“I think the mother and the baby are lucky to be alive,” Attorney General Mike Hunter files charges against midwife

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ROLAND, Okla. - Attorney General Mike Hunter filed charges Friday against a midwife after a close call for one first-time mom.

The attorney general says the charges are for "practicing medicine without a license after an investigation revealed she performed a medical procedure during a recent home birth after the victim was in labor for nearly three days."

"I think the mother and the baby are lucky to be alive," said Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

It's a memory that was supposed to be magical for Suzie Bigler, but it turned into a nightmare.

"I`ve never had a baby before so I didn`t know what to expect," said Bigler.

Court documents show Bigler was at the Babies Choice Childbirth that is owned and operated by Debra Disch.

Debra Disch, and out of hospital midwife, was working with Bigler during birth.

An affidavit says Disch arrived at Babies Choice Childbirth Center on May 25th after being in labor for 32 hours at home.

After several more hours of labor, the problems started.

A grandmother, who the document says is a licensed registered nurse, asked Disch to take Bigler's vitals.

The affidavit says, "Disch got in the family member's face yelling at her that she had 36 years of experience."

"She was like 'everything is fine, don`t worry, this is normal' and so I trusted her," said Bigler.

That trust was tested when Bigler says, "she looked up at me and said we need to do an Episiotomy and I`ve never done one before."

Shortly after the procedure, Bigler's baby was born but she says the complications continued.

According to the affidavit the baby was "not breathing, was blue, and that Disch started CPR and while performing CPR, Disch dropped the infant."

"I was just saying Spencer I need you to wake up I need you to talk to mom. I need you to cry for me," said Bigler.

After what Bigler "described as what felt like a long time, the baby started breathing."

"They hand him to me and I stand up to move to the bed and blood just pours out of me," said Bigler.

The affidavit says Bigler was then "moved to a bed where Disch administered two shots in each leg. When asked what she was given, Disch stated that it was Pitocin after both shots had already been administered."

Bigler and her son spent three days in the hospital.

Friday, Attorney General Mike Hunter spoke on the charges filed.

"The administering of Pitocin without a prescription... and the individual performed an Episiotomy on the mother and that also constitutes the unauthorized practice of medicine," said Hunter. "The facts and the evidence that we collected really compelled us to file these charges."

This is not the first time Disch has been in trouble. The court document says two years ago, she was barred from working as a midwife in Arkansas.

News 4 spoke with the Midwives Society of Oklahoma.

They are not involved with the case but their president tells us, "We don't have the facts but we do trust the justice system. We support and encourage midwives to follow the laws in your community. We'll continue to provide safe and competent care to the women that choose us as their providers."

Bigler is glad she and her son are doing well.

She also added "My husband and I believe the charges are justified and necessary. We feel peace in knowing that by charging her we are saving the lives of future mommas and babies. We are also thankful for the work of local and state law enforcement on our behalf."

Disch could face up to 4 years in prison and a $10,000 fine is she is found guilty.

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