CPS removed Illinois baby after homebirth - can it happen to any of us? - Mothering Forums
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Homebirth > CPS removed Illinois baby after homebirth - can it happen to any of us?
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 04:55 AM 09-25-2010
I wanted to share this all with you. Illinois CPS recently removed a baby from its family after a homebirth.

Why? Apparently, because of a combination of factors. The baby was breech and had shoulder dystocia. The parents to her in to the ER because she was "fussing" and wanted to get her checked out. After the ER visit the hospital called CPS because of the breech homebirth, and baby Ruth was removed from her home.

What do you think? Could this happen to anyone having a homebirth?

turnquia's Avatar turnquia 09:53 AM 09-25-2010
Olivia, I don't think baby was actually breech.... she describes shoulder dystocia so I think baby may have turned because she said it was a month before docs had recommended a c-section for her.

Unfortunately homebirth in Illinois is very controversial and heated right now. Hopefully this case will help change the laws there, but unfortunately in a state where HB isn't supported then yes I can see it being able to have CPS involved.

Its so sad they are having to go through this in the first place and hopefully something good will come of it. There was a thread about this not long ago as well... a friend or this woman herself posted here on mothering. Its just now hitting the new circut.
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack 10:00 AM 09-25-2010
Yes, I think it could happen to anyone...and is more likely to happen in certain places although I don't believe there is any place where hb fams and mws are truly 'safe' (licensing or not). There is a war being made by the AMA & ACOG against choice and especially homebirth...and Illinois is one state where battles have been brought to families and midwives most determinedly, for a very long time. This represents a stepping-up of their war, to be sure--since the parents brought a healthy baby to the hospital after a successful birth. This should have been considered the 'right thing to do--taking due precaution to seek medical assessment when in doubt'. Instead, it was only seen as an opportunity to make war.

It's a turf war and nothing else--AMA and ACOG are desperately trying to keep the power they have in people's lives, the political influence with the profit that comes along with that. And they do not care what the collateral damage is! Theirs is mainly a war of terrorism, striking (in keeping with the very definition of terrorism) hard and with no warning or rationale, at the hearts of families--to induce nothing so much as great fear and confusion. In their plan, they want families to fear birth, yes, and come with their fear to be 'delivered from evil and sorrow' by only medical, hospital based care providers. Even more than they want us to fear birth, they want us to fear THEM; if we won't come to them for services because we fear birth, then by golly we will come to them because we fear their power to hurt us.

As so often happens in homebirth transfer cases, it is not that the family or midwife did something wrong that harmed a mother/baby. It is simply that once you are in the hospital as a homebirth transfer, you become cannon-fodder no matter how healthy mom/baby are--or, no matter how little a problem was linked to homebirth and midwifery care itself. The med ppl don't see it as a good thing that you sought their care when in need--a sensible, responsible choice. It's merely an opportunity for them to attack: You had a homebirth, and now the med ppl know it: that is all it takes to become cannon-fodder. This is especially true in IL, where AMA/ACOG, with much help from their tool, the State Med Board, has been seeking to prevent homebirth through their war of terrror for more than 4 decades now.

I only hope that through the grievously sad and totally infuriating case of Baby Ruth, the State can be legally persuaded that it is wrong for them to oppose reasonable choice. I only hope that through this case, the medical system is forced to stop using State agencies like CPS and the Med Board as their personal tool for enhancing their power and profits. That is what we need to fight for, by supporting Baby Ruth and her parents in all the ways we can--including writing to the prosecutor, the local newspapers, anything we can.
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack 10:08 AM 09-25-2010
I can't say from personal knowledge, but many I know who've been following this case say that the baby was breech. So, it may not have been 'shoulder dystocia' as we commonly understand it in a vertex baby--but breech babies can also get a little sticky with delivery of shoulders/head.

anyone else know for sure?
turnquia's Avatar turnquia 10:39 AM 09-25-2010
Its sad too because homebirth families hearing stories like this may not seek care in a timely manner and it very well could result in harm to a child or mother because they fear having CPS called etc.

I can see why the hospital called CPS but as of why CPS chose to take the child is beyond me. My husband came from an abusive family where there were witnesses to his dad punching him... cps never removed him. Its sad how messed up the system can be sometimes.
smeep's Avatar smeep 01:42 PM 09-25-2010
My questions are, was child breech at birth? Did she had an attendant for the homebirth or did she UC (not like I personally care or that it should really matter, but still)? What kind of breech was it (when they recommended and, if babe was born breech, what kind was it then)?

