Lifting The Veil

Proof Stillbirthday is not to be Trusted

January 30, 2013
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Make sure you search all previous posts about Stillbirthday to get the full story.

All images clickable for better views.

There was a Secret Group formed in early 2012 called “Unity & Healing”. The group consisted of:

  • January Harshe (Birth Without Fear; Stillbirthday supporter)
  • Heidi Faith (Stillbirthday Founder, Fed Up w/Natural Birth)
  • Lisa Miller (Raptor, Mama Tao, Fed Up, Stillbirthday Mentor)
  • Liz Paparella (Raptor, Fed Up, Hurt by Homebirth, Stillbirthday)
  • Bambi Chapman (Raptor, Fed Up, Hurt BHB, Stillbirthday)
  • Sammy Finnley (The Skeptical Mother)
  • Elizabeth McKeown (In Search of the Perfect Birth)
  • Michelle Cockman (homebirth loss mother whom Bambi attacked on a public page, unprovoked)

The overt goal of the group was supposedly to all find Unity & Healing amidst hurt feelings towards each other and potential misunderstandings. The covert goal was to convert the last 3 women to dropping any exposés against Stillbirthday and even recruitment to a) endorse SB or b) join them.

All swore secrecy as they attempted to get to know each other better and make amends. During the group it was even instigated that they divulge personal information which they would only tell close friends, as a “trust exercise”, and asked to share photos of themselves and their family.

It did not end well.

Below are some pictures of a conversation proving the character of the members of  Stillbirthday. Let it be known that they are willing to take personal information and share with a large group of anti-natural birth fanatics, even when trusted and sworn not to. This was done even though the three natural birthing ladies are known targets of the anti-NCB hate groups (thus protection and anonymity needs, such as the kind Sammy employs).

Proof that Stillbirthday is not to be trusted. Banned from Birth Pages informs The Skeptical Mother & In Search of the Perfect Birth that the secret group they were in with Birth Without Fear and Stillbirthday members (Heidi, Liz, Lisa, Bambi) was not secret after all. In this group sensitive personal info was shared, including pics, as an effort to bridge a gap and build trust between Stillbirthday and ISOTPB, TSM, and Michelle.

That group had been an effort to build trust amongst each other, to know that their intentions were good and prove that Stillbirthday was worthy to any doubters. Sammy has kept a low profile ever since creating her page and blog, but was just informed that everyone in the anti-NCB groups (like Fed Up and The Raptors) have seen her picture, as well as all the group contents that were “secret” and “private”. If Stillbirthday members are willing to break their own promises just because they have an allegiance to a group, or because they have a personal dislike for you, how can they be trusted as mentors?

ISOTPB explains why Stillbirthday cannot be trusted. Neither can January’s opinion for her endorsement of them, nor Heidi who founded SB and stands behind all her mentors as a positive choice. Banned from Birth Pages informs that they don’t care about Stillbirthday’s reputation, because SB is pro-CPMs. Therefore, BFBP does not care that they outed people within the organization as being unworthy of trust with personal information. ISOTPB quips that whomever in SB showed the secret group contents to the whole group of Dr. Amy followers trusted the wrong people.


Who’s the Real Sanctimommy?

January 15, 2013
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ORIGIN
“Sanctimommy”– a term coined within the Dr. Amy camp. A combination of sanctimonious and mother, they use it to vent their frustrations about anyone who makes them feel inadequate.

APPLICATION
They apply it generously to anyone who openly espouses natural parenting methods.

Have homebirths, umedicated births, midwife births, or freebirths? Sanctimommy.

Cloth diaper?
Sanctimommy.

Don’t spank your kids?
Sanctimommy.

Don’t believe in circumcision because you can’t stand the thought of cutting your newborn baby unnecessarily?
Sanctimommy.

Baby wear? Co-sleep?
Sanctimommy.

Exclusively breastfeed?
Sanctimommy.

The list goes on. All you have to do is be open about it. You don’t have to be preaching or condescending, but it will be construed as such. Basically, the term gets thrown around because these people feel you’re trying to make others feel guilty for not being like you. Your mere existence and openness about the natural parenting lifestyle would qualify you for the title “sanctimommy”.

They may as well be shouting, “Do you think you’re better than me?!”

PRIDE
Look, every mother has trials, tribulations, hurdles, and achievements. We’re all just doing the best we can. For one mother, breastfeeding past one year feels like an achievement. To Dr. Amy’s group, this may make her a “sanctimommy” (if she is proud of it and tries to tell her story to others, especially if she claims its betterness or benefits). A member of Dr. Amy’s group, however, might be proud that they were able to finally get a good night’s sleep alone with the baby in the crib. Each mother had her own reasons for doing something, and it was a goal which to her was worthwhile. Each mother struggled and was proud of the achievement/outcome. It’s natural. Even if you don’t understand or agree with the choice, we have to admit that we all do what we as individuals think is best… otherwise they wouldn’t be our choices. Seriously, when was the last time you as a mother chose something because you felt it was mediocre? So, if a mother is feeling proud over a success with a choice she made that differs from your own lifestyle, does that make them a sanctimommy to discuss and say so?

PREJUDICE
Which brings us to the Dr. Amy group again. They selectively label “sanctimommies” to mothers trying very hard to do what they feel is right with a natural or attachment parenting slant. Other parenting methods that could make others inadvertently feel guilty or challenged are not attacked. Yet, the “sanctimommy” labelers take part in storming the internet with their idea of “betterness” in parenting, in everything from vaccinating to birth to breastfeeding, and more. They join pages they ideologically disagree with solely to inject their own personal feelings on what is best, safest, smartest. And they expect you to accept it as fact, or clearly you don’t care about your children.  Well if this isn’t just the pot calling the kettle black?

Yes, Dr. Amy herself is a Queen Sanctimommy. Other things Dr. Amy is a sanctimommy about: single mothers, same sex couples, and even women leaving their husbands over abuse. Amy believes that none of these folks are doing what is best for kids. Dr. Amy believes that you are a better parent if you are married to someone of the opposite sex only, even if they beat you. And she believes they have to be the biological parents. She thinks any other kind of parent is being selfish, that the children need both biological parents in the same household as them. Nevermind the dysfunction this implies, it’s downright prejudiced and well… sanctimonious. It reeks of a person who was either in an abusive household where she saw people stick it out despite it, resented someone for leaving an abusive home for her own selfish reasons, or is currently part of an abusive or loveless home… and tries desperately to justify it by proclaiming it “better”.

Not that we could ever accuse sanctimommy Dr. Amy of being against dysfunction. After all, she does endorse/support the organization Stillbirthday. Clearly, mental health and stability takes not just a back seat, but a back bumper, to her agendas and preferences she attempts to impose on society.

ILLUSTRATION
But even Dr. Amy is a proud mom. Just like the well-meaning first timer feeding her kids all organic baby food (and succeeding! that sanctimonious bitch! just what is she trying to prove, anyway?), Amy is not immune to the call of the mother to work at something and accomplish something to be proud of (and then, share it with the world).

