Monday, September 3, 2012

Slander and Libel from The Skeptical OB

Yesterday I was bored, okay not really, more like I didn't want to get up off the couch because I'm huge and uncomfortable and people weren't posting enough interesting stuff fast enough on Facebook, so I thought I'd check my blog stats.  Sometimes it's interesting to see what posts have been clicked on the most, and the most recently.  And sometimes it's funny to see what google searches people type in that bring up your blog.  And sometimes you find someone who has referred to your blog and therefore led others to you.  But this is the first time I've found someone's blog who has referred to me in such a negative way.

Here's the link I found on my stats page (I wondered why Sadie's birth story had been the most viewed post in the last week!)

Initially, I started reading because I'm curious what the other side's opinion is.  But, when I got to story #3, my jaw dropped.  I was SO.IN.SHOCK. that anyone would take our birth story and misconstrue it in such a slanderous way, especially since it is such a positive experience in my life.

Read below:

#3 Brain damage after homebirth:
"Sadie was born at home 2 days past her due date. Everything in my pregnancy and labor and delivery was normal…actually, so normal that my midwife told me I was clinically the perfect patient!! However, we found out later that I was Group B Strep (GBS) positive and didn’t know it. We have, after MUCH detective work, determined that the infection (which was found in my placenta and all the way through the umbilical cord) must have stressed Sadie out, causing her to pass meconium, which was aspirated and caused Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE).
Within minutes of being born, paramedics came to my home and rushed Sadie off to the hospital, where they discovered some brain damaged and then transported her to Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH). PCH practices newborn brain cooling therapy and immediately got her on a cooling blanket…"
The baby now has cerebral palsy.
What did the mother learn from this experience? Not a damned thing.
Here’s a comment she wrote on Baby Center:
"I love that you touched on that it’s NOT just about having a healthy baby in the end. It is about having a good birth experience and getting what you wanted. You’ve carried that baby for months in your belly, you should enjoy giving birth!! People say to me all the time that the biggest concern for this baby is it being born healthy (ie. not like Sadie), but I have had to give up my homebirth dream. I hate that I have to give birth in a hospital just so everyone else is comfortable. I’m choosing not to fight them (mostly my husband) this time… but next time I’m staying home!!! I’m glad you’re mad and unsatisfied and I hope that next time you get exactly what you want!"
My first reaction was silly, I said, "I didn't post that on Baby Center, I posted it on Jesica's blog!"  But that was only the beginning of the lies.  Brian told me to immediately include a terms of service on my blog, and then to send Dr. Amy an email demanding that she remove my words from her website.  This is what I wrote her.

Dr. Amy,

While I appreciate free press and the use of the internet to express opinions about both sides of an issue, I do NOT appreciate the use of our family's homebirth story (about Sadie) to promote an opinion that we do not agree with.  You obviously missed the point of Sadie's birth story, and of our blog.  Sadie's issue was not due to homebirth, and would have likely had the same outcome at a hospital.  How dare you insinuate that my decision to have a homebirth cause my child to be disabled!

Please refer to the terms of service posted on my blog (beckfamilyblessings.blogspot.com) and remove my family's story immediately from your website.  In the future, I hope that I never see you construe someone's misfortune into words meant to cause fear or guilt.

Thank you,

Christie Beck

Then I walked away.  I needed to feed Sadie and visit the grocery store, so I let myself cool down some before coming back to it.  However, later, I learned that there were comments.  Most were not about me, but about trusting hospitals in general and not trusting your body.  Then there were some about each individual tragic story posted on that website.  One person even went so far as to say that the police should be investigating some of these parents!!

After reading through all the comments, I again had to walk away.  It's hard not to have your feelings hurt in a situation like this.  I'm not a politician and I'm not used to people spinning my words or criticizing my decisions.  And after some more thought, I realized that I don't care what Dr. Amy believes about homebirth.  She is very negative, but I know that there are those who are just as negative toward hospital births.  However, I am offended that she would make me look like a bad parent in a situation that was out of anybody's control.  I am hurt that she would insinuate that I was negligent about my prenatal care or birthing environment, when she doesn't know anything about it.  And I am PISSED that other people would assume that I am a bad parent, or refer to my daughter as wasted potential because I chose to have a homebirth.

So, I came back once again, and I chose to reply to some of these comments.  See below:




Lisa  4 days ago

I can't even... How you you look your birth injured daughter in the eye and say you want another home birth? I really hated the hospital bed and food, but I sure love my little boy's functioning brain. I have nothing but good things to say about my completely unnatural hospital birth. I may not have had my big screen TV, but I DID have a team of baby doctors 4 feet away and ready to help my son if he'd aspirated any of the meconium he was born in.



