Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grant's story

As told by his mother Rachel.

My son, Grant was born on 6/30/2010 at 38 weeks gestation. 6lbs 9oz, 19 inches long. And perfect in every way.

My midwife was a fine midwife for perfect births, but I know from experience that you can have a perfect birth by yourself at home. My son Owen was born unassisted at home with just me and my husband. I take a lot of pride and it takes a lot of work to go against the grain. I believe in all things natural and holistic. It took the death of my child to no longer believe in Home/birth center birth.

A midwife should be there for you if something goes wrong. This is why I went to a birth center for this 2nd baby. I had a wonderful experience at home with my unassisted birth. I can't think of a more beautiful birth. My intentions for my 2nd son, Grant were that he would get that special and beautiful birth. But now having a son and knowing just how important babies are, we decided to do it the safe and natural way. I had all the confidence in the world in my midwives. I didn't even think I would need them. I first, never thought anything would ever go wrong and secondly, I figured this lady had birthed so many babies that she had seen it all. If by any crazy chance anything did happen. She'd have my back and take charge. I was wrong.

I'd been having terrible "Braxton Hicks" for 2 weeks before the day I went into labor. I told my midwives (I had seen 4 different midwives at this birth center) about the pain. I was told that it is common to have painful false labor with the 2nd child. I didn't push it, I'm tough. I can handle it but man it's starting to wear me down. I wasn't getting much sleep at night and they were very painful, like transitional labor contractions at times. I kept thinking that this baby was going to come any second. They just smiled at me and told me to hang in there. I did.

The day I went into labor was 6/29/2010. I was sick, flu like symptoms and a lot of painful contractions. I called the birth center and told them I think I needed to come in. I was told that the flu can give you false labor pains. I hung in there once again. I finally called at 6 pm and told them I needed help and was starting to feel scared. They had me come in. We dropped our 2yr old son off at a friend's house and we were ready to bring this baby into the world.

When I arrived the midwife on duty checked my cervix at 3cm and told me to lay down to see if I was progressing. They checked the heart beat every 10 minutes and told me the baby was great. My labor stalled. I was sent home in tears. I'd been in intense labor all day. I'd been in intense labor every night for 2 weeks. I wasn't sure how much longer I could take this. I was told to drink lots of fluids and take a warm bath. We picked up or son and headed home.

The bath seemed to help and relax me. I was tired, very tired. I fell asleep and awoke at 8 pm with very intense contractions. I was thinking it was transitional contractions and that the baby would be born very soon. We woke our son and drove in the car. The contractions were so bad I was vocal about it. Normally during contractions I would meditate until they passed but these were bad.

We arrived at the birth center but this midwife was running late. She showed up 10 minutes later. My husband dropped me off and drove our son back to our friends. We got into the room and I told her I was feeling scared. That something didn't seem right. She checked me and I was still at a 3. I started to cry. I told her I couldn't take much more and asked if I could get into the bath.

She poured the bath as I paced the room. She said to me, "I'll support you if you want to get an epidural." I remember taking a pause from the pain and thought... I really should go to the hospital... I'm scared. But at the same time I wasn't worried about something being wrong but she was telling me I couldn't handle the labor she would take me to the hospital.

I was then offered a back up doula. I wish I had accepted the offer. I wish I had had someone there that cared. The midwife wasn't in the room much while I was in the tub. I was mostly alone trying to get through the contractions. Thankfully my husband arrived to support me and help me. There were 4 midwives there at the time I was in labor and so far none of them had touched me or said a kind word. My husband and I were on our own.

My water broke. When my water broke the main midwife finally paid some attention to me while the others stood there with their arms crossed and waited with clipboards. So far up until the water breaking baby's heartbeat had been strong. When my water broke it hurt. The water was clear and everything seemed to be on its way. The midwives finally believed that I was actually in labor. I had to stand up... no I had to squat... or stand or kneel.

My labor was so bad that I couldn't even tell who was talking to me. There was no time at all between contractions. I kept saying, "I can't get a break... I need a break. A minute... something." For hours up until my water broke my contractions didn't have a pause. I don't know what time my water broke. I don't know what time they started to lose the heartbeat, but I know they started to panic.

My son's heart rate dipped when my water broke. The midwife said that was common. Things are adjusting and baby is getting ready to descend. I didn't feel ready to push, but I kept wanting and trying to push. The pain was so intense that I had to do something. I got out of the tub and while crying and screaming told them to leave. They were all just standing there. They hadn't even reached out a helping hand to me the entire time I was there. They were all standing around like I was out of control and they didn't want to set me off.

