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)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My father passed away

My father, Rev. Charles A. Martin passed away on Monday, February 21, 2011 about 6 pm.  I was blessed to "be with" him in his journey from his earthly life to his new life since he was admitted to the VA medical center on February 7th. I was with him during his eight day stay in the VA and the last three days of his life in a nursing facility.

My daughter stopped by the hospital the night of her court-warming dance so we could see her dressed up. We had learned that day that he had less than two weeks to live but I waited until the next day to tell her.

Being with dad is the reason I relocated to MO: to be with my parents in their last years and days.  Being with my dad during his transition was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I am very blessed to be with him in the most spiritual, intimate part of living - his dying, passing from this life to a new life, as he was with me in my birthing.  Through his courage, faith, and vulnerability, I experienced some of the greatest fathering of my life.

My sister and I were planning his celebration of his life/family gathering for Saturday, February 26 when dad and I learned on February 12th that he had less than 2 weeks to live without dialysis.  He was in so much pain from another infliction that was incurable that he chose to die with grace and not do dialysis. He had been ready for a long time to go be with Jesus and chose not to live a stressful, poor quality life extending him a few months.  As it turns out the 26th truly was his day of our family celebration of his life, his funeral. Another one will be in his/my hometown in Iowa on March 4.

I am keeping my goal of completing the film by my dad's birthday, May 21st and launching it for Father's Day.  I hope to premier it in Los Angeles on June 15th and plan to do the Canadian premiere in Montreal on June 20th. It will be even more important to me now to honor my father on Father's Day as this is really is his story.

Looking through my mom's amazing geneology books, I found this newspaper clipping.  No wonder I'm doing this film.

My dad was present at my birth in 1956 and at my five siblings' births, from 1949 to 1970.  Long before women were fighting to have their husbands with them my dad was there. His last child was born before it was a popular idea and a fight in the 70's.  My father was one of the first men to be impacted by witnessing the violence and trauma inflicted upon his wife and baby and having no way to stop it, and no place and no one with whom to process it.  My early primal self, my inner baby, my preverbal self who experienced his presence, his pain, our pain, our separation and union at my birth has known this.  I've really just begin to understand myself, my dad, and our family in the making of this film.  I wish we'd had longer, of course. I had just gotten to know an aspect of him I'll forever cherish. 

For the first year and a half of the filmmaking my dad worried about me driving around the country, back and forth, and just wanted me to get a real job!  I am glad my dad recently got to see the intro and the closing of the film, and to see himself in it.  He was pretty proud of it,  and me, and he did understand the overall multiple focuses of the film, and the magnitude of the film, and he appreciated my accomplishment.  I have a strong faith in the spiritual world and with our connections to all things and beings, here and there.  I know he's still guiding me and telling his story ... the story of so many men in our culture.

3 comments:

Peace Love and Leener said...

My heart is with you all. He seemed like a truly amazing human! <3

Guggie Daly said...

What a beautiful post about the celebration of death and the celebration of your father. Thank you for sharing.

Doula Darlin' said...

Thank you for sharing the intimate moments of your father's last days.
My own father transitioned from this life a year ago on March 28. I understand your gratitude to have been by your father's side to support and love him at this vulnerable time in his life.
It will always be an indescribable joy to me that I was able to be with my dad the last two days of his life. His passing was as easy and peaceful as taking one last breath and then no more.
But missing him hurts.
Hugs to you and your family Janel as you grieve the loss of such a wonderful man.

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 www.TheOtherSideoftheGlass.com 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 theothersideoftheglassfilm@gmail.com for info to download. Release on DVD is not planned at this date.

FREE online! watch Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 10 at www.vimeo.com/75767434

"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 - www.BEBA.org

David Chamberlain, Ph.D. - www.BEPE.info

Judith Cohen - www.judithleecohen.com

Myrna Martin - www.MyrnaMartin.net

Karen Melton - www.HealYourEarlyImprints.com

Wendy McCord, Ph.D. - www.WendyMcCord.com

Wendy McCarty, Ph.D. - www.WondrousBeginnings.com

And, many, many more all over the world at www.BirthPsychology.com
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, www.tut.com

"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