The State of Affairs

Well, this is our first full week with just us & we sure did hit the ground running. We have something going on every day this week so I guess I will be figuring out our new routine pretty quickly!
Summer is just about over & with that brings our busy fall schedule.  Grayson started his new coach pitch/tee ball league the week after Cheney was born, preschool for the boys starts next Tuesday, & my MOPS group kicks off next week! It will be a full & fun fall, that is for sure!
Grayson is loving his new baseball team. We are playing closer to home & they get to do coach pitch. That's what he has been so excited for & he's done so good! I feel like poor Cheney just may grow up at the ball fields. Hope she doesn't mind!
It's so fun watching him play because he just loves it. Not to mention, he's good at it! I think tee ball & baseball have really helped his confidence.
We had Cheney's appointment with the cardiologist yesterday. I was a little anxious about how she would do. Thankfully I had time to feed her once we got there & she was able to calm down. They checked her pulse & the oxygen level in her blood and then it was time for the Echo.  She did great through the entire thing! We learned that Cheney has a VSD (ventricular septal defect) & a Patent Foramen Ovale. Basically, there are 2 holes in her heart. One of the holes (the VSD & what is causing the murmur) is in the anterior margin which just means it will probably take a longer amount of time to close. It also may not close at all on its own. The other hole is something we didn't know about until yesterday. It is something that is supposed to close shortly after birth & hers has not.  As of right now, these are things that are not too concerning. We are really hoping they get smaller before our next appointment in December.  So, basically, we are just in a monitoring phase right now & will determine what is next if these things don't start getting smaller on their own. Have you had enough medical talk?? Whew.
How sweet is that little patient, though?? I wish y'all could see how strong she is. Cheney is not only identical to baby Grayson but also reminds me of him. He was so strong from day 1! Cheney was so alert at the doctor and was holding her head up like an old pro!
I can't leave out our middle child! Griffin starts preschool next week & will be in the same classroom that his big brother started in! I can't believe it is already time for him to be going to school. I know he will love it but it will be strange not to have my tiny toddler sidekick every day!


a quick little update

Well, it has been 2 weeks since we became a party of five & it honestly seems like a lot more time has passed! My blog has been lacking in updates because by the time I sit down at night, I am wiped out!  Cheney has made sure that her inner alarm clock works like a charm & is awake every 3 hours at night & eating every 2 hours during the day. I've been a busy mama! (moo.)

I can't really talk about the true adjustment yet of having 3 kids because I've been lucky enough to have had my mom here since Cheney was born! It has been so nice to have an extra set of hands around the house. This weekend the real fun will begin. Ben & I will officially be outnumbered by the little people in our house!
I think the adjustment with the kids has actually been easier this time. I don't know if it is because we have an almost 4 year old or if it is because the boys have each other to play with. Either way, I don't feel as overwhelmed about this transition. Going from 1 kid to 2 kids was definitely a lot harder than I thought it would be. We've had our moments, but for the most part, the boys have been really good! They adore Cheney & want to smother her with hugs and kisses all day long.
We did go to the pediatrician yesterday for Cheney's 2 week appointment and to re-check her heart murmur.  The good news is that she has grown a half inch already & is up to 7lbs 12oz! She is actually putting on weight faster than her brothers did...maybe I will finally have a chunky little baby! The not so awesome news is that the heart murmur is still there. Our pediatrician doesn't seem too worried about it because everything else sounds great, but we still have to go see a cardiologist. We have an appointment on Tuesday & Cheney will have an Echo done so we can figure out exactly what is going on.  
Bear with me as I find a balance in our new normal. It is crazy & hectic but I know I will get there eventually!


