Freebirther: A live baby is not everybody’s goal.

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Freebirth, childbirth without medical assistance of any kind, is a stunt, a piece of performance art. As such, the baby is merely a prop and an expendable prop at that.

Don’t believe me? Believe Desirea Miller, leader of a freebirth group, discussing the idea of opting to get checked by medical personnel in the midst of a freebirth.

Freebirth is an extreme sport where the performance is the point.

A live baby is usually the goal. Not everybody has that same goal but if that’s your goal, there’s no shame in going to get checked.

Who is Desirea Miller?

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Among other things, she’s the co-creator at Holistically Empowered Rebel Birth Keepers Academy of Learning (HERBAL), which has the best logo ever!!

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Kudos to Desirea for having the courage to say what many freebirthers already believe. Freebirth is not about reproductive freedom and it’s certainly not about babies. It’s a form of extreme sport where the performance is the point.

What are extreme sports? A 2004 study offered this definition:

‘true’ extreme sports [are] a leisure or recreation activity where the most likely outcome of a mismanaged accident or mistake was death.

According to David Le Breton, Playing Symbolically with Death in Extreme Sports:

Many amateur sportsmen in the West, have today started undertaking long and intensive ordeals where their personal capacity to withstand increasing suffering is the prime objective… [P]eople without any particular ability are not pitting themselves against others but are committed to testing their own capacity to withstand increasing pain… Going right on to the end of a self-imposed ordeal gives a legitimacy to life and provides a symbolic plank that supports them…

In Death, danger and the selling of risk in adventure sports, a chapter in the book, Understanding Lifestyle Sport: Consumption, Identity and Difference by Belinda Wheaton, Catherine Palmer notes:

…[This] conceptual collapse between risk and mainstream … creates the impression that anyone can partake in these kinds of activities. The fact that inexperienced actors can leap from a plane or bungy jump creates the illustion that no expertise is needed to engage in extreme sports. In other words, these made-for-media versions of extreme sports are short-lived imitations of risk, rather than serious sporting … in which physicial fitness and technical knowledge are of paramount importance… [This] mediated normalisation of risk taking in particularly problematic in that it gives the impression that nothing goes wrong in extreme sports. In popular packaging, those activities … are presented as being entirely without risk or danger.

… The selling of risk is a careful exercise in discursive manipulation … [and] particularly tragic consequences … have accompanied this selling of risk …

Although freebirth is legal as a matter of reproductive freedom, freebirth itself is not really about reproductive freedom but rather about risking death, withstand pain and empowerment through a self-imposed ordeal that requires neither physical fitness nor technical skill. The beauty of freebirth is that the death being risked is that of the baby; the risk to the mother is much smaller. This feature explains that refusal of freebirthers to seek medical care to save the life of the baby (it is just a prop) while simultaneously seeking out medical care to save their own lives.

To paraphrase Wheaton and Palmer, freebirth isn’t the equivalent of jumping from a plane or bungy jumping, it’s the equivalent of throwing your baby from a plane or attaching a bungy cord to a baby and flinging it off a cliff. All the excitement, but none of the danger. It isn’t playing symbolically with one’s death; it is actively risking the death of another.

Seeking advice for no better reason that to save the life of your baby is frowned upon and often deleted. As Desirea explains:

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Reaching out and asking for advice during labor while free birthing is extremely harmful. Freebirth is to be intuition led, not suggestion led. When a mama opens up her mind to other suggestions, thoughts, energies, and opinions, she is skewing her intuition…

If anyone is seen partaking in this kind of dangerous act within the group during labor, their comments/posts will be removed… We’d love to hear how you rocked your birth, but we aren’t here for suggestions during labor…

So giving birth without medical care of any kind is safe, but seeking advice is dangerous? Those claims only make sense if a live baby is not everybody’s goal. The performance, and the associated bragging rights, is everybody’s goal. Getting help of any kind, including help to save the baby’s life, ruins the performance.

Fortunately for freebirthers, getting help to save your own life is just fine. Otherwise how would you go on to have a healing freebirth of your rainbow baby next time?

  • Allie

    Anyone else read “we aren’t here for suggestions during labor…” as “if something goes horribly wrong, it’s not our fault”? It strikes me that she’s just opting out of any negative press that has swirled around other sites that have actively encourage women to continue with no assistance when it’s clearly needed.

    • guest

      That is how I read it…like if no advice is given, then they can’t be blamed for giving bad advice. It is all on the freebirthing mother. If something goes wrong, they can claim she didn’t follow her intuition.

    • swbarnes2

      “We’re here to talk you into doing something unsafe, but we aren’t actually going to help you do it safely.”

    • Cynthia

      That was my thought. Nobody wants to be charged with practicing medicine for without a license. Of course, asking advice on that forum would not actually help anyone but calling 911 might.

  • Ozlsn

    I kind of feel that we are at a technological level now that we should be able to implant something like a watermelon so that women who really want the extreme birth experience can have it without involving a term baby.

