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, February 09, 2007

"Natural causes" (of death, but not birth?)

Sooner or later a famous actress, our representatives for what is normal and acceptable, was going to die from complications of her baby's birth by cesarean surgery, or within the year. Apparently, Anna Nicole has not been healthy since her daughter's birth five months ago. I am curious to watch and see if there is any connection of her death by "natural causes" to the major abdominal surgery she had without adequate pain relief and ongoing infections. It happens frequently to non-famous people -- we just don't hear about it, or the cause of death is mysteriously not connected to recent abdominal surgery.

The first press conference regarding Anna Nicole Smith's death reveals no illegal medications and no excess of prescription drugs. Blood in the stomach indicates she experienced shock shortly before her death. She was known to be ill for several days and had a private care nurse caring for her. The coroner indicates it will be three to 5 weeks before the test results show the cause of death, but he said it could be a combination of medication and "natural causes."

Interestingly, there is long,ugly "debate" going on over on denying that birth is natural. I did a post last month about my perspective --- that birth is a natural process. Even when disrupted with induction, drugs, interventions, and surgery birth is simply and inherently (to use the blogger's favorite words) a natural process. It just becomes a disrupted natural process. Like death often is. It's a natural process often involving extensive to no disruptions.

So, interesting to hear the coroner to say Anna Nicole's death likely a combination of "natural causes" and other (like drug combinations - like her son's cause of death.) What would "natural causes" be for a young woman like Anna (39 is young to me!) ... a post-surgery birth, numerous infections since. Hmm Let me think about that. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Women frequently have unresolved or episodal infections long after the cesarean section scar seems to have healed. Women report periodic pain and drainage sometimes years later. Anna Nicole is a woman who has abused her body with many drugs including diet pills for which she is a spokeswoman. Perhaps, she is not the healthiest woman. She, like most Hollywood folks, and too many average folks, depend upon an arsenol of drugs to deal with emotional and psychological pain.

Let's hope that Anna Nicole and her son's deaths will open the door a bit to look at the dangers of mulitple drugs for basically physically healthy people with moderate to severe depression, stressful lives, and tragic woundings and surgical birth. When the medical profession speaks of death they often rely upon "Natural Causes" as the explanation. How could it be "natural causes" for young woman whose son just died days after a brutal cesarean birth, and several hospitalizations for infections to suddenly die herself??

Beyond all that, how is it that one doctor can rag for months about birth not being natural, and yet the medical profession speaks of death as natural. Dying as a result of a myriad of encounters with medicine -- drugs and surgery -- and death is still the result of a "natural cause?"

So, let me get this straight -- "Birth is simply not a natural process" (even though there might be medical interventions) but Death IS a natural process (even when it is with drugs and surgery and interventions?)

Things that make me go, "Hhhhmmmm."

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