Monday, November 21, 2016

Gemma Lynn Swensen

The FAQ's.

What's her name?
Gemma Lynn Swensen

Nov 8, 2016 at 3:42pm

How do you pronounce her name?

7 lbs 6 oz

19 inches

Where did you get her name from?
When I was in Switzerland I heard it somewhere and then I texted Luke. He wasn't sold on it but I was in love with it. He did get to pick her middle name though. Raleigh doesn't have a middle name so hopefully she won't feel left out when she gets older.

Did you naturally go into labor or were you induced?

The story:

I figured I had better write this down now while it is still somewhat fresh in my mind. It's crazy how fast time flies with a newborn. (much faster than a week during your final trimester of pregnancy)

I'm not even sure if I wrote a post about Gemma's pregnancy. It was pretty uneventful compared to Raleigh's which I'm grateful for.

In September I took a fall down the stairs and probably tore my acl. I still need to get an MRI to be sure but I've been a bit busy and haven't scheduled it yet. I'm in physical therapy currently to help prep my knee. My knee hasn't been giving me too much pain lately, I can walk fine (slowly but fine) with my brace on and it's only when it's off that it occasionally gives out on me. I wouldn't recommend falling down the stairs when you are almost 9 months pregnant. Luckily baby girl was fine!

About two weeks ago I had been being kept up by braxton hicks contractions. They would come every ten minutes in the middle of the night and I was being kept up using the bathroom and the added weight on my knee from pregnancy really took a toll on me. I was pretty miserable.

At 39 weeks I asked my doctor if he could help move things along by stripping my membranes to see if that could help. He told me no and I wanted to punch him in the face. Actually, I fought back tears, dang pregnancy hormones. He told me he wouldn't even consider doing it until I was overdue.
He told me that he wouldn't be able to see me at my next (and final) appointment because his wife was having a scheduled c-section that following Tuesday.

Rather than see a different doctor at that office I decided to call and make an appointment with the doctors office affiliated with the hospital who delivers the babies. They got me in for that Monday.
(I somewhat feel like I cheated on my doctor but oh well!)

I went to the appointment Monday and they asked why I wanted to come in. I told them that my doctor was having his own baby and I thought it was pointless to see someone new rather than see someone who actually would be involved with the delivery of my baby.

I had a list of reasons of why I wanted to get things moving along in my mind ready to try to convince the doctor to let me get things moving either strip membranes or schedule and induction so I wouldn't go overdue.

As soon as I was seen by the doctor she checked me and I was 3cm dilated and 50% effaced. After she checked me she says "So do you want to be induced? We can probably schedule something for this week if you want."

So obviously, anything I had been planning to say went out the window! I got a big stupid smile on my face and said, "Really?!"

She left the room to find out what days were available. When she came back in she said "Any day works but Friday."

I decided Tuesday, the next day, would work perfect. (get this baby out of me!)

We arrived at the hospital after dropping Raleigh off with our friends (Thanks again Elyse!) and checked in at 6 am.

By 6:40am they started giving me pitocin and I started having contractions. Nothing too painful though. I was probably a 2 on the pain scale.

By 8 am the doctor came in and asked if she could break my water to help speed things along. I told her the traumatic experience I had with Raleigh and asked if I could get my epidural before we broke it. She said of course and the anthesiologist showed up ten min later. I was his only patient that whole day!
Getting the epidural took about 10 min. Apparently, the last anthesiologist had a difficult time giving me mine because he thought he was hitting bone but actually my cartilage is very tight and tough and that's what he was hitting.

Once it was in I could still feel contractions in my lower belly and back. It felt like I was wearing a very uncomfortable belt! I wasn't totally numb either. I was worried that it wasn't working and told my nurse but I said that I was not in that much pain now. She said she didn't want me to be in any pain and called him back up. He came back and gave me a stronger dose of medicine into it and all the pain went away and I was totally numb.

I took a nap, watched HGTV and browsed Pinterest for the next few hours. I avoided Facebook because nothing puts you in the mood to have a baby than see everyone fighting about the Presidential Election. I guess that's what I get for choosing to have her on election day.

Around 1:00 they checked me again and I was 7 cm dilated. I was starting to feel pressure so I was hoping she would be here in a few hours.

They kept coming to check on me after that but didn't check on my cervix anymore because I wasn't having any bloody show and didn't want to increase infection.

At 3pm I remember to start feeling like I needed to poop with every contraction.  (keeping it real here folks haha!) I don't remember that sensation at all when I had Raleigh. I kept thinking it would pass but with every contraction it would come. I told my nurse and she told me that if I kept feeling it after the contractions past that I should call her again. By 3:20pm it wasn't going in between but I could tell I wanted to push. I called the nurse back in and she and the student doctor came in.

