Marie’s Birth Story

Sep 1, 2016 |
Home Birth Stories,  |
Kellie Moeller, CNM |

I honestly don't know what initially drew me to the idea of home birth but pretty soon after we found out we were pregnant with our first child I asked the only couple I knew who'd had a home birth if they would talk to us about their experience and possibly provide a reference since there were no home birth midwives in our area. We'd had a few appointments with a local OB and weren't impressed with the service or lack of patient education. It was as if there was a path that all patients took and that's what we were expected to do too. So when Kellie agreed to meet with us (despite our home being 90 miles away from her!) my husband and I jumped at the chance to learn more about our home birth options. The one question he had was "what do we do with our dogs"...haha! But our biggest concern was definitely the distance - she reassured us that it would be no problem and as the pregnancy progressed we completely trusted her.

And in the end, it wasn't an issue at all. My water broke immediately following an appointment with Kellie (during which we both agreed this baby, whose gender we did not find out, would not arrive until after its due date the following week!). I had decided to spend some time in the Galleria with my mom, who had flown in to be part of my birth team, before driving home and right as we were heading to eat lunch I felt very heavy fluid much so that I had to cover my backside with a sweater and make a trip to the bathroom to clean up a bit. It was not accompanied by any cramping or blood so I thought nothing of it except that it must be another weird part of pregnancy.  It wasn't until later that evening when I started feeling mild cramps and had some spotting did I realize I was in labor.  I texted Kellie to let her know and she said to keep her posted; I slept normally that night.

The next morning, 8/12/15, I still had mild cramping so I set to finishing up all the projects I wanted done before the baby arrived (i.e. making the crib mobile, prepping freezer meals, etc.). Besides the occasional contraction, the day went on as usual: I ate normally, watched TV, Ben went to work (but came home early). Kellie checked in via phone periodically throughout the day. Since this was my first baby, I was expecting labor to be a long, drawn out process.  But thanks to all the classes and handouts and books and prenatal appointments we'd had with Kellie I was able to really trust the was all happening just as it should.

Around 6pm is when I knew the baby would be here much sooner than I thought...the contractions got stronger. I could barely eat my chicken soup dinner and started bouncing/rocking on the birth ball with every contraction just to help myself move through it.  But I was still able to talk with my mom and Ben (who was monitoring my contractions on an app and sending it to Kellie for updates) and walk around the house.  The last thing I tried to eat was yogurt (around 7pm) and I may have taken a small bite before feeling like it was going to come back up immediately. Eventually I had to stand in the shower, bent over a shower stool so the water would hit my lower back to help get through contractions which were coming on faster and stronger.  At that point I couldn't talk during contractions at all, I just kept breathing and telling myself it would be gone in a few seconds. When Kellie arrived around 8pm I got out of the shower so she could listen to the baby's heart rate. I had to lay on my side on the bathroom floor since that was the most comfortable position for me and at the next contraction I began pushing. 

Here are the things that stand out in my mind from that point on:

  • squeezing my mom and Ben's hands very hard during each contraction;
  • Ben giving me lots of sips of water;
  • me asking Kellie if the baby was alright (I didn't know why it was taking so long! haha!);
  • switching my position to laying on my other side
  • Kellie's birth assistant, Pamela, arriving;
  • trying a birthing stool for a little while (I didn't like it!);
  • Ben giving me a spoonful of honey for energy;
  • and moving to the bed to I could push while laying on my back. 

It was in that position that the baby started to make its way out; Kellie held a mirror and had me reach down to feel the top of its head so I could know my baby was so close!  And then, she was here. Marie was born at 11:54 pm, weighing in at a tiny 5 lbs 11.5 oz (I suspect her size was part of why it took "so long" for her to be delivered - she was likely getting "stuck" when I was laying on my side, as evidenced by the temporary off-center cone shaped bump she had on her head!).  I asked if it was a boy or a girl and Kellie had me look for myself. She was wiped down and wrapped in oven-warmed flannel blankets. She was so clean, no blood or vernix like I expected, and she was placed on my chest immediately. Kellie helped me deliver the placenta, massaged my uterus (more painful than labor!), then checked for tears (I had a very small one that didn't require stitches). Meanwhile Pamela got some initial heart rate numbers and temperatures and helped Marie get a good latch. We all waited, ate, and napped while Marie nursed for the next three (!!) hours.  My in-laws drove over to meet Marie once they heard the news and they helped prep the herbs for our herbal bath which we enjoyed after she finished nursing, got measured, weighed, and checked out.  After the bath we both got dressed, everyone left, and we climbed into bed for the night.

There were so many emotions that day that it's hard to pinpoint what exactly I was feeling at each moment but the overarching feeling was definitely peace and calm.  I'd had these stereotypical visions of birth based on what I'd seen on TV and movies - lots of panic, chaos, mess, and loud noises. It seems birth is always portrayed as scary and urgent. I'm certain Marie's birth wasn't without mess but I didn't see/don't remember any of it.  By the time we went to bed everything was put away and cleaned or ready to be cleaned or disposed of.  I remember in one of our birth classes we were told to visualize how we want our labors to go and I did often...and it was exactly how I'd pictured/hoped: gentle and sweet.

And the best part was waking up in our own bed just like any other morning: surrounded by our dogs, who were there the whole time waiting patiently for Marie to arrive and have loved her from the very start.

Blog Posted: Sep 1, 2016
Posted by: Kellie Moeller, CNM
HomeBirth Experience Inc.
(281) 309-8030

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