Lifting The Veil

Bambi Acts Rashly, Shows Untrustworthiness (+ BWF)

March 14, 2013
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Threats and blackmail have been attempted with regards to this list. One person in particular guilty of this is Bambi Chapman. Bambi is known for being involved with almost every troll group named on this site. She also has an award named after her at Stillbirthday.

Harassing “Sammy” of The Skeptical Mother seemed the easy choice. They were convinced she was involved, and they knew she was vulnerable because she wanted to keep her personal life private. There’s only one problem with that:  The Skeptical Mother is not a participant in this project.

Bambi admits to outing her and her reasons why. (click images for best views)

We already knew Bambi was not good at keeping things secret. This happened on Banned From Birth Pages. The discussion is about Bambi telling everything going on in the secret group Unity & Healing while it was in session. (Search Unity & Healing on this site, for more info). In these following images, Banned implicates Bambi in breaching everyone’s trust.

secretgroup3 secretgroup secretgroup2

Even other trolls have decided to speak out against Bambi. See Tara’s comment.

Here Bambi (and Liz) participate on a troll forum (dated a couple years back). She takes about how much she hates people, and her love for snark.

You may notice a reference to her being suspected of playing other personas. While that evidence is beyond our current reach and dated and we have no concrete proof, we were able to compare IP’s and find that Bambi has been leaving anonymous hateful, irrational comments on blogs she dislikes.

This means we also have info on where Bambi lives.
Here is our personal plea to Bambi:  you are on this list because you have been your own worst enemy. We have observed this erratic behavior in you for years. You lash out at people who are innocent to you, often who have nothing to do with your life or your pain.

We also find it funny that you’ve publicized all this stuff about other people, such as your midwife. No one has any way to know if all the stuff you’ve said about her is true, yet you’ve made it your job to publicly defame her and no one has stood in your way.

Yet, when people have public comments about you and how you’ve hurt them, you get even.

What would happen if your midwife got even (you’d think that was unfair, right? even outrageous)? We also know of other false defamatory posts you’ve done, like the one about ISOTPB where you accuse her of killing a baby which she had nothing to do with. What would happen if everyone who ever talked negatively in public about anyone was harmed in retaliation? When do people have the right to speak out against people they feel have wronged others? Is it when it works for Bambi Chapman only?

Who can take you seriously, how can you be trusted, and how can anyone think you are ever acting out of anything but blinded vengeance and rage?

We are not as rash as you. We will not publish the private details of your life just on a whim, even though we know fully that you are 110% guilty of trolling and harming innocent people. We want to make sure that if we do it, it’s the right thing to do. Convince us that it is not. After all, we’re trying very hard to not be about vengeance and to only be about justice and doing the right thing. That’s something you should think about.

It’s too late for Sammy. You’ve already hurt her for no reason. Maybe the final decision of what we share should be hers? Maybe Sammy has a case against you for stalking and harassment. Because you have attempted to intimidate her and put her family at risk, maybe she would feel forced to pursue criminal justice. How far will this go? What will it take for your victims to protect themselves from you?

If you keep this behavior up, it was only a matter of time before someone called you out. You had several years going unchallenged, which is a pretty long run, but now it’s time to pay the piper. You are unhealthy and unstable and you are harming anyone that you can. Stop yourself first from inflicting more damage on others and targeting strangers online with your hate.  Then other people won’t feel the need to stop you and speak against you as a warning for others. Please, stop all your negative online activities and habits and get some serious and real help.


Addendum: How we know Birth Without Fear (January) was involved.

Obviously Bambi could not have figured it out on her own, as her claim brags. There was nothing on Sammy’s Pinterest that would tie her in any way to The Skeptical Mother. It’s possible that Bambi was the one who revealed Sammy’s name to all the trolls, but she would have had to have known the name or at least the initials beforehand for that to work (and Pinterest would only seem to confirm this for her, after the fact; a lame excuse and scapegoat). It only makes sense that that person doing the telling would be January (who knew TSM’s identity).

Since January had already told Ruthie (who was publicly saying the initials to harass and intimidate TSM), and January is also friends with trolls Liz and Bambi, it would be easy to see that January BWF is the origin point of all of this info. This was all probably discussed in private messaging at first, amongst themselves.

The way this was supposed to work benefited both January and Bambi. January gets to sit back and watch Bambi take all the credit for the dirty work, and not sully Birth Without Fear in the process. From Bambi’s perspective, in taking the credit she gets to prove she’s not the simpleton this list described her as. As you can see, that didn’t work out so well.

Lesson: January will do anything to further her own status, including releasing personal info that could be dangerous into the hands of people she knows are proven tormentors. She is not concerned for the safety of other families nor does she respect their well-reasoned anonymity.