  • GraceC

    Usually the goal?????!!!! WTF

    De-lurking to voice how sickening this is. As a first time mom who just lost her son at 24 weeks gestation (preeclampsia and HELLP) I would have given anything, ANYTHING, to keep him in this world with me. That these women are so cavalier with babies’ health is nauseating to someone like me. Shame on those who push homebirth and especially freebirth; trying to tout pregnancy and childbirth as something that is natural and safe. It is natural but Mother Nature, as we know, is not reliable. Do not fuck with that which could kill you – medical conditions do not care that the hospital is only “a five minute drive” or that your midwife supposedly knows lifesaving techniques.

    You are low-risk until you aren’t. I would have died without my emergency cesarean. My family physician and OB and nurses saved my life, barely. They sat and held my hand as I cried even though I’m sure they had half a dozen other patients to see. They took pictures and let me keep him in a cooling bassinet by my bed for my entire stay.

    I hope that others on the fence can take something from my experience and don’t be afraid of the hospital or medical staff. I am the nightmare scenario, the ultimate “it-won’t-happen-to-me”. Until it does. Please be safe in your pregnancies and births.

    • Kq

      I am so, so sorry for your loss. I lost a son at that gestational age (under vastly different circumstances) and it was the worst thing I’ve ever had happen. I wish I had words to help.

    • Jessica

      I am so very sorry for your loss.

    • Mel

      I’m so sorry about losing your son and the physical hell that is HELLP syndrome.

      It’s a cruel and brutal disorder that kills far too many babies and moms.

    • PeggySue

      I am so very sorry for this enormous loss, and the trauma you have endured.

    • Ravens Starr

      I knew one of these natural birth moms who was facing a very severe life threatening condition that was going to impact her throughout her entire pregnancy and could have resulted in a birth situation that could kill her and the baby. One of her top concerns was finding an OB who would go along with her all natural birthing center plans. She was furious at the very idea that she might have to go to a hospital, spitting and cussing on facebook about how cruel and stringent they were. Bottom of her concern was the fact that at any moment she could die from not following medical advice (which she proudly admitted she decided not to follow). I can’t even begin to fathom the thought process here.

      • GraceC

        All I can think of is that she is in deep denial and trying to maintain some semblance of control. It’s a terrible feeling when you realize your body isn’t going to go along with your plans and is teetering on the edge of a health catastrophe. Particularly so for these natural birth moms who need everything to fall into line with the birth plan.

        I feel for the medical staff who have to, literally and figuratively, clean that mess up when it lands on their doorstep.

    • MaineJen

      Oh god…I’m so sorry to hear about your baby. *hugs* It sounds like you got the best and most compassionate care possible…

    • StephanieJR

      I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Madtowngirl

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Daleth

      Oh god, I’m so sorry.

    • Lilly de Lure

      I am so very sorry for your loss.

    • Emilie Bishop

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your son and what your body endured.

    • demodocus

      *hugs*

    • space_upstairs

      Man, that sucks. My condolences and thanks for sharing such a tale. Hope if you try again, it turns out better.

      “You are low risk until you aren’t” was in my mind this morning when I had a little scare: moderate vaginal bleeding with a bowel movement at 32 weeks. I wasn’t messing with this: I don’t like to be over cautious but I know how fast things can go south after the halfway mark thanks to resources like this blog (and my embracing of the values here: healthy baby is the goal, don’t mistrust science/medicine just because it’s hip to do so, etc.) Everything was fine at the hospital. They sent me and the husband home after an ultrasound and non-stress test came out normal, with cortisol injections in case my daughter has to come out early and progesterone to take to reduce the odds of that. All good so far, bleeding stopped gradually. I’ll go to my regular OB tomorrow and see what he says…taking it easy until further notice. And if he recommends more tests, better that than more scares!

      • PeggySue

        Hope all goes well. Thinking of you.

        • space_upstairs

          Thanks. I know this little bit of news is peanuts (so far) compared to what people like Grace, BeatriceC, Mel, and many others here have gone through, but since it came up as I was contemplating these posts, I thought I’d put it out there to show Grace that someone was influenced by her story and advice, at least.

      • GraceC

        I hope the rest of your pregnancy is happy and complication free

        • space_upstairs

          Thanks.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I am so so so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story. I also got HELLP and you are not Bryson only one that finds the freebirthers’ post sickening,I do too.

    • Sue

      Thank you for sharing that tragic story. So sorry for your loss.

    • FormerPhysicist

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • MaineJen

    WOW.

    She said the quiet part out loud.

  • Texshan

    That drawing for the “academy” is repulsive. As is anyone who thinks it’s fun to play games with their child’s life.

  • Emilie Bishop

    Anyone else seeing red that a “live baby is USUALLY the goal?” I have nothing else to add except that if that’s not not the goal, you need help.

    • Cartman36

      I hate it when people say “if you aren’t going to do X (insert their preferred choice parenting decision (i.e. breastfed, attachment parent, etc)) then you shouldn’t have kids” but if a live baby isn’r your goal, you should not be having a baby.

    • Madtowngirl

      Seven shades of red, actually. If a live baby isn’t the goal of pregnancy, why the fuck are you putting your body through it? To subject that baby to a slow painful death? Fuuuuuuuck.

