Nicola’s noxious narcissism: when the birth is more important than the baby


Which came first, the narcissism or the birth?

Damned if I know.

Regardless, something is very, very wrong when the birth is more important than the baby.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]We rolled the dice thinking it wouldn’t happen to us and we lost.[/pullquote]

Take Nicola for example.

After being “disrespected” during her first birth:

For my second pregnancy I chose to sit outside the system and hired independent midwives. I chose to birth at home against consultant advice as I didn’t trust them to look after my best interests. I put in a lot of work and effort to prepare myself for a natural birth which payed off as I had a wonderful birth.

Her work and effort paid off in a “wonderful” birth.

The birth was not wonderful for the baby, though.


But i was very unlucky, my baby was born not breathing 40 minutes away from hospital from which he has sustained serious brain injury and will live with serious life long disabilities.

Now I will spend the rest of my life wondering whether I should have gone against every instinct in my body and done as I was told by people I didn’t trust. If I had done that would my son have arrived safely??

Unlucky? Does Nicola blame herself for her son’s brain damage? Be serious!

…And it is likely he would have had a better outcome if he’d been born in the hospital, if I’d been hooked up to cfm. What a shame that my trust had been completely abused and destroyed first time round.”


Birth is inherently risky. We rolled the dice thinking it wouldn’t happen to us and we lost.

Let me fix that for you Nicola. YOU rolled the dice with HIS life and HE lost.

It’s not a shame; it’s a tragedy that Nicola thought whether or not she was “disrespected” was more important than whether or not her son survived birth intact.

When exactly did the birth become more important than the baby?

Maybe Chrissy could tell us.

Here’s what she posted to her Facebook VBAC group:


I GOT MY VBAC!!!!! I want to share my vbac birth story with everyone.

What about the baby? You remember the baby, right? Ostensibly the entire purpose of the pregnancy?

Her was born at 28 weeks with intrauterine growth restriction, is intubated, in the NICU and potentially may not survive, but Chrissy knows what’s important to her. She GOT HER VBAC!!!!!

Carmina, on the other hand, seems stunned by what happened at her homebirth. According to the GoFundMe page:

T. was born on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at home by mid wife. At some point during his birth two things went drastically wrong. He inhaled meconium which filled his lungs and the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, cutting off his oxygen.

The midwife was able to rescusitate him after approximately 13 minutes, however, it is unknown how long T. had been cut off from oxygen intake, or at which point he inhaled the meconium. For the first 40 minutes of his life, he was not in Doctors’ hands as he was in route via helicopter to the Hospital.


According to his mother:

He was born at home, naturally with our amazing midwife … My water broke when his head came out and meconium spilled out … His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and I pushed his body out we could see he was blue and not breathing.

Our midwife immediately unwrapped the cord and started CPR. We called 911 and the ambulance got there in about 15-20 minutes … By the time I got to the hospital in an ambulance right behind him, they had him completely surrounded with a team of 8-10 …

The baby was transferred to another hospital:

Our plan was to wait until the next day … But then we received a phone called from the doctor that sounded very grim … We went to see T. and the doctor gave an update of how they cleaned him out as best they could and they were worried he had severe brain damage.

He underwent brain cooling therapy and at this point his prognosis was unknown.

It didn’t have to happen this way. Had his mother been more concerned about his safety than her experience, he’d be fine and she’d probably be complaining about her “unnecessary” C-section.

When did the birth experience become more important than the baby?

Maybe one of these women could explain it to us. Inquiring minds want to know.

361 Responses to “Nicola’s noxious narcissism: when the birth is more important than the baby”

  1. Heather Mantwell
    April 20, 2016 at 1:28 am #

    Using someone else childs photo without their permission to slander them is the lowest of the low. Scum cunts like u give women a bad name. Your trahs and their is a special place in hell for money hungry cock gremlins like u.

    • Fungus
      April 20, 2016 at 3:27 am #

      Was the photo in the public domain? If so, stop whining.

  2. mctesty
    April 19, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    You’ve posted photos of a child without the parent’s permission. They were taken from a closed group on Facebook. That seems pretty ethically scuzzy.

  3. canaduck
    February 20, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    I had no idea how depraved and obsessed some people are with the birth process as opposed to the baby until reading this.

  4. itry2brational
    January 17, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

    Irony of ironies: a feminist whining about someone else’s narcissism.

    • canaduck
      February 20, 2016 at 10:46 am #

      I sure miss the down vote option.

  5. Jen
    December 8, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    OT but I need to vent somewhere. My best friend is expecting her first (yay!). Her SIL has really been pushing the natural, drug free birth and my friend has said to her that she’s hoping for that, but if she is told that, for example, the baby is too big, she will of course defer to medical advice and have a c-section. Her SIL has told her that that would be selfish, and a small amount of pain to the baby if they were injured because of their size would be worth a natural birth.

    I am gobsmacked and quite upset. I know her SIL and like her, and scarily she’s well educated, but to think that an injured baby would mean nothing to her is abhorrent.

    My friend’s response was now that she’s pregnant, it’s no longer about her, it’s all about the baby, and she’d be happy to be cut open in order to keep her baby healthy.

    • SarahSD
      December 8, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

      Good for your friend. How is deferring to medical advice selfish?

    • Anna
      December 9, 2015 at 2:29 am #

      To me even minor injuries to the baby are unacceptable if avoidable. God, what are these people thinking about? Carrying a baby for 9 months and then subjecting them to unnecessary danger for the sake of … what??? Own comfort? Frankly I don’t think homebirth is even comfortable. The videos I saw didn’t look that way to say the least. All this screaming, growling, sweating and extruding various liquids in your own living room surrounded by a crowd typically exceeding the crowd in hospital. Therefore, it’s not even selfishness (a truly SELFish woman would want to give birth in, say, Cedars Sinai), it’s pure madness based on extreme narcissism and notions like “I always know best”, “Bad things happen to anyone but me”, “I am special”.

    • Grace Adieu
      December 9, 2015 at 3:38 am #

      Selfish of who? The baby?

  6. Veronica
    December 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    This is really sad. Look at those babies with all this wires break my heart.

    Sorry for my grammar, english is not my mother tongue.

    I’m the mother of two babies 18 months and 3 months.

    With my first baby, I almost buy the “natural birth” thing. In the first trimester I visit a birth center here in my country wich offers birth in water, all seems very magical and I wish at that time that my birth was like that. But then I asked the director of the center, wath happen if something goes bad with the baby and they said me they call the ambulance of an hospital 5 minutes away. But, they said, it is very unlikely.

    Im a freak control and the idea of wating 5 LONG MINUTES without oxigen if anything go wrong make me discart the idea inmediatly. At that time I think in al the brain injuries that could happen in that 5 minutes. So I look for another OBGYN and discart that idea. But I still want a Vaginal Brith in a hospital

    Later in my pregnancy, at 33 weeks I developed Hipertension. So at 37 weeks my OBGYN said he has to stop the pregnancy and can wait anymore so he has to induce me or do a c-section.

    I said him if he can wait one more week for the contractions to have a natural vaginal birth and he said NO, and if I dont return to his office next day he will not receive me as his patient later.

    Finally I return the next day and decided to have a c-section, I have a beautiful healthy boy who is the love of my life.

    I am very gratefull now that my OBGYN give me that “ultimatum”.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
      December 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

      I’m so happy everything worked out for you and your baby. I think sometimes people don’t understand that doctors give ultimatums because they have seen the worst that can happen and they DON’T to see it again/have bad things happen to their patients, if there is anyway to avoid a bad outcome( and of course by bad outcome I mean dead or damaged baby , or dead or damaged mother)

      I don’t like hospitals and I hate needles and IVs but I put up with all of it for my daughter and it turned out to be a good idea that I did. she got bad heart decelerations when I was pushing and did not come back from it so the got her out quick.

  7. Roadstergal
    December 8, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Novella’s Neat…. blogpost for today is relevant and interesting.

    • Mishimoo
      December 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

      It’s nice to know that I worry about the right things.

  8. Allie P
    December 8, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    These posts break my heart, but they need to be out there. Something needs to be done to stem the tide of misinformation, because ignorance of real risk is deadly to people who buy into this crap. I have a five month old, and I would literally walk through fire for her, so the idea of enduring small discomforts like fetal monitoring or IVs is a total non issue. I don’t understand how the same movement that tells women they should go on 24 hour nursing pumping schedules and ignore bleeding nipples is so worried about minor annoyances like EFM or pitocin designed to ACTUALLY save your baby’s life and brain function.

    Both of my children were born in hospital, the first via cervical ripening induction, the second we planned an induction and then my water broke before we got started. I had fetal monitoring, oxygen in both cases due to random decels, and epidurals. I would classify them as remarkably easy and quick births. But they were also the least important facets. One day — and then i had the babies. The babies were what mattered.

    • nomofear
      December 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

      Yes! I was a victim to the marketing, which I’m frankly ashamed to admit. I had a latent dislike of hospitals, so the business of being born was an easy sell. Today I realize it’s pure luck that my freestanding birth center baby came out fine. I was still brainwashed on all of it – I happened on this site when I was googling Ina May during my most recent pregnancy, and I couldn’t stop reading for nearly a month. I went from a ridiculous four – page birth plan and a confused obgyn to no plan except omg epidurals DON’T hurt babies? Inductions have BETTER statistical outcomes? Sign me up yesterday! This site not only gave me real information, but it allowed me to admit to myself that the freestanding birth center birth was awful, painful, terrifying, and, oh, entirely unsafe – and, that the aftercare was awful, too.

    • StephanieA
      December 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      I have nice memories of my son’s birth- went into labor at 38 weeks, had an awesome epidural, and minimal pushing. But in the big picture, it’s a blip in my life with him. When I think about my son his birth is not what comes to mind first. However he did find his birth video and loves watching it, which I think is adorable (and still makes me all teary eyed).

      • Megan
        December 8, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

        Totally agree. I had a horrible delivery with my daughter 14 months ago and it’s still just a blip on my radar now. The birth “experience” is just not as important to me anymore compared with the “mom experience.” 🙂

        • Bombshellrisa
          December 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

          I love the “mom experience”. Teaching my daughter to crochet, seeing my son smile when he realizes we are headed to the park, going to the library to pick up books, singing and dancing in the living room-those things are priceless. And they aren’t dependent on how you gave birth, if you breastfed or if you did baby wearing.

          • Megan
            December 8, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

            Yes, so far the “mom experience” has been my favorite life experience so far. I’m sure it will only get better as she gets older and can do more. And when daughter #2 arrives! Much more fun than pushing a baby through my vagina!!

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

            I didn’t realize you were having another girl, congrats! If you choose to have them, tea parties are going to be amazing at your house. Plus sharing all the books you read as a kid with your daughters (Anne of Green Gables, Little Women) and all the other million ordinary and yet amazing moments.

          • MaineJen
            December 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

            I recently started reading the Ramona books to my kindergartener. It’s a whole different experience, reading them as an adult…

          • Roadstergal
            December 8, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

            I love all of my siblings, but my closest-in-age sister is the one I really _like_.

          • Megan
            December 8, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

            Thank you! We are quite excited! As my grandmother was Scottish, I’m sure there will be tea parties (real and make believe) in our house!

          • Anion
            December 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

            My daughter #2 is eleven years old today. Unbelievable.

            The whole thing was even more fun the second time. Congratulations!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          December 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

          My older guy just had his 7th birthday. We talked a little bit about the day he was born. It was things like, “It snowed” and “you were born a little after noon” and “Oma and Paka hit a deer on their way to come see you” and “I was in the shower at 5 am getting ready to go to work”

          My wife’s post-op nausea has never come up, nor has his time under the heat lamp to get warm nor his first bath nor his jaundice. We do talk about how it was nice to have an extra day in the hospital before we went home.

          We do talk about how he used to like rubber duckies, and “duck” was his first word.

          • MaineJen
            December 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

            Every year on my birthday (*every* year…I’m 38) my father tells me about the day I was born. 🙂 What the weather was like, what time of day it was, what the doctor said etc.

            I’ve found myself doing the same for my kids, now. They don’t want the gory details, just the highlights.

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 8, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

            My dad still does this. It’s how he found out I was in the hospital having my son when we tried to keep it a secret until after baby was here (my husband answered my cell phone and handed it to me. I said “hello” and my dad launched into the significance of the day and how I winked at him after I was born. It took a couple minutes for me to be able to break in and tell him I loved him and I couldn’t talk because I was in labor)

          • Dinolindor
            December 8, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

            OT, but uh what does your 7 year old read? (Currently working on my Christmas list and am stuck on picking out a good book for my 7 year old niece.)

          • Charybdis
            December 8, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

            Anything by Beverly Cleary would be good; she wrote the Beezus and Ramona Quimby series. If she likes horses, anything by Margeurite Henry would be good as well. She wrote “Misty of Chincoteague”, “Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague” and “Stormy, Misty’s Foal” in addition to “King of the Wind” about one of the 3 foundation sires for modern Thoroughbreds, “Born to Trot” among other books. The “Misty” series is really good; I *still* pull mine out and reread them occasionally. I remember getting Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague for a St. Nicholas Day present when I was in 1st grade.

          • Dinolindor
            December 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

            So I was looking at Beverly Cleary and was afraid it might be too hard or old. The suggested age range on amazon begins at 8. Basically every book that I remember loving from early elementary has the same issue. Or am I simply too concerned with the suggested age ranges? (I like your suggestion of horse books, I think that would work for her. I was also considering Little House on the Prairie books based on a thread here about it, but never read them myself.)

          • Charybdis
            December 8, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

            Some of the earlier ones like “Ramona The Brave” where Ramona is in 1st grade or “Ramona Quimby, Age 8” are a tad easier. I wouldn’t worry too much about the age ranges. There might be a few words that are a little troublesome, but it should work. The “Little House” series is good as well; the first two “Little House in the Big Woods” and “Little House on the Prairie” have larger print and more illustrations that the rest of them and might be a little less daunting. Not that the others are bad, mind you. Paula Danziger (“The Cat Ate My Gymsuit”, “The Pistachio Prescription”) is a little old for her, but the others should be good.

          • Dinolindor
            December 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

            Thank you. Roald Dahl was also on my list to try out for her, but I think the first Misty book will be perfect for her based on what I’m seeing about it. The age ranges are hard for me to figure out, in part because I don’t really know how strong her reading skills or interest are. Also, I think my brother and his wife are not going to take too kindly to fantasy and magic…which kind of makes me swing back to “well, if I’m going to be the trouble-making aunt anyway…” But better to lull them into complacency on that front first, right?

          • Anion
            December 8, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

            You might consider the Betsy-Tacy books, by Maude Hart Lovelace. I remember loving them like crazy when I was right around that age (I was a precocious reader, but I don’t think they were too advanced). They’re quite old and quite charming, and if–as you seem to be implying?–your bro & SIL are religious, they’re going to love them; the books aren’t super-religious or anything, but their age and the group they were written for kind of speaks for itself, if you know what I mean. They’re very clean, and the girls all go to church (that’s not a big part of the books, but it’s there) in addition to doing things like cutting their own hair and getting into trouble playing in mud and things like that.

            Now that I’m thinking of it, actually, I seem to recall that in one of them–BETSY, TACY, AND TIBB, I think?–Tacy’s mother has a stillbirth. It’s very sad…but very matter-of-fact, because at the time the books were set/written, that was common. There were probably a lot of little girls reading them who’d experienced the same thing.

            Anyway, check them out. I’m pretty sure they’re still in print.

          • MaineJen
            December 8, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

            It was in Betsy-Tacy that Baby Bea died. It wasn’t a stillbirth, it was an infant death…I remember because the chapter where Betsy comforts Tacy about it always made me cry. That was one of my favorite books as a child.

            I just finished reading Ramona the Pest to my kindergartener (Ramona is in kindergarten in that book), he loved it 🙂

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            December 8, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

            And Baby Bee was based on the “real” Tacy’s sister, who died of spinal meningitis, a vaccine-preventible disease:

            “Ruth Evangeline Kenney (Baby Beatrice ‘Bee’ Kelly), the youngest child of Patrick and Rose Kenney, was born May 26, 1897 in Mankato. Maud wrote of her, “She was the pet of all. Her voice was sweet and true and she knew whole songs like Just One Girl, which she sang for the Kenneys’ delight. When she saw her father driving in at night, she would run to get his slippers. But Mr. Kenney was away on a short trip when she fell ill and died. George, the oldest brother, was away too, in the Spanish-American War.”