She showed this to her group Fed Up with Natural Childbirth.
pooramyskidsCute kids. Now, this is something Amy worked at and achieved. It has absolutely nothing to do with childbirth, which you’ll note is the very subject of the group she fronts, where everyone constantly whines about sanctimommies. She shared this solely as a means to brag about something she achieved. For a human being, this is understandable.

Now, someone could have called her a sanctimommy. People could have got offended at the time she committed to the task. What, does she think she is a better mother because she took so much time to make these costumes? People could have got offended at the amount of resources and money she used. What, does she think those things made her better than me? Big deal you used all that thread… what do you want, a gold medal? People could have gotten offended at her creativity and execution. What, does she think that just because she has this skill, that she’s a better mother? Gee, it really sounds like you’re trying to make us feel bad about ourselves, Dr. Amy.
Nope. No one did that.

In fact, no one even pointed out the awkwardness of making four differently-aged siblings all dress as Teletubbies for Halloween, just to show off Mommy’s talents. I’m looking at these cute kids, smiles on their faces, and thinking how in the hell she convinced these older boys to dress in these cutesie matchy-matchy costumes that are pop icons for toddlers. I was a pre-teen and a teen in the 1990s. I know this wasn’t hip, cool, or desired. I have to wonder if a lot of tears were involved. Coercion? Hopefully money, and hopefully not including going out in public beyond the front steps. I also lived in the Northeast (where Amy and her family are from), so I know how cruel and merciless your peers can be in that region specifically. At a very young, elementary age, I was expected to be a lot more mature than my childlike nature asked of me. Kids are not kind. In fact, some of those kids from my childhood probably grew up to be trolls…

Normally I wouldn’t bring the kids into this, but this paints an excellent picture to illustrate the main point:  Who is the real sanctimommy?

She’s not a sanctimommy for making unfortunate costumes for older kids to wear on a major holiday (Ralphie and A Christmas Story, anyone?), but for thinking her way is always better while being selfish and putting her own ego first, all the while pointing fingers at others and thus being a hypocrite. For her harsh judgment and unforgiving nature, and her inner fragility obviously seeking validation, she is the Sanctimommy she condemns. And her fan base is just the same.

The former child in me looks at this photo and cries out “Noooo!” in recognition that this would have been ultra embarrassing. The mother in me today gets angry that someone who spends her time accusing everyone of being “sanctimommies” was so proud of her own self as a mother as to probably put her own wishes and needs above those of her own children, and their own psychological happiness and well-being.

She had to show off what she could do! She was a super mom. She was a proud mom, proud of a mommy thing she worked at and did. Her kids may have been mortified by it in the process, but she was good at something.

All mothers– from the young hippie to Dr. Amy– want to be validated, want to feel important, want to know our efforts are not in vain. We’re all trying our best to do something good, something right. If someone else’s efforts make you feel bad about your own, call them a “sanctimommy”. It will be more telling about your own issues than the person you are labeling.

What I wish the trolls could see is this:  it’s unfair to accuse others of something that we are all guilty of– trying, achieving, celebrating. It doesn’t have to matter to you if it matters to the next woman. And to slap an ugly label on it? Bullying.

By the way, take another look at this picture and remind yourself that in the 1990s, this is what Dr. Amy was doing instead of practicing medicine.


A Candid, Casual Purging About Birth Without Fear & Stillbirthday

January 14, 2013
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This is a post by Elizabeth, from In Search of the Perfect Birth.

Here’s my story. I run a birth page. My page/book came at the end of my having discovered the trolls, the same ones who torment January. I never even heard of BWF before so when I finally did hear of her, and I knew what happened with her and trolls, I reached out to her and told her my troubles, asked for her help. Any info, etc., because at that stage I was scared for my family and thought she’d be sympathetic. She never responded to me.

Fast forward a lot later. Over time I support her page, share things, comment on her page thru mine. Trolls make her cry, boo hoo I’m fat and ugly (No, you’re not fat and ugly, they are haters, keep doing the good work, blah blah blah), etc. etc. Yet she never gives me the time of day. Only time she acknowledges me is to “like” a compliment I give her. Okay, whatever.

Got tired of that and stopped following her page. She would start “drama” and then yell at her followers for being the ones with the “drama”, so I didn’t like the vibe. She wasn’t even kind to people who agreed with her on things. As it got more negative and I noticed her “borrowing” things from my page with nary a shout out, I banned her personal profile AND her BWF page from following mine. I wanted to shut her out completely and go about my business. That worked okay, for a while.

Then I did a bunch of posts on Stillbirthday. This really rubbed her raw. See, Amy trolls are involved so I did some exposés. Didn’t go over well since she endorses them. Somehow Heidi (the founder) has January in her back pocket, being a supposedly “good Christian” woman and all, and January would hear none of my or anyone else’s reservations– we were just wrong and that was all there was to it! Not only were we wrong, but we were running a smear campaign. A few fb scuffles on our pages happened and January started a secret group for me, The Skeptical Mother, loss mom Michelle, and several of the trolls and founder of SB to have “Unity and Healing”. The pretense was to work out our differences and come together to finally have peace. They tried to befriend us and get us to drop our guards, share our personal details, and then tried to use that to convince me to lose my posts or back off. They even tried bribery. I refused. January flipped out on me for having not changed my mind and being unwilling to make deals, so after I took enough of her abuse I left the group. Then she trolled my page with her alternate FB profile one last time right after, just to make one final bitchy comment at me. For the record, Sammy and Michelle are my friends and they completely disagree with what happened in the group as well. They cannot stand her either.

So, I try to ignore her for the most part, because her ego doesn’t need any help… but people keep bringing it to my attention. Every day I hear about how someone new was treated unfairly, something else she stole from my or Sammy’s page, or ways in which she snarks on being the best or the only page to do a certain thing. I just can’t seem to get away from the information, so now I can bitch about it in this post. If I could kick one motherfucking ass in the world, maybe it would be hers. January, please meet up with me in person.

Okay, okay… strong words. I wrote the above when I was really angry. Forgive my rash, violent tendencies… I’m only human, after all. Maybe meeting with her in person would be better to actually talk it out, or get to know each other as actual human beings. Wouldn’t that be a nice possibility?

To give you an idea, have any of you seen the TV show “24”, Day (Season) 8? I tried to find you a clip, but, the scene where Jack Bauer is talking to the President, and she keeps trying to shut him up and get rid of him in response to her cover-up, and he says to her, “You don’t want to know the truth, do you?” That whole scene totally illustrates how I feel about January (she would be the President in this scenario, and I would be Jack Bauer… for extra credit in that Season, Charles Logan would possibly be Heidi Faith). Sorry, I just got done watching a backlog of 24 on my DVR. Anyway, if you get that reference, you’ll really get my frustration.  🙂

For more info on Birth Without Fear, Stillbirthday, or any of the groups or individuals named in this blog and why they are here, please perform a search for them right here on our site.


Birth Without Fear Gets Called Out

January 14, 2013
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As previously mentioned, Birth Without Fear had said goodbye forever to Facebook. Of course, she was back within about a month… but no matter. Here is some of what transpired in response.

