i never looked. You might be able to make one

          • Eater of Worlds
            December 31, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

            If you search for “weeping angel statue doctor who” a bunch of choices come up that are table top size and there are big cardboard cutouts. Or a mask at amazon, look up weeping angel mask and there are vacuform and cardboard ones.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            December 31, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

            You can make them out of Barbies if you want a smaller version! I’m going to try to make some for my friend’s birthday. You might be able to find one of those larger “My Size” dolls at a thrift store if you want to go big.


          • Michelle Singleton
            December 31, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

            I’ve spent the last 2 months trying to find a Ken that I can turn into a Castiel tree topper… 😉
            Thanks!! 😉

          • Roadstergal
            January 1, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

            Castiel Ken – oh, that’s fantastic! Please tell me you did it…

          • Michelle Singleton
            January 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

            I can’t find one that looks right. I’m also trying to find a trench, but that’s almost as impossible. That said, christmas gift cards means I can spend a little more so I will get it done. I leave my tree up all year and decorate it with seasonal things… So when I get Cas done, I’ll post it

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 1, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

            You might have better luck making your own trench (coat?). Doll clothes selections certainly aren’t what they used to be.

            I know my mom had a bunch of Barbie doll sized clothes she made for my sister and I and I’m not sure if she found patterns somewhere or drafted them herself. Drafting patterns for dolls isn’t nearly as difficult as making them for real humans. Plus there’s the internet today which wasn’t available when she did that. You could probably find an open source pattern to adjust to the proper size.

            And sewing doll clothes isn’t as hard as “real” sewing, even if you don’t have a sewing machine. Since dolls don’t complain about crappy seams on the inside of the clothes.

            As for finding the right doll, you might have better luck with some of the knock off brands of smaller Asian Ball Joint Dolls. You can usually.customize them to a degree too. They are rather spendy, even on the cheaper sides…

          • Michelle Singleton
            January 1, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

            Yeah. I’m going to look at patterns at Joann’s and Hobby Lobby on Monday. My s-i-l said they learned how to sew buy making Barbie clothes, so… LOL I can make a mean Christmas stocking….

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

            If you can sew a mean Christmas stocking then as long as you’re patient with some trial and error, you’ll be fine! Lol

            I don’t want to talk about how many times I’ve had to discard a project and start over while I’m learning something new and my mom isn’t there to stop me from doing something stupid.

            But even two states away she’s looking out for me. She got me some electric scissors so I don’t slice my finger open again with a rotary fabric cutter. I have problems using regular scissors since I’m left handed. Mom didn’t force me to switch on anything except cutting with scissors right handed. The rest my parents let me go with whatever hand I gravitated towards naturally. But my right hand is significantly weaker and less dexterous than my left hand and even with left handed scissors I can’t cut left handed worth a darn. She thought she’d try to solve the problem with powered scissors with hand guards and small blades for Christmas. My mother is a very smart woman who knows my klutziness well.

            If you find a sewing tool that keeps you from hurting yourself or doing something stupid, buy it! There’s no such thing as cheating here!

            …and if you into the more creative parts of crafting and costuming it’s always worth going through a check out line with an actual person. They want to ask wtf this is all for but don’t dare. “Why is there so much glue?!”

            Go through the line with fabric glue, the industrial size bottle of Elmer’s glue, craft glue, a ton of glue sticks, crafting foam, rub n’ buff in silver, green acrylic paint, a heat gun, a shit ton of muslin fabric, tons of velcro, x-acto knives, and acrylic floor polish. Watch the eyebrows. Totally worth it. A costumer or a reasonable crafty person probably immediately has a remote idea of what you’re doing. Your average out in the boonies ranching community towns people, strangely, do not.

            I haven’t done it yet but I’ve considered throwing a pack of condoms in there just for the extra wtf factor.

            …you lose almost all sense of shame when you become a cosplayer. Might as well go over the line twice.

          • Michelle Singleton
            January 3, 2016 at 11:55 am #

            omg… Yeah. The WTF looks are awesome.
            The Boyfriend was telling me about the time he went to walmart and got me midol, nyquil, a king size symphony bar, a big bottle of barefoot resiling, and an eyeshadow quad I had been looking at. He said the girl at the checkout laughed and the guy behind him told him he was a smart man. His reply? “Covering my bases..”
            My kids are into American Girls. I bought a bunch of patterns at one of the Joann’s sales and that’s how we (they) are going to learn to sew. I’m contemplating doing the Barbie stuff by hand. I’ve been wanting to take up quilting…

            Cosplay? I want to do Cara and/or Kahlan from Sword of Truth. And Felicia Day as Charlie (basically Felicia). My girls want to be Poison Ivy and Batgirl. They did the twins from the Shining this last Halloween. That was fun to see people’s reactions…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 4, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

            “Let me have a 3 Musketeers, a ball point pen, one of those combs, there, a pint of Old Harper, a couple of flashlight batteries and some beef jerky.”


          • Michelle Singleton
            January 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

            And he’s done! Well almost. I ordered an Angel Blade from a shop on Etsy that I will add when it gets here… But I have my Castiel! Modeled by one of my girls 😉 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1625488dcbf71a580c14b320244434e3d479ebf1abe46172cdd656598603ba94.jpg

          • Roadstergal
            January 17, 2016 at 4:50 pm #


          • Michelle Singleton
            January 17, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

            I think this project was more fun than any I’ve done in a long time 😉

    • momofone
      December 30, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      Do that! And while you’re at it, we’re still waiting with bated breath for your insightful analysis of the PROBIT study resources that have been posted for you. 🙂

      • Sarah
        December 31, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

        I do believe she’s meant to tell us all about the 5% section rate ideal first.

    • Zoey
      December 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

      So I assume you believe that all midwives are honest about their limitations to women that are thinking about using their services (therefore allowing women to make informed decisions about said limitations). I guess that’s why so many of them recommend all the screening tests, risk out so many women and transfer at the first sign of a complication. Oh wait…

    • yugaya
      December 30, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

      “Maybe we should address the disparities in maternal/infant death rates between certain groups of women who give birth in the hospital”

      What “certain groups” are you talking about Brooke? Middle class, white, generally healthy women? Because they are the majority of homebirthers in USA.

