The importance of 'catching'? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-08-2007, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I always see a big ol emphasis on who catches the baby... I was just curious if anyone has opinions on why that is such a big deal? Is it because that person's the first to touch it? Not always, she was hangin out in my birth canal for a while and I felt her head a bunch of time as I was seeing what my cervix was doing.

For the record, my DH caught our baby. But he said he didn't want to, and since I was birthing on hands and knees I was more than prepared to move to the bed and just birth her onto the bed.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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I think for me I wanted to be the first one to hold and touch my baby. My ds1 was caught by the doctor, dd slid out onto the bed, and then ds2 was caught by both dh and I. Good thing, too, because nobody likes to hit their head on the bathroom floor. I can't imagine baby would have enjoyed it much, either.

It's ok with me that I wasn't the only one who touched ds2 as he was born, but I WAS the first one to beep his nose after his head was born, before the rest of him. :

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Old 11-08-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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I also wanted to be the first to touch my baby (although i am in the wrong forum - i had a hospital birth and the midwives stood back and 'let' me catch

One of the real benefits to catching my own was the excitement and motivation. I was pushing and then i felt her head. It totally kickstarted and adrenalin rush of some sort and i absolutely did not feel any pain because of that (I think!). At the same time, i could control her emergence. Feeling her head, then body slid into my hands under my own control was amazing and magical not just for the novelty of it but there was something about that feeling of euphoria that came along with literally feeling the fruits of my labour, while it was happening.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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I felt strongly that I didn't want anyone except DP and I to touch our brand-new baby and it would have seemed odd to me at the time to birth onto the floor. (I tend to birth squatting or standing/leaning next to the bed). It was also something AMAZING that DP could participate directly in and he was really excited about doing it. It still means a lot to him.

I caught DD because of the position I was in; deep squat. I loved reaching down and guiding her up to my chest. Crouching down with her and knowing no other person on earth had ever touched her or looked into her face before right then. It was...stunning.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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I like DH to catch, though I could certainly do it myself. It really makes our child's birth be his experience as well. He loves it.

I have hours of unique and amazing sensations during labor, birth and breastfeeding. I'm thrilled that he not only will get to experioence that feeling of catching the baby but that he WANTS to!
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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I birth on hands and knees so it's pretty hard for me to catch - so I'm planning on DH catching and passing to me through my legs.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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I had an extremely quick and intense transition and pushing phase. Ds was literally almost "caught" by the toilet I don't think I could have physically moved enough to reach down and catch him. I was barely able to stand up enough off the toilet right before he shot out at my friend/doula who was right there. She didn't plan to catch him and my DH didn't want to. I would have liked to have catch him but with those circumstances it didn't work. As it was, as soon as my friend caught him (right before he would have hit the hard floor) she tried to hand him right up to my arms, but his cord was too short So Dh sat on the floor right by me and held him until the placenta was delivered. If my friend hadn't been there, then ds would have either been born in the toilet or hit the floor from pretty high up

With this next birth I want to catch the baby or if I am not able then I want DH to do it I may try to have DH set up a nest of towels/blankets if I give birth out of the water so it is not necessary for anyone to catch.

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Old 11-08-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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I think this time I want to be the first one to hold my baby outside the womb. I wanted to last time, but our UC ended in transfer (uneventful, but obviously the doctor caught the baby).

For me, I guess it doesn't matter too much except that I want my baby right away. In the hospital, they insisted on putting a hat on her before I could hold her, and I just remember my heart pulling so hard to try to get my hands on her, kwim? I needed to hold her and feel her in my arms and on my tummy/chest. I needed outside-the-body connection because our intimate inside connection was mostly over (we left the cord alone until it stopped pulsing - definitely want the same again). There was something very reassuring about feeling her on my chest, my arms around her, looking at her, her looking at me, while feeling the warmth of the umbilical cord stretching from my vagina and still pulsing blood from my body into hers. She wasn't crying at all, just looking up at me and dh with bright eyes. A much more gentle transition. That part is very important to me.

I think what I really feel is that I don't want anyone stepping in and usurping my place with my baby. In those first moments, especially, I can't share. This is still MY baby. I need to get used to the idea of him/her being on the outside rather than the inside. I know dh would respect that and if he did catch, he would immediately hand the baby to me.