The med student checked me and the nurse asked her how dilated I was. She said "I don't feel her cervix at all, that's all head and I can only get my finger to go to my knuckle." I knew when she said that it was baby time!

The rest was a blur, the doctors and nurses rushed in. I remember one nurse commenting on how I was just smiling and talking normally. Apparently, that is not normal behavior when you're about to push out a baby. I told her that it's probably because I wasn't in any pain. Two contractions and three pushes later baby Gemma came into the world! It took less than 10 min! I thought it was speedy with Raleigh.

Gemma instantly came out wanting to breastfeed (which is a huge blessing since Raleigh was not very cooperative in that area) and she (so far) has been doing great at it.

Raleigh has done fairly well at having a sister. She has regressed a little especially with sleep and wants to cuddle with mommy all the time. I'm trying my best to give her the attention she needs but this Momma is tired! How do people have even more of these things called kids?!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Baby Swensen #2

I have yet to write anything about this pregnancy so I figure I better do it now before I forget about everything once she's here.

Here are the FAQ's

Is it a girl or a boy?
It's another girl!

Will you try again for a boy?
I typically want to say "what's wrong with only having girls?" But I change it to we are taking it a kid at a time.

What's her name?
We don't have one yet. With Raleigh we had it picked out forever and then chose not to tell anyone until she was born because we don't want peoples opinions. With this baby we just can't agree on anything yet!

How far along are you/when are you due?
I think I'm 27 weeks. I'd check on my phone to tell you for sure but it's downstairs and I'm far too lazy to get it. My due date is Nov 11th.

How are you feeling?
Hot. I feel very hot. Being pregnant in the summer is not very fun. But otherwise this pregnancy has been a breeze compared to Raleigh's. I have yet to go to the ER (I went to the ER 2 or 3 times and to the hospital to be monitored a ton of times) so that's really good! I had morning sickness but I think I only threw up once or twice! Much better compared to my first pregnancy where I couldn't even keep water down!
3rd trimester is coming up and I hope it can continue to be this good! With Raleigh my blood pressures started getting high around this point which ultimately developed into preeclampsia. Currently, they are borderline. I have an appointment tomorrow so we will see what they are then!

Where are you registered?
I'm only registered at Amazon for anyone wondering. I have almost everything I need for the baby just need to restock some things and I want to try out some things I didn't have when Raleigh was a baby.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

If posts about my daughter annoy you please delete me now.

I'm sorry but what happened to if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all?!

Yesterday, it was brought to my attention that a so-called "friend" did not appreciate me posting Raleigh's Go Fund Me Page. She sent me a text of my Facebook post with Raleigh's picture saying "It was annoying enough the first time." OUCH.
Never did I think that someone whom I considered a friend say something like that.

So this is my public service announcement. I will never stop posting, talking about or wanting to tell you about my daughter. SHE IS MY ENTIRE WORLD. If I am asking for help via a go fund me page, in person, needing a meal or whatever I ACTUALLY NEED HELP. I am very independent. I do not like asking for help but if I am big enough to swallow my pride and ask for it I do not need your rude comments.

I made the go fund me page because so many people have asked me how they can help. There isn't a lot you can do other than meals, prayers and donations to pay the bills. When we are at the hospital Luke has had to make the decision of if he will be there or if he will go to work. When he is at the hospital he does not get paid. It seems to be a vicious cycle. Not working to be there for your family, means that you aren't making money, to pay for the bills that are coming.

We have a lot on our plate right now. We are not the perfect Facebook family. Luke works so hard and then comes home and does homework every single night and repeats. I have to be on full alert of Raleigh constantly. I check on her every night to make sure she is doing okay. If she cries in the middle of the night I get worried she's getting sick. If she gets sick, even a cold, we can end up in the ICU. Every time she gets sick it has just been getting worse. I am STRESSING keeping her healthy for her April diagnosis procedures and appointments. One of Raleigh's lungs is bigger than the other and I AM NOT OKAY WITH THAT. That is not normal! How am I supposed to feel about that?

I am a real person. I am a mother. When my child hurts I hurt. I wish I was going through this problem instead of her. I have no control over this situation, I can't help pay the bills, I can't get a job.  I can't make her lungs the same size. I can't make her breathe normally on her own. When she is sick, she has to be on machines that can do it for her. I can't fix anything. I have no control over any of it. I am helpless.

I'm terrified, but pretending I'm strong. I have to be strong for my baby. I am grateful I live in this day in age where instead of dying she can be treated.

