Repost from the VBAC Board about Lehigh Valley Hospital - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 32 Old 05-06-2009, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was a huge lurker when I was pregnant and even found a great midwife through her and just paying it forward, I wanted to post to share this with the mamas that are partially responsible for my successful VBA2C.

I know there are quite a few mamas that have used Laurice and her practice (Lehigh Valley Midwives.) Laurice attended a SUCCESSFUL breech birth and now LVH is threatening or has rescinded her privileges for practicing "outside of her scope."

If you've used Laurice/Tina or the Midwives. If you are a mama in the Lehigh Valley area or intend to use the hospital at all for birth reasons what so ever, please send them a letter!

Here are the addresses to send your letters:

Chairman of Obstetrics
Thomas Hutchinson, MD
17th & Chew Streets
PO Box 7017
Allentown, PA 18105-7017
thomas.hutchinson@lvh.com

Vice President of Medical Staff Services
John Hart
Lehigh Valley Hospital
Cedar Crest Blvd & I-78
PO Box 689
Allentown, PA 18105
john.hart@lvh.com

President of Lehigh Valley Hospital
Elliot Sussman
Lehigh Valley Hospital
Cedar Crest Blvd & I-78
PO Box 689
Allentown, PA 18105
elliot.sussman@lvh.com
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#2 of 32 Old 05-07-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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I just heard that for the time being she isn't being allowed to attend any births

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#3 of 32 Old 05-07-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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I just heard that for the time being she isn't being allowed to attend any births
That's true. I know a maternity RN at LVH, who told me about the situation. From what I understand, there was the usual kind of tension over how much leeway the midwives should have to "push" against standard hospital birth policies and Laurice was not in good graces with administration or some OBs all along. The breech birth incident (I was told that a baby surprised everyone by coming out rear end first, and Laurice chose to catch it rather than hold it in there and call an OB with a scalpel) was the last straw - it resulted in her being reviewed, and then losing her hospital privileges.

I am not in PA, but I would definitely encourage you mamas who do live in NE PA and could be considered potential patients to write and protest, if you can possibly find the time to do so.
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#4 of 32 Old 05-07-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I just found out yesterday at my appointment. I was under the impression it was just because I was a VBAC and they could no longer attend VBAC births. I didn't get the impression that she couldn't attend any birth.
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#5 of 32 Old 05-12-2009, 10:29 PM
 
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Yes it is true that she will be unable to attend any births. This whole situation is just wrong!

Homebirth Midwifing mama to five blessings in Northeastern PA.
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#6 of 32 Old 05-14-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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I just found out about this last night and was so upset, but we did not have all the details as to why.

I am literally outraged right now that they are doing this to her. I know full well Laurice is the only reason I did not have a c-section when my DD was born.

I know a lot of women pulling for Laurice right now and I will definitely be writing letters and adding support too.

This is awful.

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#7 of 32 Old 05-15-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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Yes it is true that she will be unable to attend any births. This whole situation is just wrong!
Incredibly wrong!

I can see Laurice ticking off folks at Lehigh Valley Hospital...it always puzzled me why she went there in the first place. I mean I know that she couldn't stay at Sacred Heart because of the shenanigans the anesthesiologists were pulling...but given the climate at Lehigh Valley Hospital...I wish she had just convinced her clients to bear with the post-partum room sharing at St. Luke's Allentown.

But LVH is SO interventional....not a good place for a midwife who has opinions.

But anyway...there is a Facebook group for folks that want to support the midwives, and we are talking about doing a protest. You can check in at my website for news about the protest, or look for the group on Facebook....

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#8 of 32 Old 05-19-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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I found the group on facebook! :

I'm praying we can make a difference here. I have been so emotional since I heard about this and am still getting all choked up. I don't think all my post partum hormones are settled yet.

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#9 of 32 Old 05-19-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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I'm confused why something that happened with Laurice is also affecting Tina? Does anyone know why she is also not being allowed to continue on?
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#10 of 32 Old 05-19-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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May I suggest that even if you are not from the LV area or planning to use the LV midwives, that we write letters anyway?

If there is a stretegy behind wanting only patients to write, excuse me for butting in... but if not, let's bombard them! Our options as women giving birth are being stripped from us here, even if we are not directly effected.

There is power in numbers. Women of the Earth, take back your Birth!

