Really Bad Candy Cane

original post

I have no idea how I stumbled onto this story. I do not follow home-birthing pages. I never heard of this blogger before.

But this fascinating.

Here’s the original post. Lisa had a baby at home. This isn’t her first rodeo and she knows all about stuff, except she was remarking about the umbilical cord and the candy cane coloring.  Baby seems fine, she says.

Dr. Amy Tuteur, who I have discovered blogs as The Skeptical OB (love the name) and who the back-to-nature, Jesus-totes-wants-me-to-have-my-baby-in-a-swimming-pool crowd seem to hate, which sort of recommends her in my opinion, wrote the above post on her Facebook page.

Now, I ask you this.  Is what she said mean and hateful and horrible?

I think not.

A few hours later, there was this.

first followup

At this point, Dr. Tuteur is getting peeved, and it’s quite understandable. It would have been very simple at that point, since the mother went to the hospital anyway, to get the baby checked. But the mother thinks she’s a damn doctor so she doesn’t bother.

But still, notice that Dr. Tuteur has obscured the woman’s last name.  I wouldn’t have chosen to do that at this point. This young woman was endangering her child’s life and at this point, she knew it was possible that her baby could be in danger.  With the first post, you could tell she didn’t know and asked.

cautionary post

By the next day, Dr. Tuteur tells her readers to dial it back. And she’s right. Lisa knew what the danger was and that’s enough.  Plenty could and should be said publicly, but bombarding her with PMs and stuff doesn’t help.

father message

And another 24 hours later, the father chimes in. The kid was seen by a doc and everything is fine.  That’s great, says Dr. Tuteur.  Crisis averted, or really, it appears was nonexistent. Right?

And Dr. Tuteur has done everything possible to caution her readers to lay off this couple. They took the kid to a doctor. All is well.




The large type is a screen shot that the mother posted in some birthing group.

Here’s the rest.

infection 2

Oh, so now she admits there was, in fact, a problem.

In other words, Dr. Tuteur was right. She was right. That’s because she is a retired OB doc. She knew what she was looking at.

But, does Lisa Dumbass HomeBirthing Expert Extraordinaire say, “You know, I was peeved with Dr. Tuteur and I don’t especially like her, but she was right.”  Does she do that?

Of course not.

Instead, she is going to teach everyone.  She’s the fucking teacher, sharing the information like she fucking invented it.

Instead, she is “grateful” for the “support” she got from other brain-dead ignoramuses who thought that everything was lovely and Dr. Tuteur is a moron.  She’s not “grateful” to the one person with some actual knowledge and experience who said, “You know what? This is a dangerous situation. I can’t diagnose via Facebook but you need to see a doc.”

Instead, she calls Dr. Tuteur a “malicious shock jock blogger.”   I suppose that is something like a “tabloid blogger.”  She also says that she, poor thing, has been having postpartum depression because Dr. Tuteur said mean things.  Really.

Read it for yourself.

No, seriously, go over there and read it.

Dr. Tuteur is my new hero.




82 thoughts on “Really Bad Candy Cane”

  1. Isn’t she the best? I’m a fan. She is dedicated, intelligent, professional, and no nonsense. A genuinely caring human being.


  2. I have a lot of friends/acquaintances in the crunchy movement, which is how I ran across Nicole in the first place. Many of them are into extended nursing, homeschooling, peaceful parenting and home birth. Many share horror stories about horrible hospital births blah, blah, blah encouraging other moms to experience this wonderful experience in the beauty of their home.

    Here’s the thing, yes giving birth is special and amazing, but it’s not exactly beautiful and it can be very dangerous. I chose to give birth to each of my children in what many consider a baby factory. My husband and I as young couple who had already lost one pregnant wanted to make sure our child was born in the safest place. We found a wonderful ob/gyn and toured the hospitals he had credentials at. We made a birth plan. We ultimately chose the hospital that gave the highest degree of care. It was the hospital babies were life flighted to.

    We did all the things first time parents do. We went to all the birthing classes, read all the books, went to all the appointments, picked a pediatrician. We were prepared for a happy, easy child birth. After 42 weeks of an absolutely normal pregnancy my water broke and the water was green and I immediately started contracting like crazy. My husband rushed me to the hospital and after several hours of pushing I gave birth. Lots of things happened at once. The babies heart rate dropped and then I started bleeding. I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t let me hold my baby and why I was so wet. I couldn’t figure out why they shoved that oxygen mask on my face and why they were rushing around. I hemorrhaged. I lost a lot of blood. Baby was fine though, thankfully. The amazing doctor and nurses no doubt saved me.

    When I had my child I was a young healthy extremely low risk mother. Many of my crunchy friends would encourage someone like me to give birth in the natural setting of home. But had I given birth at home I would have most likely died. Without doctors and nurses knowing what to do I have no doubt I would have died. I would never risk that though, not because of me but because I don’t risk my kids. It’s just not what thinking people do. Thinking people trust the professionals especially when it comes to the safety, security and health of their children.

    This story doesn’t surprise me. These people rail on professionals, they call them morons, they think they just do it for money. Honestly it’s criminal to risk a baby’s life, it’s unconscionable.

    Thankfully this woman and her baby got seen by professionals. Thankfully neither died. Unfortunately it seems she still hasn’t learned her lesson which isn’t very surprising.


  3. What a frickin idiot. Why post and not follow up with the advice given. I don’t get why you would take a chance with your child’s health. My last son was a homebirth. The closest hospital had the highest mortality rate in the state. The hospital my other three were born was over an hour away, and that’s if everyone played nice on the highway. I had a midwife (she was a nurse practitioner, had been for 20 years). He was a quick birth ( under 2 hours) My midwife was nervous every because my strep b had been positive, she wasn’t able to adminster the IV antibiotics to me. He was born 1240 am. She told me I was to contact the pediatrician as soon as the office opened at 8. When I called, she nurse said they had already spoken to her and to bring my son in. My midwife was very OCD on things, which I loved. My son ahead no problems. My husband and I certainly were not going to take her advice.


  4. One more comment, what kind of pregnant mother who is sick with a yeast infection for months doesn’t go to a doctor? But instead shoves tea tree oil and garlic up her vagina? I thought I had heard it all, apparently that isn’t the case.


  5. I noticed that she didn’t thank any of the current physicians who cared for her (sorry ass) and may still be caring for her and her newborn baby. No, she glossed over that.

    I also saw that earlier on she kicked up a fuss because the pediatrician (really, neonatologist) wouldn’t make a HOUSE CALL. I hope the both of them landed in a world of trouble for their series of poor decisions. The husband is in the military and I rather doubt that his higher-ups were pleased by any of this foolishness.


  6. I really don’t understand the home birth thing. I just cannot wrap my head around the mindset that birth has to be a painful, unassisted, primitive thing.
    Had mine in a hospital birthing room. Could do what I wanted, including taking a warm bath. Any position, anyone could catch. Had a fantastic certified nurse midwife, who supported all my decisions.
    Wasn’t progressing at all for 10 hours of hard labor, even with the bath, the ball, and all the walking. She suggested an epidural, to allow me to rest and also just in case. She was right. Within 30 minutes of me getting a much needed nap, I was complete. The rest was wonderful. She was beautiful. Scored a 9/10. We stayed in the same birthing room together, no nursery.
    These options are available at almost every hospital, and the best part is that if something goes horribly wrong, you’re at the hospital.
    Why people would willingly risk death for both mom and baby is beyond me.


  7. I gave birth at home. My primary facebook page was public before birth. Amy found my page, and called me every name in the book for wanting to have birth at home, and threatened to call CPS because I was endangering my baby in her opinion, even with the hospital a couple blocks away and even though I had a midwife and a currently licensed doctor (she let her own license lapse) there. She demanded I talk to another doctor so some sense would be talked into me. I did though. I talked to 3 doctors who examined me in person and ok’d my birth plan, but she told me she knew better. Are unlicensed doctors over the internet supposed to try overruling licensed doctors who examined a person in person?

    She’s been called out on her behavior a lot over the years, and it’s about time she’s mellowing instead of trying to send out rabid bloodhounds. Her many years of terrible behavior and trying to overrule licensed doctors has earned her the reputation of a bully not to trust. It would be like Nicole telling us all we’re educating our kids wrong, how dare we this and that, and then us not listening the time she’s right. That right time doesn’t wipe out the more times she was just letting her conceit get the better of her.


  8. A few years ago, I had a student who was homeschooled and it turns out, his parents really home schooled him. He was born in a hospital but his first three siblings were born at home without medical intervention. He wrote his argumentative essay on the home birth: the rights of the unborn child over the rights of the mother. The last baby that his mother gave birth to at home came a little early and she, too, had some kind of infection that damaged the cord, resulting in the baby being born microcephalaic and unable to breathe on his own. Apparently they rushed the baby to the hospital and the baby was put on a ventilator and was unable to be taken off. The kid wrote about growing up as a younger sibling to this baby who had seizures off and on all day and night, lived connected to a ventilator, and who never grew larger than an infant. By the time my student was old enough to remember the sick sibling, the parents finally put the child in a state run facility and he died a few months later. My point is my student wrote a compelling argument against home births based on current medical research about what can and does go wrong without prenatal care and with home births and he ended his paper with his mother knows her baby could have been born normal if she had gone to the doctor and been seen by a doctor. He said he was born in a hospital.

    N is pretty lucky that none of her children have severe disabilities related to her unassisted home births and she is even luckier that she has, so far, beaten the odds against infection or some birth trauma related to a not-so-routine delivery. It only takes one.


  9. How’s the remodel going?

    Slow. I’m on the last 8 cabinet doors. Dave had cataract surgery last week and was out of commission for several days.


  10. (she let her own license lapse)

    She’s retired. That’s what you do when you retire. I am a retired RN. I let my license lapse.

    Somehow, unless you can provide screen shots of her “calling you every name in the book” and “threatening to call CPS,” I am taking what you say with a very large grain of salt. I’ve been blogging for about three years now, involving people who do not like what I have to say, and I know how it works and how those who are pissed engage in hyperbole and mud-slinging.

    And I highly doubt that 3 qualified obstetricians okayed a home birth “plan.”

    Dr. Tuteur was right. So far, I haven’t read a single word on her blog that I would consider wrong.


