Stop obstetric violence toward babies, Janet Fraser!

3D Stop Violence Crossword

You cannot make this stuff up

Janet Fraser, the Australian unassisted birth advocate who let her own baby die at homebirth has accused me of “obstetric violence.”

Fraser tweet 12-15

#endviolenceagainstwomen by Dr Amy Tuteur. Vicious vitriolic campaigning against women who experience #stillbirth #obstetric violence

You remember Janet, right? She’s the woman who, in the wake of her daughter’s entirely preventable death, declared:

There is such a thing as obstetric violence and it is perpetrated by homebirth advocates on babies.

My birthrape with my first child is traumatic. My stillbirth was not.

As she went into the labor that eventually resulted in a dead baby, she actually gave an interview to an Australian newspaper on March 22,2009 in which she boasted of her decision:

Janet Fraser is in labour… Has she called the hospital to let them know what’s happening? “When you go on a skiing trip, do you call the hospital to say, ‘I’m coming down the mountain, can you set aside a spot for me in the emergency room?’ I don’t think so,” says Fraser, whose breathing sounds strained…

… She hasn’t seen a doctor or any health professional since becoming pregnant this time. No ultrasound, no genetic testing, no internal examinations, no stethoscope. Does she have any feeling for how long the labour will go? “I could do this for days. My daughter’s birth was 50-something hours. You just do it — it’s just birth, a normal physiological process.”

The baby was not born for another five days.

Fraser was excoriated by the coroner for her role in her baby’s death.

Essentially, Ms. Fraser was quite unprepared for what happened. There was not even a hard, flat surface available on which Roisin could be placed for resuscitation so these three amateurs – Ms. Fraser, Mr. Stokes and Ms. Duce, first placed the child on the rim of the inflatable pool and, when that proved unsatisfactory, used a chair. They were unable to abandon the chair and place Roisin on the floor in order effectively to administer CPR there because, the placenta not having been delivered, “that was as far as she would reach. ” Evidently, it occurred to nobody present to clamp and cut the cord and, anyway, Ms. Duce told the inquest, she had not been aware of the ready availability of any equipment to enable her to do so. According to Ms. Duce, further difficulties were encountered in administering CPR because Roisin was slippery and difhcult to hold and, evidently, it did not occur to anybody to wrap her in a towel although there were towels nearby.

And Fraser accuses me of obstetric violence?

There is such a thing as obstetric violence and it is perpetrated by homebirth advocates on babies.

Babies do not ask to be conceived. If a woman decides to conceive a baby and carry it to term, she has a moral obligation to care for the health and well being of that baby. She has a moral obligation to feed it and change it, and clothe it, and put it in a car seat when she takes the baby with her to the grocery store. She also has a moral obligation not to risk its life.

Obstetric violence toward babies involves real violence, injury and death, not hurt feelings. Over the years I have written about many women whose babies have died hideous deaths at homebirth.

These include breech babies whose heads were entrapped while their bodies dangled outside their mother’s vagina, and who died long before they could reach medical help.

They include babies who struggled for hours and suffocated, dropping dead into the hands of unsuspecting homebirth midwives who didn’t appropriately monitor their heart rates.

They include babies who slowly lost brain cells because their heads had delivered, but their shoulders became entrapped.

They include babies who died when they were suddenly extruded into their mother’s abdomen when a uterine incision ruptured and died for lack of oxygen long before they could reach a hospital.

They include babies who survived but suffered serious brain injuries leading to lifelong disabilities affecting their ability to move, to reason, to live on their own, to fulfill the potential that they had when labor started.

And, of course, they include babies like Roisin, whose mother’s hideous narcissism led to her death.

Who cares about the obstetric violence perpetrated on these babies?

Certainly not Janet Fraser who thinks everything is about her.

Certainly not homebirth midwives, who never met a risk they couldn’t label as a variation of normal.

Certainly not homebirth advocates, who never heard of a homebirth death that they couldn’t rationalize with the all purpose, and incredibly ugly claim that “some babies are just meant to die.”

As far as I’m concerned, there’s something very wrong when women claim that hurting their feelings is “violence. There is something very wrong when letting a baby suffocate to death, half the body born, and half still inside the mother is dismissed as inevitable, especially when it was not. And there is something very wrong when the obstetrician cares more about whether your baby lives or dies than you do.

As the Coroner noted at the inquest into Roisin Fraser’s death:

[Her views] are wrong views, extravagantly expressed and quite insensitive to the harm they may do to others, whether inexperienced mothers or children like Roisin whose chance of life was so unnecessarily put at risk. lf they seem intellectually valid or politically attractive to Ms. Fraser, she might give thought or more thought to the effect they may well have on children like Roisin.

Stop obstetric violence toward babies. Narcissism kills, as Janet Fraser continues to demonstrate.

  • Amazed

    Dr Amy, would do us all a favour and ban this Brooke thing?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      She’s much too amusing to ban. The funniest part is that she thinks she is knowledgeable about both childbirth and vaccines.

      • Amazed

        Oh yes. But its “Sensitive much” comment was too much for me. This thingy is vile.

        • fiftyfifty1

          They reveal their nastiness in the open for everyone to see. They dig their own holes.

          • Amazed

            But I get their feefees hurt when I am not being perfectly polite when calling them on their bullshit.

        • Mishimoo

          Oh same. I lucked out; the ob/gyn who told 13 year old me that I would be infertile by 25 was wrong. But that news? The whole “you might never have kids”? That is a big deal, and to be so dismissive was absolutely disgusting.

      • Nick Sanders

        I’m just glad you banned Lawrence, or he finally gave up. Either way, I’m glad to not have to listen to him whine and insult everyone anymore.

        • Bombshellrisa

          It was fun reading that for awhile but then it got old.

  • Marie Gregg

    I’ve been lurking here for awhile. Posted my first comment yesterday (on the “sancti-selfie” article).

    The entire homebirth/natural childbirth/midwives don’t need no stinking education/trust your body/trust your baby/rub some essential oils on it thing is especially insane to someone like me, who is unable to bear children. Why the flippity-flap would you not do everything possible to ensure your baby’s safe delivery? Why would you not want the best care during pregnancy, during labor and immediately following delivery?

    The only answer I can come up with is narcissism. And the belief that “they” know “better” than “the system.” Because Google University.

    • crazy grad mama

      Yup. I once got into an argument with an anti-vax friend-of-a-friend, and it became clear early on that it was really important to her that she was “smart” and had “done her research” and had all this insider knowledge. It had become a huge part of her identity, that she “knew better” than everyone else and was part of this elite group of “educated” people.

      She left the conversation in a huff when I stopped arguing on her specific points and just started posting Anti-Vax Talking Points Bingo cards.

    • swbarnes2

      I think in the case of childbirth and breastfeeding, a healthy case of gender essentialism is in there too. For millennia, men were people, and women were just inconveniently sentient vaginas, uteri, and boobs. And I think these women buy into that too,…you aren’t a good female person, you have to be a “good woman” whose body flawlessly does the things that only female bodies can do. Otherwise, you aren’t a male, so why are you even existing?

      See also how attachment parenting often locks out the father; those women think that parenting is about something magical that is intimately tied to the female body, as opposed to being a product of head and heart.

      • Brooke

        You realize Dr.Sears is a dad right?

        • Maya Markova

          Not every dad in the world is a good dad.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Yeah, imagine that? A Dad who comes up with the idea that parenting is all about mom.

          And there are women who actually think this is a GOOD thing!

