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, May 28, 2007

Meet Becca Wagner and Bill McDannell and others.

I've been asked, when talking about "energy psychology" what that has to do with the topic of this blog (a lot!), and since then I am sensitive to address that when posting what some might not see as relevant. My net goes pretty far as I integrate energy, physics, birth trauma, medical training, betrayal and disempowerment of women, and midwifery. This post might not have to do with birth or hospital versus homebirth per se -- but it's my blog and I can talk about whatever I want to. ;--)

It's Memorial day. I speak often of my GI Joe who is currently deployed -- and, I do so often weaving my processing of this as a mother with thoughts on the state of birth in the US and the world. By the end, I promise it'll relate to the debate hospital versus homebirth.

A few months ago, as I crawled "out of the cave" as I affectionately referred to my sabbatical from life as my son's deployment splayed and flattened me for a few months, I began volunteering at KOPN 89.5 community radio in Columbia, MO. I began learning to "run the boards" and I have been doing 'in the community" news pieces and interviews. My heart for the babies and children of the troops and the babies and children of Afghanistan and Iraq have me working on some work for the radio. You might say I am making lemonade. (Remember the old saying, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade?")

Columbia entertained a huge airshow at the airport this weekend. Yesterday and today I collected a wonderful assortment of interviews from an amazing diversity of people -- peaceniks, shredders of their pamphlets, and an Army Captain who explained that he is proud to be wear the uniform and to be a part of ensuring the freedom of both of them to be there expressing their diverging opinions.

I interviewed Viet Nam vets, a young, freckle-faced recently-a-teenager in ROTC who is on proudly on-task to be a pilot in the USAF, and I even spoke to a local hero in our community. One our young Marines not only survived his fourth bullet, but it entered his cheek and exited the back of his head. His odds were nearly zero, but he survived, and he is still beating all odds and is making a miraculous recovery. He has his hearing, vision, and is not only walking, but back to jogging.

I talked to the mom of a Marine who is deployed for the fourth time. As the a band played patriotic music in the background she shared how much her family and church have meant to her. Her eyes teared and her voice waivered, and one of her sweet sons reached out and put his hand on her back to comfort her. I was touched by knowing how hard it is for families -- how our children, siblings and children of the troops, have had to grow up too fast and too soon. I cried more tears this past year than I have in the previous forty-nine put together. I was reminded of the days and times my own daughter has seen and felt too much this year.

I left soon to go to a prearranged interview with a little girl I had learned about. Ten year-old girl, Becca, touched my heart with her "letter to the editor" about her concerns for war and how it affects people. She has no one in the war and yet her tender, compassionate heart hurts so for the soldiers who are there, and for their families, and for the people of Iraq that she can not sleep at night. She and her mother talk every night about these concerns that seem to weugh so heavy on her heart. I am comforted many times with the simple thought that comes to me in moments -- that I know so many people support and are "praying for the troops." Maybe not by name, but they are praying for my GI Joe as well.

I was very touched talking to and looking into the soft, gentle, hurting eyes of this innocent little girl who said she's very worried about the soldier's families. Nights I've cried myself to sleep, I know now, there was a little girl praying for the soldiers and their families, and for the children of Iraq. She said several times how lucky she is to have her mother. How many other children are troubled by this war and have no one to speak to -- especially those whose mommies and daddies ARE in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Africa? Who will answer their questions about their desire for a safe and peaceful world? I wish I could "take away" Becca's pain and worry and tell her that her world will be ok. I can't, but I do know that she will be a part of making it so. I know we must all step up and do so for our children and their children.

Becca told me she wants "to be like Martin Luther King" and to tell a lot of people about peace and getting along with different people. Words from Rev. John Prenger at a fourth of July mass fifteen years ago made a huge impact on me then and I thought of his words again as I listened to Becca and wondered .... "Freedom isn't free," Father John had said. I realize more than ever that our freedom does and has had a huge price. Many people have died in the pursuit of freedom for our country and its people. And, like Becca, I still wonder today, WHY? Why does it have involve killing others and dying?

Today was the day we honor them -- those who step up to ensure our freedom. I shared with Becca what Army Captain Matthew D. Shaw from Ft. Leonardwood had told me at the airshow the day before --- about how proud he is to be a part of protecting our rights and freedoms in America. He said he is proud to wear the uniforn and was doing so so that she and I could be talking so freely about the war. Actually, he was referring to the five groups of people who were opposing the war and supporting the troops AND the group shredding their pamphlets. I was aware of how fortunate Becca and I both are to live in such a great country and I internally still share her pained question -- how to do so without war and killing?

This evening I interviewed Bill McDannell from San Diego, CA. He and his wife were passing through Columbia. They sold their home and he began WALKING in November and his intention is to take a petition to Congress in Washington, DC, asking them to bring the troops home now. His wife follows with him in a support vehicle -- now their home; a twenty-three year old camper that has had thirteen flat tires. WOW. She drives five miles ahead and waits for him. Bill walks about ten-15 miles a day since early November. His message? We need to take back our America. Bill is a Viet Nam veteran -- the war going on when I was Becca's age. I believe that we need to listen to our vets -- including those coming back and telling us the truth and the tragedy of Iraq. Bill wants to bring attention to the fact that both Afghanistan and Iraq have held their elections and chosen their government -- we no longer have a right nor do we need to be there. He has a petition on his site, (Walking to End the War.) Check it out.

My little friend, Becca, read her story for me to include in my piece on the Memorial Day activities honoring the fallen. She wants to know, "If we are taught at school not to push and hit each other and we have to say sorry, why do we have war to solve our problems?" She asks, "Why can't we talk about things at the table and just shake hands? Why can't the President's of the world that too?" Good question! from the heart of an innocent babe.

Visit Bill at his website where he updates daily. He and his wife sold their home to do this walk and half way across the country unforeseen events have eaten up their money. They could use some support to take this message to congress. Check out their site and please support their effort.

Personally, I am touched beyond words at their sacrifice to make this trip to draw the attention to the need to bring our troops home from a war that is not a war. As a mom of a soldier who is there, I look around in my community and in our country, and I see so little sacrifice while I feel my son's and our family's is so great. From August to December I did not drive a car -- I walked or took a bus, in part to honor my son as he was sacrificing so much. I happen to believe that the war is about protecting the oil supply and the dollar as the world standard in order to maintain our prosperous way of life (while in the rest of the world a child dies of extreme poverty every three minutes). I wanted to not use oil. I wanted to go longer, but my daughter deserved a warm car to ride in. Don't all children in world? It seems such a small sacrifice I made as I imagine what it is for Bill to walk 15 miles a day down the highway from San Diego to Washington, DC to take MY message to Congress. Bring our troops home.

God bless these people , young and old, who not only care about our soldiers, but DO SOMETHING. Words can't express my gratitude.

By the way, Becca was born at home in Missouri ten years ago -- with a non-nurse, but highly trained midwife. Ah - ha! There's the connection!! We know in my field that babies born at home are very peaceful and aware. You knew I'd weave it together, didncha?

Blessings to you and yours on Memorial Day.



stockingup99 said...

I just love clicking through to Dr. Amy's debacle everytime I see it on your site.

Baby Keeper said...

When you do she makes money. She's a professional blogger. It's an advertisement she pays for, but she gets money when someone clicks on it. Since I believe in free speech and equality, I am glad to have her advertise on my site, even though she won't even allow me on her site.

It's called the high road.

"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