Monday, October 28, 2013

Home Birth Disaster


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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.




Also check out: Holding NARM Accountable
Illinois Midwives Crossing Over Becomes A Problem
The Midwife Court System
The Midwife didn't Even Show
Interview Questions for Midwife
Pay Methods for Midwives


Midwife Statements Below.










Welcome :
 The Midwife from Hell
Shit is about to get Real!

69 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter.

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    1. Im sorry too. Thanks for reading my story it means a lot

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  2. I am mortified by this. And I am so sorry you had to deal with this. Sending lots of love to you and your family. And your sweet angel in heaven. :'(

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    1. Wow thank you so much for taking the time to read my Birth Story. Your helping my daughter by just reading

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  3. Many many people are reading your birth story. I am so very sorry for your loss. Please know that there are those of us who are working towards changing the law so that "midwives from hell" STOP doing this to women. You are sadly NOT the first, nor will you be the last, as many women are still being lied to about the safety of homebirth. Congratulations on the births of both your daughters. They are beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. It breaks my heart.

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    1. I use to try not to talk about what happened. Now I'm glad my story can change a mind or raise just a little more awareness.
      Thanks again Jen!

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  4. She deserves some type of punishment file a wrongful death lawsuit

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    1. I talked to a few attorneys they were interested just didn't know how to approach a midwife case

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  5. I'm so very sorry you lost one of your babies. I know your pain. One of my perfect twins died after a homebirth too. It's a constant ache and the stigma attached to our chosen venue for birth makes it very hard to speak out. The community close their ears and tell us to take responsibility and while we are list in our grief the midwife runs around telling everyone she told us to transfer and we refused (or some other variation of that lie). I send you so much love.

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    1. The thing these midwives will say to get out of hot water.

      Thanks for reading my story it truly does mean a lot

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  6. I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you and your family. Both your daughters are precious and beautiful. I know you will always miss her. I hope you can find some comfort in telling your story. It could help save others from going through something like this themselves.

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  7. I am so sorry for your loss. As a mother of twins, I hope that your story will compell others to be in a hospital setting for a twin birth. Despite the fact that I was hospitalized for the last two months of the pregnancy due to preterm labor, my boy twin still went into fetal distress resulting in an emergency c-section. He suffered a stroke at birth, and has cerebral palsy and left sided paralysis. Twin births are extremely unpredictable. Thank you for speaking out. Please, continue to seek a wrongful death attorney. Your daughter deserves justice.

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing a piece of your twin experience also, it means a lot. It truly does give me more insight on twin births. I just feel like if two babies are preparing for entrance into the world they should come into the world absolutely and completely healthy no questions asked but of course the world we live in there is always a 50/50 chance of disaster. I will always keep you in mind Jenni. Out of the thousands of people that read my blog not to many comment. I admire your courage to leave a comment

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    2. I'm so sorry for your loss :( My heart aches for you. I lost my son to stillbirth but that was due to medical reasons, I seriously cant imagine your heartache. This woman should rot in hell. I'm sorry but how dare she do this to you and then say your harassing her....she goes on with her life when you have lost one of your precious baby girls. Its just not right she should pay! Your so brave for sharing your story I hope it helps others learn about the dangers of home birth and that not every midwife is a good one. Again im so sorry for you and your husband ❤

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    3. There were many midwives who said that I was at fault and I should have known better but that still does not dismiss a midwives actions in taking time less serious during a labor. I appreciate you reading my home birth disaster and maybe it will help other moms in the future

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    4. Dreah, it’s not your job to know better, it’s the job of people who present themselves as professionals to know better. If midwives want to be thought of as professionals then they need to make sure they know better and they need to carry insurance.

      I’m so sorry.

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    5. Your right when I lecture and speak on midwives in different states women are assuming that their midwife has told them everything and when I speak at a conference after the lecture they say WOW thanks I never knew about the things you are talking about. Thank God for you! I assumed that I was paying for a homebirth that would not go wrong because I assumed that the midwife was being honest with me. But I followed her to Hell.

