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clients catching their own baby - Page 2

post #21 of 43
Catching baby#2 was part instinct, part necessity for me. She was born in water, at home (this part was planned). She was born without a midwife present (this part was NOT planned).

I hadn't even realized I was supporting my prenium at the time - and yet, looking back, I not only supported it, I literally stretched it over DD's head !!

I TOLD DH to catch the baby because I wasn't aware of what I was doing - it was all instinct. He looked at me a little bewildered, and asked me how he should go about doing that when my hands were in the way. Okay - back to reality for me, as DD slipped out into my hands right then.


I'm planning another home waterbirth this time, but with midwife present. I admit, I'm a little worried that having a midwife there will be too much interference for me when this little one arrives. We'll see - I can be a royal b*tch when needed.
post #22 of 43
I was way too self-conscious with my first birth to be instinctive about it. I didn't know the midwife very well, only having met with her a dozen or less times, and did not know her assistant at all. I had no basis for being naturally intimate with either of them, so it was impossible for me to totally let go and get into a primal place.

This was nine years ago, but I clearly remember feeling inhibited about being intimate with my husband. I have to laugh when I read the stories in Spiritual Midwifery, because there was *no* way my husband and I were going to be loving on each other -- putting on a show, it would feel like -- in front of people who were there essentially as medical professionals. I felt that way about touching myself as well. I don't regard my genitals as a non-sensual area, but I can manage to pretend with someone who is not my lover touching and looking at it. I disassociated in effect (which you can imagine didn't help with pushing) in order to be able to bear it. If I'd put my own hands down there, I'd be reminded instantly of what that area is for, and that this was something very private that was being exposed to people I hardly knew. And, again, it would be putting on a show. I would be the performer, they the audience. It would have been embarrassing. So I kept my hands well away from that area while the midwife worked away on it.

When she told me to touch my baby's head, I didn't want to. She said that I needed to, so I did. I felt completely disconnected, it was interesting, but meant nothing. I certainly wouldn't have done it if she hadn't insisted.

I felt that way even with my second birth, in which my midwife never prodded or peered at my genitals. I was in a deep, dark tub. No one could see anything below my collarbone. And yet I still felt a resistance inside myself to touching myself, and was annoyed when the midwife suggested it. Because, see, I wanted us all to keep pretending she wasn't paying attention to the fact of what I was doing. I did touch myself, because this was to be my empowered birth, and I felt it would be ridiculous *not* to do so, when that's what I would do normally in birth. I'm glad I was able to, finally, but still it was marred by my self-consciousness.

My private births were fantastic because they were fully uninhibited. My hands were all over my body, and at points so were my husband's. I felt up inside of me, I felt my breasts, I kneaded my stomach and back, I moaned in ways that sounded very sexual, and did so with abandon, spontaneously and instinctively. I felt the folds of my vagina; I softly and even pleasurably touched my clitoris. In my "rest and be thankful stage" I fell back against the pillows, legs splayed open, and touched myself some more, smiling at how swollen and lubricated I was. When the baby was ready to be born, I felt the coin-sized top of her head, felt the lusciousness of the waters releasing, and the sheer sensuousness of her head in my vagina. I felt my tissues expanding and I pleaded, "come down, baby, come down. Mama's waiting for you." I shrieked at the peak of contractions and moaned coming down from them. I rocked my hips back and forth, waving my butt in the air, with my hand between my legs. Remembering the ecstatic feeling when my daughter moved down through me nearly brings me to tears. Serious tears. This is how it was supposed to be.

Some of that was uncomfortable for me to write, admit in public. (Never mind what my husband did during this time, which is never going to be made public.) Was any of it uncomfortable to read, to imagine watching? Imagine, then, it being a thousand times more uncomfortable to do it while being watched. And that's exactly why I wouldn't do it in front of someone I wasn't normally intimate with.

