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

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My baby was born thirty-three years ago today

That makes him thirty-four years and nine months old.

I called him this morning to wish him happy birthday. However ... I have to say that I have been disillusioned with this cultural concept of celebrating one's life on the anniversary of one's birth.

Traditionally, so I am told, the survival of the first year of life was something to celebrate; hence, now it is the modern version of one's BIRTHDAY and false way, an archaic way of counting time. On our birthday it is ANNIVERSARY of our birth. But it doesn't accurately count how much time we have lived in a human body.

I developed this line of thought as I was celebrating big anniversaries -- first, my fortieth, and then my fiftieth anniversary of my arrival to this planet (birth from the womb) and while studying the fetal life and psychology. We know now that the gestational period is the beginning time of life, a critical time in development, as is the experience of labor and birth and first moments living outside the womb.

My friend was turning fifty almost exactly a year before me. Trying to console her, I pointed out that, in fact, she was celebrating the COMPLETING or ending of her fiftieth year, not the beginning. For some strange reason, I pointed out, (totally serious and straight-faced, because I both think about these such things, AND, I wanted to console her), we don't count the first year, (or the nine and a half months in the womb. Nine now that they induce routinely). Sooo, I happily shared with her that technically, she was celebrating the completion of her 50th year and the beginning of her fifty-first year. I concluded that, "Hey, you've been fifty all year, so why worry about it now? Let's have some fun." No, it didn't work for her like it worked for me, even when I pointed out, I was the one actually turning fifty, (starting my fiftieth year as I would be "turning 49" in a few weeks). I was actually turning 50! at the end of my forty-ninth year.

It didn't comfort my friend at all, but I found completing my fortieth and then my fiftieth years to be quite fun and a celebration. (My 30th was another story, as the said birthday boy was old enough to go to Junior High and I only freak out about his age!) A few days before my "49th Birthday", my daughter and I rode AMTRAK from Chicago to Disney Land, with stops in Philadelphia and Washington, D.D. (homeschooling is so awesome!). So, the completion of my 49th year and beginning of my 5oth year happened in Washington, DC. What fun we had. I don't even remember what I did on my "50th Birthday", the completion of my 50th year.

Ok, so my point, other than to till the ground for thinking about seeing that life of the human begins at even before conception? I was just reading some Birth to 3, zero to 3 literature and thinking about my son and his son who is about 144 days old, according to the ticker on his mama's blog. When he emerges from his mama's womb in late August -- all sweet, slippery, and wonderful, kicking, wide-eyed and turning his head when his mom or dad speaks, and smacking his lips and ready to crawl to his mama's breast, baby Jackson will be ten months old. He will be IN his tenth month of human development. So, why does we (we, as not as me, but as in this supposed intelligent, scientific society) say he is zero? Why will his time on this earth and his age go back to ZERO when he emerges from his first earthly home, his mama's womb? How is it logical or scientific to disregard the period of conception and gestation in development?

In reality, my son was nine months old when he was born from my womb on April 8th, 1975 so technically, he is completing his 33rd year; and, if we add the nine months I knew him in my womb (an amazing little being who was alive and kicking and responding to me, making me drink milk when I never liked it before) then he is actually 34 years and nine months old today. Judging from his reaction to my exclamation this morning, "Wow, you are gettin' old," maybe I shouldn't tell him?

What are we really celebrating on the day of the anniversary of our birth or our loved one's birth? Society doesn't even honor the event as significant for emotional, psychological, spiritual, or physical development; forget seeing birth as a sacred event in this medico-techno world.
What is up with this human culture that is supposedly so smart? That we wait for eighteen months of our babies' lives to pass before we say, "Oooooone." (How could I convey a duh tone?) Only the youth can get this and also be happy to be one year older already, like age matters anyway.

We need to see and celebrate our day of birth differently ... not as simply a marker of age transition but an honoring of our baby's presence. Today, when my son said birthdays aren't that big of a deal when you get older, I told him again how blessed I am to be his mother and how happy I am that he is my son. "I always have been," I said. He softly said, "I know, mom." How much greater thing is there than to be loved and wanted by the people who brought us into this world? Doesn't every human being deserve this?