Carolyn

Mom to Liam 9/06, spirit baby 3/09, and identical twins Mateo and Sebastian 10/11namaste.gif

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#11 of 32 Old 05-19-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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I just found out about this today. I had an awful c-section at Grandview. Right before the Dr cut, I told him to cut and sew me up so I could have a VBAC. His reply, "Good luck finding someone who will do it." I thought Laurice was my answer! I had an appointment scheduled for routine care in November and couldn't wait to find out more about the practice. Unfortunately, I called today to cancel after finding out about the loss of privleges and ended up in tears on the phone. This is an terrible situation and soon VBAC hopeful moms will be left without any options.

I joined the Facebook group. I'd love to participate if something gets planned.
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#12 of 32 Old 05-20-2009, 08:33 AM
 
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I think the more letters the better!!!

We desperately need a midwife option in this area!

For those looking for the facebook group, there are a few out there, but the one you want is Supporters of Midwifery in the Lehigh Valley. I know it took me a few searches to find the main one.


I had my annual appt. with Laurice yesterday and we spoke in length about this. She even said herself, this issue is far bigger than her.

It goes with the entire nations mindset that women "can't birth and should just be cut." that seems to be plaguing the nation right now.

Women need to take a stand for our rights!!!

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#13 of 32 Old 05-20-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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JSma, thanks for posting the name of the facebook group. I just joined!

Any of you who haven't joined yet, its worth doing. There's a lot of activity. The group met with a local reporter who would be interested in doing a story but needs to convince her editor. So they are encouraging people to write the paper to show that there is interest in the topic (and they provide the addresses to do so). They are also working on organizing a date for a protest outside LVH (with kid-friendly activities). It sounds like great momentum.

I wrote a letter to the paper, because I believe strongly that big business responds to bad press (probably more than they would to a letter from me, a NJ mom who will never be a patient!)
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#14 of 32 Old 05-20-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Is there anyway to stay abreast of things for those of us who do not use fb? Can someone at least post here details of any protests.
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#15 of 32 Old 05-21-2009, 01:13 AM
 
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I do not use LV, but a friend of mine had a VBAC there. I'm unsure if she used Laurice or Tina. I'm outraged beyond belief. I just finished writing, calling and faxing local congressional leaders today about a briefing in DC tomorrow (well, today now) about out-of-hospital maternity care. I wish I knew about Laurice then because I would have referenced her case. I am VERY interested in attending a rally/protest and pray to God that it's going to be held on a day when I can go. I encourage everyone to write to them, to attend if able and to join the Facebook group if able.

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#16 of 32 Old 05-21-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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I can post updates about the protest dates here.

We are urging to have several dates, as once and done is not going to be a big enough impact, in my opinion.

The first dates we are looking at are either next Friday or Saturday... I poked today to get something slated so we can start alerting media to when.


I still can't beleive this is happening. It's the stuff I read about when I was pregnant and I thanked God that we had something in this area... and now it's gone. It blows my mind how much women still have to fight for so much in this country....

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#17 of 32 Old 05-21-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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I can post updates about the protest dates here. We are urging to have several dates, as once and done is not going to be a big enough impact, in my opinion. The first dates we are looking at are either next Friday or Saturday... I poked today to get something slated so we can start alerting media to when. I still can't beleive this is happening. It's the stuff I read about when I was pregnant and I thanked God that we had something in this area... and now it's gone. It blows my mind how much women still have to fight for so much in this country....
Thank you for posting updates here. Multiple protests would be a great idea. I'm hoping there is one Sat the 30th, because dh could go, too. I'm so saddened and outraged over this. It makes me sick.

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#18 of 32 Old 05-21-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Saturday the 30th is currently "penciled" in for the first protest.

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#19 of 32 Old 05-22-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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If it's Saturday I will have to cancel plans, but I'll be there!
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#20 of 32 Old 05-24-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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May 30th 10am-noon will be our first protest!! Please post if you can make it!

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#21 of 32 Old 05-24-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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We hope to be there. So what will we be happening? I've never been to a rally/protest before. Anyone making signs or pickets? Do we know yet if press will be there.

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#22 of 32 Old 05-26-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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Don't know about the press yet... But yes we will be making signs.

