Kimberly Van Der Beek’s Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories

10/23/2012 at 09:00 PM ET

Welcome back to our blogger Kimberly Van Der Beek!

Born and raised in Washington, she married actor James Van Der Beek in August 2010 and is mother to their two children — daughter Olivia, 2, and son Joshua, 7 months.

A proponent of healthy living, Kimberly, 30, sits on the parent board of the Environmental Media Association and serves as co-chair of Baby Buggy‘s Los Angeles committee.

Husband James’s sitcomDon’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23,  premieres its second season on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.

You can find her on Facebook and @KimberlilyVDB on Twitter.

In her latest blog, Van Der Beek opens up about her two very distinct deliveries.

Kimberly Van Der Beek's Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories
The four of us – Courtesy Van Der Beek Family

Please allow me to tell you my two very different birth stories…

Two years ago, I drew up my birthing plan for my daughter, Olivia: Natural vaginal birth, no epidural, no Pitocin, no drugs.

My doula, Yvonne Novack, suggested I rename my neatly-laminated document “birthing requests.” I would soon find out why.

After a day of pre-labor, my contractions grew stronger and closer together. Yvonne came to the house, helped me breathe through contractions and encouraged me to embrace the pain, since that was what would soon bring my love into the world.

When my contractions found their stride and were consistently three minutes apart, we left for the hospital. Needless to say, I’ve had more comfortable car rides.

Kimberly Van Der Beek's Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories
My shady lady – Courtesy Van Der Beek Family

We got to the hospital I had pre-registered at — yet still had to fill out more paperwork (has anyone else had to do this during labor?). By the time I finally got up to my room, I wasn’t even a centimeter dilated. I had closed up.

Perhaps it was the stress of the drive? Or maybe the paperwork had taken me out of my zone? I’ll never know.

I was told I should probably go back home and wait until labor started up again. That didn’t sit right with me, however, and thankfully James, Yvonne and my doctor all stood by my instinct to stay in the hospital.

Within two hours I was dilated to nine and having pushing contractions. I pushed — the kind of screaming, dramatic labor you see on TV — for almost two and a half hours … but remained stuck at nine centimeters. I was exhausted.

My doctor told me that my best shot at having a vaginal birth was to get an epidural and see if my muscles would relax enough to get Olivia into a better position for delivery.

Kimberly Van Der Beek's Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories
Our silly girl this spring – Coliena Rentmeester

The minutes before the anesthesiologist arrived seemed like the longest of my life, but after a big needle stick, I was soon relaxed enough to actually take a nap.

I awoke to my doctor telling me it was time to push again. The epidural had slowed down the contractions, so I was given a little Pitocin to pick them back up. I had seen Ricki Lake‘s documentary The Business of Being Born and crossed my fingers that the Pitocin wouldn’t lead me to an emergency cesarean.

Thankfully, Olivia’s heart rate remained strong and after another two hours of pushing, many second winds and the help of a vacuum, Olivia was born on Sept. 25, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.

For Joshua, I chose the same doctor, the same doula Yvonne, and the same hospital. But this time, at 37 weeks, there was a difference: I discovered Joshua was breech.

My doctor and I discussed the various (and often successful) methods of getting a baby to flip. If none of those methods worked, she said she’d hook me up to an IV and physically turn the baby herself (external cephalic version — ECV).

Kimberly Van Der Beek's Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories
Olivia and James – Courtesy Van Der Beek Family

If that didn’t work, she said I was looking at a caesarean. Now, while some people opt for a scheduled c-section, I wanted to reserve that method of delivery for an emergency — and this didn’t feel like one.

I brought up that my mother had given birth to my sister breech. My doctor said absolutely not. This was non-negotiable. She said the risk of his head getting caught in my pelvis was too high. As long as my baby was breech, I would not be allowed to try for a vaginal birth.

I left the office a little jarred, but more than that, determined to turn the baby.

I tried everything: burning moxa by my foot, lying inverted, sleeping in certain positions, acupuncture, massage, reiki — you name it, I gave it a shot.

After a few sessions with renowned baby-flipping chiropractor Dr. Elliot Berlin, Joshua was still breech, and it seemed unlikely that he was going to flip. He was nicely settled into my pelvis without much room to turn.

Kimberly Van Der Beek's Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories
Father and new son – Coliena Rentmeester

Again, my mother’s intuition kicked in. Women have been giving birth to breech babies for quite a while, I thought. And while the caesarean has been a godsend in certain circumstances, the idea of getting cut open scared me much more than the idea of trying for something that had been going on since our existence on this planet.

Dr. Berlin suggested I meet with Dr. Stuart Fischbein, an angel in the birthing world, who’s delivered hundreds of breech babies and now only delivers at one’s home or a birth center.

I’d seriously considered a homebirth for Olivia, but had been talked out of it by close friends and family members who asked, “Why take the risk?”

Dr. Fischbein calmed any remnants of fear about birthing at home. He went over the facts about breech birth, how it’s a variation of normal — more common than my red hair — and how, if your baby is in a safe breech position (not all breech positions are created alike in regards to their safety), there is a very simple maneuver that keeps the head tucked in for a safe delivery.

He went through a seven-point checklist to see if Joshua and I were good candidates for a breech home delivery, and we met all the criteria. I went home, did my own research and prayed.

Kimberly Van Der Beek's Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories
My loves – Courtesy Van Der Beek Family

With James’ full support, I made the call to Dr. Fischbein and asked him to be my doctor. I was at peace, and so happy to have this opportunity.

At 3 p.m. on Monday, March 12, I felt some water trickle down my leg. Dr. Fischbein came by to make sure it was indeed my amniotic fluid by doing a PH test.

I wasn’t having any contractions and continued my day normally. I ate a light dinner, gave Olivia a bath, put on some mascara for any impromptu newborn photo ops, and James moved my favorite art piece into our bedroom. Then we got some sleep.

At 5:00 a.m. I woke up with a really strong contraction, and within half an hour they became consistently two to three minutes apart. It was at this point that I politely informed James I would be getting an epidural next time. Ha!

Yvonne — always a reassuring, calming presence — once again helped me embrace the contractions. I found my rhythm, my confidence, and let my body do the work.

Kimberly Van Der Beek's Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories
Joshua and James – Courtesy Van Der Beek Family

Beth Canon (who’s a wonderful midwife) and Sarah (a midwife student), came to assist. Dr. Fischbein arrived, and shortly after, Joshua’s foot — tucked in next to his tush — made its debut.

At 7:42 a.m. Joshua was born into James’ arms in our bed as the sun was rising. Yes, it was painful. But it was also peaceful and perfect.

An hour later I was in the shower, and that evening we had dinner at home, just the four of us.

I truly believe a woman should be able to plan to birth where and how she is most comfortable. In order to make such a decision, it’s crucial to have options.

In a day where the surgical route is readily available, it is equally important that women have the option of planning for a natural birth, as well.

Kimberly Van Der Beek's Blog: Sharing My Birth Stories
Family shoot with PEOPLE in April – Coliena Rentmeester

— Kimberly Van Der Beek

More from Kimberly’s blog series:

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 322 comments

Mandy on

OMG such an inspiration on breech birth! I would love to hug you for your bravery in doing so! Amazing job momma!

Sexual stalker profile on

Fischbein has an obligation to his patients and has a power of authority to his patients like a teacher does to his students.

She was engaged. He told her not to have sex for 4-6 weeks. He went over to her house days after he performed surgery and had sex with her. She was still on narcotics for pain, she may not be thinking clearly. And they are not together anymore, are they.

He seduced and raped a patient and you are siding with the convicted sexual molester. He asked for a break in his probation, but since he still doesn’t get it and was trying to create a movie “the bedside man” proclaiming HE was the victim, the board did not suspend his probation.

Creeps and predators go into the priesthood, the boyscouts, become teachers or doctors and hide amongst the legitimate ones as they prey on victims. Fischbein told this women he had sex with “bushels” of patients already trying to persuade her that all was right. He is a creeper.

He may be a good doctor, like Clinton was a good president, like Sandusky was a good football coach, but make no mistake, Fischbein is a creeper and he will be in the news again.

Wonder if Van Der Beek ever thought Fischbein was performing too many vaginal exams or spent too much unnecessary time in front of his naked wife.

Sexual stalker profile on

Sarah, the student midwife, had to be there under the conditions of Dr Fischbeins 7 year probation for sexual misconduct with a patient. He cannot practice without a chaperone. Creepy. Sounds so nice in this blog.

I fear some regret about the Van Der Beeks having this sexual predator tied to their lovely birth story. You had a wonder breech vaginal delivery and avoided a scar on your abdomen, but you had to hire a sexual predator on probation to do it. Wow now that’s how I want to remember my birth.

Sexual stalker profile on

Problems like losing the remote, deciding which car to take to work, to having a hospital to deliver in are first world problems. Rural India have stories that tell you how valuable life is and how hospitals are important. Read some of the birth stories from The Lerner. Browse the right side of the blog month by month to find the birth related tragedies. And then wonder why bored American women are bragging about their homebirth stories.

joan on

not all women have the option of paying for multiple doulas and doctors, so not all women have the same options.

I had pitocin for my 2 vbacs and I did not have csections for them. stop spreading nonsense. drugs don’t necessarily slow down labor either. Each person is different.

Lisa on

The plural of anecdote is not data, Joan. Just because you didn’t have c-sections with your pitocin births doesn’t mean pitocin doesn’t increase your risk. Stop trivializing other people’s experiences.

Guest on

I often read many inspirational stories about the lengths women go to to ensure their baby is born as healthy and safe as possible. How incredibly selfish to risk his life for a personal wishlist.

drea on

As a mother of 2 both being natural births and 1 at home I love hearing woman have confidence and faith in their body.

I also truly agree with Kimberly saying that caesarean can be a godsend in certain circumstances.

Women should never feel bad about the way they birthed a child into this world.

Canfield on

Another point drea! Why are people complaining about their “resources” home birth is not that expensive- depending where you live it’s actually cheaper then the hospital! We are having a home birth for $1800 because many midwives will work with you & your situation. People just comment on things they know nothing about.

Rachel on

I had my first baby at home last year: surprise frank breech. It was a wonderful birth with zero complications. (TMI: I didn’t even tear.) My midwife and doula wanted me to shout from the rooftops that breech birth IS possible! My midwife had just attended a breech birth conference and had just the right tricks for a smooth delivery. Thanks for sharing your story!

Lori on

I always planned to do this myself until it came time. Then I realized that home births aren’t really “options” for most people due to out of pocket expenses in the thousands to hire midwives and doulas. It’s a shame but articles like this always leave out this divide. It’s great for her and her family, no doubt. I just wish we all had access to such services.

Guest on

That is surprising Lori, I’m not aware of the costs now but I grew up with a mother who was a midwife and many time took on clients who did not have healthcare and needed an affordable way to deliver their child and therefore chose home birth.
My mom bartered electrical services for our home along with many other things to guarantee the women would not have to worry financially ..

Maybe the cost now has more to do with the popularity and trend this seems to be having in today’s society.. Having grown up with it in my childhood when it was the not so popular or socially acceptable thing to do, and I have great respect for my mother for providing a service she believed in for no profit.

Izzie on

Give me a break. I don’t see one thing to admire about this woman and find her to be selfish. I couldn’t even finish reading her pat-me-on-the-back-I’m-the-best-birther blog.

Lauren! on

I just don’t get what is so admirable or courageous about giving birth at home versus in a hospital. Although I love my home, it is not the home that I will live in forever and I would rather be a few feet away from doctors in case an emergency happens. I am truly tired of these pregnant moms that feel they are better or deserve some kind of respect for doing something different from delivering in the hospital. Shame on you!

Anonymous on

Thank you Lauren!! This is well said. WHAT is the end goal??!!? I’m all for trying the breech delivery, but, WHY risk baby by having it at home? Breech deliveries are dangerous for mom and baby…I work as part of a neonatal resuscitation team. There is nothing more heart wrenching then a parent that is blinded by their “plan” and in the end everyone suffers. (Ie: baby dies, has brain damage, broken arms, collar bones, mom hemorrhages, etc.). SELFISH!

Michele on

Love having this reply from an expert. Thank you. All three of my babies had to resuscitated to some degree and I shudder to think what would have happened without the NICU staff right nearby. It’s amazing that women these days will take ANY risk with their babies to meet some “plan”.

dawn on

If you have to have a c section and i had two it doesn’t make you any less of a woman. I just wanted my children healthy and safe and that is what needed to be done.

Jeeny on

Statistically women who have Pitocin or epidurals have to have c-sections at a higher rate than without.and to deny this fact is just nonsense. For thousands of years women have given birth in fields and the human race has survived, so why is it we are brainwashed into thinking we need all these drugs for a safe delivery? Being spiteful to this woman who chose a natural delivery and is educating women at the same time is something you Joan should be ashamed of.

Sarah on

Times have changed and our environment has as well. You can have a perfect delivery and hours later start hemorraging. Hospitals save lives. Any birth choice deserves round of applause! It’s the new age women who read one sided articles that post comments degrading women for not having their idea of a perfect birth.

Michele on

You’re joking Jeeny. Take a look at the infant/mother mortality rate back when they were “birthing in fields”.

yoyo on

I’m so happy it worked out for her…but for many women…they shouldn’t feel that they would be more of a woman for doing a home/natural birth. I would do ANYTHING to ensure a healthy baby…even if it meant surgery. The risk is so great with the options she took…but again…I’m thrilled it worked out for her and she got the healthy baby she wanted.

Becky on

all I could think of was how poorly this post was written…

DJ on

have to wonder why that doctor doesn’t/can’t deliver at hospitals anymore (only at home and birthing centers???) and also find it great that she managed to find time to put on mascara before going into hard labor (have to be ready for those photo ops!!)

Taraakapinky on

Guessing hospitals will not allow him to deliver breeches vaginally because of liability. Labor/delivery areas have the highest number of lawsuits of any hospital floor and practice so it would be too great a risk (my best guess from what I’ve seen working in hospitals).

Sexual stalker profile on

No Taraakapinky, Dr. Fischbein I on a 7 year probation for takIng advantage of a patient with sexual misconduct.

Anonymous on

I worked in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care) for 10 years and saw my fair share of home deliveries gone wrong that had to be transported to our unit.. I would NEVER subject my child to this due to unforeseen circumstances that CAN and DO do go wrong! One baby we cared for had severe brain damage from meconium aspiration that would have been a minor complication if mom had opted to give birth in a hospital.

sam on

That situation didn’t happen because of a home birth but happened because the person who delivered her was obviously not very good. Bad things can happen and go wrong at hospitals as well. So many newborns catch Rsv and other things in hospitals full of sick people.

Why we birth babies in hospitals full of sick people seems so stupid. Probably why America has one of the highest neonatal death rates in the developed world. That’s a fact. Look it up. Most of the world births with midwives. Hospitals really are not the greatest nor cleanest place to birth healthy uncomplicated pregnancies.

K.W. on

I’m sorry – but as a nurse..this doctor is irresponsible to deliver breech babies at home…it amazes me that women have lost sight of the fact that pregnancy and labor / delivery used to be the biggest risk a woman could under take.. and it was advances in modern medicine that have made it safer for both mom and baby…but suddenly the doctors and hospitals have become the bad guys in the latest “trend” of home birthing.

I’m afraid that I cannot not congratulate or commend you on your decision to home birth your breech child – you took a risk with your child’s life – and one that was completely unnecessary – Guess our mother’s intuition is different – and as a mom of a stillborn child – it just didn’t matter so much how my babies were delivered – just that they made it into this world alive.

Sarah on

A breech birth and at home? Was this about her or her baby? Yes, I have had two natural births myself, but that seems selfish to me. My mother gave birth to a little girl before me, who did not survive a breech birth due to head compression and the baby’s head basically “detaching” from the spine. So sad RIP.

jane on

i think her intentions are good here, but there are plenty of midwives out there that *will* deliver breech babies at home but really shouldn’t–and that’s what the average American woman is looking at as the primary breech home birth option in terms of cost and available options.

Are there wonderful midwives out there who have delivered lots of breech babies safely? of course! but the home birth world is also spotted with those that continue to oversell abilities and undersell risks. there are few dr. fischbeins out there and most women simply don’t have access. and breech home births obviously carry big risks, which is totally glossed over here with the language of “trust your body.”

i wish there were more safe options and experienced doctors/midwives for babies in breech positions, but realistically, there aren’t in this country. she took a big risk, and i’m glad things worked out for her, but, i mean, this is a self-congratulatory post wrapped up in a message about options that isn’t really providing a realistic look at the risk/benefit she faced.

C on

I had two home births, with my husband, mom, sister, midwife and her assistant right there. My dad and dog waited in another room. Two of the most amazing experiences. To be home and just take a shower, eat, be in your own home is beyond sweet.

I hope people don’t take this as a diss to other kinds of births but home births take a beating. I am happy to see that this baby was delivered at home instead of a guaranteed hospital caesarean.

Thank you Kimberly for sharing your story and thank you Dr. Stuart Fischbein for helping women and babies.

M on

I loved this blog. It’s hard for anyone, particularly a celeb family, to talk about natural birth without sounding self-righteous and snobby, but she really didn’t come across that way.

I’ve had two natural and two epidural births, end result is the same and all that matters! Depends on the mom, the baby, and the day.

Tracy on

You Go Girl ! Taking your birth into your hands ! I am a huge believer in natural child birth !

I have had 2 experiences 1 – hospital – eh not so great but succeded at a Vaginal Birth.

2-Birthing Center with loving midwifes ! Hospitals have way too much intervention ! Simple care givers, Simple Birth !

I might add my natural baby was 9.5 and 21 1/2 inches. I would do it all again. But never in a hospital !

God Gave us this gift ! More women need to embrace it !

RKF on

Sorry, I find it selfish to put one’s own comfort before the health and safety of your child. What if there was a complication and you’re not near a hospital, particularly when the baby is breech? I would never take such a serious risk, but I’m obviously not her.

stacy h on

i chose a homebirth with my 3rd birth because i felt it was the safest option for us. i don’t regret it and truly do feel the only time i or my babies have ever been in danger were in the hospital due to negligent doctors or nurses. i understand not all have the experiences i have had, but that is what prompted me to look into homebirth. if we have another baby, it will also be at home.

for those interested, please look into henci goer’s Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. excellent book.

Mimi on

Holy crap this is the most gorgeous family ever!

Courtney Brooke on

It is absolutely *not* irresponsible to have a breech baby at home. My father has delivered over 5,000 babies- 75% of them at home, many of those breech. Kimberly obviously did a ton of research, spoke with different doctors and made an educated decision. Home birth is statistically safer than hospital birth in most situations.

I *loved* my home birth and would do it again in a heartbeat. (And for those who commented on the financial aspect, my homebirth was much cheaper than our insurance-covered hospital birth, not to mention more peaceful and amazing in every possible way.)

Anonymous on

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Fischbein and Yvonne Novack about five years ago prior to moving out of California. Dr. Fischbein was something rare in the birthing community, a doctor who openly supported midwives, homebirth and the idea that vbac and vaginal breach was not only possibly but in many cases safer and saner for all parties involve. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to find that he made the leap and is now doing it.

BTW, at the time I knew him, he had privileges at at least two hospitals, one of them being Cedars Sinai. And Yvonne rocks.

For those who mentioned that the out of pocket expenses made this kind of birth experience out of reach for most women – its time we all stood up and asked why not? If we are truly looking for best possible outcomes, midwifery, doula care, homebirths and progressive OBs are all part of the equation. As an added bonus for the insurance companies, they are cost effective too.

Sexual stalker profile on

I hope Drs like Dr. Fischbein are rare. Drs who take advantage of their patients when they are at their most vulnerable state. Sexual misconduct with a patient should have cost him his license. Why is it doctors who side with homebirth have such baggage? Dr. Biter was worshipped by homebirth until his criminal allegations. Dr. Fischbein seduced an engaged patient. Yet some women still go to these criminals?