(Images are clickable for larger visuals.)

Facebook was apparently too negative. ISOTPB got something off her chest that day. BWF had been unfairly treating people who were actually FOR natural birth, including actual fans, while giving anti-natural birth trolls special privileges and even promoting Stillbirthday.

Addie is a fed-up/Amy troll who came to defend BWF, which of course she appreciated and approved of. ISOTPB reference to The Skeptical Mother was of course deleted, while her “Fuck you” comment remained visible for an extended time.

 

Star comes to defend. She is also part of the troll group. She seems to believe that since she was treated okay that everyone must be, because what happens to you is somehow indicative of the whole. What she really means is she knows they are all on the same side, which is all that really matters.

“Star”, another Stillbirthday member and Dr. Amy troll.

Meanwhile, on another page dedicated to bragging about which Birth pages you’ve been banned from, they (the trolls) take a vote. This includes people who are closely involved with Stillbirthday and whom defend January when it’s convenient.

These are people who selected BWF. See any familiar faces? They will defend her out of one side of their mouth, but brag about how they’re pissed off (or whine about how “unfair” she was to their trolling) out of the other. And these are the people BWF chose to cater to.

Bambi (Stillbirthday, Dr. Amy, Raptors, Fed Up, banned from the birth pages, etc.) comes to defend BWF. Calls ISOTPB “Evil E” (the troll nickname for her), and mentions that she would have a go at her if she were still allowed. Unfortunately Heidi (boss at Stillbirthday) told her being publicly vindictive was no longer allowed. Suppressing true colors has been the new order of the day in light of ISOTPB’s exposé’s of the Stillbirthday organization. Naturally, January (BWF) liked it.

ISOTPB comes back to respond to those who were opposed to her statements, and provides much background and explanation for insight. Of course, this was swiftly deleted, as it was far too damning. Bambi’s libelous blog post remains despite several corrections Elizabeth (ISOTPB) made for her, including the one in this pic. Please remember that Bambi is a grief mentor for Stillbirthday. This is what Heidi at Stillbirthday and January at Birth Without Fear are okay with, promote, and support.


BWF: It’s All About Success

January 14, 2013
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First of all, to have the full story on why January Birth Without Fear is even included in this site, please do a search for her to find all posts. You will see a trend of manipulation and hypocrisy, all motivated apparently by greed. Not always greed for money, mind you… but ambition and power, a desire to “be somebody”. Somebody more than she is. Somebody more than just someone’s mother, or a housewife.

She took many breaks from Facebook over the years, leaving a few “goodbye, cruel world” posts. During these, she would inform us of how much healthier it was, how much more time she was enjoying with her family, and got on her soapbox to tell us just how toxic Facebook and the internet is and suggested we do the same (and leave). Even when she finally said she was leaving for good and never coming back (and this time, I mean it!), she was back within about a month. She just can’t stay away. Is it part internet or Facebook addiction? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s because during her LOA, The Skeptical Mother’s numbers came dangerously close to surpassing her own. It was noticeable, and only a matter of time before Sammy’s numbers topped hers. She simply could not let that happen, family or sanity be damned.

On her blog, January (BWF) reveals something which was suspected all along: that her identity is wrapped up in the idea of her being successful.

 

 

As much as we have a distaste for the deceit and conniving we have witnessed through BWF, we can agree on something: the internet and Facebook CAN be toxic. In fact, she herself has demonstrated this to us. But, wasn’t she on to something? Why does she always back down from what is best for her and her family, and healthier? And despite our issues with her, perhaps the internet brings out the worst in her. Perhaps she is misunderstood, or misunderstands others. Regardless, she’s ignoring even her own best instincts to remain with her family and validate herself through there. It ends up not being enough for her ego.

And although there are issues which cause us to dislike her, who knows… maybe being a mother is where she really shines. No matter what I think of her, she could be a completely different person when she is one on one with her kids.  On the internet she is motivated by ego, obsessed with being on top, being important… Wheeling and dealing, employing whatever means are necessary to maintain her status, are parts of her formula for success.

All about popularity… everything is politics. These topics should be sincere and about helping women, so why does it turn so easily into wannabe prom queens stuffing the ballot box? And then they cry about bullies?

bwfsuccessIndeed.

Be better than that. You are women and mothers, no need to compete, no need to claw each other in a race to the top. No need to lie, cheat, and steal. This is just reducing us to stereotypes. We’re worth more than that!


Getting Qualified Care: Titles & Education

January 4, 2013
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Previously published by Elizabeth @ The Perfect Birth, this post examines some of the hypocrisy of Amy and her followers as they storm the internet harassing women about their birth choices.

13 01 2012

This is part of a series called Getting Qualified Care, where we examine the anti natural birther movement of storming the internet to dispel what participants within feel are lies and misinformation about birth. We are discussing just what constitutes quality care from qualified providers, the subtext being “who gets to decide this” — mainly, would you allow other individuals from a movement with their own set of biases choose for you what your standard of care should be?

What makes one “qualified”? Is it a prestigious educational background?
Maybe it’s a rank or a title, like “Doctor”.

Amy is Harvard educated AND a doctor. Impressive.

Amy informs someone that college and medical background means you cannot disagree with them and possibly know what you’re talking about. Interesting. Only a fool would disagree with a doctor!

Here is Amy telling us a Doctor is wrong.

Here is Amy telling us a Doctor is wrong.

Here is Amy telling us a Doctor is wrong.

Here is Amy beginning to tell us that yet another Doctor is wrong.

Don’t want to ruin it for you, but, another wrong Doctor, according to Amy.

I could go on, but I think you get the point– Dr. Amy, 5, Other Doctors, 0.

It can’t be the Doctor credential and the years of medical training and background that is making people credible or qualified. Then again, I guess any glance at My OB Said What?! could have shown us that:

Just one example of real-life anecdotes submitted to popular website My OB Said What.

All doctors come to the table and present their “evidence”. How do you know who is telling the truth, especially in a world where we’ve considered that doctors are capable of being flawed?

Maybe it’s in the licensing of that title, to validate it.

Most of the “Fed Uppers” are on a(n in)quest to end midwifery that does not belong to the CNM (certified nurse midwife) category. They believe that all other forms of midwife (usually designated as CPM, or certified professional midwife) are a joke and disservice to women. It needs to be noted here that a lot of this stems from personal bias and bad experiences or trauma the women have faced with natural birth. Differing regions (particularly in the States) have varied regulation in terms of education and practice standards, but in general, much training and years of education are required for one to become a licensed midwife of any title. Yet, one of the main purposes this group claims to promote is eradication of what they deem less qualified midwifery in favor solely of the CNM model. Unfortunately, CNM’s largely practice in birthing centers and in hospitals. What I see as the real goal in mind is the eradication of home birth.

Is a midwife more qualified just for having gone to nursing school beforehand? Is a midwife more qualified for taking a more medical approach to birth? If no other midwife licensing is allowed or considered “qualified”, will that ensure everyone has more qualified care, or will it eliminate options and force women to choose between clinical birth and freebirth? Who gets to decide what kind of care a woman must receive, if not the woman herself? Who gets to mandate which one and only kind of education is valid and acceptable? What if midwifery as we know it became illegal?

