What’s our ethical responsibility if a stranger’s baby might be dying?

Decision at a crossroad - Right or Wrong

Someone just asked me the following question on Facebook.

If you had an interview where you stated you don’t even care about your own births, they have “no bearing on your life”… then why do you have to be up someones vagina the minute a fucking baby pops out of THEIR crotch?

image

What prompted that expostulation?

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The issue is medical neglect.[/pullquote]

Yesterday I was sent this photo:

image

The caption reads:

Baby born unassisted tonight. Slow recovery but I’m curious about the cord. My others didn’t look like this, they just turned white. This was candy cane striped for more than an hour after her birth. We cut it and she seemed fine.

It was an apt description. A “candy cane” cord can be associated with severe infection.

As I wrote on my Facebook page:

This baby needs to be seen in the emergency room immediately. A baby can have a life threatening infection without showing any symptoms until it collapses and dies.

If anyone is a member of this group, could they please pass along this information. The mother is planning to take her baby to the pediatrician tomorrow. The baby could be dead long before that.

Obviously, it’s impossible for me (or anyone) to make a diagnosis from a picture, but the picture is sufficiently unusual and the consequences so dire that someone needs to tell the mother.

As I had hoped, the mother learned what I had written. What did she do?

She took herself to the hospital because she had fainted repeatedly, apparently due to excessive blood loss, but, by her own admission:

I did not tell them we had concerns about the baby.

In an effort to justify hiding the truth about the baby, she noted:

Her temperature, color and breathing have remained good (although she is quite grunty and seems to have a lot of birth gook in her nose and throat, congestion sounds)… [W]e’re going to watch her closely for signs of infection and take her to see a doctor on Monday…

But signs of infection in a newborn can be extremely subtle. Newborns with serious infections do not have the same symptoms as toddlers and older children. They may have no fever or even a lower than normal body temperature. Grunting can be a subtle sign of infection. A baby grunts because she is having trouble keeping her airway open. Grunting may be the only sign of a life threatening infection. Everything else might seem fine until the baby has a cardio-respiratory arrest and dies.

The mother appeared on my Facebook page in order to defend herself (she has since deleted her comments), and, of course, her friends swooped in to tell me to mind my own business. As usual, I was accused of being mean to the mother. The issue, according to the mothers defenders, is that I had publicly shamed her. Curiously no one seemed to be the least bit concerned about the health of the baby.

Why did I make a public plea? For two reasons: 1. It was the only I way I could be sure that she would see it; 2. The mother publicly solicited advice about the umbilical cord and I wanted to inform as many people as possible about what it could mean.

The mother is embarrassed? I should hope so. She’s committing medical neglect. Sure, the baby might be perfectly fine, but this is like the case of the Canadian couple who let their toddler die of meningitis. They were told the baby might have meningitis, but instead of getting it checked out by a medical professional, they waited until he was in extremis and then it was too late.

The issue here is medical neglect. The mother has no fear of hospitals; she took herself to the hospital because she doesn’t feel well. She was warned that the baby could be very sick DESPITE the fact that she looks fine. I can imagine many reasons why the mother does not want to have any contact with the hospital (all having to do with protecting herself), but I’m struggling to imagine any reason why getting the baby checked by a pediatrician could have any downside for the baby.

So what, if any, are the ethical obligations of bystanders? If we see a child who may be seriously ill or even dying, and a parent who doesn’t seem to understand the seriousness of the situation, do we have an ethical obligation to let her know? And what if we let her know about the risks and she chooses to ignore them? Do we have an ethical obligation to attempt to change her mind? Do we have an ethical obligation to inform child protection authorities?

I think I do, not because I’m a doctor, but because I’m a human being. It is entirely possible that the baby is fine; I recognize that. In fact, as time goes by and the baby does well, it becomes more likely that she is fine. But then it is entirely possible that any child subject to medical neglect will end up fine, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t medical neglect.

The mother understood that something was wrong. That’s why she sought reassurance on Facebook; but when she couldn’t be reassured she decided to ignore the issue. Should the rest of us ignore it along with her? I don’t think so.

To do so seems to me to be fundamentally unethical.

  • toddler seats

    informative article.
    Child safety is our major concern. If you love your kids and care for them, then its time to take a major step for child safety especially at a time. I had brought a toddler seat for my baby now, we are free from all fear whether it matters when a child gets a side-impact collision.
    http://mrbabygear.com

  • rachelmarie Acosta

    All of the birth online courses it’s all propaganda
    At the end of the day the person selling the propaganda is not going to lose thier baby or endure injury. At the end of the day the person selling online birth classes on how to avoid such and such modern medicine monitoring, they won’t get a lawsuit for malpractice-but the doctors will that will Because at the end of the day when something goes terribly wrong who’s ass is on the line? The babies life and the doctors career. Meanwhile you can sign up for this online conference for natural birth and etc.

    The medical professionals and Mothers have the most to lose in this situation and the online classes I see on natural birth-have the most to gain.

    This might be off topic but it’s been bugging me…

  • Lena

    “I’m struggling to imagine any reason why getting the baby checked by a pediatrician could have any downside for the baby.”

    She doesn’t believe there would have been a downside for the baby, she just didn’t want to prove you right–and thereby demonstrate that she had doubts about her decisions–by having the baby checked out.

    I think you and everyone else does have an ethical obligation to call these types of things out, but it’s not a benefit to the parents or their poor babies. They’re not going to listen to you or anyone else they consider an enemy of this bizarre movement of theirs. They are completely lost to the cult and the only hope for them is that they eventually see themselves out. No, the reason that your voice is so important is that it educates everyone else and hopefully leads to them making better decisions with their babies.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Update: The father messaged me to say that the baby was seen by a doctor today and is fine. I’m so glad; I’ve been very anxious about her since I first received the picture.

    • Irène Delse

      That’s a relief if it’s true. (Call me cynical, but I can see him saying “baby’s fine” when they’re actually in the hospital getting treatment. Well, at least they’re not doing nothing.)

    • Christina Maxwell

      That is good to hear. I hope he’s not lying about seeing a doctor.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        Or referring to a chiropractor or naturopath as a doctor.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I also wonder what he means by “is fine.” Does that mean, they did nothing? Or did they actually treat the baby? I mean, if they put the baby on a dose of antibiotics, it can be “fine” but at the same time, validating all the concern.

          • corblimeybot

            My thoughts exactly. “The baby is fine” could mean all sorts of things. He’d never tell Dr. Amy if what he really means is “the baby is on IV antibiotics and is expected to survive”. Or if he means, “we took the baby to a naturopath who rubbed her with magic herbs, so of course she’s fine”.

    • MI Dawn

      That’s a relief, but I’d have felt much more relieved if he has also PM’d you a picture of mom and baby both doing well. (Yes, I am also cynical, and thinking he’s just trying to save face.) And no, you wouldn’t need to post the picture. I think we all trust that if you had said “I got a picture from dad and both mom and baby look just fine” we would accept that.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Ha ha, joke’s on you “Dr.” Amy! That dad didn’t give one zero fuck about no stinkin’ necrotic cord and turns out he was right! And you sat there all anxious.

    • corblimeybot

      If he’s telling the truth, then I’m beyond relieved.

    • guest

      This is good to hear. And the concern was not for nothing: I never knew about candy cane cords, and now I do.

    • BeatriceC

      I want to be relieved, I really do, but they’ve told so many different versions of the same events that I’m not entirely trusting that he’s telling the truth this time.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      I hope dear old daddy isn’t lying. They don’t strike me as being very honest people from how often they’ve changed their story.

  • Naturalism

    #ImWithMedicalScience

  • Denise

    I posted before and said I knew this family. I haven’t had a lot of time to follow this story due to being busy. But I can tell you for sure those kids do not have a regular doctor. Those kids are not immunized. She did not have a trained midwife with a medical kit at her births. For the love of all things that are holy- do not shame concerned citizens. They had a right and reason to be concerned. That baby cannot speak for itself. She posted on her personal page not long ago supporting those whack jobs that let yheir kid die of meningitis. Saying they did everything they could. Her views have gone completely off the deep end. If you absolutely must home birth- have a midwife. Call 911 for complications. I still don’t suggest it or support it but those are the very minimum guidelines a sensible parent would at least take. If you are not going to vaccinate at least have the kids seeing a pediatrician to track their growth,health and weight. Someone posted somewhere about CPS knowing this family. I don’t believe CPS has ever been involved but she had a very deep paranoia of CPS. They unschool and don’t provide regular medical care. She knew what she was doing. Seeing some of her screenshots have me completely floored. I believe it is just a matter of time before CPS gets an emergency order to take the kids into custody to have them evaluated because they are not cooperating. He is military. The military is going to have a field day with this and burn his ass for not complying. I just can’t. This is unbelieveable on so many levels.

    • Daleth

      Is there anyone you can call about them? Military or CPS? Board of Education?

      • Denise

        I knew them at another military base. People are saying they are in california now. Supposedly CPS and the police have come to their door.

        • BeatriceC

          Before they locked down their privacy settings their city was displayed on their fb pages. It’s a city in Northern California. The father did state that CPS came to the door. That was the last public statement, but even that’s been removed or made private. I’m just really hoping that they wised up and stopped talking and didn’t go silent because something went very wrong.

          • Denise

            He posted last night that he was calling the police because of online harassment due to his PUBLIC posts. So they called the police to their own home.

          • BeatriceC

            I didn’t see that post. I’ve not been checking all that often, so he must have posted that between the long post that got screen capped and shared here and when I saw they’d gone private. Trying to ferret out the truth has been interesting. They’ve told multiple different versions of the same events, so it’s hard to say what’s really true.

          • Amazed

            WHAT?

            I’d love to see what the police had to say to Ellen Mary’s post, for one. She said, “Please listen to Dr Amy, keep disliking her if you must. I disliked her as well but my third baby is alive because of her. Have the baby checked. Prove her wrong.”

            The very face of harassment, this one.

          • Karen in SC

            That may be one of the best endorsements for Dr. Amy that I have ever read.

          • Mel

            I’m sorry, but that made me laugh pretty hard.

          • Daleth

            That is SO funny.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            What is it about these morons that they don’t seem to know how the Internet works?

          • Who?

            ‘…how anything works?’

            Fixed it!

      • Maestro_Wu

        Contacting the military member’s chain of command or the Department of Defense Family Advocacy Program (or better yet, both) would yield immediate results on this. Once someone in the military is tagged with a Family Advocacy Program complaint they will be thoroughly investigated and possibly charged under the military justice system. If anyone knows ’em, I suggest you intervene for the good of the kids. http://www.militaryonesource.mil/phases-military-leadership?content_id=266712

        • Daleth

          I see why you’re called Maestro! Thanks for posting that. If I knew them, I’d call.

        • Denise

          His COC knows. Police,cps and his chain are well involved.

    • Denise

      They have free and plentiful access to unlimited healthcare as military members. Always have for the years that any of their children have been born. This is purely selfish and negligent. There are some things about childbirth in a hospital that are not fun,can be embarassing and are not pleasant thoughts for me. But would I take that any day over risking my child’s health? Hell yes. Doctors go to school for a reason and know what the hell they are doing. Google doesn’t make you an expert. Jesus.

      • corblimeybot

        I have a close relative in the military. He and his wife have a small case of NCB. She had their baby in the military hospital. To this day, they complain that the military hospital treated her for stalled labor and interfered with her magical birth. It seems really ungrateful to me.

    • Gatita

      I’m glad he’s in the military so he has to be accountable to someone for his behavior. I would think just having an unassisted birth in military housing would be enough to get them in trouble.

    • Diane

      Out of curiosity, Diane, were you are involved in her pregnancy as you are in attempting to “save” her children now? Were you as emotionally or vocally invested in ensuring that she received appropriate treatment for her severe pregnancy condition as you are in blasting her on the internet? If you are such a knowledgeable “friend”, do you even know what she went through in order to carry this child?

      • momofone

        I’m not Denise, but I will say, as someone who struggled to have a child, that that figured in all the more strongly when it came to ensuring that child’s safety and well-being.

      • Gatita

        Oh FFS, stop it. She never said she was friends with this couple, only that she knows them through the military connection. And she’s as appalled as any reasonable person would be over their behavior. Also, as Diane has pointed out, military folks get free healthcare so if the mother hasn’t sought out appropriate treatment for a pregnancy-related condition, that’s on her.