          Sears is the best thing a dad can have if he wants to avoid the responsibility of parenting.

        • swbarnes2

          Yes, and just a few weeks ago, there was a post right here quoting from his book about how God ordained women to be specially made for childcare, while men were ordained to have paying jobs. Dr. Sears didn’t become a household pediatric name by having a child strapped to his hip for years. He had a wife to do that.

        • Sarah

          How on earth do you imagine that even addresses the point you responded to, let alone refutes it?

    • Brooke

      As you’re unable to bear children you haven’t had the privilege of being exposed to the so called “best” care during pregnancy, labor and delivery.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        You are a fucking bitch.

        If you had any idea what it’s like to even have the “you may not ever be able to have children” bomb dropped on you, you wouldn’t say this shit. To say that to someone who can’t have children at all? Fuck. You.

        Go take your faux equality bullshit somewhere else. I’m not buying what you’re selling.

        • Amazed

          Now, now… Why do you have female dogs? We have veterinarians here, they’ll feel insulted on their patients’ behalf.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Fair enough.

            Perhaps Brooke should extricate their cranium from their anus. I can see the laws of physics being broken as Brooke’s head is emerging from their mouth and swinging around back for round two.

        • Brooke

          Sensitive much?

          • Amazed

            You still here? Run into the wild with you fellow beasts, thingy.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            No. I just insult people that are insensitive asshats on a whim.

            You like to call out priveledge in your posting history but you’re the gorram Monarch of it here.

            Do you even know what it’s like to settle down with a man you love and want to eagerly start a family right away and find out you can’t? You spend ridiculous amounts of money and max insurance deductibles three times over to find out what’s wrong. And it turns out you didn’t do anything wrong and you couldn’t have prevented it. You just can’t get pregnant or you will never be able to carry a child to term as far as they can tell. You can keep trying. They did scrape out all the adhesions and cysts while they were in there. But there’s something else at work that’s causing your infertility and they don’t know what it is.

            So you try adopting. You set up an agreement with a birth mother and when you have everything ready she changes your mind. You go home with empty arms. You try again. Spend all that money again just hoping and waiting for a child to take home. The same thing happens. You go home again to the nursery in your home that still won’t be used. You close the door so you don’t have to look at it. You’ll take it down later.

            One last try. Your brother in law tells you of a friend that has found herself pregnant and doesn’t want to keep the baby. The implication is it’s his. At the very least maybe you’ll get a child that shares a familial connection with your husband. That’s more than you had all those years ago. And then she gets pissed off at your brother in law and chooses to punish you too. She won’t let you adopt the baby.

            You tell your husband you can’t do it anymore. No more adoption attempts, no more trying for your own children. You’ll just live and enjoy each other.

            Luckily for the woman in this story, she was eventually able to have two children. The first was me. Half a million dollars, failed adoptions, miscarriages, and five years of it all and somehow my mom was able to have me. Four years and four miscarriages later, my sister came here. My dad said no more after that. Two was good and they didn’t expect to even have one. Mom nearly died with both my sister and I in labor. She spiked a fever during labor with me and was pre-eclamptic and neither would respond to treatment. She would have died at a home birth. With my sister at four months in she went into anaphylactic shock suddenly and we still don’t know why. She had never had that reaction to anything before and hasn’t since, even after going to a doctor and getting the scratch tests done. While in laboer gallbladder backed up into her liver and caused it to abcess. She still has to be careful with medications over twenty years later as part of her liver died. Her body made a solid attempt of shutting down completely and taking my sister with it. But she delivered my sister vaginally just as they were going to make the call for a c-section. And then they went in to life saving mode and testing my sister to make sure she wasn’t somehow dying too.

            We all made it somehow.

            But if that’s not enough to convince you how about this?

            Do you know what it’s like to be fifteen years old sitting in a gynecologist office and being told your chances of having children just got thrown into question? Because you most likely have endometriosis but the only way to confirm it and the extend is surgery. When all your peers are doing their damnedest not to get pregnant and sometimes failing, you may never be able to pregnant at all. It’s not something you deal with well as a teenager.

            A choice I always thought I would have was taken from me and there was nothing I could do to change it. That’s different from deciding to not have children. You still have a choice. I had so much of my choice limited. If I am able to have children I need to start now. I just turned twenty nine. My time to easily have children, if I can, is running out. I’ve been on hormonal birth control since I was fifteen trying to keep my ovaries dormant in a desperate attempt to keep the endometriosis from growing that might not even work. I had surgery at twenty one to clean out the endo that was there and then six months of a false menopause to try to kill what was missed. Which is controversial in if it even works. But I wanted to preserve my ability to choose to have children.

            So yeah. Fuck you. You have a choice. A lot of us don’t and its through no fault of our own.

            If you want to blame diet or some shit for most of my childhood we grew our own vegetables and used organic fertilizers because we lived near farmland and it was cheap. We were poor at the time. We had to grow and make most our food. My mom super loaded my sister and I with veggies. We had carrot juice in just about everything because my mom wanted to make sure we had enough vitamin A. We had tons of colorful squash, brocolli, home grown tomatoes, very little meat because it was expensive, home made whole grain bread. We played outside and ran around every day.

            It did nothing to stop our health issues. My body is so unused to eating “crap” that one night of hamburger helper is almost too much. Two nights and my body is trying to purge itself of all the greasy fats as fast as it can any way it can. But I still have health problems and a lot of them. My mom and sister still have celiacs.

            So stuff it. Get off your high horse. You claim in other posts that you’re not calling yourself superior but you are one arrogant and condescending asshole. Unless it’s something that approved of in Brooke world, then it’s not good enough. Well shit, I guess no one will ever be as perfect as Brooke.

            But I don’t need your approval. I will however call you on your shit every time.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I don’t really have anything I could possibly add to that beyond a) I’m sorry you’ve been through such crap, b) please, please keep hanging around here, because I (and I doubt I’m alone) always love your posts, and c) if/when you decide to try for kids, I hope its a far less painful journey that the rest of your reproductive health stuff has been.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Thank you.

            You have no idea how much your comment means to me, especially right now.

            I have a good support Network for when we get for kids. Any complications I’m sure will sting but I’ll be in good company in both sides of the family. My husband is just terrified of having kids right now. He’s not against it and does want kids but at the same time he’s afraid he’ll be a terrible dad and will hate our children or something. I don’t think he’s capable of that but he’s pretty hard on himself. We’re both working on pulling each other out of the perfectionist hole.

            I’ve just been having some severe social anxiety lately and I’m kind of convinced everyone around me just tolerates me outside of family. Sometimes I think I even annoy my sister way too much. A lot of it is my team at work being so incredibly different from me culturally. Being outspoken and having strong opinions as a woman isn’t always in vogue in this neck of the woods.

            Plus my boss seems to only barely tolerate me but then sends everyone to me when there’s problems. She does this to most of the hardest workers on the team but they’ve managed to leave one way or another. And any concerns I have about being stretched too thin gets blown off and then I get scolded for not telling her I was overstressed. After I told her I was overstressed. Really wish there were more full time positions opening up here. Can’t afford to drop insurance right now.

            So it’s nice to be appreciated and actually wanted somewhere. 🙂

          • Who?

            I’m sorry, that’s a lot to live with and deal with.

            If it’s any consolation I think a lot of people feel social anxiety as you describe-I certainly do, particularly when I’m tired or the road is a bit rocky, and it sounds like both those things are true for you at the moment.