The pain was unbearable and they were cold and aloof. The main midwife told me she would be back in a few minutes to check on me. When they left, as I was naked I ran over to the corner of the room and cried. My husband trying to comfort me said, "something isn't right is it?" I told him I was scared. He held me while I contracted. He went to tell the midwife that I felt something wasn't right.

She came in and listened for the heartbeat and told me our son's heart rate was low and to push. All of the midwives were there now just standing there staring at me. I sat on the birthing stool and told her I couldn't push. I wanted to because I wanted this to be done and the baby to be here but I could barely talk I was in so much pain. She told me I HAD to push.

My husband asked her if I was completely dilated and she said I wasn't but that this baby needed to come soon or we would have to go to the hospital. My husband got down on his knees and was trying to help me as much as he could. But I wasn't dilated... I couldn't push. Still contracting... still in so much pain. No blood. Low heart rate off and on and still not dilated.

This went on and on. I don't even know how long. I'm trying to push. My husband is holding me and encouraging me and the midwife is panicking but no one, not any of the other 3 midwives is calling the ambulance. The heart rate is low... They all know this.

Let me remind you that when I first arrived at the birth center for the second time that evening I was offered a transfer for not being able to handle my labor. Why, now with my baby dying were they not offering us a transfer? Why were they trying to make me push when I wasn't dilated?

I was moved from the birthing stool to the bed… still not 100% dilated. I was told that I needed to get this baby out now. I'm still trying to push. I've never pushed so hard in my life. The pain is so bad that my vision is becoming blurry. I was given oxygen. When I look back at this scene I still wonder why no one has called for help. The baby has been in trouble and I'm having a hard time... why?

My husband and I were so focused on pushing this baby out as fast as possible and so focused on what we were doing that we couldn't stop and tell her to call 911. We weren't sane. We were relying on all of those midwives to do that for us if need be. We were counting on them to make the decisions that would need to be made when necessary. We were still all on our own as our baby was losing his struggle to breathe.

The main midwife could finally see that I wouldn't dilate and be able to push as fast as she wanted me to. She called 911 and told them she had a labor transfer… not a life threatening emergency. I'm still trying to push and the contractions will not stop and there is no break… I felt as if I was losing my mind.

One of the midwives had stayed with me to monitor the heart rate while all the others had left to call the ambulance. It was me and my husband pushing and crying. I looked at my husband while he is pushing my hair back and telling me to push. I ask him, "Why did they give up on us??" He keeps telling me we’re ok, just push. Another of the midwives enters the room and gets on the bed with us and my husband hears her ask the midwife that stayed, "Is it dead?" [Rachel asked to add this paragraph to her story a few hours after it was originally published.]

The ambulance arrived and they did not know or think this is any type of emergency. They are waiting in the lobby. My husband asks the midwife why they are not coming in and my midwife asks me what I'd like to wear. Can I stop here for a second and remind the world that my unborn child… my 38 week unborn baby is dying and she is trying to get me dressed? At this time I was wearing a robe and stood up and started to walk towards the door. My mind is fuzzy and my contractions are hard but I would have ran to the hospital if they hadn't of picked me up and placed me on the stretcher. I'm starting to feel at this point that the baby may be descending. I could feel him lower.

While being put into the ambulance my husband is told to ride upfront that the midwife would like to assist me in the back. I'm too busy to care and in too much of a hurry to worry. The EMT asks me which hospital I'd like to be taken to. I'm pushing and I yell, "St. Lukes Meridian" This hospital is only 5 minutes away. The midwife answers back, "St. Lukes Downtown" This hospital is 20 minutes away. I say again “ St Lukes Meridian” And she whispers in my ear, "They won't let me stay with you there. Lets go downtown." She answers for me again and we are finally on our way.


I have stopped to take a pause in writing this story because it's too much. It takes me and puts me in such a numb state. Did this really happen? I think I'll write the rest later... and I think I'll lose all the sleep I had planned tonight and instead look at the very few pictures of my son that I even have in my possession and wish so much that he was here... That he was safe and that I hadn't let him down.

He was perfect. He had piano key toes… one up one down one up one down just like his big brother. He had the softest face and the slightest cone head. He had my hands. And he had arms to reach and legs to walk, lips to smile and eyes to shine. I never saw his eyes and I never saw him without the hospital plastics they tried to use to revive him. If you are a parent you know love. You know what it is to love and if you lose that… you could lose it all in a second… you can never be the same. You will survive it but you will never be the same.


It's taken me 2 weeks to come back to writing this story. It's a hard story to write for me. I don't really want to complete this story. The story ends with me leaving the hospital with empty arms. It ends with a dead child.