            Little Ruth Kenney died of spinal meningitis at the age of three on February 23, 1901. Her funeral was held at St. John’s Catholic Church and she is buried in Calvary Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Just two days after Ruth’s death, the Mankato Review printed a card of thanks from the family: “To the many friends who so faithfully and lovingly labored to lighten the burden of our recent affliction and to make it less hard to bear, we desire to return our heartfelt thanks. Words can at best but faintly express what we feel. But we know our kind neighbors and friends will understand. Mr. and Mrs. P. Kenney and family.”

          • Anion
            December 8, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

            God. How can people refuse to vaccinate, like those deaths didn’t happen? Only three. That poor little baby, and that poor family.

            Thanks for the info, though, I didn’t know she was based on an actual child. Just tragic.

          • MaineJen
            December 9, 2015 at 10:14 am #

            That’s horrific. Mark Twain’s daughter also died of spinal meningitis in her early twenties, and his account of it in his autobiography is just harrowing. They also had a son who died of pneumonia as a toddler. But you know, vaccines…

          • Anion
            December 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

            Ah, thanks! I loved B-T and B,T, & T, but haven’t read them in years, so my memory was/is pretty vague. I was sure I remembered the death of a little one, though.

            You know, we had an autographed copy of B,T, & T. It was in horrible shape (it was a little hardcover; the cover was falling apart, and the pages were a little wrinkly from water damage) which is probably why it ended up at the secondhand bookstore, but I wish I still had it. (And I wonder why my mom let me go through the book coloring in all the illustrations they had above the chapter heads, but oh well.)

          • Nick Sanders
            December 8, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

            Also, I think my brother and his wife are not going to take too kindly to fantasy and magic

            Well, there goes everything I could have suggested.

          • Roadstergal
            December 9, 2015 at 11:08 am #

            LOL, ditto. Does The Phantom Tollbooth count?

          • Bugsy
            December 8, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

            I was going to suggest Roald Dahl – such wonderful books. FWIW, our Costco stores up here in Canada were just selling a boxed set of 19 of his books for $20. They also have the Beverly Cleary set, not sure of the price. We picked up the Dahl set for a family friend in kindergarten.

          • Sarah
            December 9, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

            Roald Dahl, amongst his other admirable attributes, was a huge vaccine advocate after having lost a child to measles in the 60s.


          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            December 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

            Junie B. Jones is a little easier version of Beverly Cleary

          • Dr Kitty
            December 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

            I’m trying to get my six year old to move away from reading the Atlas at the moment (she likes to look at countries and their flags and read the names of the Capitol cities before bed- we do three countries a night).

            When I was that age my favourite book was an illustrated encyclopaedia of natural history. I’d look at the pictures of all the different animals and read about their habits and where they lived.

            Kids have weird reading habits, is what I’m saying. Don’t feel you have to stick to fiction or recommended age ranges.

          • Dinolindor
            December 8, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

            Good point. I’d like to stay on fiction only because I believe my brother and his wife won’t. I know I was reading a lot by her age, and not sticking to recommended ages at all, but I don’t know if my niece is like that.

          • Mishimoo
            December 8, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

            My 9 year old loves non-fiction, her current well-thumbed favourite is 101 rocks and minerals. It was ‘Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises’ when she was 7, and she also loves Minecraft + Adventure Time books. My nearly 7 year old will read anything written, and loves My Little Pony.

          • Klain
            December 8, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

            My 8 year old likes Goosebumps, Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Geronimo Stilton.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            December 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

            He went through a big Junie B Jones kick and then Magic Treehouse. Nowadays he doesn’t have a lot of patience for anything long

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

            Are you on Pinterest? There are lists for girls and boys by age, lots of books to suit all interests.

          • Amy M
            December 9, 2015 at 7:57 am #

            Mine will be 7 next month—they like Magic Tree House, Eerie Elementary, a series about a ghost named Kaz and his human friend Claire, the How to Train Your Dragon series and various non fiction they find at the school library about animals and planets.

          • anotheramy
            December 9, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

            Books by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the chocolate factory, BFG) are also a hit with my 7 year old.

          • anotheramy
            December 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

            Oops, I didn’t see that was mentioned further down ’till after I posted.

          • Dinolindor
            December 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

            Man this is the best comment community on the internet. Thanks everyone!

          • Megan
            December 8, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

            Where does the name Paka come from? My mother-in-law is Dutch-Indonesian and she and my father-in-law go by Oma and Opa. I hadn’t heard of Paka though, and now I’m curious.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            December 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

            Paka was what my wife called her grandfather when she was little. It was just one of those toddler-words that stuck. Her dad, I’m told, is very much like her Paka, and the kids have always called him Paka. Oma is because her (Oma’s) father was Dutch, having immigrated.

            It always makes it easy to distinguish between Grandma, Grandpa, Oma and Paka.

    • Erin
      December 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

      The problem I think is the same both here and in the US. Midwives.. they might be slightly different flavoured and/or have different motivations but remove them from the equation and everything might run along a bit smoother. The training or lack of it doesn’t make a difference if they believe the same thing and push it at the expense of everything else.

      Someone I was talking to today brought this up..

      (Essentially it’s from earlier this year when the Director of the Royal College of Midwives Scotland made a statement saying she wanted better monitoring of c-sections).

      “About 12 per cent of Scottish births are by planned c-section. Reducing the number of elective operation, which cost about £1,700 each, compared to £750 for a natural birth, would allow doctors to deal with emergencies more rapidly.”

      Now I assume that those 12 percent are mostly made up of repeats, breeches and twins but to read that article it sounds like women are deciding they are “afraid” and choosing a section to avoid the pain of labour. Every other medical field, your healthcare professionals tell you the truth.. my psychiatrist who I’m seeing as a direct result of having a baby doesn’t lie to me. My Father’s oncologist is brutally honest and yet bring a baby into the equation and that seems to fly out of the window.

      If healthcare providers want the traumatized, the angry, the upset, the bitter to engage for subsequent births then they need to tackle the system and midwives like this one who want to police what women choose because she thinks she knows best.

      • Amy M
        December 9, 2015 at 7:55 am #

        I don’t understand the “have a Csection to avoid labor pain” idea. With a Csection, you have pain afterwards. Either way, there is likely to be pain. The best way to avoid pain (assuming you are already pregnant) would probably be an epidural during labor. And on top of that, who DOESN’T fear pain? Sure, some people have a higher pain threshold than others, but most people don’t look forward to experiencing pain, preferring to avoid it. I don’t know anything about S&M, but I can only imagine that the number of S/M people who choose to experience pain that is the magnitude of typical labor, are few and far between.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          December 9, 2015 at 10:49 am #

          To be fair, I had a CS and freely admit that I had little-to-no pain. Bad breakthrough once on day 2 when I got cocky and didn’t take pain meds for 8 hours or so (very stupid idea, that), but aside from mild discomfort for the next few days (think aching like you’d associate from doing a few too many situps the day before), that was it. By day 4, I was off opioids; never even filled the prescription after I left the hospital. It wasn’t that I’m a martyr, quite the opposite! I just didn’t need them.
          I did have abdominal weakness for a couple of weeks, but that seemed more related to suddenly not having twenty pounds of baby and fluid and whatnot for my abs to push against than the CS.
          It was also very nice to be able to sit without pain.
          I know that not everyone has that same experience, but I must say that if I didn’t want a bigger family, based on my prior experience I’d skip the VBAC entirely and go straight to a RCS, thankyouverymuch.

          • Roadstergal
            December 9, 2015 at 11:43 am #

            I’ve had several surgical incisions, and they all healed quickly with easily managed pain. I don’t want to _think_ about rips to my genitals.

            If I were having children, I would definitely be one of those women wanting a C/S to avoid labor pain. Because avoiding pain is a very reasonable thing, FFS.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            December 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

            Hear, hear!
            I remember a poster either here or elsewhere talking about tearing through her clitoris while giving birth. That’s fifty shades of NOPE right there for me. My OB mentioned, fortunately, that if he sees a mom start to tear, he’ll do his darnedest to direct the tear somewhere where it’s less likely to cause as much damage. I told him bluntly that I’d take an episiotomy, even though he rarely does them anymore, over a 3rd/4th degree tear or one through my clitoris any day. Period.
            Guess I’m not enough of a warrior mama or something. *shrugs* Oh, dear.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            December 9, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

            Having a 3rd/4th degree tear was my biggest non death/brain damage fear prior to giving birth. Knowing how bad it could be certainly made me not mind my episiotomy so much.

            Sitting wasn’t so much a problem for me, but getting up from low chairs sucked, especially when I was holding the baby and couldn’t push myself up with my arms.

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

            I clearly remember sitting in my hospital bed, trying to get my late preterm son to latch on and crying while sitting on an ice pack. Then there was getting in and out of the car (the seats are the type that have the annoying lip on them) for doctors appointments and my appointment with the LC and the fact that my car has sport suspension which makes it a nice car to drive but not to bump along in as a passenger who is healing after childbirth. there was no way to avoid aggravating my stitched together and trying to heal perineum, much as I tried. On the other hand, my sister in law who had a c-section told me she didn’t have much pain at all other than some after pains the first couple days nursing. I would have been very happy with that. I agree that avoiding pain is a reasonable thing and planning to avoid it is quite sensible.

          • Roadstergal
            December 9, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

            Oh lord, sport seats with a healing vag… 🙁

          • Ashley Bruemleve Black
            October 7, 2016 at 1:36 am #

            You just described my experience to a “T”…right down to the lip of the car seat! OUCH!

          • Erin
            December 10, 2015 at 9:23 am #

            Me too. They were really worried that I had some sort of major nerve damage because I was wandering around the hospital feeling mostly fine physically, was even climbing stairs 24 hours later.

            My eldest sister-in-law who had a 4th degree tear couldn’t believe how okay I was, we went down to stay with her when the baby was around 3 months old and I was running across Ikea’s carpark chasing her kids who were trying to get run over because she still can’t run (the baby who caused that tear is now 8). Had she told me the true story of both her births.. I would have been demanding an elective section in the first place though.

            I only want one more child so wouldn’t ever consider a vbac as I have enough scars already plus realistically I think I’d be a lousy candidate.. stuck baby plus uterus tore when they were trying to unstick him from my pelvis but already had a midwifery manager suggesting I’d be supported in trying…. had to explain that I’m a different sort of crazy.

          • BBBumblebee
            December 12, 2015 at 12:33 am #

            This sounds like me. I had a grade 3/borderline 4 tear, and all the people I know who had sections were up and about faster than me. It took me a good 2 months before i could stand for any length of time or walk reasonably well, I was incontinent, and had to go through 14 weeks of intensive physical therapy. Even with all that, I’m STILL battling some ramifications.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head
          December 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

          It’s this weird NCB paradox – women who have c sections are taking the easy way out, but also c sections are MAJOR SURGERY! It’s the same thing from lactivists – formula feeding mothers are lazy, but breast feeding is much less hassle than formula.

        • rosewater7
          December 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

          I’ve been involved with BDSM for 10 years. I’ve never given birth. Having said that…pain for pleasure that can stop when you ask it to be stopped…pain from labor…not even in the same ballpark.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        December 9, 2015 at 10:53 am #

        That’s just it. It’s this deeply sexist “it’s a woman’s place to suffer pain in childbirth, and we’ll make you do it” attitude, and it’s very ingrained in midwifery in general. CNMs here are a bit less likely to have that attitude than their CPM counterparts, but some are nearly as woo-y.
        And, of course, women are the most common instigators and are far more rabid than men tend to be about this, like with most extreme sexist stuff. (Not that the guys are immune to it either, of course, but in this area particularly, women are the leaders.) Look at the morality police in some fundamentalist Islamic areas, or extreme fundamentalist Christian women, or women in some countries who figure they got their genitals mutilated, their daughters had better, too, etc. It’s like some sort of freaking initiation rite.

      • Sarah
        December 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

        Vomit. Doubtless she’ll have failed to factor in that a certain percentage of these will be EMCS. Probably more common than in the general, non-ELCS having population since the bulk of this lot will be repeat section, breach etc. Wishful thinking to presume it’s ELCS or natural, cheap VB. But people like that invariably refuse to accept that EMCS is a cost flowing from the pursuit of vaginal birth.

    • Anna
      December 9, 2015 at 2:16 am #

      I have bad memories about the birth but couldn’t agree more. Birth is one day. Your child is with you FOR LIFE. When they are 5-10-15-20 who’s going to think of the birth? You want them as healthy, smart and prosperous as possible.

    • Anna
      December 9, 2015 at 3:17 am #

      And yes, I found my c-section easier than attempts to breastfeed. My daugher trying to latch onto my flat nipples caused them to become incredibly sore and bleed and she still wouldn’t latch properly. My breasts became solid like stone, it hurt like hell to pump and that little amount of milk that was there wouldn’t come out of me easily. Two weeks of that hell, combo-feeding so she wouldn’t loose weight and the milk disappeared all by itself. It was such joy to wake up with normal breasts! And I don’t even want to think of toilet training for 3-month olds or carrying the baby in a sling 24/7. So yeah, where’s the logic? The self-indulgent infantile girl is supposed to turn into a holy martyr mother the day after the birth or what?

    • yentavegan
      December 9, 2015 at 6:09 am #

      Yes. Because early low tech “interventions” greatly improve the birth outcome. Rather then refusing everything until a crisis arises and then mother creates a birth “rape ” scenario in her mind.

  9. Melissaxxxx
    December 8, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    This phrase… “Physiological birth”… Over and over again. It’s just making me want to vomit. Almost as frikkin tacky, meaningless and overdone as “nourish!” on healthy smoothie yoga blogs.

    • AirPlant
      December 8, 2015 at 11:32 am #

      Nursling is my gag reflex word. UGH.

      • Amy M
        December 8, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

        And “mama”, especially as an adjective (mama milk, mama intuition).

        • AirPlant
          December 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

          OMG Milkies for breastmilk. My skin just crawls every time.

          • Charybdis
            December 8, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

            Yeah, I hear “milkies” for breastmilk and occasionally “nursies” for breastmilk and/or breasts. It makes my eye start to twitch uncontrollably.

          • AirPlant
            December 9, 2015 at 9:34 am #

            The entire trend of adult women talking in baby talk when conversing with other adult women. I don’t even know how to cope with that emotionally. It isn’t even breastfeeding specific, women who chirp about their baby having ba ba time or whatever turns my gag reflex just as hard.

          • Bugsy
            December 8, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

            Lol – we often call it “boobie juice” in our house. It was amusing until the three-year-old started saying it loudly in public. “mommy, my little brother needs boobie juice.”. I wish I had thought that one through…

          • Gene
            December 8, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

            We are another “Boobie juice” household. Though that is ALL my spouse’s fault. I just say milk or Boobie (in private, as in “it’s Boobie time!”Or, “want some Boobie?”). And yes, the older sibs discuss in public. Ugh!

    • Daleth
      December 8, 2015 at 11:43 am #

      I totally agree. What does it even MEAN?!

  10. yentavegan
    December 8, 2015 at 7:09 am #

    Unless you are immersed in the here and now pregnancy community it is easy to lay blame for births gone wrong on selfish mothers/narcissist gone rouge. The internet and the farmer’s market and the grocery store and popular magazines all conspire ( albeit unwittingly) to cloud a mother-to-be’s decision making skills with fantasies and elaborate illusions surrounding labor and birth.
    We the enlightened have to call it out everytime we see it, to who ever is within earshot.

    • demodocus
      December 8, 2015 at 7:30 am #

      That’s true enough. I’m science oriented and avoided everything that seemed too nonsensical, but if the nurse in your hospital-based prenatal class and most of the books you read seem hesitant about epidurals, how are you to know they’re fine?

      • yentavegan
        December 8, 2015 at 7:33 am #

        We have to spread the message.

        • Amazed
          December 8, 2015 at 7:49 am #

          I’m starting to think that old ladies’ tales might not be such bad a thing, after all. The moment my SIL announced that she was expecting, my grandmother and her own grandmothers started sitting her down, explaining in gory details just how mothers and babies died in their day and how careful she should be. My grandmother was the champion. (Admittedly, her babies, except for my mom, never made it to viability AND she was eclamptic with my mom. Full-blown eclampsia.) SIL mentioned that with them renewing their flat, the Intruder would do all almost everything alone – for the first time they got together, My grandmother: You should not lift anything heavy. SIL: Yeah, I am not planning to. Gran: No, you really, REALLY should NEVER lift anything heavy. SIL: I know. Gran: Keeps going in this vein and finishes with, That’s how women lose babies. SIL (admiringly patient): I know, that’s what everyone tells me. Gran: Yes, but some of us know it from experience! (Which is somewhat dubious to me. She might have lost one of her babies after doing some heavy lifting but what about the others?)