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    Beck Baby Mama  a few seconds ago  parent

    You have no idea what my life is like and I am saddened that you judge me based on Dr. Amy's untruths. I look my child in the eye and I see an amazing, beautiful child who has overcome SO MUCH more in 2.5 years than anyone else I know. Please go read our blog, you'll see what I mean. I am a good mother, and nobody has the right to think otherwise based on one snippet on someone's blog who doesn't even know me.
I think this comment hurt me the most.  When I look at my birth-injured daughter in the eye, I don't see a birth-injured child at all.  I see a beautiful creation of God, created to be exactly who she was meant to be.  I see MY CHILD, whom I grew for 10 months in my womb, whom I birthed, and whom I love more than anything.  She is beautiful and she is strong and she is teaching me so much more about life than I could ever imagine.  She is perfect just the way she is.

Since corresponding with Brian and I some more, Lisa has since apologized for her comments and wished us the best with our new baby.

Meagan  4 days ago

Re: #3 So it sounds like the baby already had complications from the strep b that would not have been prevented by antibiotics during labor... Does that happen, or did mom misunderstand? Or am I misunderstanding?



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    Amy Tuteur, MD MOD  4 days ago  parent

    It turned out that the bacteria was Group A strep, a very common infectious cause in OB. She had thought she had ruptured her membranes 2 weeks prior to delivery, but her midwife dismissed her concerns when she stopped leaking fluid. That may have been when the baby was infected, but that seems unlikely since she almost certainly would have had signs of chorioamnionitis due to a long term infecttion.
    She was never tested for Group B strep (presumably she didn't want to know), but she was positive. Ironically, treatment for GBS may have prevented the Group A strep. The mother is trying to convince herself that this was inevitable. It most definitely was not.



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      Beck Baby Mama  an hour ago  parent

      I AM the mom of #3!! First of all how DARE you post my story without my permission. Second of all, I was tested for GBS and it was negative. Sadie was also tested for GBS and was negative. NEITHER OF US WAS ACTIVELY INFECTED! Third, membranes were ruptured the day after my due date, the day BEFORE Sadie was born and there was never any leaking fluid. My midwife broke my water during active labor. I have been told by a number of doctors that what happened to us could NOT have been prevented by being in a hospital, and I resent that you make it sound like it's my fault that my child is now permanently disabled. On another note, I don't love her any less just because she has CP. Oh, and please remove our story from your blog as it's slanderous and untrue!
      Outright LIES!!  I was flabbergasted reading this!  You can see by my reply to Dr. Amy how wrong she is!!  Where did she even get this information??!!  I have never even HEARD of Group A strep or chorioamnionitis (I looked it up).  It infuriates me that she assumes that I was never tested for GBS because I "didn't want to know"... AAARRRRRGH!  There was no treatment for GBS BECAUSE THE TEST WAS NEGATIVE!!!  Give me a break...


  • Brian b  43 minutes ago

    One of the quotes was taken illegally from my blog. Take this article down under my website's terms of service. You're also an asshole for not asking permission and generally wishing harm upon others.
    Brian posted this comment, and someone replied with a link to the Fair Use Wikipedia page.  However, he believes that this doesn't fall under fair use because it was not presented in good faith, but with intentions to slander.  He has bigger aspirations, and actually tried to contact the web host to shut things down, but has been unsuccessful so far.




    I don't have a creative name  4 days ago

    BTW that "having a healthy baby isn't the only thing that matters" crap wasn't on BC, it was a comment on that blog where that chick was super pissed that her doctor made her be induced for pre-eclampsia (guess it's much more natural to have a seizure and a stillbirth than to use labor inducing medication).
    I am so weary of reading these stories. So much wasted life. So much wasted potential. 



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      Beck Baby Mama  a few seconds ago  parent

      She is my cousin. And she wasn't pissed that her doctor made her induce. Go back and read it again. Also, thank you for implying that my child, who is permanently disabled, is wasted potential/life. I sure hope you don't feel that way about all special needs children/people. What a horrible and inconsiderate thing to say. I hope that you are not teaching your children these same ideals.

    Apparently, Dr. Amy is teaching her minions to also read things incorrectly.  This comment makes me the most mad.  Wasted life?!  Wasted potential?!  Oh man, if anyone ever said this to my face about my child, I just might slap them.  I told Sadie tonight that she is DEFINITELY not wasted potential, but that she is beautiful and strong and I hope that nobody ever says that to her face.  These are the kind of people who continue to perpetuate discrimination in our culture toward people with special needs.

