Woman with Diabetes Refuses Care for Pregnancy & Kills her Baby

Woman with Diabetes Refuses Care for Pregnancy & Kills her Baby January 9, 2019

A woman with type two diabetes and possible pre-eclampsia attempted to deliver her baby at home with no assistance, and the baby died. The woman’s wife, we will call Stacy, posted an alarming message to a Facebook group earlier this week. Stacy’s wife, we will call Gina, had been laboring for four days with no progression. After going silent for over a day, Stacy updated the group to tell everyone the baby was “born sleeping.”

Stacy and Gina had been active members of a social media group. The two women had been trying to conceive a baby for more than four years. Stacy actively posted questions to the group about homebirth, supplements, and pregnancy.

Finally, after more than four years of trying, Stacy and Gina were approved by insurance to go through fertility treatments. Stacy updated the group throughout the journey to let them know about their progress.

Going into the treatments, Stacy was open with the group that Gina’s pregnancy could become complicated due to health issues. Stacy admitted that Gina had type two diabetes and PCOS. Despite the health issues, Stacy and Gina wanted to have an unassisted birth at home.

In December 2017, Gina started shots and treatment to get pregnant. By spring Gina became pregnant, and the two women were happy. The two women decided to go through the pregnancy unassisted without the help of doctors or a midwife.

After Gina’s positive pregnancy announcement, Stacy was less active in the group. She asked questions about birthing kits, supplements, and about birthing pools.

However,  by late in Gina’s second trimester, she began having high blood pressure. At. Twenty-nine weeks, Stacy updated the group that Gina’s health and blood pressure had become problematic. Gina needed to be hospitalized for blood pressure. Stacy lamented to the group that the hospital was treating Gina terribly.

According to Stacy, Gina became sick the week before. When doctors took Gina’s blood pressure, her numbers were higher than usual. The doctors and Gina attributed the high blood pressure to illness and stress. When Gina’s blood pressure came down, doctors allowed her to go home.

A week later, Gina was back at the doctor feeling sick. Again, her blood pressure was elevated. The doctor decided to admit Gina to the hospital so they could monitor her blood pressure. Doctors told Gina that she had a history of high blood pressure. The hospital received records from their fertility clinic indicating high blood pressure.

Stacy argued with Doctors that Gina’s blood pressure had never been high. She said that fertility treatments had caused Gina’s blood pressure to be high. Doctors worried Gina may be exhibiting signs of something more serious, but Stacy and Gina didn’t agree.

Eventually, Gina was released from the hospital. During this time, Gina became insulin dependent. Before her pregnancy, Gina managed her type two diabetes without insulin. Gestational diabetes raises the risk the mother developing high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.

While Stacy never explicitly said doctors were worried Gina might have developed pre-eclampsia, she told the group that Gina was developing troubling symptoms. As Gina entered her third trimester, Stacy said Gina started having migraines, nausea, vomiting, and continued high blood pressure.

Despite the symptoms, the two women continued their plan to have a birth at home. Stacy asked the group about where to buy a birth kit and pool in November 2018.  Even though Gina appeared to be struggling, the two remained steadfast in their choice.

By 38 weeks, Gina decided to come to the group and seek advice. Gina continued to struggle with puzzling symptoms and needed help. According to Gina, she was feeling nauseous, having terrible migraines, difficulty walking, and felt dehydrated.

Gina’s symptoms became severe, and she noticed the baby wasn’t moving as frequently. She seemed worried that her health issues might be affecting the baby. Gina complained of migraines, nausea, high-blood pressure, and difficulty walking/weakness.

Several women in the group told Gina that she might have developed pre-eclampsia. Gina flatly denied the group member’s suggestions that she might have pre-eclampsia. Instead, Gina insisted doctors were closely monitoring her for pre-eclampsia, but she had not been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.

After this post by Gina, Stacy updated the group a few weeks later that Gina went into labor. Stacy told the group they still intended to have the birth at home. Due to Gina’s health complications, the two women struggled to find a midwife to assist with the birth.

Finally, last-minute Gina found a midwife willing to work with her. Others refused to help her because of her insulin dependence. However, when Gina went into labor, the midwife was sick and unable to come to their home. Stacy told the group that they spoke with the midwife over the phone and by messenger.

Stacy said Gina’s labor started on a Friday. By Monday, Gina’s was still in labor. Her contractions were still more than seven minutes apart. Gina was struggling to keep food down, felt weak and dehydrated, and was struggling to manage the pain. Stacy asked the group to provide suggestions on how to help Gina transition to deliver the baby.

While some women provided suggestions on positioning and drinking ginger to calm her stomach, most of the group became concerned. Numerous women within the group told Stacy to seek medical care. Several believed Gina might be experiencing complications associated with diabetes or pre-eclampsia.

Several women urged Stacy to take Gina in for an ultrasound to make sure the baby and Gina were ok. Stacy told the group going to the doctor wasn’t an option. Then the messages went silent.