            The pushy boss is hard, and it’s really important to work on the messages you send her. This year two of my very close friends have come close to breakdown dealing with unreasonably demanding workplaces. Let her scold: it’s her way of blowing off steam, and it sounds like she relies on you.

            Look after yourself, it’s a tricky time of year when everyone’s feeling a bit under the pump.

            I love reading your posts, and thanks for sharing all you have.

          • Angharad

            Please do keep posting! I always enjoy your posts and your perspective.

            Good luck with the job situation! I know it sucks to feel overworked and underappreciated.

          • D/

            While I am sorry you’ve had such struggles, I always enjoy reading your posts and perspectives.

            I can certainly relate to some of the work stress you’re describing. I am the far, far opposite of whatever a hugger is, but please consider yourself hugged (or whatever might serve in substitute) … if we were co-workers a favorite desert would have randomly appeared today with your name on it 🙂

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I’m so glad it helped. 🙂 Work and social stress SUCKS!

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            It does. It doesn’t help that I can’t read people very well and my boss has what I’ve evaluated in the past to be rather disingenuous body language. But because humans are all individuals my coping mechanism of memorizing body language and extrapolating based on n number of past experiences is faulty.

            She’s the type that doesn’t really understand mental disorders. I’ve told her that I do have an anxiety disorder because I kept getting dizzy spells when she’d say “We need to talk” on Monday but not talk until Friday. And all probing about if this is a good meeting or a had meeting is met with “we’ll talk.” Puts me in work week long panic attack. I wouldn’t be so prone to them if she wasn’t the type to praise my performance one week and then turn around and criticize and tell me to stop the exact same behaviors the next. And then get mad when I stopped the behavior like she asked. If you try to defend yourself that you were trying to positively integrate her coaching she goes “I never said that!” She is a difficult individual to work with.

            She also plays blatant favorites. Her best friend on the team can take weeks off at a time but I ask for a day off specifically noted to be a follow up on my surgery and I get the guilt trip about being under staffed and I can’t just take days off whenever I want. When I ask at least a week in advance. And she wonders why I’m so prone to catching everything that goes through the hospital when I can’t even take a day off to get surgery followed up on.

            She blew the anxiety disorder off as everyone gets anxiety despite the hospital having required education about how mental illness (depression, anxiety/panic disorder, autism, bipolar disorder, etc) is different from a temporary funk or a moment of anxiety and is likely biological in nature and so these people can’t just cowboy up and get over it. I don’t dare tell her I’m Asperger’s Syndrome. She already thinks I’m weird. She’d probably think I’d shoot up the building.

            Her advice when I told her I was over stressed and needed help getting my (loads of extra from her and other coworkers) work done she told me to just take a deep breathe and walked away. I ended up having a full blown panic attack that three doses of Klonopin couldn’t knock out even after using all my CBT methods to calm down. Usually I have to snap the pills in half or they’re too much if that tells you anything about how bad this panic attack was.

            I was about fifteen minutes away from checking myself into the ER until my boss’s boss (who actually really likes me and i wish she was my actual boss) listened to me and told me take a personal day and she’d handle the resr. I’ve never had to do that before. Which I got reprimanded for by my actual boss and she basically implied that I was a drama queen that can’t just take days off whenever. Normally I’d agree but her favorite employees can do this and just take off in the middle of the day and not even get a slap on the wrist. I’ve come in to work passing kidney stones so I’m not one to call in because I have the sniffles. I don’t take the mental health days I probably should because I’m afraid to ask and get guilt tripped for needing to take care of myself. I take one personal day to do things I can’t do at work like meditation and CBT worksheets I can cry all over to purge the pent up emotions and she acts like I do this every two weeks. I have a pretty good handle on a very difficult combination of symptoms to treat and still be able to function.

            I just needed to rant it out I guess. I have tried to look for the positives in this woman but the only conclusion I’ve come to is that she believes if people don’t feel comfortable in their jobs that they’ll work harder to keep it. And then wonders why our department has some of the highest turn over in the hospital when she burns out the best and brightest of us. She’s chased out a lot of people a lot smarter and more talented than me. I’m just dumb/desperate enough to stick around. But maybe not for much longer. Hoping an application to transfer to another department works out.

          • demodocus

            We like you, Delph. My honey gets into these funks too, convinced his boss hates him. Until something positive happens.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Thank you. I always love reading your posts too. You’re a really impressive and inspiring person. I think with all the things you and your husband have gone through, most would have practically laid down and given up. You’re a tough one.

          • demodocus

            thank you, but really, there are always worse things than what we deal with. We mostly consider ourselves lucky overall.

          • Michelle Singleton

            (((HUGS)))

          • Sarah

            Turd much?

          • Who?

            If there was any doubt as to whether your remark to Marie Gregg was meant rudely or not, this response has ended it.

            I pity any woman who falls under your spell while she is pregnant.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Of course, she might have had years of care to try and get pregnant or worse, got pregnant and despite that care couldn’t carry to term.

      • Marie Gregg

        Fair enough, Brooke. I’ll assume that you were only pointing out my lack of direct experience and not trying to be nasty.

        I my not have had a baby, but I do live with chronic illness. I know there are jerk doctors and nurses out there. You know what you do when cross paths with one? Fire him or her. If it’s especially bad, report him or her. It’s not worth rejecting the entire medical establishment because of a few bad apples or one bad experience.

        Further, I have friends who’ve had c-sections, friends who’ve had “normal” hospital births, friends who did the birthing center attached to the hospital thing, friends who went to a midwifery center and friends who went the homebirth route. You know which babies suffered? Those in the past two categories, because they were handled by ill-trained and arrogant CPMs.

        No baby should have to live with brain damage that never had to happen. A doctor or CNM would have caught the problem. A hospital would have had the tools to treat it.

        • Amazed

          Oh she’s trying to be nasty all right.

        • momofone

          What an incredibly gracious response.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          You are a far kinder person than I am.

        • Michelle Singleton

          Round of applause!
          Good on you! I shall have a shot of whiskey in your honor!
          ((hugs)) because You deserve one

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          You have more class in your left pinkie toenail than Brooke has in her whole body.

      • Amazed

        As you’re unable to be a decent human being, you don’t get the privilege of being addressed as such by the commenters on this fine site.

        Run into the wild, you beast. Where you’ll encounter even bigger beasts than you. But hey, you’re a strong wombyn, so we assume you’re proudly capable of bearing the pain. An added bonus: no inexperienced doctors there to plant doubt by offering you drugs.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          I admit to enjoying Tom Clancy’s earlier novels. (He wrote the book on which the movie “The Hunt for Red October” was based.) Total brain-candy-spy/adventure-novels, but hey, sometimes that’s what you need!
          Anyhow, in one of them, there’s a seriously unpleasant bunch of ecoterrorists who basically think that most of the humanity ought to die to restore the balance of nature, blahblahblah. (Naturally, they are the superior intellects/minds/specimens of humanity, so they don’t think that *they* should be among the dead.) According to them, all things natural are beautiful and pure and lovely and happy, and we should all be living in little huts in the Amazon or something. In one of the more satisfying endings ever, the Good Guys Black Ops Team (TM) dumps the ecoterrorists into the middle of a beautiful, pure, lovely, happy rainforest and tells them to find their way out.
          They don’t.

          • Michelle Singleton

            OT but on – kinda: When my sister and I were in jr high we would watch Hunt at least twice a month. I mean Sir Sean may be an ass, but he’s quite dishy… One of our favorite scenes was where they were having tea. It got to the point that our mother taught us to make tea and we’d have a tea party.
            Now that I’m adult *sigh* I have the ability to buy the good tea (slight Teavana addiction..reminds me I need to order more sugar…) and I have tea parties with my girls. Usually when we are watching Supernatural.

