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, March 15, 2007

The reason they disrupt mothers in labor and panic when baby is born

Rachael said...
The thing about animals is, you can yell at them to push until you're blue in the face, and they're going to have no clue what the heck you're saying. They push on their own, when their bodies tell them to. I've worked with animals long enough to know that they are best left alone when in labor. Some like you to be around (especially some cats) for comfort, but that's it. They are almost always fine, for the most part. And that's the thing about nature- often when we jump in and assist, or resuscitate a puppy who would die otherwise, it often has numerous problems later, if it survives at all. The mother knows when to interfere, and when to leave it alone.

At the clinic I work at, we rarely need to interfere with a laboring animal. When we do, it's for good reason, like a c-section on a dog who had a deformed pelvis from a severe fracture the year before. We've also done c-sections for many small-breed dogs, who truly had a pelvis that was too small for their babies. Thing is, even that is often from human interference. So much selective breeding has gone on for decades, to get a dog with certain "attributes" specific to whatever breed it is- they are a far cry from what nature intended. I think some people can't accept the notion that things may actually still be okay if they relinquish just a little bit of the control they feel the need to have. It's an issue of a person's perception of their self-importance not being in sync with what's REALLY important in any given situation. But what did you expect from a doctor- especially an ER doctor? They are used to the idea that the lives around them depend on THEM, nevermind if they really do.

Hi, Rachel ---

Thanks for your recent posts and great contribution to the subject. So, YOU actually DO get to see a lot of natural birth. Nice. Very nice.

"I think some people can't accept the notion that things may actually still be okay if they relinquish just a little bit of the control they feel the need to have."

Absolutely. Michel Odent has written about this and it is well known within the pre and perinatal psych and trauma healing field, that at a birth of a baby those in the environment will be FEELING, SENSING, NONVERBALLY, SOMATICALLY (in the body) their OWN birth.

MOST of us adults have had the misfortunate of having very medicalized births and in addition to many other disruptions, we have had our umbilical cord clamped and cut immediately -- so we did not have the experience of having OUR placental blood transfer to our lungs to physiologically transition to air breathing being. We were held upside down, shaken, roughly stimulated to breathe, and all without the blood necessary in our lungs to move the fluids out before our first big breath, and so, we STRUGGLED to breath our first breaths. With fluid in the lungs, under bright lights, with strangers treating us roughly. All of our systems were transitioning -- the heart and lungs doing mighty jobs so the other systems can transition into the fine orchestra we are. So, one's own body sensations, panic, fear (and joy and peace) etc comes up watching the struggle of another in birth --- and our modern day llife styles leads most people to being very out of touch with their emotional body. One can be physically active and fit and not be in the emotional body. This takes a breathing practice, mindfulness, yoga, prayer/meditation, movement -- an activity that brings body, mind, and soul together. And, without some sort of practice to re-connect with our breath (because it was disrupted at birth) few people know how to "self-regulate" when they experience emotions.

Often the "struggle" of the birthing baby is just the work of getting here -- especially when mother is left alone. Working to get here is ok -- it is part of the process and it is imprinted on the brain so that it becomes part of the personality of the human. It is the template for how they carry out living. How one intends, initiates, moves through, completes, and integrate every experience of life will be a reflection of their birth. These are the five stages of birth that form one sequence -- from the work of Emerson and Castellino. Where one is disruptied in labor and birth in one of these five is where one has an "issue" as our modern psychology would refer it to. I spoke of forceps dynamics earlier this week. A person born with forceps by the timing and force of someone else will have "issues" with completing tasks. Resisting help, procrastination, needing help, resisting the help until someone gets frustrated enough to just do it -- usually the person himself and someone important in his life. Epidural administed during any one of these stages interferes with that stage's need. Whatever one experienced in their own birth is going to be hard to watch and experience without taking some sort of action. A doctor who tells many women in the first visits, "My concern is a big baby" -- I would bet money, lots of it, that he was "a big baby" when he was born -- the baby hears, senses, and feels everything that is said. Note to self: "Must grow up to be obstetrician and never let a big baby go through what I did."

The observer has no other way but to see birth through the lens of their own experience -- if that person does not recognize that their birth had value or a lasting imprint and if that person has therefore not acknowledged a key aspect of who s/he is, she will not be aware of the baby's needs as the baby's, not his. He will not be able to self-regulate himself. S/he will function unconsciously trying to make head knowledge work in the midst of intense emotions (BODY SENSATIONS). One can learn a lot of neocortex stuff about what birth is and what it looks like and should be, AND then, in the birth of others will ALSO experience in their own sensations. The mind is the master of denial -- the body tells the truth. If the caregiver, observer, pet master really struggled and they were disrupted, their urge will be to do something -- unless they have resolved it within their early brain. Rescuers -- as we know them as adults -- almost always need to be rescued. Humans, even though benevolent beings, always see the world through their body-mind experience. Behavior, even helping behavior serves the self. So, caregivers tend to FEEL and so, will contribute their "stuff" into the baby's experience.

