Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Birth Story

The bigger girls are in bed, Raye is snuggled on my chest asleep, Shannon is watching Star Wars, and my mom, who's in town for a few days, is also in bed. I have about an hour before I need to feed Lil' Miss Raye and put her down for the night, so I figured I'd try to type out her birth story before I forget it. Not that this blog has a huge readership anymore, or that I even post often, but still…I want to remember her birth story, as uneventful as it was. =)

On Wednesday, April 30th I went to the doctor for my 41 week check-up. Since the previous Monday I had progressed to "a good three" centimeters dilated and 60% or so effaced. The week before I was 2.5 or so and 40/50%. I. was. miserable. Seriously, on Monday I woke up and told Shannon that I wanted to call the doctor and go in and be induced that day. My joints were (still are) super swollen…my hips hurt from lugging around an extra 45-50 pounds. My hands were/are arthritic at night time…I can barely bend my fingers for an hour or so after waking up. And I was just…you know, 41 weeks pregnant. Or more like 41.5 weeks pregnant. So miserable.

Moments with daddy.

So anyways, I went into the doctor's appointment ready to ask to be induced. I think she would have given me another few days if I'd wanted them, but considering Lane was 17 days late and I was already 11 days past due…I really didn't want to just keep waiting just to be induced the following week. So we went into the hospital on Wednesday evening for a slow overnight induction. I have to give my doctor props for not pushing me into their normal induction schedule…she allowed me to dictate what I did and did not want, and she listened to me. She spent the night at the hospital so I could be induced overnight and didn't insist on the "get 'er done" route that is usually taken with inductions. Major props to my doctor. After being induced with Lane I really didn't want the ramrod of pitocin that produces a baby in eight hours…it was just so miserable. So I asked for a slow pitocin drip and for them not to break my water. I wanted to try it without getting an epidural but knew (from previous experience) that pitocin-induced contractions are worse than natural ones and that I might cave on the epidural. But I didn't care enough about standing firm on the "no epidural" thing to wait for Raye to come on her own.

So we ate some dinner and then checked into the hospital around 6 pm on Wednesday night and got the induction going around 8. It was a very slow, very boring first eight hours. I couldn't sleep because, well, I had an iv attached to me, and I was starving by early morning. Around 5 am when the nurses changed shifts my contractions began to pick up. Shannon and I walked the halls a bit, I sat on the birthing ball, and just kind of breathed through the contractions. I think my doctor came in around 6 or 6:15 and checked me and I was dilated to a 5. She left and we decided to walk the halls a bit, but the contractions were picking up and making me want to stick close to the bathroom, so we didn't walk for long. I think that around 6:45 I told Shannon, "I don't want to do this," meaning, "I don't want to do this without an epidural." I was exhausted and was starting to feel the effects of 12 hours with no food…I was starting to get shaky. And I was doubting my ability to endure labor and delivery knowing how my body responds to low blood sugar and an empty tummy: getting the shakes and feeling like I'm going to pass out. I knew that I could do it without the epidural…I just didn't want to.

Three girls! Lane and Noel meeting Raye for the first time.

So I asked for an epidural. The man who gave it to me was so nice and calm…it was really nice after the one I had with Lane where the lady talked on her cell phone and made me sign the consent form while going through contractions. I got the epidural around 7:15 and was feeling much more relaxed within 10 minutes or so. Honestly it was just so nice to not notice how hungry I was. Shortly after receiving the epidural I did, true to Michelle-in-labor fashion, throw up. Granted it was only popsicle that came up, but still. I guess I'm just one of those women who always puke when in labor.

My doctor came back around 8:30 and I had dilated to a 9. She broke my water and went to get her scrubs (or whatever) on and by the time she came back I was a 10. I pushed four times (the whole time the doctor and nurses kept commenting on what a good pusher I was, which was a little strange…) and our little Raye was born at 8:49 am on Thursday, letting out a cry the second she was completely out of me. The doctor's first comment was something like, "Wow, this is a fat baby!" And she was a chunker for me at 8 pounds 5 ounces, but she was also really long, almost 22 inches. The doctor put her on my chest all slimy and gross and we just stared at each other for a few minutes. She was very congested sounding so after a few minutes they took her away and ended up suctioning two teaspoons of amniotic fluid out of her stomach. The doctor stitched up my small tear, Raye began to nurse, and Shannon's mom and stepdad came with Lane and Noel at around 9:30. My epidural wore off and we went up to the recovery floor at 10:30 or so.

First moments with Raye.

We got to go home on Friday afternoon…later than we had hoped, but I guess it was actually earlier than most women who deliver at this hospital do. Policy is that you have to stay 24 hours, but they want you to stay 48. I was ready to go home on Thursday evening but of course that's not allowed. So we stayed. We actually got a decent night's sleep on Thursday evening because we were so exhausted from being up all night the night before, and the nurses only bother you once every six hours after the first 12 hours. So it ended up being a blessing in some ways that Raye was born so early in the morning…it made the nighttime much more bearable!

And that is the story of how our youngest peanut came to join the fair. It's been a good 12 days since she joined us. A tiring 12 days, but good ones. And I am so glad to not be pregnant anymore.

First family-of-five photo…horrible as it is of at least two of us!

Friday, May 2, 2014


Leah "Raye" Scarbrough
May 1st, 8:49 a.m.
8lbs 5oz, 21.75 inches long

More details to come later, but for now let's just say she's nursing well, pooping well, and so far the most content and quiet baby we've ever had. Mama is exhausted and Lane and Noel are ready to come home, but everyone is so glad baby sister is finally here!