The Independant’s article “Stillbirth: Life after Loss” is meant to provoke questions about keeping maternity units open and accessible. But to me it just deepens my questions about the decision to give birth in a birthing center or at home, rather than in a hospital. The frightening possiblity that something could go wrong (as in this case, where the baby was stillborn because the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and choked him) seems too grave to trust the care of just midwives or labor coaches, as wonderful as they may be.
My heart aches for this couple, Rachel and Andrew Canter, but I wonder if things would have turned out differently if they’d had monitering and medical care from the time labor began.
According to this article, “the Canters were assured that should anything go wrong, they were only seven minutes’ drive from Barnet hospital in an ambulance.” But it turned out that the maternity unit was closed to new admissions, and they had to be transferred to an alternate unit 25 minutes away. This might have been a rare case of unforseen delay, but it seems to me that any delay, or possiblity of delay, can affect the outcome of the birth, the health (and even life) of mother and baby. I still don’t understand why anyone would want to risk it. I want to take every precaution to ensure that my baby is born safe and healthy.