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.

Friday, February 4, 2011

An update from the mama

Stella is three days old. If I had had a full term baby with a C-Section I would have gone home - with my baby today. That is a difficult realization. I will be discharged tomorrow and I will walk outside for the first time in two weeks and four days. John has already moved most of my things to the Ronald McDonald house, but I will finally sleep somewhere other than a hospital. My baby girl, however will not get to walk outside with me...

Stella's day started off a little rocky - her nurse was noticing a heart arithmea and contacted her doctor. Her doctor suspected that it could be from the IV in her belly button pushing on or just being too close to her heart. The IV was taken out and she was monitored for a few hours. Within an hour or two her heart returned to completely normal rhythm.

At noon today Miss Stella Mae was baptized by the Chaplin that was in the OR during her birth. She read a beautiful Psalm and blessed my baby girl. Stella was also given a pink rosary, a prayer shawl (her second in as many days) and a beautiful blanket by the Chaplin. I whispered to my angel that she will be sure to still have the chance to wear a beautiful white christening gown as soon as she is big enough!

Stella had her second head ultrasound today and we were disappointed to find that she does have some bleeding in her brain. There are four levels of brain bleeding in preemies... 1 and 2 are non threatening bleeds which are almost expected in very small preemies. Grade 3 bleeds are serious and cause concern, they can also result in developmental disabilities. Grade 4 bleeds carry a 100% chance of developmental disabilities most likely severe and also a fairly high risk of death. **Stella's bleed is a grade 2** Please pray that it does not get any worse, there is a risk of that.

Okay on to the MEDICAL GOOD NEWS: We all know that she has been pooing since night ONE... We needed to make sure that her heart artery was closed before we could talk about feeding her. Yesterday, we found out that it is closed. However, they still were only talking about feeding her. Today, she pooped a big giant important poop. I can't remember exactly what this poop is called but it is an important one. Her doctor said that because of this awesome poop she will start on my breast milk TOMORROW! Okay so we are talking like the smallest amount of milk in the world (like a drop and hour) but it will be so very important to her!

Mama got to hold her baby tonight for the first time! She also got to change her diaper, take her temp, and swab out her mouth. These things (among other more professional things) happen every four hours. It is called her "four hour check" and the nurses are letting us start to help with it. The reason I was able to hold my girl tonight is because she decided that she was going to pee when I had her diaper off. This of course got things all wet on her little pad. The nurse picked her up and handed her to me - I held her while the nurse changed her pad. It was only for a few seconds, but they were the best seconds of my life.

Grammy and Uncle Dick left to go back to PA today and made it home safely. There are not enough words to describe how awesome it was to have them here! I don't think I could have done this without my momma. Now Pap and Grandma Pat got here this afternoon - also great to have my daddy here now.

Mama is going to be discharged tomorrow and is eagerly anticipating being able to spend the night in Stella's room. The Ronald McDonald house will be our home until Stella can come back to Murray with us. Daddy is loving spending time with his daughter and will get a chance to do the midnight diaper change tonight! :)

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