RJ's Birth Story

Oct 2, 2007 |
Home Birth Stories,  |
Kellie Moeller, CNM |

Fall 2007,

I am a childbirth educator and have always said that if I had another baby it would be at home with a midwife. I’ve learned and seen too much to have another baby in a hospital. But, with two teenage daughters and age creeping up on me I didn’t really think my husband, Rene, and I would have another baby. And then, surprise we were pregnant again! We found Kellie and felt a connection with her right away. Here is the story of Ruben Juan’s birth (we call him RJ).

I was 38 weeks pregnant and had been having pre-labor contractions for many weeks. It was a Thursday evening when my water broke. Kellie and our doula, Myra came over at 9:00 that night. Nothing was happening so we all went to bed and Kellie and Myra slept on our couch! The next morning the contractions were mild and far apart so everyone went home. It wasn’t until about 9:00 that night that the contractions started coming more regularly and getting more uncomfortable. My daughter Gabby came in and held my hand during the contractions while I breathed them out. She headed to bed and I fell asleep. During the contractions I came to a little and breathed through them.

At midnight, Rene and I timed contractions because they seemed awfully close together to me and they were - about every 5 minutes and lasting a minute to a minute and a half long. They weren’t mild any more! At first we were excited and laughing in between contractions but very soon they were too strong and close for that. I was so glad we didn’t have to get dressed, pack up, get in the car and go to the hospital. I don’t think I could have anyway.

I begged Rene to get the bathwater running, but Kellie said we shouldn’t until she got there. He started to draw the water twice for me but then finally said "you are getting into the shower!" We brought in a stool and I kneeled down and leaned on the stool with the water hitting my back. It felt good, but boy those contractions were tough! Kellie came about an hour after we called her and I remember telling her that I wasn’t doing very well and felt like I was losing it. All I wanted was to get into that bathtub! Finally, they said the tub was ready. I got in, leaned back with a big sigh and relaxed. Then the contraction came - wow! It really hurt and I told Kellie and Rene that the tub was NOT like a liquid epidural (like I had heard it was). But the water felt better than being out of it - I was going to stay right there.

The contractions were overwhelming and very strong. Kellie held my hand a couple of times and reassured me that I might need to loose it to have a baby. She never pitied me or tried to rescue me - just reassuring me when I vocalized my doubts. I breathed deep breaths with loud blows out which really seemed to help. I spent most of the time on my knees with my forearms resting on the side of the tub. I tried some other positions but my body would scream for me to move. I used a cloth to cushion my forehead against the side of the tub. I would squeeze and bite it when contractions came. I was afraid when I felt the baby move high in my tummy, because that always happened right before a contraction came. By now, Gabby and Marina were awake and in the room and my friend Michele had gotten here. They were in the bedroom watching - even the dog and cat were in there!

I started doing some grunting and pushing and remember trying to sneak pushing since I hadn’t gotten the okay to push from anyone (leftover thinking from birthing in a hospital I guess). I pushed through contractions for a long time while kneeling and facing the front of the tub. My rear end really felt the pressure - it felt like it was going to rip open and I held back from pushing. Kellie told me I wasn’t going to hurt my bottom and hearing that freed me up to push more. She was looking in the mirror, but we couldn’t see anything yet, so she told me to see if I could feel the head. I felt something high up there, but wasn’t sure it was the baby. A little while later I tried again and I felt his head! It was so amazing and I got so excited. I was the absolute first person to have ever touched him as Kellie hadn’t examined me yet. Soon after she did check me and the head was really low and I was fully dilated (I knew that, but was reassured when she said it out loud). All I had to do now was push him out. Much, much easier said than done! I changed positions to squatting while leaning on the back of the tub.

Kellie kept encouraging me to push through the pain and I tried. I found my voice during this birth and groaned loudly and even screamed some too! It felt so good to be loud, so I was! Rene was beside me. I kept asking him, do you think it will be born on the next one and he would say, its just right there, its right there. It felt so wonderful to have him so close to me. He was also supporting my tissues as I pushed. I saw the baby’s head bulging out in the mirror - it was so exciting and I got a surge of energy. I kept saying "I can do it, I can do it. I’m going to push even if it hurts. Here comes our baby!" I gave a great big push and the head was born. Rene felt the head as it was being born and held it! He said later, with a shiver, that he felt my tissue rip as the head was born. I felt something moving and I told Rene to quit it and he said "it isn’t me - it’s the baby. I’ve got my finger in its mouth!" - the baby was actually sucking on his finger when only his head was born! So amazing!

I was so relieved and was resting when Kellie told me all I had to do now was push the body out. I shook my head and told her "no, thats okay - Rene can pull it out". She said that no, I had to push again. Well okay I thought and I pushed with a loud yell and out he came! Rene and Kellie caught him and quickly brought him out of the water and onto my chest. I opened my eyes and reached for the baby and said "my baby, my baby" over and over and "Thank be to God it’s over!" It was a big baby and looked all purple. He was born at 4:58 am on September 22nd. Marina came right over and we checked to see if it was a boy or a girl. Surprise - a boy! Our ultrasound had said a girl. We were all shocked quiet for a minute and then Michele yelled "It’s a boy!". It was so exciting.

We stayed in the tub together for a little while. Gabby took lots of pictures, I called my mom and everyone admired our new little one. Soon, we got out of the tub, Rene held the baby for the first time and then we got warm in the bed. We stayed there for a long time. The baby nursed and nursed and stayed warm under the covers with me. After a while, Kellie helped us get into an herbal bath. He loved it! He just floated with his eyes closed in total bliss - much like he must have in the womb. Rene and his sisters came back in the room and dressed him and back into bed we went. We stayed there and in my room for a whole week while the family took care of me and I took care of the baby. I didn’t even watch tv or anything - just admired my son the whole week.

I always said that if I had another baby I would have it at home. And now that I have, I wouldn’t change a thing, It was everything I wanted - everything was perfect. My goal for this birth was to follow whatever my body told me too and I did. I knew Kellie was taking good care of me and the baby. I didn’t need to be "on guard". It is hard to describe, but it just felt so NORMAL to be in labor and birthing at home. It took me a while to write this birth story and I think part of the reason is that I didn’t need to process anything, didn’t need to make anything "right", didn’t need to justify anything that had happened to me or the baby. The birth and those hours afterwards were so gentle and peaceful for the baby - I would go through all that again just so his first day on earth would be just like it was. The dream birth and a wonderful little miracle to hold and love on every day.

Paula Conriquez

Publisher: Paula Conriquez
Original Publish Date: October 2, 2007

Blog Posted: Oct 2, 2007
Posted by: Kellie Moeller, CNM
HomeBirth Experience Inc.
(281) 309-8030

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2007 RJ's Birth Story