Labor, Postpartum, Caris Coming Home & Caleb’s Favorite Word

I got a voicemail from Emily Lam today calling to congrats and hi.  And she want to know how we’re doing and updates and so forth.  So rather than just simply call her or email her, I’m dedicating this post to her (and to any of you who are interested in reading all the details about our lives). This is a long post for those of you who like to read short stories.  For those of you who like picture books, scroll to the end.

Warning: Graphic pictures abound.  Not of poop, but of birthing babies.  You’ve been warned.

The Labor

Caris’ due date was February 14, so three weeks before that day, we’re still getting things done around the house to prepare for her.  Preparing for Caris’ arrival was a little more daunting of a task, since there’s now a little boy running around the house getting into everything and distracting us at every moment’s chance.  So we were ready to a certain extent.  We have her crib ready, which she’s not even going to use for the first couple of months anyways.  We got her dresser and diaper warmer.  Her clothes are washed and mostly put away.  We even did a private session with the hypnobirthing instructor (more on that later).  Everything is coming along for that February 14 date.

Of course Caris didn’t want to have anything to do with our plan.  On Sunday, January 25 at 8pm, Yvonne started getting contractions.  Very mild, but different than her braxton hicks.  Lower as though Caris was trying to kick her way out.  The contractions were coming every 10-20 minutes at that point and lasting only 20 seconds long.  Yvonne was in denial, and for good reason too.  Caleb has these same type of contractions 4 weeks before he was born, and so she thought it might be the same with Caris.  I, on the other hand, was getting ready, mentally if not physically.

Monday morning rolls around and Yvonne doesn’t feel any contractions throughout the night.  So I’m thinking, “good.”  We should have a few more weeks to get things ready.  And then right after she wakes up, she starts feeling her contractions again picking up right where they left off the night before.  10-20 apart.  20 seconds long.  Nothing to worry about except for me deciding to go to work or not.  I want to stay home just in case since I know Yvonne’s body can get rolling pretty quickly.  She convinces me that it should be okay.  So I head to work.

Yvonne has these contractions throughout the day with the same length and intensity.  Around 4pm, her contractions are getting stronger, longer and closer together.  She calls me to update me.  She tries to tell me to stay at work longer and says she’ll be fine.  But I’m not falling for this again.  Last time she told me that, Caleb popped into my hands when I got home.  I head for home.

I’m almost arriving at home, when I get a phone call from home.  I’m expecting her to tell me that her contractions are strong and she can’t handle it and has to go to the hospital.  But no.  Here’s the funny part.  She calls me to tell me she’s on her way to take Caleb to Gymboree.  Here’s a woman who’s in active labor, or close to it, taking her son to play at Gymboree.  How silly is that?

One thing we had just discussed this past weekend was deciding who’s going to watch over Caleb when Yvonne’s in labor.  And how would that timing work out with Caleb and his sleep/nap schedule.  This boy has had no one but me or Yvonne put him to bed.  And he’s sometimes hard going down as well.  If Yvonne goes into labor in the morning, who watches Caleb?  If it’s in the evening, who puts him to sleep?  Ideally, Caleb would be put to bed by one of us, Yvonne goes into active labor and gives birth to Caris overnight, with enough time for me to go home and greet Caleb good morning.  Well the ideal just did happen.

We had Denise come over to watch him as he slept.  Yvonne’s dad was to come over as well and stay overnight.  We’re so grateful to have people come over on such a short notice.  What a blessing.

So the labor progresses and we’re putting Caleb to bed.  Caleb wants “Mama” to put him to bed tonight and she does.  I am off finishing up the last touches on things to bring to the hospital, packing up the car, eating and writing blog posts.

Caleb falls asleep, and we’re finally off to the hospital at 8pm.  Labor is progressing quickly, but not as quickly as Caleb.  Yvonne isn’t dying of pain, I’m feeling calm and somewhat ready.  We’ve only been practicing our hypnobirthing for only a week, so that’s kind of a concern.  And with all of the problems that could occur with Yvonne, there were so many things that we couldn’t control.