          At least they weren’t telling SIL to expect sunshine and rainbows. Being prepared for the worst and pleasantly surprised afterward is better than the reverse, IMO.

          • LizzieSt
            December 8, 2015 at 9:45 am #

            I like your grandmother.

          • Amazed
            December 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

            She’s a tough old birth. I like her most of the time myself. When she’s on a roll, though… She’s very stubborn, that’s why she’s still alive after a colon AND a breast cancer.

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

            My husband’s grandmother had 11 babies at home and had her 12th baby in a hospital. This was back in the days of twilight sleep and where you stayed 7-10 days in the hospital after birth. She raved about how she didn’t have to feel labor pains, how nice it was not to have to wash or burn linens after the birth (guess her midwives didn’t fill up the laundry tub and scrub everything and line dry it for her), ect. She recognized the safety of having her baby in a clean place where the focus was on her and her baby’s health.

          • Amazed
            December 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

            She was brainwashed, clearly! That wasn’t how home or hospital births were at all! Just ask Henci Goer, Ricki Lake, or Missy C.

          • Roadstergal
            December 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

            It’s like they never read Laura Ingalls’s books – she was in massive pain with her first labor, and got twilight sleep, and talks about how wonderful it was to finally be in no pain, and to wake up with a (small by today’s standards) daughter next to her.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            December 8, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

            It’s like they never read Laura Ingalls’s books

            I’ve read Laura Ingalls’s books many, many time, except The First Four Years (and Farmer Boy). I really didn’t like it. It was so different in style from the rest of the series, it was just hard to get into. I attribute it to a change in Rose’s influence. I’ve heard it claimed both ways (she was responsible for TFFY, and that she was responsible for the rest of the series and didn’t do anything with TFFY), but it’s clear that TFFY is in a very different style from the rest of the series.

            As for Farmer Boy, I just didn’t like it.

          • AirPlant
            December 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

            I skipped both of those books too and for the exact same reason!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            December 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

            I didn’t technically skip either. I’ve read them both. I just didn’t like them and therefore never read them again. Meanwhile, I’ve read the other books dozens of times. The Long Winter is still one of my favorite books of all time.

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

            I loved The Long Winter, I read it in second grade and it’s been a favorite ever since.

          • Roadstergal
            December 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

            I really enjoyed The Long Winter.

          • Roadstergal
            December 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

            I read every single one and loved them as a little girl. I noticed the differences in narrative voice with Farmer Boy and First Four Years, but it didn’t bug me.

            I did go back and read them recently and was a bit horrified. But I just figured most kids would have read them, and that birth story stuck with me through to adulthood…

          • Clorinda Madsen
            December 8, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

            The First Four Years was still in draft stage. She had begun work on it but hadn’t gotten anywhere near polishing it to make it fit when Laura died. Roger Lea McBride, the executor of Rose Wilder Lane’s estate found the manuscript in Rose’s things after her death. And it was written in Laura’s hand in the little dime store notebooks Laura would use. Rose hadn’t even started editing it.

            There is speculation that all those rough things happening the first few years, two births, death of her son, the diphtheria, the crop failures, etc. were just so hard to write about and edit into a more rosy, we shall overcome, style that she gave up on it. Especially since, while things were looking up for them some at the end of the fourth year, life kept being hard until they moved to the Ozarks.

          • Medwife
            December 8, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

            And her second child was born too quickly for the doctor to get there, so she had him “naturally”, but he sadly died shortly after that “perfect” birth. Somehow I think his death mattered more to her than the fact that she birthed him awake and with full sensation.

          • nomofear
            December 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

            Yes! My 95-yr old grandmother had all four kids in that era. I figured it out while reading the NCB stuff and asked her about it, fully expecting to hear how awful it was. Nope! She loved it, it was a party, no pain/memory, just a sweet baby at the end. I actually believed that she must just be making light of a terrible situation. Until I woke up to my own NCB brainwashing, that is. Now I take her words at face value.

          • Bombshellrisa
            December 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

            Every woman I have listened to talk about their experience with twilight sleep, the overwhelming response was a positive one.
            The other thing that I had heard from women who gave birth at home during the time NCBers look back at with rose colored glasses is that they had tearing that their midwives could not fix. My husband’s grandmother was able to get some kind of repair done after her 12th baby was born, her worst injury had happened with the birth of her first d she had gone all that time between suffering because there was no way to get help.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            December 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

            One of my grandmothers-in-law was just about the sweetest woman who ever lived, and she remembered all too vividly just how wrong birth could go. One of her few “rules” as the family matriarch was that if someone went into labor, she should get a call ASAP so she could pray for mom and baby until everything was over and everyone was okay. She’s since passed on, but I firmly believe that when the next kid makes his or her appearance, she’ll be praying for me anyway, and probably utterly delighted that she doesn’t have to wait for a husband to get a minute in order to call her and let her know what’s up!

          • Gatita
            December 8, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

            My MIL once told us a story from her childhood about the next door neighbor’s baby dying and she ended it by saying, “Babies died back then. They just did. It was sad but it happened all the time.” Serious reality check for me and my husband.

          • Roadstergal
            December 9, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

            And when babies die all the time, how can it possibly be hardwired into us to ‘bond’ in a specific way right after birth, to a baby that might well die, when you have an ‘insurance’ litter to look after? ‘Bonding’ would be best left until later… ugh, the ‘natural’ crowd just pushes such profoundly unnatural things.

    • LizzieSt
      December 8, 2015 at 9:29 am #

      Amen! It’s important to remember that it’s not just the crunchy crowd whose judgment can be clouded by the natural vaginal birth=good and interventions/cesarean=bad orthodoxy. Even a brilliant person like the scientist Alice Dreger can be sucked in. I wish I could tell her about the “sexy natural birth” (her phrasing, not mine) that caused my brother-in-law to suffer severe brain damage.

    • nomofear
      December 8, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

      Don’t forget that when it comes to breastfeeding, too. I’m nursing, and people will try to congratulate me, and/or will start, like, apologizing to me/the universe? That they couldn’t breastfeed their babies. I stop them. I tell them it’s just chance that milk flows from me like water from a faucet. And I’m not working right now, so that makes it a million times easier. And there’s no evidence that it’s better than formula. And screw mom guilt!

    • SarahSD
      December 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

      Yes! And I think those of us who once believed the NCB line are especially well positioned to meet these women partway. I had a conversation with a friend who had her first baby at a CNM-run freestanding birth center. She repeated many of the NCB platitudes about unnecessary intervention, domineering doctors, pleasant experiences OOH, and cost savings. I talked about how I used to believe a lot of these things uncritically and that I now see that I had been set up to see things that way through the unfounded claims of NCB culture. I couldn’t effectively persuade her that a hospital would be safer or to consider a hospital next time. She did know that there were two kinds of midwives and that CNMs had formal medical training, and she agreed that strict risking-out policies were a GOOD sign that these midwives were safer practitioners (rather than looking for midwives who see everything under the sun as a “variation of normal”). I don’t know how much of her agreeing with me on that was her confirmation bias (she chose CNMs and remained low risk, so things went “her way”). But I have to hope that our conversations could be the beginning of her seeing the facade crumble. Or not.

      • yentavegan
        December 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

        Google Vylette Moon. Her tragic story is why free standing CNM run birthing centers are nothing more than a home birth in someone else’s living room.

    • StephanieA
      December 8, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

      I was really annoyed at my OB appointment last week- I was skimming a Fit Pregnancy magazine and it suggested further reading/video recommendations for moms who enjoyed Business of Being Born. Mainstream magazines are promoting this nonsense, so it’s no wonder that so many mothers fall into the woo trap.

    • Hilary
      December 8, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

      Yes! Homebirth/birth center/NCB, and AP, is very much mainstream where I live. And, I would say, on the internet. When I was pregnant, I had one awful night where I couldn’t sleep because I had read so many things that made me utterly terrified of giving birth in a hospital. (A poorly placed epidural will cause you to have chronic back pain and/or paralysis for the rest of your life! Horrors of c-sections! That kind of thing.) I also stumbled across a book in a local bookstore that was full of vaccine horror stories and misinformation that gave me nightmares for a while. If I, who am strongly pro-hospital birth and strongly pro-vaccine, was so unsettled by such warnings, then how can I judge other women for falling for them?

  11. Anna
    December 8, 2015 at 7:09 am #

    All that we do and all the choices we make return to US. Women who placed their babies’ life, health and well-being above their own comfort and wishes will be raising healthy happy children with intact intellectual ability. Their c-section scars will have healed and faded and so will have their memories of each particluar birth, leaving in mind only the image of a lovely healthy newborn in their arms. Women, who “finally got their VBAC” at their babies’ expense, on the contrary, will be living a more and more miserable life year after year. Will they think much of their VBAC some 5-6 years from now? Not very likely, they will have an intellectually deprived kid to look after. Was it worth it? Certainly not. Too bad they will not be the only ones suffering from their selfishness. But today only one thing matters. “I got my VBAC”!

    • Bugsy
      December 8, 2015 at 11:51 am #

      I’m thinking some of them will continue to focus on their vaginal prowess, frankly.

      • Roadstergal
        December 8, 2015 at 11:53 am #

        That would be an awesome name for a female punk band.

        • Anion
          December 8, 2015 at 11:59 am #

          Some friends of mine (years ago, when I was a little punk girl) had a band called Clitaurus Rex. 🙂

    • Hilary
      December 8, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

      “Women who placed their babies’ life, health and well-being above their
      own comfort and wishes will be raising healthy happy children with
      intact intellectual ability.”

      Wait – what??? Are you saying every time a child has an intellectual disability it’s the mother’s fault?

      • Mishimoo
        December 9, 2015 at 12:08 am #

        No, of course not. Simply that some birth choices do result in trauma to the neonate which can cause intellectual disabilities and/or physical ones, and this should not be celebrated.

      • Anna
        December 9, 2015 at 2:10 am #

        Certainly not. I meant such cases like in the article: homebirth, risky VBAC etc. When the mother clearly behaves irresponsibly. As for women raising disabled children through no fault of their own I feel for them deeply. Terrible/unfair things do happen in life. However, I do believe such women feel very differently knowing that they have done all they could and there’s no burden of guilt like for homebirth mothers. It does help to know this.

  12. Brooke
    December 8, 2015 at 2:23 am #

    So the blog that’s linked in the begining is using these examples as to why women shouldn’t be belittled and disrespected in the healthcare setting; they choose more dangerous births settings that have worse birth outcomes. So let’s write a counterpoint that paints women as being selfish and narcissistic. That should help right?

    • Who?
      December 8, 2015 at 2:48 am #

      The baby has a brain injury, Brooke, I bet if he could express himself he’d say he feels pretty disrespected by a mother who put her experience over the safey of his brain.

      Or do we not care about that, so much as mother getting everything she wants?

    • yugaya
      December 8, 2015 at 3:18 am #

      Ah but of course our resident stupid chimes in. Hey Brooke, any updates on the source of your claim that a CS rate of 5% is recommended for those of us who remember how stupid your previous comments here were?

    • Chi
      December 8, 2015 at 3:22 am #

      Um, they ARE selfish and narcissistic if they put their EXPERIENCE of birth ABOVE the health and safety of their child. Sorry, but they ARE. Because any sane, rational parent would not knowingly take a risk with their child’s life like that. Not when it could be avoided, or at the very least minimized.

      • yentavegan
        December 8, 2015 at 7:20 am #

        No. they are under the powerful control of brainwashing midwives and the whole alternative health industry. It looks like narcissism from our viewpoint but it is really a desperate cry of cognitive dissonance.

      • Allie P
        December 8, 2015 at 9:56 am #

        THey aren’t knwoing. I think they are deluded. THey are told that nothing bad will happen, that indicators are “variations on normal” etc.

        • Chi
          December 8, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

          Yeah we need to do more to stop the people who are deluding them. Because any and I mean ANY healthcare provider who is in such a huge position of trust has an obligation to tell the truth to their patient, even if the patient may not like it. This includes the risks of things like breech births, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia etc etc et.

          Why lie to them and let them carry on thinking everything is great when it isn’t? Oh that’s right, because if they risk out, they don’t get paid.

          I think they need to get malpractice insurance and be liable to lawsuits. Lives are LITERALLY in their hands and they need to be realistic about the dangers. The midwives delude themselves into thinking they can handle it, and of course because the mothers trust them, they go along for the ride.

          A lot of this ‘you had an empowering birth experience that YOU wanted’ is just damage control designed to make the mothers feel good about the shit that happened and/or switch the blame onto them.

    • anotheramy
      December 8, 2015 at 5:12 am #

      Beverly Beech’s definition of “normal birth” in the blog post you mentioned disgusts me. Excluding frequently indicated interventions like inductions, AROM, or epidurals (hello! Women’s request!) from “normal birth” just seems wrong…. why elevate common interventions to traumatic events and makes women feel bad that they didn’t have a “normal” birth/ didn’t birth “correctly”, despite the fact that mom and baby were healthy the entire time? maybe if NCB advocates didn’t call things like AROM “abnormal” and imply a woman was “disrespected” by receiving interventions that can prevent worse complications, women wouldn’t feel the need to turn to more dangerous birth settings.

      • yugaya
        December 8, 2015 at 7:13 am #

        “A mother has a fast, intervention free physiological birth, but she is shouted at by staff as they are panicking that things are happening quicker than anticipated.”

        If you believe the author of that blog then you believe that those mean, ugly medical care birth attendants were traumatising that poor woman for no good reason at all except for the fact that her birth did not fit with their idea of how long a labour should last.

        Except that wasn’t true at all, because all precipitous birth is classified as abnormal labour and obstetric emergency situation, and it comes with increase in all major complications for both the baby and the mother.

        • demodocus
          December 8, 2015 at 7:49 am #

          Professionals should not panic no matter how precipitous the labor. Shudder in reaction later, yes, but that’s a different matter.
          I do know nobody panicked when I pushed unusually quickly for a first-timer, especially once kiddo’s head was delivered. Unless mildly surprised expressions and a “well that was fast for a first-timer” count as panic.

          • Amazed
            December 8, 2015 at 7:54 am #

            Do we know that they panicked? Because it looks like a panicking staff is a requisite for the narrative of brave natural and sadly disrespected mama.

            My mom certainly remembers a midwife panicking, though, when she drifted out of the dark in the midst of her PPH. The woman (an acquaintance of her) was saying, “It isn’t there, it isn’t there!” about her pulse or blood pressure. Presumably while doing her work, though.

          • demodocus
            December 8, 2015 at 8:07 am #

            Oh, I doubt it. I just figured it happens once in a great while so I said “should” rather than “don’t”

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            December 8, 2015 at 8:11 am #

            You know, I’ve seen some pretty horrible things in my time as a doctor. That includes being in the closest Level 1 trauma center to Ground Zero on September 11th and having over 3000 people come through our ER doors in just a few hours, as sirens screamed outside, fighter jets roared overhead, and we had no fucking clue what was happening to our world.

            You know what I’ve never seen? Medical personnel panicking. Seriously. Never. Not once.

            Somehow I doubt the narrative of doctors and nurses screaming and panicking because of a precipitous birth.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 8, 2015 at 9:18 am #

            I don’t believe it either.
            I can believe staff had to raise their voices to be heard above someone screaming in labour.
            I can believe that the room filled with people and there was a rush to get the equipment out.
            But that doesn’t equal panic.

            Just like it might look like everyone is panicking when an arrest code is called and they drop everything and run to get the crash cart while shouting at each other about who needs to do what, but it isn’t panic, it is a well practised routine.

          • Roadstergal
            December 8, 2015 at 11:30 am #

            I’ve seen professionals – health care and others – in emergency situations, and they don’t panic – they get incredibly focused. All friendly banter and other external distractions go away, and every iota of focus goes to the emergency at hand.

