My dear friend, colleague, and student midwife Jen Holloman, lost her baby yesterday at term due to complications at birth. My heart is breaking for her. I do not know the details yet, other than she had a planned homebirth, two professional midwives she trusted, the baby was doing well, there were some red flags, they decided to transport, and after they reached the hospital her beautiful baby boy was gone. I can't imagine her sorrow and loss. It is horrible for any mother to lose a baby, but when babies die during a planned homebirth, there is often a since of guilt of the "what if", the unsaid accusations of others (this would not have happened in the hospital) on top of the pain of loss. I hurt so much for her. She is 40, VBAC, having her second baby, her first being 20 years old, her husband's first. She carefully picked her homebirth team, made a very conscious choice of a home birth after evaluating the risk factors.
Jen is an amazing woman, has worked for Aviva Institute for some time doing work exchange for her tuition. She was just making the transition to faculty to teach English. She is organized, bright, reliable, and always on top of things. She has been a joy and pleasure to work with. It is really hard to find her level of competence and I have felt very blessed to work with her. She helped us develop policies for learning disabled students, and has worked tirelessly for the success of Aviva. She put her on studies as a midwife on hold as she prepared for her baby and to focus on preparing her courses. She is so committed to midwifery, has a wonderful attitude and sense of humor, and was so excited about having a baby. Her husband lost his job in construction; they have been struggling for some time, each working several small jobs. They live in an area of Cape Cod with few jobs and with the economic crisis even those dried up. They are facing foreclosure on their home, had having a really tough time, but so excited about the baby. Things have been so hard for her family; I can't believe she has lost her baby on top of all this.
Please send her prayers to help her with healing. If you have the ability to send a small donation Aviva Institute has set up memorial fund to help her family. Donations can be made via PayPal, and if you do not have a PayPal account, there is a smaller link to use a credit/debit card. Click here to donate. There is nothing we can do to ease the loss of her pain of losing her child, but a little cash to help them during this hard time will really help.