In Conclusion

Today is my friend’s birthday. He is a single father  in the middle of a messy custody battle. DCFS is involved. I don’t claim to know anything about his baby mama’s case. But regardless, he felt the need to ask DCFS for permission to have me come over to his house. You know, because I’m a felon and all.

Just now he contacted me to let me know he is not allowed to associate with me. He got a “finger wagging” from the social worker.

Ironic that. Ironic all of it. I’m now too dangerous to associate with children, or even be present in their home. Hurry up and hide them! This midwife is dangerous.

It’s taken me a good couple weeks to write an update because the update I have is so heart-wrenching for me I couldn’t bring myself to write it.

A couple weeks ago on… oh, never mind, I’ve apparently blocked the date from my memory… I signed away my right to: 1. Have my midwifery license in the state of California and 2. Ever defend the Medical Board’s accusations if I attempt to ever obtain a medical license from the state of California for any reason ever again. Read: Never work in the state of CA again… not even if I went back to school and became an MD.

If California was like so many other states and recognized a woman’s right to birth WHERE and WITH WHOM she desired, I would be able to work outside of the megalomaniacal Medical Board.

In exchange, I get to relieve my pro bono attorney who has been tirelessly fighting on my behalf without a penny since the fall of 2010. I also get to know that I will have “surrendered” my license as opposed to having it “revoked”… semantics, really, but one that may make a difference in another state.

If I fought the Medical Board any further, I ran the risk of them back charging me tens of thousands of dollars. And, well, as a single mama with no ability to work in her profession, I really can’t afford that.

And, honestly, my supporters are tired. I watch the responses to my emails dwindle as time goes by. And my local birth community is too busy to care, most of them.

None of this changes even if my felony conviction is overturned after appeal.

The thing I find most ironic about this is that this state has many midwives who have been found guilty or plead guilty to crimes– most after the death of a baby– who are still working here, peaceful as peaches with their licenses intact. And further, let’s not get into the doctors who have continued to work.

So, I claw at the dry earth around me and hope to carve out some essentials as the kids and I attempt to make ends meet while I’m forced to remain in this county by the CA probation department. Without a job.

I clean houses, and babysit and teach classes here and there. I scrub toilets and paste canvasses and run errands for people. Whatever it takes. My friends at least trust me for these things.

And I see my children barely at all.

My daughter has taken on irrational fears ad nauseum and my son is incredibly angry. What do I do about it? Nothing. I don’t have time.

And I dream of the day when probation is done and I can leave this awful, ignorant, assaulting state. When I can burn the bridges I had with the Socialist Republic of California. And I look forward to another life in another state where midwifery laws aren’t so ridiculous.

But I’m ANGRY. I’m oh, so angry. My family’s blood is in this land. Our tears, our sweat. I’m FROM this place. My grandfather and grandmother served here as medical people. Gave their lives to the health and well-being of its citizens. We volunteered and voted and went to church.

And now the taxpayers of this state have seen fit to strip me of all of my life’s work, my family, my friends, my roots. They have seen fit to toss me out and give not a care to whether we live or die. Is a cage worse than being exiled?

Well, I guess I could stay… but then I would continue to work these 10-12 hour days and my children would be missing two parents instead of the one.

The words I want to write here are not suitable for children so I will leave this at that. Image