I suspect that if someone where to do the research of looking at the birth of those who become OBs, LD RN, midwives it would be very compelling. Who will do that? ACOG? Big Pharm? Not likely. A couple preparing to give birth ought to ask these questions of their caregivers --- "How was your birth?" "Tell us your birth story.""How have you healed your birth experience?" "How will you deal with me or my baby needing to struggle?"

Mother and Father make three, as the saying goes. Mother's body builds the baby. Her central nervous system organizes her baby's. She is like the main frame computer than programs a program within. (A techno person could do this analogy much better justice than I, but you can get the point.) Every person in the mother's close proximity and her emotional environment (her husband could be in Iraq but still participating in programming the baby) contributes to this baby. Labor and birth are as important -- even if a relatively short period of time compared to ten months. Over and over at doctors, nurses, midwives, and doulas will enter into the dynamic (energy field) of the couple along with other caregivers, family, and friends present and act out their own needs. They all CO-CREATE what happens -- we can see this with physicians and especially see this nurses who will serve more women. One can begin to see a pattern in the births she attends. Especially in a smaller city or town with fewer hospitals -- you know who you don't or do want. Another interesting study would be to go back and look at the births that a nurse attended and identify patterns on her shift.

With one particular nurse I know of from attending a birth where she was the night nurse, we later learned that too many of the births she attended went from healthy mom and baby to cesarean. The couple heard many similiar stories of the "management" of their son's birth. We wondered if nurses like her get "kick-backs" from the attendings for creating the c-section birth. She came in to the room at the night shift change into a quiet, peaceful room and labor moving slowly and steadily. Her entrance was so abrupt that we all felt startled before we saw her or she even said anything. That is energy in action. She was chewing a mouth full of food when she entered and she did this every time she entered the room for the first three hours. Chewing loudly as she came in, swallowing just as she is trying to talk -- to a woman who had not eaten in twelve hours. She thought things were not progressing and called the doctor to get an order to monitor every half hour labor. She verbally denigrated the previous nurse, saying she is often wrong and that "Me and Dr. So-n-so are always in agreement." She said it enough times that the father wondered if they were "an item". Labor went from progressing and from settled into a nice nighttime laboring and dozing to chaos within minutes of her arrival. She did HER vaginal exam and found the mother was not as far along as the other nurse said. The laboring mother had "reverse dilated", I know now because I learned about it the next week at The Farm in a midwifery class. (I often wonder how it is that I learn something like that just after I needed the info and I have come to honor those babies who are my TEACHERS.)

Reverse dilation. Just like with animals a danger in the room will stop the mother from bringing her baby into the world. I believe in that in this case, her body "will do no harm" to the baby. So, "Failure to progress" is man-made. The nurse created NEW fears and panics. Every little question the mother had lead to a long "worst-case" scenerio so that the half of monitoring began to show nothing more than when nurse Fear was in the room. A mother can not labor when she is in her head. She can not go INTO HER BODY and the part of her brain that KNOWS and allows her neocortex to surrender to the body.

The father's attempt to intervene and to get the nurse to speak to her by him putting himself in between them didn't help. She refused to engage with the father. Moved around right up to the mother's face. Finally, when she came in chewing and talking, I was sitting on the opposite side of the bed and I spoke to the mother so she had to look away at me, and said something to the effect, "You know, it seems like your labor gets into a nice pattern about the time she comes into take you off and I see this talking is interrupting you." She was able to speak up to the nurse then. (It was sorta planned!) BUT, the QUESTION is WHY is such a thing -- a doula who does many, many things to support and protect a woman so necessary?? It's a common thing I have found I do -- maybe because I tend to be quiet in birth -- to ask the nurse to "Shhhhhh" by respectful means. Like a woman having a contraction and trying to be polite and listen to the nurse's babysitter story of her five year old. I reach out and touch her and say, "I see you are having a contraction" and we make eye contact so the nurse sometimes stops talking.

