Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Run Around

Planning a Home Birth? Well, I hope it goes right because you do not want to deal with NARM or the Midwife Association of your state. They will give you The Run Around. They do not take death serious at all. It's like they try to protect each other by slowing up the process. My daughter passed away in June of 2013 and I have been trying to file a complaint with the Missouri Midwives Association since May. These women make you do all your correspondence through mail. You send things certified mail and they still claim that they didn't get it. I'm not trying to scare any mother for choosing to home birth but just know that if your birth does not turn out right and the midwife is indeed at.fault you have to be your child's best advocate. No one cares about your situation until your situation becomes their situation.

The thing about home birth is that you can never actually plan what will take place at a home birth. It's just to unpredictable. Lets just throw my situation out the door for a moment. Lets say your planning a home birth and you have done all of the proper research, you have found the perfect midwife maybe word of mouth, you have all the worst case scenarios in your head and your willing to take responsibility for whatever happens if something goes wrong. All you know is that your taking a risk and you know that you have to except whatever happens but the truth is indeed things do happen and deaths do happen often in hospital or home births but how many of those deaths could have been avoided by one simple technique? How many of those deaths could have been truly live births.

See these are the things that we are not talking about. With birthing babies some may be deaths but what is important to know is what and who are the people who are going to hold the key, the responsibility, the honor of the gateway to earth. There is nothing wrong with wanting a home birth but I think because home birth is not a full fledged career that sisters and mothers are cultivated together its more so, "I'm pregnant, I want to birth a home, lets find a midwife." Instead of calling a mother or sister who knows how to deliver babies. I guess what I am saying is there are no enough midwives within the women's family that plans on birthing at home. If a sister is birthing your baby there is going to be compassion coming out of the birthing event. A mother is someone that brought you into the world so why wouldn't she make sure that she was able to fulfill prophecy for you. Again these are just thoughts of mine nothing is written in stone.

Midwifery needs to be more intimate. It can not just be considered a career that a women went to school for and passed a test to become certified to birth babies at home or in a hospital atmosphere. Pregnancy is something that is sacred and majestic, each and every women's body is a map that can not be duplicated so planning to have a home birth with a qualified profession midwife may not be enough. Having a strong bond and connection like no other is something that is indeed missing from the midwifery profession.

No woman should be given the run around when a baby has been lost. It's like saying, "I'm sorry for your loss, wait in line." It truly does make you look at home birth in a new light when you see the same people that you went to for answers to questions during your pregnancy treat you so cold when you have to talk to them about a death. Of course I'm pretty sure that there are women our there that have had home birth disasters and they have kept their feelings of betrayal by a midwife secret. Feeling that if she talks about it she will be bad mouthing or stirring up trouble for the midwife but me I can't stay quiet because I know that what happened at my house that night WAS NOT SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN.

I chose to speak out because I feel like because midwives are not authorized to carry any type of malpractice insurance or even be held accountable if a death has occurred WHAT IS LEFT FOR A MOTHER BUT TO TALK ABOUT IT ESPECIALLY IF YOUR GETTING THE RUN AROUND

Thursday, November 14, 2013

HomeBirth Journey

Freedom is why people come to America. The Bill of Rights is what people stand on in this country. Without those rights Americans would feel conformed, restricted, and regulated. I enjoy having freedoms. Waking up in the morning to my own place, food, vehicle, children, husband, and just life. The things that makes us pure human beings. The Internet has gotten us to the point where we can share so much information so much quicker than before. Anything new is a learning experience. To involve a new idea, task, or endeavor  is something that involves change.

Home birth you can say for me was a new idea at one point in time. It was something that grew with me as I become older. When I left home at the age of 21 I realized that my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri was not where I wanted to spend the rest of the my life, so I packed up my things and traveled down south to Orlando, Florida with the love of my life Anthony. I remember the day we left our sweet home and our true journey was sure to begin with each other.

