Utah Midwives are afraid of this website

I am currently being threatened with legal action unless I hand over my blogs to a midwife’s attorney, they are demanding that I agree to never speak of them negatively again. They have never actually told me what was wrong on my website (as I am eager to correct any errors), or why they would need access to ex home birthers. They are threatened by someone pointing out the truth about direct entry midwifery in the state of Utah.

I will not be bullied into silence. I have the first amendment right to talk about my political beliefs and to lobby for changes to the law in my state. I’m willing to fight this as long as necessary to let parents in Utah know that there are more legal requirements for driving a car than calling yourself a midwife and delivering babies. 

If anything goes down I will be contacting Ken White of Popehat, who has been extremely effective at finding pro-bono help for bloggers who have been sued to try and curtail freedom of speech. I’m prepared for whatever happens. 

Alabama: please learn from Utah’s mistakes

I read a great article written by Dr. Michael Flanagan, addressing Alabama’s proposed legalizing of direct entry midwifery. He makes several concise arguments about why lay midwives are not adequate birth attendants in emergency situations.

Complications of labor can include, but are not limited to, a baby getting stuck in the birth canal, tangling of the umbilical cord around the baby’s neck, bleeding, infection, or even unexpected immaturity of the newborn’s lungs. These dangers are possible even in the most state-of-the-art facility, but at least the infant and mother have the best possible chance of survival. I have personally participated in urgent and emergent care that required quick decisions by the physicians and nurses to save the life of the unborn child and mother. The same cannot be said for a birth that is planned for the home and attended by a lay midwife. Instead, you will have a well-meaning, but woefully undertrained and underprepared individual and a false sense of security for the parents. When a planned home birth takes a turn for the worse, the time spent in an ambulance ride to the ER can mean the difference between life and death.

 

Dr Flanagan is talking about births that just unexpectedly go wrong, and the problems associated with that. He cannot even begin to understand the negligence associated with unlicensed home birth practitioners, they take high risk pregnancies if there is no oversight preventing it. Home birth midwives in Utah, for instance, regularly attend breech births, vbacs, and twin births (or shockingly, a combination of the above risk factors). There have been fatal results.  Dr Flanagan continues:

 

There will always be babies born spontaneously in elevators, taxi cabs and parking lots. Most of these deliveries will likely be fine, given the law of averages.

This is true, and this is exactly why midwives can claim their practices are safe. Midwives also deliver far fewer babies per year than a obstetrician or a nurse midwife working in a maternity unit, and so they can claim to have worked for many years without a death, or they can choose to see the deaths they have attended as unavoidable because of their ignorance of obstetric interventions. They scoff at the idea that they have attended so many non-lethal births out of sheer luck, but its the absolute truth. Midwives take credit for good outcomes and deny responsibility for bad outcomes- its an abhorrent model of patient care. Dr Flanagan continues:

 

However, if the State of Alabama passes a law legalizing lay midwifery, it sends a message to the public that this practice is safe. This idea could not be farther from the truth.

I cannot speak for other states that have unfortunately legalized this dangerous practice. Perhaps no one spoke up against it.

 

Plenty of people speak up against it. Several physicians have spoken to me about the danger of home birth midwifery, the disasters they encounter at their work because of incompetence. A legislator in Utah told me in confidence that they believe most of the legislators in our state would rather not have home birth midwifery allowed legally, but the midwives are very organized and have friends in high places. They are willing to pour as much money as needed into their cause to make it happen- after all, if the practice is outlawed, they are out of a job (or risk prison). They have much more to lose than the average citizen (who will not choose home birth), so they understandably put more effort towards keeping their job legal. Midwives have a weird habit of teaching classes on activism as part of required courses in their midwifery school. They know they desperately need unity to keep the sham going because home birth midwifery cannot stand on its own merits. 

 

If anyone from Alabama is reading this- please, please contact your representative and tell them that you don’t want the state to endorse this practice. If citizens of Alabama fail to stop this action you will be in the same position as Utah’s citizens- watching helplessly as tragedy after tragedy unfolds before our eyes, fighting against a status quo of legal unlicensed midwives practicing without any oversight or required training. Every community values its children, and this is a very serious threat to their well being. 

 

Not even sorry

I’ve covered the VIckie Sorensen manslaughter charges extensively before, but I thought readers might be interested in the absolute lack of remorse on vickie’s part for her role in the death of a newborn.

vickie sorensen cheers to my haters

vickie sorensen witch cartoon

 

vickie sorensen haters

vickie sorensen status stringing up midwives

She also made a point of accusing valley view medical center of having a conspiracy against home birth mothers.

valley view medical center accusations

 

More creepy gaslighting from Caron Jones, CNM

I wrote Caron Jones  CNM back after she blamed me for the conduct of a midwife. Here is my email:

