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 05, 2007

Not exactly gone ....

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

- R.Buckminister Fuller

My intention by starting this blog was to provide an opportunity for people to have a true dialog and sharing about the very real concern of safety in hospital birth and high neonatal and infant mortality rates, and in particular to give women searching about homebirth a place to find honest information.

Hospital birth is not safe for the baby as long as there are routine protocols and standards of care that allow practices that have never been shown to be safe. Birth in the hospital in the US is not safEST as long as the care is dictated by doctor and womens' convenience needs and avoidance of pain and litigation.

To clarify, I am not leaving, just turning it over to Heather, with the hope that it grows into a circle of women and men contributing to making birth safest, where ever a woman chooses to give birth. Like I say, Its the Baby's birth! I am a little disappointed in the lack of dialog around the topic of what makes birth unsafe in the hospital and how to create safety. I am also aware of my intensity at this time -- in my posts -- and I always have too much to say. KISS (keep it simple sista) is my seemingly impossible goal, but Heather is great at that. I believe Heather is better at the helm to engage a focused, respectful discussion blog. I love to support younger women, especially these powerful young women who KNOW their bodies and not to blindly trust the medical machine - I'll be in the background. 

I am just needing to get back to my work. I have "been in the cave" since May dealing with my son's deployment to Iraq and processing every aspect of what that brings up for a mother and the family for whom the mother has to continue to care. I have known this was his soul's journey -- to be an officer and make the world a better place -- for twelve years, six of them as he prepared to be an officer and three of those as a war raged on. But the reality of it is nothing has prepared me for experiencing war as a soldier's mother. I have minimized my contact with babies because of my emotions, and I spent the time self-care and processing. I have written a lot about the impact of birth on the mother and child relationship, about safety, drugs, and the military-like obstetric training. October, November and December were some of the hardest days of my fifty years. This blog allowed me the opportunity to channel some of my energy - hopefully for good - as did the Safe Baby Resolution I co-wrote for Hawaii in August and September.

You might have noticed my weaving of military and obstetrics in posts (and processing)-- something I have looked at for a long time. But recently it was in my face, so to speak. Nothing prepares one to send their baby to war and I have found that for a mother is it is differently heartbreaking. I totally, honestly believe that modern obstetrics is creating a warrior brain and that we can bring peace to our homes, country, and world by treating the birthing baby with the most gentle and conscious touch and care. My son is the kindest, funniest, most compassionate human being -- truly, a leader. As I dedicated a post to him a few weeks ago ("There is hope!"), I said his prenatal and infancy were loving and gentle and his birth was brutal even while nowhere near what so many of our babies experience. It wasn't my conscious choice at the time, but I know now that this rough and brutal treatment is how native cultures created their warriors. I realized in the writing of that dedication how it is that my son is a gentle warrior. A Viet Nam vet who was a conscientious objector while there and didn't carry a rifle said that the greatest soldiers (warriors) are also against war. That was comforting.

The conception, prenatal, labor and birth experiences of mom and baby create neural wiring and signature hormones cocktails for both that will be lived throughout life unless healed. Being separated from my child because of this "life threatening"
situation brought up many old wounds to be healed. I choose every moment to be in charge of my life and sometimes I am and sometimes not. Amy Tuteur's blatant disregard for women in general, but in birth, and her banning of me and others who simply care so much about the care of women and babies, at this particular time was, for me, a disregarding of our freedom of speech. And, this was at the very moment my baby was being taken away from me and possibly sacrificing his life for her freedom to blog. Yeah, it is that personal -- when it is your own flesh and blood doing the sacrificing of their life and limb for own freedoms and way of life. And, DO NOT drive by me in a shiny red Hummer, chattering on your cell phone -- the expression of the epitome of the glut and consumerism that drives part of the reason we are war. My son is protecting my freedom to express that opinion!! See why Heather needs to take over!?!?

I hope my rage (rage always comes from violation) at the treatment of women and homebirth by Amy and other faces who make these decisions and control politics that disempower us women and our babies was and is channeled respectfully and appropriately. I wish Dr. Amy peace and resolution for her own woundings

Menopause is when a woman must claim her own life, voice, and wisdom as her own. A woman's body demands the righting of wrongs within -- that's my definition of menopause. Like everything else, it's an "inside job." I fully appreciate that this has been a forum that supported me to do some more of my own work, and my hope and wish is that it also supports others in every way possible.

Tip: Live your life well and consciously in your maiden and mother years, so you have less to deal with as you become a wise woman. Menopause is when you get to deal with your stuff you didn't. Our experience as a birthing woman is big during this time. Treat yourself and others how you want to be treated, do your work, and you likely won't have symptoms (of denying yourself and who you are as a woman) and you won't need medicalized control of your transition -- just as you don't need it to birth your precious baby!! 