            I do wonder if that’s the source of some of these ‘disrespecting’ stories. “The doctor and nurses didn’t talk to me, they just did things!” They didn’t realize the emergency they were in…

          • Toni35
            December 8, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

            This! With my fourth child I showed up obviously in active labor, but still able to chat and joke around and whatnot. The nurses were casually setting things up when the in house OB came to check me. When he announced I was complete, the whole mood of the room shifted. But it wasn’t “panic” by any stretch; they just focused and sped up the process of what they were already doing. I found it funny and told the nurses not to worry – I wasn’t feeling pushy yet and my water hadn’t even broken. My nurse just said, “You just keep up that great control you have!” And went on about starting an IV and getting things ready. Yeah, the chit chat pretty much stopped at that point, lol, but I’m sure they are well aware that with a completely dialated multip, delivery can happen in minutes. My doc showed up, broke my water, and two pushes later offspring the fourth was here. Then we got back to the joking and the small talk. But, then, I understood that me being complete meant it was time to get down to business. No one was unfriendly or disrespectful about it. They were just doing what they needed to in order to ensure that baby would arrive safely (and I appreciated the fast, efficient manner in which the IV was started, PPH is a real concern after four pregnancies!).

          • Roadstergal
            December 9, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

            “PPH is a real concern after four pregnancies!”

            We had a family get-together in November, and I ended up sharing a hotel room with my oldest sister. She told me stories about my (late) mom that I didn’t know, and one that stuck with me is how she approached my birth (last of 4, and mom was then in her mid-40s – my sister was 12, old enough to have an idea of what was going on). I knew I was born in a hospital, because mom always pointed it out to me, but my sister told me about how mom was very concerned about what could go wrong with a 4th pregnancy when she was that age. She had gotten three kids out the typical exit, and had very little desire for a C-section, but the most important thing was to get me and her out alive. Which we did, and I don’t know if any gory details ensured, but she was in the right place if they did.

          • demodocus
            December 8, 2015 at 10:16 am #

            Oh, I didn’t either. I’m just not assuming anything, because my experience is limited.

          • Gene
            December 8, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

            I’ve had a pretty bad stretch of cases over the past few weeks. Ones that made hardened police cry in the ambulance bay and the hospital chaplains visit the ED multiple times a day to make sure the staff were ok. One of the secretaries pulled me aside and said how much she admired my cool during the cases. I told her it’s my job not to panic. I’m the leader. If I panic, I’m failing at my job. Calm in public, cry in private.

            Now, I wonder if the mother of one patient thought I was uncaring when I told her we were stopping CPR. What the grandparents of another thought when I calmly said, “time of death is xxx. Thank you everyone”. When I didn’t blink when a parent told me the injuries on the child in front of me were the result of horrid chronic abuse (by the parent). I didn’t weep then. So I’m cold and heartless?

            True medical professionals are like soldiers. We are trained to be calm in times of crisis. Move fast, yes. Bark orders loudly, yes. But not panic.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            December 9, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

            When I had my son, I had a PPH afterwards. In retrospect I probably hit stage 2 haemorrhagic shock (shivering, mild tachycardia, BP on the low end of normal for me, 1.6l blood loss). I had no idea that it was that bad until the day afterwards. The obstetrician was calm throughout.

            My husband is also a doctor. He was fully aware of what was going on and he was terrified – but I didn’t know that at the time. Whilst the obstetrician worked to stop the bleeding, he deliberately distracted me by talking about the baby so that I wouldn’t be scared. I found out afterwards that he spent the whole night post birth with his fingers on my pulse whilst I slept.

          • Angharad
            December 8, 2015 at 10:06 am #

            Nobody in my room (except me) panicked when my daughter’s heart rate suddenly dropped to 80 while I was pushing, but there was a lot of very quickly dealing with things. Somehow I doubt a fast labor would have pushed them over the edge.

        • Allie P
          December 8, 2015 at 9:55 am #

          I was woken up in the middle of BOTH of my labors because my babies’ precipitous drop into my birth canal came with a major decel. They rushed in, checked the monitors, changed my position quickly stuck an O2 mask on my face. It seemed busy and important, but not “panicked.” They were rushing to the scene of something they had to take care of right away, and they were telling me in firm tones what needed to happen. I was glad someone was monitoring things so that my babies and I came out A-OK.

        • Azuran
          December 8, 2015 at 11:11 am #

          I expect that what she calls panicked is: Staff quickly came into my room with somewhat serious looks and did a bunch of things she didn’t understand, probably asked her a few question a little sternly and might have called an OB over.
          Because, you know, doing your job properly and responding to a sudden change of situation is clearly panicking.

          • Amy M
            December 8, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

            When I started to hemorrhage, I saw people springing into action, and doing things quickly, clearly concerned, but definitely not panicking. I imagine that things like PPH, precipitous labor, tight nuchal cord, etc happen often enough on a labor ward that the well trained personnel know what to do, and how to do it quickly and efficiently. In this case being discussed, perhaps the mother was starting to panic, if she saw people moving faster and more deliberately

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            December 8, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

            And, of course, the reason they don’t panic is because they’ve been through it before. Many times. Consequently, they know what to do when things sideways.

    • Amazed
      December 8, 2015 at 6:03 am #

      At least they didn’t have a C-section. Those selfish narcissists were clearly not in the 5 percent of expecting mothers who truly needed it.

      Tell me, what it feels like to be the permanent white knight for creatures like this? What kick do you get from this?

    • yentavegan
      December 8, 2015 at 7:16 am #

      I have a connection to a mother who thought with a deep abiding sincerity that she was choosing a healthier saner way to give birth. She was brainwashed by her midwives , they played on her life style choices and her overall approach to modernity and used this against her to keep her as a client. She also made the mistake of photographing labor until the whole scenario crashed down on her..and then like worms the midwives initially tried to reinterpret her horrible experience/outcome as empowering autonomous choices.

    • MaineJen
      December 8, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      Women who go into a healthcare setting expecting their every whim to be catered to, no matter what the circumstances, are being set up from the beginning to be “belittled and disrespected.” Let’s stop telling them that their healthcare providers are the enemy, that their doctors will try to push extra tests and procedures on them just to make a buck, that their nurses will be uncaring and won’t listen to them, that no one in the hospital is practicing evidence-based care (when really, the opposite is true). Let’s STOP telling them that they must stay at home to have the birth of their dreams. Let’s stop telling them that they can think and hope and believe their way to a complication-free birth. Let’s be real! That’s what will really help. Right?

      • Melissaxxxx
        December 8, 2015 at 9:31 am #

        YES! this this this

      • Anion
        December 8, 2015 at 11:58 am #


        If we want to encourage them to do something, let’s encourage them to ask questions and read, and talk to women outside of their woo community.

        It always amazes me how many of these women refer to themselves as “strong,” and yet are afraid to ask questions of their doctors or make a real attempt to understand what’s happening–or what happened. They might ask what’s going on in the middle of an emergency or semi-emergency and get a short answer, and that’s it; they just decide they were “birth-raped” or their doctors are rude and uncaring, when in fact said doc might just be concentrating on saving lives at that moment. I never hear about any of them discussing the birth with their doctors at their follow-up appointments or even booking a separate appointment to discuss it so they can understand exactly what the situation was, what was at stake, and why the decisions were made.

        It almost seems like rather than being glad their doctors had the education and ability to help them, they get angry about it and decide the docs were being deliberately cruel simply by knowing what to do.

        • Dr Kitty
          December 8, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

          Example of an issue: Heplocks.

          Let’s say you really don’t like needles, are not an easy stick and the idea of a Heplock terrifies you.

          Instead of discussing this with your obstetric team well in advance so that they can accommodate you ( local anaesthetic creams or injections, smaller gauge cannula, placing it somewhere you can’t see it easily, distracting you while it is inserted and all the other tricks in the book for hard sticks and needle phobics) you read many, many NCB sites which tell you that it is FINE to refuse a Heplock.

          So you write “no Heplock” in your birth plan and refuse one at the start of labour.

          Then you have a PPH and suddenly you have two large bore IVs put in the backs of your hands, after several failed attempts, without local anaesthetic, because there wasn’t time for anything else.

          Then you go on NCB sites and leave with the impression the staff “punished you” for refusing a Heplock.

          No, you made a choice, without consulting them to find out if it was really the best one, and they did what they had to do to save your life.

          • Joy
            December 8, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

            Ahhh heplocks. Did you know that if only the US didn’t have them as standard care then women wouldn’t be able to sue if they didn’t get one. So the US should stop using them and there would be more natural births and fewer lawsuits. Or so I have been told by someone studying to be a UK midwife.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

            At least when I worked in obstetrics in the UK a few years ago, a green venflon was standard for every woman who arrived on labour ward… Because I was the one being bleeped to do them!

          • Ash
            December 8, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

            So weird to read about the differences between the UK and US system sometimes. In the US, IV cannula placement is a task for nurses. A venous access team of nurses is available for difficult IVs (when other nurses have failed) and PICC line placement.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 8, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

            I worked with nurses and midwives who did bloods and lines and nurses who didn’t, and sometimes nurses who had done the course, but who didn’t feel confident to take blood or do lines, and called the doctors.

            I found it funny that nurses got a full day’s training, while medical students very much have a “see one, do one, keep trying until you get it ” experience.

            Even now, when my practice nurse (who takes about 50 blood samples a day) can’t get blood after two attempts she’ll get me or one of the other docs to try. So I only take about one blood a month, but I’m still the fallback option for the tricky cases. Makes no sense, but actually does seem to work.

          • Azuran
            December 8, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

            The same thing happens at my clinic. Whenever the techs can’t get blood or put an IV, they get a vet, even if we rarely do it and it seems to work for us too.
            I call this phenomena the perpetual beginner’s luck.

          • Charybdis
            December 8, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

            When I had my third (hopefully last) shoulder surgery, the nurse couldn’t get my IV started. After umpteen tries, they finally rolled me back to the pre-op area and had the anesthesiologist try, because he was a whiz at starting IV’s. He tried a number of times and they finally had success when they lowered my head (my gurney was tipped at about a 30 degree angle) and put my hands in a heated blanket for a little while. Thankfully, needles don’t bother me.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            December 8, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

            In the last few years, the only ABGs (taking a blood sample from the radial artery in the wrist to monitor oxygen levels and such) I’ve done are the ones that other people have missed. Despite only doing a handful a year, I would usually get them first time. I might have to steal your “perpetual beginner’s luck” phrase, it seems to sum it up.

            Dr Kitty, I’ve also always found it absurd that nurses had to be trained and signed off on IVs whilst Drs didn’t. Even more absurd, I remember there being a few nurses, mostly trained in India and the Phillipines, who were absolutely phenomenal at canulation but who weren’t officially allowed to do so. Such a waste of their skills, and it must have been so frustrating for them to have to waste time tracking down the very busy on call interns when it would have been easier for them to place the IV.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

            True story. I was a surgical intern and a lovely Filipinio nurse called me to a bedside. The purse string sutures around a chest drain had come loose and needed redone. I admitted I had never done one before, and would need to get my SHO (who was in theatre) to show me.
            Filipino nurse says “I’ll show you, you can do the next one”.
            So that is how I learnt to suture a chest drain in place.
            It didn’t really occur to me until after the fact that the nurse wasn’t supposed to do something he was clearly much better able to do than me…

          • Ash
            December 9, 2015 at 10:03 am #

            Another question–Dr Kitty, about how many patients are in your patient panel (group of patients for which you are assigned a GP…or does it not work like that)? Also, in the Sherlock BBC show (w/ Cumberbatch), Watson worked as a GP in a clinic very briefly. Does your clinic look like his at all? So different.

            Also, really, anyone–how is the NHS set up differently from the US so that medical graduates have time to put in lines, draw bloods, etc that would normally be nursing duties:? Or the fact that the US has so many midlevel practitioners (NPs, PAs, AA-Cs (not legal in all states), CNMs)? World Bank says there are 2.5 doctors per 1000 patients in the US, 2.8 doctors per 1000 patients in the UK.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 9, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

            GP is weird.
            My practice has approximately 2000 patients per full-time equivalent GP.

            Patients choose their GP, they aren’t assigned, except in the sense that practices are able to decline patients who live too far away, meaning patients in rural areas tend to have less choice. Our catchment area is a 4mile radius, and there are at least 10 other practices within that. Patients can leave and join another practice at any time, for any reason, but we can’t fire them unless they are violent or threaten violence.

            Any patient registered with a practice can either choose to wait and see the doctor of their choice, or see the first available doctor within the practice sooner.

            Practices vary from single-handed to 10 or more GPs.
            Premises vary from old houses to state of the art purpose built health centres and everything in between. I have a nice, bright room with a view 🙂

            The short answer regarding workload is that very junior doctors spend a lot more time doing scut work and less time learning and being taught. They are also lucky to eat, drink or have 10 minutes break during shifts, and often stay late or finish early (unpaid) to complete the work.

          • Ash
            December 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

            In the US, I believe 2000 pts in a primary care panel are ideal but most providers are in excess of 2000. You say you have a bright room–does that mean that you stay in 1 clinic room and patients all go in the same room one at a time? I was very confused in Sherlock. In the US, patients are “roomed” (yes, it’s a verb like “hospitalized”) in a clinic room and typically a medical assistant takes their vital signs and reviews medications. The provider will go to different rooms to see different patients.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            December 9, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

            In Ireland (and I’m pretty sure it’s the same in the UK) the doctor would indeed stay in the same room whilst the patients go in and out. It seems to be the same in Australia where I now live.

          • Ash
            December 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

            Heh, the process in the US seems more convoluted for the patient. First, check in at the main registration, then go to the clinic desk and check in at the clinic registration. Medical assistant takes your vital signs and checks medications, asks which pharmacy you use, and allergies. Then you wait for the provider to enter the room. After you are done with your appointment, you have to check out at the clinic registration. If you need labs, then you have to check in at the lab registration desk, and then get handed a buzzer for the lab. If your lab is out of network then you need the paper lab order and to get to another facility.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 10, 2015 at 2:27 am #

            I stay in my room, my patients come to me. They check in on arrival, I go and fetch them from the waiting room when I’m ready. I have everything on the computer in front of me: medications, hospital letters, allergies, recent vitals, X-ray reports, notes from all recent GP visits, labs etc.
            If I want vitals I do them myself while taking a history. If I want an ECG or bloods I’ll make an appointment with our nurse, or, if it is urgent, ask her to fit them in immediately.

            I often run 20 minutes late, but usually not more than that, and given I have 10 minute appointments and see 14 patients straight, that isn’t too bad.l

            I never know what my day will hold. I could have anything from ingrown toenails and sore throats to frank psychosis to new cancer diagnosis to someone wanting referral to the Gender Identity Service. It’s always interesting.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 10, 2015 at 2:40 am #

            I think the system works in the UK because I don’t have to worry that my patient might be seeing four other doctors who prescribe weird medications or have ordered tests I know nothing about.

            Everything goes through me. I get all the letters and make all the referrals and I prescribe any drugs the specialists recommend. Everything is on the system. It streamlines things a lot.

            And, of course, I get to know my frequent fliers and what they need, so we can jump straight in without much in the way of preliminaries.

            Someone I don’t know well will get the typical open questions and full history. Someone I know well is more likely to get “So I take it those new tablets were no good?”

          • Ash
            December 10, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            This system is very foreign to me. A physician taking vital signs …rare in the USA! A physician going and getting the patient from the waiting area…even more foreign!

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            December 9, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

            I haven’t worked in the NHS, but I used to work in the Republic of Ireland which has some similarities. I’ll try and explain how things worked for me, but obviously there’s lots of variation between different hospitals and specialties. Sorry for the ridiculously long post.

            A typical in hospital team would consist of (in descending order of seniority) a consultant, registrar, senior house officer (SHO) and an intern. The number of inpatients would vary, but at its busiest there could be 30-35 inpatients under a medical team. A surgical team would usually have less than that, maybe 10-20, but their patients would be more acute. First thing in the morning (maybe 7am for surgical teams, 8am for medical teams), the whole team would meet and do a ward round where they see every patient. This is usually relatively quick (maybe an hour) for surgeons, but can take hours, or even all day for medical teams. The more senior doctors on the team do most of the work assessing and treating patients. The lower level doctors, interns in particular, I would describe as being the grease that keeps everything running. On the ward round, they’d write in the patients chart, chart medications and take note of any jobs that needed to be carried out after the ward round (or even during it if they could). Those jobs would include, but were certainly not limited to placing IV canulas, taking blood (or placing an order for the phlebotomy teams to do so), taking ECGs, ordering investigations, arranging patient discharge (paperwork, prescriptions, arranging follow up etc), liaising with other members of the MDT (physics, OTs, social workers etc). After the ward round, the consultants, registrars and often the SHOs would leave the ward to perform other duties – like admitting patients from the emergency department, attending outpatient clinics or performing surgery. If a patient becomes unwell after the ward round, or if there are any other new issues (for example a family member requiring an update), the nurses will usually notify the intern who will assess the situation and either deal with it themselves or escalate it to their seniors. The intern must also follow up on test results and liaise with their seniors if there are any issues there. In the evening, there may or may not be a repeat ward round, depending on the speciality.