      • GraceC

        Something to post on your blog?
        Attention from friends and strangers?
        Bragging rights on executing your extreme stuntbirth “successfully”?

        Who knows. Personally I feel the end goal of pregnancy should always be a live baby (or babies), but that’s just me.

      • Merrie

        It also might be a really extreme version of “putting one’s life in God’s hands”. If you and your baby are meant to survive, He will make it happen. If not, then that’s the way it is.

        • Ozlsn

          Except they keep going to hospital when it’s too late for the baby but not for them. It’s like they value their lives considerably more or something…

    • Elizabeth A

      I can imagine situations in which a live baby is not the goal. In the event that a baby is diagnosed with a congenital defect incompatible with life, some parents may choose, nonetheless, to carry the child to term. If a family chooses this means of dealing with a tragedy, their goals might be recognized as a peaceful a passing as possible, a moment with their infant, time for religious ceremonies, as much spiritual comfort as can be found in the circumstances.

      But if you believe that you’re starting labor with a healthy fetus, a healthy newborn is, in modern times, kind of what you get by putting the bar down on the floor for everyone’s convenience.

      • Mel

        The main difference is that in a situation where a baby has a congenital defect incompatible with life is that there is no way for the baby to survive. The family has two(ish) options – immediate termination or waiting for the infant’s death to occur through biological processes.

        In other words, the primary goal of a healthy living baby from this pregnancy is impossible and the family is making decisions about secondary goals in accordance with their beliefs

        Freebirthing is so insanely different because the chances of losing a term, healthy living baby during labor and delivery in a hospital setting is minuscule while the risks of losing the baby at home are orders of magnitude higher.

      • Jess Sampano

        While I agree and understand where you’re coming from, a freebirther has no idea if their infant is healthy or not as they’ve denied medical care.

        • Ravens Starr

          “What I don’t know can’t hurt me! What I can’t see isn’t real!”

      • demodocus

        Or -into- the floor.

      • Merrie

        Yeah, that’s basically the only scenario I can imagine… if the baby is already going to die/is in the process of dying and is not able to be saved. Assuming this is not the case I don’t understand how anybody can not have “baby makes it out alive” as one of their goals of birth. That’s monstrous.

    • quest

      This is going to sound weird, but here goes…there are a lot of Christian religious sects in the United States (FLDS, The Kingston Group, various extreme offshoots of the Anabaptists and Evangelical churches, the Patriarchalist Revival/Quiverfull movement, etc) that shun specific medical interventions like vaccines and obstetric care. I worked in a town populated almost entirely by one of these religious communities. Women were discouraged from seeing OB/GYNs because their sect also shunned health education and birth control, and it so doctors were viewed with suspicion because they might dispense one or the other if they thought a woman needed it.

      Anyway, “freebirthing” or using midwives was common. A live baby was not always the goal, because when you have eight kids and no way to feed them, infant loss in childbirth is your only way of limiting your family size. It is like a Russian-Roulette form of family planning.
      Sadly, a lot of these women also suffer from suicidal ideation and so the idea of dying in childbirth wasn’t all that frightening to them, either. Life kinda sucks when you have no job prospects, no education, and can’t do anything (like leave the house) without your husband’s express permission.

  • momofone

    And if asking for help IS what her intuition guides her to do?

    • Sarah

      Does not compute.

    • AnnaPDE

      At least she’ll know not to ask the voyeuristic vultures in that specific group…

    • guest

      Yeah, when I told the hospital midwives my intuition said something was terribly wrong and I needed a surgeon, they didn’t believe me. Three hours later I was being prepped for an emergency C-Section.

      Apparently they only like intuition if it leads to a successful vaginal birth.

  • nata
    • nata

      er.. apparently hospital birth is more dangerous for baby

      • Mmm, no. Homebirth kills a far higher percentage of babies, especially when you control for the only people who *should* even be considering homebirthing- singleton birth, vertex presentation, not a first or 5th+ birth. Most of the babies who die in a hospital were fragile to begin with- preemies or micro-preemies, born with congenital defects, etc. It is extraordinarily rare for a healthy full-term fetus/newborn to die in a hospital, and when it does happen, there is a whole lot of inquiry into what happened and how to prevent it in the future.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
      • space_upstairs

        It just occurred to me: saying the hospital is more dangerous for babies than home birth is like the old joke that “the number one cause of death is living and the most dangerous place to be is in bed.” More people die in a bed than they do anywhere else, because most people die of natural causes and most natural-causes deaths are in a bed, usually a hospital bed because people are culturally inclined to fight death until the last minute. More babies die in hospitals for exactly the same reasons: because babies that are at the highest risk of death in the first place are far more likely to be born in hospitals.

    • Mel

      I love the complete absence of data…or even statistics…to support that claim.

      No one has ever found that homebirth is safer than hospital births. Occasionally, carefully selected groups of women delivering at home with highly trained nurse-midwives can have similar morbidity and mortality rates to low-risk hospital births – but even that is a bit squiffy since other studies find a higher mortality rate.

