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)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My UC film

tomgreever (10 hours ago) Show Hide
I'm a father to 2 homebirths and one natural hospital birth. I have caught all three. Anyway, while I'm sure your content is awesome (!!) -- the production quality is seriously lacking. I wish you had hired or worked with a professional for the production. :( This has the potential to be a game-changer for many dads.

“Thanks" for the feedback. Tom. So helpful. Gosh, I didn’t know that -- that my "production is seriously lacking." I am sure you point out what many have thought, and reflects the thought nagging in my ear, "What makes you think YOU can do a film?" So it's worthy of a post here.

Yep, I am a one-person crew -- camera, lighting, sound, set up, interviewing, editing, marketing. This IS a FUND RAISING trailer to be able to do that, get people who are experts in filmmaking, and to do a film that is palatable for the masses, like hospital birth is. This reminds of how important that is -- that it fit within the expectations of the mainstream. Gosh, I hope men really aren't that shallow.

The hospital birth is my grandson, my daughter, and my SIL. I, ME, I couldn’t protect them. I started this journey - giving up my home to go on the road to film my colleagues - knowing that "If it's only a home video to heal my daughter, SIL, and grandson(s) it will be worth the sacrifices."

My daughter said she wanted the first hour of life to be quiet, no unnecessary interventions done, and she wanted him to do the self-attachment/breast crawl. She got the exact opposite ... plus her child was used as a piece of meat to teach a resident. They didn't know I was more than just a grandma ... that I have been an ardent champion against child abuse for my entire life, and my professional life and studies had taken me to be a protector of the baby at birth.

I couldn't protect my own daughter and grandson. I saw my son-in-law in the same position I have seen too many men, some of whom I was blessed to help work though and some who suck it up and go on, "like a man." I had to bring my professional world to my daughter and her husband. The film is to heal them, and my motivation and urgency that kept me plowing through learning the how to get a fund raiser trailer done was to help my son whose son was born in August during the editing.

This has the potential to be a game-changer for many dads.

By some grace of God, if it also happens to get the information to others so that this barbaric treatment of human babies stops, I will die a happy soul, having done my purpose.

I am not even sure I understand this statement, except it rings of professional sports and the men's world. This has the potential to be a game-changer for many dads. I hope fathers preparing to bring another human being in the world will be able to watch amazing people, experts from around the world sharing their extensive knowledge, even if the lighting isn’t perfect. They'd watch a great home shot video of a great game, I presume?

Yeah, you should see my little pro-sumer camera gifted to me, my wimpy tripod, cheap lapel mics, and my “crew” (my 14 year old daughter who also shot the hospital birth footage at age 12). I am the proud product of our new Community Access Television stations; and I am seriously exercising my free speech to reveal the most horrible human rights violation in our country, controlled by several of the most powerful financial gods in our society – obstetrics and drug companies. Who will fund me to go up against these systems when every day in every state in the US women and men must navigate through unreasonable laws and rules in order to birth their baby without medical intervention?

So, yeah, my film is a UC homebirth without all the experts and technology, self-taught in filmmaking, with other good hearted people along the way to share their knowledge and truth with me, to give me lodging, so that within ten months I went from joining the Community Access Television station to completing the trailer. I could so get into that comparison. Your post brought that out. Thanks.

I'm doing the film b/c I can no longer watch the violation of the human newborn ... and now the focus moves to male babies in particular and how being in birth with their wife and child is re-traumatizing, and men grow up acting out their violence against women, in every aspect of our world, including not INSISTING on humane treatment of her, and not INSISTING on other men changing the laws that allow this to go on, for not holding the medical system accountable to follow the true science and knowing.

I gave up my home to do this – for my daughter, SIL, and grandson(s), because she is one of the “unlucky” ones. I am living on the road, below poverty level AND have managed to do what I have here to bring this information to light – that the newborn human baby is being violated when people don’t see that she or he is fully conscious, sentient being, and when people misuse technology and force technology upon the baby. Your comment stings, because of my sacrifice, because I am tired from driving 15 hours straight to meet with a group of men, and because my tooth is hurting. It cuts through all of my friend's, family's, and colleagues accolades and appreciation, and all of the tears and laughter of midwives around the world, and women, many who are looking at their husbands for the first time, thinking for the first time that, wow, maybe HE was also impacted by "HER birth" experience, and maybe for once the masses will consider how the baby felt and was impacted.

Clearly you have an interest in the topic, having experienced only natural and homebirths, and you have expertise in videography/filmmaking. Clearly midwifery & childbirth educator communities appreciate it for what it IS. Homemade. Like a midwife, I have the heart and passion. You professionals have the real skills & tech (that would make it quality enough for men to watch it.) Until it's funded, it's a HB, baby.

I posted trailer for my daughter/sil to see it. It took off. It wasn’t ready. I wasn't ready, but there is it. Striking nerves of women and men who were abused during "normal birth" and those who are the professionals in that field. They don't want to see what they do as impacting a woman, man, and certainly not the baby.

I was hoping to find funding to take it to the world more professionally done. This is my attempt to do that. People want the info. If someone wants to fund it, I'd be thrilled. I could focus on the content, my expertise. I could re-establish my practice again, work with babies and moms, support fatherhood, and have a home again, fix the air conditioning in my 17 year old car, get new glasses, and fix my broken tooth and a bridge that is going bad and has me in pain most of the time now. I could buy my daughter an Ipod, those new jeans she wants and she could buy all the CD's she wants.

Meanwhile, this weekend, we’re in SC to help a father start a father's group. He and his wife are activists for birth. They had just handed me $100 for gas when I read your comment. Yesterday fathers watched the trailer and contributed to pay the gas for me to be here. They are fathers whose wives have been devastated by surgical births, and whose options for a natural birth in the hospital and homebirth are now gone, and are illegal. We've been talking about the need for people with positive births to come to the aid.