After those experiences, thinking about doing perineal support or touching my baby's head at a midwife's direction seems so perfunctory and unnatural it's laughable.
post #23 of 43
Fourlittlebirds, you had an *awesome* birth! I always dreamed of having a birth like that, and you are right, that is how it *should* be. If I could get pg tomorrow I would do that too...awesome, you rock. It takes intimacy to make a baby- it should take intimacy to birth one, and this is something you two can look at each other and grin silly grins when you are 91! You go, girl!
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
That's cool, Pam. So, you don't do any maneuvers at all. Do you see many tears? When the baby comes on it's own does the posterior shoulder deliver first?

I rarely see tears so big that they need to be sutured. However, I'm a believer that *some* small tears are NORMAL and good for the body to prevent huge disastrous tears.

I have no idea what delivers first most of the time. In the water, I don't see the heads - I can't even write "position of baby at delivery" on my summary forms.

It all comes out beautifully. Posterior shoulder, arm, anterior shoulder - it all works the way it's supposed to.

My goal is to always keep my hands off the baby for the first hour - or at least for the first half hour. I don't want to touch the baby or talk to the mom in a way that disrupts that special time.
post #25 of 43
Sorry to keep peppering you with questions, Pam!

So, do you listen to the baby's heart or anything like that in the first hour? What about dealing with the placenta?
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
Sorry to keep peppering you with questions, Pam!

So, do you listen to the baby's heart or anything like that in the first hour? What about dealing with the placenta?
No, I don't listen to the baby's heart right at birth or after. If baby doesn't look good, then I might, but I look mainly at the tone. Not the color, not respiratory effort immediately. I look at tone. If baby has good tone, I just wait. I can watch the respirations and know if baby is breathing fast. If it is, I watch the color and the breathing efforts. If either of these are off, then I will step in and listen and help out.

With the placenta, I just sit and watch. I watch for the separation gush. In the water or upright births, it's easy to see. In fact, it's usually then that women say "oh, there's lots of blood coming out". This is the key point when their attention moves from their babies to us or an awareness on the "outside".

Sometimes I encourage women to do cord traction after detachment if it seems they're anxious to get it birthed.. Other times I just wait and voila! the placenta comes. I saw a placenta come out completely spontaneously while a woman was lying flat on her back! I never would have thought that would happen. So, we wait. I can watch the height of her fundus if she's out side the water and if she's in the water, she's more than likely upright, so we'll see some blood loss if she's ready to birth the placenta.


Oh, and Linda (fourlittlebirds), I loved your post above. I love you. I feel silly saying it all the time, but I do. I appreciate what you have given me through our friendship.
post #27 of 43
From a mom, I found it quite difficult to not touch babe's head when they are coming out ,it feels so strange yet so familiar and helped ground me for the final push. My partner caught and really enjoyed it.
post #28 of 43
Linda, I can totally see why Pamela loves you.

Like Pam, I'm not convinced of the benefit of perineal support (there have been some interesting articles in Midwifery Today on the topic recently), but in the water perineal support is both redundant and worse than useless. The water is gently giving counter pressure in an even way impossible with hand support, which will always create pressure points, areas with no support or too much pressure. If a woman feels like touching herself, it's very, very different from the kind of perineal support most midwives have been trained to provide, if for no other reason than that she can feel and respond to exactly how each area of touch feels and what it needs, and can do so from an entirely internal perspective. For much of the same reason as it's usually easier for women to learn to orgasm from touching themselves, with their own fingers or appliances in their control, a woman who is not inhibited (as Linda described above in her first births) will far better than an outsider know how much touch she needs and where, and even whether.
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn
If a woman feels like touching herself, it's very, very different from the kind of perineal support most midwives have been trained to provide, if for no other reason than that she can feel and respond to exactly how each area of touch feels and what it needs, and can do so from an entirely internal perspective. For much of the same reason as it's usually easier for women to learn to orgasm from touching themselves, with their own fingers or appliances in their control, a woman who is not inhibited (as Linda described above in her first births) will far better than an outsider know how much touch she needs and where, and even whether.
yes! yes! I always worry when mws say that they don't like waterbirths because they get too wet or they "can't get in there". Gah, in my opinion, it's why women should have water births! Keep those people's hands outta there!