What dh really wants is for everyone to go home ASAP and for us to snuggle up in bed together and sleep/cuddle. I have a feeling we'll need a companion for dd (will be 24 mos) to make that possible!

ETA: I didn't realize this was the UC board, so just to clarify I am having an attended homebirth this time. When I asked my midwives what they do "standard" during a birth, it was very hands-off, and clearly said dh, I or them could catch, depending on what we wanted. So it is definitely still part of the equation for this birth.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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My 1st I was THEE last person to touch my son, in fact his first picture was of him wrapped in those baby coccoons that hospitals so love to do and in my ex's arms. I was annoyed that after all that hard work, that I was the last to bond with my son.

My daughter was born so quickly that the L&D nurse just kind of slid her on to the bed, BUT *I* was the first one to hold her, to pick her up and snuggle her without being in the coccoon, and I loved loved loved that special bond.

This little one, I soooo want my husband to catch so he can get a chance to have that special bonding feeling. He isn't so sure about catching though. If he decides not to, then we can "legally" go a head with the UC, but if he chooses to catch, we'll have to call the community midwives. Unless "*whoops* that was a quick delivery and sorry, midwives, you didn't get here in time." I just want the first things that baby touches are the warm loving hands of his/her parents.

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Old 11-08-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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My DH has no desire to catch the baby, it scares him to death, he's afraid that he'll some how hurt me or the baby, (he also fears diaper changes until the cord falls off because he's afraid he's going to hurt it some how) and although his fears are really kinda silly, their fine with me, as I would prefere to catch the baby. For me it's honestly purely selfish, I want to be the first one to make contact with and cuddle the baby that I have been nurturing and cuddling inside of me all this time. I want my baby to feel that connection that I nurtured them inside the womb, and will outside as well. I plan on catching the baby and putting it straight to my breast immediately. (Honestly I keep threatening to not even wake DH until after the baby has arrived, so that I can be at completely peace with everything around me)

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Old 11-08-2007, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I see. It's more of a first to hold/control issue (in some cases) isn't it?

Interesting stuff. We never really entertained any other idea than to UC, so I guess it wasn't that big of a deal to me. I was like, oh, the baby will come out, then I'll hold her. I can see where if we had a hospital birth or pushy midwives for a first child, subsequent children born UC could make it a much bigger deal for me to catch. I'm not sure..

My DH insisted that he did not want to catch.. or cut the cord... but he ended up doing both. He thought it would be 'dirty' but apparently he didn't care when it actually came down to it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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My 1st I was THEE last person to touch my son, in fact his first picture was of him wrapped in those baby coccoons that hospitals so love to do and in my ex's arms. .
This happened to me, too. It was the biggest reason that my first was my only hospital birth.

In my UC's, I have never planned whether dh or I will catch the baby. It's very instinctual for me to reach down and pull them up. If I end up birthing on hands and knees this time, I imagine dh will catch the baby, but I seem to always want to be squatting, so I doubt that will happen (you never know, though!).
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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It's really important to my DH to 'catch'. I even said I might like to catch this time and he looked stricken! He felt like super man being the first to touch our baby girl (besides me and the insides of my birth canal of course....). He bragged about it for weeks. It was so sweet of him! He jokes about how he was covered in our "fumnda-cheese" but joke back about not catching this time and he gets all serious. It's a very special thing to him.
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Astrogirl
Feeling her head, then body slid into my hands under my own control was amazing and magical not just for the novelty of it but there was something about that feeling of euphoria that came along with literally feeling the fruits of my labour, while it was happening.
I love the way you put that!

For me, it wasn't important that anyone catch -- just that I didn't want someone not intimately connected to the baby and me being involved in such an intimate way. I mean, that's the culmination of the whole thing, the moment at which the baby come out! And I want a stranger's hands in there at such a defining moment? No way! And what on earth for? It's not like it's necessary!
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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I want to catch my own baby, but at the same time, I want my husband to catch him/her if that's what he wants to do. He's very closed with his emotions and he would never tell me if catching was something he wanted to do. If he did, I would very much like for him to because I try to see it from the father's point of view.

