Have a live Tweeted, professionally photographed, video streaming, non-technological homebirth!

green natural and bio sign

Hi, folks Hypa (short for Hypatia) Crit, CPM here to introduce you to the wonders of childbirth without technology. So few people have seen a real natural childbirth that we thought it would be instructive to bring one to you on an IMAX screen so we can capture every detail

Before I introduce our birth goddess mama, and our (irrelevant now that he’s contributed his sperm) father, I want to take you through our simple preparations for technology free birth.

Let’s meet the people who will be helping us. That’s Lex over there behind our large format camera, and Steve and Mike are operating the secondary cameras that you can see in other parts of the room. Sandy is our birth photographer who will memorialize the event with 500 photos using her 42 megapixel Hasselblad camera. She’ll be arranging them into a fabulous automated slide show for your viewing pleasure.

Oops, almost tripped over the klieg lights on my way to introduce Kelly, mom’s friend from high school who will be live Tweeting the event and Margie who is live blogging for our viewers who want real time access instead of waiting for the IMAX movie or the YouTube video.

How about the preparations for birth?

The great thing about homebirth is that you don’t need any of those machines that go ping. Technology ruins the birth experience. For example, instead of the thoroughly unnatural epidural we have a plethora of options for pain relief in labor including acupuncture needles (that’s Neveah our acupuncturist), cranio-sacral therapy with our therapist Rolf, a Tens machine, and, best of all, a 5 foot diameter birth pool (filled with air by an electric pump) containing all natural water!

The mess? Don’t worry, there won’t be any mess. We have every surface covered with rubber sheets or fabric that is specially treated to be waterproof.

Let’s meet the birth team!

Childbirth is supposed to be an intimate experience, so there are only a few of us in addition to the videographers, photographer, live Tweeter and live blogger (plus the potentially 7 billion people watching around the world). Of course there’s me, Hypa Crit, the midwife and my midwife trainee Krystal. Here’s Sharon the doula and her assistant Maeve. And let’s not forget out hypnotherapist Donna who has brought her hypnotherapy tapes to help in labor. We’ll be listening to those tapes when we’re not listening to the custom designed birth mix playing on the Bluetooth enabled speakers.

What? You’re wondering who is that in the back of the room next to the high speed dehydrator. That Serena, our placenta encapsulation specialist, of course.

You have to admit: isn’t this a lot more homey than the hospital with all those machines that could save your baby’s life in the event of an emergency? Plus, there’s none of those annoying strangers like the neonatologist or the anesthesiologist who would destroy the intimacy of the birthing experience by interfering and saving someone’s life.

What’s that you say; what if there is an emergency?

First of all, in the unlikely event that we are not trusting birth enough, we have plans for unforeseen occurrances. In case of emergency I have both the hospital and the ambulance on speed dial on my iPhone. If the baby doesn’t breathe when she is born, we’ll just chant “Breathe, baby, breathe.” Babies know the sound of their mother’s voice and that usually does the trick. We’re even prepared for postpartum hemorrhage. We’ll rip off a piece of the raw placenta and force it under the unconscious mother’s tongue and that should fix everything in a jiffy!

Could someone die at a homebirth?

Duh, some babies aren’t meant to live so of course they will die. But don’t forget: there’s a silver lining to a homebirth death. No matter what happens, it is never, ever the homebirth midwife’s fault. Sure the baby died just like the obstetrician, in-laws and friends warned, but that was just an amazing coincidence.

Would technology have saved the baby’s life? Give me a break. Everyone knows that technology never works, and it just ruins the birth experience.

131 Responses to “Have a live Tweeted, professionally photographed, video streaming, non-technological homebirth!”

  1. ngozi
    April 16, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    I always wonder about peopley who want their labors and deliveries recorded/videotaped/etc. Are they aware that poop, pee, and vomit can happen at anytime during the process? Do you really want people to see that?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      April 16, 2014 at 11:33 am #

      For Pete’s sake, I’ve never gone back and watched my wedding video, and that doesn’t involve crazy bodily functions.

    • anion
      April 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      I didn’t even want a mirror so I could watch the baby emerge (before we realized I’d have a c-section). And that would have been just me & my husband seeing it.

