Woman called 'baby killer' after her daughter died in 'free birth'
She was sent hundreds of messages
By Practical Parenting team
November 06 2018
A woman whose baby died after she was in labour for six days during a painful ‘free birth’ has been attacked online for choosing not to get any medical assistance.
The woman, known only as Lisa, was part of a free birthing group on Facebook and shared her story, but within hours she was trolled and accused of killing her baby.
Free birthing is having your baby without any medical assistance and although it can be different for every mother, Lisa had no assistance during her labour or birth from any medical practitioner.
She was in labour for six days and in excruciating pain at her remote desert home in California with only her husband beside her. She sought the support of thousands of people online as part of the Free Birth Society.
Lisa, 29, had irregular contractions starting on October 2. At one point they were so severe, she ‘could hardly breathe’. ‘Been in labour for days,’ she posted in the Facebook group. ‘Thought I was in transition at 11.30pm but now it’s 3am and it’s intensely painful, like I just want to lie down and for the pain to stop for just a second.’
Lisa’s waters finally broke but, being unable to urinate, she decided to seek medical attention. She was immediately admitted to the emergency ward where she was told her baby no longer had a heartbeat.
She had to push, but after three hours, there was no progress. ‘When I woke up I was covered in blood and so was everyone else,’ she said. ‘And it was so quiet in there.’
On October 8 she posted one final message, saying: ‘Journey Moon was born a sleeping angel on Oct. 7 at 8 lbs 13 oz. ‘She passed due to a massive urinary tract infection I had… ‘I’m laying in the hospital writing this and get to go home tomorrow. We will be having Journey cremated.’
After that she was inundated with messages of hate, including a meme with the words Baby Killer.
‘What should have been a time of grieving and mourning alone with my family was now a time of defending myself from evil people and their horrible words,’ Lisa told The Daily Beast.
Following this Free Birth Society decided to close its Facebook page, with its founder Emilee Saldaya posting a lengthy statement.
‘I have received hundreds of death threats,’ she wrote. ‘Posts and private messages calling for my murder, my jailing, and for my family to be harmed, have come streaming in, and other administrators of Free Birth Society have also been targeted.
‘We have seen comments by individuals attempting to find out where I lived and several unsubstantiated blog articles have gone viral, full of lies, misinformation, slander and defamation. ‘In light of all of this, we at Free Birth Society are advancing our plan to move off Facebook, to a safe and private membership platform.’
Lisa says the whole experience has left her unsure about free birthing again but she is determined to have another baby. “My body is fully capable of birth. I was created to birth. I can and will birth again,” she wrote in an email to The Daily Beast. “I will conceive again and birth again and the outcome will be different. I believe that.”
Dr Michael Gannon, a practising obstetrician and president of the Australian Medical Association, told news.com.au back in August that the free birth movement was not one he supported.
"Sadly, I can't help but make the comparison with the fact that women in many parts of the developing world don't get to choose to free birth, it's normal. And in those parts of the world, maternal deaths are regular occurrences. Why anyone in a developed country would take that risk beggars belief."