      P.S. Racial and many other disparities in the outcomes of USA maternity care have already been addressed extensively by experts.

    • Commander30
      December 30, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      ” aware of the limitations of midwives or their own limitations in the case of unassisted births.”

      I think the problem is that a lot of those women really aren’t aware. They’ve been fed so much misinformation about “trusting their bodies” that they believe that the bad things happen to other people, but not them.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        December 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

        What is it with the magical thinking of “Trust birth” ?? Its like blindfolding yourself , getting in a car and trusting that you can drive around your block without hurting yourself or your kid who is sitting in the back seat. Maybe you will make it around the block ok but maybe you will have to stop short and your (not seat-belted) kid will fly headfirst into the windshield.

        Its the “clap harder if you believe!” school of childbirth. You can trust all you want to. If your pelvis is too small for the baby you are carrying you may die without a C-section. Trust birth is not going to fix Rh incompatibility or a post postpartum hemorrhage. Its not going to help your baby with a heart defect (who was delivered at home) that wasn’t detected because you didn’t want any Ultrasound scans.

    • Megan
      December 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

      I know we’d all love to have you try to address *something* since all you seem to do is make a snarky comment and then go silent.
      We are still waiting for you to respond about your proposed 5% ideal CS rate, the PROBIT study, the studies you mentioned about animal agriculture, and now, the disparities in maternal and neonatal death rates between certain groups on women birthing in hospital. I somehow doubt you’ll be back to actually address any of these things (most likely because you can’t). Why don’t you go troll somewhere else?

    • mythsayer
      December 31, 2015 at 12:57 am #

      Why should that be done BEFORE? They are two separate, but important, issues. Women who home birth are generally white and wealthier…middle class. I assume you are referring to higher hospital death rates for low income and/or minority women? How does a higher death rate for the latter group have ANYTHING to do with home birth deaths? If anything, this means the white/middle class women should well know they’d get better care than others might in the hospital….and yet they choose the riskier way anyway. That just sounds like stupidity, honestly. Making a stupid choice is…well…stupid. They are free to make that choice of course. That doesn’t mean I have to think they are smart or informed about the ramifications of that choice.

      Stop trying to pull focus from the issues at hand. You brought up a totally unrelated issue. Again I ask, how does the death rate for lower income women have ANYTHING at all to do with middle class women choosing homebirth? They are entirely separate issues. I actually can’t see the relation at all, truly.

    • rosewater7
      December 31, 2015 at 4:22 am #

      Maybe you should address the death rate for babies born at home instead of attacking people who don’t 100% support homebirth. Maybe you should make a New Year’s resolution to…oh, I don’t know…support people who try to help babies and moms LIVE?

    • SporkParade
      December 31, 2015 at 5:30 am #

      This is a subject that has been addressed regularly on this blog. To summarize: 1) When women die in childbirth in the US, it is generally due to a medical condition that was poorly controlled before pregnancy and further exasperated by pregnancy, which strongly suggests that obstetric care isn’t to blame. This is backed up by the fact that the requirements to qualify for Medicaid are loosened during pregnancy. 2) Some of the disparities do appear to be genetic. For example, black babies are more likely to be born prematurely, but they also tend to have better outcomes than white babies among the very early preemies. 3) We all agree that disparities in health outcomes are an important issue for obstetrics. So why is it that NCB advocates such as yourself only discuss it for the purposes of trashing OBs and hospitals, but then have as your main issues, “The nurse expressly disrespected my wish not to be offered pain relief just because I was in agonizing pain!” and “The OB tried to pressure me into a C-section I didn’t want just because C-section was the safer option!”?

    • Box of Salt
      December 31, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

      Maybe we should express compassion for the losses and harms deatiled in this post before attempting to divert the commentary to completely different issues.

      Since you, Brooke, are a relatively new commenter, I know I won’t find your screenname among those who did when the primary posts linking the stories above originally went live.

  21. MicrobiKitten
    December 30, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    The second mom actually some with her real opinion

  22. Ash
    December 30, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    The clinic birth in Unity , WI was probably attended by Dr. Troy Schrock. I believe that is the only clinic located in Unity. I believe Dr Schrock mostly treats Amish and Mennonite patients.

    See page 3: There it mentions the death of a laboring woman and unborn child.


  23. Montserrat Blanco
    December 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    After years of reading those posts it is still awful to read them. Seems it gets worse every year. I know this post is necessary, but it is very painful to read.

    Just in case: happy 2016 to everybody!

    • moto_librarian
      December 30, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

      So…he was indeed being investigated by the CA Medical Board, which would explain why there were no official statements, right? I am also wondering about the federal lawsuit – what would that be? Is there such a thing for malpractice?

      I’m glad that he has surrendered his license, but I still think that Improving Birth is just using this woman.

    • Gatita
      December 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      Oh wow, that is huge. Amy, you were wrong about this one.

      In June, Turbin filed a federal lawsuit against Abbassi with the aid of Improving Birth and a prominent civil-rights attorney, Mark Merin, saying publicly, “This is a big step for women who have been silenced.” That lawsuit — waged only after more than 80 attorneys refused to take it and after a crowd-sourcing campaign raised more than $13,000 for legal fees — is still ongoing, with a court date set for June 2016. But in the meantime, Turbin says she is “thrilled” that the doctor won’t be practicing anymore.

      And here’s a profile of the lawyer who finally took the case: http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_4e740517-a43d-53e2-a56b-0833682f180f.html

      • PrimaryCareDoc
        December 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

        I don’t know that she was wrong about anything. Did she say that this doctor shouldn’t be sanctioned? I think she actually offered to help find legal representation for the woman, but Improving Birth didn’t reply to her request.

        Regardless, I’m glad he relinquished his license.

        • moto_librarian
          December 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

          Dr. Amy did offer to help. The statute of limitations was about to run out in CA. I guess that’s why they filed a federal suit, but I doubt it will go anywhere.

