Townes Edward Brennan

Jul 17, 2010 |
Home Birth Stories,  |
Kellie Moeller, CNM |

The weekend before the Townes’ birthday was very full and I am pretty sure I overdid it as I was feeling so great the whole pregnancy (thanks to the strict nutrition plan Kellie had me on) and had a hard time taking it easy. We had a few friends in town staying with us and spent the weekend laying by the pool and seeing some great music. We also celebrated Shaun’s birthday. So it was no wonder after that weekend I started to come down with a nasty cold. And when I mean nasty, I mean whole body sneezes. I was so upset to be feeling so bad at the end of my pregnancy and was really hoping that I would not go into labor right in the middle of feeling so horribly. But I did just that.

It was Wednesday evening and Shaun had gone to softball. As I went to blow my nose, I thought that I had peed on myself, but actually, my waters had broken. My contractions did not start until the following Thursday evening around 10:30pm. By 1 am, they were getting much stronger and we decided to get the birthing tub going and to call Kellie. Our bedroom was set up so beautifully with loads of white candles everywhere, that happened to be left over from our wedding a couple years prior. And oceans sounds continued constantly for the 29 hours of labor in the background of my moaning. Kellie came from another birth and we labored through the night. As morning was breaking, I got into the shower and my contractions seemed to just stop. I maybe had 2 or 3 in a matter of 30 minutes or more. Kellie informed us that labor often stalls or slows down in the daytime and that stronger labor most often happens at night. She headed home to rest up and told us to do the same as we would have a long night ahead of us.

By that time, Dawn Marie, my best friend and doula, had arrived. We made breakfast and visited a little in between contractions. One of my favorite memories of that day was Shaun and I taking a nap together in our room. My contractions were so painful when I lay down flat, so we had made a mountain of pillows for me to lean against so that I could get some sleep as we had not slept all night and I knew the night ahead of us we would really need all the energy we had. So I put on my eye mask and ear plugs and would wake up every so often and with Shaun’s help work through the contractions and get back to sleep. I would not have gotten as much rest as I did if it were not for Shaun’s encouragement. He was just so amazing and positive throughout the entire experience. I could not have had a better birth partner.

As evening approached, my contractions got stronger and so we called Kellie back over. We made red raspberry tea and walked the hallway to strengthen my contractions. Then Kellie made me lay down in the position it hurt worst to get my cervix to open up and let my sweet baby through. She sat beside the bed and as I contracted, told me to go towards the pain, imagining the energy of the uterus contracting, the cervix opening and the baby coming out and onto my chest. We did that over and over for what seemed like forever. I didn’t want to do it at the time, but I know that is what it was going to take to really get my cervix to open up and get my baby closer to coming out and with me. We later headed to the bathroom which is where we really progressed. And I never thought I would be naked on the toilet with 3 people’s eyes on me, including my best friend and husband. They were all so encouraging through the whole process.

As we thought we were about to have the baby, Kellie said we should probably head to the tub if you want to have the baby in the water. But after being the tub, I relaxed so much that my contractions slowed and it was not as intense as it needed to be to push the baby out. We had not checked how far along I was because my water had broken early and I had an increased risk of infection. But it felt like it was time to check and see if I was actually as far along as we thought. And when Kellie checked me, I was only 7 centimeters. This was pretty discouraging and my energy level just plummeted. I was starting to fall into deep sleeps in between contractions. So we decided to take a break and rest. I got out of the water and into bed. My body was so worn out and knew I needed rest to push the baby out, that my contractions started spacing about 9 minutes apart and once gave me a whole 18 minute break! But by this time I was waking up with the strongest contractions and was trying to push the baby out. After a couple of hours of resting, the contractions had gotten so strong, that I told Kellie I thought we needed to start back up again and finally get this baby out.

We decided to go back to the bathroom where we were getting a lot of progress earlier. And it helped a lot. After a while in there, Kellie checked me again and this time actually helped get the baby’s head through the cervix and we were then ready to get into pushing position to get that baby out. We got into a position where Shaun’s arms were up and under my armpits and lifting me down into a squatting position. Then in between contractions, he would lift me up and I would rest on his lap. I pushed only for 30 minutes, but it felt like forever. I truly believe that “I am woman, hear me roar” comes from childbirth, because I was doing just that. A super strong, deep roar came out of me with each push. I could hardly believe it, when Kellie said reach down and grab your baby. I pulled up Townes and held him in my arms and just like that I was as calm as could be. He just barely let out a cry and then was wide eyed and checking out his new world. It was the most amazingly intense, beautiful, profound experience of my life.

I didn’t have a care in the world once he was finally out and in my arms. Kellie tended to the after birth and had me push out the placenta, which felt like nothing after what we had been through. And the beauty of having it at home is that I then just climbed into my own super comfy bed for Kellie to stitch me up. Townes had come out “sunny side up,” which is why labor taking so long and caused me to tear a little. By this time, my mom had arrived and was right by my side as Townes easily latched on for his very first meal. He nursed for almost 2 hours. After that, Shaun cut the cord and we measured and weighed and checked all of his vital signs. This was a much gentler way to enter the world than cutting the placenta immediately after the birth. Instead, Townes spent his first few hours in my arms not the arms of a stranger. Meanwhile, they created a lovely herbal bath for Townes and me with candles and all. It was the perfect way to wind down and bond with my new little man.

Our birth was everything we had hoped it would be, spiritual, joyful, and drug free. Kellie was such a patient and calm motivator through the whole birthing process. She helped support me every step of the way before and after the birth. She really left the birth decisions up to us and it really felt like it was in our hands as the parents instead of the medical industry. We were educated and informed of all the options every step of the way. I felt so incredibly lucky to have had such a healthy birth free of intervention and in the comfort of my own home.

Original Publish Date: July 17, 2010

Blog Posted: Jul 17, 2010
Posted by: Kellie Moeller, CNM
HomeBirth Experience Inc.
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2017 Townes Edward Brennan