It was Tuesday when I went in for my 39 week doctor appointment to have my cervix checked.
I had progressed to 2 cm and asked my doctor to go ahead and strip my membranes since I was having so many contractions that were leading to nothing.
Immediately after she did the contractions came and they stayed.
I knew then that I would be having Bennett by the following day.
At 4:00 am on July 22 I woke up to pee and found that I had lost my mucus plug.
I crawled back into bed but quickly got up again upon realizing that my contractions were starting to get strong.
My parents agreed to watch Declan for us while I delivered so I sent my mom a text letting her know that I was in labor, set up a pick up time for Declan, and hopped in the shower while the boys slept.
I was breathing through contractions every 5-7 minutes while I did my hair and make up, double checked our hospital bag, and turned on a movie.
My dad showed up around 6:00 am and I finally went to wake up the boys.
After Declan left, I had Derek get ready and eat some breakfast and we decided to turn on an episode of our current Netflix binge, Arrow.
Throughout the episode my contractions grew in intensity and length and by the end we decided it was probably time to make our way over to the hospital.
On our way, I turned on the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack and when the song “Flashlight” came on Derek and I both immediately burst into tears.
Both our minds went straight to Bennett’s Godfather that he wouldn’t get to meet in this lifetime, and we held hands as we reminded one another that Brian was in that car with us.
When I got there I was 4 cm dilated and ready to be admitted.
I had labored for over 5 hours medication free and with my contractions now happening back to back I decided it was epidural time.
My epidural was still in the process of kicking in around 10:30 am when I felt my water break. I was now 5 cm and they let me know that my body was progressing quickly and Bennett was clearly ready to go, so they were going to let nature take its course.
My nurse said, “give me a call when you feel the urge to push” and left me to relax.
Around 12:30 pm I finally convinced Derek that he needed to eat and he went down to grab some food while I rested.
For whatever reason, my epidural was less effective on the right side of my body, so I was still feeling my contractions, though not as strong as I would have without it.
Right before Derek walked back into the room I felt my first “urge”.
I didn’t say anything to him about it, just asked him about his lunch while I reached for the phone to call my nurse.
But before I could call her she walked in and said, “nothing yet?”
I told her I was literally picking up the phone to call her and she let me know she would go and call the midwife to check me.
But before she could grab her phone, my midwife walked in and said, “no baby yet?”
It’s like everyone subconsciously knew it was go time because not a single call had to be made.
She took a quick peek:
“Are you ready to have a baby mama? Because this baby is ready to come!”
Derek’s eyes widened and with shock he exclaimed, “are you serious?!”
She was very serious and had me do a quick push to see how close Bennett was to being out.
After one round of pushing she scrubbed up and told us that this baby was going to be pushed out very quickly.
She was right.
I only pushed for 20 minutes before Bennett Lee-Brian Franklin entered this world on July 22, 2015 at 1:50 pm.
(All photos were taken by Veister Photography)
It was the smoothest, easiest labor and delivery I could have ever asked for.
I was cool as a cucumber the entire time and thanks to working out throughout my pregnancy, my ab muscles were fully engaged during each push, making it easy and effective.
In fact, I think the staff was more concerned about Derek than they were about me.
My seasoned birth vet of a husband almost passed out mid-delivery.
He chalked it up to the hospital chicken sandwich he had for lunch, but it was pretty crazy seeing him in a worse state than the one giving birth.
I cried so many happy tears when they placed Bennett on my chest for the first time.
I didn’t get that time with Declan and I was so elated to be able to have it with B.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t crying as loud as they would like and he had a wheeze just like Declan, so they took him from my chest and worked on him for the next 20 minutes or so.
My heart stopped as I realized that history might be repeating itself all over again.
Luckily, the doctor came in and he was finally cleared to come back to me.
He latched to my breast as if he had done it a million times before, and I looked at my husband in shock of how great I felt after just pushing an 8 lb baby out of my woo-haw.
I was still in my birthing bed when our first guests came.
We wanted Declan and Bennett’s first meeting to be documented, so I asked D’s godfather to come and take some pictures for us and my parents came with little man.
He didn’t want anything to do with me or Derek when he got there, and he had no idea what to think about Bennett.
Luckily, he warmed up to everyone after a few minutes and even hopped up in bed with me to share a sandwich.
By the end of the day, he was talking about Bennett non-stop and even asked to hold him.
Melt my heart.
After everyone left Bennett’s godmother and grandpa came to see him.
We all talked and laughed as we remembered his godfather Brian and before we knew it we were almost an hour past visiting hours.
The night was spent with nurses coming in and out of the room every 30 minutes to run tests, provide information, etc. and by morning we were all exhausted from a lack of sleep.
Still, I found myself literally dancing in the hospital room less than 24 hours after giving birth because I felt so good and my heart was so full.
We were released just before 2 pm that day and have been home ever since.
I’m only reminded that I gave birth five days ago when I look at my slowly deflating belly or do a little too much around the house.
I was unable to sit down or walk normally for a good week and a half my first time around, so I know how lucky I am to be feeling so great.
Bennett is the sweetest, snuggliest little sausage who sleeps through his brothers screams and only cries when he needs something.
Declan likes to give Bennett kisses, wave hello to him, and he falls asleep talking about his baby brother every night.
Derek is a pillar of strength, the very definition of what it means to be a true father and man. He smiles all day long while he shifts his attention between all three of us, making sure we are all taken care of.
And me, I’m on cloud nine.
My mom always told me that having your second child, you wonder if you’ll be able to love them to the same degree as your first or if you’ll be taking love away from one kid to give it to the other. But she said that once they are born, you see that love doesn’t change, it expands, and your heart just grows taller and wider than you could ever imagine possible.
I believed her, but now I know firsthand what she meant.
It’s such an overwhelmingly euphoric feeling to have so much goodness pumping through your veins.
My life has yet again been forever changed.
How lucky am I to feel love like this?
Bennett Lee-Brian Franklin,
Your journey is just beginning and the world is already better with you in it. Let’s go live an adventure. I can’t wait to watch yours unfold.
All my love,