When Stacy stopped responding to the women, group members continued to bump the post by asking for an update.  More than 24 hours later, Stacy updated her post with a single line,

“The baby was born sleeping.”

With that announcement, Gina’s pregnancy ended with a stillbirth. After more than four years of trying to conceive, going through fertility treatments, and a high-risk pregnancy Gina’s baby died.

Stacy provided no other details about how or where Gina delivered the baby. However, leading up to the stillbirth, there were glaring red-flags indicating trouble for the baby.

Gina developed migraines, nausea, vomiting, reduced fetal movement, high blood pressure, and became insulin dependent.  Despite all the risks, Gina and Stacy refused to seek help for the baby. The only support they received during the pregnancy was to help Gina’s symptoms.

Women that develop pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy run the risk of death for both themselves and the fetus. Even though Gina was adamant she did not have pre-eclampsia, she exhibited all of the tell-tale symptoms.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms of pre-eclampsia are high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, dehydration, low urine output, and abdominal pain. When Gina was 38 weeks, she told the group she had all of those symptoms.

Gina’s baby likely died as a result of complications associated with pre-eclampsia and diabetes. If Gina had proper prenatal care, her baby could have been delivered at 38 weeks when her symptoms got severe.  Instead, she dismissed the issues, continued with her homebirth plan, and her baby died.

Women with diabetes and pre-eclampsia should never discount the seriousness of their conditions. Proper monitoring and treatment by doctors can improve symptoms and help mothers deliver living babies. Without medical assistance women and infants are at risk of death.


*Katie Joy is a blogger and freelance writer. Her work is featured on Upworthy, Huffington Post, Yahoo Parents, Mamamia, Daily Beast, Cafe Stir, Newsweek, Jezebel, and The Daily Mail. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I don’t understand folks that are willing to receive medical care to get pregnant but refuse medical care so that the baby that they presumably REALLY wanted could be born healthy.

  • MystiqueLady

    “The baby was born sleeping.” WTF?

  • their passive way of announcing a stillborn

  • MystiqueLady

    That’s just as bad as any variant of God needed a new angel.

  • Raging Bee

    They get fertility treatments, and then “go through the pregnancy unassisted without the help of doctors or a midwife?” That just shows how stupid and inconsistent the whole “natural childbirth” movement really is.

  • Knitting Cat Lady

    Well. Mother has diabetes. Which increases the risk of a large baby.

    I was born at average 3.5 kg by c-sec. A day later another woman birthed her 6th child vaginally. That boy clocked in at 6 kg at birth.

    So, giving birth to a possible above average size baby while seriously ill? Very difficult and absolutely foolhardy to do at home.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    The usual line is something, “I wanted to prove that I could do it” or “I couldn’t accept that my body is a failure”

    Which, of course, is really mental after going through fertility treatments to get pregnant in the first place.

  • Daffodil

    This is just mind-boggling. We were unable to get pregnant at all and ended up adopting. Had I ever got pregnant, I would have happily moved into a hospital for the full nine months if necessary to be sure that precious desperately-wanted child had a chance at live birth.

  • lady_black

    She’s lucky SHE didn’t die, or stroke out. I have news for them. If you have an elevated blood pressure on numerous occasions (even at a fertility clinic) you have a history of HBP. Dehydration is very serious during pregnancy. At a hospital, she would have had an IV, and they might have induced labor or done a C-section if the fetus was in distress. What is WRONG with these people? Fertility treatment isn’t cheap, even with insurance. Why endanger your investment?

  • persephone

    The child isn’t a child; it’s a trophy. Often, they don’t really want a child, a real child. They want the symbol.

    My ex stealthed me into my first pregnancy. When the baby was born, he couldn’t handle his guilt and mental issues. He wanted a child to show everyone he could do better than his parents, but reality is much tougher and lasts all your life.

  • persephone

    There’s an episode of The Mindy Project where the midwives have been stealing a bunch of their patients. Mindy finally goes upstairs and makes a speech:

    Mindy: Listen up, ladies, I get it. It is very hard not to get seduced by these two. This office is dope. Diana [the administrator] seems really cool, and yeah, I’m gonna say it, these two [midwives], super good-looking, super hot guys. Much better-looking than the two old grizzled beat-up guys that work in our office. And yeah, if you are a healthy, 22-year-old pregnant woman, that baby is gonna slide right out of you, whether it’s by us, or whether it’s by these two midwives, or with a jittery train conductor during a blizzard. But what if there’s complications? If you’re middle-aged, you have diabetes, you’re obese (pointing at a woman) — no offense — all right, then no amount of breathing techniques and scented oils is gonna help you. I am, and these guys [her partners] are. They might not be easy on the eyes, but they’re good doctors. Meanwhile, these two [the midwives], they’re going to drop you curbside at Columbia Presbyterian on their way to Coachella.