I'm not saying any of this so you will pity me. I'm not writing this post wanting your money. I'm saying it so maybe those who have not understood why I have created the page or why we do the things we do will understand. I need your empathy and I need your support.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hospital- September 2015

Yesterday, I was going back on my Instagram and it occurred to me what the heck did I do with my time before I had a child? One thing is for sure, I had a lot more of "Me" time. Although, being a mother is so rewarding, it can be so draining. And yes, here's another cliche, I LOVE IT. The love I have for Raleigh goes beyond any love I've had before. Like I said before though, it is hard.

Raleigh had a horrible case of Bronchiolitis two weeks ago. I put her to bed on a Friday night just like any other around 9pm. At 10:00 she began screaming and crying. I had no idea what was going on because that is so unlike her. I brought her to bed with me and she would fall asleep and then wake up screaming again. Luke was working a 12 hour shift that day so he wasn't getting off until 2am. I tried giving her medicine around midnight, giving her milk, teething medicine, nothing was helping! Not even being held by me. I felt so helpless, I wished I could have taken away all her pain. Once Luke got home around 2:30 he was so kind and sweet to her (He really is the best daddy, she adores him) All of a sudden BLECH! She started vomiting all over the bed (and Luke) So we sprung into action taking her into the bathroom and the bathtub. Luke sat in the tub with her while I tried to clean up the mess.  After we thought she had finally got it all out we took her downstairs to watch Elmo. As she was laying on the carpet in just a diaper we noticed her breathing was not right. She had to work soooo hard to breathe in and out her stomach would descend out and in much larger than normal.

While this was happening we could see her ribs in her back and chest and indentations in her collar bone area as well as her diaphragm. Her nostrils were flared trying to get air in. She fell asleep on the floor and it still continued. I had no idea why vomiting would cause such a reaction. This was very scary for us as parents. Luckily, I remembered about the nurses line that comes with our insurance so I called them to see if we should take her in to be seen. As I talked with the nurse they had me rate her breathing on a scale with symptoms associated with it. When she was reading off the severe category symptoms it matched up perfectly with what was happening. Up until this point I wasn't scared just feeling so bad. I could tell from the tone the nurse used this was a very serious situation.

We grabbed everything and drove to the Children's Hospital North Campus. When we arrived it was around 4:30am and Raleigh on the way had puked all over herself (and the new clothes I had just put on her.) We were seen immediately after the prescreening. She had a fever, her oxygen levels were in the high 70's (normally it should be in the mid to high 90's) All of a sudden doctors and nurses came in the room and while they were explaining what they had to do they started doing it because her oxygen was dropping. They had to suction out her lungs which had filled with mucus by shoving two tubes up her nose and down her trachea.
 It was so painful as a mother to see this happen to your child and feel so helpless. Raleigh was in hysterics and was fighting so hard to get them away from her. After the traumatizing suctioning they gave her albuterol to try and help open up her airways as well as putting her on oxygen.
After an hour nothing changed. The doctor came in and said that it was best for her to be taken to the children's hospital main campus but the best way for her to get there would be to be taken in an ambulance.  Around 6am Raleigh and I left in the ambulance to the hosptial. Luke waited for my mom to come pick him up because only one was allowed to ride with Raleigh and we both had not slept at all that night.
Once arriving at the hospital Raleigh was suctioned again, this time was even worse for me. I had to help the respiratory therapist hold her down I felt like I was helping someone hurt my child! I kept trying to keep a good face because I didn't want her to see me cry. Every time she would sneeze she would get horrible bloody noses from the suctioning!

They put her on high flow oxygen and waited for her oxygen levels to go up. They also had to give her an IV with fluids because she started getting very dehydrated. Watching her get and iv and them missing the vain was horrible!

 Once they were finally stable we were admitted and sent to the regular part of the hospital.

We stayed in the hospital from Saturday-Tuesday. By Tuesday she was back to her normal (crazy) self! Nurses and doctors were surprised with how much she had improved. I was so grateful we took her to children's hospital instead of a regular one. The nurses and doctors knew great ways to help her, there were toys you could check out, her favorite movies (Cars, Frozen, Sesame Street), and the staff were so amazing and great with her. She even warmed up to some of the nurses! I wished I remembered their names to send them a thank you. There was one nurse in particular who knew exactly what was causing Raleigh distress.  It was people wearing masks! She always showed her face to Raleigh first before putting it on.

Once we were discharged Raleigh seemed totally fine! She made a great recovery and didn't require any albuterol or oxygen. She was fine anyways until last Sunday where the same symptoms began again with retractions and difficulty breathing. It was out of the blue and totally de-ja-vu.  Around 8pm Sunday we started noticing her having trouble again. We tried giving her a shower/bath to see if the humidity would help but it only got worse. We just drove straight to the main campus this time after calling her pediatrician. It was not as severe as before, probably because we caught it early on. They had to suction her yet again, she fought it the entire time. This time after a chest xray and other things it was found she either had a double lung infection or a milder case of bronchiolitis. After pulling another all-nighter we were allowed to go home.

