Sunday, February 20, 2011

The reform homebirth needs

Sebastian, at birth Oct 2006

well after living my life for the last year and two months i have been hard pressed to re examine many things that i held as facts. Death challenged many "facts" i thought i knew, and rocked me to my core. In the rubble left i have been carefully and painstakingly reconstructing something of worth from the pieces. i want, i need my daughter's name to matter. i need the world to change in some way because of her.
i know without a shadow of a doubt Aquila would be alive had i chosen a hospital birth from the beginning with her. i am pretty sure that my daughter would also be alive had i chosen a better educated, more competent midwife, and had thus transferred in a timely matter.
I cannot change the past however... i can only attempt to change the future. I believe that homebirth in America needs a serious revamp. Homebirth is not going anywhere. even though many people seem to think i want it to go away, they would be wrong. i do not. i fully grasp what is good and what potential for benefit lies in midwifery care and even in homebirth.
first off , until some major changes happen people need real information on what is up with the midwifery system, and what risks there are in homebirth. they need to know that study after study shows that homebirth has 3 times the neonatal death rate
over hospital birth. They need to know that homebirth should only be for low-risk woman - Currently every midwife i know will take a woman carrying twins and breeches, moms with histories of shoulder dystocia, diabetes, pre-eclampsia, GBS positive etc, etc, etc......
People need to understand that a CPM is nothing close to a CNM in training and skills.

I think ultimately we need three things-
#1 to create a uniform, nation wide standard for what is a midwife , what they can and can not do and how they must be governed.
#2 to abolish the title of CPM and have only midwives with a CMN or like degree.
#3 to integrate midwifery care into the health care system by covering midwifery care on all insurances (like Florida), and on Medicaid. But in the same token- require midwives to be just as well trained and as responsible as other providers who are- by upping the training to CNM level and by requiring malpractice insurance (also like Florida).

as i tell my children , if you want to be treated like an adult (professional), then act like one

some of you are now saying, 'why malpractice insurance?'
and some of are even saying things like this " malpractice insurance requirements will run midwives out of business and cause unnecessary lawsuits!"
i guess you have never met a baby with extensive brain damage caused by a providers negligence...i have.
why should the parents have to pay what they in no way can afford so that midwives can practice without any liability?
because, sure a parent could try to sue a midwife with no insurance...but good luck finding a lawyer..and if she does? well the lawsuit will never get paid out, so the parent will still not get the money needed to care for the damaged child. how fair is that? you say that a midwife should not have to pay to protect her clients? don't most small business carry liability insurance? Aren't you and i and every other driver legally required to carry driver insurance?
If malpractice insurance runs midwives and home births out of business, than why is Florida's homebirth/midwifery community still alive and kicking?
Florida law requires all midwives to carry a certain level of liability insurance.
Florida law also requires all insurance providers to cover homebirth.
sounds like a win for both 'sides" doesn't it?

what do you think?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


sorry for the late update. i wish i had more to tell you. The board did not "re-hear" Faith's case. They mearly signed off on it.
i was however able to tell the board, especially Sylyna that i did not appritiate the way was i was treated in June.

here are the audio recordings from both the june and september meeting, and transcripts for the first half of the june meeting.

some of my "favorite" quotes include

"Faith: Well, I think what I'd like to just say first is I was surprised when your baby passed.... I did not know that the baby was in that immediate of a danger. Because of the signs we were seeing, I did not think the baby was in immediate danger. Otherwise, of course I definitely would've been acting quicker."

"Janet: I wish that there was a clear-cut answer for you, because I know that would really help the grieving process for you. But sometimes we just will never know for certain. We are looking at these issues, and we do agree with you, they should have been picked up sooner. But I wish I could tell you that would have made a difference. I don't know. Because babies die in the hospital with chorioamnionitis too.

: liz: That excuse is not really going to work here, because at least she'd have had a fighting chance. The big difference, when I'm walking around and having people blame me for the birth of my child...

Janet: This was not your fault, okay? It was not your fault. It was not.

Thalia: Where I live, east Texas, there's a family. They have nine children. They just had their ninth one, and the mother died [unintelligible] chorioamnionitis [unintelligible], and she was having a hospital birth. She had a hospital birth.

Janet: And it happens. I mean, infections happen all over the place, and it's just almost impossible to really pinpoint when, where, and how. And I realize it's probably little comfort for you, because you still are a mother without a baby in your arms, and we really are sorry for that.

Sylyna: Any other questions? Do you have anything you want to ask us? [unintelligible] suggestions.

: The first thing I'd like to say is that there's nothing that we can say or do that or that we can ask Faith to say or do [unintelligible] in any way bring back your baby.

Liz: I didn't come here for that."

"Faith: If I noted contractions, and I noted what the baby's heart tones...

