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, May 27, 2008

A Little Edgy -- about Doctors And Where Birth is Safer

The most important thing that you can teach your children is that Well-being abounds. And that Well-being is naturally flowing to them. And that if they will relax and reach for thoughts that feel good, and do their best to appreciate, then they will be less likely to keep the Well-being away, and more likely to allow it to flow into their experience. Teach them the art of allowing.

-- Abraham

ANYONE who attends the birth of babies ANYWHERE ... should be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually qualified. THAT is what makes birth safe .... technology and knowledge in the hands of those are emotionally and psychologically fit.

-- Janel, Baby Keeper, in the film, "The Other Side of the Glass."

While the debate rages on about where birth is safer -- home or hospital -- the biggest reason that birth anywhere is unsafe is the people who attend ... the people who misuse technology ... the people who have forgotten that birth is a sacred event ... people who have forgotten that birth is the human's most singularly critical experience of life. And, that is, birth is a critical experience physiologically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When we look at PEOPLE ... it is hospital birth that is most unsafe for women and babies ... and men who find themselves disempowered and unable to protect their partner and child. It is the PEOPLE attending birth that make it dangerous.

PEOPLE who work in hospitals ... especially doctors ... are as a stereotypical whole clumped together ... numb, morally dysfunctional, control freaks ... and there's a reason for it. The System. And, another reason is their choice to be in and stay in a system that is so dysfunctional (and lucrative). See link below.

I'll admit my prejudice and rancor here ... I was raised without insurance and using natural ways and aside from being brutalized at age eighteen in the birth of my first child ... and mislead and over powered in the other three ... and mislead that an angiogram was reasonable and safe way to explore my headaches at age 23, I have had little medical care. Until, I was later married to a man who was a medical student and then did five+ years of residency who thought everything needed to be medically checked out and managed.

Two and a half of those residency years were in obstetrics ... and then I got out with my life. I worked most of those with the exception of having a baby and taking time off to be with her, Brazelton style. He was a control freak to begin with, but he became progressively more so and extremely violent ... all based on money, and he began to hide money, which continues today. He is currently trying to get out of paying the percentage of what the state of Illinois says every non-custodial parent should pay. He believes it is unfair that someone who makes $50,000 a month should pay so much more than one who makes $50,000 a year. Math, logic, and ethics must not have been his forte. The same percentage is what makes it fair. I and my daughter sacrificed and helped him get there.

During the year-long proceeding, rather than work on the income tax forms he can't find, he did find time to divorce his wife (also a physician) but they still live together, and he found time to put over a million dollars worth of property in hers and his sister's name. That takes finesse and balls, and an "I have to manage everything" mentality. He has defied a year's worth of court orders and has even gone to jail once but continues to defy court orders. He still refuses to turn over his income tax returns for several years. Last year during the deployment of my son (his step-son) when my life unraveled and I was unable to work with babies for that year, he paid partial payments or none for two months at a time, because he felt I was "living off him." Now, as the proceedings wind down to a inevitable showdown and completion, he is mad. He is mad that I am doing this film, living off him to do so, and this month again, he paid a partial child support payment. Routinely paying it three weeks late is usually enough satisfaction for him. A partial payment of the support based on his residency income, far from what he should be paying like every other parent in Illinois has to. Have you also noticed that those with the most money never seem to have enough? He works in obstetrics, emergency rooms, and does aesthetics.

Is this who you want caring for you in the ER or in your child's birth or doing your skin abrasion? To be fair to him, he is not alone. He is not the exception, I suspect. He is not the physician who values money above humanity and that of his loved ones. He might or might not be the worst, but he is certainly, most likely, not so different from a lot of people in his profession. The perceptions we hold of these giants is an illusion, built and perpetuated by them and their control over our health and wellness. In fact, I was telling a friend recently that he was never required to take any sort of psychological evaluations or tests. He was shocked. I thought everyone knew that, so I thought you ought to know it too.