Cheney: 1 week old

Cheney is 1 week old already! These pictures were actually taken when she was just 4 days old. Look at that brand new little squish!
At birth Cheney weighed 7lbs 6oz. When she was discharged from the hospital she weighed 6lbs 14oz. We went to the pediatrician on Monday & she was already above her birth weight at 7lbs 7oz! I was so impressed! Grow, baby girl, grow! Right now she is wearing all newborn clothes but I know those newborn footies are already tight. I am trying to play dress up as much as possible before she outgrows clothes!
So far our nursing experience is going great! We had a few problems at the hospital, but I think we have figured everything out and are in a pretty good groove right now.  Cheney loves to eat (hence the weight gain) and just feeds on demand all during the day.  Sometimes she will go 3 hours but it is mostly 1.5-2 hours in between feedings during the day. She started off at our house doing 4 hour stretches at night but has now turned into a newborn:) The past few nights she has been sleeping 2-3 hour stretches at night.
One thing we learned in the hospital was that our sweet girl was born with a heart murmur. We were really hoping it would correct itself by the time we saw our pediatrician on Monday. Unfortunately, the heart murmur was still there. Our doctor said everything else looked great & it most likely is something that will eventually correct itself. We go back when Cheney is 2 weeks old. If it still there, we will be making a trip to the Vanderbilt Cardiology unit.  We are praying we can avoid that!
Cheney has been such a good baby. She sleeps a lot during the day & is only loud when she's hungry or when she is getting changed. She gets smothered with hugs and kisses all day long! Grayson & Griffin sure do love her. Grayson constantly tells me that "Cheney is SO CUTE." Griffin always wants to kiss her & is very concerned about her pacis.  They are very proud big brothers! Cheney is also the stereotypical 3rd baby because she is 1 week old and has not had a bath since she left the hospital. Oops!
It is hard to believe that Cheney has already been with us for a whole week.  It is also hard to remember life without her--she fits in perfectly with us! We love our sweet girl!


The Story of Cheney

As I guess you have figured out, Cheney did not decide to come on her own and waited patiently for her scheduled birthday. Ben and I woke up super early on the morning of August 6th because we had to be at the hospital by 5:30am.  We left our house while it was still dark & for the last time, we walked into the hospital to have a baby.  They got us all checked in to our room, hooked me up to the IVs, & we waited. It is really strange waiting around & watching the clock knowing that in a couple hours I will be holding a brand new baby in my arms. It is just so surreal. A feeling that I will likely ever forget. Another funny thing about this morning was that while I was being monitored, I asked the nurse if I had just had a contraction. I had been feeling random tightness off and on but didn't know if they were contractions. Turns out, I was having contractions AND they were 4 minutes apart. Pretty funny, right?!
At 7:15 they told me it was go time. They wheeled me back into the OR & Ben had to wait outside in his scrubs. I hate that part of it. I wish he was allowed to be in there during the anesthesia part--it is my least favorite! I had anxiety this time about the lidocaine shot that comes before the spinal. I remember how badly it burned last time. The spinal was actually worse this time. It took at least 15 minutes & felt like an eternity to get it all worked out.  Not gonna lie, it hurt. They had to do the lidocaine twice because they could not get my spinal centered.  I remember telling myself over & over again that I would never have to do this again. Ha! Once they finally were finished, they were able to lay me down & Ben got to join me. I was actually feeling good for about a minute or two and then all of a sudden was SO nauseous.  I remember this happening with Griffin except they all said I wouldn't actually get sick because my stomach muscles wouldn't work due to anesthesia.  This time was different. I felt sick & I did end up getting sick. I don't recommend that when your body isn't able to move and you are lying on your back. Ick.

Once I got pumped with some medicine to ease the nausea, my doctor was able to begin the surgery.  It is so strange having surgery but being awake. I remember having to ask the nurses if it had actually begun & they laughed and said yes.  It took a few minutes but I vividly remember my awesome OB finally seeing Cheney's face. She kept talking about how cute she was and how she had pretty much no hair. I could not wait to see her with my own eyes!

At 8:04am our baby girl came into this world and, goodness, did she let everyone know! Cheney had a great set of lungs from the very beginning! Also, I need it to be known that the first thing I made my OB tell me was that Cheney was indeed a she. haha!