        • sdsures

          Not to mention having a dead baby on her conscience. If she has one. But I’m sure she’d want to check FB for opinions, first.

      • Amazed

        Are you another unassisted birther? Or the “medical professional” who assigned the APGAR scores? How are you related to this family of dangerous lunatics?

        I don’t give a damn about what she went through to carry this baby. If she went through a lot (you aren’t exactly a credible source), then she’s even more scorn-worthy for risking this baby’s life by giving birth unassisted AND once again, by placing her internet pride before her baby’s very life.

        You’re all a bunch of scumbags, Diane, just so you know. Oh, but don’t say this to poor mom and dad. After all, they’ll be crushed that a stranger on the internet despise them. It isn’t a small detail like their baby being in grave danger, after all.

      • Denise

        Did you just address yourself by accident? Typo or much? You can’t defend this hot mess landslide of irresponsible decisions. I’m sure she suffered through Hypermesis again.If it was so severe for her why keep having babies? She knew she would get it again. Why choose not to have a midwife? She had been told before that due to her PPH history, homebirth was ill advised. She chose to go very far overdue in previous pregnancies. So much so that she herself said her placenta looked “old”. Do you think maybe there is a reason doctor’s do inductions? She used to preach this stuff from the rooftops. Tell everyone she came into contact with what she was doing and why. She has documented this on public blog posts. After people caught wind of the candy cane umbilical cord it was like a big joke to them. How about her judgey turd post? How about the fact that she thinks she tore and is wearing adult diapers? This isn’t some 3rd world country. She is choosing this and that baby does not have a choice.

        • Amazed

          Hyperemesis? That’s what my SIL had with my niece. She actually went 9 kgs down by her sixth month.

          I didn’t know that somehow let her not treat the viral infection little one is having right now and keep her awesome mom medal.

          • Denise

            She was hospitalized for it before. One of her last pregnancies she actually stopped all medical appointments around the 20-25 week range because a military midwife expressed outrage that she was planning on birthing unassisted. This was all documented on her facebook and blog.

      • corblimeybot

        She went through so much to carry this child…. yet she was willing to deny the child medical care, and risk the child’s death by sepsis. Just so she didn’t have to drop the NCB game for a moment.

        No matter what she “went through in order to carry this child”, it didn’t result in her giving a shit about the child. So it’s hard to see how it relates.

      • Emma

        I don’t know this person. But if she went through so much in order to carry her child, WHY oh why would she take such a risk? Why would she even take a tiny risk?? Or any risk at all?! When you’re receiving advice that your child’s LIFE could be at risk, and you KNOW something doesn’t look/seem right (of course she knew, which is why she was asking in the first place), why chance it? Who wouldn’t just take the baby to the doctor?! If you’ve carried this baby for nine months, gone through whatever on top of that, you’d think a person wouldn’t even bother with social media, that they’d simply take the child to a professional if they had any inkling something was wrong. Things can happen SO fast with babies this young. Sure, you could wait around, wait it out, stay home and see if it’s truly necessary, but why would you? Especially given the fact that if something IS truly wrong, by the time you get definite confirmation, it might be too late…

  • lawyer jane

    I just can’t get my head around someone who would take *herself* to the hospital, but not her newborn. Even if the newborn was born perfectly healthy at home, you think she’d want at least a midwife to examine her. Is it that they were worried about getting in trouble for the UC, or adamant about vaccinations?

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Maybe she’s hoping her kids will die because she really doesn’t love or want them but feels obligated to keep cranking them out for the father. That’s the only thing I can come up with for such unbelievable selfishness and self absorption.

  • Laura8Pufferfish

    Well drama aside I for one am glad Dr Amy did this. I had never heard of the “candy cane” cord before. Nor did I know much about the signs of infection in a newborn despite being a mother myself. Very informative and important info that should be out there. Especially with the home birthing and natural childbirth community.
    So thanks Amy. I have learned some new and vital info.

    • Azuran

      Yea but the NCB community is unlikely to do anything intelligent with this info. They will probably go with ‘it’s a variation of normal’ and use this baby surviving as proof that it’s nothing to worry about.

      • Laura8Pufferfish

        Possibly but just more people being aware could save a life. Having more knowledge is never a bad thing.

    • Heidi_storage

      Ditto. Newborns scare me–they’re so fragile, and their behavior is so weird anyway that it’s hard for me to tell when something’s actually wrong. I took my first to the pediatrician for a cold when she just had normal newborn snuffles, and also entirely failed to recognize her diaper rash. Am expecting Number 3 soon, and STILL worried that I’m going to miss something important, but at least I know the kid’s excellent pediatrics nurses are on the other end of a telephone. I love the advice line!

  • Linden

    You know what, Dr Amy did not publicly shame this family at all. She gave them very useful medical advice that could be life-saving.
    That being said, I am ALL FOR public shaming of people who put their child at risk through hubris. It’s not even through ignorance, because they have been *warned* that there could be a problem.
    The mother got health care for herself, and refused it for her child. She trusts health care workers for that, her mistrust disappears when it is *her* in discomfort or danger.
    Deep in their heart of hearts, these two KNOW what they are doing is wrong. Hence the secrecy. And they are doing wrong due to misplaced paranoia about healthcare and childcare workers, and they are doing it out of pride. If they didn’t have their echo chamber to reinforce both those things, their child would not be in danger. Someone has to interject reality into their bubble. However this turns out, thank you Dr Tuteur.

  • Sue
  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Do you know where the mother lives? It sounds like CPS needs to be contacted.

    • BeatriceC

      They are already involved. According to sources that may or may not be accurate, CPS and the police showed up sometime yesterday and were refused entry. The next step if they feel its necessary would be to get a warrant, but that can take time.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        Well, thank god the police are stepping in.

        • BeatriceC

          It’s difficult to say what they will do. If I understand California law, CPS does need to at least “lay eyes” on the child, and that might not have happened yet, hence the need for a warrant. However, CPS workers are also overworked, so they might not push the matter.

          • Dr Kitty

            I don’t get refusing entry.
            CPS want nothing more than to walk into a habitable dwelling, see clean, appropriately clothed, well looking, happy children doing developmentally appropriate things and interacting with their siblings and parents in a loving way. Then they can walk out and close the case.

            If you act like you have something to hide, they worry that you have something to hide and have to take all necessary steps to ensure that you don’t.

            In the UK Health Visitors see babies in their own homes, at least 3 times before they turn 1, and they have a right of entry (literally, if you don’t open the door, they call the police to break it down, no warrant needed). Abuse still gets missed, but not as much as it used to.

            In my house, which is warm and clean and dry and covered in books and toys and art my kid has done, where I have cookies and fruit on the counter and it is clear my kids are well fed and clothed and cared for, the visit is quick and friendly and not at all intrusive.

            Defiance for the sake of it just makes CPS suspicious that there is something going on.

          • Heidi

            I totally agree about the CPS thing. If for some reason CPS came to investigate us, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to let them in. I have nothing to hide and would be more than happy to prove it. Either these people are paranoid beyond any kind of justification or they are hiding things.

          • BeatriceC

            Well, there are good reasons to distrust CPS in the US. There have been more than a few cases actress the country of them misusing their power. And the fourth amendment does cover CPS entry, so they are in their legal rights to refuse entry. I don’t think it’s a wise choice, but legally they didn’t do anything wrong on that count.

            That said, they appear to have gone silent. They’ve also locked down the privacy settings on their pages. I’m desperately hoping that’s because somebody told them to stop talking as it was making things worse for them, and not that a tragedy has occurred.

          • BeatriceC

            Across. Damn my phone.

          • Gatita

            Those cases get a lot of publicity but the reality is that in most cities CPS is so overloaded with legitimate cases that they can’t handle that they aren’t looking to put people into the system for arbitrary reasons. In fact there are many abuse cases that are getting overlooked and not dealt with because of the lack of resources.

          • BeatriceC

            Oh, I know that, but the fact is that it happens, so the fear isn’t entirely out of nowhere. I don’t agree at all with their refusal to at least bring the baby to the door to let them see that she was still alive. Unfortunately, I think they are too deep in the woo for anybody to get through to them, and fear that tragedy will strike this family sometime in the future, if not now, and that makes me sad.

          • guest

            Whether it’s rational or not, I’m afraid of CPS as a single parent. I might, for example, want to see a counselor about anger management, but wouldn’t go because I wouldn’t have a guarantee of confidentiality if the counselor felt my children were in danger of abuse. Considering the recently published studies about how any form of spanking has negative effects on children, I can easily see someone interpreting any instance of hitting a child as abuse (I’ve seen it stated many times online that any instance of hitting a child is abuse and the children should be taken away) and therefore I cannot trust anyone I don’t already know to help me with what I might consider something I want to improve on, but not abuse worth removing children from the home. But once those kids are removed, your life is hell – everyone in your neighborhood knows what happened. It likely comes out at work, particularly if you have to miss work for court dates, etc. It may be rare, but the consequences are so serious I’m not at all surprised that people deny entry.

          • BeatriceC

            I do understand that. That’s why I said I do understand people being afraid of CPS. I’ve had my own dealings with them. It’s not fun. Everything turned out okay, but it was really stressful while it was going on.

          • guest

            I guess I would let them in if someone did call, though. I might ask if they could do it another time if they came when my kitchen was on fire from a cooking accident or something, you know? And I wouldn’t really expect them to say yes, but I’d be concerned if they showed up at a time I felt wasn’t representative of our normal life.

          • Gatita

            What you’re describing is not even close to what my experience has been with the system. I spent the summer interning with a Catholic child welfare agency observed several instances of children being taken away from their parents. It is a really big deal. There are nowhere near enough foster families to take in all the children who need immediate placement. No one is yanking kids over an occasional slapped behind. The cases I saw where children were removed were horrific–picture a newborn lying naked on the floor in his own waste with roaches crawling over him, garbage strewn through the apartment, no food in the fridge and hungry older children.

            I also know a neighbor who had CPS on them because she and her teenaged daughter were getting into physical fights. CPS arranged for the family to get counseling with a social worker. No sanctions, no one was removed from the home.

            Another point I want to make is that in every instance I witnessed where someone had their children removed from the home, the parents got hysterical and screamed that their kids were being taken away for no reason. It was never true. There was always a damned good reason for doing it.

          • guest

            Yes, I have heard all that. And if makes sense, but it doesn’t get rid of my fear. I think it has a lot to do with being my children’s only parent with little money: it takes very little to disrupt our family completely.

          • corblimeybot

            My mother worked with CPS for many years and she would agree with you. I can never remember her talking about a case when a kid got taken for no good reason, but she’s told uncountable stories of kids who didn’t get taken away when they should have been.

          • Dr Kitty

            Looking at death certificate data, the USA has much, much higher rates of children being killed by their parents or caregivers, through murder, misadventure and neglect than comparable developed nations.

            So CPS seem overstretched because they genuinely are having to work harder than similar services in similar countries.

            Maybe some of that is the because the services are stretched thin dealing with people who choose to live off the grid, or unschool, or otherwise are in a grey area between “raising my kids happily according to my beliefs” and “causing my kids irreparable harm by following my beliefs”.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15288865

          • Gatita

            It’s also geography. People in Europe have a hard time understanding just how big and remote parts of the US are. Much harder to monitor kids and provide supervision under those circumstances.

          • LeighW

            An American thinks a 100 years is a long time,
            A European thinks a 100 miles is a long way to travel

          • Margo

            We have a pretty poor record of child abuse in NZ.

          • lunasea

            No, a few cases got a lot of media attention. There are going to be mistakes and the rogue social worker here and there. They are more likely to leave an abused kid because they have no proof than take one away for no reason. Don’t slander the various DCFS offices across the country.

            -signed, a longtime foster mom

          • Erin

            I think it can be blurred, having worked in a job which involved working closely with social services/health visitors and doing home visits myself.

            I personally hate strangers in my house. My house is my sanctuary, the one place I mostly feel safe and having people I’m not comfortable with, especially those I actively dislike (our health visitor) come in is hard. Not because there is anything wrong with the house, there are books everywhere, postcards of places we’ve visited recently, loads of photographs of us and family, chalkboards covered in doodles and fingerprint art stuck to the fridge. Yet it still has a really negative effect on me.

            Sure, I let the health visitor in however I get anxious and stressed in the run to up the visit, during and for quite a while afterwards.

            I’m absolutely dreading the six visits ours likes to do between day 10 and week 8 already.

