Saturday, December 26, 2015

Luke Daniel McLeod Franklin - Birth Story, 5.22.2015

I am a planner.  I like to have an idea of what is going to happen, when it will happen, etc.  I like to prepare, essentially.  This is partly why we have always found out the gender of our babies - to think of a name, to collect items at yard sales, etc.

So when I went to the doctor at 35 weeks and I had already started dilating, I was not surprised.  My body likes to prepare - just like I do!  And then at 36 weeks, I was a 2.  At 37 weeks, I was a 3.  By 39 weeks, I was a 4.  I was ecstatic!  Contractions were all day, but with no pattern.  My body was preparing.

However, with this baby, there included a new variable - distance from the hospital.  We were now 45-60 minutes away, depending on the time of the day and traffic.  I was a little nervous that I was dilating so much because that meant when I went into labor - it would be relatively quick.  Not "have a baby in the car" kind of quick.  But the need to boogie on into town quick.  We seemed to have every scenario covered - middle of the night, during the day if Jared was at work, etc.  We were set!

Some time during the night of the 21st and into the 22nd, I woke up with contractions about 6-8 minutes apart.  They were not too uncomfortable, and was able to fall back asleep.  I woke up intermittently but they were still most likely just the early onset of labor.  I had a doctor's appointment at 8:30am, so I was not too worried about them.  They continued throughout the morning, and I was excited to see what kind of progress I had made!

I arrived at the doctor, and the contractions were holding steady at 6-8 minutes apart.  She checked me, and I was at a 5 and 90% effaced.  I asked her to strip my membranes, and she said how about we just have a baby?  She was concerned that labor would start in the middle of the night that night, and with the progress I had made - my labor would be quick.  I started thinking about things differently at that moment - she was right.  What if I continued to dilate without going into labor?  Would it be safe to continue to wait?  I was going into labor any moment already.  I asked for a minute, called Jared, and we said alright!  Let's have a baby!

Jared went home to get my hospital bag, and pick up Sariah (who was SO excited!).  Our babysitter was already at the house, so there was no panic in getting her there to be with the kids.  It was perfect.  Once at the hospital, I changed into my tank top (because I refuse to give birth in those awful hospital gowns).  The nurse checked me and I was already at a 6 with my cervix gone.  In the 30 minutes it took me to call Jared, go across the street, and lay down on the hospital bed - I had dilated another cm.  And I was still not in labor.  I was immediately grateful that we had decided to do this.

The epidural was set, the pitocin was on, and it was 1:07pm.  Sisters were on their way in, mom and dad were there, Jared and Sariah were there - we were ready!

At 3:27pm, our little Luke came into the world.  Only 2 hours and 20 minutes of labor, and it was over.  My last pregnancy, my last birth, my last son.  He was finally here.  I didn't want to be induced, yet somehow the timing of the day and the way everything was set into place made me so grateful that I was.  My doctor was there as well!  I love her.  I'd have 10 more babies if she would deliver them all!  (Just kidding.)

8 pounds, 8.6 (so we say 9) ounces.  21 inches long.  Blonde hair!  Such a doll.  Welcome to our crazy family, Luke.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Memoirs of a Final Pregnancy

36 Weeks:

It is so difficult to make the decision for a pregnancy to be your last.  At least it was for me.  And I don't know why it was so difficult - I  have never wanted a gigantic family.  On some days, 3 kids feels like more than I can handle.  Our home is going to be a circus in a couple of short weeks!

This pregnancy has been nothing short of difficult.  From the extreme nausea in which I never threw up so I never found relief and lasted until 18 weeks, to the troublesome headaches that caused me to pass out and end up in the hospital.  After an MRI/MRA, I found tremendous peace in knowing that my brain was fine and functioning like normal - it was my body's reaction to this baby!  There were days when all I could do was pray to last until Jared got home from work.  It was pj's all day, cereal for dinner, who cares what the house looks like, survival mode.  So why was it so difficult for me to accept this as my last?

The last time creating a life.  This is one act in which I, as a woman and with my husband, get to partner with Heavenly Father to create life.  I am helping His plan move along, helping Him give more spirits the human experience, and building my own faith in the process.

It may or may not be the last newborn we have, though.  I still feel like there is a little girl somewhere, so we may look into adoption at some point. Time will tell, as will the whisperings of the spirit.

I am due 3 weeks from today.  My body is ready - I can feel it.  I am going to hang on to every painful move, every fitful night of sleep, every heartburn laden moment.  And then we'll get to meet this gorgeous little boy.  A 3-D sonogram yesterday showed us his delicious chubby cheeks!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

October and November, 2015

 This kid will sleep in his hat and sunglasses.

 Costco discoveries - warm, fuzzy bath mats!

 One of my favorite things this year.  James and Seth are watching the "cricket family that lives under the basketball hoop."

 This boy does nothing easy.  If it's bigger and taller, he's at the top!

 They are always snuggling and playing.

 Rolling down hills!