About supportmidwifekatiemccall

Katie McCall was born at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California by scheduled c-section as a frank breech due to the current medical system insistence that breeches should always be delivered that way. Katie's father's family was filled with teachers, her mother's family was filled with healers. It is no surprise then, that she went on to have her own two children and spend her adult life involved in a combination of teaching and healing through midwifery, childbirth education, doula work and serving families in Southern California. Katie attended USC for her general education and then went on to study with the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth to become a certified childbirth educator. Shortly thereafter, she certified as a birth doula (labor assistant) with the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. Katie was also mentored through a pregnancy and birth support business called The Birth Connection in Glendale, CA, which Katie later purchased and expanded to include a 1500 square foot education facility, retail store and birthing center. She enrolled in midwifery school and apprenticed with the midwives who ran the birth center as well as with midwives who attended homebirths. She sold her business to pursue her midwifery education full time in 2006 and passed her midwifery (NARM) exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2008. She went on to gain her Midwifery License from the State of CA Medical Board in 2010. Katie has received supplementary education in lactation to become a lactation educator, vaginal birth after cesarean support, support of sexual abuse survivors, aromatherapy and is neonatal and CPR certified. She assisted over 500 couples through childbirth education and attended over 550 births as of 2011. As a Southern California native, she has a wide range of experience, serving mothers from diverse backgrounds. She believes her job is one of empowering women to develop their own trust and connection with their bodies and their babies during their own unique journey into motherhood. If she has learned anything through her experience with birth, it is that every birth is as different as the women who are laboring. On August 17th, 2011 Katharine “Katie” McCall, a licensed midwife, was convicted of practicing medicine with out a license for a 2007 birth she assisted as a student. The charge arose from a home birth where Katie's supervising midwife could not arrive because she was at another birth. Instead of leaving the family to birth unassisted, Katie stayed. She recommended that the family transfer to the hospital and the family refused. They were aware that she was only a student midwife and that she was unable to secure an overseeing mid View all posts by supportmidwifekatiemccall

14 responses to “In Conclusion

  • Suzie

    Oh Katie,

    I have no words that will help, I can only acknowledge your despair, anger, and exhaustion. There’s a song out there and the main lyric is “they never tell you from the start/the world is gonna break your little heart.”

    I understand the dwindling support. There’s something about being in crisis that becomes uncomfortable to others, especially here in LA. It’s like that scene in “The Beach” where they put the guys who have been eaten by sharks in a tent out in the woods to die/recover and go back to playing volleyball in the sun. Everyone is tired of listening to their cries of pain. I feel kindred with you, our lives have both seen a lot of drama the last few years.

    Sending love and a prayer for some peace in your heart.

  • Karye Ann

    I read through this with tears flowing Katie. Even after knowing, seeing the brief post on Facebook – there are no real words I can speak that would even comfort you now. If I had the funds to wisk the three of you away as quickly as possible I would, to even make your life more tolerable for just one day. I would. My heart breaks, but I don’t even begin to understand the shattering you’ve endured these past two years.

    But, I do look at my little boy and remember his birth and your guidance, strength, counsel and love in that time and know – deep in my soul that all you’ve done and endured is not for nothing. I don’t know when or where… But it wasn’t – isn’t in vain.

    May you fly awy quickly to a place of healing and hope. And there may each of you find joy again. Be restored and fall in love with living once more.

    You are a mighty oak among many rotting saplings Katie.

  • Elizabeth and Greg

    I look forward to hearing about your new home, when you get out of California. It has been a long struggle. You have made the best of a rotten situation. I hope many in the birth community realize, it is a matter of luck, whether or not they are next. If one of us is not safe, none of us are. Much love to you and your family! Sorry my writing does not have great poetic style…but my admiration is very genuine.

  • Terri LaPoint

    I am so very sorry for all your pain. I don’t know how to help, except to renew my determination to fight with everything in me for real Birth Freedom. So that this never has to happen to another midwife ever again.

  • Stacy

    Katie, First of all English was not my best subject so I don’t have anything eloquent to say. 🙂 I am so very sad for you & for your children. I pray that as you find another place to live your life you will keep your eyes fixed on Jesus & eternity and that you will not forget about us here. 🙂 We love you and will continue to pray for you guys.

  • Mom

    Katie, it is no accident that your birthstone is the diamond. The Greek word for diamond means “unbreakable”. I’m sure you feel very broken right now, but your faith and love for God, your true spirit, are not broken. God creates a diamond with amazing amounts of pressure. The result is precious, just as you are precious to me, to your family, and to all of us. The diamond has an unequaled brilliance and radiance. Through all of this, you have been radiant, your brilliance has sparkled through the prism of your tears. We have seen how God has carried you, and our own faith has been strengthened. It takes over a billion years to make a diamond (Praise you, Lord, that Katie’s trials will not last that long!) and I know that God is preparing you for much better days to come. Grandma and Grandpa had a book by Kahlil Gibran, and there is one quote that I have always loved:

    “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
    And the selfsame well from which your
    laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your

    Sorrow has carved a very deep well in your heart, but God will fill it to overflowing with joy and peace and love. One day in the not so distant future, I see you sitting on a porch in the afternoon sun, watching Christiana and Robert playing in the yard, and you’re wondering how life could be so good. Please, God, may it come soon! I love you, sweetheart, there are no words to tell you how incredibly proud I am of you!

