Preach It!

No one can tell a woman what is best for her and her baby ... waterbirth, homebirth, hospital birth, doctor, midwife, Unassisted Childbirth (UC) or cesarean surgery ... it is for her and her baby to know. The best we can do is support her to access, trust, and know her own inner wisdom and communicate with the Being within her - the One whose birth it is through her womb and the man. - Janel Mirendah, Attachment/Birth trauma therapist, Filmmaker of The Other Side of the Glass.

Watch It! (The Trailer)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why the film is about fathers

The purpose of the film is to awaken society to the need to see that the human being is an aware, feeling, experiencing human being and to heal men, the masculine. It is focused on men because they are the forgotten in birth, from their own birth through fatherhood.

Every baby, regardless of how he or she was conceived, comes from a man and a woman ... from the union of a sperm and an egg.

The film will unfold that baby boys are the most traumatized of humans ... most of us on the planet were born in hospitals that are fundamentally, by their nature, by their needs, boundary violating. Boys and girls are different and the differences are present at birth. Both are routinely, historically separated from the mothers in the first minutes of life, the most profound of their lives. Boys experience and live this separation differently. Mothers of sons and daughters may know the difference in attachment and relationship. It is not discussed. It is time it was addressed.

Girls and boys, in the first moments of life have typically been "manhandled" and controlled by male doctors, while their fathers stand by unable to protect them, or while they experience the absence of their father. Often, it is women in the birthing room, some trying to support and protect the mother, some doing the betraying violence. Even if conceived wanted and loved by two same-sex partners with test tube or turkey baster, the human being coming in is aware of the absence of the sperm/father, and is already well-aware of the story of the father. The story is being built-in to the developing baby's body and brain. What ELSE can a gestating baby know but the mother's experience?

There may be a female partner there in that role of mother's partner, or there may be two males there ready to welcome the baby. Well, the good thing is that this baby will be blessed to be so wanted and welcomed ... and yet, the absence of an aspect of their essential being, their male side, will impact them.

The film is for men. Throughout history men lead us into war out of fear, lack of control, and inane and insane need to "protect us". It's time to stop the making of warriors, and men who are afraid of other men, and men who hurt women and children. It is time to honor fatherhood and to begin to try to understand how men have been wounded, being with their births and the unimaginable violation of circumcision.

We have birth films for women -- about every aspect of birth for the woman/mother. We have preparation and support programs for women. Women have support and places for telling THEIR perception of the birth story. Women have a doula based on women "being with woman". It is rare that the father have a place, a space, and another human, particularly another male who's been through it, who knows how to protect a baby in birth, and to really talk about HIS experience.

It is even more rare that a woman or man consider that their baby also has a perception of his experience. Three days of labor and six hours of pushing at home birth does not go unnoticed by the baby any more than a cesarean birth and/or the brutal suctioning of the baby born in the hospital (such as the baby who did NOT need to be suctioned, but was used like a slab of meat for the nurse to train the resident how to suction).

Yes, we all see how horrible it was for the mother to have the baby pried from her hands while she cried no. And, for him to be treated so brutally.

And, it seems like for once maybe, many people were deeply touched by watching a father unable to honor his wife's instinctual knowing and pleading and to stop a female doctor from cutting the cord. Perhaps, finally, people see a father go from a protective stance with his baby to asking almost like a little boy, trying to be nice to get the mean adult to respond, FOUR TIMES, "Can he go to mama now?" "Can we give him to mommy?" to no avail.

All of this was done on camera, with no thought to what was being done. It was a normal birth. But if you were any place else in the world, and you saw an adult doing something even near that to a infant, you would hotline her to your state child protective agency.

This baby boy was violated repeatedly by three females, an OB and 2 nurses, well and, if you count the female OB resident who suctioned him on the perineum, FOUR females in the first ten minutes of his life, while both the father and a male resident complied. Taken from his mother for NO MEDICAL reason. For the first hour hour of his life one of these women was repeatedly scrubbing, poking his ribs, diggin' at his feet, swaddling, bulbing him, taking his temperature as well as brutally suctioning him, sometimes two at a time. At least three times, his father's gentle touch and attempts to connect with him and soothe him, were pushed away by a nurse. As were the grandmother's and the 8 year old brother's. The trailer does not show the worst of the suctioning. Added up, the bulbing alone equaled just over two solid minutes of bulbing.

Where have all of the films for women and about women gotten us in birth when we watch four women highly educated, well-intentioned, once caring women violate this mother, her baby, and his father, and think nothing of it? This same care can and does happen at homebirth with midwives. Not as often, and not as severely usually, but unless one embraces the profound reclaiming of our awareness of the human being's sacredness and consciousness, birth is not truly safe. Just less traumatic, sometimes. Those stories will be there as well.

So, the film is for the males, our sons, as I say in the beginning. Every man was a son. Every man came through a woman. Everything in him wants to experience love, intimacy, trust, and connection. How he experienced his birth and his separation from his mother is defining.