  11. Dr Amy is often right on the money but she has gone too far in the past in the years she’s been at this. Unfortunately she tends to exemplify the conceited-paternalistic-power-tripping doctor trope too often, which basically plays into hands of the other extreme homebirth side. There is room in the middle ground and the best approach is to centre the patients in the conversation. She’s like a hospital birth fundie. Personally, I tend to side-eye extremists of any stripe.
    I can find some stuff later to support my opinion if you’re interested.


  12. The last eight doors….we take the keys on our fixer upper Friday. The asbestos removal people are coming next week to take off the asbestos siding so we can build on…apparently, if you have asbestos siding and do not disturb it, you are fine but if you have to add on, the asbestos must be removed by a licensed to remove asbestos contractor. We are lucky the house is so small and it won’t cost thousands to remove it. I will be happy when we are down to the last 8 doors in our kitchen….so I can at least cook in our new old house. LOL…I am taking pictures for the before and after….it should be fun.


  13. An unassisted home birth is negligent, imo. Is it narcissistic to assume you the birthing are more incredibly knowledgeable than a OB/GYN professional with years of experience? Yes.

    I mean even the thoroughbred horses in our great state have medical oversight while birthing.

    But here is another. When collectively we agree that back alley or home abortions are unthinkable, grossly negligent. I guess my question is would these unassisted home birthers support unassisted abortions?


  14. You might have stumbled onto the story the way I did – an article shared back in August via the Blessed Little Trolls and Their Minions Facebook page. It was a captivating story, including the comments. I tried to follow along to see if there were updates on the baby’s condition, but after a few days I moved on, and so I was glad to see your post in part because I could find out that the baby is doing well and is getting medical attention.

    I started to write a lot more in this comment, but had to set it aside – it was going long and my T-Rex arms aren’t too speedy typing on an iPad. Besides, it might do better as a blog post – while I have two blogs, I haven’t posted to either one in at least a year, and haven’t really been actively blogging in the past five years. Stictly amateur my-life stuff; Never had more than a dozen readers. But it was fun….

    Off to get at a proper keyboard.

    Anyway, short version: I liked your post and share your view.


  15. “…”She’s the fucking teacher, sharing information like she fucking invented it…” This is why I love older RN’s. Take no prisoners, take no bullshit! Sally, I would have loved to work with you. (Former LPN, really glad about the former.) I really wonder where this trend to sanctimonious contempt for medicine comes from. I will say that my grands were “homesteaders” (we just called ourselves rural farmers), and that my mother was born in a hospital that my grandfather took my grandmother to by horse and buggy. They knew the dangers involved in the birth process from having livestock die during it. I don’t understand why it’s a “new” trend to just shit out your baby at home, like an old mare. Giving birth in a hospital doesn’t make anyone any less of a woman, it just keeps everyone safe.


  16. I agree with the doc – “There is nothing natural about unassisted birth. It is an affectation of privileged, primarily white women who confuse defiance of authority with intelligence.”

    Many women and babies around the globe die due to lack of prenatal care. They home birth because they do not have any other option. I am fairly certain that they would embrace prenatal care and assistance at birth if they could get it! I don’t know what these whackadoodles are trying to prove. Nicole cannot know for certain that her infant who died would not have done so had she had proper prenatal care or medical assistance at the birth. She says having 11 (according to her) healthy kids at home “divine intervention”. I say it is more like a game of russian roulette.


  17. I am more than likely a hospital-birth fundy. 🙂 I’ve seen bad. I know what can happen and how fast it can happen and how you have no warning.


  18. Giving birth in a hospital doesn’t make anyone any less of a woman, it just keeps everyone safe.

    And I know why women shunned hospital births back in the 70’s. It was positively medieval. Today it’s like. . . this beautiful setting, all homey and Dad can come take video and everything. Drapes on the windows. All the emergency equipment nicely hidden away where it hopefully stays.

    Yet, they choose instead to give birth in a shack to prove some point that I don’t get at all. And then crow about it like they made some sort of superior decision and are superior women.


  19. Mom was an OB Labor and Delivery nurse and she’d tell me stories about people coming in to have their 8th or 9th baby (Wisconsin in the 50’s). Most saw a doctor a couple of times during their pregnancy but some just showed up in time to have the baby and had consequences. She also told me of one mom who had 6 kids, and severe post natal depression. She took her new baby down to the basement and put it in the furnace. No help was available back then.
    Mom was born at home with a doctor and a midwife. She was the middle of 9. One of the boys had suffered a brain injury at birth and although he could function, he had seizures and a temporal lobe injury. He was a forceps delivery. Should have been a c section but they were too far from the hospital and they did what they had to do.


  20. Sally: “And I know why women shunned hospital births back in the 70’s. It was positively medieval. Today it’s like. . . this beautiful setting, all homey and Dad can come take video and everything. Drapes on the windows. All the emergency equipment nicely hidden away where it hopefully stays.

    Yet, they choose instead to give birth in a shack to prove some point that I don’t get at all. And then crow about it like they made some sort of superior decision and are superior women.”

    I totally agree with all of this. I had mine in the hospital with a midwife and it was amazing.
    I would not choose otherwise for myself. However, in the country I live in, many studies show it’s actually safer for low-risk women to give birth at home with trained and certified midwives in attendance, than it is to birth in a hospital with an OB. There is room for debate and further study. locale plays a role as does the level of training and education birth attendants have, family history, level of risk etc.


  21. I’m not about to spend half my day digging through years-old Facebook posts because you’ve decided Amy is perfect, which magenta says she’s not too because she’s seen how extreme Amy has a history of getting, and yes, her having no license now means something. Having a license means CE credits, means keeping abreast of medical changes. You might disagree with home births, but not all doctors do. I saw 3 doctors before going ahead, and they all okay’d my plan. You don’t have to like that, and it doesn’t matter that you don’t. Not all births at home are in dirty shacks.

    Bethannie, not all pregnant women want to go to hospitals where they lose control and are intimidated into doing what doctors want. Even low-risk women have a high rate of c-sections because normal things are treated like emergencies. Is it just a coincidence that the peak times for c-sections are right before shift-changes? When I was pregnant, both the closest hospitals had doctors who pushed Pitocin to speed things up, which increases c-sections, and women didn’t always get asked. A friend of mine was very pro-hospital until she was cut into without her being asked because her 6-hour labor was called too long. She got cut and Pitocin without being asked for either. That’s a violation against her body! As least she got into a birth room. That hospital had 2 bed for births, and it happens that they’re full when another woman comes in. Being there was consent enough for doctors to order stuff put in IVs without consent and to cut vaginas. The c-section rate there is over 50%. Cutting a baby out of a woman’s belly is pretty primal in a gross way, and it hurts in the end more than delivering without meds. Lucky for those with spouses who can take enough time off to help after major surgery. My husband got a week. Birthing at home as a low risk woman dropped my chance of being cut open to a very small number and increased my chance of safely caring for a newborn by myself.

    A lot of people think the woman’s experience doesn’t matter as long as the baby is healthy, but that belief takes a woman from a human to a body that doesn’t matter. Birth trauma is real, and can affect bonding, which babies need. One of the cruelest things anybody can say to a woman is her experiences don’t matter as long as. That says she doesn’t matter. Birth involves 2 people (unless multiples), and should never have it said that someone doesn’t matter as long as. Removing the woman from her own birthing is as anti-feminist and anti-woman as anything Christian fundamentalists say.

    I didn’t care about primal. It mattered that I didn’t want things put in or done to my body without my consent. I didn’t want the high chance of getting cut open when I’d be on my own to care for a newborn. I wanted to be able to take care of my newborn instead of be dealing with real trauma. I had privacy, a midwife of 30 years, and an OB/GYN all to myself the entire time. Do you really think a bold hospital with shared staff and no consent for me would have been better? No.

    Fools think every birth of a type is bad and should be avoided. Fools don’t look at how birth at home for low-risk women is as safe as low-risk women in hospitals (easy to make the opposite loo true by not taking out the higher risk hospital cases), and how the c-section rate for low-risk women is tiny. Some people are like Nicole and birth in shit sheds to stick it to the man and avoid birth certificates, but a lot more think through their options and make the decisions best for themselves and their babies. Not everybody puts every doctor on pedestals and give up their autonomy for an almighty god-doctor. Doc A can say X and Doc B can say Y and Doc C can say Z, but shame on the woman for not listening to the doctor, but which doctor?

    It’s horrifying and anti-woman and anti-feminist to think that woman should be bullied and shamed for not all going to doctors and telling a doctor to do what the doctor wants to her body because the doctor is a doctor and she’s a mere stupid woman who can’t think for herself.


  22. One thing we are not likely to find out for many years is in reality if they have been as lucky as she claims. We don’t know yet about how many illnesses or losses they have suffered or the effects that these children may manifest one day because of her ignorance and self serving ways.


  23. However, in the country I live in, many studies show it’s actually safer for low-risk women to give birth at home with trained and certified midwives in attendance, than it is to birth in a hospital with an OB.

    That country is not the United States of America, because that is not true here.


  24. you’ve decided Amy is perfect

    I never said any such thing. Quit putting words in my mouth.

    her having no license now means something.

    It means she is retired. That’s all it means. She is retired. I’ve read the negative stuff about her, and you are implying that she somehow lost her license for some reason. She is retired. I am retired. Lisa is a retired attorney. All three of us simply retired, something you’ll get to do someday if you live long enough. When you work in a licensed field, keeping a current license is expensive, so people typically don’t do it when they retire. In some cases, you can’t keep it if you aren’t working.

    Quit trying to impugn her with that. It’s stupid and you look idiotic.

    I saw 3 doctors before going ahead,

    I never said you didn’t. I said that I do not believe three qualified obstetricians okayed a home birth of any sort. I still don’t. In fact, I not only don’t believe it, I am practically certain I am right because you are weaseling the issue.

    Birth trauma is real, and can affect bonding, which babies need.

    Cry me a river. Death is preferable, I suppose. I would have died without “birth trauma.” Died very very dead.

    I didn’t want things put in or done to my body without my consent.

    Nobody does shit to you in a hospital without your consent. That’s why you sign a consent form. You give consent.

    Cutting a baby out of a woman’s belly is pretty primal in a gross way, and it hurts in the end more than delivering without meds.

    Have you ever had a C-section? I have. Modern medicine saved my life and the life of my child.