When Hero Worship Goes Wrong

March 7, 2013
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You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

You can tell a Dr. Amy fan that she’s prejudiced, but they’ll excuse her as still bringing the “facts”.

You can tell an Amy fan that she (and her fan base) go after innocent women they’ve never met who’ve just lost their babies, and they claim that it’s for the purpose of saving lives (not the enjoyment of crushing people).

You can tell an Amy fan that Amy isn’t even respected amongst other skeptics and peers, hasn’t practiced in decades, and that she may have simply been asked not to return to work. They will tell you that’s preposterous and that Amy is just as reliable for medical advice as any other qualified in-practice birth pro.

You can point out to an Amy fan all the good doctor’s errors and fallacies, which happen fairly often. They will usually not respond and continue to repeat later how she provides the real science. Not only does she, but as if she were the only one (even forsaking other doctors).

And yet, what do they really know about Amy?  (click image for better view)

This happened on Fed Up. A fan brought this up and they didn’t even know their beloved Amy when they saw her. Yet, the rest of us already knew this… Why is that?

Have they researched her? Have they tried to determine her credibility? Are they so in love with her snarky tone and exclusive message that they will ignore every piece of info that comes their way and makes Amy questionable?

Just like researching the birth and parenting methods they mock, it’s too inconvenient to even ponder. Better to just be lazy, bitchy, and static.

If we know your idol better than you, maybe it’s time you actually reconsidered how you feel about her and her info.

Stillbirthday’s Heidi: Alliances, Money, Personas

March 6, 2013
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When founder Heidi began Stillbirthday, it was to be her “dead son’s legacy”.

If you ask Heidi how she came to be involved with the trolls, she will tell you this:  she was a natural-birth-minded doula who came to engage people with very opposing views over at Fed Up With Natural Childbirth (page). Many of them were not very receptive and in fact she did get quite the verbal lashing during that introductory period. Rather than leave, she would pick herself up and dust herself off and not quit trying.

Since a lot of the trolls were formerly the uncool kids who knew what it was like to be bullied, they now seem to relish their newfound clique, playing the Mean Girls virtually over the internet (or continuing a lifelong role, for some). It is easy to see how psychologically a lot of them crave belonging. They are angry that Natural Childbirth sites did not embrace them when they adopted differing methods. But specifically with things like Fed Up, it is more of a challenge to belong to such a vitriolic, elite group. Succeeding in that challenge could make one feel they had accomplished something. If you talk to them they will tell you they are not at all elite, and that all are welcome. Any newcomer, however, can see upon entering any one of their domains that all are most certainly not “welcome”, as dissenting thought and opinion is quickly ridiculed and shot down with ferocity.

But to come full circle to the point as pertains to Heidi, some people react very differently to abuse. Instead of taking a stand for oneself and knowing they deserve better, some react opposite; trying extra hard to earn their respect and love, bullies are looked up to as strong. As authority figures. Heidi may have had a reaction where she was willing to be “beat up” over and over again, but stayed because she wanted to earn a place with the aggressors.

There are other reasons she may have stayed when many people would have felt put out, but that involves believing that she has been a scheming mastermind from Day One, knowing exactly who to play and how to elevate herself and her business prospects to the right heights for prestige and money… And while that could sound far-fetched, there are a lot of supporting pieces of info that would seem to point at Greed as a motivator. She did not have an easy life, so it would be understandable if Heidi learned to manipulate and learned to manipulate young to get what she wanted.  I’ve noticed in Heidi that she is able to quickly assess the goals of the person she is speaking with and then knows what mask to wear to elicit the response she seeks. She spots your weakness and with very soft gloves, goes after it. What if Heidi could win everyone over at the right place and the right time, whether they were vicious Amy fans or the most natural of birth pages? What if everyone could endorse her? And what lengths would she go to to achieve this? The sky would be the limit; all successes would be hers.

So, Heidi and the trolls had a rocky start (as would be predictable). Through her sweet demeanor which she normally assumes and the onset of tragedy (Heidi suffered a miscarriage), she won them over. She came to them for comfort informing of her loss and they wrapped their arms around her. Finally, she was one of them.


Heidi & Dr. Amy & the Raptors/Fed Up Trolls

Not everyone is into placenta eating, that’s true. Here this birth pro (Heidi) shows she has no tolerance or respect for the practice.

Heidi (Stillbirthday), religious warrior for Dr. Amy.


Heidi (Stillbirthday) seems to love Dr. Amy, she is so helpful towards her.


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.

Heidi & Money-Making Opportunities

First see Everyone Else is Doing it So Why Can’t We.

Now there are even more money makers.

