Florida, please investigate homebirth midwife Charlie Rae Young of Barefoot Birth

Young boy holds paper note with word Please

Charlie Rae Young of Barefoot Birth has allegedly presided over a preventable homebirth disaster and preventable homebirth death in a little more than a year.

You may remember Charlie Rae from this debacle, What kind of mother claims she “rocked” a birth that nearly killed her baby?

…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!

The homebirth midwife boasted about her handling of the disaster:

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A hypoxic event in utero, Charlie Rae? Ya think? How is it that you had no idea of the hypoxic event until after he was born? It was your responsibility to prevent it.

In July Charlie Rae presided over the death of a baby from shoulder dystocia. Allegedly, according to a source:

She was 42w and wouldn’t go to the hospital even though her husband and parents wanted her to. Baby was 10lbs 14oz, had shoulder dystocia and paramedics were called. It took 8 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. Baby was not breathing when hey got there, but they ripped him out and worked on him and he was breathing/alive. I don’t know exactly how long he was alive before he passed, at least a couple of hours though. She had to have 3.5 hours of surgery to repair everything. They even considered a hysterectomy because of the extent of soft tissue damage, but they were able to save her uterus.

Astoundingly, Charlie Rae took to social media to whine about how hard the birth was for her!

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Being a #midwife is hard. No one is ever guaranteed a baby to bring home. The impact that leaves in a community happens in waves. While it is heavy and sad and leaves you searching for answers where there often are none, it is also a reminder that none of us are doing life alone. Paxton is a boy who was only here for a short while – he is so loved and so missed. He brought so many people together, so much light into a dark place and left so many people with such a palpable impact. We walk with families through so much joy but also so much sorrow – and THAT is what #midwifery is. It is being with families and holding space for whatever unfolds. I am honored every day I am able to do this work – no matter how unfair it can seem sometimes…

It’s unfair, Charlie Rae, but not for you. It’s unfair for the babies who suffer from your hubris, ignorance and lack of skill. Paxton did not have to die. He would probably be alive today had his mother not attempted a homebirth.

Does Paxton’s mother blame Charlie Rae or herself for this utterly preventable horror?

Surely you’re joking!

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…Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable and honest. Thank you for honoring Paxton’s birth and life in this way. I am so thankful for you. Thank you for loving him and for loving us. I don’t want to imagine walking through this with anyone else …

But she didn’t have to go through this. It was HER decision to give birth at home far from expert medical assistance, HER decision to hire a poorly educated, poorly trained pretend “midwife,” HER decision to ignore her husband and family to risk Paxton’s life.

Ironically, Paxton’s mother was apparently willing to accept high tech medical care for HERSELF to save her perineum and uterus in the wake of the shoulder dystocia, though she denied Paxton the very same level of care that could have saved his life.

Florida, could you please investigate this homebirth midwife. At a minimum, she needs extra education and training in managing high risk situations and referring high risk patients to hospitals.

Exactly how many babies have to suffer serious injuries or die before we make the substandard homebirth midwifery credential illegal and require that all midwives meet the international standards of education and training met by US certified nurse midwives and midwives in all other first world countries?

If Charlie Rae Young isn’t considered qualified to practice midwifery in the Netherlands, the UK, Canada or Australia, why is she considered qualified by the State of Florida?

  • Justasskeptical

    http://barefootbirth.com/blog/2016/7/12/home-birth-statistics-for-2013-2016-tampa-bay-home-birth-midwife

    She’s still at it. Tooting her own horn and still not taking responsibility for her actions.

  • RudyTooty

    I get it the concept of calling out individual midwives as a means to shame them and hopefully the whole lot of CPMs and their ilk.

    BUT.

    We really need to go after the states and the (lack of) regulation and oversight that permit a midwife with handful of births as experience to attend risky births in the home or birth center settings.

    Texas (and Texas ain’t the only one) guidelines for planned breech home birth with a midwife: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/midwife/pdf/Breech-Guidelines-2-16.pdf

    We can go after 22 year old birth junkies all we want (they probably have been issued state licenses) If we do not address this travesty of regulation, nothing will change, I’m afraid.

    Hey Texas! Please investigate your midwifery laws, standards and guidelines. Cuz holy shit, this is state-sanctioned death by licensed professional midwifery.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Florida does have one thing going for it, requiring midwives like the one mentioned here to have malpractice insurance. The problem is that the parents who experienced this loss aren’t suing the midwife, haven’t filed a complaint, so unless someone else calls out the midwife, the state will never know.

  • AA
    • lawyer jane

      “Her and her husband John were a huge support system for me during my years in midwifery school”

      Ok, not a grammar snob, but seriously… do NOT hire a 29-year old “midwife” to deliver your baby at home who does not even have the intelligence to form a proper sentence.

      • lawyer jane

        Also omg read that birth story. She’s a 1st time mother, and per Charlie Rae’s instructions decided to induce labor with 4 oz of castor oil after her water broke, then drive out to the countryside to have the baby. All the while Charlie Rae didn’t bother to show up or check on her patient, but advised her to over the phone to give birth in the tub under water because she couldn’t make it out to the rural location to which she presumably knew her primiparious, labor-induced patient had travelled to WHILE IN LABOR. Yet somehow the birth assistant and newborn photographer made it there. SMH.

      • demodocus

        Reads to me like someone trying too hard to sound educated, although not at hard as that dude the other day.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Know what is even scarier? Abby made the honor role at the school recently.

  • lawyer jane

    o/t look at this adorable orangutan baby and mom! apparently the zoo was ready to step in if the mom wasn’t mothering well … which belies the idea that “nature” somehow automatically works the way we want. but she’s doing a great job. and look how strong a newborn orangutan is!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/national-zoo-welcomes-a-new-baby-orangutan/2016/09/13/7486c140-79b5-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.html?tid=a_inl

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I’ve mentioned before the story I saw on “Sex in the Wild” that used to be on PBS about the orangutan who ended up having a c-section. Aside from the fact that she needed a c-section in the first place, the most important thing that happened is that she immediately bonded with her baby.

      So much for c-sections interfering with bonding. It’s not like they could explain what was happening, either.

      • demodocus

        And then there was the elephant who died due to complications after she had her calf. That show was rather eye opening

  • Daleth

    Here’s the story of one home-birth mother who, at age 35+, two weeks overdue and more than three days into an unproductive labor, finally heard sense–and not from anyone around her but, she believes, from some guiding spirit or other telling her, “It’s a girl, and she needs help.” That made her insist on an immediate c-section, which probably saved the child’s life:

    http://www.elle.com/life-love/a39181/hearing-voices-labor/

    • Stephanie Rotherham

      Wow…

    • swbarnes2

      She wasn’t homebirth, she was at a hospital, under the care of midwives, the kind who tell women that laboring for 4 days is totally normal.

  • What can you do for a woman who refuses to go to the hospital?

    • Gene

      Assuming that she is mentally competent and doesn’t meet criteria fir an involuntary psychiatric hold? Exactly nothing.

      • AA

        Gene–if a CPM is attending a homebirth and has advised the woman to transfer but she refuses, would it not be appropriate to call 911? Yes, the woman can decline services from paramedics but ultimately I think it shows due diligence from the CPM.

        • Azuran

          It’s a CPM. If she had any kind of ‘due diligence’, she wouldn’t be a CPM

        • swbarnes2

          “Due diligence” implies a standard of care that a practitioner is held to. CPMs have no such standards, and do not want them, and many of their clients don’t want that either.

        • RudyTooty

          CPMs generally don’t advise their clients to call 911. Is the question about what a reasonable person would do, or what a CPM would do. (or what a CPM *should* do)? You’ll get a different answer in each case.

    • Roadstergal

      Don’t lie to her to make her think the hospital is bad, for starters…

      • Well, that’s true. But, some of these women will just birth unassisted. It’s a mess.

        • Charybdis

          Then, if that is their choice, they get to succumb to a PPH, deal with a tear that isn’t stitched up, suffer shoulder dystocia and a stuck baby, or head entrapment if the baby is breech, for starters.**

          **Not all of these things are guaranteed to happen to an unassisted birth, but I am fed up with life at the moment and my vicious streak is out to play.

          Send flowers to the funeral/s would be good as well.

        • Roadstergal

          There’s definitely a subset of people who will do dangerous shite and endanger others. But if they’re not lied to, it will be fewer for sure…

        • Bombshellrisa

          Here is the thing: a woman who is attempting an unassisted birth is much more likely to go to the hospital. Without a birth assistant reassuring her that something is a “variation of normal”, anything that doesn’t seem quite right usually makes a woman want to go in.

