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

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith -- a maternal mortality statistic?

Anna Nicole Smith died five months after her cesarean surgery. Drug over-dose? Post-partum depression? Infection?

See the video showing her surgical birth of her daughter at

She said she went to the hospital with headaches and pain and was put on monitors and told she was in labor. She says the doctors said her baby was too big and they'd have to do a cesarean section. THIS is what is becoming near criminal in this country.

In her post-partum interview she discusses the pain and experience that she says now looks like a horror show. She says she thought she was dying. "My insides were being ripped out." She describes a tug o' war between Jesus God and the Devil pulling her insides apart. Interesting metaphor? Viewers later posted on You Tube that Anna Nicole was over dramatic as usual. MAYBE NOT. She was hospitalized in the early months for pnuemonia.

So, EVEN if she died of a lethal drug overdose, will her death be investigated or listed as maternal death to rule out complications due to cesarean surgery?

Such tragic lives.

From a poster on You Tube, BirthActivist in November, 2006:

If you think a cesarean is "just another way to have a baby", think again. She's not unique -- women aren't "allowed" to talk about these birth experiences so we don't hear about it -- they are labeled ungrateful and whiners and mentally ill so they suck it up and pretend its all ok. At least she was honest about what it was like to be gutted. Everyone is thrilled with a healthy baby but that doesn't change what happened to her or the baby. If you have a cesarean, this could be you, even if you had a "wonderful" experience the last time. This is NOT birth, this is major surgery with inadequate anesthesia. It isn't beautiful, it is a horror movie. Think about Anna Nicole and her "womb busting" 6# baby when your OB says you have to have surgery or you and your baby will die. *Nobody* deserves to be tortured like that and then have it minimized.

I would add, and no one deserves to die from going into the hospital healthy and in normal labor and deceived into surgical birth. And, nor does the baby deserve to be left motherless because of whatever lame reason the doctor had to get the birth done and be on his way.


Heather B. said...

I really cannot imagine that a woman with as many problems as Anna Nichole had being helped at all by having had an unwanted C-section, having that traumatic birth experience, and possibly following all of it up with PTSD and PPD. You are right. Her birth experience could very well have contributed to her death. The official cause of death may be drug overdose, but her C-section may have caused PPD/PTSD and have resulted in her OD.

Housefairy said...

I wholeheartedly agree that this is a Maternal Death situation.

I despise how quickly people think us mothers are no longer "post partum" after 6 or something weeks, when, especially in c sections, for many of us, every waking moment of many many MONTHS after surgery we are in constant awareness, dealing with, working through, the after effects of this devastating major surgery.
I remember being invited to roller skate when my baby was about 13 weeks old. To me, it was instantly a "no"---I still was wincing and getting around quite slowly, and EVERYONE outside of my husband was absolutley astonished when I said that I couldnt go, that I was waaaaay too soon out of surgery, etc.

Post partum is a long time, a year to me, solid, sorry to ramble but yes I agree about poor Anna.

Herry jonson said...

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"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