Tag Archives: childbirth

An Interesting Conversation

Just a glimpse into some of the day to day conversations that get thrown my way. Here is a conversation online that I recently had with a woman that I do not know on a post about the safety of home birth. I will call her “Birtha.” She jumped in on the middle of conversation and here is what she had to say:

Birtha: I don’t even know where to start with all this. Clearly, as a mother, I would do anything and everything to make my child’s life better, and to give her any advantage I can give her. That is why I stupidly fell into the propaganda and tried a home birth. So I understand where the gals are coming from here. However, it is shocking to me to hear that this is being framed as a “woman’s choice” argument rather than what it should be framed as: what is best for the mother AND a baby’s health. VBAC- Say mamma wants to do one at home. Or do a breech birth at home. How narcissistic and selfish is it for a mother to risk her child’s life simply to gain bragging rights of having a “natural” child birth? Because that is what this is about ladies, and you’re all fucking kidding yourselves if you deny it. This is about being able to walk down the street holding your stretched out vagina for all other lesser epidural-receiving and C-Section-having mothers out there to see and covet. This is a female-instigated, anti-feminist competition amongst women to prove they are stronger and better than other women. Think for a moment if men started telling women to ignore the FACT that child birth is the leading killer of women on this earth, and MEN (and god forbid they be males in the dominant patriarchal paradigm of the monetized birthing industry) telling women to forgo access to life saving medicines, technologies and doctors even though hospital births are proven SAFER, ya’ll would have a shit fit. But since this propaganda is being pushed by WOMEN, women are accepting it. And another thing! (RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE) Last time I checked, midwives charge money for their services too. So are midwives now corrupted? Maybe all midwives should accept payment with dried corn or fancy lace to keep their holier-than-thou purity. Next, I am a licensed (non-medical) professional. And if anyone ever attempted to do what I do without a license, I would immediately report them to the Board which oversees my profession and lobby strongly for harsh discipline. There is a reason why licensure is required…and it is to protect the public. Just as I don’t want a cabbie doing my dialysis, I wouldn’t want Lindsay Lohan as my cabbie. If you want to practice in a PROFESSION, then get a license AND INSURANCE. Lastly, the link on the crazy fucked up things the Oregon midwives do to NON- CONSENTING BABIES…I can tell you, speaking falsities about someone’s professional business acumen is defamation per se. There is no defense to defamation per se except truth. My assumption is, any of these black dots or red squares who felt they were lied about would shut that blog down with a single cease and desist letter. Lastly…it never ceases to amaze me that the same women who so ardently condemn conservatives for denying global warming when all scientific data points to the reality of global warming, are the same women who deny all scientific data on birthing at home. Super lastly, it’s super natural for male chimpanzees to eat baby chimpanzees. In going the home birth route, I initially wanted my husband to chew the head off my daughter when she popped out…but thought it may have negative ramifications in the media so ultimately I chose against killing my baby. Not because I cared about my baby, but because I cared about what other people would think about me. Super dooper lastly, I told my midwife 3 or 4 times that I needed to go to the hospital because something was wrong. Each and every time she said “You know if you go to the hospital, they’ll give you Pitocin, and you’ll end up having a C-Section. Do you want that?” And she would walk out of the room. Ultimately, I asked her to permanently leave the room, and told my husband to take me to the hospital and to not let the midwife stop me. Why in the fuck would someone who is allegedly for women’s choice repeatedly stand in the way of a birthing mother’s knowledge of her own body’s limitations? That, my friends, is the ultimate anti-choice move, and it was motivated by her desire to keep her transfer statistics low. Ultimately, I endured 27+ hours of needless labor because my baby was sideways, and the midwife didn’t know. The stupid cunt. But would I change anything about it? Absolutely not because I’m not an insufferable, judgmental bitch anymore about the absolutism on natural child birth. Actually, i would change one thing. I would have covered up my titties before having the Cedars valet park my car. In my book, character and credibility is everything when it comes to touching vaginas. You want ad hominem? I give you ad hominem: https://supportmidwifekatiemccall.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/the-gift-i-received-june-1-2012/ You were found guilty of practicing medicine without a license. Yet you show no remorse. No wonder it is so important for you to be right about something that can be so dangerous. Because it if is dangerous, you’d have to admit culpability to almost killing a woman through gross ignorance and arrogance. Again, if your former client is a liar, then sue her. It’s defamation per se and you would win. I make mistakes all the time. But I own up to them, and learn from them. You, on the other hand, are extremely dangerous because you do not learn from your mistakes. Rather, you’ve decided to paint yourself as poster child of the Pro-Home Birth Movement, and martyr for the rights of women everywhere. I believe this conversation is over.