Anonymous on

it’s fascinating to see how people (many, not all) have the capacity to read birth stories through the prism of their own experiences/biases.

nothing in this account suggested to me that this woman was criticizing how other women have chosen to birth (she makes her position clear in the last paragraph, as a matter of fact), nor patting herself on the back. she was telling her own birth story, and her own feelings about it.

those who suggest choosing to birth at home is selfish should reference the studies on this. for low-risk women (the vast majority of home birthers fit this description), home birth is just as safe — and often safer — than hospital birth.

though they are sometimes truly necessary, caesarians are performed far more often than they should be (look at the world health organizations recommendations vs. the current US c-section rates). the risk of caesarians — a major abdominal surgery — are plentiful, but get surprisingly little press.

patti on

I didn’t read any part of this article to mean that she feels her birth was superior to anyone else’s. It sounds like she was advocating for people to seek out the best option for themselves, which for her and her famiy, happened to be homebirth.

It always irks me, too, when people talk about how “brave” someone is to have a baby at home. Everyone I know who has had a baby at home has done extensive research about the decision. Of my friends who’ve had babies in the hospital, none of them has done any research about her choice.

Also, for people who feel homebirth is for the wealthy, it’s not. It costs a couple thousand dollars total, including nine months of pre-natal care and appointments, the birth, and the post-natal check-ups. I wouldn’t advocate homebirth as a way to save money but it is actually way, way more affordable than a hospital birth.

Best of luck to all with these tough decisions. I love hearing about successful alternatives to anything.

gooniesandy on

What a lovely post this was… I’m so glad you were able to have the birth experience you wanted!

I delivered my second baby naturally in the hospital and it was an amazing experience that left me feeling invigorated and ready to conquer the world. When you already have an older child, being so immediately back on your feet is such a great thing!

H on

As an Ob/Gyn physician I would like to share some thoughts.

First of all, congratulations to Kimberly, we always want our new mothers to feel as happy with their birth experience as she is.

I wanted to stress some very important key points about her story. Vaginal breech delivery definitely IS possible, but ONLY with an experienced provider. For as many wonderful success stories there are, there are twice as many horror stories of deliveries gone terribly wrong which is precisely why vaginal breech deliveries are now not recommended.

Also Kimberly is precisely right in saying that home births can be wonderful…for the right candidate. Not all pregnancies are suitable and in the wrong case, can be extremely dangerous.

All women are different and above all, have the right to make choices about their own bodies. But please, let those choices be educated ones. If you decide on a home birth or a vaginal breech delivery, make sure you do your homework. As in all lines of work there are providers who are experienced and those that just want you to think that they are. There is too much false information flying around out there.

Yes, women have been giving birth in fields for thousands of years. But until recently, childbirth was one of the number one killers of women worldwide. Thousands of years of scientific advancement have taught us something, please let us use our knowledge to help provide you with a fulfilling and satisfying birth experience.

Tia on

As a nurse on a labor and delivery unit in a hospital, I am all for people being given options in their birthing experience. BUT, I have seen many babies (MANY) come to the hospital after a home deivery that are in very bad shape or deceased due to a miscalculation of mothers pelvis, baby’s fetal weight etc by a doula or midwife or a vaginal breech delivery handled badly (which is VERY easy to do).

The problem with encouraging others to do what worked well for you is that people don’t listen to a health care provider that has years of experience so they can be like a celebrity. Be careful what you promote. You have a responsibility as a public person to encourage people to live in the real world and get a second opinion if needed if they don’t want to do what their doctor wants them to do and then see what they think. Be ready to take responisibility for the outcome if everything doesn’t work well. Be careful.

MrsGordo on

Jeeny, are you kidding? do you know what the neonatal and maternal death rate is among animals birthing without veterinary assistance? The fact that wild species continue to exist, despite the incredible riskiness of birth, simply shows that enough individuals are surviving long enough to reproduce, not that it’s an automatically safe process for every single member of that species. Individual survival is very different to population survival and mother nature does not care one iota whether an individual – that’s YOU and YOUR baby – survives birth.

On the other hand an individual mother should care that she and her baby come out of it safely, hence the desire to want to minimize your own personal risk factors.

Cammie on

Pregnancy and birth are some of the most life turning events in our lives. WE as the mom get to choose how we deliver our children.

For those of you yelling, ‘Shame on you!” at this woman should take a look in the mirror. Really? That’s the kind of mother bashing that pits everyone against one another. Why can’t we all be one community of mothers that have birthed our babes, regardless of the necessary path for a safe and healthy baby?

I have had two wonderful, natural births. One in a birthing center and one at home. Both would have been at home if midwifery was legal at the time in my state. The transfer rate for my midwife was less than 8% and then less than 1% were absolute emergencies.

Also with regards to out of pocket expenses, my first birth TOTAL cost $2400. That included all tests, post natal and ultrasound. The 2nd cost about $3000. When checking into my insurance and how they viewed pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, I was looking at a bare minimum of $10,000 OUT OF POCKET to head to the hospital. We can all do the math on that one.

badmom on

Thousands of years of giving birth in fields…also very high infant mortality rates until modern medicine.

Alissa on

Kimberly is a very irresponsible mother for putting her child’s life at risk. A breech birth is neither natural nor healthy and should never be attempted at home.

I can not and will not applaud her or think she is a better mother for having a home birth and having a breech birth. How can People support a celebrity who is advocating unhealthy ideas for other pregnant women out there because a pregnant woman out there somewhere is going to see this story and try to be like her and attempt something that is dangerous.

She is definitely not an inspiration and we should be ashamed that a woman is advocating unhealthy birthing practices. Shame on her doulas and “doctors”.

Mandy on

As a nurse who sees firsthand how bad home births can be without proper supervision I feel the need to make people aware that you MUST have someone who is capable of handling emergencies because they do happen A LOT. The consequences can be devastating and you can’t reverse that. Doctors do listen and try to respect the mothers wishes however the baby’s safety is ALWAYS first.

I am glad this worked out well for her but for some people it doesn’t and there is nothing they can do to turn back time. Safety should ALWAYS come before comfort.

dragop21 on

I think she was sort of darned if you do and darned if you do position here. She went to the medical community and asked them to support her decision to let her body work. They declined. So because of that, she went home and had her baby. and it worked out. these are good things.

it just sucks that so much of medicine is CYA. clearly she would have been able to give birth in a hospital setting as well since she was left alone and nature worked. I would have also considered it in her position with one birth under my belt and if the baby was frank breech (there are different kinds as she mentions and some are definitely more dangerous then others).

Canada does not recommend an automatic c/s for a breech birth. so its not the black and white issue that many doctors claim it is.

CCEx on

She’s an idiot for risking her child. Sure we can all congratulate her for taking control of her birth plan, blah blah blah. At the end of the day she put undo risk on her child and could’ve lost. Why she would tell the world she gambled with her child’s life, I don’t know.

RainDance on

Smart woman. This made me cry.

Heather on

Beautiful family. Beautiful home. Happy to read a story with a sweet ending.

carl on

As a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse, I have seen too many horrible outcomes as a result of home births to ever agree with them. At a hospital, issues/complications can be quickly handled with modern equipment and prevent the infant from serious brain damage or death. With a newborn, seconds can mean life or death and often the time it takes to transfer the infant born at home to a hospital can be too long for survival. I do not think it is worth the risk in order to have dinner at home that night.

knowurstuff on

why are people calling her selfish for choosing what she thought was best for her and her baby. several studies have shown that women (like the author said, who meet certain criteria) can deliver a breech baby with the same or less risk than a c-section.

she is not selfish, but used medical advice to make the best decision for both her and her baby. she avoided major surgery, reduced the risk of death for herslef and possible harm for her child. dont assume that the most popular (c-section) choice is always the best.

do your research people.

Sexual stalker profile on

Knowurstuff, have you googled Dr Fischbein? Would you choose a criminal on a 7 year probation for sexual misconduct with a patient to be your doctor?

Lauren on

Nuts. Yes, women have had breech births since the beginning of time, but for thousands of years women and babies have died because of complications. How crazy to risk losing a baby because she wanted to be so modern. She’s a very lucky woman indeed. Foolish but lucky.

Jennifer on

I guess I just don’t understand this fascination with natural birth and wish someone could explain it to me. Giving birth in a hospital with an epidural was awesome. Why put yourself through that pain? Pain is pain – childbirth pain is not a “different” or special pain, and I for one am glad that modern medicine has found a way to make birthing less painful and more safe.

I do believe every woman is entitled to try and birth in the way she wants, but ultimately, I see no advantage to a natural birth. My son and I bonded successfully and had a very successful breastfeeding relationship after my medicated birth. I just don’t get it. Long live epidurals! 🙂

Anne on

I agree with Anonymous’s posting. I too am a NICU RN. I have stood waiting for the arrival of critically ill newborns from failed home births. It is terrifying, even to ICU doctors and nurses. I have seen baby deaths from attempted home births as well as home water births.

Yes birth is natural. Yes women have been giving births in fields for decades BUT babies die too. Babies die in hospital births too, so why take the risk? Can you live with yourself if your baby died in your home, from a home birth complication? To me THAT is the question you must answer.

I have tried to save babies that have drowned in the home birth tub. I have also seen brain damaged babies, that could not be delivered by c-section, because it was a home birth. My opinion is that the baby’s safety is top priority, not a mother’s perfect birth plan.

I hate sounding harsh but babies do die at home, when a hospital could have saved them. I believe baby is the number one priority and then mom. Mom’s still sometimes need critical care for themselves too. If there is a massive bleed, who is going to transfuse you at home? The blood bank is in the hospital.

I LOVE my job and I am just trying to share a real life opinion. Hospitals save lives, babies and mommies. Plan a personal, home-like birth within the hospital walls. It is absolutely possible to have both. I just want the safest care possible for baby and mom.

LEH on

I kinda hate how when women celebrate their natural births, those who did not/could not have natural births get up in arms and overly defensive. I’m not putting you down in ANY way by being proud of myself for giving birth naturally. It felt like a personal accomplishment for ME, and I am not comparing my births to anyone else’s. You shouldn’t either.

Go hug your healthy babies, mamas. ❤

Lisa on

Kimberly, I love your blogs! Beautifully written and inspiring. I had both of my babies med-free and I would not trade the experiences for the world. More women need to be proactive and advocates for their own births (and medical care in general).

Thank you for speaking out on a controversial, but important, topic. You’re a gorgeous family!

Melanie on

Great story however very risky as she does not yet know if has paralyzed any of his body yet.

Melanie on

Too risky. She doesn’t know if did damage to his nerves until he is much older.

Mira on

Good for her! She should be proud of her choices!

For all of you saying that you prefer a healthy baby, go read the increasing number of articles which associate C-sections with all kinds of negative consequences for the babies. And if you’re not aware of the increased risks it carries for the mother, go read Tori Spelling’s story.

C-section advocates/apologists have it all wrong– the responsible and unselfish thing to do, both for mother and for the baby, is to do everything possible to avoid a C-section and have it ONLY if it’s a real emergency. Again, studies have estimated that the REAL emergencies that need a C-section are about 1% of all births. And c-section rates in the US are over 30%. You do the math.

Lady M on

Why are you ladies all so bitter? This post was indeed extremely well written and she was very careful not to knock other birthing options. She stated that she DID have a doctor right there so she wasn’t putting her baby’s life nor her life at risk. And the home birth option only came into play because she went with a home birth doctor as opposed to the other way around. What article are you all reading by saying the opposite?!

Look, none of us are experts on childbirth and that goes for those “professionals” that come on here and leave comments that they are. All they can do is quote often times faulty statistics as we all know that each and every birth is different. And not that anyone here cares or asked but I have given birth ten times. I’ve had 5 hospital births, 4 with epidurals, 2 with pitocin, 5 home births, 1 with a home birth doctor and 4 with a midwife.

I’m no expert, just someone who has done her research just like Kimberly did. Maybe instead of condemning and criticizing her, look past those statistics and do some thorough researching yourself.

Congratulations Kimberly!

Blythe on

Wow- I never have left a comment on one of these but feel totally compelled to given the response of some of these women. I don’t see an ounce of back patting or puffing up here. I see a women who made a careful, thoughtful choice about how to bring her son into the world.

We act like c-sec’s don’t incur risk! Severed bladders, ruptured uterus, scar tissue tears, hemorrhage… I would do anything to avoid it unnecessarily. That doesn’t mean I see myself as better than women who have c-sections! Neither does this woman.

Dr F isn’t some back alley baby catcher- he is a gifted advocate for health of mothers and their babes. And while I do not call myself an expert by any means- the standards for maternity and post partum care in this country are shameful. Dr F handed over his license to practice in a hospital because he was being bullied into giving repeat cesareans unnessarily.

How many more physicians are bullied in this way and take it? How many women have been told they need a risky procedure when they don’t?

And why do you- reader of (!!!) think you have the right to chastise this woman for her choice (which was, it seems, a very thoughtful and educated one)? Who do you think you are? Seriously?!

Too many women go blindly into birth with no awareness of the risks that a routine delivery can incur. To any women that educates, thinks and chooses- home or hospital- I commend you!

Sexual stalker profile on

Fischbein didn’t hand over his license or priveleges Blythe, he is on probation for 7 years for sexual misconduct with a patient. His license should have been taken away. Sexual deviant. He is no better than Sandusky.

Mys on

Well done! I too, am a home birthing Mom. It is the best scenario for a baby to be born at home not in a germ filled hospital. I was ill informed with my first and went to a hospital.. have a stillborn to show for it. My second was born healthy at home and all others will be as well.

Also it doesn’t cost a lot to birth at home! Heck, we did barters with our midwife and paid $100 a week for the 9 months. Easy,

Mom of four on

I have to agree with majority of posters here. Yes I had four in hospital births. All went well. No I did not “write out a birthing plan” I simply didn’t care how the babies got into the world, as long as they were healthy.

I think it is selfish to have thought mainly of her and her families comfort rather than the risks she was placing the baby into. I would go through surgery any day of the week ( and did in my 7-month!) to save my baby.

Selfish selfish woman, and I also have to agree, very poorly and immaturely written. I think People may want to reconsider having her as a blogger. Her true only claim to fame is that she married a celebrity.

B on


Please, tell me, WHERE did she say that birthing at home makes her braver or better than anyone else?

I am so sick of you judgmental ASSES. I’m sorry, but it’s women like you who contribute to postpartum depression in women like ME.

I started my blog to try to combat this RIDICULOUS competition that motherhood has become.

I say good for her!! At least she researched and made an educated decision which is more than I can say for most mothers I know. We all shuffle into the hospital and get treated like “patients”.. Which we are not. Patients are ILL.

I, for one, am thrilled to see someone have such a hand in such a massive life experience. It wasn’t selfish at all – in fact, she spared her baby from a c section which are doled out like aspirin these days.

We could all learn from her.

Nicky on

Ok so because someone disagrees with the homebirthing option it increases your postpartum? So by that logic anyone who has any form of depression is bc someone disagreed with their choices? Hmm I disagree with the name calling you just did so you better call your shrink and get a refill on your “happy pills”.


s on

thank you for your story. you have a beautiful family. all women should explore their options whether that is a hospital birth, a birthing center or a home birth, a midwife or a doctor. do the research before making ignorant comments. natural birth is healthy for mother and child. for more information watch the business of being born and its follow-up.

gigi on

What beautiful kids she has!! I had c sections with my twins and my son…which is what I wanted. I admit I’m a big baby and the thought if that area stretching freaked me out. I know it goes back to “normal’. No woman should be ashamed of how they give birth.

Mellynn on

Amen gigi. When did childbirth become such a pissing match? We should be supportive, not judgmental. I had three c-sections b/c apparently, that’s how God intended my children to be born. So be it. They’re happy, healthy, and that’s all that matters!

gigi on

Happy and healthy I agree Mellynn!

Jacquie on

Thank you for sharing this story. It gives me encouragement to continue on my pursuit to find a caregiver that will let me try for a VBAC.

rezner on

Yeah It’s all good until a baby gets stuck in the pelvis and dies….I’ve seen it happen, it isn’t pretty.

Mellynn on

First, why Ricki Lake has been elevated to childbirth goddess status is beyond me. An epidural, pitocin, c-sections….none of these is the end of the world, for Pete’s sake. As long as the delivery is safe for mom & baby, who cares? Why does natural and unmediated have to be the ONLY legitimate way?

I’m thrilled for the VanDerBeeks…they have two healthy, beautiful children. Where I live, however, their reality is not mine. Hospitals don’t allow VBACS and finding a doctor to do a home birth, and a breech one at that, is impossible. Malpractice insurance is way too high for all but the richest of physicians, and doctors apparently don’t make in the Midwest what they do in So. CA.

Catca on

There are a lot of nasty comments to Kimberly’s blog which I expected while reading it. For all of you making these comments maybe you should note a few things:

(1) this is Kimberly’s story and experience that she shared with us, it is not a reflection on you or the choices you made, nor is she patting herself on the back – she’s just telling her story, what she decided and why;

(2) she supports other women and calls on the need for women to be supported in making the choices they are comfortable with, whether it be a c-section, vaginal birth with no drugs, vaginal birth with drugs, etc.;

(3) she tells us she’s telling this story to provide support for women who choose natural child births as they are not as readily available as surgical options.

I’m sure she knows she has advantages many women don’t have, but that’s part of her point to getting a message out there to support women’s choices. Rather than attacking Kimberly, we should support her message of allowing women choices.

Emily on

Not worth the risk IMO.

guest on

their kids are gorgeous

Anonymous on

A friend of mine insisted upon a vaginal delivery of her breech baby. The baby died during that delivery. I had my healthy breech baby a month later via c section and he’s a happy healthy 2 year old. Selfish people thinking about what they want. Not what’s best for their baby.

Cheryl on

Why anyone would risk their own life and their child’s life for “an experience” is beyond me. I thought the goal of childbirth was to have a healthy baby! Not every woman can afford an expert physician to attend them at home.

Why not have a breech delivery in a hospital with every available resource at your fingertips? Too many things can go terribly wrong so fast. Irresponsible!!

Lynn Ward on

Very happy that their breech at home delivery went well. Many women that choose this option don’t realize that if things go wrong and you are not near a neonatal intesive care unit with a team that can provide immediate resuscitation you could be trading you choice of having a birth your way for the possibiliby of having a neurologically devastated child, or worse the death of your child. Four to five minutes of neonatal depression without intervention can change the lives of a family, and their child forever.

Still Life in San Francisco on

My mother gave birth naturally to two breech daughters. I commend Kimberly for her bravery. What a beautiful family.

Anonymous on

You guys are all ridiculous. You don’t think she did everything she could to research this and make sure it was as safe as she could make it? There are laws in place that don’t allow these home births or birth center births to happen if there are ANY minimal or remote concerns. They don’t want to risk you or your baby either. There are also laws in place that you should be within an extremely short drive to a hospital in case of emergency.

This article doesn’t in the slightest say give me a thumbs up for my choice. It feels more like you guys want the pat on the back. I am pregnant now, and I will be having my baby in a birth center as long as all of the extremely specific criteria is met. We have a back up plan and I will be 3 blocks from the hospital.

I really want to know if anyone on here who so adamantly thinks this woman is an idiot has done any research about birth. If you have good for you and making the right choice for you. If not, shut up! You cannot judge someone else for actually putting forth an effort to find information and get research on things. They are being informed regardless of the decision they make. Good for them!

Canfield on

Those who are hating on her obviously don’t know much about birth, especially home birth! It’s been proven that home births can be a lot safer then hospital births actually. The evidence is there! She was not being selfish but actually choosing something many families are choosing now because of the benifits to mother AND child. Do some homework ladies before you start hating. I applaud her for having courage & thinking outside the box. I think she’s amazing for having a breech birth at home because that hurts a lot more! More women need to look at all their options…

Anonymous on

A breech birth at home is most possibly the most dangerous thing you can do. Why would you risk your babies life? She’s lucky all went well. I also find it interesting that the Doctor she chose only delivers at home or birth center. Most likely lost his hospital privledges for doing dangerous procedures.

carmelcurly on

Congrats Van Der Beeks- you have an adorable family! She sounds like she did her research- even if she didn’t include all her findings in this blog.