        • Azuran

          She has that right. As long as she was properly informed by someone qualified that what she’s doing is dangerous.
          The problem with home birth and unassisted birth, is that those people are lied to by a community and actually believe that they are doing is the safest possible option.

          • Empliau

            On Dr. Amy’s facebook page, there’s a link in one of the comments to the coroner’s report on a baby that died in a freebirth in Australia. The parents were told that the baby was TRANSVERSE and stuck to their plan of freebirthing. Then, after the baby died, they tried to claim that the doctor hadn’t really warned them of the danger, only to concede that they had been warned when the doctor was able to show records of his reasonably strongly worded advice. True, there was a bit of a screwup in the end – the US at 38 (39?) weeks showed the baby still transverse, but due to a new doctor, it seems nobody got in touch to say that this potential trainwreck of a birth was now a guaranteed trainwreck. That coroner’s report is a really wrenching read – and those parents had no, none, zero,bupkis, nada interest in the fact that freebirth was likely to kill their child. They’d had one previous one that went fine. Do not read if you have blood pressure problems.

          • Azuran

            As much as I agree this woman is a horrible person and doesn’t deserve to be a mother, and that I would be first in line to punch her in the face. You can’t take away medical autonomy from her.
            What would you suggest? That the doctor call the police so they arrest her, knock her down and do a c-section against her will?

          • Empliau

            My comment was meant to address the idea that “those people are lied to by a community and actually believe that they are doing is the safest possible option.” Most probably do so believe, but this egregious case of a couple who knew the terrible risks, took them, and after the baby’s preventable death lied to try to blame the doctor was fresh in my mind. I would never take away her autonomy, but in my bitter moments, I wish, in the words of Harlan Ellison, that nameless and terrible dreammonsters haunt them until they die.

      • RudyTooty

        CPM planned homebirth. Undiagnosed breech. Precipitous brith. Delay in after coming head. Call 911. Baby is born. Paramedics arrive. CPMs advise parents that emergency is averted and they refuse transport by ambulance.

        https://sometimeshomealwayslearning.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/65/

        Sounds like standard CPM protocol to me!

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Call 911 anyways.

    • Annonymous

      Oh, you dont wait for it to get to that point. Failure to follow practice protocols is cause for immediate dismissal from care. Thats a discussion you have way before, like 8 months before, when you discuss the fact that certain criteria ( post dates ) are cause for transfer of care. You fax records to closest hospital and inform patient that she is to go to that hospital for induction of labor ASAP as it is unsafe for her to deliver at home. As per Florida Law she is no longer considered low risk and therefor no longer can be legally delivered at home by a Lic Fl Midwife.
      Follow the Law?

  • lawyer jane

    I just can’t stop thinking about this case for some reason. This “midwife” was not even 30 years old; had only been a “midwife” for three years. She completely lacked knowledge about how to deal with obstetric emergencies. At best, she’s qualified to be a doula. Or a prenatal yoga teacher or something. And yet — she was *heavily* involved in promoting the ideology of “natural birth” to her clients and in her community as a whole. Not only did the baby die, but the mother ended up with harrowing injuries. The “midwife” bears the primary blame here. But — so does the state of Florida, which allowed this “midwife” to practice, promote her dangerous ideology, and created such incredibly lax licensing standards in the first place.

    • RudyTooty

      ^^^^^^Exactly.

      And Florida laws regulating midwives are supposedly more stringent.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
  • Barzini

    I have to agree with this article

    In fact, I’m really horrified by some of the barbaric practices that still go on with regard to child care

    For example, we still live in a time when it is completely normal to mutilate the genitals of baby boys by slicing of their foreskin

    This operation is sometimes even performed outside of a hospital, with the blood being sucked up by the operator, with there even being cases of Herpes directly as a result of this practice

    I mean come on, its time we brought an end to such barbarity

    • Zornorph

      (eyeroll).

      • Barzini

        You’re a fan of baby genital mutilation?

        First ever disqus comment is one supporting genital mutilation…..wow, interesting

        • corblimeybot

          Countdown is on to blatant antisemitism.

          • Barzini

            No, I don’t think Zornorph is an anti-semite – I think that’s unfair unless you have some evidence he thinks that way……

            I think he’s just pro baby genital mutilation

          • yentavegan

            If you decide for your child that circumcision isn’t beneficial, so be it. If you decide that for your child vaccinations aren’t beneficial, you put other people in jeopardy.

          • Barzini

            “If you decide that for your child mutilating its genitals isn’t beneficial, so be it”

            What? You also?

          • Charybdis

            Absolutely!!! Check your foreskin at the door, please.
            *eyeroll*

          • Roadstergal

            Fun fact, I’ve used foreskin fibroblasts frequently in research. (Sorry, the alliteration fell apart at the end there.)

            Oddly enough, foreskin is a great source of human fibroblasts, useless as a source of neurons. 🙂

          • Charybdis

            But do you find aluminum in the foreskins? *wrings hands anxiously*

          • Roadstergal

            I find an amount that Barzini hasn’t proven to me isn’t toxic.

          • Barzini

            Don’t worry about it, there’s even aluminum in breast milk

            Suck on all the mutilated baby foreskins that you want – you’ll be fine

          • Charybdis

            They’re better fried up crisp with a little salt. Like chicharrones!

          • Nick Sanders
          • Roadstergal

            If that’s not in the basket on the next episode of Chopped, I’m out.

          • Azuran

            yea, but foreskin is connected to you with BLODD VESSELS!!!!! aluminum contaminated foreskin blood might be going straight to our brains!!!!!!

          • demodocus

            i prefer mutton to lamb; just call me Loreena Bobbitt

          • Charybdis

            So somewhere between one atom and a metric ton?

          • demodocus

            A metric ton could certainly kill you, but not sure its actually toxic.

          • Azuran

            And has it ever actually been proven that having foreskin is safe? I mean, did we do a double blind placebo study? How do we know contact with foreskin isn’t causing us undetectable brain damage? Has anyone ever proved it doesn’t cause Alzheimer?

          • Michael McCarthy

            “(Sorry, the alliteration fell apart at the end there.)”
            it might not be as appropriate, but what about saying fieldwork as opposed to research?

          • Roadstergal

            Oh, my fieldwork is VERY different. 😀

            Unlike Barzini, though, my interest in penises is restricted to those a fair ways on the good side of the age of consent.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “Unlike Barzini, though, my interest in penises is restricted to those a fair ways on the good side of the age of consent.”
            Mine too! (don’t tell anyone) 😉
            I was just out in the garage in the cabinet and I noticed a tin of screws, maybe I should send them to Bozini as he seems to be missing quite a few.

          • demodocus

            i concur

          • Heidi

            Make sure those screws are aluminum. Barzini can begin swallowing them to see how many it takes to damage or kill himself. Er, wait, ingestion is different than injection…so I guess he can screw them into his skin.

          • Michael McCarthy

            ooh, we can screw them into his skin, perfect! We’ll handle the injected aluminum and genital mutilation concerns in one fell swoop.

          • Azuran

            or melt them and inject them

          • Heidi

            I imagine that’s how Barzini thinks a study on aluminum toxicity should be performed. Ha.

          • Barzini

            Don’t be silly, it would be unethical to test the toxicity of aluminum, everyone knows that

          • corblimeybot

            You’re completely incapable of arguing in good faith, aren’t you.

          • Heidi

            Yes, everyone but you & Josef Mengele seem to realize we can’t ethically inject an aluminum compound or water or any other substance into people until they are severely damaged or die.

          • Barzini

            Good to hear you are against baby genital mutilation

          • Charybdis

            She needs the foreskin fibroblasts for research…

    • Charybdis

      Don’t even start on the circumcision topic. You refuse to vaccinate your children so your crocodile tears about “barbaric practices that still go on with regard to child care” are duly noted as empty and hollow.

      “Yes, yes, Barzini’s shocked and appalled with medical things, everybody please take note and notice that s/he is TERRIBLY UPSET.”

      • Roadstergal

        How much aluminum is in the foreskin? Unnecessary exposure!!!

        • Barzini

          Just don’t swallow after sucking on the mutilated foreskin – you should be OK

          • Azuran

            What the difference in bioavaillability between sucking and ingesting? How can you make such a claim about the safety of sucking.

          • Charybdis

            Or ingesting, for that matter.

          • Barzini

            No one knows, it would be unethical to test it…..so we just hope for the best

          • Azuran

            Or you know, we could be intelligent and realize that since injecting 440mcg IV in a premature newborn is safe, then anything less than that is clearly safe as well.

    • demodocus

      When you go off topic, you should add “off topic” or “OT” to the beginning of your post.

