Thursday, May 30, 2013

He's Here!

Giving birth.  What can one say about giving birth?  There are many words to describe it, many ways to say it, but everyone experiences it differently.  Baby Boy Franklin joined our family at 12:29am on Thursday, May 30.  Here is how it all began...

Wednesday, May 29.  All day.  "Amber!  How are you feeling today?"  I was asked that probably 15 times by the time 9am hit.  Teaching online creates a quick and easy way for friends and co-workers to check in on my prenatal state through our internal messaging system.  I told everyone the same thing.  I felt heavy and very crampy.  No contractions, but I felt like I had to hold my belly up, and everything was just generally irritated.  However, I was able to snap a few shots...trying to record what I was hoping would be one of my last days being pregnant.

4:00pm.  My water breaks.  Like an experience from the movies...really.  It wasn't a dribble - it was a gush. Unmistakable.  Yet kind of alarming and surprising because I wasn't having ANY contractions!  Not one.  But I guess all that pressure and heaviness that I had felt throughout the day had done something!  But now I was at a crossroads that I didn't want to be at - do I call the doctor or not?  Once your water breaks, a 24-hour time-clock starts ticking.  I had to deliver in the next 24 hours to prevent infection.  Since I wasn't having any contractions, I just knew that they were going to put me on pitocin and get my contractions going...but that was only if I called the doctor.

I decided to stall for a little bit.  I finished packing my bag, made some phone calls, completed some texts, and prepared to have a baby sometime that night.  When Jared arrived home from work at 5:30, I was ready to go.  I called the doctor to let them know and we were advised to head to the hospital, just like I though.  It was a doctor I had never met - but she sounded very nice.  She promised they wouldn't start pitocin until the morning and would give my body a chance to get things going on its own.  So there was some hope!

We ate dinner, gave Linda and James hugs and kisses, and headed off to the hospital.  Sariah had her own hospital bag, and could hardly contain her excitement!  I was in triage at 6:45, they confirmed that my water had indeed ruptured, and in my own room at 7:30.  And that's when the contractions started!  I was so excited!  No pitocin needed!  They started immediately at 3-4 minutes apart.

My very-large-with-child sister drove down from Mesa and my mom headed over from a baseball game.  No need for everyone to come over just yet.  Afterall, it was only 8pm, I was dilated to a 4/5, and my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart.  The doctor who I had never met walked in...gorgeous and all ready to go!  From Mexico, long beautiful hair, and zebra high-heeled clogs.  She was adorable and had such a warm and friendly personality!  I was sad that my doctor couldn't be there, but I was falling in love with this one, too.

Sariah's inquisitive mind set in.  She started to shadow the nurse, ask a lot of really intelligent questions, and was curious about what was going on.  The nurse stated several times that she hadn't ever met an almost-6-year-old who was so respectful of hospital rules or engaged in the whole process.  When it came time to put in my IV, Sariah was right there next to the nurse, watching the whole thing.  I had tried to forewarn her that I was going to bleed it may be kind of hard to watch.  But little miss matter-of-fact just told me, "Yes mom you will bleed.  But be brave, she's almost done.  Whoa!  Look at what she's putting in your hand!!"  She couldn't absorb knowledge fast enough.

At 9:30, active labor had set in and it was time for my epidural.  My contractions were still 3-4 minutes apart, had increased in intensity, and I was dilated to 5/6.  Because this is a sterile procedure, everyone but my loving husband had to leave the room.  This distressed Sariah, and she had to peek in the room a couple of times to make sure I was alright.  Once the epidural was in place, she was allowed back in the room, and promptly nested in the bed with me.  She stayed here for quite some time and I loved it.

NOTE: I don't like hospital gowns.  They're bulky, I can't lay right in them, and they're frankly annoying.  So I give birth in tank tops.  Snug, soft, easy to move around for the epidural, and my own clothes.

