Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.00
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Used in Clean Condition, Gift Inscription. Eligible for *FREE* Super Saver Shipping!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife Hardcover – March 26, 2002


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$11.89 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; English Language edition (March 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743219333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743219334
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In a joyous, often hilarious ode to the Birkenstock-scuffling, tackle box-toting mobile midwives who flourished in the 1980s, Peggy Vincent chronicles her abundant life as a professional Baby Catcher. The wild ride begins during her nurse training years in the 1960s, when laboring women were expected to lie down, shut up, and submit to whatever drugs and procedures the doctor ordered. A rebellious patient who chants and dances through her contractions--and the hell that ensues when seasoned hospital staffers intrude--lights a permanent fire under Vincent. Her resolve to serve each laboring woman with compassion and respect carries her from obstetrics nurse to head of an alternative birth center within Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California, and eventually into her own private practice as a licensed midwife. Like the most courageous home births, this collection of delivery experiences refuses anesthesia: plenty of bellowing, sweating, bleeding, and pushing accompany nearly all of the more than 40 tales. Tough confrontations with stubborn physicians, panicky labor partners, and one particularly nasty calico cat are dabbed with as many keen insights as Vincent's quieter, more heart-rending newborn encounters. Baby Catcher is an inspirational literary gift suitable for expectant mothers, fellow baby catchers, and anyone who loves reading about nature's greatest magical feat. --Liane Thomas

From Publishers Weekly

It was in nursing school at Duke in the 1960s that Vincent found her calling: delivering or "catching" babies. She moved to California and became a midwife, specializing in home births; over the course of 40 years, she brought some 2,000 babies into the world. There's a predictable plot structure to most of the stories she recounts: the initial meetings with the pregnant woman, the last-minute phone call once labor speeds up, the coping with contractions, the appearance of the baby's head, the wet newborn, the oven-warmed blankets, the celebratory meal afterwards. Despite the repetition, Vincent's account is a page-turner. It's not just the risk that something might go wrong (meaning a nail-biting trip to the hospital for an emergency cesarean), and not just the quirkiness of home birth settings (which can involve jealously raging house pets or leaky houseboats), but something inherent in the magic of birth itself. What sustains Vincent and her readers is this sense of standing ringside at the greatest miracle on earth. A solid writer, Vincent doesn't preach the virtues of unmedicated birthing; she just lays consistent stories of women doing it Christian Science moms, Muslim moms, spiritualist moms, lesbian moms, teen moms and just plain ordinary moms. With the midwife's axiom "birth is normal till proven otherwise" as a guiding principle, all these women have a chance to make childbirth a crowning moment in their own lives. Male readers may find this female-centered narrative off-putting, and mainstream readers might raise eyebrows at the inclusion of children in the birthing process, but Vincent addresses these issues fairly directly herself. Agent, Felicia Eth. (Apr.)Forecast: With appendices guiding readers to more technical resources, Vincent's latest baby is bound to be popular with women's health and alternative medicine readers. A cover blurb by Anne Lamott could break it out further.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