    Fools don’t look at how birth at home for low-risk women is as safe as low-risk women in hospitals

    Fools think they can handle medical emergencies all by themselves because they are smarter than anyone. Fools have never seen a woman suffer a brain hemorrhage during labor, completely unanticipated, completely unpredictable, and watched her collapse. Fools have never seen that woman be rushed into the OR to undergo an emergency less-than-five-minute C-section to deliver her child – the child she never got to meet because the mother died (from the brain hemorrhage). Fools have never seen the father, who was losing his wife, sit in her hospital room as she was dying holding their baby and saying to the child, “Mommy loved you.” Fools have no idea what can happen. Fools make it all about them and their “experience.”


    Not everybody puts every doctor on pedestals and give up their autonomy for an almighty god-doctor.

    “Autonomy”? That’s what you think this about? Autonomy? Of all the childish, kindergarten-level stuff I have ever read, that almost takes the cake. “I wanna do this my way, god damn it.”

    You know, my son was born in 1976. As I mentioned, birthing in those days was just on the threshold of leaving the medieval times behind. I went to see one of the local pediatricians while I was still pregnant to arrange to have so-called “rooming in.” It had never been done at our hospital before, the practice of leaving the baby in the room with the mother all the time. He agreed that I could do whatever I liked. It was a very nice conversation.

    And I went to Lamaze classes with my husband and I was going to have “natural childbirth” and it was all flowers and kittens and beautiful stuff. (I do recommend Lamaze training for pregnant women – no matter what sort of delivery you have, Lamaze is helpful and actually is a beneficial thing to use with other kinds of pain.) I was really into it all.

    And then I was faced with 90 hours of labor and no baby and a C-section. I went from preparing for a minimally assisted birth to having the most medical intervention possible. Without it, I would have died. I knew that. I crawled out of bed and staggered over to the x-rays to look at them and I knew what I was looking at.

    My OB was an asshole. I hated him. He had zero bedside manner. He was a total jerk. Years later, I mentioned my feelings about him to an anesthesiologist-friend of mine and he said something I’ve never forgotten. He said, “Sally, you’re a grown woman. Do you need somebody to hold your hand and say sweet things to you, or do you want a surgeon who is calm under pressure and who can face an unforeseen emergency situation and save your life? Do you want to be all touchy-feely or do you want a doctor who can and will look at your symptoms and the data and make the right diagnosis and treat you well? You make the choice. Do you want to feel good or do you want to be alive and well? I’ve worked with Dr. XXX more times than I can count and watched him pull a patient back from the brink when a lesser surgeon would have crumpled. He would be my choice for my wife or daughter.”

    I never forgot it. I was judging Dr. XXX very unfairly and I was wrong. I had a huge attitude adjustment and began seeing him in a different light. He became my choice for an OB/GYN and was my doctor until the day he retired. He was one of the best doctors I ever knew.

    she’s a mere stupid woman who can’t think for herself.

    Nobody has ever said such a thing. Women most assuredly can think for themselves, and if they aren’t fools, they realize that getting some professional advice is a good thing, that prenatal care is a reasonable precaution to take with something that historically has killed young women so many times it was considered almost “normal” to die in childbirth. Some women think for themselves. And some women listen to other women who have zero qualifications for what they say instead of educated professionals. Those women are fools.

    Want me to go on?

    The original point here was that Dr. Tuteur was not “mean” to that woman. She didn’t say anything nasty about her in her original comment. She was concerned about the welfare of that very foolish, stupid woman’s child. Yet she was vilified as being a “malicious shock jock blogger” even after she was shown to have been exactly right in her remarks. She was right.

    This, of course, grates with the homebirthy crowd because they don’t like the woman. Just admit it. That’s what is wrong here and that’s why you’re all peeved.

    She was still right.


  25. D’Arcy, if you are giving birth in America, homebirths have been shown to be more dangerous than giving birth at home. This was even found in the huge study done by MANA, the Midmives Alliance of North America. There si no way to see the numbers and come to any other conclusion.

    If you are in other countries, then homebirth can be as safe as birth in a hospital. However, that is because homebirth is regulated – midwives are held to rigorous education standards and accreditation, and women can be denied homebirth service because they are deemed too risky. This can include health risks with the women, fetal signs of abnormality, twins, breech presentation, etc.

    I have followed Dr. Amy’s blog for awhile now, and I KNOW that she is not against homebirth per se, when the situation is not a dangerous one. But she is like an attack dog if she feels that a woman is putting the life of her unborn child at risk.

    So D’Arcy: what was contraindicated in your birth situation?


  26. And how exactly does one obtain a good scientific study of home/hospital birthing outcomes when dealing with people like Nicole or Lisa. The medical community is mandated, checked and triple checked for accuracy and truth in reporting. The spin, ignorance and arrogance that is displayed by these two women would portray every homebirth as just perfect, or maybe just a slight glitch. Even in the case of a death, the veracity of their reporting remains forever unchecked, if the death is reported.


  27. With the birth of my first child no one was gunning to give me a c-section. After 12 hours of labor with very little action, and an infant heart beat that went down to almost nothing, my anesthesiologist ran around the hospital to find someone who would do the c-section. I had an epidural, didn’t feel a thing. It wasn’t particularly traumatizing to me, because all I cared about was my baby’s health and safety. He came out smurf blue, 10 1/2 pounds and almost 2 feet long. My son was never going to make it out of my 5 ft body on his own. I guess we did okay with all that medical intervention. He’s 26, a Silicon Valley whiz kid who just graduated from law school, got one of the best jobs of his graduating class, not even as an attorney, but as the head of global privacy solutions and has a startup going on the side. As to bonding I’d have to say there was no problem for either of us, we are very close and he calls daily. This despite a big fail in breast feeding too, due to a later finding of his being tongue tied. If anything I found breast pumping to be the biggest pain in my butt, but once again, no biggie, because none of it was about me. It was all about him. I cannot repeat this enough, it was all about him, his health, his safety.

    My second birthing wasn’t as easy. I went into labor unexpectedly early. The anesthesiologist missed the mark with the epidural. I could feel every cut. That wins on the pain scale, but you know what I got over it in a few days. No great everlasting trauma to my body or psyche. Once again not about me, all about my baby and his health and safety. Breast feeding went just fine. No bonding problems at all. We also get along like gang busters, and at 16 he half kiddingly insists that he will stay at home and commute to the local university, because he likes my company.

    What would have traumatized me is the death, disfigurement or a long lasting or irrevocable disability to my baby that could have been avoided with proper medical intervention, but for my personal choice to think of my personal “comfort” before that of my baby.

    As an aside, I too let my license lapse upon retirement, as Sally stated. Just because I retired doesn’t mean I stopped following the law or making myself aware of the constant changes. I just don’t have to attend CLE classes anymore. You will find, however, with people whose occupation was their passion, that just because we have retired doesn’t mean we’ve lost interest or the ability to research and study on our own just like we did while practicing. In the law I can still get the entire CLE course online free for the taking and I do.


  28. I guess I should have pointed out the second birth was also by c-section. Just a c-section without the benefit of a working epidural. The c-section for my second son was indicated by the amount of hemorrhaging and other medical reasons. It was painful, and I learned that no matter how much you wish for it, passing out from pain does not come easy. A nice shot of morphine did the trick once my baby was out and safe.

    As to breast feeding while on pain medications after the two births. I supplemented with formula and minimum breast feeding the first days while on the pain killers as I did not want the pain killers passing to the babies through my breast milk.

    I was also in my last semester of law school with the first birth. My husband and I planned a pregnancy for after law school, We just got it right on the first try and much earlier than we thought. So I had that c-section, went back to school in a week and took my finals a few weeks later. That’s what I think of as female autonomy.


  29. A friend “liked” a post of an emergency at home birth and how beautifully it all turned out….except the baby was very very blue. And everyone commented on how safe and natural childbirth was. When someone very cautiously (for fear of attack) asked about the baby’s very UNnatural color they were told it was normal for some babies to be that color and he’d eventually pink up on his own. Now then, even my husband commented that the baby didn’t look right and should be on oxygen or something. My babies were 8 lbs 7, 9 lbs 3 (twice) and 10 lbs 3, had shoulder dystocia x 2 (once with a broken clavicle), a precipitous labor that went from 4 cm to delivered in just over an hour. We’ve seen a baby bruised and shocked from quick delivery but she was definitely not blue! I was freaking out when my first was born, APGARS were only 5 and 7 because he was limp and his feet/hands looked like they’d been been dipped in blue ink.

    I just can’t wrap my head around not getting your newborn checked out, esp if you had an infection when you were pregnant. A friend’s 1st daughter was stillborn, the day after a perfectly normal 38 wk checkup. She had a boy the next year, then unexpectedly got pregnant again just a few months later, overjoyed when she found out it was another little girl. The doctor started feeling uneasy and said they needed to induce since the baby was slowing down, though all the tests were still normal. Well as soon as she was born the dr realized something was very wrong and she was immediately angel flighted to the children’s hospital 4 hours away, before the mom even got to see her. At some point the mother had contracted a very common virus similar to a cold, that had attacked the baby. Her platelets were almost zero and had she stayed in a day or so longer she too would have been stillborn. The father is a cop and the state troopers got the blood products she needed to the NICU hospital before the chopper landed. It was very touch and go, her blood levels didn’t respond very well and she had to have many transfusions. Thankfully she pulled through and has had only mild long term effects (mild hearing loss, ear tubes, physical therapy to help her crawl and walk). It could have been much more severe had they not identified it and started treatment as quickly as they did. And had the doctor not gone with his gut instincts then it would have been just another heartbreaking “unexplainable” loss, one of those “things that just happens sometimes”.