I don’t understand why people complain about what’s available to the majority of the population. I think most of us realize we are reading a blog on the babies section of… it’s about celebrities- of course their resources are a little deeper than most. They shouldn’t be belittled because of their choice- just as she didn’t belittle any other mothers’ choices.

Lila on

Thank you for sharing your story. Don’t be shamed by the people that attack you from a fear based place. I have given birth to 2 of my 3 children at home and feel so blessed to have had this experience. There is no judgement towards women that choose hospital, only sadness at a system that disempowers women.

Birth is a magnificent, grueling and deeply spiritual experience, one that informs our life in a ripple effect through time (whether it be our own or our children’s). Weaving the spirit back into our decimated culture is a path that is worth the risk.

Missy on

I also birthed my second child at home and the experience was amazing. To sleep in my own bed that night was so peaceful. My toddler loved being with us during the birth and it felt so right.

As far as options, that is the hard part. It cost me 5K in choosing this option. My insurance only covered about $500 of that, because my midwife was “out-of-network” and of course there are no midwives in my area in-network. So, instead of being thanked for saving the insurance company hospital costs, I was penalized. When will this option be for the less fortunate?

Laura on

Glad Kimberly had a lovely homebirth. I do think it’s unfortunate that she did not have the option to deliver in hospital with an experienced OB/Gyn because they are no longer willing to take the medicolegal risk. Frank breech births are usually safe in moms with a “proven pelvis” and moms giving informed consent would be safest to deliver where emergency services are available.

One comment on Kimberly’s first delivery – as a family doctor who delivers babies – I can’t fathom letting a mom push for two hours against a cervix that was not fully dilated. That should never happen….

catchmemummy on

I have to agree with some of the other comments below. Great story, but unfortunately not an option for every woman. My son was born via c-section due to him being breech, last year. My doctor said there were NO doctors in my state that would deliver a breech baby. There was no option for me, but to have my child via c-section. B

ut I shouldn’t have been so fearful, it was a beautiful experience. I was up and walking by the next day, and was off any painkillers (even panadol) by day 3. There are lots of my girlfriends who gave birth naturally and had countless issues with their wounds after birth, while I was fine. My baby breastfed beautifully. We bonded terrifically.

For me, c-sections offered to high risk births are sensible, not terrible. The fate of the babe should be number 1, and because I was offered a c-section, I could relax and enjoy my son’s birth, instead of fear the unknown.

Good on you Kimberly, but I wish people would stop vilifying surgical intervention, because I’m proof that it’s definitely not all bad!

KD on

This was a very heartfelt and absolutely honorable post. Both of my girls were born in a hospital, but this doesn’t mean I feel superior nor inferior to Kimberly’s experience. I admire the strength she had to go through it and her determination to follow a birthing plan.

I don’t believe she is selfish at all for sharing her experience with us. So what if she is married to a celebrity. The fact is, she is a REAL PERSON with feelings and it is disrespectful to shame her for the choices er beliefs have guided her to make. True, there are risks of birthing at home, but she researched it and even prayed.

Kimberly and James have such a beautiful and precious family. I wish them much happiness in the years to come. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Kimberly! I look forward to reading more posts from you!

Bree on

While I commend her for making the decisions that she did I just cannot support a home-birth.

Had my mother choosen home-birth (Many many years ago lol) neither of us would have survived (My heart rate and my mom’s both plumeted and I had to be delivered via emergency c-section).

Last winter when I had my daughter, had I not been in the hospital both my daughter and I would have died. As it was she was in the NICU for three days and I was on bedrest for two weeks recovering.

I totally support every woman to choose what is right for her and her child however I would never ever choose to do homebirth given my experiences and those of my family and friends.

To me home-birth just is not worth the risk to the life and health of my child or myself.

Denise on

WOW reading all of these bitchy posts from some of you women is astounding. I am not afraid of having a child at home I am more afraid of having to deal with some of you at the park. This was Kimberly’s experience…hers alone- respect that. Why are you so judgemental ? She was under the care of several doctors- she is FREE to make choices that she and her husband decide on. She has a beautiful healthy family and that is all that matters. Get a life ya’ll.

LB on

I just don’t see how anyone could ever put their child in this position when they do not have to. How selfish of the mother for taking that chance with her son just to fulfill her own wishes. Breech delivery is incredibly dangerous and many babies have died. It just makes me sick.

Anne on

I posted earlier but I forgot to congratulate this lovely family on the beautiful addition to their family. I respect her for putting a lot of thought into her decision.

I stand by my prior comment because what I said was honest and true. I in NO way want to offend this family, babies are cause for celebration and thanks. My earlier comment was just me sharing home birth from my view, as a newborn ICU nurse. I never claimed to be an expert. It just is crucial, IMO, that women are well informed when they make the decision for home birth.

I have had numerous times, in my 25 yr career, when our team has been called on to save a baby’s life. Too often the ambulance arrives, with a nearly dead baby, from a home birth. It is heart-breaking for everyone, especially the parents. My firm belief is that if a pregnant woman watched us try to save a baby from a home birth, she would not choose a home birth. We only have MINUTES from when the head comes out, to get the baby breathing. The ambulance cannot be there fast enough.

Btw the reason a breech birth is so risky is because the head/shoulders are the widest parts. If they deliver first, then the rest of the body follows more easily. If the feet/butt come out first (breech), the risk is that the cervix will tightly clamp down around the neck/head. This cuts off oxygen to the baby immediately. That first second, begins a countdown, get the baby out stat or it will die.

This requires an emerg c-section. Even if the umbilical cord delivers first, ahead of the baby, the oxygen to the baby is cut off. How long can you hold your breath? Long enough to wait for an ambulance to come and get you to the hospital? Not likely.

I always ask one question. You chose a home birth, with a support team. The baby’s heart-rate drops, baby is now in sudden distress. You cannot get the baby to deliver, heart-rate still dropping, stat call to 911, baby still stuck, no fetal heart beat can be found, needs emerg c-section but hospital is 10 minutes away, baby will not survive, can you live with your choice?

When things go wrong in childbirth, they go wrong in an instant. Mothers can have sudden, massive bleeds and need blood pumped into them to survive. No time for 911 and no units of blood at home. I watched a mom die right in front of me in that exact scenario. It broke my heart to tell the daddy that he had lost not only his son, but his wife too. Do you think that mom would have gladly had her baby in the hospital, had she known this could happen?

This is shocking, depressing but real. I do not want anymore unnecessary maternal/baby deaths or brain damage. Is having a cosy, familiar home birth worth the risks? Remember you only get one answer. If you say ‘yes’ then you are betting your baby’s life on that answer. You do not get to go back once the baby is born.

Is it uncommon to have horrendous home deliveries? If it were uncommon, what risk is too high? Is a 35%, 20%. 10%, 5% or 1% risk of death/brain damage too high?

PLEASE think about this because I cared enough to write it down. I want you to have healthy babies who have the BEST care available. My prayer is then that you do not even have to use it.

Sexual stalker profile on

Anne, first world problems. I don’t want a scar on my belly, while women around the globe are just trying to get to a hospital, have adequate pain management, or even a health care provider. Wow.

Amy Tuteur, MD on

Dr. Fischbein has been convicted of sexual exploitation of a patient and has been on put on 7 years probation by the California Board of Medicine.

Recently, Dr. Fischbein petitioned the California Board of Medicine for early termination of his 7 year probation. You can read the 6 page opinion denying his request on the Board’s website. The board was unimpressed with Dr. Fischbein’s request for a variety of reasons detailed in the report. However, most compelling to them was the fact that Dr. Fischbein has attempted to make a movie promoting “his side” of events, and portraying himself as a victim.

The Board did not terminate the probation, writing:

” [He] views probation as punishment and an inconvenience… Although he no doubt has encountered difficulties practicing while on probation, he still tends to overstate those difficulties. He has openly chaffed at the requirement that he have a third party chaperone during interactions with female patients. It is clear that once off probation, the chaperone requirement would quickly disappear from his practice as the lessons learned from these events fade and the inconvenience grows…”

The report concludes:

“More alarming was Petitioner’s participation in the movie script and trailer. This activity shows that Petitioner still harbors bad feelings about what happened to him, suggesting that he does not fully believe he engaged in misconduct… Such a state of mind does not bode well for the proposition of removing Petitioner completely from the Board’s probationary oversight. In all, these events demonstrate sufficient concern over the course of Petitioner’s rehabilitation as to indicate that continuing probation with all terms should continue in order to protect the public…”

JessicaB on

adorable kids! but this was not a smart decision. it worked out, but could have been a disaster. why in the world would any parent take that risk?

KSR on

I wanted to say “like” to this story but i very much so disagree with putting a story out there about a successful homebirth that was advised against by a doctor.

I relate to this story and also feel that having a homebirth would be ideal. But the ideal can not be met sometimes and I think this depiction represents a distorted reality for many women desperately wanting to have the “perfect delivery.” When a child’s wellbeing is at risk I believe in taking medical advice. And that when you take medical advice that does not make you less of a mother or less of a warrior during the delivery process.

A healthy child is such a miracle, I would hope that people would consider the risks and weigh cautions from health professionals prior to making decisions like those discussed in this blog post.

Anonymous on

Cheryl- Obvously you didn’t read the whole article. She clearly states that if she’d had her son at the hospital, she would have been forced to have a C-section. They would not have allowed her to attempt a breech vaginal delivery. So the only way for her to have one was to give birth at home (and note that she was attended by an experienced DOCTOR).

Lynn Ward- Actually, from what I’ve read, most homebrith midwives carry resuscitation equipment with them (and I would imagine that the few doctors who do homebirths do as well).

Mira- Exactly! Why people think C-sections are perfectly safe and you don’t have to worry about complications from them is beyond me. As you said, Mira, Tori Spelling’s story about her latest pregnancy is a perfect example of the very real dangers of C-sections (especially repeat ones!).

If major abdominal surgery (which is what a C-section is) isn’t absolutely neccesary why take the risk?! And like many others have said, a breech baby does not always make a C-section neccesary. My mother, for example, was footling breech (one of the breech positions that, in this day and age, virtually no doctor will deliver vaginally, even if they deliver other types of breech babies vaginally)….and succesfully delivered vaginally.

Anonymous on

As an NICU RN, I don’t think you should get to spread this type of story to the masses before holding someone else’s dead baby because they’re too distraught to do it themselves.

Kara on

Loved the story!! I also had a Vaginal Breech baby on March 13th (just a couple of years ago). Must be something about the day.

For those that are saying that she was able to have a homebirth because of money, I’d like to know what insurance you have. I’ve had 2 babies in hospitals on insurance, one breech w/ meds, 1 with no meds not even a helpock and both times by they time I paid for all my copays, deductibiles and patient’s % for me and the baby, I could have paid for a homebirth midwife & a doula for the same amount!!

I’d love to have a homebirth but in my state HB midwives are “illegal” so you have some real concerns if a transfer is needed. That’s the point of this article, not to look down on anyone that WANTS a hospital birth, but to provide more options for those who want other options!!

Anonymous on

To those of you who are saying that you shouldn’t give birth at home because of the risk of the baby sustaining brain damage from lack of oxygen…A few years ago, I lost a very dear friend to complications of severe cerebral palsy…the result of massive brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation at birth. And guess where that birth took place? That’s right, at a hospital!

Point being that babies can suffer birth injuries at a hospital just as easily as they can at home (and in fact, I would guess that some types of birth injury are actually MORE common at hospitals, thanks to all the unnecesary intervention done to laboring mothers these days!).

Hopsitals can be and often are great things…but let’s not fool ourselves. They’re not magical places where nothing ever goes wrong! Far from it!

Kristi on

I had my son in Scotland where I was living at the time. It seems much more common there to have more options for pain control rather than the standard epidural. I managed 15 hours before a midwife actually recommended an epidural due to the probability I would need an assisted birth because of my son’s position.

I opted for it and even looking back I feel that was the only way he was coming out. I needed a forceps delivery (c-section was next if that didn’t work). But epidural most certainly affected my contractions.

In the end, I had so much medication that I was too out of it to really remember after my son was born. That is something that makes me very sad. So if I could do things differently with a future child, I would.

Lee on

Options: Natural birth, natural death. Why would you put your child at risk?

Marky on

This idea that home delivery is by far to be preferred and that people have been having babies at home and in fields for hundreds of years, is just beyond stupid. I wish you could grasp how my grandfather felt when the home delivery of his 4th child resulted in the death of his wife due to infection, and the children being left motherless in the care of a father who had been left disabled from the war. How they would have loved to have had an opportunity for more safety for her delivery! It’s fine if your child survives, but if not….you may feel very differently.

The primary response seems to be that Kimberly’s choice of a doctor who”doesn’t deliver in hospitals, but only at homes”, and her insistence that she deliver a breech at home, seems to be placing her experience above the safety and health of her child. As a former L@D nurse, have not seen an OBGYN just decide not to deliver in hospitals anymore and only in homes, but I have seen OBGYNs give up the OB part of their practice because their malpractice insurance got so high, even though they never had a claim filed against them. Can be well over $100K…..

The truth is, the rise in c/s is often due to the horrendous rise in lawsuits, many of which are fostered by attorneys who specialize in suing on behalf of any child who has C/P, or anything they can try to blame on the doctor who DIDN”T do a c/s! If we didn’t allow such blanket lawsuits, many without merit, the c/s rate would fall like a giant rock!!

poppykai on

Congratulations to the VDBs. This is a gorgeous family.

I completely believe in a woman’s right to choose how she delivers, but I only hope that women do their research. I personally was like Jennifer and wanted a pain-free birth. I am grateful that I didn’t desire a home birth because I would not be alive today if I had.

I had 2 amazing pregnancies with no complications, yet with my first, I hemorrhaged and required a blood transfusion. My son was perfectly healthy but I was in danger. It is something to think about that not only the safety of the baby needs to be considered in home birth, but also the safety of the mother.

Thank you Anne for sharing your experience with us. I think that home birth is glamorized because so many celbrities are subscribing to it.

I only hope that all women do their research and choose an option they can live with, as it is not always possible to predict a negative outcome from prenatal care check ups. Sometimes everything looks perfect and life threatening problems arise anyway.

stacy h on

i love the nurse scare tactic stories. things can go wrong regardless of where you are. do you really think homebirth accidents are what has driven our infant and maternal mortality rates to be worse than several 3rd world countries? nope. these ‘accidents’ are happening in the HOSPITALS.

i stand by my previous comment, in three births, the only time we were in danger was in the hospital. i actually have PTSD from my oldest’s birth and how it was handled.

as to the ‘experience’- i chose the healthiest option for us. not the best ‘experience’. anyone want to start talking about epidural side effects and risks? c’mon. backaches? headaches? longer labor, time pushing, stress on the baby? no thanks. guessing if everyone actually got to read the little sheet you have to sign acknowledging risks BEFORE you’re in labor(to get whatever drug it is), few would opt to get it.

Heather on

Sweet Jesus. Is this the SAME Dr. Fischbein who is on probation by the medical board of California?

Taraakapinky on

According to another post up there, it sure is.

Leslie on

Thank you so much Kimberly for sharing your story! It meant a lot to me reading about your experience. You and your husband are amazing and your babies are gorgeous. You’re obviously doing a great job as parents.

I hesitate to address all the negative comments, but will just say this… When people base the most important decisions in their lives on fear they are never going to live up to their potential. One who holds fear as the highest concern will lead a life constricted.

Kimberly and James made a decision to do what they felt was best for their family, and that is their right… Just as it is someone else’s right to have a csection or hospital birth if they wish.

KC on

I love hearing about women choosing to have their babies at home and I hope to do that one day in the future myself.

My mom chose to have me and home and I’ve always felt a special bond with her over it. I am the youngest of three and the only one born at home and my mom says that mine was easily the best, most peaceful, most relaxing birth of the three.

I think it’s great that women have the option of giving birth in the setting that is most comfortable for them and I think it’s a shame that someone whould try to make another person feel bad about the choice they make.

lovely123 on

Nothing hotter than a handsome man with his child. My ovaries just skipped a beat!!

Em's Mom on

I went in to the hospital fully dilated & effaced, but ended up on Pitocin as my contractions slowed. Once they kicked back into gear, I was able to deliver in less than an hour. So as others have mentioned . . . the experience on Pitocin is not universal. And I was an “older mother”, giving birth for the 1st time at 36.

That being said: congratulations! What a beautiful family! I love these pictures of you, James & your children. Much happiness to you all!

LLB on

I say you got very lucky. My second son was breech and my doctor recommended a planned c-section. NOT my first choice, nor my second, but my doctor insisted in case of any complications. And I am so glad I did — turned out that his umbilical cord was half the length it should have been and had I tried to “turn” him, or deliver vaginally, the results would have been devastating.

Congratulations on the birth of your son. Be thankful you didn’t run into any complications.. . you never know when they’re going to occur, especially in childbirth.

Alissa on

I think it’s very irresponsible for any celebrity or media outlet to tout the benefits of home births without seriously outlining the risks for the reader.

I had a completely problem-free pregnancy, but I experienced post-partum hemorrhage immediately after the natural birth of my daughter. I almost died, but thankfully I gave birth at a hospital where doctors and blood transfusions were readily available. If I had given birth at home, there’s no way I’d be alive today. But there were zero warning signs that something like that would happen since I had a normal, healthy pregnancy. It could happen to anyone.

In fact, I think People did an article about Christy Turlington who experienced the same thing and now promotes awareness of post-partum hemorrhage since it’s the number 1 cause of maternal death (during birth) worldwide. Yet it’s not something most people (or pregnancy books) ever talk about. I had no idea it was even a potential problem until it happened to me.

If people want to take the risk of home births, that’s great for them. But if a media outlet is going to feature a blog or story about it, I think it’s crucial to point out the risks so every woman is fully educated before making any decisions about where to give birth.

Anonymous on

This woman is insane! Sure everything turned out fine but if something had gone wrong she could have left her young daughter without a mother. Not a hero at all in my book Selfish…

Anonymous on

Isn’t it delightful that the well-to-do have the disposable income to indulge themselves! Sorry, but the woes of the well-to-do don’t really motivate me much. This is a nice little story to share down at the country club–not so much in a magazine for the middle class.

lea on

I applaud her, I to had a mid-wife and had my son w/ no epidural etc. My contractions started in wee morning hours and i went to the mid-wives house and my son was born 5 hours later. I cleaned up and was in my bed w/ my son 2 hours later. It was less stressful hooked up to crazy machines and busy hospital.

I had my daughter in hospital only cause I was high-risk and was so stressed out cause the nurse wouldn’t listen, when I told her, I think i need to push, she said “oh its not time” and then preceded to look and my daughters head was crowned…..she looked at me & said oh no the Dr went across the street to his office…yeah well I wasn’t waiting, delivered my daughter and afterwards started to bleed to death, all I remember was injections going in my legs & then caught strep, i didn’t leave hospital until 5 days later.

Karen on

I am a type one diabetic who has had two successful c-sections-one at the age of 48-a midlife suprise. All I can say is I absolutely did not have the option of a home birth and did not care. I only cared for what was safest for baby.

I actually agree with the lady who said she could care less how the baby was delivered-as long as the child was born healthy and safe. On a personal level I have no regrets about not experiencing labor and a vaginal birth as the whole thing is not about me-but the baby.

Dominique on

I think this is amazing! I’ve had all 3 of my kids at home and had a wonderful experience for all of them. I believe that it is a very safe option under certain circumstances.

Midwifes are trained to know when it’s not feasible for some women to give birth at home and will send them to the hospital. In the event of an emergency they will call 911. They don’t take everyone just because the women wants a home birth.

Home birth is more about being comfortable and in control of your own experience. Hospitals and doctors tend to be pushy about what they want you to do and what’s easiest for them.

The people who criticize that’s its not safe should try and remember the last time they heard on the news a baby died due to a home birth. I never have heard it once. Most people are just going based on society and doctors saying its not safe not because it really isn’t.

dudley doright on

nice pics


Reading this blog was nauseating! She’s an idiot who’s lucky nothing went wrong.