      What I can’t figure out is who else would want to watch it? Who is your intended audience? You want to video yourself giving birth so you can see it later, well, knock yourself out, if that’s your thing. But nobody else you know in the whole world (unless they are “birth junkies”) wants to see that. Nobody. At all. Your parents do not want to see it. Your in-laws do not want to see it. Your friends do not want to see it. Little Bobby’s teachers do not want to see it. If you would not be showing these people your ladyparts in the course of a normal, fun-filled afternoon or evening, then they really don’t want to see them now, no matter how hard they try to be polite and pretend they’re not shrinking back in horror and discomfort as you treat them to graphic, close-up video of those parts in use.

  2. Supporting ALL women's choices
    April 15, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    You never cease to amaze me with how unsupportive of women you are. One day you’ll wake up and see we have choice and that spewing garbage to downgrade another woman is showing exactly how you really think of women. Excuse me while I continue to make informed decisions based on sound information and not on an outdated degree.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      April 15, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      Do you really support ALL women’s choices?

      Like the decision to drive with a child on their lap?

      Or to drive drunk?

      These are also choices that women make. Do you really support them?

      How about their choice to not breast feed?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      April 15, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      I recently heard a news story that absolutely broke my heart.

      A young mother strapped her 18 mo old child in a car seat and set him in front of the TV while she went out to get drugs. The idea brings me to tears, and I have nothing but contempt for the mother.

      Do you support her choice? I don’t. Come on, tell me I’m wrong.

      Or are lying about supporting ALL women’s choices?

    • ngozi
      April 16, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      I have no idea what blog you are reading, but it is apparently NOT this
      And what is an “outdated degree”? Her degree is not in making stagecoaches, you know.

    • Durango
      April 14, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      Andaluz: too many babies have died there.

    • expat
      April 14, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      My take is that once you’ve subjected yourself to torture, the tendency is to give it some positive spin. *the pain took me to new spiritual levels* instead of *that was dumb, I wish I could erase it from my memory*.

      • MaineJen
        April 14, 2014 at 10:55 am #

        I’ve thought about this a lot lately, in connection with the theories of cognitive dissonance, especially Effort Justification. You have to do something to explain to yourself why you had to feel all of that pain. You have to make the pain worth it to preserve your own self-esteem. So you exaggerate the benefits of NCB because anything is better than realizing that you essentially tortured yourself, when you could just as easily have gotten pain relief and gotten the exact same result. (A baby.)

  3. Bombshellrisa
    April 13, 2014 at 2:19 am #

    OT: this is going to be the new sign on my front door! Can’t believe how many people are unwilling to vaccinate and then wonder why I wouldn’t let them near me or my newborn. Wonder if I can get one of those displays with facts about whooping cough complete with a button that you push to hear the agonizing sounds a newborn who has it? (I think that would make a great science fair project!).

    • Cellist
      April 13, 2014 at 3:42 am #

      I. Love. This.

    • T.
      April 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

      Anti-vax plague pit.
      Anti-vax plague pit.
      This is genius.

    • Maya Markova
      April 14, 2014 at 6:56 am #

      Great! I am going to post it on my blogs.

    • mamaellie
      April 14, 2014 at 8:31 am #

      I love this too. My daughter is getting over whooping cough despite being vaccinated. At least two other kids in her class have it. My little guy has a history of reactive airway. He got a cough but it was never confirmed to be Pertussis. It was terrifying for me.

      • Mishimoo
        April 14, 2014 at 8:52 am #

        Awww your poor munchkins! Hope they’re both completely better soon.

        • mamaellie
          April 14, 2014 at 10:54 am #

          Thanks. She’s doing alright. The fits don’t wake her anymore. She was getting panicked when they would hit, but she is handling them much better now. Hope it’s over soon. Little guy is pretty much well maybe because we knew to watch him and he got the antibiotics on day 1 of symptoms.

    • Mishimoo
      April 14, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Thanks! I used it as a reply to someone on FB who was trying to argue with one of my pro-vax friends, it did not go down well. I do hope that it will make her think, at least a little.

    • Jessica Atchison
      April 14, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      I saw a video posted the other day by the mother of an infant with whooping cough that was just heartbreaking. I literally sobbed watching this tiny little girl struggle to breathe. I think every parent who is considering not vaccinating their kids should have to watch this video and imagine that it is their child. I think it was this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3oZrMGDMMw

  4. Midwest Guest
    April 12, 2014 at 8:14 am #


    Have you addressed this yet? Please do.

    • Midwest Guest
      April 12, 2014 at 8:16 am #

      This. http://yonifest.org/english/our-vision/

      • Trixie
        April 12, 2014 at 8:52 am #

        Omg. Creepy!