            I’ve worked with other women who have viewed their homes the same way. It once took me four hours to convince someone to let us cross their threshold, talking to her through the letterbox and I think when you’re that panicked, it’s hard to think your actions through.

  • sisterlilbunny

    I don’t get this whole “It takes a village” but eff off if you disagree with our view approach that people in these groups take. It doesn’t make sense!

    • Sue

      Exactly! They aren’t crowd-sourcing medical advice, they are crowd-sourcing validation of their own ideology.

    • Irène Delse

      Well, “it takes a village” doesn’t apply to THEM, only to other, inferior parents…

  • Brooke

    Instead of alleviating some of their fear and anxiety about taking this baby to the hospital, you selfishly chose to publically humiliate them and post these screenshots out of context on your Facebook. You weren’t looking to help because her last name was removed and she was not tagged in the post. You didn’t message her. How would you feel as a parent if someone was criticizing your parenting choices publically and was accusing you of putting your child’s life in danger etc? Probably not great. Maybe scared for your child but possibly scared about backlash/CPS etc at the hospital and losing custody of your child. Thank god these parents weren’t mentally ill or didn’t just delete their Facebook page altogether. You played a really fucked up manipulative game with these parents that could’ve resulted in them doubling down on their beliefs, deleting their account and a dead baby. You’re a really warped, sick person.

    Also you didn’t provide them with any new information. Someone commented to your initial post that people within that group were already recommending they take the baby to the hospital.

    • Gene

      (Pulls up a chair, popcorn bowl in hand). This should be entertaining!

      • Charybdis

        *brings floor pillow, flops on floor*

        I brought Milk Duds. Want some?

        • Gene

          Junior mints all the way!

    • Nick Sanders

      So she should have posted her whole name? In which case you would have accused Dr. Tuteur of sending legions after her to harass her, I’m sure.

    • momofone

      “You’re a really warped, sick person.”

      If you believe this, what does it say about you that you can’t stay away?

      Edited to add that the only people responsible for whatever happened or happens to this poor baby are her parents, regardless of what “mean” (meaning reality-based) thing anyone else says to them.

      • corblimeybot

        I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Brooke has a psychologically unhealthy fixation on Dr. Amy that she needs to address.

    • momofone

      So wait. She “played a really fucked up manipulative game,” but “Also didn’t provide them with any new information” because other people were already telling them to seek medical care? By your reasoning, then, those other people were playing the same “fucked up manipulative game” long before Dr. Tuteur tried to get word to the mother about the potential dangers to the baby. Which is it, Brooke?

    • corblimeybot

      Hey Brooke, if their baby dies, it’s THEIR fault. I see you trying to say that Dr. Amy is soooooo mean that she can cause a baby to die. But that’s not how it works.

      When most parents get a hint their child may need urgent medical attention, they take that child to the hospital. They don’t fight for hours on Facebook, about how their feelings were hurt that anyone could dare question their parental perfection. They don’t say, “Gee what if CPS investigates us? Well, better risk my child’s death than risk a talk with CPS!”

      If the baby dies, it’s because the parents did nothing in the face of overwhelming agreement that they must take their child to the hospital. It has nothing to do with anyone but them. Are they adults or aren’t they? Because if some internet anger can keep them from making the correct medical decisions for their NEWBORN, then CPS NEEDS to be involved.

    • CSN0116

      Yawn.

    • Box of Salt

      Brooke “possibly scared about backlash/CPS”
      They should be scared about CPS if they are anti-vaccine, anti-dentist, and anti-schooling as mentioned in other comments on this post. People like them are why CPS exists. The P stands for Protective, and when the parents aren’t willing to do that for their children, someone else should.

      • Nick Sanders

        But Hollywood has told me that CPS are just a bunch of jerks who only want to separate loving families!

    • Amy

      You are out to lunch. Let’s take this point by point.

      Nothing she did is selfish. Making a post on a Sunday (she usually posts only on weekdays), hell, even maintaining this blog…..isn’t in her own self-interest. She’s retired. She and her husband are VERY financially well-off thanks to both being highly accomplished in lucrative fields. Her kids are grown. She doesn’t make money on this blog and has to put up with people like you.

      THEY PUT THEMSELVES ON FACEBOOK. Holy crap this bleating the crunchy brigade do about how mean Dr. Amy is for daring to have an opinion on birth stories, pictures, videos, blog posts, and pictures that other people POST ON THE INTERNET is just so off-target.

      You can’t tag non-friends on Facebook, it’s simply not something the site or app can perform. Messaging non-friends is possible, but messages from non-friends go to a filtered folder that many people never check.

      You’re comparing people *feeling bad* to a baby’s life being in danger. These two things are not even in the same galaxy of comparison.

      If the parents deleted their Facebook account, that is on them, not Dr. Amy. The mother publicly posted about her UC, publicly posted a picture of her baby’s cord, and publicly asked for advice. Dr. Amy had no way of getting directly in contact with the mother, so she posted on her own page and asked for anyone who COULD get in touch to do so.

      What is sick and warped is equating a baby’s life with perceived slights on social media. You natural-at-all-costs folks band together and encourage each other in increasingly dangerous practices, and flip out at anyone who challenges the all-natural orthodoxy. And then you DARE to accuse people who worry about babies’ lives being in danger of being selfish.

      • Sue

        Brookes’ posts are very useful for systematically debunking the multitude of cognitive errors she displays.

    • Gatita

      This is Amy’s original post:

      Someone just forwarded this to me. It appears to show a classic “candy cane” umbilical cord, also known as “barber pole” umbilical cord. It is typically associated with severe INFECTION.

      This baby needs to be seen in the emergency room immediately. A baby can have a life threatening infection without showing any symptoms until it collapses and dies.

      If anyone is a member of this group, could they please pass along this information. The mother is planning to take her baby to the pediatrician tomorrow. The baby could be dead long before that.

      Obviously, it’s impossible for me (or anyone) to make a diagnosis from a picture, but the picture is sufficiently unusual and the consequences so dire that someone needs to tell the mother.

      http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/placentaacutefunisitis.html

      Read that, then read Brooke’s post again. Please.

    • Margo

      Brooke….personally I found the blog very informative and therefore helpful for a wide range of readers. As stated, infection in a baby can be very subtle, these are things the public need to know, anyone who reads this blog stands a good chance of coming away with important information regarding babies and infection. Too often I think we worry way too much about parent feelings being hurt…..no parent wants to full short, but some do, for whatever reason they just do,and that’s why we need to speak up when we see something potentially not right and if we offend, then so be it. Personally I would rather be offended than have a dead baby on my hands.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Well, when my doctors told me my baby’s life was in danger and yes, we did have real doctors and not seeked advice on a Facebook page I sure did what they told me.

      When months later my mother advised me to go to the pediatrician because she was concerned about my son’s health I did go to his pediatrician and followed her advice. He did have a mild infection that got cured in a couple of days with the right antibiotic.

      I did not feel threatened or scared about losing custody of my son. Why? Because even though I would consider losing custody a tragedy there is something much much much worse than losing custody of my son, and that is my son dying. And THAT is what really makes me not sleep at night. The fact that he might be ill enough to be at risk of dying is absolutely terrifying.

    • Christina Maxwell

      Why are we even bothering to talk to this person? She/he is obviously just a common or garden scumbag with an agenda and an obsession. It is also painfully obvious that she/he doesn’t care a jot about babies or indeed the potentially grieving parents who might be left behind.
      Begone, scumbag. Take your pathetic whining and lies elsewhere.

    • Daleth

      How would you feel as a parent if someone was criticizing your parenting choices publically and was accusing you of putting your child’s life in danger etc?

      Not good, but if that’s actually what I was doing, criticizing me for it would be the right thing to do.

      Just because what you say makes parents feel bad doesn’t mean saying it is bad.

    • Roadstergal

      “How would you feel as a parent if someone was criticizing your parenting choices publically and was accusing you of putting your child’s life in danger etc?”

      Note to self – Brooke cares more about the possibility of being criticized than the possibility that she might actually be putting the life of her child in danger.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Here’s the father’s explanation:

    • BeatriceC

      His reading comprehension skills leave a lot to be desired. Apparently “obviously I cannot make a diagnosis from a picture, but this is sufficiently abnormal enough to warrant an exam” (or however you wrote that, I’m on my iPad and can’t go back and forth easily), means that you made a diagnosis and his baby will die.

    • momofone

      He doesn’t give “one zero fuck” and doesn’t have one fucking clue.

    • corblimeybot

      Of course he’s still typing nonsense onto Facebook. Of course this is how he’s spending his time when his child could be on the precipice of death.

    • Young CC Prof

      “If the blogger had been purely altruistic, she would have messaged my wife directly.”

      Yeah, except FB sends messages from people you don’t know to this weird sub-folder. And, IIRC, you first saw the picture without a name attached.

    • Gatita

      He says the baby had no other symptoms besides the candy cane cord but initially the mom claimed the baby was grunting (symptom of sepsis) and that the baby had gunk/meconium coming out of its nose. These people are liars in addition to being bugfucking crazy.

    • CSN0116

      Dr. T you’ve been to court for online harassment before?! Woah…impressive. Of all the shit on the interwebz, your ass got dragged in 😉

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        The irony is that I sued someone for harassing ME by trying to take my blog down. As you can see, my blog is still here.

        • BeatriceC

          He probably saw your name associated with a harassment suit and faile to read further. He’s proven his reading comprehension skills to be quite lacking in other statements, so that’s not an unrealistic hypothesis.

      • Sarah

        It was funny the number of people who thought Gina had sued Amy.

    • Mrs.Katt the Cat

      I wonder if they ever read your actual post, or just reacted to how others passed along the info and got defensive.

      • Amazed

        Once again proving just how amazing parents those two dears are. I mean, if I post a question indicating concern for my baby’s wellbeing on the vast internet and someone tells me, “Hey, there’s a doctor telling the world that you’re mad and neglectful because your child may DIE according to the picture you posted and the words you used,” OF COURSe my first reaction will be to take to the internet to defend myself. Why should I read to see for myself what this doctor has to say about my kid possibly dying? It’s my honour that’s sullied! I may lose my crunchy internet badge! I mean, what other choice there is?

    • Michele Tattoli

      It’s not about judging. It’s about concern for your child after you questioned the abnormal cord. And hell yes, we all judge. If someone beats their kids, I will judge them. If someone has a birth with a medical anomaly and does go have it checked out by a professional, I judge them. I’m sure you are nice enough people and if I met you on the playground I’d think “they are nice” but you are putting your newborn at risk and people are telling you so you get the child medical attention. Really it’s an act of love.

    • Nick Sanders

      “We’re all special snowflakes! WAH!”

    • Sue

      If they had “done their research”, were so experienced and so calm, why did they post the photo and crowd-source advice?

    • Allison

      I’m calling b.s. on dad here. As an EMT, I can tell you there isn’t a reasonable paramedic on God’s green earth who would strongly advise a parent against taking a newborn to the hospital, especially if they learned that he/she was delivered unassisted at home. Either the parents are full of crap, or they gave just enough crap info to the paramedics to try to elicit the answer they wanted to hear from them. I hope those paramedics documented this call well, because I think someone’s trying to throw them under the bus.

      • Sarah

        I’m no paramedic but those were my thoughts too. There’s not a chance in hell that happened how they tell it.

    • Heidi_storage

      Are they taking the kid to a real doctor, or to some holistic naturopath? I sure would like to hear that the kid is okay–provided that it’s confirmed by an actual pediatrician.

      • Azuran

        Well, both parents have changed their FB page privacy setting during the night. So I guess we are unlikely to know.

        • Heidi_storage

          Yeah, but didn’t the dad say in his ramblings that he was going to send Dr. Tuteur a message to let her know the baby was okay?

          • MI Dawn

            Let’s hope he follows through, but I’m betting he won’t. I’m concerned about the “sleepy baby” in gatita’s screenshot above, too. Sick babies sleep because anything else takes too much energy.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          This is just completely telling.

          Go to your public FB page and ask for advice about your baby. Get advice about your baby that you don’t like. Set your FB private.

          That tells me pretty much everything I would need to know about them.

        • Heidi

          Setting it to private almost makes me think the baby isn’t okay and they aren’t going to disclose. I really, really hope that’s not the case, though.

          • BeatriceC

            I’m hoping a lawyer or the cops or somebody told them to stop talking.