Maybe it’s in the current state of practice.

Some argue that a midwife who refuses to renew her license recently is no longer a midwife and shouldn’t be allowed to practice. It doesn’t matter that her skills are still fresh in her memory, and that her choice to not renew is believed to be a political statement against mandating with whom and where women may give birth. To add controversy, suppose this midwife was unafraid of taking cases labeled “high risk” in order to give women more options for their labor, understanding the high risk cases could potentially result in a loss whether or not she presided over the care? If you knew a tragedy could be inevitable regardless, would you choose to stand by your patient, or would you CYA?

Others would argue that an out-of-practice OB/GYN who’s been retired for almost 20 years now, although still given the title “Dr.”, is no longer up to date enough to be giving accurate medical advice, opinions, nor to be weighing in on birth today and facts presented by others who are more current and active in the field. Indeed, birth has changed a lot since the 1990′s. For better or for worse, the skills, policies, drugs, and technology would be greatly different. A doctor who stopped practicing back then, in this fast-paced profession, would undoubtedly be considered old school or maybe obsolete to the hospital crowd.

Being fair, we could say that neither one has “lost” their skill set. Are either of them any less of a doctor or a midwife? Only in technicality. In our own minds, it’s up to our own judgment to ascertain this wisely. Who would you rather have– the latter, or the former– look after you? What would seem more “qualified” to you?

I think education is nice, licenses, degrees, and titles are all very nice… but at the end of the day, it isn’t any one thing that promises to provide you with “qualified care”. Everyone is equally capable of incompetence. Truly understanding this leads to resigned acceptance of freedom to choose the care you think is best, without harsh judgment or scorn.


Getting Qualified Care

January 4, 2013
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Previously posted on The Perfect Birth blog, by Elizabeth

12 01 2012

Of course your care providers are *qualified*, but in the eyes of whom?

Most of us would agree that finding qualified care is of extreme importance. Where we diverge, however, is in how we define “qualified”. We could just leave it at that and live and let live. After all, we will never all agree on one set standard of what is acceptable. What you find to be proper I may find inappropriate, and we are all different people with different values and different needs.

However, there are people out there who are so obsessed with the care other women receive in birth that they are unwilling to give in to this, and frankly they are quite mad. The people I am talking about storm birth articles, pages, groups, forums, in addition to their own groups, forums, blogs, etc., in an organized front to rally against natural birth and what they believe to be some kind of natural birth cult-like movement. One of their main groups  even describes itself as being Fed up with natural birth, fronted by an infamous retired doctor, a former OB/GYN. This may not be very compelling in and of itself if not for the fact that nearly every naturally-inclined pregnant woman who hits the internet for information or camaraderie is bound to bump into (and, heads with) these individuals whether they’d like to or not. The level of force used is great, from the mischievous to the malicious, and people who disagree are automatically considered ignorant and bombarded with what some can only describe as hate speech. This is done in an attempt, they say, to be of service to women and babies.

My thoughts: We all want safe options for women, and we all do what we do because we think our information is correct, our stance the truly educated choice, but we don’t all impose our beliefs and standards upon others.

In this next series of posts I have titled Getting Qualified Care, I will take a deeper look into the anti-natural birther movement and their obsession with controlling how total strangers both view and give birth. Specifically, we will be bringing up points to cause readers to question whose definition of “qualified” should count, who gets to decide this, and just how qualified the people concerned are to dispense the info and services which they do.

One thing they stand firm on: They are doing it to help.
Let’s keep that in mind as we take a look at the people who want to make sure YOU are getting qualified care.


Guilt is a Destroyer, Part 2

January 4, 2013
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This piece was previously published for The Perfect Birth blog. The subject matter explains the dynamics behind a lot of the anti natural childbirth trolling.

Guilt is a Destroyer, Part 2

12 10 2011

I see the problem here as guilt and denial. One feels guilt in incredible ways, and then lives in a state of denial about how all these other things are at fault. The denial is also, therefore, a denial that they had the primary role in their own life events. Rather than accepting that something just occurred and everyone was there and had a choice, there is a need to blame. Rather than blame oneself and admit the guilt that is plaguing oneself, one then opts to direct all or primary responsibility onto somebody else. It’s a coping mechanism. It goes a little something like…

Natural birth is at fault– it’s not that great, medical advancements are far better, what’s so great about vaginal drug free birth anyway, you aren’t winning a medal for it, it’s killing women and babies and is archaic and stupid.

Midwives are at fault– they aren’t educated, aren’t properly licensed, mine should have known I was in trouble.

The NCB community is at faultthey indoctrinate people, it’s like a cult, they all believe in BS and not in science, they guilt mothers into making wrong choices.  ETC.

It’s never up to the woman. Do you see? You can never “blame the mother”, or use “blame the mother mentality”… which is cried if anyone tries to further examine the mother’s choices in the event in light of tragedy. If blame is going to be placed at all, these are the questions that we need to be asking. Sorry.  It’s never her choice, her responsibility, her consequences. It’s always somebody else.  She is automatically innocent (and how dare you, btw), and somebody else is most definitely guilty. You see, I’m not just saying question the “guilt” of everyone… I’m saying consider that everyone is innocent.  Blame usually doesn’t have to take place at all, but if you are pointing the finger at me or damaging other people, someone has to step in and point out the accountability here. It’s gone too far, too long. There are worse things than blaming the mother. You could be blaming people who are just as accountable, less accountable, or not accountable at all.

For example, when a practitioner does their best to provide the service you have hired them for, that’s all you can ask of them. The rest is up to you.

IF you are present at a birth and you feel something is not right, it is your duty to yourself and child and all involved to act accordingly. IF something goes wrong, and you always had the final say, you must own up to your part in things. It is an admission of the truth and the first step to moving forward in a healthy way. As I see it, all normal-intelligence adults available are responsible in a time of need. This does not all rest on the shoulders of one. When you hire a midwife as your naturally-minded caregiver, it is not so she can take the fall in the event of misfortune. If one feels that way, one should not hire a midwife. If they have committed an indisputable count of negligence or abuse, obviously I think they deserve blame. However, if you still had a choice and didn’t make it or take it, you shoulder some of that responsibility. You have a voice.

[Recently I heard a troll say that the reason midwives should be properly licensed and insured is so that if a tragedy occurs, a lawyer would be willing to take the case because there would actually be money worthwhile to come of it. Ah, I see… So, everyone, get an OB so that if your child dies, you can properly get a lawyer and sue and at least get some $$$ from it. ] Good reason to change your birth plan, natural childbirthers.

