Look who decided to show up! Our third son, lovingly nicknamed “Minion,” has officially joined the ranks of his superhero brothers Some Boy and Sidekick.

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I was in labor for all of three hours before the little guy emerged without the epidural that I was so insistent on (honestly, though, I'm grateful: this recovery has been a million times better without all those drugs). After things stabilized at home to the point that we decided this wasn't just another false alarm, we raced on over to the hospital to arrive with contractions 7 minutes apart, 4 centimeters dilated. The nurses weren't convinced I was in labor, despite repeated explanation that my births have historically progressed extremely rapidly. They decided to let me hang out on a bed for awhile and said they'd re-check me in an hour. Twenty minutes later, the bed caught our new baby as a nurse rushed in looking for gloves.

I'm nothing if not efficient.

In all honesty, it was a terrifying situation for Nate and I to be left on our own to handle this. He tracked down an administrative person as my baby crowned, and she did nothing but wave papers around and screech about me not being “supposed to” deliver a baby when I wasn't formally admitted (apparently it causes extra insurance headaches on their end). Formal or not, the kid came barreling out and I then got to argue with an angry doctor about everything from delayed cord clamping to the placenta encapsulation that was detailed on my birth plan…the half-sheet of paper that the nurse had earlier tossed in the trash while smugly shaking her head, “Oh honey, we don't actually read those.”

This same nurse thought it was an awesome idea to load up my IV with postpartum pitocin without asking. The apparently “standard procedure” is supposed to help women pass the placenta faster. With my irritable uterus condition I obviously have no problem passing anything so for me it only resulted in extremely severe ongoing contractions that made skin-to-skin time difficult.

But I don't want to dwell on the negative. This is a joyful time.

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Nobody's had to ask who Minion takes after: he's the spitting image of his dad. Their baby pictures look nearly identical.

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He scratched his face a little bit wriggling around the first day and trying to eat his fists, but I snapped a shot for posterity anyway.

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Nate mischievously approached the bed after Minion was born, bearing two See's lollipops. “Look, I got you a push present! Do you want vanilla or mocha?” Nate's not a flowers-and-jewelry sort of person, but I may have hinted that I'd like a memento from the birth of our last child. He grinned as I blearily accepted vanilla, and quickly presented me with my real gift: a box containing a necklace with a pearl and three diamonds. One for each of our sons. I've been wearing it ever since, and Some Boy has declared definitively that I am “fancy.”

Pretty sure he's the only person on the planet who'd describe me that way, but I'll take it.

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Minion's already had plenty of visitors.

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His brothers greeted him in the hospital eagerly. They immediately made the association that this is the baby they were waiting for so long to come out of mama's tummy.

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Opa turned 50 just two days after Minion's birth, so he got to party hardy as an infant!

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Some Boy is handling everything very gracefully, and Nate and I took a few hours away from baby to take big brother to his first theater movie (Big Hero 6) a couple days ago. Sidekick has been a bit more hesitant to warm up to Minion, but he's slowly coming around and making a point – as 2-year-olds do – to demand attention from mom and dad when he needs it.

It all feels very natural. Like family should.