  30. Home Birth Fuck Ups:
    A few years ago, well,more like a few decades ago, my friend who had proudly announced to all us that she was going to home deliver. My response was “are you fucking nuts?” Anyway, she and her husband had invited my two children and me over for a nice little winter dinner. It had snowed; we were in the TX Panhandle, and within an hour of the blizzard, the roads were slick as whale shit and all roads into and out of town were closed. I didn’t want to drive in the mess so the kids and I buckled down to spend the night with my friend, her husband, and her two children who were the same age and as my children my son and her daughter were 2 and my daughter and her son were 3. Yes, that’s a craze amount of toddler-like children. Neither of the two-year-olds were potty trained. Around midnight, she went into labor. Don’t worry, her husband said, I am going to drive into town and pick up the midwife (not a real nurse midwife) and I said, but, don’t leave her here, what if she has the baby. He said, don’t worry. It takes her hours to have the baby. He fucking lied and he drove off and headed to town to pick up the midwife and then his big assed truck slid off the road and that was before cell phones and no one was out driving so he was stuck. I used her phone to try and call for an ambulance, when I realized that her husband was probably stranded. The line went dead….when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, she said, you are going to have to help me and I said, no way. She said, get the birthing kit. If you are imaging a kit that has everything you need for helping a baby into the world with directions and maybe a video, you would be fucking wrong…there was no such thing. In fact, the birthing kit had these blue pads that were supposed to go underneath her, a knife like thingy to cut the cord, clamps for the cord, a suction thingy for the baby’s mouth, and blankets….no gloves…did you read that? No gloves. She had kitchen gloves under the sink and I put them on but then they were dirty and I thought maybe the baby should come into the world into clean hands and not dirty gloves. I put the blue things under her and I could see the baby’s head and it was gross because my friend was like pooping every where and I was trying to get that cleaned off so the baby wouldn’t fall into it and I didn’t want to touch her butt or her very large birthing area and she was screaming and grunting and I swear, I had two babies and I don’t remember all that screaming…I thought she was dying. Then, the baby’s head had a part of the cord wrapped around it and I realized (don’t ask how) that it should not be taunt on his neck so I moved it and then blood and water gushed out and the head came all the way out followed by the neck, shoulders, and the rest…I almost dropped it because it was so slippery and then when I was holding the baby and she was still attached to the mother, my kids and her kids were there and one started crying and so I was going to walk with the baby still attached to calm the crying baby and shoo them out and then I realized the cord was pulling…hell, it was all just too gross. I clamped and cut the cord, wrapped the little girl up and handed her to her mother….there was no need to suction her because she was drooling a little and I turned her over and almost dropped her and the fluid drained out then and she screamed….Then the after birth came out and I put it in a plastic bag….An ambulance sent by the midwife finally drove up about the time the baby latched on to nurse and they took the baby, the mother, and the after birth to the hospital. They said the after birth was shiny which was good….The mother and baby were fine but I was traumatized for life….It took me forever to get my hands really clean and then it took me forever to get over the bad dreams of her baby shooting out of her…it was all so stressful….My point is that I should never have been in that position and there are so many things that could have gone wrong like what if I had left the cord around the baby’s neck; I almost did. Or, if the baby was too big to come out? Life is fragile and the beginning of life when the baby becomes its own person is iffy at best. Infant mortality was, for many years, lower in our country than any place in the world because we did that modern hospital birthing thing.


  31. Magenta hit the nail on the head. I was a longtime reader of the skeptical ob and watched her go from reasonable to hateful and now she’s apparently (unsurprisingly) trying to ratchet things back down. An out of control army of flying monkeys would make me want to chill, too. And yes, she let her license lapse in what are normally a doc’s prime professional years, while continuing to use her title of M.D. to lecture, blog, and appear on news magazines. So while I don’t want to get into a semantics debate, I’m not sure I would use the word “retired” to describe her.

    I’m a nurse, too, for whatever it’s worth, along with being a granola crunchy type with a love of science (all my kids have all their jabs) and new owner of a smallholding with homestead aspirations- all of these overlapping interests lead me to the naugler saga and hence to blessed little blog.
    I have been content to observe silently until now. You are a respected and respectable blogger, Sally. The skeptical ob was. Please just be aware of this.


  32. “Cutting a baby out of a woman’s belly is pretty primal in a gross way, and it hurts in the end more than delivering without meds.”
    In response to this, I have to say, every body is different. I was a low risk pregnancy, due to my age, but 2nd trimester comes along & I get high blood pressure, swelling & all the stuff that goes along with it. I was put on a very low dose of blood pressure medicine, my son was diagnosed with hydronephrosis and double ureter(in both kidneys) when I was already 34 weeks along; the perinatologist wanted to see me at 37 weeks to see if there was a change in them….at my 36 weeks check up, my blood pressure was higher than it normally had been, I was swelled all over and my OB decided to “let him cook one more week”. That being said, he induced my labor on the day of my 37 week check up with the perinatologist(I didn’t go to the last appointment). Anyways, my point being, I had tested positive for strep B, so I really needed to be hooked up to at least 4 hours of antibiotics(I’m allergic to Penicillin), I got there the night before induction date, rested well and got started early the next morning with my induction. We were progressing well, I really had it in my head that I didn’t want an epidural, but 2nd guessed myself at about 5 cm. I received that(the absolute most unbearable pain in my life), and never progressed one 1 cm after that. I laid, they rolled me over to my side, back to my back and back to my side. This went on for 5 hours, I couldn’t feel a thing, my blood pressure had been up and down, and my OB came in and gave me a choice, wait a bit longer or C-section. I was exhausted after having contractions all day & then having an epidural and NOT being able to move the other half of the day, I decided for a C-section! In all honesty, I believe that most painful/unbearable epidural, caused me too much stress and stopped my labor essentially. I’m glad I had a C-section that night. Yes, I was cut open, but like Lisa, I didn’t feel a thing. I was up and moving around as soon as everything wore off, very minimal pain meds afterwards. I did have to stay in the hospital for 3 extra days, due to an unexplained fever, but we were both happy & healthy. Needless to say, my husband drove me home that day, but he immediately had to go back to work. I was “on my own” with a C-section and a newborn – OH NO! I had to drive myself to my follow up appointment, to get staples removed, with a newborn in tow – OH NO! I had to drive my newborn son to all of his now urologist appointments, on top of his newborn pediatrician appointments – OH NO! This was all done, unassisted, on my own with very little pain meds in the hospital. So, yes, every body is different.
    ~Sorry for the long post Sally, it just hits a nerve with me that some mothers can’t do, while having a major surgery. It can be done!


  33. Jeannie, I was laughing all the way through your story. I know it’s not really funny (and certainly wasn’t for you at the time) but yeah, birth is messy.


  34. And yes, she let her license lapse in what are normally a doc’s prime professional years, while continuing to use her title of M.D. to lecture, blog, and appear on news magazines.

    I retired from nursing when I was in my early forties, my “prime” professional years. It had nothing whatever to do with my professional career or standing with the licensing board and everything to do with things that are none of your business. I tend to give other people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this. Produce something credible that says that she left medicine because she was censured or please quit spreading what amounts to libelous innuendo. [BTW, I have read the exact same sort of innuendo from right-wing nut jobs about Michelle Obama. She let her law license lapse, and they insist that it means she was a bad lawyer. It means that she knows that she is unlikely to ever practice law again in her life due to the fact that her husband became POTUS. ]

    As far as her supposed “hateful” commentary is concerned, I haven’t seen any of it. Furthermore, I’m not sure I care. I am not here as Dr. Tuteur’s defender and champion. I am just saying that in this one case, which is pretty much all I knew about, she was right and that stupid foolish selfish mother was totally wrong and completely ridiculous with her claims of how she got “postpartum depression” because a blogger was concerned about her very public photo of her newborn.

    As far as home birth is concerned, I am completely mystified by it. I assisted with two home births in the seventies, so I know what the deal is. One was uneventful, albeit the baby was very large and the mother tore slightly and had to go the ER to get stitched up. The other was a potential disaster, resulting in me screaming at the father to put the woman in the car and take her to the hospital or I would call the police. The baby was breech and the ER doctor was absolutely livid and did some more screaming at the father.

    In both those cases, I understood their reasons for wanting to stay home. The odds of getting the OB (small town, only one OB group, crap shoot about who might be on call) who routinely put the mothers to sleep whether they wanted that or not were pretty great. The atmosphere at best was sterile and cold.

    But today? There is no reason for it. The only possible credible reasoning I can see for it is the fact that in a hospital setting you are introducing a newborn to microbes he might not encounter in a home setting, where he is born with immunity from his mother. However, the risk of having a problem with that is orders of magnitude less than the risk of birth injury or death in an unassisted (or under-assisted home setting.) It’s the same as the silly “I won’t get my child vaccinated because of the risk of injury from the vaccine. Instead, I will expose them to the far greater risk of getting the disease, because I’m smarter than everyone else” anti-vax argument. Hospitals and OBs got the message back in the seventies and adjusted. You can now deliver a baby at a birthing center in a homey environment with a credentialed midwife and all the comforts of home, while simultaneously being where emergency care is readily available. What hospitals did was listen to birthing mothers and say, “Oh? You want a regular bed and not a gurney? Here. You want a room that looks like home? Here. You want your family in the room? Okay. You want a midwife? Sure. You want birth to be treated as a normal event as far as possible with as little intervention as possible? You got it.”

    But nothing will satisfy these women. They are gonna give birth in a stock tank or swimming pool in a filthy shed no matter what.

    The homebirthing thing is very much like the anti-vax thing and I am not a fan of either one.


  35. Salllllly,
    You are so right about the home birthing thing being like the anti-vas thing. These women and their mates have no reasoning skills. One of my graduate students was hell bent on having her kid at home and she wasn’t going to do the vaccination thing because of all the autism….This was a PhD student…smart….and I gave her the research that showed the autism connection was a lie…I showed her my leg from polio and she said, well, we don’t have polio now. I told her polio didn’t not leave the planet…it’s waiting for a kid that hasn’t been vaccinated. I told her about the iron lung, the time spent in the hospital. I gave her data that proved the odds of getting measles and suffering the effects far outweighed the odds of developing a fever from the vaccine. Well, the night she went into labor, she sent me a text and said we are in the first stage of labor and all is well….I sent her a text back and said, life is good….go to the hospital. After about four or so hours of the first part of labor, her pain intensified and got closer together and lasted and lasted. Six hours after hard labor began, her husband texted from her phone and said, how long should I wait before I take her to the hospital and I said take her now….turns out, they had to do a C-section because the baby was not only breech but the placenta was not in the right place and the cord was too short so the baby was tethered or some shit like that. The baby was okay but it could have ended badly. She didn’t immunize until she defended her dissertation and was offered a job making hundreds of thousands of dollars in the middle east and before she could leave the country, she, her husband, and her kid had to get all those pesky shots…money is a heavy motivator so her kid got almost every single shot in one shot….sort of sucked defending that one.

    N is on her FB page squawking about how she cannot understand how people oppose her decisions to home birth and anti vax….I am blocked so I cannot tell her bragging about spending less than thirty dollars having your kid while posting pictures of that nasty mattress shows how little she really cares for her children. The anti fax thing for her and more the I cannot be bothered to keep clinic appointments. She is so predictable.


  36. What concerns me is that we will never have true statistics of how many babies die at unassisted births. Since many of the Mother’s decline prenatal care or seek any outside medical advice, how many babies have been secretly buried in backyards?


