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 07, 2007

Randon Conception -- what's the price?

Why does this happen, especially to children? Someone with a grandchild in a very disruptive relationship between the father and mother emailed me and asked this question, in the context of very bad parenting behavior, fighting, and the lack of options, outside of the state department of children and family services.

Do you really want my answer?? It "triggers" an article I've been itching to do. I spent the last two days at a psychiatric fellowship training and participating in diagnostic discussions. Several adult cases made me wonder back to my days of working with children in poverty and who were abused physically, emotionally, and/or sexually. (My "good ole days" of trying to make the system work to support families). Their stories, like the adult women in the videos with serious psychiatric disorders and tragic lives, always begin with what to me is unthinkable experiences as children. So many times in my previous world of work in traditional therapy and social service programs, I would be amazed at the resiliency of the human being who survived such atrocities as a child. I did the best I could and back then felt so powerless to truly assist the person to heal at the level we needed. It's always been like putting tiny bandages on huge, gaping, infected wounds. In fact, those years were important in my journey to here as they lead me finding the earliest experiences that create our lives.

I have been watching the "blame game" for a very long time -- two decades? We Americans are constantly evolving and much of the time it is into something none of us wants and none of us wants to claim responsibility for. "Society" (that's us) blames the teachers, blames the parents, blames the politicians, blames DCFS, blames the medical machine for all of the problems our children are experiencing. Of all of the professionals "responsible" for children, I would not want to be a teacher. Teachers "live with" the problems of society all day long. They are expected to instill values and worth and teach children who are living horribly violent, lonely, or empty lives. Teachers can not give children what they did not get in the first moments of existence (conception) through infancy and toddlerhood. Psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, and case workers are extremely limited in what causes they can truly effect. They can not change the conditions children live in, nor can they cause real healing in the brain of the children who is ACTING OUT what s/he has been programmed to do.

As I watched the video sessions of several women, I felt heavy with the awareness of the total picture --- the continuing incidence of these issues and the inefficacy of what we humans can do to really alter the prognosis for abused children. I am struck again at the importance of bringing a human being into this world. Everything always brings me back to looking at the earliest moments of our existence for the real understanding and the true healing. Conception is when we each began. Our responsibility as a society is to give every human being the best foundation possible. The foundation is built preconception through infancy -- including the time spent in the hospital (labor, birth, and first days of life.)

So, to answer the question .... at my lunch table with three others, I said something I believe in strongly but know it is nearly impossible to do in a human and just way. I said, as lowered my voice, "Some people should not be allowed to have children." I believe we need to look, as a society, at the RIGHTS of the BABY and to how support people to continue to conceive children ONLY when they are not able or ready to be parents. God bless, my little friend Jonathan, the handicapped boy who has been raised by his grandmother. His mother is not capable of caring for herself, yet society says she has "reproductive rights." WHY?? This question extends to looking at the large number of teenage mothers which is lower that in recent decades, but what about the number of babies being born to drug addicts, or women who are bi-polar, depressed, or chronically mentally ill.

Before you yell at me, please understand my BOTTOM LINE is about the rights of every human baby to have a quality life. I have known many children in that situation and there is no easy answer. The social service system CAN NOT meet their needs for the love, touch, warmth, and nurturing of a mother, or the love, acceptance, and protection by a father. I know adults who were raised by mothers who were alcoholic, bi-polar, or schizophrenic. It's a very hard life. Is there another way to look at the RELATIONSHIP between a woman's reproductive rights and society's obligation and commitment to care for the babies whose mothers are not able? Is there a way to respect our rights and to be productive in how we care for the mothers and babies in needs. THAT is what my heart and heat desperately want to know. Visit the Crisis Nursery where Jonathan was held for a week and got lice. You know you also secretly wonder it -- why are these people allowed to have baby after baby that they can't care for? Our medical and psychiatric facilities are filled with children with severe issues we can not fix and the struggles of the children and teachers in schools is just a sign of things to come. Today on this blog is a story about an Iowa Guardsman who lost custody of his children.

For years, I have cringed at a huge fundraiser where I used to live in IL -- big news media coverage of a drive to raise funds and donations for unwed mothers and others. Pleas for donations of diapers, formula, socks, etc. leave me in a quandary. If one can not afford diapers and clothing, they ought not to be bringing a child into this world. This fundraiser, like child daycare in high schools, both are signs of society ADAPTING to unacceptable behaviors and consequences rather than addressing the issue. I believe we are living the consequence of decades of random, uncommitted sexual behavior and the result -- random conception.

Before you react, let me say, from my perspective as a young mother at age eighteen, almost 19, still a teenager I came to admit in my late thirties, I understand the life-long consequence to both the baby and the mother. I am aware of the consequences to the father who is often a powerless donor, though not at the time of his initial donation. Life is never easy for the baby (or anyone) when a new life is conceived between people who have no intention to be together, but for some it is horrible.

