Soren's Birth Story- Hilo, HI

Let’s me start by prefacing this with there will be a lot more dialogue in this blog post and more intimate details so if you’re not into knowing that kind of stuff about a random stranger or your photographer please don’t feel obligated to read this! Also, I’m incredibly sleep deprived and despite my best efforts to proofread and such this is probably grammatically far from perfect. SO leave your grammatical judgments at the door haha. Alright, here we go.

I woke up Tuesday (June 18th) at 1:45 AM. I went to go to the bathroom. I’m pretty sure I had woken up to go 2-3 times already. I went and laid back in bed and suddenly felt a contraction. When I went into labor with Auden I didn’t have any contractions til the day I had her, and same with this pregnancy I had had no contractions til this moment so I laid there for few minutes and had a few more. I decided to move out to the living room and lay on the couch to see if I could get more comfortable and start tracking them. Like most women know who have gone through child birth, the rule they tell you for tracking your contractions is usually 1 minute apart, happening every 5 minutes at least and lasting for an hour. They were starting to happen more frequently (3-4 minutes apart) and stronger. At this point I wasn’t necessarily really alarmed or feeling rushed to get to the hospital because Auden’s birth, though shorter than most people’s first deliveries, still lasted about 8 hours total and my contractions were off and on with her starting.

It was about 2:15 AM now and I was a lot more uncomfortable and decided to go wake up Keawe and let him know what was happening. The first thing Keawe said was “How long have they been happening?”, to which I told him “only 30 minutes” and he also said “well we probably should wait to see where were at once you hit the hour mark.” That was my thought process from the beginning of all of this as well. I texted my parents to let them know I was having contractions and my mom was actually in route to the airport to fly here.

So I laid back in bed and tried to breath through the contractions though they felt uncomfortable and stronger. Another 10-15 minutes had passed and I was really uncomfortable laying down but also felt this strong urge to need to use the bathroom (to poop my friends). I sat on the toilet for a little bit breathing through contractions and also trying to do my business and then suddenly I had a huge surge of pelvic pain. it was so strong it literally made me grunt. I wiped myself and saw fresh blood which I KNEW was not a good sign. I yelled to Keawe who was packing our hospital bag (are you literally smacking your forehead reading this? Nope, we didn’t have a hospital bag packed yet) and told him we needed to call and get someone over here soon.

We had already talked to Keawe’s aunties who agreed to be “on call” for this, we LITERALLY called them both 10 + times with no answer. I was beginning to panic. We started calling anyone we knew from church, neighbors, etc. just to see if we could get someone to come to the house to spend the night here with Auden so we could go. Finally one of Keawe’s auntie’s called back and I answered and just yelled “PLEASE COME OVER, I’M GOING INTO LABOR!”. As soon as I hung up with her another huge surge of pain came over me and Keawe came in the bathroom after hearing my grunts and groans to check on me. Then LITERALLY like out of a movie, Keawe looked at me and said “Babe…. I can see the head.”

For about 30 seconds I was overcome with fear and total panic. This was the FURTHEST thing from how I wanted to do this. I wanted an epidural, I wanted the over sized, one-size-does-not-fit-all hospital gown, I OBVIOUSLY WANTED MY DOCTOR OR SOME TRAINED PROFESSIONAL THERE. I could feel my legs starting to shake and tears forming. “ I don’t want to do it like this!" I told Keawe, but as quickly as all these thoughts were running through my mind we had 911 on speaker and it was “Go time”. The operator instructed Keawe to move me to the bed and lay me on my back. Then she told Keawe to grab towels as this was obviously about to look more like a murder scene then it already did.

Our bathroom and laundry room are all connected to our bedroom, I am laying on my back watching Keawe start to head to the laundry room and suddenly I can see that he’s starting to lose balance and get light headed (THIS IS THE REASON KEAWE COULD NOT PURSUE ANY SORT OF DOCTORATE DEGREE BEYOND PHARMACY BECAUSE THE MAN CANT EVEN DONATE BLOOD WITHOUT FAINTING). As I’m watching him start to teeter, I yelled from across the room “KEAWE NO!! YOU CANNOT PASS OUT ON ME, I CANNOT DELIVER THIS BABY ALONE!! PULL IT TOGETHER!!” and just like that , he snapped out of it, grabbed those towels and rushed back to the bed. It was pretty impressive actually.

Honestly, I wonder what the 911 operator was thinking during this dialogue haha. Anyways, she told us first responders and the EMT’s were on there way but there was a chance that they wouldn’t make it before this baby came. Again, I could see the complete fear in Keawe’s eyes of the reality of what was about to happen. So with the next contraction, the operator told Keawe to push on my pelvis and for me to push simultaneously. I don’t know if I pushed once or twice but baby boy came right out. Keawe caught him in the towel and directly after the operator told us that the fire department was waiting outside our door to come in. This conversation with the operator was 7 MINUTES. We don’t even know the exact time Soren was born but that it was towards the end of our conversation with them. Keawe’s phone record said we called at 2:48 and hung up at 2:53.

Keawe passed off the baby to me and went and went and unlocked the door and Auntie Del walked in with he fire department. Seconds later, our bedroom is filled with 6 hunky firefighters (aren’t all firefighters good looking?) as I’m laying on the bed, in all my glory, no pants on and barely covered on top. Not sure this is how I saw any of this playing out… They came right in and checked baby and I’s vitals, helped Keawe cut the umbilical cord and then the EMT’s were in shortly after. They transferred me and baby to a gurney and transferred us into the ambulance.

From the ambulance I was yelling to Keawe cause literally I was still “letting it all hang out”, “Please grab a bra! And a shirt! and pants! Underwear, anything! And my glasses! And my phone!” And while I’m in the ambulance one of the EMT’s turned to me and asked if I attended a specific church and knew some mutual friends…. what a perfect time to have this conversation, sir. While Soren and I went in the ambulance, Keawe followed behind in our car and called my dad to tell him the crazy news. My mom hadn’t even boarded her plane yet!

We made it to the hospital and got put up in Labor & Delivery, finally got Soren’s stats taken and was able to birth the placenta, which honestly was more painful than actually birthing the baby. I’m still wondering if we can get half off our bill since my OB didn’t actually deliver the baby. We spent the night and were home the next day with little boy now added to our lives forever!

Some major blessings from all of this craziness is 1) Auden slept through all of this. I cannot imagine if she woke up during this and witnessed this madness. I’m convinced she would have been placed in therapy immediately following this to recovery from witnessing something this traumatic. 2) Thank GOODNESS this actually happened during the night when Keawe was home and I wasn’t like in the car driving somewhere, at the grocery store, or at home alone with Auden. Though the conditions were not ideal. I’m grateful the situation played out how it did.

Here’s a few pictures of our little man, Soren Onipa’aikapono Makaimoku. Born (around) 2:50 AM. He was 6 lbs and 10 ounces and 19 1/4 inches long. Were adjusting to being a family of four now well and totally in that newborn sleepless haze.