While in the ambulance I was given an IV and oxygen, I'm continuing to push. I've not stopped pushing since the panic set it. I'm doing all I can. My vision is very blurry and I'm losing strength. I ask for water. I know now that these are signs of blood loss. There is no water. I keep pushing.

I'm yelling while pushing. I'm not fast enough but I'm trying to be fast. I ask her to check to see if she can see my son. She doesn't move. She hasn't touched me other than to check my dilation since we arrived at the birth center hours ago. I'm alone. I ask the EMT to tell my husband in the front that the baby is coming and that I'm trying.

I'm crying. I'm alone. He tells my husband. He comes back and tells me I'm crowning. I'm weak. He holds my hand. My midwife is sitting there ... silent.

We reach the hospital but I hardly even notice. I'm pushing and I haven't stopped. The ER staff reaches me and pushes on my belly. The baby comes about 2 minutes after we enter the doors. He is taken away. My husband follows. I'm covered in blood. They worked out my placenta and the bleeding stopped.

They keep checking me. I keep asking them where my baby is. My midwife still hasn't touched me or said a word to me. I grab her hand and tell her, "Go check on my baby and come right back. Tell me where he is and if he is ok." She leaves. I'm alone. Next… my husband walks in with tears in his eyes. He is broken. He tells me that our son, Grant has died. I will not see him alive.

The medical staff at the hospital surrounds me with love and support. What was all this I had heard about cold and sterile? I was hugged. I was handed my baby by a nurse with tears running down her cheeks with love and compassion. My midwife returns... She's been on the phone.

They ask why we are at a hospital so far away from the birth center. There are 2 closer hospitals. How long was the heart rate low? When did that first occur? My midwife pleads the 5th. My husband and I do not know and are not in the right state of mind to answer.

I was helped up and onto a new bed. My old bed, the EMTs stretcher, is covered in blood from the waist to the toe of the bed. All 3 EMTs are standing there in shock and silent. I see the doctor is talking to them. I find out later that they should have been told it was an emergency, not just a labor transfer. They would have been obligated to take me to the nearest hospital. If someone has a stroke, they don't ask them which hospital they prefer.

The ER doctor that assisted us while we were at the hospital told me: abruption. Hidden abruption is the diagnosis. Severe pain with contractions, contractions with no break. Loss of vision and weakness, thirst, heart rate lowers ... and if those are not enough symptoms and reasons for concern ... baby dies.

I am holding my son. He is warm and soft. He is perfect. He is beautiful. And he is dead.

How do I put him down? I can hardly come to terms that I will have to hand him back to someone and leave. That I will never hold him again. I hand him back. My arms ache. My heart aches. I can't leave the hospital. I stop almost 100 times on the way to the door and my husband and the nurses have to remind me that my 2yr old son is waiting for me at home and that I have to leave. My baby is dead. I feel like I am leaving him there. Who will hold him, "I will hold him," the nurse tells me with tears in his eyes.

Thank you, nurse for showing compassion and holding my son. The hospital staff later took pictures of my son. Hand prints and foot prints. They saved all his blankets and clothes. They have all written me heartfelt letters, flowers and mementos of a baby that should be in my arms. I got a tropical plant from the birth center 4 days after my son died 6/30/2010. And life changes...

I hear a baby cry in all the different rooms of my house during the night. I dream that I am holding him and that I lose him in my blankets. My mind races. "Where is he?! He was just here! I had him in my my belly, I held him in my arms how could I have lost him so easily??!!" I panic. I wake up I hear him crying and I start to tear the room apart. I'm sobbing as I'm realizing that I'm looking for a baby that is not here and never will be.

I'm not asking for homebirth to stop. I'm not asking for midwives to all lose their jobs. I'm asking for people to have the knowledge that your child dying because their midwife is scared to make the right decision. I'm asking that in the case of an emergency that they put aside whatever pride or whatever it is and kick into gear their life saving abilities. If they do not have this ability, get a desk job.

My son is dead. If I had been laboring in a hospital he would be alive. If I had been birthing at a birth center with a midwife with LIFE as her first priority… he would have had a standing chance. When you are in labor and you are in a the middle of a labor gone wrong you cannot act for yourself. You cannot save your baby. You have to have a midwife that is capable of making these calls before it's too late.

How will you know that your midwife has this ability? You won't know until it's too late. I stand by what I say... I'm not challenging anyone. I'm just missing my baby and my heart will not heal. He would have been 9 months old when I starting writing this story. I have been living for 9 months with a broken heart. I've got a lifetime to live with this broken heart. I have a lifetime of hurt.