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#23 of 32 Old 05-26-2009, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll be there with my kids!
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#24 of 32 Old 05-28-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Don't know about the press yet... But yes we will be making signs.
Thank you ladies for keeping this alive over here!

I'm a childbirth educator/doula on the west end of Allentown, so I've been working on this a lot (too much!). I met with Marlene Gubler (also a CBE/doula), Bill Dunning, and a couple of other ladies on Tuesday to discuss strategy & Saturday.

Someone asked how this affects Tina, and that wasn't answered...so quickly...Tina is young with a 6 month old baby...she just can't attend all of the births for the practice, can't be on call 24/7 like Laurice has done at times. Also, unfortunately, since she is young, she is more afraid about her career, so less willing to stick her neck out (perhaps I should have a bit more of that fear? ....nah....). She has been offered a position with a practice that is owned by LVH...Bill did not know which practice that was, or if she would take it, or if she would be attending births if she takes it. One thing that is pretty sure...even if she does take it and does attend births...women going to that practice will still probably not be assured of having a midwife at their birth because Tina can't do 24/7 call.

Now...as to the protest...

* A significant theme of our discussion Tuesday was that THIS IS BIGGER THAN JUST LOSS OF MIDWIVES. It is about CHOICE. By simply pointing out that there are midwives doing births at LVH, the higher ups there can "blow smoke in people's faces" (they told Veronica Torrejon--Morning Call reporter--that there are 5 midwives in practice in the Lehigh Valley---WHO ARE THEY? We know about Andrea MacLaren, and she has a new midwife working with her, but they are in Stroudsburg even though they do births in Bethlehem. Aimee Kessler does not appear to attend births (neither Marlene nor I have had a client birth with her in years, despite many going to that practice and wanting her)--despite the fact that women get told that she does. Gaye Haas quit attending births at least 4 years ago, and "Caring for Women" out in Easton has a midwife on staff, but she also does not attend births.). So anyway, try to steer clear of "midwifery" in any signs or statements to the press, and especially please keep "The Midwives" out of the protest (this is also in part due to legal concerns).

Unless LVH issues an apology to Laurice and a statement that in keeping with ACNM guidelines, midwives will be able to attend VBAC and breech birth at LVH...a domino has been pushed on patient choice. Other dominos will continue to fall, not just in OB, but in other areas. My understanding is that some dominos have already fallen, and there just hasn't been a public outcry.

We are looking for some reflective vests for a couple of the marchers to wear to make sure there is an appearance of safety (we aren't going to get too close to the road...but some people might still try to make hay). If you have a reflective vest (or 2) that you could loan, even if you aren't going to be able to be at the rally, please let me know, or post on the event board to find out who is attending who lives close enough to you to get it.

*LVH really cares about their ranking with US News and World Report...so if someone could look up contact information to send letters to them, that would be great!

*We would like to get some videos up on You-Tube. Toward that end...
-is anyone here skilled with that?
-anyone have camera equipment they could loan/bring to the rally?
-for those folks coming to the rally--you can of course decline to be interviewed if you want...but if you want to be interviewed, please write 3-5 main points that you want to get across on an index card, and practice what you want to say so that you will be able to say it concisely and without a bunch of "ums" and "ahs" on camera.
-if you aren't going to the rally and want to make a You Tube video, we can work to arrange that!

For signs, if you can make a specific sign, please "claim it." Here are some that we want:
*neonatal & maternal mortality rates compared to the world (CIA has this data on-line)
*"My birth experience was (insert adjective), why wasn't yours?"
*"Informed consent for better birth choices"
*Want to know more? Facebook search (I will provide a search term--I need to get a publically viewable "Page" set up rather than the group--someone is also working on a blog)
* Cesarean: Medical Necessity vs Medical Conveniance?
*"Your Choice" vs "Routine Procedures"

Remember with making signs...keep the letters BIG, and the number of words low. Also, if you cite any stats, please write your reference in small print on the bottom of the sign so that it is handy if we are challenged.

The rally will be on the southeast corner of the intersection at the LVH entrance--that is, across the street at the 1529 building. We will meet by the big blue sign along Cedar Crest for an Orthodontist--Dr Frey.

Thank you!

Jenn
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#25 of 32 Old 05-28-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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More background, just because I know many people don't know what led to Laurice loosing her priviledges.

