Monday, May 24, 2010

With Arms Wide Open

A couple of years ago Creed recorded the song "With Arms Wide Open". It tells the story

Well I just heard the news today
seems my life is going to change
I close my eyes, begin to pray
tears of joy stream down my face

With arms wide open
under the sunlight
welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
with arms wide open

With arms wide open

Well I don't know if I'm ready
to be the man I have to be
I take a breath, I take her by my side
we stand in awe, we've created life

We want to welcome Mia Anna Stebel!

To start at the beginning....I met this guy 5 or 6 years ago at work one night. He says my name is Maciej Stebel. I said "What!?" He says "call me Stebel." That was the start of a great friendship.

Stebel is one of those guys, you know, that you would like to wring their neck sometimes. Funny, witty, snide, and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. If your car breaks down, you can call Stebel any time and he will come help. He is a great photographer and owns his own busy business, Stebel Photography, but if you need some great pictures on short notice, he will be there. He donates his time and product to the community. He is also a nut.

Can you say "extreme"? Yeah, he is the one driving the jeep!

Then Stebel's girlfriend Beth came to work with us.

At first Beth seemed a little shy. But oh no, we soon learned the truth. Beth would come up with the funniest one liners, totally shocking everyone. She is a strong, beautiful, intelligent, and talented young lady. She makes a mean cake, too. This was my dear daughter's 16th birthday cake, made from scratch by Beth.

Don't ask me how Stebel took this photo of the two of them, but they sure enjoy life.

Beth is a pretty extreme girl, too. I mean, how many young ladies do you know that buy a house, get married, become a United States citizen, get laid off from their job, and get pregnant. All in one month! Yup, that's our Beth. Cool, calm and collected she takes everything in stride. Now our other friend, Jolene and I are another story. Both of us are Geminis and when all 4 of our personalities get in a room together (you know, the twins) there is trouble. We were so excited Beth was going to be a mom. Beth was a little sick in the beginning, like for 3 months, but that made us more excited because that meant she was going to have a girl! They say (the old wives tale) a daughter is jealous of the mom and tries to rob her of her beauty by making her sick. It did not work with Beth, she was always beautiful and once she got through the first trimester everything was peachy keen, until Saturday, May 22, 2010.

On Saturday, while I was at the fundraiser I wrote about, Jolene texted me and asked if I had heard from Stebel. It seems Beth was not feeling well so they went to the urgent care. At 8:00pm Jolene called me and asked what I was doing. By 9:00pm I had driven to the east side of the valley, picked Jolene up, and we drove (never over the speed limit) to the north end of Carson City to the hospital. Beth was in big trouble! They tried to helicopter her to Reno but with the May snowstorm they could not fly. Beth had been having trouble with her blood pressure and she was in distress with Preeclampsia which is a pregnancy condition in which high blood pressure and protein in the urine develop after the 20th week (late 2nd or 3rd trimester) of pregnancy.

Symptoms of more severe preeclampsia:
•Headaches that are dull or throbbing and will not go away
•Abdominal pain, mostly felt on the right side, underneath the ribs. Pain may also be felt in the right shoulder, and can be confused with heartburn, gallbladder pain, a stomach virus, or the baby kicking
•Decreased urine output, not urinating very often
•Nausea and vomiting (worrisome sign)
•Vision changes -- temporary loss of vision, sensations of flashing lights, auras, light sensitivity, spots, and blurry vision.

Beth had all the symptoms.
The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. So that is what they did. Beth had an emergency C-section and a 5 lb. 2 oz. baby girl was born. Mia Anna Stebel. The hospital in Reno sent an ambulance with a premature baby team to Carson City and within a couple of hours the baby was on her way through a snow storm to the Renown Health Hospital. They are the only Children's Hospital, Children's ER, Children's Specialty Care, Pediatric ICU, and Children's Infusion Center in the region that caters to the many pediatric needs in northern Nevada. They like to keep premature babies in the hospital until their due date so Mia might be there for 6 weeks. She had a breathing tube the first day so she would not forget to breath, but Stebel called last night and she is breathing on her own now. It will be a long month for the new parents but with their extended family, us and all their many friends, they will get through it. Mia will get stronger every day and she will soon come home and Jolene already has enough little dresses to last the first year!

We are so proud of Beth, and Stebel too. He insisted on taking Beth to urgent care and saved her life. Even with all the pain she was in, she did what she had to do to keep the baby safe. They are going to be great parents, they already are!

Here are a few pictures.

Beth is still in Carson City so Jolene came up with the brilliant idea to print some pictures of Mia so she will have her near. Jolene is a smart girl!

The proud papa! As you can see, the baby has Beth's good looks, thank goodness!

The nurse told us that light strokes to the baby are too stimulating for a preemie and to "cocoon them" which is the feeling they have in the womb. Stebel demonstrates.

Mia has beautiful color!

She may look small here but she is 5 lbs., did not need a hood on her basinet, and has quite a grip already!
This is a picture of the proud aunties! (I have not decided if I am an auntie or granny yet) Jolene in red and me in white.

Well Stebel, I know you are the man you need to be, I am so very proud of you! And Beth, I told you I wanted the baby born on my birthday, you were close. But at least we have another Gemini in our group! And Jolene and I are going to teach her everything she needs to know! Oh boy, are you in trouble mom and dad!


  1. Michelle, what a beautiful baby.Your post brought tears to my eyes. I know you can hardly wait until the baby comes home. Prayers for the whole family

  2. We just took our CPR class yesterday. We are really ready for her to come home now!
    Michelle in NV


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