The Other Side of the Glass

Part One was officially released June 2013 in digital distribution format. To purchase to to If you were a donor and want to download your copy send an email to

The trailer

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Scientific Question: Does induction and epidural anesthesia lead to increasing rates of surgical birth?

Research in peer reviewed obstetric literature shows that epidural anesthesia is strongly associated with abnormal fetal position (occiput posterior) at delivery and may help explain the high rates of operative delivery observed after administration of an epidural. (Obstetrics & Gynecology 2005; 105: 974-82).

Baby Jasmyn was induced by nurse midwives in a military hospial, and as you can see by her photo, she was very mispositioned and terribly stuck. Increased pitocin "to get that baby out" resulted in extremely violent and terrifying labor for her and her mother before Jasmyn was born by emergency cesarean. Her mother knew something was wrong and wanted a cesarean. The resident and attending argured about this for over an hour while the mother (and Jasmyn) was on oxygen. Jasmyn and mother met for first time thirteen hours later. Many babies are not these bruised but medical staff did not even acknowledge the bruising. "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." Families are too vulnerable, too shocked, too disempowered to confront the system.

A subset of questions:

1) Did medical people proceed with induction not knowing or inspite of the baby not being in proper position for birth, knowing that induced contractions never relent so baby can't ever align? Or, is it as the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports? And, in every one of these cases, why are medical caregivers still allowed to do non-medically necessary inductions when science tells us it is the baby who hormonally sends message to mother that starts labor?

2) Is pitocin chemically identical to oxytocin? And, is it safe for inducing a baby's birth? Is the use of synthetic or non-chemically identical oxytocin safe for the baby? Michel Odent, MD ( and Peter Nathanielsz, PhD, MD (Life in the Womb: Origin of Health and Disease) have extraordinary work on the importance of hormones and pituitary set points established in utero and during birth.

3) Was this a medically induced surgery? Why isn't this subject to malpractice, given their own research? Jasmyn's mother demanded the cesarean surgery. Was this a maternal-choice surgery based on "informed consent" and "best practice"?

4) Obviously Jasmyn's birth is a "good outcome" as she was born alive and survived the first year of life. But, does this birth really have no affect on her -- because she doesn't, so society says, REMEMBER it? A newborn baby's brain has a billion neurons ready to wire up. Was her brain not fully functioning so that she does in fact remember, in the cells of her preverbal part of the brain - her Limbic system? Does she have any emotional or psychological dynamics from her birth? From a thirteen hour separation from her mother? Please visit the Asoociation for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health website at and my site, How could medical people and society believe that these forces of drugs and interventions during birth aren't important to treat? Or recognize that this is also a symptom of likely brain trauma? And, so school aged children with aggression, fears, and inability to follow through on school tasks are never viewed as being so because of early brain injury at birth.

I ask you to join me in honoring Jasmyn and her birth and her family's generous sharing of her photo and story for my own work. In my work in supporting the healing of trauma from birth, it is crucial to honor the baby who endured what she did -- for in the pain and shadow, are her gifts. Jasmyn is an amazing girl, now six. She is strong-willed, tenacious, and beautiful little girl. I love this little girl and I admire her courage and strength, her story and journey, and what she has taught me and what she brings to this work.

I dedicate this blog to Jasmyn, my babies, Andy, Erin, Joe, and Mariah, and to all of the babies who didn't have, but deserved an aware, safe, and gentle journey to this world.


Mama Liberty said...

"Jasmyn..She is strong-willed, tenacious"

I wonder about this personality characteristic. My 9 yo son who experienced a traumatic birth and 2 weeks on a ventilator is also very strong willed and tenacious. I wonder if that personality characteristic helped him to survive his ordeal, or if his ordeal actually caused or magnified that personality trait.

Safe Baby Partners said...

That is a good research question, Mama Liberty.

Either way, it's about honoring the baby's experience as his or her way of viewing and experiencing the world.

Drs. Emerson, Castellino and others are making progress at understanding the dynamics of birth.

"Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it."

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren't always as rosy as we might think them to be. Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you. Here it's an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving my newborn daughter her first bath. Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse. -- The mother who posted this YouTube. How NOT to wash a baby on YouTube Are you going to try to tell me that "babies don't remember?" There is no difference to this baby's experience and the imprinting of her nervous system/brain and one that is held and cleaned by the mother or father either at the hospital or at home? By the way, this is probably NOT the baby's first bath. The nurse is ungloved. Medical staff protocol is that they can't handle a baby ungloved until is has been bathed (scrubbed if you've seen it) because the baby is a BIO-HAZARD -- for them. Never mind that the bio-hazard IS the baby's first line of defense against hospital germs.

Missouri Senator Louden Speaks

Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers

Part One of the "The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for and about Men" was released June, 2013.