And I can say I know now. I know now not to ever risk a home/birth center birth. What good does this knowledge do me if my child is already dead. The only good it does is that I can tell someone else.


  1. Rachel, thank you so much for telling your story. Such beautiful writing for such a sad time. I know your saddness and I want you to know that you will not have a lifetime of heartbreak...A new piece of your heart is growing for Grant and you will take it everywhere. You will find peace and joy again, and Grant will always be a special part of it. My heart is with you.

  2. I'm so very sorry this happened to you and your family.

  3. what a beautiful baby Grant was. i am so sorry that you lost him. i am also sorry that we share such a similar story. i know how hard the road is...

  4. I am so very sorry for the loss of Grant. I wish you didn't have to travel this road too. ((Hugs)) He is precious.

  5. Thank you so much for having the courage to tell your story. It moved me beyond tears- I hope you find peace in sharing the little time you had with Grant with all of us.

  6. Oh mama, I am so sorry for your loss. Grant was absolutely beautiful. Praying for you and your family.

  7. Thank you, all. Liz, especially for writing your story and encouraging me to write mine.
    Elizabeth... Your son is so beautiful. I'm so glad he is alive! Hug him extra today because he is precious and here and mine isn't.

    1. I am so sickened and sad from this, I am so sorry, my heart hurts for you and your family. I was going to plan a home birth with this pregnancy it will be my 6th baby after 3 csections. And I found a private midwife that said she could do it. But now I'm drewling out. When you said meridian st. Likes, is that the one in Idaho? And did that midwife get in trouble? I'm just asking, because the midwife I'm seeing knows of a midwife in Idaho that got in trouble, they are friends. and I'm just trying to put 2 in 2 together, for the safety of my pregnancy and baby. I was never looking for this site, I just fell across it, and maybe for a good reason. I am Soo glad you wrote your story, you are a voice for your baby, and you could be saving tons of lives! If you live in Idaho and know the midwife I'm seeing right now, would you let me know? If not I understand, I don't know if I can post my email on here but idk how else to do this? I hope I hear from you and if not I will understand. Again I am so sorry this happened, and very glad you could share your story!

    2. Please, please, please do not have an out of hospital birth after 3 c-sections. That is very dangerous. VBAC can be beautiful and safe but realize that when things do become complicated with a VBAC they go downhill fast. As a labor and delivery nurse who loves and supports natural childbirth I urge you to reconsider your plan and instead seek an OB that is willing to let you trial a vaginal delivery.

    3. I'm not going to now, after coming across this site. And no ob is going to let me try a vbac even though I've had two vbacs fine. But its ok, I guess its another c-section it is.

  8. Thank you for telling your and Grant's story.

    I was loopy with just a regular labor, so I can hardly imagine what you must have endured. Still, you managed the strength and lucidity to try to insist on the closest hospital. That was nothing if not heroic of you!

    Many midwives seem blinded by their ideology, with no room in their cosmos for common sense. Still, they were responsible for you and your son, and their actions, in my opinion, seem to add up to negligent homicide.

    I wonder if you were injured physically.

    I am pointing out this website to Colorado legislators in the hopes that they will take steps to protect the public from lay midwives.

    All the best,
    Linda Rosa, RN

  9. I was bawling as I read this story. Thank you for having the courage to write and share it. I am so sorry for your loss.

  10. Thank you for sharing the story of Grant's birth and short life. He was beautiful. You and Grant will save babies lives and families the pain only you really know. It takes a lot of courage. I have three children, all healthy, the middle one born 28 years ago at home. I decided to become a certified nurse midwife and that was the kind of midwife at her birth. So I am glad I wanted to take that path. Because after a year of working labor and delivery I learned that first of all it takes minutes for normal to turn into an emergency and in that emergency it can take a team of educated specialists working together to safe a life (or two). My next baby was born in a hospital.

    I wonder how to tell this truth without appearing to be "them".

    You said "The medical staff at the hospital surrounds me with love and support. What was all this I had heard about cold and sterile? I was hugged. I was handed my baby by a nurse with tears running down her cheeks with love and compassion" I always try to be that person. For anyone who has a loss for any reason, but especially when I am with a mom who is a homebirth mom primed to be afraid of me. I could have been that mom and I remember being so afraid of a transport and being "judged".


  11. Susan,

    Thank you for being one of those nurses.

    I don't know how I was lucky to have come in on a night when the worlds more compassionate medical staff was on call. Or maybe it was that we were so broken that there was no room for cruelties.
    Either way... The very few moments I had to spend with my son were surrounded by compassion and love. And just how they have written me letters and cards telling me they will never forget our family and our son, I will never forget their love and compassion and for that I am forever grateful.

