Nora's Home Birth

Nov 1, 2010 |
Home Birth Stories,  |
Kellie Moeller, CNM |

Nora is our second child. She was scheduled for a c-section birth at the Women's Hospital of Texas in Houston, since her brother was a c-section baby. My husband Sunil and I weren't happy with the way Aron's birth turned out, since the doctor went to c-section route too easily. We also felt we weren't really informed, and were rather forced to follow the hospital's policy. I was fully dilated, my husband could see his hair, his heartbeat was strong and normal, and I only pushed for 2 hours. Yet the back-up doctor said it's enough to make it a c-section birth. The reason was because Aron was stuck in transverse arrest, which most likely was caused by the epidural I had taken. I wish I knew at the time that it had the potential of numbing my cervix muscles too much.

Thankfully, a girl friend of mine strongly encouraged me to research on home-birth VBAC. She did 2 VBACs at home and told me that they were wonderful and safe. I took her advice and went to www.ican-online.organd read the information there. I changed my mind completely and decided that VBAC is the way to go for my second baby. Since there are no birthing center in Houston that allows VBAC, home-birth was the only option left. I was fine with that, but I had to convince my husband, Sunil. He was worried about the "what if's" – the worse case scenarios.

We hired a doula already, Debbie Hull, from my girl friend's recommendation. After talking with Debbie, my husband gained more confidence in home-birth. Debbie gave us several midwife names to contact. We interviewed 3 of them and decided that Kellie Moeller was the midwife for us. We felt safe with her, knowing that she had helped quite a few VBAC births in her long career.

Kellie really helped me with my diet also. She was strict in her advice to watch my carbohydrate and sugar intake, in order to avoid gestational diabetes and to keep the baby's weight in check. I had a strong, healthy, low-risk pregnancy through out.

Sunil and I took the required Birth Preparation class with Kellie & Pat Jones, and it really helped us prepare for what to expect.

Nora's actual due date was April 18th. But I had a strong feeling that she would arrive earlier, and also because her brother was born a week earlier too. And I was right. On the morning of Thursday, April 8, I had started experiencing early labor contractions. But they were mild and random, just like menstrual cramps. Towards the evening, they became stronger but still short, and I could still walk around and talk normally. Only this time I would sit down to ease the discomfort. I called Kellie to let her know about those contractions and told her that they were mild. I was guessing that the “serious” contractions would start the next day or even Saturday. This time, I was wrong.

I went to bed at around 10 PM, and slept through the contractions. At around midnight, they were strong enough to wake me up every 10-15 minutes. I woke up around 3:30 AM to a contraction, and I just did some mouth breathing to ride it out. I tried to go back to sleep when I felt a jerk inside my uterus, which I thought was Nora kicking hard. Then I felt a gush of water came out. My water broke! I quickly woke Sunil up. He jumped up and ran to my side of the bed. Then the contractions became stronger and stronger each time they came. I couldn't help moaning loudly, which then became grunts and screams because of the pain and pressure that came so quickly. I really didn't expect it to come so fast and with that much force. My screams woke up Aron who co-slept with us on the bed.

Sunil quickly called Debbie and Kellie and ask them to come. I was able to talk to Kellie through speakerphone about what I felt. But as the contractions come, I wasn't able to talk at all and just had to scream and grunt. I felt the urge to push came over me and I couldn't stop it. Kellie quickly got ready and told me to do mouth breathing and vibrating my lips as I exhale to help control the strong urge to push. It worked. I did not want the baby to come out before Kellie was by my side!

Debbie arrived first and helped me through the contractions while Sunil prepared the oven to keep the blanket and towels warm. He also called our close friend to pick up Aron while I was in labor. When Kellie came, Sunil and Debbie had the bathtub ready for me to birth in, since I wanted a water birth. They all helped me get into the tub, and I started to push. Kellie checked the baby's heartbeat and it has slowed down drastically. It was a really scary situation. Sunil was extremely worried. Kelly asked me to push hard and get the baby out fast. Debbie was on stand by to call the ambulance. After several pushing, Kellie checked Nora's heartbeat again. Thank God, it went back up to almost normal. I pushed again, and her heartbeat was back up to a normal healthy rate!

Since the warm water in the tub calmed me down a lot, my cervix muscles also did the same thing. The urge to push had gone down and I also felt my pushing wasn't as effective under the water. After maybe about 40 minutes, I decided to go back to my bed and try pushing there. It did work better for me and I could feel the pushing urge stronger. I continued to push but couldn't help feeling that nothing happened. Then Sunil showed me the baby's head crowning using a mirror. She's almost here! That really gave me a boost of energy to continue pushing harder.

When her head finally came out, turned out Nora had brought her arm up with it. That slowed down the labor a bit. Her cord was around her neck twice and pretty tight, but thankfully didn't choke her. Kellie quickly unwrapped the cord from her neck as she told me when to push and to stop. I followed her instructions intently. Finally, I pushed one more time and she was out, at 7:35AM. Sunil caught her and placed her on my chest. Slime and all. It was so magical, more so because I didn't get to experience this moment with Aron at the hospital. It was rather surreal, yet I was so glad that I did it! I personally believe every mother shouldn't miss this very first physical contact with her baby. Both Sunil and I were so happy that we could experience this miracle of birth at the comfort of our own home. It made it so much more special for us.

Kellie, Debbie, and Pam (Kellie's birth assistant) prepared an herbal bath for Nora and I. I got into the herbal bath first, while Kellie prepared Nora's cord to be cut by Sunil. He cut it while I said a short prayer of blessing for Nora from the tub. Aron, who was just being dropped off by our friend, watched as Sunil cut Nora's cord. What a wonderful family moment for us.

Soon after Kellie checked her vital sign, Nora was handed over to me. It felt so good to be in the bath with Nora. The herbs in the bath really helped both of us heal faster from our wounds. It was a wonderful mother-baby moment for me too. Both Sunil and I are now strong believers of home birth. We are deeply grateful to our Home Birth Team, to Kellie especially, in making Nora's birth an experience we will cherish for the rest of our lives.


Original Publish Date: November 1, 2010

Blog Posted: Nov 1, 2010
Posted by: Kellie Moeller, CNM
HomeBirth Experience Inc.
(281) 309-8030

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2011 Nora