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post #41 of 74
I think catching your own baby is totally doable and 'normal'. I think truly handsoff midwives are probably a rarity, tho hopefully more will come along. Maybe their training just kicks in and they feel 'robbed' or inconsequential when they are not 'needed' to catch a baby, like they have to do something to justify their being there, I 've seen the greed/orthodoxy in some of their eyes almost like this is their moment or something, like now let me do what I'm here for, I think they get jealous, some not all and maybe some are learning to let go of these selfish feelings or never had them in the first place would be better imo. I uc'ed 2 of my dc and was so very close to the ground that there wasn't much of a fall onto the towels and cushions we put there and my xp and self both caught baby. I dunno, I always feel it's like baby is a possession of the medical establishment or something and they feel a right to take this precious empowering moment away from you. If I was in an assistant or midwife capacity at a birth I for one would not assume nor want to do the catching, I would never dream of taking that away from the mom and her partner. Nor would I feel like I should even be present in the room actually unless specifically requested and I would be way too busy cleaning, preparing food, entertaing other dc, feeding the chickens, making up massage oils if that was what mom wanted etc but many people do not have such faith in labouring women and respect for their privacy as I do and I guess many midwives do not really support this autonomy. I think if I was attending a labouring woman, massage would be very beneficial esp during contractions.
post #42 of 74
post #43 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by RachaelAustin View Post
Hi (WAVES!!). This is me in the photos birthing my second baby. I for the most part caught my little girl, the midwife helped out at the last minute, she was a little tight at her hips, of all places For my first birth, a rural hospital land birth, my husband caught our son. I was much more prepared this time around, and prepared myself to be able to catch her, a personal quest if you like.

It was amazing to feel, but as Kaede`'s head was birthed, I asked is it all the way out? I was a bit high on oxytocin and could't work it out, but it didn't feel right. Anyway, after my husband and midwife looked closely, her hand had been born with her head, exactly the same as my son's had, which made it feel strange.

I've now gone into private practice as a midwife, and will be encouraging women or their partners to catch their own babies...I'll be there to just help out if needed. It will be a big family affair with both my breastfeeding children comming along to births too
Well, your birth pics are beautiful, and my kids all love to look at them. I'm especially fond of the one where your baby is looking up at you through the water. : Thank you so much for sharing them, and good luck in your midwifery practice. I completed my entire apprenticeship while pg and/or bfing, so I know what that is like.


Quote:
Originally Posted by forthebest View Post
I think catching your own baby is totally doable and 'normal'. I think truly handsoff midwives are probably a rarity, tho hopefully more will come along. Maybe their training just kicks in and they feel 'robbed' or inconsequential when they are not 'needed' to catch a baby, like they have to do something to justify their being there, I 've seen the greed/orthodoxy in some of their eyes almost like this is their moment or something, like now let me do what I'm here for, I think they get jealous, some not all and maybe some are learning to let go of these selfish feelings or never had them in the first place would be better imo. I uc'ed 2 of my dc and was so very close to the ground that there wasn't much of a fall onto the towels and cushions we put there and my xp and self both caught baby. I dunno, I always feel it's like baby is a possession of the medical establishment or something and they feel a right to take this precious empowering moment away from you. If I was in an assistant or midwife capacity at a birth I for one would not assume nor want to do the catching, I would never dream of taking that away from the mom and her partner. Nor would I feel like I should even be present in the room actually unless specifically requested and I would be way too busy cleaning, preparing food, entertaing other dc, feeding the chickens, making up massage oils if that was what mom wanted etc but many people do not have such faith in labouring women and respect for their privacy as I do and I guess many midwives do not really support this autonomy. I think if I was attending a labouring woman, massage would be very beneficial esp during contractions.
Personally, when I was trained as a mw, I was taught that uc birthers were irresponsible, poorly educated, and most of the time, just didn't want to have to pay a mw. My own personal experiences have lead me to believe otherwise, and although I think that it is a small minority still, I do believe that more and more mws are coming to the same realization: that we can be mws, and still approach birth from a hands-off perspective. Not that mws should just fulfill a doula-type role in birth (because the two roles are completely different), but that we can be "with women" w/o having to actually have our hands involved in the birth process. If you look at the midwifery literature that it out there (w/ the exception of Michel Odent and Sarah Buckley--who are both MDs), this is not really something that is talked about, and therefore, I think that the mws who are taking this approach are doing so more out of personal beliefs and a change in philosophy from mainstream midwifery training. I still feel as though I am just beginning my journey though, and maybe we are really just coming back to what midwifery once actually was... I'd love to hear other mws weigh in on this.
post #44 of 74
I caught #1 - it was a lovely moment. (came out face down and didn't rotate at all BTW) #2 was coming out so fast I really didn't want to catch, but when I talked it over with my old midwife she said that if I had been home alone, I could have just let the baby come out in the water or on the bed - there's no reason anyone *has* to catch.
post #45 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Yes, well, I guess I was thinking about the educated idiots. You know, the ones who get doctorates in anthropology and know very well that women mostly birthed upright up until the last couple hundred years, but still don't know enough about how a baby comes out to understand how a woman can easily catch her own baby. Seriously, I hear this argument used all the time to "prove" that midwifery is the natural default, from people who should know better.
This is exactly what I was thinking. I just finished reading Our Babies, Ourselves by Meredith Small, and she pulls the whole "babies come out face down (... uh, only if you're on your back and the babe is anterior!), so we need a midwife to catch our babies and hand them to us" business. And then she states that midwives are also required because we need someone to pull on the cord to get the placenta out. Yeowch! (I'd give page numbers, but DP has the book at work.) I couldn't believe what I was reading!

