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, May 04, 2007

Birth Story: Induced, epidural, ER surgical birth

by Carrie

I was around 35 weeks when I told the Drs at the hospital I didn’t think something was right, because I had a high heart rate and the flutters, nausea, and faint feeling. Also about that time I found out that Jasmyn was breech. The Dr’s gave me two choices. Schedule a cesarean or have a version. Version is where they literally move the baby by pushing her from the outside to the normal position. IT did sometimes cause stress and need an emergency c-section. I considered the facts and decided that a chance for a natural vaginal birth was better than a scheduled c-section. I scheduled the version. For my 39th week.

I was 34 weeks pregnant when a Dr called me and said that he wanted to put me on a heart monitor. I asked them why it took them 3 weeks to call me when I complained about this. He said that it sounded like hormones and like it would stop after the pregnancy. I said if that was the case I didn’t want to have the monitor on me. If they were not concerned to the point it took them 3 weeks to call me, why should I worry. Plus I would have to wear a monitor for the remaining time, I had only 2 weeks before my due date. What complete dorks, so no monitor, no worries.

I was silly. I should have taken it when I had the chance. I went in for the version and when the Dr hooked me up to the monitor and confirmed Jasy was breech he said that he would be back with a trainee. Jasmyn heard this and decided she was not going to be man handled by a stupid Dr and flipped. The Dr came back and there she was in the normal position. He said he wished all things were that easy. It was really funny. It was a moment I realized my baby had a will of her own and she would never allow herself to be manipulated by another human being. Yeah Jasmyn!!! So the Dr told me that I was free to go home. So I got my wish and avoided a c-section. I was hoping to have a natural birth, with out drugs. I really did want a natural birth with the mirrors this time. I really wanted to see me giving birth.
Baby Keeper: How many times have physicians, nurses, and mothers seen this happen -- the baby responding -- in many situations including version. People recognize it and know it, but still deny the abilities and contribution of the baby. With conscious awareness and connection with the baby caregivers can support the baby to such things more effectively.

A week went by and oh, I started having contractions. Happy day for me. I was so excited. One day I had them and they were a minute long and came every 5 minutes. I didn’t want to concern Tim so I didn’t call him. When he got home I was a bit annoyed with the contractions. He had me go to the hospital. The L&D nurses hooked me up and watched me. I had a great labor pattern but I was not able to be admitted.

So, I had contractions for a week. They would go up and down as far as how hard they were. My body was getting ready for birth. I was miserable, I wanted to have the baby. I was very annoyed with how I felt. I kept going in and I wasn’t at 3 cm so they wouldn’t admit me. Finally after a week and a half of having contractions I was 3 cm. I was tired, cranky, and ready for Jasmyn to come to me. I went in and had a great labor pattern and they gave me some pitocin. Since I had been through the inducing before I knew what was before me. It scared me, I knew after a week and a half of the contractions, if they sped them up to super sonic, super hard I wouldn’t be able to make decisions. I had a strange feeling that I needed to have my head screwed on tight. So I told them that if they were going to induce I wanted them to give me the epidural. Again, this is the worst pain imaginable. I wanted to cry thinking about it. I didn’t want it but I had a feeling that I really had to do this. The same routine, round my back into a ball, lean against Tim, and in comes the needle. I warned the nurse anesthetist I knew I would jump because the pain was too much for me. She told me in all the caring of a surgeon, I wouldn’t if I were you. I did jump, when I felt the needle prying my vertebra to go in-between. I felt and heard the pop and then felt the icy cold fluid run down my spine. I smelled the same sickly sweet smell of medicine. I knew in my heart I needed this, but I couldn’t help but be mad that I allowed myself to get the drugs again. It broke my heart b/c I knew I wouldn’t have the natural birth experience I had wanted.

It was about 0900 when I got the epidural and I decided that I should get some sleep while I could. I had that strange feeling something was off. I was awoke just after midnight that I had to wake up, lie on my side and have the oxygen. The baby was in serious distress. Every contraction I had her heart rate would drop. I had to try to get her to relax. I was told that I needed to have a monitor attached to her head. I can’t remember the name of it, but it has a small wire that is screwed into the top of her head. Brianna had to have the same thing when I was in labor with her. It showed that she was in fact in distress and the oxygen was helping a little but not a lot.