  37. I was in a writer’s group with a woman whose child died because of the negligence of a midwife. She was writing her story to warn others about the dangers of using a midwife. In her case, she went to 42 weeks – the whole time, the midwife told the woman she was fine, never telling her to see a physician, that it was normal to go past 40 weeks. The baby was born dead, the mother was hospitalized for months and was told by her doctor that she was lucky that she didn’t completely lose her uterus.

    The biggest problem I have with homebirth/alt mamas, is the arrogance they display whenever questioned. It’s as if they create a referendum on “a mother’s home spun wisdom” versus medical science every time they are questioned. And, of course a “mother’s intuition” wins out every time.

    I get a mother’s intuition on daily stuff with your own child, but things like childbirth, treatment of bacterial infections and vaccinating I will go with science and the medical establishment, which is backed by decades and decades of research, every time. (By the way, if better hygiene destroyed measles, why can’t it destroy lice. I’m in my 50s and lice was never a problem in schools. Now, it’s epidemic. What’s up with that?)

    Signed, Skeptical OB fan


  38. I don’t give a fig if someone switches careers or who lets which license expire. However, being a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, a cosmetologist, a building contractor, etc. – these are binary states. You are or you aren’t. You posses the legal credential to present yourself as such, or you don’t.

    I typically don’t use retired as an adjective. I find “retired lawyer” to be imprecise. I much more frequently say, “X was a lawyer, now she is retired.” For example.

    Amy is not a physician. However, she calls herself an obstetrician. She’s not. She was. This an important distinction and not a subtle one.

    Also, this may be a feminist thing, a generational thing, a word use thing, a cultural thing, I don’t know, but literally no one I know says that they are retired until they are collecting social security (and often not even then, honestly, because they are still working a bit). In fact, my friend who is 38, so not far off from early 40s, has recently quit working for family reasons and her joke is, “Yeah, I’m retired, I just live off the old man now!”

    If someone in a real conversation said they were retired at working age, I would question it. In my experience, it’s odd.

    If someone said that they were a professional when they did not hold a relevant professional license, I would question it. It is not necessarily a lie, but not rigorously honest, either.

    Regardless, Sally, this is sad. No innuendo, no libel, just a stated opinion gleaned from a few relevant facts. The folks at fj have been noticing you slipping into aggression for awhile (don’t bother, I just lurk there, too) and while I have picked up on it, it hasn’t been enough to drive me off. Until now.


  39. Amy is not a physician. However, she calls herself an obstetrician. She’s not. She was. This an important distinction and not a subtle one.

    She absolutely is a physician (and she is an obstetrician), just like I am absolutely a nurse. We both went through the training, the schooling, the residency, whatever. We both graduated. And Lisa most assuredly is a lawyer, as are both President and Mrs. Obama. None of us are currently practicing. Please present some evidence that Dr. Tuteur has represented herself as currently practicing medicine.

    If someone in a real conversation said they were retired at working age, I would question it. In my experience, it’s odd.

    You would question what? That they actually retired? My BIL retired from the US Army and then went to work for the railroad and did another twenty years with them and then retired again. Were those not valid “retirements”? Come next January, President Obama is going to retire. Is that not a valid thing?

    I assure you that I retired from the work force when I was 43 years old. My husband, who was 53, retired about four months later. We didn’t have to work anymore. Neither of us has held any job since, unless you want to count raising baby Jersey calves which nets us about $2000 annually.

    And the “folks at FJ” are irrelevant to this conversation. I am simply asking someone to present evidence that Dr. Tuteur (who in absolutely entitled to use the prefix “Doctor” in front of her name for the rest of her natural life – she has an earned doctorate, and didn’t lose that when she retired) is claiming to be currently practicing medicine.

    When I mention my credentials, I say that I am a “retired RN.” I use that word “retired” in front of the RN because RN means “registered nurse” and I am no longer registered. I have no license to practice. I could just say that I am a nurse because I am. I still went to nursing school, took my state boards and graduated. But I don’t because I want to make sure people understand that I went to actual “RN” nursing school, and I am not a practical nurse. Unlike “doctor,” the title “RN” is directly tied to current licensure.

    But I never pretend for a second that I am still working. I am not and have not for more than twenty years.

    Threatening to leave doesn’t bother me, by the way. You have made exactly two comments here, both critical and both on this same subject.

    Dr. Tuteur was still right.


  40. So women who give birth at home are all crunchy-woo-woo?

    *raises hand*

    The OBs at the only practice in my insurance network were so freaked out about my pants size that they completely missed a potentially very serious UTI in the course of their obsessively testing my pee for signs of diabetes, even though those very same urine samples were orange. And they told me to quit talking about my signs and symptoms of a UTI because middle-aged fat ladies got lots of well-deserved aches and pains for being middle-aged and fat. The midwife who had sent me to the OB for shadow care caught the UTI just before my chances of pre-term labor would have gone way up, but the practice took all the credit for ~saving my baby.~ This was the same practice at which somebody wrote that I had had GD in my file, right on top of a stack of pages showing test after test through three pregnancies with not even a borderline positive result for GD. This was also the same practice at which an OB explained that such and such figure for fundal height, etc., meant that I was a broken fat lady who was going to have a heart attack and die. Never mind that I never had a high blood pressure reading either–except when that OB was taking it. Also never mind that gosh, I can read, so I looked up the exact same tables he was using and he was lying through his teeth; my fundal height was bang down the middle of the average column every time, and so was every other result–except of course my weight.

    In the exasperating but somewhat amusing department, that was also the OB who solemnly explained that fat women’s vaginas are packed with solid chunks of fat, like the butt end of a frozen turkey, so that I would have to have an episiotomy and forceps in order to have the baby, while also having a drip going into my arm to save me from my inevitable cardiac event. And he and the other OBs from that practice did rotations at the only hospital in my driving area.

    So, yes, I had all of my kids at home, under the care of a midwife. It was safer that way. She was actually seeing and treating me, not the imaginary me those OBs kept talking to. I had a little scare one time because the placenta didn’t want to come after a precipitous labor, which could have meant that it was detached but stuck in my exasperated cervix or that it wasn’t detached yet; the midwife advised me to check myself in, so that I could have an IV in place in case my placenta wasn’t detached (it was). I also needed a few dissolving stitches once. Oh, and one time I had to push like heck for a minute because the baby had the cord around his brawny shoulders. And that was it. All of my kids are healthy and meeting their milestones.


  41. I am the eldest of 4 and the only one born in a hospital (in the 70s), I was breech but not delivered via c section, apparently my feet were up by my ears and they couldn’t stretch me out to measure me because my legs kept spring back up. The others were homebirths attended by midwives.

    Sibling 1 – my sister was born when I was 3 1/2. I wasn’t in the room for the actual birth. I have strong memories of the time (my first memories) because of an unrelated traumatic event that occurred around the same time. What I remember was the baby was coated in “cream cheese.” My mother developed a blood clot in her leg following the birth and almost died. The midwife had urged her to go to the hospital but there was no money for that so she was treated on and off by the MD father of my best friend.

    Sibling 2 – I was 11. Baby was born with the cord wrapped around his neck. I was in the room with a full view during the birth. I will never forget that shade of blue and my certainty he was dead. I still dream about it. He was “fine” though is autistic. I don’t know if the two are related. My mother tore badly and was sewed up wrong and has problems she needed surgery for, but never got, to this day. I was handed a pair of scissors and told to cut the cord. That didn’t traumatize me but I still remember that fear. The midwife left the state the day after the birth.

    Sibling 3 – I was 14. Good midwife, no seeming complications for mother or baby, didn’t have the same closeup as last time, not upsetting for me or my sister. BUT my mother developed complications in the days following, related to the damage from the previous birth, which included her telling me she thought she was going to die and asking me to pray for her, and my dad telling me that if I didn’t “get my act together” she and the baby would die and it would be my fault…I was 14, going to school, working under the table, doing all the cooking and cleaning, but had left the vacuum out and he tripped over it, after he had been drinking. I went to school and cried in class, I was terrified and overcome with guilt. I think that was the most scarring homebirth experience.

    In my 20s I confessed my fear to my mother, I didn’t want to have homebirths but felt I would be a failure in her eyes. She exclaimed that I would be no such thing, that the only reason she had home births was that my dad refused to pay for a hospital or actual doctor. Ok then. My mother is “crunchy” and became anti-vax by the time the last two come along, but even she would have chosen differently if she felt she had a choice and hadn’t been in an abusive marriage. I do wonder how much actual “choice” is involved in some of these cases and how much is making the most of what you feel is or giving into fears.


  42. All of my kids are healthy and meeting their milestones.

    I’m delighted for you. Changes nothing. If I hated my doctors as much as you obviously hated yours, I’d have found new doctors. Perhaps there were no others. You don’t say how long ago this was. (OB was really awful forty or fifty years ago. I know that. I was there. It is not typically awful now.)

    One anecdote ending with “All my kids are healthy” isn’t data. It’s an anecdote. That doesn’t make it valueless, but it does make it less valuable than actual data.

    Oh, and obesity is a very high risk situation during pregnancy. That’s simply statistically true.


  43. Leta,
    I do appreciate your passion on this subject but I am 61, not old enough for social security and won’t draw it when I am 62 because at 64 or 65 I can draw more and work, if I want too. I did, however, take an early retirement from my job teaching (university professor) because I have MS and it was getting more and more difficult to navigate campus and stand and manage my teaching responsibilities, committee work, research, and community service work. I call myself retired. I have a retirement from said job but I will not draw it; I could, but won’t. I will let it continue to collect interest and premiums on the investments from my very capable retirement company. Does that mean I am not retired? Does it mean I am no longer a professor? That would be a big fat fucking no to both. I am still retired, being supported by my old fart and I am still a professor because I spent a total of 12 years working toward my PhD and Dr. Jeannie is what everyone will call me till my death…I don’t think any of my students or younger colleagues would refer to me as Jeannie…I am and will forever be Dr. Jeannie. I can still consult, and I certainly continue doing research and submitting for publication. Nurses, doctors, and lawyers hold license that, when they make the choice to retire, can be kept or can expire…that doesn’t make them any less of nurse, doctor, or lawyer. Letting a license expire doesn’t wipe away all that one has learned through school and experience; it simply means one is taking a break.


