Our sweet baby boy is here!  
And, well, has been for a month and a day now, but hey... better late than never, right? 

Our little Leo Michael was born on October 19th at 3:11 pm, and weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs 12 oz, and was 20.5 inches long.  A healthy and hearty (and long!) baby boy.  The last month has been one of adjustment, mostly for the girls and myself, but we're surviving just fine.  So far, the thing I've noticed the most about having four kids is just the increase in the level of noise... though that may have more to do with Cory having gotten Rock Band the week before the baby was born... ha.  

My delivery was mostly uneventful--I chose to be induced a week early (something I never thought I'd do), for two reasons.  One--to get my (strep B) antibiotics in (takes a bit of time, so being induced meant I could plan better for that and get the full dose in), and Two--purely for convenience--I knew my mom would be in town by then, and I could plan on her having my girls and taking care of them.  I was so stressed about this delivery--what if I went into labor in the middle of the night, during school, while Cory was at work, etc.  It was so reassuring to know that I was just going to go to the hospital at a planned time on a planned day, and would have a baby.  

Last pregnant photo--I look so ready to have a baby, don't you think?

So at 7:30 on the 19th, Cory and I drove to the hospital to have a baby.  They got me all hooked up to the monitors (I was already contracting at that point, but honestly, I had been for weeks, so that was nothing new), and started my antibiotics around 9.  They started the pitocin shortly thereafter to get things moving.  At 10:30 the doctor broke my water, and I got the epidural sometime around 11.  I was still somewhere around a 4, but I knew by this time around that once I got past that 4, I'd go quickly.  Around 1:00, I started to feel some pain in my right hip with every contraction.  I rolled over to that side (sometimes that helps the epidural meds to kind of drain to that side), but it didn't help.  The pain continued to get worse, and I felt more and more sensation over the next hour, and around 2:00 I started to progress, and went from the 4 to complete in about 45 minutes.  At this point, though, I was in a LOT of pain.  I had complete feeling through my right side, and since I'd had a lot of pitocin at this point, the contractions were pretty fierce (I hear they're worse with pitocin than naturally, but I wouldn't know, since I've always had pitocin with my deliveries).  The anesthesiologist had given me a pain pump thing that I could push, and the nurse suggested I do that, so I did, I think 3 times in the last half hour, in an attempt to get my right side more numbed, but it didn't work, either (it did, however, succeed in numbing my left knee for the next 12 hours, so frustrating!).  I think this was the point where I realized I was going to feel a LOT more of this delivery than I had meant to--I always wonder after I deliver if I could go without pain meds--and now I know--I could, but I don't ever want to do that again.  :)  The doctor came in around 3:00, and was SO wonderful about encouraging me--I know that Cory and the nurse had been talking me through contractions, but something about the way the doctor was able to talk to me and tell me that I was doing great, and guiding me through it all, was so comforting.  And so, during one contraction, with three smallerish pushes, Leo was born.  I have never been so grateful to have labor end--there was no crying this time about how I wasn't ready to have another child (I've done that each time when it was time to push)--I just needed it to be over.  I sincerely admire women who do this all without meds, but I don't ever want to be one of them again.  And that was with only half-feeling.  :)

Thankfully, that scrunchy little face made it all worth it. Around half an hour later (after I was done being stitched up and everything was all cleaned up), my mom showed up with the girls.  It was perfect timing, really--after all the mess, after I'd thrown up once, but before I threw up again... dang pain meds on an empty stomach!  Anyway, seeing the girls with their new baby brother was so great--

Doesn't Breanne look so grown up here?

Hearing Janey say "Hey! Hey! Weo! Weo!" every time he cries is one of my favorite things.

And this little girl was SO PROUD to be a big sister.  So sweet.  And.. ahem.. helpful.  Ha.

After everyone went home, Leo and I had a lot of quiet time to spend together.  I decided that's one of the perks to living away from family--the hospital stay was mostly calm and relaxing, with very few visitors, so we could sleep a lot.  So nice, though a bit lonely.

A few more pics from the hospital stay--
Warming back up after his first bath--

Finally eyes open--look at that hair!--

Trying to figure out this new place in the middle of the night--

And back to the sleepy boy--

So while this delivery may have been my most difficult (not as long, or as much pushing as Breanne, but much more painful during the actual delivery), turns out, once again, it was totally worth it.  We love our little Leo.