In Florida is where I was introduced to a more natural way of living and birth. I followed Erykah Badu a lot during that time in my life and she would always talk about on interviews about her views on home birth and eventually wanting to become a doula or lay midwife. Being young and in my early twenties I had no idea what a midwife was. So I did what most people do, Research. I found many articles on the subject. My understanding grew so much as I grew and became older.

Young, pregnant, and 22 years and in Florida I eventually found a woman by the name of Jennie Joseph she ran The Birth Place Birth Center. The thing that initially drew me to Jennie was her being an African American Woman. I always dreamed of having a doctor that was in my image. We planned my birth and I had regular appointments. The set up was just like a regular OB clinic setting you would have never known you were at a birth center.

As I grew pregnant times began to get very hard for Anthony and I. It costs more to live in Florida than we thought. With a baby on the way and money slipping away quickly we made a decision that we had to move back to St. Louis. It broke my heart to leave Florida while I was pregnant but I had to do what I had to do. The cost of living in Florida was way more than what we were use to. So I moved back home and packed away my home birth idea.

I eventually had my daughter Abayomi Simone Smith on January 29, 2009 at Gateway Medical Hospital in Granite City Illinois by Dr. Wasserman. I had no complaints about this hospital. The only thing that I hated was being induced. They broke my water but I still had my daughter natural and unmediated. I held the idea of a home birth in the back of mind for so long because my heart still found it's way to Jennie Joseph and the way they birth babies in Florida. In Missouri from year 2009 until I had my son Akin in 2011 I researched and researched home birth in Missouri I couldn't really find to much information on the subject for Missouri. I had my son in St. Louis Missouri at Barnes Jewish Hospital natural and unmediated but because I fought so much to have him natural and unmediated they gave me a very hard time in the hospital. They made my hospital visit rough forcing procedures on my son that I didn't want so on and so on. I told myself If I were to get pregnant again I would never go through the hospital system again. Although I had my children as natural as it gets in the hospital I had to fight to hard. They want to give you this and they want to give you that. They want you to sign this and they want you to sign that. They make you feel inferior to their degrees and when it feels wrong. I can honestly say I'd chose hospital harassment over a horrific home birth any day. I will take the risk at the hospital any day than the risk at home. When the scenario plays out over and over again. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Women talk about the risk with hospital births and the accidents that happen there and I do agree things do happen to people but at least you have the dignity to be somewhere where officials can try to help then to be at home when it all goes wrong and now your forced to get to the officials that you were trying to stay away from in the first place. Most women birth at home because they don't want to go through an assembly line of interventions and neither do I but if at the end of the day your have a fair equal chance of having a healthy live baby then why not?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Interview Questionair for Midwife

More questions can be added at anytime but generally you can make a great decision based on the responses and body language from these questions. Some of the steps involve following through.

Here are some questions (in no particular order)

What school did you attend?
Do you carry insurance?
How many infant deaths do you hold?
Are you currently sanctioned?
How many infant injuries do you hold?
How many live births do you hold?
How many singleton births have you attended?
How many multiples births have you attended?
How many water births have you attended?
Have you been late to any deliveries?
If so, by how many minutes?
Where do you live?
How many of your own children did you birth at home?
Do you have a lawyer?
Have you ever been sued while licensed?
How long does it take you to get to a birth when in labor?
What hospital are you partnered with?
What doctor are you assigned/partnered with?
Do you have a office? Where is it located?
How long have you been a CPM, LM, CNM, or CM?
What year did you obtain your license?
Who are your partner midwives "the help"?
Informed Consent Disclosure
Make sure midwife does not have a criminal history
Check with NARM and make sure midwife is licensed before you proceed
Discuss possible emergencies that would involve a transfer?
Where is the transfer hospital?
Who will be the OB that will care for you during a transfer?
Talk about all the risk even possibilities of infant death?
Talk about Grievance Forms
Make sure midwife works with a local lab
Go to at least one birth of another client of the midwife
Ask midwife to provide license
Emergency plan?

Research the midwife and then make an informed decision. When all of these items check out still be extra cautious. Midwife should live very close to you during your pregnancy. You never know when your labor starts how long it will last.

