Baby catcher : chronicles of a modern midwife by Peggy Vincent

By Peggy Vincent

During this attractive account of her profession as a midwife, Vincent describes the hilarious, occasionally scary, occasions surrounding the looks of a brand new human being.

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Purdue. “Mrs. Pur . . Kay, shall I see if I can get the doctors to let your husband be with you? ” “Oh, I’ve already cleared it with Dr. Hammond, but I don’t want John here till the end. ” “But Dr. Hammond’s not on call. It’s Dr. ” “Chuck—Dr. Hammond—agreed to come in and deliver me, even though it’s his night off. ” “Whoa, hypnosis! That’s great. ” “Oh no, I had Timmy in a military hospital. What a nightmare. Those memories haunted me when I got pregnant again, so Dr. Hammond offered to try hypnosis.

How could that huge baby have come out of that little hole? I was hooked. I thought if I saw lots more babies born, perhaps I’d discover that missing bit of information, the secret of that enchanted moment when one person suddenly becomes two people. But even now as I look back on the thousands of babies I’ve watched enter the world, I still don’t understand it. I kneel between a woman’s legs with an eight-pound baby in my hands, and I glance at the vaginal opening—and something from the scientific left side of my brain wants to scream in disbelief.

It all began with a class at Book Passage in Corte Madera that led to Dorothy Wall, a Berkeley writing consultant. She helped me hammer my book proposal into shape and then pointed me toward an agent, Felicia Eth. A week later, Felicia and I agreed to our partnership before we’d even finished our lattés. Felicia smiled at my neophyte enthusiasm, patted my sweaty hand, and mailed my proposal off to several New York publishing houses. Two weeks later, I had a contract with Scribner, where Jane Rosenman nurtured me through the first edit.

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