      Freebirthing is an entire level of risk above home birthing with an attendant of some sort because if something goes really wrong there is no one available to call 911 while providing first aid.

      Plus, hospitals include high risk births that should never be attempted at home – like my 26 weeker who is now nearly two years old.
      Preemies, severely ill mothers and babies with tricky congenital defects do jack up the perinatal death rates of hospitals – but the stats would be even worth if they were freebirths.

    • Ravens Starr

      At least they are admitting now they are simply rebels, reacting at the emotional level of teens rather than that of adults.

  • Jessica

    It sounds so ridiculous that are we sure this isn’t a parody site? Between the logo and the “don’t ask for any kind of help,” post, it seems like it must be a sad joke.

    • Ravens Starr

      Even in the precursor to freebirthers, the homebirthing/natural/no-interventions community, medical advice and professional advice is so frowned upon and spit at, so mocked, that this is just the logical next step.
      I know it’s popular among some here to look at these women as sadly misled, but every woman I know who is in this cult is very self-assured and vocal, very rebellious, thinks of herself as a strong-willed feminist, very quick to take offense, use foul language, many are well-educated. There’s little reason to think of them as poor little misled ignorant women. That tends to a dangerous line of thought – that women are so easily misled we must be protected from ourselves for the sake of our innocent babes.
      No, they are deliberately making these choices in spite of copious amounts of feedback and evidence that it is a bad choice, and then joining groups where they can be assured of not hearing what they already know they will hear – “You should go to the hospital!”

      • space_upstairs

        “I’m right and in the know. Everyone who disagrees with me is a misinforned dupe, and every public figure or business I dislike is a sham.” Says just about every internet commentator on all sides of any debate, it seems. Which means either we’re all misinformed dupes, or we come to our beliefs and preferences for more complex reasons like personal values and subcultures and experiences. Or maybe a bit of both, given how awash in tailored marketing we all are.

        • Ravens Starr

          So to clarify that purposefully obfuscating word salad, are you in favor of dead babies for personal empowerment or no?

          • space_upstairs

            No, I’m simply agreeing with the notion that those who do sacrifice their almost-born babies on the altar of the perfect birth are not simply confused and misled. They have a different set of values, which, ugly as it is, puts things like rebellion against the medical industry, bodily purity, and pride over the best odds of a live birth. No information will make them question those values. They will need a personal or social reason to change them, like if they or their loved ones deeply regret the loss or near loss of the awaited child.

          • Your analysis of motivations for freebirthers is correct for a few women that I have known over the years.

            But you fail to include those of us who have sought out these skills because we believe it is wise to have self reliant skills because we believe a day may arrive when we cannot get to the hospital.

            Whether it is because the hospitals are overrun with patients suffering from some pandemic, weather related shut downs tied to floods, fires, earthquakes etc, or simply the middle east blows up and we cannot get gas to put in our cars to drive us to the hospital, my main initial motivation for learning freebirth was so if any of the above was to play out during a pregnancy, I could confidently give birth at home alone attended by my husband.

            Please, when deconstructing us, include that group in your summations because it is a very large percentage of freebirthers, especially the LDS ones.

            And most of us who are striving for self reliance do not participate much on social media because we are busy with our families and do not like all the feminist yapping about patriarchy.

          • Heidi

            But why? If you believe in a heaven, why would you rather your child suffer here on an Earth at the brink of ending than go to heaven?

          • Griffin

            So you “learned” to freebirth in case “the hospitals are overrun with patients suffering from some pandemic, weather related shut downs tied to floods, fires, earthquakes etc, or simply the middle east blows up and we cannot get gas to put in our cars to drive us to the hospital”.

            The chances of any of these things happening either in the near or distant future are much, much smaller that the chances of your child dying in freebirth.

            Doesn’t the terrible and very real possibility of losing a child in childbirth completely outweigh the miniscule risk that a pandemic/flood/fire/ME crisis will suddenly happen and you MIGHT not be able to get to a hospital?

          • LaMont

            The “learned” bit is hilarious, as if birth was a skill as opposed to a thing that just happened – if I didn’t have a toilet anymore, I wouldn’t “learn” how to poop without one, I’d just be put out at the lack of convenience. If I didn’t have appealing food, I wouldn’t “learn” to eat what was available. so so so absurd. I’ve seen “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”, it’s not like birth requires literally ANY knowledge. It’s the medical care that increases survival odds, not education.

          • Ravens Starr

            These kind of people fill their heads with disaster porn constantly and are convinced they are of the elect few who will be “prepared” when disaster strikes.
            I live in a community that has had a real disaster strike. Pregnant women were there. It’s a ludicrous idea that “learning about freebirthing” will save you from, say, a flood that wipes out your home and community, or, as we see in the news right now, a fire that sweeps across your town in an hour. You flee immediately or die, you won’t be dragging your birthing kit with you and practicing mindful breathing. If you are so unlucky as to be in labor when the fire or flood strikes and you hadn’t evacuated, you better hope adrenaline kicks in hard enough to stop your contractions so you can run to the car and escape in time. Otherwise you and your baby will die.
            Because real disasters are a horrific, well – disaster.