Chi on

Thank you Joan. I had two epidurals and with both births, my labor progressed quickly. We all need to stop judging each other period. Each woman needs to do what’s best for her and her child(ren) without another judgmental hag trashing her for her choices, whether that’s going totally natural or taking an epidural, formula feeding or breastfeeding.

Really? on

Really! You didn’t want a scar? My brother was breech with a vaginal delivery and he has cerebal palsy because of loss of oxygen to the brain. If only my mother had a c-section. I am so glad you were comfortable at home! Your story makes my stomach turn!

SB on

As a long time NICU nurse, this is foolish. It takes only a fraction of a second for things to go drastically wrong and end the life of the baby or the mother. Most people have no clue just how many things can go horribly wrong. Childbirth is risky, period, but having no medical help immediately available is just plain stupid. The goal should be having a healthy baby and mom, not having an “experience”.

Anonymous on

I was happy to see that this article was written in a responsible manner. She does speak to the potential risk of home birth and educating herself about her options.

To the extent possible, the manner of birth should always be the mother’s decision. However, I have seen too many women not do their research on a home birth. Instead they accepted a “guarantee” from a midwife that nothing would go wrong. Go into the decision armed with the facts. Know the following:

1) Are the people treating you licensed?
2) How long have they been working in the field?
3) What education and training do they have?
3) Do they have references?
4) What malpractice insurance are they carrying? Mistakes do happen. You should know that you are covered.
5) What will happen if you need to be transfered to a hospital? Which hospitals do they have access to?

This is certainly not a complete list. It is applicable for midwives, physicians and other practitioners. I just recommend that mothers have their facts together when making a decision of this magnitude. Protect yourself and your baby.

Kristina on

Wow, that is a cool story. I had all 3 of my babies at the hospital with medication. I think it’s awesome that she had a totally natural birth. It sounds like she did her homework and made informed decisions. Good for her and what a beautiful family!

Anonymous on

It is irresponsible to publish this article without mentioning the flip side of it. Someone I know lost a perfectly healthy baby who was breeched. To make things worse, the doctors had to sever the baby’s head from its body because of how it was stuck. Obviously this is an exception, but it is a real risk and something traumatized the family forever.

It doesn’t matter that you found one doctor who would go along with what you want. You should consult several doctors. Just as you would with any other serious medical decision.

Women have indeed been giving birth for thousands of years without any medicine or intervention. And millions of babies died because of it (or have had serious lifelong complications)!! No woman is less of a mother because she needed an epidural or any other type of medical assistance.

If you want a home birth, get informed! Watching a biased movie and consulting a single doctor specialized in a controversial procedure certainly isn’t enough. Even if the risk is extremely low, if the possible consequence is extremely severe, is it worth taking it? Would you play Russian roulette with your own life?

angela on

this is a personal matter and obviously a plea for attention…loosers

zuwtyme on

What beautiful birth stories! I love that she took the time to research her options, listen to her body, and seek the advice of the medical community. Her doula was very wise to tell her that she was making “birthing request.” Here is a mom that did what was best for her and her children, a decision that no one outside of her and her husband could make.

She is being blasted for making the decision to give birth at home, yet no one is blasting her when she took the advice of her dr in her first delivery. Why is that? Because it is the “norm?” No where does she say “Do This!,” she is simply sharing her stories and the well educated decisions that she and her husband made. She is celebrating and sharing the joy of her children’s births.

The doctor that delivered her son, chooses not to deliver in hospitals- it isn’t that he can’t. He chooses to do home births and births at birthing centers. Those who are shouting about the elitism in home births, need to take the time to actually look into the cost. I know many families that choose to have a home birth attended by 2 midwives to to staggering savings.

If you take anything away from this article, besides the joy of these two beautiful children, take away the challenge to educate yourself on childbirth and to talk about all options with your healthcare provider. Listen to your body loudest, not someone outside of it. Trust your instincts and the instincts of your partner. Relax.

The goal of pregnancy is a healthy baby and healthy mommy, however that comes about. It is time we stop blasting those who choose to take a different bath then our own and celebrate our differences.

Taraakapinky on

The dr that delivered her son seems to be on probation by the medical board of California. I would have refused to let him TOUCH my child must less deliver him; it would not matter the reason for his probation. The life of the child comes first. They can’t make the decision for themselves and it is up to the parents to protect them.

Suzyn on

WOW she looks just like a red headed Holly Madison!!

Anonymous on

How can it be a woman’s choice and her body if she would like to end the pregnancy, but she is selfish if she wants to experience the type of birth she wants???? You people are all uneducated or over-numb to “what-ifs”

Rebeka on

She took a HUGE risk with her baby, and she is lucky that nothing went wrong. Why take such a risk? Just so you could have dinner at home? So you don’t get a few stitches? This is a ridiculous article and should not have been put in

Danielle on

I agree with her friends and family. Why take the risk? After I delivered my daughter my placenta abrupted upon delivery causing me to lose consciousness and require blood and IV fluids while my OB worked to stop the bleeding. Had I delivered at home I would have died, regardless of how close to the hospital I live.

The risk is not worth it, take every precaution necessary. I’d rather sacrifice my own comfort during labor to ensure every precaution is taken for the health and safety of my child and myself.

kim on

People have to make a decision- is the birth plan for them and their fantasy birth vision, or is it safest for their baby.. in this case she went AMA. She is lucky that things turned out well for her. If things hadn’t, would she still be a proponent of the home birth scenario and write this article? In my opinion it should ALWAYS be baby first, mom’s birth fantasy second, not the other way around.

Helen on

OMG you dont get pregnant for a birth – you get pregnant for a healthy baby, no matter what way it comes out….

hexxuss on

I think several people are missing the “bigger picture” of this article. Trust your instincts. If YOU feel that a certain type of delivery is right for YOU, then it probably is.

Mine were 2 C-sections – 1st had the cord around his neck & the 2nd was planned ahead of time & before my due date (I had pre-eclampsia & it was heading downhill – in fact I almost died 2 days later & was back in the ER going into congestive heart failure).

She wasn’t saying her way was the only way, just letting people know that a breech birth IS possible if the conditions for it are right, AND to trust your instincts.

Jen on

I had to go out of town to deliver my twins vag. The local hospitals would not even think of letting me do it! Unbelievable. Yes, I’ll sign all your waivers to promise not to sue you for crying out loud. It certainly is a “business” anymore delivering babies.

Anonymous on

cute little big head kids…look just like daddy 🙂

Sara on

Kimberley, were you aware that Dr. Fischbein has been convicted of sexually exploiting a patient?

Dr. Fischbein is no angel.

w on

Well written and good success story.

I really wanted to deliver my second son at home after a pitocin induced c section with the first. I hoped for a story like this one (even though he wasn’t breech-not sure I would try that at home). My husband was too nervous to try it though… kept saying “there is a reason that people go to medical school”

Helen on

I just want all mothers to not feel guilty if their births do not go to their plan… as long as the BABY is healthy that is really all that matters… thats why you got pregnant….

Savanna on

Amazing! You go, Mama! Beautiful birth story.

Lis on

This article REALLY hit home for me… I try not to be so judgemental of mothers because we never know what someone is going through until we walk in their shoes…

However, I HAVE walked in her shoes, and I have to agree with several other posters saying that she took quite a risk (which to me is irresponsible) just to birth vaginally…

My first baby was breech. I was SO upset with the idea of a c-section. There was one doctor in the practice who said he could deliever breech babies. But of course it was risky.

Then we discussed the possibility of a version (turning the baby)…ultimitely it was decided I was not a good candidate since it was my first baby and we had no way of knowing if there was a REASON for him being breech…

Weighing all options, ceserean is HANDS DOWN the SAFEST way to deliver a breech baby. And even though I felt a bit slighted that I wouldn’t experience labor, it was even more important that I put my baby first and his life/safety at the top of my priority list (not a vaginal delivery).

Well guess what, when the doctor cut me open, he found that there WAS indeed a reason he was breech. I have a heart-shaped uterus. My babies head was stuck in one of the curves, and had we tried turning him, who knows what could happen…

Then, last December, I delivered my second baby. Because of the shape of my uterus I knew that there was a good chance my baby would be breech again.

I prayed and prayed that this baby would be head down and I could try for a VBAC… But alas, he wasn’t. So I had another scheduled c-section. And because I’ve had 2, it doesn’t matter what position my next baby is in, I am destined to have all c-sections.

And I’m sick of them getting a bad rap. It was NOT my first choice, however, my babies were born safe and healthy. and THAT is the ONLY thing that mattered to me.

J on

Now we know why this “angel” doctor ONLY delivers at home.

Katia on

Not worth the risk. Both pregnancies I came to the hospital already dialited to 6-7 cm. Asked for epidural right away. Was pushing 3 hours later, dialited to 10. Epidural helps you relax, it doensnt’ stop the labor. Pushing part was 20 minutes. I will have to disagree with all written in the article. Things can go terribly wrong and mother will have to take all the blame for the decisions she made, especially if it is a breech baby.

Anonymous on

There is a reason physicians advise against breech vaginal deliveries. It is not a conspiracy against women, sorry to disappoint. It is that is in fact quite dangerous. This is widely known. The risks of complications rise significantly. Yes, there are happy endings but to predict that based on your ‘womanly instinct’ is ridiculous. I am a physician, had 2 natural births in hospital simply because I was not willing to risk the health of my child. To add breech to that in my opinion is negligent on the part of the mother.

WHI on

Congrats Kimberly and family! Sounds like a wonderful experience. I too have seen Ricki’s Business of Being Born and got the same inspiration from it as you and many other women. It helped me feel confident and comfortable with my “plan” to have as natural a delivery as possible.

Did it hurt?? Heck yes. Did I say I couldnt do it anymore? Tons of times. But did I make it? Sure did. For me, choosing to go medication free was not necessarily about not “drugging” my baby… it was because I was – and am – scared crapless about an epidural needle!

I’d done my research, taken classes, and still could not willingly agree to have an epidural because it scared me.

In my case, not getting an epidural actually was the best because my daughter ended up having to be transferred to another hospital’s NICU and had I gotten the epidural, I would not have been able to be discharged from the hospital and gone to where she was. Being able to leave the hospital and drive with my husband to see her and stay with her was in itself worth more than any pain medication.

Since our next child may have some of the same issues, I have even more ammunition to stick to my guns and attempt a medication-free birth again.

However, I am not saying that people should NOT get pain meds – they weren’t for me, but I’ve heard that many women love them. A friend even said her births were like big slumber parties… her family and friends were together and she was able to relax and enjoy the time before her little ones arrived.

Again, not my cup of tea, but it wasn’t my birthing experience either.

I would LOVE to have a homebirth. But, I also am not willing to put my child at risk should he/she have the same issues my other had. Instead, I will plan on being as comfortable as I can in the hospital room with the NICU clearly within reach, just in case.

M on

Also a RN here, and I can tell you if you had seen when things go wrong you would NEVER take that risk. I also saw Ricki Lake’s movie, and while I appreciate other viewpoints I think she is being rather reckless to condone every pregnant woman to try for a homebirth. It is NOT safe for MOST people.

Also, it appears Kimberly did some research on her options, but did not research the MD who was doing it. WOW. How is having a suspended doctor who is a total pervert fit into your birth story? Gross.

Guest on

Good for her. Americans treat pregnancy like it’s a terminal illness.

My2Cents on

Why is it that women who have chose hospital/medicated births get so defensive at someone who has delivered at home or without pain medications. It comes off as jealousy! To give birth naturally, with no medications IS an accomplishment, and something to be very proud of. I’m not going to talk about my own experience, but TONS of research went into my choices. As much as people will say other wise, it’s not possible to put ANY drug in your body that does not affect you or your baby during/after birth. So what’s wrong with choosing to not have drugs unless absolutely necessary? Personally, my babies were worth the 24, 6 and 21hrs of pain I went through to bring them into this world. I’m not saying I love my babies any more than the next person, but don’t get so up in arms when a woman has accomplished a drug free birth!!

Leah on

What an absolutely beautiful family. Those kids are ADORABLE!

K.W. on

To compare the statistics of home births vs. hospital births is impossible..a responsible health care provider will screen a woman who desires a home birth and only those in the low risk category (again – if the health care provider is responsible) will be given the green light to attempt delivering at home.

Hospitals deal with high risk pregnancies – i.e. – multiples, maternal or fetal complications, known congenital defects in the baby and pre term deliveries etc, – so absolutely their mortality rates will be higher – and it always amazes me that when the shit hits the fan during a home birth that people are then desperate to get the very same hospital that was deemed too “unsafe” to deliver their child in originally…

Sandra on

I don’t understand why so many posters here are being so defensive. She wrote about HER birthing experience which is what she wanted.

For those of you who have opted for c-sections, epidurals, pitocin…that was YOUR choice and the choice of your physician. Many OB/GYNs push for hospital births not just because they might be “safer” but because they don’t make much money when you stay at home!

Let’s be realistic.

Anonymous on

There should be zero haters on this post. This is an amazing story, she did everything she could in both cases and I’ve read lots of birth stories since mine 7 months ago and this is the first one that has brought peace to mine which went horribly wrong in every way possible but ended with a beautiful baby boy.

Catherine Avril Morris on

That is fabulous! Thanks for posting this story. More people need to know about all the variations of healthy, normal births — and the importance of reproductive rights, which include the ability to choose not just whether and when to reproduce, but how. I also chose homebirth for my babies (though they weren’t born breech). We ended up having to transport to the hospital with my first, my son. With my second, my daughter, we were able to stay at home and have the most incredible, exhilarating, peaceful and loving experience. Anyway, bravo to you!!

Dawn on

Nice. Beautiful birth story. Congrats and God bless!

May on

How selfish of you to put your baby’s life in danger just because YOU did not want a c-section. And the fact that you chose to do such a high risk delivery at home makes it even worse.

reagan on

Interesting how many people talk about empowering women to make informed decisions regarding the care of their own bodies, but when you disagree with their well-educated choice for homebirth, they’re written off as wrong. The hypocrisy, it BURNS.

I applaud the Van der Beeks for taking such great care and responsibility with their decision; they’re more educated about the process than the average, “Oh, doctor, just do whatever you think is best!” abdicator.

Marci on

Good for you!! All 3 of my children were homebirths. When I was pregnant with my 3rd and discovered she was breech, we found a second midwife who had experience with breech homebirths. I wouldn’t change a thing. Being with my babies, peacefully at home for their natural births was a priceless experience.

Crystal on

Kudos to Kimberly for following her gut and mother’s intuition. I went through the EXACT same thing with my son and it was a very difficult decision to make, especially without alot of support from the “mainstream” medical community or even family members. My breech baby was born healthy and perfectly in a 100% natural and drug free birth. It can be done ladies! They need to start re-teaching these methods in medical school to prevent unnecessary C-Sections!

LBH on

I really don’t mean to sound judgmental because to each there own but I think this was a tremendous and unnecessary risk to take. I’m all for choice and natural births when possible, but I have to agree with the doctor strongly advising against it. I also kind of cringe when the argument of “women have been giving birth on their own for years” is used because many of these women and babies didn’t make it. No doubt these women would have welcomed the medical advancements we have now to help with childbirth. And before you jump on me, I had a similar experience to Kimberly’s, except I made a difference choice. My firstborn was diagnosed as breech at 38 weeks. I also wanted a natural childbirth (incidentally, I had a doctor approved VBAC for my second) and was bitterly disappointed by a c-section. As it turned out, it would have been an extremely dangerous situation had I made the same choice as Kimberly. The doctor knew he was breech but she didn’t know until after he was born that he was almost 10 lbs. I’m not a very big woman so there’s no way I would have been able to deliver him and if I had tried, we both might not be here. I’m very glad that it worked out for Kimberly and wish her and family the best, but her delivery so easily could have gone another way. Just my opinion, but I don’t think, in this type of situation, that it’s worth the risk to mother or baby.

khloe on

Does anyone else not think she was selfish?!?!? She didn’t want to get cut but she was willing to risk her child’s life to have a vaginal birth AT HER HOUSE!!!! I almost died with my second baby if I had been at home having him we would have both died. I don’t know why anyone would want to take that chance.

Mom of 4 on

Blah, Blah, Blah, Balh….me, me, me, me. She SUCKS!

Brooke on

I’ll keep it simple since the haters piled on first… This was a beautiful story, very well written, from the perspective of an obviously caring mother who took every precaution necessary when thinking about how best to bring her children into this world. They are blessed to have her. And the pictures are amazing!

Mom of 4 on

I just read it a second time to make sure I really hate her, and I do. You’re great lady, good job.

joan on

I had a c-section first due to a breech baby, then vbacs with the last two, which were induced with pitocin. I had an epidural with all three. All three experiences were different, so yes, I can say that her experience does not mean it will work with everyone.
Pitocin does not increase c sections and epidural does not slow down labor as much as those against them want them everyone believe. Pitocin may have been given to patients that should not have received it in the first place. Every person is different.
I wouldn’t want to risk my daughter’s life delivering her breech position. Her safety was my utmost concern (rather than my comfort)

TigerMom on

Wow. All birth stories are miraculous. Whatever is comfortable and safe for both the mother and the baby is what should happen. This blogger really does enjoy feeling her own hand pat her back. I live in the real world, without home midwives and housecalls and a huge bank account to finance those things. My kids are healthy, and they were born in hospitals. One vaginal and one c-section and I had epidurals with both. This lady sounds a bit immature and condescending in every blog she has written so far. I think this was the last one of her blogs I’m going to bother reading.

Mimi on

I congratulate Kimberly and her family and thank her for sharing her story. Birthing is a very personal experience, as is dying, and she certainly had the right to do it her way. I would certainly not judge anyone, but having said that, even though I’m past child bearing age, I would never, ever choose to have a home birth. I don’t care what type of physician, doula, midwife or nurse is present. Things can go terribly wrong in an instant and it can easily mean the difference between the life and death of the baby (and mom) if you are not in a hospital. My daughter hemorrhaged after giving birth to my second grandson and if she had been at home she never would have lived through it.

Alissa on

Yet again, one woman can’t share her experience without other women having to invalidate it. Stop judging others and yourself! Have your baby however you want to and stop feeling threatened. As a mother of 3, I don’t really care what other people chose. If they want to tell me, I want to listen, but I have never given anyone a prize or medal yet, nor have I received one for my births, parenting, marriage, etc. I believe most women just want to share their story, plain and simple.

lovemymoos on

I couldn’t love this more!! Thank you for giving a public voice to the fact that there are other options when it comes to delivering your baby, even if circumstances aren’t completely perfect. When you are armed with knowledge, you realize how many options you have. Birth can be a magical time, and you don’t have to let a doctor scare you into thinking it’s a horrid medical procedure, cold and quick.

Tina on

Cute family.