This was our first moment with Cheney. I definitely thought she looked a lot like her brothers!

Cheney went to the nursery with Ben and our families got to see her through the window. I felt like I was in the OR for such a long time while they finished up. I was beyond ready to get my hands on our baby girl!

They finally brought her back around 9:15. We were able to spend an hour just soaking up every ounce of newborn sweetness. Cheney was absolutely perfect. We were able to nurse & have some skin-to-skin time and just bond with her. It was nice to have those quiet moments before we introduced her to everyone!
We brought our families in around 10:30. Our boys had been hanging out in the waiting room & were ready to see their new baby! Grayson was very cautious of the whole hospital part. I don't think he was expecting to see me in a hospital bed. Griffin was pretty smitten & fascinated from the beginning. He wanted to give Cheney lots of kisses! I look at this picture and see our complete family. It is still pretty surreal!

Everyone was in love with Cheney & pretty excited about adding a girl to our mix!

We had a couple of superheroes stop by the room so that was fun. Cheney is pretty much the coolest baby sister ever & got her brothers personalized superhero capes & masks. They were excited!
Seriously. Could she be any sweeter??

So, here we are! May, Party of Five. Crazy & complete:)


Our girl is here!

We are so happy to announce that our sweet baby girl has arrived!
Cheney Katherine May
Born August 6th
7lbs 6oz
20.5 inches long
She is beautiful & we are so in love!
We are now officially a circus party of FIVE!


For my girl

Dear Cheney,
Here we are...39 weeks in to this thing and it is finally time to meet you! I can't believe the time is actually here. We all feel like we have been waiting on you forever! Which, seeing as how you are a little lady, that will probably be the case many other times in your life. It's okay, though. The boys in our house will adjust!

Sweet girl, I have loved you from the second I knew you were inside my belly. You came at just the right time. At a time when there was so much sadness, you brought so much joy. I often think about my dear friend, Michelle, and how she is probably beaming at the fact that our last baby is a little girl. She would have been so excited to meet you!

Your big brothers have been excited about you since day 1. Grayson is so proud to be your biggest brother. He tells everyone about his baby sister, Cheney, & how he is going to help take care of you. He has such a sweet heart and will always look out for you. Griffin doesn't understand exactly what is about to happen, but he lovingly refers to you as "Sissy" and gives my tummy kisses quite often.  He has been the baby for two years, but I know he will be such a great big brother to you. I hope you always realize what a blessing your big brothers are to you. They are your built in best friends; the ones who will be by your side all of your life. I can't wait to watch the 3 of you bond & form a great friendship!

I really can't wait to watch you with your daddy. You are a lucky girl, Cheney. Your daddy is the best!  He loves spending time with your brothers playing sports & rough housing. However, I think the moment he lays eyes on you, he will be wrapped around your tiny little finger.

Cheney, I have so many hopes and dreams for you. So many things I want to teach you. My biggest hope for you is that you have a heart for Jesus. I hope you know that your beauty and worth comes from Him and nobody else. You are fearfully & wonderfully made, little girl.

Grayson made me a mama, Griffin made us a family of four, & now you are completing us. We are so excited to finally get to love on you!