Through presentation of the current research and stories of fathers, the routine use of interventions are questioned. How we protect and support the physiological need of the human newborn attachment sequence is the foundation for creating safe birth wherever birth happens.

Based on knowing that babies are sentient beings and the experience of birth is remembered in the body, mind, and soul, fathers are asked to research for themselves what is best for their partner and baby and to prepare to protect their baby.

The film is designed for midwives, doulas, and couples, particularly fathers to work with their caregivers. Doctors and nurses in the medical environment are asked to "be kind" to the laboring, birthing baby, and newborn. They are called to be accountable for doing what science has been so clear about for decades. The mother-baby relationship is core for life. Doctors and nurses and hospital caregivers and administrators are asked to create protocols that protect the mother-baby relationship.

Men are asked to join together to address the vagaries of the medical system that harm their partner, baby and self in the process of the most defining moments of their lives. Men are asked to begin to challenge the system BEFORE they even conceive babies as there is no way to be assured of being able to protect his loved ones once they are in the medical machine, the war zone, on the conveyor belt -- some of the ways that men describe their journey into fatherhood in the medicine culture.

Donors can email to get a digital copy.
Buy the film at

The film focuses on the male baby, his journey from the womb to the world and reveals healing and integrating the mother, father, and baby's wounded birth experience. The film is about the restoring of our families, society, and world through birthing loved, protected, and nurtured males (and females, of course). It's about empowering males to support the females to birth humanity safely, lovingly, and consciously.

Finally, a birth film for fathers.

What People Are Saying About the FIlm

Well, I finally had a chance to check out the trailer and .. wow! It's nice that they're acknowledging the father has more than just cursory rights (of course mom's rights are rarely acknowledged either) and it's great that they're bringing out the impact of the experience on the newborn, but I'm really impressed that they're not shying away from the political side.

They are rightly calling what happens in every American maternity unit, every day, by its rightful name - abuse. Abuse of the newborn, abuse of the parents and their rights, abuse of the supposedly sacrosanct ethical principal of patient autonomy and the medico-legal doctrine of informed consent, which has been long ago discarded in all but name. I love it!

In the immortal words of the "shrub", "bring it on!" This film needs to be shown and if I can help facilitate or promote it, let me know.

Father in Asheville, NC

OMG'ess, I just saw the trailer and am in tears. This is so needed. I watch over and over and over as fathers get swallowed in the fear of hospitals birth practice. I need a tool like this to help fathers see how very vital it is for them to protect their partner and baby. I am torn apart every time I see a father stand back and chew his knuckle while his wife is essentially assaulted or his baby is left to lie there screaming.
Please send me more info!!!!
Carrie Hankins
CD(DONA), CCCE, Aspiring Midwife

Thanks for sharing this. It was very touching to me. I thought of my brother-in-law standing on the other side of the glass when my sister had to have a C-section with her first child because the doctor was missing his golf date. I'll never forget his pacing back and forth and my realizing that he was already a father, even though he hadn't been allowed to be with his son yet.

Margaret, Columbia, MO

In case you don't find me here

Soon, I'll be back to heavy-duty editing and it will be quiet here again. I keep thinking this blog is winding down, and then it revives. It is so important to me.

I wish I'd kept a blog of my journey with this film this past 10 months. It's been amazing.

I have a new blog address for the film, and will keep a journal of simple reporting of the journey for the rest of the film.

I'll be heading east this week to meet with a group of men. I plan to post pictures and clips on the film blog.

I'll keep up here when I can -- when I learn something juicy, outrageous, or inspiring related to making birth safer for the birthing baby.

Review of the film

Most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. Most of us born in the US were not. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

The full film will have the interviews of a wider spectrum of professionals and fathers, and will include a third birth, at home, where the caregivers do a necessary intervention, suctioning, while being conscious of the baby.

The final version will feature OBs, RNs, CNMs, LM, CPM, Doulas, childbirth educators, pre and perinatal psychologists and trauma healing therapists, physiologists, neurologists, speech therapists and lots and lots of fathers -- will hopefully be done in early 2009.

The final version will include the science needed to advocated for delayed cord clamping, and the science that shows when a baby needs to be suctioned and addresses other interventions. Experts in conscious parenting will teach how to be present with a sentient newborn in a conscious, gentle way -- especially when administering life-saving techniques.

The goal is to keep the baby in the mother's arms so that the baby gets all of his or her placental blood and to avoid unnecessary, violating, and abusive touch and interactions. When we do that, whether at home or hospital, with doctor or midwife, the birth is safe for the father. The "trick" for birthing men and women is how to make it happen in the hospital.

Birth Trauma Healing

Ani DeFranco Speaks About Her Homebirth

"Self-Evident" by Ani DeFranco

Patrick Houser at

Colin speaks out about interventions at birth