Eloquent, impassioned, awesome!

Wow! Wow!!!

I don’t know who this is*, though she obviously reads the blog. I can’t believe she is only 20 years old; she’s eloquent, impassioned and awesome!

*I just learned that her name is Megan Sandlin.

  • Lottie

    She brings up an interesting point. Midwives in the UK are completely different to midwives here in the US. Every pregnant woman in Britain visits a midwife for prenatal care. Should things get high risk, a consultant obstetrician gets involved. Midwives in the UK are part of our national health service, are regulated just like other doctors and nurses-they are not these lay people who seem to get away with all sorts in the US. They work out of hospitals, general practices-not random birth centers miles from any decent hospital!

    I had a colleague here in Texas who chose a birth center for her prenatal care, labor and delivery. She often asked me about British prenatal care, and I always replied”we all have midwivery based care back home-it’s normal”. However at the time I had no idea that a CPM in the US was quite so different to the midwives in the UK. I feel I gave her misinformation now; however she ended up ‘blessed by a beautiful natural birth experience’….though I have wondered if it was quite that ‘beautiful’.

    Like the girl in the video, my hospital birth with an epidural, great nurses and an OB who I absolutely idolize left me on an absolute high, feeling healthy, cared for and mostimportantly with a sweet and adorable baby boy safely in my arms. I relive the day he was born in my mind and feel nothing but joy.

  • wharves of sorrow

    This person is painting off midwives like they are oppressed.

    • KarenJJ

      I think the Australian government mandated insurance (or the government stopped providing insurance) or something similar. One of the more vocal midwives that feels persecuted by the Australian Government is Lisa Barrett (although I’m sure there are a few others that have been in the media lately with stories of negligence). Quite frankly I think she’s a sociopath of sorts and feels persecuted for good reason and I’m grateful the government is making her feel the consequences of her actions that she is refusing to acknowledge.

  • wharves of sorrow

    Thanks for linking this, checking out her channel now.

  • wharves of sorrow

    I am 19 and I have been reading your blog for a couple yrs. Glad I found before I was at the age to think about giving birth.

  • Amy

    I teach high school. This young woman isn’t much older than many of my students. And she blows me away– so well-spoken, so calm and reasoned, so keeping the focus on FACTS. Good for her!

  • Lena

    OT, but I cannot stop laughing. Rixa’s latest is a post about a heart to heart she had with her daughter about cyberbullying, and she told her all about the mean doctor who bullies her because the doctor doesn’t think anyone should have her babies at home.

    Rixa is almost at Anne Rice level of crazy with this. What is it with grown up not understanding what bullying means?

    • wharves of sorrow

      Anne Rice is not crazy.

      • Lena

        She’s out of her damn mind. Seriously. She’s currently on a rampage about negative reviews, claiming that anyone writing anything critical about any book is a bully, and she started a petition to get Amazon to not allow negative reviews from people who don’t use their real names. Go to her facebook page and read her rants and her nasty responses to anyone who disagrees with her. She’s insane.

        • wharves of sorrow

          I have liked her page and I know she is wanting to reform the Amazon system. I was critical at first due to freedom of speech issues and I know she once responded to negative reviews of Blood Canticle her last Vampire Chronicle but she is saying it will help indie authors which she supports but I am curious your criticisms of her proposed reforms bc I am an openminded person and still skeptical myself.

          • Lena

            I’m part of several reading communities online where we constantly discuss the importance of honest reviews and criticisms, and the type of “reform” she proposes would be hugely damaging. She basically wants people to stop saying anything critical of books, ever. Imagine having such a rule for any other product. Say you bought a vacuum cleaner and it didn’t work well–applying her thinking about book reviews, you wouldn’t be able to write an honest review on Amazon about how awful that vacuum cleaner is because that would be “bullying.” There are a lot of authors, especially indie and self-pub, who agree with this viewpoint, and they’re doing their best to damage the culture of reader spaces because their egos can’t handle anyone criticizing their work.

          • wharves of sorrow

            I agree with you, I don’t think this is actually about the indie authors, its about censorship.

          • Trixie

            Why should people without book deals be protected from criticism? There are lots and lots of dreadful self-published books out there.

