The photo essay I'd like to seeEver notice how those gauzy photo essays extolling the wonders of homebirth never have any pictures of emergency transfers? Apparently it's a requirement to include pictures of naked pregnant women and there must be several shots of women swaying while gripping their husbands in a death grip during a contraction. You have to have pictures of the woman in the plastic kiddie pool with her husband in an old bathing suit next to her. Finally, there are pictures of the happy family.
In the interests of informed consent, since many homebirths result in emergency transfers, here are the pictures I'd like to see:
The look on the midwife's face when she hears the sounds of a deep and persistent bradycardia that won't come back up.
A picture of the midwife desperately trying to stimulate a floppy baby while the parents look on in shock.
The absolute horror of a breech baby with a trapped head hanging from the vagina and dying before your eyes.
The collection of ambulance, police cars and fire trucks parked outside the house after the 911 call.
Five large men in the living room hoisting the mother onto a stretcher for transport.
The face of the mother's mother or sister frantically driving behind the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
The first visit to the NICU where the baby is sedated, on a respirator, and connected to a forest of wires.
The first meeting with the neonatologist where he gently explains over and over again that the baby has sustained severe neurological damage; the parents simply cannot grasp what has happened and need to ask again and again.