This is Raegan, she was born in early February, about eight weeks early. We will be sharing weekly updates from her mother here each week!
Raegan's mother was diagnosed with gestational hypertension in January. A few weeks later her high blood pressure led to preeclampsia. According to WebMD, preeclampsia is a condition that can occur during the second half of a pregnancy, often in the latter part of the second or in the third trimesters. If undiagnosed, preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, a serious condition that can put the mother and baby at risk, and in rare cases, cause death. It affects your central nervous system and how your body processes toxins. Preeclampsia can cause the placenta to not be as effective and transporting nutrients from you to your baby and therefore can cause your baby to grow like they are supposed to. There's no way to cure preeclampsia, and no known cause, so it makes for a very scary situation for pregnant women.
Raegan's mother had to be hospitalized and was given a steroid injection to help the baby's lungs mature in case they had to deliver her early or even immediately. That was 30 weeks into the pregnancy. Three weeks later ultrasounds showed the doctors the little girl was not growing like she should, so they decided to deliver.
From Raegan's mother:
Baby Raegan was born 7 weeks and 5 days early. She was 3 lbs 1 oz and 17 inches long. She was so small my husband's wedding band could slide on her arms easily looking more like a bracelet instead of a ring. Thankfully Raegan came out breathing on her own. I will never forget hearing her cry for the first time and thanking God, because if she was crying, that meant she was breathing, a skill that I was unsure if she would be able to do or not.
Raegan is still in intensive care. She hasn't had to have any assistance breathing which is a blessing and after spending two weeks in an isolette she is now big enough to hold her own body temperature so she can be in a open air crib. She has a feeding tube right now because though she is able to eat on her own, the simple task of sucking a bottle can burn more calories than she is taking in, and can wear her out. In order for her to grow, she takes some feeding through her feeding tube so she can rest and grow instead of worrying about eating. Raegan is now almost 3 weeks old and weighs 4 lbs. 1 oz. We don't know exactly how much longer she will have to be at the hospital but I know it will be at least another week or more. She is small but mighty and grows more and more every day.