It was the Fourth of July week and I should have been celebrating freedom, but instead I was worried about the two families involved in this situation, touted all over the news about Angela Hock, an uncertified midwife from Riverdale, who failed to deliver Emily Noe’s baby in Omaha. This may end up stripping more freedom from Nebraska women. They already have less than most, as only Nebraska and Alabama outlaw certified nurse midwives at home births.

My heart breaks for the Noe household, having lost a baby who was just born. That would be a nightmare for any parent. Though little Vera will not grace their lives in body, her spirit — her memory — always will be with them. May they find comfort and healing.

My heart also breaks for the Hock household, having one member now in jail, leaving a husband and five beautiful children to fend without her, while she is incarcerated.

She is a loving mom, and I am sure everyone, especially her 9-month-old son, who attended births with her so he could stay close to mama, is lost without her.

I do not know the details of everything that transpired. I was not there, but I do know that at some point that baby became high risk and should have had more help coming earth-side, given her head got stuck in the cervix while presenting breach after a prolonged labor.

I also know this: This horrible tragedy likely would have never struck had certified midwifery been legal in the family’s Nebraska home.

It is not.

Angee felt called to help low-risk women in their natural settings to do a generally beautiful thing. She could not be professionally certified and still help these women birth in the comfort of their homes.

That would be breaking the law.

So, she went to other countries and helped welcome many babies into the world. I say “welcome,” because the mothers themselves did the actual deliveries.

She studied extensively and did workshops to supplement her learning.

Were it not for Nebraska law, she might have been a certified nurse midwife. She may have been better equipped for little Vera’s birth — a day that should have been marked by celebration rather than sorrow and regret.

This tragic death might not have happened, and at the very least, the family would have had more options.

Now, as in most cases, more options would have been a good thing.

They could have legally had a licensed, trained professional at their sides.

And you know what?

It might have been Angee.

Jenna Shaw, Ravenna