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, February 20, 2007

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

There’s an open secret in medicine: Patients lie. They lie about how much they smoke and whether they’re taking their medicine. They understate how much they drink and overstate how much they exercise. They feign symptoms to get appointments quicker and ask doctors to hide the truth from insurance companies.“Doctors have a rule of thumb. Whatever the patient says they’re drinking, multiply it by three,” said Dr. Bruce Rowe, a family doctor in suburban Milwaukee. “If they say two drinks a day, assume they have six.”


"There's an open secret in medicine". That caught my attention ... sounds like Clinton, obstetric, and scientific double-talk to me. An open secret would be known deception, if you ask me. And then the deceivER is calling the others liar. Do people reeeeeally lie? Is denial and self-deception really out and out lying? Who gets hurt the most when one lies to one's self. If patients lie about certain private information (as the story shares), can we say then that doctors out and out lie to us? Is that really lying? Or, just denial. Self-reporting is always likely to be exaggerated or minimized to fit the "norm." "Baby looks fine."

On the other hand, the use of cocaine and cigarettes are almost certainly major contributors to adverse neurobehavioral outcomes. But your proposed study will probably not work because you have no objective way of determining fetal exposure. Numerous studies have shown that self-reportage of use is unreliable and you need to have objective measures to verify the incidence and degree of cocaine and cigarette use.

-- personal communication from a researcher regarding my research proposal for evaluating the long-term effects of drugs during labor and birth by following babies' development comparing non-medicated and medicated birth. Recently, discuss sing the study that found high incidence of brain hemorrhaging in vaginal born babies, I suggested it would be a good study to assess and compare babies born at home without drugs and interventions to those in hospitals with drugs, mother supine, and interventions. This was my research proposal -- and he indicated that it would be impossible to look at the effects of drugs used at birth because women will under-report their prenatal drug exposure. So, then, just don't look at drugs at birth? When the majority of pregnant women will be adamant about no drugs during pregnancy, but believe doctors who say epidural anesthesia won't affect their baby. Did the researcher shoot me down because he didn't believe drugs at birth were a problem (as his communication did say) or was he just lying? Does he have a vested interest in not "rocking the boat" with medicine and big Pharm?

A lot of studies, I notice, make very sweeping claims like "Patients lie to doctors." Is lying actually the best word to use to describe the relationship between doctor and patient; medical profession and society? We could get into one of my favorite discussions about the dynamics of power -- and how it is in the medical system that one has to be very vigilant and self-protective. Every patient, especially pregnant women, cancer patients, and the elderly need an advocate with them all times. Most of the people I know feel the bigger problem is the inability to give or get adequate, accurate information from the physician.

As for self reports, having worked in drug treatment, I am aware of under- and mis-reporting of drug and alcohol use. However, the women I know who chose to have a homebirth do so very often in order to ensure they don't have drugs. It seems odd to me that women who are so intent on being drug-free during labor and birth would be women who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and use any prescription or illegal drugs during the prenatal development. Most of them that I have known endure many painful injuries, ailments, and common colds, etc without any medications whatsoever.

I wonder what pregnant women "lie" about to their obstetricians. I was physically abused in the eighth month of my pregnancy and had a black eye. My obstetrician never even acknowledged it. My doting medical-student husband (later to become an OB) was there. And, do physicians ever deny, collaborate with lying to protect themselves (emotionally, mentally, financially) and each other? Or, to us? Like tell a woman -- sometimes in the first visits -- that her pelvis is to big or later that baby is too big (like Ann Nicole) to have to induce when the truth is s/he is managing her schedule?

If pregnant women deny their drug usage, how can doctors take into consideration the previous drug history of a woman if they don't know it? (By the way, isn't zero time three still zero?) What is the consideration for a laboring woman AND the laboring baby whose mother has know drug usage prenatally? Are there precise, science-based protocols for determing the "safe" dosage for mother, while keeping it "safe" for the baby (IF any drugs were ever shown to be safe, that is)? For example, if one watches Anna Nicole's Cesarean video, she clearly was not fully anesthetized. Was this because of her history of addiction (per reports of methadone during pregnancy) and her tolerance for drugs, so that a "normal" dose didn't work? Is she a liar or a drug addict? Which came first the liar or the addict? Is medicine, psychology, and religion to continue to deny/lie about the importance of prenatal, labor, and birth to the developing brain and body?

I think the medical profession should stop lying to themselves and to us about the promotion of epidural as safe and "natural" and all of the evidence-based science that clearly shows what is true. Maternal choice for inducing, epidural, or planned cesarean ain't the truth -- every time the doctor maneuvers a woman into "choosing" these interventions, there's a lotta lyin' goin' on. Both sides, baby.

Next time you go to the doctor, sit him or her down and tell the truth. See where it gets you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still think that if you sat your doctor down and asked "Please tell me the whole truth and nothing but the truth" that he still won't tell you the truth.

"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