My first son arrived peacefully at home 5 days post due after 9 intense but powerful hours of labour. I worked hard to bring him into this world and especially hard to push him out. My partner Clay jokes that pushing him out was like trying to put a cat in a bath. He liked it in there and wasn't coming out easily.
As the day went on and my labour progressed my midwife followed my cues watching as my body embraced piggy back contractions and listening as I began to spontaneous bare down. As I stood leaning over the bed swaying my hips back and forth she gently encouraged me to begin pushing, so I did. With each contraction I bared down powerfully but little progress was made. “Perhaps we try on all fours” she gently suggested, so I did and little progress was made. “Lets try semi reclined with Clay behind you”…. “lying on your side”….. “ok lets try your other side”….. Two hours of powerful work later with just a sliver of his head visible she suggested I try pushing on the birth stool, so I did. As the late afternoon sun shone through our window within minutes of climbing onto the little wooden stool perched on top of my bed my sons sweet head began to crown. With my eyes tightly closed, and my hands firmly gripping the stool deeply within myself my midwife gently brought me back and gifted me one of the most empowering and beautiful moments of my life as she said “Jo reach down and pull your baby up” and so I did.
Catching your own baby seems like such a simple and innate step although its often over looked. I had thought about so many aspects of my birth experience but hadn’t consider that I would be the one to catch my son until that life changing moment. The embrace of my hands, warmth of my body and smell of my skin were his first points of contact and my goodness it felt good. So good that I swiftly swooped my second son up and into my arms just over three years later after a very welcomed mere 18 minutes of pushing.
This incredible image captured by Melissa Jean shows that as long as mum and babe are healthy that this is an empowering option for all of the beautiful forms of birth. Simply let your wishes be known.
Would you catch your baby? Would your partner catch your baby? Did you or your partner catch your baby? We would love to here your thoughts and stories.