Mandy on

The problem with modern medicine is most have become too routine. Episiotomies, pitocin, c sections, etc. just because the doctor is in control of the birth and not allowing the woman to make decisions based on what she’s done research on, after all who has the medical degree huh? So some women make decisions based on what THEY want and are shunned by the medical community for not “submitting” to the “conform” nature that has become modern birth. Many women choose to do a homebirth to get away from the medical interventions that can cause these issues. Pitocin can cause fetal distress since the contractions are made to come on faster, last longer, and closer together, the uterus and baby don’t get much of a break due to this, making the baby and the mother tired often times leading to a c section in order to “save” a baby due to an unnecessary medical intervention which is now given out in hospitals like an IV. You come in get your IV and are placed on pitocin no questions asked. If you refuse the pitocin, it’s been known that many times the hospital staff will place it without your knowledge. Doctors come in and for the ease of birth will do an episiotomy because it makes the baby come out faster, they think it’s a win win. The point with a mother home birthing to get away from these unnecessary interventions is that 90% of births are low risk, but when you MESS with that low risk person and MAKE them high risk through the interventions, birth then does become scary. This is not to say that c sections, episiotomies and other interventions are unnecessary ALL the time, it’s just for the 90% of births that will have nothing wrong and they come in have a baby and go home like it was nothing. These interventions shouldn’t be used as commonplace things just to make birth faster and easier on the doctor which tends to be the most often reason, ie it’s time to go home and I want to be with my family, or it’s a holiday or weekend my plans are now messed up. Don’t even tell me that doesn’t happen, because it does. These interventions make the hospital money, if they aren’t used how are they going to get that brand new machine that’s state of the art? Hospitals are more selfish than a mom who wants to homebirth and allow her baby to come when it wants and to allow her body to process things in the natural way it should. Birth isn’t necessarily dangerous for the 90% who would have NO complications whatsoever. We as women who wish to take back the control and do what our bodies are SUPPOSED to do and know it CAN do wish everyone to do their research on everything on birth.
A homebirth transfer is when a birth has become a higher risk than it was to begin with. It’s necessary at that point and a great provider will know when it becomes necessary to transfer. It’s not like they don’t pay attention to the mother, there are signs that the birth isn’t going to be a normal low risk birth. It’s the interpretation of these signs and recognition of these signs by the provider that allow a woman to have a successful transfer with minimal complications.
If hospital birth is so safe and 92% of women go to the hospital to give birth why is our infant and maternal mortality rate compared to other countries so low? The US is ranked 49th? Many of the countries above the US are homebirth unless you are high risk countries. They think we are nuts for going to the hospital to have a baby when there is nothing wrong! It’s standard for them to have their babies at home! They have a LOWER mortality rate than us! Homebirths are NOT dangerous! Just do your research and know what you are doing so you aren’t just doing something because a doctor says so and puts the fear in you. They love to do that by the way. Think of your baby! When there’s nothing wrong.

Mandy on

Oh BTW, those who go in for a VBAC and have pitocin have a higher risk of having a uterine rupture since it makes the uterus work so hard. 99% of the 1% who have had a uterine rupture after c section were given pitocin. Even at that the results are skewed since a 1cm tear in the uterus is considered a rupture, it’s not life threatening and only 1% of that 1% of women who have a rupture are in the life threatening category.
Every woman needs to learn her facts of birth. Once you learn them and still think a hospital birth is safest for you, at least you are making an EDUCATED decision on your care and not just trusting some one who PRACTICES medicine. Just think for yourself what you want.

Amy on

While I like reading about her stories of motherhood, this one really disturbs me. Lots of you think it is empowering to read about how she conquered a breech birth at home. I can’t help but think, why? Why bother risking your child’s life, or yours for that matter? Why is it so important to be at home or even to not have a cesarean? Why not reduce the risk, save yourself the worry? THAT is why people see her as selfish, or self absorbed! Because she took that sort of risk just to prove a point to us…or herself. Sad. I wouldn’t ever gamble with my child’s life if there was something absolutely less risky. Ever. People are too quickly forgetting the past! Medical advances make our life so much less risky, and in so many ways. I am going to enjoy the time I get with my family and use medicine to get the most out of it. I would never want to look back and think, “I wish I had never taken that risk!”.

lissa832 on

Quite frankly, posts like this and Rikki Lake’s documentary are irresponsible. They make women fear hospitals and doctors. They make women feel less than they are if they choose to give birth the responsible way. And by responsible way, yes, I mean in the hospital. Sure women have had babies for thousands of years. Mother and infant mortality also used to be much higher in the days before modern medicine. Are they correlated? Of course they are.

I understand that it is the new fad to be the crunchy granola moms nowadays. But the bottom line is that this woman put her child at risk. Emergencies cannot be predicted many times. Minutes can be the difference between life and death for a baby. The time it would take her to get to a hospital from a botched home birth would likely mean the death of her baby if complications had arisen. Bad things can happen in the hospital too, but the chances are much more favorable if an emergency arises. Given the fact that her child was also breech and she chose a home birth gives me the impression that she’s a complete and utter moron. Home births can turn deadly in the best of circumstances. Knowing he was breech and deciding to do a home birth? Irresponsible. As a mother myself, I don’t understand how women can gamble with their baby’s life.

JR on

Congrats Kimberly & James on your beautiful family. I am also planning a home birth (hopefully a water birth) this December with my first child. Everyone, or mostly everyone loves to say that the mom is so selfish for choosing this route to birth her baby when in reality that is how women have been giving birth to their babies for thousands of years. Doctors & nurses aren’t the “be all, end all” if you will when it comes to birthing babies. Yes, they are there for emergencies, but most births are complication free. They love to zero in on the small percentage that aren’t and put fear into everyone. Doctors are trained for emergencies and medical illness/condition/trauma etc. Pregnancy, labor and birth is not a medical condition.

It’s too bad that today’s OBGYN students are NOT trained in delivering babies naturally (no drugs, no inductions, how to deliver breech babies etc.). They are specifically trained to intervene and speed up the process of birth for efficiency and to cover themselves and the hospital *should* something go wrong. Then they can’t be sued in a medical malpractice suit. But they rob the mother of her experience of childbirth. I’m not talking about just delivering drug free. I’m referring to not giving enough support for breastfeeding, taking the baby from the mother after giving birth to do routine procedures. Bathing (vernix is meant to protect babies skin & shouldn’t be washed off right away), weighting, measuring, giving injections, put under a bright light etc. These conditions aren’t designed to help foster immediate bonding. They are done for the convenience of the hospital and its staff.

The doctors & their supporters love to say that home birthers are taking risks, but what about the risks of induction, of having an epidural – not only to you, but the baby as well. (Anesthesiologist has to get the needle in the right spot or you can be affected the rest of your life), not to mention that you are giving your 6-8lb baby a dose of narcotics that is enough for a grown woman anywhere from 140-200lbs. That is scary stuff! And of course there are high risks with a c-section that I wont even get into here. It is major abdominal surgery.

Home birth isn’t for everyone, but they should at least make an informed decision about their body & how it can affect their baby and not blindly trust the medical world. That would meaning doing some research though and some just don’t want to be bothered with that. They’d rather do whatever the doctor thinks or suggests, but don’t ever stop to think “is this the best option for me or my baby?” They don’t question the doctor and then point fingers at the women who do and state how selfish they are.

Congratulations to her on trusting her instincts, as we have forgotten to do that in today’s world.

kara buskirk on

What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing!

Robin on

It is very sad when women feel so threatened by another woman’s choices, that they choose to interpret her speaking about it as a personal attack. Everyone has a birth story. This one is Kimberly’s. And if it was beautiful, she is absolutely entitled to say so, and it is not an attack on anyone, nor is it a boast. It is simple fact.
Breech birth can be safe at home with a skilled attendant. If this is beyond what you thought you knew, please do some research. The Heads Up! Conference in Washington DC, in November, is a good place to start.
Please stop spreading the myth that breech birth is more dangerous than caesarean. All peer-reviewed scientific evidence shows that the risks are comparable.
Love and light to those who feel threatened or offended by another woman’s good birth. There is something better to be had. Demand it for yourself.

Anonymous on

I had to wonder why she was pushing for 2 hours when she dilated to a 9…I’ve had 4 kids and my doctor has always waited till I was a 10…

Tina on

I think the most telling line is when she asked James to move her “favorite art piece” into her bedroom. Are you serious?? You are about to give birth at home to a breech baby, and this is on your checklist? This article is smug in its attempt to “empower” women and their choices. Use your brain, honey: you were lucky your baby didn’t die, and you risked his life for the sake of your comfort. How 21st century of you.

Alicea on

I’m glad the home birth worked well for you. I had to have a C-Section and you know what…looking into my adorable son’s eyes and seeing his love is what matters. Natural or with drugs, at home or in the hospital, vaginal or C-Section…after the baby is born that all becomes moot. A happy, healthy baby is what is most important.
Congrats to you and your beautiful family.

Kat on

I had 3 hospital births and a homebirth for #4. I’m so thankful for the hospital availability for when it’s necessary, but since a woman’s body was actually created in part to birth babies, I trust my body to deliver my babies without interventions and drugs. I’ll never again deliver in a hospital unless my baby shows a risk factor.
What an awesome and beautiful story!

Trish on

Absolutely LOVE all these pictures. What a great family!!

Gina on

I think it s ridiculous that people try to have natural births and make people that have scheduled c sections feel like they opted for something wrong. I have a 9 month old baby girl who perfectly healthy and happy. Not fussy and was born with red blotchy face but looked like an angel… this woman is famous because of her husband and who really cares what she went through…waste of time reading this article. I agree with Lauren! on here

pwdaisygirl on

“but suddenly the doctors and hospitals have become the bad guys in the latest “trend” of home birthing.”
K.W….. I think you need to be reminded that until the 1920’s when it became the modern woman’s choice to deliver in a hospital (drugged and often unconscious), women delivered at home for all the thousands of years prior to this.

I’m thankful for medical advances when they become necessary, but women’s bodies were as much designed to birth as they were to poop. Sometimes there are issues that come up that need help and again, I’m thankful for the medical advances for when that happens, however, your comment is complete nonsense. This isn’t a new trend like Vera Bradley… this is returning to realizing that our bodies were intended to birth without interventions and can most often do just fine. Many times the interventions and environment of the hospitals are what CAUSE issues to arise.

Denise on

Pitocin has possibly been linked to the rise of autism in the US. Just do a search on it. Natural is always better. Birth has been done longer than pitocin, epidurals and c-sections have been around. Many hospitals would rather do a c-section for liability purposes (now the doctor is in control, not the mother) and as a way to get the mother out of the hospital as soon as possible, while charging ridiculous fees for the pitocin, epidural, and c-section. I work in the medical industry and rose colored glasses I DO NOT have. In the end, it’s all about money.

meghan on

~~”A friend of mine insisted upon a vaginal delivery of her breech baby. The baby died during that delivery. I had my healthy breech baby a month later via c section and he’s a happy healthy 2 year old. Selfish people thinking about what they want. Not what’s best for their baby.”~~

What a great and judgemental friend you are. Call her selfish to her face? I suppose not, since you don’t even have the balls to sign your post.

Megan on

I didn’t feel as though you were judging others or making any other statement than what you felt was right for you and your family. Despite some of the negative feedback, I am sure you aren’t second guessing your choices, however, or feeling guilty because you have the means to advocate for and seek out the birth that you wanted for yourself.

Congratulations on working to achieve the birth that you felt was best for YOU and your baby.

Jess on

Seriously people… for every person on here who has said “well when I was delivering… blah blah… blah blah… You’re selfish! You’re a terrible person! You just didn’t want a scar?!!!??” there are just as many people who have NOT had that experience. There are just as many people who HAVE gone to a hospital in order to receive the “safest” option for their births and have ended up regretting it for one reason or another.
Home birth isn’t about just making a “happy time” for the mother. This is such a simplistic view of things. If any of you took the time to research home birth and the reasoning behind it, you would understand that the “happy environment & comfort” isn’t just for the psychological benefit of the mother, nor is it so they can go on BLOGs and poopoo on other people’s choices to give birth in a hospital or birth center.
If you’ve ever seen another mammal giving birth you would know that they do so by finding a quiet, dark, and safe place to do so. They don’t go running out into a sterile parking lot under halocen lights. The reason for this is that a female mammal needs to be able to feel safe in order for the correct hormones to release so that her body will know what to do. Conversely, if a predator was to intrude on this scene it would likely interrupt the release of these hormones and instead the body would release adrenaline, effectively closing the birth canal so the mammal and get up and run away. This my friends is called nature. It is real. It is studied and confirmed. Can you now say that a deer (or cat, or dog, or horse, etc.) is choosing that quiet, safe place for fashion? no you can’t.
Giving birth in hospitals can and has been helpful for many, but it can and has been HORRIBLE for others. While I applaud NICU nurses and their desire to help newborns in trouble, there are many other Hospital personnel who don’t take what I (and many others) feel as an appropriate viewpoint on birth. Decisions are OFTEN made for the convenience of staff and for the monetary forces given power from Hospital Boards and Insurance companies (both your own private health insurance and liability insurance). Oftentimes these crappy decisions put the mother and baby more greatly into harms way. Some of these interventions come with a greater likelihood for previously unnecessary c-sections. C-Sections, while an amazing tool and helpful for many, come with their own list of MAJOR complications and possibilities for maternal death (none of which are in regards to cosmetic concerns regarding scars and stitches!) Medicine and common medical practices are not OMNIPOTENT! Nor are they researched extensively enough to be considered safe for everyone at every time. Ever hear of Cytotec? This drug used to be really common in inductions of labor and it caused many birth problems and maternal deaths. In fact it is still used by some medical facilities today. Want to know when this came about? The 1990’s FOLKS! That’s right, medicine didn’t even have it right less than 20 years ago! Are all you people bashing Mrs. Dawson Leary (sorry… had to!) aware of this? Did you know all of those scary stories before you gave birth in a hospital? No. Probably not. These are just a few of the reasons some people choose to give birth at home. To them, these services given by a hospital, while can be live saving, are often used unnecessarily and can cause more damage than a home birth ever could.
While I can also appreciate some people’s genuine concern for the baby and wanting to put the baby first… well I understand. BUT in any scenario, I do put ME first. Want to know why? It’s not because I’m a selfish mother who is more concerned with appearances/trends/celebrity advice/pain avoidance/etc. than with the health of my children. It’s because I know that what’s BEST for my children is what’s BEST for me. My husband completely agrees with this. We would rather mourn a child than have my husband raising our children alone because I happened to die after an unnecessary c-section because my doctor had to get home for dinner. Or because I was given a drug to induce labor at 40 weeks because god forbid a doctor have to face delivering a woman at 41 1/2 weeks (which if you know ANYTHING about pregnancy, due dates can be up to 3 weeks off, even with ultrasound dating!) and said drug was as untested as Cytotec was and I end up bleeding out 2 days later. Which by the way… hospitals and states do not have to follow the same reporting guidelines when it comes to maternal deaths. So while we still have a crappy maternal/fetal death rate in the USA, it is also highly likely that it is worse.
Now the point of this long-a$$ ramble is NOT to scare any woman from giving birth in a hospital, but to try to outline some of the reasons why I believe this woman tried her best to get a home delivery (even if her baby was breeched! gosh you people act as if that means the baby had 5 legs instead of 2… geez) and while other women these days are aiming for that as well. Personal horror stories are always horrible, but personal success stories like this one shouldn’t be poo poo’d on because you all are uninformed. Go read a book and then pat yourself on the back for informing yourself as opposed to rewarding yourself by sh**&ing on someone else.

Dalm on

I have 4 kids. Two of them were breech and I opted to have an ECV with both in order to prevent a C section. The ECV worked and was not a big deal for me. I was so happy to avoid major surgery. I am a nurse and would never do a home birth because I know too much about what can go wrong. Life is definitely different for celebrities in Hollywood.

Sexual stalker profile on


Manual version is successful but fetus is injured.

After midwifes provided prenatal care for a woman throughout her pregnancy, an obstetrician was called when a fetus, at 38 weeks’ gestation, was found to be in breech position. The obstetrician successfully turned the fetus by manual version, but the fetal heart rate decreased immediately following the version and remained low. Twenty minutes later, a cesarean delivery was performed. The child was given a diagnosis of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy. 

Patient’s Claim: the cesarean delivery should have been performed sooner.
Physician’s Defense: not reported.
Verdict: $1.625 million Missouri settlement

OBG Management, December 2009, Vol. 21 No. 12 page 52

Jolanda on

I had 2 natural births, 1 at home and 1 in hospital. My midwife was great and because she suspected problems with the 2nd one, she wanted me to go to the hospital. A good midwife will tell you if there are any problems and make you go to the hospital!
In hindsight I could have had the baby at home as well, but it worked out ok. Didn’t like the whole hospital experience though….would have loved to give birth at home again.

FYI this was in the Netherlands, where it is a normal and natural thing to give birth at home. Giving birth doesn’t need to be so clinical with painkillers and such. It is a natural thing that has been done for centuries, and if you don’t feel comfortable giving birth at home, then go to the hospital, it should be the mother’s choice!

Anonymous on

If you take this offensively, that is your own hangup. She said that women need OPTIONS. We all need to stop getting so defensive at someone else’s story. Women and mothers need to stick together and stop being so judgmental at one another. There is no one right way to birth, feed, raise a child. Kimberly is just trying to tell other women that they have options. I personally feel that is a great thing.

Sarah on

What an inspiring story! Good for you, Kimberly, for researching your options and birthing your baby your own way.

modforsythe on

Gee, have you all ever thought that maybe she couldn’t care less about what you think of how she went about things? Sharing her own experience is not about getting a pat on the back- these are the choices she made and *gasp!* she has two healthy, happy babies. Sounds like someone did something right. I’m so SICK of how awful women are to each other when it comes to birthing and raising babies.

Leslie on

I find this story incredibly frightening. I’ve been a labor and delivery nurse for 13 years and have seen many, many ominous situations….both with and without contributing labor -inducing interventions and medications. I’m shocked any parent or physician would knowingly put themselves in such a risky position. Anyone who considers doing a home birth, particularly of an infant in breech presentation, should really do a lot of research on the risks. Does it really matter if the risk of fetal death is 5%, if your child is one of those 5% statistics? Far too risky for me to even consider.

anonymous on

As someone who worked in a high risk l&d ward, and now works in a level III NICU, I cannot believe that you would put yourself & your child at risk like that ! I have seen when the births go wrong what happens to baby. Giving birth at home is 1 thing, I’m all for it in fact, this to me seems like the most selfish thing you can do, planning to have a dangerous birth at home, just because you didn’t get your way the 1st time ! When your child is breech, that needs to be in a hospital setting, where there are people there just in case the delivery goes wrong. How awful would it have been for something to happen to the baby & then have to rush yourself & baby to the hospital after the birth ?? Or did you ever consider that some women bleed out after giving birth, ESPECIALLY after a breech ?? Not to mention what could have happened to your baby !! You wanted a home birth, ya got it, be extremely grateful that all went well because as I’m sure you know, not all cases go well, the difference is MOST breech deliveries are done so at home, under the supervision of more then 1 dr & doula, NICU attends those births just in case so they can assess baby & make sure baby is fine. Not every person can afford to go to multiple doulas & dr’s so they can get what “they” want. Or let’s put it this way, I had my 1st child vaginally, with epidural & I pushed for 2 hours. She came out fine, there was meconium present, but she was fine. My 2nd child, different story, my water leaked at 33 wks, 5 days, I was put on the ward and induced 4 days later, no progress. Gelled the following day, then finally induced a 2nd time 6 days after my water had leaked & continued to gush water. MY labor didn’t progress, I got to 1 centimeter after 13 hours of labor. The decision was made by myself, my hubby, my mother & the dr we trusted to opt for a c-section. Why? Because my child was already going to be premature, we had already bought him an extra week in utero, the risk of infection however was increasing for myself & for him. Ever heard of chorioamnionitis? Yeah it’s extremely dangerous to mom & can be fatal to baby, I’ve seen a twin delivery where 1 died, the other lived because of it. Oh, & I was a high risk birth due to multiple health issues for both of my pregnancies, meaning I was under the care of perinatologists for them. So before you go off & criticize c-sections, or pat yourself on the back for making a potentially fatal choice to your baby, how ‘bout you get off your high horse & look at the big picture & count your blessings that this turned out well !!

BRod on

God! Any time a woman shares a natural child birth experience, all of the witches come out of the woodwork. She was just sharing her individual experience, and you guys are ripping her apart for it! I sincerely hope you people are not raising your children as poorly as you were clearly raised. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

Yvonne on

Kimberly made a choice to give birth to her baby in a way that she felt was best. I applaud her for doing her research and choosing the option best for her and her family. It is unfair of others to judge her choices….Kimberly and James made the decisions based on facts and trust! Incredible birth…TRUST is the issue here. Our birthing choices are being snatched away from women. WE need to take them back, and Kimberly and James did just that!
Do some research, cesarean sections have incredible risks! Not only to Mother’s but to babies…they can be a wonderful way to birth, if found to be necessary, but….is a breech presentation one of those necessities? Not always….