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  8. I'm SO sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby girl. Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. I'm appalled at the treatment you received from the midwife.... That's just not right. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I appreciate your comment it always up lifts me

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine the pain from losing a child- especially when it was due to the incompetence of someone you trusted to take care of her.
    We chose to have a midwife as well- She wasn't great through the pregnancy but was better than the alternative.
    I chose to labor and deliver in the hospital, and even still the midwife never showed up. They made me hold off pushing, even with my body screaming to push, for close to an hour before I was like "To hell with this" and let my body push on its own. It was my first baby, and I had no idea at the time the dangers in them making me hold off for the midwife to haul her happy ass in.
    I think the L&D nurse caught my son when he was born, but I'm not actually sure if anyone did, or if he just fell onto the bed. A midwife I'd never seen before showed up a while later to fix me up.
    My own midwife didn't show until two days later when it was time for the discharge. I was so mad.

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    1. Kind of sounds a little like my L&D. I trust no one
      Thanks for reading your comment means a lot

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss. I too learned the hard way that midwives stick together instead of supporting moms and babies. They won't give you back a dime, even when they really screw up. I was fortunate enough to have everyone be okay physically in the end. My heart aches for you and your baby. You deserved someone who cared. I ended up naming + shaming my former midwives online too because there is so little accountability. Just google "shame on better birth" if you want to know my story.

    If you want any help trying to get these midwives in trouble in the state of Missouri please let me know. I do not mind researching who you can report the midwife to, or to write emails to attorneys in the area and send you the responses from interested parties. Since they don't have insurance it is hard (but not impossible) to find a lawyer to help. If you don't succeed there you can sue for some money in small claims (something I am doing right now). I know your burden is heavy right now so its a small thing I could do to help. I can also email w/you if you need support during the reporting process- it is difficult, I won't lie. If you chose not to do anything besides name them online I would totally understand. I will be coming back later to check on your reply. Stay strong.

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    1. Thank you so much. I think I've given up on the lawyers and trying to sue its just a big headache and I have three children to raise I don't have a lot of time for people to play with my intelligence and to keep me dwindling with false promises. I will not sue for the money because I will not bring my daughter back you know. I don't think honestly that I should have to sue for a situation like this. I think that it's plain and clear who was truly at fault for my daughters death but I appreciate you so much and to know that you don't know me and your willing to do all that means that there are truly still good people in the world.
      Blessings

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  11. Dear Dreah,

    I read your story and was very moved by it. Thanks for sharing it. I am sure it will help someone some day to make the best decisions for themselves. I also had a home birth but in my case it turned out well. I can only imagine how painful must be to lose a baby like that. I am so sorry for you. My thoughts are with you and your family. My best wishes for you all.

    With love,

    Anna (from Brasil)

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    1. Wow thanks for sending love all the way from Brasil, that is a beautiful thing. I hope that my story can surely help someone make the best decision for birth.
      Thanks Anna

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  12. I am so sorry for your loss. Your twins are both so beautiful in the photo.

    Thank you for sharing your story and speaking out for birth safety.

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    1. Thank you. My twins are beautiful and true Gemini twins also ..
      Sharing my story is sharing my Aminah with the world and giving her life.
      Peace and Blessings

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  13. My thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you for writing about your experience. Women and babies will benefit from your courage in telling Aminah's story.

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  14. Am I reading your blog correctly in that you were pregnant with mono/mono twins? This midwife never, never should have agreed to take you on as a home birth client. This is a high risk situation, and if by some miracle you make it to term as you did, a prolapse is a virtual guarantee during vaginal birth. That's why all mono/mono twins are delivered by early C-section.

    This is just horrifying.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

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    1. YEP identical twins but then when I was pregnant I really didn't understand now what I know now about the different type of twins. I knew my twins were different from fraternal but not how dangerously different my twins were. Sad now that I know

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  15. I'm so sorry for your loss. I cried when reading about your daughter. I hope you and your family are able to find peace.