LVH for some time now has not wanted Laurice attending VBACs or vaginal breech. She compromised with them, and agreed to have Dr. K. attend the pushing phase of any of these births.

She has not had ANY bad outcomes at births she has done at LVH in nearly 14 years.

Early this year she had a client expecting her 10th child show up in labor at the hospital, 8-9 cm, unexpected breech. The resident on call immediately started prepping for a cesarean. The parents...thrown for a loop, asked what their options were. The resident apparently told them that their only options were whether the repair would be done with stitches or staples. They argued back and forth that they wanted a vaginal birth, which the resident denied. The father finally asked Laurice if she could catch the baby, and she said that she could.

I'm sure there were a lot of angry words between the resident and Laurice after that--both in front of the parents, and in the hallway.

What happened was so agregious to these parents, that following the birth (safe vaginal birth), the father wrote a letter to the hospital in his "free time." Joke there folks...they have 10 kids!

And that is apparently what stirred the hornets nest. LVH has said that Laurice was practicing outside of the scope of midwifery by attending VBAC and breech (she wasn't), and even filed a complaint about her in a national care provider database.

If Laurice isn't there...women loose the "CHOICE" of vaginal breech--because the younger OB's don't know how to do it. It is simpler to teach how to perform a cesarean than to teach all the nuances to how to deliver various types of breech vaginally. It is simpler to teach how to perform a cesarean than to teach how to apply and use forceps correctly (as maligned as forceps are, they do have a place...one of my clients who was going to Laurice had an 11 lb 10 oz posterior baby delivered with forceps by Dr. K--after 6 hours of pushing, and she was quite glad not to have a cesarean--said she felt fine the next day). And so it goes...
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#26 of 32 Old 05-30-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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So anyway, try to steer clear of "midwifery" in any signs or statements to the press, and especially please keep "The Midwives" out of the protest (this is also in part due to legal concerns).


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Uh-oh? We're not supposed to reference midwives in our signs? All of my signs and shirts reference midwives, except one.

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#27 of 32 Old 05-30-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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Uh-oh? We're not supposed to reference midwives in our signs? All of my signs and shirts reference midwives, except one.
You can bring the signs and we'll take a look at them...as I explained, we are trying to stay away from that simply because LVH has *already* said "well there are other midwives..."

It's also an issue because too many women tune out when they hear the word "midwife." Sad but true...they think that those of us who use midwives are on the wacko-fringe. I have a very "mainstream" friend (as if I'm not!) at my church who angrily told me a couple of years ago that she had done lots of research--all that she needed to do about birth, and she did NOT agree with my conclusions about the medicalization of birth. And I hadn't even said much...

Well a mutual friend is affected by all of this hoopla--pregnant with her second baby, due in October. She's quite happy to use an epidural, but wants her midwife. Well she was talking with a group of women--including this first friend...and first friend expressed shock that midwives did births in hospitals.

Ummm...what was that about doing lots of research? Apparently she didn't get past the basic question of "what kinds of care providers are available?"

Oh..and friend #1? I bit my tongue REALLY hard when she complained about difficulty with potty training her son--he was circed so tightly that he had a "buried penis" (I don't think she connects the two), and his urine just shoots straight forward. Yeah...she knows all she needs to know about that subject too--intact penises are "ugly and dirty" to quote her before she realized my sons are both intact.

Jenn
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#28 of 32 Old 05-30-2009, 03:06 AM
 
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Understandable. But, at a "rally to support midwives," I would hope those signs are acceptable. Especially since I ended up cross-eyed and slightly crazy after making them.

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#29 of 32 Old 05-30-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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I think the rally went well! The Morning Call was there taking pictures, and I believe we will be on the channel 69 news at either 6 or 10. :

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#30 of 32 Old 05-30-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amila View Post
I think the rally went well! The Morning Call was there taking pictures, and I believe we will be on the channel 69 news at either 6 or 10. :
I think it went great. What a wonderful turnout. I heard 6pm for channel 69 news. I don't know what day it'll appear in the paper. Hopefully, there will be footage of the news coverage online.

ETA: It did appear on the 6pm news. I didn't see it, but someone else said an LVH rep was interviewed and said they still have midwives. They just neglected to mention they'll be axing the other midwife after June 30. I can't find the video online, but I guess it's too early to be up.

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