So no, I am NOT advocating blame, but when I see projections and misdirections of anger, rage, hate, and guilt, I think we need a reality check. Midwives are trained professionals, but they DON’T know everything. Neither do OBs for that matter. The most important piece they are missing is YOU and your intuition. People, no matter how educated, make mistakes. It’s not all homicide, bloodshed, and manslaughter. Sometimes no matter how much it is KILLING you inside, these mistakes are completely innocent. You are ALL accountable for your choices. No ONE single person takes the fall, and no one always has to take the blame, automatically. A death should not automatically be assumed as the fault of anyone. Investigate, ask questions, but accept reality and live in it rather than create a false one where you are less accountable. Sooner or later, no matter how skilled a person is, they are going to witness a tragedy. Sometimes, these things just happen. You hate to hear it? Yeah, it sucks, but it’s true.

No, don’t blame yourself, don’t beat yourself up, but don’t do those things to ME either. Be brave, face your problems head on. It’s cowardly to direct the hurt you feel you deserve to instead hurt others.  I would never tell a mother how accountable she was in her child’s own death… until she starts pointing the finger at others. Those who believe it’s always the other guy’s fault, those who believe that with their pain comes a sense of entitlement, those are the only folks who need a reminder that they were also an adult in that room and also capable of making a choice. It’s something that could and should go without saying most of the time, unless you keep shoving it in the world’s face in order to create suffering and remove your own accountability in the process. My theory: you don’t hate me, you hate yourself for not making the choice you knew was right. I wish I could magically take away your pain, but I can’t. You need to get serious professional help if you are trolling the internet and calling it “helping others”.

Guilt, you see… it’s a destroyer. It will change your whole world. Friends become enemies, demons become friends. Things you used to believe in become false. You lose faith in whatever God you may have previously claimed. Activities that harm others become the norm. They do things which cause more pain for themselves and those who come into contact with them.  Others who love you feel put out or neglected by you. You are withdrawn, putting on a fake face to be acceptable in society while inside you feel you are someone else. You don’t have to suffer alone, and you don’t have to live with this intense pain your whole life. Your children, living and deceased, would not want that for you. You all deserve better in life.

People reject healing when they think the hurt seems insurmountable, or they are undeserving. This comes from self-loathing. A partly aware admission of accountability which translates as guilt says, “how could I let this have happened to my baby?”, and hate and beating yourself up follows. Guilt is a real bitch, but you had it coming, or so the logic goes. So, one resigns to a life of pain and guilt and blame, because they don’t see any other path clearly. They even think it would be disrespectful to the memory of their baby to NOT feel this way. I suggest that the worse disrespect is the mistreatment of other women, mothers, and babies in the process of your rage and guilt. Even the very midwife deemed the culprit is probably not so worthy of hate. Granted, it would take a lot of forgiveness to ever feel that way. Baby steps.

I’m telling you, people, there’s an imbalance here, and it’s not healthy and it’s not right. It’s toxic– to your mind, probably your body, and your soul, and it’s affecting others. You want consideration for your feelings and it’s been given to a fault, but even through the pain, you need to offer your consideration to your fellow (wo)man, because we all have pain, and you aren’t the only one (and this includes infant loss). It does NOT have to be this way, so ugly and nasty and cruel.

In any case, hate (which guilt has produced) is not productive or conducive to goodness or healing for you, or anyone. Some think healing from baby loss is impossible– so why bother, right?  If healing is impossible, why try to “help” anyone who has lost? I hear that a lot, about reaching out to others who have lost, as if that means anything. “I’m here for you.” What comfort is that with a dead baby? If nothing can fix it, why the community? Because you are looking for understanding and looking for something to feel even a tiny ounce better than the loneliness of your grief. You are living with the unreasonable burden of guilt. And let’s be real, here– it’d needn’t be. Other women have gone through losses and not reached the same conclusions. It is possible, but you have to want it. Your pain is not reality, it’s just your reality. There are other truths out there to explore if you would only let yourself. If you can accept this as true, you can also begin to see how other realities of other people– loss moms and other moms– are their truths. The healing stories, the stories of love and overcoming pain, are the ones that are going to be of service to people. We need to spread those, promote those, give hope, and help people get better. Instead of resisting those, maybe you could listen to those and when you are ready, believe in yourself once again and your ability to let go of guilt and have peace.

Quit letting your guilt destroy you, who you were, what you want to be for your family, and who you have become. Break the chains and ties that keep you part of a destructive lifestyle. Live and let live. Find the path to end bitterness and guilt now so that when you are an old lady and preparing to leave this life, you can look back with fondness and gratitude rather than wrath, and you will be surrounded by children and grandchildren and more, who lovingly embrace who you are and their time with you. You cannot get a dead baby back, but you cannot get back lost time, either. Every hour you’ve spent persecuting strangers on the internet is lost time. Pain is an addiction, an obsession. Find the road to recovery. I may never know your pain and I hope to never have to, but I do care about your well being and want you to find peace and joy. If I were in your shoes, I’d want someone to do the same thing for me.


Stillbirthday: A Dr. Amy & Raptor Organization

January 4, 2013
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I am going to explain to you the history and background of Stillbirthday as I have come to know it.

Many of you know Dr. Amy, the infamous retired OB/GYN who is adamantly opposed to homebirth and even natural birth. She is known for running blogs and groups such as The Skeptical OB, Hurt by Homebirth, and Fed up with natural childbirth. She has a relatively small following, but they are passionate about what they believe in. They roll their eyes at the thought of unnecessary Cesareans, they mock people who feel they’ve been birth raped, and they think that birth trauma is really just another way of saying “I successfully delivered a healthy baby”. Dr. Amy has also (directly or indirectly) spawned a group that calls themselves the Raptors.These are a group of women who fancy themselves something as mommy birth vigilantes.

The Raptors in numbers are somewhere in the neighborhood of 100, but Dr. Amy has a following on her blogs and groups of over 300.

One of their main activities is to search for baby loss stories, preferably in real time as they happen. I imagine tools such as Google Alerts are used for this, as when the bad news hits, they get it fresh off the presses. And, since almost all of these members are also fans of numerous birth related FB pages, they get fresh wind of loss even before anything hits the media, and they bring it over to the Amy group to discuss. Both members and Amy herself will do this.

But there is a criteria they are looking for: must have something to do with natural birth, homebirth, midwive-attended birth, or anything that deals with not having a hospital medicated, doctor-managed birth.

This is how they found Vylette’s mom and Margarita. Vylette’s mom is now a FB fan of Stillbirthday, and Margarita is now in the group that is fed up with natural birth, even after she had discovered how many people associated with the group ripped her apart and attacked her (which is not uncommon in anything Amy-associated).

The way they do it is this: they go straight for the throat. They extend their sympathy and try to win the friendship of the mother. They do this by swarming in with large numbers. They want to make her feel embraced, loved, understood, and accepted, and they do this while the mother is still fresh in grief, probably still in a state of shock. When they can’t hold back any longer or when the time feels right, they will express to the mother how dangerous midwives are, or out-of-hospital birth, and they will begin to deliver messages that say or suggest that their baby would not have died in a hospital. Sometimes this is true, sometimes it isn’t, but none of us are coroners, few of us are doctors, and none of us were on-scene or privy to the medical records. Basically, none of us would 100% know what we were talking about in order to diagnose or determine a cause of death. This fact has of course never stopped Dr. Amy, and naturally her fans and followers are cut from the same cloth.

