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Bambi's first homebirth went really well, so it's not a surprise that she choose to give birth at home again when she got pregnant with her next baby. What happened next is something she doesn't want anyone else to experience.

"As I saw the ambulance pull up, I ran her to the door and handed her to the medic, Bambi shares. "They had me put on shoes so I could go with her. Although the hospital was 10 minutes away, it seemed to take forever. The details are still fuzzy, but I remember bits and pieces."


"The most prominent memory that I have is hearing 'We’ve given her two shots of epinephrine and she’s not responding'. I was in disbelief because I thought I had done everything right and that she was healthy."

Since Mary Beth had been a healthy baby, an investigation was opened after her death. It was at that point that Bambi and her husband discovered that their midwife had given them and the detective different Newborn Exams. When the detective called her out on that, the midwife created yet another Newborn Exam. Bambi shares what happened next: "Word was out within the midwifery community before our daughter was even buried, which led to the midwife waiting on our steps when we got home from the cemetery. She was angry that other midwives were discussing her potential negligence and the legalities that could ensue."

"Four weeks later we received Mary Beth’s death certificate. One of the lines on this form is 'Major Contributing Factor', which said 'Homebirth'. That was not the answer that I was anticipating. I had convinced myself that she had some kind of disease or congenital anomaly."

With that paper in hand, Bambi called the Medical Examiner for answers. It turned out that the midwife completely missed respiratory distress and "had she realized this was the problem, our daughter could have received the medical care she needed and would have survived", Bambi says.

After the midwife found out that they were in possession of the death certificate, Bambi and her husband received what she describes as "multiple manipulative and panicked emails" from her. The midwife did send them their prenatal records, which she had altered:

"She scribbled over my gestational ages to make it seem as though I was already 37 weeks and full term."

Think this shocking story ends here? Think again. "We later learned that our daughter was not the first lost baby and has not been the last. The detective found an excerpt from an ebook in which our midwife bragged about the many ways in which she would not cooperate with law enforcement, impede investigations, and had walked away from a manslaughter charge. He labeled my daughter’s death a negligent homicide, but due to politics and legal matters, would not attempt to file charges."

"Within six months of our daughter’s death I had created enemies where friends once stood because I chose to stand up. Some women were angry enough that they took to harassment, stalking, threats, and slander in an attempt to silence me. I’ve been banned from many places because I have dared to speak up. Many have blamed me for her death because I should have been more educated, should have known something was wrong, and should have vetted my midwife better. The thing was that I trusted my midwife, she had glowing recommendations, she gave us all the right answers, and on top of already having had one homebirth with this midwife, I had been an avid homebirth supporter for almost seven years before my daughter’s birth."

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  • Photo courtesy of Bambi Chapman
  • Photo courtesy of Bambi Chapman.