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        April 12, 2014 at 9:47 am #

        The site appears to be owned by this woman:


        • Mishimoo
          April 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

          I may have snickered at her name a little, because I’m terrible. (Fanny is slang for vagina here)

        • theadequatemother
          April 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

          Previously a web technician at the women’s health center in Montreal. Yep, perfectly qualified to pontificate about maternity care…

      • Siri
        April 12, 2014 at 10:25 am #

        I feel like …. a vegetarian dinner tonight. Wurrrrrggggghhhhhh.

      • Lombardi
        April 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

        So……… that baby is all cleaned up and mama is feeling well enough to pose for a pic. How old is that placenta!?!?!?!?!

        “Do we still have the “human” right to give birth by our own personal authority when everything around us seems to exist to disconnect us and take our power?”

        Mean while some where in the 3rd world a young girl lives on the edge of her village, smelling of urine, as a social out casts. Because, she did not have the power and wealth to demand access to modern medical care.

    • Mishimoo
      April 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

      It reads like a satire or a very carefully constructed trolling of the NCB movement, especially with the icon that’s reminiscent of the ‘goatse’ meme. If they’re serious, then…wow, I hope the campsite for the festival doesn’t implode under the combined mass of ego and stupidity.

  5. Sue
    April 12, 2014 at 2:32 am #

    Same cognitive dissonance with those who stick to outmoded models like homeopathy but also blog about it.

  6. Hurricanewarningdc
    April 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    The names are PERFECT!

  7. Guest
    April 11, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Great post. In recent years I’ve noticed the correlation between birth photography and unmedicated childbirth/home birth in my local circles. It drives me crazy! There is absolutely nothing “natural” about a digital photographer using backlighting and adjusting her aperture while a laboring woman moans and grunts around the room.

    The obsession with the birth photography gives me the creeps. It’s almost as if capturing the “birth story” in black and white art prints is as important as a healthy outcome for mom and baby.

    • Zornorph
      April 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      I think it is, actually. It’s the convergence between wedding planning and birth planning. That picture of the child with the mum, that’s going to spawn all sorts of imitations. Next they’ll have a child with his arm up his mum’s cooter doing the Gaskin maneuver.
      Funny thing – I had some nice ‘arty’ pictures of Casper done the day after he was born. The (very nice) photographer told me that she often has trouble getting happy pictures of the babies of the crunchy set because they insist on EBF so sometimes the baby is hungry as their boob juice hasn’t come in yet and they also insist on absolutely no pacifiers to soothe LO. But she was able to get some really nice pictures of Cap because he had a full tummy and was very content.
      As for the birth itself, I took only one picture of the surrogate mum while in labor (along with her husband and waited until he was born to snap a few pictures with my camera. The birth itself isn’t an ‘event’ that you plan like a party to me. Save that for when you bring the baby home from the hospital if you want or when you have him christened or something.

      • Young CC Prof
        April 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

        Back before I found out I’d be scheduled C/S, I told my husband that he needed to bring his best camera to the birth, but that I would break it if I saw it pointed at me before I was finished and cleaned up.

        • Siri
          April 12, 2014 at 3:12 am #

          Omg, I remember literally pushing a doting grandfather out of my way so I could deal with his daughter’s blood loss – he was filming down at the business end and wouldn’t take a hint. Shove over, mate, or this video of your daughter will be her last! Midwifezilla is here….

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
            April 12, 2014 at 7:07 am #

            For some reason this reminds me of people who stand on their back porch and film the tornado as it comes closer and closer. Like whatever is happening in front of them is not “real” to them .

    • Ellen Mary
      April 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

      I wound up with a Birth Photographer in my recovery room after my Cesarean. I had interviewed her prior to my birth, but never felt like calling. She texted right as I was going into surgery & my DH invited her up. Let me assure you that I did not look my best after surgery! Chins for days!

      However, the OR team allowed my Husband to photograph the birth & those pictures are amazing. I am putting them together in a slide show to help with my healing process & to reclaim the birth a little bit. It is true that mostly unmedicated vaginal births are memorialized, but there is not any reason that should be the case.

      • Dr Kitty
        April 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

        My husband helpfully took a video of me receiving visitors after my CS.
        I look dreadful, but I say “this is definitely the way to have a baby” , “I’d recommend this”, “it’s so good, I have a baby, and it didn’t hurt” so…yep.
        If I ever felt bad about the CS I could look back at my slightly doped up, numb from the nipples down, blissfully happy self and be sure I made the right choice.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          April 12, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

          Re numb from the nipples down, one of my favorite memories from after my c-section was motor ability returning to my legs before sensation. Including proprioception. So for a while I could move my legs but had no sensation that they were a part of me or attached to my body. So I was sitting there, moving them, thinking, “And for my next trick, I will move this large object (which is totally not part of my body) using MY MIND ALONE!!!”

