Why don’t homebirth advocates learn from a near miss?

She argued with me in another forum about the safety of homebirth:

I truly recommend the book, “Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must be Fixed to put Women and Babies First” by Dr. Marsden Wagner. He is a Doctor with extensive experience and would enlighten many a doctors on the subject and safety of Homebirth…

Lets start there Doctors. Lets actually enable a women to birth rather then telling her in many ways that she does not know her body, cant possibly push a 10 pound baby out of her vagina (for example), must birth on her back with a cathetar and epidural because she could never handle the pain. Lets educate women and truly give all sides of the birthing procedures…

She became an ICAN co-leader because of her belief that her first child was delivered by an “unnecessary” C-section:

My oldest son was a c/s bc the ob thought he was too big. I was young, ignorant and swayed quite easily. He was scheduled to be cut out of me one day after his due date. I never felt labor, and I barely remember his birth. He was 9lb 6oz 21 in and a 13.5in head.

She vowed that her second birth would be different. Despite the risk factors of a previous C-section and previous macrosomic baby, she chose to have a home VBAC with a certified professional midwife (CPM). The baby nearly died and she suffered a significant postpartum hemorrhage:

[The midwife] checked [his] heart tones, she couldn’t find them.

My heart stopped.

[The midwife] had me get on all fours with my chest on the bed to relieve the pressure from his head in the birth canal. [She] told [my husband] to call the ambulance. [Her] assistant called the hospital to prepare for a homebirth transport…

She had a partially prolapsed cord. Fortunately the ambulance arrived quickly and the hospital was only a few minutes away. The baby was born alive.

Delivering the placenta was interesting, and seemingly boring. Then I began to lose a lot of blood, it poured out of me. Pieces of [the baby’s] amniotic sac were still adhered to the wall of my uterus and required [the doctor] to manually scrape the walls to remove the excess.

She was extremely proud of her vaginal birth. Earlier this year she wrote:

…Having [him] has set me on the path to becoming a homebirth midwife. I believe in women and their innate ability to birth.

Someone asked me recently how I could want to be a homebirth midwife since I had such a difficult delivery and it is obviously not safe. My response was, “Yes it was incredibly difficult however, will you not birth your child at the hospital under induction because women and babies have died?” I needed the hospital and it was there. I will birth my next child at home as well, no second thoughts.

She planned a homebirth with the same CPM despite her history of a previous C-section, a macrosomic baby, an occult cord prolapse and a postpartum hemorrhage.

At 41 weeks, her daughter died in utero on Thanksgiving day. She was delivered later that evening in the hospital. The baby weighed 5 lbs. 15 oz, suggesting that she had been suffering from intrauterine growth retardation likely due to placental insufficiency.

This mother dodged a bullet at the first homebirth, but didn’t learn anything. She wasn’t as lucky the second time around and her daughter is dead.