Home Birth Horror Has Couple Seeking New Law - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Home Birth Horror Has Couple Seeking New Law


When Tina and Frank Comstive had their twin daughters, they thought that would be it when it came to having children.

"We found out we were pregnant just a month after I had lost my mother to cancer, and she was only 58 so that was quite a tragedy for our family," Tina said.

Like a lot of women these days, Tina decided to hire a midwife and have the baby at home which would save thousands of dollars.

"My husband is self employed," Tina said. "So we have insurance, but no maternity coverage."

Around midnight May 18, 2011, Tina woke up to go to the bathroom.

"Which most pregnant women do lots of times and at the time I discovered there was blood in the toilet so I called my midwife, she was here in 30 minutes," Tina said.

The midwife decided Tina would be fine having the baby at home. But three hours later Frank was rushing his wife to the hospital where doctors told him to prepare for the worst.

"The hardest part was trying to figure out how to tell my twins there mother wasn't coming home. Put that on for size," Frank said.

It took 51 units of blood to save Tina's life, but the placenta abruption left Sam with a brain injury.

"Right now he's using his hands and arms," Tina said. "He's got movement of them but there's no purposeful movement. He doesn't reach for things. He doesn't hold things that a normal eight-month-old should."

While Texas does require midwives to be licensed, there's no state law requiring midwives to carry liability insurance.

"I'm a pest control guy. I kill bugs," Frank said. “I'm required by Texas law to carry $300,000 worth of insurance."

Florida is the only state that requires midwives to carry liability insurance, according to Midwives Alliance of North America.

"Midwives operate under a state of the art gold standard, there is full disclosure with the mother at orientation regarding many issues including no insurance coverage....The mother assumes full responsibility for her decisions in the home birth setting," the organization said in a prepared statement to FOX 26 Investigates.

While Frank and Tina still support the use of midwives and home births, they want to see a change in state law that would require midwives to have liability insurance.

"When the wrong decision is made then there should be a financial obligation to the injured," Tina said.

"It's not about me, or Tina or Sam," Frank said, "It's about the next Sam or the next Samantha."

As for Sam's brain injury, his parents can only wait and see what the future holds. That ‘not knowing’ includes how much it's going to cost to care for him in the future.

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