I’ve spent part of the night reading about babies who didn’t have to die. And I don’t want their stories to be yours. If you’re pregnant or planning, and considering giving birth outside of a hospital, please stop right now and read Grant’s story. His mother Rachel had to tell it. He didn’t live. He didn’t have to die.
Let me remind you that when I first arrived at the birth center for the second time that evening I was offered a transfer for not being able to handle my labor. Why, now with my baby dying were they not offering us a transfer? Why were they trying to make me push when I wasn’t dilated?
I was moved from the birthing stool to the bed… still not 100% dilated. I was told that I needed to get this baby out now. I’m still trying to push. I’ve never pushed so hard in my life. The pain is so bad that my vision is becoming blurry. I was given oxygen. When I look back at this scene I still wonder why no one has called for help. The baby has been in trouble and I’m having a hard time… why?
My husband and I were so focused on pushing this baby out as fast as possible and so focused on what we were doing that we couldn’t stop and tell her to call 911. We weren’t sane. We were relying on all of those midwives to do that for us if need be. We were counting on them to make the decisions that would need to be made when necessary. We were still all on our own as our baby was losing his struggle to breathe.
Read her whole story. Read about her having to leave the body of her perfect baby boy in the arms of crying nurses. If your heart didn’t shatter into atoms, you had no heart to begin with.
People, I have read far too many stories about dead babies. There are stories all over that site, and all over Dr. Amy’s blog, and in so many places I cannot remember them all. So many women who thought they were doing the right thing for themselves and their babies. So many women who didn’t know that when labor and delivery go catastrophically wrong, they can do so without warning, and without time to reach a hospital. So many women who didn’t realize that their supposedly-professional midwife would refuse to transfer even when she knew the baby was dying. So many women who knew something was wrong, but were told by their midwives it was fine, and then it wasn’t. So many women whose midwives should have recognized a problem, and didn’t.
Please read Grant’s story, and Shridam’s story, and Magnus’s story, and Angela’s story. Please reconsider what you’ve been told about the glories of a natural birth in a non-hospital setting. Please realize that you will not fail as a mother and woman if you choose the hospital instead. Please learn the difference between Certified Professional Midwives, Professional Nurse Midwives, and Ob/Gyns. Please be skeptical, and ask hard questions. Please make the safest choice possible.
I don’t want the stories of those dead babies to become yours.
Thank you to the mothers who had the courage and compassion to tell their babies’ stories. I’m so sorry you had to. No one should ever have to bear that pain.