Monday, February 20, 2012

Meet Stella Humphries

Our beautiful baby girl Stella joined our family on February 12, 2012. She weighted 5lbs 10 oz and measured 18 1/2 inches long.

Stella decided to join us five weeks before her due date. Even though she is a late pre-term baby she is perfectly healthy.

Carson was born four weeks early so I figured that may be the case with this pregnancy also and was able to be more prepared for the eventuality she came early. I just didn't think she would beat him by a whole week.

Labor & Delivery

The pregnancy was uneventful until 32 weeks when I started experiencing regular and painful contractions. They were consistent enough (2-5 min apart) that I ended up going to the hospital to be checked.

My OB was on vacation so I had to be seen by the hospitalist on call. She was nice enough but I didn't care for the whole experience. She administered Tributaline, which made me feel worse instead of better and attributed the contractions to dehydration. Really?!

At least she had the foresight to prescribe some Procardia to stop them in the future. After six hours of what felt like labor I was discharged. I was still having contractions but they were down to every 10 minutes and no longer painful. All I could think was 'I'm going to go through all this again in another eight weeks!'

At my 34 week appointment the OB told me that Procardia would not stop real labor and to stop taking them. I would be better going into the hospital than taking the medication and waiting an hour for it to take effect.  She was afraid I might end up having the baby at home.

On Sunday, February 12, 2012 I woke up at 3 am feeling uncomfortable and it progressed from there. By 5 am I was feeling bad enough to tell Todd we should go into the hospital but once we got there I started having second thoughts about it and decided to call my OB to get her opinion.

She told me to take Procardia and wait an hour. So we drove back home and waited until 6:30 am. At first it felt like the medication was working but by the end the pain was unbearable and would not let up so we left once again for the hospital.

When I was admitted Amy (the nurse) told me I was 6 cm dialated and I had just earned a one way ticket to the Labor & Delivery room.I was relieved. I didn't want to have to do it all over again a third time.

I was so out of it that I didn't think anything of the fact that Amy addressed me by name before I had a chance of telling her who I was. I took me a few minutes to realize she is also one of the nurses that works at my doctor's office.

From then on the whole thing was pretty uneventful. The hardest thing was inserting my IV. The nurses kept debating whether the needle was positioned correctly inside my arm. They kept commenting on how toned my branchioradialis muscle was (I had to look it up). They even had to ask a third nurse to come in and check to make sure it was a bulging muscle and not IV fluid filling up the space under the skin.

After they agreed that the IV was placed correctly, I got my epidural and waited for my body to do the rest. Stella was born at 12:24 pm - small but healthy. I was relieved to hear her cry aloud.

The Hospital
I was actually up at the hopsital on Saturday (the day before Stella was born) visiting one of my friends who was expecting and happened to have her baby a few weeks early. Her due date was after mine so we joked about the turn of events.

Maybe it was the visit to the hospital that beckoned Stella to come out early or the fact she wanted to keep our family tradition of sharing birthdays with close relatives. (Stella's birthday coincides with her grandma's.) Either way, I was happy everything went so well and it was fun to be just across the hall from my friend Gwen at the hopsital. That's not something either of us ever thought would happen.

The hospital has this new policy of giving preemies outside of the NICU orange hats to distinguish them from the rest of the babies in the nursery. The color is really bright. It reminds me of something a person would wear when going hunting.

Luckly I had made an orange hat. She was the only little one wearing a fashionable orange hat. Everything else I had for her was too big, so I was glad she was able to wear at least one thing that wasn't huge or plain ugly.

At Home

By the time she left the hospital Stella was down to 5 lbs. 7 oz. and at her first check up she had dropped to 5 lbs 3 oz. So her weight has been my primary concern over the past week. She has some jaunice wich contributes to her lethargic behavior. I've been spending most of the time keeping her awake and coaxing her into eating.

At first I would spend an hour and only get her to eat for maybe 10 minutes. It was really frustrating and I hated having to make her uncomfortable so that she would stay awake. Luckly, we are making some progress. She is latching on a lot better and is alert for longer periods of time. Stella has a follow up appointment tomorrow morning. We'll see how she does.

On Sunday, Todd took some pictures of her for her birth announcement. They turned out so cute I'm having a hard time deciding which to use. Of couse the one time I wanted her to be asleep she was wide awake.

The green blanket inside the basket is actually a shawl my grandmother made and wore. I got it from her when I visited her in Argentina a few years ago. Since she passed away it has become a heirloom for me. It was neat to be able to use it in the pictures.