Monday, June 20, 2016

Caleb Birth Story

So Caleb's Birth Story...that's definitely is a STORY. They say labor goes quicker with your second child and Jackie can definitely attest to that. Brooklyn's labor took 10-11 hours so they said Jackie's second would be around 5-6 hours most likely. Due to this we were to call the midwife as soon as the contractions reached 5 minutes apart and not until they were 5 minutes apart for an entire hour. 

Brooklyn was born 3 days after her due date. Jackie began to see signs of labor the day before the due date when she lost her mucus plug. Jackie was experiencing a lot of water retention and bloating. Jackie was very uncomfortable and ready to finally see their baby girl. With Brooklyn 20 months earlier from present day, Jackie had contractions start the day after the due date that got as close to 6 minutes apart but they slowed down and were erratic around 15 minutes apart for the next night and throughout the day. She tried to rest but it was difficult. Around midnight going into the day Brooklyn was born, real labor began. 

Jackie's parents arrived in Amsterdam Sunday morning around 8:30am. Joe picked them up from the airport. We went to bed Sunday night sometime between 10 and 11. Joe was off to work in the morning since it was Monday and Jackie was trying to think of a fun indoor activity we could do with Brooklyn and her grandparents without a car on the rainy Monday. Around midnight Jackie woke up with a lot of pressure to pee like she does most nights over the last few weeks of the pregnancy. 30 minutes later she had that feeling again. 30 minutes later again. Mmm that's different. Soon she was waking up every 20 minutes and then closer the pressure started happening every 15 minutes and she could no longer sleep in between. Around 4am she started really timing the contractions starting at 9 minutes apart. By 5am Jackie let Joe know her contractions were 7 minutes apart. He got up to take a shower since it was looking like go time soon. While we waited for them to become 5 minutes apart so we could call the midwife, Joe turned on the replay broadcast of Game 7 of the NBA Championship Finals where the Cleveland Cavaliers finally won and knocked down last year's Champs, Golden State.

8:25am Jackie called with a 5 minute contraction time. The midwife on call was busy with another birth so she had to call in someone on their day off. Since she had slower 7-10 minute contractions before that she suggested Jackie take a bath to see if labor would truly progress. Jackie was nice and relaxed in the tub. Joe asked if she had been timing contractions. She said no because they felt further apart and less painful. She told Joe how many she had since getting in and they ended up being 5-6 minutes apart. By 9am the contractions were real strong and close. At 9:04 they called the midwife again to say labor seems to be progressing and they should come check on us soon.
Around 9:10, Jackie's water broke in the bathtub and that's when it became real! She quickly stood up mid-contraction. At 9:14 Joe called the midwife to the urgent news. Contractions were now very intense and 2 minutes apart. Joe helped Jackie waddle to the toilet. She was in too much pain to truly dress herself. She got on a nursing camisole and pulled her hair back. Joe helped her to bed to wait on the midwife to check her even though she could feel intense pressure like she felt when she was at least 8cm dilated with Brooklyn.
The midwife arrived within about 10 minutes. Leni, the midwife, does a check and says Jackie is 10cm dilated. She starts prepping things on the bed to get ready. No time to head to the hospital as we had previously planned. Joe does ask and gets a very telling look from Leni that yes we will be staying here and having a home birth!
Around 9:30, Jackie began pushing. It was obvious she was scared to push hard and deliver the baby. Joe helped coach her to hold her breath while she pushed. Leni bluntly told her to push threw the burning sensation as the head crowns and hold it there in between contractions. Jackie pushed for 25 minutes and he was out at 9:55! He was already crying before his full body had made it out.

At 10am Jackie delivered the placenta. Her bloodloss was 100cc, which is way better than the 800cc she lost with Brooklyn. Jackie stayed overnight in the hospital because her body went into shakes when she tried to walk with help to the bathroom. Jackie had a second degree episiotomy with Brooklyn. Jackie had a minor tear in the same location this time that required 2 stitches after delivery this time. 
Meanwhile downstairs Jackie's parents had taken Brooklyn to the park to play while we called the midwife and took a bath. After the midwife arrived, they saw Joe run downstairs for our to go bag with our paperwork, etc so they just thought we were preparing to leave for the hospital as we had previously planned. Grandma was shocked and excited when they heard his baby cries upstairs!

Midwife on call was busy with another labor which apparently only happens a few times a year. So it was an unplanned home birth, but we are extremely happy with the whole experience. It all went so quick.It used to be 60% of births in the Netherlands happened at home. Today the statistics at our midwife's practice is closer to 20% opt for a home birth or have a fast delivery like in our case where it is necessary. We always knew home birth was a possibility, but we were more open to the idea after having one child already. We still wanted a hospital birth in case something went wrong. With the way Jackie's labor was with Brooklyn, we knew if she needed that extra care, we were already there.
It was really nice to know Brooklyn was downstairs with Jackie's parents playing just fine with no clue her baby brother was about to be born. Jackie had horrible visions of her hearing mommy scream in agony or having traumatizing visions of blood everywhere or something. It was great to already be home and get to sleep in our own comfortable bed & shower right away. It was a way more relaxing, intimate, & natural birth experience. It still feels surreal.
Brooklyn meeting Caleb, our new addition to the Liang Family, as of 25 minutes ago!
Happy mom and big sister
Happy mommy

A little behind the meaning of our name choice. With Brooklyn the name had a lot of significance for us. Joe proposed marriage in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge in 2006. The origin of the name for the area called Brooklyn is after a Dutch town, Breukelen, just south of Amsterdam. (Much of New York has Dutch town name origins: New Amsterdam, Haarlem, Rotterdam, etc). We loved that our daughter, born in the Netherlands, would have Dutch ties to her name. We always had a hard time with boy names. We never had a backup picked out in case they were wrong and Brooklyn turned out to be a boy. We both agreed we like the name Caleb about halfway through the pregnancy. We would call Jackie's belly by name to see if it fit, seemed appropriate, etc. Well around 8 months pregnant, Brooklyn knew to point to Jackie's belly when we asked her where the baby was. Now if we asked her where Caleb was, she pointed to my belly! Looks like the name has stuck! Caleb it is. We had always agreed that with a boy, we would have his middle name be Joe's father's last name, Dai. Brooklyn's middle name, Grace has Christian meaning. Caleb means follower; faithful, devotion, whole hearted, bold, brave.  In the Old Testament, Caleb is a leader of the Israelites, one of those sent by Moses to scout out the land in the second year after the Exodus. He and Joshua were the only people over the age of twenty to enter the Promised Land.

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