Franklin’s Birth Story

This post is a bittersweet one to sit down and write. Probably due to the fact that it is my last birth story and I am feeling all sorts of emotions about that.

After a lot of deliberation and thought, The Hubby and I decided that if I didn’t go into labor naturally on the Saturday after my due date, that I would go in for an induction.

My OB was going out of town for a week starting that Sunday, and since we felt most comfortable with the person we had been seeing for the past nine months, we really wanted him to be there.

So, when Friday night rolled around and still no baby, it was decided that Saturday would be the day.

How do you go to bed the night before knowing your whole life is going to change the next day?

You don’t. And I didn’t.

I was just one big ball of excitement and nerves. And when I rolled over that morning, about an hour before my set alarm was to go off, and saw that The Hubby was awake as well, we excitedly decided to get going earlier than we had originally planned. Because it was finally baby day!

One nice thing about knowing when you will be delivering is that you can get ready for it. Take your time. And I certainly did just that.

I had so many thoughts running wild that morning and became quite emotional. There I stood in the mirror, my belly staring back at me ,with tears streaming down my face.

This was it. This was the last day I would carry a child in my belly.

The Hubby came in and saw my tears, and he just knew. After a gentle, long hug we continued to get ready. And while I took some time to myself, The Hubby went out and grabbed me a Starbucks, and washed and vacuumed his car. Oh, the last minute things we deem necessary. :)

We arrived at the hospital at about 9:30 am and were quickly checked into our room.

Room 205. Which, I smiled about. Five has always been my special number.

We were given a little tour of the room, I was asked to change and we settled in.

Rather quickly I was hooked up to the monitor and before I knew it, my doctor had arrived to break my water. It wasn’t even 10:00.

Knowing how quickly I progressed once my water was broken with my other two babies, I asked for some time before everything began.

I just started to feel panicky and not ready for what was to come.

My OB and the nurse happily agreed and let us be, which I am thankful for. I could tell by the look on my husband’s face that he too wasn’t quite ready yet, so this allowed us some time to calm down together.

I settled into my bed, got my Ipod and headphones with my relaxation music on, dimmed the lights, and started to practice my breathing techniques while my husband massaged my back and feet. This really calmed my nerves, both of ours, really, and about an hour later the nurse came back and asked if we were ready. With a smile on my face I replied that yes, I was ready to meet our baby.

Soon after, the doctor arrived, broke my water and we knew it was game time.

With my first and second labors, once the water was broken I was in active labor within 30 minutes. This time, though, things went a little differently.

I continued to listen to my music, and The Hubby continued to massage, but after about forty-five minutes to an hour, I had only had about two real contractions. To us, this was puzzling. So, we broke out our favorite game, Back Gammon, and played a round of that, which I am happy to report I came out victoriously in. And by this time I was becoming a little hungry, too, so The Hubby gave me bites of chocolate chip cookie and granola bar, which took the edge off.  With contractions only coming about once every ten minutes or so, we decided we would then try walking the halls. This seemed to help, as after about two laps, the contractions were now about every five minutes and strong enough to where I had to stop, breathe through them, and then continue on.

This is when we decided to head back to our room. I got myself situated back on my left side, music on, and we continued the rest of the laboring like this. Slowly, the contractions started to pick up, and with each one, we had a routine. I would inform my husband when one was coming, he would go to the fridge, take out a wet, cold washcloth, and press a portion of it on the spot in-between my two eyebrows, as for some reason this pressure point has helped to relieve pain during all of my labors.

And during each contraction, I tried my best in taking long, slow breaths in, making sure to expand my belly as much as I could to make more room for the contraction to work, and letting the air back out even slower. Once the contraction was over, I would let the Hubby know and we both could rest. I don’t think I opened my eyes much during this time. I just remained calm and still.

After about an hour and a half or so of this, the nurse came back in and asked if I would like to be checked. I replied that I did, and became a little nervous as this took place. Mostly because I wanted to know that if what I had gone through so far was working. If she checked and told me I was only 4-5 cm dilated, I would feel a little defeated. But, if I was progressing then I would know that what we were doing was working.