    This person later responded to me telling me that she didn't mean my child was a wasted life, but that she truly is a special gift.  But, she clarified that by explaining that brain damage doesn't have to happen and that if I had had continuous fetal monitoring instead of just a doppler heart rate monitor after each contraction, we could have had Sadie without any brain damage.

    Mary S  4 days ago
    "I love that you touched on that it’s NOT just about having a healthy 
    baby in the end. It is about having a good birth experience and getting 
    what you wanted."
    WHAT THE F***. What. the. F***. I never swear, but what the actual f***!
    Because apparently "what you wanted" isn't a baby, right? ...I'm not being very compassionate I guess, but what. the. f***.



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      Beck Baby Mama  a few seconds ago  parent

      I did get a baby. I got a beautiful baby. No, she's not perfect, but she's mine and I love her. Should I love her any less because she has brain damage? Of course, having a healthy baby is ideal, but life isn't always perfect. I'm sorry you don't agree with me...maybe you would feel differently if you ever met Sadie.

      And I hope she never does meet Sadie.  What a jerk.

      So, here's the thing.  I honestly don't care what people think about homebirthing.  I understand that there are two sides to this issue, and both are just as opinionated and negative about the other side.  Fine.  And I don't even care that she quoted my story on her website.  Although, I wish she would have talked to me first.  What I do care about is that she made me look bad, on purpose, by twisting the truth, and in some cases, just telling blatant lies.  The more I read about her and what she believes in, the more I realize that she and I disagree about many many things.  However, I hope that, even if she disagrees with my birthing decisions, she sees that she should be doing it with some decency.  I am a human, and so is my child, and to bash us without even knowing us, or even having a conversation with us, is disrespectful, sneaky, and downright mean.

      So, to you, Dr. Amy, or any of your supporters, if you're reading this.  I'd just like an apology.  Then we can go on our merry ways disagreeing about homebirths.


      Note:  Dr. Amy later responded to my email, quoted fair use and that she had the right to use my story.  I responded by asking her to at least apologize for the lies she said about me.  She then responded by telling me that there is a link to my blog and people can judge for themselves.  The thing is, they can't.  And they won't.  Her readers trust her to be accurate and true in the information she gives.  When she tells them that I refused a GBS test and that I actually had some other infection because my water had been broken for 2 weeks, that is COMPLETELY false information.  I replied asking her where she got that information because it is LIES.  And if she lied about me, who else has she lied about?  How can you trust the information coming from a person's website when you know she is not being completely honest?

      I have some more writing to do about this topic, so expect to see more about my homebirth, my choice of prenatal care, and some of my own research about homebirths and hospital births and each resulting in birth trauma and special needs children.



25 comments:

  1. Christie, there will always be those who will lie to promote their beliefs.... Taking snippets of your story and twisting them is awful.. the comments are even more awful....

    However, I would not let this consume you. Those who know you, know the TRUTH... those with a BRAIN will research facts on homebirth vs. hospital births. They will research false negatives and see that whether she was born at home or at the hospital nothing would've been different.

    All anyone has to do is look at that beautiful face and know that she is loved unconditionally, she is not a wasted life, she is a teacher of LIFE... something most of those who posted negatively will NEVER understand.

    My daughter WAS born in the hospital, I had all the high risk testing done, but no one mentioned to me about expanded Newborn Screening... Had I know, I would've done it, as I did everything else to see if my baby was healthy during my pregnancy... Had she had the EXPANDED Newborn Screen, her life would be much different today...

    So to say that doctors and hospitals are best is a bunch of BS. Shame on Dr. Amy and anyone else for condemning where they chose to give birth... I mean lets face it... what if you had given birth in an ambulance on the side of the road on the way to the hospital... nothing would've changed... Sadie is a beautiful girl and has LOVING parents and she again is a TEACHER of LIFE!!!

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    1. Thank you Susan. I appreciate your support and your friendship!

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  2. You have every right to be upset it seems like it has been a challenging time for you. However she is just giving an opinion based on written words. To get this upset over someone whom you will never meet nor really influence your life seems a bit over the top. People make choices every day that have negative and positive outcomes. Freedom of speech (which I'm sure you know) allows us to give our opinions right or wrong. I highly doubt this could be taken up as a case in court of slander or libel. If it could then get an attorney and sue her, stop making empty threats it makes you look a bit weak and it probably feeds into her arrogance.