(other than those two bits of stupidity from someone who really should know better, the book is absolutely a must-read)
post #46 of 74
thanks for bringing this topic up fourlittlebirds- because I think that many women don't even consider that they can catch their own babies-- I think that it is true that if you are on a DELIVERY table with legs in stirups that it is much harder to imagine or accomplish -- and that birthing beds don't really help women to be in a good solid position to catch either-- being able to move around and to plant your feet where you want is important--- even on a bed you can kneel and squat-
post #47 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXmidwife View Post
Well, your birth pics are beautiful, and my kids all love to look at them. I'm especially fond of the one where your baby is looking up at you through the water. : Thank you so much for sharing them, and good luck in your midwifery practice.
Ditto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXmidwife
If you look at the midwifery literature that it out there (w/ the exception of Michel Odent and Sarah Buckley--who are both MDs), this is not really something that is talked about, and therefore, I think that the mws who are taking this approach are doing so more out of personal beliefs and a change in philosophy from mainstream midwifery training. I still feel as though I am just beginning my journey though, and maybe we are really just coming back to what midwifery once actually was... I'd love to hear other mws weigh in on this.
Actually, there are a lot of midwives either talking about issues of autonomy and intimacy in birth, or at least alluding to it. Jan Tritten, Gloria Lemay, Jeannine Parvati Baker, Pamela Hines-Powell , Gail Hart, Carla Hartley... just off-hand. There are lots others I've read in the pages of Midwifery Today and that I've met -- the midwife who attended my second birth is one. Some have contacted me directly after reading my blog. I've had nothing but positive experiences talking to student midwives after my talks and at midwifery conferences. Pam had a whole room of midwives and midwifery students nodding their heads enthusiastically at her hour-long rant at the Midwifery Today conference, about how midwives do much too much and they need to take a look at their egos and back off in the interest of protecting the mother-baby unit and the normal hormonal process. I really do believe that attitudes are changing among homebirth midwives (especially the new crop) and that the unassisted birth movement has had a lot to do with that.
post #48 of 74
I just wanted to thank everyone, again, for this thread. I had a beautiful dream last night (certainly influenced by what I've read here) that I birthed a tiny baby (in my dream she was definitely early but very healthy - I'm only 24 weeks and I decided she was really 34 in my dream!) on my own. I didn't dream about the birth, but in the dream I knew I had done it all alone, just me and the baby, and realized it must have been quite quick and easy because no one was around - not my DH, hadn't called the MW, or anything! It was so sweet to have that time with my baby, just the two of us!

