Why You Should Care About Dr. Bootstaylor

Dr. Bootstaylor encouraging me as I read to Brielle for the last time.

So why does SeeBaby and Dr. Bootstaylor matter to Loving Brielle followers? Why am I so outraged? Why do I care if you care?

You all need to keep in mind that if Dr. Bootstaylor had not been an advocate for Brielle, if he had not been our doctor, that our standard of care would have been:

  • Encouraged fetal termination
  • Potential to be dropped as a patient and denied OB care because Brielle had anencephaly
  • Denied routine maternal care
    • My polyhydramnios would not have been monitored closely and safely.
    • Basic, routine, care would have been denied or discouraged.
  • Denied birth plan of my choice
    • This would have meant I could not have a family centered cesarean.
      • I would have never held Brielle alive, she would have been taken from me.
      • David would not have been allowed to video her birth.
    • I would not have been allowed to carry her as long as I did.
    • I would not have been allowed a bereavement doula (Lauren Bishop).
  • Brielle would have been denied standard fetal care because she “would die anyways” and take time away from healthy babies.
    • We would have never been allowed to meet with Dr. Armand (DeKalb neonatologist) or Jamie Ray. We were connected to Jamie by Dr. B and his practice, SeeBaby. And Jamie coordinated everything on the DeKalb Medical side. Jamie made sure everything was perfect for Brielle and I.
      • Jamie loved on Brielle as if she were part of her own family.  I love this picture of them.


    • We would have never had routine or specialized ultrasounds.
      • We would have never had 3D ultrasounds of Brielle or watch her play in my tummy.
    • We would have never had a consult with neurosurgeons.
    • We would have never been allowed to believe Brielle had feelings and emotions of her own, likes and dislikes. In fact, we were laughed at by other practices.

And that’s just an overview of some of the ways Dr. Bootstaylor and SeeBaby took care of Brielle.

Sure, we can make this political, we can make this a woman’s rights issue (and it is), but that may make you uncomfortable. You may prefer to just stay out of it.


But what about Brielle? Will you care because of her? Will you help me fight for her legacy? Dr. Bootstaylor is a part of that. If it weren’t for him, none of you would know me or Brielle.

You don’t have to physically be in Atlanta to make a difference. Just talk about it. Share your outrage that this man has become a target, merely because he is a good man. Draw attention to the injustice circling Dr. B.

Dr. Bootstaylor wanted to help Brielle, he cared about her. Maybe that’s taken for granted, but for me? Brielle had a short amount of time here. And everyone who stood in her court and defended her, those people are precious to me. I will fight hard for those people. They loved my daughter. They valued her.

And all we, all I, have left is her memory and legacy. I’m not going to just throw that away, or turn a blind eye to another’s suffering, because it might make me or others uncomfortable.

It’s fundamentally wrong, no matter your personal or political beliefs, to let a good man be shot down and discouraged because he stood up for pregnancies like mine. Because he made other doctors jealous and uncomfortable.


What kind of people are we if we let this happen?

I can’t make any of you care, but I’m begging you to. I am begging you to recognize all of the good this man did for our sweet Brielle. I am begging you to help me stand up for him. Please, for a few days, just unite and join me in defending a man who gave Brielle her best chance.

Just Some of the Stories About Dr. Bootstaylor:

Introducing Dr. Bootstaylor

Family Centered Cesarean 

Brielle Has a Membrane!

What Happened In The Hospital (my hospitalization due to polyhydramnios)

Brielle’s Last Ultrasound

Part Two: Brielle’s Birthday Continued

Part Three: The Delivery




As many of you know, I hold Dr. Bootstaylor and DeKalb Medical Center in the highest regard. Dr. Bootstaylor always gave Brielle and I the best treatment, attention, and certainly more of his time than anyone could have possibly expected. He treated Brielle with kindness and respect.

The same can be said of the nurses, NICU staff, and Jamie at DeKalb Medical Center. They all went above and beyond. Showering Brielle in compassion and love. They showed kindness and empathy towards me, and Jamie even stepped in as a surrogate mother for me while I was hospitalized.

DeKalb Medical’s Staff and the SeeBaby staff all worked beautifully together. They had respect for each other. They were humble. And they operated as a cohesive unit.

