November 1, 2013: This week in homebirth idiocy


You can’t make this stuff up!

1. Is anyone really so stupid that they could believe this?

From the festival of ignorance known as, comes this from Who the Heck First Thought Up the Cry it Out Approach?

Holt popularized Cry It Out in 1895, and it is my theory that the method caused both World Wars, twenty and forty years later, when these very pissed off babies became adults.

Because we all know that there were no wars before WWI.

2. The title says it all, The Freebirth of Apple Blossom Light Hawk Summer Willow Wind:

Before Peacy’s birth, Joey had told me of a Native American tradition where children’s names were constantly in motion – constantly changing based on their phase of life and their spirit. I tried this out with Peacy, but it didn’t feel right; I wanted her to have a name of her own. It felt like something she was entitled to, something sacred. I thought about it for a long time. I over-thought it. I came up with a name, Lynnea, and I shared it with Joey. He didn’t like it. He asked me why I had chosen it. I told him it reminded me of the forsythia – the first vibrant blossom of the spring.

“What about ‘Spring Blossom,’” he said.

I fell in love with this – I had never even considered a name so beautiful. Over the next few months, her name evolved. It became like a poem. It came to embody her soft, radiant beauty, her fiery spirit, and her deeply passionate soul. We gave her a nickname too, “Peacy,” because who can say “Apple Blossom Light Hawk Summer Willow Wind, come get your dinner!”?

Good point!

3. What’s up with the ridiculously long titles? Consider I Did Not Cut My Baby’s Umbilical Cord for Six Days So We Could Have a Natural “Lotus Birth” Just Like Chimpanzees.

Because, really, who doesn’t aspire to be just like a chimpanzee?

When we clamp and cut the cord too soon, we risk losing this precious fluid and gas exchange. Some wild animals such as our closest relatives, the chimpanzees must know this instinctively as most of them continue to carry around the placenta with the cord attached to their babies until it naturally drops off and is returned to the earth; what we otherwise refer to as a “lotus birth.” Other animals do chew the cord off shortly after birth, but as a vegan this option did not appeal to me.

4. Even though there is a whole lot of stupidity in the first three pieces, the winner this week, hands down, is this fourth effort, illustrating is what happens when your parents and their friends are narcissistic morons who think birth is a piece of performance art and the baby is a prop. No single quote could truly capture the narcissism of all the adult participants, so I urge you to read the whole post if you can stand it.

From the friend:

…[H]e was there, he was there, little floppy white boy was in her arms cradled close to her aching flesh, and he was out and real and so white and limp. For a brief instant we were flooded with relief so sharp it stung. Wendy announced, voice shaking, “It’s a boy!” and there was a flutter of excitement and happiness before Richelle seized the baby and sealed her mouth over his. “Come on baby, breathe,” she muttered between breaths. What? At first I thought Richelle was just taking precautions, just in case, but he’d cry any second now and we’d all laugh and say how freaky that was and how for a minute we were worried something was actually wrong. Right? I saw Dave Rush put his hand over his mouth and the smile slowly disappeared from Wendy’s face. He wasn’t breathing? …

“Turn the fan off!” Richelle snapped at the people behind her, laying Beckham on the floor, continuing filling his little chest with air. Turn pink turn pink, turn pink, this isn’t really happening is it? This is happening. Just cry just be okay, oh baby please please be okay!…

Richelle was still methodically giving the baby breaths. Dave was sobbing into his hands and Wendy was leaning over the edge of the tub staring fixedly at her baby, speaking clearly and forcefully. “I need you to breathe. I need you to breathe for your mommy. Breathe for your mommy. Breathe for your mommy!” … Dave kneeled on the floor above the little guy, begging him to breathe, holding the oxygen tube near that tiny nose, crying.

Fortunately the baby survived, though it is impossible to know the extent of the damage done by lack of oxygen both before and after the baby’s birth.

But wait! They didn’t nearly kill their own baby, they nearly killed the mother, too.:

Everyone in the room was focused on Beckham, and exploded into sobs of relief when he took that first breath. Nobody knew that I was still in peril. Upon Beckham’s birth, my placenta had abrupted and I was hemorrhaging badly into the tub. I felt large placenta-sized clots spilling out of me and the water in the tub was quickly filling with my blood. I began to see stars and felt like I was going to pass out.

The midwives turned their attention toward me and noticed the severity of my hemorrhage. They lifted me out of the tub, placed me on the couch, and administered pitocin in my leg and methergine in an IV. Katie held my uterus firmly between her hands and my doulas cut a piece of the placenta and put in under my tongue. I was pale and weak and I was struggling to stay conscious. I remember thinking that I had to stay awake, because if I closed my eyes, I wouldn’t wake up…

See, just like nature intended: a nearly asphyxiated baby and a mother nearly dying from hemorrhagic shock. But it was worth it because she could immediately snuggle with her baby in the comfort of her own home … No, couldn’t do that, either:

Once I was stable, Richelle began the work of repairing my labia and perenium that had been badly torn as Beckham was crowning. I endured 2 hours of careful stitching as my husband and mother drove Beckham to the hospital to be checked out.

The hospital confirmed that Beckham had some fluid in his lungs, and he was a bit anemic from some blood loss, but that he was really healthy besides that. They recommended that he be placed in the NICU for observation that night, but since that hospital did not have a proper NICU facility, they wrote orders to have him transferred to another hospital.

I did not want to be separated from Beckham, but my husband was worried and wanted to take him. My mom convinced my husband to bring Beckham home to me before they transferred Beckham over to the NICU. Dave explained that the baby was fine but needed to be in the hospital for observation. I told my husband that we would stay up with him all night in shifts and observe him ourselves. He very reluctantly agreed and dropped the conversation…

It took Beckham only a few days to recover. It took four weeks and a blood transfusion for me to fully recover.

Did the mother learn anything from this disaster? Are you kidding?

I am so grateful to my skilled midwife and the loving support of my birth team. Without them, the outcome of my birth would have been very different. I am so glad that I chose to have a homebirth, especially because I had complications. If I had been in the hospital, my baby would have been taken to the NICU and his entire introduction to life would have been different. Instead of being placed in a bright room hooked up to monitors, Beckham was in a dim room, in his mother’s arms, where he knew he was safe.

Yes, it would have been very different! The baby likely would not have risked loss of brain function from asphyxia, and the hemorrhage he experienced when the clueless midwife snapped his short umbilical cord, and the mother would not have nearly bled to death and needed a blood transfusion to function. Plus, she wouldn’t have experienced the two hours of suturing of her labia and perineum which had been torn to shreds.

Of course, had she given birth in the hospital, the mother would not be able to revel in her own narcissism, and what could possibly be more important than that?