Monday, June 23, 2014

Little Miss "R": Raleigh Swensen

The FAQ's.

What's her name?
Raleigh Swensen

June 17, 2014 at 5:01pm

How do you pronounce her name?

Just like the city in North Carolina, Raleigh. If you want to add some southern flair accent that is also acceptable.

[Rah-Lee] to hear it out loud go here:

6 lbs 8 oz

21 inches long

What's her middle name?
She doesn't have one. She's just as cool as her momma as I don't have one! She's actually the 3rd generation not to have one my mom doesn't have one either but she took her maiden name as it.

Did you naturally go into labor or were you induced?
I had to be induced at 37 weeks because I had mild pre-eclampsia.

How are you feeling?
Well in a lot of ways not great, our first night Raleigh did great sleeping being swaddled but when they discovered she had jaundice and started treatment  she had to be on a special light so she couldn't be swaddled. She was moved into the Newborn Center Special Care Nursery basically a nicer less scary way of saying NICU. The type of jaundice she has/had results because of her being a little early on top of her having a different blood type than me. They say skin to skin right after birth helps and so I was hoping to avoid the jaundice!   Apparently though her type of jaundice is a little bit more of a big deal than other types.
"Blood group incompatibility (Rh or ABO problems): if a baby has a different blood type than the mother, the mother might produce antibodies that destroy the infant's red blood cells. This creates a sudden buildup of bilirubin in the baby's blood. Incompatibility jaundice can begin as early as the first day of life. Rh problems once caused the most severe form of jaundice, but now can be prevented with an injection of Rh immune globulin to the mother within 72 hours after delivery, which prevents her from forming antibodies that might endanger any subsequent babies." (
 It breaks my heart to not be able to hold her when she's crying or soothe her unless she is eating or needs to be changed. We had to stay in the hospital longer to take care of it. Right now it's not getting better, actually its getting worse and they're concerned that it came on so fast.

I cried today when they told me that we were going to have to keep her here longer. I just wanted to hold my baby and love on her!

Otherwise I'm feeling much better than I was the day after she was born. I was SO sore especially in my back due to complications with my epidural. It still hurts to lay on my back around my tailbone area and up.

Never in my life did I think getting an epidural would be more painful than actually delivering my baby. Everyone always makes it seem like it's such a walk in the park and that it takes only 10 minutes max. I guess if something were to go wrong with such a basic thing that most women endure it would be me.

I guess I should start at the beginning of my labor story though so here it is:

On Monday I had a consultation with the Women's Center of the hospital to check and see the best option for me whether that be induction or waiting until my due date. (July 8th)

My blood pressures had been very high, I had been having a constant headache since April and then the past weekend I had begun having noticeable vision changes.

The doctor for the consultation then sent me to the Labor and Delivery wing at the hospital  where they monitored me and did a urine analysis. They then also tried to track down my 24 hour urine collection I did a few days prior with my doctor. Apparently the doctors office lost my pee! The decision was then made to induce me since I was 37 weeks along and it was only going to get worse. They started giving me meds to help prepare me for labor by thinning me out and then at 4 am they began giving me pitocin. The contractions weren't very painful at the beginning not until the doctor came in at 8 am and told me he was going to break my water. Then complete back labor instilled and the only ways I could manage my discomfort was to rock back and forth, lay on my side or hunch over. All things that the nurse rapidly came in and yelled at me for doing because it was dropping my baby's heart rate. They told me I had to lay on my back! Since my water broke and they had to have me constantly monitored because of my high blood pressure I wasn't allowed to get out of the bed and walk around or do anything. My blood pressure then kept going higher and higher so they recommended I should get an epidural before it got dangerously high. (A side effect of an epidural is lower blood pressure.) So I finally decided to just go ahead and do it.

It took the anesthesiologist about 45 min from then to come in and start attempting to give me an epidural. By this time it was about 9 am. I've heard normally it takes about 10 min or so to get one so I thought I could sit still for at least that long... it took over 45 minutes for him to finally get the epidural in the "right" place. There are at least 7 marks going along my spine of where he continually poked me with his huge needle trying to numb me. He kept going to the right side and it felt like lightning going down my right side. On top of that pain I was having contractions less than 2 minutes apart, my arm was swollen and purple from the blood pressure cuff going off every two minutes, my blood pressure and pulse were sky rocketing, my back was cramping and my neck was stiff from keeping it down for so long. If that wasn't bad enough I started to feel like I was going to pass out. I continually kept asking if it was almost over and kept telling them I was going to pass out. Then I began shaking so bad and the anesthesiologist kept telling me to hold still. He said annoying things like, "Kathy hold still!" or "I can't understand anything she's saying" (when I'm obviously saying "ow right side!") Finally he puts it in the right place and only my right side starts going numb. So he then had to move the catheter which is very painful. My left leg slowly started to go numb but not all the way. By that point I said I was done and didn't care if it was totally numb or not.

From then it went pretty easy, my mom came to the hospital and just helped me when Luke couldn't or she talked to me it was really nice having her there. I started dilating about 2 cm every hour and by 4:30 they checked me and it was time to push. Pushing was so much easier than getting the epidural! The only thing that sucked was not being able to catch my breath. Right before my last push my final motivation was the doctor telling me "she has hair!" then I had to see her for myself. It only took me about 20 minutes or so to push her out which I hear is lucky.

At 5:01 my perfect baby girl was born. I cried and Luke was ecstatic.

For being 3 weeks early she is very healthy. All of my problems that I had with preeclampsia immediately went away. No more headaches, high blood pressure, vision changes or swelling.

Having Raleigh and being pregnant with her has taught me such valuable life lessons. The biggest is to go with the flow because literally nothing I planned happened the way I wanted it to go except for the outcome. I am so blessed to be the mommy of this little angel she has already become my whole world.