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

Friday, January 12, 2007

I am a homebirth child

The following article by Another Heather is a great story that compares her hospital birth experience:
1) misuse of epidural anesthesia
2) disruption for system and caregiver needs
3) lack of regard for patient choice
4) lack of privacy and need for movement
5) restricted movement and violation to do so
6) wishes disregarded by staff - movement, unwanted stitches
7) baby separated from mother -- Post-partum depression
8) judgemental and suggestive treatment by nursing staff
and her homebirth experience:
1) maternal wish for no drugs respected
2) privacy of own home
3) no artificially ruptured membranes
4) freedom of movement
5) no monitoring
6) water for pain relief
7) totally present and aware during birth
8) baby and mother not separated
9) mother released placenta
10) baby care done in mother's arms AFTER bonding and attachment
11) no strange germs
12) at home in own bed with supportive help
Heather's story highlights aspects of hospital birth that make it unsafe and traumatizing and the aspects of homebirth that make it safe . And, some wonder why women want a homebirth? The comparison shows us how the unnecessary harm to the birthing baby and his or her relationship with his mother could be changed in a heart beat by those who care for birthing mothers and babies. Thanks for sharing, Heather.
I am a homebirth child.

Posted by Heather on August 10, 2006, 1:42 am205.188.116.9 on and posted here with permission.

Twenty-six years ago, I was born at home with a DEM. It was powerful and beautiful, and I have heard my wonderful birth story over and over for years. My mom still sings praises to God that she did not go into a hospital, which at the time was barbaric...episiotomies for everyone, shaved, lithotomy position. BLECH. My mom especially was against the spanking of the child at their birth. My mom's water broke in the late pm on April 21st. She went on with her sleep, spent the next day shopping with pads to catch amniotic fluid, went into harder labor in the afternoon, and gave birth to me at 1:35 am April 23rd. Her water had broken over 24 hours prior and no one worried about infection. She wasn't slit open to give birth. She was able to labor freely with no machines. They had lit candles and soft music with lowered lights. As I came into the world, the birth party, yes more than just two accompanying visitors, were celebrating with praises to God and prayers dedicating me to God. There was a cord wrapped around my neck, but it was unwrapped by the midwife. I didn't breathe for a whole minute, but again, massage stimulated me to breathe. No one insisted on having lights shining on her vagina. It wasn't necessary and I'm sure was appreciated by me as I came into the world for the first time. I can't imagine that is anything less than traumatic to a baby... She said in that minute of 'not breathing' I looked around the room at each person, looked at her and smiled, then started breathing. It must have been awesome.

Four years ago, I gave birth to my first child in a Navy hospital while active duty. They don't give you a choice unless you go unassisted, and I'm sure they would take you to Captain's Mast for going against their protocol. I had a 'great' birth as opposed to the horror stories I had heard of the hospital.

My water broke at noon. I had no pains, but wanted to get to the hospital by three so that I wouldn't get stuck in traffic. I got there by three, still no pains. When I laid on the 'bed' for my exam in triage, I felt my first contraction, and it hit the roof. I was seven cms already. I was sent to a room, where I was forced to fill out paperwork while in transition. I had already filled out my admissions three weeks prior to this day. I had HM's (Hospital Corpsman...) coming into my room to tell me to 'cover up' when I was leaning into the headboard to relieve my back labor and my gown happened to split. I told them they needed to find another profession, they were going to see a lot more than that in a bit. I was being hassled by medical 'professionals' about laying on my back still so they could pick up the FHT's on the EFM's the entire labor. They would physically push me onto the bed and hold me there. One woman...I have no clue what her title was 'professionally'... was saying to me, "it's only going to get worse, honey. You should expect 14 more hours of this". In hindsight, I should have kicked her out of my room since I was already at 7cms when I came in! What is wrong with people? So I took the epidural they had been shoving in my face the entire time (which at that time had only been four hours, but it is enough to drive you batty when you are so close to giving birth). One hour later, I was pushing my baby out in a fifteen minute session. I was in labor (counting the three hours of no pain that my water had broken) for 8 hours. It was ridiculous. I had a skid mark that I didn't want fixed since it was just a scrape, but they insisted on giving me stitches. My baby had to sit across the room from me for TWO hours for no reason but to 'warm him'. I ached for him, I deserved him, but I couldn't have him when there was NOTHING wrong with him? The three days spent in the hospital, I was being constantly criticized by staff coming in to tell me that 'I can't hold my baby in my bed while I nurse him'... Maybe if I thought THAT was a 'normal' way to bring a life into the world, I would be okay with it. I was raised to believe it could be miraculous and special and a challenge to overcome and bond with your baby through....a challenge that would be met at the end with a loving embrace of mother and child clinging together saying 'We did it!'. This birth led to postpartum depression, the termination of breast feeding at 3 weeks, resentment and anger at my child and myself (for allowing the staff to control my labor), and my bonds with my child were so ruptured that I didn't feel it completely mended until he was 3 1/2 years old...six months ago. I knew I had been robbed from the beginning... So when I got out of the Navy, I exercised my rights as a civilian woman and allowed myself the birth that any child and mother deserve.