Here’s a quick list of things off the top of my head that could go wrong:

  • Quick birth which could cause tearing which could lead to
  • Blood loss.  With Yvonne’s low platelet count, we could have a repeat postpartum recovery like after Caleb.  Slow recovery and healing.  3 months of bedrest. On top of the sleep deprivation and postpartum depression.
  • C-section.  Again with Yvonne’s low platelet count, she’s a bad candidate for C-section or any type of surgery for that matter.  A platelet transfusion would be almost guaranteed.

There’s numerous combinations that could have led to the above situations.  We took the hypnobirthing class to help us with a calm, relaxed natural birth.  The priority was to not have Yvonne tear, cause that would help with blood loss and recovery time.  But even with all our efforts and planning, we knew we would never have that ultimate control.  But by His grace, He is faithful and answered our prayers in the abundance.

We got admitted into the Arcadia Methodist around 8:15pm.  (I had much higher hopes in this hospital than our last.  Our treatment and care was piss poor when Caleb was born.  We didn’t notice at the time, but it’s only be God’s grace that Yvonne survived what happen.  And when I say “survive”, I literally mean not dying.  You can ask me or Yvonne for more details later.)

We get set up in our labor and delivery room.  Labor is going well so far.  Contractions are getting stronger and longer.  Transition hits.  She’s fully dilated and effaced.  The water is broken.  2 pushes later, out comes Caris.

We were at the hospital for just about 2 hours before Caris came.  Timing was absolutely perfect.  Transition was relatively short.  Pushing was less than 10 minutes.  Yvonne was absolutely great handling the pain and labor.  She impresses me often, but this one ranks up there.  I know she’ll give me a lot of the credit for it, but she’s the one actually having the baby.  And I knew all along she was going to do great.  And she didn’t disappoint.

God is so good.  I look back at everything and see how He graciously answered our prayers.  Yvonne only had a very slight tear.  Blood loss was good.  Blood pressure remained normal.  Even having Caris born at 37 weeks, where she’s full term, but smaller so she could slide out more easily.  There’s no way we could have planned it this way.  But thank God.


Caris was born Monday, 22:23, January 26, 2009.  She was 5 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 inches long.  When she came out, she didn’t cry at all.  Not one bit.  We were waiting for her to cry, but nothing ever came out. (She has since then found her cry and sounds very similar to Caleb.)  She just laid on mommy’s chest and starting sucking away.

Yvonne is doing great.  The tearing was very slight, but she’s already walking 10 times better than when she had Caleb (maybe not that much.  It’s hard to quantify, but she is walking fine.)  Breastfeeding is going well.  Apparently both our children like their food.  Caris is latching well.  Yvonne’s nipples are still sore from the drinking and sucking, but that’s to be expected.  We need to toughen those babies up.

(Wow!.  I just found maybe 5 grammar errors in the last 2 sentences.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re writing at 1 in the morning.  If you see more, my apologies to you.  Just let me know so I can correct them. I don’t like proof reading.  That’s what you’re for.)

Caris is a hungry-saurus just like Caleb was.  She’s been a great eater.  She latched on well. She’s eating pretty much every 2 hours.  And she’s pooping just about the same amount as well.  I wonder if she can beat Caleb’s average of 12-14 diapers a day the first couple weeks.

Yvonne hasn’t gotten much sleep though.  Even though she hasn’t had to take care of Caleb has much the past 2 days, she’s still feeding Caris.  And Caris doesn’t always sleep in contiguous hours like we want her too.  We’ve forgotten how much better Caleb sleeps now.  Sleep deprivation is going to hits us hard, we expect.


We want to make a special point to not forget about Caleb with the new girl around.  We know she’s going to get a lot of attention, especially since she actually needs it since she’s kind of useless now.