Shouldn't we straighten this mess about Birth Days and Birthdays, and the disregard for the importance of wanted babies AND in calculating our ages which results in IGNORING the first 18 months of our lives and our babies' lives? How did we get so darned confused?? How did we come to dismiss the most foundational, critical, important nine months and first year of our lives as not counting? It's not logical to say the baby is alive and growing and developing in the womb and then dismiss prenatal development as not important enough to even count. It has lead us humans to dismiss the importance of gestation, and the labor and birth as critical experiences in development. God, we are collectively stupid about really important things, like human fetal and consciousness development. Turn on your television, if you still have one, and look at the consequence of doing so.


Baby Keeper said...

Just wanted to share a comment on a previous post ...

Harmony said...

Janel, what a sentient place you and Heather have carved out to create value in the world, of internet nonsense. I so hope that you raise the needed funds quickly to get your documentary in front of North America...sooner than later... how important it is to present the prudent side of birth rather than the obscene profit.... the sense and sensibility...oh, how we need to education mothers, would be mothers and fathers to the importance of our most important hour of life and primal year. Of course the audience we really need to see your film is the policy makers, administrators and politicians with control of their own brains without lobbyists in their pockets.

Mother Theresa, Gandhi and all the other sentients before did the wonderful work of making our world more palatable and peaceful with the help of others who believed in their mission and passion.

Anyone know of some grants that may be available to create momentum for this awesome undertaking.
It takes very little coin to make change...only committed people and common 'cents'.

Janel, I can't wait to see the results....first the film....and second the smiles on all the faces...babies and parents as a result of greater understanding of the complexities of life that can not be dissected, bottled, viewed, plotted and graphed....but none the less impact us in everything we do or think we can't do....your film I am sure will unearth and clarify what we as intuitive beings with an innate understanding of survival have been ignoring for several centuries due to the MYTHinformation bandied about by the Doctors of Spin and the Shock Doctoring that turns a profit but not PEACE.

It is refreshing that science is slowly catching that: mother's milk of human kindness is the elixir of life....that Chicken soup is good for what ails you and even better with the TLC of caring parents ...that honey is a natural antibiotic....

Science still has a ways to go to catch up to life...we still think that Bumble Bees can't is so great that they are smarter than us and don't listen to science...all the time.

Janel this documentary needs to fly...and will fly. Best wishes and congratulations on moving us closer to trusting our innate intelligence.

To casual readers of this blog
and all those who have not had the opportunity of contributing...
please go with haste to the DONATE link and VOTE for HEALTH, HAPPINESS and HUMANS.
Your investment will come back 10 FOLD in reduced the cost of $3,400 for every taxpayer... has not got a chance if we let PEACE surface. GO VOTE NOW WITH YOUR DOLLARS.
OUR Priorities are BABIES not BULLETS
It takes very little coin to make change...only committed people and common 'cents'.

The sooner this documentary is published the sooner sentience will re-surface for the people of the planet. OPRAH would say...YOU GO GIRL!

Anonymous said...

The other day I was thinking about those old twin studies back in the days of the nature vs. nurture debate....there was a case where twin boys were separated shortly after birth and raised apart, yet they had eerily parallel lives, similar career paths, gave their dogs the same name, and so on. If I remember correctly, this was claimed to show the dominance of nature over nurture. But it seems to me now that it was really showing more the results of the shared prenatal world--always hearing the same sounds from outside, etc. Has this example come up in the birth psychology field before? Just wondered.

Ron said...

Yes, in fact, it is one of the old research findings that has supported the pre and perinatal psychology field. The Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health at is a wealth of informtion.

The field has built upon these early studies and others such as in the field of attachment. Interesting, that mainstream medicine and psychology did not embrace these studies and even went the other direction. They'll chock it up to "genetics" -- and now we know more about that as well, too. Bruce Lipton, PhD, cellular biologist has the most recent information about "nature vs nurture" in his book and films at

Recent researchers, Shores, Porges, and Siegel are providing rich researched based information on the development of the baby and how important the prenatal period is.

Thank you for your comments.

Baby Keeper said...

oops ... i am on my friend Ron's computer and it posted as him.


Baby Keeper said...

Harmony --

Thank you for your post and for your contribution. I so appreciate your passion and your financial support for my film.

Watch for the trailer coming soon.


"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