          • demodocus

            tea addiction came before the brief Clancy addiction. Hunt’s the only one I own on video, though. 🙂

      • Montserrat Blanco

        As you obviously have not been seriously ill you have not had the privilege of being exposed to a near-death experience and you have not been able to understand what really matters in healthcare. It is pretty obvious reading your comments in this site. Believe me, intelligent people change their views about healthcare after such an experience.

        And before you ask, yes, I had a multi organic failure, some days at the ICU and survived.

      • Sarah

        Plenty of us who are able to bear children have had the ‘privilege’ of being forced into the sort of birth the likes of you advocate.

      • Maya Markova

        Many of us here are, or have been, able to bear children and still don’t see the point to bear them in a Stone Age setting.

      • momofone

        I had a son after two decades of infertility, and there was no way in hell I would have subjected him or myself to the magical thinking that is NCB. Marie Gregg is right on target.

      • Megan

        You are scum.

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        Holy shit. You are an evil person.

        • yugaya

          And a perfect example of how evil all birth essentialism is.Her remarks place her firmly in the birth racist category.

      • yugaya

        Every village needs a village idiot, and since I’m rather fond of this little village that the regulars have set up here in this blog’s comments, I understand that there is a social need to fulfill and that having people like you comment here is a requirement. But honestly Brooke, even though you are are trying so hard, understand that we have seen far better performances.

        I personally vote for Patricia (not sure about the name, it’s been a while) – the hypnointactavist lady prone to Hitler analogies . Now THAT was pure entertainment. You Brooke? You are pathetic, at best.

        • Amazed

          My vote is for Rob, a male midwifery student. He visited us about this time last year and proclaimed vaginal birth better, more empowering and greater for mother and baby… just not safer.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Good heavens, I’d forgotten about him.
            It was nice having forgotten about him…

          • Amazed

            You found us about that time, didn’t you? I remember that in the beginning of the new year, I was already envious of your glorified name.

            Hold on. Tonigght, I roamed through some of the last December posts. You were there.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I think I found this blog in the summer of 2014, so yep, that would make sense. 🙂

          • Amazed

            Hey, I have some free time before me. I can use it to deliver the baby shower present I promised you. So tell me, what do you prefer, a Prince Marco story or the one about the Unborn Maid (not the way we use the term unborn here!)

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Oooooh, and don’t forget that self-proclaimed pediatrician (I think he said he specialized in neonates, but could be wrong?) who wanted us all to know about the serious problem of necrotizing enterocolotis in *full term*, first-world babies, and how we all could breastfeed anyway and it didn’t actually hurt those of us who said it did because his wife never had a hard time breastfeeding. And wasn’t he the same guy who kept saying that breastfed babies would be more successful later in life, but the only studies he could use to back it up were the ones that concluded that wealthier women were more likely to breastfeed, or something? (I think he might have backed down a bit at the end, but still…egads!)

          • Bombshellrisa

            I remember him because he made the mistake of bragging about his wife organizing a latch on event in Tennessee and I knew immediately who he was.

          • yugaya

            Unfortunately he was real, and he scienced so badly, spewing off things like “significant increase in IQ” over the difference of a couple of IQ point. The good thing is that he did come back to the blog a few months later and admitted that this blog has swayed some new understanding into him that will be crossing over into his practice.

          • Sarah

            He gets my vote. I had a go at him for presuming to say that all women should try breastfeeding, and after a brief tantrum about how all these non-patients who hadn’t asked for his medical advice should be grateful for it, his response to being told to mind his business about my body was to say he doesn’t care about women’s bodies, just the baby.

            Worst case of NEWMANITIS I’ve seen outside of, well, Jack Newman, but I will say that it was useful to have him come out and admit his woman as milking cow mentality. He didn’t backtrack nearly enough on his brief return. Fuck him.

          • Amazed

            Ah yes, this one. I had happily forgotten about him.

          • Sarah

            Was he British? If he is, the thought of coming across that is enough to put me off any future pregnancy. Seriously.

          • Amazed

            Oh, British to the boot! He was the first poster that made me officially lose my profanity filter. I told him that he wasn’t qualified to judge better and empowering for women by the virtue of having a pendant and not a childbirth organ down there.

          • Sarah

            That’s me stopping at two, then.

        • Bombshellrisa

          I vote for the idiot who parachuted in and talked about her home births and blah blah blah empowerment, eating during labor, not having to be hooked up to anything. I shared about the heart wrenching night a twenty something women was brought into the ER after a home birth attempt and was asyctole for 8 minutes. She and her baby boy died a few days later, in separate hospitals. The idiot said “sorry about the asyctole, that was probably scary” and continued talking about the benefits of home birth.

          • Amazed

            When was this? I’ve missed this particular brand of heartlessness.

          • Bombshellrisa

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/skepticalob/sure_my_baby_died_at_homebirth_but_that_was_just_a_coincidence/#comment-2297698810
            Of course she had to mention an incident where an OB was wrong.
            Looking back over the threads, there have been quite a few idiots so it’s hard to pick just one. SkarletPike, Abby Reichert, the poster above and the poster who was going to be a CPM because CNM school didn’t work for her life. Interesting that they all come here to prove us wrong, yet never have anything original to say

          • yugaya

            A far more likely version of events ( and the one we’ve seen so many times) is : midwife transferred when it was already too late, the woman went on to refuse a CS until the situation went from emergency to critical and the baby loss is blamed on OB of course.

          • Azuran

            and then she’ll complain of the doctors ‘pressuring’ her of having an emergency c section while she was in septic shock and bleeding to death or something.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I don’t believe the whole doctor made her continue labor for three hours and that is why the baby died scenario for a second. That doesn’t make any sense.

        • Sarah

          Every village needs an idiot, but not an arsehole.

          • Who?

            But they often do have one, though.

          • Sarah

            We do seem to be in possession of one at the moment.

      • Who?

        Quite a club.

        Most women want the safest and healthiest outcome for themselves and their baby. A tiny minority of women want a particular experience and are happy to tolerate a dead or damaged baby at the end of it, though most of them get an attack of the vapours if someone is straightforward enough to put it like that.

        Your club is the tiny minority. You’re just really loud, a bit like the NRA and anti-vaxxers. I think it’s good on the whole, everyone else knows who to avoid, but it’s tough on the victims who get caught up in your obsessions.

      • Charybdis

        I think I would MUCH rather have the so called “worst” care during pregnancy from an old-school, ham-fisted, chain-smoking, enema-insisting, shaving-happy, episiotomy-cutting, forceps-wielding, twilight sleep-using, misogynistic old OB than from anyone embracing and espousing the NCB dreck you are shoveling here.
        If you are so enamored of and/or enchanted by the NCB propaganda and fully embrace their ideology, then fine. It works for YOU. But do not mistake your allegiance to the NCB party line for universal understanding and acceptance by all.
        Others have their reasons (REASONS, not EXCUSES; and those two terms are NOT interchangeable) for choosing otherwise: Chronic pain due to underlying health issues, prior surgeries, family history of large babies, irregularity/abnormality of pelvic bones, concern for pelvic floor health, not wanting to tear, prefer to have more control by scheduling a CS, not wanting to mess up their house, and my personal favorite, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. There are as many reasons people want to have a hospital birth, maybe a surgical birth at that and attendants with real medical degrees as there are for the NCB camp.
        As long as there is proper informed consent, with the plusses and minuses of each type of birth spelled out, who the hell cares how or where you give birth. You are free to think those of us who prefer/choose hospital birth are barking mad and we are free to shake our collective heads at your NCB lunacy. Nobody is going to agree on everything all the time.
        But the tactics of being rude, crude and socially unacceptable when confronted with someone who does not toe your NCB line is just juvenile. Having a virtual tantrum, stomping your feet and saying the same things over and over, louder and louder is a poor tactic. Saying it slower and louder does not work either. Those more rational folks will state fact, studies and precede any personal anecdata with the statement that it IS their personal experience (n=1) and do not extrapolate/assume their experience is a universal one.
        Begone, and never darken our doorway again.