          Ok, so I may have been a little high from the baby too.

          • Trixie
            April 12, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

            I hated that feeling so much!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 14, 2014 at 9:53 am #

            I’ve been known to have odd tastes.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 14, 2014 at 10:19 am #

            I was also annoyed that they wouldn’t let me look over the curtain into my open abdominal cavity. When am I going to get a chance to look directly into my uterus again?

          • toni
            April 12, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

            Lmao. Glad you enjoyed it but that would freak me out!

    • Siri
      April 12, 2014 at 3:07 am #

      Adjusting her aperture, lol. Isn’t that what the labouring woman is trying to do too?

    • MJ
      April 12, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

      I’ve given birth to three children and have precisely zero photos of any of the events. Photos of the first born begin once we’re on the ward in nice pjs. There are a couple (literally two) blurry photos of the second born in my arms in the birth suite. And there are quite a lot of photos of the third born – again once he was out and on my chest. And I can tell you, ten years after that first baby was born I don’t regret it a bit. I was there when he was born and it began something incredible with so many points of memory that a hard copy memory if that day is just take-it-or-leave-it.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        April 12, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

        I don’t remember what we have for pictures of our 5 yo when he was born. I think there are some from the OR, but I don’t look them up or anything.

        Nowadays, I more regret not taking pictures/video of kindergarten roundup. That was so much fun watching him go about that process, and we had so much fun, we forgot to take pictures.

  8. Stacy21629
    April 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    An upcoming homebirth disaster, documented via the internet:

    • Dr Kitty
      April 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

      One thing I like about NOT homeschooling…if the teacher has a baby my kid will still get taught for the duration of their maternity leave.

      “I’m pushing my kids now, but they’ll really enjoy a 3 or 4 month summer break”.

      • Laura
        April 13, 2014 at 11:16 am #

        I homeschooled my kids while having babies. I took maybe a week or so break then back it was to schoolwork and our routine. The helpful thing about home schooling school-age children is that it made it so much easier for me to sleep in a little with my newborns, as opposed to the hectic early morning off-to-school routine I now enjoy. My older kids got their schoolwork done, life was relatively calm, I had older helpers, and we all enjoyed the newest baby. Those were good years.

        • Stacy21629
          April 13, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

          I agree – I’ve just started homeschooling my 4 year old and the flexibility is one of the perks. If life is hectic – for any reason – my child isn’t expected to keep up or get left behind. If say, gramma is dying in the hospital, we can take a couple week break, travel to see her, make the most of those last precious days. Or if his aunt, uncle and cousins that live in Beijing come to the states for the first time in 3 years we could take a week or 2 or 3 off and spend quality time with them that we won’t get again for years. If he was in public school that would not be an option.

    • DaisyGrrl
      April 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

      I’m trying to figure out what kind of medical specialist would see “no contraindications to home birth” in a woman having her 8th child with a complicated pregnancy. Even her OB was like, “Nope!”

      • Young CC Prof
        April 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

        I’m not entirely sure she asked the specialist THAT. More like, “Do you anticipate any special problems with the delivery, or do you think the baby will need a NICU.”

        • DaisyGrrl
          April 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

          It seems pretty improbable, doesn’t it? I was trying to figure out what the specialist could have said that would lead her to that conclusion. “I don’t see anything in the scan to indicate that he’ll have to go to NICU” makes sense.

        • Box of Salt
          April 11, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

          The specialist is also quoted as describing homebirth this way: “She said it’s like performing on the high wire without a safety net.”

          And: “She said if I did end up going to the hospital, she would still be willing to take the call and do the birth unless it was some catastrophic home birth transfer, so it’s really a win-win for me. ”

          To paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel: A mom hears what she wants to hear and disregards the rest.

          • April 11, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

            Wait. So the “specialist” said it’s dangerous and would do the birth unless it’s a catastrophic homebirth transfer? So this means “do a homebirth”????!?!?!?!

          • Young CC Prof
            April 11, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

            You would think that the mention of “catastrophic homebirth transfer” as a possibility would get her attention, but nope.

          • anion
            April 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

            Good lord, how do you hear that and think that means it’s okay? How many homebirth transfers are NOT catastrophic, and do you really think it’s a good thing that the specialist is refusing to take you if your transfer is especially difficult?

