I have read most all of the posts but none of the links (just can't go there this week) and I cannot begin to tell you all how disturbing this is to me.
My daughter died during the 10 minutes it took me to push her out. Her birth was in the hospital but completely unmedicated (we did Bradley). I was stuck in transition for almost 4 hours because I had .5 lip of cervix and was being told not to push till the lip was gone, my doctor was asleep down the hall. When she finally woke up and came in to check me, she held back the lip, and Xiola was in her hands minutes later. When I started pushing, she had a heartbeat. When she emerged, she was blue and still.
I have actually had people lay the blame on me, saying, "that's why natural birth is so dangerous, dear!". Mind you, I was in a HOSPITAL and we were monitoring FHT with a doppler. My care was ludicrous. My nurses left out FHTs that looked suspect (read-incriminating) and they complained that they were having trouble getting FHTs because of my size. Mind you, my midwife with ds had NO problems getting FHTs with her wood pinard (fetoscope) and I was the same size. The nurses also never told me that I had a cervix that easily stretched up to 1cm, which would have meant that I could have pushed through that last half centimeter easily (I pushed through more then that with ds).
My ability to make sound decisions for my daughter was comprimised by the arrogance and lack of skill of the staff that was supposed to help me birth my child. Even as I insisted that something was wrong, they kept telling me she was fine... which, as I can see in her file, was a lie. If I would have been given all of the information about what was going on instead of just what the nurses chose to share with me, perhaps she would be with us now. My doulas were worse then useless, they were hired to keep the nurses honest, and were too busy playing midwife-wannabee while my doctor slept (this position! no, this position!).
We had over three hours that my body so badly wanted to birth my child, and I was told to wait? Nothing hurts worse then trying to not push when your body knows it needs to. But I was trusting my caregivers to be honest with me and so I didn't push. It is so hard to live with the knowledge that I should have trusted my gut and pushed anyway. Would my daughter be here right now if I would have had a c-section? Maybe. Would my daughter be here had I been disclosed al the details I needed to make a good choice? Would my daughter be here had I told the nurses and doulas to f&*% off and started pushing anyway? I feel certain of it.
With my son's birth (a homebirth, understandably I wanted to stay out of a hospital), the last my midwife checked me I was at 8 1/2 and verrrry stretchy, so a few moments later when I felt the urge to push, I went for it and he was born 23 minutes later. I probably wasn't complete, but I certainly didn't tear my cervix (which is the threat the nurses were using to get me to not push). Since ds was my second, I knew my body better and to trust what it was telling me above all else. If there is only one lesson I have learned from my daughter's death and my son's birth, it is to trust myself and my body.
I guess the points I am trying to make are that hospitals are neither the most knowledgeable, nor the most honest, about birth. Anything that this hospital says I will take with a block of salt because their insurance company is telling them to cover their asses. This may even have been preemptive anyway so that the blame would be on the woman and not the hospital. Also, if this woman was giving her babies up for adoption, did the prospective parents being pissed that they are only getting one baby now (when they may well have paid more in fees to adopt twins) instead of two have anything to do with this? Seems pretty vengeful to me either way.
Wether or not this woman was keeping her babies, she needs to be at home, healing and grieving (the death as well as the adoption) and not in jail. Making an example of this woman like this is only going to make women who are already on the edge (mental illness, addiction, etc) even less likely to seek care for their pregnancies and even more babies will suffer for it. This is a terrifying precedent for women everywhere. In my state, you can get an abortion up to 24 weeks. So, I can choose to kill my baby when it is viable, but I can't have a choice in how my baby is born (I had a hell of a time finding a HB midwife after losing my dd)? Get real. When women fought for reproductive freedom, they failed to realize how crucial it is to have the freedom of choice in when and how we birth our babies.
It makes my blood run cold to think that some zealot who wants to teach pregnant women a lesson about questioning a hospital's 'authority' would send this woman to jail. Hospitals are proving their lack of honesty and compassion every day. They NEED their authority questioned. A vaginal birth in the hospital with no meds at all is $3,000. A casarean birth is ten times that much, not even counting any time in the NICU (which it seems c/s babies get more often then v/b babies). Hospitals make so much more money when women are not given choices in birth. There has been a revival of interest in the art of midwifery and hospitals are scared.
Convicting this poor woman (who should have been supported better by society instead of persecuted by it, IMO) is only going to set a precedent (combined with the moronic new ruling from the AMA about elective c/s) that stands to make hospitals MILLIONS of dollars more then they already do on birth. How frightening, and sickening, to think that in the midst of my deepest grief the police could have dragged me off to jail because I did not choose a c/s and my daughter died... nevermind the fact that I was never offered one... hell, I was never even told she was in trouble. This is just so wrong on so many levels.
Hotmamacita, I am also interested in giving this poor woman my support as well... let's talk about it more after next week, when I am a little more myself again.
Xiola's (and Ezra's) Mama