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, July 13, 2007

A tearful day

I responded to a dear friend who wrote kinds words of support today. She lost her beautiful daughter four years ago.

Thanks, Sista.

I know you get it. Over time I came to articulate that it is sort of like when a family has a baby in NICU or a child missing. We know where they are and fear the worst and then the element of how wrong it is and our child is doing it, participating in it. His soul has a mission and I totally support that. I am in awe of him sometimes and the shared journey of ours. I saw him come in at conception and he was so dear and cherished. So awesome. So much anguish is from the time of his early teens when Mario was so brutal to me and I was "hiding" it and our relationship, from the ga-ga begining to the abuse, harmed Joe. FORGIVENSESS ... knowing HE chose ME for whatever his purpose. He is a loved, cherished, and cared for being. I am curious about WHO he will be when he returns. How will he be and his thinking ... what will he be led to do? WHAT is HIS role in this? Looking back at his articulations as a child becoming a man, he was so about the world changes. The Warrior Soul.... the GENTLE warrior ... clearly, Mario (soul level) was part of Joe's plan.

The hard part is like when you were with Rachel in ICU ... the waiting for the prognosis ... that part is part of this. WHAT, when, how .. will he be ok? Survive .. keep limbs, vision, brain? We he live his life like so many VN vets? Last year this time I wrote him a "love letter" when I realized he was going AWOL on me --- I am, had to be, as I am sure you considered, inspite of your premonition, of the possibility of caring for a disabled child for the rest of life.

It's also a bit like parents who know their child is abducted or a runaway (as Joe chose this) -- the "just can't get to him or stop anything or protect him" part of it. If only all of these people in between me and him --- from the Guard Family Assistance people who have direct contact with the redeployment who can have direct contact with him or his commander to the Alaska television journalist who was embedded in Joe's unit and SAW him, to my senators, to congress, to the Pres --- would do something. It's like sitting in NICU day after day and NO ONE seems to see or notice that I am unable to function wholey. I can't (Couldn't) take care of my basic needs.

I think often of the mother of the young woman who disappeared in Aruba last year. She was a maniac to some in her vicious vigilance. I totally get it --- I FEEL it on the inside. A mother does not stop her innate, physiological response to her child in danger. I imagine my eighty year old grandmother still feeling this way about her sixty year old son. I think of the next forty years (I plan to be at least ninety when I finish up my own mission here). I think of Joe being in the military for the next tweny years. Will this SCREAM -- the physiological response stuck in my gut -- EVER stop? How does the mother of that young woman or the parents of the two US soldiers MIA ever breathe? Or, the families of the men and women who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq .. or anywhere for any reason?

I haven't cried for about three weeks. Yesterday and today I am teary. I sent a birthday package that had come back, and a new one with ten dozen cookies. Enroute to the PO I heard Diane Reams on the radio speaking with soldiers sharing their experiences. I sat listening in the parking lot to a very articulate man in the same rank as my son. He spoke of his experiences of going into Iraqi homes and terrorizing them, ah, I mean interrogating them. How do people hear believe that all of the terror is out there and directed at poor little ole us who have seventy percent of the world's resources? I wondered how is my son't experience of the the war affecting him? The boy conceived and raised by a rabblerousing, grassroots, anti-stupid rules naturalist hippie and a conscientious objector in VN gone to prison for five months instead of going to war -- who came to admire Colin Powell as his hero-- WHO will he be when he comes home?

I imagine he'll come home and like others in his generation to whom this world now belongs, fallen in on them, will have fix this mess. My imagination and hope that sustains me some days is that he will come home to the next phase of the unfolding of his soul's journey - MY HERO, who will know in his soul and his bones (because of genetics and upbrinign) how to go about creating peace and equality in the world. I am so proud of him.

Tears are falling now. I would give anything to hear my son's voice, see his face, and nuzzle in his neck taking his scent into every cell of me.


kristina said...

Wishing I could say something or do something to make it all better...but all I have to offer are (((hugs))) across the internet.

Wishing that your son - and all our sons and daughters - can come home soon, and safe in body and in mind.

Baby Keeper said...

Dear Kristina --

Thank you for your kind words and your compassion. Hugs are the best thing one can do.

alisaterry said...

I don't have adequate words. Just ... respectful silence for you and your family.

"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