      • ladyloki

        Wow, you are a disgusting piece of work, aren’t you? I too have never given birth (by choice, not circumstance) but after adopting became a member of a few mom groups. I have yet to meet a woman who will do home birth. A lot of them wanted to go medication free but they still went to a hospital to do so because they were smart enough to realize that $%^& happens.

      • LibrarianSarah

        Oh fuck you Brooke!

  • KarenJJ

    Janet Fraser’s still going? I read her original birth story and it didn’t come across like “obstetric violence” but a hospital at stretched capacity in the middle of the night and a doctor and patient that didn’t communicate well together along with a demanding partner that nearly got security called on him.

    • Sue

      There’s this, from one of her many rants:
      ” I said, “Get out of my body.” to the obstetrician with her hand in my vagina.”

      This is her “rape” story.

      This was apparently during her first homebirth gone wrong, where she transferred the responsibility for the baby’s life to an obstetrician she had never met. The obstetrician, a woman doing a examination on her, having taken on that responsibility, and saves the baby, is defined by Fraser as a “rapist”. What an ugly attitude.

      • AirPlant

        Is this why my GP practically color commentates my annual pap smear? Because it would be super great to place the blame on idiots like this instead of on my nurse practitioner who I adore.

        • Roadstergal

          We have a reasonably famous local announcing team who does the San Francisco Giants baseball commentating. I would _love_ to have them do their stuff on my pap smear.

        • Dr Kitty

          I have my little Pap smear spiel, which always ends with “at any time, if you want me to stop, just say stop and I’ll stop, shall we start?”
          I have zero intention of pushing boundaries.
          99% of patients look at me like “I came here for a smear, just get it over with”, but the other 1% look relieved, so I keep saying it.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            I do the exactly same thing, with, “Ok, you’re going to feel my fingers, now you’re going to feel the speculum, OK, that clicking noise is the speculum opening, a little cramp here, and done!”

          • Sue

            I do that too when the vaginal examination isn’t being done in an emergency but, if the person has so-called “products in the os” and is pouring out blood and in severe pain, I just have to get in quickly and take the tissue out to stop the pain and bleeding.

            Of course it’s done with implicit consent but I can’t always do it “kindly”.

          • SporkParade

            My most memorable Pap smear involved the gynecologist criticizing my life choices throughout the entire pelvic exam. Never once occurred to me to compare it to being sexually violated.

    • yugaya

      When the coroner pulled her medical records during inquest into her daughter’s preventable homebirth death it turned out that Janet Fraser has lied all along about her *birth rape* cesarean, and that it was performed against medical advice per maternal request.

      • Roadstergal

        Seriously? Link?

        • yugaya

          i posted it down in the comments.

  • Sue

    Such irony in this post on her site:

    • Green Fish

      And it shows the same thing again that I mentioned in my previous comment: It’s all about what happens to her (even when she quotes another woman for her page).
      The midwife has less things to hurt HER.
      That the midwife also has less things to help the baby survive doesn’t feature.
      If something bad happens they are screwed but who cares as long as she puts HER experience above her baby’s life.

  • Green Fish

    I think the thing is that in that deadly homebirth the bad things didn’t happen to Ms. Fraser. She got what she wanted. The baby, who wanted to live and be loved, didn’t.

    The “birthrape” (yeah, she needs use a made-up word to somehow dramatize
    what happened to her) happened to her and so it matters to her.

    But during the homebirth she wasn’t the one deprived of oxygen. She wasn’t the one dying of suffocation.
    And as in her narcissistic self she had no inch of empathy for the terror and agony her little daughter went through, it just doesn’t matter that much to her.

    And that is a horrible statement to make about any parent. Still it fits here.

  • indigosky

    My mother had two stillbirths and three 2nd trimester miscarriages before finally being able to carry a baby to term alive. She nearly died having me. Ask her what was more traumatic and she will always say the five children she never got to bring home, never the birth that almost killed her because she got to bring me home.

    What a disgusting piece of s&%$. And I bet she tells her daughter that she triggers trauma for mommy daily.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Please excuse my “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” obsession here, but have you or your mother ever been tested for thrombophilic syndromes? Repeated 2nd and 3rd trimester loss can go with thrombophilia and it can be useful to know later on if you have that risk. (Of course, I don’t know your particular situation and if this advice is not useful, ignore it, etc.)

  • Anna

    This woman again. I have mixed feelings about her. I do feel some pity for her because she is obviously mentally ill. Maybe she did suffer during her first hospital birth, only God knows that, horrible things do happen during emergency c-sections like failed anesthesia and reopening of the scar etc. Actually the latter happened to a friend of mine, she had her wound reopened several times, had peritonitis, two subsequent major surgeries, about 6 months of recovery all in all till she could be somewhat like normal again. She was then told that if she were to have another baby she had better be having one within 2-3 years strictly, because later on she might be infertile due to all the health issues, adhesions, etc. (Actually this contributed to my negative perception of my own c-section which was entirely different but I was really prejudiced, she’s been through all the c-section hororrs including awful scar, permanent pregnant belly, life-long health issues, all along the NCB favorite horror story lines). Guess what? She did get pregnant and had another hospital birth (c-section) and it was way better. She is now the mother of two healthy boys and I never heard her whining. As for Fraser… “I am not just a vessel” – was it her saying or someone else’s? I just want to shout to women like her: if you can’t resolve your own mental issues, for God’s sake, don’t get pregnant! Not all women are meant to have a large family, sometimes after a traumatic birth the answer is not having any more kids and that’s WAY better than killing newborns at home then pathetically trying to justify yourself by being agressive towards people who actually do their best to ensure that all babies arrive safely. Sorry for long rant, this woman has been making me mad by her absurd shizophrenic statements for quite a while. I wish she would get some counselling finally.

    • Amazed

      She should get some counselling indeed. Instead, she’s getting spotlight. Worshippers. WTF?

      Sometimes I despair of the world.

      • Anna

        I do believe she could have been helped, in the early stages at least. She may have had basic PPD/PPSTD which developed into smth this ugly and unhealthy as we can observe on her website because untreated. Whereas such things can be treated successfully. I had a slight form of PPD so I can relate a bit. I got counselling immediately. It really is a weird state of mind when you are not quite yourself, but it can be helped fairly easily, I didn’t even have to take meds, just a good counsellor and back to normal within a month.

        • attitude devant

          Oh no. It goes deeper than that. She and her sister, both ‘birth activists’ are virulent narcissists.

          • Anna

            Too bad that birth issues have become a platform for freaks of all sorts. She does appear very self-indulgent, the way she calls anything that doesn’t meet her wishes “violence” and the way she dwells on the c-section procedure being all undignified and repulsive is just disgusting to say the least. Isn’t she also the “proud” author of the term “birth rape”?

