hospital birth Maui birthing story

It began in Park City, Utah, a family reunion of sorts, to celebrate my uncle’s birthday. My 18 month old daughter, Emily, navigated her first “bunny slope” and my husband, JJ, and I tackled moguls. Little did we know that we’d bring home more than cold toes and fond memories. The expression, “There must be something in the water” best describes the incredible miracle that occurred that January in 2008. My two cousins’ wives and I all got pregnant on or around that trip – all boys!

Fast forward to October 14th (37 weeks pregnant) – It was a routine evening of dinner, bath, stories and bedtime when I began to feel some cramping. It seemed uncanny given that Emily was born at 37 weeks, but the contractions started coming. I labored at home for several hours until my instincts told me it was almost time. I called our doula, Kadi, and JJ drove me to the hospital.

The doctor reported I was only 2cm dilated and 80% effaced (same as first time around with Emily) – so much for instincts! More discouraging news came when I tested positive for Strep-B, which meant an IV pole with antibiotics (repeat of first birth). I handled “the pole”, but I really didn’t want to do it again. After a moment of negativity I snapped back to reality and remembered my purpose – to see my baby boy! I thought, “Okay, I can totally do this!” After several more hours of labor with little change in dilation I consented to pitocin (AGAIN!).

After the pitocin Kadi arrived and the pain got intense, but I was determined to avoid further interventions (as before). I am woman hear me ROAR!!! I changed positions, danced with the IV pole, squatted, but still only 5cm dilated after 16 hours! I thought, “I don’t know if I can do this”. Then, a rush of fluid and the most intense feeling I’ve ever felt in my life. Kadi and JJ looked at each other knowingly…this baby is coming, NOW! JJ ran down the hall calling for the doctor and Kadi stayed, ready to catch the baby. The doctor arrived and with JJ and Kadi by my side I prepared to meet my new son. The burning set in and I heard Kadi say, “Let go”. Letting go is easier said than done in everyday situations, but is especially challenging during labor! Nevertheless, I surrendered and it happened. As Sam crowned, I “let go” and felt pleasure. Real PLEASURE… incredible!

Sam and I met at 10:19 am on October 15th and it was love at first sight! He was born on my late grandpa’s birthday (maybe he had something to do with the ski trip babies!). I felt complete, whole, perfect.

As humans we compare. As mamas we might compare the first pregnancy with the second. Compare a second child’s milestones to the first. Compare our bodies to other women. However, every individual is just that, an individual, and beautiful. Though a first experience is brand new, the second time has a charm all its own.

Lesson I learned the second time around: When the pain is most intense all I have to do is “let go” and allow the pleasure.

Let Go, Let Go, Let Go…

Image Credit: Kristen Stafford

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Kristen Stafford, mother of Emily and Sam, is an Elementary school teacher with a Masters Degree in Special Education. She works for the DOE on Maui and is a graduate from The Maui Academy of Healing Arts in Kihei. Kristen loves being a Maui Mama!