Two years ago I got to experience that birth when welcoming my daughter into the world...and it changed my life forever. As soon as I found out I was pregnant again, I looked into homebirthing midwives. At the time, it was because of fear of my hospital situation that inspired me to look into her. I found a DEM paid in full by the military.

I started having contractions at midnight and went to sleep. I woke up around 6:30 am with contractions that were keeping me awake. So I started timing them. They were five minutes apart for 60-90 seconds long all day long. I would stop every once in a while and just do some activity like laundry, something with my son, playing Addiction Solitaire on the computer, etc. But during all the times I timed them, they were the same until 6pm when I didn't time them again until 10:30pm. I went for a walk, I took a shower, I hopped into bed, and I realized for the first time that they were MUCH stronger. So I timed them again at 10:30pm and they were coming now at 10 minutes apart and lasting about the same...60-90 secs long. I was thinking that was weird. I called my midwife. She sat on the phone with me until 11pm joking through contractions. I finally said I would like her to come just in case but I really thought the baby wouldn't come that day.

So at around 11:30 she left for my house. I woke up Jason, got the birthing tub started (we were planning on a water baby), and helped myself through contractions over the glider ottoman, over the side of the couch, over any headboard I wanted to without anyone saying anything to me. No machines tying me down, no papers to fill out, just me and my birth. What luxury! I hated the tub, once I got in, so I didn't use it. Instead of the tub, I thought shower would feel glorious on my lower back. I got in and stayed in until there was no more hot water. As soon as I got out, I sat on the toilet thinking I had a BM. I really thought for sure there was no way I could be ready to push yet since I hadn't even experienced 'excruciating pain' like with Kyler. I now know that most of that was the environment I was in. So, I held my baby back for twenty minutes waiting for the DEM. I was so programmed by the medical community from my past birth to be questioning such a natural thing as pushing. Looking back, I think it's pretty pathetic that most women do believe that their birth has to be monitored from start to finish and they need an exam before pushing. When my DEM arrived, she said 'why did you wait for me?' I relaxed and allowed my body to push and found I didn't even have to push at all. My water broke as I relaxed to allow myself to open up. My daughter joined us in 2 mins flat.

I gave birth on all fours and got to watch myself in the mirror of my headboard. It was the most empowering moment of my life. I feel as if that one moment, God was touching me and I was an Active role in a miracle. Now I know what my mom felt when I was born and why our birth was so much more special. I held my daughter immediately for an hour before I passed her to my husband so I could shower. I was able to keep her on my chest as I pushed the placenta out, and for about 45 minutes we were attached still. What a nice, gradual way to come into the world! It's making me teary eyed just thinking about it. The newborn exam was done on my lap and 2 hours after birth. We slept in our own bed with no one coming in to tell me I couldn't nurse her there. We are still nursing to this day. I never had depression just an ecstasy for life. She still fills my life and days with joy, and I think back on her birth OFTEN. I wish I could remember one good thing besides having a healthy baby out of that first birth. I wish I would have been able to have with my firstborn that feeling of being changed forever and transformed into a Mother in tune with herself and in tune with her child... the way I was with my second born. At least I got my ROCKING birth, and I have been able to reconnect with my son after our rocky start.

Unless medically necessary, I will never be in another hospital for a birth. Since that experience, I have done my share of research including visiting sites like this one which tells a different bias than my own. I know that at least at a homebirth, the only intervention applied to me will be one that truly was medically necessary and not in vain. I am not making these new decisions out of fear. I'm glad to be planning another homebirth as I'm writing this.

I'm due in March, and I will be more than willing to share with you all my birth story when this baby is born. Thanks for listening to my birth stories and my views. I have really enjoyed reading all of your posts.



good year

Housefairy said...

What a similar story to my own birth experiences, the horrible rude bizarre "Customs" in the hospital, versus the kindness and lack of trauma (to say the least!) at home. Blessings on you, use this glorious life affirming event to help you in all aspects of your life!

"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