          • Amazed

            She is. Pity that all of them are so devoted to choice rape.

          • Dr Kitty

            When two siblings both have such deep personality flaws it usually indicates something truly terrible happened when they were children.

            I don’t WANT them to have suffered traumatic childhoods, but I kind of hope that is the explanation for this stuff, because otherwise….

          • yugaya

            Fraser is a classic dominant and Meg Heket was a little more than a tag along nobody in the heyday of Fraser’s Joyous Birth forum. Her recent elevation into the status of killer birth online communities owner is best described as a former kapo setting up their own prison to run.

    • yugaya

      ” Maybe she did suffer during her first hospital birth, only God knows
      that, horrible things do happen during emergency c-sections”

      Her c-section was not an emergency CS, it was maternal request CS. As in she asked to have one in the absence of any medical indications and her doctors were recommending against it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind all women who request a CS getting one, but it makes all of her subsequent *birth rape* activism sound even more mental health related rather than having anything to do with obstetric trauma.

      The coroner’s report: https://web.archive.org/web/20130419222424/http://www.coroners.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/agdbasev7wr/_assets/coroners/m401601l4/roisin%20fraser%20finding.pdf

      • Roadstergal

        Wow. I read through the report, and that woman is seriously not right in the head, in a back-away-quickly sense.

  • mabelcruet

    This may be old news to some people, but today I heard the most perfect word to describe these people-CRYBULLY. Activists who bully others, but then immediately act the victim if they are challenged. Sheena B for example-happy to post the most foul tweets against a loss father and insinuate that he’s lying, but then claims HE’S bullying and intimidating her. This Fraser person sounds like exactly the same type.

    • CanDoc

      Oh wow. Officially my favourite new work for 2015. Crybullies. They surround us.

  • Madtowngirl

    If I hadn’t seen this on your blog, I would have thought this couldn’t possibly be real. My first trimester miscarriages were traumatic. What lunatic would say their stillbirth wasn’t traumatic?

    How is this not prosecutable?

  • Zornorph

    I really don’t get how this has become all about the birth. I know I’m a guy so of course I’m going to have a different perspective, but to me the birth was something to be endured for that one magical moment when my baby appeared. I tried not to stress and I mostly succeeded, but had the doctor come in with a machine that would have instantly teleported him out once labor started, I would have told him to fire it right up. And women are the ones who have to deal with all the pain and mess of it – I always assumed it was far worse for them!
    I really feel sorry for the fathers of these babies. I do know that some of them are ‘true believers’ and can even be more fanatical than their women, but I suspect most are just going along because we have been told over and over to ‘support your partner’ in birth and basically let her make all the choices. It wasn’t that long ago that our only role was to pace out in the waiting room while chain-smoking. For me, being in the delivery room and knowing that my son was being monitored (even though I felt like I was in a submarine movie with the dim light and constant pinging) gave me a level of comfort that I’d have never had at a homebirth. I would have been a total wreck in that case – I certainly did NOT ‘trust birth’. It wasn’t until he shot out, cried and got his Apgar score (8 or 9, I don’t remember, bad Dad!) that I let go of the tension and was able to then 100% enjoy things.

    • Madtowngirl

      I recently heard a story on a radio station about a man who was begging his wife to give birth to their child in a hospital. Callers ripped him to shreds,saying it was her choice and he needed to be supportive. I felt awful for that poor man.

      • Zornorph

        That would be my worst nightmare. I told my surrogate mum that I had only one condition for choosing to work with her – that she agree to give birth in the hospital. Happy to say that wasn’t an issue – it’s where she delivered her own children so we were both on the same page.

    • Megan

      It is always frustrating to me that in NCB circles (and AP circles for that matter) how Dads are treated like accessories to mom’s birth experience. They are treated just as much like props as the babies are. It Dad’s child too, for heaven’s sake!! I think he should have some input!

      • Zornorph

        When you suggest to a lactavist that perhaps Dad might enjoy feeding the baby too – even if it’s pumped mama’s milk – they will come back and magnanimously say that Dad can change the baby and should be content with that. Not that I object to changing my son, but I’m glad that I got to interact with him in all other ways, too. But at these homebirths, the Dad’s role seems to be limited to changing the Lorena McKennitt CD and keeping the votive candles lit. Or perhaps they can scoop mom’s poop out of the birthing pool with a fishnet.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          One thing I liked about our LC, she adamantly advocated Dad’s involvement. And she said specifically, “No, it’s not enough that he gets to change the diapers.” She pushed moms to find ways for Dad to participate, even when breastfeeding.

          This is why I am on the edge about LCs. They can be helpful, with the right approach. But they have to take that right attitude.

          • Amazed

            Anecdote, but all around me fathers are getting more involved. Some, not so much. Others, so profusely that kid doesn’t even notice mom has left and isn’t back for a few hours. But from what I see, things are generally much better than they were at the time my mom was labeled alternatively lucky and lazy because Dad was better at diapering us and oh, it was often he who took the bedtime story duty, among other things. (Scratch that, some thought she was lazy AND lucky because colics was never a word in our house.)

          • Amy M

            My husband probably does more than 50% of the child-related duties in house at the moment. Granted, this is mostly because he is currently unemployed, but he’s always been involved. He can’t stand it when people suggest that Dad must be “babysitting” if he’s with the children, or that Dad must be a superhero for being SO involved (even though he’s doing what Mom would do, if she were in his shoes.)

          • Amazed

            As it should be (your husband’s mindset, not “babysitting”!)

          • Sue

            One of my pet peeves – when a father uses the term “babysitting” and he means “looking after my own children”. My question: “Does your partner call it ‘babysitting’ when she looks after them?” Grrrr.

          • Who?

            Mine too.

          • AB

            My mother does that – she meant to pay my father a compliment by saying “your father was always willing to baby-sit you whenever I asked him to!” (My Dad was actually a pretty involved father – he worked nights while Mom worked days, so he handled after-school time and summers. He didn’t think of it as babysitting… but Mom apparently did!)

          • Bombshellrisa

            I feel bad for the women who get the LCs who make them believe that dads are there to change a couple diapers and that is it. Makes me happy to know that you had a good experience with the LC your family saw. We did too, and I was surprised that she talked about things we could do to make things easier and asked about things like meal plans and limiting visitors. All of her suggestions were practical. She also took one look at me (engorged, crying, not used to pumping) and told me what I needed was a glass of wine and to lay in bed. She never treated my husband like he was anything other than a parent with concern for his child, which I appreciated because so much of time, I feel like guys are talked to like idiots who can “help” but not really do parenting duties.

        • Megan

          Yes because disposing of your child’s poop is just as pleasant as feeding him/her. /sarcasm

          Seriously though, I am planning to make sure hubby gets to feed at least one bottle a day so he can bond and then I get a break or some time with my older daughter. Win-win! I don’t get why they see Dad’s involvement as so threatening to their mom-baby relationship. Is it really that tenuous?

          • Amazed

            Because a baby who doesn’t place Mommy on such a high pedestal that Daddy can only dream about it is something terrible!

            I bet a baby like me would be the nightmare of their lives. I started to speak early and for a while called both my parents mama. Can you imagine what it would do to an AP mother? The word for the one baby loves most spread in two!

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            When my husband walks into the room mid feed, I often can’t get my son to finish eating because he’s too busy smiling at his daddy.

            How terrible to have a baby that doesn’t prioritise mummy and breastmilk above all else!

          • Amazed

            Be prepared for the shock of mid-teens: “What do you want of me, bowing three times a day to you because you gave birth to me?” Real case.