Jen on

Why as women do we have to be so critical of eachother? Especially with something as personal as the way we choose to give birth! What works for one, won’t work for another. Can’t we just read her personal birth story without attacking? Do all these commenters believe their way is the ONLY way to have a baby? I wish women would support eachother more, instead of ripping eachother apart at every opportunity.

Sun on

Very happy family. Not surprised if they plans on having more children since they are very happy parents.

K.W. on

@pwdaisygirl – I worked as a L/D nurse for 10 of my 20yr nursing career…one of my last patients (routine “low risk” 3rd pregnancy) – ended up w/ shoulder dystocia where the infant had no traceable heart rate for 90secs – as the ob/gyn was trying to deliver him we noticed the mom’s abdomen beginning to swell – full placental abruption and she began bleeding out – she coded just as the doctor was able to deliver a blue, lifeless baby boy…I will never get the image of two nurse sitting on top of her in her hospital bed performing cpr as she was being rushed down to the o.r. while the NICU response team was desperately trying to revive her son – I will never forget the look on her husband’s face as he was removed from the room, the trail of blood going down the hallway of L&D – 6hrs in the O.R. – w/ not only two ob / gyn’s working on her but also a trauma doctor called in – and 15 units of blood later she was barely stable enough to be flown to a local trauma center where she had to under go a 2nd surgery in the morning…thanks to an amazing group of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals both mom and baby lived and are fine – had this been a home birth – they both would have died. So let’s hope those “medical advances” you are thankful for aren’t 20 minutes away if and when you deliver at home and something goes wrong. When you become pregnant – you are sharing your body with another living being – and it stops being what maybe best for you – it is what is best for that little soul you have been given the gift of being able to carry. The proof of your womanhood isn’t whether or not you pushed your child out of your vagina – If you look around enough you will be able to find any quack that will tell you what you want to hear or give you what you want – and this is exactly what Mrs. Vander Beek did – any responsible and ethical ob / gyn would have (and did) tell her that a breech delivery is high risk and should not be performed at home – I would have given her more kudos had she pushed to have a vaginal delivery in the hospital – and had she tried hard enough she would have found a doctor willing to attempt that – our hospital delivers breech babies vaginally in the o.r. – just in case something goes wrong – but we don’t let you put on mascara or hang art work while during labor…have to doubt what her true priority was here.

Dee on

I see a lot of bitterness and defensiveness while reading these post. Maybe some of you should deal with your own feelings and insecurites instead of projecting them on to someone else who was kind enough to share her stories.

Lauren on

YOU ARE AWESOME KIMBERLY!!!! Thanks for sharing. What an inspiration! Im glad that my chiro was able to turn my (second) breech baby so I could have my homebirth! My first was a section 😦 wish I had known better!!

april on

Sad that even some Health care providers are trying to make birthing in to emergencies. this is an amazing story. and if you dont like it, really just dont respond. its sad to me that you dont realize just how dangerous birthing in a hospital really is with one of the highest maternal fetal death rates.

Guest on

Good for her, and I agree that all women *should* have the options for the birth they wish – however, *most* women don’t have the money/medical coverage for such things.
In Canada our doctor and hospital visits are covered by our universal healthcare and still, most women I know (who are all middle-class) can’t afford a midwife and/or doula, even though they’d like to have one!

NElabordeliverynurse on

She pushed for 2hrs at 9cm dilated?! No wonder it didn’t work…you shouldn’t start pushing until you’re fully dilated! THAT also leads to more traumtic situations or the dreaded c-section. I’m all for a woman choosing what kind of birth she wants….but when the baby is in danger, there’s a fine line between having a live birth or a stillborn baby! The doctors do know what they’re talking about and have a bit more experience in birthing babies than a first-time mom…they don’t say/do things just to spite a birth plan. Just my opinion…

Anonymous on

I’m a 30 year old wife and mother of 3. I’m completely for all natural births and even home births. However, attempting a home birth, that could potentially lead to the death of the baby (or mother), doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. Even with the most experienced doctor, things can turn bad quickly, which is why I would think that being at the hospital would be a better solution..just in case. I definitely applaud her for having a natural birth, but I just think that, in this situation, it wasn’t the best decision. If something had gone wrong, can you imagine the emotional toll it would have taken on her? However, it is her/their family and they have the right to choose what they feel is best, even if we don’t agree with them.

I have 3 children and had c-sections with all of them. While pregnant with our first child, I had planned on having a completely natural birth. I had considered a home birth, but decided that it wasn’t for me. However, at 34 weeks, my water broke (during our baby shower), and I was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital (a hospital, I might add, that no longer delivered babies). I had lost a large amount of blood and an ultrasound was done to determine where it was coming from. But because there was so much blood, they couldn’t see anything on the screen. My doctor got to the hospital as soon as he could, just as the ER team was saying that they needed to flight me out to another hospital (since they were no longer equipped for births). He informed them that if they flighted me out, they would not only lose the baby (they could not keep her heartbeat on the monitor), but would lose me as well (because of the blood I was continuing to lose). So, they were forced to do an emergency c-section right there (and then flight her to the closest NICU and had me follow by ambulance). Because of the urgency of that time, they used the classical c-section cut (from my belly button down) and did it as fast as they could (I thank God that they did because they saved both me and our daughter). Now, because of the cut they used, I was told that I would always have to have c-sections or risk uterine rupture (the reason for her delivery was a placental abruption). For me (and my husband), it only made sense to schedule c-sections for our other two children, rather than risk something happening to myself or them (even though I was very distraught, for a long time, about not ever being able to have a natural birth). It didn’t matter how much research I would have done, the logical decision was to make sure our children were safe and that I was safe during a delivery. Sure, I’m not real fond of the huge, ugly scar on my stomach (the cut ruined the muscles, so I can never get the normal stomach look back..even though I’m only about 100lbs and should have no issues there), but if that scar wasn’t there, I probably wouldn’t have the healthy, beautiful children I have today. And there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be here, anyway.

So, in my opinion, each woman/family should do what they feel is best, but, for me, the best option is always the one where the mom and baby are safe and well taken care of.

Ashley on

First I will say Congratulations to the family! I think its important to remember that this mom did what she thought was best for her and her children and I certainly don’t think she would have gone this path if she was at a high risk!

Now, I’ll share my experience. With my first child I was in labor 18 hours….15 of which were epidural free. I blacked out due to pain and have little memory of the day – something due to circumstances is probably a good thing, but I do wish I had a more pleasant experience and had been able to get the epidural earlier! After the epidural was given I was in labor just 3 short hours before delivering my first child! He had to be helped out with a vacumme, but was completely healthy at delivery.

My second pregnancy was considered low risk since I’d had such an easy first pregnancy. At 36 weeks I told my husband I would be having the baby within a week! He thought I’d lost my mind. The following Thursday I started having contractions, they were consistent, but too far apart. That whole night I was up every 10 minutes in pain. The next day at noon I had my 37 week checkup. Doctor told me everything was fine and that I was having false labor contractions. I tried to tell him they couldn’t be false, they were too consistent, but he assured me. I went home and finally fell asleep around 10 that night. At 11:30 I woke up and my contractions were 7 mind apart. I decided to go to the hospital, in spite of the doctors orders! I arrived at 12:30 and the nurse checked me only to realize I was at 9cm. At 1am, my water broke. That baby, that was head down supposedly, was breech. And in a very unsafe breech position. Lucky for me, the doctor on duty believed that women were meant to deliver natural because in my case, there wasn’t enough time for a c-section! At 1:35am my youngest was born. He had a ripped neck muscle that has required physical therapy on top of numerous doctor appointments. He also had to be resusitated since he was stuck for 5 mins. Other than that, he appears to be healthy so far! So, long story short, in my case, breech birth was extremely traumatic and I’m thankful every day that I was in a hospital.

illeryial on

Actually, studies show that deliveries with pitocin have a higher chance of an emergancy c-section that allowing a birth to come on it’s own. Also pitocin makes l&d ever more painful than it would have been originally. I am not saying that people should “stay away from drugs”, because each situation is different. My oldest was two weeks late and my body just couldn’t get out of the first stage of labor, we did pitocin only to have an emergancy c-section because he got stuck and his heart rate started dropping with each contraction after 18 hours of labor. I am now pregnant with my 3rd child and last year when I had my now 14 month old we chose a schedule c-section because we had complications and it was a safer option. This time, again a scheduled c-section because for me it’s not worth the risk of rupturing. Each to their own. People need to take everyone’s positive experience as a way of learning to not dwell on the negatives that can happen. We as a species have been having babies for thousands of years. We need to have more faith in our bodies and also be smart and accepting enough to know that our bodies also have limitations.

My limitation is I somehow have HUGE babies that my birth canal was not made big enough for.

frances on

You have to think, what is more important, having YOUR desired birth experience? or getting your BABY into the world in the safest way possible? I am glad everything went well for this woman, but what if there had been a complication due to the breech positioning? She would have been so insistent on having HER birth plan, that she would have put her baby’s life in jeopardy. Hospitals work hard to at both, focusing in promoting the woman’s desires as well as equally focusing on the safest birth possible. Good for this woman for having a positive experience, but I consider her very lucky.

Kellie on

You are AWESOME! Nothing else needs to be said 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

Brittany on

I gave birth to my son in a hospital, with an epidural and Pitocin. I had minimal complications (baby’s heart rate spiked for a bit) but I had an all-around good birth experience. Not all women react negatively to Pitocin, and giving them the impression that there will definitely be complications is going to scare women into giving birth in a less safe, less sterile enviroment.

Ava on

well, I’m ok with the option of a breech birth. But. Why the hell making that at home???? That’s soooooooooo unbelievable risky!
It is sooooo unneccessary to make such a risk when you have the option of a safe birth.

Why not going in a clinic where you can find all the medical stuff that you need if there are any complications??

People who glorify ‘all natural’ birth everytime forget, how many poor women died because of not being able to reach the right medical help. They forget, that in developing nations still a lot of women and children die because of not having the possibilty to get medical help IF needed!!

I’m also not a fan of planned C-sections and from giving and taking all and everything just because it’s there. But making such a risk for your own life and the life of your child is really sad.

guest on

While I’m glad for her and happy it all worked out for them I must say there is NO WAY I would of risked the health of my baby and/or myself just because I didn’t want to get cut. I am pregnant with my second my first was a vaginal delivery but If I need to have a C-section this time I’ll do what is best for my baby and I. What if something had gone wrong while she was at home having this breech delivery? I’m sure she would never have forgiven herself. Why take the risk?

ClaireSamsmom on

I’m so glad that everything worked out great in the end for this family. Their children are beautiful and they seem to be very loving and devoted parents. For me, I wanted to have my babies in a hospital…that’s where I felt safe and I was surrounded by the people I loved and I had wonderful, supportive doctors and nurses. It’s whatever you feel comfortable with and what leaves you feeling at peace and of course, the outcome of a precious, new and healthy baby.

Jaimy on

Congrats on your beautiful birth. I couldn’t stomach reading most of these comments, and I hope you don’t either. I had a successful vaginal breech birth with my first. I sought out the most experienced doctor, meaning my vaginal birth, albeit breech, carried lower risk than a cesarean. This was not a selfish decision, but rather an informed one. Good for you for following your instincts instead of doing what others say is best. Cesarean is accepted as safe and routine, but the rate of complications and death are drastically higher than that of breech birth. Breech was considered a normal variant presentation until the early 90’s. My Grandmother birthed two breech babies, both safely. I find it unbelievable that no one mentions the danger of vacuum extraction, but breech birth may kill your baby?As a pediatric specialist, I see many more newborns suffering complications related to vacuum or forceps extraction than breech birth. Hope you have had both your kiddos adjusted too! 🙂

Sexual stalker profile on

So Dr. Stuart Fischbein has previously been arrested for sexual misconduct of one of his patients. Taking advantage of his position as a care provider and sexually exploited her. And these celebrities hired him to deliver their baby???

Michelle on

As a mother who has had 4 successful VBAC’s after my first was born via c-section, good for you for doing your homework and going with what you felt was best for you and your family! I had to search high and low to find a Dr. who would let me VBAC in this day and age. I am eternally grateful I did.

I also had Yvonne as my doula for 3 of my 5 children. Love her.

Leslie on

Dr fischbein is also my doctor my experience with his practice has been nothing short of excellent. He is extremely well trained and highly experienced. He has worked for decades at one of the foremost hospitals in the world.

Anyone who knows him respects his medical expertise, and his patients have very good things to say as well. I received a referral from a good friend who he helped deliver her twins.

Do not slander the man when you don’t have your facts straight. His probation is highly political and has nothing to do with his medical skill. I would recommend him to any of my friends and family.

Sexual stalker profile on

You must like Clinton then, Leslie. Married president having sexual relations with Monica. Biliary should have divorced him. Fischbein’s problem is political, he sexually molested a patient that he was caring for, took advantage of her vulnerability. He does not deserve a medical license. You think Sandusky is innocent? You think priests who molest kids are innocent? You think boyscot leaders who molest boys are innocent? How can you say Fischbein is innocent?

Kim on

Ummm…to the OBGYN who said “until now childbirth was the number 1 killer” what planet are you living on?!! It still is, a woman dies every minute in pregnancy or childbirth and despite all the technology the US has one of the highest mortality rates. For healthy low risk women home birth is a very safe and viable option regardless of your socioeconomic status.

Natalie on

Wonderful story! I am so glad that she was able to find a care provider with breech birth skills. Those are becoming more and more rare because for liability purposes, for the hospital it’s better to just do a c-section…even though that is higher risk to the mother and we are now discovering more and more benefits to the baby from vaginal birth!

Breech is a variation of normal, and ALL doctors should know how to safely aid a breech baby in being born. I hope that we regain sanity and stop letting liability, instead of evidence and best outcomes, dictate hospital practices.

Ty on

I am really bothered at how many women took this blog as a judgement on them for having their child in a hospital. Really?! I had my daughter in a hospital, yet I took no offense.

I have always wanted a home birth, I would rather have my child enter the world at home, with family, and without all of the drugs and unnecessary treatments.

Speaking from MY OWN experience, I requested a birthing bar, the hospital refused to give it to me. I made sure to let them know beforehand to refrain from using the wire fetal monitoring in her head, and they waited until I was asleep and did it anyway. To top it all off, they tried (really hard I might add) to try and convince my family to talk me into a c-section…

As the MOTHER, I told everyone to get out of my room, because the dilation stopped when all the nurses came in running their loud mouths. They left, I talked to my daughter and 30 mins. later, she was born. I typed all of that to say HOSPITALS/ DRUGS/ Etc. are NOT the definitive answer on everything!! Trust your instincts as a mother, and follow through with them. Whether it is a home birth or a hospital!

m.b.a. on

did no one else google her angel of a doctor and see that the medical board has put him on probation and there are plenty of women out there alleging he was inaproppriate with them?

rarabakes on

What is brave or inspiring about purposely risking the life and brain function of your baby so that you could have the experience you wanted? Sounds rather selfish to me.

Elle on

This mother was lucky to have avoided a tragedy. It’s irresponsible to encourage others to follow her path. Some people mistake their good fortune for good judgment – they are not the same. Please don’t take unnecessary risks with your baby’s life, and your own.

Carly on

Nowhere did she say that women should have homebirths. She said that women should educate themselves on ALL the options available and then make an informed decision on what is right for them.

I did a lot of research during my pregnancies and decided that homebirths with a midwife was right for me and my children. My son was actually born at home the same day as Joshua.

Suzi on

I am tired of celebrities (and/or their spouses) talking about how a home birth is the only way to go and that hospitals are there for the money.

Had I chosen a home birth with my son he would not be here today. His umbilical cord was not only wrapped several times around his neck but the cord was also being pinched during contractions causing his heart rate to drop extremely low repeatedly.

Had I not been in a hospital and on a monitor we would have never known he was struggling. I am grateful for the wonderful nurses and doctors who did every thing they could to correct the situation allowing me to continue with my natural birth plan.

When I was able to start pushing, my son’s (rather large) head got stuck and his heart rate dropped too low. In less than 20 minutes he was delivered by emergency c-section. My son was born not breathing. It took over 2 minutes for nurses, doctors and the correct medical equipment to get him breathing. Resources we would have never had, had I been at home.

At the same hospital and with the same doctor that I delivered all 3 of my children I was in complete control of how I choose to birth. Never once was any thing pushed or forced on me. I got to choose how I wanted to birth my children.

Having gone through the experience I did with my son I believe home births are selfish. Perhaps you should do a little more research on the complications of home births and the fatal consequences. Or at best, choose a new hospital and doctor who lets you be in control.

Ellen on

I found this article to be incredibly offensive and basically looking down on mothers who cannot afford multiple doulas, doctors, or a mother who has multiple c-sections. Maybe Kimberly should focus on helping others achieve “perfect” births like she got to experience instead of just gloating about it.

groovywalsh on

I always love your blogs and find them inspirational. Even if they dont apply to me or maybe do, its always great to read and experience everyones elses stories. Broadens my horizons.

Your beautiful kids are here safe and that is pretty much what matters. This can be such a scary thing and its so liberating to know that we have so many options for such painful yet exciting occasion!

I had both c-sections and they were scary. I cant imagine doing it again. Im just thankful that my kids are here safe and healthy. Thank goodness for yours.

God bless and congratulations Kimberly. Always a pleasure reading about you and allowing us to have a sneak peek at your life. Thank you!

cloudtripper on

thank you for sharing! you are a courageous woman. my first birth last december i laboured til 8 cm at home then went to the hospital where they stuck me with an iv and tried to make me lie down (sooo painful) but I did it drug-free and it was the best experience of my life. no complications, shower an hour later also. loved it.

since the whole process took less than 3 hrs and the nurses said i was the kind of person who seemed to be made to have many children, i am very optimistic and hopeful about a birth centre birth next time, god willing. such peace.

don’t listen to the haters, you have such a beautiful family and you all radiate love, joy and groundedness.

pixie on

Folks. Your nasty comments and bitterness are unbelievable. I can easily believe that not a single one of you who has something judgmental to say hasn’t done a single second of research on the subject.

My first birth was an unnecessary forced c-section in a hospital (later confirmed by several opinions) and my second was a home birth. I spent well over 2 YEARS researching the subject, finding every credible source imaginable (not whacky b.s. web sites). What you’d discover about the current state of the U.S. maternity system would shock any sane person, but most people want to keep their heads buried in the sand and criticize others instead of taking some responsibility for their decisions.

Bottom line: Birth wherever you feel comfortable. But DO YOUR RESEARCH and DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS.

sat on

yay! she’s a beautiful woman with a gorgeous family.

Amy on

Being a parent is about being selfless. Not selfish. God forbid something happened to your baby because you chose to take this risk. Not cool. Having a Cesarean may not have been YOUR choice, but who cares as long as your babies safe? Wow.

Catherine/St. Paul on

Sticking with Ina May: Birth Matters…

Leslie on

Sandusky? Priests? Clinton? You are really reaching with these outrageous comparisons.

The facts:
Neither were married. Both were adults. It was a consensual relationship and nothing happened at work. His medical record is clean and there were no other women involved.

Sexual stalker profile on

Really Leslie? Predators like him should be locked up. Clinton was a good president and he didn’t have sex with every intern. He denied ever having sexual relations with Monica. Sundusky was a good football coach and he didn’t have sexual relations with every football player, and he denied it. Fischbein may be a good doctor, and he may not have had sexual relations with every patient but he is still a sexual deviant.

And of course he denied any wrong doing and asked for a shortened probation despite trying to make a movie called the “Bedside Man” portraying him as the victim. He tells his followers he gave up his priveleges at hospitals and that the hospitals were jealous because he wasn’t performing enough cesareans. Really. Wouldn’t that be good for hospital PR?

I’ll tell you what is bad for hospital PR…a doctor in a position of authority that grooms his patient victims who are vulnerable into having sex with him. She was 14 years younger and engaged at the time. Sounds like she was hesitant on staying with her fiancé and having troubles conceiving.

