This is a repost of the sacred water birth story of my first child, Naia, which I shared in 2014, after the birth of my third child. Today, is Naiaʻs 21st birthday…actually, itʻs his “golden” birthday, so itʻs even more awesome!! When we talked over the phone earlier this evening, I asked if he had ever read the story of his birth, to which he replied that he hadnʻt. So, in honor of his special day (and as we await the arrival of his own first son who is soon to be born!), I am sharing the sacred water birth story of my amazing first son, Naiʻa Koa, my Dolphin Warrior…

I was just 17 years old and fresh out of high school when I left the my parent’s nest, in Southern California. After graduation, I decided on a whim with my boyfriend at the time to recreate myself thousands of miles away, in Hawaiʻi. Yes, we were young, but we had big dreams of starting an organic farm and living off the land, close to nature, spirited and free.

After a year of exploring the island and building a community of beloved friends, I knew I had found my true home. Hawaii had completely won me over; from the day I stepped off the airplane and felt the soft warmth of the wind upon my skin, the fragrant air filling my senses with comfort and delight, I was entranced. I believed in my heart that this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

One night, just before my 18th birthday, I had a dream, or rather a premonition: I was to embark on a new journey, one that would lead me to the sacred blessing of motherhood. At first I was terrified by the idea; I protested in defiance, convinced I wasn’t ready. Then, as I set aside my fears, I was overcome with a feeling of immense joy, love, and humility. Instead of denying the message, I embraced it. Soon after I accepted my mission, my partner and I consciously conceived a child. It was both frightening and exhilarating, all at once. I remember feeling incredibly blessed to be part of the miracle of life, watching in awe as my beautiful belly grew, feeling alive like never before. Every kick and movement meant the world to me; such tender moments of Divine connection. The honor and responsibility of being pregnant and preparing for birth was beyond magical for me; I had only to trust my inner voice, my intuitive spirit, to know that I was born to be a mother.

10 days before giving birth, feeling so blessed

My days were filled with peaceful walks along the old lava fields behind our house, swimming with dolphins at the secret “clothing optional” beach hidden away in the shoreline jungle, plucking colorful fruits from wild trees that grew in abundance along every roadside, and sipping sweet nectar water straight from freshly harvested coconuts. Needless to say, I was in absolute heaven, living my dream.

On the day of my Blessingway (a sacred ceremony honoring mother-to-be and child), I carefully climbed down the steep cliffside of Kehena Beach to have one last swim with the dolphins before my child’s momentous birthing day arrived. On that particular day, something mystical happened. As my friend and I swam out to the dolphins, we realized they were forming a wide circle around us, keeping us close in the center. We looked at each curiously and then suddenly noticed a large, dark figure creeping steadily in front of us. We froze in panic; was it a dolphin or perhaps a shark? At first, we could not tell, but it soon revealed itself to be a dolphin, the largest I had ever seen. With an ominous stare, it looked deep into me, as if sensing the child within my womb, transmitting a stream of ancient wisdom from soul to soul. We watched in awe as this old dolphin mesmerized us for what felt like an eternity, but just as quickly as it had appeared, it was gone. In a burst of festive celebration, the other dolphins all around us began to spin, jump, and dive as they playfully sang out. In disbelief, my friend and I came up for air, stunned by what we had witnessed. No words were spoken, but we both smiled with ecstatic acknowledgement of the unforgettable dream-like moment we had just shared, an experience that imprinted my spirit forever.

A few weeks after my amazing “dolphin blessing,” I began to feel the first pulls of labor pains coming on. I was 5 days past my due date and anxiously waiting to meet my little buddha. My birthing pool was ready, perfectly placed on the lanai of our home overlooking the lava fields. My altar was set; the candles were burning, the scent of Nag Champa incense curling into the air, and the crystals, feathers, and sacred relics all lovingly reminding me to open, surrender, relax. Soft, peaceful chanting music set the mood beautifully as I breathed in, breathed out with every slowly building contraction. My midwife stroked my feet, my partner held my hand, and my friends scurried about getting cool rags for my forehead.