            The workload can vary hugely from day to day, but was often extremely busy – to the point that it was commonplace to skip lunch and not unusual to not take bathroom breaks. As an intern, jobs such as IV placement, bloods etc would take hours every day. Our official work hours were 9-5 but it was pretty usual to work much longer – even up to 12+ hours a day in some jobs (you would also do overnight in-house on call in addition to your Monday-Friday work. The most hours I ever worked was 100hours in a week. My husband once did 129). Much of the non scheduled overtime was unpaid – you did it because 1. The patients needed you to and 2. You don’t want to screw over your colleagues.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            December 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

            I think I’ve mentioned before that I originally thought that I didn’t want a heplock because I’m a bad stick, and also because my only experience to that point with needles was in giving blood. When you do that, of course, it’s an actual needle in your vein, and much motion at all can blow the vein. I didn’t realize that IVs used flexible tubing rather than needles, so I had visions of moving my arm, however gently, at some point in the standard first 18-24-hour labor and blowing the IV, only to get stuck three more times before they got it again, wash, rinse, repeat all day.
            It no doubt sounds very silly to a doctor or nurse, but it made sense to me. Once my OB explained, managing somehow to keep a straight face, that I would still be able to move my arm around without having to get restuck every time I did, I was totally cool with it.

    • mythsayer
      December 8, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      I actually semi agree with your underlying point here but I think one of the big problems, IN ADDITION to how women are being treated by doctors/hospitals (some…prob the minority actually), is that the women who do feel disrespected go way overboard in choosing their next birth setting.

      You fly in an airplane, and you have a horrible experience. Lost luggage, seats taken away, family doesn’t get to sit together, flight delayed or cancelled, etc (all in one trip). Do you stop flying and drive everywhere from now on? Probably not. Maybe sometimes, but not for MAJOR trips. You don’t take a cruise if your trip is supposed to be in Paris the whole time. You just don’t fly United again.

      You eat in a restaurant and have a bad experience. Do you stop eating in restaurants? No. You just don’t go back to THAT Olive Garden.

      Homebirth advocates argue it’s systemic problems that cause them to do this….but maybe it’s not always. Maybe, if they were a little more open, they’d have a better experience. Maybe if they didn’t demand candles and Enya they’d have had an okay experience.

      I see a lot of doctors because I have a mostly undiagnosed autoimmune disease. Everyone knows I have it, or something similar, but they can’t peg down WHAT it is. At one point, I had a neurosurgeon walk in the room and say “you are wasting my time…your back is fine and I’ve got people who need me. Stop seeing neurosurgeons.” This, despite the fact that I have documented nerve damage that is coming from SOMEWHERE. Either my back or, most likely, something like lupus that refuses to clarify in my blood (maybe even sjogrens).

      I had another doctor, a psychiatrist, tell me i need to be medicated my entire life without reading a word of my file. In reality, I have an anxiety disorder (which is now mostly gone now that I’m sick and realize I have no control over anything…haven’t had a panic attack in 4 years). When I tried to tell him why I was stressed out, he just said I’m mentally ill and need anti-depressants. He literally hadn’t read a word of the file sent to him and refused to listen to anything I said. His MO was to medicate, with hard core anti depressants, which I’d tried in the past (not hard core ones…just basic) and they didn’t work ( because I’m not depressed…I had an anxiety disorder that came and went…it wasn’t five times per day…Valium ended up working fine for the year I needed it and then I didn’t need it anymore).

      Anyway, I heard from the counselor (we lived I. Rural Japan on a military base so I was just talking to him for my anxiety but he saw tons of people who had adjustment issues and so they’d send people to the Tokyo base to see the psycho psychiatrist) that he’d heard the same things from other people about this doctor. That he tried to medicate everyone within 2 minutes of meeting him and that he hadn’t read anything in their file.

      So I’ve seen my share of bad doctors. In my experience MOST doctors suck. If they can’t figure it out in 5 minutes, you’re outta there. I was reduced to paying for doctors who are so in demand they don’t take insurance. They ordered the right tests and we proved I have nerve damage and symmetric arthritis in every small joint, plus a slightly elevated inflammatory marker. All signs of connective tissues diseases.

      I’ve seen bad doctors. Many bad doctors. You do t stop seeing doctors because some of them are bad. You don’t just start living of homeopathic remedies because you do t like doctors. Try them if you must (they don’t work…I’m so desperate for something I’ve tried it all), but don’t just live on homeopathics.

      That’s essentially what these women did. They didn’t like one (admittedly significant) experience and they instead decided THEY could do it better. And sadly, they are often wrong.

      • Bugsy
        December 8, 2015 at 11:53 am #

        Whereabouts in Japan were you? I used to live in Ehime and in Kanagawa…I miss it greatly.

      • Roadstergal
        December 8, 2015 at 11:58 am #

        “You just don’t fly United again”

        Or you complain to United about your experience, and they apologize and say that the flight delay was due to a storm blowing in that was unsafe to fly in, but they acknowledge that it sucked that it happened, and they’ll give you a voucher to make up for it – and for losing your luggage, and they’re looking at new procedures to try to make that happen less, and that fliers actually giving them feedback helps them to improve.

        That sort of thing.

  13. December 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    I’m very grateful right now that my SIL is not into the woo. She got early OB/GYN care and so they caught her slowly climbing blood pressure during the first trimester before she could develop ecclampsia and stroke out.

    I keep thinking that if this were 100 years ago – or she was into “natural” things – we’d be planning a funeral and my BIL would be a widower in his thirties.

    Instead, she takes a pill for BP and is getting additional screenings for IUGR while I’m teaching her how to use a sewing machine to make cloth diapers for my first baby niece or nephew.

  14. Green Fish
    December 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    All these babies dying or getting injured due to not having the access to medical care they would have at a hospital…
    Still, many homebirths advocates claim that homebirths can’t be “that” dangerous because otherwise the human race would have died out. So, of course, it can’t be that dangerous as we’re all still here.

    Don’t they see that in the majority of all cases the babies and not the mothers die?
    The mothers (mostly) stay alive and can try again and again and again to have a living child…
    Baby dead – human race not in danger.
    Homebirth still dangerous.

    • swbarnes2
      December 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      Evolution doesn’t do “perfect”. It does “good enough”. If most babies and most women survive, if most women can breastfeed enough to keep their kid hungry, but alive, that’s good enough for evolution.

      • Siri Dennis
        December 8, 2015 at 3:46 am #

        Evolution doesn’t “do” anything; it simply happens. Plenty of species become extinct all the time. There is no force out there that cares whether humans exist or not.

        • Amazed
          December 8, 2015 at 6:04 am #

          I’ve heard that in the golden olden days, dinosaurs were Nature’s darlings…

          • Siri Dennis
            December 8, 2015 at 9:36 am #

            Indeed they were. Which is why evolution made sure enough of them survived to perpetuate the species. 😉

      • Sarah
        December 8, 2015 at 4:35 am #

        Doesn’t even need to be ‘most’, but otherwise absolutely.

      • MaineJen
        December 8, 2015 at 9:31 am #

        Look up “hyena birth.” How’s that for normal and natural? *shudder*

        • Monkey Professor for a Head
          December 9, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

          How did we manage to not discuss this on the “orgasmic both” post.

  15. jhr
    December 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Just remembered Dr. Amy’s 8/2/2015 post quoting another classically narcissistic HB mom:
    Congrats! We too had unexpected complications with one of our births, a severe placenta abruption. He suffered lack of oxygen for an extended period or time and was life flighted in where they cooled him for 5 days. He is now 2 1/2 and has severe spastic quad cp (cognitively unaffected) but we are so glad we had him at home too…

  16. Amy
    December 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    I wish I could say Chrissy’s post surprised me, but after seeing a post on ICAN where a VBAC was celebrated when the baby was born DEAD, little shocks me.

    It is so, so, so easy to get sucked into the crunchy community. You’re constantly being told that you’re a better mother for the choices you make, and the naysayers are “sheeple” or “mean” or that they just don’t get it. Or that they’re somehow all in cahoots with Big Pharma and the rest.

    Sometimes it takes horrible stories like this to make people realize how effed-up the whole philosophy is.

  17. Rachele Willoughby
    December 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    “Now I will spend the rest of my life wondering whether I should have gone against every instinct in my body and done as I was told by people I didn’t trust.”

    Wondering? You’ll spend the rest of your life *wondering*? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that with hindsight we can declare the answer to that question and unequivocal “yes”.

    “If I had done that would my son have arrived safely??”

    Also, yes. Is this a mystery?That’s why we have our babies in the hospital. Of course he would have been all right if he’d been born in a hospital with a full rescus, team.

    • Angharad
      December 7, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

      I think part of the problem is the elevation of instincts and intuition to mystic wisdom from the universe. Just because your instinct says to give birth at home, or that your very overdue baby is fine, or that you don’t need monitoring doesn’t make it so. It’s magical thinking in a life or death situation.

      • Who?
        December 7, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

        I can’t find north from south without a well marked map. Years of being hopelessly lost without my landmarks to guide me have taught me to ignore my instincts in the area of direction. Given how hard I believe even when they are proven fallible, I’m very aware of how careful I need to be otherwise.

  18. Christina
    December 7, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    Those poor babies! And those totally delusional moms – wow! Chrissy’s VBAC post in particular caused me a lot of upset. Bragging about a VBAC when your baby was born at just 28 weeks and is in the NICU? It hit a nerve with me as I have a friend who also had a VBAC at 28 weeks – VBA2C in fact – only hers was ‘accidental’. Her first baby was born via emergency c-section, her second was a planned, repeat c-section, and once she found out she was pregnant to #3 she was told this one would also have to be born via c-section, which she was totally happy with. Except her waters broke unexpectedly just before she turned 28 weeks. She stayed in the hospital for a few days (my friend is in the UK, I should add) and then for some reason they deemed she was fine and that the baby was fine and was not going to be born anytime soon and were about to discharge her from hospital when she went into spontaneous labor. The idiotic thing is that she knew something was happening and she and her husband kept calling for the midwife to examine her, but the midwife was all ‘no way, her cervix was closed this morning when I examined her, here, take some paracetamol’. When she finally (reluctantly) agreed to examine her again (my friend being in very intense pain by then), lo and behold, the baby was crowning! Doctors were called in at that point and she had no choice but to have the baby vaginally because there was no time for a c-section. hence she got her ‘accidental’ VBA2C thanks to the midwife’s idiocy! Still, the way the baby came into this world was never a bragging point, as she had much more serious stuff to worry about. Specifically, having a baby at just 28 weeks who was then rushed into the NICU, stayed there for 2 months, and for the first several weeks nobody knew whether he was going to survive in the first place with his oxygen levels fluctuating wildly. Thank God he was eventually fine and allowed to join his family home. Knowing my friend’s story and how much we all agonized about her baby born this premature those first weeks after his birth, and reading Chrissy’s post where her #1 concern was her VBAC(!!) I can’t help wondering how brainwashed beyond hope some of these women must be!

    • Chi
      December 7, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

      The problem is, a LOT of these women are brainwashed AFTER the fact by the NCBers. That’s how they drum up their business. Speaking from my own personal experience I DO NOT remember a hell of a lot of my labor with my daughter, and what bits I DO remember, I still need clarification from my husband to get the details right.

      So NCBers prey on that vulnerability, prey on the fact that for a lot of women their recollection of labor may be a bit hazy and use that to twist what details they DO remember into their ‘birth rape’ story. Doctors were rushing? That’s them disrespecting you. Consent forms being shoved in your face for you to sign? That’s the doctor trying to push you through so they can get to their golf game. Etc etc etc.

      I’m not saying bad doctors don’t exist. It’s just that the pain, combined with the hormones, combined with NCBers twisting everything tends to vilify doctors more than they probably deserve in order to push their agenda. And I think it’s disgusting. They terrify women into homebirth, claiming they’ll be more comfortable and more safe at home, when the reality is the opposite. All women want to feel strong and empowered and that’s what they use as their business model.

      Which I find more than a little sickening cos then we have babies like this who suffer for their mother’s narcissism/vulnerability/gullibility whatever it is that makes them fall prey to this way of thinking.

      • Amazed
        December 8, 2015 at 6:10 am #

        And still, this proposed model of care only appeals to a tiny fraction of women. Those who, for some reasons, are more malleable to this kind of crap. We don’t see women rushing to homebirth after a hospital birth. Very few do.

        There is something about them that sets them apart. And I’ve written here before that my sympathy for their “I couldn’t KNOW!” has diminished to the lowest of low. I still pity them. I feel sympathy for their babies. But now, the information is all out there, unlike even a year ago. No way am I believing this line. They could have found the information. But they wanted to stay positive. Like Dr Carla Keirns, they believed stats didn’t apply to them. Whatever. But they didn’t find the info because they were doing their best not to look for it.

        • Chi
          December 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

          I think a lot of it though is that a lot of these midwives actively discourage these women from looking for that information, because it so blatantly contradicts what they’re telling their clients. Don’t want a client doubting the safety of their ‘perfect’ home birth now do we? That creates stress which means they won’t be able to ‘trust’ their body to do what it needs to.

          And they do it by saying that this information is ‘fear mongering’ on the part of the doctors to scare them into going to the hospital, when really they’re the ones scaring the mothers away from them with their talk of ‘evil’ interventions and ‘mean’ doctors who just want to cut you for their own convenience.

          • Amazed
            December 8, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

            You’re probably right. And yet, it doesn’t work for all women. It isn’t as if midwives are some voodoo witches and women cannot help but be entranced. Because the huge majority of them aren’t. They might be malleable, influenced more easily, whatever, but at the end, the information was there. And it isn’t as if midwives are the only source of information they ever read. The vast majority of homebirthers are at least moderately affluent, educated women. They must have read books, watched movies situated in the golden olden days. Routinely, there are motherless children all around because mom had died in childbirth. It was just kind of inevitable fact of life, the presence of death in childbirth.

            At the end, women choose who they want to believe. Common sense should be telling them that they’d better be in hospital – “just in case”. Past is telling them that situation used to be dire. Present is telling them that in the vast majority of cases, everyone is alive to tell the tale. They chose to listen to midwives. The evidence was there. Some quite brainwashed women, like some of the regulars here, evaluated it and decided that it wasn’t worth the risk. It can be done. It isn’t impossible. At the end, it’s the woman who makes the decision.

            Which isn’t to say that NCBers shouldn’t be held to account for THEIR huge, bigger part in the whole sorry mess.

      • yentavegan
        December 8, 2015 at 7:32 am #

        ^^^^^ yes. you have hit the nail on the head

      • demodocus
        December 8, 2015 at 7:52 am #

        ah hormones. The reason why I yelled at my husband for putting the bread bag in the trash rather than the recycling this morning.

  19. Montserrat Blanco
    December 7, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    I was writing a message and deleted it because I seriously can not post what I was writing.

    I put my future health, wellbeing, and of course my own life after my son’s life and wellbeing. I knowingly took risks that I would never ever recommend my own patients to take just to give him as much probabilities of ending up as well as I could.

    Do not misunderstand me, I am not bragging, I am not the best mom ever, I am not perfect and I did not want to die. I got a great team of doctors, midwifes and nurses and everything turned out fine. I recovered, he recovered and we are doing very well. During those days it did not cross my mind once how was my experience, if I was being respected, or any of that kind of things. I cared about the NICU doctors, if the neonatologist was at the OR and ready, the tests results…

    I am so sorry for those children. I can not even imagine what they are going through and how their lifes will be.

    My son was born at 28 weeks via CS. There were three neonatologists at the OR. He did not breath at birth but was inmediately resuscitated and breathing on his own in the matter of minutes. He did need breathing support for some weeks and spent two months at the NICU but right now he does not have any kind of breathing problems and enjoys a completely normal neurological development. You would never distinguish him from his peers and in fact nobody guesses he was born early.

    I got a quick and easy recovery from my CS and a scar that I do not like. I am really happy with the outcome.

  20. Madtowngirl
    December 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    Even before I found your blog, I could not, for the life of me, figure out why people would choose to give birth at home. When something goes wrong, things go bad very quickly. My sister is alive because the monitoring in the hospital detected her distress and were able to intervene. The Thursday before my daughter was born, the doctor thought she was head down. Because I got care in a hospital, the doctors did an ultrasound and determined she was breech, and intervened.