          • Mishimoo

            Probably something along the lines of “published authors have class privilege, whereas indie authors deserve protection as they are more connected/exposed to the issues in society and can speak more clearly on the subject/s.”

          • Trixie

            Why should someone writing crap be coddled?

          • Mishimoo

            My personal opinion: They shouldn’t be.
            The one I keep running across goes something like “because privilege!” every time someone insists that there should be standards.

          • Amy

            And they’re short-sighted in doing so. If Amazon and Goodreads don’t allow negative reviews, people will simply stop trusting Amazon reviews and go elsewhere. There’s no way they could keep people from writing what they want on their own blogs or other independent spaces, so that’s where people would go for honest reviews.

          • Amazed

            Sometimes I recommend books for publishing (or not) around here. There is a section named “Reviews”. Like, reviews written by readers. I have to read them and sum them up.

            I’ll be very grateful if Amazon decides against making my work harder. Plus, it doesn’t feel quite right when read so many glowing reviews and you’re like, “What? This garbage got all that praise? How the hell am I going to explain that I am AGAINST publishing it?”

          • Lena

            Overwhelming positive reviews have the same effect on me. If the average rating on Amazon is 4-5 stars, I assume it’s crap with lots of enthusiastic fangirls/boys. I find things to criticize in my very favorite books….I just can’t relate to readers who do nothing but praise. It’s not how I read.

          • wharves of sorrow

            What do you think of her Vampire Chronicles?

          • Lena

            I read one of her books years ago. I remember liking it at the time but not enough to look into her other work. Good writer, just not my genre.

          • wharves of sorrow

            I would say the best book in that series is The Vampire Lestat.

          • Young CC Prof

            Yeah, I’m sorry, publishing means “making public.” You retain the copyright, but everyone is now free to discuss and criticize. Getting publicly upset about it just makes you look like a child.

            Now, if some nutjob reader starts approaching you in person to tell you your book is horrible and you never should have written it, or gets ahold of your personal email or phone number, or otherwise invades your space, that’s bullying. People putting negative reviews of your product in an appropriate public space? That’s life.

            And most readers can tell the difference between a thoughtful negative review and some idiot mouthing off.

          • Squillo

            I’m not sure what the value of differentiating “gangster bullies” from genuine reviewers is in this context. A negative review is either useful or not, and anyone genuninely interested in reading reviews will be able to tell the difference. Yes, it’s unfair and maddening that someone who simply dislikes an author can give a one-star review without ever reading the book, and hordes of these can bring a book’s overall rating down, but on Amazon each of those must have a corresponding review attached to it, and it becomes fairly evident if a one-star review is bogus.

            Far from helping indie authors, I believe Rice’s suggestion would be harmful to the vast majority simply because it would dissuade a significant number of people from reviewing at all, and the number-one problem for indie authors isn’t bad reviews, it’s getting any reviews at all.

            The easiest way for an author to avoid the “Amazon/Goodreads” bullies, is not to get into discussions on Amazon or Goodreads.

            Self-publishing champion Joe Konrath gives a pretty good rundown of this, and the debate in the comments is useful: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2014/03/my-new-amazon-petition.html

          • wharves of sorrow

            I am just using her term for negative reviewers who she calls gangster bullies.

          • Trixie

            Negative Amazon reviews are not a free speech issue. That’s the exact opposite of a free speech issue. Amazon is a private company, not the government. They can publish virtually anything they like.

          • I wasn’t arguing that negative reviews are a free speech issue but censoring them definitely is. It seems incredibly condescending that she thinks Amazon customers can’t be trusted to buy books bc they will be so easily swayed by negative opinions. Also today she uses an extreme example to say that all public places should have surveillance.

  • CanDoc

    Beautifully done.

  • Amazed

    Good for Megan for speaking up! I know it can be hard to do something so publicly when it will likely lose you some friends and is guaranteed to attract a crowd of commenters screaming, “You have not educated yourself! You have not heard my data consisting of my own happy homebirth anecdotes and you’re a hater!”

    It also demands a certain amount of humility to admit that you’ve let others dupe you, Not everyone has it.

  • Karen in SC

    Love this!!

  • Amy M

    Is this the woman who wrote about turning around on vaccines also? This was an excellent video.

