Yesterday, as excited as I was to know that a news crew had gone to my former midwife’s practice, Monarch Midwifery, in Fayetteville, NC to do a story, I knew it would somehow be skewed. And maybe this is based on the information that has been received, because really, not much seems clear about this story right now. And, really and truly, the families who are losing their rights to birth at home with a highly trained Certified Nurse Midwife, and the Midwives themselves deserve very clear answers, and NOW.
The news interviewed two of Monarch Midwifery’s expectant moms, one of which is 41 weeks pregnant. These women, along with many others (myself included before I moved to Alaska), have planned, paid for, and anticipated their upcoming home births with joy and elation. These moms and their families most likely do not feel the anxiety and fear of birthing with someone they may not know or trust. The relationship with their midwife, Donna Galati, CNM, runs very deep, much deeper than most relationships with other care providers. And what they are now faced with is great uncertainty and that very anxiety I speak of, except now, these women do not KNOW who their providers are, and will have very little time to build any relationship with him/her. These women are being forced to birth in a place not of their choosing.
The news also reported that Dr. Dorn in High Point, NC, the physician that signed the licenses of 7 midwives in Eastern North Carolina, has not been asked to stop doing so by the North Carolina Board of Medicine. Yet Dr. Dorn has sent emails and contacted the midwives whose licenses he signed stating that he no longer can do so, per the Board of Medicine’s mandate. None of what the Board of Medicine has allegedly said has been found to be a new regulation or law, and has yet to be seen in writing. There are so many questions right now. Who is telling the truth? Could the midwives still attend the births of their expectant mothers if this is not in writing? What does this mean for the future of home birth in NC? What does this mean for human rights? When will the full truth come out about this? These are all questions that I don’t know the answers to, unfortunately. And I’m not sure that many do. I do know, though, that many midwives and the families they serve are left scrambling, looking for care elsewhere until this matter is resolved.
It is a sad time, knowing that so many families are affected. So many mothers will give birth in situations and places they had not planned for. My opinion of the media is that they often report the surface of what is going on, and it is not until very pointed questions are asked, do they dig for the answers that need to be given. In this case, the public receiving the information should be demanding answers, from the Board of Medicine and Dr. Dorn about what is really happening in this situation. Until then, this story is strongly skewed in a way that can cause one side to look as if it is being dishonest, and in truth, someone is being dishonest. We, as consumers of the services we need, must be the ones to demand those answers.