A book. $13

heidi bookheidibook2
Preparing for Maidenhood. $80.

maidenhoodNumerous chances for donation & sponsorship. Varied $.

donationsSpeaking Engagements. $ Unknown.

Workshops.  $50.
(Compared against: Dr. Amy’s “Quacktivist” Post)
Special Grief Challenges with Prizes. $ Unknown.

A Cafepress Shop. $15 per item, on average.
Has Stillbirthday apparel and other items.
Plans to Construct a Birth Center, various $$$ amounts/donations wanted.
Obviously this would be a big time and long term profit earner for Heidi, if it were to come to fruition.

birth center1birth center

Heidi & Personas

Since In Search of the Perfect Birth did several Stillbirthday exposés on her blog (we have republished them here with permission; use the search function), Heidi had been trying to distance herself further and further from her Dr. Amy and Fed Up friends. She is no longer a member of the group Fed Up With Natural Childbirth, and she instructed her mentors to recreate themselves to appear more trustworthy. Normally quite stubborn, they shockingly obeyed. Watch the numerous efforts taken on the internet to paint Stillbirthday as a place for everyone, regardless of birth choice, directly in response to critics. Watch the mentors admit their reasons for changing.

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.

Stillbirthday Mentor Lisa admits why she really quit Mama Tao. (Stillbirthday was getting bad publicity over it.)

“Kallie Bloom”
You will see that everything she says is entirely serving of Heidi, even if the Fed Uppers can’t see it.

kallie 1kallie 2

“Support the Feminist Breeder Against Dr. SOB Raptors”

aka “The Raptors Are Only Pro-Choice When it Comes to Abortion, Not Birth!” (or something along those lines)

This page lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of a day. It never had more than 8 fans. It lured people in (like ISOTPB, and Blinded by the Light) by “liking” all their pages and sharing links from them. It seemed like a tactic to draw them in. Once there, they would see that mostly Raptors were there commenting. Even the Raptors were confused, however. At first they thought it was one of their pages, as did the Natural Birth people. Then it became clear that something sneaky was afoot.

I’d have more screenshots, but unfortunately the page didn’t last long enough for me to secure them. All I have is this sample.


There are a number of suspicious traits of this page, and even things that point strongly to it being Heidi.

  1. The first name of the page references abortion. Even though it had a point (how can you be pro-choice for a termination but not support a woman’s right to choose her birth– even if you think it’s dangerous for the baby?), there was something contained in it that seemed like a pro-life slant. Almost accusatory, as if to say “how come you’re allowed to KILL your baby, but can’t birth your own way?” The page did claim to be pro-choice, however, and then went on to change its name because it raised too many eyebrows. Heidi is a Christian who is pro-life.
  2. The cartoonish icon and the sensational title. It seemed clear it was meant to draw attention and rile people up, which is why most of us thought from the get-go that it was a Troll page. The clue here is seeming lack of appropriateness.
  3. The support for Gina to take down Dr. Amy. Watch as Heidi has distanced herself more and more from the Trolls and Fed Uppers. If Heidi (as other characters) stands with whomever is taking down Amy, she gets to purify Stillbirthday’s image without sullying her own reputation in the process (see some of Kallie’s quotes about Heidi’s nature, above).
  4. All the likes. She went and liked all the natural birthy things, specifically things which are targets of the trolls. May seem like an obvious choice for someone against Dr. Amy, but the way she obviously tried to “tag” everyone by commenting on their pages and sharing their links was an attention plea, and also–
  5. Incognito identity. She would not give her name so that we could believe her intentions or understand her alignments. She said it was for her own protection, which would be understandable, if only everything else didn’t look fishy. Naturally if this were Heidi, she would not be lying. The page said the Raptors were all vicious and even hated each other, so she is scared of what they would do if they came after her, and I believe that. Oddly she said her name was Joanna Mary. Joanna/Joni Towers has long been suspected of being a false identity (troll) on a number of natural birth pages and has even been blocked by The Skeptical Mother. It was previously believed that she was Florence.
  6. Fluctuating knowledge claims. Some moments she would claim she had a list of Raptors and knew all about them, other times she would act like she had no clue who was who and said things like “You tell me?” The trolls there were irritated with her and insisted that SOB followers and Raptors were indeed different things, and felt Support had no idea what they were talking about.
  7. Inconsistent alignment. She was able to blanket generalize all the trolls regardless of their claimed affiliation with any group, and she seemed to dislike them all equally. Yet, when it came to Bambi Chapman, she was nothing but sympathetic. She said she had never seen evidence of Bambi being one of the mean ones, despite ISOTPB claiming that Bambi had committed a serious libel against her that still stood today. Anyone who knows anything about the Raptors or trolls has seen Bambi’s true colors and would not be so in the dark over her cruelty. This didn’t ring true and coincided with Heidi’s announcement of the Bambi Award, for Role Model of the Year, at Stillbirthday. Likewise, she called Birth Without Fear a “sweet woman” which is precisely how Heidi feels and would describe her, and had no problem endorsing Stillbirthday (which features many Fed Up/Raptor members). This seems to make no sense considering it was The Feminist Breeder’s lack of endorsement that sparked the current feud between she and Amy which turned legal, and the page supposedly routing for TFB… Heidi would benefit from Heidi and Stillbirthday and BWF having a pristine image, and TFB would have helped Heidi by taking out the trash, if Amy were to lose. If you were going to generalize them all to the point of blurring the lines, would you also be so forgiving of Raptors in “Stillbirthday”? “People can change,” the page alleged. Another Heidism. Yes they can, but you just said all the Raptors are cruel even to each other and were not to be trusted. You wouldn’t even give your name, remember?
  8. The use of “y’all”. Kallie Bloom says y’all, and so does Heidi. It’s just a small idiosyncrasy which alone proves nothing, but I noticed it. Not every troll says “y’all”. Please also see the screen shot above where she describes her birth as “blessed”, which is another very-Heidi choice of words.
  9.  Even BFBP hypothesized that this was Kallie, due to tone, and as you’ve already noticed… we have reasons (above) to believe she was Heidi.There were more but I let this sit too long and I forgot. :/ Will come back to edit and add if I remember.