    Brendan: We have never been to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

    Mindy: Tell me this, Deloriays, is it true or is it not true that if your patients have complications, you drop them off with obstetricians like us?

    Brendan: Yes, we explain up front to all of our patients that —

    Mindy: I’m sorry, your what?

    Brendan (brother whispering in his ear): — to our clients —

    Mindy: That’s what I thought. All right, ladies. Let’s go downstairs, let’s set up appointments with some real doctors.

  • persephone

    I would hope that, after her failure to follow doctors’ directives, that the fertility clinic will refuse any more treatments.

  • Ally

    Also, why did they choose to have the diabetic woman be the one who tried to conceive? Was Stacy in even worse health than her wife?

  • Jim Jones

    I’m sure she read something on Facebook and knows more than all the doctors.

  • Childbirth and parenting for many people is becoming a kind of performance art. The purpose of the stunt is to impress others with their counterculturalism, defiance and willingness to see their child suffer and die; the child is just an expendable prop. Sacrificing your children to display your piety has a long, long history.

  • Melaniexxxx

    So IVF is good enough for HER, but her baby doesnt deserve medical care, is what im getting from this…

  • yep

  • You are 100% correct

  • realist

    And sadly there is probably no law to cover this murder.

  • Raging Bee

    I suspect there may be something else at work here: an animal-instinctive drive to weed out weaklings and thus improve the “family” or “tribe” by giving them only the healthiest babies.

  • Pennybird

    I never understood it myself. Having medical professionals and equipment on hand has done wonders for reducing maternal death rates, to say nothing of the babies. It’s just ridiculous that modern some Americans are thinking that pre-20th century conditions are best. Selectively, at least.

  • swbarnes2

    I don’t think it’s quite that cutthroat. I think it’s vanity. Those women were smart enough and educated enough and had the resources and the will to do everything “right”, so that has to get them better results than poor and lazy people, right?

    One might wonder if getting a lot of grief over not being “proper” women because they are lesbian played into this (though obviously some straight women do stunts like this too)

  • witcheypoo

    Both women need to be charged with accessory to murder

  • Raging Bee

    Vanity and “natural is better” are probably after-the-fact rationalizations of the basic instinctual response. The vanity, in this case, is in showing that your baby was born naturally, without a lot of medical intervention, therefore he/she is tougher and more “pure” than a baby (and mom) who can’t contribute to the tribe without depending on technology. (And if the baby dies, you can show you accept that as “not meant to be.”)

  • sdsures

    Sounds like there was premeditation involved; the woman was planning an unassisted homebirth before she ever became pregnant.

  • cecilia

    LOL “…. breathing techniques and scented oils…”

    funny and very true

  • Nope. You do NOT want to open the door marked “women give up rights when they become pregnant”. No matter how stupid, all people have the right to reject medical care. Even when it leads to tragic outcomes, they have that right. Women don’t give up that right when they become pregnant.

    Now, the midwife who took them on as clients even with a million red flags? She should be be sued for medical malpractice, lose any license she has, and be barred from future work as a midwife. As a supposed medical professional, her duty of care in this case is to try to get her client into the hospital or refuse to take them on as a client. People are allowed to make really stupid decisions, but medical personnel have every right to refuse to be involved in those decisions. If they do choose to get involved, they are supposed to uphold professional standards.

  • steam_engenius

    Thank you. This is super important.

  • frostysnowman

    I think we fetishize the birth process in this country, and this scary new trend is one of the highest forms of snobbery there is. Medical care? Pfft! Women have been giving birth unassisted for millions of years and no one from Big Pharma or Big Medicine will tell me what to do with my body!

  • Adamska

    Maybe she didn’t want to get pregnant? That’s… always an option. It doesn’t really matter one way or the other why they made that choice.

    How long before insurance companies start demanding evidence that the parents are going to be doing things a certain way though?

  • she went through IVF….

  • Adamska

    Please read the comment I was responding to… there were two (2) women involved. The question was why did the Diabetic woman end up being the pregnant one.

  • who knows

  • Lee Jones

    Then… How about the non-pregnant wife getting charged for manslaughter at the least. Because she could have insisted her wife get checked out with all those damn red flags.

  • So you support husbands and wives having the legal right to force medical care on their spouses, against that spouse’s will and without their consent? That … is really, really not a good idea.

  • Lee Jones

    Depends entirely on the case. The idiot who was pregnant could have died, and I almost wish she had, instead of getting away scot free with murder. I also think parents should be arrested for not vaccinating their kids.

  • Ally

    Of course that’s a possibility, but that doesn’t change the fact that pregnancy can worsen the symptoms of diabetes and that women with type 2 diabetes need to be monitored and self-monitor even more carefully during pregnancy than they do otherwise. Stacy wasn’t obligated to get pregnant–neither one of them were–but their choice seriously jeopardized Gina’s health. I’m honestly amazed that she didn’t die as a result of the all the complications that ensued.