  44. Jeannie, I had a similar experience. I was 19 and my 17 y/o neighbor started screaming “HELP ME!!!” out her front door. The front door was standing wide open and there was a path of blood and bloody handprints all along the walls. This was right at the same time as the Manson murders and I was freaked out and afraid of what might be in the next rooms. But I found her on the john, the baby’s head fully crowned. She waddled while I semi dragged her back to her room with her asking me, ‘what should I do?’ I had no idea except, “push”. A few pushes later a very blue slimy 8.5 lb baby girl was born, and from the baby’s gurgling noises we figured out we needed to clean out the airway, BUT mama was bleeding…a lot. I ran from room to room calling the hospital for help and checking on my girlfriend(s). We had to wait as there were NO ambulances available!!! I was instructed to clamp and cut the umbilical cord, (which fortunately I did not) as the crew finally arrived attended to their emergency needs and transported all. Surprisingly both of us were very calm all through this, we knew we were alone and needed each other. It was not until later that I start shaking.
    That lasted for about 2 sleepless days, but she stayed in the hospital for about a week for repairs and transfusions. We both knew how lucky we were that day, and everyone made that abundantly clear, but it became even clearer when my children were born. I was a low risk mom, until the last phase and suddenly I was in trouble, no longer low risk. Thank god my earlier experiences had led me to hospital birthing. When things go wrong it happens unbelievably fast, such as my neighbors sudden labor and my birthing experiences. If my friend hadn’t been quickly attended by doctors and transported to a hospital that day chances are she would have hemorrhaged to death.
    I know with women and childbirth there are 20 million stories but one thing is certain: Nicole is not considered lowrisk by many factors, Joe is her birthing partner, and she is not within minutes of a lifesaving hospital facility. And who did Lisa reach out to when she had concerns… her internet connection. She did get traditional medical help after pressure was put upon her but only for herself! Stupidity and arrogance abounds with these two and I don’t think there is a cure for them but It is as the Doc said, it is not a win for her when childbirth goes horribly wrong, and these are not low risk women who are choosing to play the odds with birth defects or the mortality of a child and mother. It is only their word that they have been lucky, and I know what Nicole’s word is worth.


  45. @jeannie, it doesn’t matter that you are banned from the BLH FB page. All you have to do is leave a comment for Nicole here and she will get it. She checks Sally’s blog daily after all.
    @Leta, since you have been driven off by Sally’s aggression, I guess you won’t see my response to you. I will miss you terribly. It has been great getting to know you. I’m sure Sally will miss you too. No! But, seriously?! I don’t think Sally gives a ‘fig’ that you will not be returning to her blog. But, you can’t expect to come and leave a comment here for Sally, then get all hurt when Sally replies back to you. I tried that and Sally gave it right back to me. I have stayed because, Sally has a lot of good information to share. I also think Sally is a brilliant writer. If you don’t like it then don’t click and read.
    @D’Arcy, I seriously doubt a doctor, retired or not, would bother harassing a ‘crunchy’ mom. I’m sure she has better things to do with her time.
    I also want to add, my mom is an RN. She doesn’t work anymore. She’s still an RN, and we always go to her when we have questions or concerns regarding our kids. She went to nursing school and got her licenses in multiple states. She worked in hospitals, in doctor’s offices, and travelled around the country working various assignments. My point is, she knows her sh!t. The Skeptical OB, knows her sh!t too. She’s a freaking doctor! My brother has his PhD, he does research on diabetes, he has published several studies with Harvard and Tufts University. He too has ‘Dr.’ in front of his name and when he retires that ‘Dr.’ title does not go away. If anyone had any questions regarding his area of expertise, he would still know more than the average home birthing, anti-vaxing, crunchy, sleeping in a shed, sh!tting in a bucket, dog-grooming, un-schooling mom.
    The End.


  46. Of for fuck’s sake. If you have a doctorate you are a Dr. Having that MD after your name denotes that you have a doctorate in medicine. Having that Dr in front of your name or even that MD after your name does not require a license. Some vocations require licensing to practice, some don’t. To be a Dr all it takes is studying your ass off and getting that doctorate, maybe even passing a proficiency test. Some people even have more than one doctorate, sometimes in completely different fields. It is that simple. I could have a doctorate in the study of sanctimonious little pissants, if such a thing existed, and still put that big old Dr in front of my name and teach all the little university students about sanctimonious little pissants until the cows came home. Binary states? What the fuck are you even trying to say with that? Mutually exclusive of what? Give me a break.

    People retire when they damn well please and for their own reasons. Your definition above that you must be a certain age is not only ridiculous but has no logic to it at all. It is the imaginings of a limited mind.
    Some of us worked our asses off upfront just so that we didn’t have to keep working our asses off until we reach some arbitrary number that magically makes us eligible for social security in the US only ( there’s an entire world out there where this is not the case). Some of us choose die with our boots on, social security benefits be damned. If a state employee retires after 20 years at 45, because that’s when their pension kicks in does that mean they aren’t REALLY retired? Get real.

    To let your imagination run wild and to imply anything based on the age at which someone chooses to retire with no evidence at all is very BEC. Go join the tiny minds left on that FJ thread, they’ve got lots of crackers. The critically thinking FJer’s jumped ship from that thread quite a long time ago. Read some of their other threads or earlier in that thread so you can truly savor the sanctimonious hypocrisy of those left there. You all should get along like gang busters as long as you don’t have too many clashes of egos, offend someone’s delicate little sensibilities or think too hard.

    Stupid ass reasoning (what I really mean is the opposite of reasoning) to the effect that if one retires early or let’s their license lapse that lead you to a conclusion that something nefarious is going on or that all that training and knowledge mysteriously disappeared in a poof of smoke, simply lets me know how small minded, how incredibly limited, your thinking is, nothing more. Good luck with that.


  47. Anna Nimuss: “She’s a freaking doctor!”

    This is the kind of ‘fundamentalism’ I was referring to earlier. As someone who works in partnership with an expert witness (PhD in medical Science with a focus on maternal/child health) I have to say that there are regular and egregious breaches of best practice in hospital and other medical settings. Those cases almost always get settled out of court. This is why anecdotes are valuable but cannot be used as definitive supporting evidence.

    When we share stories of our births with great/terrible midwives or great/terrible doctors, I find it most helpful to view these stories as personal narratives and also starting off points for further discourse or study.

    My point being, the arguments around this issue are vital from ALL sides and anyone setting about to attend a birth needs to have the best possible education, training, and expertise available and most importantly–be prepared to be held accountable for their actions. Dialogue about this issue is vital–it keeps people on their toes and it pushes advancement. I, for one, enjoy and appreciate it.

    I think that Dr. Amy has breached ethical conduct (mine are rigidly strict, I’ll admit) in the way she has conducted herself over the years. That’s my main beef with her. I don’t disagree with her on many points. I disagree with her mode of practice which, to me, is as important as any other aspect of a helping profession.


  48. Leta….

    Should we not call Hillary Clinton by her title “Secretary Clinton” because she is no longer the Secretary Of State? Same logic applies to Dr. Amy. Secretary Clinton still retains her title and expertise. Dr. Amy is a retired OBGYN and also retains her title and expertise. Just because someone retires doesn’t make their expertise vanishes out the window.


  49. I think that Dr. Amy has breached ethical conduct (mine are rigidly strict, I’ll admit) in the way she has conducted herself over the years.

    I keep reading claims of this but nobody shows me any evidence. None. I admit that I haven’t spent fifty hours reading her blog, but gee, if you know that she’s “breached ethical conduct” (whatever that means) you really need to produce some evidence. These sorts of claims border on libel.

    So far, the worst claim I’ve seen is the dumbass mother in the original screen shots complaining that Dr. Tuteur caused her to have postpartum depression because she was mean on a blog. And I showed what Dr. Tuteur wrote, which certainly didn’t rise to the level of “mean” in my opinion.

    Fuck that “helping” profession thing. I am a retired nurse and I am brutal when the situation calls for it. (You should have seen me when I was working and I had to get in the face of a rowdy patient.) I have seen doctors be more than brutal from time to time. They are out there trying to save lives, not special little snowflake feelings. In this case, the life she was trying to save was a newborn baby’s.


  50. These natural birth bitches are so salty. Dr.Tuteur earned a Doctorate of Medicine from Harvard. She is and forever will be a M.D./Dr. even if she is not practicing. She earned the fucking degree you ignorant twats. Just like your fucking hero, Dr. Andrew Wakefield will always be a Dr. (even though he had his licensed revoked) because that is the title he earned from his schooling. Assholes.


  51. You can continue to use M.D. after your name regardless of whether you’re currently licensed to practice. This happens a fair amount in…wait for it…medical research!

    The same is true for D.V.M.’s. There are veterinarians who work for pharmaceutical companies or simply go into a wholly new field but they are permitted to use D.V.M. They earned it. It’s theirs. It doesn’t retire.

    Ditto for Ph.D. Just because someone doesn’t use it (currently) doesn’t mean they don’t have it.


  52. As for the claim that Dr. Tuteur caused anyone to suffer postpartum depression, well that’s absurd.

    From Mayo Clinic:

    “There’s no single cause of postpartum depression, but physical and emotional issues may play a role.

    Physical changes. After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland also may drop sharply — which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.
    Emotional issues. When you’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed, you may have trouble handling even minor problems. You may be anxious about your ability to care for a newborn. You may feel less attractive, struggle with your sense of identity or feel that you’ve lost control over your life. Any of these issues can contribute to postpartum depression.”


  53. I have to say that there are regular and egregious breaches of best practice in hospital and other medical settings.

    So what? Medical people are first and foremost people. They sometimes make really bad mistakes. So do car mechanics, and electricians, and grocers. And so do stupid women who refuse to follow the clear advice of a medical doctor who is trying to give them reasonable counsel. Every now and then a medical person makes a mistake that is very, very costly in terms of human suffering. It’s one of the reasons that practicing medicine in any capacity is so stressful. Do you think I wasn’t aware every minute that I was working that I could make a super boo-boo that might kill somebody?

    I wish some of you could spend an hour in a wild Recovery Room when the patients are rolling in faster than you can hook them up to O2. When they are climbing out of restraints faster than you can restrain them. When you’ve got little kids coming in, waking up and screaming for their mommies at the tops of their lungs and you’ve got to try to take their blood pressures. And all that time knowing that the next one that rolls in might not be routine at all, and that you might miss the signal and not realize it.


    Let’s talk about the night I walked into the Intensive Care Unit at my hospital and realized that I was the only RN on duty. All the rest had called in sick. I had one LPN with me and twelve, count ’em, TWELVE patients. So, I put on my coat and marched up to the director’s office and told her that there was as of right then, no RN in the ICU. She was astonished. I told her I’d asked for help and nobody came, and that I was going home.

