Talking with the Enemy

Ahhh where do I start! It’s been an interesting few weeks and I’m not quite sure if I should be writing this post or not. I’m torn, completely torn and here is why:

I started talking to one of the Admins from the main HBAC group a while ago. I won’t name her as that wouldn’t be fair. She seemed like a nice person and I’m still hoping that she can change, in fact the only reason I’m writing this post is because I want to reach out to her and I can’t message her directly anymore as she blocked me. I think the only way to do this is via a public letter. So here goes:

Dear Admin,

I’m so sorry you felt the need to block me, I actually really liked you and thought that we were getting somewhere. I know you talked to me because you were unsure of certain things going on in your groups, specifically babies dying that could have been saved. I know this affected you and I was so proud of you for acknowledging this.

You and I both know that babies are dying due to dangerous advice and support being given by your group and others like it. Here are some examples of recent deaths that we know about that could have been prevented, I apologise in advance if I seem angry or upset, I’m sure you can relate to why I would feel this way:

Baby Penelope: Died 10th August 2015 inutero. Mum was past 45 weeks with waters broken for 3 of those. Mum was actively encouraged to continue with her pregnancy until her baby was ready to come out. Lots of encouragement from the HBAC group that she could do it, that her baby would only come when it was ready, that there were mums who had done this! I don’t know the reasons behind Penelopes death, but I’m pretty sure that had mum been encouraged and supported to seek medical advice, induction or a section that baby Penelope would still be with us today. Not one person publicly told Baby Penelopes mum to go to the hospital or to get medical advice. The sickening part now is that the group are saying that Baby Penelopes mum was a troll! A fucking troll!!! This poor mother has lost her baby and all the group can do is try and pretend it never happened. They are burying this poor baby twice! It has to stop. Baby Penelope was very real. The pain her mother is experiencing right now is also very real. And yet this is what all of the people who ‘supported’ her through her post term pregnancy are doing to her! Making her out to be a fake! She deserves better! You know she does! This isn’t on! Just in case you didn’t see what your other ‘admin’ friend wrote in regards to this. Here is a screenshot for you!

Meg comment for blog

 

As you can see its perfectly clear what the admins in your group are doing. As for stating that the obituary was for a 71 year old woman, it would help if whoever had called the funeral home had done the following: 1: Called the CORRECT funeral home 2: Used the right date! The 71 year old namesake died 5 days AFTER Baby Penelope, and was dealt with by a DIFFERENT funeral home in a DIFFERENT PART OF THE COUNTRY!!! Please ask your fellow admin to get her facts right. As for why she would respond to me and not you guys? I can’t answer that, but I can say I wasn’t the one calling her a fake from day 1! These things get out. If I had just lost my baby and heard what all of my ‘supporters’ and people who were supposed to care were saying then I wouldn’t respond either! Would you?

Then we have other babies that have recently died a potentially preventable death. Here are some of them for you. Each one deserves a blog all of their own but for the purpose of this letter to you I’ll keep the list brief:

11th September 2015: HBAC – Baby passed inutero after a UCA3C attempt
2nd September 2015: Unassisted HBAC – Baby died the day after birth
1st September 2015: Baby Jarret: HBAC Attempt, Cord Prolapse, HIE. Transferred to hospital but baby couldn’t be saved
10th August 2015: Baby Penelope as discussed above
30th July 2015: Baby Moses, Out of Hospital Birth, born not breathing
29th July 2015: Baby Owen: Attempted Unassisted Birth, ended up in transfer, baby was stuck and passed away before he could be born
28th July 2015: HBA5C Transfer, mum arrived with placental abruption and high BP, Crash section was too late to save baby
26th July 2015: HBAC Transfer: MAS (Meconium aspiration) Baby was unfortunately brain dead by the time they got to hospital
26th July 2015: Baby Eliza: HBAC Transfer, Baby died inutero
24th July 2015: Baby Chase: HBAC Transfer, baby got stuck. Was born brain dead and removed from life support
23rd July 2015: Baby CJ: Birth Centre VBAC – Baby couldn’t be saved

These are just the babies who passed in the last 3 months! That’s 11 deaths in three months! Some from groups you admin. It is completely unacceptable for this to carry on. I am begging you to stop encouraging women like these, and then to stop burying their stories under the pretence that they were fakes!