Janet: No, Faith, listen to me. Listen to me. You did not come in and do a blood pressure, a pulse, a temperature, a respiration. You did heart tones. You didn't do a vaginal exam, you didn't note whether the baby was active or not, especially with those heart tones. You did not do an initial assessment. You did not. And that really is an issue, because you didn't do one."

unfortunately i do not have the other half transcribed yet. but if you listen to it you will here them tel me i cant bring back my baby again...tell Faith "we know you are a good midwife". you will here them say "we are saying that" when i say " no one is saying faith really screwed up"...among many other things.
after reading through that you will see Faith got "probated suspension' for 6 months.meaning she still can practice, but with stipulations. the stipulations were- not attending births alone (for 6 months), and she must go to a talk with another midwife about Chorio, and she must turn in 10 birth records.

and here was Faith's comment on her youtube channel to the comments made by others about Aquila's birth:
" This is Faith, the midwife being talked about here. I have just returned from Africa where even there I continued to assist in safe deliveries. I have attended hundreds of deliveries and work with another very safe and skilled midwife at CentreVida. The story that this family is telling of the birth is not true. This mother did not head my advice throughout both of the pregnancies and births I assisted her with. I pray one day she will make peace with her decisions. "

she has since deleted the comment. Nice huh, how now she blames me for "my decisions" killing my daughter, when she herself said on public record that " she did not think my baby was in immediate danger"...

it's about daily forgiveness.... because it is daily and forever grieving.

so, i feel i have done what i can do about i have bigger fish to fry. Many people read my blog who are not "in my corner" , so i will not be publicly discussing my moves. i don't want a backlash burying the hard work i am doing. But suffice it to say, Aquila will not be forgotten.

lurkers who are supportive, why don't you say hello here in my comments? i love a good comment!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

the bitter root

the post has been a long time coming. i write it. Then more life, more conversations, more prayer happens and it changes....
when i first lost Aquila i had no blame. the first thing i said to Faith when she came to the hospital was "i know you did everything you could". i had never seen her look so beaten down and i felt terrible for her. But, over the months things changed. i received birth records that claimed i refused to transfer. i herd rumors that i had refused to transfer. Things started seeming very fishy. I filed a complaint. i went to the board meeting in June to have the board hear my complaint. I told my/Aquila's story. I could not attend the Sept meeting since i was in the hospital with Willow. my husband and two of my friends who attended Aquila's birth went though. They came back and told me that Faith had stood up there, in front of a room full of people and lied about what happened. that she was trying to get out of the charges she had gotten.
that is when the anger crept in.

Up until then my interactions with Faith had actually been very warm. i have kept all our private emails and conversation private. But if anyone were to read them you would not see us in any way as enemies. But, apparently now we appear so. Faith has called me publicly and privately a slanderer. i have been told by people who care about her that i am on a "witch hunt". those are some harsh words. I suppose that would be like if i told Faith she murdered my baby. I am not lying about Faith, but she did not murder Aquila. She made some very bad decisions as my care provider, which lead to a preventable death of my daughter. I have told her story-which although it does not paint Faith in the best of lights- is accurate to the best of my ability and backed by 4 witness from the birth. It is not slander, because i did not lie. Hers was not murder, because she had no ill intent.

So as i am preparing for this Monday, which will be the final (hopefully) board meeting about my case, i am in turmoil.

this has been such hard work, trying to protect, trying to stand for truth. Unfortunately with all my good intentions, i got lost along the way. My grief and my anger became entangled and slowly tightened up on me, choking out my air. All the forgiveness i had for her was gone , left only with bitterness. and with bitterness and unforgiveness comes separation from God. Because, God cannot work in us when we hold anger in our hearts.
James 1:20
Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

i tried to meet with her privately in December, but she refused to meet and called me a slanderer. I wanted to talk with her to have some kind of peace. But she told me she was now ceasing all communication by blocking my emails.

so , i am left to resolve things with her without her ...if that makes sense.

all i know is that i feel like this bitterness has corroded my heart without me even realizing the damage. I have to let go and let God heal me, let him bring justice and protection. i cannot express how hard it was to just type that. i need to forgive. again. and again...and maybe daily- for my sake, not hers.
The thing about forgiveness is that is has nothing to do with things being made right , or with restitution. Faith cannot give me back my daughter. She wont give me herself to talk with and help me work out things. she wont give me the truth... she might just go right on lying about me for all of her days. She probably does not even realize any more which way is up or down when it come to me and Aquila. I think to protect herself, she changed the story in her head.
Forgiveness is about paying someone else's debt. God does not make us pay back all of our sin, he forgives us. and he tells us to likewise forgive those who hurt us.

So, Faith, i forgive you.

And, friends please pray for me on Monday. i will be back in front of that board and it makes my stomach turn to think about it. i need strength and i need God to lead my mouth.
This is the passage i am looking to to guide me:

James 2
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.