Faith Elizabeth

Nov 5, 2009 |
Home Birth Stories,  |
Kellie Moeller, CNM |

Having my 4th baby naturally at home with Kellie has been the one of the greatest moments of my life! It has changed me. During the end of my first pregnancy my doctor kept telling me how concerned he was about the baby's size and suggested an induction 3 days before my due date. I was just happy that I had a specific end date in site and agreed. My son was a difficult forceps delivery, and my first thought after his birth was one of relief that it was over. My 2nd pregnancy, I had hope that I would be able to do this on my own. But again I had an induction the day after my due date. My 3rd was an induction at 38 weeks. Each time the reason for the induction was "baby size." Their sizes: 7lb, 15oz; 7lb, 13oz, & the 38wk was 7lb, 5 oz. I went along with each one.

There are 5 years between my third and 4th children. During that time I went to nursing school and worked in an L&D unit for 2 years. I saw first hand how many women were set up for failure b/c of a physician's or their own impatience. I also began to ponder my own beliefs about God's design for our health. I realized that He gave us all we need to give birth, He designed it afterall. I realized that given the time I could give birth the way I was designed to.

When I became pregnant with our 4th child we interviewed several midwives. Kellie was our #1 choice from the moment I began speaking to her. She was the first one I spoke with and also the standard I held the others up to. None measured up to her. She met us at our home for each of our appointments and she involved my husband and my children in them. I remember the 2nd appointment we had with Kellie. My 5yr old asked Kellie about the placenta. Kellie sat on the floor with her legs folded and taught them about. She showed them a model of the placenta and also a model of a fetus about the size of what our growing baby was at the time. She took the time for us.

My 4th birth was actually much easier than the first 3. I had received pain medication with each of my 3 inductions so I wasn't sure how well I would tolerate a natural birth, but I wanted it. I wanted to experience birth and be part of it. I knew God would not take me through anything I could not handle, but, I was still surprised by my labor. It was 16 hours long, 10 hours longer than my inductions; yet it was much more bearable than my first 3. I woke up on July 22 at 5 am with mild contractions. I had contractions like this each morning for the last month so I wasn't sure this was labor. The contractions continued even after a warm bath (suggested by Kellie) and became a little stronger around 9am. I thought perhaps I really was in labor and called my mom & cousin to come over. My mother-in-law was at our house visiting from Dallas so she was there as well. We had a wonderful day visiting between contractions and laughing at memories. My husband Mike and I swayed and danced to the contractions and excitedly told our other 3 children that our baby was coming soon. We called Kellie over around 6pm. She monitored the contractions and our baby for 20 minutes and then checked me. I was 7 cm and very surprised we were so far along. After an hour the contractions got stronger and I began to get overwhelmed, but Kellie spoke very calmly to me and encouraged me to welcome the contractions. I began to focus during my contractions and concentrate on my breathing. Before long Kellie asked if I wanted to get in the birthing tub. I did. It was time to push. This was the part that was unbearable for me, but at least it only lasted a little while (I'm guessing 15-20 minutes).

The delivery itself is not a vivid memory, I was very focused on my contractions. I remember at one point while pushing Kellie telling me to reach down and touch my baby's head. It was very wrinkly. Even today I'll rub her head and it'll bring back that moment to my memory. I guess I got tired after her head was delivered and wasn't pushing as strongly, because it took a little longer for the rest of her body to be delivered. Kellie ordered me to stand up. I did and she and my husband helped deliver the rest of my daughter. She was born at 9:08pm, but did not breathe immediately. I was not initially concerned because I knew babies born in water do not always breathe right away and they have oxygenated blood still pulsing through the umbilical cord. However, after a moment I saw Kellie's assistant pull out a board. I knew this was an infant CPR board and was immediately concerned. Later Kellie told me that she could not fell an umbilical pulse so my daughter was not getting that rich oxygenated blood flow. However her heartbeat was strong and steady. We stimulated her by rubbing vigorously on her chest and back which caused her to squirm a bit. Then Kellie suctioned her and gave her oxygen and she began breathing. The first 3 minutes of her life were scary. Yet I'm impressed with the way Kellie and her assistant handled them. We do not know why the umbilical vein stopped pulsing early, but I'm glad Kellie was ready and capable of acting quick in an emergency situation. Several days later my mom asked me if I would have still chosen a home birth if I had it to do over. I immediately told her yes. Being in a hospital would not change the fact that the umbilical vein stopped pulsing and the staff would have suctioned and given oxygen the same as Kellie. The differences would be that my daughter would have also been likely to have been taken to a NICU for observation right away and subjected to invasive tests. Yet at home I was able to hold her and immediately breastfeed. She nursed for an hour and then she was examined by Kellie. We then let my youngest cut the umbilical cord and got in an herbal bath. Faith was wide awake and very calm. It was a beautiful day and full of memories that I will treasure forever. I think the hardest part after the birth was saying goodbye to Kellie. She became like a part of our family through the nine months she cared for us and our 6 week postpartum appointment was a bittersweet moment.

I will offer this advise to those considering a home birth: be careful it is addicting. Faith is now 5 months old and I'm very nostalgic about her birth and ready to do it again if we are blessed with another.

Original Publish Date: November 5, 2009

Blog Posted: Nov 5, 2009
Posted by: Kellie Moeller, CNM
HomeBirth Experience Inc.
(281) 309-8030

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