These babies and their parents are very real, a lot of their grief could have been prevented. You could have helped to stop some of these babies from dying!! Please stop encouraging women to birth dangerously, please advise them to seek medical assistance, to birth in a hospital, anything! Anything other than encouraging them to trust their bodies all the way to their babies grave.

So I have some questions for you:

How many of the babies that I have listed above do you think would have survived had the mothers been encouraged to seek medical advice or go to the hospital? I appreciate that not all of these babies would have survived, but you know as well as I do that had they been in hospital they would have had a fighting chance of survival.

Why befriend us in the first place if you had no intention of changing?

Why have you gone back to the HBAC groups? What do they offer you that saving babies cannot?

Part of me wonders if you are attracted to these groups because you enjoy being able to help and support vulnerable women, you are clearly seen as somewhat of a Martyr from your followers. But please think about this. These women that are looking up to you, boosting your ego and giving you gooey feel good feelings. Do you not think they deserve to know the truth about HBAC? The actual risks and evidence. They deserve the opportunity to make a balanced and fully informed decision. They deserve to be given the freedom to choose the safest option for their child.

So please if you do get a chance to read this, have a think about what you are doing. Because whilst it might make you feel good right now. How the hell are you going to feel when another baby dies? More importantly what are you going to do when another baby dies?

You have the opportunity to make a change now! Please think about that! You can do something right now to help prevent more babies from dying a preventable death. Inform these women and give them the freedom of choice they deserve.

Regards

Bella

20 thoughts on “Talking with the Enemy

  1. I can speculate why – hypocrisy is the key modus operandi of these faux midwives. Sadly many are experts at manipulation and lead women to engage in unsafe behavior. A cult or gang mentality with suffering through a risky birth the ultimate hazing.

  2. THANK YOU! I often wonder how these people live with themselves. These poor mother’s buy into the whole natural birth, get insecure, look for advice and when something goes wrong, they are either made out to be “stupid for asking the internet” or called trolls with fake stories. Now I’m all for homebirths and birth center births, but under the right conditions and only if the mom is deemed low risk, with the right checkups. On top of this, the mother should BE TOLD and KNOW all the risk and what problems can arise. In my province, a midwife needs to transfer a patient who goes into labour before 36 weeks and those who haven’t after 42 weeks to an OB. They are legally required to stay with the patient if they refuse a transfer after labour has started, even if the midwife recommends the transfer (I imagine the midwives have some kind of protocol for this, like calling 911). They are also educated AND the patients must go through regular testing (blood tests for GD). Why is this not the norm? I can’t believe people would tell a poor woman that 45 weeks is normal.

  3. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/29/our-infant-mortality-rate-is-a-national-embarrassment/
    http://consumerjusticegroup.com/birth-injuries/infant-mortality-rates/
    http://mana.org/blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes
    http://www.sw.org/HealthLibrary?page=Intrauterine%20Fetal%20Demise

    Its good to understand that research is necessary to understand that fetal demise cannot always be prevented.
    Recently a mother in my area was receiving standard care from an obstetrician and her baby was born sleeping. Autopsies of babies born after fetal demise are often undetermined on what the direct cause is. Babies die in the womb sometimes and nothing can be done. Its a very sad thing that no one can be held accountable for. Its out of anyones power. All we can do is think “should have done ___” “could have done ____” “had we known ___ we would have done ___”. But it is too late for that.
    Hospitals aren’t immune to infant mortalities either.
    Prolapsed cords happen in hospital settings too. Labours happen quickly and prolapsed cords happen during those quick labours at times too. Prolapsed cords aren’t related to any pregnancy complication. They rely solely on the position of the cord and baby which can change in one quick little move of the baby. Prolapsed cords result in infant mortalities in the hospital too… nothing can be done to prevent this. Sometimes the babies survive and are lucky to continue a normal healthy life. Some are born and have serious brain damage from oxygen deprivation and go on to live a life full of complications and need for assisted living. Some pass away because there is simply no time.
    I cannot speak to post dates. My stance on that may be different…

    However you cannot blame a community of women who choose natural birth for the deaths of babies and ignore infant mortality in the hospital at the hands of obstetricians.

