Monday, October 17, 2011

Beyond Reckless

I must express regrets that I'm too wrapped up in both studying for my Oregon massage therapy licensure exam and Boob School homework to address this properly in my own wordstuffs, but lucky for me, Barbara Herrera (Navelgazing Midwife) took the words right out of my brain.

I posted a link to this important post about the Lisa Barrett debacle by 10 Centimeters on my Facebook page. In the thread that ensued, a sarcastic comment to the effect of "I'm soooo glad you all know what's best and have decided to control every mother's birth" was posted. And Barb's reply, well, warranted me lifting it almost in its entirety, in the interest of me shouting it from the rooftops.
The reality is FOUR BABIES DIED in her care. That is not disputed by anyone. No verdict needs to be given by anyone. That is a FACT. FOUR. And TWO within a very short time. These are babies that DIED. Gone. Forever. That their mothers will never breastfeed, but will feel their breasts swell trying to sustain the babies that are gone. Buried. Or cremated.

Midwives do not lose babies like this without being beyond reckless. Taking the cases she's taken... and bragged about... is vile beyond anything anyone supporting homebirth could imagine.

Hollering about a women's rights in birth is one thing, but doesn't ANYONE have a responsibility to see that everyone comes out alive and healthy? Why HAVE a midwife if you want to do anything and everything? Midwives like Lisa make homebirth look like the stupidest thing a woman could ever want to do -and that simply is not so.

Homebirth NEEDS parameters in order to be safe. Every woman is NOT a candidate for a homebirth. And until the hollering masses like you lose babies yourselves at the hands of these horrid midwives, you're likely to continue being the sheeple you profess to not be. Instead of sheeple towards the medical way, you're sheeple thinking you can "Trust Birth" no matter what.

But, you'll be wrong. Just ask the moms of those babies that died because of Lisa Barrett.
Testify, Barb. Amen.


  1. Right now, there is a Mama who is grieving a baby who died and a family being torn apart because of it.

    The state and the media wish to make something out of it. And perhaps, in time, that might be appropriate but right now, this needs to stop being talked about in the abstract and people need to keep their opinions out of the public sphere. The grieving mama is reading all this discourse and her heart is breaking over and over and over again.

  2. MamaDoula I understand that point of view but at the same time.. we need to talk about this so that there aren't more grieving mothers out there. I know Navelgazing midwife has put out a new series about interviewing your homebirth midwife. I just think its important for mothers to be to not have to go through the same heartbreak because of someone who was incompetent in their field.

  3. Sure - I think lots and lots of scrutiny is necessary. But it doesn't need to be so public and so soon. Can you imagine the nightmare this grieving family is living in right now?

    I also think that we need to give women some credit and agency in their choice of midwife. I can't imagine there'd be many women choosing a midwife like Lisa Barret without knowing exactly who she is and what she stands for - she's very public both via her blog and now via the media.

  4. Yes but I live in a place where I have the option of only two midwives who will do home births. I live in the middle of nowhere. 2 hours to the nearest major cities. My town is the only hospital for like 50 miles in all directions I think its important to know that midwives might not be as capable as you think they are, and that sometimes they do dangerous things. And knowing what they need to be capable of so you can make an educated decision on whether or not this is a safe choice for you. How many midwives are as vocal about their wrong doings as this midwife is? What if there is an unspoken rule in the community not to talk about it? I have never lost a child, but I can only imagine.. in great length, that it would be the hardest thing i would have to endure in my entire life. But I could also tell you that I would probably not be on web sites in which this is publicly talked about.

    Talking about it is important.. because if we might not be soon enough for another baby.

  5. I'm sure it'll come as no surprise that I'm in agreement with Carol here, though MamaDoula has a fair point in reminding us about the grief of the family, who is hurting very deeply no matter what their choices were.

    ALSO, just wanted to point out that the body count is allegedly not up to FIVE.

    I'll probably be posing more about this whole meta-subject soon. Thoughts to gather, feelings to consider (mine and others').