Sunday, January 31, 2010

One Last Date

Last Thursday, the day before my induction, Shannon and went on our "last date." We know that we will get to go on dates in the future, but we'll either have a baby with us or we'll have to find a babysitter, so it was our last date without worrying about any of that kind of stuff.

Veronica's. It's located in Old Town Kenai, right across from the Russian Orthodox Church and about a two-minute walk from the bluff overlooking the ocean. It was a beautiful day, as you can see from the sunshine and clear skies!

We went to a coffee shop named Veronica's for lunch. We've been in there before for coffee, and we went in with Shannon's family, but we only had coffee that time too, other than a cup of soup that I had. I've been dying to go in there for their tomato-basil soup, which is the best I've found outside of Eastern Europe, but they haven't had it any of the times that we've stopped in. So, I called on Thursday before we left, and they had tomato-basil soup. I was ecstatic.

We sat on the closed-in porch, next to the fireplace. Sometimes it's chilly out there, but it was nice and toasty last Thursday!

We took our time getting ready, ordering, and leisurely enjoyed our lunch, talking about how at that time the next day our lives would be totally different and just enjoying our time together.

Chicken-cashew sandwiches, tomato-basil soup, and sun-dried tomato pasta salad with cornbread. We wanted dessert but were too stuffed!

It was really strange, going about our day knowing that we'd have a baby the next day. Usually when you're pregnant and in the last weeks there's the "it could happen any time" anticipation of going into labor. However, I had given up hope and knew that we'd be going in for the induction, so the suspense of the "surprise" aspect of going into labor was removed. It was weird doing everything that last day with the knowledge that it was the last time things would be that way.

The view out the window where we were sitting. The Chapel of St. Nicholas is on the right.

However, now that we have our baby girl, I think that we're ok with things being different! I'm sure that the day will come when we long for privacy or for the ability to make decisions without feeling responsible for other people, but for now...loving on and taking care of Lane is proving to be wonderful. As of now I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything in the world!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Birth Story

Well, since I've had a few requests for the whole labor story, I figured I'd write a post about it, and then I won't have to repeat all of it a million times, and can just fill in random details for those who want them.

WARNING: This may be graphic in detail. :-)


As most of you probably know, I did not want to be induced. However, 17 days after Lane's due date, Shannon and I begrudgingly drove to the hospital for an induction at 6 a.m. After getting checked in and having my vitals checked, my cervix checked (70% effaced and 3 cm dilated), and all that jazz, they hooked me up to an IV of fluids and Pitocin at about 7:15. Every 30 minutes they would come in, see how I was doing, and since I wasn't feeling anything at all, they'd turn the dose of Pitocin up. My mom showed up at 8 or 8:30, and at around 9:15 I finally started to feel the contractions. They weren't painful...yet. By 10:30 I was in the bathroom, puking my guts out and shaking from the pain, having contractions every 2-3 minutes, and dilated to a "stretchy three." They turned the Pitocin down a bit. I continued to labor in my room, sitting on the toilet or using a birth ball to lean over the bed (while I continued to puke/dry heave through contractions). By noon-ish I was dilated to a "stretchy six," 90% effaced, and having contractions every 2ish minutes. I decided that I wanted some medication for pain, knowing that I still had four cm to go, so the nurse brought me a dose of morphine and gave me half. We then went to the labor tub down the hall where I got the other half of the dose of morphine and labored in the tub. And then the contractions got way painful.

They tell you to take "deep cleansing breaths" during early labor and then to do the "hee, hee, hoo" breathing exercises when you're in active labor. What a bunch of crap. Or maybe it was just because of the Pitocin, but there was no "rhythm" to my contractions. For that hour or so between noon and 1:00, my contractions came quick together and lasted either what seemed like forever (four or five deep breaths in and four or five awful moans out), or I'd get a good break between them and then they wouldn't last very long (two deep breaths in and out). I think the nurse turned the Pitocin down twice more during that hour. About 15 minutes into the tub-time I was finally at seven cm dilated. 45-50 minutes in I was still seven cm dilated and knew that they'd only give me morphine once more (they won't give it to you after eight cm), and besides, I don't think it really helped anyways. If it did help, I'd hate to think of what those contractions would have felt like without it. I knew I wouldn't make it, or at least that it was stupid to be in SO much pain when there was the epidural route. So I asked for it around 12:45 and we began the process of getting me out of the tub, back down the hall to my room, and getting the anesthesiologist and my doctor to the OB wing.