About 10:30, Sariah's eyelids were very droopy and she fell asleep on the little couch.  Her head was on my mom, and her feet were on my older sister, who had since joined us from the previously mentioned baseball game.

NOTE: No one in my family likes Diet Pepsi or Diet Dr. Pepper.  I have no idea why you would think such a thing, despite it being 11pm with 3 polar pops on the window ledge.

At 11:30, I was checked again and was at a 7 (or thereabouts).  Time to call my dad, who was at home and resting until the right time.  He headed to the hospital and showed up just in time!  Midnight came and I started feeling that pressure and I knew that pushing was close.  Time to call the doctor, time to wake up Sariah, and time to have a baby!

The doctor asked me to give her a practice push and I explained that I had my other 2 kids in just 3 pushes. No practice pushes needed!  And we started.  After a couple pushes, I could hear "Oh Amber look at his hair!!"  I knew then that this boy had a full head of hair just like his siblings.  10 minutes and about 7 pushes later, he joined our family.  Jared and I were amazed, once again, at the miracle of life and what we had created together.

As promised, Sariah cut the cord.  She felt so important cutting the cord!  The doctor also made her feel on top of the world, and encouraged her to give it her all.  As you can see by the doctor's face, she was completely into having a 6 year old in the room (LOVED her for that!).

Sweet baby boy.  12:29am May 30, about 5 hours since the first contraction.  8 pounds 9 ounces.  Still working on a name...but for now, I'm going to snuggle, smell, rest, and get to know my son.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Grandma Franklin is here!

And she's snuggling her kids.  Which means that I can now have this baby.  We love Grandma Franklin!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

38 Weeks - I think!

With your first baby, you check the days off of the calendar with nothing else on your mind.  Everything is prepared weeks in advance, and all you have is time.

Your second baby goes by much quicker because you have a toddler running around that you have to take care of.  You still check the days because you're so excited to have another one.

With your third?  Very few pictures, time goes by way too quickly, and before you know have 2 weeks left.

That's where I'm at.  2 weeks left.  If I'm lucky.  I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, which will tell me something about how much longer I may or may not have.  And you know what?  I'm completely conflicted! I would LOVE to not be pregnant anymore, having my back feel better, and finally snuggle this new son of mine.  On the other hand, my mother-in-law doesn't arrive until the 27th and the school I teach for is done on the 29th.  I would like to hold out as long as possible so those 2 deadlines are met.

But I can be conflicted and wish I all want.  He'll come when he's good and ready.

Here's to hanging in there!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Sleeping in.  Homemade breakfast of eggs benedict and chocolate milk.  Flowers.  Chocolates.  Everything a mom would want for Mother's Day, right?

Mothers all over want one thing on "their" day - a break from their children.  But to me, this is counter-intuitive.  I wanted nothing more than to be surrounded with my husband and offspring.  But yes, I did want to sleep in!  I wanted to appreciate what we had created, what we are raising, and the reason for the day.  At the same time, I didn't feel that this day was too out of the ordinary.  My children and my husband help out all the time, show me they love me, and we love being around each other.

But I'm still grateful for a day to sleep in.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Organic - Is it enough?

These days, it's not enough to eat your fruits and vegetables.  In order to get the most nutrition, you have to eat organic.  At least this is what every article you will read says.  And you know what?  To some extent, I believe it.  I have done my research.  And have you tasted farmer's market tomatoes and compared them to the tasteless red orbs at the grocery store?

However, organic produce still needs to be cleaned.  So how do you do it?  I fill up a sink full of water and add about 1 1/2 cups of vinegar.  Put in some produce and let sit for an hour.

Once the hour is up, remove, rinse, and put in your fridge.  Not only is your produce wax-free, dirt-free, and chemical-free, but it will last longer because the vinegar helps kill some of the decomposing bacteria found on the fruit.  I'm not even going to show you the after-the-soak water!  And this is ORGANIC produce!

The best part is the kids got involved, and they have eaten 3 times the fruit this week they normally do.  There's something about eating what you prepare that's irresistible!