          • Hon, giving birth isn’t like playing chess, and you don’t get more “skilled” if you do it without trained attendants or equipment. Birth is like Russian roulette, and the more times you do it without proper assistance the greater your chances of death or serious morbidity to you or your baby, especially as you get older.

          • space_upstairs

            I’m surprised you came back after the last thread you were active on. Ok then, I guess I can add disaster/apocalypse preparedness to the list of those different values that freebirthers may have…which is partially understandable, as it may have some long-term benefits if the imagined apocalypse or large-scale disaster really does come along. But for the rest of us, it seems gruesome to sacrifice the child we could have today on purpose just because we or our existing children/nieces/nephews/etc. may not be able to have a similar child tomorrow and we want to be prepared for that scenario. Why not take advantage of technology to have all the children that are possible to have with technology, but keep an emergency stash of supplies in our house and teach those children realistic survival skills for a realistic emergency that they can extend and expand upon in a proper apocalypse? Why not wait to practice freebirth until it’s really needed? Maybe those kids who wouldn’t have survived their birth and first few days without current technology will actually turn out to be excellent at adapting to an apocalypse if they are taught well and it is their fate to do so.

          • Who?

            I don’t think you want to try introducing reason into the discussion with JMH.

            The smart thing to do would be, as you suggest, have all the surviving kids you can before the rapture, then none at all, by design, after.

            She was dancing in her kitchen over ‘one little death’ the last time she flounced out of here.

          • Kq

            Seriously, who said her name three times in front of a mirror and summoned her this time?

          • Who?

            If I were a gambling woman I’d say whoever is in charge of her SEO and realised her web traffic is down?

            But gambling doesn’t happen to be one of my vices-I’ll leave that to the freebirthers-so I really can’t speculate.

          • When I started out attempting to learn self reliant mothering, I wanted to experiment knowing the firemen were one minute from my house and the hospital was five minutes away.

            As stated in another conversation, my son Andy and I almost died after our first freebirth.

            He was an 11 pound 12 ounce, 45 weeks (15 and 1/4 inch head) post dates baby and I birthed him in three pushes. His cord snapped during the birth and he wasn’t breathing.

            I hemorrhaged down to a 4.7 crit and my husband called 911.

            Within seconds we had a volunteer fireman pounding on our door and Shawn, who has become a dear friend, was the person who resuscitated Andrew.

            We transferred to the hospital and I received excellent care from the ER and after a transfusion and a day resting, joined Andy at a Denver NICU where he had been airflighted after being intubated.

            They released him after three days.

            I cover this story extensively in my first book A Mothers Journey.

            We were incredibly grateful for the help from excellent professionals.

            We learned so much from that experience. And were so grateful for a healthy son who is now 22 and majoring in math at a university in Utah.

            Why not go to the docs and just tuck away supplies for an emergency childbirth?

            I believe every couple should be prepared for a birth that takes place out of the hospital and learn what spontaneous childbirth looks like to fulfill the old biblical injunction “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

            As the years have clicked by I have come to believe that a part of the end times apocalypse has in fact been the human wreckage lying in the wake of feminism and the modern medical machine. And I include abortion, child and organ trafficking, drug use (both legal and illegal), and the family dysfunction that has resulted from an over dependence on medicine under the umbrella of the term “apocalypse”.

            This may be offensive to those of you who work in the medical/pharmaceutical field, but it is what I truly believe.

            I was able to get my life back after a break with reality and 14 months of psychiatry because I RAN away from doctors and drugs to Boulder Colorado where I discovered an alternative paradigm of healing. And we learned another way to live mostly divorced from interfacing with allopathy.

            When we discovered we were expecting baby five we had a BIG decision to make.

            My book A Lotus Birth details the many layers of decisions that went into Bens pregnancy and birth and I will not take the time to delineate them here except to say that when he was about a year old I had this amazing sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that in a little more than 13 years I had learned the principles of autonomous mothering after being challenged by the Holy Spirit to do so.

            The feeling of peace that settled over my heart was indescribable.

            When Andrew was three in 1999, I weaned him on his third birthday and I was again tasked by my Lord Jesus Christ to write.

            https://youtu.be/fyZMbbVsKr8

            Thankyou for kindly and thoughtfully responding to my comment.

            Jenny

          • MaineJen

            So you risked your own and your baby’s life for…an experiment? To test EMS?

          • kilda

            yes, I find it disturbingly callous to experiment with something that can have life or death consequences for your child. How would she have felt if the outcome of her “experiment” had not been as good? “well, we learned that can kill babies. I’ll file that away for future reference.”

          • KQ Not Signed In

            “I was able to get my life back after a break with reality ”

            I think you need a refund. Because you and reality are very clearly not on speaking terms.

          • “We learned so much from that experience.” I would disagree. The clear lesson here is “Give birth in the hospital, because mom and baby can die or be badly harmed within minutes.”

          • Who?

            JMH is trying to drive traffic to her website.

            Why anyone would want more detail about the car-wrecks from which everyone, by dumb luck, walked out alive, is beyond me.

