The baby died four years ago; homebirth midwife Christy Collins hasn’t stopped lying since

Word Lies standing on table

Earlier this week I wrote about the new GateHouse Media expose of homebirth midwifery, Failure to Deliver. It features many tragic stories about preventable infant death including the tale of homebirth midwife Christy Collins. After repeatedly ignoring Danielle Yeager’s serious pregnancy complications — more than 2 weeks past her due date and no amniotic fluid:

Collins took the Doppler wand and placed it on Yeager’s belly, moving it around until they could hear the whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of the heart.

It sounded different this time. Slow. Dangerously slow. A number appeared on the monitor: 90 beats per minute. Not the normal, healthy fetal heart rate of 120-160 bpm.

“At that point, I said, ‘We need to go,’” Brooks [the baby’s father] recalled.

Although they were in a clinic connected to Spring Valley Hospital near the heart of Las Vegas, Collins instructed them to meet her at Centennial Hills Hospital, more than 16 miles north. It’s about a half-hour trek.

By the time Yeager arrived at the other hospital, it was too late. Despite an emergency C-section and extensive neonatal resuscitation efforts, baby Gavin Michael was dead.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Even among homebirth midwives who routinely lie about their role in preventable deaths, Christy Collins stands out.[/pullquote]

There are two things that make the story of Christy Collins particularly damning: 1. She had been prohibited from practicing midwifery in California so she simply moved to another state. 2. Nearly every claim she made to Gatehouse Media was shown — through texts, recollections of the parents, and recollections of the medical professionals — to be a lie.

Now her husband Chuck is publicly lying on her behalf.

I remember the anguish, the confusion as to why her client, someone that Christy had grown close to, had refused to be seen by specialists after an abdominal assault incident. Or the car accident, or bleeding that followed. It was obvious that the client did not trust the medical community, but Christy did, and gave every chance short of force to make that happen. Multiple ultrasounds, a cancelled perinatologist appointment by the client who accused my wife of trying to subject her to ‘the dead baby flag,’ refusals of hospital induction, refusal to stay at the hospital, and blaming my wife’s urgency for putting stress and pressure on her, as she believed it was preventing her from going into labor. Many other parts of her care were above and beyond a typical client of Christy’s, not just because it was needed, but because the client declined a higher level of monitoring. There were no statutes in that state protecting a midwife from abandonment charges after 36 weeks if the care of a noncompliant client was dropped or transferred. I remember Christy staying in the hospital room after the passing for many many hours, making sure those parents knew their son, helping them cope in the days that followed. In the week that followed (something else missing in your reporting), the client had told my wife that the reason she kept saying she wanted more time was because she KNEW. She knew something was wrong and she wanted more time with her baby while he was still alive. It seems nearly impossible that ANY mother wouldn’t immediately jump into action if their midwife told them that their baby needed to come out. It doesn’t make sense. When the client’s mother found out about California in the weeks that followed, she even went as far to try and have Christy arraigned again for practicing in Nevada. Christy again, had to appear in court only to be told by the judge what she had already been legally advised, that her practice in Nevada was NOT in violation of any part of her legal issue in California.

I suppose if you are committed to lying, it hardly makes sense to worry about how monstrous the lies are, but it does make sense to worry about the existence of documentary evidence proving that it is a monstrous lie. And I have that documentary evidence. I was the one who originally reported the tragedy of Gavin Michael’s preventable death and identified Christy Collins as the midwife responsible.

It wasn’t that hard after Collins crowd sourced Yeager’s complications on Facebook, asking Jan Tritten, the editor of Midwifery Today to solicit advice from other homebirth midwives:


…[W]hat do we truly feel are the risks compared to a woman whose water has been broken and so baby/cord has no cushion there either. Cord compression only? True possibility of placenta being done although it looks good? Can anyone share stories/opinions? …

Do you see any evidence that Collins was trying to convince Yeager to go to the hospital immediately? Me, neither.

In the wake of Gavin Michael’s death, Collins immediately took to social media to share the midwife’s story without acknowledging that SHE was the midwife:



I asked Christy on her own Facebook page whether she was the primary midwife in the case. She lied:

No, I’m not, but enough details had been passed around to select midwives to realize it was not what got created on Jan’s page, and it was NOT Jan. Someone needed to say something …

I asked for the identity of the midwife and Christy lied again.

I’m sorry, you know I can’t do that. Coming to the defense of others is something I will do if I feel that their actions were defensible. With what I have heard, and with what others posted, they were. It was presented by the midwife poorly, but the actions taken up to that point and past appear to have been within OB protocol …

Chuck is now lying when he says that Christy repeatedly urged Danielle to go to the hospital. How do I know? Back in 2014 I quoted the text that Christy sent to Danielle on the day after the baby’s death. In it she acknowledges that she actually advised Danielle to ignore the perinatologist who warned that the baby might die.

I wish I could go back in time, and have said stronger words – enough to make you hate me, and fell you had no choice but to go into the hospital the day before. I could’ve lived with you hating me, over this feeling of devastation.

I know we say that we don’t know if it would’ve been any different; maybe he would’ve been very sick, but alive. I don’t know. But I wish I wouldn’t pushed much hard and said the things that we never want to hear the ‘experts’ say…

Instead of … telling you to “be prepared that the perinatologist doing the NST is likely to tell you that your baby could die if he doesn’t come out;” those should have been MY words. You might have been really pissed at me for pushing you into a corner where you felt you didn’t have a choice, but … I wouldn’t care… I am angry at myself for being the midwife who tried to be as firm but gentle as possible when advising to go in when I could’ve waved the dead baby flag…

I wanted so badly to see a change in fluid … while you just wanted time/space to think … If I hadn’t agreed, and used the words “your baby could die because of this …”, maybe he would still be here…

Back in 2014 Christy told Danielle that she blamed herself for the baby’s death:

I blame me. I would rather have you hate me for pushing you harder into a bad birth experience … so you could hold a live baby instead.

Midwifery implies choices. Informed consent. Informed refusal. No woman would refuse an induction if she knew what having a dead baby felt like. In the future, I’ll pressure until my client hates me. I won’t care.

She promised she would learn from her role in Gavin Michael’s preventable death, but, of course, she lied about that, too.