This is why I am so disturbed by a decision “at the top” to no longer support what Dr. Bootstaylor stands for. DMC will no longer be supporting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or vaginal breech deliveries. Dr. Bootstaylor centers his work around providing the care the mother wants, not what is easiest for him. He gives of himself selflessly and he can no longer use DeKalb Medical Center under these new terms.

Both the staff at DeKalb and SeeBaby are devastated by this and this is not something that anyone seems to support. To disband such a beautiful group of people, honestly trying to do what is right, cannot be permitted.

I, as well as many others, will be contacting DeKalb Medical Center in opposition to this. We hope that enough outrage will be heard that the decision will be overturned and SeeBaby can continue the work they’ve been doing.

If you have the time and desire to support Dr. Bootstaylor and his practice, I’d ask that you please contact DeKalb Medical Center leadership:

John Shelton, CEO DeKalb Medical:

Dane Henry, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer: dane.henry@dekalbmedical.org

Joel Schuessler, VP Legal Services and Chief Compliance Officer:joel.schuessler@dekalbmedical.org

Rose McKelvie Director Women & Infant Services:

Cheryl Iverson, VP Marketing:cheryl.iverson@dekalbmedical.org

Sharon Mawby, VP Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer:sharon.mawby@dekalbmedical.org

Jim Forstner, Senior VP and Chief Strategy Officer: jim.forstner@dekalbmedical.org

I’d ask that you also keep this situation and the mothers who are currently due in your prayers, this decision, I’m sure, is causing undue stress during such a fragile time in their pregnancies.

For those of you that live in the Atlanta area and would like to protest this gross violation of human rights, there will be a protest this Friday. Information here.

Introducing Dr. Bootstaylor

Our sweet Brielle in one of her scans.

We had a wonderful appointment with Dr. Bootstaylor today at Emory University! David and I were a nervous wreck all day, we had no idea how receptive Dr. B would be to how we felt about our baby and what we know she is capable of.

Even though he was incredibly busy today, he made time for us, greeted us (and remembered us) in the waiting room, and brought us to his office. He never once made us feel rushed or as if our questions weren’t important.

We talked about cesarean vs. vaginal delivery, what delivery would be like, hospice, how he felt about her and us, treatment options, etc.

He was very happy we had chosen to keep her and I think excited as well. He told us that he saw this as a real pregnancy and a real baby that deserved just as much care and attention as any other pregnancy. He was not disgusted or annoyed with us keeping a baby that is “incompatible with life” and quite frankly, disagreed with the belief that these babies aren’t important or valuable. He was thrilled with all of the things she can do, and seemed genuinely happy to hear how well she is doing and what a sweet baby she is. We asked him how many babies with anencephaly he had seen go full term (because he has said before that he has seen quite a few babies with anencephaly), he said in 25 years he has seen 10. To be honest, that was more than I was expecting.

We discussed delivery options and he understood our main goal was to see Brielle alive and hold her alive. We talked about how a cesarean would be with him and which incision would be the least traumatizing to my body. The risks are still there, but we agreed a low transverse incision would be best, so I can birth vaginally with my other pregnancies (.2% – 1.5% of uterine rupture). His goals for delivery were exactly what ours were as well. Immediate skin to skin contact, delayed cord clamping (30% of the baby’s blood is the the placenta after delivery so it is best to avoid cutting the cord until the cord stops pulsating), and no restraints during the operation so that I can bond with Brielle. And he made it very clear that she would never have to leave me during the c-section. Vaginal delivery is pretty much however I want to do things, I even get to eat! He told us that it is really too early to decide between the two, and that I may go into spontaneous delivery and take the decision out of our hands, or that I may go full term and then we can schedule a delivery. I appreciated that he wanted to do what was best for us and not what was best for his time or bank account.

He told us that he was open to helping us find treatment and told us that with Brielle we would be the educators to the doctors we come in contact with and he told us we need fortitude, because there is going to be resistance. But he was happy to help and excited to change the way anencephaly is seen. He told us that was our place in life, to bring attention and change to this defect. We agreed around 36 weeks we will see a pediatric neonatologist and discuss treatment options and a plan once she’s born. Which is something David and I will need to be fully educated for. I’ll make an exciting post about this later.

We are so impressed by Dr. Bootstaylor and we adore him. He truly is a Godsend and has been kind and supportive of us through this entire journey. I could not ask for a better or more qualified doctor to help us through this time. Any ATL friends, you need to go to his practice, because he is amazing.