    You can compare some real statistics that come from a larger number of births studied before you make a narrow minded, misinformed post. Or you can choose to ignore that hospitals and their obstetricians aren’t invincible to their patients’ deaths.

    Your choice.

    If you want to fight for your stance why don’t you DO something positive? Because writing all of this negativity and spreading negativity isn’t getting any of you women anywhere. Why do you think we have ladies flocking to our groups? Why do you think natural birth has such a huge following? Because people are attracted to love, happiness, encouragement. They stay away from gossiping negative women who have no “success stories” or anything empowwring to say.

    ♥ one woman who you’d consider to be an “enemy” but truly just loves women and cares about you too ♥

    1. Babies do die in hospital too, some of them unnecessary too which is heartbreaking. But babies are 4 times more likely to die at a homebirth (HBAC stats are higher) than a hospital one. Here’s a great link that explains risk: http://ishomebirthsafe.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/babies-die-in-hospitals-too.html?m=1

      Please also look at the following links, all of which back up the message I am trying to get across (which is most of these babies could have been saved):

      Studies Regarding HBAC:
      – Birth Center Study, Lieberman, 2004: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15516382
      1 in 273 perinatal mortality rate
      – MANA Study, 2013: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmwh.12172/full
      1 in 210 perinatal mortality rate
      – Cox 2015 study co-authored by Melissa Cheyney of MANA regarding higher rate of mortality for HBAC per the MANA study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/birt.12188/abstract
      Full copy of the Cox 2015 paper: https://attachment.fbsbx.com/file_download.php?id=804935919605574&eid=ASs6QLL-Q9osWviMVcIBreU2-e8tdLYdti6hni5cTApECZWY1TyN_dKjr_2uUael6cg&ext=1441070396&hash=AStBnqGntupUCRAN
      – In hospital VBAC comparison, Guise 2010 study: http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/evidence-based-reports/vbacup-evidence-report.pdf
      1 in 769 perinatal mortality rate

      General Home Birth Studies:
      1) http://www.ajog.org/…/S0002-9378%2813%2901155-1/fulltext – Study from 2014 that found a death rate 4 times higher at home birth than hospital birth.
      2) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmwh.12172/pdf – Study released in 2014 by the Midwives Alliance of North America that found a death rate 5.5 times higher at home birth (for low-risk pregnancies; for breech babies the death rate was 28 times higher, for instance).
      3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182433 – This study from 2010 found that home birth with CNMs had 2 times more deaths as the hospital, and home birth with CPMs had 3.5 times more deaths than the hospital.
      4) https://olis.leg.state.or.us/…/CommitteeMeetingDoc…/8585 – These are the official homebirth death statistics from the State of Oregon in 2012, collected by CNM Judith Rooks. They found that homebirth had a death rate 8 times higher than hospital birth.
      5) http://www.ajog.org/…/S0002-9378%2813%2901604-9/abstract – Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical Center and Yale School of Medicine found that home birth babies suffer 16.9 times as many brain injuries as those born in the hospital.
      6) http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378%2813%2900641-8/fulltext – Study published in 2013 in which researchers found that almost 4 times as many babies born at home have seizures, and 10 times as many babies born at home have a five minute Apgar score of 0.
      7) http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(13)00630-3/abstract – This study, published in 2013, found that 3 times as many babies born at home have seizures.
      8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21380991/#fft – “Study from 2011 that looked at planned home births in Missouri and found a 5x increase in neonatal seizures, and an 11-20x increase in intrapartum deaths.”

      1. If you want to fight for your stance why don’t you DO something positive? Because writing all of this negativity and spreading negativity isn’t getting any of you women anywhere. Why do you think we have ladies flocking to our groups? Why do you think natural birth has such a huge following? Because people are attracted to love, happiness, encouragement. They stay away from gossiping negative women who have no “success stories” or anything empowwring to say.

        There are plenty of success stories, I’m part of a huge group where we have successful VBACs every single day, we support these women, encourage them, laugh with them and cry with them. What we don’t do is fill their heads with nonsense and make them believe that their bodies can do anything. Not everyone can safely birth a child, which is why HBAC is so dangerous, its an unknown. You simply can not tell a woman they will be fine and that its the ‘safest’ option when clearly it is not! It is unfair. Yes it may be surrounded by love, happiness and warm fuzzy feelings but those feelings soon fade away when another baby dies! Except … no wait! It doesn’t because those babies are called fakes, their mothers called trolls. Allegedly placed to try and deter you all from the natural safe birth that you are all hoping for. I love our group because it tells the truth, it allows women to make their own choice based on facts and evidence. If any of our women go into a home birth they do it informed. They don’t do it believing its the safest choice for their baby! We give them far more than love, we give them the truth alongside it!