Me: So, if you were at a birth where a mother refused transport as a student, you would just leave I assume? If you truly believe birth is so dangerous, my guess is you would anticipate the need for someone with skill to be present. Yet you attack me for saving a life? I don’t know where all your anger comes from, but I pity you. I was a believer is self-ownership and liberty long before I was ever pursued by the medical board. I pray nobody ever goes through what I did, including you. That is why I continue to fight for your liberty to birth (or not) wherever you like. Attack me all you like, but if the tables were turned and someone wanted to force YOU to birth at home (as you allege your midwife did), you would kick and scream for your right to do otherwise. Funny you posted this and not the response to it. https://supportmidwifekatiemccall.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/a-more-detailed-response/
Birtha:Why haven’t you sued your former client, her husband and the acupuncturist for slander and libel if what the three of them are saying is false? I cannot believe you have not taken responsibility for your actions even after this. There is a phone. There is 911. You were not, and are not, the victim. Would I leave? No. Would I try to birth a baby myself, and sew someone’s snatch without a license? No. And you have yet to respond to the study I posted. And I read your second post. The more detailed response. The “contradictions” of the mother you point out are collateral matters and do not change the reality of the situation. Your attorney’s statement in open court does not disprove anything. Attorney comments are not admissible evidence. Just because the plea offer is not in the records of either party does not mean it did not occur. Just because the mother did not see your hands ungloved while extracting the placenta does not mean her husband or the acupuncturist did not see your ungloved hands. Just because the father saw you holding a phone does not mean you actually called someone. Did your defense attorney subpoena your phone records to prove a good faith attempt to contact one of the unlicensed midwives you allegedly called? Your last link just attempts to obfuscate. But importantly you admit to practicing medicine without a license. And you need not worry about a Board going after me. I would never do something like this in a million years.

Me:I’m still not at my computer. I have not sued anyone because their stories corroborate mine in the most important places. I was not found guilty of not calling 911. An emergency situation was proven by the three medical experts and the EMT who was present. The question was whether I practiced medicine. I did. I’ve never said I didn’t. I’ve only said that if I had not someone may have died. That is all. The recent anonymous letter does not say who it is from, so who am I to sue, especially since it says the opposite of what the witnesses said under oath. So, either the author was not one of the witnesses or the author is guilty of perjury. Either way, I have no way of knowing who wrote it. And may I remind that the only LICENSED medical provider at the birth ALSO did not call 911. Why do you think that is? There is a PICTURE of my gloved hands. Phone records are inadmissible as hearsay. The father did not just see me with a phone, they also said I called the midwife. Nobody saw you when you were alone with your child, does that mean you are guilty of beating him? I’m very concerned about the path we are on here… A sad future for our children indeed. It now appears you are just wanting to attack me personally. Why is that?

Birtha: Just in case anyone one was wondering: 1. Phone records are not inadmissible hearsay. They are an exception to the hearsay rule if verified by the custodian of records of the service provider. 2. If someone defames you online, you may file suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against DOES 1-100, and then use the case number to issue a subpoena against the ISP to gain identification information of a) the owner of the email address and/or b) the computer from which the message was sent. 3. Or you can just go sue the only other three people in the room with you and subpoena all their computers to find out who it was, and dismiss them when their computers turn up nothing. 4.  here is a copy of the midwife’s IC agreement: http://www.centerfornaturalbirth.com/documents/welcome/CNB_Informed_Consent.pdf You will see there is nothing in there regarding the fact that 37% of all nulliparous women stand a chance of transfer to a hospital, nor are there any references to increased infant mortality. Also interesting, is that a birthing mother must agree to go to the hospital upon recommendation of the midwife. (Meaning, if the midwife is responsible, and recognizes an emergency situation, even if the mother does not want to be transferred, she has waived that right to object to transfer.) You will also note, the midwife agreement only covers LICENSED MIDWIVES. Not aspiring midwives or shoe salesmen. 5. Just for your info.
Me: ‎1. That’s not what my judge said in court 2. There was no ISP as the letter was posted publicly by a third party who said she got it from a friend who got it from a friend and refused to disclose her source. Further, you think I have money to hire a PI or something? I’m a single mother over here who’s job has been stripped from her. 3. Three people in the room? Who are you talking about? 4. That’s not MY IC or the midwives I work with. And yes, agreed… all the more reason the only LICENSED person at the birth I attended should have been the one to recommend the hospital and yet she argued against my recommendation.