            I still don’t know what my mom wanted (OK, I’ve got a pretty good idea) but it wasn’t the bows three times a day!

            Hmm, perhaps I should rename myself. AP Mommies Eating Demon would suit me great, I think. (I don’t know if you were around by the time we had an OB Eating Mama. She was so sure she showed ’em OBs and she’s show us around here! But her nickname was cool, if misguided.

            The story of my teen ingratitude would surely cause some heart failures. What if it happens to THEM?

          • Roadstergal

            I sometimes wonder about the teendoms of kids who were home-birthed. When mom tries to do her number about her sacrifices, all the teen would have to do is refer to mom’s ALL ABOUT ME YouTube video of the birth.

          • Bugsy

            My 3-year-old now breaks down in tears each morning when he wakes up and finds out daddy’s gone to work. Obviously extended breastfeeding failed to create a bond between my son and me. Oh wait, it must have been the nightly bottle of pumped milk DH gave him starting at 2 weeks…of course!

            (sarcasm)

          • Angharad

            My daughter calls everyone she loves dada. I’ll be honest, I’d rather she called me mama and I’m a wee bit jealous, but I’m so glad she and her dad have a good relationship.

          • Maya Markova

            I think it is a matter of which sounds are easier to pronounce. My elder son began with “baba” (Grandma) and my husband was jealous: “The grandmas have trained him!”

          • Wren

            I don’t think feeding is vital to bonding. I breastfed both of mine and bottles were out of the question for the first if I was anywhere nearby and the second absolutely refused them full stop. They still managed to bond amazingly well with their dad even though I stayed home and he worked long hours.

          • Megan

            I agree with you. A large part of wanting hubby to give a bottle every day is just so I get a break. 🙂

          • Tiffany Aching

            It might seem weird but I really like to change babies’ diapers. Well of course it is kind of disgusting, but there is also a lot of interaction, you get to tickle their little feet, rub their little bellies, make faces, and they are usually very happy and grateful to be clean and dry again (I would be too). No need to say that my friends with babies love it when I come to visit :).

          • Bombshellrisa

            I don’t think that is weird, I always figure my babies probably don’t like being wet or dirty anymore than I like it. Anyway, my son started cute little routine at 18 months where he waves his feet in my face before the diaper change and i have to pretend to sniff them and say “yuck! You have stinky toes!” while making a funny face. He loves it.

          • Tiffany Aching

            This is so cute !

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            When my wife was pregnant with our second, I did all the doodie-duty. I remember one time coming out after changing him and I was laughing, and my wife asked why. I said, that was the smelliest, messiest, nastiest diaper I’ve ever seen. And it was the funniest thing.

          • Tiffany Aching

            The brutal realization that these little adorable cuties can produce the foulest things you will ever handle (hopefully) has an indubitable comical side.

            Also : doodie-duty immediately made me think of this
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrTFi8nV6hY
            (I have the sense of humor of a 5 years old).

          • Megan

            Actually you’re right; I don’t mind changing diapers only because of those interactions too. My daughter loves belly kisses and tickles. Of course these days, getting her to lie down for a change can be difficult. I think soon we’ll be learning the skill of standing diaper changes…

          • Tiffany Aching

            I don’t say that it beats the infinite power of the bottle, which makes them magically stop crying and gives them this intense expression. And what I like most is the “oh man, I’m so high” look on their face when they begin to feel satiated. Babies are cute.

        • Melissaxxxx

          No they also get to massage the woman in the pool and lie their head against hers with eyes closed for dreamy “surge” photo ops

          • Zornorph

            I guess if their wives are Ina Mae devotes, they also get to play with her nipples and such during the birth, too.

      • RMY

        Yeah, in the hard core attachment parenting circles non gestational parents are basically considered an added burden, not a partner in parenting.

      • yentavegan

        Wives who love, respect and admire their husbands raise children who also feel this way about their fathers.

  • OttawaAlison

    This is especially triggering me. I was gobsmacked when I read this prior to having a stillbirth, and I am full of rage about how she has classified that her stillbirth wasn’t traumatic. I guess it wasn’t traumatic to her, but mine was plenty traumatic to me. My empathetic side is trying to put myself into her shoes, but it honestly isn’t working for me. My daughter died 53 weeks ago and I am still very devastated and will be for life.

    • Zornorph

      I found dealing with miscarriage horribly traumatic. I just can’t imagine a stillbirth. (hug)

    • attitude devant

      Hugs, Alison. I think of you and your beautiful J so often. 53 weeks later I’m still so very sorry for your loss.

    • mabelcruet

      I’m sorry for your loss-it must be so difficult to deal with. There will always be a J shaped hole in your heart and you’ll always be her mummy.

    • Amazed

      I imagine it must be extremely triggering for women who lost children at stillbirths to hear this being defined as better than losing birth. You came to my mind immediately.

      So sorry.

    • Sue

      So sorry for your ongoing sadness, Alison.

    • Bugsy

      So sorry, Alison.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      I am so very sorry. I had an early miscarriage myself, so I have a tiny glimmer of what you must be feeling. Wouldn’t inflict it on anyone. I wish there was something I could say that could make things better, but there isn’t really; just know that we’re here for you.

  • Mel

    To me, home birth gone wrong is a hell of a lot more violent than hospital births. At a home birth, you go from minimal attendance to advanced obstetrics maneuvers attempted by amateurs who are doing them wrong in the absence of painkillers.

    My mom had a procedure in labor that was violent – my breech twin sister was delivered feetfirst after being manuvered out of a transverse breech by the two largest interns whilethe OB grabbed for her feet internally.

    The anesthesia worked enough, but it still hurt like hell.

    It also saved my twin’s life and mom thinks it was a blessing worth 3 minutes of hell.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Evidently, it occurred to nobody present to clamp and cut the cord

    BAM! Head-Desk!

    When a CORONER writes this in their report, you know you have been slammed. It’s not “they opted to forego”, it was, “It didn’t even occur to them”

    Someone was NOT happy when he wrote that report.

    • Amazed

      “These three amateurs” almost made me cheer on from behind the screen. The scorn and disgust aren’t even masked. I guess that kind of balances out the OBs who cannot quite bring themselves to say, “Yes, assholes, your baby would have lived if you haven’t fancied yourselves so smart!” to parents.

      • namaste863

        If I’d been the coroner, the report would’ve said “These three morons”. As it is, the disgust is palpable, and it is well deserved.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Maybe it did and were getting the “sanitized” version. I could see the supposed first draft being filled with explicitives directed at this circus of a birth.

    • Zornorph

      They probably thought that not doing delayed cord clamping was child abuse. Or perhaps they were going for a Lotus Birth?

      • Joy

        Well, you don’t need to worry about the baby breathing as long as the cord is still attached. Duh!

        • Roadstergal

          SCUBA gear, after all. Man, it’s like backwards land. Something that doesn’t do much good but usually causes little to no harm in term babies – delayed clamping – is elevated to greater importance than the urgent, immediate need for resuscitation.

          Then again, if anyone involved had a sense of perspective, they wouldn’t have been involved.

    • namaste863

      I absolutely love the “You utter dipshits!” tone of the report. It would be hysterical if it wasn’t so damn tragic.

  • attitude devant

    Notice the twitter handle, @feministbirther? Seriously? what’s feminist about letting a baby girl die?

    • AirPlant

      Well the patriarchy says that all we are good for is birthing babies. So she is going to let her baby die. That will show them!