            Because if things become catastrophic, it’s best that no one is there to help. FFS. Yeah, that’s definitely a win-win.

            I really, really hope she does not end up in a catastrophic situation.

          • Poogles
            April 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

            “The specialist is also quoted as describing homebirth this way: “She said it’s like performing on the high wire without a safety net.”

            And: “She said if I did end up going to the hospital, she would still be willing to take the call and do the birth unless it was some catastrophic home birth transfer, so it’s really a win-win for me. ”

            That was the OB she was seeing, not the “specialist” (what type of specialist? I have no idea).

            “The OB I was seeing no longer wanted to also care for me when she found out last
            month that I had not ruled out home birth, granted everything continued to look
            perfect, and the specialist did not have any contraindications for a home
            delivery. I was a bit disappointed by such a “turf war” mentality, but it did
            not surprise me. She could not point to any one specific issue that she thought
            would put me at additional risk, she just doesn’t think home birth is safe in
            general. Obviously, or she wouldn’t be an OB. She said it’s like performing on
            the high wire without a safety net.”

            “Anyhow – I didn’t feel the need to try and change her mind or part on unfriendly
            terms – I am thankful for doctors who can provide high-level hospital care –
            when necessary. It may not sound like it, but she is actually considered one of
            the more naturally minded OBs in the area. She said if I did end up going to the
            hospital, she would still be willing to take the call and do the birth unless it
            was some catastrophic home birth transfer, so it’s really a win-win for me.”

    • Elaine
      April 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

      I just don’t get why someone would go through 9 months of pregnancy and all of the physical discomfort that entails (and I got pregnant fairly easily and had low-risk normal pregnancies, so double that for a high-risk pregnancy or a baby that took a lot of time/effort/money to conceive) and then risk throwing it all away with a risky delivery. They went through so much to ensure this baby’s health and I don’t get why they would then turn around and do a homebirth.

      (I know the answer to this rhetorical question, actually. They don’t think it’s risky. MANA stats don’t apply to them?)

      • Stacy21629
        April 11, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

        That’s what’s so stunning about this – the level of contact and care she has received from high risk OBs. I kind of “get it” when the only care a woman has received is from a quack CPM that chants “trust birth”…because I WAS that woman previously. But she’s choosing to just completely ignore all of that and rely on her previous ideals of homebirth. Staggeringly ignorant and dangerous.

        • Life Tip
          April 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

          I wouldn’t spend too much time trying to get this woman’s thought process. She’s pretty much insane all around.

          And she’s homeschooling her kids. I bet “staggeringly ignorant” sums up her science curriculum as well.

          • Stacy21629
            April 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

            I realize that, but I’ve been following this entire pregnancy. Maybe *I* am the ignorant one, but with all the technology and medicine she’s made use of thus far it really has surprised me that she’s still set on a homebirth. I didn’t see her volunteering for a C-section…but at least a “natural” birth in a hospital.

          • Box of Salt
            April 11, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

            Life Tip: I would guess describing her science curriculum as merely “staggeringly ignorant” gives her too much credit. My guess is that it’s actually contrary to established science.

            Her church is Young Earth Creationist:

          • Life Tip
            April 11, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

            I guess even calling it “science” is probably giving her too much credit.

      • Stacy21629
        April 12, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

        “MANA stats don’t apply to them?”
        I asked her about that too – to comment on the MANA and CDC studies. She’s ignored those comments too.
        Usually Zsu is more than game for confrontation (just check out her “woodshed” posts), but not lately. She’s definitely filtering out the stuff she doesn’t like – “KINDLY WORDED” or otherwise.

    • Stacy21629
      April 12, 2014 at 3:58 am #

      Another interesting aspect of this – usually Zsu doesn’t shy away from posting comments from folks that disagree with her, as long as they don’t descend into profanity and vulgarity. She’s posted and responded to disagreeing comments of mine in the past – including some during this pregnancy.
      She’s stopped doing that. I’ve posted several times on recent pregnancy updates about having a home birth for this baby and I sent comments for this post as well and she didn’t add them. And I don’t swear ever. So she’s definitely filtering out the stuff she simply doesn’t want to hear. Like how “catastrophic” and “win-win” are not compatible. And “turf war” is ridiculous when a CPM is 100% reliant on home birth for her income. Anyway…
      It’s like a car wreck. You shouldn’t look…but you can’t help it. 🙁

      • Mer
        April 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

        Stacy, I can’t follow because I’m too nervous for her sake, but when she does have her baby can you update us if you’re still following her?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      April 12, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      And,,,the eugenics quote shows up: “if 1 in 3 acrobats performing the stunt of “birth” at the hospital winds up in the “net”, how well they have their act down…” Yep, lady, your ability to squeeze an apparently infinite number of kids your vagina and apparently not give a crap if you lose one occasionally definitely makes you a superior being.