My doctor came and broke my water and after Shannon reading me the disclaimer on the epidural (which he had to stop reading while I had two contractions) and my signing it, the anesthesiologist got me hooked up at around 1:15. Let me tell you, it's hard to "be still" so they can poke a needle in your back when you're having contractions. Anyways, the epidural was great. I could still feel and move my legs, they were just numb or tingly-feeling. About 30 minutes into the epidural I couldn't feel my contractions at all, and I got to rest a bit and yes, I did update facebook. By 3:15 I was ten cm dilated so the nurse turned the epidural down a bit, letting me "labor down" (let my body do some pushing on its own without my active participation) and get some feeling back so I could push more effectively. At 4:15 I started pushing, and though they were telling me when to push (because of the contraction-monitor thingy they could see when I was having a contraction), I could feel when the contractions were coming and they took the contraction-monitor off of me when the doctor came at about 4:45. After almost 20 more minutes of pushing, Lane was born at 5:03.

I think one of the funniest things is that I was absolutely starving the entire time I was pushing. I'm sure I was hungry during the earlier part of labor, but I didn't notice it because of all the pain. After I got the epidural I noticed I was hungry, so they let me eat some jello. But, jello doesn't go too far. So, I'm lying there, pushing, thinking about how hungry I am. I mean, my stomach would growl through entire ten-second pushes. So, after they whisked Lane away to weigh her and clean her up a bit, I was sitting there eating a granola bar and drinking some water while the doctor stitched up my one tear. After he was finished I proceeded to eat dinner and let Shannon, my mom, and my brother Sean pass Lane around. Ha! I felt horrible that I was so preoccupied with food, but hey, I was starving! After I ate, I nursed Lane and then we made phone calls and continued to pass her around, marveling at her fingers and toes, trying to figure out who she looked like, and so on. Later that evening I took a shower while they cleaned our room, and we gave Lane a bath and got her in some real clothes.

We spent both Friday and Saturday nights at the hospital. We could have gone home on Saturday evening, but I'm really glad we stayed the extra night. It was nice to have a bathroom in the room, all the nurses to check if Lane was nursing correctly, if I was bleeding too much, to make me ice packs, to reassure me that the swelling in my feet would go down, and so on. We took Sunday morning easy, taking our time to get everything together, get cleaned up, and to get home.

All in all, I'd say it was a wonderful birthing experience. I really wish I could have done it without the epidural, but maybe I'll get a chance to try again with a future child if I go into labor on my own. If I have to be induced again I will probably just get the epidural, although I'd probably wait until I was dilated to five or so, but I wouldn't try to make it the whole ten. They say that you forget all the pain of childbirth within a day or two. I'd say it's true, because while I remember that I was in the worst pain I've ever been in, I don't really remember how much it actually hurt. And besides, look at what we got in return for eight or so hours of pain!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hannah Lane Scarbrough

Isn't she beautiful?!?!

Hannah "Lane" Scarbrough
January 22nd, 2010
5:03 p.m.
7 lbs, 2.6 oz.
21 1/2 inches long

Totally worth the wait!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

42 Weeks

42-week belly pic. I haven't gained any weight in about 3 weeks.

Ugh. Lane is so, so late. We are going to have to teach her some manners when she's old enough to understand that 2 weeks late is WAY too late. Sigh.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning. The first thing he asked me was, "So, do you want to be induced today?" Our hospital is not that big, and they only schedule (I think) 1 induction per day, so the hospital is booked up for inductions this week, except for yesterday and Friday. I didn't feel mentally prepared to leave the doctor's office for the hospital to be induced yesterday, so we scheduled an appointment for Friday morning at 6 am. After leaving the doctor's, we went to the hospital to have a non-stress test done on the baby just to make sure that she is still ok in the womb, since after today I will technically be overdue, and some babies don't thrive past 42 weeks. If the test had left any question then I would have been induced yesterday with no problem or complaint from me, but since all looks and sounds well, we're waiting until Friday for the induction and praying that I go into labor naturally before then.

Everyone keeps asking me why I don't want to be induced and advising me to just be induced and get it over with. I think that what it all really boils down to is this: I want to feel like it is my choice to get an epidural. Because I want to at least try to give birth without one, and so many people who have had natural births and induced births tell me that it is more painful when you are induced and that I will want the epidural, I feel like if I am induced that my choice to have one or not will be taken away from me. Does that make sense? If I decide that labor is too much and that I want the epidural, I want it to be because natural labor was too much, not because the induction caused it to be too much. I also really don't want to be hooked up to an IV or fetal monitor. I want to be able to move around, walk, get in the bathtub (our hospital has a GREAT labor tub), etc. I want to be able to make it through the early part of labor at home, not at the hospital strapped to all sorts of contraptions.