          • Griffin

            “a part of the end times apocalypse has in fact been the human wreckage lying in the wake of feminism and the modern medical machine. And I include abortion, child and organ trafficking, drug use (both legal and illegal), and the family dysfunction that has resulted from an over dependence on medicine under the umbrella of the term “apocalypse”.”

            Jenny, your apocalyptic mindset is bizarre. I think you need to travel the world a bit, get out a bit. Go to France and see the Eiffel Tower! Go to Australia and see the Opera House! Go to Thailand and see the magnificent Wat Pho temple! Talk to people from other cultures and countries a bit.

            If you do, and do it with an open mind, you will see that while there is still quite some human suffering, overall humans are doing pretty well, considering how its been. For example, since 1990, over a billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty due to economic growth or better distribution of the economic gains. The world is nowhere near an apocalypse.

            The two things you mention being causes of the apocalypse you erroneously think humans are going through at the moment – medicine and feminism – are both sources of help. Medicine not just saves lives, it helps people live more comfortable lives, for example, without pain. No one HAS to take medicine but most people gladly do, because it makes a difference. And feminism merely supports the right of half of the world’s population to live freely and partake fairly of the economic bounty. It also liberates men from the straitjacket of social conventions.

            You really need to get out a bit. It must be scary and tiring to live thinking constantly that you’re in an apocalypse.

          • Actually Griffin, I am on the other side of the apocalyptic hellscape that many families are currently maneuvering, especially those with autistic children.

            My children are all thriving, a first grandbaby arrived this year designating a new phase in our lives.

            I am currently playing Mrs Fezziwig at the local playhouses production of A Christmas Carol and am expecting to spend the next forty years playing all my favorite character roles in musical theatre at the many venues that exist along the front range of Colorado.

            I direct my choirs and teach my vocal students and enjoy dates with my husband and various trips to attend weddings, graduations, and theatrical productions.

            You on the other hand waste your life reading the pointless rants of the biggest hate site on the internet. A site devoted to teaching and training you to fear and despise people like me.

            You really should get out more. There is so much more to life than immersion in the endless wasteland of Dr. Amy’s comment section.

            Sometimes you have to step out of the apocalypse before you can see it clearly.

            Cheers!

          • Griffin

            You’re not being very consistent here, Jenny. In you mind, are you or are you not in the end of times apocalypse? First you say:

            “I have come to believe that a part of the end times apocalypse has in fact been the human wreckage lying in the wake of feminism and the modern medical machine.”

            And now you say:

            “I am on the other side of the apocalyptic hellscape that many families are currently maneuvering.”

            Erm? END OF TIMES apocalypse means “the complete final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation.” There’s no maneuvering through the apocalypse, no “other side”, no stepping out: when the apocalypse happens, there’s nothing left.

            And then there’s this, from within the SAME post:

            “the human wreckage lying in the wake of … the modern medical machine” and “We transferred to the hospital and I received excellent care from the ER …
            We were incredibly grateful for the help from excellent professionals.”

            So, is modern medicine good? Or bad?

            Your imprecise inconsistent use of language is a hallmark of the “word salad” technique used by personality-disordered people to confuse and misdirect others.

            “You on the other hand waste your life reading the pointless rants of the biggest hate site on the internet. A site devoted to teaching and training you to fear and despise people like me.”

            I don’t fear or even despise you. If I feel anything toward you, it’s pity. But you’re destructive and manipulative and narcissistic: you WILLINGLY put your last child at risk of terrible danger KNOWING that freebirth nearly killed your fourth child. I, and Dr. Tuteur, and most of us on this blog, are determined to make plain how reckless, ruthless, and careless you are about the lives of babies, even your own. That’s not hating, that’s a civic responsibility to warn our fellow brethren that the nonsense you and your ilk spout is very dangerous to babies and mothers.

          • Who?

            JMH is obviously not rational. She’s doing the freebirth cause harm by the way she carries on.

            Which is great, she should spend time here writing much much more about why, on the one hand, the risk is so worth it, and on the other, those ebil doctors are just the ticket for bailing you out when your stupid goes predictably haywire.

            I wonder where the grandbaby was born, not hearing a lot about how well the freebirth went…

          • You really get off on this sickoanalysis of my motivations and seeming inconsistencies.

            Which strikes me as rather hillarious coming from a person who had THREE medically unnecessary C-Sections and could not be bothered to nourish your children with breastmilk.

            Talk about risky and utterly clueless choices that are needlessly putting children at risk!

            Look in the fucking mirror next time you want to confront a mother who naively and thoughtlessly endangered her children.

          • rosewater1

            And there we have it.

            And there you show your true colors. There is one right way and it’s your way. To hell with what other women want to do. Charming. Coming from such an enlightened person as yourself.

            You perfectly espouse the innate hypocrisy of the NCB movement. Your luck with unassisted birth is just that-luck. You are not “better” for doing so. A woman who has a c/s and bottle feeds isn’t “less.”

            You prattle on about what an amazing life you have. Why keep coming back here if you are so very special?

          • Chi

            Wow. Just wow. Your hubris and gall is utterly astounding.