    • Azuran

      You can come and try to take the moral high ground on circumcision when you’ll have yourself and your kids vaccinated. Until then, that makes you nothing but an hypocrite.

      • Barzini

        Thanks Azuran…..

        Would you recommend injecting my baby with aluminum before or after mutilating its genitals?

        • Charybdis

          Flip a coin. Draw straws. Cast lots.

          You aren’t planning on doing either, so it is a moot point.

        • Azuran

          I recommend injecting your baby with a vaccine. You are just too stupid to see the difference.

    • rosewater1

      Why are you here on this thread? What does this have to do with a dangerous home birth midwife?

      • demodocus

        we’re still trying to figure that out.

  • CSN0116

    Does having a dead baby under your belt somehow advance you to the next martyr level in NCB woo? It seems a common theme and they speak about it like an accomplishment in its own right with a romantic hue.

    As infuriating as this shit is to read, and medicalization would take responsibility away from the individual (i.e. mother), I’m pretty sure this is a mental illness that deserves its own name and definition. These people are beyond fucked up…

    • CSN0116

      …I mean how does the CPM-patient relationship vary much from that of other prey-victim dichotomies (I think of pedophiles but that could be an insensitive stretch)? CPM’s prey on the weak, vulnerable, lost, and searching. They exploite fear and emotional vulnerability to get close to the patient. They often dupe the whole family into trusting them as well. They villainize the “good guys”. They systematically work to separate patients, physically and psychologically, from the good guys. They lie in order to convince patients to act certain ways. They use unfounded threats to keep patients compliant with “the birth plan”.

      • Azuran

        I’d say it’s kinda like a cult.
        They become indoctrinated so much that they let other people hurt them and their kids. And even sometime hurt their kids themselves because the cult leader demands it.
        And when you lose a baby, you have made the ultimate sacrifice to show your devotion to the cult.

      • yugaya

        “..I mean how does the CPM-patient relationship vary much from that of other prey-victim dichotomies”

        It doesn’t.

        From Leigh Fransen, former CPM: “Part of the Loss and Grieving course was coaching us on how to counsel the parents in such a way that they would understand it wasn’t our fault. This was considered a necessity to be sure we were not sued.”

        • Anonymous

          God this is sick.

          • yugaya

            It’s what homebirth midwives WANT from their clients -“own your birth” or, in this case, own your dead baby: “Sometimes a baby dies, regardless of what the mother did prenatally to ensure a healthy birth. You must be willing to accept responsibility for your decisions and actions and not assign “blame” to another… the final responsibility is yours.”

            https://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/midwiveswant.asp

    • Squillo

      Yes. It’s all about meeeeeee. An actual professional may feel the need to talk about her feelings surrounding a death. She does that privately, not in a public venue where the affected family is likely to see it. What this CPM is doing is manipulative grandstanding.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Of course, the morons who don’t understand the internet think that Facebook or a personal blog IS private, and that you are only allowed to use the information for positive affirmation.

    • Bombshellrisa

      For some reason, maiming or killing women and babies then being “persecuted” (being called out for it) is a badge of honor to these “midwives”. Why else would there be the ebook “From Calling to Courtroom” or the list of midwives to avoid (sisters in chains website)?

    • OttawaAlison

      As I wrote below, I was disgusted that she was basically waxing poetic about the death of a child (trying to tie the situation up into a neat little bow), and then she gets to leave that family alone and not pay attention to the actual aftermath that occurs.

    • yugaya

      You’d be surprised how many homebirth midwives and advocates have dead babies at homebirth of their own or in their immediate family.

  • Allie

    The university-trained, licensed midwife who delivered my baby in hospital didn’t love me. The two OB-GYNS who worked to stitch up my ruptured artery and perineal tear didn’t love me. The two pediatricians who attended to make sure my daughter didn’t have meconium aspiration (my water was dirty, so they were called in shortly before she was born) didn’t love me. They were there to do a job, they did it efficiently and professionally, and then they left and didn’t give me or my safe, healthy daughter a second thought, I’m sure. They left that to our primary care-giver. She also doesn’t love us, but she makes sure we stay safe and healthy by providing evidence-based care and treatment. I don’t need my health care providers to love me. I have my family and friends for that.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      To be honest, I would feel incredibly uncomfortable if a medical professional who was caring for me told me that they loved me.

      • Fleur

        Back when I was still anticipating a vaginal birth, my midwife said that she was so sorry she wouldn’t be able to be at the hospital with me when I gave birth, because she felt that we’d really bonded over the past few months and she was sure I’d be less anxious about the birth process if she were there.

        Given that I actually thought she was a manipulative, gaslighting cow, this was followed by the most awkward pause in the history of the universe.

    • Mel

      I have a very nice OB/GYN. She takes really good care of me and the kiddo so far. She’s mentioned a few times that she may – but probably won’t- be the person who delivers my baby since she’s on-call during normal business hours followed by a 1:13 rotation for nights and weekends.

      My response was that I likely wouldn’t much care who was actually delivering the kiddo as long as a) they have a medical degree with some experience with older, obese moms and b) they are present in the room. After thinking for another second, I admitted that b would probably trump a during the actual delivery since I might be willing to cede to c) any human who is not me delivering the kid in an emergency.

      Clearly, we’re not besties – and I don’t need my best buddies to deliver my kid.

      • Azuran

        NCB just have no logic in what they want. Normal birth can happen practically any time in a 4 week period, and they expect their doctor to be ready to assist them whenever that will happen to be, and no matter how long that’s going to take? They are basically asking of every single OB out there to be availlable 24/7, 365 days a year, and to stay with them for 72 hours straight if they have a long labour. That is just insane.

        • Roadstergal

          And no inductions to make it more likely your OB will be on hand! That’s just because the OB wants to go play golf.

          • Charybdis

            That’s for inductions in the hospital or other medical setting. Using a god-awful amount of castor oil either alone or in combination with sex and/or nipple stimulation is totes okay.

            And if the midwife has to slip you a little Pitocin or Cytotec later on, well, if she doesn’t tell you she did it, it didn’t happen. The midwife will certainly not fess up to that.

        • Mel

          Which is doubly-ironic since midwives often promise that level of commitment, but seem less likely to follow through on actually being present for the 72-hour period.

          How many home-birth stories (gone wrong or perfectly normal) discuss a midwife or group of midwives that are in-and-out through most of the birth process?
          How many stories involve midwives who miss most or all of the actual pushing phase where in a hospital there would be LD nurses present plus OB-GYNs nearby in case things happen quickly?
          How many stories involve the mom realizing in the middle of labor that she really doesn’t want the midwife or midwives’ assistants sitting around making small talk for hours on end?
          How many times do the stories involve the midwives being fed by food made by the laboring mom ahead of time or by family members during labor?

          Really, the only differences in service I see is you get a poorly trained attendant who you need to feed and entertain on top of laboring in home birth circles. Plus, the birth will cost more than most people will pay for a complicated hospital birth ending in CS.

          But then, I do like logic……

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yeah, the marketing doesn’t seem to match the reality.

  • fiftyfifty1

    “He would probably be alive today had his mother not attempted a homebirth.”

    Hell, he probably would have been alive today had his mother stayed at home alone until near the end, but had called the ambulance for the actual delivery. Apparently the midwife could do nothing. Yet the EMTs somehow managed to get the baby out. How is that?!

    How many times have we seen this, huh? The midwives call themselves experts in birth. They claim that no baby will get stuck under their care. They claim that your body can’t grow a baby too big to birth. They claim that babies only get stuck if a woman is “in the hospital flat on her back”. They claim that any shoulder dystocia is automatically resolved by the “Ina May Maneuver”. But then the mothers go on to have babies that the midwives can’t seem to unstick, despite all their “expertise”. And then the dumb old untrained EMTs show up and manage to get those babies out after all.

    Why is this, huh? This proves that the CPM “degree” is total and complete bunk. Some ambulance driver dude has a better chance of helping your baby than the “experts in normal birth” who have hoodwinked states into treating them as medical professionals.

    • MichelleJo

      I couldn’t agree more with your post. Just one thing; please don’t refer to ambulance drivers as ‘dudes’. Where I live they are largely volunteers, who went through training in order to become a volunteer, not to make money. They have a day jobs that are compatible with shifts. They get called out 24/7 and are professional and competent at what they are trained to do. As for paid ambulance drivers; not everyone is born with the IQ or the background to go to college. They are making an honest living in an area that is not just useful to the entire population, but critical. They are miles ahead of CPM’s, both professionally and morally. More power to them.