    I was very scared about making Grants story public. So scared that someone would tell me I killed my son. I have a lot of guilt. I know the human spirit can endure more than one can even imagine... but to push that limit on someone that is already at the breaking point is unnecessary and cruel.
    Through all of this I've learned sympathy. I have been completely stupefied by peoples ability to care.

    1. Rachel,
      I was one of the nurses from L&D who came to the ER that night. We have all thought of you often and I have always wondered how you are doing and how you viewed your experience that night. I do remember your son and how perfect he was and how unjust it seemed that he was gone.
      I'm so glad that the light is being shed on your experience and the experience of so many others. I'm just so sorry for all of your losses. And I'm so happy to see in the papers that you have a new baby and that your experience went well.
      Best Wishes and hope for your ever healing heart.

    2. You've saved countless lives by sharing your story. I am not even pregnant right now, and I don't plan to be for at least 18 months, if ever, but I decided to start thinking ahead.

      I have a fear of hospital settings, doctors, needles, etc., and after hearing my mother's stories about how easy her 2 medication-free births were, I thought maybe a home-like setting would be good.

      But your story stopped me dead in my tracks. If/when I have children, I know now that a hospital is simply the safest place for the baby. I need to abandon my own fears and do what is right for the baby. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that you've found peace.

  12. I'm so sorry about your son's death. You were a heroic mother, and I hope you and your family find healing in time.

  13. Rachel, thank you for having the courage to tell your story. Grant was a beautiful baby, and I cannot imagine the grief tht his loss has brought to you, your husband, and your other son.

    I grow weary of hearing hospitals and their staff being maligned by the NCBers. Many of them have never even had a hospital birth, and I have heard of many women who had safe, unmedicated births in the hospital (myself included). The NCB movement claims to be pro-woman, but I fail to understand how advocating for substandard care for women and their babies could ever be construed as anything but anti-woman.

    Peace to you and your family.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I had a homebirth last september and I feel so lucky now that everything went well. I strongly felt like it was the safest thing to do for me and my baby.
    I have done a lot of thinking and reading since then and it is by reading stories like yours that my opinion on homebirth has changed.
    I can now say I will NEVER have a homebirth again. So I just want to say thank you for saving lives by sharing your story. You will never know how great of an impact you have on other peoples families.

  15. Thank you for sharing Rachel. I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Love and strength to you, your husband and Owen.

  16. I can't imagine how painful it was for you to write this. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your story.

  17. Rachel, I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son. Thank you for sharing his story.

  18. Rachel, I know it took a lot of courage to write your story and I thank you for that. I had a member of holistic moms see this and send it to me. You are great mom and you did what you thought was best. That's all we can do in this life. I pray that you will find deserve it!

  19. I am so sorry. Thank yo for sharing Grant's story. <3

  20. I'm so sorry mama. You did your very best, and anyone that blames you is both wrong and cruel. I don't know how you endured, but thank you for writing this. I know it will help others. The MWs were horribly negligent, I hope they will be punished and that birth center closed.

  21. Rachel, Thank you so much for sharing the story of your precious Grant, he is lucky to have such a strong mom! It takes courage to share something like this, and I know that it will halp families make more informed choices when it comes to birth!
    Your voice and the voices of other families like you NEED to be heard!!!
    I am so deeply sorry for your loss!

  22. I am so very sorry for your loss of baby Grant. I lost a son at the age of 14 months and I know the feeling of empty arms.

    I came across this website by accident. I was always fascinated by home birth since I have several friends who home birth. I even contemplated it for myself. One thing I've been struggling with lately is feeling "less than" because I prefer a hospital birth and having my current pregnancy overseen by a maternal fetal medicine doctor because I'm high risk (chronic hypertension, diabetes). Thank you for bravely telling the other side of the story that is rarely shared. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

  23. Rachel- I cannot express how much I feel for you, and, at the same time, am glad you had the strength to post your story. Hopefully, it will help women realize that they need to trust their instincts, and they need to do their research to pick the best option for themselves and their babies.
    My heart breaks for you and your family- God bless.

  24. I'm so sorry. It's not fair that your trust was betrayed in that way.

  25. Im so sorry Rachel. Thank you for sharing your story.

  26. may love surround your son grant, and his memory.

    you did nothing wrong- you were mislead and i hope they have taken responsibility. i was sickened by their actions, and of course the results- this death is on their hands! their goals were all wrong- us vs. them, the birth "experience" over the well-being of the baby. i am so sorry you got caught up in their "philosophy of birth" standard of care. that midwife should not be practicing anymore!

    you are brave and true to tell your story.