            You preach freebirth and yet you still call for those ebil ebil medical practitioners when things go sideways and shit hit the fan – as evidenced by your story about the fire department knocking on your door.

            You tell one of the commentors here that their c-sections were unnecessary when you do not have a fucking SHRED of medical expertise or firsthand knowledge of their situation to even begin to MAKE that judgment call.

            And your comment about breastmilk got me nutcase bingo, thanks. Cos with that statement you’ve placed yourself in the ‘breastmilk is magical and cures all ills and anyone who doesn’t breastfeed is an ebil, terrible HORRIBLE mother who doesn’t care about their child’ camp.

            Kindly fuck right off now with your self-righteous, frothing at the mouth word-salads. You’ve posted links to your blog in the hopes of garnering some pity-clicks, but if anyone actually DID click through, they quickly realized how fucking deranged you are.

            You are NOT going to find people here who will pat you on the head and tell you that you were awesome for risking your babies’ lives and even your life. Not when we’ve seen FIRSTHAND how badly these stunt births go. Not to mention how quickly the members of those echo chambers turn on anyone who has a negative outcome, trying to sweep all mention of death or permanent disability under the rug because it ‘creates an atmosphere of fear’.

            FUCK THAT. Women SHOULDN’T be afraid of birth because with all the technology we have at our disposal there is NO FUCKING REASON healthy, wanted, full-term babies or their mothers should EVER die in childbirth. But they do, because people who romanticize childbirth and nature have quickly forgotten how many women are buried in cemeteries next to the babies they died trying to bring into the world.

            And yes, I realize that this post is probably giving you the attention you so desperately crave, but I can’t stand hypocrites and you lady, are the biggest one currently in this comment section.

            Whether you admit it or not, you DID take risks with your children’s births and you are LUCKY it hasn’t ended in disaster.

            For their sake, get some fucking help. I can’t imagine what it’s like for them to grow up with such a narcissist as a mother. I imagine it can’t be pleasant.

            At the very least, find a new hobby. Trolling comments sections is SO blase and you suck at it.

          • Who?

            JMH thinks ‘one little death’ is nothing to worry about-unless, presumably, it happens in hospital, which would make it somewhere between murder most foul and a very dastardly deed. She reported that was in fact dancing around her kitchen as she thought about it.

            Of course JMH won’t thank me for quoting her on that, as she didn’t thank Griffin for doing her the courtesy of quoting her and trying to parse her nonsense.

            It’s possible she’s insane; it’s almost certain she’s obnoxious. She may well be both.

          • space_upstairs

            I think she actually admitted in the other thread to a history of mental illness, but found medical treatment of her condition inadequate and so seeks alternative treatment in her religion and lifestyle. Sadly, it’s not an uncommon situation for the mentally ill…we ought to be able to do better to support them. Not that modern medicine is useless for mental illness, but they tend to need much more complex social supports that mainstream society in general is unwilling or unable to provide for many, on top of treatments such as medicines and cognitive therapies.

            And yeah, that inconsistency: I’d seen other alternative health enthusiasts, apparently more stable ones, argue that mainstream medicine has its place, but only for severe acute trauma and perhaps infectious illnesses easily curable with antibiotics. For all other issues – mild to moderate injuries and infectious illnesses, and all chronic or medically incurable illnesses (which many of them seem to believe are directly caused by mainstream medicine or food or by modernity in general, rather than in many cases being the kind of thing that will naturally happen when more traumatic ways of dying are reduced) – alternative treatments should be preferred. If Jenny is of this camp of belief with regard to medicine, then she can “logically” (albeit following a dubious logic) argue that any C-section or formula use that doesn’t wait until the mother or child is just about to die is a vast risk, more likely to cause a chronic problem than cure or prevent an acute one.

          • Who?

            She gloated about a history of mental illness, as I recall it. She’s apparently ‘published’ ie posted on her website, screeds and screeds and screeds about it. Her story is she went for conventional treatment for a while, it didn’t suit her, so she escaped to the hills. And now she is cured.

            Her attitude seems to be that if there is no one in authority to tell her she has a mental illness, then she doesn’t have one. Much like her attitude to pregnancy and birth-if there’s no one in authority to tell her there’s a problem, there’s no problem.

            Her issue with Journey Moon I think is that the parents didn’t believe enough/didn’t do it right/weren’t fully enough committed to freebirth to know when to push the big red emergency button. It puts me in mind of that poor wretched child in Canada whose parents let him die of meningitis while they treated him with tinctures.

            https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/david-collet-stephan-meningitis-death-son-failure-provide-necessaries-appeal-1.4402665

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            JMH thinks ‘one little death’ is nothing to worry about-

            The line I’ve used before, “Sacrifice your baby at the altar of home/natural/freebirth” is completely apt. It’s a religion, and religion requires sacrifice. And you need to be willing to make that sacrifice in order to propel the religion.