 At the top of a climber. All by himself. Pondering.

 Zoo with dad, on the cute little train!

 My shopping buddy.  This store has tiny carts for tiny helpers!

 Swimming in October?  Yes, please!

 When mom can't cook - green smoothies for dinner!  Again - the sunglasses!

 Pretty gnarly stomach bug ran through our house.  Diarrhea all day makes for some nice bath time!

 Halloween 2015: James - Ultron, Seth - Minion, Sariah - Wicked Witch of the West.

 This beautiful girl makes up her own music all day long.  She always plays or sings or something.  Never stop creating, little girl.

 My boys shooting their guns.

 Because you're never too old to play in a cardboard box...

 Getting ready for baby boy!

Christmas pj's to ring in December!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Last 6 Months In Pictures

 Ready or not...he's ready for his big boy bed!  April 2015.  (We didn't move him until August.)

 While mom's not looking...

Just riding around the house...on my scooter...with a wagon...attached to my butt.

 Best idea.  2 item toy: cars and blue painter's tape.

 Kings of the dirt hill!  The neighborhood behind us is going up and the kids (and their best friend Aiden) LOVE to climb this dirt hill!

 And a baby king of the hill for Seth!

 Her outfits make me smile every day.

Played "Where in the world will you serve your mission?" for FHE one night.  Guess who loved the game the most??

 Green smoothie monsters.

 Mommy date.  Eegee's.  Win-win.

 Professional development silliness.

 Poor sick cuddly boy.

 He's not a "path of least resistance" kind of kid.  Challenging himself with eating with his socks on.

 Homemade light sabers?  Yes, please!

 Oh the paint store...

 Again with her wonderful sense of style!

 The dogs know the BEST place to hang out.  Under a toddler who is eating, and dropping, food.

 No better way to watch TV.

 His swim floatie.  Bought it at Costco and he wore it for 3 days.

Not a cuter bum in existence.

 Conference forts.

 My handsome husband opening a container of animal crackers.  Love him.

 When the sun shines down through clouds like this, we say the "angels are shining their flashlights on us."

 Pima County Fair!


 Think he's ready for school?

 That's a big orange ball you have, my friend.

 Life of a mom.  Love it.  Wouldn't change any of it.  Not even the tough days.

 This face!

 Found the Vaseline...

 No mom, I don't want my diaper changed.  It's just fine!

 Guess what?!?!?!?!

 You can see the tractor outside in the background.  The neighbors put in a pool.  Fantastic entertainment for a little boy for HOURS!

 Prescott June 2015.

 A boy and his truck.

 Prescott June 2015.

 Prescott June 2015.

 Prescott June 2015.

 Prescott June 2015.  Ramsbottom, the squirrel.  Kids loved him.

 This boy and his trains!  He builds the most amazing tracks!

 This pool was our best purchase this summer.

 Another fantastic train track!

 And another...

Boys helping mom do Prenatal Yoga.  Their form is much better than mine!

 Someone got baptized.  Erin taking her pictures at the temple.

 Getaway to Denver for the weekend.  June 2015.

 Lost a tooth while we were in Denver.  I had been working on that sucker for 2 weeks!  And he loses it while I am out of town?? Classic.

 Sariah writes the most amazing stories, prints them, and illustrates them.  This girl's brain is wonderful.

 Where's Seth??

 Why is it that the guest room TV is so enticing?

 Climbed...and then got stuck.


 Fireworks...from the safety of the couch inside.  July 4, 2015.

 Sticky lizards.  Throw them on the ceiling provides hours of plotting and experimenting with how to get them down...

 Seth fell off the top of the bunk beds and caught the dresser on the way down.  Angels hung on to him that day, I am convinced.

 There's more than one way to take a drink...

 Garbage truck junkies.

 While I was working, he climbed out of his crib, grabbed the kindle, climbed back into his crib, and started a show.  I had no clue.  Sneaky sneaky.

 Again with the bum!  At least he's watering my plants!

 Licking the paddle is the best part...

 Superhero James!

 He'll carry things around in his shirt all day.  Stuffing blocks in there is always a good idea...


 Sometimes, this is the only way a mom can cook dinner.  A snack and a show does wonders!

 Major monsoon storm.  Lifted our trampoline into the vacant lot next to us.  No one was hurt, our wall is mostly in tact, and we salvaged the trampoline!  August, 2015.

 "At dawn, WE RIDE!"

 Sometimes, the only thing he wants to do is peel an orange...

 Crazy kids...

 Sariah stole my grocery list and added a few things of her own...

 A bolt of lightning struck the hill a couple miles from our house and caused a fire.  We went to go look at the flames.

 Sariah dreams of being a teacher.  On this day, she asked me to teach her how to write an objective.  They are in orange and green on the wall.  Love her.

 Monkeys at the playground!  Love them!

 When it's too quiet...always check the bag of dog food.  You are almost certain to find your toddler there.

Happy 36th to this handsome guy!