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


Day 24: 113.5 Hours Remaining

Just because I have kept a positive attitude during this process does not mean it is PLEASANT. Nothing angers me more than people justifying their position behind my prosecution or in supporting those who slandered me during the investigation and the case by saying that this blog is proof that this has been good for me. This process will ultimately turn out for the good of everyone involved, because my God loves me and is sovereign. But that does not in and of itself provide absolution for every evil thing that was done and said during this entire scapegoating. Job’s friends were all wrong.

It is only by a supernatural power that I am keeping it together. My faith has grown deeper than it has ever been in my life because I KNOW where I would be right now if God were not even more real than the judge, jury and prosecutor. I can feel the tormenting sea of insanity brewing just beneath my breast. I can hear the voices of rage screaming murderous hatred just behind my ears. I can smell the smoke of pending devastation within my fists. I am a crazy woman restrained.

I have begged God for justice. I have searched in my wake for a victim and found none. I have scanned the horizon for a place of refuge and find it only in His arms alone. I have bottled a million tears and slept without a home or a bed for over a year. I have felt the branding of being a burden to everyone I meet. I have watched my children shoulder the pain of adult cares. I have felt the sting of a child support check that doesn’t even fill my gas tank after six months of nothing. I have swallowed the tyranny of the cubicle with a wide open mouth.

And in the end I can only say that for the life of the baby girl that was saved, I would still do it all exactly the same way if I had to do it all over again. Because I could not live with her death. Because her life is worth this pain. Because the struggle of midwifery and the exposing of the inconsistencies in our midwifery law is worth this pain. Because the cause of parental rights is worth this pain.

Today I met a woman who put her husband in the hospital and got half the hours I got. She also got a misdemeanor.

Helicopters hovered overhead and we all wondered if they were awaiting a verdict in the Michael Jackson case. Everyone was discussing it. I felt nothing but a pit in my stomach, remembering the day the jury deliberated less than two hours for me.

I told one of the staff that I might be out of a place to live soon. He’s been hearing more about my situation lately and today he got really angry and told me that he feels so bad for what is happening to me and my kids. My response was to panic internally. Having a skid row shelter staff worker tell me it’s bad, is like an oncologist tell you that you your tumor is bigger than he’s ever seen. It removes any doubt about whether or not you are going to make it.

To get out of the slump I was in I wrote a note to encourage Eric because I imagine the case workers don’t get thanked very much. As I was writing it, Charlie was telling me how much he loves his job at the shelter. How he can’t imagine doing anything else. How you gotta love what you do so you do it well.

I hope that Eric loves his work like that and I told him so in the note. Then I paused, looked up so I could choke back tears, and said, “I loved what I did before I came here. Really loved it. Could work 70 or 80 hours in a week and it didn’t even feel like work…”

I found my purpose, my calling, in midwifery. God told me to go there and do it. And I did it. To the very best of my ability. But like King David, God told me this temple will not be built by me. That answer is not GOOD for me, but it is God’s goodness that holds me as He says it. He holds me while I sob and pour out the futility of all those years of study and devotion and selfless hours of not being paid. All that time and care given for no reason but just to love families with all of my heart. My heart wide open.

Chastening does not have to be for a reason. Sometimes it is the simple hand of the potter cutting off a piece of the clay that is in the way from it becoming the perfect piece it’s intended to be. Sometime the potter crushes the whole thing on the wheel and starts over agian.  

God has some purpose beyond what I can see right now. The struggle of chastisement is not, in itself, the best thing God has planned for me. The end result is the best thing. Just as Christ’s death on the cross was not for His own good, but for the goal of the prize God had ordained on the other side.

Resurrection. That faith is what keeps this phoenix alive in the fire. A faith of weaker substance would have rendered me suicidal.

Job 19:25-27


Day 6: 242 Hours Remaining

As I sat rolling toilet paper, I couldn’t help but listen in to the conversation Robert was having with a resident. She was a 300 pound black woman with breasts that reach to her knees as she sat, partly watching the sports channel. She was missing half of her teeth. One of her eyes was swollen for some reason. Her hair stuck straight up in the back but was neatly combed flat in the front. She wore bright red lipstick, the kind that reminds you of the day you tried your grandmother’s on when she wasn’t looking and then couldn’t wipe it off before she found you.

“Shack’s like eight feet tall. He ain’t got no reason to quit playin now. He comes round and the utha guys just move out da way!” And with that she separated her hands as if parting the red sea. Her eyes were blazing but dim with yellowing.

Robert chucked. “That may be so, may be so.” And then he started to talk about some of the other players. Within three minutes, the heavy set woman had dozed off in her chair.