Love you always,

Thoughts on Tuesday

Scheduled births are a strange thing. I keep running around like a crazy person making sure I have everything on my lists checked off. I've checked things off & have everything scheduled for the boys. See also: Pregnancy makes me crazy, anal, & neurotic.
I was kind of hoping that Cheney would give us some element of surprise and come a tiny bit early. I thought that would be fun since everything was so specifically planned out. Considering I have tried every single method of getting this baby out & she hasn't even really dropped, I would say that she is pretty content with staying inside until her planned birthday.
When I say we have tried everything, I really do mean everything. Except castor oil. Because, ew. No thank you. I was kind of hoping to go into labor on Sunday night due to nearly having a panic attack thanks to a new "friend" who showed up in our backyard.  The boys had just gone to bed and we were downstairs. Ellie had to go outside so I let her out. A few minutes later I opened the back door and was horrified by what I saw. Ellie, our fearless crazy dog, was face to face with a giant snake under our trampoline. I legitimately freaked out, made her come inside immediately, & shrieked. I'm sure Ben thought I was being super dramatic until we turned the outside lights on and he saw this beast with his own eyes. It was no tiny garden snake, y'all. We are talking about a 4 foot long, black, HISSING snake.
Photo: Walked outside tonight and this thing was face to face with Ellie󾍁thankfully, it is now dead. It also didn't make me have a baby...looks like she's cooking until Wednesday!
It was pretty much my worst nightmare.  Ben enlisted the help of some neighbors and they chased that stupid snake for about an hour. It was mad and fast.  We are pretty certain it wasn't poisonous, but in my opinion, all snakes are better dead.  It fought a good fight, but eventually they cut the big guy's head off and I could finally breathe again.  I thought for sure that this fiasco would send me straight to Labor & Delivery. nope! We make stubborn and comfy babies.
I won't be doing an official 39 week update. I won't actually be 39 weeks until Wednesday, but here is my last official bump picture from almost 39 weeks. I am having a hard time really comprehending the fact that this is the last time my body will look like this. The last time I will grow a baby. The last time I will feel all of those strong kicks and movements from the inside. That's the one part I know I will miss. As uncomfortable as I am right now, I sure do love feeling my little girl move!
It is so weird that tonight we will set our alarms so that we can wake up and HAVE A BABY. We are ready!! 


Griffin is 2 years old!

I present to you the last of Griffin's monthly picture updates...just in time to start all over again with Cheney;)
The Stats:
Weight: we will find out for sure today, but I am guessing 23lbs!
Height: 33ish inches
Clothing: you can still wear most 18m clothes but you have also moved into 24m clothes! I retired all of your 18m pajamas this week because the pants were too short! I will be buying you a whole new wardrobe for fall I think because your brother was in all 2T by now...so much for sharing everything!!
Shoe: 6 1/2-6 depending on the shoe
Diaper: size 5
Here's what's been going on this month:
-We have been doing lots of things to get ready for your baby sister! You are fascinated with all things "Sissy" & always tell me you will hug her and kiss her once she is here. You love inspecting all of the baby gear and are so curious about everything. You know something big is about to happen, but I know it will still rock your little world. You have the sweetest heart & ask to pray for Cheney every night. You already love her!
-You started counting a lot this month. The other morning you actually counted to 11 all by yourself; we were shocked!
-You talk NON-STOP all day long. It is amazing how much more you talk at this age...I know it has a lot to do with having an older brother! You say some pretty funny things & are so good at communicating with people.
-You love to sing all the time. Music is still your favorite & you can catch on to tune really quickly.
-You are obsessed with your rocks outside. You love finding them on our walks and you take care of them like they are your babies. We wash them outside and you carry them around in your wheel barrow. You also call most of them "Bobby" which cracks us up!
-You so enjoy being outside, but not as much as Grayson. You are very content playing inside where it is cool (you HATE being hot and sweaty) and are really good at entertaining yourself. Your favorite inside toys are your trucks, the play kitchen, books, & Little People farm.
-I think we have FINALLY turned a corner in sleep! We separated you & your brother so now you have your own room. You are sleeping so much better! We also switched you into short sleeve pajamas and I think that has helped--you are so hot natured! You've been sleeping through the night and it is great. You wake up between 6:30-7:00 every morning now.
 Things you love:
-reading books
-singing songs together
-snuggling. You are SUCH a snuggler and I love that so much!
-watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
-trucks & your "guys" that go in the trucks
-all things food:) Still trying to figure out where all that food goes!
-playing with play-doh
Griff, I am at a weird place with this whole birthday thing. On one hand it feels like you were just born & on the other hand I can't remember life without you in it! You seem so grown up all of a sudden. I can't wait to see you become a big brother within the next 5 days. I know you will love your baby sister & you have a great big brother to learn from! We love you, little guy!