    • Azuran

      You’d be surprised.
      There were talk recently about gender selective abortion. Someone tried to put a ban on them. Then some hardcord feminist came around saying that preventing women from selectively aborting their female foetus was discrimination against women.

      • Kerlyssa

        It’s saying that only certain motives for abortion are allowed, so… yes? It is restricting abortion rights.

        People use similar reasoning to limit abortions based on race or disability, ignoring that in all cases it is privileging the fetus’ right to not be discriminated against(?!) or society’s need for gender/racial/whatever parity(!?!?!!) over the woman’s right not to carry to term.

        • Azuran

          There isn’t actually a right answer to it. You totally have the right to an abortion. But getting an abortion BECAUSE the foetus is female is ALSO discrimination against women.
          You cannot actually ban gender selected abortion because you cannot really prove it and really cannot force a woman to keep a baby she doesn’t want. So forcing a woman to keep a baby because you think she’s aborting it based on it’s sex is definitely wrong and cannot be inforced.
          But wanting to abort because it’s a female, and then keeping getting pregnant and abort females until you get a boy is definitely discrimination against women as well.

  • Amy M

    I think it could be argued that, say, that doctor who gave Kelly an episiotomy wo/her consent, may have committed obstetric violence. We’ve all heard about the doctors that take advantage of their power over patients and sexually assault them. That could be obstetric violence.

    Saying that Roisin died because her mom made poor choices? Not violent. Maybe harsh, maybe hard to hear, but categorizing that as violence does a huge disservice to victims of actual violence.

    • Roadstergal

      The report did make it sound like a fairly violent death, to me. 🙁 Starved of oxygen and suffocating during the birth, then shitty CPR on the wrong surfaces, the baby cold from the birth tub water and slipping out of the hands of the attendants?

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Yeah, clearly the coroner thought they were a bunch of completely clueless clowns. You almost can imagine them with oversized shoes and wearing a flower that shoots water, from his description.

        They didn’t have the first fucking clue what they were doing.

        • Roadstergal

          It would be Keystone-Cops funny if it weren’t for the dead baby.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Thing is, I’ve read enough HB stories that if everything had turned out okay, this would have been written from a humorous perspective: “all this goofy stuff happened, haha, but of course we’re all okay!” *sigh*

    • Mariana Baca

      “poor choices” is a heck of a euphemism for “gross medical neglect”, where obvious medical choices were not performed and even withheld on an infant struggling to live. Is neglect not violence?

      • Amy M

        I was trying to determine what is violence and what isn’t. What I meant, with the poor choices comment, was that saying words is not violent and that Ms. Fraser was using the term “violence” disingenuously when she suggested that someone’s words were obstetric violence. I don’t think the act of someone saying something offensive is always violence. It could be, like hate speech, but that is not the case here.

        I picked the term “poor choices” as shorthand, to encompass all the things that Fraser did or did not do. I do not equate negative abuse with forgetting one’s coat. Also, I don’t know exactly what Dr. Amy said that Fraser is responding to, so I substituted “poor choices” to stand in for whatever words so offended Fraser.

        I’ve concluded that violence is action, with intent to cause harm, so my example of Kelly’s doctor in the first part of my comment is not very good. I would agree that the baby in this case died a violent death, but via gross negligence. A failure to act (on Fraser’s part), isn’t violent, in and of itself, though it led to a horrific death for the baby.

        I’m very bad at expressing myself in writing, so I hope this is clear and clarifies what I was trying to say above.

        • Mariana Baca

          Oh! I thought you were replying to the baby’s death, not the twitter post.

          • Amy M

            Thanks, no it was my fault for not proof-reading better.

    • Anonymous

      No, the doctor wouldn’t have. In a situation where the infant is in distress, as in the USA, the doctor has an obligation to try to save the patient. If the mom suddenly screams “no interventions” then the assumption is that she’s not in control of her mental facilities. Keep in mind not a single doctor has ever, ever been successfully prosecuted for saving the life of the infant by performing a procedure the mother didn’t ask for.

      • Ash

        Well, this is certainly similar although I wouldn’t categorize it as “obstetric violence.” I am sure an attorney would know better.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/17/nyregion/mother-accuses-doctors-of-forcing-a-c-section-and-files-suit.html

        The woman in the article has a strong case as medical autonomy does not stop with pregnancy. There is no disagreement that she was mentally competent and had the right to refuse the procedure.

        • Anonymous

          Doubtful. From the article:

          After
          several hours of trying to deliver vaginally and arguing with the
          doctors, Mrs. Dray was wheeled to an operating room, where her baby was
          delivered surgically.

          The
          hospital record leaves little question that the operation was conducted
          against her will: “I have decided to override her refusal to have a
          C-section,” a handwritten note signed by Dr. James J. Ducey, the
          director of maternal and fetal medicine, says, adding that her doctor
          and the hospital’s lawyer had agreed.

          Mrs.
          Dray is suing the doctors and the hospital for malpractice, charging
          them with “improperly substituting their judgment for that of the
          mother” and of trying to persuade her by “pressuring and threatening”
          her during the birth of her third son, Yosef, in July 2011.

          Ok, so the doctors were concerned enough about this that the doctor went to the director, and the hospital attorney agreed that the C section was appropriate. The record states that the baby would be in distress if not delivered. Unlike these idiot midwives, a doctor’s notes are considered legal documents. For a doctor to fake these is tantamount to perjury and they would run the risk of losing their license to practice.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, and keep in mind that the doctor was in this position of honoring the wishes of the mother and risk injury to the baby then a year from now getting slammed in court for doing nothing, or doing the c-section and getting hit with a lawsuit. He chose the latter. A decision I think most doctors would make. Dr. Tuteur, what would you have done?

          • Ash

            Already covered–Dr. Tuteur would not have done the c-section without the patient’s consent.

            http://www.skepticalob.com/2014/05/you-cannot-perform-a-c-section-on-a-woman-without-her-consent-period.html

            It dosen’t matter if 1000 doctors documented that the woman or the fetus would die w/o c-section. Still violates medical autonomy.

        • Medwife

          She lost.

    • Haelmoon

      I think that a death is labour is violent for the baby. Imagine the baby suffocating because of a lack of action. I would consider that a violent death. I consider it so much, that when my patient elect to have a medical termination of pregnancy for genetic or structural anomalies, I strongly feel that they need to actually induce fetal demise before the induction of labour. I perform an amniocentesis and inject KCL directly into the heart. Pretty quick, but still I inject the fetus with 100mcg fentanyl first to ensure that I am not causing the baby any harm or discomfort while the KCL works (normally <30 sec, may take longer in some cases). Death itself isn't the part the worries me, it is the suffering in the process of dying that I try to prevent. These homebirth deaths that we discuss have complete and utter disregard for the fetal suffering their choices result in. On the ongoing suffering the surviving babies may endure. Oh, the baby died, some babies aren't meant to live – completely denies the possibility that the baby suffered horribly before it died. But vitamin K shots are considered abusive by some of these same women. The is a a serious disconnect.

      • Amy M

        I would agree that death in labor is a violent death for the baby.
        I was trying to say that SAYING that Fraser did something stupid is not an act of violence. As in: Ms. Fraser was criminally negligent and her child died as a direct result. That sentence would upset Ms.Fraser, but my typing it is not an act of violence. I can see how my wording is very poor, and I will edit to reflect my intent.

    • attitude devant

      Amy M I understood you correctly the first time. Just saying. No disagreement from me.

    • Roadstergal

      Thank you for clarifying – I did indeed misunderstand when I first read it, apologies!