I like a midwife to catch my babies. She knows just how to bring a new being into the world, while holding my world together just enough. I like my husband to keep his hands on me, providing grounding support as pure new life emerges from the softest, strongest, hidden parts of my body.
But I caught my own placenta! It fell into my hands. I placed it in the silver bowl: blue, rich, intact. Not a drop of blood was left behind on my hands.
We, my midwife and I, had been waiting for the placenta to come. Contractions relaxed in the afterbirth time, and I wasn't bleeding much so there was no rush or pressure to birth my placenta quickly. But I was uncomfortable and ready to snuggle up with my fresh born babe and needed to release my placenta before I could move on. It had been an hour and I'd moved around, coughed, and then tried to pee. Nothing would come out and there was talk of a catheter. Then I stood up and out she fell, right into my hands, no effort necessary.
It felt warm and slimy and solid. I looked at the shiny purply mass with awe, washed in gratitude for the months of vomiting and fatigue because it all ended in a gloriously healthy baby with a gloriously healthy placenta. I gave thanks to my placenta, my baby's life support. And gave thanks for my ready hands.