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, January 14, 2008

Induction with Castor Oil

I saw a post somewhere discussing the scientific validity of using Castor oil to begin labor. I tire of this stupid war between midwives and doctors, unrecognized as just another a battle between women and men and women's rights and needs to be independent, autonomous, and respected. A debate over which is more scientific -- drugs or an ancient old remedy, Castor Oil? One of the things that is tragic about obstetrics AND midwifery is the lack of regard for the physiology of labor from the baby's perspective. How about a discussion about INDUCTION? Period.

No one seems to want to have that discussion. WHAT is the BABY's EXPERIENCE of what OTHERS decide and DO during his or her birth? How does induction by any means impact the baby, and his or relationship with the mother who clearly had her own needs and agenda and pushed the baby before she or he was ready? When the baby is induced by Castor Oil or drugs ... for any reason ... a caring, logical human being should not need scientific studies to tell us it interrupts the baby and should be as a last resort and with AWARENESS and COMMUNICATION. Logic and science also guide to do whatever we do in a way that recognizes that this human baby is a FEELING, SENSING human ... more so than we'll ever be ... and that the development from conception beyond never stops. The human being NEVER stops being in RESPONSE to the environment from the moment of conception.

We must consider that the use of Castor oil and any other natural remedies are still induction. Induction is a disruption for the baby. This is imprinted on the brain that is experiencing labor and birth, a developing. The baby hormonally begins the process of labor and signals to mother’s body, so, of course, induction by any means is a physiological disruption.

Induction, by any means, also creates psychological, emotional, and spiritually dynamics … in the human's relationship to the world and to/with the parents, EVEN when done for medically necessary reasons. When done for medical, life saving reasons or NON medical reasons, it doesn't matter. It still disrupts the baby. Done for just for convenience sake of mother or caretakers, or mother is tired of pregnancy, whatever the reason, the experience of baby's own biologically program need to begin labor is disrupted ... the consequence, the trauma, the damage is done for no good reason. Humans are masters at justifying and denial .... so women continue to induce whether it be medical or natural. Perhaps, natural would be less damaging than drugs. That's for another day. Today, my rant is about the BIRTHING BABY.

Birth IS the BABY'S experience of birthing into this world. The baby's birth is not the mother's or the doctor's. It is the mother's experience of birthing her baby and she, of course, will have to live with the consequences of the circumstances; however, it is the baby who will literally have to live with the consequences of other's choices. The baby's need to begin labor is physiological; it's part of the greater plan of physiology and biology that the Being/Fetus/Person initiate his or her own labor ... when physiology says it's time. This is true of all mammals. I saw Baby Story today where two zoologists had twins ... by cesarean. That's how far we've come. People who know how nature works also disrupt birth.

We humans are not now excluded after eons of doing so, just because a group of people who claim dominion over "science" say it is ok to do so. We can not do so without very really consequences to humanity.

The conglomerate, collective impact of the myriad of disruptions and violations of a baby during labor and birth can be seen in the behaviors, illnesses, and dysfunctions and "issues" in education, law enforcement, addiction, and violence. Every family and community will experience the long-term consequences of disrupting birth.

WHATEVER the baby experiences during labor and birth and in the hospital, it is imprinted in the brain; the part of the brain that is non-verbal and from whence all other development will occur. The experience results in physiological, psychological, emotional, and spiritual reactions; a complicated and real collective response that is IMPRINTED in the brain. Experience and interaction with the environment is how the human being develops from the moment of conception, whether IN the womb, leaving the womb, or living physiologically independent of the womb.

Once we begin to see the human baby as an amazing, reacting, responding organism that just happens to also be a soul in a new body (take that any way you wish ... new for the first and only time or new for another time), we can see that induction or not and how we treat the mother and baby as we do so, is just the beginning of our journey towards creating aware, compassionate, gentle, safe environment and experience for the baby. What is the safest, calmest way to support them to birth, regardless of the medical need, while maintaining their connection and relationship in the process ought to be the guiding rule.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Holidays, New Fathers, and Candidates

It's been weeks since I posted. I was moving in the weeks before Christmas and I have been traveling for the holidays. So busy ... as I prepare to head west to California and Hawaii.

I got a great Christmas present from my son and daughter-in-law ... the news that they are expecting a baby. Yesterday I got an email from my son ... with pictures ... he has traded her Mazda for a "baby mobile" (a BMW wagon.) I emailed back that he is "par for the course." It is so fun to watch a newly pregnant couple. HE fast forwards through all of the possible financial concerns and prepares by getting that safe, family vehicle in the first trimester. SHE is aglow with the energy, hormones, and sweet knowing that she is doing something extraordinary ... building a human baby. What a blessing for a woman when she is in an environment where she is loved, protected, nourished, and nurtured by her partner ... for that is all she needs during this time. The more worry-free she is and the more her body, mind, and soul can focus on the baby, the more happy, healthy, and harmonious her life and she will be ... and baby will be. More about that later ....

On the way home, I stopped in Iowa to visit my aunt and my brothers. I had the opportunity to go to hear John Edwards and Obama speak - two blocks from my brother's house. I sat in the front row of the Edwards event and was close enough to see the wrinkles in his pants. He shook hands with us in the front row. I also got to ask him a question about his plan for creating support for the men and women serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Later, as he left, he signed my Edwards sign. I got all of it on video, but actually we were so close that it was hard to get the best shots. My daughter made good use of her Christmas gift, a new camera though. Here Edwards is in front of us speaking ... and then signing my sign. That's MY head and glasses. Really! In the photo here of Senator Edwards and my head, he is telling me thank you for my son's service and wishing him a safe return. Not in this shot, but during the exchange he made good, solid eye contact. That was important to me as he voted for the war.

You can tell by the pictures here who I support. Edwards is the only candidate in the running who is talking about not only ending THIS war, but getting rid of nuclear weapons ... I mean power. And, he is for taking back America from the corporations. Ah-hem, that would include OBSTETRIC MEDICINE some day. My niece and I waited until we got home to jump up and down together like girly-girls at a New Kid's concert. Oops, I just aged us, didn't I?

The next day we went to Obama's speech ... on the stage at my old high school and where I did my tap dance recital at age six and played the xylophone in "Sound of Music" in high school, and lots in between. What fun.

Obama had increased security because of threats so no one got to be up close with him. I was really glad to hear him speak and hear his story. I was, like he was, a communityy organizer and in mediation and conflict resolution at the community and state level. I was inspired to hear the community organizing concepts being entwined into national politics. I was inspired by the number of young people at his meeting as I have long been concerned about the lack of young folks at the voting booth. This world always belongs to the young adult generation and I am happy to see them rise up to take on this mess that has been left to them. If they elect Obama I can live with that, especially if he has Edwards as a running mate and keeps Richardson at Secretary of State.

I was glad to hear and see them. It makes such a difference. It's too bad that every citizen in every state doesn't have this opportunity. If you do, take advantage of it. Seeing someone in person is important. Our senses can take in what our mind doesn't have time for or allow us to.

I wish we could have a Presidential Team of about seven with a mix of Dems and Republicans. I like Ron Paul. I wish they had to work together and that each of them is able to focus on their gifts that they bring to the committee. Obama would build a good bi-partisan team. More about that later .... it's not exactly related, really, but I can't help myself.

"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