          • Eater of Worlds
            December 31, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

            Dr. Amy mentioned that by asking for her help, they recognized her skills (that she’d be used as an expert witness) and acknowledged that she’s not the quack that people were accusing her of being.

            I don’t know if they dropped contact with her prior to Dr. Amy pointing that out, but they most certainly did AFTER she pointed it out.

        • Gatita
          December 30, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

          Maybe I’m confusing who said what but I remember people saying they suspected the scenario laid out by Improving Birth wasn’t true.

          • Amazed
            December 30, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

            I was one of those people. I couldn’t see see any reason for their refusal to reveal the identity of the doctor in question. I thought it was either a fabrication, or something that had already been addressed by the evil system.
            They asked Dr Amy for help and then quickly deleted any traces of that when she accepted. Many people offered their own services or those of lawyer relatives. All gone without a trace.

          • mythsayer
            December 31, 2015 at 1:07 am #

            I offered. Heard nothing.

        • Gatita
          December 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

          Here is what I was thinking of: http://www.skepticalob.com/2014/10/why-is-human-rights-in-childbirth-protecting-the-doctor-in-the-so-called-forced-episiotomy-video.html

          Now, having seen it, I’m not so sure it is real. The identity of all participants is deliberately blurred. You cannot tell if what you are hearing on the audio portion (and seeing in the captions) is actually being said by the people in the video. It is entirely possible that the audio portion was fabricated to make it look like it was a forced episiotomy when it was nothing of the kind.

          That supposition is reinforced by the fact that Human Rights in Childbirth, after describing the violation in incredibly brutal detail is protecting the identity of the doctor who purportedly committed the brutal act. They expend nearly 3500 words discussing the video, and not one of those words reveals the identity of the doctor or the hospital where the incident took place.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        December 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

        I suspect that this could have been accomplished a lot sooner and for less money. Back in October 2014 I said that the doctor’s action was malpractice and I offered to help them stop him from practicing. They turned me down and instead tried to use the incident for publicity purposes.

        The doctor is claiming mental impairment and that may well be true. There certainly isn’t a medical explanation for the way he behaved.

        • moto_librarian
          December 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

          What remedy would they be seeking in a federal suit? Can you make a malpractice claim in federal court? I didn’t think that this was an option.

          • Gatita
            December 30, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

            They’re suing for battery, not malpractice.

          • Lawyer jane
            December 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

            Yeah, that would be weird to sue in federal court for battery. The Yahoo article describing the suit is also totally bungled – if it is a civil suit he would never have a federal defender. The legal question must be federal jurisdiction and removal to state court. What I can’t figure out is why they wouldn’t have preferred a state court and a jury in the first place … Usually you would want a jury. And if the doctor really was cognitively impaired I sure hope they are going to sue the hospital! And the only complaint in this case I could find online was in state court.

          • Lawyer Jane
            December 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

            Oh interesting. I just dug around a little more and found out that her theory is that the clinic the doctor worked for was federally funded. Turns out there is a special legal provision that extends the Federal Tort Claims Act to certain federally funded clinic employees (even though the clinic is a nonprofit). So that is where the federal aspect would be. Just goes to show the complexity of this area of the law and the need to have *good* lawyers ASAP.

          • An Actual Attorney
            December 30, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

            That was my guess and what I came here to say, he worked at a FQHC. He’s entitled to FTCA coverage. Only in certain limited circumstances can the federal government refuse to defend him and any damages will come from the federal treasury. If she had sued in state court, the federal government would automatically be substituted as a party.

          • An Actual Attorney
            December 31, 2015 at 11:58 am #

            Is there an amended complaint? I’m digging around today because work is dead and I’m avoiding the real things I should be doing.

          • Houston Mom
            December 30, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

            They filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. I didn’t see a suit on Pacer – searched by plaintiff, doctor, facility and attorney.

          • mythsayer
            December 31, 2015 at 1:05 am #

            If there is a federal issue…ANY federal issue, it can go to federal court. Or if there is diversity between the parties…but they don’t have that here as both are likely CA residents.

            So it seems like they filed in state court…maybe they removed it to federal? Or filed in federal but defendant moved it back to state? If it was ever in federal, it should be on PACER…if it’s not, I have no idea why they said it was a federal case.

        • Gatita
          December 30, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

          I’ll agree that they’re using the event for publicity. The way they’ve handled it is downright weird. At least they found a lawyer who seems legit.

      • mythsayer
        December 31, 2015 at 1:01 am #

        13k? That’ll last about three months in California (I’m not kidding). And I actually offered my services to improving birth. I’m not a civil rights or med mal attorney, but I’ve done both at times in the past. They never even bothered to say thanks but no thanks to me. So I suspect they weren’t looking for just any attorney. They likely contacted only people like Gloria Allred. Why? Because they don’t care about “Kelly.” They just want their sensationalist case.

        The doctor was most certainly in the wrong, from what I know. But I don’t believe they have her interests at heart. Improving birth is using her.

  24. demodocus
    December 30, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    I still have trouble understanding those mothers who are so glad about have the baby under xyz circumstances because the experience was great but the child was hurt.
    How’d they react if I were to say: Last july, we had an awesome day, went to the pool and the ice cream shop and the park. I fell and got some bruises, but no biggie. Oh, and when I fell, I landed on my child’s leg and snapped his femur. Only 24 hours in the hospital! The cast was off in just 4 1/2 weeks!

    • Mishimoo
      December 30, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

      As much as it sucks (and it does, a lot!!) aren’t bones amazing? 4.5 weeks in a cast for your son’s broken femur, around the same amount of time for my daughter’s radius, and they’re fine (I hope your son is okay too).

      As much as I hate sancti-mums, I’m going to be one for a moment and wonder how much they hate their kids to willingly risk the kids lives when normal mums feel terrible over ‘simple’ broken bones.

      • Kesiana
        December 30, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

        When a friend of mine broke her leg (fell down a flight of stairs while holding a heavy box, OUCH!), I was very surprised to learn that because she was operated on, she didn’t need a cast. Awesome because heavy plaster casts SUCK, but still–not even a brace, she just had to stay off it for a few months? Go modern medicine!

