Krista Houston – Pregnancy and Childbirth Success Story

When Expecting is Unexpected – Methodist Mansfield Labor and Delivery

Kaitlyn Houston Kaitlyn Houston is an adorable healthy handful
for mom Krista and dad Randy. The family is
grateful that Methodist Mansfield and its all-star
NICU were there for them throughout the pregnancy
and Kaitlyn’s hospital stay.

When Krista Houston visited her new OB-GYN, Vella Chancellor, MD, for the first time in early 2012, she had no reason to believe the visit would be an unusual one. Then she heard these three words: “Krista, you’re pregnant.”

“I really wasn’t expecting it,” says Houston, who was already 13 weeks along. “My husband and I had just moved to Mansfield, and I’d just started a new job. It was a huge shock. “Most women just see a little pea pod on the screen at their first sonogram, but I didn’t see a little pea pod. I saw an actual baby!”

The maternity team in her corner

Houston’s comfort level with her pregnancy increased with each appointment with Dr. Chancellor, who serves on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

“The nurses took a real interest in me,” Houston says. “They joked with me, asked me questions, and remembered the answers the next time I came in.”

Houston also took a childbirth preparation class at Methodist Mansfield, where she learned from certified lactation consultants about the importance of breastfeeding, as well as what to expect during childbirth.

On the evening of Sept. 21, 2012, Houston came home from work with a sore back.

“Since I was a month from my due date, I assumed it was just normal back pain — or Braxton-Hicks contractions at most,” Houston says.

Eventually, however, the pain got too strong. Nurses at Methodist Mansfield’s emergency department confirmed she was in labor. After spending the night at the hospital with little progress, Dr. Chancellor recommended that the couple go home to rest. Once Houston’s water broke, they returned to the hospital.

Only an hour and 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital, Houston gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Kaitlyn Marie.

Ready for anything at Methodist Mansfield

Kaitlyn Houston playing outside Born at Methodist Mansfield, baby
Kaitlyn was an unexpected blessing.

Kaitlyn, however, was not breathing well. In the hospital’s level IIIA neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the nurses and neonatologists found that she had developed pneumonia and the breathing troubles caused her to require nourishment via a feeding tube.

“The most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do is leave the hospital without Kaitlyn,” Houston says. “We came to be with her as much as we could, and I would go to the hospital to feed her every day. But when I did leave the NICU, the nurses and doctors kept me very informed. It was nice to feel like I wasn’t going to miss asking an important question or miss anything in Kaitlyn’s life — good or bad.”

Slowly Kaitlyn improved, especially thanks to skin-to-skin time — when the baby is placed directly onto her mother’s chest to promote bonding.

“We found that Kaitlyn did better when she was with me,” Houston says. “So I tried to feed her myself as much as possible.

“Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding were both hard for her at first, because she had trouble suckling, but with the support of the certified lactation consultants, we were able to successfully breastfeed. I could only give a little, but they made me feel like a hero!”

Safe and sound at home

Houston and her husband, Randy, took their little girl home at 10 days old, laden with plenty of supplies and solid new-parent advice. “A nurse from the NICU waved as we drove away,” Houston says. “That’s like something out of a movie, not real life!

“I tell all of my pregnant co-workers and friends to go see Dr. Chancellor and Methodist Mansfield. The people who were there and the education they gave us made a difficult time a little easier.”

From the spring 2014 edition of Shine magazine.