When I read stories about midwives being prosecuted, I cringe in sympathy and frustration–but there’s always a little piece of my mind that’s skeptical, wondering if maybe the midwife really did do something irresponsible.
But recently, the reality of the homebirth witch hunts hit home. A midwife that I know, love, and trust is being hung out to dry–and she really didn’t do anything irresponsible.
I’ve known for a while that the wonderful Marlene Bergman, RM, was being investigated by her local hospital in Gunnison, Colorado, two hours from where I live. But I didn’t know that the investigation had become so serious that her career, her practice, and her family’s livelihood are all at stake.
Marlene was finishing up her direct-entry apprenticeship with my midwife, Bill Dwelley, RM, as I prepared for the birth of my daughter in 2008. She attended all of my prenatal visits, and helped me believe everything would be ok as early labor set in two weeks before my estimated due date. And now, four years later, I’m studying under the same midwife who she apprenticed with, and Marlene’s enjoying a successful homebirth practice–and enduring a completely unnecessary and inappropriate investigation of her practice.
When she was caring for me during my pregnancy, Marlene and I felt a sweet little kinship with each other, the kind where you know you would have easily become friends if you didn’t live a couple hundred miles apart and both have extremely demanding lives. I really, really enjoy Marlene. And I trust her.
So it breaks my heart to see that her situation with the Gunnison Valley Hospital has become so tense that she’s asking for public financial support to pay for the TWO attorneys that she’s been forced to hire.
I’ll be making a donation to her account today, and sending her a note of support. Please read her “Open Letter to the Midwifery Community” below, and if you take away from it that she is enduring a terribly unnecessary challenge, then please offer your support, too.
An Open Letter to the Midwifery Community:
My name is Marlene Bergman. I am in my third year of practice as a Registered Midwife in the state of Continue reading