      • fiftyfifty1

        I agree with you completely. Most drivers, EMTs and paramedics are very well trained to save lives out in the field, and they are worlds ahead of CPMs in actual medical knowledge. I was (unsuccessfully) mocking how they always seem to treated in homebirth stories where they are portrayed as ham-fisted no-nothing brutes who through dumb luck (somehow!) manage to get the baby out.

  • Thankful

    This poor poor child. These women are sick. How is this any different than an abortion? We live in a first world country with the most sophisticated monitors and medications available to us, and the mother and her caregiver stood by and let this child die? Disgusting people. I am so sorry, Paxton. You deserved so much better.

    • Irène Delse

      Oh, but it’s definitely worse than an abortion. A woman may or may not want a child, it’s her choice to go on or not with her pregnancy. This woman apparently wanted a child – but only if it could be borne vaginally at home. What a tragedy.

      • Roadstergal

        An abortion is not something you get after you’ve gone through the hell of a full pregnancy and let the kid develop a brain. You get a first-trimester ball-of-cells termination if you live in a humane country that allows you to access abortion in a timely fashion, or you get a late-term abortion if you’re facing the kind of situation that no want-to-be-parents should have to face. Allowing a wanted and viable neonate to die is something utterly different.

        • Thankful

          I think of these women as people who are anti-abortion. I think of them as judgemental people who would label a woman who has had an abortion as being selfish, uncaring and heartless. I don’t think that is true of women who have had an abortion, but I do think that of women who have access to medical care, refuse it and watch their child die. I would argue that the woman who lets her viable, healthy baby die because she wants a “natural birth” loves herself more than her child and is heartless. I would also argue that it was a certain birth experience that was “wanted,” not the actual baby.

          • nomofear

            Some of them are sold on it as being safer and better than “medicalized” birth. The problem is that it’s sold on the logical fallacy that c-sections are to be avoided at all costs. I don’t know why I fell for that, honestly. I did hate hospitals, and my mother was pretty anti-intervention for herself, even though she worked as a delivery nurse. She’s a little nuts, though I guess I didn’t realize that at the time. Anyway, I used a freestanding birth center for my first baby. We turned out fine, by sheer luck. At least I’m able to get now that it was just luck, not method. After finding this site while pregnant with my second, I requested a 39th week induction, got an epidural, and life was good. I was floored by the difference between the two deliveries. I would not recommend the first to any woman, and I give all of the kudos to Pitocin, epidurals, and monitoring. Moral – we can be won over.

          • nomofear

            Also, http://hurtbyhomebirth.blogspot.com/2015/12/chelsies-story-babies-arent-only-ones.html?m=1 stories like this. If mine had gone south, if I was one of the 10-15 per cent of women with PPH, this could have happened to me.

          • J.B.

            I wish there were more pragmatic doulas or that it was more straightforward to find them. I preferred not to have an epidural (for several non-woo reasons) but wasn’t extreme about it. However, once you talk to doulas and they give you the woo and you don’t really have the expertise to evaluate yourself, there is now a doula vs doctor dynamic. So I got woo-tinged without setting out to become so.

            That said, the worst part of labor for me was the 1-2 days of prodromal contractions. Active labor was actually more bearable. (No doubt I am a strange human being, but there it is.)

          • Heidi

            I think the NCB women go both ways on the political spectrum and the pro-life/pro-choice spectrum, too. You have your Duggars and you have your super “liberal,” “feminist” women. (I’d argue this viewpoint is anti-progressive and anti-feminist.) Honestly, I think some of them just got sucked in the NCB movement with false statistics and facts and false promises.

            For example, one day I was bored and looking through Netflix. I found Business of Being Born. This was a few years ago when I was still pondering having children or not. I don’t think I even realized it was a pro-homebirth crockumentary upon clicking on it. If I’m recalling correctly, I thought it was going to be about hospital and OB billing practices or something like that. I’m bombarded with all these facts about infant mortality in America. I assumed infant mortality meant the baby dying at birth, I’m told an epidural will slow down labor and lead to a C-section, I’ll be given pitocin and it will kill me. I know not much of stillbirths at this point and I definitely don’t know the risks go up after the due date because again, I wasn’t planning to get pregnant within that year even and it wasn’t something I even knew to research. I’m not told this by this crockumentary, but instead I’m left with a bunch of one-sided, heavily skewed information I half took for granted. But luckily, I googled just how realistic this movie was before I actually got pregnant. I think that’s how I eventually found the Skeptical OB.

          • LaMont

            Can we dive into the “epidurals will slow labor down” thing? Because that, to me, is the HEIGHT of insanity. I’d rather something take slightly longer than hurt like a b*tch, personally. My mother had as perfect a comparison on that as one can have with only two kids, actually: one 20h labor with pain relief that she often describes as long and mostly boring, and a relatively quick labor without pain relief b/c of the “well, it’s go time NOW” phenomenon. She describes the latter as hellish, and though I’m years from having children myself, has already advised me on how to avoid what happened there.

          • Heidi

            So I was induced at 37w6d for suspected IUGR and the day of induction I was already at 4cm. Nurse started some pitocin. It was causing contractions but not the I’m in labor kind. So an hour or two in it, the doc offers to break my water and suggests the epidural some time after, also suggesting I walk the halls and stuff. She breaks my water, that hurt enough, I get up two or three minutes later to go to the bathroom and painful labor contractions pile on. I’m on the nurse’s light demanding the epidural NOW. It took more time and more meds to actually get it to work because I went from 4cm to 9cm the next time they checked. The OB told me I could push since I was already at 9 or wait for the epidural to work. I refused to do anything until they got it to work! I pushed for maybe 30 minutes and then the delivery team was called up, I pushed twice, and there was my baby! Next time, they aren’t breaking my water until they do the epidural! If the epidural did slow down labor, well, good because I’d rather not have had my labor go any faster. I don’t think it impacted the speed one way or the other.

          • MB

            I was in labor for 28 hours(ish). I was pushing for six of those hours. That is not an exaggeration. And during those six hours of uncontrollable vomiting and searing hot pain, every second was like a minute, and every minute was like an hour. There were points where I gladly would have chosen death. I begged for a c-section. I was not bestowed that civility.

            I’ve described it as barbaric, but I don’t think even that word expresses to its true form the savage brutality that I was forced to experience that day.

            Useless, futile suffering that these repugnant women laud upon mothers and infants in their deepest hour of need, while they sit back, ingratiating themselves on what a job well done.

          • Heidi

            I can’t imagine having to deal with labor pain that long! I got to experience it for an hour or two and I didn’t want to. It was really accidental since the doctor didn’t realize I’d go so quickly. I don’t think I’m a better person for it, and I definitely don’t think I’m a worse person for wanting the pain gone. I’m so glad I didn’t have to feel the second degree tearing as it happened! It’s strange the natural child birth movement sees pain and suffering in childbirth this way. I let the dentist give me anesthetic (while pregnant even!), too! Where’s the no pain relief for dental procedures movement? Or the no pain relief while passing kidney stones movement?

          • MB

            “where’s the no pain relief for dental procedures movement?” YES. THIS. Lol.

          • MB

            OT and also so important: My grandmother was born in Malta during World War II. When I was little, I don’t know, five or six, over tea she would tell me stories of the bodies washing ashore, of how the Nazi’s would violate every treaty of international law. They would bomb the Red Cross ships off shore. The men would swim out to the shipwrecks with giant rocks and use them to sink to the shipwrecks to the bags of rice down there and somehow drag them up. She would tell me how her mother would hit her if she didn’t eat the salty rice from the shipwrecks, and how awful and salty they were. They hid in the caves and they all got lice and shaved everyone’s heads and how hard she cried when they cut her hair. That island was bombed on a daily basis more than any city in London by that fucker (her words not mine) Mussolini.

            Catholic, though I may have been raised, with all those strange saints and suffering mothers, I still have never looked upon my own physical suffering as something justifiable, because I was taught so young that suffering is unnatural and ugly.

            I think pain has left a crater or like…I don’t know…an abscess or something on my personal being. I just don’t understand it ideologically. I understand war or randomness of life. I just don’t understand the seeking of it out.

          • J.B.

            I am so sorry.

          • corblimeybot

            I have no time for that crap. I’d already been in induced labor for 12 hours, on magnesium, when I remembered I could get an epidural. (Turns out magnesium makes you really loopy.) And it took them another hour to set it up for me.

            How long does labor have to last, before it doesn’t matter that pain relief MIGHT slow it down a bit more? I’d already labored longer than pretty much all of my friends at that point, including my NCB friends – not to mention I’d already labored longer than my own mother did. Might as well get comfortable as possible, was my thought at that point.

          • Roadstergal

            If they had told me that the nerve block would make my collarbone surgery take 30min longer, my response would have been “I don’t exactly have urgent plans for the rest of the day.” It certainly wouldn’t have been not to do the damn thing.

