Neve's Birth

She's here! 

After several weeks of feeling like she would never come, she did! 

Neve Lolkje Hoekstra joined the family on January 16th at 12:26 am. 

I had different expectations leading into Neve's birth than I did with Judah's.

  • I had anticipated the labour would be a lot shorter than our first. Half as long, the statistics and experts told me, is the norm. 

  • I expected the pain would be less acute. I don't know why I thought this, I just sort of assumed having done this before would give me physical and mental preparation I didn't have for the first. Plus I had had hundreds of Braxton Hicks contractions, by default then my uterus must have been in the best shape of its life.

  • I assumed my water wouldn't break until late in the labour. With Judah, it was broken by my midwife right before we started to push...

Let's just say Neve had other plans from the get go...

Saturday, January 14 - 11:30 pm 
Neve is having a major kicking fest. So major, I joke with Luke that she's decided she's had enough in there and she's busting her own way out. Joke's on mama- 5 minutes later the water breaks... sort of. Turns out, Neve has broken the bag of waters high up in the sac, thus not all of it leaks out and full out labour doesn't begin in earnest. We don't know this until much later. We call our midwife and I keep my bum up in the air to ensure Neve's head can't drop down onto the cord.

Sunday, January 15 - 12:05 am
Our midwife arrives, confirms that yes that is amniotic fluid (phew, I haven't begun wetting the bed yet) and no the baby has not dropped onto the cord, nor has the cord tried to exit the building. Everything is looking good, I'm free to move around and encouraged to sleep.

2:00 am
My contractions are steady and strong enough that I can't sleep, but weak enough that I know we're in very early labour. I'm psyched. I get up and watch numerous episodes of Modern Family in the living room.

7:30-8:30 am
Eager family members/ birth team arrive to check in on progress. Much hanging out ensues...

With little progress, much of the birth team resorts to napping. 

The rest entertain themselves drawing cartoons...

1:00 pm
Clearly feeling far too comfortable, Luke and I decide to take a long walk to get things going.

The walk is fairly successful.

The midwives return to check on progress. The cervix is 85% effaced. I was hoping to hear that I was 5 cm dilated. The midwives go home again and we kick up the activity. 

Things are starting to get painful. The TENS machine is pulled out and, after shocking me once or twice, we get it going properly. Pizza is ordered.

7:00 pm
After cat napping between intense contractions, Luke, my sister Charissa and I head out for another walk. It is bitterly cold- I have intense contractions every 50 meters. We return home shortly

8:00 pm
We decide to take the action upstairs. Active labour has started. 

We hang out in the nursery for awhile. Everyone practices their deep breathing :)

The midwives return for the last time - hoorah! - and set up all of the home birth equipment. I continue to hang from Luke's aching neck. Did I mention he's a fantastic birth partner?

10:00 pm
5 cm dilated and "waters are bulging". Me: "There are still waters!?!?!"
We ask our midwife to break away!! 

Water is broken for the second time.

Now that we're cooking with gas, we move to the bedroom.

10:30 ish
We enter the transition phase of labour, wherein I hurl my cookies. Yes, labour is glamorous. But hey, we're still smiling between contractions....

Not so much during...But look at that team at work! Who needs drugs when you have 5 cheerleaders (wonderful mom in law is behind the camera).

11:15 - PUSH...and PUSH...and PUSH... this kid's head is huge!!!

January 16, 12:26am - She's here! After untangling her chest and arms from a record-length cord, I hold my daughter for the first time. What a rush!

Meeting her amazing Dada.

3 am- After the extended family comes to meet the new arrival, our wonderful midwives complete the newborn exam. Baby Neve is 8 lbs. 2 oz. 20.5 inches long, with a head circumference of 36 cm.

The next morning Judah and Neve meet for the first time. Jude is, of course, pantsless.

Welcome to the family Neve. We are so glad you've come!


  1. Congrats again Jennie! You're amazing :)

  2. I was so, so, so excited to read Neve's birth story! I'm so happy that you guys got to experience a home birth! We're really happy for you guys and hope that we get to the little lady soon. A trip to London is in order!