  27. Thank you so much for sharing the story of your very beautiful son's birth. I am sorry that for the horrid mistakes of your midwives he was not able to stay with us. You are so strong for sharing this and we thank you

  28. Dear Rachel,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dear little son Grant. It's heartbreaking and so senseless... Thank you for sharing your story.

    (((((( hugs ))))))


  29. Rachel,
    I'm so, so sorry. Really hard to read, so I can't imagine living it.

    Was your birth center overseen or run by CNMs and/or an OB? If so, talk to the licensing board and file a complaint. If it was run by CPMs (and from the sound of it, that's my guess), you can certainly send your story to the legislators in any states who are being lobbied to license CPMs. (NC, for example.)

    That's only if you want to do it, of course. I'm just thinking I would be so angry and would love to know how to put an end to this. :(

  30. Rachel,

    As a future Ob-Gyn myself (currently in my 3rd year of medical school and choosing Ob), I am so so saddened by your story - even in my young career as a doctor-in-training, I have already seen cases in which homebirths have gone terribly wrong, and births that have gone from completely normal to disastrous in a matter of seconds. I feel like our current society is putting so much emphasis on the "natural" birth experience that sometimes we forget that what's important is that we have healthy babies and healthy mommies at the end of it all. I am deeply disturbed by your midwife's negligence in realizing that her "natural ways" were not going to work for you, her patient.

    As physicians, we take an oath: do no harm. Yes, it is true that at times we will do everything possible and still have a sad outcome, but, believe me, we do EVERYTHING possible to not allow that to happen. We don't simply step back and allow things to go haywire.

    May God bless you and bring you peace. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

  31. I can not stop crying for you. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find peace soon. I am so sorry for your loss.

  32. Replies
    1. I'm crying with you, sweet mama. :'( I am enraged by what happened to you and your sweet little boy. That midwife failed you and I'm so, so sorry.

  33. I'm so sorry for your loss Rachel. I lost my first baby to a cord accident due to staff problems so I know what that is like.

    I wanted to express my thanks for your saying how you and your husband were very in the moment as the labour went downhill and how hard it is to ask for help or make decisions. We found that to be true as well and it's one reason we worked very hard to find experts to surround us that we could rely on. This is one of the things I wish people could learn from my story (and yours) - research during pregnancy does not mean that when it's your body and labour, or your loved one's pain and exhaustion, that you will be in a position to really know what to do.

    I am so sorry your experts failed you and Grant so profoundly.

  34. Rachel, I'm so sorry these people failed you when you and Grant needed care. What they did to the two of you is unforgivable. Your love for Grant and courage to tell his story will never be forgotten.

  35. Dear Rachel, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for telling your story. You brought me to tears. I am a nurse in labor and delivery. I cry with every baby that passes. Sometimes I try not to in front of the patient because I feel like that would be unprofessional of me, but I usually can't help it. Thank you for sharing that aspect of your story, the compassion that you received at the hospital. You have motivated me to be better and to try harder. You were never to blame for your baby's death. You trusted someone to do the right thing in their profession and they failed you. You may have saved some other parents the grief that you feel now by sharing your story. Love never dies, you will feel the love you have for your baby forever. And I truly believe that your baby knew he was loved before he was born. God bless you and heal your heart.

  36. My heart goes out to you Bambi Carlson a midwife in Illinolis did not monitor our babies heart rate properly and our beautiful 9.5 pound baby girl died in my arms. My wife's placenta ruptured during delivery, we had no idea.

    This happened 6-15-2011, I am going after her to make sure she never hurts another family again.

  37. Andy, I'm so sorry. I would suggest starting by writing your story. It will help more people that you know. I'm so grateful for this website and being able to read other similar stories and know there are other people out there. It's hard to feel alone in this. My heart goes out to you and your family <3

  38. Dear Rachel,

    My heart truly goes out to you! We're expecting our first baby a boy any day now (he's 2 days overdue). I was thinking about having him or our next baby at a birthing center but you have definitely changed my mind! I had no idea midwives could be so negligent and downright horrible! I may be having problems with my doctor's and I am somewhat afraid of the hospital but this has made me see I must think of my babys health first and foremost! I'm very sorry for your loss and hope you and your family can some how heal and recover from it. It also saddens me reading these articles how many careless and thoughtless medical professionals there are, maybe if more worked on their bedside manners and didn't talk down to patients or make them feel stupid they wouldn't seek out such risky alternatives.