          • swbarnes2

            The 2011 Cochrane review reported epidurals slowed labor down…by less than 15 minutes. And of course, like you said, sometimes the fast delivery is the cause of not having an epidural.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            There’s a good write up on this on theadequatemother’s blog (link in the sidebar). It’s actually a difficult thing to study, as a more painful labour can be a symptom of a more difficult presentation (such as OP – I can speak from experience that that hurt like a MF). Correlation doesn’t prove causation and all that. And of course for study purposes, it’s generally held to be unethical to withhold pain relief, so you can’t really do randomised controlled trials on it.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Abortions are typically done in the first trimester before the fetus develops a brain or nervous system, are not viable ( they can’t outside the womb), and cannot feel pain. This child Paxton was full term which means he was viable and suffered terrible prolonged pain.

      That’s the difference.

      • the wingless one

        Hm…so if an abortion was performed that went against all of your criteria for a typical abortion as you outlined occurred, then you would view it at as the same thing as what happened to Paxton? I know that it is rare but I also know that it does happen.

        I know most here are very strongly pro-choice so this might not be well received, but abortion is an issue that I personally struggle with, I have a hard time seeing it in such a black and white way, and questions like this are what keep me from being as pro-choice as everyone else here seems to be even though I’m not exactly anti-abortion…After having my son it has gotten even harder.

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

          Late term abortions are nothing like Paxton’s birth. The doctor and the parents put the health and welfare of both the child and mother first. Paxton’s birth and death was not about him. It was about the ego and greed of the midwife.

          This is a late term abortion story. In no way does anyone involved behave anything like Charlie Rae Young.

          http://jezebel.com/interview-with-a-woman-who-recently-had-an-abortion-at-1781972395

          • the wingless one

            I understand that, I do. And for sure people struggling with decisions like these are the reason that I personally think abortions in situations like the one in the article should be left between mother & doctor. But what about late term abortions that occur outside of the reasons that the majority of late term abortions occur? I know it’s rare but I know it also does happen that healthy later gestation fetuses are terminated. Should we all at least agree that those cases are morally wrong even if we don’t agree to make them legally wrong? I guess my feeling from the pro-abortion side is that we should be morally ok with any abortion at any stage for any reason and I can’t quite get there.

    • Amy

      This is nothing like an abortion. You’re talking about a baby who is carried to term and in most cases would be perfectly healthy if delivered by competent professionals in the fully-equipped facilities a hospital can provide, versus a procedure performed 91% of the time in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy (so the first ten weeks after actual conception), when it is no more than three inches long and has a tail until 7-9 weeks.

      I get what you’re saying– contrary to the stereotype of back-to-nature hippies promoting free love and driving around the country to Bernie Sanders rallies in their VW vans, a LOT of earthy-crunchies are conservatives through and through and view birth control, formula, medical interventions during birth, and processed convenience foods as tools of evil that allow women to eschew their god-given roles as stay-at-home mothers. For them to subject their term babies to such treatment SHOULD be compared to abortion– and it’s worse.

      • Maud Pie

        One of the factors that helped me repudiate my anti-choice indoctrination was the shocking callousness “right-to-lifers” showed toward infants outside of the context of voluntary termination. In their skewed view, homebirth, unwavering commitment to EBF, and vaccine refusal are all tickety boo. I could say more, but I don’t have time for righteous outrage this afternoon.

    • Kq

      Abortion is a choice. This was negligence ending in a totally preventable death. Shame on you for equating them.

      • Thankful

        In my view, this mom made a choice that caused her baby to die. She had access to medical care, was being urged by her family to go to the hospital and get help, but she chose to let her term, healthy baby die. Outcome is same as an abortion – no baby.
        I didn’t mean to offend with my original comment.

        • David

          The mother should have been certified by two doctors and then forceably taken to hospital for a c-section

          • Azuran

            However, you can’t do that, and forcing any able adult to undergo a surgery is something that should never be allowed, no matter the consequences.
            The problem is with the provider and the NCB advocate.
            These mothers are convinced by the CPM that home birth is the safest, that hospital birth will cause them harm, and when a baby is harmed or dies, they are convinced that it was meant to happen, that noting more could be done.

            Mothers who opt for out of hospital birth, or who refuse a c-section no matter what have to be properly informed of the risk and accept that they are taking them. And when things go wrong, they have to accept the responsibility they played in the outcome.
            But sending the police to arrest pregnant women and physically force them into surgery is not the answer.

  • graysmama

    I winced seeing this joke of a midwife try to make it about her and how she is “honored”. I’ve never had a full term still birth and can’t imagine the pain but shouldn’t it be about her feelings. But then my 1 month old baby who is napping happily in my bedroom was a repeat c section with a licensed, competent ob-gyn instead of rocking out a “empowering” homebirth so what do I know?

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      In my years practicing medicine, I have provided palliative care to quite a few patients. I am proud that I helped to make their last few days comfortable, and hopefully I helped give peace to their families as well. But I can’t imagine going on Facebook and making a self-congratulatory post about it. Even less so in a situation where someone had potential to live and I didn’t save them.

    • Amy

      My repeat c-section after a failed VBAC attempt was actually VERY empowering. It allowed me to let go of the woo that had sucked me in between the births of my two kids. My providers were supportive and compassionate, sure, but more importantly, they were competent, and I felt totally comfortable placing the lives of myself and my daughter in their hands.

  • yugaya

    Is there a risking out criteria for Florida licensed midwives? How the hell is she attending post term births and keeping her license? Does she fudge the records or is she attending these births illegally?

    • AA

      There is a Risk Management section in the Florida licensed midwives’ guidelines, using a points system. I was not able to find post term as a risk management factor.

      • Roadstergal

        What about HBACs? Charlie Rae does those.

        • yugaya

          You get a shoddy OB to sign off on it. I think in Florida is also located that homebirth midwife whose back up physician is her sister – who is a dentist.

        • RudyTooty

          Apparently HBAC is OK by Florida midwifery law, but VBACs in a freestanding birth center are not.

          http://www.rosemarybirthinghome.com/for-expecting-families/faqs/

          • Roadstergal

            That’s the thing I find crazy. My understanding was the hospitals had to abide by VBAC guidelines, but homebirth midwives don’t. Is that because it’s driven by malpractice insurance?

        • AA

          You’ll see the FL risk assessment rules if you google

          64B24-7.004, previous uterine incision is stratified by uterine incision vs uterine incision followed by a successful vaginal delivery

      • yugaya

        “(5) The midwife shall refer a patient for consultation to a physician with hospital obstetrical privileges if any of the following conditions occur during the pregnancy:

        (e)Gestational age between 41 and 42 weeks”

        https://www.flrules.org/Gateway/View_notice.asp?id=2505818

        • yugaya

          “(7) If the conditions listed pursuant to this section are resolved satisfactorily and the physician and midwife deem that the patient is expected to have a normal pregnancy, labor and delivery, then the care of the patient shall continue with the licensed midwife.”

          If such consultation required by law did happen, I’d like to see medical board take action against that physician with hospital obstetrical privileges too if they signed off as back up on this and Charlie’s other post term disasters. If the patient refused and signed AMA, then the licensed midwife was ethically obliged to discontinue care that was out of her scope, but CPMs have no ethics at all except their “some babies are not meant to survive OOH birth” MANA statement. But I doubt that Charlie Rae bothered even with pro forma requirements and most probably just fudged records and changed EDD like they all do because “babies know when to be born”.

    • RudyTooty

      Hm, Really. “The state of Florida has been licensing midwives since 1992, and has clear rules and expectations for all midwives. It requires midwives and hospitals to consult with one another before a birth and requires each midwife to submit a back-up plan.”

      http://www.lifeofthelaw.org/2015/03/birth-rights-2/

      • yugaya

        Seriously? “According to Certified Professional Midwives Now”???

        Here’s a nice little example of what goes on in Florida – Leigh Fransen, the Honest Midwife was trained in Florida to be a CPM. That’s where she learned how to separate a mother giving birth from everyone else, lock the room, blindfold her and enable her mentor to illegally use vacuum. That’s also where her mentors used cytotec for induction without patient’s knowledge. That’s where HBAC clients would be rounded up once a month to pay in cash a shoddy OB who signed off as back up no questions asked as long as the cash changed hands. And so on. http://www.honestmidwife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/High-Risk-FINAL1.pdf

        • RudyTooty

          Sorry! I was really-ing the quote I posted, not your comment. Lost in translation.

