KAPAA — Nicole and Rob Stewart began celebrating at the stroke of midnight as fireworks illuminated the view from their lanai on New Year’s Day.
The celebration continued later with the birth of their fourth child, Asher Daniel Stewart who, according to Hua Moon Women’s Health Clinic records, was the first child born on Kauai in the new year.
“It was awesome, we had a great night with the kids. There were fireworks and our family was over and we put them to bed. The kids were in bed, we were watching TV, watching the fireworks off the back of our lanai, and then right between 12 and 12:30 a.m., contractions started. And by 3:30, things started to get more intense so the midwives came over and he was born by 5 a.m.,” Nicole Stewart said.
The Garden Island previously reported that the first child born on Kauai was Eliana Brielle Rivera, born at 5:31 a.m. at the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital to parents Manny and Jessamin Rivera.
While the Rivera family’s birth was the first of the new year in a hospital on Kauai, Rob and Nicole Stewart of Kapaa, who were assisted through the labor with Hua Moon, was born 31 minutes prior to Eliana.
“I think it’s probably confusing because it’s easy to just call into the hospitals and check to see who was born,” Nicole said. “I mean I don’t know how many different midwives there are across the island or how easy that is to keep track of, but I know that with home births, unless you’re on top of it, they wouldn’t know I guess.”
Asher’s birth was documented by Hua Moon, according to records obtained by TGI.
“With the midwives, everything is documented formally, it’s just a different process from the hospital I guess,” Nicole said. “I don’t want to take anything away from the Rivera family, though.”
Nicole and Rob have worked with the midwives before, but had never done a home birth until now, which is something that they would recommend for any woman who felt comfortable and safe enough to do so.
“This was my fourth child, and all of my deliveries have been simple and had no problems, so we just felt pretty confident this time,” Nicole said. “It was our first homebirth, we’ve been with midwives for the other three kids, but it was just always really easy so we figured why not be in the comfort of our own home? I guess it’s just a personal choice for some women.”
Nicole said that she felt relaxed and at ease during labor, even though Asher was due on Jan. 10.
While having a child birthed at home was the preferred option for the Stewart family, the couple has no problem with people having traditional births in a hospital. It was just a matter of being comfortable through what can be a very stressful time.
“The hospitals are great, but with everyone getting involved with nurses coming in and out the whole time, it’s a little stressful,” Rob said. “It’s get to be stressful for the mom, the baby, for the dad, for everyone.”
Nicole echoed her husband’s sentiments, saying how hospitals are great if anything goes wrong during labor, but was confident in herself and in the hands of Hua Moon’s certified midwives who come ready with supplies, oxygen and monitors to ensure that the birth of the baby is safe.
“It’s not just like they’re coming in wearing pajamas or anything. It’s very formal,” Nicole said. “Here, it’s just us and the midwives. It was really laid back.”
Fireworks were still going off when Nicole’s contractions began, but the couple wasn’t stressed at any point heading into the new year. Giving birth to Asher, weighing 7 pounds and 3 ounces, was the best way to start 2017 for the family of six.
“The timing was perfect. Nicole is a machine when it comes to giving birth,” Rob said. “There was no hard labor up until the last hour. It always seems to go pretty smooth. The midwives did everything, it was great. It was perfect, really.”
As for the name Asher? Look no further than his older brother, who was responsible for naming him.
“Shane, my oldest son, actually named him because his favorite clothing company is Thrasher, so we just crossed out the first couple of letters,” Nicole said.