“…Don’t you think that’s SO!?” He asked, increasing his pitch to rouse the woman out of her sleep. It worked.

“Yes, yes. But they don’ play the way they use ta.” and she started to doze off again while Robert continued his side of the conversation.

This back and forth doze and talk, doze and talk, went on for about an hour. She was either very tired or high on heroin.

“What’s yer NAME?!” Robert prodded.

“Chuckums.”

“Checkers?”

“No. Chuckums. Like I chuck um.” And she threw her fists in the air as if beating an unseen foe in front of her.

“Oh.” Robert no longer seemed so interested in talking. Chuckums fell back asleep. Eventually, when she almost fell out of her chair, she excused herself to find a bed.

Later on, as I was sweeping the courtyard, a male resident came out to use the bathroom. I didn’t recognize him. Must not be a vet. He looked at me, puzzled.

“You a volunteer? Or doin communy sarvice?”

“Community service.”

“Hmmm. This is a sad place they be puttin a woman in the middle of the night. Dis place is real rough and tumble. Why dey do dat?”

“I don’t know, sir. But I’m here. And I’ll be here for quite some time.”

“Well, chin up, sweetie. We all make mistakes. You’ll learn from yours and it’ll all get bettah. You’ll see.”

The next morning a female vet was at the front counter.

“Damn bitch drank ma Koolaid!” She hollared at me.

“Who?”

“Damn fat bitch. Swear to gawd. I had a full bottle las night when I wents to bed an I wake up and it’s PINK. It’s been wata’d down, shor as hell. Damn bitch drank it and then poured wata in it like I wouldn’t notice nothin. I swear.”

I shrugged, unsure of what to do. Pilar looked at the vet blankly, blinking. Who would volunteer to confront Chuckums for Pete’s sake? The woman was BIG and for all I knew going to wake up with quite an interest in finding more heroin instead of making amends about Koolaid.

The vet walked away, seeing we weren’t going to do anything about it. I went back to sweeping. Three minutes later she was back, holding a bottle of pink liquid up for all to see.

“See!? Is PINK. I don drink my Koolaid wata’d down like dat. Bitch DRANK MA KOOLAID!” And she huffed back off again. Ten minutes later she was smiling and signing out like nothing happened. I was relieved she’d let it go.

Some time later, Chuckums stopped at the counter. Her hair was now neatly combed down in the back, but her eyes were blazing again against the yellow.

“Sumbuddy done poured Koolaid on my BAG! What bitch would do sucha thing?” She didn’t really wait for a response as she made her way out the door.

Sometimes people just take matters into their own hands.


Day 1: 280 Hours Remaining

The tedious driving to south central only reveals that the Assistance League office at that location no longer exists. How typical. How joyous. More wasted gas with a court ordered cessation of income. Hoorah.

I’ve learned my lesson so I decide to attempt a call to the next office listed. Ring. Ring. Ring. Times fifty. Nope, that won’t work either.

When all else fails, the traffic court is always open. That beauty of beurocracy… the Hill Street Hilarious. The paperwork says the Assistance League is on the 2nd floor, 9th window. The 9th window says the Assistance League is at the 2nd window. The hours of operation are different than the paperwork. More waiting and more parking fees.

Finally there is a person. She is mousy, hispanic and full of smiles. Relief washes over me. A HUMAN! She asks me to fill out paperwork, which has become my full time job these days. Boxes to check and my vital stats repeated in numerous places. I mark that I have been convicted of B&P 2052, a felony.

She types into her computer and looks up over her glasses. “Whatchoo get arrested for?” she asks with a puzzled expression.

“Practicing medicine without a license. I caught a baby.”

“That’s a new one.” She purses her lips with that ghetto distate. “Hold on.”

She returns with an apologetic expression. “I’m sorry Mija. Looks like ju gonna have ‘drive or ride and animal’ on jor paperwork. Nobody in here knows why but da computer says dat every time I type in jor conviction number.”

Great. Not only am I a felon, but now whoever I do my community service work for is going to think I was arrested for bestiality.

“How many hours ju got?”

“240 plus 40 with CalTrans.”

She types some more and gives me three options. She tells me my options are limited because very few places for community service want felons. Two of the places have hours that would require me to pay money for childcare I don’t have since I can no longer work.

“Ooooh, Mija… this one might work for ju. It’s with the VOA and it’s nights.”

“Perfect.” I tell her. Skid Row, here I come: a midwife convicted for riding an animal. Maybe they’ve confused me with Boudicca.*

*http://www.unc.edu/celtic/catalogue/boudica/catalog.html