    • D/

      So to summarize, after years of on-line research they printed out pages of self- developed instructions for practically every possible outcome. THEY PRINTED PAGES, for crissakes … Plus they’ve already delivered three other babies!?

      ^ This “confidence” literally makes me feel ill and is a perfect example of why I don’t participate in mommy birth (or breastfeeding) groups on-line.

      Thirty years ago I was able to start directly in the nursery as a new graduate nurse. The unit had experienced a nearly complete turn-over in staff in the months prior with my two most experienced preceptors having themselves graduated only the year before. It was a lower level acuity facility at the time without mandatory 24 hour in-house Peds/ OB/ anesthesia coverage.

      I’m embarrassed to think of how many babies were discovered deathly ill hours after birth because they were being monitored by inexperienced nurses who would often miss those subtle, initial signs of sepsis and such. We were all RNs with years of nursing education and specialized neonatal coursework who had attended more births than any mother would ever have as children herself, had all manner of equipment, and had (relatively) quick access to physicians. Even with all that, it was blind luck that we didn’t have fatal outcomes for every one of those kids as a result of our ignorance.

      Neonatal illness, in general, can be subtle until it suddenly isn’t, and then it’s deadly! And this is especially true if you haven’t personally witnessed enough shit go sideways to even recognize what you’re looking at. I’m SO glad others can wade off into all this, but I don’t have the patience or fortitude to deal with it in real time. I just don’t!

  • BeatriceC

    Not sure if it was here or another thread talking about this situation, but I am with the person who’s curiosity is piqued as to where all the NCB parachutes are. They normally swoop in to defend this nonsense.

  • jenn

    🙁 the father has posted a huge story, stating that the paramedics strongly urged rhem NOT to have the baby seen. Does that seem right?
    Also, that was the only time the vaby was mentioned until the very end

    • Denise

      I don’t believe that. What medical professional would do that? I knew these people. Its absolutely true she had PPH before. Its also absolutely true she did not bring her babies in twice. She would specifically not call an ambulance and have someone drive her to avoid outside involvement. She did not have a trained midwife and birthed in military housing twice.

      • CSN0116

        She sounds like she has an undiagnosed mental illness.

    • BeatriceC

      Screen prints of the father’s version, with multiple easily disproven statements regarding what was and wasn’t said, has been posted on the SOB fb page.

      • BeatriceC

        Adding that a follower of Dr. Amy posted them in the comments of one her her posts, not posted by Dr. Amy herself.

    • Azuran

      As if anyone would strongly urge AGAINST having a newborn baby be evaluated, let alone anyone with any kind of medical background.

      Anyone with half a brain would think that yea, getting your newborn baby checked up after it’s birth is a sensible thing to do, regardless of where and how it was born and regardless of how it appears to be doing.

    • corblimeybot

      The paramedics never did that. It never happened. They might have told them, “we cannot force you to go to the hospital”, but they never told the parents of a newborn that the child required no evaluation. Whatever happened, they are openly lying about that, and it’s not even vaguely believable.

      • momofone

        The only way I can remotely see that happening is if the parents said something along the lines of “oh, should we take the baby?” then in response to questioning by the paramedics they said they had no concerns about the baby, which is apparently what they told the doctor(s) the mother saw.

        • Gatita

          Right. They were transporting mom so maybe they advised the family to keep baby home since the ER is not a great place for a healthy baby, But the paramedics were never informed about the baby’s symptoms.

          • momofone

            It’s the only thing that makes sense and is anywhere near in line with their story. I believe it’s total omission on the part of the parents.

          • Irène Delse

            It’s the only thing that makes sense.

    • mkimbee

      As a paramedic I can easily say that I always urge parents to let me transport their child or to take them by car asap to the ER rather than wait until their pediatrician is on duty. With kids, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Any decent paramedic will say the same. There are some lazy f***s out there who will press not going just to avoid paperwork.

    • Heidi

      I highly doubt it. I worked in the ER and we were never to tell people they shouldn’t be seen, even if we knew all they had was a cold.

    • Sue

      Paramedics would NEVER, EVER “urge” a family not to get a grunting newborn seen medically. Never.

    • Lee Collier

      It’s almost certainly like the Larson “What Dogs Hear” cartoon (Google it..!) – the paramedics probably talked with the family for ages, tried their best to see a baby that they might not have been allowed to touch, and gave the best pragmatic advice they could given the circumstances. Somewhere within a long medical negotiation conversation would have been a few words that could be misconstrued to mean “don’t take the baby to the hospital” and that’s the only phrase the parents heard and retained. It’s happened to me a couple of times before, where I’ve counselled parents for 30 or 40 minutes when their baby needs antibiotic treatment, and after a circular repetitive conversation ultimately agreed to close observation without active treatment. The next day a colleague comes to me and says “Mrs X said you agreed that the baby didn’t need antibiotics, they’re very upset that he now has a fever and hasn’t fed all night…”

      • Azuran

        It’s also possible that when faced with someone who was fainting from blood loss, they were in a hurry to get her in the ambulance. So it’s possible they didn’t argue with her to bring the baby in order to get her to the hospital faster.
        Especially since she probably did not tell the paramedics that the baby had cord problems and was grunting.

        • Tigger_the_Wing

          I had PPH which finally made itself obvious* three days after I arrived home from hospital, a week after giving birth to my daughter; there was no question but that she came in the ambulance with me.

          *She was one of twins; her twin died in the first trimester, but (unbeknownst to anyone) the placenta continued to grow. A day after my daughter was born, it blocked the cervix so although I was bleeding heavily into my uterus, there was nothing coming out until it shifted.

          • Sonja Henie

            Wow!

          • Tigger_the_Wing

            I was very lucky to survive, but survive I did; it’s a looong story, and a long time ago (1984).

      • LeighW

        My grandfather is like that which is why I sit with him through all of his appointments and take notes. He used to complain after every single appointment that they “won’t do anything”.

        No Opa, that’s not what they said! They said there were a lot of things they *could* do, but since the cancer on your kidney isn’t growing or causing you any discomfort it’s better that they just keep an eye on it instead of risking you dying in surgery or ending up on dialysis, because you’re f*cking 85, not 25!

        I have to keep reinforcing that the entire way home, but by the time we get there he understands*. Dr’s visits go so much easier now and he’s less miserable and bitchy about going.

        (*he’s of sound mind, just damn stubborn.)

  • Denise

    I knew this family years ago through the air force. She does not have a pediatrician I believe. She has gone farther and farther down the rabbit hole of anti establishment. I’m honestly shocked its reached this point.

    • jenn

      Is it me, or is it ironic that she and her husband are so distrusting of the government given his livelihood?

      • Denise

        He joined before their views spun out of control.

        • CSN0116

          Weird.

          • Denise

            They were teenage parents. The first one was born in a hospital.

          • CSN0116

            And “held down and had his penis mutilated against his will.” They are “forever guilty and will never let it happen again.”

          • momofone

            “Against his will,” but obviously with their consent.

          • CSN0116

            They’re wiser now…

          • momofone

            Of course. That old standby: “When you know better, you do better.”

          • Heidi_storage

            Whoah. Our hospital asked us if we wanted to circumcise, said “Okay” when we said we didn’t, and merrily went about their business. Which didn’t involve any forcible mutilation, as I recall, although they did give us a hard time about supplementing our screaming newborn with formula.

          • Heidi_storage

            (P.S. I would NEVER describe male circumcision as mutilation, and I realize there are medical benefits to it. And I have never, ever asked another set of parents about the state of their son’s penis, because eww.)

    • CSN0116

      How old is she? She stereotypes as the: got married at 18 because we would be separated otherwise; husband isn’t the brightest and wasn’t going to make it big anywhere; pushed out the first baby 1-2 years later; moved all over; baby after baby after baby; totally lonely life and never had time to go to further her education; babies make her less lonely; unfulfilled; needs to find belonging somewhere; finds belonging where she doesn’t need anything but a functioning uterus; insert more babies; tada, psycho.

      I’d say she’s 30-ish and probably popped the first kid out around 20. She stopped maturing, cognitively, around that age as well.

      • Denise

        I think all of her viewpoints started out as something small and quickly escalated into..well..this. I think you are correct that she sought validation in all the wrong places. Her views and actions are quite honestly frightening to me. This
        family needed intervention. Can I ask where the thread is where they were changing their story? I cannot seem to find it.

        • CSN0116

          I’m not sure where it is anymore. They have gone back and deleted several comments. It was on Dr. T’s Facebook page.

      • Denise

        Oh and she is under 30 I think.

        • CSN0116

          Damn. I think her oldest is 10-11. And then four more after. So she’s just a never-fully-developed, baby-making machine.

          (I say this as a 29-year-old with five children 11 months to 7 years, but fuck, I got educated and managed to stay SANE in between. But pregnancy and motherhood are not my identity, yet they seem to be all she has).

          • Denise

            The first one they had in high school I think. Again this was a steady decline. I don’t believe originally they ever planned on this many. She became involved with a lot of natural crunchy type moms and it had a drastic adverse affect on her. Clearly not for the better. She looked much skinnier at one point too…it seems pregnancy has taken a toll on her.

          • CSN0116

            Ok. She’s everything I predicted 😉 sigh…

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    I am not sure what the opening statement (you dont care about your own births,why do you have to be up their vagina) has to do with this?

    She asked for opinions! Why should anyone complained that someone answered?

    • Heidi_storage

      Not to mention that the baby is now outside of its mother’s vagina.

      • Sarah

        Indeed, her vagina has no more to do with the baby’s welfare at this point than mine does.

    • Sue

      But she only wanted “opinions” that reinforced her own view of the world.

  • Young CC Prof

    What exactly is wrong with these people?

    You post on the Internet a picture of your kid, and say that something about it looks odd to you, and ask for opinions. Someone whose profile identifies her as a medical doctor promptly responds by telling you it appears to be a sign of a life-threatening condition, and you should take the child to a hospital or doctor immediately.

    So, you dig in your heels and complain that the doctor is being mean? That’s your biggest concern, meanness?

    • Dr Kitty

      People are amazing.
      By which, I have patients who have obviously broken bones at the weekend, but rather than go to an ER with Xray machines and plaster casts and orthopaedic surgeons, they will phone my receptionist early doors on a Monday and get an emergency appointment for their “sore hand/foot/arm”

      They are then genuinely upset when I tell them that since they can’t move or use the affected body part and their ankle/ hand/foot is grossly bruised and swollen that it might well be broken and they need to go to hospital because I have neither Xray vision nor a magic wand to fix fractures, and in fact, they probably ought to have gone there as soon as the injury occurred.

      “Well this was a giant waste of my time!” is a fairly typical response.
      Um, yes, and mine too…

      Same when I tell the people who phone reporting crushing chest pain or unilateral weakness that no, I don’t think a house call or an emergency appointment with me in the morning is the way to go, and that they should hang up with me and call an ambulance.
      I get that they are scared and hoping that I can reassure them, but with the history they’ve just given me, that isn’t going to happen.

      • sdsures

        Do they have fast response cars in the US. I’m in the UK, and we have them in addition to ambulances.

        I have very painful esophageal spasms, which typically for me can be triggered by eating too quickly, or swallowing a larger amount of food than my throat can handle comfortably. (Happens when I let myself get too hungry.) The pain is excruciating and sharp, and is primarily in the chest, up through the throat, and can even be felt in the jaws and sinus. If I can swallow it, Tylenol works very well. to stop it.

        A couple years back, the spasms came on late at night, almost three hours AFTER I’d last eaten anything. We knew it was spasms and not a heart attack (I was 34 with no personal history of heart trouble). However, it was worrisome and scary AF because of the unusual time of presentation unrelated to food. We called the non-emergency NHS line to ask for advice.

        But the instant we said “chest pain”, all hell broke loose and a fast response car was here in less than 10 minutes. They can get to the patient faster than an ambulance, and can transport doctor, specialist anesthesiologist, etc whilst at the same time an ambulance is made available if needed.

        Tachycardia from the pain in the 140s mandated a trip to the A&E via ambulance that came soon afterwards, where they did an ECG and monitored me for a few hours, with an IV of tylenol and fluids. Sometimes the spasms are so painful that I can’t swallow.

        (An ECG is the only way to differentiate between esophageal spasms and a heart attack, so I was told.)

        • Empliau

          I have those. They scare the heck out of me. I feel like I can’t breathe, and I sit there silent, thinking “of course you’re breathing, otherwise you would faint.” People talk to me and can’t understand why I can’t answer. Luckily they’re not that often, but owwwww.