Update 3/7/12– Elizabeth provided a screen shot from the short-lived “Support the Feminist Breeder…” page. The topic was Bambi, and the image shows you how the page was very anti SOB and Raptors, but quite curiously pro-Bambi. The only other person we can think of with similar feelings/agenda is Heidi.

huhAnyone who is “against” the Raptors has seen Bambi’s mean side.

Everyone Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We? (Stillbirthday)

March 6, 2013
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Republished with permission of Elizabeth from ISOTPB blog.

Even though members of the Raptors (anti natural birth group) and mentors and members of Stillbirthday (such as Lisa, Bambi, and Liz) are very angry that midwifery is supposedly lacking standardized education and licensure across the board, that isn’t stopping the new grief mentorship organization from doing something similar.

You know the old saying:  if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Recently someone who was considering being a Stillbirthday Doula contacted me for more info after some concerns and arguments were raised on The Birthing Site. When I informed her of the reasons why people were very
wary of the founding of this group, she thanked me and expressed relief that she hadn’t paid for the training yet.


Apparently, Heidi has created and defined a doula credential, which she oversees the education for and approves, and charges $200 for it.

So, like the concern one may have over self-governing and self-regulating midwives, one has to wonder why this would be acceptable.

As far as I can tell, this is a completely made up credential built around Heidi’s brand (stillbirthday), that is designed by, taught by, regulated by Heidi herself.

Now it makes a lot of sense why she was so heavily promoting Stillbirthday, even in inappropriate moments…

… and why she took such great offense to my question-asking, calling it bashing her “dead son’s legacy”. I was threatening a form of livelihood.

I’m not trying to take food out of her mouth or do anything to intentionally hurt anyone, contrary to how I am being portrayed and will undoubtedly continue to be portrayed. However, it doesn’t take much to see that what Heidi is doing is and always was the makings of a business; a business which models its self-righteousness and self-professionalism off of the same (perceived) invented and unregulated credential/professionalism of the midwives Stillbirthday supporters so vehemently oppose.

Below are some examples of the kind of individuals that support, endorse, and are even actively involved within Stillbirthday. This happened on a blog.

Lots of anti-natural birth comments followed, which I found very telling considering that this was a blog intended to be about the virtues of Stillbirthday and Heidi. Her supporters were very single-minded, but let’s face it– it did suit the tone of that entire natural birth bashing blog post. Then this happened:

The $200 invented doula specialty credential is not all Heidi has for sale, though. She offers many things you can purchase through her site, one of which is a Stillbirthday cake.

For $15, Heidi will take a pound cake and put the signature stillbirthday zero candle on it, light it, and use frosting to write your baby’s name on it. She then takes a photo for you to download. Then, she takes the cake to a hospice, where they refrost it and use it.

This seems like Heidi’s version of names in the sand, a project run by a woman called Carly Marie. Carly Marie is also a loss mother, and this is her legacy– she writes your child’s name in the sand on a beautiful beach at sunset and takes a stunning photo of it, to memorialize your precious baby lost. Seen here, she did one for Vylette (of Justice for Vylette).

Carly Marie does charge $20 for this service, and there is a waiting list.
Other items for sale via Stillbirthday include:

  • 20 Stillbirthday business cards– $25
  • A Stillbirthday Loss Doula Handbook– $5
  • Sponsorships– ranging from $25 to $100.

