One Month

I would say it’s hard to believe that Sullivan is already one month old, and part of me is amazed that a month has gone by already.  But maybe I’ve just come to terms with the fact that time is flying, so it doesn’t seem as mind boggling that he’s a month old.  Some parts of this month have honestly dragged by.  But I know that I will look back in a few years (or maybe even sooner) and wistfully remember the beginning days, and I’ll marvel at the fact that he’s already so big.  Time is funny like that, I think especially when it comes to raising kids.

So at one month old, Sullivan weighed in at a whopping 6 pounds 6 ounces.  To compare with the other kids, they were all over 9 pounds at one month old.  Sullivan totally looks like a newborn still.  When we are out and about, the number one comment is always about his hair, quickly followed by questions about how old he is, how big he is, and how big he was at birth.  While he is definitely still a little peanut of a guy, he has officially outgrown preemie diapers (that happened at about 2 weeks old), and now his preemie clothes are all too small.  I squeezed him into one of my favorite preemie onesies for the last time today.  From here on out, we are fully in newborn clothes!

Easy things about Sullivan so far:

-He’s so portable.  He goes anywhere and everywhere.  He’s been to two outdoor soccer games, two indoor soccer games, a swim meet, soccer practices, swim team practices, the movies, the elementary school for lunch and the book fair, the pumpkin patch, and more.  He’s great in the car, great in the car seat, and great in the sling.

-He’s a good sleeper, content to sleep just about anywhere as long as he’s swaddled up really tightly.  He even sleeps good in his bassinet.  Of course, like most newborns, he wanted to sleep more during the day than at night, especially at first, but now at night he does pretty well, giving us a solid 4-5 stretch between feedings.  In fact, while he’s getting better about this, I have to wake him up a lot to eat during the day and even at night.  I never ever woke up the other kids at night, but they were also not 5 pounds.  As much as I would love to let him sleep (and a few night I haven’t heard my alarm and I’ll awake with a start after 6 plus hours!), he really needs to eat and grow.  On our typical nights lately, he nurses at about 10:00, between 2:00 and 3:00, and again between 5:00 and 6:00.

-He’s so darn loveable and cute and the kids are crazy about him!  They are all willing to help out, and they all want to snuggle and hold him daily.  It’s really sweet.

Not-so-easy things about Sullivan so far:

-He is hands down, no question, my laziest and slowest eater ever.  Nursing takes forever.  He falls asleep constantly.  Not such a big deal, I guess, except that I have 3 other little people needing me.  Plus I don’t really love nursing but I love that it’s free and I know it’s the best thing for him.  But it’s draining to spend 8-10 hours (or more) a day feeding him.

-This doesn’t really have to do with Sullivan exactly, but my day usually starts after his 5:00 a.m. feeding because by the time he is done eating, it’s nearly time for the big kids to get up and get ready for school. There is always sleep deprivation with newborns.  I totally expected it.  But, it’s at an all time high this time around.  On a good night I’ll get about 6 hours of broken up sleep.  And there is definitely no sleeping during the day while he sleeps.  I tried to take a nap one day and failed miserably.  There are too many other things that need my attention for me to relax and nap during the day.  The good thing is I can (most of the time) keep this part in perspective.  He will eventually sleep through the night, and I really think that will happen just as soon as we can get a few more pounds on him.

-Hello, crazy emotions!  I’m always a bit of a basket case after giving birth.  And I’m not sure if it’s worse this time, or if I’ve just forgotten what I was like the other times.  But I think I’ve shed more tears in the last month than I have in the last 4 years combined.  I *think* I’m coming out of it, and on good days, it seems the crying is behind me.  It almost always happens at night, around the time we’re trying to get the kids to bed and Sullivan is cranky and I’m exhausted.  It’s so completely overwhelming.  What’s crazy about it is I realize how nuts it is, and yet it’s completely uncontrollable.  A lot of times, Derek and I will be laughing about how ridiculous my emotions are at the same time that I’m crying.  He is a saint for putting up with this time and time again!

So, overall, if I had to sum up the last month, I would say it’s been crazy and busy, filled with laughs and lots and lot of tears.  It’s been overwhelming in both good and not-so-good ways.  But even with the ups and the downs, I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Now for 1 month pictures!  So many of these make me laugh.  The crossed eyes, spazzy arms, and then a sweet little smile.  I love this kid.

Long, skinny chicken legs and the best baby hair ever.

The forehead wrinkles.  Love them.  He looks like such a little old man!

Still working on the whole focusing thing…

Are you laughing yet?  If not, get a load of this one!

He makes this face all the time, especially right before he eats.

And a sweet little grin (fairly sure it was more about gas than me, but it’s still so cute!)

Nice to meet you

It was so fun having family and friends meet Sullivan for the first time.  My mom and Derek’s parents were all at the hospital for the birth, so they were some of the first to meet the newest family member.  Proud grandparents!

I was so excited when the kids arrived to meet their little brother.  They were all so excited to see and to hold Sullivan!

We also had other friends come up to the hospital to visit.  I love hospital visitors, and since Sullivan was born on a Sunday morning, we had lots of friends stop by the hospital that night.  At one point, I think there were about 10 people in the room and the anesthesiologist came by to make sure that the epidural had worn off and I was feeling good.  So of course, we invited him to stay for the party.  It’s such a fun time of celebration, and I was so thankful for our family and friends who celebrated with us!

