My heart breaks to know some of these stories...and I know that while some birth emergencies are unavoidable no matter where you birth or with whom, I do know this fact: some providers are not as competent (especially with complications) as they should be, not as calm and skilled under duress as they should be, for best safety.
I also know that some hb providers are too worried about liability/criminal investigation to provide compassionate support following a difficult birth or loss--or are simply emotionally unprepared to cope with the deep sorrow and possible outrage that clients may have. I have, with my own sorrow and outrage for my profession, seen that distancing and denial all too often becomes some mws' way of dealing with homebirth transfer of care, especially when there are serious problems or loss involved. They abdicate, pure and simple, and to me this is so wrong.
The stories I could tell....including my own stories of attempting to address these problems, and being ostracized by other mws (and some families) as a result.
And yet...and gently, yet....
Birth trauma does not always come about due to provider incompetence, or specifically due to homebirth...it can occur anywhere, with any provider. Birth is wonderfully well designed and that still includes the possibility of problems and even losses for some, that no one can prevent, or completely control when they occur.
I fully honor your pain and outrage that only naturally stems from births that were traumatic in some way. Those feelings are real, and the need for compassionate support is real...as a survivor of one traumatic birth, I know of PTSD, and the outrage and clinging grief that is so normal but--so few around us really acknowledge because it just makes them so uncomfortable to deal with such intense, raw emotion.
And I totally agree--we need more resources for healing, including support groups for homebirth families who too often are ignored or ostracized for speaking against their mw, even if their claims are entirely TRUE. I will never understand this: why don't people realize that the more we try to shut someone up who has a legitimate feeling or complaint, the more likely that that person will (at least at first, if not forever) try harder to get heard, and get support for sorrow and remedy for injustice...? Even if someone suffers a birth complication or loss that was no one's fault--they still need support in healing, but they still can be marginalized for casting any doubt upon homebirth. This can be true even if a familiy knows it wasn't about homebirth, or their mw's training--just having a sad or difficult experience (anywhere, with any provider) can make others shun us, only because of their own fear and their own unwillingness to confront the facts of life and birth. So I am glad to hear of efforts to provide that support--it is needed!
Still--I guess I want to urge you to try to be clear about what the real problems here actually are: yes, some mws are incompetent or just very unwise. Those religious types--gah! as if anyone can be helped during a difficult birth by being asked to think about their possible sins!. Sometimes I meet a family that chooses a mw because of religious reasons, only to get nothing but prayer, and lectures about sin, instead of competent or duly cautious care. And I also know that sometimes, a religious mw may be the only known choice in your area--we are all doing our best to make our considered choices under conditions of limitation. But this does not mean all hb mws are inadequate to their tasks. And it's true that some complications can be handled better in the hospital than at home...but it's also true many can be avoided altogether, or handled better at home than in the hospital.
I fully respect anyone's choice to give birth in the hospital, as a way to hopefully prevent a future truama or loss. And having seen some things handled at home and hospital both, I could not make that same choice. I'm saying that YES, you are to be honored for your choice. And definitely, YES, your trauma from that scary birth needs to be honored, your healing supported in all possible ways. It makes me SO MAD to know that women like you do NOT receive that support from the hb community! I believe you, and I do know the pain and outrage and PTSD that can follow a difficult birth. And I urge you all to seek support, and create your own support systems, because your healing is the worthiest of causes. I'm so glad this is being discussed, you have my admiration for taking this into your own hands to get started.
And I hope in your quest you can separate, for you own healing as well as others' benefit, your own particular experience from the general realm of homebirth. We DO need to make the poor mws known--and we DO need to promote the general understanding that homebirth is not 'perfect', not for all people and not for all situations. Your courage in the quest for healing, and for the redress of wrongs, is amazing and beautiful to me. Your pain and outrage, too often worsened by dismissal by others, is my own as well, for the same reasons. I just know that my own healing from birth trauma (and other difficulties over time), was (and is, it's an ongoing process) greatly helped by making some separations as above. Life brings terrible challenges at times, whether through our own choices or not; what helps me live on in love and faith is refusing to let one evil person make me hate all other people, refusing to let one situation dictate how I see and respond to all others. If this makes sense...it's hard to say in the right words.
Thanks all for being so brave, honest and willing