  39. Rachel,

    I am sitting here crying so hard as I read your story. I am just so, so sorry for your loss.

    I'm crying especially hard because this could have been my son. I labored for 17 hours after being induced from castor oil (doula's recommendation after we *thought* my water broke, but it was a cyst, and of course didn't know that until after I was induced). I was in hard labor 17 hours, didn't progress past 1cm myself, ever. I was manually stretched multiple times. Thank GOD my midwife transferred me, but she too chose to transfer to a hospital further away, in the midst of rush hour traffic (in the Seattle area, rush hour can make a 15 minute drive last an hour and a half).

    I'm pregnant again and was originally mourning not having a water birth, thinking I might try again this time (despite knowing my cyst is back and more scar tissue is imminent - the reason I didn't ever progress alone). I am not convinced to go with a hospital birth again.

    Thank you again for sharing your story. I am so, so sorry that your beautiful baby boy is not in your arms.


  40. Oops, adding a correction to my post. I meant to say I am NOW convinced to go with a hospital birth again.

  41. Oh Rachel,
    I'm so very sorry for everything that happened. As others have said, I too cried my way through your entire story. It was so well written and so heart wrenching. I am so very sorry for your loss and that you were treated that way. I was angry during several parts of the story where I felt you were taken advantage of by the midwives who were simply trying to protect themselves. You are courageous and strong and tried to do what was best for your baby. He was beautiful, and I cannot even imagine having to leave him at the hospital. Bless you and your husband and your son. I was never really a home birth fan, just because I'm overly paranoid about complications, but I can understand why someone would want to do it naturally and all of that. I am so sorry that those who do not treasure the job still choose to do it, and do it poorly. God love you and your sweet family.


  42. Rachel, you are a beautiful, eloquent writer. I cried reading your story. I am so sorry for your horrible experience and for the loss of your little boy. It is absolutely NOT your fault. I wish I could hug you, but all I can do is wish you whatever brings you peace.

  43. I recently found out that 6/2/10 (my son died 6/30/10) was the date this birthcenter was served for a civil lawsuit from a mother and father caring for a little girl with severe disabilities. Again... these midwives would not call an ambulance for her.

    A mother contacted me from reading my online reviews. Her son died in this birth center in August of this year. She started her labor and labored through the night. Her husband sent his mother a text at 11:20am the next morning telling her the baby was crowning and had lots of dark hair. He would be born any minute! Guess what time the midwives called for an ambulance... 8:30pm that same day. 9 hours. 9 hours later an ambulance was called because the baby was stuck. 9 hours. Her baby lived 4 days in the NICU.
    Please pray, send positive thoughts, hope... whatever you've got that we can stop these midwives from killing our children. That we mothers will win our lawsuits and our police and the Idaho Board of Licensures will revoke their licenses and shut them down. There are currently 6 complaints being investigated. Mine is one.
    From the most recent report... The police department is dispatched when an ambulance is called to this birth center for any reason.

    1. There in the process of opening up one in fruitland Id. And the midwife I was going to see was friends with the ones that are in trouble. She was going to deliver my baby in Oregon, because of my past 3 c-sections. She went on and on how its much safer to have them at home. Your story gave me the chance to rethink my decision. I apreciate you so much for this. I can't thanks you enough! And again I am so sorry for your loss.

  44. My heart hurts for you. No one should have to go through what you went through. I am so sorry.

  45. I was just wondering if you were able to discuss which birth center you were using... It SOUNDS like you were in Boise and Meridian Idaho which is where we have been looking into a birthing center. I am so sorry for your loss.

    1. I am in Boise-Meridian and considering a birth center as well and am now worried which one it is. My heart breaks for you, I hope time can help to heal.

    2. I was recently in the paper with my story. Names and the birth center is here:

  46. Im so sorry for your loss...those words even seem so trivial to what you have experienced. Thank you for sharing your story.

  47. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Someone shared this poem with me and I thought I would share it with you. May peace be with you, always remember that you are not at fault.

    "An Angel in the book of life,wrote down your baby's birth and whispered as she closed the book...too beautiful for earth..."

  48. I stumbled across this by accident and am bawling. I cannot begin to imagine your pain. Thank you for having the courage to share your tragedy.

    We went with a birth center for my baby's birth but labor was very slow and very painful and we ended up transferring. She was eventually delivered safely, but I weep to think of the families who were not so lucky.

    I know this is little comfort, but your story is saving babies. Many will read about your precious son, and other babies who should have lived but didn't, and choose hospital birth.