Caleb is trying to go about his business with the new baby around.  He tries to “play” with her by poking her hat and saying “eh”.  Or poking at her nose or mouth.  Suffice it to say he isn’t so gentle around her.  His poking can hurt.  He does give her kisses though.

Caleb also likes to copy his sister.  Well at least copy her cries.  She cries, he screams.  She whines, he screams.  Nothing better than a screaming child every time your newborn cries.

Caleb is getting large.  According to our unofficial scale, he’s now 25.5 pounds.  He’s starting to get chunky again.  And not only chunky, but taller as well.  Comparing him to Caris, I can see how much he has grown.  While putting on his diaper today, his butt is so big.  And then putting on Caris’ diaper, she doesn’t even fill up the newborn diaper.

In only 19 months, he’s grown so much.  Yvonne and I are thinking he probably knows about 80 words.  Although out of those 80 words, he probably only makes a dozen distinct sounds.  They all sound similar.  You just have to pick up the context or the little accents to know what he’s talking about.  Next time you see, ask him how old he is.

Caleb ushered in the toddler years a while back with his first temper tantrums.  But his “no” phase didn’t come.  That is until a few weeks ago.  Caleb has found his new favorite word, “nah.”  His natural response is “nah” now even when he actually wants something.  I guess it’s easier to say no now and then change your mind later.  He loves that word so much now, that he even sings using just the word “nah.”  And why does he sing?  Not cause he doesn’t want something, but just because he loves that word.


The Pictures

Now on to the real reason you came here.  Some pictures.

Yvonne in labor, just before we head to the hospital

Yvonne arriving at L&D

Yvonne in active labor/transition.  Notice the smile on her face?  That wasn’t there when Caleb was born.

Warning:  Birth ahead. Fascinating.  Click to see.

Caris on mommy’s chest


Mommy & Caris

Daddy & Caris

Caleb & Caris

Caris’ first night (of many) with Mommy

“Doo-doo” & Caris

Grandpa & Caris


First car ride


Caris’ first night at home

Caris after breast feeding

Close up!

La la la

My eyes!  My eyes!

“Why does that red light keep flashing at me?”

So this is how they’re suppose to sleep in the car seat. Caleb never liked it when he was young.  That was his prime time crying spot.

Here’s Caleb finally enjoying the car seat as intended.

Caleb & Caris sleeping

With all the attention always centering around a new baby, Caleb needs some pictures of his own.

After taking pictures of Caris, Caleb wanted some action too


Trying to live out his normal life at Gymboree

He likes to hold as much as possible

But he often takes on too much to handle

His new toy outside on the street.  The cable box.

Check out that blueberry.

And finally, holding grandpa’s hand.

First Pictures

Here are the “first” pictures of Caris. These are only low quality ones, but once we get the high quality ones, we’re post those up.


My platelet count came back last week the same value as before.  So, it’s still slightly on the low side, but not getting any lower.  The doctors expected it to get much lower in the 3rd trimester, but it hasn’t… praise God!  They’ve warned me that there’s always a chance that my platelet count will lower more right before delivery, so they’ll do a quick blood test in the hospital when I arrive.  If any emergency arises during delivery (like an emergency C-section or postpartum hemorrhage), I’ll need a platelet transfusion.  Chris & I are praying that no such emergency arises and that my platelet count will be within normal range, so that I won’t need platelets.  But we’ve also begun to plan a little… we’ve set up a directed donor platelet account with the Red Cross.  Essentially, friends/family can donate platelets, which would be held on reserve for me at Arcadia Methodist just in case I need them. 

If you’re interested in donating platelets, all you have to do is call the American Red Cross Patient Services Dept at 1800-696-1757.  You have to setup an appointment at one of their plateletpheresis centers (they’re all over LA and Orange County).  Plateletpheresis is a much longer process than donating whole blood and usually takes anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours.  You can learn more about plateletpheresis at:


Here are some eligibility guidelines in the link below.  You need to also have not taken any aspirin-containing products for at least 36 hours.  They also recommend that you are either a regular blood donor already or you know that you’re not scared of needles since the process takes much longer than a normal blood donation.


