Homebirth – a microessay*


For sale
Cloth diapers
Never worn
Midwife rally Monday


*With apologies to Hemingway

33 Responses to “Homebirth – a microessay*”

  1. CommonSense
    June 26, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Dr Amy-although I agree with probably 95% of what you say, I’d like to add my own thoughts. I’ve had 3 viable births. 2 of them were handled inappropriately; one during the labor & birth itself, another both during the pregnancy, labor & birth. I was very fortunate that both babies survived.
    For the record, I consider myself a pretty pragmatic, common sense woman.
    However, in the years that followed my last birth, when I was considering having another child, emotionally those experiences left such an indelible mark, that I seriously considered home/midwife assisted birth. In my mind during that period of time, I wasn’t thinking of having a crunchy experience. Since I’d had a midwife for routine check ups during my last pregnancy & it was the physician who I felt didn’t medically take care of me well, (my midwife wasn’t available during the birth, but long story short she was on the money about a problem I had which had caused me to be hospitalized during the pregnancy) I truly had no trust in any OB.
    Plus I’d seen a family member who’d had 9 home births all handled extremely well by a midwife, with only one being transferred to the hospital, early in labor.
    Another family member needed a Csection & she experienced the horror of failed Anesthesia.
    I did not have another child.
    In retrospect, it was a good thing I didn’t, because it took me YEARS to be able to gain perspective. Pregnancy & Childbirth are so emotionally driven for many of us & sometimes, that perspective where we gain at least some objectivity about the whole experience doesn’t always happen, or at least in my case, took almost 20 years (part of which I have you to thank for it).
    Given my own experiences, personally, I find it very difficult to think harshly of most of these Mothers; especially those who lose their babies, because until those who are taking care of us all get their shit together, everything you see happening, will continue to happen. Having babies is NOT like having your gall bladder removed. It is not just driven by science; its a highly emotional experience as well & Women need to be assured that if we DO put the lives of our babies in the hands of the medical community, we & our babies are going to be taken care of by competent, caring individuals.

  2. I don't have a creative name
    June 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    There was some magazine or something a few years back that asked readers to tell their life story in 6 words or less. Most were not that memorable, but one that stuck with me was, ‘ twin boys. They died. Still sad.’

  3. DCTS99
    June 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Please give credit where it is due Dr. Amy!

    • Renee
      June 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      I sure hope she doesn’t think this post is directed at her! I know it is not, but still, I can see how one would think this.
      It had to be inspired by her.

    • June 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      The difference is that I wouldn’t endorse a midwife rally at all anymore. A year ago… sure. Now… never.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        June 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

        Heather, please accept my apology if I unwittingly copied you.

      • I don't have a creative name
        June 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

        Just read that blog entry and am in tears. And that woman who felt the need to vomit her feelings out to you when she wasn’t going to ask for a refund anyway is nuts.

        • June 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

          It still makes me angry to think about it. I wonder what her point was? I thought so many times about emailing her back to tell her exactly what I thought, but I never did.

          • Susan
            June 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

            I read that last week Heather and I thought nothing would shock me about how insensitive people can be to people who have experienced a pregnancy/newborn loss but that shocked me. It’s bad enough that she has any issue with buying the items;
            but what on earth would have led her to scold you for not telling her they had been purchased for the baby you lost? I was stunned and felt sick.

          • Renee
            June 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

            I personally cannot believe her. Who does that? That was the very definition of rude, insensitive, and cruel.

            I would let a good friend write her a reply 🙂 I know if this happened to my friend, I would be furious and wanting to write her something.

            I hope she reads your post and learns how awful she was, so she can do better next time.

          • thankfulmom
            June 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

            Heather, I just read your blog post about this. I’m very sorry your baby died.

            To answer your question what would you do…if I had made a purchase of unused cloth diapers and later found out the sellers baby had died I would have sent a condolence email. My son died when he was a toddler and losing a child is a tragic loss.

            If I may ask, how did this woman later find out your baby died? I’m sorry she was so self-centered and insensitive.

            Perhaps one of your friends can point her to your blog post so she realizes how bad her behavior was and can make an effort to keep her thoughts to herself in the future. Or maybe she in mentally ill and cannot function properly. I’m sorry this happened to you in the midst of your loss.

          • June 26, 2013 at 2:59 am #

            Thank you. I’m sorry for your loss as well.

            To answer your question, my email signature links to my blog, and a google search for my name brings up my blog, so it wouldn’t be hard for anyone to find my story and read about Clara.

          • realityycheque
            June 25, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

            I didn’t realise this post was written by you Heather. I’m sorry you had to deal with such inconsiderate idiocy. I don’t know that superstition can even be blamed, since she didn’t return the items. There’s no excuse for her thoughtless actions.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            June 25, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

            It is probably better to let it out the way you did, by blogging. A person like that would most likely not even understand.

          • Eddie
            June 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

            I agree. That person is probably completely unaware of how insensitive she was. I probably would have done exactly as Heather did, start and abandon several Email replies and ultimately leave it.

          • EB151
            June 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

            I thought your post was so well-written and clear, Heather. I suspect the woman is just very narcissistic — on this matter, or maybe generally — and can’t see past her own stuff. She meant no harm and wasn’t aware of how awful she was being. It is worth being angry over, but it is also worth walking away from.

            I think not answering her is a perfect reply. Some day we hope she will look back on the exchange with rationality and regret. But you can’t get her to that point any sooner, and she has invaded your space enough. Keep writing.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      June 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      I hadn’t seen that.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      June 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      At least, I have no memory of seeing that.

    • realityycheque
      June 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      How awful… I can’t believe somebody actually called her, NOT for a refund, but just to whinge at this poor woman for not including such very personal information in a public advertisement.

  4. KumquatWriter
    June 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Well adapted, Dr A.

  5. anonymous
    June 25, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Sad and entirely true.

    Not to threadjack but are you and Gina heading to court this month after all?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      June 25, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Monday July 1.

      The MPAA is sending its lead lawyer to argue and the EFF is sending its lead lawyer as well (in addition to my lawyers and Gina’s lawyer).

  6. violinwidow
    June 25, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Of all the things you’ve written about baby loss, I think this one hit home the most. My heart is actually hurting.

  7. The Computer Ate My Nym
    June 25, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Sadly accurate.

  8. June 25, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    The support given to midwives in the wake of these preventable tragedies is appalling – and seems so out of place with the incredible void left in families by the loss of a much wanted infant.

    • Lisa from NY
      June 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

      There are those who are willing to risk the chance of a dead or brain-damaged baby to avoid a C.

      Crazy, but true.

      Of course, the statistics quoted by those in the woo encourage this mentality, as though the chance of a dead baby or dead mother in a home birth is 1 in a million.

    • emkay
      June 26, 2013 at 4:50 am #

      The very fact that there is a website/list (sisters in chains) devoted to supporting midwives who have killed or had a part in the death of SO MANY CHILDREN is sickening. If it was AS RARE as homebirth advocates claim, there would be NO such thing as a list, let alone a website.

      • June 26, 2013 at 6:51 am #

        I’d never heard of this website, so I googled and am appalled by that list. So many baby deaths… sickening is exactly the right word.

      • Lisa from NY
        June 26, 2013 at 10:59 am #

        And the web site grossly understates the extent of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain-damaged babies caused by these midwives.
        From reading the weib site, it sounds as though nothing tragic ever occurred.

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