  • Dr Kitty

    What a great post!
    “I don’t think birth can be empowering if it isn’t safe”.

  • Sue

    Wow – what an articulate and rational young mother! And yet another example showing that correcting misinformation DOES work. It might not convert every zealot, but it provides an opportunity for those amenable to it to understand the facts. Yay for Amy’s blog and for Megan’s video!

  • Julie Thornton Frank

    Wow! Megan, you’re great!

    Also a little OT, mono-mono twins born holding hands. Another set of mono-monos also due this week at the same hospital.

    • Anj Fabian

      They are holding them up for the mother to see! What a great way to do it.

    • Trixie

      That is so adorable.

    • wookie130

      In my hormonal pregnant state, this photo made me tear up a little bit! *sniffle*

      • Jessica S.

        Me, too!! We can be teary together.

    • Captain Obvious

      Oh wait till they grow up, they will fight with each other. But it is cute

  • Mishimoo

    Slightly OT, there is currently a discussion on improving maternal health outcomes for women in Papua New Guinea on (Australian) ABC. Here’s the link for the video for those whose interest was piqued the other day: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-07/national-press-club-dr-barry-kirby/5436988

  • Chantel

    I changed all my thoughts about home birth after the fiasco with baby Shahzad and Margaritta. Those of you who have been reading here remember this. My heart broke for that mother and baby. And her midwife Darby Partner is delivering babies with dolphins while Shahzad should be turning 3. Awful! Keep fighting the good fight Megan!

    • yugaya

      Someone I know lost their baby during homebirth, and that probably impacted me enough to start reading on it more in an attempt to deal with my feelings, because this is one of those moms who find comfort in believing that her child was never meant to live “earthside” physically. Somewhere during that soul-searching the death of Gavin Michael played out over the internet right in front of my eyes and that is why I am here. To help spread the word how needless and preventable the deaths of these babies were, and hopefully convince a lurking pregnant mom or two to go seek proper medical care and attention.

      • Amazed

        A homebirth baby’s death made the news here and I was, like, What? There IS such a word as homebirth? There is such a thing? There ARE mothers who prefer giving birth outside of a hospital? Then, the local homebirth cheerleading site rushed to make their forum private but scripts went out… mom looked nervous, looking for reasurance while trying to make it sound like a joke and that she believed in her body, her baby, and evil doctors who told her her baby was big and just had a not so reassuring US… They all supported her, loved her, hugged her and so on. OF COURSE, the baby died and then it was all, “She made her choice!”

        I was so shocked that I had to see where else on earth I could find such a bunch of loonies. Bingo! I found Janet “My stillbirth was less traumatic than my C-section” Fraser straight away. Then, I found Dr Amy.

        I am more than a little angry with the fact that while medical professionals attending a planned homebirth isn’t a legal option here, the loonies become more numerous. Guess what they chant? “It can be done! See? There is homebirth in the USA and its benefits are this and that… (repeating the MANA refrains).” If the USA allows homebirth, then it must be safe, eh?

        • Anj Fabian

          That’s my biggest fear – that people in other countries will think that the unregulated, anyone-can-do-it environment here is something to be copied, emulated and celebrated.

          Unfortunately, due to the problems countries encounter in creating state sponsored home birth programs, the American version appears to be an attractive alternative.

          • Amazed

            The truth is, there is much to be desired of our hospitals here. The conditions in some of them are quite jarring where luxury or even a nice environment is concerned.

            But they can save your life and your baby’s life. Running away from them isn’t an option if you want to make sure that those two things are reasonably safely guarded. I see the woo creeping here, seducing with sweet words, a nicer environment and… of course, the same level of safety.

            Not honest about the true value of the deal.

