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

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Midwifery in Afghanistan

When I learned my son was going straight from Kuwait into Afghanistan a month ago, I had a huge mix of feelings.

One was ENVY ....

Four years ago I was considering going back to get my RN degree and I retook a lot of pre-requisites. My GI Joe was in college and asked, "Why in the he** do you want to do nursing school at your age!?" (Jeesh, I was only 47! Youth.) I told him if I just had that nursing degree that I had started to do twenty years before and if I was without parenting responsibilities (ie, his younger sister), "I would SO be in Afghanistan helping to bring midwifery back there."

He replied, "Yeah, you and your *#^% hippy friends, and when you'd get in trouble WE'D have to come save YOUR A**ES!!"

I exclaimed, "YEAH ... of course!! EXACTLY. THAT is what the military should be doing!! Providing protection for us to go do good there ... bring the things that they need to survive and to create self-sustainability."

(And, I zero mean Walmart, McDonald's, and StarBucks.)

So, yeah, it was envy ... one of the seven sins .. not simple jealousy. I was envious ... how could he do that? Go to Afghanistan while I am still here?

So, as usual, GI Joe's soul, in the body of a human brought through my body, is my muse, and his path (our "soul contract") is dragging me along (mostly kicking and wailing) this year, only this time, not quite happily, but with interest beyond wailing about my son being in a war. I so want to contribute to the rebuilding of the lives of the women there.

I pray his soul and his consciousness remember our conversation ... about how the peace nik, hippy, rabble-rousers AND those who are courageous and strong and willing to risk their lives in battle can come together and work together towards a common good. Harmony within the self and in the world.

(Raise them in the ways, and they'll return, right?)

WOW, what if the US would raise it's collective consciousness level and marry the MILITARY and the PEACE CORPS? What if we did that and spent our lifetime together seeking to bring health and wellness to all peoples of the planet, rather than seeking to maintain our consumer-driven lifestyle in the name of Jesus. (Watch for new documentary this week, What Would Jesus Buy?) I wrote about this marriage of polarity (like most human marriages) then, when I learned my son's second year deployed in Afghanistan, but I''ll mention it again ...

What if the 500 Billion spent on decimating Iraq had gone towards wedding this union ... the compassionate, skilled people of the US, either via military or the Peace Corp working together? There are so many Americans who would gladly do a rotation in a third world country ... sharing their personal and professional skills ... IF they didn't have to KILL and BOMB, and IF they deploy on mission of good and could do so without living in poverty (as most Peace Corp and Vista workers do.)

The expected trillions of dollars in Iraq and all of the consequences from it, could have been spent on going in to build roads, electrical plants, public communication, sewage plants, schools, and hospitals. My son says that Kabul is like every other city -- but without sewer systems and people blow themselves up. I have followed the plight of the Afghan women for a decade -- and, recently a high number of them are setting themselves on fire - because their lives are still so tragic.

There are some good things going on there, but do we hear about them, or the continuing needs? What if we were to fund creating healthy water, nutrition, and necessary BASIC medical supplies such as antibiotics. Women are not allowed to see male professionals, so the women desperately need female doctors, nurses, and midwives.

Last fall I researched and wrote a lot about the role of midwifery in making birth safer in every other industrialized nation in the world that has LOWER MATERNAL AND INFANT MORTALITY rates than in the United States. (Dec, Jan, Feb posts). While the United States allows physicians, drug companies, and lawyers to control women's bodies in birth and maintains that induction and surgical birth are as safe, or safer, than natural birth -- when their own research shows us this is false -- other countries have better outcomes for both mother and father. Spreading this way of birthing is part of the war on humanity.

Meanwhile, in Canada, of course, there is a group who is contributing to the plight of women in Afghanistan and making birth safer by training women in midwifery. Yeah!! Canada. Thank you!

I waaaanaaaahhaa go, too .... and take the CanioSacral healing work there ... and, my cameras, of course, so I can share it with you all.

(I did not get the RN degree .... THAT is another story .... ONE day a colleague sneaked me into the newborn nursery in central IL. I was a "job shadow". Me, the birth trauma therapist and Baby Keeper. Oh, mama. I knew if I couldn't make it one day watching what they do to babies -- while calling it normal and scientific -- I couldn't make it through two years of BS.)

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