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    1. Mostly I'm upset that she deliberately LIED about me and is presenting it as truth, as if she KNOWS me or is MY DOCTOR. And when called out on it, she won't admit it or apologize. I'm all for others having opinions, and I know that not everybody agrees with my decision to naturally birth. But no matter what your stance is on ANY issue, everyone pretty much agrees that it's wrong to lie about someone.

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  3. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7998417.stm

    Hi, Christie,

    I posted this article on the safety of home birth on the skepticalOB's blog--it is a study of 530,000 births. It is CRAZY what she is saying at a time when in the UK they are encouraging mothers who are low risk to have their babies with midwives at home as it is safer and more cost effective! I think she needs to do further research and not merely try to influence people according to her own prejudices.

    Of course the baby's safety is most important, however, it has never been proved that the hospital is a safer place for low risk births.

    I am so sorry she has created such an upsetting situation for you, an expectant mother, who is caring lovingly for Sadie who has special needs! There would not have been a different outcome for Sadie where ever she was born!

    The curious thing to me when people take the stance of the skepticalOB is that the human race has survived with the majority being born at home and not in hospitals--both my parents (and all their ancestors) were born at home, I was born in the hospital, but four or my five (educated, productive, successful adult) children were born at home with excellent medical professionals and excellent care. So in the scheme of our family, hospital births are the anomaly not home births and there have been zero questionable outcomes!

    Hospitals save lives in births with complications, but in theory only 5% of all births have complications. The wonderful physician who came to three of my births was a Mennonite who did his conscientious objector work during the VietNam War with the midwives in the Appalachians who served ONLY high risk mothers and had better stats than the hospitals at that time.

    You and Brian have the respect of the many people who know and love you and for the courageous, diligent, and loving way you are caring for Sadie. That is what matters.

    Not crazy, prejudicial, narrow-minded people who misuse and twist your words when they have no real understanding of your situation to forward their agenda.

    You write the blog to provide info, help, and inspiration to those in similar situations and those who are interested

    I never post on blogs and such and that is why I am anonymous here. Not so much for anonymity, but so I don't have to figure out how to post another way:)

    With love and respect, Carol

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  4. Becky,

    While I have not read your blog yet to see the differences between what Dr. Amy said you posted and what you claim you actually posted, I do want to address something by Carol who posted above.

    She stated that only 5% of women have complications during childbirth. If this stat is true, that means that 1 in 20. Which is actually pretty significant when you think about it.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and thank god certified professional midwives and certified nurse midwives are TRAINED and SKILLED in handling complications, emergencies, back-up physician relationships and transfers.

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  5. Not as significant as 30% plus c-section rates in most hospitals in the United States which is about 1 in 3! And I don't know where the 5% statistic originally came from, but it has been quoted since the 70's when the subject and statistics of medical interventions at hospital births and how common they are comes up and was inclusive of all types of complications for mother and/or child.

    Christie Beck's blog is interesting reading--I hope you enjoy it!
    Carol

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  6. I must be wrong...but I thought I had read on here that you were leaking fluid prior to the birth...and has surmised that this was waht may heve led to the Strep infection? But maybe I have your blog confused with another....

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    Replies
    1. Nope, I was never leaking fluid. I had a cold a couple of weeks prior to giving birth, and we think that might have been the onset of the infection. The neonatologists claimed that she must have passed the meconium at LEAST 2 weeks prior to birthing because of how deep it was into her nail beds.

      Also, when my water was broken during labor, it was clear, so her head must have been blocking most of the amniotic fluid.

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  7. Thanks for responding to my question...how very sad and difficult for you. I always say I am amazed when people are born healthy, becaue so many different things have to line up! Good luck on your newest arrival.

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  8. Don't let her get to you. Consider the source. She is a retired OB who has not worked in the field for over 2 decades. She spends all of her free time panting like a dog on the internet looking for people's stories to use. She is mentally unstable. It's the only thing that could justify the callous way in which she shreds people apart for choosing homebirth ( particularly if there were complications). I was targeted by her followers recently over my homebirth loss. The are sick individuals. They don't deserve another second of your thoughts.