The reason that I say be cautious is because midwives work together. You can indeed ask the midwives all of the following question and some may not be completely honest with you. I know it's cruel to say but midwives work together to hide deaths if you let them. That's the gamble with birthing at home it kind of comes with the territory. The best advice is to find a midwife that you have met from word of mouth. A midwife that has birth people that you know personally. If you can do that then I would pass on the home birth.

Try to find reviews about the midwife that you choose. Sometimes when they get bad reviews they remove their membership so that they can't be found. You want to choose a midwife that has no deaths. That's a good track record.

Here is a basic code of ethics statement is intended to promote quality care for childbearing families and provide guidance for professional conduct in the practice of midwifery. Our code of ethics affirms and promotes:
  1. the intrinsic right of women to give birth as they choose.
  2. practices that enhance the health of the woman and her infant.
  3. childbirth as a normal and significant life event.
  4. the intrinsic right of parents to choose the location and attendants for the births of their children.
  5. cooperation between midwives and other professional and non-professional groups concerned with maternal and infant health.
  6. competence in midwifery practice.
  7. the discovery, encouragement, and training of midwives.
  8. continuing educational opportunities that upgrade midwifery skills.
  9. safe birth practices in all environments and cultures.
We affirm that the professional practice of midwifery includes the following ethical behaviors:
  1. Midwives should at all times maintain standards of personal conduct which reflect credit upon the profession.
  2. Midwives are accountable for their decisions and actions related to their practice of midwifery.
  3. Midwives implement quality standards of practice through peer review, accountability, grievance and continuing education.
  4. Midwives maintain a core of professional knowledge by examination of current practices and initiation of new research.
  5. Midwives participate in the education of midwifery students and the continuing education of other midwives.
  6. Midwives respect and maintain client confidentiality and protect the client's right to privacy.
  7. Midwives use professional judgment when sharing information necessary to achieve health care goals.
  8. Midwives consult and refer as necessary with other professionals, when the woman's need for care exceeds the competencies of the midwife.
  9. Midwives clarify the expectation of mutual responsibility with the client when choosing a course of action and the resulting outcome, including transfer of care.
  10. Midwives practice autonomously and affirm the value of accountability.
We believe that:
  1. competence requires responsibility in our personal and professional lives.
  2. midwifery is a unique profession, distinct from all others and determines the knowledge, skills, and behaviors to be maintained by a midwife.
  3. the practice of midwifery requires adaptation and integration of knowledge and skills into behaviors necessary to a particular context.
  4. the practice of midwifery is dynamic, not static. Rapid changes in the knowledge and skills of midwifery and related disciplines, changes in society, and changes in available health-care resources all force the definition of competence to evolve.
  5. by being competent, midwives assure their ability to contribute to the good of others and to prevent harm while also preserving their own integrity and that of the midwifery profession.

If you have any questions please ask in the comments
The Midwife from Hell

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


                                       Me and Kanoy at her Baby Shower 32 weeks pregnant
Me and Kanoy

The pictures at top are of Me and my friend Kanoy (kah-noy). There in the pictures we are both pregnant with twins .Hers twins are fraternal boys (di/di) and my twins are identical girls(mono/mono). We have been friends for a couple of years now. Her boyfriend Mike and my husband are really good friends. and we would double date often. Her and I were friends a year before she became pregnant.  Before Kanoy got pregnant she would talk about how bad she wanted to be pregnant. Me already with two children I would remind her how fulfilling my job as a mother and wife was. As time went on  Kanoy and I talked over the phone from time to time. Both of our lives became busy. She worked at a daycare center in the city and my Enrolled Agent job kept me very busy. During a visit at home  one evening Mike told my husband that Kanoy was pregnant with twins I was so shocked, TWINS! I didn't know anyone but one other woman with twins. After that evening Kanoy and I talked many nights over the phone about her twin pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant soon after Kanoy I found out I was too pregnant with twins. We couldn't believe the coincidence. As we grew together pregnant with two babies we shared our twin pregnancy together. No one could relate to either one of us except for each other. Having the same due date makes the twin circumstance even more surreal. It was scary how similar our pregnancies were. We would talk about how we envisioned our labors. We would also talk about who we wanted to be around on the birthday of our twins. We also talked about how we planned to deliver. Kanoy planned for a hospital birth for her twin boys. Her OB discussed letting her go to 37 weeks not a day past. Kanoy would call me many days and give me updates on her appointment and so would I. My appointment were more on the bland side compared to Kanoy's due to the difference of hospital and home birth setting. Her appointment were a lot more scheduled and monitored than my appointments were. She had many ultrasounds, labs, and stress test done. Many nights on the phone I discussed my home birth plans with Kanoy. She was always excited about the idea of a home birth. She always would talk about coming if she didn't have her babies before my babies.