        • demodocus
          December 30, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

          The docs told me toddlers are different than bigger people. To a lot of people’s surprise, he didn’t need pins or anything like that. He had this huge plaster cast that went from hip to toes on the affected leg and to the knee on the other one.

        • Mishimoo
          December 30, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

          Modern medicine is freaking amazing!

      • BeatriceC
        December 30, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

        Bones are great, until they start trying to do stuff they’re not supposed to do, like grow extras or bend in funny shapes like this (that we just had surgically corrected):

        • Mishimoo
          December 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

          Oh wow, good job! Osteogenesis imperfecta or something similar?

          • BeatriceC
            December 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

            There’s a half dozen different names, as it’s not a common condition. The two most common names in the US are Multiple Hereditary Exostoses or Multiple Hereditary Osteochondromatosis (MHE/MHO). In The UK/Canada, the first two words are often switched. In a nutshell, they grow cartilage capped bony masses all over their skeletons. The “bumps” themselves can range from cosmetic annoyances to major, disabling deformities. The severity of the disease can vary wildly, even within the same family. The above is a picture of my youngest son’s arm. The blob in the center is one of the osteochondromas. It’s actually anchored to the ulna, but as you can see, it’s pushed into the radius, curving that bone, which pushed the smaller bones in the wrist to a weird angle and kept the ulna from growing at the same pace. The surgeon took out the osteochondroma and shortened the radius, mostly straightening it out in the process. That was the less traumatic option (vs attempting to straighten it without shortening it, then also lengthening the ulna) for getting the two bones mostly the same length. That particular deformity had pretty much rendered his right hand useless by the time this image was taken. That kid is right handed. My oldest had a similar but less severe issue in his left wrist. Of course the oldest is left handed. These kids can’t make it simple, can they?

          • Mishimoo
            December 30, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

            Of course they can’t, where’s the fun in that? 😉

            That’s a lot for the kids and you to deal with! At least the surgeon was able to get that one sorted out. Is his hand useable now?

          • BeatriceC
            December 30, 2015 at 11:42 pm #

            It’s still in a cast, but seems to be doing well. Unfortunately, nearly as soon as his hand is fully healed we need to look at repairing his hip. He’s got a bump that’s pushed the femoral head into a nearly straight position, which is part of what keeps him in enough pain to keep him wheelchair bound. We fixed the other hip (which was the more severe of the two) three years ago, but now it’s time to look at this one. There’s some hope that by rebuilding this hip, the leg length discrepancy won’t be so bad, which will also help with pain levels and get him walking a bit more. The older kid, who had his left hand worked on 6 weeks before that one is another story entirely. He’s sporting an electric bone growth stimulator to try to get the ends to grow back together. He had surgery in early September, and as of early December there was still a massive amount of space between the ends. It really doesn’t ever end.

          • Mishimoo
            December 31, 2015 at 12:16 am #

            Ouch!! Hope it all works out, but good grief that’s a mess.

            The electric bone growth simulators are awesome! Some of the kids I used to have in my sunday school class received one a year or so ago, their mum was so excited and it seems to have made a difference to their healing.

          • BeatriceC
            December 31, 2015 at 12:20 am #

            Thanks. It really is a mess, and those are just some of the issues. The little one is on the severe end of things and the older is in the middle. My poor middle kid, who’s healthy sometimes feels lost in the medical shuffle. On the other hand, we have a good, happy life. We might not get to go on fancy vacations or have all the latest gadgets (well, except for my phone…you can pry my just released iPhone every year out of my cold, dead hands), but we have a happy family and we have a lot of fun and laughter. And penguins. The house is overrun with stuffed penguins.

          • Eater of Worlds
            December 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

            I don’t have that condition but the mention of the osteochondroma reminded me of the one I had taken off my femur. It was longer than my thumb and the cartilage cap on it was nearly 2 cm thick. I used to ride and jump horses and it was on the inside of my femur so it was constantly being pressed against a saddle and it hurt like a bitch.

            I was so sad they wouldn’t let me keep it. They had to be extra careful to check for malignancy as apparently when the cartilage cap is really thick, it can mean the tumor is malignant.

      • demodocus
        December 30, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

        Fortunately, 1 year olds heal quickly. His mother, on the other hand, is still a bit traumatized. As in, avoiding the playground like the plague and shuddering if i think about it much.

        • Mishimoo
          December 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

          It was an accident! It really was not your fault, it was just a combination of bad luck and gravity.

          Have you considered therapy or something to help you feel a bit better about the whole thing? I think you’ve mentioned depression before, and it might be helpful to get that extra bit of assistance (if possible).

          • demodocus
            December 31, 2015 at 10:56 am #

            I am in therapy. It’s been a bad autumn, and just amplified by pregnancy hormones. My ob sent me directly from his office to the shrinks downstairs earlier this week.

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 31, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

            I am sorry, those hormones really mess with your head. It’s good that your doctor didn’t wait around and got you help right then. I had severe depression during pregnancy and it took until 7 months to be taken seriously by anyone.

          • demodocus
            December 31, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

            i really like Dr. E. He was trying to comfort me by telling me about how he and his wife had kids when he was in med school and she lost her job while they were expecting #2, so they were all living on just his stipend for a bit.

          • Mishimoo
            December 31, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

            Oh good! You’re a cool person and I like reading your comments, so it’s good to hear that you’re getting the help you deserve. Sorry that things have been tough, I hope they get easier soon!

          • demodocus
            December 31, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

            Thank you. lol, Cool is not a word often applied to me

      • demodocus
        December 30, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

        He is running around perfectly well now, and the bone doc thinks the initial 1/2″ difference in lengths should even out by next summer. (Kid’s about average on everything else, and that’s the normal evening out amount, if i understood Dr. L correctly)

      • Who?
        December 31, 2015 at 6:59 am #

        Must be better for little ones-my 21 year old’s radius is still playing up and sore three months on, physio, occupational therapy and a conversation about a second surgery, to remove the plate and pins that held it all together as it healed in position.