While the US Congress seeks to make all pregnant women be psychologically evaluated for depression, medical people continue to "self-regulate" themselves. They don't seem to self-regulate their own lives, but certainly do their profession. No one oversees them, not the CDC or Congress. AMA and ACOG are peer organizations, not regulatory entities. Congress is controlled by them, via the purse strings, via Big Pharm. Doctors are the holders of all power over our health and wellness, even psychologically, and yet, are not ever evaluated themselves. Again, let me remind you that that the fox is in charge of the hen house. Worse, they are not overseen by anyone. They do as they wish. So why wouldn't such a person believe that he makes all rules and that he is exempt from what others must abide by.

So, yeah, physicians are not deemed EMOTIONALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY, or SPIRITUALLY worthy of the station they hold. They are not certified. They just are of a mind and personality that can endure years and years of lectures and retaining the rote information and spitting more back than anyone else. They are good standardized test takers.

All one has to do to become such a powerful person in our society is to be able to memorize the information needed to graduate from college and medical school. He, like all physicians, LEARNED ON THE JOB ... in residency. The information, practices, and procedures were passed from attending to chief resident to resident. They take ethics courses but are not expected to abide by ethics. Medicine has it's own ethics ... meant to self-preserve regardless of the cost to society and to individuals. Nowhere is this more egregious than in the birth of humanity ... one baby at a time. It allows horrors to occur ... and in obstetrics this is serious.

In obstetrics women are allowed since the beginning of medicine, a few short centuries, to control women's physiological processes ... which is violating of women and babies during labor and birth.
Obstetrics is considered to be the most misogynistic and the most UNscience based off all specialties in medicine. From my experience, medical training took a fairly decent, but profoundly wounded person and turned him into a monster. They learn how to deny what is morally and heartfully right ... and how to focus on personal gain ... how to deceive ... how to create elaborate webs of denial and blame of others .... I could on ... but check out this research piece here sent to me by the fellow who donated a MAC to me ... to get this film done ... to stop the abuse of babies.

Link is at the end.....

"The majority of 1800 third year medical students surveyed reported doing something they believed was unethical.[564] One student admits, "What I learned was how to survive as a medical student by forcing myself to believe that what I was doing was all right, when deep
inside I knew it was not."[565]

"Sixty-seven percent felt "bad or guilty" about something they had done in third year. Of these students, three quarters had, "succumbed to that pressure against their better judgment." Sixty-two percent believed that some of their ethical principles had been "eroded or lost."[566]

Another student: "I live in a world in which I do not trust or believe in what I am doing, and where I have grave doubts about what I am inflicting on other human beings."[567]

"At present it is a rare person that emerges from medical training with his or her humanity intact."[568]

"In studies of third year medical students, ethical dilemmas mostly hinged around subservience to authority."

There you go ... and we all know that shit runs downhill .... the powerless exerting their power upon people who are just in need of healing ... and getting rich doing so.

Medical Students

to be continued .... in support of the midwifery model of care, and that ANYONE who attends the birth of babies ANYWHERE ... should be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually qualified. THAT is what makes birth safe .... technology and knowledge in the hands of those are emotionally and psychologically fit.

For that matter, wouldn't you like your heart doctor, pediatrician, and even your podiatrist to have been "certified" sane before they work on you, cut into you, prescribe drugs for you? Have you ever thought about the physician attending to you and what has been going on in his or her life? They and their personal lives are often stressed and compromised ... they are "compartmentalized" in order to do their jobs. The research above gives us insights into that ... how they are compromised and how they become those who compromise others for their own gain.

Want to hear something even more scary? My ex's medical school test scores were highest in PSYCHIATRY!!

Just a reminder .... stop the craziness ... check out the Petition against The Mother's Act

Monday, May 05, 2008

My GI Joe is Coming Home

He has his limbs, his eyes, his head, he is not burned or mutilated! He is ALIVE! He is coming home to the U.S. How blessed am I and how grateful I am. So many mother's wailing will never end and their hearts will never mend. These mothers who have lost their child to war need our loving thought and prayerful arms to hold them. I feel, I think, as if my child has been through a tragic event, like a bus wreck, and is one of the survivors. With all of my gratitude, I am a bit numb right now. Bless my other sisters.

