Name: Partner, Darby
License type and number: UNLICENSED, never held license
http://www.unfoldinglotus.com/ (removed after death of Shahzad Sheikh; currently inactive)
Areas served: Eugene area.
Complaints/Investigations/Final orders: Sadly, because of Oregon laws regarding midwives, Darby cannot be held accountable for her negligence in the death of Shazad Sheikh.
Quotes: “I strive to protect the sacredness of birth as I advocate for the birthing mother. I am committed to honoring a woman’s individual choices, needs and empowerment. I believe that birth is truely a woman’s sacred rite of passage, and that women deserve their wishes honored during their experience.”
(Rich coming from a woman who all but held Margarita Sheikh hostage in her own home rather than appropriately transfer to the hospital when Sheikh requested it.)
In the Media:
Red Flags: Partner is entirely self-taught as a midwife and has no formal education and little experience as an apprentice. In summer 2011, Partner, along with Laura Tanner (another unlicensed Eugene midwife) were the midwives to Margarita Sheikh in a homebirth that stretched on for over a week and ended with the completely unnecessary and preventable death of Sheikh’s son, Shahzad. As if that were not bad enough, after the delivery Partner and Tanner fought with each other over the right way to attempt resuscitation on the lifeless baby. During Sheikh’s labor Partner and Tanner reportedly “confiscated” Sheikh’s cell phone and drove away concerned friends who had come over to check on her.
Partner does not fare any better as a doula. According to a comment left on the blog 10 Centimeters: “I had hired Darby as my birth doula (she collected half the money) and she COMPLETELY FLAKED on me when I was in labor. I called her at 2am or so late January, 2010 when I was in labor and she told me I was not in labor and to go back to sleep. I had my son the following morning with my WONDERFUL back-up doula…Darby was always late for our scheduled appointments (one time by 2 hours) and yet was disgruntled when I was late 15 minutes once after having called. Anyhow, when she found out I had my baby, she blamed the entire situation on me! Also, the friday prior to my birth I thought I was definately in labor and so called, and she was at the Wow Hall drinking and sounded very intoxicated. She also asked me a few times if I wanted to give birth to my son at home as she was qualified.”
Unlicensed midwives are not held accountable to any regulations or laws and are not legally allowed to carry life-saving drugs, suturing supplies, or oxygen.
Stories around the web: