Dear Leo.

Since I didn't write you any letters and have definitely felt guilty for it, I figured I should definitely document how you made it into this world. If we were to take your story all the way back to the beginning, it all started with a bit of a surprise. 

Your dad and I knew we wanted to have two babies pretty close together. Our plan was to start trying again in December but being the schemer that I am, I started to think how much cooler it would be if I could surprise him with the news at Christmas. I mean, there isn't a better gift than another baby, right? So I consulted my girls (your aunts Vanessa, Tierra, and Ryan) and we all concluded that it was a great idea... if I could pull it off. I waited for your dad to make a day work trip and then off I went to get my IUD taken out. My doctor told me not to get my hopes up. That it could take a while to get pregnant after you come off that type of birth control. 

It literally took a month. When your dad was playing with Dean, I would be as stealthy as I could to take a test. I hid pregnancy test boxes all the places I knew he'd never look (if you need to hide something for him, underneath the bookshelf is your best bet). Once I got the positive I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it to myself. Your aunts were the only ones to know and then I couldn't take it anymore. So much for making it to Christmas. I put the positive test in a little bag that I keep pens in and then I made my way downstairs where your dad had a sleeping Dean in his arms. I handed him the bag and asked if he could get one of the pens for me. It took a few pulls out of the bag before he got to the test. Holding your big brother, he started to cry happy tears. Then we stood there holding each other and crying as he tried to put together the pieces of how I could possibly even be pregnant so I filled him in on my little scheme. We were both overjoyed. 

Your time in my belly went so much faster than your brothers, probably because we were busy chasing him around. It was no less special though. You and I would still have our quiet time where I would sing you songs and tell you all the things I was feeling. I'm not sure why in my head I feel like mama's and the baby they are carrying have telepathic powers but I swear I felt like you were listening without even having to say a word. I felt more confident this time around. More secure. 

Well the weeks and the months flew by and we were left staring the week of your due date in the eyes. I was over being pregnant at this point. I loved our time together, but I was tired of the aching and peeing 100 times a night. I just wanted to meet you. On July 29th we suspected that your time was coming soon. The night before, I felt contractions all through the night but didn't bother waking up your dad to get his hopes up, your brother was a whole week late after all. The next morning I casually mentioned to him that I thought we were getting close. We counted contractions through the entire day. The contractions were getting stronger but weren't extremely consistent until your dad went to get your brother from daycare. They were about a minute long and 8 minutes apart when they made it back to the house so we called your Gigi to come get your brother, just in case. 

By the time she arrived they were 7ish minutes apart. We agreed that since we live a little further from the hospital (and it was rush hour) that I would go ahead and call my doctor and tell him they were 5 minutes apart. He told us to come on in. Oh. Crap. This is happening. We packed Dean in the car to head to Gigi's house and I cried. Not that I was sad about bringing you home but this was my last day, hours even, of just having your big brother as my only baby. Your dad held me for a while and then we got back to loading up the car and headed on our way. 

We got to the hospital at 7:30pm. From the beginning, it wasn't how I remembered before. We went into a little office to register and then they sat me in the lobby to wait for my room to be ready. It felt like forever. By this time I had stopped timing the contractions because they were 5 minutes apart, for sure, and they hurt way too much to keep fiddling with that stupid app. I swear we sat in the lobby for an hour (it was at least 30 minutes) before we got to our room. 

The nurse came in to check how far along I was and then the disappointment set in. 1 1/2cm. An entire 8 1/2cm to go. By now, it's around 9pm and I'm thinking it's going to be a while before I make any real progress but dammit, this really hurts. We talk with the nurse and because we figure have so much further to go, we'll save the epidural for later but try some other pain medications in the meantime to try and alleviate some of the pain now. Long story short, one shot in each butt cheek, some pills, and a bunch of hot packs later nothing is helping and the pain is getting worse. I wasn't stalking the clock (it seems not to move when you are going through contractions) but now it's around 11pm. The nurse checks again and boom. 8cm. What. The. Heck. No wonder this hurts so bad. 

At this point everyone is in a frenzy. I'm screaming to Mike that I don't want to have this baby naturally, cause.. ouch! The nurse is frantic because they anesthesiologist is tied up with other patients and there are whispers going around that an epidural just might not happen. Enter my doctor who is as happy and calm as if none of this is happening around him and about 8 other people. It was a packed house. Finally the anesthesiologist enters and my doctor lets me know that I can get it but he's not sure how much it will help at this point. And while I've done most of the hard work already (we were ready to push pretty much) I wanted any relief possible even if it didn't kick in until the week after. I just wanted the drugs! The hardest thing I've ever done in my life, is get an epidural while trying to hold in a baby that clearly wants to come out. And as hard as it was and as much as I wouldn't choose to go natural again, I'm in awe of how our bodies are made to perform miracles. I got the epidural, took a breath for 2 minutes, pushed about four times (they said you could have come on the first push but the nurses weren't ready), and there you were. Painfully broad shoulders and all. 

12:11am, July 30th, 2016. You are here. Every single pain, worth it. Every time I had to get up to pee in the middle of the night, forgiven. You are calm and sweet and everything I prayed for. Your dad was my rock in getting you here. I can't wait for you and your brother to fully experience this extents that he will go to for your happiness and well being. Bunny, I would have split in two if you weren't by my side. 

The first time your big brother saw you. I am not sure if another moment will ever be as sweet as this one was!

The first time your big brother saw you. I am not sure if another moment will ever be as sweet as this one was!

Your brother, Gigi, Grandpa Gregg, Granny, Papa, and aunts (aforementioned) were all there is the next few days to meet you. They agree you're perfect. You were love at first sight for all of us but your big brother in particular has claimed you for his own.

This is a daily occurrence now. He can not get enough of his Yee-Yoh.

This is a daily occurrence now. He can not get enough of his Yee-Yoh.

Dear Leo, Welcome to the wolf pack.