An inspiring collection of birth stories by a charming midwife. Each time she knelt to "catch" another wriggling baby--nearly three thousand times during her remarkable career--California midwife Peggy Vincent paid homage to the moment when pain bows to joy and the world makes way for one more. With every birth, she encounters another woman-turned-goddess: Catherine rides out her labor in a car careening down a mountain road. Sofia spends hers trying to keep her hyper doctor-father from burning down the house. Susannah gives birth so quietly that neither husband nor midwife notice until there's a baby in the room. More than a collection of birth stories, however, Baby Catcher is a provocative account of the difficulties that midwives face in the United States. With vivid portraits of courage, perseverance, and love, this is an impassioned call to rethink technological hospital births in favor of more individualized and profound experiences in which mothers and fathers take center stage in the timeless drama of birth.
Peggy Vincent became a licensed midwife specializing in home births in 1980, after fifteen years as a delivery room nurse, ten years as a natural childbirth teacher, and three years as the director of the first alternative birth center in the East Bay. Five years later, she became the first completely independent nurse midwife to be granted hospital privileges in the Berkeley area. Vincent lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and teenage son. Her Web site is www.babycatcher.net