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June 17, 2013 I had to make the choice of letting my twin daughter Aminah pass. It was truly the hardest decision that my husband have ever had to make. Until that day, I never truly knew what real pain and disappointment felt like. As I write these words now tears drop on the top of my keypad of my laptop. What happened? Why me? These are the questions that I ask myself everyday since her death. If any woman chooses to have a home birth with a midwife please make sure that it is something that you really want to do and realize that indeed it is a major risk that you are taking. The pain of losing an infant is unbearable and I would like to prevent any other woman from going down the same path rather your having one baby or two.
I found out I was pregnant with identical twins in November of 2012. We had already decided to have a home birth before the twin conformation. It was something we always talked about . We decided to keep our original plan to birth at home. What promoted my decision to home birth is hospital hell. I was tired of having my babies in the hospital and being forced to do things that I felt were not necessary. Although I had two children in an hospital setting I was still not satisfied with the treatment I received while I was there. Florida is where I fell in love with home birth. I met Jennie Joesph a beautiful black midwife. As a black woman you don't meet to many black midwives in your time. Unfortunately I could not stay in Florida so I left my dreams of home birth there and moved on.
Back to the story, my husband and I informed our friends and family on the news of a home birth. Of course everyone thought we were weird and many were really concerned about us birthing twins at home but we decided to stick to the plan not because we were trying to go against the grain but because I was so sure that my body was going to do what it was suppose to do the day that labor were to happen. ****Never in a million years did I think that the midwife was going to not be there****
I interviewed with a Midwife by the name of Joann Falcon from South East Missouri.
This midwife decided to take me as a client. We discussed my birthing plan and overall nutritional health for the babies. I had routine check ups all the way up to delivering. Two week prior to delivery it was confirmed both twins do be vertex.
I carried my twins 40 weeks. On May 24 at around 8:45pm my husband, children, and I were in our family SUV on our way from downtown St. Louis when I started having contractions. I called Joann and told her I was having contractions she asked how far apart they were and I told here 5 minutes. She advised me to go home and she would be on her way. When I got home it was about 9pm and I started to prepare for Joann's arrival. My husband and I called Joann again and she then stated that she was on her way. She advised me that she was in Cape Giradue then and she was going to send a midwife to help with the birth until she arrived. My first daughter could no longer wait my water broke and I had her in my bathtub without a midwife just my husband and I (between 9:30-9:50pm). My husband helped the baby glide out. We didn't know what to do with the umbilical cord and we also didn't know how the other baby was doing. I held my first daughter standing up in our bathtub with her umbilical cord still connected to the placenta inside of me. She was beautiful and crying. We continued to wait on someone to show up to assist us but there was still no one. The contractions with my second daughter started at about 10:15pm. A woman by the name of Jennifer Konkol ran into my bathroom. She put on her rubber gloves and pulled our her fetal monitor to search for a fetal heartbeat for the second baby. She couldn't find a heartbeat. She then reached for her scissors and cut my first daughters umbilical cord from the placenta and gave her to my husband. She grabbed her fetal monitor again and continued to search for a heartbeat. She yelled to my husband to call Joann on the phone. As Joann listened from the phone Jennifer advised her that the cord was prolapse. She asked Joann what she wanted her to do. Joann advised Jennifer over the phone to call 911. My husband called 911 and advised them of our incident and they sent an ambulance to the residence. Jennifer continued to voice her concerns with Joann on speaker phone that she did not have any experience with twins and she didn't know what to do with the prolapse cord. She was advised by Joann to tell me to put my knees to my chest and to push to hurry and get the baby out. Jennifer put her whole hand in my vagina and explained to me that the baby was breech and that she was trying to hold the cord over the babies head. The pain was unbearable. By now its about 10:30 pm and the ambulance arrives and in ran the paramedics. The paramedics took over. All the paramedics were men and their only concern was to get me on a gurney. I couldn't get on the stretcher because I felt the second baby coming out. At this time there is still no Joann. The midwives and the paramedics were fighting with each other. The paramedics wanted to do their job and the Midwives were trying to keep ground. While they were arguing I felt the urge to push. I started to scream and gave a big push and my daughter legs come out dangling from my vagina. I gave another push and she came out. She wasn't crying she was just laying there on the stretcher. At this time it is about 10:45pm and Joann came running through the door. Her first action was to hug Jennifer while my daughter laid on the floor non responsive. After Jennifer and Joann finished embracing each other she ran over to my daughter and pulled out her fetal monitor and started doing CPR. She monitored the heartbeat and told the paramedic she found a heartbeat. The paramedics nor midwives had a fetal oxygen mask for an infant so Joann told Jennifer to run out to her car to get one. Jennifer came in with a oxygen mask and Joann placed it on the baby's face. While Akilah remained fine the paramedics check my vitals and gave me options to stay home or be admitted into a hospital. I chose to stay at home so that I may be able to visit my twin daughter Aminah in the hospital. My first daughter still okay stayed at home as well. Joann rode in the ambulance with the baby to the hospital and my husband followed in his car. At the hospital my husband advised me that Joann just sat in the corner in the waiting room and didn't say anything the whole time. My husband called me on the phone crying he told me that our daughter went to long without oxygen she was brain dead. The hospital gave us our options. They told us that if we chose to keep our daughter alive she would have not quality of life. They said that she had extreme brain damage. The next day I waited for Joann to call me she didn't. She ignored me. I had to call and tell Joann that she was to still check on me and my first twin born. Joann did one follow up visit with me.
Eventually I had to pull the plug on my sweet daughter Aminah on 06/17/2013
I called Joann on many occasions. I started to realize that she wasn't answering my phone calls any more, she was screening my phone calls. I had not expected to pay for a funeral at all it was never in my mind. I asked Joann if I may receive a refund for the Services that I paid for to pay for my daughters funeral arrangements. Joann advised me to stop harassing her and to contact her attorney. That's what I did. After my daughter passed and I was interview by the nurse of the law firm I choose I realized that Joann gave me poor treatment during my pregnancy and after my pregnancy. She completed none of the paperwork so that I may receive birth certificates. She told me that because she was not at the birth she could not sign off as an attendant for the Birth Certificate forms.
After the birth of my girls Joann tried to stay as far away from us. She didn't want to answer any of my calls or visit with me to talk about what happened that night. She just advised me to go along with the grievance process. That's what I did but I did get away with asking one last question. I asked Joann if she knew she was too far away when my contractions started why she didn't advise me to go to a hospital, she told me she wish she would have.
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