My Dr came in and did an exam. I wasn’t progressing, my dilation and effacement were not coming along and Jasmyn was face presenting. She had her face wedged in my canal looking out as if trying to see the world. They knew this because when he did a pelvic exam he felt her nostrils, lips, and cheeks. He should have only felt the small amount of hair on the top of her head.

By this time Tim was awake and wondering why I had more monitors, and tubes coming out of me, and why I was wearing oxygen. I explained the circumstances and I told him that I knew this was going to have to be a c-section. He agreed, he felt that a mothers intuition was enough for him. When my Dr got back from t
alking to the resident Dr the news was less than desirable.

The dr I had wanted to deliver c-section, the resident wanted me to deliver vaginal and to give more pictosin to speed up my contraction and hurry me through dilation. This really pissed me off a
nd I said that if my baby was in such distress that her heart rate dropped with every contraction I was refusing to have more medicine to make them harder. I told them that I wanted the c-section. It took one hour of me telling the DR's that I was not going to put her in more distress by taking more medicine.

Picture at right is Carrie waiting for the resident and attending to agree.

I finally got my wish when Jasy started to really become distressed. My c-section I had demanded now became life and death. I had to take fluid before I could go to surgery. It was so fast I had cold liquids pushed and I was freezing. It happened so quickly that while Tim went out to smoke a cigarette and call our parents to let them know the hard situation I was he almost missed them cutting into me. Yeah, they started the c-section while he wasn't present. He came in just as I felt blood spilling on my legs. I know I wasn't supposed to have feeling, but I was so cold that the warmth was shocking. I have a 6 1/2 inch cut where they opened me up.

They had to intebate Jasy twice b/c she wasn't breathing. She spent 1 day under the oxy tent, 1 full day on oxygen, and 1 day was off and sent home with me. Before I could see Jasmyn I had to go to recovery. In recovery a dr came in and said that some of the tests done on her indicated stress on the heart and might be a congenital heart disease or something to effect (the tests came back negative, she was stressed only [Duh]).

She had jaundice but that was being taken care of. It was scary, I couldn't react b/c the drugs in my body were so thick I couldn't understand what was going on. Today I have a 2 inch in diameter patch on my lower belly that is still numb. It is a constant reminder to me that I should never allow a dr to do or not do anything I don't agree with.
Baby Keeper: Below, mother and baby connect for first time. THIRTEEN HOURS later. Some important windows of opportunity for attachment of baby to mother and the bonding of mother with baby have been missed -- AND, the good news is that this woundings can be mediated. Woundings become our strengths and gift when acknowledged and healed.
I will always, ask questions, get second opinions, and trust my instincts. They may know more about medicine, but I live in my body. I know when something is right or wrong. I will never stop fighting for my body or my children.

Contractions or contractures? The mother here describes weeks of contractions. Later, hopefully, tomorrow, I will post information from Peter Nathanielsz research about the pre-labor contractions that he calls contractures ... and what that is about.

I am very grateful and I thank Jasmyn and her parents for giving me permission to use their pictures ---- I honor Jasmyn and her birth and sharing is ALWAYS with my heartfelt intention to honor her and to create the social will to make hospital birth safe and humane.

Of course, Jasmyn, is "normal" and "resilient" and happy child - and she is also strong-willed, challenging, and a few other things that are great attributes to have, but not always from the parent's view. Resilient -- a common attribute used and studied in psychiatric literature regarding PTSD. What does resilient mean, really? That we are adaptive and compensatory beings meant to survive even with great odds? Is the "resilient" person really happy? Feels complete, able to connect, function in relationship? Don't we know of those famous folks, ourselves, and some we know personally who are "resilient" person? And, in our society what IS the measurement of a good person and a happy life and relationship? Is it those who manage to appear by social standards to have accomplishments and acquisitions -- even with a terribly misshapen head, chronic neck pain and headaches, and constant personal chaotic relationships? Does the ability to have things meet the requirement of the soul and the heart, or is relationship and love that we read in the sappy poems is what is important at the end of the day and the end of life?

Also, next week I am posting an article about the baby/ soul's decisions about birth and how it is part of the human's plan for this life. A baby who "survives" a traumatic birth is usually a human being with amazing abilities to deal with challenges. Our challenge as a child and adults is to not use our "survival" skills in every situation. Because it is the early imprint in the brain from that first experience of moving from the womb in a traumatic experience,the labor and birth experience is a template, a magnet, a perception of the world that we draw to us over and over. More about that coming up soon.

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