I think the fact that she took baby in without any obvious sign of severe harm shows that she had no intent to harm and was not acting in a negligent way. Plus, if she had gone in to a hospital and refused a section the baby still ended up with shoulder dystocia, the baby probably would have been damaged far worse because in hospital care providers tend to freak out over breech and cause more harm because they often know little or nothing about aiding babies who are breech or have shoulder dystocia.
nashvillemidwife's Avatar nashvillemidwife 01:56 PM 09-25-2010
Keep in mind that there are 2 sides to every story, and the truth usually rests somewhere in the middle. Such is probably true for this case, especially when the only side of the story you're hearing is the one printed in the media.
Davonia's Avatar Davonia 02:32 PM 09-25-2010
The family is posting the details of what is happening on their facebook page.
Details include:

QUOTED TEXT REMOVED TO AVOID COPYRIGHT VIOLATION

facebook link- http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/...631&ref=search
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 02:57 PM 09-25-2010
I'll be praying for this family to be reunited and that our society comes to it's senses regarding the nanny state mentality we see so often.
homemademom's Avatar homemademom 06:05 PM 09-25-2010
I'm so sorry for this family! I can't believe they are still separated after all these months. It's ridiculous!

I was curious, since the FB doesn't mention that the baby was breech, I'm assuming she wasn't? Why then was a CS recommended before she went into labor? It's not like you can anticipate SD. . .
harli's Avatar harli 06:22 PM 09-25-2010
This is absolutely disgusting. I feel so sorry for those parents. For our govt. to take away a baby from her well intended, caring, loving parents it's a total sin.
Honestly the more I know about CPS the more I realize what chumps they are. Yes they do good but they do a lot of harm as well.

I'm going to assume this women had shadow care since it was recommended she have a c-section due to the baby being breech. I wonder if this would have happened if she hadn't received shadow care. Then when she did take the baby to the ER she could have pleaded ignorance rather then say she knowingly went AMA. Does anyone else think shadow care can be harmful in cases such as this? I've heard of a few cases where c-sections were legally forced and/or custody was taken of the child, in all those cases it's because an OB told law enforcement a c-section was necessary and the Mom is trying to go AMA by having a homebirth (or simply a vaginal birth in some cases).
Lady Lilya's Avatar Lady Lilya 09:09 PM 09-25-2010
Yeah, I've been following the case. She was seeing an OB. The baby was breech.
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 09:16 PM 09-25-2010
One of the many reasons I want to move back out of this state. It is so hostile about homebirth. I have zero worries about my upcoming birth going right. My only worry is about someone at CPS not minding their business and starting stuff to put homebirthers as an "example" much like they are doing in this case.
Juvysen's Avatar Juvysen 09:50 PM 09-25-2010
homebirth midwives aren't legal in IL, right? I think that makes this all the more precarious... because even if they had a midwife there, they can't use her as an example for how they had medical care, you know?
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 05:22 AM 09-26-2010
I agree that there are many sides to every story. Yet, sometimes people who have problems for doing things that are within the realm of the law and many consider totally normal need the support of other people. There's a lot of information missing, I can't access the facebook page (because I don't have facebook), and yes, you may be right.

But governmental organizations do make mistakes sometimes, and it looks like Illinois has a history of being hostile towards homebirthers. I know how it feels - I also had problems after my UC. Not with CPS, fortunately, (though that could have happened) but with the local police in my country of residence, and the embassy.
nashvillemidwife's Avatar nashvillemidwife 01:05 PM 09-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davonia View Post
Here is the other side of the story
... The family is posting the details of what is happening on their facebook page.
That's not "the other side", that's the parent's side.
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 02:39 PM 09-26-2010
If it was me, and was seeing an OB but had a HB I'd just claim precipitous birth.
allisonrose's Avatar allisonrose 08:35 PM 09-26-2010
Hm, I recently heard from an OB nurse that the ACOG is reversing their recommendation of an automatic Csection for breech position...

ETA: I recalled the conversation incorrectly. Please see post #21. Apologies for my mistake.
Valerie's Avatar Valerie 09:19 PM 09-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
homebirth midwives aren't legal in IL, right? I think that makes this all the more precarious... because even if they had a midwife there, they can't use her as an example for how they had medical care, you know?
CNMs may legally attend homebirths in Illinois. DEMs may not.