        And D, you tripped, it was an accident: getting that knowledge from your head to your heart may take a while though!

        • Mishimoo
          January 1, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

          I think adults have it harder than kids when it comes to broken bones. So sorry that it’s still giving her trouble, that really sucks.

  25. EmbraceYourInnerCrone
    December 30, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    This will sound awful but what the hell is wrong with these people? ” I got my HBAC!!!yay! oh well the kid is in the NICU for a week , may have permanent brain injury, may have CP, may never learn to talk, walk, read. But I got my home birth and no one died! What the hell….

    Believe me I understand a fear of hospitals, of doctors and of needles, of not being in control of everything. One of my labor nurses was abrupt and short with me(way before any problems started) and did not explain anything. Also did not bother to change me out of my vomited on hospital gown for hours(part of that is on me, I should have said something). I get being unhappy with a few aspects of your care. But. When my daughter went into fetal distress and needed help , Everyone stepped up, did their jobs and got her out, safe and whole. The rest was minor annoyances in comparison

    • guest
      December 30, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

      Well, we are not supposed to think of the disabled as lesser. This makes sense for any disabled person in the world – they are human, they deserve full human consideration and respect. But for parents and midwives like these, it seems to also mean we shouldn’t try to prevent injury and disability from occurring in the first place. The babies are still “just as good” as any other.

      • demodocus
        December 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

        None of the disabled folks (mostly blindies) i personally know want their kids to have a disability. Which is why my husband scheduled his child’s doctor’s visit 2 days after his 1st birthday so he could get his MMR as soon as possible. and MIL got a little weepy in happiness when the kid got them.

        • Bombshellrisa
          December 30, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

          My friend is blind because his mother was exposed to rubella while pregnant with him. He does great, travels the world alone and had a good job but would NEVER use himself as an example of preventable disability being a good thing

          • SporkParade
            December 31, 2015 at 5:48 am #

            I suspect that deafness and autism are the big exceptions here simply because they are disabilities that inherently create a sense of identity. Deaf people communicate using sign language, and having a separate language creates its own culture. With autism, we’re talking about how the brain is wired, which means that autistic people often consider the disability part of who they are as a person. Whereas, with blindness, what kind of identity can you build around not being able to read small print?

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 31, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

            I think that is true. I have a friend who is deaf and two of her daughters are deaf. They do have their own culture and I am learning how to fit in (don’t watch people signing if you aren’t part of the conversation for example, I had no idea how rude that is before they clued me in).

        • BeatriceC
          December 30, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

          Two of my boys are disabled, both the result of a genetic bone disease (well, the little one also has some minor issues that were a result of being born at 24 weeks). We’ve already had talks about the ethical considerations of pre-implantation genetic testing of embryos and IVF as a way of preventing them from passing the disease onto their own children. While disabled people certainly shouldn’t be treated as second class citizens, there’s simply no excuse for acting in a manner which has a high likelihood of causing preventable disability.

          • demodocus
            December 30, 2015 at 9:43 pm #


          • Dr Kitty
            January 1, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

            I have mild spina bifida- I took super high dose folic acid preconceptually and during early pregnancy, for the simple reason that if I can do something to improve the chances that my children will walk and be continent and not need shunts or spinal surgery and that will reduce the chances of anencephaly why wouldn’t I?

            I don’t think it is wrong to want to spare your children pain and heartache. You’ll love then regardless, but you don’t want them to suffer if there is a way to prevent it.

            Then men on my side of the family tend to be… Atypical when it comes to social skills. I will love my son whether or not he turns out to have inherited those quirks, but I know life will be easier for him if he hasn’t.

        • guest
          December 31, 2015 at 2:03 am #

          I think it depends. Some members of the deaf community would prefer their child also be deaf, and some people on the autism spectrum also feel the same way (though that is never caused by birth injury as far as we know). But generally, yes.

          There are also those parents who believe that a god is in charge of everything that happens, so a birth injured child was just meant to be that way. I don’t personally understand this position since the only god I knew was one that was down with preventative medicine, but I think it’s a factor in at least some of these stories.

          • demodocus
            December 31, 2015 at 10:58 am #

            I knew that about a lot of deaf folks, but I don’t personally know anyone more hearing impairment than me. Too hearing to be part of their community.
            As for autism, I don’t necessarily think of that as a disability. It clearly is if the person can’t communicate or live independently, but my teenage cousin will probably be just fine on his own when he’s an adult. Like the rest of the family he’s adopted into, we’re all a little weird in one way or another.

          • Eater of Worlds
            December 31, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

            I bet I’m deafer than you! What a lot of hearing people don’t realize is that not only do the Deaf have their own language, they have their own culture. Finding another Deaf person and having a Deaf child can be like being Chinese, marrying another person who is Chinese, speaking Mandarin at home all the time, and raising your kids with the Chinese holidays. That simply doesn’t happen when you have Deaf parents who have a hearing child. You love that hearing child tremendously but it’s a completely uncharted territory for them. Having a hearing kid to them can feel the exact same way that having a deaf kid makes hearing parents feel.

          • demodocus
            December 31, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

            No doubt.

          • Medwife
            January 3, 2016 at 1:28 am #

            I have Deaf relatives who I’m sure had their fingers crossed for Deaf children, although they seem very happy with their hearing, ASL-fluent kids 🙂 But they’ve still got a shot at Deaf grandchildren! Lol. I’m sure it sounds insane to most outsiders, but like you say, they see it as a culture to share, not a disability.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            December 31, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

            Some people on the autistic spectrum may want their kids to be autistic but not all.

            I’m even on the less severe end of the spectrum and I hope my future children won’t have to deal with what I did. If that means they’re not autistic then I don’t care. At least they’ll be less likely to face the same kind of social ostracism that I did because they’ll be able to do something I can’t. They won’t have to turn down going to a movie in theaters with a ton of explosions because they’re having a bad sensory processing day. They won’t have the IBS that for some reason plagues most people on the autistic spectrum. Even if it means I may have a harder time communicating with a child who has the full ability to read social cues properly I don’t desperately wish for an autistic child. It was difficult enough for me. Society isn’t built for us.

