Friday, June 5, 2015

To The Mother Contemplating Homebirth




Dear Mother,

          I am coming to you today to beg you to please don't make the same decisions I did. You see, I chose to homebirth with a CPM. I had previously had a successful homebirth with the same midwife. I ran in many of the circles that you do now. I did the research, got midwife references, grilled my midwife, etc. Basically, I did everything you've done. I was confident in my decisions and considered myself well educated. When well-meaning people would give me grief about my decisions, I would throw out the studies proving that what I was doing was completely safe.

          Today marks 7 years since my second homebirth. Like any other mother, I get to mark today with cupcakes, crafts, balloons, and gifts. We had funfetti cupcakes with pink icing and pink sugar crystals, pink and purple balloons, 3D stickers, a cute butterfly, and two new pinwheels. We had a friend and her grandchildren join us in the festivities. It was a really nice time.

          Today also marks seven years ago that my daughter died. Scattered in with our yearly celebration are tears and pain. Picking out balloons consisted of me crying in the store and some poor unknowing cashier setting out Kleenex for me. A trip to the craft store consisted of me crying while looking at bows. When I woke up today, I instinctively cried, so my amazing doberman hopped up in my bed to help comfort me. My friend, well, she's the lovely woman that donates her time to other bereaved families by photographing our babies. She was been a gem throughout this process. Today, I received things in my daughter's memory.

          Seven years ago, my daughter died a completely preventable death because my midwife (somehow) missed the signs that she wasn't getting enough oxygen and was in respiratory distress. Instead of actually saying "I think this baby needs evaluated, transport", she told us our daughter was perfectly healthy. Perfectly HEALTHY. I have to live with the fact that I believed what I was told. My midwife, well, she's still off delivering babies even though her negligence has claimed more innocent lives than Lisa Barrett! Choosing to speak out, it made me a pariah among my friends within the homebirth community, therefore I was completely abandoned and ostracized. My grief was judged, my child's death completely disregarded.

          I do not wish this life upon any other person. It hurts so very much. I want you to have a beautiful healthy baby. I want that baby to be in your arms! I want you to be able to do all the things that were robbed of me like those sweet smiles, giggles, coos, hearing MA-MA, hugs, kisses, first teeth, holidays, etc. The list of beautiful milestones grows every day. My heart and my body, they feel this absence every single day. I don't want this for you. I urge you to please reconsider the decisions that you are making. When told that this birth will affect everything, please remember that it isn't always good change. Grief is a terrible burden to carry.
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