Basically, I put myself in their shoes. They don't get to carry the baby. They don't get to feel them moving all the time. They don't have to take care of themselves like we do during pregnancy. They don't get to experience it the same way. I think that birth doesn't include the father as much as he might want to be included. It's all about the mother and the baby (and SHOULD be) but I feel like some fathers might feel a little left out. A lot of men feel an amazing surge of emotion by being the first to catch and hold the baby and it really draws them into the whole birth and makes them feel very loved and important in the process. I would never deny my husband that if I thought he wanted to do it.

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Old 11-08-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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DH intended to catch... but she shot out and across the tub until she ran out of tether.

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Old 11-08-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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I feel most put the 'catcher' in this hero light - and it is irritating, to say the least.

The majority of the few people who know of our UC plans ask me if DP is going to 'deliver the baby.' He is aware he will do no 'delivering' of me, and I will be birthing the baby. We'll wait until the moment to see who works best for catching, and if DP does catch - it'll be a wonderful moment we'll share together.
He knows well enough not to let anyone paint him as the savior.

That said, I hope to catch. I feel as though I'll want to labor alone.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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I caught my own baby, and honestly, that was the most amazing experience of my life. After one or two pushes I reached inside my vagina and felt Jasper's head (and hand!) a couple of inches in. Doing that brought me into kind of a different realm, wherever that place is between being born and unborn - I can't find the words to explain exactly what I mean, but it was pretty out-there. Cradling him as he emerged and then immediately bringing him to my breast, with no one else touching him in the interim, just seemed like a natural progression from the womb to the world. It was about an hour until I handed him to DP for the first time (I was still on the floor and needed to lie down in bed).

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Old 11-09-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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It was never a "first to touch the baby" thing for me. Mostly it was a conveince thing..hello! I'm right there..let me do it.

That said, neither of us caght DD2. I was in the water and once her head was out my hands were away from there (I had been cupping her head/my pernieum until it was out). She spun right out and then I picked her up. Dh sat on the toilet next to the tub and just watched. I asked him later if he wished he had gotten to catch and he told me watching was far cooler.

It was funny. The Sunday after she was born we went to my inlaws house for dinner and one of my BIl's were there. He works at the nuclear plant and Dh always harrasses (in a good way ) him about getting to see inside the secret stuff. Anyhow, my BIL said, "I think you automatically get a guest pass for delivering/catching (can't remember what word he said but it was one of the two) your own baby." I replied "well then I'm a shoe in" and he clarified he said delivered not had the baby. I pointed out that I was the one who did everything including the "catch". He was pretty surprised at that.

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Old 11-09-2007, 05:14 AM
 
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Many people I've spoken to seem surprised that the mother is capable of catching her own baby. They seem to think that the baby *must* be maneuvered out of the birth canal. I guess they are thinking the things that OB are trained to do (lifting the body to deliver the second arm/shoulder, etc.). I tried explaining to a family member once that a baby can just come out and no one even has to touch it, that the baby can just be born onto the bed, no one actually *has* to do anything.

I really liked catching my own baby, too. When I had a midwife, I felt a disconnect from the lower half of my body, as if she was "in charge" down there. I don't think I fully experienced what was happening as my baby emerged, although what I did experience was amazing! When I caught my second, I felt much more in touch (figuratively and literally) with the descent and birth of my child. It was great.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:35 AM
 
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DH intended to catch... but she shot out and across the tub until she ran out of tether.
: I had a great mental image of a bungee-jumping baby when I read your post.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:46 AM
 
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My other babies the Dr was always the first to touch and I never got to see or touch the head as it was coming out because of all the drapes and stuff.It even took awhile before they put the baby on my belly and then it was a quick swoop for inspection by others before the baby came back to me.
This time I felt his head before he emerged and he came so quickly that I caught his head and my mom who had just come into the room caught the rest of his body and she passed him through to me since I was on hands and knees.It was so incredible to feel him before he was even really here.I still think about it and my mom still looks down at her hands in awe and says I caught my grandchild.I think that is such an incredible gift and I am glad that she was there.