Statistically, when a woman has a child before she has completed her education and is on her own, her life-long earning potential is less. If one reads that in the media, one is likely to think in terms of income and think, well if she gets her MA or her MD degree she'll make as much as anyone. Maybe, but what is hard part and important is the "getting there" with a child in tow. She always is catching up. These days many women have the option of choosing to have the baby alone, very different from the expectation of marriage in my day. There is never an easy choice after a woman -- or girl -- chooses to be sexually active. When men and women conceive babies it is a life long commitment. Whether one aborts, relinquishes for adoption, or chooses to keep a child conceived in any variety of multitude of situations where the soul is not being welcomed into a union that is welcoming and preparing, life is never the same.

Nothing is easy -- even for a highly competent, functional woman -- who has to care first for her child's welfare. My children's welfare always came first -- and, it was a constant juggling that often didn't result in what was best for my child. I felt like I "stepped up" to live the with the experience I had created. While I am bragging of course, that "what is best for me is therefore best for my child thinking" so common to mothers, isn't always so. I earned four degrees -- one, with each child. I also see a different world where teenage pregnancy is accepted and where drugs interfere with many lives. My little friend, Jonathan, was kept a week in a Tulsa child crisis center that is licensed for 38 children and has had up to 90 children who are waiting for foster care placement. What is going on here? Why are so many humans conceiving children that they don't want or can't take care of?

Basically, the world if full of humans (souls) who came here unwanted and unwelcomed -- in a sacred, honoring way to learn their lessons. That's all I can figure out. So, on the surface it seems to me that the increase lack of morality and indiscretion has allowed us to be sexual without considering the rights of the human baby. AND, apparently, as I have thought about this for YEARS -- from early life through working in the systems -- the soul also chooses. Some, and I believe this, believe that the soul and the parents have "soul contracts" to work out. This does NOT negate any of the Christian beliefs --- but some people get all jiggy. The Bible says I knew you before you were born. I believe free will and choice came BEFORE conception and life. I can't make any other sense of why there is so much diversity and discrepancy. I can't make sense of such an "unfair" world -- child born in Africa to a starving mother and child born into family in America, and then compare the families and experiences within America. Bill Gates or Britney Spears' child or the fifth child of a twenty-two year old on the south side of Peoria. WHO chooses this? A God? So, how FAIR is HE?

So, I teeter all of the time between: 1) my passion and life's purpose to making an aware, safe, gentle, and harmonious world by welcoming souls into couple's lives who want to bring a soul/baby/teacher into their lives and how 2) the soul is deciding to come in to a family where those conceiving him or her are also agreeing to provide the lessions/life he or she is coming here to experience. I imagine how the world could be if every baby was wanted and welcomed, nourished and nurtured, and protected, safe and cared for with utmost regard from before conception and beyond. I am a "philosopher" and a "wonderer" of spiritual matters my entire life.

I wonder what is the purpose of this planet as such large number of human babies are brought forth by parents who will be unable to care for him or here, a world where we know that the maternal-baby relationship is profound and yet we continue to evolve in very destructive ways. Maternal career and accumulation of material goods is a higher priority than the emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing of our babies. Meanwhile, we evolve every day to accept greater discrepancy between what we know is right and what we accept that is so contrary. This includes the practice of obstetric medicine, the waging of war, the continuing of production of goods that poison our water and air, etc., etc.

In fact, that's how the lunch-time discussion with a psychiatrist, pychiatric nurse, and a pediatric neurologist came about --- a discussion about Walmart as the "Chinese Store" preceded by a discussion of oil, war, and the many wounded children, lead to my statement that China has done one important thing -- they have limited their population. I reasoned that this had to have lead to changes in many ways-- such as in how people come together to have that one child. Does it change their premarital, sexual behaviors? Are their children wanted and welcomed? Will the theories of Pre and Perinatal Psychology bear out in the future as we observe the restriction of the number of children one can bear? Do they stay together in family units? Fewer births means fewer children and this means few goods needed and produced.

Too many of our babies are being born destined to live out hardship, pain, poverty in all aspect of life. We have too many children living in emotional poverty, regardless of their financial status. We have too many children with serious mental and psychiatric disorders. We have too many children in poverty, unable to read, and in foster care. Too many adults of all ages are living a life destroyed by drugs. What is the hope of their children who do not experience a loving mother-baby relationship? A surge of feminism is swelling again, and the focus on women's roles in the workplace and fight for day care WHILE trashing the science of attachment worries me.

So, I am just asking what I believe are the hard questions ....

.... remember, I have four children and I am from the era of two children as "normal". And, I am old enough to worry about the next generations. OF COURSE, I could be one of the first to jump on someone who asked my questions if I could only see my own current experience. Would I be so traumatized by having had only one or two of them? Of course, I would be devasted at the loss of one of the two younger ones -- well, yeah, this blog is full of my wailing about my GI Joe in Iraq, so much so, that I hardly write about my special, Baby Girl, who is the "joy of my life". But, if I they'd never come to my body and life, how would I grieve them? Am I devastated and traumatized today because of the six I didn't have to make my family of ten children like my friend did? NO!

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