Luckily, not “everyone” (as Dr. Amy has said) is on board with Stillbirthday. People who were not hip to the game are becoming hip, and with the help of posts like these, the word is getting out to innocent and unsuspecting people that something here is amiss.

There are those, however, who argue that Stillbirthday is a “very needed resource”. I disagree. One, it’s not needed. There are tons of amazing resources out there for grief and specifically infant grief and pregnancy loss. This program fills no void that was previously lacking. Two, the individuals involved in the program having such a scandalous past and present where birth and baby loss are concerned also makes the program very much not needed. Women have options, and there are lots of them, and many of which are very stable and healthy and unbiased.

They say birth is big business. Apparently, loss can be, too. Please keep that in mind, even when people you like or groups you have trusted become overly insistent on something seemingly fishy being anything but. Beware of not being allowed to speak, and questions being shot down or hush-hushed.

I think I’ve been clear that I am not trying to deprive Heidi or anyone for that matter of proper grieving or even the right to earn money. We all have things to cope with which pain us, and we all have families to support financially, which is completely understandable. I would never begrudge anyone that, even people whom I dislike or disagree with. Before, in prior posts, I was more concerned with questioning ethics and double standards, but at this point I really need to call into question mental stability. I’m sorry, but these are very disturbed, sick individuals we are dealing with.

And the first sign of this is, they don’t even recognize nor acknowledge the concerns we all have about them. They treat it as totally fantasy, and act as though it doesn’t exist. To this day, all my screen shots are called “creative”. The truth is swept under the rug, like so many “murderous midwives”. Heidi and others tell people that my goal is to inflict harm, or gain readership. Truthfully, I lose fans whenever I post these. I do it not because it helps me at all, but because it might help you.

So in the end, if you can’t defeat all of midwifery and natural birthing, just do like you think they do– be sweet to everyone, earn their trust (sometimes by lies, bribery, or flattery), create your own credentials, and make that money.


Birth Without Fear: Intimidation For Success

March 6, 2013
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Birth Without Fear and The Skeptical Mother are two big pages with similar subject matter, and sometimes similar approaches. Depending on who you ask, this is no accident. But, how far will one be willing to go in the name of success?

Sammy (founder of TSM) has many reasons to protect her identity: as a survivor of sexual attack; as someone despised by meddling, malicious Dr. Amy trolls for her birth beliefs; and, for other valid personal reasons. She was always upfront that “Sammy” was an alias for her protection. There is nothing sketchy about what she does, however. She was never trolling or faking with her persona. It’s completely an extension of who she is, just with a safety net.

She does not lie, does not scam, and is not the type to use trickery or manipulation. In fact, she is too loving, giving, and trusting, and has occasionally given the wrong people a chance (a window into her private life).  Even despite her best efforts, her personal info got into someone’s hands and was quite possibly “leaked” to many others who are now telling her in the middle of arguments that they “know who [she] is”.  This time that it is being used against her is not from who you would think. Not by Dr. Amy trolls… no. This time the perpetrator is someone she never expected:  Birth Without Fear and her friends and fellow page admins.

Watch how they trolled and derailed what should have been a positive (and unrelated) picture on TSM’s page.

sammybwf1 sammybwf2 sammybwf3sammybwf4For more on the secret group referenced which Sammy and January were a part of, search for the posts on “Unity & Healing”.

Please, be very careful who you trust on the internet. Even popular bloggers and page owners can prove that your sensitive information is not only unsafe with them, but can be used as a tool for intimidation. Think twice before trying to “friend” strangers online, or sharing things about your life and birth. Just because someone is popular does not mean they deserve your trust.

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?


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!

“Unity & Healing”: The Secret Group (Part 4)

January 4, 2013
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Eventually, I got tired of the one-sided nature of the relationship. She was the big mighty BWF, and she would share things I shared right after I shared them but with no credit (coincidence, right?). I would come and pay attention to her but she would never leave comments on my page, or reference me, or shout me out… I wasn’t sure if I was being purposefully shunned or if I was just too little a page to notice. However, her personal profile was also a fan of my page, so I figured I had definitely registered on her radar. But once I realized that this was not a give and take mutual thing, and I was fairly sure I did not have her true support, I decided to unlike BWF and I quietly blocked her page, and maybe even her personal page (not sure). I didn’t want her to have access to me anymore if she was only going to rip material off me and only shout out things from her paid sponsors.

