CALEB BARNABAS BORN
Born at 10:04 pm on August 15th, 2014
Weight: 8 lbs 13 oz
Name explanation: Caleb is thought to mean “whole-hearted” in Hebrew, and Barnabas is said to mean “son of encouragement” in the New Testament. We had thought (independently but simultaneously) that Isaac Caleb would be a good name for Talia…before she turned out to be a girl…so when we got the word that this one was a boy, we decided to keep Caleb and drop Isaac (we had been planning on calling the baby Caleb no matter what name order). That meant we needed a new middle name. We named Jonathan Thomas in the same “spirit” as his father, a Biblical name followed by an evangelist, so we decided to do the same for this baby. Our church has been going through Acts the past year, and this time through the character of Barnabas really struck us; not only an evangelist, but also such an encouraging and discipling man that although his real name was Joseph he became known as the son of encouragement. Not a bad example!
Birth Story: Taste and see that the Lord is good!
After Talia’s pregnancy following the same pattern of getting harder than the previous, I wasn’t really excited at first to see the + sign on the stick. However, God seemed determined to show me that He can take my expectations and turn them on their head. Caleb’s pregnancy was far easier than I expected, even though he ended up being bigger than Talia. Sure, at the very end I was feeling very done with carrying his extra weight, but overall the pregnancy was very much on the easier side for me. Still, birth loomed…and Talia’s was recent enough that I was scared! It might seem unexpected that someone who had had two drug-free births would be wanting to check in and order an epidural, but then again, maybe it will seem perfectly normal…to anyone who has experienced the full force of drug-free labor. 😉
Caleb’s due date came (according to LMP) and then went with nada. However, my calendar watching had me suspecting a later DD so I wasn’t too surprised. My water broke/trickled at 5:30 am on the day I would’ve picked as his DD. After spending quite a bit of time with Talia trying to get labor going after the water broke, I decided this time around to just ignore that whole idea and rest at home as long as I possibly could. So I lolled around all day while Nathan and his mom Carol took care of things (against the doctor’s advice, I didn’t go in to let them check that my water had broken. Why yes, yes it had, and Caleb’s kicks reassured me that he was doing just fine). I had a few contractions every half hour or so all day, and started getting them a little closer together by dinner, but not really strong or regular. Still, after dinner I decided we were going in to the hospital, only a few minutes away (~6:30 pm). At the first check about a half hour in, they said I was 4 cm. The contractions became regular, about 4 min apart, while I was on the fetal monitor. It was all feeling very familiar, so I began asking right away for an epidural (although a drug called fentanyl was also on my ok list). Nathan had told me the night before, “You don’t need to prove anything,” so I had decided I could “wimp out.” However, the doctor said that the guy was busy and it’d be an hour. After they had their happy strip, I got into the tub.
Brief pause. EVERY SINGLE LABOR ROOM IN THE WORLD NEEDS A NICE, BIG, TUB FOR WOMEN TO LABOR IN. PERIOD. OH, AND MOBILE FETAL MONITORING EQUIPMENT TO KEEP THE NURSES HAPPY.
So the mobile (cordless) monitor got put on me and I discovered the amazingness of laboring in a tub for the first time (I wasn’t really in labor when I used one during Jonathan’s birth). The water made everything MANAGEABLE. Not less painful, although it was a real relief to get the weight off my tummy; just something I could handle. I don’t know how else to explain it. That was about 8:20ish I think. The contractions remained regular, but I didn’t even really need to moan or breathe through most of them. That lasted a little over an hour, although I was getting more nervous and asking about my epidural ETA regularly. Then about 9:45pm the contractions got serious for a couple times, and then transition hit. Make that HIT. Even in the tub, I had to get on hands and knees, and they were coming constantly. Of course, the nurse and doc (a student resident) got nervous at that since water births weren’t allowed at the hospital, and everybody started trying to get me out of the tub. I finally agreed, and they helped me to the bed, where I still wanted to do hands and knees for the contractions, but they managed to get me on my back. Also asking for my drugs at this point. They said that they had to check me vaginally first and of course that showed that baby was on the way, so all they offered me was gas. I had a terrible experience with it at birth one, complete with hallucinations, but said yes of course this time. The gas made me feel very wonky and my limbs went all limp. I used it for the next few contractions until I started pushing. They told me to breathe through it the first time, but then I discovered that was because the doctor wasn’t there yet (just the resident) so I said I am NOT waiting for the doctor and pushed with the next one; the doctor showed up about then I think, but just watched. The resident did a great job providing counter-pressure as I slowly pushed the head out (Nathan says he was already trying to cry once out!). Then one more and he was out! I got to hold him and cry and he pinked up beautifully, although his face looked like he had some “road rash.” I had no tearing and was barely even sore the next day, AND had no hemorrhoid problems! Something that had laid me up in bed for a week after Talia. I think the doctor’s gentle pressure and coaching (“slowly, there you go, a little more” vs Talia’s “PUSH NOW HARD PUSH PUSH”) is entirely responsible for the huge difference. Everything went SO much better than I expected. And that’s why I feel like it was a taste-and-see kind of birth, like God was saying See? This doesn’t have to be as horrible as you expect! 🙂
Oh, and guess who showed up while I was pushing? The anesthesiologist, for my epidural. Ha.