          • wharves of sorrow
          • saramaimon

            a bit of overromanticization of the noble savage going on there, it seems. my guess is they are a bit out of step with the local culture, who are willing to tolerate because of their financial support. but culture aside, my guess is that a service like this is very much needed in uganda. it is likely that the nearest hospital is a very long journey away. women birthing there would not be birthing in hospitals either if the center was not there, nor would they have access to an emergency vehicle. they would be lucky to have one midwife available. here, they have 6 government registered midwives. I’ve visited African health facilities in two different countries. in one, women commonly birthed in rural clinics staffed by govenrment midwives, and women who lived even further away birthed with TBA’s. The ACNM assisted in funding a government program to train the TBA’s in basic stuff like sterilizing equipment. in another, the hospital was often closed due to lack of equipment, and women had to be turned away or referred to the next city in those cases- and get there on their own. even on the best of days, they didn’t have an operating room. this program is funding government trained midwives. can’t compare africa to the usa.

          • saramaimon

            and oh yeah another african hospital i visited, complete with an operating room- seems they are VERY hesitant to do c/sections not because of a philosophy but because a c/section there is much less safe then it is here. complications are much harder to resolve. i observed them trying to coax out a presenting twin footling breech vaginally. didn’t work, so in the end they did do the section. thankfully both babies and mom were fine.

          • AmyP

            Jeevan sees a lot of patients who had had a previous c-section and then have a disastrous homebirth after that. It’s not clear what’s going on in these cases. Did the initial c-section doctors not explain the dangers of subsequent homebirth, did the patient not understand, or does the family understand but simply not care enough to spend resources on a safe birth?

            So, I think there is good reason to be hesitant about doing that initial c-section in a low-resource environment.

          • wharves of sorrow

            I think its uncool of them to be pushing their crunchy beliefs onto women who have no other option but you’re right its better than nothing. The biggest problem is this is run by an American CPM (though it is a Canadian non profit). It would be cool and I would be more supportive if it was run by a CNM either Canadian or American who could teach evidence based healthcare. You are right there is a noble savage/saviour complex going on here. I suppose that is to be expected with Western NGOs going into a developing country though. Its great there is an emergency vehicle. I would love to hear Dr. Amy’s thoughts on this organization.

          • wharves of sorrow

            “That’s my biggest fear – that people in other countries will think that the unregulated, anyone-can-do-it environment here is something to be copied, emulated and celebrated.”
            ^This is what I was responding to. I am not trying to compare the United States and developing countries. I was just realizing that a American CPM is introducing this to Uganda, what is an example of Anj’s fear come to fruit.

        • saramaimon

          The US has a long tradition of respecting individual freedoms. people may do what they will with their bodies as long as they don’t harm anyone else. that fact that the US “allows” something means nothing about the value of the practice. (***exception- illegal drugs. i personally don’t understand how that is constitutional if one does not provide them to someone else. but that is another topic. )

          • saramaimon

            but i don’t get your comment because medical professionals attending a planned homebirth IS legal.

          • Amazed

            Yes, in the USA where I am not from.

  • Chantel

    That’s was amazing!!!

  • Trixie

    This is Megan’s Voices for Vaccines essay. http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/leaving-the-anti-vaccine-movement/
    A truly remarkable woman with a bright future ahead of her.

  • Jocelyn


  • Megan Sandlin

    Thanks for sharing, Dr. Amy! Seeing all this support is so great.

    • CrownedMedwife

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and speaking with such passion. Many of us will end our evening with a smile for having heard the determination and commitment in your words. Ever so slowly, the message will come across and I promise it will make a difference to someone, if not many.

      None of us will forget the day CPM’s and ‘birth workers’ gambled with Gavin’s life and lost. This was the first time I’ve heard someone say his name aloud and hearing you give his name a voice in your video made him that much more real and the loss no less tragic.

      Excellent work Megan. Thank you.

    • Box of Salt

      Megan, thank you for speaking up.

    • anh

      your video and blog entry are fantastic! keep up the good fight!

    • FormerPhysicist

      Just want to add to the applause.

    • Amy

      You’re amazing! Your kids are lucky to have you as a mom!

  • chickabiddy

    Megan Sandlin also posted on Voices for Vaccines about deciding to vaccinate after being steeped in the woo.

    • Both pieces were very well thought out and presented, and she’d have a bright future in science journalism if she chose to pursue it.

      Also a guilty reminder to myself to avoid judging a book by its cover.

  • Mishimoo

    That was brilliant!

  • fiftyfifty1

    Really terrific Megan. Extremely well done.

  • MLE


  • Rebecca

    If you ever need an apprentice, I think you’ve found her.