      I also note that her boys are “smart’, her girls “beautiful”. Way to limit your children’s possibilities.

      Sorry, I’m in a grumpy mood, but being implicitly told that I should have died rather than accepted a c-section always annoys me.

      • Gene
        April 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

        Yeah, a section is “ending up in the net”, aka “failure”. These people have no idea what a birth failure truly is.

        • April 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

          Isn’t that what the net is FOR?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            April 12, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

            I thought the net was for porn?

            Oh, wrong ‘net…

      • Stacy21629
        April 12, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

        Yea, I commented that the net is there to prevent small children from seeing the acrobat’s brains on the floor if he falls. She didn’t post it. 😛

      • Siri
        April 14, 2014 at 8:21 am #

        Agreed. One of her commenters cheerfully goes on about ‘fags’, and Zsuzsanna herself believes in the death penalty for adulterers and ‘homos’. I left her a very polite question as to what she’ll do when she realises one of her children is gay (the likelihood of this is quite high given the size of her family) – will she wish him or her dead? Will she wish to stone a daughter who leaves her husband for another man? Her husband’s views are similarly rabid, and extend to praying that Obama will die of a brain tumour, and women should be silent in church.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          April 14, 2014 at 9:50 am #

          The chances that a man will be gay increase with the number of older brothers he has. She’ll likely have at least one gay child. She’ll probably kick him out to die on the streets if he can’t find any way to survive. It’s clear that she doesn’t actually care about her children. It’s been known to happen, usually among people of fundamentalist religious beliefs. But maybe she’ll reevaluate her life and views and accept him for who he is. That’s been known to happen too.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            April 14, 2014 at 10:00 am #

            Aside from that, what happens when one of them has a pregnancy out of wedlock?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            April 14, 2014 at 10:20 am #

            They get forced to get married, no matter how little they want to, or kicked out.

    • OBNurse
      April 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      Why, oh why, did you link to this site? It’s like a train wreck, I cannot look away.

    • Troll
      June 18, 2014 at 4:35 am #

      Looks like you guys were wrong. She had the baby and everything was fine. Carry on with your anti-homebirth fear mongering.

      • Stacy48918
        June 18, 2014 at 5:56 am #

        I’m not “anti-homebirth”. I’m anti-IGNORANT homebirth.

        Zsu claims to be “educated” about homebirth but outright refuses to read or study any of the scientific literature.

        She’s IGNORANT and she encourages other women to be IGNORANT in risking their child’s life as well.

        Ignorance is not to be admired. Especially where the life of a newborn is concerned.

      • FormerPhysicist
        June 18, 2014 at 7:34 am #

        We’re all glad she got lucky. But make no mistake, it was luck.

  9. GuestB
    April 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    “In the unlikely event that we are not trusting birth enough…”

    Oh that is FANTASTIC.

    Dr. Amy you just made my day! I am still laughing…

  10. The Bofa on the Sofa
    April 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    If I ever decide to use a pseudonym on-line, instead of my real name, I am going to use Hyapatia Crit.

    I love that.

  11. April 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm #


  12. April 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    I imagine when there are more iphone apps that mimic the technology available in hospitals, midwives will likely adopt in droves because that’s different, and ultimately it isn’t an abhorrence of technology rather it’s an abhorrence of technology beyond the midwives’ grasp.

    • Zornorph
      April 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      I don’t think they will, actually, because they won’t like what it tells them. Like when they don’t want women to get ultrasounds or don’t want them to check the dilation. They just want to sit back and ‘trust birth’ so that everything will come out. Instruments are tools of the devil.

  13. attitude devant
    April 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    I used to think these satiric posts were overdone, but then that troll turned up yesterday calling you a buzzkiller because you were taking away from mom’s moment as the star of the event. I thought she was a Poe, but no. So now, chastened, I take this post as straight reportage.

  14. April 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    The machine goes ping when there’s stuff.

    Perfect, Doctor A.

  15. PrimaryCareDoc
    April 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Spot on.

  16. Renee Martin
    April 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    They love technology, just not the lifesaving kind. That stuff is a downer.

