The Best Day of My Life Happened in 2012: The Birth of Henry Koa

It’s New Year’s Eve, and the baby’s asleep. Time to reflect.

Full disclosure: I know. It’s been 4 months since I’ve written on this blog. I lecture people on keeping their blogging consistent and frequent, and then I totally ignore my own advice.

Last time I checked in, it was the end of August and I had done a belly painting with Rachel Deboer (who has since gone on to create a business out of painting pregnant bellies). Now it’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m home, in pajamas, writing a blog post. (Yes, I had the baby, and he’s sleeping right now!)

Life got really FULL (pun intended) as my last month of pregnancy zoomed on. I worked really hard to tie up as many loose ends as possible: planning The Noble Chef benefit for Maui Culinary Academy, getting heavy duty into the planning of TEDxMaui 2013, getting the house ready for baby, planning for my birth (probably the most serious plan I’ve ever made), and doing the obligatory maternity photo shoot. (Big thanks to my buddy Naomi D. Sheikin for taking these amazing shots.)

Maternity Photo Shoot on Maui by Naomi D. Sheikin

Photo by Naomi D. Sheikin

Maternity Photo Shoot on Maui by Naomi D. Sheikin

Photo by Naomi D. Sheikin

Maternity Photo Shoot on Maui by Naomi D. Sheikin

Photo by Naomi D. Sheikin

Soon after these photos were taken, I began my self-imposed “maternity leave”…which is funny because as it turns out, I never really rested until about 7 days before I gave birth. I dove in to my “leave” in a big way: taking naps whenever I wanted, getting a manicure and pedicure, laying on the beach and soaking in the ocean for hours without a care in the world, frivolously listening to podcasts. What an amazing seven days those were; now I know why mothers always tell pregnant women to really soak up as much “alone time” as possible. (Just do it, ladies.)

It was in the evening of October 6th that I felt my first contraction. I remembered my birthing class teacher’s advice: as soon as you feel your first contraction, make sure you’re really hydrated and well-fed, and then go back to bed. I slept through the night for the most part, getting up every few hours (it had been like that for the past month or so due to the little one squishing my bladder), and then at 4:30am the next morning, I told my husband, “I think its happening”.

For the next full day, my labor slowly progressed. It wasn’t until 3:37pm on Monday, October 8th that my beautiful Henry Koa came into the world. It was not an easy labor, yet still completely natural. It totally took every ounce of everything I had in me to get him out, and definitely a bunch of stuff I didn’t even know I had. After all of that hard work, exhaustion, and an unparalleled extreme intensity I’d never experienced before, none of it compared to how jaw-droppingly beautiful he was.

And I will forever be indebted to Henry for as long as I live, because he gave me the best day of my life. That day he taught me one of my greatest lessons: no matter how limited I feel physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, there is always more in me than I think. 

Henry's newborn photo

Henry Koa Imhoff, born 10/8/12, 3:37pm in Haiku, Maui, HI. Height: 23 inches, Weight: 8 lbs 14 oz.



18 thoughts on “The Best Day of My Life Happened in 2012: The Birth of Henry Koa

  1. You are so fortunate that you have age and maturity to recognize the miracle that occurred. A younger mother (myself at 21 and 23) didn’t have the maturity to nurture those feelings of wonder. It is now at my Grandmother stage that I reflect on those moments in my life, and share in those moments that occur in my sons’ lives, and now my grandchildren. I too find wonder and hope and love in this time. My grandchildren express to me the knowledge that I will endure through time, through the generations to come – that I had meaning on this earth and mattered, and mostly contributed to mankind in some good way. When it comes down to it, size of house or bank accounts, or prestige at work mean little. The valuable, important thing is the success, love, peace and joy you had with your children, family and friends. Happy New Year!

  2. The photos are so beautiful. I can feel your joy and that light is gorgeous. Time flies when you’ve had a baby, right? Don’t be too hard on yourself for your blogcation. You have a lot to show for it.

  3. Beautiful ❤ I agree that labor takes you to a space you never imagined you could get to. Splits your whole universe in two. And then you come out of it as a pair – mother & child. I'm so excited to read more on your blog! I have an almost-seven-month old (how does that happen?!??).

  4. Pingback: henry + sara + joe {family photography maui} » cadencia blog

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