  • Daleth

    Are any readers of this blog Florida residents? Even snowbirds who only live there part time? Write to your representatives! This woman and others of her mindset, as well as Florida’s acceptance of the CPM fake credential, are a menace.

    • yugaya

      You can file a complain even if you are not a resident of that state: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/enforcement/_documents/complaint-form-2015.pdf

    • Questioning

      For the record, Florida doesn’t acknowledge the CPM, though the LM (licensed midwife) credential his roughly comparable to the CPM, though there are some differences. (NOTE: I am not defending the LM or CPM, merely commenting as a note of clarity.

      • Daleth

        Thanks for the clarification. Is Charlie Rae Young an LM or a CPM?

  • Squillo

    The sad Facebook post after a baby’s death is a nice touch, but I think I’ll wait for the root cause analysis and report on steps barefoot birth is taking to prevent this from ever happening again.

    Is that the sound of crickets chirping?

    • yugaya

      The previous SOB post about this arrogant quack was about her ignoring the same thing – risks of post term pregnancy. That baby was only injured. This one died.

      Look at the bs on her website about her glowing statistics: http://barefootbirth.com/blog/2015/9/3/2014-2015-statistics-tampa-bay-home-birth-midwifery

      • Squillo

        You mean the same crappy practices led to another even crappier outcome? Surely not! Meh. Maybe the next baby will live with a full complement of brain cells.

        • yugaya

          Here Charlie, let me do your statistics for you now: assuming that for the period Aug 2015- Aug 2016 you had total of 50 births ( same period the previous year had 47), your current perinatal mortality rate that we know of is 1 in 50 or 20 per 1 000.

          Will you now, in the spirit of transparency, be informing your potential clients how their unborn babies have only slightly better odds of surviving you attending their birth than babies who are born in countries with worst perinatal mortality rates in the world?

  • Amy M

    I saw Ms.Young’s “resume” on the birth center website. It’s just a long list every single class she’s ever taken—more like a transcript. I suppose that makes her look educated to those who don’t know better?

  • Roadstergal

    “I don’t want to imagine walking through this with anyone else”

    Well, if ‘anyone else’ had been an OB/CNM at a hospital, you most likely wouldn’t have had to walk through it.

    BTW, your baby went through it, too. What would his preference have been?

    “No one is ever guaranteed a baby to bring home.”

    And, cue ‘babies die in hospitals, too!’

    • Charybdis

      “I don’t want to imagine walking through this with anyone else”

      Stockholm Syndrome?

      • Kq

        Typical response of someone subjected to cult indoctrination.

  • AA

    It appears that Florida does not assess gestational age as a part of the required risk assessment for LM’s. sad (see: florida state laws re: midwifery risk assessment)

    • yugaya

      It’s under antepartum care scope of practice regulation – mandatory consultation with a physician who has hospital obstetrical privileges between 41-42 weeks, and only if they sign off on it the woman can remain in licensed midwife care.

  • Trixie

    About a year ago, Charlie Rae published this graphic bragging about her homebirth statistics.

    • 66 total births. Sample size, shmample size.

      • Amy

        Know what? I’ll Go There. It’s my math teacher brain:

        66 births total. Of those:
        11 transferred during labor
        5 transferred postpartum
        60 vaginal births, 6 c-sections (so that whole “only two were primary” thing, that’s a third of their c-sections and we don’t know what percentage of first-time moms it is)
        6 vaginal tears– add that to the 6 c-sections and really, only 81-82% delivered *vaginally* over an intact perineum (I mean, my perineum is intact, but that’s because both my kids were delivered by c-section!)
        63 out of 66 were still breastfeeding at 6 weeks

        To my layman’s eyes, those numbers don’t look all that “wow, amazeballs” to me.

    • Gene

      Think she’ll update the statistics?

      And I do wonder if that is one or two years: Jan 2013 to dec 2014 or just 12mo. Because I personally delivered 20 babies during my six weeks of OB as a MEDICAL STUDENT.

      • MI Dawn

        Hell, I had to do 40 births (in 4-6 months; a CNM doesn’t get the numbers a med student does) to get my CNM! This woman is a danger. And the mother has really drunk the kool-aid. Too bad the state won’t go after the mom, either, for this preventable death.

      • Squillo

        15 dead babies from low-risk pregnancies per thousand isn’t much, right?

    • Heidi

      Ugh, this little chart is infuriating. 6.1/1000 infant mortality rate in the US doesn’t mean home birth is the answer. It’s not 6.1 babies out of a 1000 that die at birth. That means anything from birth til a year old. And the C/S rate isn’t fair either. Hospitals have patients who know they have to get a c-section day one of their pregnancy, while many more find out later in the pregnancy they will need a c-section, and some women opt for a c-section. Obviously, they aren’t even going to pursue a home birth because midwives can’t perform c-sections. Plus there’s the little fact that many home birth babies could have not died if they had been born by c-section.

    • Mel

      Anybody else find the fact that anyone had to transfer during labor due to fetal malposition a bit odd?

      Do that many babies pop out of position during active labor or does this mean the midwives didn’t realize the baby was breech until after dilation was well underway?

      That always makes me think of Jill Duggar who labored at home for like 48 hours after her membranes ruptured, then found out at the hospital that her son was in a breech position that wasn’t going to let him be born vaginally. She was young, healthy, slim as a pickle, and her midwife (and Jill!) couldn’t figure out which way the baby was facing manually.

      • Roadstergal

        Oh, I’m sure babies always flip breech during labor. It’s the same mechanism that causes the cervix to slam shut whenever an OB comes by.

        • Wren

          To be fair, my son flipped to breech at term and it went unnoticed by a GP, two OBs and a midwife. The only ones to pick up on it were a medical student (who was told he was wrong) and a midwife who found it after I was in labour, who then checked it via ultrasound. This flip was not while in labour, but if the doctors who examined me in the week leading up to his birth had done so while I was in labour they might have still missed it.

          • Wren

            The difference was I was in the hospital so position could be checked easily via ultrasound and I could get my c-section without a transfer during labour. I got to the hospital at close 10 cm with my second (labour went from “oh, I think that might be a contraction” to “omg!” contractions practically on top of each other in less than 20 minutes). I really would not recommend riding in a car while really in serious labour. That might have been worse than the actual birth.

          • nomofear

            Agreed! Also, precipitous labor had me begging for induction with my second (after being indoctrinated into the evil ways of DrAmy!). I wasn’t going to play that “oh, that’s not a Braxton Hicks” to “push!” in the space of an hour, when i really wanted an epidural instead of the hell of unmedicated labor.

          • corblimeybot

            It’s not to say that OBs and etc can’t miss a breech presentation. However, I find it fishy that I know two homebirthers whose midwives claimed their children were head-down, and that the breech births they had was a total surprise out of absolutely nowhere. Because the kid had supposedly flipped during labor.

          • Wren

            I think home birth midwives (in the US) may be worse at noticing a breech presentation.

            I know two other women who had a footling breech presentation at term within a week or two of my son’s birth go unnoticed until labour too though. I know 4 other women who had a footling breech presentation with a boy who gave birth at the same hospital in the same month as my son was born though. Odd little random cluster.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Can’t speak to labor, but when DD flipped breech at 38/39 weeks from a previous head-down position, the ultrasound tech who confirmed said she’d been doing what she did for either 15 or 20 years (can’t remember which) and had only seen that happen once or twice before in that timeframe. This makes me think it’s unusual, at least.

    • yugaya

      These stats are self-reported so probably faked because there is no oversight at all.

      Plus her friend is Abby “can’t do math and I’m so stupid I shall doxx myself on SOB so that the whole world knows how stupid I am” Reichardt, so…http://www.skepticalob.com/2015/10/abby-reichardt-of-the-florida-school-of-traditional-midwifery-demonstrates-the-arrogant-ignorance-of-homebirth-midwives.html

    • Heidi

      Do you all think they even have that high rate of intact perineums? Or are they lying to the women and telling them all is well because they can’t fix the tear themselves?

      • nomofear

        Yes, they are – my first was delivered in a freestanding birth center in FL, and they sent us packing with barely at glance at my parts. They didn’t even turn on the light to examine me. Deep in the woo, i thought that was normal, until i went to the emergency room at the women’s hospital six days later for mastitis and they said WHOA can we please try to fix that for you? I said yes, please, i mean, i knew it was uncomfortable, but i figured it should be, since I’d has a baby… Proving the point yet again that women in labor, and postpartum, can’t often competently take care of themselves.

        • Heidi

          I had a childbirth class with a doula through the hospital I delivered at, and even she said she’d seen a first time mother delivering vaginally not tear all of once – she did homebirths, hospital births, C-sections, whatever. I mean, I’m sure some of the tears were 1st degree ones that didn’t require stitches, but surely a lot of them were 2nd degree tears or more.

