birth story mauimama

The bright glow of the full moon had passed behind the quiet Hale Mahina in the distant west. The twinkle of the stars remained constant reminding me that the storm had passed. Your tall handsome daddy, Barnaby lay breathing deeply on that early morning of February 21st of 2019. With my hair untamed as a tornado, I rested through tummy pains from you my unborn angel growing in my belly. “Would these pains go away as they did in the early months?” I thought. It’s way too soon. Hours passed as I willed the pains to expire. I called to daddy, “Love, Love can you get me some water please?” I thought the water would halt the pains, but they grew stronger and made my breaths grow deeper. 

I knew something was not right. I cautiously waddled to the bathroom and wiped crimson blood. Fear choked my throat. I took a gasping inhale and my body began to tremble with anxiety like an earthquake. Mommy dialed the nurse with trembling hands and the nurse confirmed that I needed to see the doctor. We arrived at the hospital at 1:15am under the pull of the large moon. I asked for a wheelchair as to not exhaust my body. Would you believe that of all nights, the hospital computer system was down due to routine updates! All information was taken by hand and called into the labor and delivery. 

In the labor and delivery room we waited nervously through my labor pains for the nurse. Each room was full with mothers in labor from that moon that connects women to creation. Finally, a gust of air swept through the room and a deep gravelly voice announced herself as Nurse Ryan. My focus was on the safety of you, a sweet angel not wanting to wait to be in this world. Nurse Ryan was a strong woman whose hair was neatly tied in a short brown ponytail. She exuded confidence and a no nonsense attitude. She meant business. She attached the monitors and I fought back the tears repeating silent prayers that I would hear your heart beating. The monitors immediately picked up the rapid thumping of your heart. “Praise God,” I sighed. I squeezed daddy’s hand in relief. The doctor with eyes like the sea came to check me. I was already dilated to 3cm and only 31 weeks along. I knew this was not good. The medevac team was called to have us fly to O’ahu within the hour. With each passing minute, my pains wrapped around my belly and shot through my back. I breathed deeper with each pain. The doctor tried to help the labor subside, but without success. The doctor gave me magnesium to help your lungs develop. When the medevac team arrived an hour later, I was checked one last time and had dilated to 8cm. The doctor said we needed to stay and deliver on Maui or you would be born on the flight. They briefly left the room and within 10 minutes, I felt the urge to push. I told daddy you were about to come out. “Get the doctor and say, ‘my wife said that the baby is coming now!’” With grace and confidence, the bed and room were prepared for delivery. In two strong pushes, your little 2lb 10oz body entered this world. We did not know if you were a boy or girl. The doctor announced that we had a girl. I expected to hear the sound of a newborn kitten, but you let out a huge yelp reassuring me that you were strong. 

You were immediately taken to be cared for in the warmer in the room. They needed to prepare you to be taken on your first flight, so I kissed your forehead, and within seconds you were whisked away. I saw daddy’s face not knowing where to be. I told him to follow you and not let you out of his sight. Daddy watched in anguish as they poked you to put in an IV. Your arms and veins were so small. I was scared. When would we be together? Were you okay? After I was cared for, I was able to see you before you were taken. Your little face was covered with a mask and you were connected to so many monitors and an IV. I caressed your small arms and legs and had to say goodbye. It felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest, as I could not go with you. You were on your own to another place where we would soon be together. My beautiful baby Amelia, who took her first flight within hours of being born, was a strong, little soul with lots of hair. 

The following day, mommy gathered some things and traveled alone to Honolulu where we lived for the next 5 weeks. The important thing is that we were together and in less than two months were all home to start our new life.

Image Credit: Heather Benton

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