ACOG, midwifery today, SANE materials, etc all say that using force or coercion to perform vaginal exams or procedures on CSA patients runs the risk of traumatizing them. Its an uncontroversial idea in professional literature and I am surprised that someone who is an “expert” is unaware of information I was able to find easily regarding these matters. Please do not take patients with sexual abuse histories. Take a SANE training if you insist on doing so.
I run a popular blog about negligent midwives and debunking natural child birth theories. I have the means and motivation to let other people know that you don’t believe in informed consent or refusal, and have no clue how to approach care for patients with a CSA history. You’ve done a fantastic job of adding to the body of evidence that midwives care more about each other than their patients. Thanks for the ammo.
 I trusted the birth center to respect my right to refuse treatment and you dodge the issue by saying “only nature is in charge”. Was nature what made her ignore my pleas for mercy? Was it nature that made her deny me food unless I did what she wanted? I should be able to say who touches me and when, okay? Its a basic human right to refuse treatment or exams. If you are a nurse and don’t know that I am very concerned for your patients.

I didn’t set myself up for anything except what I signed up for, and you have no idea if I was relaxed or not or any of the other bulls*** you imagined in your “analysis”. Usually people who are actually interested in finding out what happened ask questions before making assumptions to fit their preferred narrative.

f*** off, permanently
-(my name)

Here is a portion of Caron’s reply:

 

You seem like you want to blame everyone for your problems.
You made a choice to get pregnant and go to a Birth center. In order to be delivered, you need vaginal exams to meet the standard of care as your midwife did. You chose to avoid the 2nd exam and not knowing what your cervix was, your midwife made an adjustment to fit in case u need a C-Section!
Now, you want to use the point of forcing an uncomfortable exam as your grounds to pay your bills!
I recommend for you to seek a mental health provider to help you with this bitterness. Remember, your midwife did not choose to hurt you. She was trying to help you through a difficult situation.
There you have it folks! When I was begging for an exam to end my midwife was “trying to help me through a difficult situation”. When she denied me food unless I submitted to another exam the midwife was “making an adjustment” to help me through the difficult situation. Its hard to know what Caron is talking about with the “to fit in case u need a C-section” bit, nothing of the sort was mentioned. It becomes more and more clear that she didn’t even bother to read my previous email carefully, she gets the most basic information about what happened wrong over and over again. This is what I dislike the most about my negative interactions with midwives- they are so confident in things they cannot possibly know (like “you were meant to have a natural birth” or “trust birth” or “birth is as safe as life gets” or “you can use garlic on a GBS infection” or “lets rub pepper on this baby in respiratory distress, that will fix it“).
And after all, I chose to get pregnant (how could she even know if that is true?) and chose to go to a birth center (with the understanding that they would honor my informed consent and refusal), so really its my fault, right? What a load of BS.
I blamed myself for what happened initially. It took a lot of work to say that it wasn’t my fault, and yet midwives are eager to tell me that I am at fault for expecting my wishes to be respected.
Here is my response, I wonder if she will have the good sense to not dig herself in further?

No, my midwife chose to hurt me. You weren’t even there, how the hell do you keep filling in details that you have no possible way of knowing about? You must have a problem with reading comprehension if you think “a painful exam” is the only thing I relive from that day. This is my true character. When someone tries to tell me what to feel or what I wen through when they were not even there I don’t put up with it. Pretending to be nice while you say abhorrent things is not indicative of a more virtuous character.

I’ve been to therapy for my PTSD. That is why I am suing- to recover those damages.
I’m not bitter, I am angry about the death and destruction caused by natural child birth advocates such as yourself.  People pull this s*** on loss mothers all the time, telling them they are just “looking for someone to blame” or “much too bitter” etc etc when their child died a preventable death. I’m not gonna fall for it. What happened was wrong. I was promised one thing and given something else.
I’m not looking to blame other people for “all my problems”, its pretty damn unhealthy to blame myself for things other people tried to do to me, shame on you for trying to convince me that I should take responsibility for something i actively tried to prevent.
I never threatened you with legal action. I just told you that I would share with the world the nasty things you said, and I have, and people are appalled by your reaction to the facts I shared with you. Keep on digging though, I don’t mind letting you smear your profession even further by failing to realize how abhorrent your views are to regular people.
I am so sick of dealing with midwives. Its always the same song and dance- they assume the midwife was right, always, as if they are infallible. Midwives can be bad people or screw up like anyone else. I also hate the insistence that I am dealing with this incorrectly. When I wrote about my story online one midwife used it as proof that I am a shameless liar. She said it should have been more difficult for me to talk about (it was really hard, she just imagined it was easy for me). If I am too calm, I am a liar. When I am perceived as being too angry people call me crazy. I can’t win this game, and I know that now. Midwives leave no social space for their victims to react to being damaged, the only way to avoid being attacked is to shut up. I refuse to be silenced, everyone should know how midwives react when other midwives are called out for being abusive. They support each other and deny all wrongdoing, much like the catholic church when confronted with rampant pedophilia.
 I am so, so glad I didn’t go into detail about the inappropriate behavior of the midwife during the 2nd exam, I don’t think I could stand being blamed for that.
I’d like to know why midwives think they are the authority on how to properly deal with the consequences of negligence. Have they ever suffered through it? Or are they just trying to tell victims to shut up as to not damage their own reputations? The answer looks pretty obvious from where I am sitting.

