Breaking the Silence

April 3, 2012
Its been 3 months since my last post after taking a hiatus from blogging. It's not for a lack of events but just a needed break. Much has happened in the birthing world since 2012 began. I have been remiss is not writing a tribute to my dear friend and colleague, David Kline, who passed away suddenly on February 6th saddening us all. His imprint on the midwifery and home birthing world in Los Angeles was widespread and his passing left a huge hole in so many of us. There does not exist a more consumate professional, dedicated physician nor loving husband and father than David. I was at his home for some comraderie and chile the day before his passing watching as his team beat my choice in the Superbowl. I expected to have about 30 more annual Superbowl gatherings with my friend. I think of him every day and feel a sadness every time I walk past his empty office and recall his grumpy exterior hiding that mischievous sense of humor. He was taken way before his time and he will be missed.

It may sound a bit prophetic but it does seem that as one door closes, another or several seem to open. Dave supported a lot of the local midwives when others would not. When the news of his death spread throughout the community there were many questions about who would backup all the midwives. The confusion was intense but short-lived as several other doctors stepped forward and offered assistance. Thank you to Drs. Lipedes, Ghozland and Chin for doing the right thing.

Last month I had the honor (and stress) of attending 2 women laboring with breech babies 65 miles apart on the same day. There are not a lot of options for this variation of normal in Los Angeles but I was able to juggle being in 2 places at once despite the famous LA traffic. What a joy to assist in an early morning birth of a baby boy in the Hollywood Hills. thank you Beth, Sara and Yvonne. The other client was a TOLAC and breech who arrested at 8cm. Unfortunately, there was no place to take her where pitocin augmentation would be permitted for a breech and so a repeat c/section was necessary in Ventura. Thank you Karni and Haley for your support. Glad to have you on my team. Someday, soon I hope, many more options will be available in a freestanding facility. The end of February also saw the home delivery of almost 16 pounds of twins born vertex/breech on mom and dad's bedroom floor. Patience is a virtue that midwives have more than OBs. Thank you for the lessons Molly, Katherine and Sheila.

On April 1st I spoke at the Natural Baby Fair in San Diego on VBACs, Twins and Breech delivery. My talk was titled, "Raider of the lost arts", and I reviewed the history of these options in light of some bad science and current evidence based medicine. I enjoyed the audience and the opportunity and got to spend a little time with Ina May to boot. The week before I made the 7 hour drive up to Sacramento to sit in on the California Medical Board Midwife Advisory Council public forum on changing some of the wording in the licensed midwife regulations. The essence of the hearing is to change the requirement of "supervision" to one of "collaboration". The panel consisted of 3 Board administrators, 3 lawyers and no actual Medical Board members. It is a tedious business buried in minutia for what seems to be a simple thing. I am glad I went if only to gain insight into this completely foreign process. By their own admission it may take 2 years to make changes to these 2 paragraphs. How did 2700 pages of Obamacare get passed in 90 days? Sigh! I think it would be very difficult for me to live and work in the administrative world. I prefer hands on in the privacy of a clients home with the immediate gratification of the joy surrounding birth.

I was delighted to create about 23 informational videos for earlier this year on a wide variety of OB and Gyn topics and had a good time speaking at the West LA ICAN meeting on March 4th. Also, did a Skype interview with Sarah and Steve Blight of Oh, and found time to ride my horses, hang with my kids and cheer on the LA Kings Hockey Club, too.

Which brings me to the last and more serious issue which surfaced today. That of the continuing plight of midwives across the country who are being persecuted and prosecuted for simply helping women who choose to stay home to give birth. The absurdity of the idea that it is OK for a woman to give birth at home alone but in certain states if they ask someone experienced and trained to help them then that assistant may be arrested. Rhetorically speaking, how did we get here? If a neighbor or cab driver assists you it is a good samaritan but if someone who actually knows what they are doing assists it is a crime. Where are the feminists on this issue? Please spread the word that women and families need to start screaming and pounding the table if necessary to be heard by lawmakers. Civil disobedience can be a good thing but lives will be ruined. Bad laws need to be revoked, not just broken. Dr. F