    She came back downstairs with me and worked with me until a couple more nurses arrived. I remember that night so well, because I remember that it was 2 am and I was just finishing up the 10 pm medications. That was the night that I suddenly realized to my horror that I had given a dose of an IV antibiotic to a child. It was actually supposed to go to the adult in the next cubicle. I ran and cut off the IV and called the doctor, waking him in the middle of the night. I explained what happened. He asked me how much I thought that kid got. I told him. He said, “Good. I think maybe he needs to be on an antibiotic anyway and that’s a good one. Let’s go with 500 mg every six hours.”

    I will never forget the relief that swept over me.

    That wasn’t the only medication error I ever made. There were others. Everyone makes them, and anyone who says they haven’t either hasn’t been out of school four days or is lying.

    Counter that, though, with the night that the post-operative brain surgery patient I had was just acting slightly “off.” Vital signs were perfect. Nothing I could put a finger on. Just “off.” It just felt wrong. So I called the doc. Woke him up. Told him my concerns and apologized for being a worry-wart. He was there in about three minutes, walked over, took one look at her, said, “I get it” and yelled for somebody to grab the bed and get an OR ready. They took her back to surgery and opened her head up and she had a big bleed. Ligated it and stopped the oozing and she came back to me about an hour later doing well.

    Again a huge sense of relief that my instincts were correct and that the outcome was a good one. Sometimes (often, mostly) medical people get it right.

    And yes, there are incompetent doctors and nurses. There was a nurse who worked with me who got addicted to morphine and started stealing it from the drug cabinet. There was a doctor I knew who operated on the wrong limb because he was drunk. There was another one who lost his medical license because he was totally incapable of practicing medicine at all.

    But overall, the majority of the time, in my years of actual experience in the actual real world of hospitals, most people did a damn fine job.

    Opting to give birth in a garden shed (or a house) with no professional assistance and no prenatal care is not a reasonable decision in the light of a few cases where people made mistakes or were clearly incompetent.

    It’s like saying that because some people cheat on their income taxes, it’s okay that you robbed a bank. Or, how about going blind because somebody screwed up a cataract surgery someplace once or twice. “I’ll show them.”


  54. As for the claim that Dr. Tuteur caused anyone to suffer postpartum depression, well that’s absurd.

    If the woman is so fragile that she can’t tolerate a bit of back-and-forth on the internet, she needs to get off it. Nobody can “cause” you to have PP depression.


  55. Sally,
    Standards of practise may have changed since you were in the field–especially the use of social media and blogging as a way of disseminating professional opinions. When it comes to the concept of non-malfeasance for example, blogging about people and inciting participation from the masses (as she did much more in the past) is of questionable ethical soundness. She talks about “med-utainment” (the idea of medical advice being put up for public consumption in the form of entertainment rather than scholarly and peer-supported) as an ethical breach but I believe she is guilty of this herself.

    I have in fact read her for probably more than 50 hours as she’s been around for years and years and I had more of a vested interest in her opinions back then. I think I can dig around a bit later on when I have some more time. It seems she has tempered her approach a fair bit of late which is great but that also means more digging and I’m not sure I’m up for it on a precious precious weekend 🙂

    This is nowhere near bordering on libel btw, lol. I’m cool with differences of opinion, in fact MORE than cool with them–they are necessary and vital as I described above. But only if it is constructive. Which at this point I’m not sure if this is.


  56. She’s not practicing, Magenta. She’s not practicing. So what do “standards of practice” have to do with her?

    But beyond that, I am not going to continue arguing about this. You are all just saying stuff without showing me anything. I have showed you stuff, screen shots. I made comments about those screen shots. Period. Nothing more.

    I do not know this woman. I have not been reading her for “years.” I have been reading her for a day or so. I don’t really care about what happened “years” ago.

    And yes, all of you negative nellies are implying that she is somehow guilty of some horrible thing and the board took her license away or she voluntarily quit practicing medicine because she was a fuck up. That’s the clear implication. And nobody presents any evidence that is the case at all.

    At this point, put up or shut up. No kidding.


  57. Sally: “So what? Medical people are first and foremost people. They sometimes make really bad mistakes. So do car mechanics, and electricians, and grocers”
    My point in saying that is in response to the person who seemed to make the claim that simply by virtue of earning a medical degree, one is practically infallible. I’m kind of flummoxed by people’s lack of ability to simply just have a normal conversation about this stuff.


  58. I don’t know if my opinion has any weight, but I have been reading Dr, Any’s blog for a while now – way more than 50 hours. I’ve probably read almost every article she’s written in the past 3 years, and further, have read through all her comment sections (seriously, she has an amazing commenting community of really smart, funny people – there is pure gold in the comments).

    She will come out every once in awhile and admit that she is purposely adversarial in her titles and her content. This is to get some ‘crunchy’ people to come over to her site, post comments defending some kind of dangerous birthing behavior and engage with some of her other readers.

    If you read through her comments you will see that many of her dedicated readers are reformed homebirthers!! They came to her blog in the first place to rail against whatever ridiculously incendiary thing Dr. Amy wrote about, and ended up engaging in actual debates with other commenters using real facts and science, and began to change their mind about what they considered to be safe practice when it came to homebirthing. Many of her readers are still pro-homebirth, just not blindly (dangerously) so.

    So if a casual reader of Dr. Amy’s blog didn’t know it, they may thing that she is rabidly anti-crunchy, anti-homebirth, anti-whatever…. This is not the case.

    That’s all.


  59. person who seemed to make the claim that simply by virtue of earning a medical degree, one is practically infallible.

    Okay, I can understand that. There has been a sort of unwritten idea that doctors are godlike, and they are not. I am the first to stand up and say they are just folks. Most of them are extremely intelligent folks because medical school is hard, and doing a residency is harder still, but they are capable of error.

    FWIW, I have to rate up there as one of the worst patients ever. I have to know everything. I ask a whole lot of questions. I want diagrams. And I will get a second opinion if I have the slightest doubt. When our dog (the one prior to this one) got sick with renal failure, I went through six vets (SIX) before I found one I liked. 🙂

    But once I understand what is happening and why, I am beyond compliant.


  60. When you buy a car, or a house, or a washer you shop around. You check reviews. You test them and see which one is the right one for you. Why would you do anything less when it comes to picking a doctor?

    As to the Skeptical OB and “walking a fine ethical balance”, sorry, not sorry, ethics rules for social media are part of licensing and practicing. As she is no longer licensed nor is practicing I personally don’t think that she should be needs to be held to the same standards. I am glad she is neither held to those same standards nor that she has to walk some fine line to avoid upsetting the apple cart. The “other” bloggers and social media warriors certainly aren’t.

    There is so much misinformation, one sided information, ignorant information out in the world that it is hard for people to cut to the truth or to make a truly informed decision.. I find many of the breast feeding, home birthing, anti-vaccination people to be overly loud, overly pushy and more than abundant on the Internet. Most practicing physicians can’t or won’t interact on the same forums as those various groups. Frankly they are too busy, seeing patients, teaching students and writing scholarly articles on sites that the average person will never see. Instead the average person gets Dr Oz, Jenny McCarthy, the Feminist Breeder, or some other loud mouth pushing their agenda and their agenda alone. Utilizing social media to both influence and even shame people into things that may very well be not in their best interest. Conveniently leaving out those facts or circumstances that would detract from their personal cause. I personally find a lot of what they are pushing and selling to be very one sided and potentially dangerous. The Skeptical OB isn’t saying anything I haven’t heard from quite a few other doctors, she is just saying it on the same forums as used by the “opposition” instead of other arenas.

    By the way I have been following her for a while. Personally I am very impressed with her. Personally I think of her as a social media warrior fighting through the propaganda and giving people the option of informed choice. She’s a lot nicer and more diplomatic about it than I am.


  61. Magenta wrote – “My point being, the arguments around this issue are vital from ALL sides and anyone setting about to attend a birth needs to have the best possible education, training, and expertise available and most importantly–be prepared to be held accountable for their actions. Dialogue about this issue is vital–it keeps people on their toes and it pushes advancement. I, for one, enjoy and appreciate it.”

    She syas that whoever attends a birth needs to be prepared to be accountable. I agree! That should apply to the crunchy twatwaffles home birthers and their husbands who attend the birth. They certainly should be held accountable for medical neglect or even manslaughter should the baby die due to their bad choices.


  62. I know I’m not the one that magenta was referring to even though she put my name and comments in “quotes”…
    Because I have stories that would contradict her assumptions, of what I’m “getting at.”
    Also, not sure how ‘fundamentalist’ applies to me. Since I am atheist and have never been fundy anything.
    So, I’m pretty sure it is not me being referred to.
    My comments were only in response to this blog post. Dr. Amy was right, and I know that she knows WAY more than Lisa and Nicole do. Also, not sure if showing that she has changed her ways over the years is really what the point of the post was supposed to be about. I know that is where it is going now…


  63. Sally: “… There has been a sort of unwritten idea that doctors are godlike, and they are not. I am the first to stand up and say they are just folks. Most of them are extremely intelligent folks because medical school is hard, and doing a residency is harder still, but they are capable of error.

    FWIW, I have to rate up there as one of the worst patients ever. I have to know everything. I ask a whole lot of questions. I want diagrams. And I will get a second opinion if I have the slightest doubt. When our dog (the one prior to this one) got sick with renal failure, I went through six vets (SIX) before I found one I liked. 🙂

    But once I understand what is happening and why, I am beyond compliant.”

    IMO, your penchant for consistently using critical thinking makes you not a fundie 🙂 I totally agree and I am the same way as a patient.
    I am from a medical family. My dad is an OB GYN (retired but STILL lol) and my mother holds a doctorate in Medical Science and came up through the ranks beginning as a staff nurse. I am comfortable in hospitals because I grew up hanging around in them waiting for my parents to see patients etc. My brother is a Radiologist. Having grown up around doctors and nurses and hearing my parents talk, as well as working as part of an interdisciplinary team myself, I know how much work and dedication it takes to be in this field. It also takes a whole lotta smarts. There is also a share of egotistical assholes, people that cling (at a cost) to tradition (in both homebirth and medical birth), and people that are burnt out and just have lost their ability to use compassion. As with all science, it is an ever evolving field and discussions such as these and those instigated by people like Dr. Amy and also by people in the home-birthing community are invaluable for facilitating that evolution.