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Old 11-09-2007, 07:01 AM
 
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I see. It's more of a first to hold/control issue (in some cases) isn't it?
I didn't get that impression at all while i was reading through the posts. To me it seems more like a euphoria/excitement issue for most people. To say its a control issue is like oversimplifying I think - control is simply mental. That may be the initial motivation, perhaps for some people, but i suspect theres still a lot more to it. There's another, unsaid aspect to it - its mental, physical and almost spiritual. I can't speak for the other women, but for me there was this certain raw electricity as you feel and support your baby as they are birthing - the minute my hand touched her warm head I felt it and there was just no way I could let go after that. Its very hard to describe, but it was much much more and very different than a control or possessive thing, and I hope someone else will back me up on that!

I am a very nonpossessive person when it comes to birth or kids. I don't mind being touched by strangers, or even having strangers come up to my babies. I never would have thought it was important to catch the baby at all. But with my 2nd pregnancy, I thought about it and wanted to try it. My midwifes encouraged me on this thought and i did it and now that I have, I would never do it any other way for any future births. Its VERY important to me now.
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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^ Its definitely a very ingrained control thing in many OB practices.
It relates to the mentality that OB's save women from childbirth.

Our culture panders to it - notice all of the 'Omg Dangerous Unexpected Birth' news articles that come out. Is the mother usually given 'credit' or is the person who swooped in and 'delivered' her?
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel most put the 'catcher' in this hero light - and it is irritating, to say the least.

The majority of the few people who know of our UC plans ask me if DP is going to 'deliver the baby.' He is aware he will do no 'delivering' of me, and I will be birthing the baby.

~~

That said, I hope to catch. I feel as though I'll want to labor alone.
My DH plays into that, as a joke. He knows very well that I did all the work, but he will say something about how much money I should have paid him for catching DD. But when he's around his friends he downplays it, he says he just came in and caught. He even unwrapped the cord on the way out, he must be specially trained

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I caught my own baby, and honestly, that was the most amazing experience of my life. After one or two pushes I reached inside my vagina and felt Jasper's head (and hand!) a couple of inches in. Doing that brought me into kind of a different realm, wherever that place is between being born and unborn - I can't find the words to explain exactly what I mean, but it was pretty out-there. Cradling him as he emerged and then immediately bringing him to my breast, with no one else touching him in the interim, just seemed like a natural progression from the womb to the world. It was about an hour until I handed him to DP for the first time (I was still on the floor and needed to lie down in bed).
That is beautiful!

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DH intended to catch... but she shot out and across the tub until she ran out of tether.


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I didn't get that impression at all while i was reading through the posts. To me it seems more like a euphoria/excitement issue for most people.
I understand that. It was different for me, I guess. I was tired I'd felt her head for the past day (I was in labor for a while, she was posterior) and I was ready to be done with it. It seemed kind of down to business to me. I loved it, I was very excited to meet her and loved her absolutely, but I think the length of my labor might have interfered. if it had been hours rather than days, I would imagine I'd have felt differently

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Old 11-09-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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I really like the idea of just the earth catching the baby. Or a soft blanket. Or the bed where it was conceived. With mama in various positions the babe could come out nice and easy wherever it lands.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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It's just cool. My husband caught our first, and I caught our second. Everyone assumes a doctor or midwife will "deliver your baby." When mom or dad does it, to me it's another step in demedicalizing the whole process.

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Old 11-09-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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I think people are often still in the medical mindset of "delivering the baby" and saying "catch" instead of "deliver" is a move towards birth empowerment. But it still has an air of "somebody had to be there for the birth to happen."

There's nothing wrong with DP or Mom or sister or a close friend to be with the birthing woman and to "catch" the baby if that's what feels right at the moment of birth. But the implication that "somebody needs to catch the baby" is IMO a leftover from the medical model of birth.

Nobody "caught" DS. He plopped out onto the bedroom floor (which I'd prepared with several towels for cushioning and a chux pad on top) while DP watched from the doorway in awe and the big sisters were in the next room playing on the computer.

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Old 11-09-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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I really like the idea of just the earth catching the baby. Or a soft blanket. Or the bed where it was conceived. With mama in various positions the babe could come out nice and easy wherever it lands.
I had to : at this. My baby was conceived in the middle of the living room floor!
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah... birthing our next one on the couch might be a little messy co sleeping... what can I say?...
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