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, January 16, 2007

Elephant Crap leaves Mother Guilt

I am always concerned about the information about trauma from birth alarming or overwhelming those of us who have experienced it -- our social denial of the fully functioning baby is hard to accept when we don't have options for doing something about it. I am going to posting about that soon.

Meanwhile, I want post a comment from a visitor to my site left on my old guest book. She expressed anger at my information on epidural anesthesia as she would be using it in her upcoming birth. Here is her post and my response.

02:09:25 PM

From Tracy:
I found this website to be ridiculous! I'm having an induced labor b/c of certain medical conditions and after reading this "article" I started to feel like I was "hurting" my own baby before he was even born! If it weren't for my doctor setting a few things straight concerning this website I would really be an emotional wreck right now! Your article on Normal labor and birth: The biological impulse to be born really scared me and made me wonder. Thank goodness for my "real" doctor!!

My response to Tracy.

Thank you for your entry. I am aware of the issue of hearing for the first time the information that is on my site. I am sorry that it was frightening. It is. A major point that I try to make on my website is that we need to be CONSCIOUS about what we do in birth….to birthing women and babies.

I am sorry that what you did not get from the website is HOW to BE PRESENT with your baby during interventions during labor and birth so that you can minimize the traumatizing effects. Being aware and conscious of what you read on my site will make you less likely to hurt your baby. If YOU acknowledge and support your baby during the process you will not be hurting him or her. Just as you should not DENY that she or he is experiencing whatever it is that is requiring the inducing, you should not deny the resulting interruption to his process and the effects of other interventions that result from the inducing.

In the midst of your reaction to the information on the site I hope that you, your partner, and your doctor along with your support people and other staff people will become aware of what a difference you can make BECAUSE of your awareness that your baby is a little being right now in this moment and will be even more so at birth.

When my son broke his humerus completely in half and required immediate, emergency surgery, I certainly didn’t argue about the necessity. However, even at age six, he did need to know what was happening to him, how one experiences anesthesia and coming out of it, where I and his father would be, what was going to happen. Even in the womb a baby needs to know what is happening. Were you to have a near miss or actual accident yourself, would you not talk to your baby and explain what you were experiencing and what has affected you so? – that which has caused your emotions and physiologically your heart to race and limbs to go limp.

One of the featured stories on my upcoming site revision is about a baby whose birth I attended that included Pitocin and a cesarean section. It will include a picture of his mom and dad during labor and me supporting the baby during the contractions. Medical care givers are remiss in preparing women for induced contractions when medically necessary or not. Pitocin creates unbearable for the mother. How could this not be felt by the baby? If you knew there are ways to minimize this for your baby, why would we need to DENY it as society does now?

OF COURSE, there are times when inducing and epidural, fetal monitors, extraction, and cesarean surgery are necessary. This does not mean that we should deny the effects of it on the baby. It does mean that our society should embrace the basic biological understanding of the human body and brain (validated by brain research in the 90’s) --- and maybe, just maybe WHEN we must do something that could harm a baby we do that procedure with CONSCIOUSNESS and AWARENESS. What does that mean?? It means that the mother TALKS to her baby, explains the effects of the artificial hormone or drug. That was my role, the reason the parents I mentioned above wanted me at their labor and birth – to support them to stay conscious of their baby throughout the labor and birth. I explained to the baby before procedures what was happening --- JUST like each of us adults would like to experience from doctors or anyone.

A baby absolutely does have an impulse for birth and it is as real as the cell division and the development of neural tissues and the moment in time when the heart takes its first beat and the brain fires its first neuron. The work of a “real doctor” who is an MD/OB and a PhD in veterinarian medicine has written three books on the prenatal development and explains the BIOLOGICAL process of how a baby begins the labor process hormonally and how the mother’s body responds.

The period of labor and birth as a critical time is totally ignored by the medical community and the psychology community and by most people. What prevents most people from acknowledging that the birthing baby’s brain is in a critical developmental period is a complicated mix of issues: women don’t want to experience labor pains and deny the effects of drugs, and doctors who are controlled by malpractice laws, not biological, scientific evidence would have to recognize the effects of their poor training and their actions on the women and babies they’ve delivered.

Becoming aware and conscious means we might have to change something or acknowledge the old way is wrong. As Maya Angelou, says something to the effect, “I did what I did until I knew it was wrong, and then I did something different.” I support you to trust your physician………and, I must also share with you this information. My spouse was a “real” family practice doctor and did another “real” OB residency and was not taught about healthy labor and birth, or that a baby is fully capable of all human emotions at birth, and how to engage with patients in a conscious, mindful manner. He was not taught about brain development of the birthing baby (but neither are pediatricians and psychologists or teachers nor are our legislators and policy makers). He never had time to consider his Anatomy 101 class (based on “structure and function”) and to apply the basic biological understanding of the human brain and body to the birthing woman and baby. He was not taught that should he need to use medical interventions to assist a mother and baby that doing so with presence and awareness that this baby will remember – because his or her brain is PROCESSING THE EXPERIENCE – that he will participate with this mother and father to support their precious baby during a significant event.

I am so grateful for your entry because it gives me opportunity to respond to an issue I am sure affects other women and babies. My intention is never hurt but to support women and babies. I appreciate the opportunity to respond. Unfortunately, without an email address, I have had to place it here in segments. This is the last one.

My closing paragraph is: When my son went into surgery for his broken arm I was terrified. The surgical nurse stayed with us a moment and asked if she could say a pray with us. She prayed for our child and the surgeon who was doing this monumental task. I have always been grateful to her. I also say a pray for your child soon to be born and for your physician and those who will be in attendance with you. I pray that your awareness of your child experiencing his birth will create safety, support, and the peaceful birth you wish for.

Wishing you the best,
Janel Martin-Miranda

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