I can not think only of my happiness, without feeling shared emotions with the mothers with whom I have so much connection and especially those who will never greet their child again. Never has anything connected me so deeply with other women ... birth comes close.

Can it really be after all of this time? Twenty-two months in a war zone -- two and half years since I have seen him -- smelled him, felt his soft neck when I hug him, an experience that transports me, and then his whiskered face that brings me back to the present.

Please keep our men and women and their families in your prayers.

Below are some pictures of my GI Joe in Afghanistan. He is an officer embedded with the Afghan Army. My favorite of him is him being hugged by an Afghan man. It brought me much joy to see him happy and being the goof we all know him to be. The picture is a stark contrast to night time maneuvers, long mountainous roads, and him standing, honoring his friends, fallen soldiers. He is in black shirt below. How can a mother's heart but break when her child sees and endures such experiences and losses? How can we as women, not reach out to other women who experience such losses ... whether it be to war, or to the egregious violation of her body, soul, and baby during managed, manipulated, medical birth.

If you've been reading my blog since I began it in November 2006, you know that my son was deployed in the months prior and it started out initially to counter Tuteur's attack on homebirth, midwifery, and natural birth when she banned me -- when my son had just left and I was clinging to his sacrifice, possibly dying, being not in vain if it protected our rights here. I was taking my right to speech pretty damned seriously.

You know that I am passionate about birth, the empowerment of women and men in birthing their babies, and more importantly, that I am a fierce advocate for the baby. You'll know that writing six hundred pages in the first seven months on this blog, entertaining you with my colorful and very passionate weavings (rants) about obstetric abuse against women, the history of midwifery, circumcision, and the consciousness of the baby, is what got me through the hardest year of my life. Have I mentioned lately that the drugs used in American medical birth have NEVER been shown to be safe for the birthing baby and woman?!? And! that women and babies are one long experiment on NON-consenting and NON-informed women and babies?!

"In the cave," "over the cliff", "thrown on to the train tracks", and the "dark night of the soul" are some of my more graphic descriptions of my experience as a mother of a deployed soldier in this war. Thanks to you all who faithfully tuned in, I found a wonderful place to channel my energy and emotions --- as I unraveled a lifetime of ... of ... shi-stuff. And, then began to re-weave my life. Many days I would marvel at that amazing soul, my son, the one I saw come in at conception, and how we came to do this profound journey. Oh, how I would have given anything for a few days back ... so many would be "do overs", most would just be a day to enjoy him ... a baby, four years old, or fourteen, or 22. Mamas, hold them close and cherish every moment you have. Time slips away and all you have left is your dreams and justifications for why did what you did or didn't do what you didn't. Deployment dredged up all of those losses to be reviewed, like sorting through wet, stinky belongings after the backed up sewage goes down; and finding the joys within, to be appreciated.

Some days I was grateful that I was able to experience such depths of emotion ... even though much of it was very old and unfelt from days of numb living. Numb, that mechanism that most of us have that allows us to endure hardships, abuses, losses and to suck it up to go to work and put on the "happy public face" ... well, that mechanism goes haywire when we face losing our child, whatever the reason. And, I do mean, haywire. I found all of the times, all of the years that I didn't feel what I felt (like getting out of an abusive marriage to an obstetric physician) demanded to be heard and felt. All of those years living in Denial ... focused on worldly things not of that much importance really -- in the end when all is said and done.

Some days I felt, and do feel, profoundly blessed that I had this opportunity to recognize my child, the man, who is his own soul and who came for a purpose. I am blessed to be called to "let him go" -- as mothers must learn to do -- letting go while embracing, and accepting him, at a level I never knew possible. It's at the bottom of the cliff, in the darkest recesses of the cave, and in the darkest place of the soul. It is the moment one realizes, lying on the tracks, shifting waist high in the sewage, that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a freight train after all.