There are other reasons that I've been willing to wait so long before being induced. My original due date was January 12th, but they changed it at my 11-week (which turned out to be 12-week) ultrasound, saying that our baby was older than the date of the 12th (based on my last period) would indicate. We're pretty sure we know the date I got pregnant. I know that I ovulate early (not late, like many women who go past 40 weeks), and haven't had a cycle longer than 26 days in over 2 years. All of these things have led us to believe that the due date of the 5th was correct, but "full-term" is 38-42 weeks. Since there is that possibility that my due date actually was the 12th (and I ovulated late that month), and not the 5th, Lane would only be a week late as of tomorrow, and that's still only 41 weeks and not technically overdue. Every other sonogram that I've had (besides the 12-week one) has indicated that Lane was not actually due on the 5th, but on the 12th or the 14th, or even the 16th. However, because ultrasounds done in the first trimester are supposed to be the most accurate (all babies grow at the same rate the first trimester) we still thought she was due on the 5th. All that to say, while we (and our doctor) believe that the date of the 5th was/is accurate, we also don't believe that I'm way overdue. We're all hoping that she decides to come on her own between now and Friday, because let's face it: all babies would eventually make their way into the world without an induction, and most of them would do it before they were really in the womb 42 weeks (or 40 weeks if you want to get technical). Most babies are "late" because the due date was wrong and because up to 42 weeks is still normal, not because they're actually late.

My doctor stripped my membranes again yesterday. I have been having contractions, although they haven't really hurt. I'm about 3, maybe 4, centimeters dilated, and baby's head is quite low and well-engaged. I'm mentally ready to have this baby, and my doctor says that my body is indicating it's ready for labor as well. I'm getting to the "miserable" stage, but it comes and goes, with me feeling fine (just pregnant) about half the time and miserable (barely able to walk or move) the other half. Perhaps by waiting the extra couple of days I'll get my wish to at least start labor naturally and be able to make the decision to either get an epidural or use Pitocin to speed labor up when I see how things are going naturally before I circumvent the natural process. Nobody was ever pregnant forever...

The In-Laws Are Coming, The In-Laws Are Coming!

I guess a more accurate statement is "The In-Laws Have Come"...and left. My father-in-law and two brothers-in-law flew all the way up here from Alabama this past Wednesday to meet the newest Scarbrough addition. Unfortunately, it seems that she didn't want to meet them yet. :-( So, instead of spending time with the new baby, they spent time with me and Shannon. We tried to entertain them the best we could, but there's just not that much to do around Kenai! Thursday, we began the day by taking them to Shannon's favorite place on the peninsula: The Moose is Loose!

Brad, Christopher, Lyn, and Shannon enjoying their coffee and doughnuts.

Then we headed to Homer. Homer is only about 80 miles away and has a fantastic view when the weather is clear. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy so they couldn't get the full effect, but it was still fun and I think they enjoyed it. We went down to the Homer Spit so they could get some pictures. Plus, they just needed the experience of walking on the spit. I mean, really, how many people can really say that they've walked on a spit?

The view off the spit.

As we were driving into Homer, we started to see lots of eagles. It was really cool. While eagles are known to be around Homer a lot (there used to be a woman who would feed them), I've been to Homer a lot and have never seen as many as we saw this time. Shannon's dad and brothers were way impressed by the Alaskan wildlife (the eagles in Homer and the few moose they saw on the side of the highway).

Eagles in a tree on the way to Homer.

Eagles on the spit.

We walked around on the spit a bit, but it was really windy and cold! Plus, all the cool shops that are open during the summer are closed during the winter, so there wasn't that much to look at other than the eagles and the scenery. We did go to the Salty Dawg, one of Homer's most distinctive landmarks. It's been around for over a hundred years, serving as a post office, a railroad station, and a schoolhouse (among other things) before being transformed in 1957 into the bar that it currently is.

Inside the Salty Dawg. People from all over the country/world write things on dollar bills and hang them inside. Every New Year, the owners take down all the dollar bills off the lifesavers and donate the money to charity. The bartender said that this year they removed $4000!

Shannon, Brad, Lyn, and Christopher on the harbor on the Homer Spit.

After a quick trip to the Alaska Wild Berry Products store and a quick lunch, we headed back to Kenai/Soldotna. Shannon and his family went to Buckets to watch the Auburn/Tennessee basketball game while I took a nap at their hotel. Friday, we walked around Old Town Kenai and took pictures of the Russian Orthodox Church. After a cup of coffee at Veronica's, the boys all went to Kassik's, a local brewery. Afterwards, we all went to watch my brother Kyle's hockey game, which they won. It was Christopher's first hockey game ever, and it was Lyn and Brad's first high school hockey game. Then it was back to our house where mom prepared a salmon and halibut feed for all the guys. We all hung out, watching silly things on youtube and just talking and eating. Saturday morning, Shannon and I met his family at Louie's for breakfast before they had to drive up to Anchorage.