What happens when they reach out to the loss moms fresh in grief? Typically it only goes in 2 directions. Either 1. the mother will resist, and then she will be attacked. See Michelle. 2. the mother will become recruited (even if slowly, gradually, or to a smaller degree) and become part of their groups. Obviously the goal is active recruitment.

Enter Stillbirthday. A resource started by a close friend of the Raptors, and run by Raptors. Endorsed by Dr. Amy herself.

Stillbirthday founder Heidi is helpful to Dr. Amy. Stillbirthday mentor Lisa Miller is also pictured. This is from the Fed Up with Natural Childbirth Facebook group, of which they were/are members.

Here Stillbirthday founder Heidi is lauded as the religious go-to person for Dr. Amy anti natural birth trolls.

 

Elizabeth (from In Search of the Perfect Birth) was shut down when she did a collection of posts regarding what would seem like obvious concerns about Stillbirthday (search for Getting Qualified Care in our search bar), one of the mentors (Liz P.) accused her of being a heartless bitch, and January BWF told her she was a trouble maker and a troll who was not really interested in healing. Just for asking these questions. Just for not feeling automatically convinced that everyone was on the up-and-up just because they promised to be good. In fact, whenever anyone expressed legitimate concerns, founder Heidi accused them of trying to squash her dead son’s legacy, which is what Stillbirthday represents to her. These individuals were unable to see past their own individual interests and into the broader scope.

That lack of concern for anything besides their own pain, coupled with the laundry list of unsavory affiliations, and the methodical way they seek and approach loss moms is compelling to any outside observer as to why one may be wary of such a group.

In fact, this will probably be accused of being “false”, and if history repeats itself, I would ask for clarification on what is false and get no response. Some will call this paranoia or conspiracy theory.

This would be really interesting coming from a group that has a secret group just for Raptors that reportedly, after infiltration (?), supposedly forced members to submit photo identification to be allowed in.

And when they visit your favorite birth page to voice their dissent (“troll”), they will insist that no echo chambers be allowed, shouting that they are tired of being silenced. However, they have silenced others, like when Dr. Amy deleted comments by loss mom Michelle on her blog, or when Heidi deleted Elizabeth and Michelle’s comments on posts about them for Stillbirthday. Despite the hypocrisy, they cling tightly to their identities as victims as they enter groups meant for support and encouragement… and then discourage and mock.  To point out what is becoming glaringly obvious in their agendas will be largely denied, in spite of all this.

Heidi to this day says things which are not true, such as critics of Stillbirthday admitting they lied or were wrong, or were only after popularity or page views when they chose to “attack” her, etc. The truth is, talking about this stuff makes people unpopular. The truth is, most groups shy away from posting this stuff because they are afraid of losing hits (not gaining them). Anyone who outs Stillbirthday is taunted with threats like “you’ll never be as big as Birth Without Fear!” or dangled promises, such as joining in a Master Blog with all the greats in exchange for cooperation or silence.  Psychologically it is classic to accuse others of something you yourself are actually guilty of (being only in it for money or fame, for example), but we can assure you– like Elizabeth’s past posts, this blog will not be bought out or silenced. Even if only 1 person ever reads it, the satisfaction lies in the truth being out, and you can’t put a price or a bribe on that.

The “Stillbirthday Doula” is a self-made credential and designation, but would-be doulas have alarming “homework” to do to complete the process (along with hefty fees). For people who are so tight with Dr. Amy and the Raptors (anti homebirth/natural birth crusaders), to say this is not a conflict of interest would be scarily delusional.


Stillbirthday: The Lost E-mails

January 4, 2013
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The following is the email exchange between Heidi and Elizabeth (In Search of the Perfect Birth). It is being published to dispel rumors and lies being spread about her, her work on the Stillbirthday articles, and their exchange. This is quite lengthy and may only be interesting to people aware of the communications existing between that blog and Stillbirthday, as it illuminates the truth of the matter.

Elizabeth’s Disclaimer:  I honor ALL requests to keep private e-mails between me and others private (which is assumed default by myself), unless it becomes necessary in order to clear up lies. She was given multiple opportunities to not perpetuate libel before this was published.

[Apologies on any of the formatting issues– no matter how many times I corrected it, certain things stayed as-is.]

Hi Heidi. This is on the record. I wanted to ask you a few questions, if I could, about Stillbirthday, and I do plan to use it on an upcoming post where I address receiving qualified care. If you are okay with that, would you please respond to these?

First of all, I had Michelle send this for me as a favor. She is helping me compose this and she may also add some of her own questions in here to mine. Okay, now–

Could you discuss a little about what exactly a Mentor’s role is at Stillbirthday?

What do you think qualifies these women to be in that role? I understand these are women and mothers who have experience with loss themselves. Do they have a backgrounds, training, or degrees in psychology?

Do you give psychological evaluations to any of your Mentors before they assist a grieving mother? Do you feel that these individuals are emotionally and psychologically sound enough to be in such a lofty and sensitive position?

Do you feel there are any potential dangers to someone who is still unresolved in their own issues of grief being placed in a position of trust and mentorship over someone new to grief?

I know that several of you sincerely dislike natural birth, or what you feel are tenets of a NCB community, to an extent of being quite angry or even voicing feelings of ridicule. Do you feel this would be a potential obstacle in offering good counsel or compassion to someone grieving (particularly someone who has utilized natural or home birth as a method, and whom does not feel this was to blame for their loss, and would do it again that way for future children)?

Do you feel that healing from loss is possible, and how do you support others in their quest to get there (if so)?

Do you think it’s offensive to suggest that healing can happen after this level of pain? Do you encourage or discourage joining any particular *groups* after someone has suffered a loss? I’m remembering Margarita in this and how quickly your group took her under their wings when she announced the passing of her son. I can’t help but wonder if that didn’t have an effect on the way viewed her loss.

How do you see yourself handling women who are grieving but not in agreement with any of you in the birth department? What do you anticipate being the response of one of your mentors to one of their former clients, were they to “meet” again in the online birthing communities which often butt heads?

 

Given the “secret groups”, the rage we’ve seen, the label of “trolls” given– how do you plan on ensuring that women who innocently enter your program looking for help can be and feel safe with their mentors?

If there is anything else about the groups you are a part of, and their relation to Stillbirthday, or anything at all else to share with readers, what would that be?

Thanks so much for your time, Heidi.

Dear Elizabeth,
 
Below I have copied and pasted your questions that were sent to me through an intermediary on Facebook.  I want to make sure I have all of the questions before I respond.  Is this the complete and accurate message that was to be sent to me, regarding stillbirthday’s mentorship program?
Blessings,
Heidi

Thank you very much, Heidi. The message appears to be in tact, the exception being, I believe Michelle had added her own question and I’m not sure I see that there. I think she was mainly addressing some hurt she has felt before on this topic. Did you receive that in your correspondence?

Thank you for your patience and openness,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth,
 
Are you still interested in my help with these questions?  It appears as if you have already written an article regarding some of the topics presented in your questions.
 