My only sadness I will likely never lose is the realization that my son will never be the same ... for this war. He is expected to come back and live a normal life, where the majority remain numb to his (and his colleague's) experiences and sacrifices. They are so young and have so many years to live. I can't quite shake my resentment at the majority in this country who merrily continues on their normal way, while ours will never be normal again, and my outrage at what you ... this country ... owes him and every veteran of this war. How can you continue to do nothing to stop the madness?

I went through what is as close to losing a child (to death) that I wish to experience. When your child goes to war you have to feel the very real possibility of his or her death (it feels like being slapped, beat to the ground, and kicked in the gut while you are down, over and over) AND you have to have the most hope you've ever had. You have to find it. I likened it to things like getting the news that your newborn is in NICU and for that time when you don't know if they will live or die, you live in panic ... then numb .... then panic .. then numb ... then panic. You live that way everyday that your child is in danger or at risk of dying. Everyday ... until you just have to adjust in order to survive, and the overwhelm is always just right there, ready to spill at any moment. Life unravels.

I realized the panicked scream I felt for two years was exactly like the time my older son almost got hit by a car. Almost, so close, that it is our angel story. I was very pregnant with his sister. He grinned, knowing I couldn't catch him and he bolted down the sidewalk towards the busiest street in town. I couldn't get to him and all I could do was scream his name ... so loudly that people came out of their homes 1/2 block away. My scream came from my core and it seemed to have summoned an army of angels or maybe just the very big brave one that I "saw". After my younger son left the US I realized that I was in that very same scream ... watching my child go off to war all pumped up to do what is right, to do what soldiers do for their country, was like watching him run gleefully to the street with zero regard for the danger. He was so trained, so prepared, and so honored to go to protect what most of us (not me, mama) take for granted.

The scream of deployment goes unscreamed, stuck in me; numb and panicked, numb and panicked, all stuck because there is no place in our society for mothers to just lie down and wail for their babies. No place, no time for days of crying, or time to rest from the exhaustion, and there is no one to pick up the pieces of modern day life that come undone so quickly and that undo us until homelessness, until cancer, under drug use, until divorce ... or whatever consequence emerges from stuffing numb powerlessness and panicked grief. Breathe!!

It is all stuck inside and it gets called "Mother's Guilt" or women get ill, sometimes, deathly ill.  There is no time to grieve our babies we lose in birth, or to war, or in accidents, or to cancer, or to strangers, to DCFS, to the other parent, and not even our babies who are born by cesarean or not how we know our body wanted. There is no time or place to grieve our babies and children's experiences when they and we do survive. Our bodies none the less wail. Our mind wails. Our soul wails. We women have no place to wail, grieve, to FEEL, and to process our guilt and abandonment and violation.  My definition of "Mother's guilt" is that it an expression, a measurement, of the degree of violation a woman and baby have endured by a system condoned by culture.

I intended to and I did choose to go through the pain ... with zero drugs. I have a master's degree and a license that allows me to be the "expert" talking head to help others "talk it through". Nothing I ever learned and experienced prepared me for my own experience ... except the group of parents who had lost their children to death. I didn't talk to someone about my feelings and it would do no good to talk about how my life was unraveling without real empathy and without going into my body and the experience. FEELing it, living it, moving through it. I used yoga, Tai Chi, and I wrote, movement, trance dance, and I wrote, African dance, massage, and I wrote, and the Mother Earth. And, I wrote. It was the Great Mother who sustained me and deepened my faith and trust in Her Son and in His Father. My son's deployment gifted me with the most difficult and blessed journey of my life. I have come through it a much better person. Thank you for sharing it with me. When I picked myself up and dusted myself off, I realized that I had progressed, quite surprisingly towards some long-time goals and dream. The most amazing of those is the film I have wanted to do for four years now.

Thank you for your prayers for my son, my GI Joe, and for all of the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Thank you for your prayers for me and my daughter and my family. Please remember that the needs of our men and women serving are great - before, during, and after. Our veterans deserve our care, appreciation, and our attention. Their families are suffering and need your support.

Please pray for the babies and children of our deployed men and women.

"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