    I get that doctors and hospitals are scary, and that not being in control can be scary. But that’s a reality of giving birth, and life in general. I’ve also felt “disrespected” by doctors. My solution was to find a new doctor, not write off the whole system.

    • Anion
      December 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

      And the amazing thing is so many of them preach the benefits and beauty (or whatever) of “giving yourself over to birth” or “letting go and trusting your body.”

      But they act like “letting go and trusting your doctor” is a horrible, traumatic thing to avoid at all costs.

  21. lily
    December 7, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    I had a perfectly normal pregnancy, no complications. In fact, I had no morning sickness and very few aches and pains, no fluid retention, etc. Pretty much that woman that most pregnant women hate. I had no health issues, I was very healthy before pregnancy and during. Suddenly with contractions 2 minutes apart, my blood pressure spikes, I go into cardiac arrest and the baby almost dies. Emergency C-Section, baby in NICU and my husband wondering if either of us could live. Not only did we both live, we have no issues from that scary day, almost 10 years ago. Even the most healthy and easy pregnancies can turn into major emergencies in no time flat. I am glad I was at the hospital or my husband would have been a widow and childless.

    • moto_librarian
      December 7, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

      Wow, that must have been terrifying! I am so glad that you and your child came through this safely.

      • lily
        December 7, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

        Not terrifying for me, I was out of it as soon as the blood pressure spiked and my daughter was considered fine when I was still touch and go. It’s my husband that had to live through that hell, and me wondering why he broke down in hysterical sobs when I opened my eyes and asked what happened.

    • Montserrat Blanco
      December 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

      I am so sorry you had such an awful experience. I am really glad you both recovered well.

      • lily
        December 7, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

        We both lived with no complications, so that is all that matters. We were only planning on one anyway, and definitely would have changed our plans if we wanted more after what happened. Still can’t figure out what exactly happened to me, as a battery of tests after I regained consciousness had zero blips.

    • Christina
      December 7, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      Same here – perfect pregnancy, perfectly healthy fetus all along, perfectly healthy mama before and during pregnancy. Until baby’s heart rate plummeted into the 60s during the pushing stage of labor and failed to rise back up from the ‘red zone’. Apparently my contractions (no pitocin I should add, it was 100% my body’s doing) were too vigorous for the baby and they caused him distress. I was rushed in for an emergency c-section (my OB got so scared that they didn’t even give me the consent form to sign at that point – I signed it post surgery!) and luckily my son was born healthy with no damage. I second that even the lowest risk pregnancies can become high risk in no time, which is why I roll my eyes every time I hear this ‘home birth is totally safe for low risk pregnancies’ cliche touted. Sorry about your horrifying experience and glad you were both ok in the end.

      • lily
        December 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

        And I have been told my story is the “rare” case. Yeah, right. I thank the amazing hospital and it’s doctors every year when I send a thank you card around my daughter’s birthday with an updated picture. One of the fresh off the farm nurses that tended my daughter is now the charge nurse in the NICU there and loves seeing my daughter growing and vibrant when she was born one inch from death.

        • mythsayer
          December 7, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

          I get so frustrated with the “rare” argument. Dying in a plane crash is also rare. I’m sure that makes the family manners of those who have died that way feel so much better.

          Just because something is rare doesn’t mean you should seek it out. Rare should make you feel less anxious. It should make you assume it won’t happen to you. What the hell are these people thinking?

          • Melissaxxxx
            December 8, 2015 at 9:46 am #

            Certified professional pilots :O

          • Anion
            December 8, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

            My CPP has watched a lot of pilots and ridden in planes before, so I have complete trust in him. The plane knows what to do, after all; it was made to fly.

          • Roadstergal
            December 8, 2015 at 11:20 am #

            Dying in a car accident is rare. We wear seatbelts anyway.

        • Amazed
          December 8, 2015 at 6:13 am #

          The thing that infuriates me most is not even the “rare” case. It’s this attitude – it’s rare, so we can dismiss it. HER. THE BABY.

          I really can’t imagine a hospital where a “rare” adverse outcome would be shrugged away because… rare. What, rare means worthy to be thrown under the bus, NCBers? Marginalized? FFS, no!

    • 2boyz
      December 7, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

      I’ve had two perfectly normal and easy pregnancies and deliveries. My current pregnancy was also perfectly easy and normal until 2 weeks ago, when out of the blue I started bleeding at 27.5 weeks. Turns out, I had a partial placental abruption. We went straight to the hospital, where they kept an eye on me for several hours and then, when the bleeding continued, started scrubbing up for an emergency section. They gave me the steroids, the magnesium, had the NICU come talk to me about what to expect following the birth of such a premature baby and then they checked the bleeding one last time and found it had slowed, so they decided to watch through the night, because hey, if they can buy the baby another day inside, all the better. Well, thank God the bleeding stopped the next morning, so they were cautiously optimistic that they could keep monitoring, but keep the baby in a little longer. I’m gonna be 30 weeks on Friday, and the baby is still happily swimming, and I’m home but on total bed rest, and going in for bi-weekly monitoring. We just hope to keep that way as long as possible. The point being, $hit happens in pregnancy, and it happens when you least expect it.

      I had no reason to think I’d ever have a problem, and there’s no reason to think this will happen in a future pregnancy, but for now I’m dealing with a rare, freak, very serious complication that no one could have predicted. I’m grateful to both God and my medical team for looking out for me and the baby and getting us this far.

      • Who?
        December 7, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

        Look after yourself.

      • namaste863
        December 7, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

        FWIW, I am the product of a pregnancy with partial placental abruption. My mom was on complete bed rest for weeks, and I came along at 39 weeks. I’m 27 now (Years, not weeks), extremely healthy, and wrapping up my first semester of my Masters of Social Work (Praise to any God who might be listening!). I don’t say this to minimize what you’re going through. I imagine it is shit-your-pants terrifying. I’m saying this to let you know that there’s a lot of hope for a great outcome. Keep the faith!

        • 2boyz
          December 7, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

          Yeah, I’m definitely feeling better about it than I was 2 weeks ago. The doctors do say every week of stability ups the odds that I’ll get to full term. They’re also saying after 32 weeks, they can cut back the monitoring to once a week. So it is looking good, but it’s still scary. And having never dealt with anything in pregnancy other than having to pee all the time, it’s definitely scary to suddenly have something go wrong. I’m only a year older than you and in otherwise good health. There is really no predicting anything, especially in pregnancy.

          • Amy M
            December 8, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            Good luck–I had pre-term labor issues (twins)–at 30wk, and 32 wk. It was scary and we certainly didn’t want the babies to come that early—ultimately, they held out to 36wks and are doing fine (at almost 7yrs now). I remember how frightening, yet how boring, all the bedrest was. Every week inside is a good week I guess—I am hoping for the best for you and your family.

      • Montserrat Blanco
        December 8, 2015 at 1:06 am #

        Great!!! 30 weeks already!!! I hope Netflix is keeping you entertained.

        And yes, you are low risk… Until you are not anymore.

      • Amazed
        December 8, 2015 at 6:11 am #

        Good luck! We’ve had babies here who clung to stay in there a little longer. Fingers crossed that yours is one of them!

      • Megan
        December 8, 2015 at 7:12 am #

        I’m so glad you made it two more weeks! Stay in there little one! There’s much more Netflix to be watched yet!

      • demodocus
        December 8, 2015 at 7:55 am #

        I’m so glad for you two and the 2 extra weeks. Here’s hoping short-stuff hangs out until the middle-30s!

    • Kelly
      December 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

      That is terrifying and traumatic. It really proves the fact that there are no low risk pregnancies.

  22. Dr Kitty
    December 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    I’ve had a really horrible day today (I lost a friend to breast cancer) and this is not helping.

    40% of the 68 women who had required forceps or pushed for longer than recommended had Levator Ani tears. Some had fractures to pelvic bones. These injuries were demonstrated by MRI, an investigation not usually done postpartum. Just because you can’t see damage doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      December 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      I’m sorry for your loss.

      • Dr Kitty
        December 7, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

        She was a wonderful person, this article she wrote recently gives you an idea of her amazing spirit.

        • yugaya
          December 7, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

          So tragic. I’m so sorry for your loss Dr Kitty and she was a strong soul to write that.

        • mabelcruet
          December 7, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

          She was so young-she writes wonderfully. I’m sorry for your loss, and her family’s loss, and hope you can find comfort in each other.

        • Megan
          December 7, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

          Lovely article by her. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. My sister in law was just diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer at the age of 47. It is so hard to watch these things happen to those whom we love.

        • Barbara Delaney
          December 7, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

          What a sad loss for family and friends as well as to the medical profession. She must have been a wonderful physician.

        • Roadstergal
          December 7, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

          Heart-wrenching. 🙁 I’m so sorry.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head
          December 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

          I’m so sorry. I didn’t personally know her, but I have friends who did and who have been speaking very highly of her on Facebook today. That article is wonderfully written, she is clearly a great loss to the world.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 8, 2015 at 3:09 am #

            She was one of those soft, quiet, smiley people who never had a bad word to say about anyone, and made everyone feel better just by being in a room, and her singing voice was so beautiful.

    • yugaya
      December 7, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      …which is why ACOG has just revamped its instrumental delivery guidelines to make it look more appealing.

      I hate that the insane NCB cult(ure) is making us all turn a blind eye to the simple fact that no matter how skilled an attendant is, a forceps will always come with injury rates that are higher than ECS.

      • mabelcruet
        December 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

        Those skills are being lost-in our perinatal audit meetings the figures for instrumental deliveries are plummeting. I remember forceps deliveries being far more common 20 years ago, but as the older obstetricians are retiring, the skills are going with them because the younger ones coming through prefer sections I think. I’ve had a few cases over the years with lethal forceps injuries (subgaleal haemorrhage, comminuted skull fracture and massive brain haem, occipital osteodiastasis with sinus laceration and brain emboli), but none in the last 8 years.

        • Dr Kitty
          December 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

          Forceps are useful in very, very select circumstances, and in the right hands. But those hands need a lot of practice.

          • Lawyer jane
            December 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

            I was always WAY more scared of forceps than a c section! They seem so mideval.

          • Chi
            December 7, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

            I told my midwife that if it came down to forceps or c-section, I’d prefer the c-section. I’ve heard too many forceps horror stories to be comfortable with them.

          • Dr Kitty
            December 8, 2015 at 11:38 am #

            It was one of the reasons I opted for a CS the first time.
            My OB told me he reckoned my odds of having a vaginal delivery were about 5-10%, and that he thought that I should be prepared that an instrumental delivery was almost guaranteed given the shape of my wonky pelvis. He felt realistically we were most likely looking at a long unproductive obstructed labour ending in a CS, but we both knew that a failed forceps followed by CS was also a possibility.

            He was still on board with me trying to labour, if I wanted to, knowing all that, but was clearly very relieved when I opted out of that!

            Second time around, everyone at the maternity hospital was “are you sure you don’t want to try a VBAC?” up until I explained exactly what my former OB had said, and that my CS had been lovely, so I was quite happy to repeat the experience!

            My former OB (now retired) is one of the few who was happy to do vaginal breeches and Twins, and very, very good at it. He was the guy who got called for all the disasters. If he suggested a CS, it meant he really thought bad things were going to happen.

          • Azuran
            December 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

            But to get experience, you have to do it. Which means that a certain number of people are going to be hurt in order for the doctor to get experience.
            In comparison, CS does not need that much practice.

          • AirPlant
            December 7, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

            And I would guess that it is easier to have a trainee and a more experienced OB go through a section together as opposed to forceps where you can’t really have two hands on the controls.
            Personally I have know idea how anybody uses a set without sheering the kid’s ear off, but that is how much I know about birthing babies.

          • Sue
            December 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

            That’s the point: CS can be done quickly and safely by any trained operator, with consistently good results. CS also preserves the birth canal from damage.

            From an access and safety point of view, the practice change makes sense.

            Medical practice has to change over time – the “old ways” are not consistently better.

          • mabelcruet
            December 7, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

            The forceps deaths I’ve been involved with were cases where the forceps weren’t properly applied or used (for various reasons). I obviously only see the worst cases, everyone else goes home with a bit of bruising and an odd shaped head.

        • yugaya
          December 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

          The figures for post term pregnancies have plummeted too and I see nothing wrong with that either – more alive, neurologically intact babies around.

          I see the need to keep forceps around because there are situations in which it is the fastest way to attempt to deal with birth that has gone off track, but those situations are rare. I don’t see any need to start offering forceps delivery as equally valid option as a CS just because the cult of vaginal birth has gained enough momentum to demand that.

          • mabelcruet
            December 7, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

            I hate to see post-mature stillbirths, I keep thinking ‘if they’d delivered her yesterday she would have been fine..’. We have a couple of hospitals near us who routinely allow mums to go to term+12 and term+10. I’m not an obstetrician, but I genuinely don’t understand-if dating scans early on are so accurate (down to the day, I get early babies at 17+3, or 15+4), why, at the other end, are they saying ‘we’ll let you go to term+12 because we can’t be too sure of your dates’. And I know different countries have different meanings of what term is. The dept I trained in was headed by a professor who had 3 grown-up daughters-he refused pointblank to let any of them go over 40 weeks-frogmarched them to maternity to get on with it. He’d had 40 years of doing autopsies on post-mature stillbirths, so I can’t blame him.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            December 7, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

            You know I have never realized how lucky I am that I was born with relatively little complications despite being nearly two weeks overdue and then when labor started the fluids were meconium tinged. Me being their first my parents didn’t know how far to push or question things and things have changed so dramatically regarding women’s health and education in my very short life.

            Learn another reason to be thankful to have been born alive and undamaged every day I read this blog. Even if it’s just “Mom was in the hands of an experienced doctor.”

          • Who?
            December 7, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

            We were allowed to go to 40+14 when I had my kids in the UK in the early nineties. Both came of their own volition at 40+10, both had mec, both okay and home the next day. We had obs and a paed in the room for both, no idea if everyone had that.

            It makes me go cold now to know how that wasn’t okay, though it was standard at that hospital at that time.

          • SporkParade
            December 8, 2015 at 2:01 am #

            In Israel, you can go to 40+14, but you’re in the hospital every 2-3 days for fetal monitoring and an ultrasound.

          • Who?
            December 8, 2015 at 2:45 am #

            It was weekly for me-so I had a hospital appt at 40+7, sent away, and came back at 40+10 in labour both times.

            The second one was breech at the first hospital appt, and they said it would be a section if I came in either the week later, or in labour, with her in the same spot. She rethought things and rolled over.

          • Jessica
            December 7, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

            My mother and her sister both had 43 week stillbirths. I was QUITE happy with my induction at 39 weeks.

          • StephanieA
            December 8, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

            Our midwife group lets their patients go to 42 weeks. I do not understand the point of this and is a big reason I chose not to see them for my pregnancies.

      • AirPlant
        December 7, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

        I have a coworker whose wife refused a C-section with her twins. The way he tells it the second twin took over an hour to show up, went into distress and was ultimately a forceps delivery and resuscitation and a NICU stay when his wife continued to refuse the section. Everything was fine, the kids are happy and healthy and in college now, but he still talks about how his wife proved those doctors wrong and how there were six nurses, three pediatricians and two OBs in the room during the delivery who had nothing to do because his wife had it in hand and C-sections are overdone etc, but I can’t help but think that the birth he describes sounds terrifying. To say that it was good just because both babies came out of her vagina seems like insanity.

        • Madtowngirl
          December 7, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

          My god. I don’t even have words for that level of narcissism. To brag about how you put your babies at risk…horrifying.

          • AirPlant
            December 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

            I can’t even imagine how the medical staff in the room felt. And for the record he likes to joke about how the second twin works her ass off and never quite measures up to her sister and it makes her just so mad. I kind of wonder if there were some slight damage from her experience or if it is just normal twin stuff and I am overreacting.

          • Sue
            December 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

            None of these people seem to have a word of praise for that crowd of skilled clinical staff that they “proved wrong”- when it was the staff that rescued their family from disaster, even though the family made their task so much harder.

          • AirPlant
            December 8, 2015 at 10:08 am #

            I mean, there are times when I feel smug about things like my doctor telling me that I didn’t have asthma, testing me, and finding out that I totally have asthma. It feels good to be right, and it feels good to think that I know my body and my family history and I did the google research and came to the correct conclusion, but that is just my asthma, not the life of my child, and identifying triggers for my asthma attacks and connecting the dots is a hell of a lot less complicated than childbirth.