I am grateful Amy banned me, so I wasn't tempted to engage at her level, and it was so much easier to follow my wisdom and address my triggered wounds with my own forum. Speaking of speaking of birth, it is impossible to engage in discussing birth without experiencing our own wounds. Wounded women/people, dedicated to their causes and beliefs, keep trying to convince the unconvincable -- to be seen, acknowledged, and respected, and to gain what they lost in and to the medical machine. Ain't gonna happen with Dr. Amy, folks. Amy surely is the representation of an unyielding, abusive patriarchal system that controls and harms women and their babies. We all have within us the ability to move on, and through it with grace and dignity, and to work collectively and harmoniously towards creating safety and empowerment for women and babies in birth. We can follow Henci Goer's example. Don't engage with Amy Tuteur. Don't feed her ego's need to avoid dealing with her self and how she has mistreated and miscared for women and babies. Instead just continue the good work towards improving the beginning of life for the 99% of our babies who are born in hospitals.

Participate here and let this blog grow into a discussion that no longer centers on Amy, the doctor, as the center of attention. Don't fight with Amy or any doctor, but rather focus on how to make birth safe. Period. Where ever it is. If you don't want to go the hospital to give birth, then don't go to her blog to argue about one piece of research done with the best of intentions and best available information. Lord o' mercy -- there is no way to get a good control group when looking at a percentage of the 1% of the population of anything. Jeesh. 

The research does prove that we certainly can take from this study she is shredding - like she's a rat terrier on a dried up bone - that homebirth is NOT dangerous. More importantly is that we need to look further at how birth in the hospital is dangerous, and how homebirth or another system is needed. This is what the research has shown us for decades and now it begins to confirm the consequences of induction, narcotics, and surgical birth. Creating a new way is the purpose of this blog, it's title merely born out of the need to provide an alternative to controlling, malicious, and violating treatment of women --- same reason we support natural and homebirth. 

This blog was heartfully created for the women, for the babies, and for those who protect our freedoms so that one day soon all of us who care about the sanctity of life, the newborn, and a woman's right to her body to extend to her choices about her baby's birth -- so that someday soon we can all come together in this democratic society to create new national policies. This blog was not created for women (in particular) to war with one another, but to love, honor, and support one another. Its the baby's, after all. A baby is a new soul coming into our world. We don't need a scientific study with control group to tell us logically and scientifically, and heartfully, that a human being is best birthed in a peaceful, harmonious, private, drug-free, violence-free, stranger-free, germ-free environment where the mother is empowered by her decision-making, and by the love, support, and protection of those with her.

So, remember .... "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - R.Buckminister Fuller 

That's what I am working on here, there, and everywhere ... and in honoring my gentle warrior son's soul purpose and his life work to make the world a better place from within the military system, I am getting on with mine (also, as a gentle warrior), to build a system to birth gentle, confident, loving, yet powerful and conscious human beings. God, I love that soul named Laszlo Joe -- one of my greatest teachers.

Two weeks ago, I made a big turn in my processing and accepting of my son's deployment, in part due to a newspaper article that was written about my daughter's winning story about his departure. You can read it in the Columbia Missourian, the University of Missouri School of Journalism newspaper. Please check it out and read her story or listen to her reading it at:
I also allowed my self to feel angry at my son even though the fear of his dying while I was angry was terrifying for those five minutes -- even though I know the emotion isn't gone just because we deny it. I am reminded of how unhealthy it is to hold the pain and fear inside. I can't tell you how much anguish, maybe for generations in my lineage of women wounded in birth and sending a son to war, were in that moment. I discovered the power of essential oils, Clary Sage and Geranium, for supporting mother emotions and hormones. Every mother you meet whose baby is in the war is a struggling, fragile sister in need of nurturing and support. I also was also finally able to get to a military family support group -- funny how when we need it the most, it's hardest to get there, eh? Through the stages of grief -- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Acceptance, we mothers go throughout our lifetime with our baby. And, so it is, my son is in Iraq.....acceptance and some peace for a moment or two ...

My life must now go on -- and, that includes getting busy with two of my five or so projects. 

1) The opening of the Hawaii legislature in a few weeks where we will be proposing the Safe Baby Resolution in this legislative session.

2) Baby Keepers (copyrighted), a training program for doulas and midwives, and hopefully eventually nurses and doctors I am developing. 

In closing, please, if you know of a family with a member in the military, especially if they are deployed to the middle east, reach out to them, especially to the children. Know that their parent is emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially struggling while going through the hardest thing they've ever done. Our society needs to care for the children of our troops.

In the healing work I do the one thing we know mothers need most in every phase of mothering -- preconception through adulthood -- is loving support. Rather than gossip, taunt, betray, and judge one another, we women, in particular, must begin to support, love, and hold one another. 

Blessings to each and all ... and may harmony guide you in creating what you wantt!


1 comment:

Another Mummy said...

I think the reason why there's not really been much discussion is because it's hard to discuss when all you have to say is "I agree" :o)

You've written some heartfelt, thought provoking, interesting posts. And I'd like to thank you for being the one on ukmidwifery who introduced me to Amy Tuteur. Trainwrecky though her site is, it's really opened my eyes to why doctors think and act the way the do and why it's so important that we try and move towards the midwifery model when it comes to caring for women and their babies, saving the docs for those moments when they are genuinely needed.

Be well.

"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