          • Azuran

            Funny how between me and my siblings, our successes in life are inversly related to how natural our mom was.
            My older brother and sister both had 100% natural births and were both brestfed. My older brother has lots of social problem and will probably spent his entire life in poverty because hes to anxious to even ask for a raise, let alone get a better job. He’ll also probably never have a partner. My sister barely finished high school, flunked college twice and is very emotionally unstable.
            And here i am, the formula fed child who was sent to daycare 1 month after birth, with a doctorate and partial owner of the biggest vet clinic of the region. With my c-section born daughter who has been above average in practucally everything since birth.
            And my little brother, for whos birth my mom had a epidural. Who at 20 is already working for one of the biggest compagny of my state and already owns a house.

            What matters isnt how you are born. Its whether or not you suffered birth complication that leads to injury.

          • MaineJen

            Come on now, Jenny. Who Would Jesus Shame??

          • You do realize that the main reason Jesus Christ was murdered was because he was depriving doctors of their livelihood by healing everyone…right?

            It is right there in the New Testament. He was an economic threat, just as we Freebirthers are an economic threat to the medical machine that churns off the dollars linked to our wombs and the sickly traumatized children that result from too many chemicals…

            Jesus was not above turning over a few tables and pulling out a whip to beat the crap out of people desecrating the Temple.

          • Are you quite sure you’re not just trolling the religious commenters? The atheists here at least generally have a decent grasp of the Bible and who Jesus was. You are not Jesus, and he was not murdered by angry doctors. The people who were mad at him for healing were religious leaders who were annoyed that he was healing on the Sabbath, undercutting their power, and claiming to be the Son of God.

          • MaineJen

            I seem to remember him saving his ire for the money changers……those who used other peoples’ faith and piety to dupe them out of their money. Kind of like faith healers and ‘birth keepers,’ and all of those who claim to have easy answers.

            I hope you are not trying to liken yourself to a probably-mythical figure who miraculously healed the sick. Are you?

          • Box of Salt

            MaineJen “I hope you are not trying to liken yourself to a probably-mythical figure who miraculously healed the sick.”

            This is not the first time she has implied this is in the comments section of this blog.

            I don’t think I can find the comment (she’s posted many), but I think it was was during the first weekend of her comment contributions 2 weeks ago under the Death Death and More Death post.

          • MassiveQuantitiesofPie

            You need psychiatric care. I’m not being snide but your thinking is not aligned with reality (or decency) in the slightest.

          • MaineJen

            Apocalypse prepper. Got it.

          • MassiveQuantitiesofPie

            40% of America’s gas comes from American oil. Most of the rest comes from Canada and Mexico. Only 11% comes from Saudi Arabia and that’s the biggest Middle Eastern source. The odds that diseases, floods, fires, and earthquakes will shut down all hospitals are tiny. Much smaller than hurting our baby by being reckless. Turn off the disaster porn.

          • space_upstairs

            No, I’m simply agreeing with the notion that those who do sacrifice their almost-born babies on the altar of the perfect birth are not simply confused and misled. They have a different set of values, which, ugly as it is, puts things like rebellion against the medical industry, bodily purity, and pride over the best odds of a live birth. No information will make them question those values. They will need a personal or social reason to change them, like if they or their loved ones deeply regret the loss or near loss of the awaited child.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        They also seem to have a delusional idea of what birth is like, ANY birth. Even a fairly quick (6, 7, 8 hours) labor followed by the vaginal delivery of a normal birth weight baby (6 or 7 pounds) with a normal presentation can leave one feeling exhausted, and ones birth canal etc feeling battered and possibly a bit torn. Some people seem to think that everything magically would have been pain free and perfect if only they had given birth at home or any place that wasn’t a hospital. I feel like people don’t read enough. Birth has always been a messy, bloody, painful thing even with easy births.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I always figured, there is a reason that the process of giving birth is called “labor.”

          It’s work.

          No one talks about a happy process as “labor.” For example, a “labor of love” is where you put up with unpleasantries for the outcome. A runner near the end of the race might be laboring toward the finish.

          It might be necessary to work in the end to achieve the goal, but it isn’t pleasant.

          I don’t need to be a woman and go through childbirth to recognize from where the language surrounding it originates, and what that tells us about the process.

          • demodocus

            But, but, patriarchy!! Stories women and girls were always told!!! If only we returned to our all natural, truly innocent state!!!!!

          • Ozlsn

            It’s amazing what new forms the Noble Savage myth mutates into isn’t it? I read a mostly sane book about travelling and birdwatching in Central America that went loopy after she was invited to be present at a birth while staying with an indigenous tribe and suddenly was empowered by the wonderful naturalness of it all. I did wonder a lot about the maternal and neonatal mortality statistics for that region, but not enough to go and look them up.

    • KQ Not Signed In

      2018: The year satire was declared dead.

      • Griffin

        “2018: The year satire was declared dead.”

        Yeah, no kidding.

        Or as my husband has been saying since 2016, “Reality beats fiction every time.”

    • Sarah

      It does look like a piss take doesn’t it!

    • Mel

      I don’t trust people who expect humans to forgo using language to share information with each other. Symbolic and abstract language is an amazing tool to skip lots of bad learning experiences – so I don’t trust anyone who wants me to reinvent the wheel….literally.