  • Sarah

    I wish I could do something. HUGS

  • Heidi Douglass

    Oh Katie- my heart is so sad for all that you and your precious kids have had to go through. I’m sending you a big hug right now. Please know you are loved. Whenever life hits you with what you don’t understand, fall back on what you do know…. God loves you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will lead your steps as you seek His will for your family. We are praying for your head to be lifted up. Love you sweet sister! Heidi

  • Dana

    Katie. I take no pleasure in the suffering your kids are going through. They certainly do not deserve any of the consequences your actions have resulted in. It will soon be 2 years since you suddenly disappeared, taking our money and never once returning our calls. Knowing that we had lost our 2 previous children, I still wish that you could have shown a little more compassion and given us the courtesy and consideration you seem to think you so deserve.
    I sat for months, watching you collect money from people who didn’t even know you and use it for your benefit, never once giving us so much as a fraction of what you took. God does give us what we deserve, one way or another. Not thanks to you, we finally have a healthy, happy child in our arms. I only hope that the difficult lessons you’ve had to learn will remind you that every action has a consequence. And you are not the only one who ends up paying the price.

    • supportmidwifekatiemccall

      You never responded to the following message that I posted many months ago, which makes me assume that you have no interest in actually rectifying your complaint. I have not gone anywhere, all my contact info is the same. Please feel free to respond. If not, I’m assuming you are just interested in harassment.

      ” @Dana: Sweetheart, I only failed to show up for one appointment, an extra one I offered to do for no charge because you thought it would be neat for me to meet your mother and I told you I was unable to be there because my son was hospitalized at Cedars Sinai. I’m really sorry that upset you so and I wish that I could have been available to you. But the response I got was for you to fire me as a result, despite my explanation that my son was hospitalized. According to contract, most doulas (including me) do not offer refunds for cancellations within a few days of your due date. Obviously there are always two sides to each story, but when you hired me I was told by the state that my investigation was dropped and I was given my license as a midwife already. Just wanted to offer my side of the issue for clarity. I am very sorry that you have not found peace with those facts and I am more than happy to speak with you if you’d like to talk further.”

    • supportmidwifekatiemccall

      I’m also confused about what money you are talking about me receiving? For me? As in, myself? That would be so great!

  • Dana

    Katie. I’m sorry I had not seen your response earlier. Thank you for copying it for me. Also, I want to acknowledge that I respect your decision to publish my post.
    Despite this, let me clarify that I was not days away from delivering (I was about 37 weeks along) and the contract specified the refund amount which was all I asked for after you had repeatedly cancelled, failed to return my calls and arrived late to our meetings. Your contact info may be the same, but you never responded and hence I wasn’t surprised when you did not show up for court and completely disregarded the court ordered refund you owed us. I had to have a co-worker act like a student at your classes to finally get a hold of you and have you served in person. Even then; no response.
    Regardless of the outcome, I feel it would have been important information for you to disclose that you had been involved in litigation; who wouldn’t?
    I don’t expect you to ever pay us what you owe, honestly that’s the only phone call I would welcome from you and the only show of good faith I’d believe. But yes, I am hurt. I placed my full trust and faith in a person who assured me that despite having lost 2 children, I was in good hands. That I could trust her constant support and acknowledged the extra attention I might need due to a very scary pregnancy. Realizing I couldn’t count on you at that late a stage in the game was devastating. Having to deliver my child in the same hospital where my other child died was devastating. That’s what I hired you for. Support. And yes, it’s still painful to remember that you did not live up to your promise and took our money and ran. I’m glad you feel you deserve to be paid over $500 per hour which is the equivalent of the time you spent with us. A judge and I simply don’t agree with you. Maybe if you had shown up to court you could have explained your point of view. I guess we’ll never know.

  • Dana

    OH, I forgot the most important part. I wanted to make sure that you knew that I DO understand about your son. I was a single mom for over 7 years with a son who suffered with asthma AND epilepsy. I had my fair share of visits to the ER for both reasons and never once was I unable to find one minute to call work and at least leave a message to let them know I would not be around. I would not have had a job otherwise.

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