Exuberant joy after an empowering HBAC (homebirth after cesarean)
The midwife community of the Mid Atlantic region is being challenged. Karen Carr, an experienced and well sought after Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) who has delivered over 1200 babies in the greater DC metro area, has recently been charged with involuntary manslaughter after the tragic death of a client’s baby. Karen has helped to change the lives of more then 700 families simply by trusting the mother and birth process.
Karen Carr is a specialist in her community and serves on any level she can to help women birth the way they want or need to birth. She empowers women - allowing them to trust their bodies and the process. The personalized care that Karen offers allows her to work with clients who, for a number of reasons including presentation or financial, would have to navigate the confines of a broken medical model of care with little or no respect for their birth wishes, hopes and desires otherwise. She is an advocate for mother and baby, and will stand by a mother as long as both the mother and child are safe. Karen is a teacher that has taken on many apprentices in her tenure as a CPM. Most importantly, she is a mother and grandmother, and has personally experienced a VBAC. As a result of her advocacy, education and personal experience, her practice boasts a VBAC success rate greater then 70%, and 96% of her mothers achieve vaginal birth.
This unfortunate turn of events for the Mid Atlantic midwife community is not without a silver lining. As a result of the local support for Karen a non-profit, In Service to Women, has been founded. In Service to Women’s immediate goal is to collect donations to help with Karen’s defense fees, estimated to cost upwards of $150,000. The long term goals of this wonderful foundation include creating a resource for other midwives nationally, offering preparation and prevention workshops, and making attorneys with experience and expertise in this type of case available. Ultimately, it’s about the education and support of a very important and much needed field of expertise with the end result of helping women and families nationally achieve the births they want and deserve.
In Service to Women, on behalf of Karen Carr and midwives everywhere, is reaching out to our international community of like minded families. The costs of losing a midwife like Karen Carr are far too great to even list. She is the cornerstone of our community. If we were to lose her, midwives and clients alike don’t believe the midwife community in the Mid Atlantic would ever be able to fully recover.
At this time In Service to Women is looking for donations, large or small, to help with Karen’s legal fees. If you'd like to help, donate, or read more about Karen (as well as commentary from the families she’s touched) please visit the In Service to Women website and stay up to date on the In Service to Women Facebook page.
Our hearts, prayers, and support are with you, Karen. Thank you for all you have sacrificed and all you've done for mothers and babies in the DC area.
Jill's hot summer night waterbirth outside, with rain falling all around
"Educated, experienced, strong, caring and intuitive: Karen supported me in my daughter's beautiful but difficult birth. She was calm, collected, and knowledgeable. Years of being a midwife were reflected in her aura. Natural processes of life and death are not reasons for blame. Midwives connect, bond, and feel with their clients - they are "with woman"...and this alone should show the antithesis of the ridiculous charges." ~ Jill Chasse