Currently, she now has a prescription for albuterol and an inhaler that she has to take. While it didn't work well for her when she had bronchiolitis the first time it is helping her a ton with her lung infection.

She is doing much better back to her normal self and we are praying we are done with the hospital for a good long while. Thank you for all your prayers, well wishes and thoughts. We are so blessed to have our daughter be so much better now than before.

The most ironic thing? We finally got her final bill after fighting with insurance companies and such from when she was born. The blessing? It was only $511.00 thanks to Colorado Indigent Care Program where before we were supposed to pay $17,000! Hoping that it'll be on our side this time too with all of these hospital visits. If you qualify for it DO IT! You never know when you will be in a situation like this. Most hospitals accept it and it's free!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My baby is growing up! Milestones, boo boos, and giggles.

Raleigh is growing up way too fast! Months fly by. Next month she will be ONE.

Here are some facts about her.

She JUST at 10 months got her first tooth. Momma is not pleased with having to deal with a teething, grumpy baby. Luckily it's not every day!

She learned to say Momma but sadly only does it when she is crying and wants me.
She says "Ra Ra" but won't do it on command.
She just learned to wave and loves playing peakaboo.
She makes a weird noise/word thing where it sounds like she's saying "giggle, giggle, giggle, giggle" over and over and over.

Raleigh has developed such a spunky and stubborn personality. If she sets her mind to something she wants she goes and gets it. She loves putting her fingers up peoples noses and in their eyes and ears.

Her head is like an anvil I swear. When she falls it always seems to be head first! So sadly she has bumped her head into the floor, book shelf, stair railings and so many other things. This however doesn't stop her from when sitting on your lap with no warning throws her head back.

She LOVES food, some of her favorites are, chicken, yogurt, tomatoes(ew) cheerios, hamburger, macaroni and cheese and basically anything. (except strawberries must get that from her Dad)

Raleigh is OBSESSED with Elmo. If he isn't on Sesame Street she won't watch it and as soon as he shows up she is hooked.

No walking yet (thank goodness) but she has already figured out how to get into pretty much everything I don't want her to.

Monday, February 2, 2015

7.5 Months

Raleigh is getting so big! I've been really slacking on updating my blog about Raleigh but that's because things have been going a million miles an hour! I quit my job a few weeks ago and now have the opportunity to stay home with her. I am loving being a full time mommy so far.

She's 26.5 inches tall and 18 lbs! She is wearing 9m-12m clothes! (Make her shrink!)

We had a great Christmas, Raleigh was very spoiled by Santa. :) this is raleigh with her uncle Tyler! 

Raleigh learned to crawl a few weeks ago! Now my days consist of finding out what's on the floor that she can get to before she eats it.

Raleigh loves the dogs and now that she can crawl to them, they don't appreciate it. haha

No teeth yet!

She hates pretty much everything besides formula. Its to the point where I have to mix apple juice sometimes with it so it can keep her regular. The only foods she doesn't immediately spit out is avocados and bananas!

She still loves her tongue like a crazy little baby!

She also loves (eating) zippers and hoodie drawstrings.

Even when she's sick ske has happy moments! 

Luke and Kate Spot: 

We have been loving being parents! We don't get much alone time now but we did go rescue my friend in Wyoming! It gave me a good excuse to replenish my fireworks hoard :) 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

5 and 6 months

I've really been slacking with everything but I figured I should do a quick update on Raleigh!

Raleigh is now 16lbs at 6 months.

She has learned to crawl backwards. She rolls all over the room.
She loves talking to Momma and being vocal.
She is scared of people with mustaches. (aka my Dad)
She loves Mesa and Kimber.
She loves her bouncer.
She LOVES watching TV.
She still hates carrots. She tolerates bananas. She sometimes doesn't mind rice cereal. She thinks pears are okay. She just loves bottles.
Playing with Daddy's beard is the best. Ripping out chunks of Mommy's hair is also enjoyable.
Playing on Mommy's Ipad is also cool.
She can hold her own bottle.
She can sit up on her own (When she feels like it)
Farting in church is a lot of fun (and having others blame it on Mommy and Daddy.)
Pulling her own hair/Playing with her own hair is pretty fun.
Putting everything in her mouth is great too.
Watching Aunt Bella do the "Happy Dance" makes her laugh.
Seeing other babies also makes her laugh (a lot)
Carseats are the devil.
Music is awesome.

(Pictures to come soon!)