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!