          • sdsures

            Hyperventilation can come with severe pain.

      • namaste863

        But…..but….MADAM POMFREY COULD DO IT!

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        When I was an oncology SHO, I remember getting a phone call from a patient who had had chemo about 2 weeks prior and now had a fever. She had been told to come to hospital if this happened, but didn’t feel all that bad, and wanted me to tell her that it was ok for her to stay at home.

        For lay people here, around 10-14 days (although it can vary) post chemo is the biggest danger time for neutropenia (a very low white cell count) and a fever at this time should be treated as a medical emergency until proven otherwise. These patients can become septic and get very very sick very very fast. I had to do my best to try and get her to see how serious this was, whilst she tried to persuade me that she didn’t need to come to hospital. I had hours of very scared waiting until she finally turned up in the ED.

        (She was fine in the end, but needed several days in hospital with multiple IV antibiotics. If she hadn’t come in, well I shudder to think)

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          Or the time I had to tell my sister in law, who is a doctor, that she should probably get that unilateral weakness checked out. She was hoping it was a hemiplegic migraine, turned out to be a thalamic stroke.

          • Azuran

            Doctors themselves often make the worst patients. They often end up ignoring their own clinical signs because they tell themselves they are just being too sensitive because of their medical background.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            True. I myself refused to seek help for depression a few years back. Thankfully I came through it with time and a change in circumstances, but in retrospect I was silly to not get help.

          • Azuran

            My mom is a nurse specialized in mental health. It’s basically her job to assess patients with mental health problems or distress, refer then to the appropriate facilities and decide who needs to be seen right away. Yet she struggled with depression and other mental health problems herself for years before realizing she had a problem and seeking help.

          • BeatriceC

            Some of us non-doctors are really stubborn too. I ignored clear signs of appendicitis until it was almost catastrophic. I finally realized I was actually sick, but not before I was sick enough that the triage nurses classified me as a “straight back”.

          • RaeRae

            My father lay in bed all night with a burst appendix because he didn’t want to bother anyone! It took us all day to convince him to go to emergency, he was addmitted with suspected appendcitis but didn’t tell anyone when the pain increased. He even said after that the pain was so bad he would have welcomed death as a relief. Stoic, stubborn man!

          • Amazed

            My grandmother: “My husband never SAW a doctor in his life!” My mom: “Well, if he had, he might have lived longer…”

          • Clorinda

            I know someone who had a stroke. Didn’t want a big fuss made after he started showing signs, wanted to get dressed, and go in a car. Family obliged. Who knows what the difference could have been if they’d just called an ambulance right off.

        • Erin

          My Dad nearly died after his first lot of chemo. One of the Nurses told him to take 8 paracetamol a day (he was in pain with other symptoms of his lung cancer) and it masked his fever for a quite a while. Plus he’s really not one for making a “fuss”. Ended up being rushed to hospital for a fortnight and given multiple transfusions and antibiotics.

          I think it’s a family trait. A pair of new riding boots gave me a blister once. I felt I couldn’t go to the Doctor’s for a “blister” so ignored it until my foot was so swollen I couldn’t get any shoes apart from a pair of my husband’s (much bigger feet) sandals on. The GP was understandably unimpressed.

          Part of the problem I think is our general family perception of illness. Most stuff you just get on with because there are people who are “genuinely ill” who need help more. I literally have to feel like I’m dying before I’ll go to the Doctors and that’s partly why I’ve not properly dealt with my diagnosis of PnD and PTSD after baby number 1, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m wasting their time and that there is an army of people who need/deserve it more.

        • fiftyfifty1

          Yep. There are the Worried Well…and then there are the Unworried Unwell.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          Well, you know what would have happened. The risk of severe sepsis goes up every hour that goes by with a fever and low neutrophil count. After 6-8 hours from the onset of fever the risk of death just skyrockets. 24 hours of wait and death would be a very likely option. I tell my patients to never ever play with chemo and fever. Some of them still do. Some of them have ended up at the ICU, and some that did not come soon enough are sadly not able to tell the story. None of those that listened to me and came when the fever started had any lasting problems due to infection.

          Of course most of the times it is a cold and nothing else and they go back home in two hours when the neutrophil count comes back normal, but, who would advise their patients to stay at home?

          • I wonder how much of this is fear that an ER visit won’t be covered by insurance? With chemo, there’s likely pressure from taking sick time from work, resulting in loss of income, as well as other unexpected expenses. It’s a side effect of the American health care system where one can never really be sure one won’t be hit, at a particularly vulnerable time, with immense health costs.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            In my case it was at a public hospital in Ireland, so cost wasn’t a factor. But in health care systems such as the US, I would imagine that is a big problem.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            I work in Spain. I have worked in UK, both times in public health systems so cost for the patient is not a factor. We do have a very generous sick leave in Spain that would cover 18 months with the same salary. If after that point you are not able to work anymore you will get a “disability pay” that depending on the time you have worked before and how much you pay for social security might be higher or lower. In any case even for those people that are not working anymore a visit to the ER is for free. If you are self employed the leave time and the pay is less, usually because most self employed people pay less to social security than employers, so you usually get less as well. For self-employed people a visit to the ER is also free.

            We know that a visit to the ER is maybe 600 euros. Each day admitted is easily 400-600 euros. That is less of what My employer and me pay each month as taxes, in my case I pay about 1500 monthly. It is always better to keep someone alive than dead because of febrile neutropenia, they will put more in the system down the line.

          • guest

            Each ER visit is a $150 copay for me, unless admitted. It’s not an “if” it will be covered – that’s covered. And it really hurts our budget.

        • MI Dawn

          You brought to mind a patient (pregnant) who called her MD with abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. He told her to get to the hospital IMMEDIATELY and he would meet her there. He called us, told us to have the OR team there (small hospital, we didn’t have in-house OR staff for surgeries at night). He arrived, she wasn’t there. We had the OR set up and draped, team there. We all paced the floor, running down to the ER on a regular basis to look for her. She arrived 2 hours (!!!) later, having showered, stopped for a meal for her husband who was hungry (her words, not his), and leisurely driven to the hospital because the pain had gotten better so she figured it was no big deal. We put her on the monitor – no fetal heart tones. STAT c/section – uterine rupture, dead baby, she ended up with a hysterectomy at age 24, first pregnancy because she went into DIC.

          I still have nightmares about the blood. We had the lab running it to us because no one could take the time to go down for it. She survived, but I can still see the devastation in the husband’s face when he knew the baby was dead and his wife might die also.

          • Heidi_storage

            Oh that’s awful. So awful.

          • Dr Kitty

            My patients with back pain think I am a little cuckoo, because every single one of them gets

            “If you can’t move your legs, or you can’t pas urine, or you lose control of your legs, or your tail end is numb, you need to go ASAP, by ambulance if necessary, to the big A&E with the MRI scanners and the neurosurgeons. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200. Do not come to me or go to see a physiotherapist. Do not wait for all of those symptoms to occur- any single one and you go up the road like a rocket, because it might mean a very bad, scary thing has happened to your back. I don’t think it will happen, but just in case, you know what to do!”.

            I can’t tell them I give that warning because a patient literally sat at home with a checklist of cauda equina symptoms printed off the internet and waited until they had every single one of them before going to hospital.

          • MI Dawn

            Yikes!

          • Amazed

            I hope the meal was a damned good one. I might be a terrible person but I feel zero empathy for people who wreak tragedy in their own lives and other people’s lives for the sake of their guts. And the wife isn’t much better either. After being concerned enough to call, she rejected every piece of advice given showered and then sat by happily as hubby stuffed his face while their baby was dying.

            The moment you choose to become a parent, you get to take some responsibilities. Like, placing your kid’s life before your belly or your DH’s belly.

          • MI Dawn

            The husband said he didn’t want to stop (the food was still in the car), but his wife insisted. And, since she was the one who took a full shower, dried and styled her hair, put on full makeup, and packed her bag, he figured she knew what was going on. Apparently, she didn’t relay onto HIM that it was a medical emergency.

        • mabelcruet

          The problem is that sometimes if they are neutropenic, they don’t actually have typical symptoms. They may not have a temperature. I’ve had a couple of autopsy cases in the last 15 years of children dying of neutropenic typhlitis (colitis) caused by leukaemia-both of them had just finished their induction chemotherapy. They both presented in the same way-with constipation-and died a couple of days later, extremely quickly with profound collapse, moribund within a couple of hours. No pyrexia, no white cells, not even raised inflammatory markers. Both had perforated their caecum-classic typhlitis really. The steroids they were on had masked the symptoms to some extent we think.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Definitely. So much of the symptoms and signs of infection are due to the immune system. My policy when dealing with anyone with potential neutropenia is to have a high index of suspicion for infection at all times, and if in doubt give antibiotics early. I’m all for avoiding antibiotic overuse, but you don’t mess around with neutropenia.

            I’ve had a few cases where patients have presented post chemo with fever but had absolutely no localising signs of infection. At least they didn’t until a few days later when their white cell count recovered, upon which they developed abscesses seemingly out of nowhere.

        • Dr Kitty

          I have a family member who works in oncology. in the NHS, so money isn’t a factor.

          They have stories like that on a regular basis.

          People leave hospital after chemo with leaflets which say, in BIG letters “If you experience any fever you must call our emergency 24/7 free phone number” and they still have people who call up day 14 post chemo reporting vomiting, rigours and fever for 3 days, because “I don’t want to waste your time” or “I thought it was just ‘flu” or ” I just took some paracetamol and thought it would get better”.

          Maybe the common denominator is Irish people and their ability to catastrophise the minimal and minimise catastrophes…

      • Azuran

        Yea, it’s incredible the amount of time people will call to know if ‘something is bad’ and yet when the answer is like ‘OMG yes come right away!!!’ they always try to minimize it and find an excuse not to…

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          Weirdly enough considering the subject, my daughter called an hour or so ago and when I asked if everything was ok(I had talked to her once already today) she started crying and said she had the worst migraine she had ever had and asked me what she should do(worried about insurance) I told her to call her neighbor NOW (i live 200 miles away) and get to the ER or urgent care.

          Just a really bad migraine but her meds are no long enough for the worst ones apparently. I refuse to have her suffer because she’s worried about the bill.

          • Gatita

            Your poor kid! I get migraines but not bad enough for the ER. That sounds nightmarish.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            They seem to run in the family, I get them and my mother did to. My doc is awesome and found a medication that prevents them. My daughters are worse, this one had her BP way up from the pain. I hope her doc can find her something that works , it sucks for her to have to work and function in constant pain.

          • Karen in SC

            You did the right thing. I listened to a program once where the guest was a man who lost his wife to a brain aneurysm. He said it was the “worst headache of her life” and urged listeners never to ignore that symptom.

          • Captain Obvious

            I have heard a health care professional called the Flip or Flop show stating the star had an enlarged thyroid and I guess he knew that but finally got it checked and it was cancer. Years ago a nurse called a television show stating their guest had clubbing of the fingers (a sign of cardiac disease) and they got checked out and started on medications. Why would you not want to check things out? Especially when you suspect something looked odd anyway.

          • BeatriceC

            I hope your daughter feels better soon!

      • mabelcruet

        Its not just ordinary members of the public-look at Sarah Vine kicking up a stink about her husband Michael Gove going to entirely the wrong sort of centre for his sore foot and blasting them in print for not being able to do an x-ray in the middle of the night, even though they told her she was at the non-emergency centre and they had neither the staff nor the facility and had she bothered looking it up she would have discovered she should have taken him to where the service that they needed was actually based. Instead, she just wittered on about how awful the NHS and how it couldn’t cope with emergencies. Yes, it can, you stupid, stupid woman-you have to go to the right hospital, you feckwit numpty.

        • sdsures

          What a moron.

      • guest

        It is frustrating and embarrassing when you go to the ER and after many hours of waiting get told that you have a very minor ailment and you should follow up with your primary care doc next week. I wish there was like a sticker or something you got that says “You did the right thing by coming in” for those situations, because I always feel like the ER staff think I’m an idiot and wasted *their* time.

        • Clorinda

          I went to the ER for chest pain. The ER doc was very clear that even though all tests came back clear for heart attack that I did the right thing.

