We are the Spinda family (John, Shanna & Stella Mae) from Murray, KY... on February 1, 2011 at 10:27am our beautiful baby girl, Stella Mae Spinda, was born at 26 weeks gestation. She weighed 12.34 oz and was 9 in long - Stella suffered from Intrauterin Growth Restriction (IUGR) which caused both her extremely small size and her being born premature. Stella spent five days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Norton/Kosair Hospital in Louisville, KY. She passed away late on February 5, 2011 from complications of her extremely small size. This blog was started when she was 23 gestational weeks old and we discovered her condition. It's original purpose was to keep family and friends updated on Stella's journey - we now hope to use this blog as a way to continue Stella's journey by honoring her memory and also as a way to support others who are struggling with infertility or have lost a pregnancy or baby.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thank you

Some of you may know already, but many of you don't; Stella died last evening from complications in the NICU. I don't want to get really specific, but it was unexpected, sudden, and quick, she did not suffer long. We had a few moments with her before she passed to tell her how much we love her. We appreciate all of your prayers, thoughts, gifts, and words; they really have helped us so far and we really need them still as we are in an emotional state I really can't describe in words at the moment.
We will be here in Louisville until Wednesday handling arrangements and Shanna's care and then will be returning to Murray to try and regroup some. We have decided the best thing for us to do is have a service in Pennsylvania in a few weeks toward the end of the month with her ashes. We'll have more specifics on that later, but most likely it will be at St. Bruno Catholic Church in Greensburg (the same place as our marriage) on 2-26 (or some day near that time).
Many of you have already asked about donations. Shanna and I would like to help those that helped us. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Norton Hospital/Kosair Children's provided us with the finest care that is humanly possible. We would like any donations to be sent their way. Here is an online form if you are interested. Thank you. Perhaps your funding may make the difference between parents like us going home with their child instead of emotional pain and a hollow feeling.
One way to look at our loss is to ask "why" and have anger and question our faith. We are certainly having those moments. However, sometimes I have moments where I just believe God took her to be an angel. For me, personally, the one thing that has given me the most comfort came from Stella's Neonatologist, Dr. Cohen, who noted that he learned a new protocol in critical situations for micro-preemies Stella's size. If he can use it to save babies in the future, or if he can share it with colleagues who can save children, Stella may make more of an impact in her 5 days than most of us do in our entire lives. He then noted how 16 years ago when he began, certain classes of premature children were pretty much earmarked for death. Today, these same babies now survive in a large majority of cases. What he is saying, and what I believe too, is that she did not die in vain. Her pain and passing help us learn more.
Stella will also not die in vain if we never quit. Ever, at anything. She sure didn't. It truly was a miracle we ever got to meet her. We were told (indirectly) three times she wouldn't make it. Hey, she didn't...but she proved them wrong with her will to live well beyond expectations. That is what we all need to remember here. She lived a great 5 days and was not suffering. She was spunky and funny and was the star of the hospital. We both truly bonded with her. Nearly everyone reading this loved and prayed for her. She was taken from us for a reason, I just have to believe that. I don't know why, it makes me angry, it makes me cry, but there is a reason she couldn't be on Earth with us. None of us will ever know why. I am just going to go with the belief that she left to be with God, to be part of a greater place than we have here.
We love you all. Thank you so much.


  1. As one who had prayed daily for your family and is so saddened at your loss, I, too, know Stella's short life served the purpose only God, her Father, may comprehend at this time. My heart aches for you and our church, First Baptist, Fulton, prayed for you from the moment we found our about your circumstances and we grieve with you in your loss of this precious little girl. But, we praise God in her life and in the 5 days she was able to bless all those who ministered to her. May your hearts be healed and quickened by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as you go through this time of loss. Only God . . . . In Christ, Kay Mathias

  2. I discovered your blog via Faces of Loss.

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter Stella. ((hugs))

  3. I am so so so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby girl Stella. What a beautiful name. I, had my Naomi Hope born at 28 weeks emergency c section to to severe preeclampsia. She was 1 lb 12 oz and survived 35 days. She was called HOME. She was born April 27, 2009 and live til June 1, 2009. It is not an easy road, just take a day at a time and please know you are still a mommy dont let anyone ever tell you otherwise. I am here if you would like to talk or scream or cry or vent. Your sweet Stella is no longer suffering as with my Naomi holding hands. I blog as well, www.areasontolivenaomihope.blogspot.com.

  4. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your precious Stella! My heart goes out to you and your husband, as well as the rest of your family. She is such a beautiful baby! We lost our Kristen on November 19th 2010. I had a few hours to spend with my darling angel, and treasure every second I spent with her.