          • araikwao
            December 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

            Well he’s likely causing all sorts of emotional wounds to his daughter by being such a jerk.

        • Azuran
          December 7, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

          He actually proved those doctors were right. But clearly he cannot see it.
          If you think forceps, resuscitation and NICU are ‘being right’ you are an idiot.
          All those people were probably in the room because they expected thing would go wrong. Which turns out, it did, and his baby is probably still alive only because all those people were waiting for things to go wrong.

          • AirPlant
            December 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

            If we are going to hate on this guy it is probably worth mentioning that he thinks all women can breastfeed if they are not lazy because “If my wife can do it without formula for twins, one baby shouldn’t be a problem”.
            It isn’t that he is super into birth, he is just the kind of person who thinks that if he did something a certain way then OBVS it is the best way and anyone can do it. Sort of a classic born on second and though he hit a triple. situation. Great quality to have in a coworker…

          • demodocus
            December 7, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

            idiot. I probably could and my mother did nurse 2 newborns for a little while, and we realize we’d be Mel’s prize cows if we were cattle. We also know there’s always someone on the other end of the spectrum.

          • Chant de la Mer
            December 7, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

            I love that Mel and her cows are so well known here that it’s now a reference!

          • Megan
            December 7, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

            Me too! Given how well the cows are treated, I really wish our LC’s would take a lesson from Mel!

          • AirPlant
            December 8, 2015 at 10:02 am #

            I want her to start a cow blog so badly it hurts.

          • Chant de la Mer
            December 9, 2015 at 1:41 am #

            That would be amazing! Mel, do you hear that? We’ll read your cow blog!

          • AirPlant
            December 9, 2015 at 8:49 am #

            We would even write you a cow lactation theme song. For realsies

          • Amazed
            December 8, 2015 at 6:15 am #

            Remember Dr Carla Keirns? A morbidly obese, pre-eclamptic, 40 yo primip who whined how she was pressured into unnecessary c-section. Well, her baby came out blue and not breathing but through the right opening. She showed ’em all!

          • Azuran
            December 8, 2015 at 10:11 am #

            Ah yes, that was the first SOB article I ever read.

          • Roadstergal
            December 8, 2015 at 11:21 am #

            Didn’t she have a PPH and not see her baby for a while? I just remember that article being ‘Everything that they said would go wrong went wrong, and my baby and I both needed emergency care – I totally proved them wrong!’

        • Chi
          December 7, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

          When my husband and I start trying for baby number 2, if we succeed and by some freak chance of fate I find out I’m expecting twins (which isn’t THAT out there given I’m now in my 30’s and twins run in his family), I have told him outright that I will be demanding a MRCS.

          Because as far as I’m concerned, with twins you double the risk of something going horrendously, drastically horribly wrong.

          Cut me open and take em out. Probably safer for everyone involved.

          • AirPlant
            December 8, 2015 at 10:02 am #

            What freaks me out is that odds are with twins if there is going to be an issue it is more likely to be with the second twin and you end up recovering from both a vaginal AND a C-section birth. That kind of sounds like the worst of all possible outcomes, I would rather just do the section and get it done with.

          • Amy M
            December 8, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

            Twins running in HIS family doesn’t up the odds that you will have them. If you have a girl/s though, the tendency (to superovulate) can get passed through your husband to them. But yeah, twins are most definitely higher risk and increase your chances for various adverse events.

          • SarahSD
            December 9, 2015 at 12:51 am #

            So is it correct then, that if twins run in both my mother’s family (maternal grandfather was a twin; great grandmother’s maiden name meant “twin”) and my father’s family (paternal uncle had a twin), then I have double chances of inheriting the tendency to have twins? If so, this is making me feel lucky for my daughter who was a singleton, so far an only child, and wary about testing fate if we tried for another.

          • Daleth
            December 8, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

            Yes, and you actually more than double it. It’s doubled just because there are two of them and each of them has an equal chance of having any of the usual risks of vaginal birth. But it’s more than doubled because there are additional risks unique to multiple gestations. A sampling of what’s higher risk with twins:

            – Preeclampsia for mom

            – The babies becoming entangled after the sac or sacs break, creating a risk of cord compression, cord entanglement, and the inability to get baby A out because he or she is tangled up with baby B

            – Placental abruption during labor, because the womb might start expelling baby B’s placenta when only baby A has come out; the risk of this is much higher with identicals because with mono-di or mono-mono twins (who together represent about 2/3 of identicals) they share a placenta

    • moto_librarian
      December 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

      I am so very sorry, Dr. Kitty. Cancer just sucks. A close friend of mine is in his final hours in hospice after battling oral cancer for nearly three years.

    • AirPlant
      December 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      Cancer is just such an asshole. I have two friends battling breast cancer right now and every time I think about it I just get angry. I am sorry this happened to someone that you care about.

    • Christy
      December 7, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      I’m so sorry Dr. Kitty.

    • Montserrat Blanco
      December 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Madtowngirl
      December 7, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      I’m so sorry. Cancer is horrible.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      December 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

      Cancer. Kill it with knives. Kill it with light. Kill it with poison. Kill it with crazed, overactivated immune cells. Just kill it.

    • demodocus
      December 7, 2015 at 4:14 pm #


    • Sue
      December 7, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

      Sad to hear of your loss, Kitty.

    • Amazed
      December 7, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

      So sorry, Dr Kitty.

    • Charybdis
      December 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

      I am so sorry to hear that. Cancer is one mean, callous sonofabitch.

    • Mishimoo
      December 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

      So, so sorry to hear of your loss. Cancer needs to be killed with vast quantities of fire; it’s awful.

    • araikwao
      December 7, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

      So sorry…

    • momofone
      December 8, 2015 at 7:32 am #

      I’m so sorry.

  23. Staceyjw
    December 7, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    You know, there really is no excuse for HBAC tragedies now. Even 5years ago, I would have said, well, mom made the best decision she could with the info she had. I remember the time before all of the high quality, unbiased, studies were done, before official data was collected, before popular blogs and publications wrote stories about HB dangers. I remember how loss moms (Like Liz P) really had no idea how unsafe it was, because the info simply wasn’t there. I remember googling “home birth safety”, even “home birth is dangerous” and finding pages of NCB cheerleading, and no solid info on dangers. Not even one story of loss. This was pre-Skeptical OB, when Dr Amy had her old site, which was the lone voice of reason- if you could even find it.

    But NOW there is copious amounts of PROOF of the high risk of death and disability from HBAC. There are countless stories written by loss moms, and even in their own pages, you can see the enormous death toll. I know they censor and delete, but if we managed to see the deaths, you can be sure much of the group did too. NCBers hate read this page, and even though the brainwashing is thorough, few can truly say that they never saw anything about the risks of HBAC.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      December 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      The first mother was warned. She admits she was warned. She gambled and lost.

      • Azuran
        December 7, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

        and yet she twists it around saying it’s the fault of the health system for ‘disrespecting’ her.

        • Karen in SC
          December 7, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

          She’s vile and despicable in my view.

      • Who?
        December 7, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

        Strictly speaking, she gambled and the baby lost. She’ll have her martyr’s badge shined up, here she is, caring for this child damaged by the wickedness of doctors who looked sideways at her during her first delivery.

  24. Barbara Delaney
    December 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    And now Carmina’s friends are asking for $25,000. “Although they have Medical Insurance, there will be lots of “co-pays” for medications, lots of Doctors visits, therapy for his brain, and future hospital visits and medical care for years to come. On behalf the Barba family, we are asking for help in providing them with some financial relief so that they may put all of their time and energy into his needs, as he will need 24 hour monitoriing for months to come.”

    If they had put their “time and energy” into even a tiny amount of research into the birth practice they were choosing this tragedy could have been avoided. There’s no acknowledgement, and seemingly no awareness, on the part of Carmina’s friends of the role this mother played in what happened to her son. Why is it that these women can hold onto the experience of being “disrespected” for years yet they can instantly forget the role they, and their chosen birth attendants, played in causing this child’s brain damage?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      December 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

      There’s no acknowledgement, and seemingly no awareness, on the part of Carmina’s friends of the role this mother played in what happened to her son.

      To be fair, at this point, it doesn’t matter. She fucked up, and now the baby is paying the price. Harping on the fact she fucked up isn’t going to help him.

      • Azuran
        December 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

        But it could help future babies.

      • Barbara Delaney
        December 7, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

        I was “harping” on the fact? And I disagree. I think it does matter that her friends who are attempting to raise funds for the family act as if the infant’s brain damage was an act of God and completely unavoidable.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          December 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

          You are wanting her friends to harp on it. It doesn’t help the baby. That’s what their goal is, and I don’t blame them.

          • Who?
            December 7, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

            It’s a better money-spinner if it was an unavoidable accident.

          • Barbara Delaney
            December 8, 2015 at 12:18 am #

            harp on
            To talk or write about to an excessive and tedious degree; dwell on.

            intransitive verb
            : to dwell on or recur to a subject tiresomely or monotonously —usually used with on

            One comment and you describe me as harping on the subject, however your underlying message came through loud and clear. I get it.

          • Who?
            December 8, 2015 at 1:52 am #

            It’s important for the safety of future babies to keep the story of what actually happened out there. How long before this story becomes ‘he was perfectly fine then the doctors got their hands on him’?

            If they thought talking about what happened would attract donors, they would do it like a shot. Them keeping it quiet shows that someone with an ear on broader community standards is running the fund raising.

    • yugaya
      December 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

      “Why is it that these women can hold onto the experience of being
      “disrespected” for years yet they can instantly forget the role they,
      and their chosen birth attendants, played in causing this child’s brain
      damage?” Because once that mother sits down with herself and for the first time truly acknowledges that her choices hurt her child she will never be able to forget that for the rest of her life. I think it is a defense mechanism at work.

      • Grace Adieu
        December 8, 2015 at 4:37 am #

        Society is cruel. Imagine how much disrespect those brain damaged children are going to be subjected to in the course of their lives.

    • Sue
      December 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      “Lots of doctors visits” – like those disrespectful doctors who she couldn’t trust – now are needed?

    • Tiffany Aching
      December 8, 2015 at 4:29 am #

      I’ve always wondered if the reason why these people are so careless about the danger they put their baby into wouldn’t be because having a disabled baby isn’t such a bad outcome in their view. A disabled child can be used to satisfy a narcissistic mother’s need for attention and praise. After being extremely courageous for enduring avoidable pain during the birth, they can enjoy being the ever-enduring, martyr mother of a disabled child. In both cases the child is a prop.
      Well maybe this idea is just plainly cruel, and I hope it won’t hurt the parents who have to see their child going through pain, difficulties and rejection because of their disabilities.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head
        December 8, 2015 at 5:27 am #

        I wonder if the concept of a severely disabled child is actually on the radar for most women who plan home births. The perception of risk seems to be “everything will be fine, and if it isn’t then we’ll go to the hospital and they’ll sort it out. It’s very rare for babies to die during birth, and babies die at hospital too.” Disability doesn’t seem to get discussed. And perhaps these women aren’t aware of how devastating severe birth injuries can be – for both parent and child. I’ve always thought that being the full time carer for a severely disabled (especially cognitively) loved one is the hardest job in the world.

        • demodocus
          December 8, 2015 at 8:05 am #

          Its not something anyone expects; my in-laws certainly didn’t. MIL still struggles with guilt because her baby’s blind. FIL doesn’t discuss this. And blindness is an easier disability to deal with than severe cognitive problems. Nothing wrong with DH below the neck!

  25. AllieFoyle
    December 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    Very sad. I clicked the link in Nicola’s story and found the blog page her story was taken from to be very interesting. You don’t touch on this at all, but Nicola said that she felt traumatized by her first birth experience, and that was part of the reason she decided to have a HB the second time. Mental health is so important for a new mother –arguably more important than whether or not she breastfeeds– why isn’t as much effort and care put into ensuring that mothers leave the hospital in the best mental state possible?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      December 7, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

      That strikes me as a very good idea. I haven’t seen anything that says why she felt traumatized at the hospital, but it seems like making sure that as few women as possible left the hospital feeling traumatized or depressed would be a win all around.

    • Allie P
      December 7, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

      I haven’t read it, but I would be curious as to what the trauma was. The NCB community is very good at taking mild disappointment and turning it into trauma such that anything should be risked not to experience mild disappointment again.

      • Ash
        December 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

        I wonder how much of the trauma relates to that childbirth (C-section or vaginal) can suck. No matter the birthplace setting. Here’s Jessa Duggar’s account ”
        “Labor is hard,” Jessa says with a laugh in this week’s issue of
        PEOPLE. “It was very intense, very long. Everything was different than I
        expected.” and this is someone set up to believe that vaginal childbirth w/o medical interventions was best for her–before she had to be transferred to a hospital for care.

      • lily
        December 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

        I knew someone that claimed birth trauma because the hospital refused to play her music and let her light candles. I related what real birth trauma is by telling my story and may have called her a very bad name from females that starts with a C. I promise I don’t use that word ever, but she caught me on a bad day.

        • Hilary
          December 7, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

          Wow. Did anyone explain to her that hospitals have oxygen equipment and lighting candles might cause an explosion??

    • DelphiniumFalcon
      December 7, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

      I absolutely agree that for all our medical technology, most “first world” countries have absolutely dismal mental health care. It’s still this “other” that is to be feared and kept at arms length lest they go on a shooting spree.

      And I think it’s even worse for new mothers because there’s this expectation to immediately bond with this infant that has completely changed the dynamic of your life come hell or high water. And since a lot of times symptoms manifest in regards to their newborn they’re even more “othered” and seen as unnatural and unfeeling. Because we’re supposed to be hard wired to bond with out children!

      Except we forget humanity and other higher intelligence creatures have fewer basic instincts hard wired into them and a lot of our behaviors are learned vs innate. Which can include this affection. Some cultures find it appropriate for the female extended family members to help the new mother with their infant near constantly while she recovers so the mother can have more time to bond without being stressed while others seem to think a mother that lets her infant be passed around to these family members isn’t attached like she should be. But neither is inherently right or wrong, just learned cultural behavior.

      So not only do we have a rising mental health problem but how much of it is being induced by expectations that just can’t be met? Or that Motherhood seems to be evolving into a spectator sport for all to armchair quarterback without invitation?

      • Sue
        December 7, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

        Where I live, screening for post-natal depression is getting better, as is awareness of pre-existing depression as a risk factor.

        What doesn’t seem to be well-known is the likely result of unfulfilled expectations – fuelled by a determination that things must go “to plan”.

        • Who?
          December 7, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

          Everyone-or everyone from a particular socio-economic group, anyway-is trying to be so perfect now.

          It’s hard to let that go, and it’s hard to live with it.

        • hmc912
          December 8, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

          I’m only at 15 weeks, and my CNM has already talked to me at both appointments about PRE-natal depression, and how I’m feeling, and if I need to talk to anyone. It is getting better, but needs to become more wide-spread.

      • demodocus
        December 7, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

        I was definitely the pass him around type, lol. I think every person in my choir and my husband’s chorale who wanted to got to hold the kid before he was 2 months old.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head
      December 7, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

      I wonder if it would be helpful to have routine debriefing sessions after every birth (not just the ones with obviously bad outcomes). Even when everything goes well, giving birth is an intense experience. Also for many women, pregnancy is their first major encounter with hospitals which must be very overwhelming. I think that it could help women understand why things happened the way they did during birth, and it would also help hospitals to improve their systems.

      Personally I think I would have found it helpful. I came to the hospital at 2cm and was given the option to be admitted to the maternity ward – I think as a concession to me being a doctor, I would have been discharged otherwise. The midwives there refused to do a VE for 12 hours following admission, and repeatedly told me that I wasn’t in active labour as my contractions were irregular – therefore I could not have any pain relief other than paracetamol. When I was finally examined I was 7cm. I’m still a bit upset at being denied pain relief, but I would guess that the midwives involved don’t realise that. It’s a minor trauma really in comparison to what others have gone through, but I think that a postnatal debriefing would have helped me deal with it and would hopefully help stop the same thing to other women in the future.