This predator doctors seduces her telling her he has had bushels of patients he has already had sex with trying to normalize the predictiment and then tells her not to have sex for 4-6 weeks after surgery, then makes a house call days after and has sex with her. All public record that Fischbein signed and agreed to in the settlement.

Now if you are a Fischbein patient, dont think for a moment that when Fischbein was examining you that he wasn’t thinking, if only she was prettier, if only she wasn’t so heavy, if only she wasnt younger, if only she didn’t have a nicer body and a social situation he could take advantage of. Creepy.

That’s how these predators work. Just because he didn’t hit on you doesn’t make him innocent, you just were not a perfect victim. This lady was and Fischbein should not have a medical license.

alicia on

What an idiot! I’m all for natural births having delivered in a birthing center myself. However, she was selfish and reckless in having a breech home birth. Imagine the agony if things did not go well….

Its websites like these that promote the mommy wars and competition. I’m so sick of women bragging about how great they are for no drugs and hippie dippie births. Please.

Does that mean if she were to break her leg she’d opt to wrap it herself at home and forgoe any pain medication? Or take Tylenol for a headache.

Disgusting she would put her baby at risk. It’s a reflection of their intellect and ego, both she and her husband.

Again I’m for midwives and all natural births as a mother of three I’ve been there! But I would never jeapordize my life or my baby’s life for selfish bragging rights.

Jenny on

I LOVE THIS! So many women HAVE been giving birth outside of a hospital for thousands of years. The documentary “Pregnant in America” is about all the many unnecessary c sections given in a hospital setting. Worth a watch if you like this article or want more info on home birthing!

Sexual stalker profile on

You mean unnecessary cesareans like all the unnecessary seat belt wearers? So many times I wear my seat belt and I get to where I am going safely, totally unnecessary. But my sister got in an accident while wearing her seatbelt. She still broke her arm, but that time the seat belt was necessary. Are you suggesting that only if the baby comes out injured then that cesarean was necessary?

sapphire on

Wonderful birthing story! Thank you for sharing. I hope you don’t let the negativity of some of the other commenters make you feel bad!

Placenta Wise on

I think it’s great that she posted this story. Breech is normal and doctors are no longer skilled to handle this presentation. I see a lot of comments on here that are both supportive and also very judgmental and fear-based.

The point that she is making is that we, as women, should be able to decide when, where and how we will give birth. Even if there are risks it is our choice. That is a human right and in this country you can be made to feel like you are a bad mother, or even be persecuted for wanting and choosing an out of hospital birth which is wrong and midwives along with other “out of hospital” physicians are slandered and punished by main stream medical establishments, deeming them as unsafe or unfit to practice. This take options away from mother’s who want natural births in the comfort of there own home or birth center. That is not right.

This article is not putting anyone down for wanting a hospital birth or wanting or needing a c-section it is only sharing that breech is normal and can be safe in or out of a hospital setting.

hurricanewarningdc on

Let me get this straight: Wealthy woman with ability to pay lots of faux medical people (and a doctor without a license) decides to play Russian Roulette with her infant’s life. And People puts the story on a pedestal? I get that this sort of celebrity blather is what People’s publications are all about, but would we be reading this if, as has “been going on since our existence on this planet,” Baby Joshua had ended up dead or brain-injured or with other common defects due to this mother’s selfish choice for a breech homebirth? Would we be reading a Celebrity Babies article on how her birth experience and body preservation trumped her son’s welfare? I doubt it, and it’s irresponsible and appalling either way. Yes, this mom gambled and won but that lucky outcome is hardly a lesson for other women. I’d hope that we’re smart enough not to be influenced by such garbage, but as the author demonstrated herself, spouting Ricki Lake as some Einstein of medical knowledge, even otherwise sensible people fall for such lunacy. Sad… and thank God this child didn’t suffer for his mom’s chance to blog about his birth.

Deen on

I think people need to research what they are saying before spouting off “facts”. Yes, birth is natural, and yes it can be fatal, BUT I do believe that depending on your own circumstances, it can be safer to home birth than hospital birth. Breech can be dangerous, but not if you have a skilled provider, a pelvis that has vaginally delivered in the past, and aren’t confined to your back hooked up to numbing medications. Is it for everyone? No. And for the NICU nurses and etc who claim how irresponsible this is, of course you see the bad side of birth! L&D too, you see the side that doesn’t trust the natural process and intervenes to the point of causing issues at times.

I think she was just sharing her story, and she did her research. She chose a route that was best for her family, infant included. Cesareans save lives yes, but they are not with out huge risk as well. There are hormonal processes, physical processes and so much more than we know involved in a natural vaginal birth that we interrupt and disturb when we interfere. The US has some sad stats when it comes to the safety of birth, even hospital births. I personally would not home birth where I live because I do no like the climate, but I do believe in a low to no intervention birth unless research backed and medically indicated. Breech births are not researched backed absolutely medically indicated for a c/s. Every case is different.

She is not selfish people. I don’t know about the doctor she chose and the accusations against him, but I do see a woman who questioned the routine cattle care we are all fed and researched what was best for her baby.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear about a “too big to vaginally deliver” baby and mom having a c/s and risking her health as well as her baby’s health, and having a under 8,7etc lb baby that ends up in the NICU for breathing issues or premature lungs. Now, Im not knocking the mom for letting the OB scare her into this decision, bc she chose it because she felt it was best for her baby. But, Kimberly did her homework. Congrats!

ANJ on

I am thrilled that their two children are healthy, but it is not a risk I would want for my own children.


Lorri on

Good Job, Kimberly. Your motherly instincts are correct, and more women need to listen to theirs, instead of react in fear from bad advice. Very nice.

Stephanie on

Sorry but I think this was very irresponsible and I find it interesting that a doctor on probation was the one willing to deliver a breech at home. I guess if you’re limited in where you can practice and in need of some cash you will take a risk and be willing to deliver a breech baby at home.

I also wasn’t overly impressed with the tone of this post either. She sounds very self-congratulatory as if she deserves a medal for not only giving birth at home but also to have risked her son’s life to be able to give herself a big pat on the back. Anything could have happened during that delivery regardless of whether the doctor feels you meet all the criteria on his “check list” and that he feels it should be “safe”. At least by attempting a breech in the hospital you have direct access to help in the event of an emergency which is definitely not the case at home.

I also feel that c-sections are made out to be some sort of horrible procedure that is somehow looked upon as not a valid way of giving birth. My daughter was born by c-section and it was a wonderful experience. It was safe, in a controlled environment, my daughter was born healthy and I recovered very well. I don’t need to push a baby out of my
vagina, natural or not, to be a mother so let’s not give c-sections more of a bad rep than they already have.

It doesn’t matter how you give birth. What matters is whether the birth was conducted safely, responsibly and that both baby and mom are healthy at the end of it. This poster took
a big risk and just got lucky that everything worked out fine but imagine the blog post if it hadn’t.

jmmatlock on

Many people have commented that home birth is not an option for everyone due to expenses. I challenge that myth! Our third child was born at home, with a certified professional midwife (and two assistants) when we were not only struggling to pay our bills, but when my husband had been out of work for over 7 months (and remained out of work another 2 months after that), and we didn’t even have enough money to eat more than rice and beans! Did we have to make sacrifices in order to do so? Sure! But the idea that you can’t afford it is not true. You can afford the things that are important to you. We managed to pay our midwife $2500 over the course of the pregnancy, as well as pay the cost of the supplies (about $400 total). We gave up a lot of other things in order to do so, but it was worth it!

Leslie on

“Sexual stalker profile” you sound very angry. Many of the other comments on here sound like you too and have the same writing style.

Are you the ex boyfriend? If so, stop spreading lies. Your girlfriend broke up with you because she was unhappy. She entered into a consensual relationship with another person after she left you. She did not cheat on you, nor was she raped or unwilingly seduced. The medical board documented these facts as well and that is why they did not suspend his license. Work on yourself instead of blaming others for the problems in your life.

Sexual stalker profile on

Wow, you think I was the victims BF? Nope. But you said she wasn’t married. But you knew she was engaged. I know you said YOU were his patient. So you sound like you have a fantasy chance that the good doctor might pick you after he does surgery on you to have sex with. Sounds like you want to be the angels next notch in his lab coat. Gross. Your story about facts keeps changing. Fact is a team of hospital and medical board peers find him creepy enough to keep him on probation and with a chaparone to protect the innocent.

Sexual stalker profile on

It is not about rape, although many believe it was. It is about Fischbein breaking his oath and using his power of authority to take advantage of someone more vulnerable. Teachers don’t date students, psychiatrist don’t have sex with their patients, OB/GYN don’t have sex with their patients. How creepy. He examines women, the victim being 14 years younger, in the office, then “picks” which ones he wants to seduce. Like a kid in a candy store, your doctor plays with naked women with no chaparone.

Darby Partner on

You suck, Mrs. Dawson. No one gives an s*h*i*t about who comes out of your vagina, or how it happened.

onefauxmommy on

kudos to you for standing up for what you believe in! i hope more women are empowered to do the same!

naimavanswol on

Dr. Fischbein, the angel in the birth world, was on probation for sexual exploitation of a patient and forced to resign. Why would People publish this endorsement of him, without including that? That seems a little irresponsible, to me.

Sesasha on

Way to go! Trust that mama’s intuition! It may not be for everyone, but a breech birth at home was clearly the right choice for you! 🙂

placenta wise on

What most people don’t realize is that America has some of the worst statistic for maternal and neonatal death rates, that’s right. In the last 25 years the maternal death rate has doubled, in spite of our technology and over precautionary practices. Why is that? Well, could it possibly be the obscene rise in cesarean birth? yes, and it is. And why the rise in c-sections? Fear of birth, control and litigation.

Look at the home-birth midwife in Tennessee who holds some of the best statistics in the world, Ina May Gaskin. She has attended over 2000 births all documented. Her c-section rate is less than 2%, she had no maternal deaths in her study group.

I see so many posts about how this mom took a risk with her baby. 1 in 3 women will be taking a risk on there own lives when they agree to a c-section. Sometimes this is a necessary risk to take but more than half the time it is not. American people, wake up! Look at other industrialized countries who are doing much better than us. They do vaginal breech births, they have much lower surgical births and they do not have surgeons, OB’s attending normal births either. Nope they are using midwives.

If you assume that breech is so risky but that epidurals, pitocin and major abdominal surgery are not, well then my friends, you are horribly misled. The American medical model does not trust birth, or nature. Death and pain are the enemy and not a normal part of life but rather a dysfunction to avoid at all costs. But it is a normal part of life and even in the best hospitals babies die.

Some women have posted on here that all that matters is the safety of the baby and not how you give birth, well I feel sorry for you that you were conditioned to believe and accept that because you may be missing out on so much more. If you want a birth with interventions then great! Every woman deserves that choice and you are no better or worse for it. But know what the risks are by doing research like this mom did. Don’t just take your doctors word for it or tag along with the masses.

Rebekah on

Yes, women have been delivering babies for thousands of years. They have also been dying in childbirth for years because of complications that could not be managed at the time with the limited medical technology available at the time. I bet those women and their families would have jumped at the chance to deliver a live baby safely, and to survive the delivery themselves.

As someone who was never able to become pregnant, I would have jumped up and down at the news of a pregnancy. And if the doctor told me the baby was breech and I need to deliver by c-section, I would have jumped at the opportunity.

I just can’t believe how selfish some women are about this topic. They are complaining because they can’t/didn’t have the “birth” they wanted, while millions of women would have just loved to be pregnant and to give birth to a healthy baby, regardless of how that baby was delivered. Some people just need to get overthemselves.

As for delivering a breech baby at home, that is equal to child neglect in my mind. Not only should the parents be charged, the doctor who delivers these breech babies at home should have his licensed revoked. It is dangerous enough to deliver a breech baby vaginally in the hospital with immediate help just seconds away. To attempt such a delivery at home is foolhardy and dangerous. The situation can become very dangerous at any moment, and you would be precious minutes away from the hospital. Not worth the risk.

Kelly on

amazing..I don’t know if I would have the guts to try that!!! Both of their children are absolutely beautiful!!

Nicole on

I am an OB RN and It simply AMAZES me how some mothers are so self-centered and selfish that they are only thinking of themselves and how THEY want their delivery to go and NOT the well-being of their babies. Having a vaginal breech delivery??? And at home?? Thank god that poor baby didn’t have any major issues.

Liz on

Good for her everything worked out and she was able to have her child in her arms safe and healthy. Regardless of what is chosen it was her choice and she took a risk to live with the decisions of that choice. I was not able to have my 2 boys naturally due to health reasons I did not want to expose them too so when I was told by my doctor I had two choices either deliver naturally and risk my child or have a c-section I didn’t even blink I knew I would choose the latter. I in no way shape, or form would ever want to intentionally put my child at risk for harm I could not live with myself if the outcome wasn’t a good one. Of course things happen and CAN go wrong (in a hospital or not) but I don’t ever want it to be because I went ahead with a decision that caused it.

Again I am glad for her that things came out for the best. Is it something I would have done? No.. but no one is ever going to completely agree with your decision luckily it’s yours and your partners ONLY to make you just have to make sure you are willing to live with the outcome. Many Blessings those children are beautiful.

K.W. on

@placentawise – slightly irritating to read that you are stating that the mortality rate in the U.S. is so high because of the number of c-sections that are done…what about the other contributing factors – increased rates of multiples, average maternal age has increased – which increases the risk of premature births, congenital defects, etc – and not to be left out are the number of women who want / request / demand c-sections – really tired of doctors being thrown under the bus – trust me – as a nurse – patients can be absolutely awful to deal with – L & D units have the highest turn over rate due to it’s level of stress and the difficulty of working with pregnant, hormonal and down right bitchy women..

eaglesphanatic on

Wow, as women why are we so hard on each other? The United States of America, the leader in the world has the worst birthing practices. The reason why her story is so rare because some time in the mid 40s through 70s we went from having mostly at home births to all pregnancies being in the hospital and more than 50% by c-section.

I have assisted in all types of births including those outside of the country. The ONLY risk the other women who did not have access to a hospital was postpartum hemorrhage. The babies were always fine but the mothers were the ones who died due to bleeding and the inability to control third stage labor. Sorry if there is too many medical jargon for those unfamiliar.

There is nothing, I repeat ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with women have their baby out in a forest if she wants to. It is neither risky, irresponsible nor does it put the baby in danger. Admittedly, it increases the likelihood of mother not making it but baby will be fine.

As women, we should explore all possibilities and not condemn someone because we are ignorant to those practices. Congratulations if you had 2 c-sections, congrats if you had no epidural or pitocin, congrats if you had a home birth, congrats if you had good health insurance so you can have access to a doula & midwife, congrats if you had your baby in a forest by yourself & congrats bc recently in Philadelphia a baby came out as the woman was walking out of the SUBWAY. Mom & baby are fine; was holding baby with umbilical cord attached, AMAZING!!!!

It is your birth, PERIOD. Get educated people.

Also, I am especially shocked at my fellow nurses, YOU should know; you should be the one informing your patients and not putting your own fears on them. Crazy.

I find those with the least access to a doctor or hospital in the back words 3rd world country understanding the natural birthing process than the most educated individuals in the United States. I learned more from the women in Uganda who attended their own families births, the women in Haiti who are in mud hits than I ever did listening to individuals claiming that the best way to do something is ONLY their way. Since when? How did people survive before hospitals? Births always happened without interventions. Please explain to me, how did we become so populous?

Sexual stalker profile on

Just look at eaglesphanatic, and I guess your whole conclusion of the safety of OOH birth falls apart. PPH is NOT the only risk to homebirth. Fetal distress, shoulder dystocia, head entrapment in breech delivery, intrapartum stillborn, chorioamnionitis, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, abruption, retained placenta, untreated GBS infection, unmanaged maternal pain, etc to name a few.

Sexual stalker profile on

Try reading some of the sad birth stories when an hospital is not available for everyone. Read these true stories from The Learner.

mary on

I am a mom of four……three c-sections, one completely natural. Yes, it is amazing how our bodies know what to do. Yes, woman have had babies without hospitals for centuries. Don’t forget..until modern birthing processes the leading cause of death was childbirth. FACT.

Sarah on

Your story is inspiring and beautiful!! Though medication is needed in some births, it is not necessary for normal, uncomplicated birth. Congrats on the breech natural birth!! It is great to hear these inspiring stories and to educate others about the empowering and wonderful process of natural birth.

Rachael on

I am 34 weeks pregnant. Currently my baby is breech and as much as I want an all natural birth and am TERRIFIED of having a c-section I am more terrified of my baby being harmed in any way. If having a c section ensures her safety then I’ll do it. Isn’t that what parenting is about? Putting the safety and well being of your children above your own?

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe home births can be a wonderful experience under the right circumstances but what Kimberly did was too risky for her and her baby. Being a chiropractor myself, I am all for going the natural route whenever possible. I believe that ultimately it is the safest way to go. However, I am also grateful that I live in a time and region where medical advances allow me an alternative when the natural route could be serious harm or even death.

While I do think that what Kimberly did was very irresponsible, I didn’t take any part of her blog to imply that she feels her birth experience was superior in any way. I think she really was just sharing her birth experiences and what they meant to her.

Michelle on

Congratulations on the newest addition to your family! Your children are beautiful!! And It’s so wonderful to read about a natural birth.

If you guys go for a 3rd baby, I know from experience in having my 3rd, that Stadol does work to release the muscles enough for labor to progress and isn’t as harsh on the mom and baby like an epidural.

With my first I was in prodromal labor for days and by day 4 got to 4 cm and took the epidural, which made contractions stop, so pitiocin was started, which impacted my baby’s breathing, and Dr.’s were ready to do C-Sec, but I was adamant to push him out, which I did before they wheeled me to OR. Thankfully I did as he was already not breathing and NICU Dr.’s revived him. It was the scariest experience and for a first birth…awful…didn’t know for 5 hours if he were alive or dead…not surprisingly PPD set in pretty soon and I blame western cultures birth practices for it. (It was like a Ricki Lake documentary example for sure.)

With my 2nd I wasn’t taking that chance. At 37 weeks my water broke, went 24 hours laboring on my own, then tried pumping for an hour to induce natural oxytocin (which only made me sore), given Pitocin in easy gentle increases, and 12 hour later delivered my healthy breathing son without any pain meds. Yes it hurt like crazy with pitocin, but I felt awesome after and was able to walk immediately and just felt all that natural Oxytocin love hormones and on cloud nine! I wasn’t chancing another child being born not breathing and it worked. Also had a Doula for this labor and a great Midwife that was awesome and both listened to me well!

With my 3rd, I was 41 weeks and had mild contractions for days. My Dr. augmented the labor with Pitocin and it kicked in quick with difficult contractions. My husband and Doula really helped me with changing positions (lunges, squats, sitting on birth ball), and techniques (back pressure during contractions, specific breathing), and walking around. At 4ish cm’s the pit was so high that contractions were one on top of the other and I couldn’t speak until after each 3rd contraction. I asked the nurse to reduce the Pit since the contractions were progressing, but she didn’t. It felt like my uterus was exploding and pain was 11 out of 10. I knew from previous pit birth without pain meds that they were pushing pit too fast. I still didn’t want epidural, so I took a chance and went with Stadol. Immediately I could feel my muscles loosen up and my tension decrease without the contractions changing…so it worked!!! The contractions were at a 10 out of 10 for pain, but it did enough to relax my muscles that In 15 minutes I went from 4cm to 8cm.

I was standing, not close enough to the bed to lay down, and couldn’t get babk to bed as nature said it’s time to push – forget cm’s or nurses. So I pushed hard 3 times in 10 minutes, felt my baby rotate in the birth canal, and next push my husband got to watch our sons head being born! It was awesome and empowering! Yes all while I was standing. The doctor rushed in at that point and delivered my son’s body. He didn’t expect the delivery to happen so fast, but he had never had a mom deliver standing. I will say the nurses urged me to get to the bed, but at that point walking wasn’t possible and instead I felt listening to my body was much more important.