    • Amazed

      Oh, YCCP, don’t you know? She expected reassurance. She wanted people to tell her that a sugar cane cord and a grunting newborn are something that happened every day at childbirth. And when they didn’t, she, her husband and her sister went off to sulk.

      • momofone

        That’s right. Because this is not just some run-of-the-mill birth-hobbyist mama. This is a FIERCE mama!

      • fiftyfifty1

        ” She wanted people to tell her that a sugar cane cord and a grunting newborn are something that happened every day at childbirth. ”

        Oh quite the opposite! That’s not what she wanted people to tell her. She wanted to hear that a candy cane cord and a grunting baby *don’t* happen every day at childbirth. No, they are magical signs of specialness!

        • Azuran

          well of course, a Candy cane cord has to mean that Santa himself has blessed your baby! Why else would it look like a candy cane?

          • corblimeybot

            Enchanted candy cane cords only appear when the most magical and glorious of birth warrior mamas push out their afterthought, I mean child.

        • Amazed

          Silly me! I forgot. Of course she wanted the magic! After all, she “loves home birth”.

  • Irène Delse

    I really hope that baby is okay. 🙁

    That she had no problem going to the hospital for herself but not for her baby… Since she’s anti-vaccine, I wonder if fear of letting the baby near “vaccine pushers”. I bet her pediatrist is among those who accommodate anti-vaxx parents.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      I would hope not(anti vax accommodating pediatrician), if she uses the military medical system I would hope they weed that sort of thing out…when I was in they were pretty pro-vax and I don’t know what they would have said to a parent who wanted to skip or slow down the vax schedule…

  • corblimeybot

    It was so important to them to keep arguing on Facebook. Both of them, and the woman’s sister, thought Facebook arguments were a better use of their time than getting proper care for that baby.

    It’s just striking how baldly they let their priorities show. Facebook reputation and internet attention is important. Their child’s life? Who cares. Even if their child had been healthy, it takes a special kind of narcissist to spend the first few days of their kid’s life having egotistical Facebook battles.

    And I had a good laugh at that fool who left a comment that said something like, “I follow her on the internet! I know the situation! She is a fierce mama! You have no idea what you’re talking about!”

  • Amy

    THAT was the post from you they decided was too mean and too meddlesome? That was downright tame. You didn’t sound at all mean, you sounded concerned for the baby’s well-being. You didn’t say anything mean or even negative about the baby’s mother in your original posting, the one which originally got all the reactions. Nothing about UC being performance art or selfish, nothing about the mother putting her needs ahead of the baby, nothing about stunt birth– all things you’ve said in other contexts many times before.

    I really hope this baby is okay!

    • corblimeybot

      They always whine about how Dr. Amy is mean, but none of them ever stop to think the toll these situations must have on her. She is a clearinghouse for these unfolding NCB horror stories. People send them to her because they know she will call it like she sees it. I bet she hears about a lot more horrible situations than she writes about.

      Is Dr. Amy not entitled to get sick and tired of yet another bratty NCB couple callously abusing and neglecting their baby? After she’s seen so many of these stories go bad, over and over? I honestly don’t know how she can take it. If my inbox were such a parade of horrors, I’d probably have to go into therapy.

      Anyway, none of Lisa or Dominic’s defenders held back on “being mean”. They were largely incoherent and often ad hominem. THEY get to be mean to other people, but no one can be mean to them.

  • Dr Kitty

    The person to tell you whether or not to worry about an abnormal looking cord and grunting breathing is the paediatrician who has just finished evaluating your baby.

    Not a Facebook group.

    I don’t think the paediatrician who agreed to see the baby on Monday was told the full story about the appearance of the cord or the noisy breathing, because I don’t know one competent doctor who hears “my newborn is grunting” and says “I’ll see them in 48hrs”. That is a “bring them in ASAP, either to me or to the ER, whichever works better for you” history.

    • AA

      Yep, and it’s a little hard to discern this from the mother’s post, but the baby has never seen a doctor or nurse. The mother went by herself to the emergency department via ambulance. I think the mother is going to call her family’s pediatrician on Monday and ask to bring the child to clinic.

      • CSN0116

        Doesn’t that interrupt the skin-to-skin bonding and nursing time? I’m shocked she went to the hospital without her hour-old baby.

      • BeatriceC

        There’s some confusion as to whether the mother took the baby with her. The first version of the story was that the L&D doctors refused to evaluate the baby and told her to take the baby to a different hospital (that had a pediatrics unit). The second version is that the hospital staff didn’t have any concerns (implication that they examined the baby). The last version is that the baby wasn’t there. I’m inclined to believe the first version.

        • Mel

          Do hospitals that have an L&D unit often NOT have a peds unit…or a trained pediatrician on staff/call?

          I find that really hard to believe.

          • BeatriceC

            It happens. The hospital where my youngest was born is one of them. They have a perinatal ICU, a level III NICU, but no regular pediatrics department or pediatricians on staff. ER staff attempt to direct people coming in with kids to the actual children’s hospital about five minutes away, but if the parents insist, they will “stabilize and transfer”, but nothing else.

          • Azuran

            But then again, that baby is like 1 day old. Clearly the best people to evaluate it would probably be the L&D people no? Aren’t they the one who check up babies after hospital birth?

          • BeatriceC

            But many of them have policies that babies who have gone home can’t be brought back to the unit because of risk of communicable diseases. Doesn’t make a lot of sense because moms are in and out of the ward, but I have heard that rule.

        • jenn

          If you read her blog, she talks about her last 2 home births, subsequent pph, and trips to emerge. In both instances, baby did not go with her. (Because who cares about the byproduct of the birth, amirite?) I have no reason to assume she chose to bring her daughter this time, either.

          • BeatriceC

            And I just saw a screenshot of a post where the father claims that the baby wasn’t there as the paramedics advised them not to take the baby. Something tells me these people have been down the medical neglect investigation road before, and are doing everything they can to keep their kids out of the “system”.

          • MI Dawn

            She has a blog? Actually, why should I be surprised? After all, MAM has one, Food Babe has one…

  • momofone

    I’m fascinated and horrified by her saying she was passing out “too much,” so went to the ER. As if there’s some acceptable number of times passing out is no problem, but past that, it needs investigation. So many WTFs in this situation.

    • Dr Kitty

      She said her HB was 8.2, so she didn’t need a transfusion.
      But she’s still bleeding and most hospitals will advise transfusion if HB drops below 8.0 in someone symptomatic.

      Especially someone likely to bleed for several more days who has small children to care for and who intends to breastfeed.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        My Hb fell to 8.0 after giving birth -I had lost an estimated 1.6 litres of blood and hit at least stage2 hypovolaemic shock. I was dizzy and had palpitations when I stood up but never passed out. I was given a unit of blood (the obstetrician initially wanted two, but one was sufficient) and I felt 10 times better straight away – I’m not sure that I would have made it through those first few newborn weeks without it.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          And 14 months later, my iron levels have just come back to normal- although that is partly coeliac related.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          To further emphasise your point, my Hb was 9.0 the morning after giving birth, it was only the next day that it was found to be 8.0.

          • Dr Kitty

            I hope she’s planning to take double iron and get a repeat FBP next week…

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        If I saw a woman who had just given birth who had a hgb of 8.2 and a history of passing out, I’d want to admit her to the hospital for at least fluids and monitoring overnight and a recheck of the hemoglobin to see if it was going up or down. If her hemoglobin and BP were stable overnight and she had no further symptoms, sending her home in the morning after maybe a quick shot of IV iron just for good measure would make sense, but just sending a post-partum woman home with a hgb of 8.2 and dubious hydration status? I have a feeling that they left AMA.

        • Poogles

          That’s what I’m wondering too. I think maybe once they said a transfusion wasn’t completely necessary, they decided that meant she would be “fine” and left.

        • BeatriceC

          I was curious about that, but I’m not a doctor, so I didn’t speculate.

        • Dr Kitty

          Here, she and the baby would both have been admitted for 24hrs of monitoring.

          I’m guessing that the hospital wasn’t able to admit the baby with her, she refused admission without the baby and as she didn’t immediately require blood they gave her what they could and sent her on her way.

          Maybe not a technical AMA, but probably not agreeing to the management plan preferred by the medical team either.

          I honestly can’t think of any reason why someone who had just given birth at home, with all the signs of hypovolaemic shock and a hb *just over* transfusion level went home so quickly, if they were seen by competent medics who had the full history available to them.

  • Guesty

    You had an absolute moral and ethical obligation to tell that woman she was putting her baby’s life at risk. Nobody takes that news well, and I am sorry she was embarrassed, but holy GOD why hasn’t she taken that kid to a doctor?

    • Margo

      Absolutely there is a moral and ethical obligation to address the issue with the woman. Often the response is negative, some people are for whatever reason adverse to “unwelcome” opinion, but especially I think, in the cases involving babies, we must speak up, because they can’t do that for themselves. I once took a woman who had a baby with infection to the doctor….the doctor explained again the rationale behind the baby needing antibiotics, the woman was more concerned about the baby’s gut flora, which was, in the circumstances, given the baby had a temp, grunting, pale, not feeding and the woman had hx of strep b, you would think would outweigh the worry re gut flora, but no….the woman had very firm beliefs and would not be swayed re abs. In total frustration, the doctor said….your baby could possibly die without intervention. Reluctantly the woman agreed to abs. We acknowledge the distress this caused the woman, we did everything we could to reassure her that abs and transfer to hospital was the best option….the woman later complained that she had been bullied by me, the midwife, and the GP. Personally speaking I regret she felt bullied, but I do not regret the action that was taken. The baby was intensive care and made a full recovery and for that I am glad.

  • sdsures

    Where is the partner or father in all this? Or is the mother single? If not, doesn’t the other parent get a say in what happens to his/her baby?

    EDIT: Thanks CNS01… for mentioning the husband in your post.

    *is still worried*

    • CSN0116

      He endorses her.

      • sdsures

        Oh, dear lord, no…

        So she says?

        • CSN0116

          No. He showed up himself to endorse her.

          • sdsures

            *cringes* Guess they don’t have anything better to do with their time.

          • CSN0116

            He’s a grown man with a FB page adorned in Pokémon. JS.

          • Spamamander

            Hey now, my profile pic is Team Mystic. 😛

    • Amazed

      They’re busy moping together at that old nasty Dr Amy.

      I gather that he appeared in the comments on Dr Amy’s facebook page, threw a tantrum at how nasty people were and declared the kid was just fine.

      • sdsures

        Oh, right Gorski is his surname?

        • BeatriceC

          Too bad the Dr. Gorski of SBM fame has to have his name sullied with these people.

        • CSN0116

          Dominic. Quite a catch, he is.

  • CSN0116

    Anti medical intervention for her children (not herself)
    Anti school (not home school, DEschool)
    Anti vaccines

    I’m sorry, but being born a HUMAN you are entitled to basic rights – the right to live, live preventable disease-free, receive adequate education – she perpetrating ABUSE as a mother. She is actively ABUSING all four of her children.

    Parenting choices are quinoa or Big Mac, public or private, bikini or one piece, where to vacation, what lullabies to sing. This other shit is just not negotiable.

    • CSN0116

      Oh, and she’s willing to withhold school and medicine from her children, and make those fucked up decisions on their behalf, but circumcision is abuse and they rally against it as a family, because she has no right to make decisions regarding their penises 🙂

      LOGIC!

      • sdsures

        My head hurts thinking about the circles she’s running around in. Or is it a rat maze?

      • momofone

        Oh, but don’t worry–she’s read a lot about childbirth, so that’s covered. My eyes may be permanently stuck in the rolled position.

        • BeatriceC

          Your eyes are still in your head? Mine rolled so hard they popped out and MrC is having to look for them under the couch.

    • BeatriceC

      It looks like my birds get better medical care than this woman’s children, and they’re birds, not humans. Hell, I spent $200 on an emergency vet visit (cost of the after hours emergency clinic visit, cost of the avian vet consult, cost of treatment) because a damned parrot was bleeding a tiny bit out of her beak and the people who know more than me about these things informed that ANY bleeding in a bird is an emergency, so I believed the guys that went to vet school and brought my bird in. And she’s a bird, not a human, may I reiterate.

      • sdsures

        Is she OK? Pets ARE family.

        • BeatriceC

          Oh, yeah. This was just a few days after we got her. The ER vet called the avian specialist and he told them how to get the bleeding stopped and she was fine. She only has one wing and her balance is bad. We added some different stuff to her cage and play perches to prevent additional falls and protect her in the case of future falls.