While it was just a dream, it was certainly a refreshing and encouraging one. I am looking forward to meeting this baby, and hope to do so being even more involved in the birth than I was last time - and I think catching her/him myself is a wonderful place to start!
post #49 of 74
Thanks for this thread! I'm not a UCer, but I was going to tell my midwife that I would like DH to catch the baby. Now I'm thinking that I'd prefer to do it myself.

Rachael, those pictures are beautiful! I just ordered la bassine and it is so cool to visualize myself birthing just like that.
post #50 of 74
I'm not a UC'er but did catch my baby. I am glad, though, that I did it before I read this thread. Not because it's not a great thread, but because I would've been afraid my midwife might have a problem with it. I really didn't think it was a big deal beforehand. So much so that I didn't even bring it up with my midwife ahead of time. I now think I should have because she seemed a little caught off guard when I pulled him out after birthing his shoulders. But I do believe she was very happy to have me do the catching.
I was in water, floating belly up. I was supporting myself with my arms on the side of the pool. How my shoulders and head didn't fall under the water when I reached down to catch him is beyond me.
post #51 of 74
Dd2 came out on the bed--I was in a low all-fours position. I am so glad for this thread. I really was still feeling a little guilty about not "catching" her, even though I was in a low position and she landed on blankets on the bed. There was no one else to "catch", as she and I were the onlt ones in the room. It was SO much nicer that way. I still regret the mw being the first to touch dd1 and wipe her face after she crowned. It was very intrusive.
post #52 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Actually, there are a lot of midwives either talking about issues of autonomy and intimacy in birth, or at least alluding to it. Jan Tritten, Gloria Lemay, Jeannine Parvati Baker, Pamela Hines-Powell , Gail Hart, Carla Hartley... just off-hand. There are lots others I've read in the pages of Midwifery Today and that I've met -- the midwife who attended my second birth is one. Some have contacted me directly after reading my blog. I've had nothing but positive experiences talking to student midwives after my talks and at midwifery conferences. Pam had a whole room of midwives and midwifery students nodding their heads enthusiastically at her hour-long rant at the Midwifery Today conference, about how midwives do much too much and they need to take a look at their egos and back off in the interest of protecting the mother-baby unit and the normal hormonal process. I really do believe that attitudes are changing among homebirth midwives (especially the new crop) and that the unassisted birth movement has had a lot to do with that.

That's so good to hear. Of course I knew about Pam, and I've heard some of the other names tossed around, but I just have been so discouraged w/ midwifery here in TX--guess I just need to head out west to some conferences...
post #53 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXmidwife View Post
Well, your birth pics are beautiful, and my kids all love to look at them. I'm especially fond of the one where your baby is looking up at you through the water. : Thank you so much for sharing them, and good luck in your midwifery practice. I completed my entire apprenticeship while pg and/or bfing, so I know what that is like.




Personally, when I was trained as a mw, I was taught that uc birthers were irresponsible, poorly educated, and most of the time, just didn't want to have to pay a mw. My own personal experiences have lead me to believe otherwise, and although I think that it is a small minority still, I do believe that more and more mws are coming to the same realization: that we can be mws, and still approach birth from a hands-off perspective. Not that mws should just fulfill a doula-type role in birth (because the two roles are completely different), but that we can be "with women" w/o having to actually have our hands involved in the birth process. If you look at the midwifery literature that it out there (w/ the exception of Michel Odent and Sarah Buckley--who are both MDs), this is not really something that is talked about, and therefore, I think that the mws who are taking this approach are doing so more out of personal beliefs and a change in philosophy from mainstream midwifery training. I still feel as though I am just beginning my journey though, and maybe we are really just coming back to what midwifery once actually was... I'd love to hear other mws weigh in on this.




