…I’m not a religious person, but my mantra became, “ Give it to God”. I found that if I repeated the phrase over and over during my rushes, I was able to get through them easier. I felt like I was being watched over and didn’t feel so alone in the process.

Ben had awoken and filled the pool with warm water. I practically begged them to let me in because I was shaking profusely, but Sonya said it wasn’t time yet. (Later she told me that getting in the pool would have slowed my progress).

I kept telling the baby that IT WAS TIME! I kept calling out to God. Then, around 1:30am, our midwife appeared like an angel in our doorway. Her presence was so calming and reassuring that I almost started sobbing. She watched me and calmly said, “I think your bag of waters is trying to break. Sitting on the toilet will help.”

Sitting upright was painful, but I was desperate to relieve the intense sensations. I opened up my legs wide and pushed like I was having a huge bowel movement and POP! My waters burst all over and my son’s head fell into my birth canal, so quickly I thought that he’d dropped into the bowl. The reality of everything suddenly hit me and I waddled to the pool nervously.

I stayed on all fours and leaned against the side as waves continued to crash over me. My body was shook, but my mind saw the finish line in sight: I could now push this baby out!

I don’t know quite how to explain the way in which the innate took over and did all the work from here on out. I don’t remember the candles, or the music, or time… But, I remember the way my low moans morphed into uncontrollable, powerful roars. I don’t remember where everyone stood… But, I remember feeling the entire Universe open up between my legs to release my son, the tone of my midwife’s voice, and Ben reminding me to breathe.
After I got into the pool, it was only about 5 rushes before La‘akea joined us:

Rush ONE– PUSH! My midwife says, “Good job. Your baby is in the birth canal… about a third of the way to crowning.”
Rush TWO – PUSH. I feel myself opening up and hear sounds I never knew possible coming from me. The baby’s crowning and I feel his head just before it disappears back into me. I say, “Oh no, he went back in!” to which everyone laughs.
Rush THREE – PUSH. His head comes down and stays down. If Ben wants to catch the baby, he needs to get behind me now. I hear people telling me to breathe.
Rush FOUR – PUSH! I’m more determined to push this baby out than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I feel the fear, and charge through anyway. Froggy squatting and bearing down. I feel like I’ve been torn inside out as the baby’s head emerges. I’m ready to push him completely out, but hear, “Slow down. Feel your baby.” I’m afraid to touch anything down there because I fear I’ve broken myself, but I feel his head and wait for the next rush, which took a few minutes.
Rush FIVE – PUSH. The baby’s body slides out, I turn over, and he’s placed on my chest. I’m in shock at how calm, yet wide awake and aware he is. The Midwife says “2:44 am” and tells us to talk to him and rub his back vigorously because he’s a little pale and doesn’t cry. (He didn’t actually cry until hours after his birth.)

I was in pure shock at how surreal it was to finally meet La’akea. His perfection rocked me to my core. Ben and I were so in love that it took a few minutes before we realized we didn’t know whether our baby was a boy or a girl. I birthed my placenta before moving to the couch to dry off with my family. La‘akea latched onto my breast while I sipped herbal remedies, and then Ben got skin-to-skin time while I showered. Ben and I stared at our little one for hours while they measured and weighed him.
We finally all got into bed around 5am, this time as a family of three!

Issue 19 NavigationLa‘akea’s Birth Story – Part I –False Labor >>
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Haley has always had an innate passion for birth and mothering. She earned her Masters in Social Work with a Child and Family emphasis, and is well connected on island. Born and raised on Maui, she is rooted in island culture and values. Haley enjoys being outdoors and playing with her family. She brings passion and heart to everything she does. She is currently a doula (studied under Tina Grazero and DONA program) and can be reached at 808 281-8723 or haleysrabago@gmail.com