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 15, 2007

Newborns at birth -- A picture paints a 1000 words

IF people will only really look .... so, I have added another thousand words to point out the experience of birth for the baby and how it is logical and scientific that the baby's brain remembers the experience. The first Mom and baby were a “normal, uncomplicated” planned cesearean section birth. C-section was “maternal chose” and "planned" within two days because the baby was breech. The second mom and baby gave birth at home with HomeFirst staff in Chicago.

The obstetrician for the first mother was the only provider in an HMO serving a major bank corporation in Phoenix, Arizona. No other options were discussed for the breech presentation. Not one known technique for turning a breech baby was offered to the mother.

Look at the pictures with new eyes -- eyes for the experience of the birthing baby whose brain IS RECORDING every second of life. Who can determine the definitive time in an infant’s or child’s life when one starts to remember? Can you really dare to look at these pictures and really see the pain of this baby as the neonatalogist (big musclely arms) holds him high in the air? There is a bit of smile in the doctor’s eyes? How can this be? Does he not see the terror and anguish of this child as he is held high in a cold, noisy, bright surgical suite? I notice this a lot -- a thrashing, crying baby and parents and caregivers smiling. Can you dare to really see it and feel it yourself?

Do you really think this baby has no emotional response to this birth and can’t remember, while you looking at them will have an emotional response?? Does the doctor not think about what this baby’s only need--to be in his mother’s arms? Why does the scientific medical community not remember that the amgydala of the brain is the part of the brain that is “online” in this moment, and that we know scientifically that this baby’s brain is organizing memory around this experience?

Can anyone determine the definitive time in an infant’s or child’s life when one starts to remember? Does your newborn not remember the joy and love of her birth or early infancy or toddlerhood -- if not, why bother? Can you really dare to look at these pictures and really see the pain of this baby as the physician holds him high in the air? There is a bit of smile in the doctor’s eyes? How can this be? Does he not see the terror and anguish of this child as he is held high in a cold, noisy, bright surgical suite? Can you dare to really see it and feel it yourself?

Do you really think this baby has no emotional response to this birth and can’t remember the experience even though he has not yet put words to experience? Even though, while you looking at them you will have an emotional response and the words? He has only his body and cries to communicate. Society does not listen. Does the doctor not think about what this baby’s only need--to be in his mother’s arms?

For weeks and months before his birth this baby’s mom and dad were likely singing and playing music to him as many parents now do. Why is it that most of us in our society easily accept that babies will somehow selectively “remember” these joyful and loving womb experiences; but not the painful and terrifying? How can a reputable teacher, psychologist, nurse, or physician say that this child will not ALSO remember this obviously horrific birth experience and the experience of being separated from his mother?

Look at the ointment in the baby’s eyes as he lies in the bassinet. Any adult who has had surgery can attest to the emotion ranging from panic, to fear, to terror this creates. This newborn has not yet been held by his mother -- the one whose voice he knows as himself. They will not get to gaze in each other’s eyes; nor will he for several days now, because of the ointment. The immediate eye contact at birth is nature’s way of triggering a cascade of hormones that will facilitate nursing and bonding. Instead of being in his mother's arms and experiencing her touch that is loving as only a mother's can be, he is alone in a bassinet while his mother is being cared for on another floor. He has been scrubbed, weighed, his spine stretched to measure his height, and he has been given shots....all without warning and permission, and all within moments of his new experience of life outside the womb, all under bright lights with strangers in a noisy room. His senses are bombarded. He has experienced "torture" before he has been with his mother. She is medicated, unable to fully feel. His father, who in any other situation, would be a protective lion father, has been rendered powerless by the medical enviornment. He did manage to throw a fit to have his son reunited with his mother who was on the regular surgical recovery floor because there was no room in labor and delivery (and it was planned. Isn't that like having a reservation and not getting to go in?)

Imagine this as your first experience of the world. How does a society do this to it's young without the acknowledgement of the long term effects. How could we not see modern medical birth as the source of children's medical, social, and psychological dynamics? This little boy was literally terrified to be with anyone but his mother, father, and grandparents -- all the way up until early elementary years. Leaving his mother to go into a new enviornment FEELS like the first experience with her because it was the first exeprience and everything else is "filtered" through that experience.

It is scientifically known that eye contact between mother and baby within minutes and for the first hour of life is absolutely crucial for healthy attachment. Hospitals continue, nonetheless, to put this ointment (not drops that drain away, it is OINTMENT) in a newborns eye before he sees his mother which leads to hormone release in both of them. This is the essential element necessary for him to be able to self-attach to his mother’s breast. Look at the pain on the face of the mother as she looks at her baby. We do not see signs of oxytocin and endorphins in the relationship between mother and baby. This baby was unable to let his mother out of his sight for the first four years of his life, even with grandparents and aunts and uncles. He is five years old now, and as is often the case with children born by c-section, he is extremely active and verbally articulate.

Tell me again that birth doesn’t create the earliest experience in our physical lives and that babies don’t remember. And, I’ll say, LOOK at the pictures again. Look at your own, your children’s, your grandchildren’s with new eyes.

Look at the ones below of a mom and baby who birthed at home with HomeFirst in Chicago. Mother said the first picture was taken minutes before the birth. Not exactly our America television drama and trauma birth, eh? Her legs aren't being forced up to her ears into the worst possible position, there is not an emergency team of medical people scrambling around telling her what to do and how to do it -- "PUSH.. PUUUUSH! PUUUSSH... PUUUSSH." (Is it any wonder we have the problems we do with children pushing, pushing, pushing every boundry at home, school, and in society?)

This baby was first touched by his mom and did the self-attachment sequence described on this site. Mother's first touch is critical because it is loving and gentle -- no one can touch a baby like a mother or father does. Self-attaching at the breast completes a biologically programmed completion in the baby's brain.

As for the end of D-----s birth... I think about it all the time, because it was so awesome. It gives me chills every time and warm fuzzies...which sound like opposites, but you know they are not!

He started pushing his head out of me while I was on my side, so he instigated the pushing process. I quickly turned over and told the nurse I had to push right then. (as he was already coming out on his own!) Once I started pushing, his head came out on the first contraction. Everyone was so excited! The nurse asked if my contraction was done and I said yes, so she said to stop pushing... one of my prayer requests had been that I would have the self-control to stop pushing between contractions during D-----'s birth, b/c during M---s' I did not have that control. I did stop pushing... relaxed for a moment... and HERE IS THE BEST PART... I reached down and touched his head! Oooh! That is the part I keep running over and over in my mind. I cannot ever express the immensity of feelings that welled up in me at that moment. We were still together, one unit, and yet I was touching him.... it was INCREDIBLE. It felt like minutes, but I'm told it was probably less than 30 seconds, and the next contraction came on. His torso came out. The nurse stopped him for just a second to push down the umbilical cord, and then a tiny push sent out his big old feet. :) (My boys DO have big feet. And they stink from day one. What can I say? Testosterone.)

So that was the pushing process. The nurse instantly scooped him up upon his exit from the womb and laid him on my tummy. Oh so cute! We just lay there together after that, and I just watched him. My sister wanted me to get him latched on to my breast, but I remembered on your website something about letting a newborn find the breast on their own. So I opted to wait for him. I don't know how long we laid there, probably 10-15 minutes or so,and then he started wriggling and rooting. He wriggled and rooted all the way up to my nipple, all on his own. And he nursed! And that was that! I was elated that he had found it himself... and a bit surprised

1 comment:

Gena said...

Amazing! I really like your blog. Thanks for all the terrific info.

"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