Plus, I was a little tired of her shenanigans. She would bring up controversial discussions like circumcision, politics, and abortion, and then get all up in arms when people would have heated disagreements… as if she didn’t know that was going to happen! Her “now now, children, I expected you to be good” responses were wearing thin. Her tone was, “Am I the only reasonable and non-drama-like human being here?” I found that anyone who disagreed with her, even politely, she accused them of “drama”. I lost respect for her. I didn’t care how big and popular she was, I had to start ignoring her. It was no longer positive and informative, it was a way to feel personally powerful and important. Her rude and dismissive nature was rampant and going unchecked.

I found she took that same inflated ego into the secret group with us, attempting to regulate and condescend in a tone I could only hope she did not use with her own children, friends, and family… and I don’t respond well to that. You all know I question authority, and she was attempting to be just that. Whenever she and I would butt heads in this secret group, she would say something like “You and I have no history…” as if to say, “I have no reason to be against you, no preconceived notions…” and I let it slide, and I let it slide. She said it one too many times and I finally responded, “Actually January, we do.” And then I explained the times I liked her, supported her, reached out to her, and that she had apparently forgotten all the times I defended her or supported her, and asked and received nothing in return. This caused her to truly flip. She got even more vicious at that point and resorted to personal attacks, all the while accusing me of being the only problem in the group. “Everyone else is trying, but you.”

Sammy (The Skeptical Mother) and Michelle, btw, to this day do support me and agree with my stance.

Despite my problems with Dr. Amy, the trolls, anti-NCB rhetoric, in the end the thing itself that was vicious enough to make me leave and give up was January, Birth Without Fear herself. It is with great humility that I admit that she made me, the wannabe-hardass, cry. That’s the level of manipulation, cruelty, and table-turning she exercised in that “Unity and Healing” group. And the bullying didn’t stop there.

After I left, she came on my page and did this (yes, January herself trolled):

Then she swiftly deleted it and pretended nothing ever happened. But not before I got the screen shot.

Since then, I have noticed her make all kinds of claims about people copying her, as she ripped things from me, probably other smaller pages, and Sammy. Once BWF had her own style, but since new kid Sammy hit the scene with her new style (uplifting photo material, mostly), there’s been an obvious shift for BWF in that same direction, including from the same exact pages, photos, and photographers. Sammy’s page is now very huge, almost as popular as BWF, and rising. I saw BWF once claim she was the “only natural birth page” to support all choice, including c-section, and she received numerous accolades and kudos from her devoted and appreciative fans. This was done very shortly after The Skeptical Mother did a lot of popular material on positive c-section info. Of course, I suspect that if any of this were brought to her attention, she would say, “I have no idea what you are talking about. :)”

[Future posts will elaborate on Birth Without Fear’s ambition; search for “Birth Without Fear” or click category “Greed”.]

One of the things I was attacked for on BWF’s page right before we created the group was by Heidi, who informed me I would “never be as big as BWF!” It was out of left field, as it had nothing at all to do with what we were arguing about, but to me it painted the picture and set the stage for what inferiority and turf war mentalities we were actually dealing with. A prelude of what was to come, if you will. I never wanted to be her, claim her spot, surpass her… but she does seem to pride herself on being an “only one”, and she will do what it takes to stay on top, even if it means biting styles and “sleeping with the enemy”.

When The Feminist Breeder took back her endorsement of Stillbirthday in light of the facts, there was an uproar. We were all there watching and participating in a back and forth. I believe this may have been one of the occasions that Dr. Amy herself came in with her support of Heidi… a wonderful, caring person doing a great service for grieving mothers, she said… and of course she made it clear that anyone else such as myself trying to diminish that were only purely hateful and cruelty-motivated. Even if she were right (which she’s not), wouldn’t that be the pot calling the kettle black? Amy, concerned with emotions over expertise? Amy, thinking someone else was cruel for caring about the health and welfare of others? That’s rich. January came in and attempted to support them, and luckily Gina (TFB) could not be convinced (or bought). I alluded to January being a sellout and she called that disgusting, which was liked by several Fed Up/Raptors members. I think all of that pretty much sealed the deal for Gina, as well as so many onlookers.

For the record, she is a sellout in my eyes because she was supposed to be about encouraging women to give Birth Without Fear, but instead she was (at that time) posting a lot about birthing with fear, particularly about dangerous home birth and the idea that midwives are dangerous, that unassisted birth can be scary, etc. When you start inspiring fear and doing the bidding of your former enemies, I don’t know what word is more appropriate. In the group I had warned her about remembering her initial message, because women come to her for a very specific reason– a moral support to believe in themselves with birth and overcome their fears. I expected this could bruise her fragile ego (after all, who am I to give her advice? I had about 700 fans at the time), but to her credit, she was surprisingly gracious and accepting of my opinion (on this matter).

