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

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's my birth, Mom .. I have to live in this body

My birth was MY BIRTH! Not my mother's -- she had hers. And, it sure wasn't the doctor's birth, even though he certainly gets too much credit just because he happened to save my life by dragging me out with forceps (2 loops of my cord around my neck -- doc added an extra half when he turned me the opposite way from my movement and impulse.) He pulled me out with forceps after stopping and starting MY labor while my mom's body was numb from the waist down and after moving my arm away from my face. THIS was MY action to keep myself from dying, I would learn years after hearing the story from my parent's perspectives for years. "Going the wrong way." And, tones of "bad baby" for having my arm in the way. What a relief to feel, hear, and sense MY story in my body and early brain four decades later and have it acknowledged.

The doctor and my parents were joyful that I survived. Of course my mother "forgot" the horrible part at her joy of holding me -- hours later. However, my headache, oxygen deprivation, and broken clavicle prevented me from engaging joyfully with her. My life-long headache, left arm weakness and shoulder pain, and fear of connection was MINE for my lifetime. My bonding and attachment to my mama who wanted me and loved me was terribly over-shadowed by the experience of life-saving medical interventions. I am one of the fortunate severely wounded newborns -- I was wanted and I was loved and those can mediate a lot of the trauma from birth, but the physical and emotional traumas are part of the mix. I was always "such a good baby" because I know now, I was too hurt to cry. What a bummer to live forty-two years under that shadow, but what gratitude I have for the opportunity I have had to heal it.

How could I not want to create the most peaceful and loving birth for every baby coming in? How could I not fully appreciate the benefits of a fully trained physician? It is very true, that if not for the physician, I would have died. It is also true that my mother numb from waist, lying on her sacrum made my passage-way 30% smaller, further compromised my air, and made her not aware of me. How could I not search for solutions to this experience and be a fierce activist for a woman to be responsible for her baby from conception on. Rarely will women do harm to their baby but they allow in the medical machine by giving their power over have birth done to them.

How could I not be a beater-of-the-drums for a woman's choices to be about what is best for the baby, even if it means giving birth aware, alive, and feeling rather than numbed by drugs? How could I not be an advocate for a woman to be without saddle block/epidural to be upright in her birth so that her pelvic outlet is 30% larger and she is moving and connected with her baby? How could I not be fighter for stopping the use of drugs that keep a woman on her back and numb as my mom was? How could I not be an advocate for treating babies with utmost regard and communicating with them to have a conscious, aware birth -- no matter what needs to be done to save their lives? How could I not be a champion of the new approaches to healing our earliest experiences?

It is also very true in this new era of energy medicine, a focus on the body-mind-spirit, and consciousness that those life saving actions could have been done with more compassion for me as a baby AND the damage could have been repaired in my early weeks, months, and years. Every human being coming into this life at conception through birth deserves loving, conscious, intentional touch and support. Every human baby needs the opportunity to share his or her experience of birth, and to release the traumatic memory from the tissue, and to experience self-attachment in relationship to the mother.

So, Birth is the Baby's -- each of us were born. THAT would be our own birth. Obviously. Hello!? My mom, the doctor, dad, and the nurses , ole Doc Lemon, our family Savior, each had their own birth. My mom's birth was a twin homebirth on a blistery winter January day in 1930 in rural Iowa. My mom came first, butt-first, and her sister was second. My grandmother gave birth to twins, vaginally, at home – and this birth was my mother’s birth and her sister's birth.

MY birth was 26 years later in a hospital in Iowa with my dad present – unheard of in 1956. My dad had been allowed in the room with my brother's birth because he had been given the choice of my mother or my brother. My sister was then born in the labor bed with only my dad present. Doc Lemon must of thought of my dad as his assistant by then. Since then I have given birth to four other souls who chose to come into a body on this planet via my body. What an honor. What awesome souls they each are. My teachers! Each of them had their own conception, and gestation --ALL of that done with my body's UNCONSCIOUS knowing. Only labor and birth were usurped. Each child is profoundly different and defining of who they each are as humans and who they are in relationship with me, and their world. How could it not be!?!? They don't all have the same father. I was different with each birth, my life was different, and my perspective for the world was different.

What is not embraced by our society is that the BABY's brain (MY BRAIN) remembers the joy and the pain and fear and horror of the lifesaving efforts of MY birth. Every baby, you and yours, and babies you care for as a professional or as family, friend or stranger -- they all have their own experience of their birth. May I say "DUH!" again!?! It's the bottom-line basic, foundational truth. Every human being, every baby being born, is experiencing THEIR birth into this world. What else could be so important? What's wrong with our society devaluing the sacredness of birth and the importance of birth to the baby -- in order to manage pain and to use invasive, painful, life-saving technology and interventions proactively, "as-if", and "just in case"? When and how did this happen to evolve to the point today that women now demand their "rights" to medically unnecessary technology that is known to harm the babies?


Sazz said...

A very interesting entry. I agree that little attention is paid to the long-term psychological effects of unnatural birth on babies. This is an important area of reserach, for sure.

My only concern, is that by focusing in the baby's experiences we render the mother invisible. I don't agree that it isn't the mother's birth. I believe the birth belongs to both of them - that's one of the incredible things about wimmin, is that we have the ability to have experiences that are completely our own and completely shared at the same time (pregnancy and breastfeeding are two other examples).

Look at what happens to wimmin when the unborn baby becomes the focus of attention. In the name of "foetal rights" wimmin become incubators, their experiences and desires secondary to the foetus. This is why, despite the importance of long-term psychological implications of birth experiences for babies, I focus on wimmin's experiences of birth. But I don't doubt that it would be more popular (in patriarchy) and possibly more successful in changing the state of birth, to focus on the what happens to the baby.

Baby Keeper said...

I have written in previous posts about the relationship of the mother and the baby during pregnancy, labor and birth. A woman is giving birth but it is not her birth. She is the means of the soul coming into this world and it is that soul, that human's birth. When a woman can see her role in creating life and bringing for life she can begin to truly value the being that comes through her.

The baby is referred to as the passenger in many text books. Women complain that they are viewed in the medical machine as nothing but the carrier. Both are disregarded by the patriarchy -- and even by women. Seeing the baby rights is not a matter of interest of the patriarchy -- unfortunately. It would behoove men and women to embrace the importance of conceiving a human life for which they will be connected for the rest of the life - regardless of outcome of the birth and who is the guardian of the baby.

Until we begin to see that the baby is a co-participant in birth, and not merely a passenger, we can not come to the needed place of respecting both women and the baby. Currently, what is done to the mother while she is pregnant, laboring, and birthing is done to the baby. Giving the baby fetal rights would begin to utterly change humanity. Both men and women would approach conception in an aware, responsible way.

What we have in our world today is a majority number of unwanted people. If a woman does not want to compromise her life with giving up her body to incubate the life she conceived and to be morally, spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically responsible for that human being, she can not become pregnant.

The first choice is in choosing sexual activity. How she does that will affect her life forever -- as well as multiple others, not the least of is the human life she brings forth.

A human being deserves to be wanted, love, safe, nurtured, and nourished to live a full, harmonious, functional life. Too many humans aren't getting the best opportunity. Women have the power here.


"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