Yeah sorry I wasn't meaning to confuse the two separate roles of midwife and doula, just thinking in some instances that a midwife may feel unneeded in a situation where mom wants more autonomy and I for one am very hands on in the practical stuff in life like helping out lol. Birthing has been a major focus of mine throughout my life, I was lucky as a teenager to have had good influences from other women who were all for change. I read tons of books all inspiring natural birth and I was 'hooked' since then, I plied through several midwifery textbooks too which were shockingly violent I thought, also the history and stuff. I only had the experience with midwives during my first birth which was meant to be a hb but they got bored and I can tell you it wasn't pleasant. I think it's got a lot to do with female emancipation in general the whole birthing deal.

It's awful how we just aren't encouraged to trust our bodies and how we are scared and guilt-tripped into some very dodgy practices, really it was a journey to self-discovery to uc, something I'd prepared for for a long time, so glad I got to do it. I just never felt that lack of faith in myself and nature like others seemed to believe of me and If you aren't given the opportunity to attempt a more natural birth that situation is never realised and remains a mystery really. Now, I hope things will change, I feel so much pain for women being robbed of a decent experience, like I was first time round too, I have 2 dd's and I hope things can improve for future generations and I think midwives could deffo play am important part in that by learning to let go and adopt a hands-off approach where they are still a valuable asset to women. Here's wishing, dreaming for the future, starting now.
post #54 of 74
I'm a fan of catching one's own baby. I did it with all of mine except the first (with that birth it would have been difficult). I wrote an article called "The Joys of Catching Your Own Baby." I can't link to it but you should be able to find it if you google it.
Laura
post #55 of 74
With ds, I was in a standing squat, supporting my weight with my hands on the bed. So, dh came up behind me and caught ds - or "fumbled him" as dh says. I then stepped over the cord and dh handed ds over. With dd, dh and ds came in at the end and sat down to watch. I started out in a weird semi backbend, flipped to my hands and knees, and then reached through to catch her. Honestly? Both dh and I much preferred me catching the baby. It felt so much more empowering for me that I caught her - it was as though I completed something I had been doing all on my own rather than allowing someone else to finish it. Dh hated all of the comments he got from people about "delivering" ds, no matter how many times he said that I had done everything and he was just there to get me whatever I wanted. The fact that he had caught ds made it difficult for people to get past the "husband delivering" concept. He was so happy that with dd he could just say that I had done everything and he just watched. I plan to catch this little one in a few weeks.
post #56 of 74
I have found that just saying there was no midwife or Dr that people assume the husband must have delivered the baby. My dad came over after my uc and looked at dh and said "not many people can say they delivered their own baby." Dh said "I still cant"

I have explained to several people that I pulled the baby up myself and the responses I almost always get is "You're a much stronger woman than I am." Which is sad that so many women think that way.
post #57 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymomof2 View Post
I have found that just saying there was no midwife or Dr that people assume the husband must have delivered the baby. My dad came over after my uc and looked at dh and said "not many people can say they delivered their own baby." Dh said "I still cant"

I have explained to several people that I pulled the baby up myself and the responses I almost always get is "You're a much stronger woman than I am." Which is sad that so many women think that way.


This is so true! It's like culturally people just seem to think women are weak. How this can be I don't know. It's like we all know how hard women have to work, don't they do most of the agricultural work in the world, places like India and Africa? and yet we don't give them credit for it, unless we are all lumberjacks or something, and some women are, our work is considered valueless and easy. Yeah, people just don't want to accept that a women can and wants to deliver her own child, it's like a mental block, a refusal to accept this, a disconnection from nature too and it's this culture of non-acceptance/outright refusal to acknowledge in some cases, of women's birthing abilities that keeps us where we are birth-wise, controlled.
post #58 of 74
I had an unassisted waterbirth a month ago, and that first pic is what i did. he came out face down as well. Its what my body wanted. so wonderful and completely empowering! noone but me knew my son was born until he was about 4 minutes old and the mw came to check on me and was shocked i was holding my baby!
post #59 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryonyvaughn View Post
If you think those "are the two misunderstandings about birth that are the basis of this myth", you don't know enough idiots.
LMAO! : OMG, NEVER say that when I have a mouth full of mashed potatos again!
post #60 of 74
Awww, you people are making me want a UC...

hapersmion
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