Later, January shared Liz’s loss story in support. Mama Birth, known for being a page that was friendly with BWF and allegedly a personal friend of January, tried to share the same story and was over-run with troll attacks over it. January did and said nothing for her friend or the page (at least as seemed apparently publicly), and continued using BWF to support Stillbirthday. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Everything is politics. It doesn’t have to be, but human beings are conniving, deceptive, manipulative creatures. This past election people were demanding Mitt Romney show his tax returns from several years. In the birth world, I want to know if BWF is holding a  Stillbirthday receipt, or if her loyalty was bought with something other than money. Maybe it was bought with fear– the fear of always being targeted and unliked by a relentless group– and the promise of turning enemies into colleagues. She has reportedly had to re-ban several trolls since, so I’m not sure if that’s working out well for her.

[Other posts here will show that it is NOT working out well for her, where we will detail how trolls are still against her.]

Since then, both BWF and Stillbirthday have separately introduced new ways to accept money, including a donation fund for helping women (have better births?), and a cake-making service in honor of lost babies. Heidi, who once told me off over my “flimsy book”, has since used the same exact venue/format to publish her own book about healing. My book In Search of the Perfect Birth, by the way, is my own personal birth stories and account of how I healed from birth trauma. Heidi is a doula, certified childbirth educator, and grief counselor via her founder status at Stillbirthday. Several trolls and friends of Heidi have attacked me over my book, even trying to degrade it’s indie status in continuously harping on it being “self published”, but of course do not sling the same insult over at Heidi.

So much of everyone’s outrage and uproar is money motivated, or ambition motivated, if it is coming from January or Heidi. In fact, maybe that’s it:  before I left, we were all in talks to do a mega blog together… the big daddy of birthing blogs. If you knew all of us were doing a birth blog coming from all these different angles, wouldn’t the readership be tremendous? Of course it would. The blog of course… never came to fruition. They were all trying to use this prospect to coerce me into dropping the Stillbirthday stuff, and I’ll be honest– I almost considered it. They almost had me because for a moment they confused me into thinking that they were all being reasonable… that’s my weakness. It wasn’t power or greed like BWF, or the semblance of peace like Sammy… it’s the seeming of people being reasonable and understanding. They almost had me. What popped that bubble for me in the end was how hasty they were trying to force my hand. Heidi and Lisa kept saying to give me time, and go easy with me, and they tried in their own ways, but January and Liz and Bambi could not be held off that long. If they had, and I had seen them as also being “reasonable”, I hate to think that I too would have “sold out”. Being part of a big birth blog? For what? To become more well known or popular? Hopefully my deep love of the truth would have kept me from falling into those traps as so many others have. But luckily, we’ll never know, because some people never even tried to be reasonable with me. They just didn’t have it in them.

Stillbirthday of course still continues, gains fans, and Raptors are still in positions with the group. Dr. Amy, Birth Without Fear and Vylette’s page are still fans, and The Feminist Breeder is still opposed.

This is just one story of the inner workings and power plays of the manipulative groups and pages on the internet. There are many more that we don’t know about. I was in this one for a brief moment in life, so this was my story.

Some of the alleged events I was not a personal party to were relayed to me secondhand by observers of events as they unfolded. They took place on public pages for all to see, but some interactions have since been deleted.

“Unity & Healing”: The Secret Group (Part 3)

January 4, 2013
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When I would start to get attacked from multiple angles by Liz, Bambi, and January, I would ask Sammy and Michelle to say something (knowing they would not agree with the attacks). I would get told by January that that was childish and to stop asking for my friends to come and have my back. [January, btw, is known for privately beckoning to people for support and getting offended when they don’t rally behind her. In fact, Michelle would later tell me of a few occasions in which January did this to her. I have other friends who have also been personally witness to this trait in January.] I’d get attacked some more, and I would say that my friends agree with me, because I know, because we are discussing it privately. Heidi would inform me that it sounded like I was trying to throw my friends under the bus when they trusted me with something they weren’t willing to say in the group, and I would delete my claims, grudgingly agreeing. I was getting desperate and feeling quite alone, so I guess I was just being human. I didn’t want to be without honor, so I stopped trying to refer to my friends and speak for them. I knew they had my back, but if for whatever reason they were unwilling to say in the group what they had been saying privately, I had no choice but to accept this. I was getting so, so tired of everyone being so secretive. Real truth was the only path to anything productive, yet everyone was here jerking each other around, and I was automatically the bad guy over it.

Eventually it was so overwhelming, getting picked and picked and picked apart with no support, I left. Lisa had been surprisingly patient and kind with me, and Heidi was nice but was still clearly not “getting it”… she kept asking if I could see now or if I was ready now to give up. Much of this group was like a hostile interrogation, and this was not about Unity nor Healing, but clearly about getting three women– Sammy, Michelle, and mainly me– to lay off Stillbirthday for good, if not endorse it.