  49. I was one of the nurses in the hospital....the one who held your baby, the one who made the foot prints, the one who picked out the clothes and the memory box. I think of you and Grant often. I have been screaming inside for justice. I am so happy that their license is suspended and that you spoke out here and in the newspaper. He was as you said, perfect. He was beautiful and he deserved to live. Thank you for coming forward so that others might have a chance.

    1. Thank you so much for your love and compassion and everything you did for us.

  50. I have tears in my eyes after reading your story. No words can express how deeply saddened I am for your loss. Your beautiful, precious angel lives in your heart forever. Thank you for bravely sharing your story.

  51. I'm currently working to become a CPM, and your story crushes me. What the stories keep repeating over and over, is that something should have been done. One good decision earlier by the women you trusted and your story ends up a simple transfer. Common sense, not by you the patient, but by those awful midwives who ignored the need for transfer. This isn't birth center or homebirth failure, but severe human failure. God bless you and your family, you didn't deserve this.

  52. Rachel, what can one say after learning of the experience you went through... I feel so angry after reading your story, and I can only imagine the emotions that you've been through. So unnecessary, so heartbreaking, so unfair. At times I couldn't believe what I was reading (what was happening) but unfortunately I can believe it. I am a qualified midwife (in a different country) and know the lack of quality training that exists here in my own country and also the careless rebels that are permitted to practice. It is so wrong. Your story has helped me - I haven't actually worked as a midwife (I had my own traumatic homebirth a few months after I became registered, no where near as tragic as yours but it completely cemented my decision NOT to practice and now your story has reiterated that decision for me. Academically I was top of my midwifery class for three years straight but I also know that I do not possess the confidence or clinical decision-making skills that is so very necessary in a position such as a midwife - being responsible for the life of both mother and baby during such a vital time. Some midwives just don't 'get' this responsibility and fail to realise the privileged and very critical role they play, I'm so sorry you had to witness this first hand. This is not an anti-midwife rant, I know there are many exceptional midwives out there working very hard to uphold the reputation of the profession. The type of midwife I speak of know who they are. May peace find you.

  53. I'm so sorry...your story moved me and my heart is in shambles as I'm trying to type with tear filled eyes. Bless your heart Rachel!!

  54. Im sorry for your and your baby, thanks for your story I was thinking on having my baby at home but my doctor said to me if something happen to you or the baby how do I come back home.... Than he said please don't, is like runig a stope sing most of the times nothin happen but one day you can have a horrible accident.... So I search the Internet for home Bird goin bad and reed your history.... Sorry for my bad writing I'm Italian.... Thanks for helpin my change my mind.... Good bless you and bring you peace

  55. Rachel - my heart goes out to you and your family. I cried reading your eloquent, tragic story.

    I hope the fact that you've apparently dissuaded several women from choosing to birth with CNMs can provide a tiny grain of comfort.

  56. i was considering a home birth with a midwife. while searching for a midwife i somehow got connected to this blog and then, to this story...i am heartbroken :( i pray for you and your family. i am so sorry this happened to you.

  57. I wept. I am so sorry.

  58. Rachel, I live in Meridian and found this site after it was mentioned in the comments of KBOI's FB post. I could have easily been you had my insurance covered birth centers... I interviewed C. Midwife back in January 2010 for my daughter due July 2010. My doula recommended her, my birth instructor raved about her, and I wanted to birth with her. She offered her services for what my insurance would have covered in hospital, which was everything. However, the practice I was leaving kind of whispered in my ear NOT to go there, that bad outcomes had happened in the past. And even though I really didn't want to, I ended up birthing in hospital with a midwife who had privileges there. I wish someone had been there to whisper (or scream!) that for you. My heart breaks for your sweet Grant. It infuriates me to no end that she made you go all the way downtown KNOWING you would drive by 2 other hospitals on the way!! F**7!! How can you profess to protect life and be a guardian for birthing moms when all she cared about was covering her own ass??! It's shameful, horrible, and you deserved so much better. My heart goes out to you. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I now see homebirth very, very different because of you.

  59. My heart breaks for your loss. I'm currently pregnant and after an unmedicated, uncomplicated birth with my first was considering a home birth or a birth center. I never would have known of the risk without people like you sharing your stories. Thank you.

  60. I am so sorry for your loss. It brings me to tears that the nurse was able to hold Grant for you and I am so sorry for that emptiness... You are a wonderful writer. Wishing you comfort and peace.

  61. Pls accept a hug even though we are strangers to each other.

  62. I just want you to know I sobbed through this entire account and it has convinced me to have a hospital birth rather than a home birth. I'm so sorry. There are truly no words. I pray for healing for you and your husband.