The first birth I ever attended was my sister’s birth of my nephew Kaikuolo. All natural – peaceful, intense, beautiful and at home. Fast forward to a year and three months later and there I was in my sister’s master bathroom breathing through my own contractions – in peace, intensity and beautifully at home.
When I first learned that I was pregnant, Bj (my kane) and I were ecstatic. We had experienced a miscarriage just before, so we were so thankful and excited to be parents once again. I would often speak with my sister about my desire to give birth naturally, just as she did. I read up on holistic and homeopathic medicines, therapies and plants I could use during pregnancy, while in labor and postnatal. It was then, while I was eight months pregnant, that I decided I wanted to have my baby at home with a cultural practitioner midwife.
The prenatal care I received with my midwife was amazing. She asked both Bj and I where we were in our relationship, what our feelings were about the whole prenatal process and what our feelings about being new parents were. She gave me a detailed and personalized healthy eating plan that could be easily implemented into my everyday life. We set up regular “lomilomi” (massage) appointments. She cared and connected with us and was truly genuine, and I appreciated that.
At 3:30am in the morning on November 9, 2012 I started experiencing my first contractions. Though mild, I knew my baby was on his way. My sister suggested that Bj and I walk up and down the street (which is ironically named Ku’u One Hanau Way- translating to, “The Sands of My Birth”). The pain was excruciating, but I knew it was all going to be worth it in the end. My Kupuna (elders) did this, and now it was my turn. I called out to them, they were with me. My midwives stayed by my side and encouraged both Bj and I to stay strong and keep striving. After 14 long hours of beauty, intensity and togetherness I entered the birthing pool water and felt a sense of calm grace my presence. Bj got into the pool with me and was told, “Put your hand there Bj. You feel that? That’s your baby’s head. Now, you and your queen are going to bring him into this world,” and he did, and WE did.
With my second pregnancy I chose a homebirth again. With this birth the waves of labor grew in intensity, my wailing grew louder and my breaths deeper. As each tide came, I was reminded that I am portal of the spiritual and the earthly realm chosen by The Creator. My body, my temple and my baby, my heaven sent gift ~ working in beautiful synchronization. Me, a woman, a mother, the only force on earth powerful enough to navigate unborn spirits into this world and what an honor and a privilege it is.
After only 4 hours of labor, this time, in the still of the night with the winds whispering cool breezes outside my window and amidst the vibrancy of our ancestors, surrounded by love and luminous light I laid on my side, my kane, behind me. I leaned into his chest – he acted as my backbone in that moment, supporting me as the surges continued to throw me into the tides of energy that rushed down quickly, with power. In front of me my midwife spoke softly into my ear, guiding me through the pain- I found strength in her voice. Other midwives, held my right leg up and began to chant Na ‘Aumakua, an oli to our ancestors, asking them to safeguard us that we may flourish. Asking to grant us knowledge, strength and understanding.
Then, “the throw down” with just four steady pushes, and my baby was born.
I trusted my body and my midwives. I trusted my cultural practices and needless to say I am a PROUD HOMEBIRTH MAMA of two healthy and beautiful baby boys.
Image Credit: Darri Felicilda