I wrote an article for MT about this topic that I posted here originally. Women push more instinctively when they're focused on their body/baby and not looking to someone else for direction. They push enough to bring the baby down slowly - and they often can feel how far down each push brings the baby. Not every woman touches their baby's head as it is coming, but I can tell you she definitely won't be reaching for it instinctively if someone else is there touching her!

The only times my hands / arms get wet is when women want my hands there to help catch the baby (rare) or when I'm listening to baby. IMO, a shoulder dystocia is BETTER in the water - mom is usually in better positions (not on her tailbone in bed) to prevent this from happening and the simple act of getting out of a birth tub often opens the pelvis to dislodge the shoulder / baby.
post #30 of 43
Linda,
Yep, some of that was private feeling to read and that's why I can see that it's private to feel that and do that on your own... what a good example of WHY to UC, so many people I know go "why???".

And Pam... you are exactly the midwife I want to be like - I respect your opinion greatly and am grateful for your openness to other ways. You remind me of my MW friend I followed for a year - she recently moved and I miss her so!

As for catching... I want to catch this baby and it's my plan to be in the water and do it myself. When I get into pushing sometimes I really can't move, so I'm going to have my DH remind me...
I've never been able to feel them, touch them, catch them - I regret that deeply, so this time I'm going to do it myself (if at ALL possible).
(Please let it be soon baby!).
~Julie
post #31 of 43
Wow, this thread really makes me feel a lot better. I don't know if this will come across right but I almost feel like some of the pressure is off of me as a midwife, if that makes sense. Like I don't have to have rote memory of the delivery maneuvers or worry that my perineal support is failing. My training puports itself to be hands off but really it's pretty hands on... I think I need to unlearn all of that business.
post #32 of 43
fourlittlebirds, that is totally awesome, how better a world this could be if everybody was born with such love:to know that birth like yours happens is truly enlightening.
post #33 of 43
I would love to catch my baby! I have birthed 2 on hands and knees, and hadn't crossed my mind to catch- I am wondering now how I would be able to. A part of that is most likely since there was someone there to catch- if I was UC, of course I'd have to figure something else out LOL. Something to think on, that is for sure, because how great that would be to catch!!

I did touch DC#2 as she was crowning- amazingly no one else (DH, doula, nurses, doc, etc.) noticed. It is a very special moment for me between just DC and me (not that she remembers LOL). My MW asked me if I wanted to touch DC#3 at crowning and I said no. I did, but wanted to keep that a unique thing between DC2 and me. Sounds kinda silly in print, but it really meant and still means a lot to me. I didn't explain to MW at the time (I was a bit busy lol); now I wonder what she may be thinking about why I didn't (well, not now, I'm sure she's long since forgotten ).

DH has expressed in the past that he just wants the baby out, the whole thing done and over with. Doesn't want to catch, cut the cord, doesn't even want to watch the actual emergence. I think I'll ask him if he would consider catching this time since it is most likely our last time.
post #34 of 43
I mostly caught my last son. I was having a really hard time staying calm while pushing. I couldn't seem to focus at all and the pain was getting away from me.
My mw told me to reach down and feel his head. I dont think I responded at first but she told me again to feel the head so I could gauge how to push. After she said why to feel his head I found my focus again the pain seemed to be manageable again. It was like I could see what was happening through my hands. Like I could see from a different perspective then from my eyes that were so far away from what was going on. I think my eyes were closed most of the time yet when I recall his birth I see images that I saw with my hands. It sounds really cool as i write this!!!

After his head was out I just waited to push again and I reached down and grabbed under his arms and pulled him up to my chest. It was so beautiful. I dont remember thinking about what I was doing. I felt very comfortable with my MW and nurse. I didnt even consider what I was supposed to do or allowed to do I just did what felt right and they were there to cheer me on.

I do remember now that Norla put a warm wet cloth on my perenium and I felt her hand with mine while I was feeling babies head and touching her hand was comforting as well. I dont know if what Norla did or what I did was what kept me from tearing but I know that it felt right and I didnt tear.