This book is one read that I couldn't put down.
Lori
I really enjoyed reading the Baby Catcher, it is written in a very humorous and interesting way. anyone who likes reading birth stories will be hooked on this book.
puzzles
This book had me laughing out loud at times and crying at other times.
Monika H. Grotz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Dawn on March 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book, I will never look at midwives, childbirth, or my body in the same way again. This honest, authoritative memoir, by a woman who started her career as an obstetrical nurse, liberates women from the embarrassment that starts in adolescence with a budding female anatomy.
In her memoir, she presents the miracle of birth and shouts aloud those things that some of our mothers could only whisper and blush about. Immersed in bodily fluids up to her elbows, Peggy checks a cervix as naturally as a mechanic checks the oil. She demonstrates that, regardless of differences in race, belief, life style, or age, birth is a celebration of life. She welcomes each new soul and stands in awe at nature's magic--birth.
The writing is warm and welcoming, with a storyteller's enthusiasm and a savvy eye for the humor and irony of every situation. Peggy crafts a must-read for every woman who ever thought about childbirth. Men will discover...they'll gain insight into the intimate world of women and the men who stand with them. A truly strong debut book that fills a remarkably empty niche on the bookshelf....
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Robert Huffstedtler VINE VOICE on April 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Although I am a strong advocate of midwife assisted home birth, I probably wouldn't have bought this book myself. That would have been my loss. My wife had borrowed it from our midwife, and I had run out of things to read, so I decided it would be a good way to pass the time.
Mrs. Vincent's story is not only the story of herself, but it is the story of midwifery in the late 20th century in general. The early portion of the story, chronicling her time as a nursing student in the early 60s when natural childbirth was not at all accepted, serves as a pretty good summation of the things that my wife hated about our first daughter's hospital birth, and the reason we chose to have our second at home. In short, the ideological conflict between midwifery and hospital birth is this: Mrs. Vincent and those like her believe each labour should be treated as normal unless some serious complication presents itself. Obstetricians see labour as an inherently dangerous medical condition requiring their intervention.
We follow the author through her career as she becomes a certified nurse midwife, gets privileges at a prestigious Bay Area hospital, and develops relationships with patients and doctors along the way. This also gives us a fascinating and humorous glimpse at the way American culture has changed over the last 40 years. For whatever reason, home birth seems to attract a greater percentage of unusual people than one might find in a random sample of the population. They're all here: people who have pets at their birth, recovering drug addicts, hippies making the transition to suburban yuppie life, families with complicated emotional dynamics.
The stories of individual births are great, and many are very uplifting, but the book as a whole is something of a downer.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Hoppe on May 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love reading about other women's birth experiences, and the view from the midwife was both informative and emotional. While I would never attempt a home birth due to known cardiac issues with my children, it made me wish that I could have had the experience. A balanced view of the home birth experience, without condemning those of us who have to opt for the hospital birth.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Phillips on January 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a student midwife and mother of three homebirthed babies, I have read every book out there regarding birth. Peggy's book is such a delight! What I love the most is that she imparts so much information and wisdom, not through preaching or lecturing, but through storytelling. Any one of the chapters could stand alone as a short story. It is equally compelling as a memoir and as an informative birth preparation resource. It is destined to become a classic in a genre glutted with how-to and how-not-to birth opinion pieces. Peggy embodies a concrete sense of trust in the birth process. As readers we can take that trust on as our own, since we feel that we are experiencing every birth right there with her! This would be very valuable reading for any expectant mother (or father!)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By sandi macgregor on February 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
All the other books I read during my pregnancy scared me. Baby Catcher empowered me. It made me fearless. If all those women could do it - and do it in so many, many different ways, then for sure I knew I could do it, too.
And I did! I didn't have her at home, but I chose a midwife and a birthing center. And although I think I made a lot of noise, I felt fine about it. Everything went so smoothly, I had no drugs, my awesome midwife was with me the whole time, and my daughter came into the world with wide open eyes.
And I swear it's because someone gave me Baby Catcher to read. Otherwise I'd have stayed with my OB and probably ended up with pitosin and an epidural and a cesarean, like all my friends.
Thank you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By EAD on July 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have been looking for a book about natural/gentle childbirth written by someone more like, well, me. I am not really a hippie (although I am a wanna-be, admittedly), I do not use crystals or herbs for healing, I don't hate the modern world with its technology and such, and neither does Peggy Vincent. She provides a very grounded view of natural childbirth, and is not afraid to point out the flaws in herself, and in what she sees others doing in the obstetrics arena. She is just very real, and she provides TONS of information about childbirth in a way that is totally NOT textbook. For those "unenlightened" ladies like me out there, trying to learn all I can about the best way to birth a baby, this is one of the most trustworthy books I have read. Thank you, Peggy!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?