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    1. Peace is free and the loss of my daughter will never be in vain. I guarantee that.
      Thanks again Jocelyn

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  16. Do I correctly understand that Jennifer was a student midwife? And it took an hour and a half even for Jennifer to arrive? I get ragey when I hear about midwives arguing with the paramedics about who is in charge. And never in the 30 minutes that Jennifer was at your house, did it occur to her or Joann that the resuscitation equipment in her trunk *might* be needed in a cord prolapse / no detectable heartbeat situation? (I'm not asking you to justify or answer that last question, I just want to point out for your readers how utterly unprepared these so-called "professional" midwives often are to deal with emergent complications. I have heard far too many painful stories like yours.)

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    1. I was told by MMA that one of them was student midwife if not both. The situation is so confusing I haven't talked to anyone about these midwives in so long its sad. Time was not on our side that night. The thing about it is that my whole family was in the car when my contractions started. All she had to say was Andrea go to the hospital Im not going to make it in time your twins are to dangerous to play around with time. Go the hospital I will meet you there. My husband would have burnt rubber to the hospital. Joann ran in hugged Jennifer and after that she ran over to me on the ground and started doing CPR. See my daughter was dead when she came out Joann felt bad and brought a heart beat back is what I was told. But my daughter was born floppy. We kept her alive until June because I thought deep down she could recover but she never cried one day in ICU or opened her eyes. Joann never visited one day in the hospital from 05/24/2013 to 06/17/2013. Not one day

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    2. they treated my like a guinea pig test to see how far they could dangle and play with time.

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  17. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. You are a very strong mommy. Thank you for sharing your story I can not imagine how difficult it must have been to live this.

    With love
    Jersey

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  18. Dear Dreah,

    I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that you keep sharing it and telling the world about Aminah. Your girls looks so beautiful together. I also am a bereaved mom and know how painful this journey is. My love to you, Karin

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    1. Wow thank you so much your comment truly does mean a lot. I will continue to tell Aminah's story indeed.
      Peace and Blessing Karin

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  19. Dreah, your beautiful daughters should still be together.... Never separated by the incompetence of these midwives. I am so sorry for your loss and hope your speaking out can help change the future lives of others in similar situations. As a NICU nurse for 18 years, I've only seen the disastrous effects of midwifery home-delivery brought into our regional neonatal ICU.... But they are definitely quite that.... Disastrous.... I pray that you find peace that passes all human understanding for your loss... And the strength to continue your fight to make sure these two are exposed as what their role in your daughter's death was while maintaining your sanity.....hugs and prayers from here in Tennessee XOXO

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    1. Thank you so much. Wow you've been a nurse for a long time. Your wisdom shines through your comment. Thanks again for taking the time to read my birth story and commenting.

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  20. I'm SO sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how you feel.

    I wondered about the birth certificate thing though...have you gotten one? Your midwife SHOULD have advised you that you can fill out the paperwork yourself and file it with your state's Birth Certificate Office. But of course her not telling you this is a miniscule oversight in the grand scheme of things. It was incredibly irresponsible for her not to advise an ultrasound to check the membranes to make sure you were a good candidate for homebirth. She should have told you right away how long it would take her to arrive...and she should have considered your previous labor patterns and your labor pattern with your twins to assess if she would actually make it.

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    1. I think the point here is that whether she made it in time or not, this delivery should have happened in hospital....never at home. The fact that this "midwife" accepted Dreah as a client to begin with is bad enough. That never should have happened. The fact that she didn't even have the brains or decency to show up right when dreah called makes it all the more appalling. But make no mistke, this didnt happen just because the midwife didnt show up on time. This happened because the midwife should never have convinced dreah that she could safely bith these twins vaginally, let alone at home.i

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    2. Also, i am a mother to twins myself...and am so incredibly sorry that you and your daughter were the victims of these incompetent, dishonest, unscrupulous women.