Valerie
Former IL homebirth midwife
Current IL licensed attorney
smeep's Avatar smeep 01:48 AM 09-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonrose View Post
Hm, I recently heard from an OB nurse that the ACOG is reversing their recommendation of an automatic Csection for breech position...
Really?! Noooo way!!! Not like it will do much good anyway because almost no doctors anymore have seen, trained or actually assisted in one.
allisonrose's Avatar allisonrose 02:39 AM 09-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeep View Post
Really?! Noooo way!!! Not like it will do much good anyway because almost no doctors anymore have seen, trained or actually assisted in one.
Sorry, total pregnancy brain: the reversal she mentioned is on repeat csection over VBAC.
hotmamacita's Avatar hotmamacita 03:33 AM 09-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillemidwife View Post
Keep in mind that there are 2 sides to every story, and the truth usually rests somewhere in the middle. Such is probably true for this case, especially when the only side of the story you're hearing is the one printed in the media.
I wish it were that easy--
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 06:08 AM 09-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita View Post
I wish it were that easy--
Perhaps it is EVEN SIMPLER than "the truth lies in the middle" in this case. A baby was removed after a homebirth, for reasons related to the homebirth. Period. If those facts are correct, which I think they are, that is enough to be appalled about.

For me, it means that the state can take your children away for any practice they don't like. That would include those most of us on MDC choose, because we are thinking, reading, loving parents. Does CPS not have the obligation to only remove children who are truly in danger from their families? Is it not stipulated what constitutes neglect, for instance? Instead, they can group anything they like under that header, and take your kids away? Taking children away from loving families is not acceptable.

Court-ordered c-sections, CPS taking kids for homebirths, and even homeschooling... I am glad I don't live in the US right now, even though the country I live in has laws that are much more restrictive (mandatory vaccinations, mandatory school attendance and more).
Partaria's Avatar Partaria 11:54 AM 09-27-2010
My heart is just breaking for this family. I can't imagine having a little one and then just a few weeks later, having her snatched away from you, when all you wanted to do was bond with your newborn.

How is removing this baby from the warm arms of mom and dad and being put, at six weeks old, into the arms of total strangers going to be helpful to her? And what if the baby is breastfeeding? Did the state also make the all-mighty decision to put her on formula?

And honestly I guess I don't get all of this talk from the state about how the parents can be considered somehow negligible. Because they did an HB when OBs wanted to do a Csection? What if these people (and clearly nothing in the information out suggests they do, but for the sake of argument) had issues with C-section and other invasive medical procedures based on religious grounds?
peainthepod's Avatar peainthepod 01:58 PM 09-27-2010
This is just another reason to avoid OBs unless you absolutely need a surgeon for your birth. How awful that it's come to this, though. I will be praying for that poor family.
Lady Lilya's Avatar Lady Lilya 05:31 PM 09-27-2010
I believe I read somewhere that it is Canada that is trying to move away from C/Ss for breech births. I heard they are going to encourage birth attendants to get trained. They don't want the breech factor alone to be cause for an automatic C/S.
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 10:19 PM 09-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Court-ordered c-sections, CPS taking kids for homebirths, and even homeschooling... I am glad I don't live in the US right now, even though the country I live in has laws that are much more restrictive (mandatory vaccinations, mandatory school attendance and more).
This makes absolutely no sense to me.

Yes, we have rare cases where CPS or the courts get involved, but we also have hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers doing their own thing daily without harassment and I have no idea how many people using our variety of vax exemptions.

As someone that HS'd and is vax free, I'd rather take the chance I might have to fight for my rights here than give them up completely where you are.
pearl2's Avatar pearl2 01:27 AM 09-28-2010
They'd have to put me in foster care, too. That's because I would have fused myself to my baby so they couldn't get us apart. Yup. I am super sad for this family.
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 04:44 AM 09-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
This makes absolutely no sense to me.

Yes, we have rare cases where CPS or the courts get involved, but we also have hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers doing their own thing daily without harassment and I have no idea how many people using our variety of vax exemptions.

As someone that HS'd and is vax free, I'd rather take the chance I might have to fight for my rights here than give them up completely where you are.
You are right, that makes no sense at all! forgot to mention the most important aspect of this country. Though laws are restrictive, there is not much done in the way of law enforcement. Corruption is pretty universal, and laws change every few months. I realize that civil liberties are pretty wonderful on paper in the US in most states, but when I see these news stories I just go . Our country of residence, the legislative and executive powers, are just such a joke that I feel just fine with doing whatever it is that I was going to do any way. Generally, when you mention the word "foreigner", everything is allowed.

So law and practice are two separate things. My point was that in the US, where these are rights, you risk prosecution despite your actions being perfectly legal. Even here, where those choices are in fact illegal, there is no risk of prosecution.

Sorry for hijacking the discussion .
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 11:49 AM 09-28-2010
I cringe when I read these stories too, and we are fighting an element that wishes to restrict personal freedoms and choices because they feel the good of the whole supercedes the rights of the individual.
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