Midwife: its your fault you are traumatized

As some people may know, I started this website because I have had extreme difficulty in making midwives accountable for misconduct. No one died or was physically injured in my situation (which I am grateful for), but I found out that women whose children were dead or injured faced the same road blocks that I do.  Keeping up the fight is hard for me, but infinitely harder for women who have lost their children to home birth charlatans. I feel a moral obligation to keep publicizing the quackery that is natural child birth theory.

For those who don’t know, I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by misconduct from midwives during my labor. I was assured, over and over again, that choosing a midwife meant they respected my autonomy as a human being. I was told over and over again that midwives respect women in a way that hospitals don’t. What ended up happening was forced examinations and inappropriate conduct during exams. These exams were excruciatingly painful, they would not stop when I begged for it to be over. I was denied food unless I complied with a sadistic midwife’s demands.  I disclosed an abuse history at the start of treatment that made me sensitive to these issues specifically. I knew that what I needed to feel safe was to be in charge of who touches me and when, and that’s what they promised me.  They didn’t deliver.

I had PTSD and a newborn. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I feel terrible for what I was unable to give to my child during their first year of life.  I complained to the business, and they didn’t care.

I reached out to the midwifery community multiple times, and they marched in lock step with each other. It seems to be an unspoken rule that if you force women to do what you want them to during labor, you won’t face any scrutiny from other midwives. They euphamistically call it “making their own practice standards”, or “midwife autonomy”. It means doing whatever you think is best, even if your education is limited and you have no insurance to cover the damages if you end up being totally wrong. The right for midwives to practice as they please consistently trumps patients rights to dignity and safety in the natural child birth movement.

I reached out again to a midwife recently, this time to a CNM named Caron Jones. I told her the events of my labor and asked for her help. I wanted to know if she thought if what I went through was standard midwifery care or not. I expected someone like her (who claims to be an expert in these matters) would be aware of basic literature about the subject and would agree that this was not appropriate treatment of a patient. At a minimum it would be considered unethical to promise one thing and deliver something else, right?

Instead, she blamed me.

I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was. I have a bit more faith in CNMs, although some of them are as dangerous and deluded as direct entry midwives.

Caron Jones said that I couldn’t be “in charge” of my own labor because “only nature is in charge”. I don’t know how this explanation could excuse the willful behavior of another person. Could I punch someone and go “aggression is natural!”? Of course not. Caron Jones told me that I was “setting [myself] up for failure” by having an abuse history and wanting to be able to choose who was going to examine me and when, as if informed consent and refusal are luxuries that no woman should expect to be afforded. Caron Jones claimed knowledge she could not possibly have (like saying that I must have been too tense and therefore caused all the problems with the exams). I got the sense I was witnessing a midwife trying to justify this kind of behavior to herself.

In short, Caron Jones is the opposite of a professional.

The “midwifery model of care” is a joke. If it weren’t there would be midwives lining up to say that this is NOT the way midwives conduct themselves, but instead there is midwife after midwife willing to excuse what happened to me (and to loss mothers, for that matter). Midwives do not do anything to actually ensure patients get the model of care they are sold when they choose home birth. When you point out dangerous practices, midwives clamor to tell you its not ALL midwives. Their lack of initiative in ensuring every midwife is either competent to practice, or accountable for her actions, is very telling. Reputable professions care about cleaning house, about making sure that individuals with abhorrent practices are not able to give themselves the prestige of the title. Midwives even fail to define the terms they use constantly, like “low risk pregnancy”. When something goes wrong they can simply claim the patient wasn’t low risk.

I don’t have to do much work to discredit midwives. Their own actions and words do it for them.

unlicensed midwives and their dangerous practices

Here is a look at how one unlicensed midwife chose to operate (likely due to the lack of accountability for her actions). This part is telling:

She practices near one of the largest Amish communities in the US in a state where lay midwives operate in a “gray area” legally. She likes it that way because the Amish women don’t question her, trust her implicitly, and will not pursue litigation or repercussions of any kind. They call her for any kind of medical questions they have, even outside of women’s health, and she freely dispenses medical advice over the phone without seeing the patient in question. Sometimes her advice even contradicts a doctor’s advice. . .guess whose opinion carries the most weight?

If you think that Utah midwives are operating any differently…you are in for a surprise.

practicing medicine I have already covered some midwives practicing medicine in my posts titled “seriously?” and “seriously? part 2“, but above is a post from the vickie sorensen support page talking about the same behavior from a midwife who was recently charged with manslaughter in connection with a baby’s death. They are using the words of people who openly discuss vickie sorensen acting outside her scope of practice, and they think that proves that she is a wonderful person instead of an irresponsible person. This seems to absolutely be the norm for midwives, although when they lobby for legislation to keep unlicensed midwifery legal, they claim that midwifery is different from medicine. They have to claim that. If they told the truth then it would logically follow that they need to obtain a license and insurance to practice.