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    3. In sorry too, everyday of my life, especially since nothing has been done.

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    4. You're kind of missing the point here, Knitted. Monoamnioiotic twins should never be delivered vaginally. Vaginal birth is virtually a guarantee that at least one twin will not survive delivery. Ms Louis was a high risk patient who should have delivered via Cesarean in a hospital. She was not an appropriate candidate for midwifery care in the first place.

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  21. I am so sorry. Your girls are beautiful and to lose one of them... there are no words to express my heartache for you.

    My midwife also kept distant after my son's traumatic homebirth (he survived with a lifelong injury), she also kept distant after 2 other client's births-gone-wrong, and a friend of mine's midwife also dropped her after her traumatic birth (never did follow-ups)... So hurtful as they claim they are holistic and all that crap.

    I commend you for speaking out.

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    1. Thank you for reading that is always appreciated.

      Having to learn the hard way is devastating
      I will continue the fight though thanks again

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  22. Your story is so heartbreaking. I am so sorry for all you and your family have gone through. Thank you for speaking out about these terrible "midwives"

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  23. Ms Louis, your little girls are beautiful. Your courage shines through your words. Thank you for your bravery. I am so, so, so sorry for your family's loss.

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  24. Thank you for sharing your story. Good bless you and your family. Your twins are beautiful.

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  25. I am so very sorry for your loss...such inadequate words for something so awful. Thank you for sharing your story. ALL mothers deserve to be heard and to speak about their babies, whether good or bad. My hear goes out to you, dear mama. I am often surprised to hear stories from mothers who don't have necessarily bad outcomes but who receive substandard care (both from docs and from midwives), yet don't speak up beyond a trusted source. Is it hard to hear these stories? Sure! But how else can we change/fix problems? We MUST speak up, as you are doing.

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  26. I am a midwifery student. This story breaks my heart and I am so sorry for your loss. I also want to thank you for sharing your story, too often only the positive stories are told and then we can't learn from the tragedies that happen. Your courage will help every client I have in the future. I want you to know that Aminah's life was important and she will inspire me to be responsible and careful with the lives of the mama's and babies I take care of.

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    1. Great! Im glad her life has some substance and she is not just looked at as just another "dead baby". Thank you so much for commenting. Comments mean a lot. Spread the knowledge. It is powerful.

      Blessings Mandi :)

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  27. Mandi, I hope that when you say you are a midwifery student, you are training to be a CNM as opposed to DEM.

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  28. I am desperately sorry for your loss. I "trained" as a midwifery student and saw enough unsafe, unethical and ILLEGAL activity that I turned her into the midwifery board, which was ultimately a sham. Initially I didn't know if what I was seeing was just ignorance on my part or incompetence on hers. It was both. By the time I had learned enough to realize what she was doing, several babies and mothers had been hurt. None of them were vindicated. Most were so emotionally wrapped up in their relationship with her that they didn't care how poor their care was, since they were all alive. Disgusting. I would now never be a midwife without going through REAL training as a CNM. The way I see if, if one can't commit the kind of time and dedication necessary to learning real midwifery and medical skills that keep mother centered care safe, one has no business being a "midwife." Keep doing what you're doing. You're very brave and, again, it's unacceptable that this ever happened. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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    1. What happened when you turned her into the midwifery board? Im assuming your referring to NARM

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    2. Or your talking about the state Midwife Association?

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    3. Thank you for your comment by the way. It means a lot. I have been blogging about home birth safety for 2 years and I really don't get comments anymore. I appreciate that some people still come to the blog and get the knowledge and take the blog for what it is. Most people just come read the home birth disaster story and move and and talk about me in another forum or on one their secret facebook pages. Thanks again and CNM is the way to go.Not to be okay to work with the hospital.

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    4. I meant it's okay to work with the hospital. Typo.lol

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