It’s been 12 days

He is here!  Sullivan Wade, born September 23, weighing in at 5 pounds 9 ounces and 18 inches long.  He’s a tiny little peanut, and we love him so much.

I’ve got to get the whole story if Sullivan’s birth written down before it fades from memory.  I love that I have a pretty detailed account of both Logan and Camryn’s birth on here, and even though things are totally crazy right now, I know if I don’t get this written down, I’ll regret it.

Sullivan’s birth story really starts on September 20th.  I officially reached 37 weeks that day, and I had an ultrasound appointment with the maternal and fetal specialist.  Three weeks prior, Dr. G noticed on the ultrasound that some of Sullivan’s measurements were falling behind, and she wanted to take another look and see what was going on.  Sullivan was looking great on the ultrasound, but he was measuring small–even smaller than before.  His belly was measuring about 4 weeks behind, and the rest of his measurements were falling off of the growth curve he’d been on since 16 weeks.  He had dropped from the 40th percentile to the 15th.  There was talk of inducing right then, but thankfully everything else looked great on the ultrasound.  Derek was out of town that week, and while I’m sure he would have gotten on the first flight home, I really didn’t want to go into this without him.  After a phone call to my regular doctor, it was decided that it would be best to induce since Sullinvan wasn’t growing inside the way he should have been.  My induction was scheduled for bright and early Sunday morning, September 23.

The next two days were a blur of phone calls, last minute prep, excitement, and tears.  My mom and Derek’s parents drove down on Saturday to be here for the big event.  Saturday night I was pretty much a wreck.  I was nervous about the induction.  My induction with Connor was not a great experience, while my deliveries with the middle two were great and happened on their own.  I was anxious about Sullivan’s health.  Why is he so small?  Is he sick?  I was terrified about the way our family dynamic was going to change.  What if this isn’t a change for the better?  How will the other kids handle a new brother?  I shed a lot of tears and prayed a lot of prayers on Saturday night.  Remarkably, I actually slept fairly well until my alarm went off at 3:45.  I called the hospital to make sure there was a bed for me, partly hoping that it would be full and we could just put this off a little bit.  Nope, it was an incredibly slow night and there was plenty of space.  By 5:30 a..m, Derek and I were all set up in L&D room 3.

At 6:30, they started the pitocin.  The nurse made a comment that she thought we’d have a baby by lunch.  Big fat chance, I thought.  At that point I was 1 cm and 50% effaced.

At 7:30, Dr. K came in and flooded my bed broke my water.  During the pregnancy, I had been diagnosed with polyhydramnios which is a fancy way of saying I had a ton of amniotic fluid.  It’s one of those great medical things that can mean something or nothing.  Thankfully, it seems like it meant nothing in my case except a big mess when my water broke.  It was a this point that it really sunk in that we were having a baby.  Once the water breaks, there’s no turning back.

At 9:00, I got my epidural.  Oh, the sweet relief of the epidural!  I think every labor I go into it thinking I might just go all natural.  And then when those contractions come I realize that is crazy and there is no reason to suffer!   I was about 3-4 cm at this point.  And I felt like sort of a wimp for getting the epi so soon.  I think with my other labors I made it to 5 or 6 before the drugs.

At 10:30. I was 5 cm.  Halfway there!  By this point, my mom and Derek’s parents had arrived at the hospital.  Dr. K and the nurses still predicted he would arrive by lunch time, and I still wasn’t convinced.

At 11:00, Kathy (my sis-in-law) texted that she was on her way and not to push until she got there.  I told her she had plenty of time and I was sure she would make it.  In my mind, we still had hours to go.

At 11:05, they checked me again and I was at 7 cm.

At 11:25, Kathy arrived.  About this time, I started to have some serious pain on my right side.  It had been hurting a little bit the whole time–I think it was a spot where the epidural didn’t work.  It went from a little achy and uncomfortable to searing pain where I had to close my eyes and breath through the contractions.  My nurse said she would check me and I would either start pushing, or they would call anesthesia to get more drugs.   I was almost complete, so close that she thought I could just go for it.  Dr. K walked in, and the next few minutes were a complete and total blur.  I remember thinking to myself that I needed to embrace this moment.  This is it. The last time I will ever give birth, the last time I will ever experience that miraculous moment when you meet your child for the first time.

The pain was so intense.  So intense. I’d never felt the pain in any of my other births.

(Kudos to women who go without the drugs!  Y’all a crazy!)]

The contraction started, I pushed.  Take a breath.  Push again.  Take a breath, slow it down, little push, and there he was, all scrawny and chicken-legged, but perfect and beautiful, out in one contraction and three pushes.  My first thought was he was so tiny.  I’m pretty sure I cried.  He was screaming so loud, and had a full head of dark hair.  I couldn’t believe that he was here.

My nurse and doctor were right.  He arrived by lunch time, at 11:41 a.m.

It was an amazing day.

I need to blog about the kids getting to meet him, and just about life in general now.  But this post has already taken me two days to write, and I only have a little more time until the feed-the-baby routine starts again, then kids will be home, and on and on it goes.  Things are crazy busy.  And some moments are really hard.  But overall, I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude that God has blessed us with another son.  So I’ll end with a few pictures.

This one cracks me up, and it’s the boys’ fave because it looks like Sullivan is rocking out a little air guitar.

I love his little forehead wrinkles so much.

So much hair!

What sign is he throwing here?

Scrawny little chicken leg and loose knee skin.

sweet, sweet boy.  We love you so much!