It started off as the perfect Sunday. Our ‘ohana was finishing up our spontaneous staycation at the Hyatt and we were all enjoying our last few weeks of being a family of four. We spent most of the day hanging by the pool and left the hotel around 3 in the afternoon.
It was a long drive home to Huelo (about 5 minutes past Twin Falls), but my husband and I loved the drive. I remember feeling so relaxed and content, thankful for: happy kids, a husband who doesn’t mind driving while hearing me shout “whale!” every few seconds, being able to call Maui home, and a healthy baby on the way. Life was great!
We unloaded the car, taking extra care as we had just bought it brand-new a month before. As the afternoon progressed the kids napped for another couple of hours and I was able to take a shower in peace. At around 7pm, I started feeling some weird pressure “down there.” I don’t remember experiencing Braxton Hicks with our first two, so we Googled it. The pains came a bit more intensely and I suggested we go to the hospital. My sweet, loving husband quickly replied, “Nah. Your due date isn’t for another 5 weeks. Maybe just walk it off…” He will forever regret that statement. And I will never let him forget it.
At 8pm I was in tears because of the pain. My husband finally helped me to the car and off we drove leaving the kids with the in-laws. By the time we got to the end of the gravel road and onto Hana Highway, I was having contractions!
Let’s break here for a quick side note: I have a genetic heart condition that puts me in the high-risk category for my pregnancies. I delivered both of my babies on Oahu for obvious safety reasons and you best believe I got epidurals (mamas, I love watching homebirth videos and completely support every women’s birth journey, but you ain’t got nothin’ to prove! I felt like I was being handed the Nobel Prize when the nurse gave me that little button to control the medication).
So, with that, the pain I was feeling felt excruciating. I even looked over to my husband and said, “I can’t do this!” I felt like I was going to die. But then I saw how pale his face got and knew I had to pull it together. He begged me to give him 20 minutes so he could get us to the hospital, but this baby was adamant to enter the world. I pulled down my pants, plopped my feet up on the dashboard, and started pushing. Right there on the passenger seat of our brand-new Toyota! Then… BAM. A very audible explosion. My water broke (almost forgot about that part of birth in the midst of the chaos). My husband yelled a very common expletive and dialed 911. I continued pushing in between contractions while the operator and my husband tried to figure out a place for us to meet the ambulance.
At some point, I reached down and felt a head of hair! A surge of adrenaline rushed through me and I went into survival mode. I was going to let my body do its thing. I felt a pop when her head came out, and pretty much just pulled the rest of her out after that. My husband had one hand on the steering wheel and the other reaching down to help catch his daughter (don’t ask us why he never stopped the car to pull over). And just like that, she was there! Our sweet, tiny baby girl entered the world just as we were passing Pe’ahi. She was completely silent, but her eyes were wide open, just staring.
We beat the first responders to the Haiku Community Center. My husband was frantic and yelled at the 911 operator, who was still on the phone. “Where are they?!” He jumped out to find something to wrap our newborn baby in. But of course, we had just cleaned out our car after our trip. No towels. My husband ripped off his t-shirt and we wrapped our little girl in it. In that moment, it started to rain. We finally let out a breath, looked at each other, and said, “Did we really just deliver our baby?!”
As I rode in the back of the ambulance, I’m sure the medics asked me a ton of questions, but all I really remember is staring in awe at my baby girl. She was so tiny; just over 4 pounds. She stayed completely calm throughout the whole adventure and I was completely overwhelmed with love for this tiny human.
Image Credit: Kapua Chang