Some other stuff to know is:

  • Platelet donors do NOT have to match the same blood type as me.  They look at other factors within the blood to give me the best match, but there is no platelet donation that would be life-threatening for me (like with a whole blood donation).
  • Platelets only last for 5 days.  It takes 2 days to process the platelets, so they’re only good for 3 days in the hospital.  Thus, if I haven’t gone into labor or I simply don’t need them, your platelets will be used for another patient at Arcadia Methodist (e.g., a chemotherapy patient or a trauma victim).
  • Since we have no idea when Caris will make her way into the world, we’ll need multiple staggered donations throughout February.  Her due date is 2/14/09, so she’s considered “term” from 1/24 until 2/28.  We’re hoping to get donations starting at least on 2/1/09 (meaning that your platelets would be ready at the hospital from 2/3-2/5 – since they only last for 5 days).

If you have any questions, you can ask Chris since he’s donated platelets before!  🙂

New Title

No, that’s not a generic title.  It actually means there’s a new title to the blog if you didn’t notice.  Yeah, I know.  I might take a hit on Caleb Joshua Wong’s Google juice, but it’s no longer accurate.  Besides I need to boot Caris Elisabeth Wong’s web presence. is available by the way, Mr. Su.  Of course I don’t think he reads this site, but I’m sure Mr. Lui will relay the information to him.

Again, I’m doing a Google search for Caleb.  Really, who are these people in front of Caleb?  Are you kidding me?  Is my son really losing traction against these guys?  That’s preposterous.   That’s unacceptable.  And now I have Caris to try to get up there as well?

I have some reorganization to do.  We need to get Caleb content on his domain.  And maybe if Caris get’s a domain too, we can get her web presence up.  My children need to be first page search results.  No more falling back to page 3.  Work needs to be done!

Hiccupping Caris

So I’m back to having to see the OBGYN twice a week since I’m getting close to my due date.  I get a non-stress test each time… so I get to hear Caris’ heartbeat on the monitor.  She’s doing very well.  Today, I was giggling uncontrollably because Caris discovered the monitor on my belly and decided to kick away at it.  It looked like a scene from Aliens.  She also then started to hiccup for at least 5 minutes.  I’m going to bring our camera and video record the monitor sounds at my next appointment on Thursday.

Tonight, Chris was reading a book to Caleb and asked where’s the baby, expecting Caleb to point at the baby in the book.  He pointed at my belly, walked over, and kissed it.

Caleb’s Growing

Caleb had his 18-month pediatrician appointment this morning.  He finally recognizes the place as the place he gets shots.  He started crying as soon as daddy brought him into the exam room.  Awh… but only 1 shot today.  Caleb is now almost 24 pounds (25%) and 33 1/2 inches tall (75-90%).  If you know this boy, he eats soooo much, but I guess all that food goes towards his running around and playing.

On another note…. As I’m sitting here with the baby monitor, I can hear a dog howling.  Stupid dog.  We have new neighbors behind our house.  They have a dog.  Don’t wake up my child, dog.  Stupid helicopters and airplanes.  We think they changed the flight pattern at El Monte airport or something, cuz a few months ago, all these planes started flying directly over our house when they’ve never done so for the last 7 years I’ve lived here.  Oh well.  Just don’t wake up our child.

Baby Wong #2 has a name…

Caris Elisabeth Wong

That’s right, ladies & gents, we’re having a GIRL!

Caris = greek word for grace

Elisabeth = “My God is a vow”  … but really this is a name that Chris chose for his daughter a decade ago before he was ever married… actually, before he ever knew he’d marry Yvonne… or ever have a daughter.  So, it’s a name Chris likes, but it has a neat meaning too.

6 more weeks until our due date… 2/14/09.  Can’t wait to meet you, Caris!  Even big brother Caleb knows that there’s a “bebe” in mommy’s tummy.