I made it very clear that I wasn’t here for that purpose and would probably never agree to this, and they should stop badgering and attacking me, and the final straw was January. She and Liz and Bambi seemed to feed off each other with the negative attacks, each giving renewed energy to the other, and January accused me of being a troll more than any of the Raptors or anti-NCB. After all she had been through with them, all I and Sammy and Michelle had, and after everything I had done (unrecognized) to support her, and our supposedly common belief in birth being safe… that was just the end. I guess that’s what someone is (a troll) when they don’t agree with something just because January sanctioned it. Now I was finally starting to see why the trolls always accused January of being a silencer. Maybe that was one thing they were actually right about. So, I said, that’s enough. I’m not here to take verbal abuse. And I left.

A little background: Over a year and a half ago, I became aware of the trolls when the targeted me at an internet forum. They didn’t like that I was discussing pro-UC beliefs on a UC forum (of all places!) and that I felt one could heal from previous birth trauma through a natural birth gone right. When I published my book, I made my page and reached out to January. I had literally just become aware of BWF and I saw a post she made about the trolls and trying to protect herself and family and I could relate. I sent her a message about how I had trouble with the same people, and asked if she could give me more info because I too was trying to protect myself and my family. I received no response. I tried to shrug it off as she was busy, or she didn’t know if she could trust me with that info yet. I was vulnerable and needed camaraderie, solidarity, and mercy, however.

I liked her via FB on my page and would make comments on hers, shared her info, and gave her support. She would gripe about the trolls being mean, how they called her ugly and fat, and I would give her the pep talks, told her how she was none of those things and how important it was she do what she does. And she would like those comments. In fact, the only time January EVER acknowledged me was if I said something that would build her up.


“Unity & Healing”: The Secret Group (Part 2)

January 4, 2013
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Liz, who was formerly nice, started getting impatient with me. She popped in on my page to say “isn’t it time to take this down now?” in reference to a Stillbirthday blog post of mine. I informed her that she was jumping the gun, and I was nowhere near agreeing with that. Now in the group, Liz started to get snippy with me. Bambi, who’d been mostly silent, non-participatory, and giving what some of us considered to be insincere apologies, finally starting chiming in on the attack mode and calling the only apology I could give (my olive branch) a bullshit one. They started ripping into me, saying I was being hurtful on purpose, and January went and liked everything they said to antagonize or provoke me, and then she came in with more of her personal brand of bullshit. January clearly thought she was the boss, the mediator, the moral superior of the group… but she had an agenda, and that agenda was to get me to take back everything I said about Stillbirthday.

At one point in the discussions, when things had still been semi-decent, Bambi thanked me for being a supporter of Justice for Vylette, and then asked me why I was so supportive of her and not of Bambi (and maybe of Liz too… can’t recall) in their quests to “make birth safer”. So, I tried to as tactfully as I could explain that I could see that from Vylette’s story, wrongdoing had been done. In Vylette’s story, she was ignored by medical professionals and that is what resulted in her loss. I had to try to admit that I didn’t have the same feeling when I read Bambi’s story. This sent everyone into a tizzy. I had been cornered and asked a very specific question that was potentially holding a painful answer, and they didn’t want the truth. They wanted a pretty lie. They wanted a, “Gee, I never thought about it that way! You’re right!” I couldn’t give that to them. These are the things we are never supposed to say to each other lest we be hurtful, but I was asked a direct question and I was in a private group. My alternatives were to lie or to plead the fifth. There was no right answer.

Honestly, the truth is, everything is hearsay. You hear one side of a story on a blog, fb page, or book. Internet diagnosis is foolish. I have my opinions based on YOUR story, nothing more. That’s all I have to go on. That’s all any of us have, and we could be wrong in anything we discern.

January was furious. What was I trying to do, she demanded? Of course Bambi’s baby was murdered by a negligent midwife, duh. That was obvious. And how dare I openly admit in this secret group that I didn’t know that was the cause, or didn’t feel that way deep in my heart? I admitted how sorry I was for everyone, that I read their birth stories several times, that I had cried for them and their babies, but none of that had meant anything to them because in the end I couldn’t feel the same conclusion or place the same blame. And I had been forced to admit that because of a hard question.

Sammy and Michelle didn’t do much talking. They were both burnt out. Sammy was resolved to just make peace and admittedly did not see all of the back and forth and attacks. Michelle was going through a lot, being very pregnant and having a recent death in the family, so she was equally sporadic and deflated. People were really running on fumes emotionally to be dealing with this, so a lot of it was me vs. the crowd.



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