    2. The USA’s infant mortality rate is too high, but our stillbirth rate is actually quite low, even compared to other wealthy countries, as is our term neonatal mortality. Infant mortality in the USA is driven largely by prematurity. We have too many preemies, in part because many women still lack adequate access to healthcare.

      Actually, prolapsed cords can sometimes be prevented. The incidence of cord prolapse at hospital birth has actually dropped over the past few decades. And in the hospital, babies with cord prolapse can often be saved by immediate c-section. Not always, but often.

      We have plenty of success stories, plenty of joy and happiness to share from our babies born with the help of evidence-based medical care. We also have fewer tragedies.

    3. 1) the links you posted – not a single one is to a reputable or scholarly source, and MANA press release is just a press release smoke and mirrors – their actual “study” data and death rates show the increased risks of homebirth.

      2) “Its good to understand that research is necessary to understand that fetal demise cannot always be prevented.”
      Actual research has been done that established homebirth deaths were preventable with adequate medical care in pregnancy and childbirth. Since you prefer unofficial sources of information I’m not going to waste any study links on you, but here is one out-of -hospital death where medical experts went on record to state that this baby would have not died in a hospital: http://www.honestmidwife.com/it-could-have-been-me/ Neither would that baby in your group whose mom laboured for five days with ruptured membranes, Neither would have baby Penelope.

      3) “Recently a mother in my area was receiving standard care from an obstetrician and her baby was born sleeping.”
      Her baby died and she suffered the unspeakable tragedy of fetal death. You using her in an attempt to divert attention from preventable deaths due to lack of standard obstetric care is a despicable example of countering facts with anecdotes. The fact that a small number of babies will die even under best care does not excuse all the deaths that were direct consequence of lack of adequate care and borderline psychopathic medical neglect and abuse that fake, often illegal midwives inflict on regular basis upon their clients: http://t.union-bulletin.com/news/2015/oct/04/unlicensed-midwife-under-investigation-after-lengt/

      4) “Autopsies of babies born after fetal demise are often undetermined on what the direct cause is. Babies die in the womb sometimes and nothing can be done. Its a very sad thing that no one can be held accountable for. Its out of anyones power. All we can do is think “should have done ___” “could have done ____” “had we known ___ we would have done ___”. But it is too late for that. Hospitals aren’t immune to infant mortalities either.”

      Here is a quote of the pathologist explaining what they see when they autopsy the preventable homebirth death that killed many of the babies in your *support* group this year – you know who they are, you cheered their mothers with ruptured membranes and in labour for days and weeks, you told them that “babies know when to be born” when you praised ignoring the risks of post dates pregnancies and so on:

      “When I do an autopsy on a stillbirth I always take a section of stomach to look at microscopically. I can physically see the pus in the stomach, clusters of neutrophils, white blood cells that have collected in the fluid and that the baby has subsequently swallowed. I can physically see the pus in the lungs where the baby has aspirated pus cells, because babies practice breathing in utero , and so suck all this pus into their lungs. And you know what? The pus is mixed with squames, skin cells that the baby has shed, and in its last desperate frantic panic it starts to gasp and draws these deep into its lungs.

      These babies are literally swimming in a bag full of pus, in a giant bacterial laden boil. They are swimming in it, swallowing it, breathing it, and I see the end result. And you know what else? It makes me despair that there are midwives out there who write this off as normal. Membranes ruptured for 5 days? Not a problem….

      And when the baby is born dead, not sleeping, and covered in meconium, and he stinks of bacterial poisons, and I see the pus, I want whoever delivered that baby in front of me, so that they can see this is not a game. This is not a game of ‘ooh, doctors are horrible, they just want to cut you, so let’s pretend there’s nothing wrong’.”