          And actually, she’s doing phenomenal. We were told she was anti-social, wouldn’t let people touch her, bit anybody who tried, etc. She’s now velcro bird. She gets upset if she’s not on my arm. She loves to snuggle and get pet. I’m really shocked at how fast the transformation has been.

          • sdsures

            Velcro bird – love it! I once had a professor who had a tropical bird – not a parrot, but some other type of small, brightly coloured bird. Its favourite place was…nestling inside her bra. LOL

          • BeatriceC

            Might well have been a parrot. Many bird species are part of the parrot family that people don’t realize. The overwhelming majority of companion birds are parrots.

          • Mrs.Katt the Cat

            Amazing what some TLC and a good environment can do for temperament. 🙂

          • Charybdis

            Are you her favorite human?

          • BeatriceC

            I am now. She’s velcro bird. I just put her down to play with Leo and she pitched a macaw sized tantrum.

      • Stephanie Rotherham

        Oh god yes; I love my rabbit Amy, she’s the best thing to ever happen to me, can’t imagine life without her etc etc, but she’s not a human baby and I know that, so why have I taken her to the vet more often than some parents take their children to the doctor’s? I literally cannot understand it; rabbit not eating/pooping, bad (their guts always need to be moving, they can die if left untreated), get thee to the vets, even if it’s nothing, pay for the consultant fee and figure out a way to make up for the thermometer up the bum. These people; baby not eating/gaining weight/making wet nappies/grunting etc, oh they’ll be perfectly fine, it’s not important, everyone else is a big fat meanie for telling me otherwise. It physically pains me to think of my rabbit suffering for even a moment when I can do something about it; how could a parent ignore their child’s distress and just sit back and watch is beyond me.

        On a different note- when Amy got spayed, after a few days she decided to rip out her stitches and get herself an infection. Vet tells me to clean it with a solution she gave me, and to prevent Amy from getting to the wound. Cones don’t work on rabbits for a few reasons, so I got a couple of newborn baby vests, the ones that fasten at the bottom, cut a couple of holes for her tail/bottom, and somehow kept it on her for a few days until it healed. I even have pictures of her in it somewhere.

        • BeatriceC

          Cones don’t work for birds either, but we do have disks that do the same thing. They do mess with balance, flight and ability to move around, so they are only used in extreme circumstances.

          • guest

            I had a cockatiel with a bleeding wound on his foot once. Since cones don’t work, he had a huge ball bandage covering the whole foot (inside was a dowel for him to grip). It was on for a couple of weeks, and wouldn’t you know, within two days that bird was climbing the sides of his cage just as easily as when he didn’t have a big round ball for a foot! And the wound healed and he’s napping in my living room right now, eight years later.

      • Heidi

        These people also advocate homeopathic and naturopathic remedies in pets. In fact, in the not huge city we have what are essentially naturopathic vets who don’t vaccinate and don’t believe in heartworm preventatives! I live in Tennessee. We have a high mosquito population and a high heartworm incidence. These nuts claim heartworms only invade the immunocompromised but of course if you feed your dog a raw diet and some homeopathic drops and don’t get them vaccinations, they will have the best immune system and won’t contract heartworms. Then if they do get heartworms, just give them a natural toxin to kill them.

        • BeatriceC

          I can’t even. I just can’t. I put so much into my birds I can’t even contemplate not giving them the absolute best. I won’t even take them to a regular vet. They get an avian specialist vet. And where I live I have a choice of avian vets, but only one is good enough for my babies. If you look at the CV’s of avian vets across the country “Internship with Dr. Jeff Jenkins” is a bragging point on their resumes. He’s one of the absolute best avian vets anywhere, and as long as he’s local to me, he’s the vet my birds will see. I’m gonna cry when he retires.

          Now one of the things I like about Dr. J. is that he’s not opposed to answering questions. He wanted to put Charlotte on Haldol. That’s kind of a scary drug. We talked about it, he pulled up studies, he showed me the risks and the benefits and he educated me on what to look for to adjust the dose or take her off completely should I be uncomfortable with side effects. A member of his staff called me every day that first week to check in and update her chart. In the end we decided to use it on an “as needed” basis (only when she was getting so agitated that she was damaging her skin) because her individual reaction to it wasn’t what we’d hoped for in regards to long term treatment, and we’ve been doing a lot of bird behavior modification on our own, but if that doesn’t work, we’ll drop the $150/hour for the birdie shrink (bird behaviorist to come in and look at her behavior and environment and see what changes we can make that will help stop the anxiety/OCD behaviors that lead to the plucking). So far, we’ve gotten some feather regrowth, but she’s still plucking a lot.

          The other birds are healthy and have no behavior issues (well, beyond standard species temperament issues…Goofy hates everybody but MrC and Leo thinks he’s a macaw even though he’s only 135 grams, but that’s a yellow nape amazon and a senegal for you), so unless an emergency happens, they only see the vet once a year.

          • Heidi

            What I really don’t understand is paying a premium price for not real care. There are clinics for spaying and neutering, clinics for vaccinations and getting heartworm tests and meds that are all much, much cheaper than the woo-infested vet. I guarantee providing the bare minimum for a dog or cat will guarantee healthier and better results than loading your animal up on black walnut hulls, salmonella-filled raw meat, and unregulated supplements. In fact, I think doing nothing may be better than some of these treatments.

            Like you, if need be, I’d drop thousands of dollars to keep my dogs healthy. But so far in 7 years, all they’ve required is a yearly checkup and preventatives.

          • Sarah

            Yeah, I understand doing nothing at all because you can’t afford it or maybe even you think it’s not worth it. I understand going for the best care you can afford. I don’t understand spending shitloads on, well, shit.

          • Christy

            Speaking as a veterinary technician…may I clone you?

    • jenn

      Anti dental for the kids, too

      • CSN0116

        Sweet! Cuz why the fuck not?!

  • Puffin

    Isn’t barber-pole cord classically associated with congenital syphilis? Wondering if maybe she looked it up and is avoiding seeking care out of a wish to avoid being told this. I’m guessing with the unassisted birth, she also probably did not have routine prenatal care including STI screening…

    I agree that there is medical neglect going on. This woman has been told by multiple people including at the very least one health care provider that her infant is at risk of death and she requires immediate medical assessment. If she can’t be convinced to seek care, someone needs to call her local child protection service because this infant needs assessment. Has someone tracked her down and called? I hope so.

    • mabelcruet

      It used to be thought that necrotising funisitis was caused by syphilis, but it is seen in many other infections as well. The most significant issue is that necrotising funisitis takes days to happen-the degree of necrosis and subsequent calcification of whartons jelly required to give you the typical barber pole look takes about 7 days minimum, which means that this baby has been subject to intra-amniotic infection and responding to it for at least a week before delivery. I’m not surprised mum was fainting, she could be in septic shock herself. If there is necrosis around all three vessels in the cord, the baby is at significant risk of long term neurological deficit. It might not die, but could end up with significant cerebral palsy, diplegia, learning difficulties and all sorts of other neurological dysfunction. I’ve most commonly seen it in ascending bacterial infection.

      • Dr Kitty

        And you’re a pathologist, so when you say you’ve seen it, you mean “I’ve seen worst case scenarios”, right?

        But hey, FB people think the appearance of that cord is a variation of normal, so what do you know!

        • mabelcruet

          I was being tactful and not mentioning that most placentas with triple-vessel necrotising funisitis reaching me come with the baby to the mortuary. A few come via SCBU/NICU where the kid is being cooled because of HIE. Thankfully we don’t have too many home births here, and not really any unassisted births (unless you’ve spent 9 months pretending you aren’t pregnant).

          Its an interesting thing about placental infection-the severity of the inflammatory response in the membranes and the chorionic plate (fetal surface) of the placenta bears no relationship to the impact on the baby-you can have the most nasty, rip roaring, dense solid wall of pus imaginable in the membranes, but the baby may be OK. Different organisms cause different degrees of severity of inflammation, and there is no real relationship between severity, type of organism or clinical impact. Except for chorionic plate vasculitis and umbilical cord funisitis-if you see either of those then you have a fetal response to infection-that infection has been present for at least a few hours if you just have vein involvement, and at least 24 hours or more if you have arterial involvement. That means potentially a septic baby-and if you have all 3 vessels involved, then that raises your risk of brain damage +++. Necrotising funisitis is the most severe form of inflammation we see-as well as the infection which is enough to kill in the first place, you have a very badly damaged cord. It is necrotic (basically gangrenous), it can rupture during delivery, it can tear, it can snap, baby can exsanguinate if you put pressure on it, its all floppy and soft because the jelly is dead, so it can get compressed far more easily. its not a good thing, having a candy striped cord.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Oh necrosis, septic shock, blah blah blah, I call it a candy cane and it looks pretty to me.

    • Mel

      Not a doctor, but when Dr. Amy said “infection” I started sweating profusely. There are just some things that are so damn dangerous that you don’t have time to mess around.

      That’s why I was super-happy when my OB checked me for gonorrhea and syphilis at my first prenatal appointment.

      Am I 100% certain I’m in a monogamous relationship? Sure – but if I’m wrong, the risks are too damn high….

      • Mrs.Katt the Cat

        Agreed! Infections are no joke. And the tinier the human, the bigger the risk. I took MiniKatt to the ER because her umbilical stump developed an odor. Wasn’t going to wait and see until morning.
        While there, 2 other infants came in who were much worse off. One had an infection and was transferred to another hospital i think, the other was so dehydrated they couldn’t get blood after giving IV fluids. It was scary to overhear and I was there forever because the Dr was, understandably, busy.

  • sdsures

    Dr Amy, could you please elaborate on the candy cane umbilical cord: why it happens, what infection is it, etc. Prognosis with prompt treatment?

    Thanks.

  • toofargone

    Dr. Amy, I think you have a typo here “2. The mother publicly solicited advice about the umbilical cord and I wanted to inform as many people as possible about what it could me.” Is that last word supposed to be “mean” or “be”?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thanks!

  • BeatriceC

    Gahhh. I was watching this unfold in real time yesterday. The mother keeps changing her story as people point out that her descriptions of her newborn point to clear signs of life-threatening problems. It’s like working with troubled teenagers who try to subtly change their story to make themselves look better once problems and inconsistencies get pointed out. That’s developmentally appropriate for teenagers, not for adults.

    • Amazed

      Well, she has the education of a teenager and she’s into written selfies, so to say. All those sweet homebirth shit she’s exposed in her blog. Also, she rushed to the ER to save her own precious vay-jay so she can pop out further victims, oops, DC. Not mentioning even once that her newborn was grunting or had a cord that poor souls might eat by mistake.

      What developmental level do you think she is? BTW, the same goes for her big and strong sister who rushed to Facebook to defend poor baby. (Make no mistake who the baby is!) She crowed about her sister’s healthy homebirths as well.

      They’re all surreal.

      • sdsures

        What’s a written selfie? (I’m a child of the early 1980s.)

        • Amazed

          Same here!
          Written selfie is a derogatory term I just invented to describe someone who’s sharing in width and depth an experience of themselves for as great an audience to see as possible. In her case, it was her story of her 2008 homebirth. IOW, a written selfie is something that the world really does not need to see but the author doesn’t think so.

          • sdsures

            I’m too old for that!!!! *crotchety old lady at 35*

          • Amazed

            Noooo! If you’re so old, then how old should I be? At 35, I still like to think myself young and beautiful.

          • sdsures

            LOL <3

      • BeatriceC

        There’s a lot of adolescent level emotional thinking going on. I’ve only commented once on Dr. Amy’s fb post, and that was along the same lines. There was a knee jerk reaction to blame Dr. Amy for the CPS call, simply because Dr. Amy posted the story. There’s zero consideration for the fact that the staff at the hospital where she sought treatment for herself are mandated reporters. Of course, when that was pointed out to her, her story changed from “they told me they couldn’t evaluate him and told me to take him to a different hospital” to “they had no concerns about him.” It’s the typical adolescent mindset.

        • sdsures

          “Of course, when that was pointed out to her, her story changed from “they told me they couldn’t evaluate him and told me to take him to a different hospital” to “they had no concerns about him.” It’s the typical adolescent mindset.”

          Yes. It sounds like she changed the story purely to get people she perceived off her back.

        • CSN0116

          Her and her husband’s names both have tens of thousands of searches, as of this morning. The CPS reporter could have been a lot of people, and chances are it was more than one person.

