Sunday, May 3, 2009

Follow-up response

I want you to know ('you' being those who posted in disagreement with my comments) that I was bothered by your comments. This means I found them thought-provoking and in some cases sarcastic (Maria - you weren't interested in educating - but instead chose to be a smarta$$).

As I was writing my response to the original posting about Janet Fraser's loss and the UC movement, I was thinking of my children. I had a very visceral response to this story because I was thinking of losing one of my own children. I was accused of being cruel, and that was not my intention. I have no desire to 'kick some one when they are down'. I was having thoughts of losing one of my own babies. Pure and simple.

Maria - I can only verify the story through the newspaper (see above link). I understand that the media does not always report the whole truth. I get that. But it is all I had to go on as this is alll being kept hush hush on the Joyous Birth website. It's not reasonable to expect to live your life in the limelight promoting a cause, then be able to command privacy when something negative happens. Ask any celebrity, political figure, etc. That's not the way notoriety works. And yes, I am aware that stillbirths can happen to anyone, regardless of where they may be delivering. And we (we being medical and midwifery providers) question why and how did this happen. Every single stillbirth is questioned. Why should Janets' be any different? The questions for her are just very public (again that noteriety). As for 'people like me' spouting opinions about things which we know nothing about...THIS IS MY BLOG AND THIS IS THE USA. I can spout whatever opinions I want here because this is a blog about my thoughts. If you don't like - don't read it. Just like I don't believe in UC and therefore I don't go hang out at the website for it.

i-am-a-mama - I was not casting judgement on Janet as that would be unfair. I simply stated my belief as she has done so publicly. Just as you are now. I suspect you are being overly sensitive because this was a post criticizing your belief. Just as I feel like I am being judged for having stated my personal opinions and beliefs. As far as the blog post I referenced....Navelgazing Midwife and Janet Fraser know each other and have exchanged many thought provoking conversations in the blogosphere. Navelgazing Midwife has even written an article for the Joyous Birth website. I know Navelgazing Midwife through Facebook and know firsthand what her intentions were. And they weren't to 'rub it in'. You then ask me how heartless and cruel can I be? Who's judging now? Heartless I am not....see above part of the post regarding my children. Ask the women I provide care for and dedicate a great deal of time to assist them in having the childbirth experience they want. And cruel - I wondered if maybe I was being cruel so I went back and re-read my post a couple times...and I stand by it.

Nepenthe - Yes, I don't know every detail as I have not seen the coroner's report. But the fact that she was having a 5 day labor sounds awfully suspicious to me. The baby is not equipped to last five days of labor even if momma can. I am making the assumption (granted this may be incorrect) that that baby was alive when labor started. Had someone, anyone been present to doppler periodically, yes, that baby may have been born alive. There would have been heart rate changes that indicated a compromised baby. I have no idea what type of prenatal care she had and I don't care. This has nothing to do with what prenatal testing she may or may not have had. Many woman I see decline all sorts of prenatal testing - no problem. The only assumption I make is that the baby was alive prior to the start of labor. I question this birth just as I would anyone who delivered in a birth center or a hospital or at home with or without a midwife. In fact, it's called peer review. Any bad outcome is investigated, regardless of where it occurs. And a preventable death in the hospital makes this ok I guess. NO! It's not ok anywhere. I am not ashamed Nepenthe.

I won't be 'named and shamed' by women who find it ok to put the experience before the health and well-being of their babies. The experience IS important but not the ultimate goal!

I would like to remind people that Janet did seek out help when the baby was in 'cardiac arrest' and for herself as well. It's unfortunate that it was too late.


womantowomancbe said...

This was interesting -- I didn't read the comments your other post mentioned, but I did read NGM's post (other than that, I have no idea who Janet is). You're right on target. The questions that must be raised *are* difficult and sound harsh. But as you and others pointed out -- which is worse - losing out on the "experience" of UC or losing your child's life? If this UC death is swept under the rug, it gives other UCers the false impression that no baby ever dies during a UC. Whether or not the baby died because of the UC or would have died in the hospital, it is still important for women to understand that you can't just wish on fairy dust and that makes everything all right. Most births will end just fine for mother and baby regardless of how much or how little care they get (show me a country with a greater than 50% mortality rate or serious morbidity rate for mother or baby); but sometimes bad things happen even in the "purest" of births.