    • Young CC Prof
      April 11, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

      But you see, the livesaving technology doesn’t always work, so what’s the point? Unlike computers. Those are always reliable.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        April 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

        Hey, hey, hey. The BSOD is much rarer nowadays. It’s improvmn.lcmvr;lsamkl;awke r

      • April 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

        I hope not or my husband’s out of a job.

        • Amy
          April 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

          Mine too.

          • KarenJJ
            April 11, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

            Mine three.

  17. sdsures
    April 11, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    I know I shouldn’t be laughing either, but I’m a big Monty Python fan.

    • Aki Hinata
      April 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      True story. When I was put under for my wisdom teeth removal, my then-boyfriend now-husband looked at the oximeter and said, “Look honey, it’s the machine that goes ping!” That’s how I knew he was the one.

      • KarenJJ
        April 11, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

        My husband couldn’t do a tour of the ob ward at the hospital without asking about the machine that goes ping. Poor ob ward staff must be pretty over that one by now.

      • sdsures
        April 20, 2014 at 9:08 am #

        “That means you are STILL ALIVE!”

  18. Young CC Prof
    April 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    It really is amazing how many people on the Internet don’t believe in “technology.”

    • attitude devant
      April 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      There is a lady I know whose email is luddite at somethingmail dot com. Irony not intended.

      • Renee Martin
        April 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

        That would be an awesome email if it was ironic

      • Elaine
        April 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

        If using email is the most technologically advanced that she has gotten, that is kind of the modern-day Luddite. Even my Luddite mother is on Facebook now.

      • Mariana Baca
        April 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

        given email has been common for the last 20 years and around even longer than that, I hardly call someone with an email address at the peak of technological advancement.

        • Dr Kitty
          April 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

          I’m not sure WHAT you call my father…
          He got upset when they took the teletext stock market updates away.
          The fact that you can get the same information on the internet…nope.
          Does. Not. Compute.
          Doesn’t email. Doesn’t text.
          Can’t navigate a web browser. Owns whatever the opposite of a smart phone is. Doesn’t know what Google is.

          Bought the paper Financial Times and circled things with a fountain pen until he retired.

          Thankfully my mum taught herself computer skills and keeps up for both of them.

          It isn’t that he objects to technology (he loves watching rugby in HD), he just doesn’t get computers.

          • KarenJJ
            April 11, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

            My mum carries a mobile phone now, but carries all her phone numbers in a little address book she keeps in her handbag instead of storing them into her phone (most definitely not a smart phone). To make a call she puts her glasses on, pulls out her notebook, looks up the name and then types the number directly into the phone. If I send an email, I send it to Dad and he prints it off for her.

          • Adelaide GP
            April 12, 2014 at 6:16 am #

            That’s so cute. My mum is like that too. I said to her, Mum why don’t you do internet banking, and she waved me away while writing her latest sums in her bank book! 🙂

          • Dr Kitty
            April 12, 2014 at 11:09 am #

            We won my mum over to computers with spreadsheets and online banking (because this is a woman who uses double entry accounting for the household budget and balances her accounts to the penny) but dad…nope.

          • R T
            April 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

            That’s my father too. He asked me to help him learn how to use a computer but got too frustrated to continue after 15 minutes. It’s strange because he’s extremely intelligent and inquisitive otherwise. He loves to read so I bought him a tablet (I don’t know what I was thinking) and set it up so he could rent books from the library on it, but he never used it.

  19. ArmyChick
    April 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    I shouldn’t be laughing because this whole scenario seems to happen all the time…. But yeah I chuckled.

  20. Ash
    April 11, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Neonate born without a hand (congenital deformity) during homebirth with midwife. Pediatrician did evaluate infant at a later time (not directly after birth) but I think most would agree that this child should have been immediately evaluated after birth. http://imgur.com/9SNXul8

    • Siri
      April 11, 2014 at 11:32 am #

      To be fair, it doesn’t sound like a dire emergency, and the father seems genuinely keen to do right by his little boy, and to ensure all avenues are investigated with respect to diagnosis and management. I don’t feel any need to judge this parent based on the info available.

      • Siri
        April 11, 2014 at 11:36 am #

        I know of a toddler born with one hand missing, and the issues are more long-term, to do with problems with balance (he has already had a bad fall due to not being able to put his hand out), getting him used to the feel of a prosthetic limb (a non-functional one to begin with) etc. The actual birth did not give rise to any major concerns; he was delivered by midwives.