I am grateful to those who supported me recently with the $15 donations to receive a copy of the ½ hour production I'll be working on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hyper-masculine Idea of Fatherhood -- Not.

I am very much enjoying the "break" from editing due to the emails, calls, and plans to go east to spend time with and film a father's group, all compliments of the trailer. I am very, very much appreciating the commenters and posters on lists talking about the film. I am finding it very helpful in preparing for the next phase.

crabgrass Says:

what really got to me was the way that the trailer was so focused on triggering the “protect” aspect of fatherhood/masculinity. there was a way that it was really working to appeal to this hyper-masculine idea of fatherhood. I don’t think the entire film will be more expansive, because I think that the baseline rationale for the film is that fathers need to be empowered (as manly men!) to step in and protect their wives and babies from the abuse of the medical system.

problematic, yet interesting.


What really gets to me about the film is how rich and giving it is -- every one has sees and experiences it their different triggers and see that that is what it's about. Based on who they are and "where they are".

I hope you'll go to my blog, and and read about why the filmis for men and about men.

It is not at all about being manly men .. and it will expand beyond what one can imagine, beyond feminism. It has for me. It will look at what happens when men are able to heal their own primal wounding as baby boys -- born "under the influence of drugs" as were their mothers, "he cut me so bad" stories, separated and treated harshly by strangers, often women -- like the baby in the film who was brutalized by four strange women.

Most adult men --and only part of the male babies now - ere not breastfed, were brought to their mother on a schedule and cried in the nursery, and most often, their penis mutilated. This was often done by causing an erection. This is the story of most men over 25. Only episeotomy, breastfeeding and rooming in has truly changed significantly, Many babies are not circumcised, but there are still subjected to cord clamping before the placenta is birthed, and this suctioning for "meconium risk" that is now routine, despite the research showing there is no reason. NO reason. It makes no difference on meconium aspiration syndrome. 30% of all babies are born surgically. Circumcision is still done in a majority of cases.

There is a whole psychological phenomenon to be unfolded ... how it is that historically men whose innate need is to protect, yet they have taken us to war repeatedly, raped and pilfered, and until recently it was rarely a woman who would abuse a child sexually.

The men in the film were so the opposite of the hyper-masculine, manly men. They were vulnerable, tearful, speaking of their feelings that men rarely access -- helplessness, powerlessness, guilt, and shame. ALL of it related to THEIR experience of their babies births. ALL of them embracing their earliest parts in order to be better men, and one the ways they do so is to support their partner's biological and physiological needs in birth.

Most women, varied by many comments around the web, are totally unaware of their partners need to have their story heard, to have their perspective of the experience of birthing their child heard, felt, and acknowledged. Honored. It is not just women who experience the birth of their baby. And, when they can figure that out, they can "be with" their baby to tell his or her perspective of their birth. The baby has a story. The baby girl, and the baby boy. It starts there. It changes there.

The film is about healing the masculine, and doing so by being embraced as also wounded, by women. Women and men need to work together to heal the wounding of the feminine and the masculine.

It's about the phenomenon of how men - like a Marine deployed to Iraq three times - can be giant in the world and yet be brought to his knees by an obstetric nurse.

It is about the inner healing that creates gentle protectors --

The father who pounded on the glass is one of those. His story, in full, is about how he gently, and powerfully, protected his daughter ... he was watching a circumcision when he pounded on the glass. When a LD deliver nurse insisted that he leave his wife and go to wait in the waiting room and he refused, and she began to push his chest, a 6'4" man, he simply, "Oh, no, I am not going anywhere" and their doctor happen to come by at that moment to "ok it."

You leave me with a pondering of how "protection" is equated with hyper-masculine and the "manly man.' Good information for me ... thanks for the post.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On the radio

Rich Winkle
Male Circumcision in the USA:
A Human Rights Primer
and I were on KORE ISSUES on, 89.5 FM on Saturday, September 20, 2008.

Go to and go to Archives/Podcasts and then to KORE ISSUES.

It actually starts at the end of the previous show and it takes a few minutes transitioning in the air room.

The following is a note from KORE ISSUES co-host Jesca introducing me:

The gifted and courageous creator of this poignant film, Janel Martin, will be one of our guests this Saturday at 5pm on Kore Issues ( 89.5 fm).

It is my sentiment that every adult should watch this film, regardless of their gender or whether they will be, are, or are not a parent, regardless of their age or stage in life. We all were given life by the combination of a man and woman. We were all at one time an infant. We carry with us all we have experienced from conception whether consciously or subconsciously.

This accepted ignorance or "conscience comforting" idea of thinking babies don't remember or that what happens in womb/in labor/in birth and there after does not continually effect the parents and their relationship with their young has got to end. To me what this film addresses is a big part of the kore reason so many families are falling apart everywhere today. The family is the microcosm of the world human family so healing and changing this is crucial to us all in this world. If one part of humanity is ailing the rest is not the same nor can it reach it's potential.

This is needed and I am compelled to let everyone I know, know about it. I highly recommend you watch this trailor now, and the film when it is completed. As with anything, it is your choice whether you watch it, what you think of it, and whether you share it with others or not. If you do watch it and you are not a robot, prepare for the strong chance that you will feel many different emotions (I know I did) and to probably be awakened to a new understanding of what is happening in regard to this issue (I know I was).

Finally, a birth film for men. A film to empower fathers to protect their babies. By L. Janel Martin

Thank you Janel, you are a true Katalyzt ; ) and you honor us all by your devoted service.

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.

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