Joy said...

Wow- people can be vicious! Sorry you've been "attacked" recently. I would never jeopordize my unborn child's life because of the birth experience, plain and simple. And I think that's the page you were on. *HUGS*

Victoria said...

Oh please.

It's perfectly ok for you to scurrilously attack a grieving mother based on nothing but misconceptions, misinformation, half truths and stupendously biased and coldhearted personal agendas, but you have a massive public cry when anyone calls you out for doing so, and everyone on your bandwagon rushes forth to offer you tea and sympathy.

You poor, poor darling. Here, have some tissues. Can you hear that sound? It's the world's smallest violin, playing just for you.

Your posts shame you more than anyone's comments possible could. Golf claps for you!

River Eden Doula said...

"Had someone, anyone been present to doppler periodically, yes, that baby may have been born alive. There would have been heart rate changes that indicated a compromised baby."

This is exactly what I was thinking. If the baby was showing signs of stress she could have transferred. Of course we can't know for sure but I think it's a good possibility.

Ciarin said...

Kathy, River, and Joy - thanks for your support.

Victoria - no one crying here! Instead of posting on my blog and slinging mud at me, try some sensible thoughts and ideas instead of cliches. If you think I am way off base on my 'assumptions, misconceptions, etc.' explain how so. Or maybe you can't. I posted my follow-up response to respond to the people who want to name call but can't provide any rational discussion apparently. And by the way, what the h*ll are golf claps?

slh35661 said...

Whew. I haven't read any of the mentioned posts, but can I it people. I think the tone here meanspirited. The author of this blog is entitled to express her views. The comments made in this post are just hurtful. Stop it. Go be mean in your own real world and leave that kind of post off of here please. I enjoy this blog.
To the author: I stopped blogging for awhile when someone said some things about my posts. I wish I hadn't stopped blogging. I am back now, but it did change the way I felt about verbalizing my thoughts. I hope it doesn't do the same for you. I enjoy reading your blog. Don't let unhappy people ruin it.

womantowomancbe said...


I'm not sure how "golf claps" fit into the discussion, but here is my understanding of it (and this is from watching the movie "Men at Work" starring Charlie Sheen & Emilio Estevez, which I did as a teenager, so late 80s or early 90s): Golfing fans don't clap loudly, because to do so might interrupt the quiet of the greens and the players, so they clap softly. That's what a "golf clap" is; in the movie, it's used derisively or sarcastically by the lead characters to mock someone.

Dragging up from the recesses of my mind (since it's got to be at least 10-12 years since I've seen the movie last), the context was that someone in the movie (perhaps the guys' boss or a cop) was bragging a bit on some minor success or win, and the guys look at each other, and one says, "Golf clap?"; the other responds, "Golf clap!"; and together they both start softly clapping right in front of the man's face -- like, "big whoop."

So, in that context, I don't think that "golf claps" is really a propos here. If the meaning has morphed into simple derision, and not necessarily in the face of someone who is proud of some small accomplishment, then that makes sense; but I wouldn't use the term here. Perhaps if someone proudly proclaimed that s/he had a 75% C-section rate, or a 90% induction rate, I'd use it, because I don't think the doctor's "accomplishment" is actually a good thing. I might also use it if a doula is "proud" that only 30% of her clients have C-sections (when that is the national average, without a doula, so that seems to show that she isn't as good as she thinks).

Wow, my explanation is longer than the wikipedia version. ;-) Sorry. :-)


Beetus said...

Ciarin - I thought you really zero'd in on the crux of the matter, responding to the hypocrisy that I hear in the shaming posts of Victoria et al..."It's not reasonable to expect to live your life in the limelight promoting a cause, then be able to command privacy when something negative happens." What happened in this birth is rightfully up for discussion and,IMO, you have respectfully done so. Great blog. Keep it coming!

Anonymous said...

A well overdue comment here but I wish also that Janet Fraser would be more transparent on her Joyous Birth website / forum. Her opinions are extreme and to think that some women (courtesy of Joyous Birth) may opt to birth entirely unassisted is downright frightening. What's 'empowering' about unassisted birthing if it procures the result Ms. Fraser ended up with? Had she softened her "I am woman, hear me roar" message (not to mention her political agenda) she may well have been given the privileged opportunity to hear an equally important sound: her baby's cry.