            But I have also accepted that there is a very high chance of any children of mine inhereting autistic symptoms as I have it on both sides of the family. Just as I know my children have a much higher chance of having an anxiety disorder or major depression since it runs very strong in my mom’s side of the family and it’s very common in my husband’s family.

            That doesn’t mean I want my children to have these things. I’m just prepared for the very real possibility of it and to help my children understand that it doesn’t mean they’re broken if they do have one of those conditions. I hope that society will be more flexible towards those that aren’t cognitively similar to the majority when they’re growing up. However, I won’t be holding my breath.

            If there was a way to induce it in a child, I wouldn’t. I’d find that abhorrent. I don’t want people with autism to disappear but I’d consider it abuse to induce the condition purposefully. I didn’t choose to be autistic but I have adapted. It’s part of who I am. That doesn’t mean I get to thrust it on someone who could have had a choice.

            And if someone were to do something so irresponsible like a home birth and somehow autism was the result, I’d also find that morally repungent. I didn’t have a choice as the changes to my brain were there before I was born. But if someone could have been born without autism and their quality of life was thrown by the wayside with no say in the matter to satisfy some ephemeral need for empowerment or mysticism, I’d be livid. That was one fleeting moment in the mother’s life. The child will always have to live with their autistic symptoms. I couldn’t do that to another living being. If there was a way to induce and autistic state when they’re older and chose to do so, that is their choice. But to force what we see are preventable conditions on someone before they even take their first breath to satisfy another’s own wants, not needs, is beyond selfish.

            So I don’t have a problem with being autistic. It’d be nice if society would be a little more understanding of our social deficits but I am not in the majority neurologically and humans tend to gravitate towards majority rules. I understand that. But I would definitely have a problem with making someone autistic that wasn’t to begin with. Especially for such something that in the long run is simply an event that came and went in less than a week compared to a lifetime.

          • FormerPhysicist
            December 31, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

            Thank you. That was so eloquent.

          • guest
            December 31, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

            I never meant to imply that all people on the spectrum felt this way. I am truly sorry if it sounded like I was. I am not on the spectrum myself, but of all the issues my children could possibly have, it’s one of the ones that bothers me the least. But that doesn’t mean I want them to be on the spectrum either. I mean, I have a daughter and in some ways it’s great that we have a shared experience, but I also kind of wish she weren’t a woman (well, who knows – maybe she’ll decide she’s not someday) because I don’t want her to experience the kind of sexism our culture is still full of. I only meant to say in my comment that not everyone with a disability feels the same way – some prefer to think of it not as a disability. I try to listen and not think in broad generalizations.

      • Kelly
        December 31, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

        I had a brother with a severe disability and I am terrified of having a child with any kind of medical problems. My brother died last year and then I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after. I was so scared that this child was going to have a medical problem the entire pregnancy that I had my meds upped in order to stave off the panic attacks that came at the end of my pregnancy. I loved my brother and I miss him so much it hurts but I do not want to take care of or see my children suffer in that way.

        • guest
          December 31, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

          I am sorry you have gone through this. I had low-level worry my entire pregnancy that one or both of my children would have a chromosomal abnormality just because I was of “advanced maternal age. It’s a terribly long period of time to worry with basically nothing you can do BUT worry.

          • Kelly
            January 1, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

            It can really screw with you. Thankfully, all three have been healthy and my brother’s condition is not genetic but it does make you more aware than others how things can just happen with no explanation. My mental condition was exacerbated by his sudden death and by the barrage of other crappy things that have happened last year. I am so glad to put 2015 behind me. I am doing really well now and the little one is the happiest and smiliest baby.

        • Charybdis
          January 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

          I was TERRIFIED of having a baby for the longest time. My brother has Asperger’s, but that diagnosis has only come in the past 10-12 years or so. For the longest time it was categorized as PDD-NOS and for a while, it was suspected that he might have Fragile X, as there are a number of “eccentric” family members in our history. I had genetic testing done to see if I was a carrier, because if I was, I was not going to have children. I was negative and my parents had my brother tested as well and he was negative for it. It wasn’t too long after that that he got his Asperger’s diagnosis, as the research had progressed to the point where autism was viewed/diagnosed as a spectrum disorder.
          I had told my husband (then fiance) about getting tested and if I was positive, then I would not be willing to have biological children, and he was okay with that. I had grown up with a disabled brother and had up-close, intimate knowledge of the difficulty, sometimes agony, of that situation and how it affects every little aspect of your life (I wouldn’t / couldn’t have friends spend the night, for example) and I was not willing to repeat the experience from a parental aspect. Some things affect a person so deeply and profoundly, starting from a very young age, that their entire life is colored by it.

          • Kelly
            January 1, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

            It is. I don’t think I ever really felt like that until I started my family and I realized how much my mom went through. I mean, I know it was hard, but perspective really added to my understanding of my parents and how we grew up. I don’t wish for it to be any other way because I know how positively it impacted all of us as well of the negatives. I am sorry that you went through that. I think sometimes, it is easier when a person’s disability is easy to see rather than hidden. We tended to get more sympathy and help because it was obvious he was severely disabled. If my brother’s condition was genetic, I would have done the same thing. I would never be the type of person to adopt special needs kids or even work with them. I loved my brother and could deal with his drool and change his diaper but I had a hard time with other people’s drool or poop.

      • Eater of Worlds
        December 31, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

        I don’t think that thought process even enters their head. I think they assume the birth will be fine and baby will be born with all faculties intact and will grow up not needing full time care for the rest of its life. If that does happen, well, that’s life and it would have happened in the hospital anyway.