It was a great visit with Shannon's family, and we're so glad they got to come! We're bummed that they didn't get to meet Lane, but we are glad that we got to actually spend some time with them while they were here!

Monday, January 11, 2010

10 on the Tenth

Mimicing Kecia, here's my 10 on the Tenth. How about: 10 reasons this baby should be born NOW!

1. Her Auburn hat is fixed (the emblem had come off in the wash).
2. I finished the ABC's cross-stitch I've been working on for her.
3. Daddy doesn't want to go to work this week.
4. Grandma doesn't want to go to work this week.
5. Her granddad and 2 uncles will be in town Wednesday-Saturday.
6. We have food in the freezer, ready for those first few crazy days.
7. My back hurts.
8. I am out of projects, so now I'm a stay-at-home wife who's doing nothing but WAITING.
9. My doctor here thinks her due date is the 14th, not the 5th. Which means if he lets me go 2 weeks after the due date....she might not be born until the 28th! That's too late!
10. Everyone is anxiously waiting her arrival...and wanting to make sure that it's a GIRL!

There you go. 10 reasons to be born TONIGHT, Lane. You're already 5 days late. FIVE! That's a lot! Be born already!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holiday Happenings

Christmas at the Dougherty household (with Scarbroughs and Dargises present) was a fairly uneventful occasion this year. It was lots of fun to have all of the children (except for Baby Lane, darn her!) and spouses in one house. My sister Rachel and her husband Lucas flew up from North Carolina and after spending a couple of days with Lucas' family, they headed to Kenai. We did a lot of eating, watching movies, and playing Settlers of Catan (and re-learning Cities and Knights).

Christmas dinner: chicken kiev, chicken cordon bleu, carrot souffle, green bean casserole, crescent rolls, scalloped potatoes, and seven-layer salad. Yum.

Our families did not exchange "big" gifts this year, except for for the kids (my brothers and Lane). Instead we just did stocking stuffers, which we do every year anyways, but this year we only did things that would fit in stockings. It was lots of fun, and that way we didn't end up with a ton of stuff that we didn't need and that we'd have to haul all around the country and world.

All our stockings, oldest to youngest: Mom, Shannon, me, Lucas, Rachel, Sean, Kyle, and Lane.

Mine and Shannon's stockings (his is the brown one, mine is white). Notice the HUGE Asian pear in his's tradition at my house to get an Asian pear in your stocking. They are fantastic and usually quite expensive in Alaska, which is why we'd only get them at Christmas!

Shannon bought me the movie "Up," which we had seen a couple of weeks previously, "dedicating" it to the great adventure of life that God has given to us together. I got him new blue jeans, a pair of long underwear (ha!), and "Christmas Vacation," which he loves but we didn't own. My sister got us a gorgeous ornament from Italy, and mom got us a gift card to the Olive Garden (date night in Alabama!). Sean got us a couple of cute baby outfits. We made out well. :-)

Rachel took pity on our shihtzu and gave her a bath. I helped...a little bit.

Family picture: Lucas, Shannon, me, Rachel, Kyle, Mom, and Sean.

Lucas flew back to North Carolina on the 26th, leaving Rachel here for another week. Once again, we ate a lot, played lots of Cities and Knights, and just enjoyed being together. It will probably be a very long time before all of us kids are together with Mom again, so we took advantage of the time to just hang.

January 1st was my 30th birthday. Shannon took me out to lunch at Louie's, the only restaurant in town that's open on New Year's Day. I worked at Louie's back in 2006 before I headed to North Carolina. It's fun because they have lots of dead animals hanging on the's very Alaskan.

The inside of Louie's. I think there's a halibut and a moose above the bar, and maybe that's a fox fur hanging from the heater?

When we got home, mom and Rachel had made me a gorgeous birthday cake! My mom makes cakes as a side business, so she made me one for my birthday! Isn't it gorgeous?

That cake was HUGE! We're still working on it, and there are teenage boys in this house!

All in all, the holidays were quite relaxing and very fun. It was so good to see my sister, and although she was really mad at Lane for not making an appearance before she left, I'm sure that she'll get over it when they meet in February when Rachel comes back to Alaska for a wedding. Now everyone is back to work and school, and we're just waiting on the little lady to be born. Then the real fun begins!

40 Weeks

Dear Baby Lane,

38 weeks and 31 pounds later, this is what your mommy looks like. You are fully grown and ready to enter the world. Your crib is ready, we have lots of baby clothes for you, and my bag is packed to go to the hospital. Everyone is ready to meet you! I'm tired of having to go to the bathroom all day long, so I'd really appreciate it if you'd enter the world sometime soon. The doctor said yesterday that you are head-down and really close to the outside world (like 3 inches away), so...come out, come out, Baby Lane!

Love, Mommy