I hope to catch the next babe as well!
~Angela~
post #35 of 43
I strongly beliveve that birth is a private sexual, intmate event between a husband and wife. I strongly believe that relationships would be better if the two people who truly loved this child being the first to welcome it in the world in the same room where it was concieved(?spelling?). Michael Odent once said "the best place to give birth is the best place to make love". The media portrays birth as something other than sexual to justify what they do to women. For the most part what probably goes on in hospitals is constipated childbirth, women were designed to give birth in privacy away from everyone. Birth uses the same hormones the same body parts as sex does so how can we ever expect women to successfully birth their children in an enviroment other than that of making love, and I srongly believe she can't. 1 in 4 births in this county are c-sections and the major reason for them is failure to progress and it goes back to being in the wrong enviroment. Doctors interfere with all these dangerous interventions to speed it up and control it and when they can't do that they can just give you a c-section. Labor and birth was never meant to be medicalized. Mother nature is smart she knows what she is doing,but we do not give her chance.
post #36 of 43
freebirth2 I can see a lot of good sense in your post and I agree with your thoughts, even if a woman does not have a loving partner she is still capable of having a loving birth. I would have very much liked to have this kind of birth where the couple(if applicable)were able to tune into a loving experience, didn't quite happen that way for me, I mean I'm on my own now so our relationship wasn't solid. I also reckon relationships could benefit greatly from the experience, have always wanted to explore more angles during birth than just the concept of delivery. UC made my life a better place to be. I am one of those women who had to do it alone for so many reasons. My reasons are stuff like empowerment, am nervous and unable to birth in medicalized environments(happily) an intense love of nature and the natural rythyms and just a very personal choice that I did'nt want others around. Not every woman wants that and I think we should all birth how we wish imo humans are becoming very detached from the natural flow and don't want to be a part of it, that is so sad and I can't help but get angry over the years that my birthing choices, amongst other life choices, are ridiculed as over the top or summit daft or worse that I am a selfish woman who cares more more my own welfare than that of my unborn child. All irrelevant to me now I can say. I think I just have more faith in women and natural processes than most and I have seen it pay off. It would be interesting to know what women really think of birth and what they would like to achieve as the domesticated version of childbirth doesn't appear that safe , would it be possible for more women to take back some birth power if they are scared of it, and that fear is peddalled by the medics to insure imo that they are justified in their actions ie mass medicalised birth. Constipated birth- excellent description, just how I felt.
post #37 of 43
Indeed as complications do occur and many women are rushed in for c-secs and other highly stressful interventions, I do wonder if pregnancy were a more relaxed,woman directed affair instead of the risk assessment that so many women are assessed for, would perhaps birth be less likely to develop into complication in the first place in some births(whether actual real complications or hazardous guesswork with no actual proof of complication other than scare-mongering,unenlightened docs ) would a heck of a lot of women who have c-secs and other interventions actually have been able to birth their babies safely? As we wouldn't know the result till after the fact I reckon there is a fair amount of bullying and downright ignorance involved in a womans imminent right to birth. I would have had a hard time had I had complications during birth and have many friends who have had emergency c-secs and am in no way saying that real complications do not occur,am thinking more on the way these are dealt with. Hang on what am I saying!? I had my 2nd dd by uc at 7 months, it was touch and go around the 5th month and I sure could have done with some non-invasive help, my cervix was real sore and I couldn't walk very well for months, same leg thing with 3rd ds but not so bad so I guess it wasn't that straightforward, I am prone to forget.Have had a slipped disc since then but have had back-work done thankfully.
post #38 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies, I guess I just always thought it was instinctual to reach down and catch your baby.
I dont remember giving a crap what anyone thought about me providing my own perineal support.
post #39 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife

I wrote an article for MT about this topic that I posted here originally. Women push more instinctively when they're focused on their body/baby and not looking to someone else for direction. They push enough to bring the baby down slowly - and they often can feel how far down each push brings the baby. Not every woman touches their baby's head as it is coming, but I can tell you she definitely won't be reaching for it instinctively if someone else is there touching her!

.
Do you have a link for the article you've written Pam? Or any articles you've written?
Thanks!
post #40 of 43
http://www.midwifemama.com/honoring.html

bouncin a toddler and typing w one hand .....
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