  26. Megan
    December 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    I admit I skimmed a lot of this. As I start my third trimester, it is really hard to read these accounts. I read most of them the first time around though and I simply cannot comprehend how one justifies a homebirth in one’s mind. I am thankful that my care team includes my family doc who will deliver me (in hospital with continuous monitoring) if I choose to VBAC and my wonderful OB backup who will deliver me should I choose to/need a repeat CS. I haven’t yet made my decision but I know that when I do, my baby’s safety will be a top priority and I will only attempt TOLAC if I am a felt to be a very good candidate. The cognitive dissonance is strong with these folks. I feel bad that they were misled by their midwives, but mostly I feel deep sadness for their babies who will either spend their lives with the after effects of mom’s “birth experience” or never got to have a life at all. It brings tears to my eyes and I agree with a previous poster that you do not truly realize how profoundly being a mother will affect you until you experience it, even if you have been dreaming of it and planning for it for a long time prior. I hope that moms considering homebirth will see this post for what it really is, truth-telling in a sea of lies told by the NCB crowd and CPM’s.

    • demodocus
      December 30, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

      I skimmed too. For the same reason; just started 2nd trimester.

  27. yentavegan
    December 30, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    and somewhere under the radar are the mothers who thought they were making a balanced choice between hospital and home so they opted for a free standing birth center. Their birth stories / infant injuries go unaccounted for because the midwives dump/abandon them at emergencies rooms….

    • I can't come up with a name.
      December 30, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

      I told Dr. Amy about one of these. A friend’s sister was 40 and having her first at a birth center. By the time they transferred to the hospital, the baby was dead. It was a cord accident. I didn’t press for any more info, and nothing was announced publicly (no surprise) by any of the birth centers in the area. It shattered the mother, who may not have another chance to have a baby.

  28. Adrienne
    December 30, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    The thing that leaves me profoundly confused and disturbed is how the “natural” birth crowd can stubbornly deny the risks of homebirth (‘assisted’ or not, and IMO a homebirth with anything less than a CNM is as bad as unassisted) in the midst of all of this death and devastation. I don’t think I could live with myself if a risk I took lead to the death or permanent disability of one of my children, even if it led to an injury they would recover from. To me, it seems akin to driving drunk and severely injuring/killing one of my children as a result of crashing the car. I just don’t understand how they justify the risk in their own minds in the first place; I don’t think I ever will.

    • Inmara
      December 30, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

      Oh, it’s easy to deny risks. “But babies die in hospitals too! And if those women with previous CS had been left alone to labor in safety of their home, they would have been just fine! It was just stress from being in hospital and unnecessary interventions which lead to C-section! It won’t happen with their HBA4C!” Etc., etc., ad nauseam. Their spiel is simple and actually easy to fall for, especially if women with history of complicated pregnancy or birth start to question themselves “Why did it happen with me? Why others can have straightforward pregnancy and vaginal birth but I ended up with 36 hour labor, 5 hours of pushing and emergency CS at the end?” NCB industry is quick to assure that everyone can have a magical birth (just trust it!), promise 100% cure from all complications (just trust your midwife!) and distorts data about hospital vs. homebirth deaths in favor of homebirth (let’s be honest, most people can’t comprehend research and statistics data themselves and have to rely on interpretations by resources they deem trustworthy). I’m quite sure that majority of NCB advocates genuinely believe all this crap and if things go south they do everything to avoid cognitive dissonance (“Some babies are just meant to die”).

  29. the wingless one
    December 30, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    I read all these stories when they were originally posted, but to see them all together in one post like this really brings it home just how ridiculous it is that women could possibly see homebirth as safe. I will never understand the women who choose their birth experience over the lives and safety of their precious babies.

    Somewhat OT but kinda not, I also heard a story this year about a woman who was allowed to labor in hospital for four days and eventually broke her pelvic bone before the baby was born. Apparently, her birth plan demanded no interventions and her doctors respected her wishes. Wonder how she feels about it now.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
      December 30, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

      In some cases like that families sue stating that someone should have told them that this was A Really Really needed C-section/intervention, not like everyone else’s intervention.

      Why bother going to the hospital if you are only going to say NO, I won’t let you use any of the tools and knowledge that might save my baby’s life. I know doctors are not perfect and hospitals make mistakes but they try to learn from mistakes and have procedures in place to prevent them if possible.

      her doctors respected her wishes because that is legally what they are supposed to do. If the patient is of sound mind and conscious you are not supposed to impose care they do not want.

  30. December 30, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    We’re also not counting hospital-related woo deaths. I’ve heard about two deaths this year where women who believed in the “too many CS” myths refused CS when their baby was showing signs of distress. They got their vaginal births along with a dead baby.

    On a certain level, it’s true that you often can have a vaginal birth. The unsaid part is that “You can usually have a vaginal birth as long as you don’t care if the baby is dead.”

    • shobbie
      December 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

      I cannot imagine being the obstetrician in those cases. How devastating.

      • December 30, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

        Both cases crushed the delivery team. They spent hours pleading, begging, explaining ….and it still wasn’t enough to convince their mothers and so the team had to transition from a “normal spontaneous vaginal delivery” to a stillbirth delivery.

        My parents taught me that we need to be mindful of all other human beings. I wear my seatbelt when I am in a car because I don’t want to die, I don’t want my flying body to kill someone, AND I don’t want to cause emergency responders, doctors and morticians trauma from seeing a pointless, preventable death.

        The same principle applies for birth as well.

    • Mac Sherbert
      January 4, 2016 at 11:49 am #

      Sadly, that is true. The woo can cause problems even for those using an OB and hospital because it causes them to refuse needed treatments. My MIL told me about a woman in her small town that refused an induction and went beyond 42 weeks and the baby was stillborn.

  31. MaineJen
    December 30, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    Everyone considering homebirth should have to read this first.

  32. moto_librarian
    December 30, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    4 maternal deaths.
    21 perinatal deaths.
    9 brain injured babies.

    And these are only the ones that we’ve heard about. I know someone IRL whose baby spent 3 days on cooling therapy for HIE in the NICU after a shoulder dystocia during home birth left him seizing at birth. He’s not part of this list.