Naked and free…I walked, I danced, I moved around the house as the early stages of labor continued on. At some point, my midwife suggested a drink of castor oil and orange juice to help speed the process along. Little did I know what all that would entail. I drank the horrid concoction, barely keeping it down, only to find myself in the bathroom a few moments later. It was a rather “cleansing” situation at that point and, within no time, I began to feel shaky and weak. As my face went pale, my midwife smiled and exclaimed that I was in active labor now. Hearing those words brought the color back into my cheeks and I became overjoyed that we were halfway there. I rocked my body from side to side, I crawled along the floor on all fours, I laid sideways on the bed, and I squatted in Goddess pose, all the wile, blissfully chanting and singing as I bravely dove into the heights and depths of each intense contraction.

After five hours of riding the powerful waves of labor, I suddenly felt a sense of peaceful calm wash over me as I rested on the bed, feeling the beauty of life pulsing through me. For a brief moment, I remembered my last day with the dolphins and a glow of warm light radiated within my heart. Then, without warning, I felt a burst of water gush from my body and a overwhelming urge to push. I was fully dilated and ready to welcome my little one. I carefully waddled over to my birthing pool, which was on the lanai, overlooking the ocean as the sun was slowly setting in the distance. I climbed in and began to melt into the warm water. It was amazing. I closed my eyes, relaxed, and prepared.

Leaning back into my friends arms with my knees up, I began to push. PUSH!!



Nothing. Seriously?

Forty minutes later of trying to push before I finally realized how to actually “push.” Just let go…

Wait for it…

So, I waited. As soon as I truly “let go” and allowed my body take over (instead of me “trying” to push) I was able to find the sweet spot…until of course, the burning “Ring of Fire” began to scorch me. It literally felt like I was going to tear in half. The pain was absolutely unbearable. At that point, all I wanted to do was run away.

Okay, Iʻm done. I quit. Letʻs all just go home now.

But all I could do was push through it. “Reach down, feel the head!” everyone cheered. In a daze, I plunged my hand into the water and felt for something, anything to give me inspiration…and there it was, hair flowing in the water from my baby’s head…it made my heart sing! With renewed energy, I reclaimed my power and waited for those final contractions to guide me through the threshold and into motherhood. I closed my eyes again, envisioned the dolphins dancing around me, and poured my soul into the fire as I burned away all that I had ever been before that incredible moment. In one fluid, timeless motion, the wave enveloped me as my blessed baby serenely slipped from the depths of my womb into the warmth of the water surrounding us.

My little dolphin boy was born.

We calmly pulled him from the water, his eyes open, quietly greeting all the faces staring back at him. His wise soul taking it all in. Not a sound he made as I placed him upon my breast to nurse and rest. He was perfect; I wept silently as I cradled my baby boy tightly in my arms and gave greatest thanks for the amazing, empowering birth journey of my first child, my beautiful son born on September 21st @ 7:05 pm. weighing 8 lbs. 4 oz., 21″ long.

We proudly named him Nai’a Koa… Hawaiian for Dolphin Warrior.

My life was forever changed that day in the most majestic, magical way.

For all at once, I had truly become a woman…and a mother.

A dream come true, indeed…

My son, Nai’a, and me… 15 years later (2012)


I am so grateful to be able to share this sacred water-birth story with my son Naiʻa, 21 years later, as he continues on his own amazing life journey as a father. Reminiscing today brought tears to my eyes as I recalled my barefoot treks across the long stretch of lava fields behind the home where he was born, the waves of deep spiritual connection to life as I tenderly nourished my mind, body, and soul for my growing baby, and the exquisite passage into motherhood that only he and I will ever share; it was truly magical. Thank you, Naiʻa, for teaching me from the moment of your conception and beyond how to love unconditionally.

It is challenging living on different islands from each other, as we donʻt get to see each other often enough, but it was amazing seeing him and his own growing family last month. My youngest son, Kaiehu, was even more excited because it was the first time meeting his oldest brother, Naiʻa.

Lisa Chaly

My 3 boys, Naiʻa (20), Sebastian (16), and little Kaiehu (3)
(August 2017)


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