Regarding the last question that was sent to me, that was out of quotation and was made by Michelle, she assured me that my conversations with her are separate from mine with you.
 
I am interested in your intentions with these questions?  If this is all in regard to an article not yet written, I am interested on the angle, as it appears that your questions have revealed that you have quite a few misconceptions regarding pregnancy loss, bereavement, stillbirthday, who I am, what values I align with, and what interests I have.  I don’t make this list boastfully, but in an attempt to give you a clearer perspective of the potential inaccuries that are likely to present themselves, embarrassingly, in a published article prior to your full understanding of these things.  I’m sure you understand.
 
I would be happy to indulge you in clarifying these preconceptions and/or help you with your article if you are genuinely interested in learning.  I offer that hesitantly, because I know that your blog is used as a platform to serve an agenda that has nothing at all to do with my pregnancy loss website.  I am willing to work with you in good faith, in an effort to bridge this gap of misinformation, but I will not use my time to participate in a manipulative game.  I have a great many pregnancy loss families, including my own, who would be much better deserved of my time.
 
Incidentally, have you read the outline for the mentorship program?  It has been available through the website and I know it answers many of the questions you posed about the mentorship program.
 
Blessings,
Heidi Faith

I am definitely interested.

Obviously I have my ideas of what is or isn’t best for one another in terms of good health, as do we all, but I really wanted your perspective. You appear to be wanting to help women, Stillbirthday *seems* like a good cause which I’m sure is best on good intentions, and even if you disagree with me, I’d like your point of view heard. I can only assume things about you, but you can tell people the truth about how it is from your own standpoint.

And, if you feel that I have an inaccurate idea about you, or stillbirthday, I don’t mind at all if you point that out and talk about it or say why in your answers. It’s totally up to you and your comfort level, though. If you’d rather not answer my questions, that’s okay, too.

I am not trying to be part of a manipulative game, and I appreciate you wanting to steer clear of that. I do think that there are perhaps harmful and dangerous things here! Just as I’m sure you may feel on your side, towards me and some of the things I support. All of us are hoping to remove misinformation, and maybe the more we talk about it, the more we can all truly understand each other. I guess that sounds kind of silly, but, I don’t see enough of us trying.

I can’t promise you that I’m going to agree with you, but I wanted to give you the opportunity to express yourself and represent Stillbirthday in the way you feel is accurate and fair. Truthfully, I’m going to talk about it anyway, but giving you a voice in it and a way to share what it really means to you would be much more balanced. I respect your decision either way– to participate or decline. One thing you DO have my word on is that I will not tell ANY lies (I don’t believe in it), and I will not go off on a tangent and vent my personal opinions on people (something I’m known to do, ha).

I have read the outline on mentorship, yes, and if you’d like to use that question (“have I looked at the outline?”) in response to one of my questions, you may… I just wanted to ask in a certain way and hopefully open the door for you to elaborate on those topics.

Thanks for taking time to write to me… let me know what you decide.
Elizabeth

Elizabeth,
 
I am concerned that you are interested in moving forward with a story, one that has an obvious slant to the questions, one that involves stillbirthday, and one that you recognize has a great deal of misunderstanding on your part, whether I approve of where you are going with this or participate in this line of questioning.
 
I would love to help you out with getting to know me, my website, and anything about pregnancy loss in general better.  That and the article need to occur separately, and I believe that the information, education, and understanding needs to come first.  Based on this, how would you like to proceed?
 
Blessings,
Heidi Faith

Heidi,

I had the misfortune of being pointed to Bambi’s blog where she said some very incorrect things about me and my intentions. I in no way, shape, or form demanded that she be thrust out of your group over the threat of me discrediting you. I only wanted to ask a few questions, and you opted out. I am not sure if these are delusions Bambi is having or if she was given incorrect information, but in light of these new accusations, I will be publishing our entire exchange between you and I.

Bambi, btw, was never my only concern with Stillbirthday. I had several. If I were ever to be so bold as to make threats, it would not mean getting rid of HER, as she would not solve the underlying problem I perceive Stillbirthday to have.

This is quite unfair and untrue and I will make sure the correct information to dispel the wrong will be out and available for those willing to do their own research. I am sorry you did not take the opportunity to speak openly and plainly with me, as I feel we could have eliminated what is becoming a major misunderstanding. This is all hearsay, she-said-she-said, and it really isn’t honest at all.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth,
 
Your blog is available to the general public, and as such, the general public has the ability to make their own interpretations of your work.  Your concerns with someone’s interpretation should go to that person directly; it was not necessary for you to use anyone else to send your line of questioning to me, as stillbirthday is certainly available; it is not necessary for you to use your blog to voice your public concerns against decisions stillbirthday makes as there is a confidential avenue for that at stillbirthday, one that serves to protect all participants in any aspect of stillbirthday from possible negative effects of such public expression (and I continue to strongly discourage you from violating that); you did not have to present your concerns with a grieving mother’s interpretation of your public blog post with me, concluding that you will now violate what you agreed to be a conversation of confidence.
 
I did not opt out of your line of questions.  I shared some concerns I have regarding the vast amount of misinformation – the lack of knowledge – you have regarding many essential aspects that are relevant to your questions and the angle with which you presented them, and I offered to provide you with that information, but asked that you allow me to teach you in an environment conducive to learning, and that offer still stands, although previously, it was you who declined to participate – please know that I am aware that not all of our exchanges are in this forwarded email and that it is apparent that you have altered them.
 
 
Regarding any issue you may have with stillbirthday, the website itself offers a solution to that, one that does not need to be made by voicing those concerns through your blog.  I am certain that your concerns are seated squarely in your ignorance of the important aspects I highlighted to you previously, those that I offered to work with you on, those which you refused to learn about, those which I strongly recommend for your own sake and the sake of grieving mothers you do take time to learn about, whether through stillbirthday or other reputable sources that are approved by midwives, nurses, obstetricians, law enforcement officials, paramedic professionals, grief counselors, and psychologists, as stillbirthday is.
 
Please know my offer continues to stand, to help answer any question you have regarding stillbirthday, and that the concerns you tell me you have but have yet to indulge me in have ample room to be dealt with directly, not publicly.
 
Respectfully,
Heidi Faith

Heidi,

My concerns for how people view my blog are one thing, but I haven’t even published anything about Stillbirthday yet for anyone to interpret, and so any interpretations of my actions comes from second-hand knowledge, or misconstruing of knowledge.

Instead of telling me that it was not necessary for me to “use someone else” to send you questions, I have 2 responses. 1) How do you know? You didn’t even ask me why. You just assume it had no purpose. You guys reaaaaalllly need to start talking to people and hearing them, rather than jumping to conclusions about people. I’m a human being.  2) Why is that relevant, and how does that hurt our ability to now communicate? After all, you are now speaking directly to me, via e-mail, which is what I wanted in the first place.

“It is not necessary for you to use your blog to voice your concerns about Stillbirthday….”
Like it’s not necessary for anyone else to use their blogs to voice their concerns about me and blog posts I haven’t even written yet, based on hearsay? That’s a double standard. We all use our blogs to voice our concerns about many things, including public figures, people, midwives, and other bloggers. Why are the rules suddenly different for me?