I wish more women knew that it was ok to listen to their body and that we aren’t all one size fits all. I do feel my body was damaged by the Pit and I’m not saying that standing birth is for everyone. But without a doctor there I did what felt right for me at the time and I do know that Stadol did give me that relive enough to help me deliver quickly. It made me dizzy for a few minutes, but that passed and helped me meet my healthy baby boy much quicker.

Contrats on listening to your own body and delivering your baby breech and at home! Your babies are lucky to have a mom who is already so in tune with what they need. Happy babymoon! 🙂

Lynda on

Congrats to them on a healthy baby . However, I feel while everybody is entitled to their own choice. This is very dangerous and I feel selfish for the unborn child~!!! I have 4 chidlren all via c-section. I had no choice. I was pregant with my 1st and this was 18 yrs ago and the Doctor stated at 398 eeks if she did not turn it was a mandatory c-section. He did nto beleive in the turning of the baby proceudre. He said not only is it dangerous to me but, the baby coudl die as well as a result of what I hear very painful to have the baby turned. I then was secheduled to have a V-bac with my 2nd child but by a 36 week unltrasound he was already almost 8 lbs and he said no way. By the time you are 39 weeks he is going to be way too big to deliver vaginally. Of course, after 2 c-sections I had to have two more because I could not delivery naturally. I watch alot of Dateline on ID and on 48 hours they have had the spotry on quite a few times . The story was about a OBGYN named Dr. Morgan who was very old school and did not ebelieve in c-sections at all. A woman who was in labor for hours was ready to deliver the babya nd the Dr. was so late arriving to the hospital when he told her to push the baby had shoulder distocia. The baby was stuck in the birth canal for 7-9 minutes until he was delivered. He was born with sever brain damage and lioved only 5 weeks. the Dr. is now in jail for 20 yrs for manslaugher and lost his miedical liscense. I feel it is selfish to state no matter what you have a birth plan and you are stickign with it. Shame on her for being so selfish.

Alex on

The literature is conclusive that elective c-section has better outcomes than a breech extraction. There is MEDICAL EVIDENCE that this is the case. Shame on you, selfish mothers that are re- objectivifying the situation. Is your goal to have a healthy baby, as it should be, or to prove that you can deliver vaginally?

Angie on

The true underlying reason is she was trying to avoid a scar on her otherwise perfect body…so selfish!!

Anonymous on

What a wonderful inspirational story! Thanks for sharing and absolutely loved James on Dawson’s Creek!

Electra on

I just wanted to say I have had a breech birth at home also, 2 years ago and it was NOT an easy choice. There is no one right answer for every person. I LOVE that you shared your story to shed light on another option. It’s SO crucial that people can see what their options are, not being told they only have one option; c-sections.

I felt so strongly about this myself that I posted a video of the birth so more moms could see what a breech birth looks like and I posted to story. Our bodies were made to deliver children in both directions vertex and breech. The key is education and training. You did great momma and I’m proud to be a woman along side you! Thanks for sharing!

lyn on

I am happy everything worked out for her. They seem like a nice normal family.

maureen on

women are so judgmental!! she had an empowered birth and that should make us happy for her! ANYONE can have an empowered birth; be it no-drugs, with drugs or surgery. birth is the most amazing thing a woman can experience and when things go wrong, it can emotionally scar the woman for life. she listened to her intuition and body and had HER empowered birth ..way to go kimberly!!

Anna on

“Women should never feel bad about the way they birthed a child into this world.”
Thank you, Drea, for this kind and true comment.

Anna on

Another Hollywood mom glamorizing her “natural” birth. Why do famous women feel the need to share our “birth stories” left and right? To me, that is personal. It always seems to be the ones who prefer “natural” birth are on a mission to brag about it! Pat yourself on the back a little more, Kimberly. :/

Katherine on

I applaud you for taking educating yourself and taking a proactive part in your healthcare decisions. Would that there were more women like you! Congratulations.

Rhiannon on

Such an amazing, inspiring story! Way to go, Mama, and way to do what was best for your baby! Knowing how to catch a breech baby is a dying art – kudos to your OB for being there for you and your family and thank you so much for sharing such an incredible, beautiful birth story!!

Julie on

Awesome story…. There should be more Obs like him. It is a shame that all woman can’t have all the safest choices. Contrary to what a lot of commenters here are saying, you did make the safest decision. Joan is right too, most insurances won’t pay for homebirth. Although my homebirth didn’t cost me must more than my deductible. This article wasn’t about judging others choices. I’ve had 1 epidural birth, 4 natural hospital births, and 1 homebirth. I chose the last because we had moved and it was the safest choice for our situation. We need to stop judging moms and start judging the system.

george bailey on

Let me add my story from the male perspective. Sorry to horn in on the beautiful couple, but Dr. Fischbein is seeking publicity….he has been a sex addict for decades. He broke up my relationship and living arrangements with my fiancee in 1989. More stories come out! It was not so easy in those days to file charges nor access the Board records. Anyone who is convicted of sex crimes would have the truth follow them relentlessly in neighborhood watch committees.

theadequatemother on

The SOGC supports a woman’s right to informed choice regarding vaginal breech birth vs c/s. However, they make careful note of the procedures and resources that are required to be in place to reduce the risk of vag breech birth (they quote intrapartum fetal death as 2/1000 with optimal management). Optimal management includes a third trimester ultrasound to exclude fetal micro and macrosomia and an early labour ultrasound to confirm a frank breech with either a flexed or neutral head position as well as cEFM during pushing due to the high risk of cord problems. They also stipulate that these births should occur in hospitals that can fulfill a decision to surgical delivery time of 30 min or less (which would realistically never be satisfied in a home birth.)

Kimberly was lucky. She had a footling breech which is high risk for cord prolapse and compression. Under the conditions in which her “angel” physician operated, the mortality risk to her son was about 5% (the rate that occurred prior to 1940 when vaginal breech birth was commonplace and ultrasound and cEFM were not available). So Kimberly was also probably mislead – I’ll bet that Fischbein didn’t quote a fetal loss rate of 5% and I’ll bet that he didn’t disclose his probation for sexual misconduct.

Amy on

You go girl! I appreciate you going public with this, I can imagine all the negativity you might be getting, but you are a great example.

Frances on

Yeah, women have been giving birth in fields for thousands of years. You think the women who still have to do so wouldn’t kill for a nice hospital bed and a C-section? There are so many lifelong complications (aside from losing a child during birth) that afflict women all over the world today just from having a breech child or prolonged labor. So tired of smug natural birthers or home birthers. Have some sensitivity. There’s a world beyond your manicured Brentwood lawns.

Janae on

Absolutely gorgeous family!

There are so many ignorant comments here that I can’t decide which incorrect assumption I should waste my time responding to. I suppose I’ll go with these:

-Planned home birth attended by a birth professional is proven to be as safe as giving birth in a hospital for low risk women, and research has shown it may even be safer.

-Breech birth is definitely a variation of normal although unfortunately there are few birth professional with expertise in this type of delivery.

-Someone mentioned the “bored American” posting her birth stories and suggested that she learn about birth in rural India…There is a REMARKABLE difference between these two sets of people. Healthy women in the US receiving full prenatal care under the full monitoring of a birth professional is nothing even remotely close to the same as the women giving birth and dying in India. Poor nutrition and no access to prenatal care with no skill birth attendants…If you transported those women to the US to give birth so many would be RISKED OUT of homebirth plus many of the complications that arise during birth would be mitigated by the presence of an experienced birth worker.

It’s not rocket science, pretty basic stuff here. It’s all very logical if you actually know what you are talking about and aren’t just regurgitating generalized assumptions based on deceptive medical campaigning designed to gain the business of women. Knowledge is power. Go get some.

It is what it is... on

In the year 2012, homebirth tragedy rate is more than the hospital rate.

Marlene on

Dude, you let a sexual predator deliver your baby? GOOD JOB YOU! I mean, who doesn’t want a creepy man on probation for sexing up a patient of his attending a birth? Wonder why he only delivers at homes and birth centers? No hospital will give him privileges right now because of his actions. Disgusting.

mimi on

i dont think home birth is something i would ever choose for myself. personally, im very much into conventional medicine and pro-hospital… but it is interesting reading about someone else who made that choice for themselves and why.

however, the biggest thing that stuck me is just how BEAUTIFUL her children are. they are just gorgeous!

mimi on

im curious – are laypersons who say they’ve “researched” home births actually reading technical medical peer-reviewed published academic journals and case studies in reputable journals? or are they reading non-reviewed material online or from questionable that show a clear bias to a certain position?

i know from my university days, what one person considered “research” was not the same as another. for example, for writing a 3000 word essay i used +50 sources whereas a friend used only 10 sources, which i would not call thorough research at all.

when people claim “oh but i researched this” im always curious to what they’ve researched and the extent they went to. this isn’t directed at kimberly necessarily, just general musing.

MotherOfTwo on

I just want to thank Kimberly for sharing her experience. I wish I saw Ricki Lake’s documentary before I gave birth to my second child. I wish I educated myself more about the common routine procedures at the hospitals.

With both of my children I was hoping for a natural birth. My pregnancies went well and I felt great. But to my great disappointment I “had to” according to dr’s advice take the drugs, epidural, etc. The reason was that I wasn’t dilating fast enough. They had to induce, then do an epidural, then give pitocin, then do an episiatomy, and use a vacuum, and with my second delivery all that plus an emergency c-section.

I’m glad I delivered healthy children but I still wonder if all that was truly necessary, especially putting my babies under such stress. I still feel disappointed, hurt and furious. Because the doctors really didn’t have a good enough reason to accelerate the delivery. And I do think that it was a big rip-off, because all that wasn’t cheap. I delivered with help of two different doctors at two different hospitals. So I do agree that these are more or less standard procedures.

Every woman should make a decision for herself, what she thinks is best for her and for her baby. I probably wouldn’t have chosen a home delivery. I don’t like taking risks and that’s probably why I relied on doctor’s advices so much. But I at least would have insisted on waiting and letting my body do what it was meant to do and at its own pace as long as it was safe for the baby and me. I don’t plan on having more children but I’m still thankful for Kimberly’s blog and her mentioning Ricki’s documentary. I will definitely recommend it to my friends who still plan having babies.

Galen on

I would SO like to be supportive about home births!! It sounds so lovely and peaceful. However, as a labor and delivery nurse, I have seen too many instances of emergency situations where 1-2 minutes actually makes a difference to mom or baby to EVER comfortably recommend a home birth to any of my clients, no matter how low risk the pregnancy has been so far.

I tell my clients that the ultimate goal is to end the pregnancy with a healthy baby and a tired, but healthy mom who is alive to share her own crazy l&d story.

jaci on

I am so sick of hearing how csections are so horrible and that you are less of a woman if you have one. My first child was an emergency c section due to severe complications my second was a vbac and should have been a c section. I ended up in the operating room anyway due to severe lacerations and cystocele and rectocele my muscles litterally ripped and kegels dont fix that .Giving birth is different for everyone but why risk your childs life because you dont want a scar or to be cut open thats the selfish thing.

Melissa on

I love that she had a natural home birth, and went with her instincts instead of letting the dr tell her how it would go. I had a natural water birth in a hospital for my first and a home birth for my second and it was the best two decisions I ever made! I wouldnt change a thing!

workerbiatch on

I feel that more women in this day and age are pressured to give birth naturally even if they voice their desire for a c-section. Having had a very difficult 1st birth (where I was convinced I would do it naturally, etc, etc) and ended up sick w/infection from all the measures I took to avoid c-section, I can honestly say that sometimes you need to listen less to the pressure and politics of hospitals and DRs and more to your own intuition.

Rosy on

If you’re inspired to do a breech birth at home, you aren’t looking at the facts. This trust your whole body idea was also done back in the day without the hospital and the mortality rates were higher. Besides, whose birth story should it be? The mom or the baby?

sk on

I would just like to add my two cents to those who tout that women have been giving birth in fields and homes for centuries with mid wives. As someone who has lived in developing countries and regions for most of her life, the consequences of going to midwives are far more disastrous than those of the hospital. Infant mortality and maternal mortality of those places without adequate hospitals/maternity care in hospitals where midwives do almost a 100% of deliveries is much higher than where most deliveries are done in hospitals. In the developed world hospitals may have a slightly higher mortality rate because high risk cases are handled almost exclusively by hospitals. Nevertheless, using the historicity argument is dangerous and lame when those women were giving, and still are giving birth in those situations because of compulsion, not choice.Turning the situation to disadvantage home births in America which are quite expensive, is absurd.

Amber on

Honestly, from the perspective of a mother that gave birth naturally in a hospital, I don’t see the point of risking your child’s health (and your own) so that you can an “ideal” birth experience. Yes – every woman should have options. But unless your husband is James Van Der Beek, there’s no way you’ll be able to afford multiple doula’s and an at home delivery with a “natural birth expert” as your doctor. It’s just not going to happen.

This post was irresponsible. I choose the natural path and gave birth to a 10lb baby boy with zero medication and no complications – but WHAT IF??? What if he had his cord wrapped around his neck? Or if he wasn’t breathing? What if I had abnormal bleeding or my blood preasure dropped? I’d be at home, away from proper medical care, with a newborn that was away from medical care as well. Unacceptable and irresponsible parenting choice.

I’m sorry, but I can’t see why someone would go this route. If you want a peaceful environment and have extra cash, give birth in a fancy hopsital with private birthing suites that feel like home…. and have a NICU just down the hall.

christina on

Love the pictures what a beautiful family congrats

Jo on

Congrats on your beautiful births and family! Good for you for informing yourself and choosing to have safe, supported birth – both times!!

Pitocin and epidurals are not the devil . They are excellent tools, when used judiciously (which they are sometimes not) and I have seen them save many women and babies from the need for a c-section, like you.

I wish the issue of being able to have the kind of birth you desire was more in the forefront of women’s rights – I hear too many stories of women who felt assaulted/betrayed/deceived during childbearing. We all deserve better. Keep telling your story – the more public figures we have telling women they can expect something different, the better!!! on

I actually had a friend deliver a successful breech baby this summer and was surprised. I wasn’t aware of how common this actually was! Every woman’s birth experience is different. There are so many options and thank goodness b/c the only important thing is to have a safe and healthy baby in the end and that the mother have an experience she can be at peace with in the end. Congrats to their beautiful family.

Guest on

To each it’s own & I’m glad her experience was a positive one, I can understand wanting a natural birth free of drugs & needless procedures. But a homebirth for a baby that is breech? Most recently a midwife faced negligence charges for trying to cover-up a breech homebirth gone wrong in my hometown. Furthermore, doctors don’t deliver babies at home & if they do there is a big reason & it usually isn’t good. Ms. Van Der Beek really needed to her homework. Dr. Fischbein is currently one probation in the state of CA medical licensing board for having sexual relations with one of his patients in 05, & literally almost lost his license all together. For her & her baby’s sake I’m glad everything turned out okay for them.

Mom of two girls on

I love this blog and her message. Home birth is awesome and not something to be afraid of. Additionally, breastfeeding is beautiful, natural and not something to be ashamed of. I know this is nit the forum for this but if you agree please view the link below because the Austin independent school district is enforcing a policy which makes breastfeeding mothers do so in a conference room. This is in direct contrast with state laws. Please take a moment to check out this link:

Tracy on

As one of the other ladies commented, “Holy crap this is the most gorgeous family ever”……I was thinking the same thing. I was also thinking this was a lovely story. I’m glad your son was born healthy. I personally woudn’t have taken the chance of a home birth if my child were breech but it sounds like you did alot of research.

Jackie on

I’m sorry, but have you all forgotten that pregnancy/birth is not a disease that needs to be cured? Most of the complications that happen, happen from interventions in the hospital. Give me a break. Women have been doing this for thousands of years WITHOUT the help of a hospital. So all of you who say that she’s “selfish” or “bragging” open your mind a little. I know it’s been brainwashed, but you can do it.

meghan on

It’s amazing how many “nurses” sound so ignorant. Claiming you are a nurse doesn’t make your scare tactic stories any more true.

K.W. on

Sorry there “Jackie” – hospital interventions do not cause more complications – irresponsible border-lining on stupid to make a remark like that. Uterine ruptures, premature births, pre-eclampsia, congenital heart defects / blue babies – these are examples of conditions of pregnancy that require emergent medical assistance – not intervention. So hope you have a damn good mid-wife / doula helping you if you ever face any of them – wouldn’t want some pesky doctor interfering in your birth plan..

Olivia on

Two out of my three babies were breach at 37 weeks. The first one was turned using the external cephalic procedure and I had a normal vaginal delivery. The second one refused to budge and I had a scheduled C section. I delivered all 3 babies at a major medical center. There was one physician in the high risk group that would consider delivering a breech baby but as he put it “why on earth would you risk your health and the health of the baby when there is an option for a much safer delivery?” The risk of the baby’s head getting stuck in a “proven pelvis” is significant. There is no reward for the most heroic delivery ladies. Do the smart thing here.

Sue on

wow. she’s lucky her baby is alive. Breech and ruptured…at home. Sounds like a cord prolapse waiting to happen. And pushing….for two hours at nine cm…no wonder the cervix didnt change. you dont push until the cervix is gone. As for Ricki Lake,…misinformed. Pitocin doesnt cause emergency c/s. Natural labor and even mothers who are NOT in labor can need emergent c/s for nonreassuring fetal heart rate tracings.

BH on

This story could have ended very badly. Why would you risk a breech birth at home? Very bad idea.

BH on

I must say, that is one gorgeous looking family. She should have more (preferably in a hospital next time). on

Your babies and your writing is beautiful! What a wonderful gift you can share with them when they’re a little older – which as you know – will be the next time you turn around!

sunnygypsysoul on

I find those who say that homebirth is “selfish” are just incredibly misinformed and judgmental. I come from a medical family. Mother is a nurse. Her husband is surgeon. I’m studying nursing and midwifery. I had a home birth, but i sure as hell didn’t just do it for me. I did it for my kid. If I had done it only for myself, I may as well have gone to the hospital, let them pump me and the baby full of narcotics, and then let them unnaturally extract him from me while I continued to feel no pain. HOWEVER, I didn’t. I wanted to give him the best start. And his best start, in my opinion, was to be born without any unnecessary drugs or intervention. The ignorance surrounding how modern medical interventions can disrupt the physiological process of labor and birth is astounding. Anyone who takes her birth personally and thinks shes making them feel bad for having c sections or epidurals probably already felt bad to begin with–its more about them, and less about her. If it were me in her shoes, I would choose to birth the baby vaginally in the hospital, with a team standing by in case the baby needed extra help. Statistically, vaginal breech births are no more dangerous than cesarean sections. It is improper monitoring and care of breech babies during labor and birth that contribute to injury. Also, for those nurses who say they have seen SO MANY babies from homebirths gone wrong—-hundreds of babies are born every single day. Of course you only see the ones that go wrong. You work in a hospital, which exists for those situations in which SOMETHING GOES WRONG. You do not, however, see the hundreds of babies born safely and healthy at home with no complications. You probably haven’t even been to a homebirth, which is far and away so different from a hospital birth.

ritathemom on

As an LD nurse since the 70’s I remember all breech births coming out normal vaginal no problems. Only one, once had a problem, and that was a psych mom refusing to push. It is a lost art which jeopardizes the health of the moms and babies in cases of emergency. A few years back a mom came to LD screaming her baby was coming in the wheelchair. Sure enough in the bed she had 2 feet sticking out of her. At 3 am all our docs were home asleep, it was a private community hospital, no interns around. I put on gloves, did what I learned in the 70’s and we had a healthy crying baby in a minute. None of the other nurses had ever seen a breech birth. If we had waited for a doc to come in from home, brain damage could have happened while waiting and setting up for a c-birth. I applaud the folks who want to keep this lost art active, and agree to follow the safety guidelines. Yes there are safety guidelines, it is not done indiscriminately to unknowingly endanger the health of the mom and or baby. Some of you need to read again about the safety part, guidelines established by medical organizations that the majority of OB’s refuse to follow because it interferes with them maintaining controlled office hours and getting a full nights sleep.

montse on

A mi quien me gusta de verdad es Dawson!!!!!!!!