North Hawaii Community Hospital Full Birthing Unit midwives Patricia Hopkins (L) and JoAnn Johansen. Photo by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved.
I’ve been so busy covering politics this campaign season that I haven’t had a chance to write any notes on my journey for prenatal care.
Let’s see, it’s a little after 11 a.m. Friday and I am just about to get on the road to make my way to Waimea for my second prenatal appointment at the Women’s Center there. Â I’m expected to see Patricia Hopkins, who I got acquainted with my last pregnancy. Â Like me, her husband is a surfboard shaper. We have a great rapport. Â Actually, I know all the midwives at Waimea Women’s Center aka the Full Birthing Unit of the North Hawaii Community Hospital. Â JoAnn Johansen, I met when she lived on Molokai and I visited a mutual friend nearly a decade ago. Brigid Mulloy, her son and daughter-in-law have been friends of mine since we were obtaining our bachelor’s degrees at the University of Wyoming. Â I absolutely love the Women’s Center, the philosophy of care there, and generally I feel like it’s a home away from home. Â I just wish it wasn’t a two-hour car ride from Pahoa. Â What a trek. Â It’s so grueling, especially when you are in labor.
But, believe me, having had my first child at the Full Birthing Unit of North Hawaii Community Hospital and having had the negative experience I had with Bay Clinic at the onset of this pregnancy, the drive is tolerable. Â What I’ve decided to make these car rides more enjoyable is I am planning excursions for myself â€” rediscovering East Hawaii and all the great shops and businesses along the way.
Last month, after my first prenatal appointment in Waimea, I treated myself to chili rellenos at Tako Taco. Â I actually have a picture to show you of the meal, I just have to track it down. Â Stay tuned. Â It wasn’t just that I was so hungry I could eat a frozen dog. Â The meal was absolutely scrumptious. Â The ambience of the place was idyllic. It’s very colorful, from the plates to the walls, and all the decor is Day of The Dead.
On my way back down to Puna, I plotted what stops I will make to and from Waimea in the months ahead. Â There are a couple of places in Honoka’a I want to explore, including the sports bar run by Steve Offenbaker et al. And I’d like to revisit Cafe Il Mundo. Â I love their pizza, calzones, and their lasagna. Â I used to patronize that restaurant all the time when I lived in Laupahoehoe. Â There’s a natural food store and a bakery, and a funky crystal shop that I’d also like to visit. Â Oh, and there’s a great baby store in Honoka’a called Symbiosis that I have visited during my last pregnancy, and would like to visit again this pregnancy. Â I’d actually like to see if the owner, Spinnaker Wyss, is interested in carrying “Tiff’s Retro Rag Dolls.” Currently, I make them for Moonsprout in Hilo, and it would be nice to have them in other locales. Â I’d also like to spend some time in Laupahoehoe at the 50’s Restaurant and hit up Honomu and Wailea. Â Any recommendations for stops to make?
Today, on my way to Waimea, I’ll be getting a haircut with Patty Morrissey at Headline News in Hilo and then I’m going to be seeking out Perfect Harmony owned by Ju Lee to see if they have any extra large gaucho pants. Â I got some from her recently, and I’d like another pair. Â Not sure where I’ll be grabbing a bite to eat, but I’ll let you know.
Excuse the stream of consciousness writing. Â I’m letting you inside the brain of a pregnant woman who is having to commute to receive prenatal care. Â It really is one of my top priorities to see that we get a birth center in Hilo or Puna and OB-GYNs in Hilo to see the virtue of midwife-assisted births.