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  9. OMG! How can people be so cruel and judgemental! Having a healthy baby is important but it is also important to have a healthy mums in mind body and spirit.... Trust me I know! I spent the first 3 months of my first Nobby's life not being able to look at him or even say his name because of the birth experience I had! How can anyone say that a baby no matter what problems they may have physically or mentally, is less than perfect! It is a baby, a gift from God and each and everyone of them are different and have their own special needs, big and small! Amazing that people who are so quick to judge a situation they have no real knowledge of, can actually call themselves good people/parents. Also this is just another piece of evidence to show that you should not trust what dr's say at face value! Question everything and trust your instinct! Am proud of you Beck-Baby Mamma for fighting back and sharing the TRUTH!

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  10. She has done it again. A girl in one of our mama groups lost her child not even a month ago and she used the birth story without permission and used it for her proganda against homebirthing. She didsgusts me. The things those people say on their are so appalling!

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  11. I don't know if she has removed it or not. But, I just found this out, of the lady Anon mentioned about who had a still birth. Someone who is working on this with me has a friend who confirmed she hosted through bluehost.com. I just got off the phone with their legal department. I just got off the phone with Bluehost's legal department. He said to get the DCMA form off of http://www.dreamweaverresources.com/forms/copyright/index.htm. There is the form.

    And fill it out, then e-mail it to legal@bluehost.com.

    I am so sorry for all that you have been through.

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  12. Hi, I have only just started reading your blog today. It's great and I am really interested in your experiences as my little boy who's just turned 5 also has cerebral palsy.

    Regarding this story and Dr Amy, 'the skeptical OB' - her whole website seems extremely strident and venomous. It's very unfortunate that childbirth is often such a polarizing subject with a divide between the natural-midwife's approach vs interventionist-Dr's (the latter usually "winning"). In my country (New Zealand)every pregnant woman enjoys free midwifery care throughout pregnancy and labour, although a few choose to pay for private OB care. Midwives here typically work within, or very closely with local hospitals and expectant mothers are supported in their choices for natural birth, whilst also enjoying the safety net of intervention when required... Homebirths are quite common and caesarian rates remain reasonably low, certainly lower than the USA, and infant mortality is lower too.

    Ironically with our son who has CP, we were in that minority who pays for private OB care - believing this the safest option - and his birth was distressing and resulted in a cascade of interventions which we believe contributed to his brain injury as a bay that gave him cerebral palsy. And with our younger daughter, we had amazing midwifery care, drug free, quick recovery, happy baby. How I wish I had made different choices for our firstborn.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your blog entries! Sadie looks gorgeous and I love her colouring - my little boy has that colour hair too.

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  13. I just found your blog via TFB and I wanted to tell you how beautiful your family is. I hope that your donation to the legal battle against Dr Amy (and my donation and the thousands of others) will have some good effect. Your daughter is a gift- not a story line to further her agenda.

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  14. Wow, I have never even heard of Dr. Amy until I read your blog. I was livid at the stuff she posted & at the insensitive remarks that those people made. Thank God not everyone is as judgmental and ignorant as they are. All children are beautiful & precious & the only "waste of life" in my opinion are people that spew lies and hate instead of love and compassion.

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  15. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEJUMU1MZEdCMG1rWk5uWkc0eURhRWc6MQ

    Please take a minute to fill this out regarding "Dr" Amy and her copyright infringement of your blog.

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  16. Hi! I first heard of the Skeptical OB through Baby Center when she stole a member's VBAC story. Evidently the woman had a VBAC that resulted in some kind of injury to the baby (if I remember correctly, she had a uterine rupture) and "Dr" Amy took this story and used it as an "example" of why VBACs shouldn't allowed and what a terrible mother this woman was, etc. Other members of BBC and I felt angry and violated that she would use this poor woman's experience as a means to attack VBACS, a procedure that has been proven SAFE! More safe than a repeat c-section as a matter of fact!

    Anyway, another BBC member informed me that her blog had been taken down as of today. I hope that this was of your doing! Good luck to you and your family! :)

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  17. I am so sorry to hear that she used and twisted your birth story for her nefarious means... I know someone else whose story was stolen/twisted for "Doctor" Amy's blog, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I had a homebirth and was surprised by how many people I knew were shocked/horrified to hear about my choice. Misinformation like that presented on her site are surely to blame for the apprehension many people feel, and I just wish there was some way to fight back and actually win against such hateful lies. ::hugs::

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  18. I love really this blog site because it provides me the big deal of superb information. I was reading this

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  19. When you have to resort to "name calling" like "Dr." Amy does, you lose all credibility.

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  20. I am saddened that someone has to do that to you. I am also a mom and I know how it feels when someone's misjudging you most especially in terms of motherhood. Many birth injuries lawyer may help you on your problem. I wish you well and stay happy.

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