So, it was the longest night ever with the nurse's frequent references to how she did Pit and epidural and she did just fine. BUT, the MOTHER wanted natural birth - not the nurse's birth. Sure enough, before the next shift change -- with everyone tired and hungry she wore them down and pit was started in the early morning hours. Sometime around the time of intervening with the nurse, around 2:00 in the morning the nurse was saying she was having "the worse night of her life." I engaged with her and she said, her five month old was screaming and screaming when she left. She didn't have time to eat and was worried. NOoooooo, a mother and baby separated during birth doesn't affect their relationship. Sure. After acknowledging her and her baby, SHE was calmer. I don't get paid enough to counsel the nurses as well, but I do whatever it takes for the baby.

The morning nurse was totally different and the mother was able to regain some confidence, but not before the doctor's early 6 am morning arrival and announcement that "baby is so big" which flippped mother into panic (he'd mentioned it in her first visit that she might be too small and might need a section). Mother panicked and the baby moved, monitor wailed (because baby moved and "lost the heart tones" -- duh! Baby moved), and nurse who had not yet left rammed her hand up her so hard that the bed hit the wall at the same time a stranger, a nurse we presume, yanked the head of the bed down and rammed an oxygen mask on her face. Of course, the mother panicked and fought this -- it's a reflex -- which made them more forceful. Of course, the father froze seeing his wife violated. No where else does he do that. Outside of the hospital, he take on four guys bigger than himself. The baby was not without heart tones -- he flipped when the mother "flipped". Surprise, surprise, he was posterior then. She never regained her composure -- even with the more gentle nurse who I betcha has very few cesaraeans on her watch. Eight hours later, not even 24 hours after membranes ruptured baby is born by Cesarean section for ...drum roll ... "failure to progress." Healthy mother and baby -- because of the doctors' set up for small pelvis, arbitray time frame, disruption by a nurse all night long to monitor on the half hour and projecting her own anxiety and fear. Women who have birthed in this manner don't seem to want other women to succeed. While many discussions are about the natural birthers gloating, I also see this dynamic from nurses promoting medicalized birth.

If it seems to you in your gut somewhere (where you know the truth that your head argues) that people seem to know on some level that what they are doing IS creating this disruption or worst-case scenerio, you are right. But, before you get angry at them, we all do it. We are all walking around unconscious much of the time. We all go on auto-pilot to do our day-to-day work and to drive. They just happen to have the most important job on the planet -- caring for a birthing baby and mother -- but haven't healed their own birthing experience in their brain. They are not necessariliy aware of it as in consciously planning to section every woman, (God, I hope not), but there is an early experience, their own birth, that overrides their conscious mind and they act out their own birth trauma.

Odent speaks of this in "Primal Health" and and LeBoyer speaks of it in "Birth without violence".


stockingup99 said...;_ylt=Aq.Bttjhjf5jEWyALjddHsu9j7AB

TB exposure in NY at the hospital.

Another eason to birth at home.

Baby Keeper said...

That's terrible, but not surprising. And, the lungs of newborns born by induction, epidural, or surgerically are ready so compromised by the interventions and the stressful enviroment and experience.

Truly, the germ factor, if for no other reason is the best reason to stay home. Sometimes, looking at all of the factors of the hospital experience together, one can see how resilient the human being truly is.

This is also how stupid new protocols and rules get made --- every newborn will have to have the new drug(s) to prevent TB, or X, and Y, and Z germ. Hospital acquired disease is the reason for the eye ointment -- I heard a nurse insisting to the mother, "because your birth canal is germy."

stockingup99 said...

Thanks for making it clear. I have wondered why the nurses and doctors seemed intent to set me up for a surgical birth. Once we see it as normal, we produce similiar results.

The more I read your blog, the more I see how much I escaped from with my first birth. I shouldn't have had to fight for a chance at a vaginal delivery. But I wouldn't consent to a C. The magic 25 hours was up since he had prematurely broke my water, at 37.5 weeks. They said I was at 9, and they wanted to cut me. I said no I want to push, and they let me try. I'm amazed the my first born is still alive. The mercury, the induction, the stupidity (mine). She is not nearly as healthy as my next two. Thinking about starting EFT to try and help her.

I have said that birthing fixed me. This post helps me understand why I'm so much healthier now than before birthing out of the hospital. By creating a new model, I am closer to my natural self.


Rachael said...

I never really heard of Michel Odent til' recently- or LeBoyer, either. I'll have to take a look!
This whole topic is really interesting to me, and I have to say, even though I had a homebirth with my last child, I don't know much about the whole natural childbirth movement in general, except for what I've seen and experienced myself.
My reading list is definately getting longer!!

Anonymous said...

Nutters all of ya!

Baby Keeper said...

Ya, thanks!! We think the world is round and so we's nutters alright.

"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