I met Sergio when we were both kids, back in Brazil. He was always around our house and slowly became one of our so called "brothers of the heart" - my sisters and I had lots of them.
I whole heartedly welcomed all the "brothers" that this crazy life (and my parents' surf ministry) brought into my life. What I never thought could happen was that, like me, one of them would end up in Hawaii - and that I would be there when he became a dad.
This birth story is not only special because it was the first one I documented since moving back to Hawaii, it's also special because these are my friends. My family.
I don't usually write much about the details of the birth stories I document, however, on this one I was there from the very beginning. I ended up staying with them for almost 24 hours - giving Carly much needed support on her brave attempt (and success!) at a natural birth, and documenting what I could when my hands were free.
Our journey from the North Shore of O'ahu to Castle Medical Center, on the Windward side of the island, started in the early hours of the morning. It was a cold and wet morning, and we had just had the threat of 3 major hurricanes passing by in the Pacific Ocean.
Carly was having contractions like clockwork: every 4-5 minutes.
We stopped to get a to go breakfast for Sergio at a Crepe place in Kailua and headed to the hospital's birth center.
When we got there... no contractions. They just stopped.
We've all heard the stories of women who are so terrified of hospitals that their labor stalls. This is exactly what happened to Carly. An hour or so in triage and not one single contraction! She was discharged and we decided to give her some time and stay in Kailua instead of driving back to the North Shore.
Back to crepe place we went. This time, we got a table and ordered food for everyone... and coffee!
Contractions had already picked back up by the time our food was served, and right after the bill was paid, Carly looks at me in panic. Her water had broken!
Back in the car, and back to the hospital (where everyone probably thought we were crazy) we went. Through triage again, and this time admitted into the large labor and delivery suite.
From then on, Carly progressed beautifully - in her body's own pace.
Labor is not easy or fast for most women. Labor is hard. Being there for them, and emotionally invested in them, made me think back on my own labor experiences. What had I needed done? What had I needed to hear? Thinking back on these things helped me maybe say the right things to Carly. To tell her she could do it. That she WAS doing it. And she was rocking it - even if she didn't think she was.
In the end, she exceeded all my expectations, and impressed me with her strength and courage.
Sergio too! He was her rock. Never left her side. Held her up like he was superman, and was strong through the long hours without sleep.
At 1:51am Hadassah Sage was born. Without any intervention or pain medication. The most precious little girl!
She had some trouble to kickstart her breathing, and things moved very quickly from there. Sergio cut the cord and she was whisked away into the warm bassinet and the care of the professionals who could help stimulate her breathing. We didn't get to see her for long, and she was taken into the nursery for extra care, where she stayed for another day.
The next day I went back to visit, as soon as she came back to the room. No more tubes, thank God, and breathing on her own.
This is your story Hadassah. I can't wait to be able to watch your birth film with you when you're old enough, and to tell you all about how awesome your parents were in bringing you earth side. You are loved, little Hadassah, and my prayer is that you grow to love Jesus with all your heart.
Interested in having a birth photographer/videographer document your birth story? Contact Sophia of Three Plus Photography to talk about your options.
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