          I had 2nd degree tears that went both ways. Even with proper stitches and care, it hurt but I got some hydrocodone and it was manageable. While it took more than six weeks to heal, I am not complaining now about the great work my OB did on the repair. I definitely don’t know how I wouldn’t have torn at home.

  • MaineJen

    I can’t imagine the mindset that would make a grieving mother praise her incompetent midwife with a smiley emoticon in the same breath she uses to talk about her lost baby. Just…can’t wrap my head around it.

    You know what else boggles my mind? These narratives always include the time it took for EMS to arrive. As though that’s what went wrong with this whole situation. During those 8 minutes you could have been…oh I don’t know…helping? Instead of sitting on your hands and holding space. No mention of the fact that, had this taken place in a hospital with a team standing by, that baby would have been out in 2 minutes or less.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      You know what else boggles my mind? These narratives always include the time it took for EMS to arrive.

      They were only 8 minutes from the hospital! See how convenient that was?

    • Mel

      Shit, within the 8 minutes, the doctors could have done a crash CS. My 6-year-old cousin was a nearly 11 pound baby who got a SD that couldn’t be resolved any way besides an abdominal rescue.

      He’s starting second grade this year. He’s struggling with reading a bit, but really far ahead in math. Most importantly, he’s alive.

      • Meredith

        I had two shoulder dystocias with large babies, second one 10 and half pounds (don’t ask about why I was even allowed to do vaginal the second time). The second dystocia is especially burned into my brain. It was really scary. He had a very low apgar when he was born, was blue. But I was in the hospital. They revived him because the medical team was waiting in the room in case anything went wrong (which it did). He is a happy and healthy almost 5 year old. Stories like this enrage me. The child doesn’t even get a chance at life. I honestly believe this mother murdered her child without realizing it.

    • Sean Jungian

      That really stuck out to me, too, as if she’s already prepared to throw EMS under the bus for an 8-minute response time instead of her own incompetence.

      • guest

        I saw that 8 minutes thing and thought, wow, that’s not bad! I mean, it depends on how far away they are when they get the call and traffic conditions and stuff, but I don’t expect Scotty to beam the EMTs into my living room in 30 seconds.

      • BeatriceC

        I’ve had slower response times when I was in full blown anaphylaxis. Ya know, actively dying and all. It takes time for a crew to get in their vehicle and drive to you. We have not yet figured out how to apperate, a la Harry Potter.

        • Charybdis

          Floo powder. Unless you are allergic to it as well.

          • Roadstergal

            Until we can get the babies to Apparate out…

          • MaineJen

            Transport that baby out, a la Star Trek. We need that technology.

          • Roadstergal

            I’m sure that once they have the technology to safely and comfortably beam babies out of the mom and into her arms, there will be endless scare articles on how beaming increases your kids’ risk of obesity and social awkwardness, so it’s very important to deliver your half-Klingon ridged-head 15-lb baby vaginally and without pain relief.

          • MB

            I said this about my first — just let me throw my ankles in the stirrups and ‘beam me out, Scotty’. His name is Scotty, btw.

          • Michael McCarthy

            wouldn’t they disapparate out?

          • Charybdis

            Underage magic outside of school is forbidden. Can’t see how they would allow brand new, untrained babies apparate, seeing how you can get splinched if you mess up.

          • Mrs.Katt the Cat

            Yes! Or delivery via transporter.

      • Azuran

        8 minutes isn’t even a long waiting time. I waited twice as long after a car accident.

      • Mrs.Katt the Cat

        And this is why my last 2 apartments were in walking distanse from an emergency /fire station. Now I’m in the country 30mins from ‘town’ with an occasional volunteer station, and it freaks me out.

    • Charybdis

      What the hell is up with the whole “holding space” crapula? What does that even mean, “holding space”?

      And how is it SO IMPORTANT to having a baby?

      • Sean Jungian

        I’m not sure, but I think it has to do with the NCB community’s belief that doctors and hospitals are just rubbing their hands together in the hopes of intervening in “normal birth” and thus lining their pockets with money extorted from a woman in a weakened or distracted state. In this context, “holding the space” I think means advocating for the mother’s wishes for NCB from refusing to transfer care to a hospital (in the event of a HB) even against the mother’s current wishes, up to and including being obnoxious to other healthcare providers.

        NCBers have it as an article of faith that a laboring woman will be taken advantage of by any and all conventional medical practitioners and her wishes ignored, so a midwife or doula is kind of a hired bully a woman has with her to make sure the “birth space” is kept the way the woman wants it.

        Of course, even if the woman changes her mind and realizes she’s in over her head, and even begs to be transferred, some of these wonderful birth junkies will refuse to do it, insisting that it’s just a momentary weakness of the woman’s.

      • Squillo

        You’re holding the space until someone with the training and skills to actually help in an emergency shows up.

      • Poogles

        “When a doula is prideful or too busy in labor, she may forfeit being touched by the great Mystery of birth. And, if she or no one in the labor room is in touch with that great Mystery, then who is “holding the space” for the Mother who is between two worlds while she births the Child?”
        “So doulas, next time you are at a birth and you find yourself idle and thinking “I should be doing something!” I challenge you to just take a few minutes and see how it feels to simply be with this family in their labor space. Observe the power of birth, the power of family, the power of a woman’s body as she moves between two worlds and lingers there for a while. Doing nothing is harder than it sounds, but a lesson we should all learn.”
        https://doula2you.com/2015/03/26/doulas-and-attunement/

        • Bombshellrisa

          So let me get this straight: not only was the invader who used my bladder as a trampoline NOT earth side during pregnancy , I was “between two worlds” while laboring with said invader?

          • Sean Jungian

            What? Ugh. If perpetuating our species isn’t wholly and solely of this world then I don’t know what is.

            I know that humans are (possibly) hard-wired to seek transcendent experiences but this kind of bullshit just turns me off completely.

            And I really hate how it perpetuates the stereotypes of women as a magical (or is that magickal with a “k”? /eyeroll/) “other”, remote and unknowable, remarkable only for her biological capabilities. I suppose some women like feeling that way, but as for me I’d rather be viewed as a full person with all the mundane non-magical ordinariness that entails.

        • Sean Jungian

          It sure doesn’t sound like a doula will keep ya tethered to the real world very well. I’m surprised I didn’t slip off into the astral plane, having my baby with only doctors and nurses and nary a midwife or doula to be found.

  • Ottawa Alison

    This is where the NCB completely is thrown out of my good graces – treating the death of babies in such a stoic, almost blasé fashion. This one throws in a silver lining. Treating it like there was absolutely nothing that could be done. Not even reflecting whether new technology may have been able to prevent the baby’s death. No thought to research to prevent stillbirth. On top of that, the baby’s death just becomes about her and her profession…
    To any CPM who has the view of “I hold space”: no you don’t. Are you there through the family’s years long grieving? Are you there when a mom has panic attacks due to PTSD over a baby’s death? Do you realize that a child dying isn’t just something that happens, but something the family has to live with and is reminded of all the time? Do you even let them know that death is a possibility and that there is a higher risk of death from homebirth?
    You do not get to wax poetic or try to make something out of a baby’s short life. It diminishes the baby as a person but makes them into a prop.
    Signed – A Stillbirth mom (non-birth related).

    • Mel

      Is she going to help figure out how to answer the frequent question of “How many children do you have?”

      Will they be there during future pregnancies (if the mom can conceive again) when the parents are wondering if this baby will live?

      Will they help explain to the siblings who are in the family already why the baby died and why mom and dad are so sad or scared?

      How much help will they give the siblings when a new pregnancy comes and they keep asking Mom “Is the baby OK?”

      The midwife needs to shut the fuck up about her feelings. She fucked up when she let a post date mom give birth at home and was unable to resolve the shoulder dystocia; expecting the mom to sympathize with her shit is pathological.

      • OttawaAlison

        Had my OBGYN acted like that I would have screamed “it’s not about you” and “my baby is not a prop in my life to make people appreciate the world/loved ones/other children’ etc.

      • BeatriceC

        “Is she going to help figure out how to answer the frequent question of “How many children do you have?””

        I struggle with this question sometimes, and it’s been many years. My losses were mid-pregnancy. Do I say three and avoid awkward questions but fail to acknowledge the three that died? Do I say six but only three survived, and watch people stumble not knowing what to say? The twins would be 18 and the singleton would be 16, so it’s been a long time, but I still grapple with this question occasionally.

        • Uggggggggh…..disqus so needs reactions.

          • Roadstergal

            “Like” so often doesn’t cut it.