    Thanks for hosting this conversation, Sally. I respect your opinions (I kinda love not agreeing with everything all the time and it’s rare I don’t wholly agree with you, to be honest) and I appreciate the time you take to host this blog. 🙂


  64. My daughter was born last February. I had a low risk pregnancy until i started having high blood pressure in the last two weeks. I ended up needing a c section and was put under general anesthesia because my epidural didn’t work on one side. My doctor, nurses, and daughter’s pediatricians were amazing. My husband only had a week off work, but that was ok because recovery was no where near as bad as people had led me to believe. I was sweeping the floors the first week home and going on easy hikes the third week. Perhaps I was lucky. My mother had both a c section and a vaginal birth and she said she preferred her c section. I’m glad the baby got help! I could not imagine giving birth at home. I’m a worrier and there so much that could potentially go wrong!


  65. The biggest risk of being fat while having a baby is that the care provider–often a doctor, although midwives do it too–will freak out and preemptively declare you broken, subjecting you to endless nagging and bullying about your pants size, induced labor, and unnecessary surgery, including procedures that actually harm you and/or your baby. Here’s a roundup of fact-based analyses:

    I don’t have babies with my butt, thighs, arms, chin, or belly. I have them with my uterus. My uterus is not fat.


  66. Waiting at the Airport, so I have a couple minutes to share my story.

    It took me several years to have a child. I’d get pregnant then I miscarried time and time again. Just when I thought things where going great…I’d lose the life inside me.
    It was so hard to deal with each loss year after year. I just have no words for the loss I felt then and the loss I still feel today…. for each of them.

    I loved each and everyone of them with all my heart.

    My Doctors told me, because of my childhood rape, they were unsure I could ever even have children of my own. My body had sustained a lot of damage.

    But then there was this ONE pregnancy where I actually had that little baby bump…I was getting all fat and happy. My clothes were not fitting right and I actually had to go shopping at the mall in the REAL BIG MOMMY CLOTHS SECTION!!!!
    I was so happy, but terrified….. all at the same time.

    As each week pasted, I became bigger and bigger…..and my whole family was praying for God to just let me have one.
    She came early…three months to early !!!
    During her natural birth, I started bleeding WAY TO MUCH my blood pressure dropped and I passed out. They were losing me and when my baby was born she died.
    They were able to bring her back….and stopped my bleeding !!!
    When I woke up they had her in NICU….she was early…but still alive. I will never forget the joy I felt in my heart when I finally became a Mother.
    Elizabeth is in her 3ed year of Vet School right now….and I was able to have two more children ( son’s ) by C-Section after her. And we adopted my 1st cousins two boys, after she died in a automobile accident at a very young age of just 21.

    For years, I thought I was never going to be able to have children…but now I have FIVE !!!
    By the grace of God. 🙂

    These kids are my LIFE….And I feel like I’m the “Luckiest Woman” on earth to have them. 🙂


  67. Ah shit, I feel like I missed a great party.
    I think you might be an asshole if you think giving birth is about you. The whole point of giving birth is an unselfish one, why you would NOT want to be in a place prepared for an emergency is fucking with my head.
    And if you think Sally is aggressive, you should go challenge Nicole and her merry band of misfits. They will eat you alive if your this thin skinned.
    Great read as always Sally and friends.


  68. Sally, I enjoyed commenting on this blog post. You can tell that you have a lot of well educated readers on your page. So many of your readers are critical thinkers. ? Nicole’s readers, not so much…


  69. Back to the first post by the Skeptical OB, in response to what was forwarded to her, evidently by someone concerned about Lisa’s post and pic of the unusual candy cane umbilical cord. I fail to comprehend anything bully in Dr. Amy’s post. Nothing unethical or challenging her expertise. It was serious concern for that newborn getting medical evaluation immediately!

    The Skeptical OB was right! And some can Monday morning quarterback after the event, it still remains she was right.

    I say thank goodness for the person that forwarded Lisa’s post to her. And Dr. Amy appealing if anyone was in that group, to please inform Lisa that her baby needs to be seen in an emergency room immediately. Not tomorrow at the pediatrician office. Which reminds me of a story of an event that occurred at a doctor’s office. A family member drove a man to the doctor’s office, who was in the emergency of having a cardiac arrest. The man ended up dying there in the doctor’s office in an exam room. It was very distressful to the doctor and the staff, that he was brought to the office in full cardiac arrest, instead of getting to an emergency room. I know they pained over that for quite a long time. And afterwards did an all out education to all patients in the practice, emergencies need hospital emergency room assistance. A doctor’s office is not equipped for emergency situations. Even the time lost to transfer to the emergency room from the doctor’s office could be life lost.

    In the end, perhaps this home birthing crisis has surely been read by many, many people. I hope it stays in thought for those that are home birthers, medical emergencies can happen. They do happen, probably more so than anyone can guesstimate. Only at home, one is missing the extreme medical expertise and experience, and the medical resources. That can and will make the difference in life or death.

    Just a tidbit, OB/GYNs have some of the highest malpractice insurance premiums of all medical specialists. In a discussion with an OB/GYN friend, he told me his annual premiums. It is close to 6 figures! Childbirth can be risky, two lives involved. OB/GYNs have upwards to 12 years of post secondary education, 3 of those in residency. And then 3 or 4 years in a busy group practice and they get a lot of experience and have seen a lot of cases.

    In my opinion, an unassisted home birthing is playing with fire. And then swishing your tail feathers when all went well. Risky business is what it is.


  70. From the National Institutes of Health, a better source than a biased blog written by an obese woman who is defensive. Her article is fine, but it’s only talking about planned C-sections and the advisability of doing that. We can argue about it all day.

    But what is absolutely true is that obesity, in and of itself, is a health risk for both the pregnant woman and the fetus. And I say this with all the empathy in the world. I was not overweight when I was pregnant, but I’ve packed on some extra pounds as I have aged and fat-shaming is not something I engage in nor will I allow it here.


  71. Just a tidbit, OB/GYNs have some of the highest malpractice insurance premiums of all medical specialists. In a discussion with an OB/GYN friend, he told me his annual premiums. It is close to 6 figures!

    Yes, I failed to mention that. It’s another reason to let a license lapse if you’re not practicing.


  72. I’d just like to point out how much homebirth advocates are talking about the risks for the mother, how they are talking about how horrible a c-section would be for the mother, how horrible a hospital stay would be for the mother…

    The MOTHER is not as much at risk during a homebirth, the risk is high for the baby. The baby. The little life the mother should want to protect.
    Homebirth is a thing for the mother. For the baby it’s a completely unnecessary risk.

    The pdf on this page is worth a read:
    Seriously, read it.

    Now I have to go and cuddle my kids. My kids who deserve me putting my needs second when their life could be at risk.


  73. Does anyone have any idea why Nicole thinks this particular post was about her? I didn’t see her name or any of her specific birthing experiences mentioned within it. At all.

    You know another thing that is all natural and a beautiful part of nature? One or both parties dying in childbirth.

    I have no doubt that childbirth was pretty awful until relatively recently. My father being in the delivery room with my mother in the early 1970’s was very much a new thing and only because he worked in that hospital (and she was a nurse herself). My own labor and deliveries took place in within a hospital but there were so MANY options available to me regarding how it would proceed.

    Until things suddenly went very wrong with #2 (shoulder dystocia) and nurses and physicians were popping out of walls. The nurse in attendance must have hit a silent alarm or something. All my husband heard was “shoulder dystocia” and then everything started happening. Or so it seemed to me at the time – I do know I witnessed my OB/Gyn running into the room. Luckily, no C-section was necessary but if it had been, it could have been done right there and immediately.


  74. This has been fun to read! I really don’t get the discussion about medical degrees and licenses, though. A medical degree, a medical doctorate if you will, is an academic degree. You own the title of doctor because you have earned the degree. It does not transfer away from you because you stop practicing medicine. In order to be licensed to practice one has to be endorsed by the American Medical Association and meet that body’s criteria for a medical license for your specific specialization. It is fairly similar to someone who earns a Juris Doctor degree. The JD is an academic degree (never understood why we don’t call them doctor–other parts of the world do–shoulder shrug). Yet in order to practice law one must pass the Bar for the state one wishes to practice in.

    I also don’t get the discussion on how Dr. Tuteur was supposedly rude. She saw something that, from her professional experience, was seriously alarming and she understood the consequences. Disagreement is not disrespectful, nor is calling ’em like you see ’em. Birth has a developmental history. An awful lot of people delivered their babies in their homes. An awful lot of babies and mothers died as a result, not only from infection. Births in hospitals (particularly before germ theory was understood) were more risky than home births. That was a long time ago and I am very cautious about romanticizing those yonder years.

    Incidentally, one of the first to understand the need to wash one’s hands and deliver a baby in a clean environment so the mother would not die of septicemia was a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Simmelweiss. This was before Louis Pasteur’s discoveries concerning germs. Where his regimen of cleanliness was practiced, the hospitals had really low rates of delivery deaths (infants and mothers). He was a bit abrasive and pissed people off. He went a little off the rails as he saw hospitals ignoring his practices and his results. This was not a deal with ego–the consequence of blowing him off was often blood poisoning and death. So I would not be too fast to dismiss what an experienced medical professional sees as risky behavior. Most of the ego, from what I can see, comes not from the good doctor but from those who insist on incurring and justifying additional risks to their infants and themselves.


  75. The homebirth community is rife with individualists. the fundy homebirthers. Children are property, remember? So they don’t deserve the protections that society affords them. It’s often a case of ideology trumping all. If you are a libertarian ultra christian, you let god decide if your baby lives or dies and you certainly don’t access any societal systems to improve the baby’s chances. You are anti-science and anti-intellectual so you don’t give any credit to people with any sort of medical training–no nurse midwives, no doctors. Also, god decides if the mother lives or dies. If the mother lives, she’s obviously in god’s favour. That’s the long and short of it from what I see.


  76. Tooth and Nail:
    TY for the link. Appears to be a dark and poorly regulated world of midwifery in this country. So much for _Call the Midwife’s_ romanticized view. Astounding and misrepresented risks to the baby during home births. It would seem to follow that preventable morbidity from home births would also be much much greater, but even more difficult to comparatively study.


  77. Never posted before but I want to say it’s very cool seeing the intersection of my two top read blogs (for similar reasons: you’re both smart and call people on their bullshit).

    Someone named Joe Farmer is now giving people shit on Dr. Tuteur’s comments. The comments strike me as…Naugler-ish. Same kind of nastiness.


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