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

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Betrayal of Women

I am revisiting the cute little propoganda book of the sixites, Adventures in Motherhood and posting the pictures I promised. I am starting with a review of the introduction and my introduction to the purpose of sharing the book -- to look at the history of institutionalizing birth and the betraying of women by women that allowed it to happen, and that keeps birth controlled by systems today.
Below is the introduction in bold with my comments that I used previously to point out how women have been programmed to accept male dominance and violence during birth. I believe this has ensured a social environment where the violence of women is of concern while systematically and slyly perpetuated.

Adventures in Motherhood

Welcome to the greatest adventure in a woman’s life.

Childbirth is a natural and wonderful. Your doctor has been especially trained to (so you are not as smart as him) guide you through this experience happily and help you deliver a healthy baby. (Don't trust yourself: you can't do it without his help.) Of course, he will need your cooperation in doing this (You must do only what he allows because it is for your own good) necessary that you follow his directions implicitly. (You must do only what he tells you is right and do so without without questioning and doubts.)

There is a good reason for everything he does or instructs you to do. (He knows better than you do what you need. He IS a man - even if it isn't necessarily about what is best for the woman, if it's good for him it will be best for you as well.) You will find that your doctor is not only your physician and medical advisor, but also a trusted friend who is sincerely interested in you and available whenever you need him. (You can only trust him; not other women who are not sincere or trustworthy.)

You may have many well-meaning relatives, friends, or neighbors who are eager to give advice. (No one else can take care of you as well he can, including yourself, your mother, your sister, your friends, and any other woman.) much of the time they are uninformed. (Women??!? do not know as much as men. About birth?! So, other women do not know enough to help you.) So if you have a problem, if you are worried, or you are troubled about anything, discuss it with your doctor; (You can only depend on him, the man.) he can help you best. (Only he knows what will be best for you and what you need.)

The following pictures tell the story of one girl’s adventure to motherhood. It could be you.

And, most likely it was you either being born or giving birth – or both. Most of us under seventy years of age in this country were born in the hospital after men and medicine took the reins driving birth down a very different path from the physiological, woman-led model of care. Women nurtured, supported, and protected other women in the midwifery model of care.

Most of us alive now were born in hospitals controlled by men, with our mothers “under the influence” of drugs, most likely a combination of drugs no longer used because of the bad effects that became known after years of use. (ether, morphine, scopalamine, “twilight”, Demerol, etc). Most of us were born with our own little baby brain “under the influence” of drugs. This means we were “impaired” and our mother was “out of it” and not present with or caring for us. She wasn’t able to talk to us, work with us, protect us, or be the first to touch and caress us or bring us to her breast. This is a huge wounding on the soul of humanity. Is it any wonder really that we have ever increasing rates of drug addiction and violence, not to mention, divorce, war, and life long mental and emotional issues in our society?

The introduction of medical caregivers at birth brought much needed interventions to help those women who for what ever reason were unable to birth naturally. Forceps, surgery, but mostly antibiotics saved many lives. The decreased maternal and infant mortality rates over the last hundred years are attributed to the introduction of antibiotics and the obstetric skills to save those women who would have died prior to the ability to do effective cesarean delivery. It reached it’s peak productivity at some point in time and then began to create another set of problems.

I hypothosize that during this period of post WWII affluence where women were rounded up and sent back home to be Betty Crocker emmulates that somehow the medical model was able to take over birth entirely rather than become an important partner in making birth safe. The result of this was the tapering off of decreasing infant mortality rates so that the infant mortality rate actually peaked out in 1956-8. Rather than look at the use of the drugs and interventions as NOW ALSO contributing to maternal and infant trauma and loss the effect to institutionalize birth, the medcal model was increased.

The little book quoted here was the propaganda of the early sixites that worked to institutional medical birth AND the violence of women. Odd, the field of domestic violence and addiction does not even address the drugging and violating of women in birth as a factor. Systemizing birth by the male-dominated disease-oriented model of medicine made women powerless in birth. I do not believe it was accidental. Worse, women were used to create this system. This has lead to a huge wounding of women – exacerbated by the professionization of the behaviors and interventions as “normal” and believed not to be traumatizing to mother or baby. Why? The same experience in any other setting for an adult woman or baby is readily seen as traumatizing and know to contribute to depression and other disorders, such as PTSD.

I call it the “Feminine Betrayal”. In my own healing, as a birthing woman, I was able to trace my first birth at age eighteen as the foundational experience for my life as a woman and how I related intimately with men and women. I was induced without consent, I was given an arsenol of drugs without consent (scopalamine, tranquilzers, gas). I was tied to the bed because of the hallucinations and resistance that scopalamine causes. My mother was not allowed in the labor room and could see me when nurses would come in and out. I was alone in the “delivery” room with strangers. I was tied down. Two nurses pushed on the top of uterus – I learned the next day because my ribs were hurting and bruised. I was in and out of consciousness throughout the birth. I have no recollection of labor from early Monday afternoon through my son’s birth at 10:30 am on Tuesay morning. Who touched me or did what to me, I do not remember. There is an ever-present shame that also is present for women who experienced cesarean surgery and the date-rape drug. I remember hearing, “Here’s your baby” and using every ounce of my consciousness to come out of the fog to see just a glimpse of him as he was wheeled by. That evening when my husband and mother were gone two nurses finally let me have him -- and aggressively tried to undermine his first breast-feeding.

My first experiences in craniosacral peds course was healing this moment of separation from my baby – twenty-five years later. I never knew how deeply traumatized and wounded my son and I were from that experience. I never knew the mulitude of maternal, relational, and intimacy struggles were from the profound wounding as a birthing woman. My son and I were always extremely close (he and his beautiful wife JUST left to go back to MN!) and I learned in the healing that we were “trauma bonded”, just as I was with my mother. Sometimes this manifests as very difficult mother-child relationships, sometimes in extreme over connection, and the many possibilities in between. It’s easy to say, in this society, most of us do not have healthy, easy, relationships with our mothers. Birth is the experience that will create and define our relationships. If a baby is the “bun bakin’ in the oven”, labor and birth then create the “frosting on the cake.”

While others fuss and fight elsewhere over one study related to 1% of the births in the United States, the blogger succeeds in distracting women from the real issue. The perpetration of violence against women and babies in hospital birth. I believe we ought to be looking at the historical picture of how we got to the point of 99% of the births in the hospital, with induction (so against physiology) and narcotics now considered “normal”, and a current surgical rate of 30%. We ought to be looking at the impact of the history of controlling women’s bodies, violating women’s bodies, drugging women and saying it doesn’t matter.
Women in our culture hurt and betray one another in covert and overt ways. We women know it. It is time to look at the origin of betrayal of women that began with the burnings and hanging of midwives as witches.

Any woman involved in natural birth or in homebirth begins to see the difference in relationships between women, and how women and men are in intimacy. Homebirth doesn’t create perfect relationships but there is definitely a shift in how people treat one another. Healing my own birth and my experiences as a birthing woman of four children has lead me to experiencing and being a woman differently.

No comments:

"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