At Kanoy's baby shower I was able to see what it was like to buy things for two babies at a time (I've never had a baby shower). So much stuff and two of everything. There were so many people who loved and cared about her. The love was in the air and the food was good. We played fun baby games( I won some). Kanoy tugged me along all night with her telling everyone I was pregnant with twins to. After the baby shower me and Kanoy hugged and rubbed bellies. Who knew when we see each other again. We did loose contact for a while. She was busy being pregnant and working at her daycare and I was so wrapped up in my job and being pregnant was truly taking a toll on me. We would text each other from time to time to check to see how everything was going. Still no babies. Kanoy was 35 weeks when I got a phone call that her water broke and she was on the way to the hospital. I was so excited. I tried to stay busy to keep my mind off of what was going on with Kanoy at the hospital. My husband and I received a phone call from Mike he was crying on the phone. My husband asked what was wrong. He told us that one of the babies wasn't breathing. I started to cry. I couldn't stop. I fell to the floor and sobbed for Kanoy. I talked to her via text message two days later. She was in the hospital recovery room. She told me that she has been hurting bad. She couldn't believe she lost her son. I asked her what happened. She told me the story. She told me she woke up to pee, she stood up and her water broke. She told me that she called 911 and then called Mike. Kanoy then told me that ambulance showed up and transferred her to her hospital. When she got admitted the first thing they did was immediately hooked her up to the machine to be monitored. 
She said the screen showed images of the babies and fetal heartbeats. She said they couldn't find a heartbeat for the second baby. She said that she started to panic and the heartbeat of the other baby began to become a problem. Crash C-section is what she said they did.

Kanoy gave birth to one living baby boy C-section, sadly, the other twin baby suffocated in the womb. She said that she wept everyday in the hospital. She told me she allowed her son to lay in the same room with her in a crib until she was ready to let him go. She told me she took pictures of both of boys together.  Kanoy told me that she cried when she held his body. "Andrea I wanted both of my babies," she said. Kanoy eventually took her live son Michael home from the hospital she told me that she made funeral arrangement for  her other son that passed. She invited me. I thought about going but apart of me couldn't go because I had never been to a funeral and I was pregnant with twins and my heart was so sad for Kanoy and Mike. Little did I know I was going to be planning a funeral for my twin daughter. Kanoy did have an autopsy done on her son. The report showed that he was deceased in her womb for 7 days. Report showed fluid in the lungs. She didn't understand why her son died if she was being monitored so much. We talk still every so often. When we do talk we always talk about how we both notice twins more than usual. We helped each other during our tragic time. We truly felt each others pain

Kanoy Fraternal Twins water breaks Hospital Birth 35weeks C-section outcome: 1 live birth 1 death
Andrea Identical Twins  water breaks Home Birth 40 weeks Vaginal outcome: 1 live birth 1 death

What I am getting at here is it seems as thought black women are given poor prenatal treatment at home and in the hospitals. Very sad. People told me that I should have went to the hospital to have my babies and I said you know your probably right. But here is a women that did the hospital thing, and it still went all bad. People always want to point out small details and explain to me  how Kanoys birth disaster and mine were completely different but in all honestly we had the same results because we were both pregnant and our caregivers were White and could care less about us or our black babies!

The Midwife From Hell

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