“there is a confidential avenue for that at stillbirthday, one that serves to protect all participants in any aspect of stillbirthday from possible negative effects of such public expression (and I continue to strongly discourage you from violating that)”
Okay, and what if someone comes across the “negative” public expression of ANY of your mentors in relation to natural birth? Who is going to protect them from that?

And doesn’t everyone have a right to know who they are receiving care or aid from? Why can’t you stand behind your mentors and Stillbirthday proudly?

“you did not have to present your concerns with a grieving mother’s interpretation of your public blog post with me”
I shared it with you because it originates with you, and you needed to be aware of it. Before, this conversation was just between you and I. Now a third party, your friend, has written a blog blasting something I’ve supposedly done before it’s even occurred. I felt you would need to be aware of that. Again, I haven’t even cracked in to Stillbirthday yet… her wild ideas had to come from somewhere, and I know *I* didn’t tell her.

“concluding that you will now violate what you agreed to be a conversation of confidence. “
So let me get this straightyou want me to let someone lie about me publicly, and have your whole group of people AND the general public believe it (which is libel and defamation, by the way), because you want me to keep our e-mail exchanges private?

You expect me to allow this to happen, and keep letting people come to my page to bug me about it, and do nothing, because… because e-mails are sacred?

Are you serious?

This could easily be cleaned up by you. You wield a lot of power here. You know what REALLY happened, you know I am not guilty of any of the things she claims, and she is your friend. Clean up the mess or I will. I had never even planned to publish our emails, but I felt like my hand was forced.

Also, what do you have to hide? I understand the comfort of confidentiality, but is it really going to hurt you if I share your emails? Why? Why do you feel so threatened by me sharing our e-mails? Weren’t they innocuous enough? I know that I’m happy with how I presented myself… are you happy with your end? What’s so confidential about anything you said? What is so damning that you say that would hurt you more than I am being hurt by the public lies currently on display about me? Or is your ounce of comfort worth it for my pound of discomfort?

I’ll say it again– there are some double standards here, and it’s not right; I am a human being, too.

Furthermore, I need to remind you that the very first thing to you I said in our exchanges was “this is on the record“. Sorry. I hate to pull that technicality on you like that, but, in this case, I don’t see a better way. In other circumstances, I probably wouldn’t have found it necessary to disclose our e-mails, but in light of the comments coming to my page from your group as well as Bambi’s post and all the supportive comments people are making under false pretenses, I deserve the right to defend myself and expose the truth. If you have a better way of doing this, please let me know.

And no I can’t take it up with Bambi… I tried that before when she accused me in another blog of advising a woman I had never even SPOKEN to which resulted in her loss. I left a comment telling her it was untrue, and why it was impossible. You know what happened next? People called me a stalker. Because I was at Bambi’s blog post. Which was about me. And she never took it down, never clarified, never removed her misinformation. Anyone going there now can still see her words and think that I might be a baby killer? No, obviously, I cannot reason with Bambi and if I try, I will only be criticized and tormented. She feels no sense of conscience when lying about people.

As I see it, Heidi, you did opt out. You were concerned about my “angle” and would not say the things you apparently CAN say. You say I am ignorant? I had yet to express my opinion, but, okay. Please, I am giving you the opportunity to show me where I may be lacking knowledge. Even better, I am giving you the chance to say so on my own blog, for everyone to see how and why I am ignorant. In fact, maybe I am ignorant… but ignorant people ask questions and publish the results. That’s called truth and integrity. You have a chance to educate people and you are missing it. I don’t see why this info has to be top secret– it should be available to everyone, for all to see, for all who could benefit from it. How are we helping people if we don’t publish the truth?

And I am partly aware of and taking time to learn some of the things that help the grief process from a professional standpoint, which is where my concerns for Stillbirthday actually stem from in the first place. I actually felt that, given the info I have right now, my questions were fairly objective– I know that might seem hard to believe, but it’s true. Now, if it were just a conversation between you and I, it would be less formal, more relaxed, and I would be freer to throw my opinion around. I was laying off that a little because I want your words and actions to speak for you– not me. I don’t want to be like others. I don’t want to falsify info or put words in your mouth. Speaking of which….

“although previously, it was you who declined to participate – please know that I am aware that not all of our exchanges are in this forwarded email and that it is apparent that you have altered them. “

I never declined anything… you can talk to me openly and freely, educate me, and I will answer you. That’s on or off the record. This still stands, right now. If you still want to answer my questions OFF the record, or work with me privately, I’m not shutting that door. I will still, however, ask hard questions about getting qualified care. I will still publish blogs which ask these questions. Midwives being licensed is important… so why isn’t psychological health? I was trying to get a yes or no from you on answering my Qs for use in the blog, and you keep dodging it, so I took it as you opting out. You keep wanting to deal privately and not publicly. That’s your choice. Like I said, it’s not going to stop me from doing a Stillbirthday post… it’s just a matter of whether you have the courage to answer the questions for me on the record or not.

Now…. that last part… I’m at a loss. I’m not sure what you mean. First of all, “I am aware that not all of our exchanges are in this forwarded email”…. huh? Maybe my email server cut some older ones off? I’m trying to figure out what you meant there. Do you just mean that we have spoken before outside of email? Sure, okay, that’s probably likely. “that it is apparent that you have altered them. ”  That is crazy! Are you actually accusing me of changing these messages? Heidi, I thought you were being sane and rational with me. Please, please, please, don’t make me think you are that warped as to say that. I hope you don’t really believe that. Please show me where they’ve been altered so I can try to see what you mean. I swear on my honor I have not altered anything. I am many, many things you may despise, but a liar is not one of them.

Thank you for your time… I hope somehow we can rectify this, as apparently it is getting ugly. One thing is for sure– I will NOT be had. All I wanted was to ask some questions. If people are out to get me or try to paint me as something I’m not, I WILL expose the full and total truth. Let’s be fair. here. I still haven’t published anything yet, so there is still time. I’m kind of busy. I’m not going to wait around for you or anything, but assuming you may be able to patch things up in a way that made me feel publishing our exchange is NOT necessary, I would reconsider. Otherwise, I should be able to defend myself, and you should expect me to do that wholeheartedly.

Elizabeth

This was the end of our e-mail correspondence. Heidi never responded, never offered any private, off the record enlightenment as she claimed was on the table and she continues to maintain publicly that I refused further private help or education.  From the understanding that I had still be publicly asked questions about Stillbirthday, she has since written posts about Michelle and I a la “lost sheep” via that site, and with no further interest in clarifications to me, Michelle, or to the public. When I attempted to comment on said posts, she refused to publish the comments, but did update her post to goad me. I allowed her to comment on my posts regarding Stillbirthday. She also made her presence known to me around the internet, in liking and commenting on things I had said, using those as opportunities to promote Stillbirthday.

Michelle and I still have yet to receive any sincere explanations– publicly or privately– to what we feel logically and emotionally are valid concerns, regardless of our differences.


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