      So take your passive-aggressive ♥♥♥ lies and attempt to shame the author of this blog post elsewhere, because hospitals and qualified medical care providers are indeed immune to senseless, preventable deaths like these that you are trying so hard to falsely justify as mere “choice”. Your peer-to-peer brainwashing along the lines of what you posted here is why these mothers felt falsely confident that they were making “the safest choice” by going against medical advice, and it cost them their babies. Remember that the next time a mom posts looking for “support” at 42 weeks because medical care according to current guidelines CAN and DOES prevent the risks of losing babies to post term pregnancy. So try to do the right thing and tell this to that next woman before it’s too late, since you are someone who claims that she “truly just loves women”

    4. Unfortunately, the negativity exists, because babies are dying, and it’s rather hard to find the silver lining in that scenario, particularly when a lot of these deaths were preventable. No sane medical practitioner with a real background in obstetrics would advise a woman to go to 45 weeks. That is nothing short of absolute craziness. That baby most certainly did NOT have to die. One cannot argue that babies do die in hospitals, but the data (the MANA data, actually) shows that babies are 800% more likely to die at a home birth than in a hospital setting. That is ludicrous, and to argue the “safety” of out-of-hospital birth is like trying to argue the safety of skydiving without a parachute, with a boulder tied to your ankle. I’m not at all against a woman’s right to choose out-of-hospital birth…but I am completely against misinformation, and peddling ideology without the REAL FACTS. Every expectant mother has the right to informed consent, which means she’ll go into her birth of choice knowing the real risks involved.

  4. Waiting patiently for my comment to be approved. I hope you know what it reveals about you if you don’t approve it. 🙂 ♥

  5. So apparently real statistics of hospital neonatal mortality rates isn’t accepted here? I feel like you’re censoring me when many of the women like you claim that “we” censor your stats off of our pages and groups. A little hypocritical no?
    At least have the courage to tell me why.

  6. You are comparing preventable deaths that happen while undertaking known risks (higher rate of death) happening at home and away from a qualified provider with hospital birth (statistically much safer). Nope. Not buying it. These babies didn’t have to die.

  7. Intrapartum deaths at homebirth are mostly preventable – uterine rupture, second twin, post dates, breech, shoulder dystocia. Those babies were alive at the beginning of labor. T-shirts showing names of babies

  8. 11 babies died.

    CDC, stillbirth rate of expectant management versus delivery
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719843/table/T2/

    41 weeks of gestation: 17.6 compared with 10.8 per 10,000

    Let’s use the lower number since it’s conveniently close to 11.

    In a standard population with medical care, the risk of delivery at 41 weeks is 11 stillborn infants per 10,000 babies born.

    In order for their statistics to equal this number, in THREE MONTHS their group would have had to have 10,000 births.

    It didn’t happen. What would be a reasonable guesstimate – 100 births? Less? What was their combined mortality for that period – 10%? 20%?

    They’d best not try to compare their record with hospitals because the hospitals would win.

    1. Bonnie: “I think its disgusting you have to pick on a small HBAC group like this, its up to them what they do”

      Even if they lie to women and babies end up dying? I bet you wouldn’t be so “disgusted” if it were an OB lying to a pregnant woman about the risks, would you? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    2. Really? Disgusting to “pick on” a little ol’ HBAC group? No. What’s disgusting is how many babies have died – babies that DIDN’T HAVE TO DIE -as a direct result of the lies and BS that is rampant in those groups. The fact that you think that remembering these babies and being angry that they died preventable deaths is “picking on” someone says so much about you, Bonnie. Are you one of the negligent fake midwives, maybe? CPMs are fake, undereducated, undertrained birth junkies. If you’re not angry at what this group is doing, but instead are angry that they are being called out, I can only think you must have some financial stake in HBAC, babies be damned.

    3. What is “disgusting” to me is not that the HBAC group is being “picked on”…but that the HBAC group is trying to bury deceased babies twice. First, by their untimely and unnecessary deaths that will forever haunt the families that mourn their loss, and twice, when members of the HBAC group pretend that their deaths never happened.
      And yet…somehow the only victims here are those that belong to the HBAC group. What about the babies who suffered needless deaths? How about their mothers who have lost their precious children? Yet it’s only the poor, poor martyrs of the HBAC group that concerns you…that is sickening, really.

  9. It’s disgusting to “pick on” a small HBAC group like this? No thoughts whatsoever about the group that cheerleads the deaths of children?

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