    If you’re thinking about having a home birth with a CPM, take a good, long look at these numbers. Ask yourself whether or not you’re really comfortable risking your own life and that of your unborn child. Ask yourself how you would feel if your child wound up brain damaged because of a botched home birth. If you don’t have any children yet, let me tell you that you cannot yet comprehend the weight of parenthood. I don’t say this to be condescending or rude. I say it because I honestly had no idea before our first child was born, and I had been dreaming of becoming a mother for many years before we had him. If something were to happen to either one of my sons because of something that I did or did not do, it would be incredibly difficult to ever forgive myself. I have seen women who will never fully recover from the loss of their babies. Do everything in your power to avoid this.

    • demodocus
      December 30, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      Also, if you are a 1st timer, you can’t know if you have one of the anatomical abnormalities that make vaginal birth impossible. The chance may be slight, but I for one preferred to be where the professionals and all their tools are. I didn’t need much, and my mother needed even less when she had us in the hospital, but there is no way to know.

      • moto_librarian
        December 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

        This. You all know that everything was “textbook” during my “natural” childbirth right up until I delivered the placenta. I am still so grateful that I was in a hospital when shit hit the fan.

    • guest
      December 30, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

      I agree about having no idea the weight of parenthood until you have children. I was deep in the woo with my first and had a vaginal breech delivery (in the hospital). For 2 days after his birth, he cried every time someone touched him because he was so bruised up. Luckily, he is fine at 5 years old. I still feel horrible guilt and get sick thinking about what could have happened. For my second, I seriously considered a c-section just to know I did everything to make sure she was alright. I have a hard time understanding mother’s with other children making these risky choices about their labors.

      • moto_librarian
        December 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

        I really don’t understand the cavalier attitude about birth by experienced mothers either. I was terrified about my second delivery after experiencing complications the second time, but even if I hadn’t, I still don’t get how anyone wouldn’t at least have healthy respect for the process.

        • Megan
          December 30, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

          Yeah, I am definitely more apprehensive this time around than last time. I actually had more problems (so far) with my first pregnancy but now that I had a difficult delivery with that pregnancy I am worried about things going south again. My doctor really thinks I am a good candidate for TOLAC at this point, but we are taking a cautious wait-and-see attitude because a lt can change in the last trimester and I will not try if there is not a good chance of success. Even though there is a chance I will want more children, I would rather take on those risks for a hypothetical future pregnancy if my likelihood of succesful VBAC is not high. The thought of something happening to my child terrifies me much more now that I have a child and really get the gravity of it all.

        • Kelly
          December 31, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

          I have gotten more afraid with each birth. I just know more and even without this blog, I have heard so many terrible stories of pregnancies gone wrong.

      • Eater of Worlds
        December 31, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

        In the ice ages when my brother was born, he was a vaginal breech. He was the worst breech position possible. It didn’t matter that he was also 6 weeks early, he was over 5 and a half pounds. My dad traveled during the week for work and was only home on the weekends so my mother knew the exact date she got pregnant, there was no doubt he was that early and big for his age. The OB stuck his hand up my mother to pull my brother out and my brother was solid dark blue from his chest to his toes. My mom definitely would have preferred a c-section, but back then it wasn’t really done as much for breech births. She didn’t have any photos of him without being covered by a blanket for his first few weeks of life.

      • Mac Sherbert
        January 4, 2016 at 11:56 am #

        Yes! Everyone woman I know who had a breech birth talk about how beat up and bruised their babies were! My MIL nearly died giving birth a breech baby that was only 5 lbs. My neighbor said she begged for a C-section, but the nurse told her “they didn’t do those for convenience.” And another lady said they told her not to hold her baby at all for weeks.

        The trauma to the baby is not something the woo talk about. They just tell women breech is a variation of normal. There are things I didn’t like about having C-sections, but I would never choose to go back and have vaginal birth with my first baby that was breech.

        I’m so glad your little guy is doing great!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

          They just tell women breech is a variation of normal.

          My wife’s two older sisters were both breech deliveries. I don’t know anything about trauma to them, but I do know that my mother-in-law’s stories of her experiences are among the reasons that my wife never wanted to have a vaginal delivery of any sort.

    • Inmara
      December 30, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      I so agree about the weight of parenthood! Sometimes I jokingly say that we have won in infant lottery because our baby is sleeping and behaving well and we’re having a good time with him (so far… 4 month sleep regression is a thing, people!). And then I correct myself because we have won the lottery already because we’re having our baby alive and healthy. I simply can’t imagine how hard it is for parents to have baby with serious health problems and deal with it from day to day without hope for significant improvement. To risk having such health problems just to get a “birth experience” is, to say it mildly, shortsighted.

      • demodocus
        December 30, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

        You can win the lottery twice 🙂

        • Inmara
          December 30, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

          I hope so! Because, silly as it may seem, I’m already thinking about next baby (current plan is to start when this one will be about 3) and I’m afraid that we could be out of luck next time because how much of a fortune one person can get?

          • demodocus
            December 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

            I keep hoping I’ll have a nice, healthy, and good sleeping baby like his/her big brother! Depressed mothers need their sleep.

          • Kelly
            December 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

            All three of mine have slept through the night starting at nine to ten weeks. It can happen. I know I am very very lucky as well. I don’t say this to boast but to tell you good luck and it can happen!

          • cookiebaker
            December 30, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

            I felt that way, too. I have 6 normal, healthy kids (all hospital born). I was over 35 when I had the last 2 and I was so afraid that I was pushing my luck having the last 2 pregnancies back-to-back at my age. I was so relieved when each test and ultrasound came back normal! It IS possible to win the baby lottery over and over. (No guarantees on the sleeping, though. I’m still waiting for my 5yo to sleep through the night.)

          • BeatriceC
            December 30, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

            If I’d had my second child first, he might have been an only child. Just saying…

          • Charybdis
            January 1, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

            We got so incredibly lucky with DS, except for the colic when he was brand new, that we weren’t willing to roll those particular dice again.

  33. rosewater7
    December 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Dear God. I’ve read this block all year long. I read all these posts. But to see this….

    I’d like to ask the mothers that survived: is it worth it now?

    Or the devastated families: is it worth it now?

    I….I don’t have words.

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