      • Ash
        April 11, 2014 at 11:54 am #

        No judgement to the parent here, and I am glad they sought prompt attention of the pediatrician. I fault the midwife for not recommending immediate medical attention for the child so that medical staff could do a more thorough examination.

      • AmyP
        April 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

        Would this have been spotted on a 19-week ultrasound?

        • Young CC Prof
          April 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

          The post claims than an anatomy scan was done and the problem was not identified.

          • April 11, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

            That’s not necessarily incorrect. My first son had catastrophic birth defects including no arms below the elbow. At the 19 week scan the tech wasn’t able to identify this because of his position, so we came back at 23 weeks. I still feel skeptical, because everyone in the family was saying “where are his forearms and hands?” But it IS possible to miss. We only had the second scan because we were LOOKING for this particular defect…

          • Dr Kitty
            April 12, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

            Bless you for sharing your experience of being Isaac’s mum. I hope it is ok I say that.

          • April 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

            Of course! And thank you.

    • Young CC Prof
      April 11, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      That particular congenital defect isn’t usually a sign of more serious problems, organ issues, etc. My grandfather’s left hand was just like that. Still, the parent did sound pretty freaked out (quite reasonably) and an immediate evaluation might have helped.

      • Young CC Prof
        April 11, 2014 at 11:40 am #

        Not transporting a low-Apgar newborn, however, is inexcusable.

    • anion
      April 11, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Oh, that poor father, he sounds so upset. (Understandably; I don’t mean to sound like I’m belittling him.) I hope he’s continuing to feel better/more confident.

      Someone ought to tell him about Jim Abbot, though. Born without a right hand, became a major league pitcher.

    • Dr Kitty
      April 11, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Sounds like they think it was amniotic band syndrome causing symbrachydactyly. Which is usually an isolated birth defect.

      BUT limb defects can be part of VACTERL, so yeah, I’d have thought an immediate paediatric assessment to exclude renal, cardiac or vertebral abnormalities and a tracheo-oesophageal fistula would have been sensible.


      • Dr Kitty
        April 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

        Not least because feeding a baby when he has a connection between his oesophagus and lungs is a very BAD idea.

        But I know that because I’m a doctor.

        They only knowledge I expect a CPM to have is that unless APGARS are 9 or above and the baby appears COMPLETELY normal, you transport for assessment ASAP.

        What I tell my patients all the time when I send them to A&E.
        There are 4 possible outcomes.
        1 is inconvenient-you get checked out, but all is OK, and all you’ve wasted is time.
        1 is inconvenient but worthwhile- you get checked out, something is wrong and it gets fixed.
        1 is convenient but dangerous-you stay home, something is wrong and it doesn’t get fixed.
        1 is convenient and safe-you stay home and all is well.

        Do you really want to gamble on convenience for safety?
        Is avoiding a few hours of your life in an ER really worth it?

      • R T
        April 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

        My SIL is missing a pinky finger and part of the side of her hand due to Aminotic Band Syndrome. She’s completely healthy otherwise!

    • R T
      April 12, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      Awww, poor dad! Bless him, he doesn’t understand his boy will be very adept with his one hand and the stub of his other arm. The little boy won’t know any difference, it will be normal to him! He will be able to play video games and sports! His life will not be very different than if he had been born will two hands. My paternal grandfather only had one hand and it never stopped him from doing anything! He had a prosthetic but it gathered dust in an upstairs closet. He was capable of doing what ever he needed to do with his hand and stub. My maternal grandfather lost all his fingers above the knuckle when he was 5 years old. He was poking a dynamite blasting cap with a small sticks and it exploded blowing off his fingers. He was a professional drummer and later owned a successful welding company. My father ran his hand through a table saw when I was 16. It destroyed his hand, but has never stopped him from anything! He adapted very well even though he was 40 when it happened. My SIL is missing her pinky finger and the side of her hand up to her ring finger. She said she was a bit embarrassed by it as a child and would pull the sleeve of her shirt over it when meeting people for the first time. However, she’s gorgeous and working on her PhD in education! This baby boy will be great and do everything other children do!

      • Dr Kitty
        April 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

        Is your family working on Lamarckian principles?
        That is an awful lot of missing digits.

        But bravo/brava for your relatives who are doing awesome things with the hands they were dealt.

        • Dr Kitty
          April 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

          No pun intended, because I’m not that mean.
          I’ve just re read that…and I can only apologise.

        • R T
          April 12, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

          LOL! We joke around that one of our relatives must have done something bad with their hands and we were cursed for all generations to come! When I was a child I was surprised to find out all grandfathers weren’t missing limbs!

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