Well, sort of.
As mentioned earlier, I was down in CA visiting a friend of mine over spring break last week…she was due with her first wee one…and even though I was not getting my hopes up that I would be there for the birth, she did actually go into labor while I was there! It was an incredible birth, and the highlight for me was that I was in the right place at the right time to catch the babe’s head!
The doctor had left the room, and I had been holding perineal compresses, and then, the head was born very quickly. Everyone else quickly swirled into motion, getting things ready, calling the doctor, moving out of the way…even my friend (somehow) managed to shift from the birth stool where she had been sitting to hands and knees on the bed.
But me? I just stay right there, with my hands very close to this baby’s head, just in case. And in that moment of complete chaos, I had one of the most beautiful and profound moments I’ve ever experienced at a birth–that moment of stillness that comes when you see a new being for the first time. Everything slows, for a split second, and you are overcome with the knowledge that you are truly witnessing a miracle.
After what seemed like a long time, the doctor came back in and caught the rest of the baby…so it wasn’t a full catch…but still, pretty amazing. I’m not sure when I’ll next have an opportunity to feel a not-fully-born baby’s head without gloves again…but this memory will remain with me for a long, long time. I feel incredibly honored that I was able to be a part of such a momentous, intimate experience, and I am so tickled that my first “catch” is someone whose mama I love dearly…