Lately, it’s all about the iphone pics for me.  Maybe someday I’m going to regret that I didn’t take more pictures with my real camera, but my phone is just so easy and convenient.  And I love Instagram (megan_thurman if you are on there and want to follow.)  It’s become my go-to social media app, and I share way more often on there than on Facebook or Twitter.

Since Sullivan’s birth, I’ve taken over 300 cell phone pictures.  Not all of Sullivan, but probably most of them involve him in some way.  Here are just a few of my faves.

Just born.  I think he was maybe an hour old here and it reminds me so much of Logan.

The whole gang.  Still hard to believe that I am a mom to all these kids!

Hanging out in the hospital.  I might be weird, but I love the hospital stay after I give birth.  It’s relaxing!

First walk to the bus stop.  I think this was on day 4 or 5.

One week old.

A very Connor face!  Sometimes I think he looks just like Logan, and other times just like Connor.  The fact of the matter is, our kids all favor each other.

The kids ask for Sullivan to tuck them in every night.  I love this pic of Sully and Connor so much!  The big kids are all so sweet to Sullivan.

See?  So sweet!

See that real smile from Logan?  I hardly ever get a real smile on camera, but he flashed it no problem while holding Sullivan.

Happy Birthday to Derek!  The four are so lucky to have him.

My friend Penny took this picture of Sullivan at bunco.  The forehead wrinkles and the hair are too much!  I love them!

Sullivan is like her real life doll.  She loves to pick out his clothes, and clearly her own as well.  I get such a kick out of the outfits she puts together.

Mom and Nick came into town for Nick’s high school reunion.  Mamaw was more than happy to give out some cuddles at Chipotle.

The fuzz head.  He has so much hair compared to the other kids.  It stands straight up like that no matter what, and I love it.

And one more.  This is my favorite picture of the 4 of them together because it’s so them.  It’s going to be a crazy ride with these guys!

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!)

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!

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!

It feels a bit like the final baby countdown is on.

Connor was born at about 37 weeks.  Logan and Camryn were both born just a day before their due date.  Will this little guy hang out until October 11?  Or will he come early?  Who knows!  Part of me really hopes he’s just a week or two early.  I’m trying hard to enjoy these last few weeks, these last baby kicks and nightly hiccups.  But let’s just be real.  This isn’t the most comfortable stage of life.  I can’t wait to be able to bend again, to wear normal clothes, and most of all, to meet this little guy!

This pregnancy has been different from my other three in lots of ways.  My morning sickness was fairly mild (which actually made me think from the beginning that this was another boy.  I was super sick with Camryn.)  But man, the first trimester exhaustion was at an all time high.  And it didn’t end at 12 weeks, but carried on well into the second trimester.  I would crash on the couch every night the minute I got the kids tucked in.  I was worried about the summer, about how I would keep up with everyone and have the energy to get through it.  Luckily, the kids are older which means I can set them up with video games or movies (or a nap for Camryn) and take a nap myself.  I’ve napped more this pregnancy than ever before, which has been a great luxury.

I’ve had only a couple of cravings and food aversions.  I’ve eaten boxes and boxes of cereal.  When nothing else sounded good, I would turn cereal.  My favorite is Life with fresh strawberries.  But really, most of the time, any cereal will do.  I had an aversion to Chinese food for awhile, but I’m back to loving Pei Wei.  The only thing that really turns my stomach is chili.  Even just thinking of it makes me gag a little. Except for a couple of times that I craved chili cheese dogs.  But chili from a can is way different from homemade chili, and it’s the homemade stuff that grosses me out.  So weird.  Because really?  Could chili from a can be any more disgusting?

This little guy seems to be less active than I remember the others being.  It could just be because I’ve been so busy taking care of three other kids, but maybe it just means he’s going to be a super chilled-out, relaxed kid.  That sure would be great!

I’ve had more appointments than ever before.  I’ve always done the first trimester genetic screening, and it’s never turned up anything usual.  This time the results showed a higher risk of Down’s Syndrome than is typical for my age.  And so began the extra appointments with the maternal and fetal specialist.  I’ve had ultrasounds about every 3 weeks since 17 weeks.  Thankfully, everything looks great with our boy–his heart, brain, organs, etc. are all normal.  There are all kinds of markers they look for on the ultrasound for Down’s, and he doesn’t have any of them.  Of course, the only way we can totally rule anything out is with an amnio, but we declined any further testing.  We trust that God is in control and has been from the very beginning.  We love our son, and he is a precious gift no matter what.

The thing with all this testing and ultrasounds is they’ve noticed some things that, to quote the doctor, “may or may not be an issue.”  Our little guy has a calcium spot on his liver.  Not much we can do about that except wait until delivery and have the pediatrician check it out.  The promising thing is one calcium spot isn’t usually a huge deal, or even indicative that there is for sure something wrong.  But it’s there.  About a month ago, my amniotic fluid level was out of the normal range.  Thinking back on my other pregnancies, I think I’ve always had a lot of fluid, but it’s just never been measured or monitored before.  And as of two weeks ago, his belly was measuring a couple of weeks behind the rest of him.  Again, not necessarily a problem, but it’s another thing to keep an eye on.  I now spend about an hour every Friday morning hooked up to monitors for a non-stress test.  Last week was my first one, and it was really so relaxing, plus I loved listening to his heart beat on the monitors.  For the next 4 weeks (or until I deliver) I will have 2-3 appointments every week.  I’m so thankful that the kids are back in school, plus we have wonderful friends who have helped us out so much over the summer!

I should note that my regular ob isn’t too worried about any of this stuff, which is so calming and reassuring.  And except for a few moments of panic and worry about the baby not being healthy, I really have felt such a peace about everything.  It’s totally, 100% out of our hands.  It’s been a huge reminder that God is in control.  There is nothing we can do, and worrying never changes anything.  All we can do is pray and trust.  It’s been a faith building few months for me, and that is always a good thing!

So there you go.  The pregnancy has now been officially blogged.  All that’s left to do is, well, actually a lot.  Finish the room, make sure the pack-n-play/bassinet still function, pack a hospital bag, settle on a name…I’m sure it will all come together in the end.   I can’t wait!