Thankfully, I was informed that I was currently at a 7.5/8. And as soon as she uttered those words, I began to cry.

I cried because I was that much closer to meeting our little baby. I cried because the preparation and practice The Hubby and I had done before this baby came was working. I cried because we were doing this together.

After the checking, the contractions came closer and closer together, and became more intense. I was sweaty. I was mopped down with a cool rag. And my breathing became louder.  But I didn’t move. I didn’t clutch the bed-rail like the last time. I focused on keeping my body relaxed.  And during this time, the nurses prepared the room quietly knowing baby was coming soon.

After another  (I think?) twenty to thirty minutes, I asked to be checked again because I just knew it was getting close.

This time, I was a 9.5. I was almost there. The doctor was called, and it was go-time.

Once the doctor arrived and checked me, he said probably three or four  more contractions and I would be ready. And these, these were intense. Because I was focusing on maintaining my relaxed state, I was completely in-tune with my body. During each contraction, I could feel baby moving down the birth canal, something I had never experienced before, while my husband coached me through every second, making sure I continued to breathe properly.

And not long after, I, probably rather loudly, informed the doctor that it was time. Baby was coming NOW. It’s fascinating how one’s body just knows and does everything on its own, and mine was following suit.

One thing I am not sure of is how much of the baby came out during each push. I remember feeling the “ring of fire” and I think I pushed three or four times total. During these pushes the head and shoulders came out and once everything looked safe and well, the doctor asked if I wanted to deliver the baby, and this was when I opened my eyes and replied, “Yes! I do!”

So, that is exactly what I did.  I reached down and pulled that sweet little baby out, placing it (still not knowing the gender!) on my chest at 3:05 pm. At this point I was breathing so heavily and so, SO relieved that it was over, that I forgot to even ask what we had! I think everyone in the room was just as excited as it was probably a good five to ten seconds before The Hubby looked down and eagerly announced that it was a boy.

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And that moment we shared, once he announced the news, was truly special. He held my face with such passion and adoration and told me how proud of me he was before planting a big smooshy kiss on my lips.

We had done it. And now we had a beautiful baby boy.

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And oh! The hair! Our other babies were either bald or had little blonde hairs, but this one came out with a full head of beautiful dark hair, which was such a cool surprise for us to see.

After delivering the placenta, which is not really all that fun, either, I was informed that there was no tearing.

Hallelujah!

We were then given 90 minutes to just be the three of us, with baby resting so peacefully on my chest and in my arms.

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During this time, The Hubby said something I hope to never, ever forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said he has fallen in love with me all over again. And that he didn’t think it was possible to love me any more than he did… but he now does. All while thanking me for giving him the perfect family.

Of course, I cried. And I cry again as I re-live that moment. Truly, it was beautiful.

That evening, Grammie and Poppie brought Gwyn, Cal, and Uncle Matt and Uncle Robby (who surprised us by flying in that morning from Portland), to the  hospital to meet the newest member of the family, Franklin Maurice.  This, I will save for another post, though, as it too has its own special and sweet moments.

So, after three births, I can conclude that this one was by far the most serene. I felt in-control of my body, I felt completely connected with my partner, and the end result was exactly as I had hoped for.

Our complete family. :)

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Comments

  1. Shannon, this is beautiful! Congratulations on your amazing family of 5.

  2. Jana Foster says:

    Congrats again Shann! Your family is so beautiful!! You have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!! XO

  3. This sounds like an amazing birth experience! Congratulations :). Not sure if you already planned on doing this but I would love to hear how you picked the name and other name options you tossed around for boy and girl. I am 21 weeks pregnant now with my second and love all this baby stuff!

  4. Christina Peterson says:

    Shannon, what a beautiful experience! I have to say you look amazing in all those pictures!! Can’t even tell you had just given birth! I know you will enjoy and cherish every moment. Congratulations again!!! and thank you for sharing. I have to agree with the post above, is there a story behind the name and what were the other options?

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