No, it was not “her journey”; your baby died because you chose homebirth


Every time I think I’ve plumbed the depths of the deadly depravity of homebirth advocates who think their birth experience is more important than whether their baby lives or dies, another homebirth loss mother comes along to disabuse me.

Lisa Flatto has no remorse for her daughter’s entirely preventable death at a home VBAC. Indeed she is so proud of herself that she wrote a boastful piece about about it.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”My baby didn’t die because I had a VBAC at home. My baby died because that was her journey.”[/pullquote]

Flatto recounts the typical homebirth tragedy of clueless homebirth midwives shocked to discover a dead baby drop into their hands.

The central conceit of the piece is the droning repetition of these words:

Yes She Was

Yes, she was beautiful. Yes, she was 8lbs 15 ounces. Yes, she went past her due date. Yes, she made me sicker than a dog. She kicked me, early on and often.

But because of the decision to have a homebirth, she is no more.

Quotes from the piece tell the ugly story.

Flatto piled risk upon risk on her tiny daughter.

1. There was the risk of attempting a VBAC at home where a ruptured uterus would mean certain death.

2. Then there was the fact that Flatto was post dates:

My waters never released. My contractions were nothing much. At 41 weeks and 5 days we got serious, very serious, about getting the party started.

Membranes were stripped, acupuncture was had, herbs were drunk and candles were lit.

Her daughter was at risk of dying because a postterm baby’s oxygen needs during a labor of normal length may outstrip the oxygen carrying capacity of a deteriorating placenta.

3. Flatto forced her daughter to endure a 3 day labor, though protracted labor increased the risk of perinatal death.

Instead of recognizing the risk to the baby and recommending transfer, the fools who served as midwife and doula blamed Flatto:

My midwife whispered to my doula: “At some point she has to come to terms that she is the one doing this. She needs to be alone.”

4. Flatto’s midwife couldn’t be bothered to monitor the baby throughout the 3 day labor. Indeed the midwife couldn’t even be bothered to stick around.

It was Monday morning and things were shifting. Things were getting harder, my doula talking my jaw soft through every contraction. My midwife? Well, now she came and now she stayed.

5. The baby slowly and painfully suffocated to her death and the midwife had no idea of the baby’s prolonged distress (it probably took hours) until the baby was actually dead.

After checking my daughter’s heart rate, my midwife said, “You need to push her out. NOW!”

6. At the moment of supreme urgency, the midwife did this:



Faces of joy quickly turned to fear – a fear I hope never to see again.

“Talk to her,” they said.

“Call her by her name,” they said. “Should we call 911?”

Call her by name?

Should we call 911?

The ignorance and stupidity defies description. It’s only exceeded by Flatto’s supreme narcissism:

Later, I am [at] the hospital before being put under for a D&C because my placenta wouldn’t detach on it’s own. As he was placing the mask on my face, the anesthesiologist said…”Ah, once a cesarean always a cesarean.”

“No, not true” I said before going under…

For Flatto it was all about pushing a baby out of her vagina. The fact that the baby was dead didn’t negate her “achievement.”

Flatto feels no remorse and takes no responsibility.

My baby didn’t die because I had a VBAC at home.

My baby died because that was her journey.

Her journey?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more cold blooded justification for a preventable death.

For those wondering if this is the immediate reaction to grief:

I went on to have another daughter. I do not live in fear. I do not doula in fear.

I’m waiting to see what other homebirth advocates will make of this abomination. Will they readjust their thinking?

“My doctor didn’t perform an unnecessary C-section on me. I was just my journey to have a C-section.”

“Remember when I said my doctor birth-raped me? My bad; it was just my journey to have him thrust his arm in my vagina up to his elbow to pull out my retained placenta.”

“Disappointed that I didn’t have the homebirth of my dreams? No way; it was just my journey to have an emergency hospital transfer.”

Or is it only a baby whose excruciating preventable death from suffocation at homebirth can be fobbed off as “her journey”?

But it was not the baby’s “journey” to die. Her destiny was to live and grow to adulthood and she almost certainly would have done so if her mother had gone to the hospital for her birth.

The baby did not have to die; her mother let her die … and she’s bragging about it.

It’s hard to imagine anything more depraved.