          • BeatriceC

            The mother is in California. I posed the situation to a friend who’s an ER doc. I didn’t give a lot of details, as the mother states she didn’t tell the ER where she sought care for herself that she had any concerns for the baby. What I said was ” home birth mom presents to ER with PPH and is sent to L&D, who cannot evaluate the baby. It’s unclear if baby was with her. What are your obligations?” He said that if baby wasn’t present at all, there would be an immediate call to CPS and the police for a welfare check. If mom presented with the baby and refused to have baby evaluated, then a call to CPS.” I asked what if mom presented with the baby and L&D told them they couldn’t evaluate baby there and to take baby to an ER with a peds department. He said he’d give it a few hours and then check with the other hospitals to find evidence that she complied, and if she hadn’t, he’d call CPS. I then told him the whole story. It’s my opinion that at least one of the CPS calls came from the hospital where the mom presented for treatment for herself. Now that I think about it, as I showed my friend the screen caps of what was going on, and he’s a *California doctor and mandated reporter*, he may have been obligated to call himself, though the rules regarding internet situations are unclear.

          • Squillo

            Woman comes to ED with PPH but no baby? Yeah, that’s definitely going to generate a call to the authorities.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          That sort of storyline/thinking reminds me enough of my mother to make me want to vomit. Similar situation, similar concerns: “they’ll think badly of me if Person has X life-threatening condition,” not “Oh, crap, Person has X life-threatening condition, how do we treat it?”.
          And people wonder why I cut contact before I had kids.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        Some people seem to be painfully narcissistic. “Oh what will people think if there is something wrong with the baby” something that could have been mitigated or avoided if they had consulted an actual medical professional immediately when they noticed something strange.

        And yes it’s interesting she did not hesitate to go to the ER herself but did not bring the baby in to be assessed.

        I have a high school education but even I know grunting newborn is a sign the baby is probably struggling to breathe.

        • Amazed

          Your “even I” seem misplaced. From your posts here, I’d say your developmental level is age-wise. With her, educational level is just one of the things that link her more to teens than adults. The smallest one, I might add.

          I can’t imagine how wrong you must be in the head to hear EACH AND EVERY ONE of the people you turned for advice to, plus a professional tell you that your baby might DIE and calmly take yourself to the ER without mentioning about your own freaking concerns about the baby.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            Thank you, I don’t understand her thinking either!

            I just can’t imagine home birthing nor having a baby unassisted unless it was due to a natural disaster that prevented me from seeking help. So I guess I have a hard time just understanding her decisions (I do empathize with people who fear hospitals, as I have the same fears, but try to overcome them as it is necessary) .

            Possibly I am paranoid, but my family history going back generations tells me birth is dangerous. My mother alone had a 3rd pregnancy with 3 separate ways it could have killed her(previa, transverse lie, uterine abruption due to endometriosis), my grand mother lost a baby to Rh issues, my great- grandmother died at 18 from pregnancy complications due to syphilis, the baby died a few months later. A niece had to have 2 C-sections due to the size of her babies heads, another should have had a C-section due to carrying an almost 12 lb baby(really traumatic shoulder dystocia, baby in NICU for a week).

      • sdsures

        Unfortunately you don’t need to be a genius to conceive a baby. Most of us normal folk just hope we do the right thing and fly by the seat of our pants with doctors’ help, eh?

      • jenn

        She is probably more worried about consuming infected cord blood than the baby. She is a placenta pureer.

    • Madtowngirl

      I also watched this unfold yesterday. She made some comment about how aspirating meconium was safe….I just couldn’t keep reading, my blood pressure kept climbing.

      • sdsures

        “Meconium is safe as long as it’s not aspirated.” was her exact comment. (Ummmm…????) Photographic memory here. She’s probably deleted it by now.

        • Madtowngirl

          My bad, thanks for clarifying. Getting angry might have made it hard to read. 🙂

          • sdsures

            She’s made me wish I don’t have a photographic memory.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          And how would she be sure it hadn’t been aspirated!?

          • sdsures

            Because magical thinking?

          • momofone

            Because if it had she’d be obligated to do something about it. “Oh, did I say she aspirated meconium? I meant she absolutely did NOT aspirate meconium.” Voila! Problem solved!

          • sdsures

            *facedesk*

          • mabelcruet

            But meconium is natural! It’s probably full of nutrients and antibodies that will benefit baby! Aspirating the meconium will help establish a healthy microbiome! In fact, mamas who really care about their baby will give it some in breast milk to make sure they get ALL the goodness! After all, it’s natural-its been in their baby’s body for 9 months, it should be respected for being the baby’s birth companion-all babies NEED to be appointed in meconium!! Sucking out aspirated meconium is disrespectful-this is what nature wanted, and after all, nothing natural will hurt baby!!

            TFIC, obviously.

      • BeatriceC

        My blood pressure keeps climbing, but I keep obsessively checking the various threads in different groups to see if there’s an update. I can’t help myself.

        • sdsures

          Same here.

    • Mrs.Katt the Cat

      I am reminded why I have not joined any mommy groups. I don’t think I could take many situations like this, and I have a rule about avoiding internet drama.

      • BeatriceC

        I play the supportive old woman on a couple different childbirth/infant care groups and admin an evidenced based postpartum depression/anxiety group.

        • Mrs.Katt the Cat

          Really? Hmm, I might be interested in some evidence based support. All the groups I found seemed too drama filled, perhaps I didn’t use the right search terms.
          I did join an infant sleep group, and then MiniKatt started STTN and taking great naps on her own.

          • sdsures

            There’s a group on Ravelry. My username there is stephbriggsuk. http://www.ravelry.com/groups/evidence-based-parenting

          • demodocus

            Do you guys mostly pm each other? There’s only 2 messages, so I never joined.

          • BeatriceC

            We are a new group, but growing, and so far it has been great. Am I allowed to post links for things like that?

          • BeatriceC

            Since Dr. Amy upvoted my previous response, I’ll take that as a “yes” for posting the link. Like I said, we’re still pretty new, but we are growing, and we’re trying to keep it both evidenced based and supportive. We had our first ban this morning. That’s sort of a sad milestone.

            https://www.facebook.com/groups/evidencebasedppdsupport/

          • Erin

            Do you need to be in the US?

            I’m hoping I won’t need this time around but I can already feel my anxieties building (primarily every time I see a health “care” professional) and I’m absolutely terrified of the extraction element.

          • BeatriceC

            No need to be in the US. You just need a Facebook account, since it’s a Facebook group.

          • BeatriceC

            Also, feel free to join before the baby is born.

      • sdsures

        This is why the idea of mommy groups scare me (no kids yet, but we plan to have some). I know how much a new mom can crave adult contact in the first year of baby’s life, but if only getting it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as this.

        • Amy M

          I didn’t join a real life mommy group, mostly because I knew I was going back to work when the babies were 12 wks old, and in my town, all those groups are for SAHMs. Online, for a little while, I joined a multiples parents group, but the drama got to me and I left it. Too many woo-ers. I still belong to ONE online group, we formed ourselves around several commonalities, and have been communicating online for 9 years now. I don’t know how/why that group works so well, maybe because we never really focused on parenting. If you work, maybe some of your work friends have children? That’s a good group to have, because you already know them and would have something in common other than children.

        • Erin

          I recommend “real” ones, where you can sit and drink cups of tea whilst your children run amok rather than virtual ones.

          I found them a real life saver.

          • guest

            Thirding the recommendation for rl groups. I live in a pretty crunchy area, but the group I’m in ended up being very respectful of everyone’s choices.

        • Sean Jungian

          I, too, was a member of a r/l mom-and-baby group, and it was a lot of fun, very necessary for me. I was in a new area and didn’t know anyone at all so I made some friendships through the group. They would organize casual trips to the zoo, library, etc.

      • Fleur

        The thing I hate about internet mommy groups is the whole culture of “all posts must be supportive, the worst thing of all is being judgmental and meeaan!” Supportive is good, but sometimes a person needs some tough love, not an echo chamber of validation. I got fed up of reading posts where mothers were either proposing to do something really dangerous or basically admitting to emotionally and/or physically abusing a child and seeing a chorus of responses all saying “aw, hunny, you’re so brave to post this, being a momma is hard, your mommy’s instincts are better than any doctor, you’re such a special person. Hugs!” Any dissenting voices immediately get jumped on for bullying/ being “unsupportive”, because obviously what someone really needs if they’ve trying to induce labour at home with castor oil at 34 weeks because pregnancy is uncomfortable/ looking for a “measles party” for a small child/ admitting to routinely slapping a six month old baby as a method of discipline etc is to be told by 100 different women how special and right they are.

        It’s one reason I like this site so much. I don’t doubt for a moment that, if I ever indicated in a comment that I was planning on making a really risky parenting decision, several of the regular commenters would hop in to call me out. It would be pretty bruising to my ego, but I love my child more than I love my unbruised ego.

        • BeatriceC

          That’s the environment we’re trying to create in my PPD/A group. While it does need to be supportive, we also want it to be real. And we want any claims to be evidenced base. The owner of the group (she made it, I just help admin it) has gone through a lot of trouble to create all kind of documents talking about various meds and the science and studies behind why they’re used and what issues they can treat/create, along with studies on things like CBT and things of that nature. We did ban somebody today for victim blaming (a woman posted that she was upset at some hatred she was getting for a reason related to domestic abuse and the person was blaming the OP for being abused…that got her banned), but we still want people to be able to bring up a problem if somebody is posting something dangerous. As a minor example, if a woman is having trouble with housework because of the PPD, the answer isn’t “oh, just let that moldy food sit in the kitchen sink”, it’s “let’s brainstorm a way for you to be able to get it done without having a panic attack”. I hope that makes sense.

          • Fleur

            Yes, it does – sounds like a great environment! (And that’s exactly what I was trying to put across. People need help to find solutions to their problems rather than just mindless cheerleading about what an amazing job they’re doing when, in reality, the wheels are about to fall off any moment.)

    • Mel

      In defense of my troubled teenagers: if I looked at them and said “Kid’s Name, I am afraid that baby is very, very sick because the umbilical cord is showing signs of an infection and the baby’s breathing doesn’t sound right. Please take the baby to the ER” even my most hard core “I don’t give a shit about anyone” teens would get the baby to the hospital – by whatever means necessary.

      After all, those teens already know that death is right around the corner.

      • BeatriceC

        I think most of them would, but there’s still probably a few that would hold out for a bit longer. Though in the end I think they would all eventually take the baby to the ER.

        About 7-8 years ago now, one of my students just suddenly collapsed in my homeroom. I went to the back and found she wasn’t breathing and I couldn’t find a heartbeat. I immediately started CPR and started barking out orders (you go get an admin, you take my cell phone and call 911, you clear this space, etc). The paramedics got there and took over CPR, they started asking questions. The rest of the class was silent. Eventually I got mad and shouted “Your friend is DEAD! Tell us what she took and we might be able to save her!” One brave student waved me over and whispered to me that the’d been dissolving Xanax in their gatorade bottles. This tiny, 75 pound scrap of nothing 12 year old girl had consumed enough to stop her heart and respiratory function. They wound up airlifting the girl to the major trauma center in the area and she survived, but it came close. Thankfully ONE kid had the guts to tell us what she took.

        So kids do have that knee jerk response to save themselves. Nobody wanted to say what happened because they knew they’d all get in trouble. But in the end, I think most of them will do the right thing once they realize the seriousness, but sometimes it takes getting awful darned close to tragedy for them to see it.

        • Roadstergal

          Holy crap, that’s quite a story…!

          • BeatriceC

            I worked in a really bad inner city neighborhood. Unfortunately, drug overdoses were all too common.

          • Erin

            Someone I was briefly close to at school (at perhaps the most dubious establishment of the many I passed through during my educational career) was sniffing glue with a friend. The friend went into convulsions and she panicked. Left her convulsing and went back to school. A dog walker found the girl about 35 minutes later but by that time it was too late. Her parents ended up turning off her life support machine around 4 months afterwards.

            I like to think I’d have done something different but I don’t know.

          • BeatriceC

            Kids make really stupid choices sometimes. It’s part of the process of growing up. With any luck, our own stupid choices don’t have lifelong consequences, but some people wind up not being so lucky.

  • AA

    Just out of curiosity–what was the response of the fellow closed group members (unassisted birth group)? Did most of them advise immediate medical care?