      • Megan
        December 7, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

        I would’ve definitely appreciated a debriefing. My induction happened right after a scheduled NST and I was sent straight to L&D from the ultrasound for a low AFI (Previous one was fine and I was expecting, perhaps stupidly, for the results of this one to be good too.) We had literally just installed the car seat the night before and I had put my hospital bag in the car as an afterthought that morning, more to get it out of the front hallway. I was so scared to be induced because I felt totally unprepared to give birth at 37 weeks, barely term. Of course little did I know I had plenty of time to get used to the idea since induction lasted 4 days before we finally said enough is enough and I had a CS. That was a whole other stressor, aside from two non-functional epidurals and a PPH and blood transfusion to follow. (And by the way, I’m only sharing this to vent, not to try to minimize your experience; being denied pain relief is horrible! I was at least offered an epidural whenever I wanted one.) Birth is scary business and I think offering a regular debriefing is a great idea. Obviously anyone can refuse it if they don’t feel it necessary.

      • araikwao
        December 7, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

        There’s evidence that debriefing with a trained professional (? Counsellor maybe, sorry, bit sketchy on the details) leads to worse outcomes. I think for the treating doc it is courteous to explain to the woman what happened, though.

        • Tiffany Aching
          December 8, 2015 at 4:45 am #

          That’s very interesting, and counter-intuitive. Do you have some references I could read ? Thanks a lot !

      • Toni35
        December 7, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

        I too would have appreciated a debriefing after my first child (numbers two, three, and four were a lot less scary, if for no other reason than I had btdt). My first was an intense induction with an epidural that didn’t provide the expected relief. An episiotomy was cut, and proceeded to extend to do significant damage. Everything turned out okay, but I did fall down the woo rabbit hole for a time afterwards. Maybe if I had gotten some debriefing as to what happened and why I wouldn’t have found myself so vulnerable. The good news is that while I was determined not to be induced again (and thankfully I didn’t need to be), and I did consider home birth for a time when we were planning our second child, I ended up compromised by going with CNMs in a hospital rather than an OB and things went very well. Opted for the same with number three. With number four I was just over 35 and had been reading this blog long enough that I went back to the OB route. Things went swimmingly again. I do think mothers, especially first time moms or those who had difficult deliveries, would benefit from some post partum debriefing… Otherwise they get that debriefing in chat rooms and message boards where NCB advocates reign supreme and convince them that if they are at all shaken by how things went they were violated or disrespected in some way. I’m not a woo-ish person, but it was alarmingly easy to get sucked into that, especially after a harrowing experience and being in the thick of post partum hormones and sleep deprivation.

      • crazy grad mama
        December 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

        I had an unusual and painful C-section experience, and while I didn’t find it traumatic, I wanted to tell everyone about it for a while. It would’ve been nice to have someone to whom I could spill the whole thing, compared to my childless friends who really didn’t care to hear the gory details.

      • guest
        December 8, 2015 at 1:30 am #

        I think lawyers have a lot to do with patients feeling disrespected. I had a fairly unpleasant postpartum experience in my hospital. I’ll spare you the details, but I was left with a lot of resentment (and some physical pain) due to the way I was treated. The one thing that would have made me *feel* better about it all is a simple apology, which I never got, because in order to apologize you have to admit some kind of wrongdoing (even if it is just unkindness or absentmindedness), and the lawyers don’t like that because it opens you up to lawsuits.

        • Who?
          December 8, 2015 at 1:53 am #

          Insurers and lawyers, actually, but your point is fair.

          • guest
            December 8, 2015 at 9:32 am #

            Right, I should have said insurers, really. It was late at night for me.

      • Tiffany Aching
        December 8, 2015 at 4:39 am #

        “Also for many women, pregnancy is their first major encounter with hospitals which must be very overwhelming.”

        I really think this is a very important and a little overlooked factor. When you have been sick at some point in your life, sick enough to have to stay at the hospital, you know that there will be an unavoidable loss of autonomy – that receiving medical care inherently puts you in a position where you are the object of the care of people who are experts and that you have, at the end of the day, to trust blindly sometimes. It doesn’t mean that this situation cannot be mitigated by explaining the procedure to the patient, or debriefing afterwards, but it doesn’t change the fact that you become a very vulnerable and dependent person in a hospital. Many women aren’t prepared for this and feel they are disrespected by the staff, while in fact it is the situation itself that is difficult for them to live.

      • Medwife
        December 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

        I was taught that when rounding postpartum I should routinely ask if a woman had any questions about anything that happened during the birth, so any misconceptions could be cleared up right away. It’s not good to send people home with unanswered questions about her treatment.

        • Toni35
          December 9, 2015 at 11:07 am #

          That’s a good start, but it really isn’t enough. Most women only stay in the hospital for maybe 48 hours after delivery. In those two days, you are kept exceedingly busy – you watch the shaken baby video, meet with the LC, talk to the pediatrician, there’s the photo person, nurses coming in and out every couple of hours, you’re learning how to take care of your baby and your own postpartum needs, etc. A woman certainly doesn’t have ample time (heck even if she had nothing else to do or think about in that two days, it still wouldn’t be enough time) to really process what happened, much less come up with questions. The six week check up seems a better time to discuss the events of L&D, but generally there seems to be the sense that it’s over and time to move on – Pap smear, birth control talk, maybe a short questionnaire to see if you are at risk for PPD, okay back to normal activities for you, out the door. I know it would take some extra time, and OBs tend to be over scheduled to begin with, but perhaps going over the labor and delivery at the six weeks check up, finding out how the woman feels about it, now that she’s had time to process it (because let’s face it, even when it goes well, it can be a harrowing experience that takes time to wrap your mind around, especially the first time, and even more so if there were complications), and if there is anything she wants to know, or needs explained, would be helpful in identifying women who feel “disrespected”. At the very least it might reduce the possibility of a woman seeking those answers online and finding out (from the NCB advocates) that she was “birth raped”. I know for me, it seemed like everyone just expected me to move on as though nothing had happened, and that really only made the NCB siren song more alluring – here were people that actually wanted to hear the birth story. But using them to “debrief” is a dangerous game. It probably would have been better to use my doc for that debriefing, but that wasn’t really presented as an option.

          • Medwife
            December 9, 2015 at 11:38 am #

            My practice implemented a 2 week visit basically for this reason. Waiting to see people at 6 weeks, we were seeing way too many women who had already spun out in PPD. For some women it’s a 5 minute, yup everything is fine! visit, but for others it helps us reach a woman _before_ she is cemented in the feeling that something horrific has happened to her.

          • Toni35
            December 9, 2015 at 11:54 am #

            I think that’s a good policy. My CNMs (two different practices) did have apps at two weeks, but the OBs I saw for my first and fourth children didn’t see me until six weeks PP. With my last three children debriefing wasn’t really necessary (I’d have been a five minute, yup all is well patient), but I think I would have benefitted from a two week check up, specifically to discuss the L&D and explain what happened and why, after my first born. I think even discussing it at six weeks would have been helpful (I hadn’t had a chance to go too far into the woo at that point), but the complete lack of discussion about it left me feeling like I was in Bizzaro world. I just pushed a bowling ball out of my vagina and no one thought that as worth discussing…. From a ftm’s perspective it was truly weird. Maybe I was naive, but I genuinely thought the six week check up would include that sort of conversation and was quite thrown when it wasn’t even mentioned. That visit might as well have been a normal yearly check up. It was truly odd.

  26. Medwife
    December 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    Nicola’s is some dark comedy. YAY VBAC! And then these horrible hashtags… D:

  27. Tired Momma
    December 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

    I’m confused. Was this baby a 28-weeker? No one thought twice about having a very premature baby at home? None of the “midwives” understood enough about fetal development to know what type of medical attention this baby needed? Please tell me I misread that.

    • attitude devant
      December 7, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

      It is not clear that that was a home birth.

      • Hilary
        December 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

        If it was a homebirth wouldn’t she have called it an HBAC?

    • Azuran
      December 7, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

      I don’t think it was a homebirth. Probably just a Vbac.
      At 28 weeks,
      the baby likely just slid right out while doctors where trying
      everything they could to stop the labour. Or they had to get it out
      because of the IUGR, I don’t know in the case of a 28 weeks baby if a
      vbac or CS birth is safer.

      Perhaps she’s just trying to deal with
      the situation. She does have a very premature baby that is going to
      stay in the NICU for a long while and may not make it or have permanent
      sequels… Maybe she’s concentrating on the VBAC to be positive and
      because of the positive feedback she’s probably getting from whatever
      vbac group she’s in.

      • Daleth
        December 7, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

        When I had symptoms suggestive of preterm labor at 29 weeks, the neonatologists told me babies that gestational age didn’t tolerate labor so well, so a c-section would be the recommendation if they couldn’t stop labor. Fortunately the babies stayed in for almost another 8 weeks.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        December 7, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

        According to the CDC site, there have been attended home births at under 20 weeks. Only 4 in 2008-13 (three died, I don’t know how the other survived but suspect bad dates or incomplete records). There were also 43 births (21 deaths) at GA 20-27. It could have been a home birth and an intentional, attended home birth.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          December 7, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

          Though I suppose the very early home births might be unintentional or situations where the midwife could get to the patient but the patient couldn’t get to the hospital before the birth, rather than people saying, “Eh, a 27 weeks premie is no big deal, I’m sure it’ll be fine outside the hospital.”

        • Tigger_the_Wing
          December 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

          Under 20 weeks? Surely that is a miscarriage?

  28. Hilary
    December 7, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Can’t help but wonder if the reasons Nicola had an EMCS with her first birth was related to what happened with her second. As for her midwives going to “great lengths to monitor and manage” her risks, they are irresponsible idiots for letting a woman they KNEW was high-risk give birth 40 MINUTES away from a hospital.

    We don’t know what happened with her first birth to make her feel disrespected, but I will say as someone who has had a few pretty bad experiences with doctors, that I can understand wanting to avoid that. Some doctors are severely lacking in bedside manner. If I had to choose, I would take a doctor who was rude to me but delivered my baby safely over a midwife who pretended to care while letting me do something obviously stupid and dangerous. Ideally, women wouldn’t have to make that choice.

    • mabelcruet
      December 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

      I know many delivery units put a lot of effort into orientation and have expectant mums come and visit beforehand and meet staff. Surely it wouldn’t be difficult to identify the women who perceive themselves as being traumatised, abused, very anxious etc and have a programme to address their concerns and make them less fearful of delivering in hospital. There’s 9 months to do this in-wouldn’t having some birth counsellors or birth psychologists help? Or a patient advocate who can support her throughout the admission (sorry, I know birthing mums aren’t really patients). Losing babies in this way, when it was probably completely preventable in hospital, just seems so unnecessary.

  29. OttawaAlison
    December 7, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    I’m just hoping these parents are just in utter shock. Nowadays we’re supposed to find the good in even the most terrible situation so saying that they got their VBACs might be a way of coping.
    As someone who is very much a Brightside person, After my stillbirth,I have told people I was grateful for having a vbac for the simple fact I didn’t have to worry too much about my physical state while I was grieving my daughter, but I always always put it in context. Regardless, I was supposed to have a csection if she had been living and pretty much all of it was and is pretty terrible and horrible to go through.

  30. ArmyChick
    December 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    I’d like to know if the baby one day will also say the birth was wonderful.

    Oh, never mind. Thanks to mom’s stupidity, he will most likely not be able to talk. He won’t have a fully functioning brain.

    But it’s okay! She had such a wonderful and empowering birth. Woohoo!

    • Krista
      December 7, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

      i’ve been seeing your activity around here for a while and i just gotta say i love your snark and frank honesty. can i please follow you? 😀

  31. Amy M
    December 7, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    Did anyone say anything to Chrissy, about her preemie in the NICU? I mean, I guess the most polite response to her would be “congratulations” but even if someone offered empathy, saying she’d had a baby in the NICU too, and x,y,z to make it easier?

  32. somethingobscure
    December 7, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    This is absolutely heartwrenching. What disgusting behavior. It’s reaching the point where this should be considered child abuse.

    • I give up.
      December 7, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

      I agree. We know that at 28-weeks, the baby isn’t developed enough to breath on their own. I don’t understand anyone’s thinking in this.

      I have a premature son. He was born at 33 weeks, but he was born in a hospital with a NICU. He’s thriving and should develop normally.

  33. Burgundy
    December 7, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    How disgusting! Her baby has brain damage and will never have a normal life and she call it a “wonderful birth”? This just confirms that babies are just props for these NCBers.

    • Hilary
      December 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

      I don’t think it’s that they are props. I think it’s more that there’s a disconnect between the birth itself (“the experience”) and the outcome (the baby) in a lot of women’s minds. Instead of being linked they are two totally separate things. It sounds to me like she is grieving, while acknowledging that the goal she set for herself – a good birth experience – was achieved. It just wasn’t the right goal.

      • mabelcruet
        December 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

        I think we’ve discussed this aspect before-the homebirthers tend to use phrases like ‘coming earthside’ or ‘their angel has landed’, almost as though they don’t consider the baby human until its born and alive. If it dies, then it was an angel ‘not meant to live’.

        • MaineJen
          December 8, 2015 at 9:48 am #

          I can understand this mindset waaaaaay back in yesteryear (think 100+ years ago), when what happened inside your body during pregnancy really was a mystery, and if your baby died there really was nothing anyone could do.

          But HELLO it’s 2015. We can actually treat complications now. We can head problems off. I don’t understand why people still want to pretend it’s yesteryear, when 2015 is so much better all around.

      • Megan
        December 7, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

        I will admit that for my first pregnancy the actual reality of my pregnancy ending up with a baby seemed very surreal to me, much more so than it does this time around, simply because I had never had a child of my own before. I can kind of understand some of their behavior based on that, especially hen coupled with lack of understanding of the things that happen during pregnancy and childbirth while being fed falsehoods by the NCB industry and midwives.

    • attitude devant
      December 7, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

      Props for the NCBers? How about props for the midwives? Don’t you remember that UK case where the mom died of a post-partum hemorrhage at her homebirth, and the midwife during the inquest literally said she was sorry the mom died but that at least she had a lovely natural birth. You cannot make this stuff up.

      • mabelcruet
        December 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

        Rosie Kacary-the midwife, I will never forget reading that. It just shows that they are in a completely alien frame of reference. 1/3rd of the placenta left behind, mum bled out in front of her, and the midwife says in her defence that she hopes that one day the bereaved husband will remember that Claire (Teague, the mum) had the lovely homebirth that she wanted and thats what counts. Delusional? Mass hysteria of homebirth midwives? Psychopathic personality disorder (although I think Sheena B falls under narcissistic PD personally).

        • Melissaxxxx
          December 8, 2015 at 10:12 am #

          That’s just abhorrent. Dear god.

          Though this obsessive blinded cavalier attitude to the big picture happens for some reason in healthcare. Never forget my disgust watching orthopods congratulate each other smugly each morning on rounds on the “great reduction” or “wound looks good” of patients pallliated and dying from postoperative complications. Whatever, bro, nice sutures….

      • lily
        December 7, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

        I never understood why people would consider murder, but that now makes me understand. What a disgusting, horrible creature who does not deserve the title of human!

        Let’s ask the baby (assuming it too did not die/become brain damaged) and partner what they think.

  34. namaste863
    December 7, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    I’ll give Nicola credit, at least she’s admitting that she seriously fucked up. That’s more than you get out of most of these imbeciles.

  35. jhr
    December 7, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    Incredibly tragic for these little ones whose entire life-potential have been altered for the worse by their parents’ ignorance. The parents future and the future of any other children have been altered, as well. Insanity.

  36. Megan
    December 7, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    The thing that should jump out at anyone considering a homebirth: Look how long it took these babies to even begin to get care. And that’s by the time the problem is even recognized without the kind of monitoring you would have in the hospital. It is not the quick seamless transfer you think it will be and your baby’s brain cells are on the line.

    • LeighW
      December 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

      I can’t stand the “minutes away from the hospital” argument. I sure as hell couldn’t hold my breath that long, what makes them think their newborn can?

      • DelphiniumFalcon
        December 7, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

        And ten minutes away from the hospital while you’re waiting for an ambulance suddenly starts to feel like hours when you have an ill person you’re trying to help and no medical training and you start panicking about what can you possibly do if this person takes a turn for the worse and you don’t know why. With a struggling newborn it must feel like an eternity.

    • Liz Leyden
      December 8, 2015 at 1:01 am #

      When seconds count, EMS is minutes away.

  37. LizzieSt
    December 7, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    I suggest a theme song for the homebirth advocacy movement:

    “All through the day / I me mine / I me mine / I me mine
    All through the night / I me mine / I me mine / I me mine”

    With apologies to George Harrison.

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