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 12, 2006

Even though he hurts me, I know he really does love me ...

Signs that you are in a violent or potentially violent relationship with a man.

He tells you -- in words or actions:

1) You are not as smart as him.
2) Don’t trust yourself – you can’t do it without him.
3) You must do only what he allows – it is for your own good.
4) You must do only what he tells you is right and do so without doubt or questioning.
5) He knows better what you need than you do.
6) You can only trust him – and not other women.
7) No one else can take care of you as well he, including yourself, your mother, your sister, your friends, and any other woman.
8) Women do not know as much as men, so other women do not know enough to help you.
9) You can only depend on him, the man.
10) Only he knows what will be best for you and what you need.

Sound familiar? Remember the Welcome to Adventures in Motherhood post a few days ago? The message of the medical establishment from at least forty years ago has been a recipe for the disempowerment and violation of women and their babies during the most vulnerable experience of their lives. There is a entire body of UNDONE mainstream research on the affects of this on trust, intimacy between men and women, addiction, violence, and the myriad of personal and parenting issues in our culture.

Here's the "Welcome" again that corresponds to my list above. My comments are in bold.

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

Childbirth is a natural and wonderful. Your
1) doctor has been especially trained to

You are not as smart as him.
Generations of the message that a woman can't even know her own body or what a man knows? So much are women marginalized in medicine the study of one of the biggest killers of women, heart attack, has just recently been studied. Medicine and men know as much about menopause as they do birth.

2) 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.
Say, what? HE will help HER deliver her a healthy baby?

3) Of course, he will need your cooperation in doing this
You must do only what he allows because it is for your own good. Because women have a tendency to be uncooperative and stupid. and it is 

4) 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.
This is so scary.

5) 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.

6) 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.
 Today, a woman is lucky in a twenty-four hour labor if she sees the doctor before she is fully dilated or doing her monthy visits, and if her doctor even remembers her name.
7) 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.
Women who were born of women from the beginning of time -- mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, and friends who have given birth. WOMEN, not men who have never given birth. Unfortunately, with women as the deliverers of doctor's orders and females learning OB in the male-dominated system, the violation of women by other women is a huge wounding. Unfortunately,

8) much of the time they (WOMEN!?!) are uninformed
Women do not know as much as men, so other women do not know enough to help you.
HOW SO are women less informed than men about birth? and their advice is poor. Women have long been lead to believe this in most areas of life, but EVEN in birth and about their own bodies? So, if

9) 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.

10) he can help you best.
Only he knows what will be best for you and what you need.
Most of us know by now (thanks to Oprah and Dr. Phil) that this list and form of isolating a woman under the expectation of being her “best” source of help is a dynamic of domestic violence. Did the men of medicine realize that they were doing this? Did they not think about how they would be establishing to baby boys how to interact with their mothers - women?

The following pictures tell the story of one girl’s adventure to motherhood. It could be you.
A GIRL’S adventure to motherhood? A married woman pregnant with her partner's baby is a GIRL until she experiences a medical birth??  I got my records for my second child's birth a few years and was annoyed to see myself referred to as young girl. I was twenty-one and giving birth. I was a woman.

Call me jaded, but I suspect that the systematic effort of medicine to control women's bodies and birth experience is NOT a coincidence. Twenty short years after getting the right to vote, women participated equally in the work force during World War II (were pilots!) and even had a professional baseball league back home. All that ended and women were sent home to have babies, to house keep, and to bake bread -- in pearls and heels. Is it just another coincidence that the late forties and fifties were dubbed, “the knock ‘em out; drag ‘em out” era because of ether and “twilight zone” cocktail and high incidence of forceps use? And, that these years grew to the highest infant mortality rates since medicine took over birth – 1956-1958? Is it yet another coincidence that in the early sixties when women were expressing “hysteria” that valium was dispensed like candy just when women were experiencing violating birth (as you'll see) and were gearing up to claim their equal rights as humans? And, then this coincided with a few hippy, peace-loving women (i.e., Ina May and Suzanne Arms) who wanted to have natural birth and homebirth. Just a side note, but why have the radical feminists (then or now) not engaged in the issue of the historical impact of male dominated medicine on women’s lives?

I think not that any of these are coincidences. Obstetrics is one long effort to control women via non-consenting, non-informed medical research in drugs and technology. Our culture is so paying the price for this.

I am sorry if this post and future ones sharing this book offends those in obstetrics. I know they are good-hearted people who spent years of great sacrifice of their lives to learn what they know and do. I know they are also very wounded themselves, for the same reasons. Every one of us is a participant in creating and maintaining this and every other archaic, traumatizing system in our culture. Someone just has to say it -- "the emperor wears no clothes," so I will. Obstetric medicine is the place of manufacturing physical and emotional depravity in our society. Maybe, and I say this with sincere compassion, maybe the obstetricians today are some of the more wounded?

TO BE CONTINUED ... most definitely. Pictures coming.


J said...

You are dead-on woman! So few want to tell it like it is. I am a little tired of wishy washy ancedotes about positive hospital birthsused to discredit stories of rampant abuse so prevalent in the hosptial system - as if abuse is a rarety because one woman happened to get lucky herself. Come one.

I am truly sick of euphamisms for travesties like coerced c-section ("call it a c-birth and be positive - you have a healthy baby!"), and people implying that a woman is less a mother when she refuses to be anything but a passive martyr within a truly abusive, anti-woman/baby system, and snide justifications like "well what can they do but practice defensive medicine in our sue-happy society" (uhm, perhaps consider the woman and child maybe?!) This constant harkening to legal issues is especially absurd considering much of the abuse women suffer is mental and way outside of the range of achieving justice through current legal channels. If the forcibly harvest the healthy baby you have grown through a slice they made in your abdomen for NO MEDICAL REASON you can do feck all about it no matter how they treated you. They hand you the healthy baby YOU made and tell you to be grateful to THEM and so does most everyone else...while you hobble about with a gash in your belly trying to care for a newborn. That's medicine.

Having experienced pretty serious abuse at the hands of one of the "wounded" OBs, I must admit I lack compassion for them. I lurk on OB boards and see attitudes/opinions/judgements that would turn your stomach on a daily basis. The complete lack of regard for the woman, the baby, sound medicine, truthfulness, human compassion is sickening. They openly LOOK FORWARD to things getting EVEN WORSE for mothers and babies. Go check them out - see there response to the recent ACOG statement against OOH birth - I am not exaggerating.

I also see a few swimming against the tide, sure, but they are really few and far between.

I think it is a system that needs to be dismantled. Now. Period. I realize standing up for one's self and changing a harmful system for the sake of others (often I hear for our daughters)is a very commendable endeavor BUT no woman should have to fight for basic human rights while trying to give birth to her child. No one should have to work within a system so deceptive, harmful, degarding, demeaning and patently UNSAFE when such beauty is possible right outside it, right in our own homes or that of women who actually have our and our babies interest at heart.

The hospital birth system is beyond repair! It is run but lying, debased, arrogant erseholes. Stop talking in circles and just step out of it sisters!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your blog!

J in Philly

Heather B. said...

I really appreciated and enjoyed reading your post. I am glad that you like our blog! *hugs* I am so sorry you had to go through what you did when you birthed. That should be a time of joy, not hurt. So many women, like you and me, have so much healing to do because of our current medical system. I totally agree that it needs to be dismantled and rebuilt--better and more compassionate!

"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