Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, 2002 M04 16 - 336 pages
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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

I don't remember where I heard about this book, but I put it on my paperbackswap wishlist and finally scored a copy. It spent a few weeks perched on the corner of our kitchen table, but once I finally ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

The story of one woman's time spent as a nurse and as a midwife. Vincent has an engaging, friendly voice; I felt like we were friends within a chapter. The ways of thinking about and serving pregnant ... Read full review


As it Was in the Beginning
The Meditation of My Heart
The Wine of Astonishment
Not Only With Our Lips But in Our Lives
Who Walketh Upon The Wings of The Wind
Devices And Desires
The Measure of My Days
Pearls of Wisdom
Home Birth Supplies
Studies on Midwifery Safety
Statistics on the Economics of Midwifery
Sandis Famous Caramels

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 231 - Almighty and most merciful Father ; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done ; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us.
Page 159 - Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters : who maketh the clouds his chariot ; who walketh upon the wings of the wind...
Page 123 - ... for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives ; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days...
Page 261 - Lord, make me to know mine end, And the measure of my days, what it is ; That I may know how frail I am.
Page 47 - Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be always acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer...
Page 81 - Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth.
Page 32 - Marta said as she sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed.
Page 330 - Cesarean Section Rates in LowRisk Private Patients Managed by Certified Nurse-Midwives and Obstetricians.
Page 116 - As a firm believer in the adage that a camel is a horse designed by a committee, I have the tolerance of an irritated gnat when it comes to the negotiations typical of such official groups.
Page 85 - We nurses had suspicions about that latest gimmick in a decade full of gimmicks, but in the interest of keeping new mothers happy, we tried to accommodate them. We developed a system that worked sort of okay, some of the time, for some of the babies.

About the author (2002)

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. Visit her online at

Bibliographic information