          • Indeed. I mean, I upvoted you but I felt dirty doing so. It was like liking a post where someone’s grandmother died. Uggggggggggghhhhh….

        • Guest

          I find that it’s tricky to explain it even to medical professionals who are asking “Is this your first pregnancy?” It’s not, and my loss was in the first trimester, but it resulted in surgeries that an OB or GYN need to know about, so I have to mention it, explain what happened, and then say that this is the first pregnancy to get to this point.

          I had to tell my dentist 4 different times that I wasn’t pregnant anymore, and when they asked how old my child was, I had to explain I didn’t have one (thankfully each time they were so nice and actually not that awkward, several even shared their loss stories with me).

          And my situation, much like yours, was totally unpreventable! I can’t imagine knowing that I could’ve done something about the baby I lost, having to explain it over and over.

          I’m so sorry for your losses. I don’t think it gets much easier personally, just less sharply painful, but time will tell.

        • Mel

          My family has been struggling with that and the related “how many sibs?” question for 30 years now.

          I really struggled with it when I was a kid because I personally felt disloyal to my brother who died if I answered “Me, my twin and my younger brother Mike.”, but at the same time didn’t have the emotional resources to deal with the average response to “Three, but David died” of raging awkwardness.

          Now, I usually answer “I’m one of three” if it’s a generalized social conversation, but I will go deeper if it’s a person I will be spending time with or students who I know have lost family members.

    • Sean Jungian

      Alison, my sympathies for your loss. I cannot understand how these NCB zealots can be so dismissive of dead babies. I only have one child, and I would have been devastated if he’d gone to term only to die due to my own hubris and mistaken beliefs. I do indeed wonder what the midwives who like to sweep deaths under the rug would say if an OB/GYN were to post some similar nonsense.

      • OttawaAlison

        Thank you. I’m thinking some cpms would post if an OBGYN posted something like that “See babies die in the hospital too”.

      • nomofear

        When i found this site while pregnant with my second, and came to understand the grave risks i had put my first baby under, and how incredibly lucky we both were to be okay – i can’t even. I thought i was doing the safer thing! I was avoiding hospitals and interventions, like Ricki lake and Ina Mae! What a blithering idiot i was.

        • Sean Jungian

          I’m glad you’re both okay as well. I think the reason a lot of us here get so upset with these unsafe practices is at least in part because we can see the appeal of what the NCB crowd is selling.

          Social media wasn’t a thing yet when I was pregnant, so I was not inundated the way mothers-to-be of the past 5-10 years have been. A lot of the time I think, “there but for grace of whatever go I”.

          • nomofear

            I’ve thought of putting together a list of resources in pamphlet form, but if a doc handed a woman deep in the woo like me a pamphlet like I’d write today..I think I would have seen it as fearmongering to lure me into their trap of evil interventions and c-sections. It’s a weird head space of fear of authority. Unsurprisingly, I was also into the organic/anti-GMO/anti-pesticide movement. I wasn’t quite anti-vaccine; in fact, I was once flustered when a pharmacy tech wouldn’t give visibly pregnant me the flu vaccine with thimerasol in it. I’d read up on it. It made sense when the science writer explained that there were different types of mercury, and this kind flushed out quickly with no damage. Yet I bought into the stuff sold on the other fringe topics.

    • Allie

      I can understand treating the death of babies this way when there actually was nothing else you could do (e.g. you gave birth in a place where there was no access to any healthcare other than a lay midwife, who did the best she could in the circumstances). In that case, you have to construct a narrative to help you cope with the outcome. However, when you chose to shun safe, effective, and available healthcare in favour of staging a stunt birth, then treating the death of babies this way is disgusting.

  • LaMont

    Seriously, these lunatics need to become acquainted with numbers between zero and one hundred.

    “Breech birth or dystocia risk? Not 100%! How dare you intervene!”
    “Chance that a baby lives through labor? Not 100%. So sad that birth is so dangerous and since there’s no way to make it 100%, no reason to act.”

    To quote Tim Minchin – “life IS a mystery, yeah, but there are answers out there, and we won’t find them by sitting around looking serious and saying ‘isn’t life mysterious’.”

    • Roadstergal

      How close to 100% do they need it to be that the baby would have lived with a properly ‘interventional’ term induction or section? How close to 100% does it have to be for them to not tell the next person, “Your baby dying is worse than anything that will happen at a hospital”?

      • LaMont

        I have no idea how these people do risk/benefit analysis. I’m literally one week into business school (super fun so far!!) and I’m nearly 100% certain there’s nothing that accounts for this craziness. People are supposed to be risk *averse*! Literally nothing makes sense if people are largely risk-taking!

        But apparently, a c-section going from 2% to 2.4% chance of obesity (v. roughly estimated for the typical upwardly-mobile, non-obese, educated peeps I hang with) is worse than doubling, tripling, 20X-ing a risk of death or brain damage at birth? I mean we already know that autism is a fate worse than death, clearly so is obesity… 🙁

        • OttawaAlison

          Sadly you would sometimes think Obesity is by the way some people talk about 🙁

          • Roadstergal

            I honestly do think that’s a factor. There are people who can abstract any risk away from what they can very easily visualize – a fat kid. Better to risk the kid dead from a vaginal birth, better to risk the kid starving from EBF – there’s no worse curse, in certain circles, than being fat.

          • OttawaAlison

            Oh I know. I was discussing with the colleague today of the treatment I received from my gym teacher in elementary school. He was everyone’s favourite teacher, I think I was one of the only ones who he didn’t treat well. Looking back at that point at one of the incidents that happened when I was older. I was 9 years old!! I was just a young kid.

            I was looking at the #FatSideStories on twitter today was depressing.

          • FormerPhysicist

            I honestly had a trainer at the gym suggest I take up smoking for weight loss when I mentioned that I often grab a candy bar or cookie instead of hitting my kids when I come close to melt-down.
            All legitimate research I’ve encountered finds that it’s much healthier to be an overweight non-smoker than an average weight smoker.

          • OttawaAlison

            Oh absolutely – my dad died a smoking related death. You’d never see a celebrity addicted to smoking and struggling to quit on a cover of the National Enquirer, but if a female celebrity gains 5 pounds, they multiply that amount by 10 and say they’re having a health crisis and their eating is out of control.

          • guest

            You know what? I’m going to try your method. I need to reward myself for not losing my cool (we need a change, and my stress level won’t be altered for a while due to external conditions). I’d rather be fat than abusive.

          • FormerPhysicist

            It does help me get through. People suggest things like going running, but I can’t leave the kids alone in the house. And I hate running.
            Sometimes I can even calm down enough to share my treat with offending child, and that helps too.

          • Roadstergal

            And second-hand smoke is great for the kids, too. Ugh.

            You know, my boss turned me on to these ‘pod’ chocolates that pack a helluva punch in a small package:
            https://www.amazon.com/Chuao-Firecracker-Mini-Chocolate-Bars/dp/B00H8ZHG5M/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1473805779&sr=8-1&keywords=Chuao+Firecracker+Mini+Chocolate+Bars

          • Mel

            Holy crap. That’s so crazy that the only time I’ve heard that advice before was a joke on the Simpsons about the previous self-help videos of Troy McClure – “Smoking Yourself Thin” and “Get Self-Esteem, Stupid.”

        • Nick Sanders

          People are averse to perceived risks. The problem is, human cognition is really bad at evaluating what’s a risk and what isn’t. Plus, we’re only risk averse in general. There’s a subset of people who like risk, and everyone has some risks they consider worth it for the pay-off.

          • Roadstergal

            We don’t make our risk assessments based on numbers, we make them based on heuristics. And cultural conditioning – there’s a lot of that going on, too.

        • Deborah

          There is no concept at all of risk/benefit analysis with these people. Even the very term would be anathema to them as it sounds too clinical, too medicalised. The link below (if I can manage to provide it ) has a section where a homebirth loss mother laments the way everyone is “going on and on about risk, risk, risk…..” and through tears explains that “it has to be something you can live with….”
          Sunday Night – Homebirth – YouTube
          (type this into google – I can’t seem to link it)

        • yugaya

          “I have no idea how these people do risk/benefit analysis” Like this: 99% of the babies born at home will be fine.

          I am not joking. They do not grasp that perinatal mortality is measured in per thousands.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            It seems like a small risk. But I wouldn’t get on a plane that had a 1 in 100 risk of crashing.

          • FormerPhysicist

            I’ll stay in the airport bar with you instead of getting on that plane!

            And I would buy many many lottery tickets if I had a 1/100 chance of winning.

  • Trixie

    Thank you for writing about this dangerous midwife, Dr. Amy.