Ryleigh's Birth Story

Ryleigh Nicole Seevers was born on March 12, 2015 at 7:06am. Here is the story of how she came into this world.

I had been having complications with my pregnancy for almost the entire time I was pregnant. Most of the time I was told "that's just pregnancy" or "you need to drink more water". I wound up being right about something being wrong, but we'll get into that in a later post. 
On March 11th I went to the hospital complaining of shortness of breath and pressure on my chest. I was also extremely swollen. The nurse that was working that night was awesome and didn't just brush off my symptoms as "just being pregnant". She also noticed that the baby seemed bigger than the usual for 39 weeks. She said she was going to push for an ultrasound to check on the size of the baby. My blood pressure was also reading high, so they were monitoring my readings every 15 minutes to half hour. 
I had an IV line started and some blood was drawn. I was called for the ultrasound and Ryleigh was measuring approximately 9lb 3oz and 41 weeks. The combination of her size and my high blood pressure caused the doctor to decide I needed a C-section. I was told I'd be brought in for surgery around 5 or 6am. 

A million different emotions came over me at this point. While I was excited that I would be meeting my baby girl in just a few hours, and happy that the complications I had been having were going to be dealt with, I was terrified of the surgery. 
The part about the c-section that was most difficult for me to deal with was that I was going to be awake while I was being cut open. The surgery itself didn't scare me so much as knowing that I would be conscious while they were cutting through layers of my body to get her out. Thankfully the nurse anesthetist came and talked with me and she was very friendly and reassuring. 

The time came for me to be taken to the operating room. The thought of the spinal block being administered was also scary, but I thought that I would have my husband there to hold my hand. Unfortunately they don't let him in until I'm all prepped and ready to go. 
I remember entering the OR and seeing the giant lights on the ceiling and all the metal. I sat down on the table and had to lean over a certain way for the spinal to be administered. The nurses were awesome. They could tell how afraid I was and they talked me through everything. I had one nurse holding my hand and another helping me relax, keep my shoulders down, and stay in the position necessary. 
The spinal took a few tries and at one point they had to check for spinal abnormalities because the needle wouldn't go in the proper spot. At least that is what I think was happening. The procedure itself wasn't actually too bad. I had to be numbed 4 times and that was the most painful part, but it was just sort of a burning sensation. 
Once the spinal was done I had to lay down quickly and I got numb almost instantly. I thought I could feel things but the nurse checked by poking my with a small needle and I felt nothing. 

Adam was able to come in at this point and I was shaking uncontrollably. I was even trying to hold onto the table so I wouldn't shake so much. Adam later told me the shaking was so bad he thought I was having a seizure. Apparently that is a side effect of the spinal. I was also getting nauseous so they had to give me some medication for that. I also had something in front of my nose to smell that helped. 

The nurse talked me through the procedure and told me I might feel some tugging and pulling. I felt a few sensations, but nothing like I thought I would. She also had told me the worst would be a lot of pressure towards the end. She let me know when this was supposed to happen but I barely felt anything.

Then I heard Ryleigh cry for the first time. I got emotional and cried a bit. They cleaned her up a little and then brought her over for me to hold.

Ryleigh's first appearance into the world

Holding her for the first time

She was so tiny and perfect and I remember looking at her teeny little fingers and being mesmerized. Unfortunately I didn't get to hold her that long because I was still shaking and I was really doped up from all the medicine. I was afraid I would drop her so I asked them to take her. 

A little drugged up....don't mind the face

While I was holding her they had started to close me up, but I wasn't paying much attention. I could feel something, but there was never any pain and I was surprised at how quickly the whole surgery went. 

After surgery I was brought to the recovery area. They were having a hard time keeping my blood pressure low. My oxygen was also dropping lower than it should be. I was really out of it at this point from the pain meds they were giving me. Adam said that at one point my BP was 190/110. They started me on a magnesium drip to help control my pressure. 
At this point because of the complications I wasn't able to hold or breastfeed her right away, so they had Adam give her some formula. I was upset about it, but she needed to eat. 

After a longer than normal stay in recovery and when my stats became stable they moved me to a high risk room. I was told that because of the magnesium I needed to be monitored differently than a normal birth. 
I had to stay in bed for 24 hours while on the magnesium. The meds also make you drowsy, so I was pretty out of it when we had visitors. The first day was sort of a big blur for me.

Bonding moments

The next day I had to get up. I'm not going to lie, it was excruciating. Getting in and out of bed was the hardest. I was still super swollen and this added a lot of weight to my legs. That weight was pulling on the incision site every time I tried to swing them out of bed. You don't realize how much you use your abdominal muscles until they hurt that much.

Tiny little fingers

Besides the pain, everything else was perfect. I was scared that breastfeeding was going to be hard because I had heard so many horror stories. It was really easy for us and everything came naturally. 
Ryleigh was perfect. So many people tell you how you will feel amazing things when your child is born. It always seemed so cliche for me. Of course I will love her, she's my child, right? But now I understood what they meant. 
It was so incredibly amazing how much you can love this little person that you have never met before. Everything about her was perfect and I could just sit there staring at how beautiful she was and I had so much love for her. The pains that I had were just a small price to pay for such an amazing person to be in my life for me to care for.

Our first walk

Tired faces

Slowly I was able to do a little more each day in the hospital. We took small walks around the floor with Ryleigh. It was still painful, but it was a little better each day. 

Finally, Sunday morning, we were told we could go home.
We got our stuff together and got Ryleigh dressed in her fancy little outfit.
I was still having some shortness of breath and chest pressure, but I was told it was fine if I could walk around. 
I didn't question the nurse and I was excited to be getting out of the hospital and getting home to get settled. 

Ryleigh's coming home!

The nurse wheeled me and Ryleigh downstairs and Adam got the car. I was nervous to have her in a car for the first time. I kept telling Adam to make sure to drive carefully. I think that's probably the most cautious either of us has ever been driving. 

Finally we arrived home. We would be spending the next few days getting accustomed to life with a newborn and our new family.