So, the film is for fathers. In my opinion, it is ok that we focus for a moment on men, on fatherhood, about their needs, and their wounding - as baby boys and as fathers. No, it is demanded of us that we hold men and support men in their place and experience of birth. Their experience, their perception, their piece of the total family experience is ignored.

When we get the entirety of what Dr. Chamberlain says, that we are consciousness PRIOR to conception, because we are a soul, we have a psyche, when we acknowledge this, it changes how we care for our babies and our selves. Single-mother, lesbian couple? The baby is still conscious of his or her absent father. Gay couple? The baby is still aware, painfully so, of the absence of the woman who gave him life. Regardless of family is configured after birth, we come into the union of an ovum from a woman and a sperm from a man ... it's time we honored the male, whatever the configuration of the family.

This film can not attend to all of the psycho-social implications and family configurations. The film is not about that, nor is there time to do so here. After we get this piece, perhaps it would be a very good film in itself. It doesn't mean they aren't important and relevant issues. I propose that until we attend to the wounded masculine in our society, that starts with violating baby boys at birth and circumcision, we aren't going to create the kind of society we say we want. Until we figure out how it is that birth is systemically so violating for the mother and baby and father, violence perpetrated by women on to newborn baby boys, then we really can't sufficiently address these other situations.

The film intends to make the point of what a conscious, sentient human needs -- WHEREVER birth happens and with whomever -- doctor, nurse, midwife, paramedic, cabby, or unassisted. It just happens that 95% of birth are in the hospital.

The film will show a third birth, a homebirth, with providers who are conscious of the baby, and gently, slowly, respectfully suction him.

The intention is bring to light the violation of every baby,wherever birth happens and with whomever, but especially the male baby, because the violation of his maternal bond, the separation of his body and heart from his mother is experienced profoundly, and differently. It impacts him differently. It robs him of his ability to connect with women as intimately as he wants. It robs him of his ability to be a man who can protect his wife/partner and baby in the hospital system. It robs him of fatherhood and manhood. It creates a society of dysfunctions, addictions, pathology, dis-ease, war, and every imagineable ism when men and women harm baby boys and girls ..

My film "names it" and poses questions ... and goes beyond to ask, "How do we support men to heal, to integrate, the experiences of his primal period?" How do we, AT THE SAME TIME we realize our own, our babies, and our fellow human's primal wound -- how do we forgive and provide compassion for the caregivers -- doctors, nurses, and midwives -- who CO-created the agreement we've ALL lived by, supported with our compliance and acceptance since medicine began saving lives with antibiotics, interventions, and surgeries.

And, importantly, the film will feature healing sessions with the hospital born and homebirth born baby shown in the trailer. When we talk about what has happened to us and our babies at birth, we must know that there is hope for healing. There is. HOPE.

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Buy It!

Part One: The Other Side of the Glass: a Birth Film for and About Men officially released in digital download format on June 2, 2013. Go to to purchase a digital download.

Men have been marginalized in birth for a long time. The old joke is that a man was sent off to boil water to keep him busy. I believe they were making the environment safe. Birth moved to hospitals and for forty years women were separated from their partners who was left to wait in smoke filled waiting room. Finally, he would see his baby from "the other side of the glass." Now a man can go in the birthing room and even get to hold his partner's hand during surgery. But they are still marginalized and powerless, according to the fathers I interviewed around the country.

Historically, birth has been defined by the medical establishment. The midwifery and natural birth movement now advocate for need "to educate and prepare men to protect their wife and baby" in medical environment. Seems logical ... if we process with the same illogic that got us here.

Through the voices of men - and doctors and midwives - men share heart-touching stories about how this is not workin' out. A man is also very likely to be disempowered and prevented from connecting with their newborn baby in the first minutes of life.

Now is the time for men to take back birth.

The film is about restoring our families, society, and world through birthing wanted, 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.

Donors, check your emails or email me at for info to download. Release on DVD is not planned at this date.

FREE online! watch Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 10 at

"Doctor's Voices" - Stuart Fischbein, MD - Part 1

Doctor's Voices - Michael Odent, MD

Human Rights Violations

Resources - Healing Birth Trauma

"The Other Side of the Glass" has the potential to open up feelings that have been denied and ignored for a very long time. How to heal the trauma of birth at any age will be addressed in the film. Meanwhile, these are pioneers in the field.

Raymond Castellino and Mary Jackson -

David Chamberlain, Ph.D. -

Judith Cohen -

Myrna Martin -

Karen Melton -

Wendy McCord, Ph.D. -

Wendy McCarty, Ph.D. -

And, many, many more all over the world at
In both relationships and life trust begets trust.
Generosity begets generosity.
Love begets love.
Be the spark, especially when it's dark.

--Note from the Universe,

"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so children have very little time with their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world." - Mother Theresa